How To Identify A Twitter Spammer

Your first contact with a spammer on Twitter will more than likely be a  tweet mentioning you with a URL contained in it. Clicking on the URL might lead to disaster, and personally I never click on a URL from someone I don’t actually know.
If you’re not sure someone is a spammer, there are a few clues that are dead give-aways in a spammer’s profile.

Whilst their name might look like a regular name and surname, its most likely foreign-sounding, something exotic.

The Twitter handle will be something like @AlonsoSX781 or @Fernandonkxs7 – something that looks like its been automatically generated (because it probably was).

Their profile description will look something like this: “Certified thinker. Wannabe tv enthusiast. Friendly web buff. Total social media lover. Lifelong coffee junkie. Pop culture guru. Food geek.” or “Entrepreneur. Evil tv evangelist. Coffee geek. Professional travel specialist. Total gamer. Hardcore food fanatic.
Finding all of the following words in one person’s profile is practically a guarantee that the profile belongs to a spammer:

  • certified
  • wannabe
  • buff
  • junkie
  • guru
  • geek

A Twitter spammer profile will have few if any followers, and will most likely not be following anyone either.

And last but not least, whilst there may be a couple of hundred tweets in their history they will be garbled nonsense and/ or filled with URLs. Here’s an example of an actual tweet by an actual spammer: “have find they out are on we are one at its for your was this up to my not was of me when with my can with I that all just at my“.

I hope that helps!

I Just Might Be Able To Say “Thank You @Absa”…

But I’m going to wait a month before I do, I have learned not to look a gift horse in the mouth when it comes to banking…

After I blogged yesterday about how upset I was about what I was paying Absa every month, they got hold of me on Twitter and asked how they could help.
This morning I got a call from a very sweet young lady who offered me a package deal that she promises will cost me just R79 a month- all inclusive- although I will start paying for ATM withdrawals after the 5th one- which is fine since I almost never do that anyway.
She also apologised that I had had to throw my toys out the cot before I got offered a far more cost effective package.
When I asked why it wasn’t standard across the board anyway, she said that when they implemented it last year they started calling people to offer it to them but people don’t answer “private number” calls!
I had to laugh as I am guilty of that too.

So, as of the end of this week- she said she’d put a rush on it- I will be saving a lot of money because I won’t be paying for debit orders, internal transactions, internet banking or card payments when I shop.

If you’re an Absa client, phone them or go and see them and get your charges sorted out too!

The #LibertyWMG Breakfast

I was very lucky to be invited to the third annual Working Mom’s Guide Breakfast yesterday morning, sponsored by Liberty!

I was surprised by the size of the event when I arrived, with a good 250 people  in the beautifully appointed hall at the Sydenham Community Centre. And I was very pleasantly surprised when Gina arrived! We were seated at the same table too which was very cool- though I am sure some of the other people at our table thought we were being rude as we tweeted through the presentations… Heh heh…

I didn’t take my camera with me so I had to use my BB… The tables were very pretty, with each one decorated a little differently to the others.

Everyone knows I’m a sucker for a goodie bag and the ones we got today were phenomenal! Samples from Clarins and Windrose, a bottle of Canderel sweetener, a Balmain pen from Liberty, a Tommy Tippee bottle (Gina gave me hers and I’m giving both to my sister C), a handbag table hook from Liberty, a Home Owner magazine, an Elle Decoration magazine, a baby something from Pigeon (which is also going to my sister C) and a discount voucher from Stuttafords. Now thats what I call a goodie bag!

As we got to our tables we were offered chocolate and banana wrapped in a crepe! The buffet was set up in an adjoining room with little boards at each dish explaining the nutritional value of salmon, quinoa, apples, eggs, tomatoes, and so on and it was very interesting to read about what we were eating. And what a buffet it was! Different kinds of scrambled eggs, home made pickles, fresh salmon, tuna mayo, egg mayo, tomato and mozzarella slices, different breads, different salads, and a whole lot of sweet treats like crunchies and brownies and carrot cupcakes and cookies and *GASP* cheeeeeesecake! There was tea and coffee and they were making up fresh juices with apples, oranges, beetroots and a few other things, with their nutritional values explained as well. It was quite a feast!

And one of the best parts of the buffet? After the presentations and before the raffle prize draw, they served breakfast again, so if you hadn’t had enough the first time around you could go back for seconds!

And I’m sure there are several people who can testify to the fact that any event with myself in attendance would be incomplete without me spilling my drink on the table…

We were also treated to the Jewish tradition of the blowing of a shofar (a ram’s horn)! Being a  Ba’al T’qiah (shofar sounder) is an honour and the horn is something I have never heard before. Its quite something.

We were then privileged to hear author Joanne Fedler speak!

