Julie's Web Journal at Stately Barrett Manor

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Writing. Technology. Life.

No Spam
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
Just an (archived) cat photo.


Filed under: Pictures   Cats         
9/9/2014 1:39:25 PM
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Dear Spammers...
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
Do I think my investments are secure? Gosh, it could be all that money in the mattress that's causing my sleep issues. I'll change it to gold and sleep better. Let's see ... (shakes out mattress) ... nothing. Oh, yeah. It's all in the bank. All 35 cents.

The answer is here? Where? What was the question again?

My background may have been searched! Again? And all without benefit of clergy.

Karen Approval Manager, meet Your Enrollment Answers.

How is the president slowly killing me? Let's see what's in the body of this message... Oh, it's in Dutch. doesn't apply to me.

Intimate Hookups, meet Herpes Symptoms. May you have a fruitful relationship.

No, glasses are not helping my vision, which is why I was at the eye doctor this morning. Thank you for caring.

Am I suck of bogus claims? Oh, yes. And according to the next email in the queue the video will explain everything.

Pet First.  Yep, that's what the cat wants. Well, it's feed first, pet next. And leave her alone while napping.

Filed under: Life            
9/9/2014 1:25:28 PM
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Dear Spammers...
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
Fish in a barrel, folks. And in case you wonder why I do this, it's partly for the snark value and partly because it forces me to thoroughly check the spam folder to make sure something important didn't get in there by mistake. 

The grocery bill slashing device? Oh, you mean a pocket calculator? 

Thanks for letting me know about my auto warranty. Still has three more years to go, though.

The government's hidden agenda? According to the text, it's "wine concealed thick. halfsignificant a plunge be milk almonds." Yep, sounds like conspiracy theory language to me.

My psychic prediction? I'll be swimming through the spam box for days. 

Crazy guy enjoys BBQ during a hurricane? Come to Texas, where we smoke when it's 100+ outdoors. And no, I don't mean e-cigs. Or premium cigars. Nor cannabis e-liquid.

My Who's Who invitation is expiring. Again. For maybe the third time this week. Oops, I deleted it.

How To End Chronic Disease: Take in on vinegar, be of taste very it semolina for halfinsignificant indeed. There ya go.

Don't need a Colombian woman. Or a Russian woman. Or an Asian woman. It seems I have a Chinese bride! 

I think I'd know if my background was searched. Try it and I'll slap you.

Yulia sent me another new photo. How sweet. And it's in a ZIP file. Pardon me if I don't open it.

"Anna" tells me she's never "written to men first..." Yet she's spamming mail from "Patsy" and even "Julie." 

Glasses and contacts do not help my vision. Neither do cataracts and retina tears. How will you help me? Delete Queda Cherie. Well, that's clear as mud. Thanks.

Filed under: Life            
9/2/2014 2:22:29 PM
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Dear Spammers...
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
You keep sending 'em, I keep mocking 'em.

Patchs? I don't need to steenking Patchs. Oh, you mean "matches." Another damn dating site.

Testosterone? No thank you.

And not Viagra, either.

Look! There's a sale on knees!

Don't think I need to visit Europe just to get my tires or oil changed. But for a vacation...ah, Costa Rica. On a private charter jet or yacht. 

Why do I need to hookup with rude people when I have the comment section of my local newspaper site?

I know it's a product seen on  TV, but why would I buy from your incomprehensible URL when I can go down the street to the drug store?

Not  ready to enroll in Medicare by a long shot, thank you.

Now cat food coupons are something I can use. But not from Europe.

Did I dream of being a teacher? More like had nightmares. And if I want to be a teacher, I won't get an online degree, thank you.

Forget Costa Rica. I can cruise to Alaska. From Europe, apparently. Are we seeing a pattern here?

Ah, here's a deal from the US. I can rent a private island. In Europe, no doubt.

Deer Antler Spray, meet Herpes Symptoms. I hope you hit it off.

Coke or Pepsi? Dr Pepper, thanks for asking.

Nigel Loan-Officer, are you any relation to Raymond Luxury-Yacht?

Filed under: Life            
8/27/2014 2:26:20 PM
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Dear Spammers...
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
Since you continue to send me offers, I shall continue to mock them. Fair enough?

No, I don't need to enlarge body parts I don't have.

I have a new(ish) car. And I think if my Ford dealer wants to send me an email, it will come from the dealership and not some dodgy web site. And no, do you think I really want to buy a used car from you? Or tires? Or an oil change? 

My name is not Tania. And I won't pay your invoice. Oh, you forgot to attach it anyway.

You have a new photo? How nice. I'll hook you up with the Russian Brides service. I think you guys could do some business.

Why yes, I'll rent a luxury yacht or private plane from you. Just as soon as I win the Sweepstakesaday drawing.

I already know my future. It involves emptying my spam folder.

Thanks for the education on the Erie Canal, herbivores, and telling me how elephants bring millions to the US economy every year. Now what does that have to do with tracing my ancestry?

Overeating sugar cures diabetes? Thanks. Now I know I'll never, ever get diabetes. 

So does the natural herpes cure have anything to do with the natural "enlargement" drugs you're trying to sell in another email?

So you say marriage is boring and affairs are fun? Boy, do I feel sorry for you.

Winter is here, you say? I thought Winter was coming. In that case, I can also ignore your plea to get my summer body. Make up your mind. 

Why yes, I do find it amusing that "Mrs. Glascock" is selling ... you guessed it. Okay, it's Monday and the bar is low.

If I could lose weight while watching TV, I'd be a supermodel.

Now pardon me while I flush unwanted bulk from my spam folder. I told you I knew my future.

