Maria Callas, Patrick Guerin and other Snake Oil salesfolks – Update

Back in October 2009 I made mention of Maria Callas and other folks trying to extract money from folks who were suffering from hardship or financial problems – in essence – preying on the weak and poor of society. This is something I particularly hate. I was reminded of the Maria Callas post (Marie Callas – Clairvoyant and …. ? and Marie Callas and Snake Oil Salesmen) as the result of a comment posted today.

I wondered what had happened to the old fraud and decided that as I could not make a happy face with my breakfast I would do a quick bit of googling. Well, to my great amusement I noticed that in 2016 the “Feds” in the US busted Maria Callas, Patrick Guerin et al for International Mail Fraud (see Feds Bust Psychics in International Mail Fraud Scheme) proving that you can fool some of the people some of the time but don’t piss off the US Post Office!

Well done! The more of these fraudsters that are taken down the better. The  world has enough problems without these vultures feeding off the carrion of human misery!

Dodgy advertisers stuff up

I saw these two advertisements on the same page when reading Dilbert today. I can’t decide whether she has had a massive pay increase or a massive pay cut!

And on the same page, dodgy advertisement number 2
And on the same page, dodgy ad number 2
Dodgy work advertisement number 1
Dodgy work advertisement number 1

Or maybe she has two Internet jobs? Never thought of that!

Thomo Attacked up the Punjab


I logged into Facebook this morning and a Facebook security warning came up. Following the prompts I was told that there was a suspicious account access – namely from the location on the map. Facebook then asked me to confirm whether or not it was me.

Well, it was an access from a mobile somewhere up in the Punjab. I’m in Sydney. Yep, definitely not me.

Of course, the thing that had me most confused (and therefore cautious) was that I travel and I have accessed Facebook from Manila and Singapore in recent weeks. This message did not appear then. Does Facebook keep track of the MAC number of the machine you normally access from and when the MAC Address and location do not match, it then looks at the error? I wonder. I will need to consider this more over coming days as I am still feeling a little uncertain ((and if any of you get a shed-load of emails from me offering quick winnings, anatomical enlargements, other anatomical shrinkages or such, let me know as it will mean I have been truly hacked)).

Of course the remarkable piece of timing with this is that yesterday my partner went to the cinema and watched “The Social Network”, a Hollywood interpretation of the Facebook story. Bizarre!

One Flat White and a Ristretto

We have a coffee machine in the offices we rent. These are serviced offices and the coffee machine is provided as part of the rental package – albeit a part that is charged at $20 a month per person whether you use it or not ((this is real nickel and dime stuff as the office rental is like thousands a month but the cheap buggers insist on charging $20 extra for tea and coffee)).

We have had a number of coffee machines through here and numerous breakdowns over the 18 months we have been here. I fondly recall the coffee machine mechanic who was here a year ago fixing the then machine. His comment was “I don’t know why you guys bother with this machine when an electric jug and a jar of Nescafe is more efficient, quick, hot and doesn’t breakdown every 5 minutes!”

The one thing about these coffee machines is that they appear to have been manufactured by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation ((with apologies to Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in that they produce something that tastes almost like a cup of coffee. My solution? Take one mug, press the button for flat white. When that is finished, press the button for Ristretto (( After that, top up with hot water. Almost a nice cup of coffee.

Sigh, where’s the tea bag?

Marie Callas and Snake Oil Salesmen

One of the most commented on posts here at Thomo’s Hole is the one about Marie Callas the Clairvoyant and …?. Most of the comments say the same thing  – that the commenter believes that Marie Callas is a fraud. Whilst there are many unexplained things in the universe (like how Pelicans know there will be water in Lake Eyre) I do not believe that these “psychic” revelations of folks such as Callas are any more than an elaborate money-making scheme.

Beware of these folks. If you want some interesting reading, follow some of the links from this Google search ((I must admit, it appears as though she – if indeed she is truly a she –  has at least done some search engine optimisation. Raises the question “does a true psychic need to have good business practices?”))

Hopalong catastrophe: Sydney surrenders to northern invaders

Hopalong catastrophe: Sydney surrenders to northern invaders.

Cane Toads in Sydney … nooooo!

The Sydney Morning Herald ran an article today talking about the spread of cane toads. In particular it noted that

Steve Cope, the director of Knock-Out Pest Control, said his company had 12 call outs for toads in the Shire [Sutherland Shire Council area] since November. Last year, there wer none.

12 call-outs!

What will happen to the state of origin now? Cane Toads and Cockroaches together in Sydney.

Must be time to move to Melbourne – wonder if Cane Toads are covered under a salarycap?

How to shoot your mouth off … stupidly

From time to time I stop in and have a read of one of my favourite newspapers, the Arab News. In what has to be one of the best examples of stupidly shooting one’s mouth off a Saudi by the name of Mazen Abdul Jawad who works for Saudi Airlines and lives in Jeddah (my old stamping ground) appeared on Lebanese Television’s (LBC) “Red Line” and was boasting about his sexual conquests.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. Doubly dumb as the program goes to air in Saudi Arabia. This was reported last week in a piece, Bragging on TV about sex lands Saudi in hot water in which Jawad was reported as saying:

It all starts with turning my Bluetooth on while cruising around in my car

Not only was he bragging, but he was also identified on the TV show.

So now my favourite Commission, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Ministry of Licentiousness and Lasciviousness) is calling for his punishment under Shariah as is a fair number of the residents of Jeddah. Personally, I think the guy is a boob as well – and probably deserves to be punished if for nothing else, then at least for stupidity.

Anyway, it seems that one week later the guy is still out of gaol as today the Arab News reported that the Sex bragger not jailed yet.

I shall watch this with interest.