She’s a successful author, born in SA and now living in Oz. She’s a mom, she studied at Yale, she fought for women’s rights, and she’s a fantastic speaker to name just a few aspects of the phenomenal woman’s personality! She told stories and related personal experiences and it seemed absolutely effortless. She engaged her audience without one “um” and I was blown away! Here are a few of the things I got from her talk:

  • How do we sustain ourselves and hold our world together in a world that pulls us in so many directions all the time? When people have someone outside of themselves to live for, they find optimism in the most tragic of circumstances.
  • What does it mean to be whole? Celebrate the beauty of that which is incomplete, to embrace imperfection.
  • As they age we have to learn to love our children differently, to trust the change process because we cannot freeze time.
  • When your teenage kid tells you to “get a life” take it as a blessing and do it! Start taking back yourself as your children grow!
  • We’ve lost our ability to be patient and wait and it can make us feel unsustained if we want everything to be instant. Creativity and relaxation require patience!
  • Allow yourself to stop, to leave things unfinished, to breathe and do nothing.
  • As a mother you need to have a self, a someone who is you but not an employee/ a wife/ a mother… someone you maintain and come back to.
  • If you embrace your imperfections you open yourself to grace.
You can’t be all mom or all employee because without real relaxation and creativity in whatever form, you will feel like something is missing in your life.

And I won a prize in the raffle! I was so stoked! I was so excited when they called the number of one of my raffle tickets (I had six of them)! My lucky package consisted of the use of a snazzy coffee machine (and free coffee) for six months, Cellini luggage (and this suitcase set alone was worth R900), a dress from Panda (its a small, so I’m going to gift it to a friend), a voucher for a kosher fish market, funky striped reading glasses, an emergency car kit consisting of a set of jumper cables and a reflective triangle, AND a brown leather Busby wallet!! It must be kismet- I’ve needed a new wallet for ages! And when I went home I packed my prizes and my goodie bag into the luggage and wheeled it to the car!

Thank you so much for inviting me Liberty, it was quite a morning and I gained a lot of insight into what “sustenance” really can mean to a mom!

Cake And Puppies!!

My knucklehead is liking his new job! Its only been two days, and he is working very hard, but he likes it. He also got to spend Saturday with biodad and they had a lot of fun.

Last Friday at about lunch time, I went to fetch my Glugster from work and then we went to SAGA to fetch our Volt– who had been at kennels for a full two weeks! At the same time, we picked up a very special puppy whom we have named Riddick! You can read all about him on my furbabies blog! Ironically, Riddick was bred by the SA Guide-dog Association, but he was born without pupils in his eyes, so he is effectively blind. We have adopted him to be a part of our forever family! And trust me, you will battle to resist this face!!

Riddick and Volt are fast friends already! It has been so cool to have Volt here to keep Riddick occupied and vice versa!

This Sunday past was #WorldBakingDay, and I decided to take part as well- in the name of my alter-ego of course!! The aim is to bake a cake (or cupcakes), put it somewhere crazy, and then photograph it, posting it on Twitter with the #caking hashtag. I got photos of my cake in a few different places, but I think this one of my guide-dog-in-training puppy Volt, helping me out with some extreme “caking” is my favourite! He was so good! He didn’t even try to take a bite or get a lick in!

On Friday afternoon, I received a courier delivery from our dear friends Shebeeliciousness and her Jon. Instead of sending us flowers for the loss of our Super Nathan, they had one of our favourite photographs of Nathan printed on canvas and mounted for us. It hangs in our living room now. Thank you both. The picture contains a treasured memory.

On Saturday my folks popped around for a visit to meet the new puppy and we had a lovely afternoon, then on Sunday my in-laws visited us and- they brought lunch! We had divine mince jaffles with potato salad and a bit of green salad and enjoyed a little wine with our lunch! We haven’t seen them in MONTHS and it was so cool to spend the afternoon with them again!

We had a nice relaxed weekend. I had one cupcake delivery that my Glugster did for me while I waited at home for another order to be delivered. We actually managed to sleep late even with a new puppy in the house!

The Knucklehead Has A Lizard!

No- I’m not being obscene- he actually has a pet lizard! A bearded dragon, no less!

My son has been asking (read- hinting, begging and pleading) for a snake, lizard or spider since he was in pre-school, but I always said no because I knew who would end up taking care of it (since he was a little kid), and an exotic pet is an expensive pet.

Then ExMi mentioned on Twitter that although she hated herself for it, the bearded dragon she purchased about a year ago needed a new home.

It was like magic! Have you seen “Despicable Me“? You know when Gru says: “Light bullllb.” It was like that!

I hadn’t been thinking about it or anything, but I knew in that instant that the lizard, named Mojo, was meant for my knucklehead. I didn’t say a word to him though- I would never have heard the end of it, and had things fallen through and Mojo hadn’t come to live with us, I would have been nagged endlessly because it would have meant I’d said yes in principle! I did discuss it with my Glugster of course, and we agreed that it was all good as long as the knucklehead understood that the lizard would be his responsibility.

ExMi and I went into negotiations, and a week later I went to fetch Mojo from her house. I only told my knucklehead that he was getting a very early Christmas present the night before I collected the lizard.

Mojo has been renamed Spike (I know, I know, not exactly original), and he has taken up residence- in his terrarium- in the knucklehead’s bedroom. When the knucklehead came home to find the lizard in his room, he spent the entire evening rearranging furniture, preparing food, and watching and talking to and cuddling Spike. And as is typical with the knucklehead, I was summoned to the room several times to see what the lizard was doing. There are big plans underfoot for plants, a bigger terrarium, and leash training! Is that even possible?

The knucklehead couldn’t be happier.