Filed under: Life            
8/25/2014 10:06:27 AM
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Not So Sweet Dreams
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
(Abby, from the archives.)

Behold the sleeping kitty, dreaming of catnip and world domination!

My dreams have not been so sweet lately. I'm sure it's a mixture of stuff going on in my life lately and another bout of "that age"-related insomnia. And when I take something to help me sleep, the dreams get vivid.

Usually, they're "responsibility" dreams, which speaks volumes about my life as of late. Usually I have some important task to fulfill, and I blow it. Or I accomplish it, and something else goes wrong. I attribute this more to anxiety than any actual failure on my part, though I'm always scared of falling down on my a$$ and making a fool of myself.

Hence, last night's dream. I was having fun. I was at a restaurant somewhere waiting on a table, and a celebrity showed up and sat down to talk. How cool was that? We talked about all kinds of things and discovered he liked the music of someone I know. That was great, until I made a fool of myself.

Remind me to keep my hands to myself the next time someone plays "Macarena." Just saying. ;-)

Or there are the "task" dreams. I have to do something, and I just miss accomplishing the task. I wake up in a sweat, then go back to sleep and dream about the task from another angle. Which I fail. And wake up. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

Oh, I know the dreams are related to real-life anxiety. FenCon is next month. My current worldbuilding for a novel is going nowhere. I need a break, and not just a couple of hours shopping. Not gonna happen for a while. And I just realized our last real vacation was a decade ago this fall. Yep, that explains some things. 

Thing is, it's sometimes the really odd dreams that lead to good stories. It's a mixed blessing. But it would be nice to have one night where I sleep through the night and don't remember my dreams. Or if I do, they're sweet ones.

Tags: Life

Filed under: Life            
8/19/2014 9:56:57 AM
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Apologizing For Our State Officials...Again
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
So our governor is now under indictment. Will the charges stick? I dunno. Did he do it? Well, that's up to the courts to decide. I hope he gets his day in court, though. I'm not sure he can get a conviction in a hyper-partisan state like Texas. 

Here are the facts as I understand them.

Rosemery Lehmberg is the District Attorney for Travis County. Austin (the state capitol) is in Travis County. The state government funds a Public Integrity Unit in the DA's office, and has since 1982. The office has prosecuted more Democrats than Republicans, but the highest-profile cases involve Republicans such as Tom DeLay and Rick Perry.  (Source) Why and how this is set up this way is complicated. See the link and grab a cup of coffee.

Before I go into details, there's a very good timeline at the Austin-American Statesman that's worth looking at. 

In 2012, the Public Integrity Unit started to investigate CPRIT, an agency established to provide funds for cancer research, after The Dallas Morning News broke several stories of possible misuse of funds. Here's one

In April of 2013, Lehmberg was arrested for DWI and was fairly belligerent. This is all on video. Afterward, the governor called for her resignation, saying the the public had lost confidence in her office. Next, he threatened to veto funds for the Public Integrity Unit if she didn't resign, and followed through on that. Those are undisputed facts. It's also an undisputed fact that the governor has line item veto power. But is it coercion? That will be up to the courts to decide.

But then consider this: When a District Attorney leaves office in the middle of a term - through either resignation or death - the governor gets to appoint a replacement. Further, the San Antonio Express-News reports that he allegedly tried to broker a replacement if she would resign, and apparently offered her another position. Again, the courts will decide.

Now, here's my take: A county District Attorney is elected by the voters of a county. The governor has no power to remove that official, though he does have the power to appoint a replacement. It should be up to the voters of Travis County to decide whether or not she stays.

Don't get me wrong: I don't condone the DWI, nor do I condone her behavior. I will note she apologized, plead guilty, served her time, and went to rehab. She has also promised not to run for re-election. Her term ends in 2016.

I should also note that the indictment was from a special grand jury called by an special counsel chosen after a watchdog group filed a complaint. Lehmberg recused herself and had nothing to do with the grand jury or the indictment, although the process took place in Travis County.

Let's put a different spin on this. I live in Collin County, which is very conservative. I voted for some of the officials that represent me. Some I voted against. If our DA was accused of a crime, it's up to the voters in my county to decide what to do. Whether or not I support the DA is irrelevant. If we remove the DA from office, then we're essentially asking the governor to appoint a new one, but the essential point is that the voters lost confidence and have asked for a replacement. If the governor decides to veto funds for our county because he (or she) has a problem with the DA, then it seems to me that governor is interfering with the will of the voters.

The last bastion of power that the voters have is the ballot box. We cannot allow that to be subverted. This is why this case must go to trial. 

Filed under: Politics            
8/18/2014 11:40:58 AM
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Dear Spammers...
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
Thank you for your apparent concern about my health and welfare. Please note the following:

I have no need of blue pills.

Along those lines, I don't want to put the weight loss doctor's miracle drug that sounds like "foreskin" into my mouth, thank you very much.

If I want a drug that makes me look younger in less than a month, I won't purchase it through a web site that sells cars, thank you.

P.S. If the FDA has approved of your drug, why doesn't it show up on their web site? Or WebMD, for that matter?

If a doctor was jailed for sharing a cure, maybe the people who jailed him or her had a reason, like the cure was bogus?

No, I am not eligible for Medicare.

Why would I order toilet paper coupons from you when I can get them delivered to my door with the Sunday paper?

Thanks, but I don't need to refinance. It would cost me more than what's left on the mortgage.

I already own a hybrid, thank you.

Thanks for letting me know Home Depot is offering free quotes on Windows, but I have Windows 8.1. Oh, you mean windows for the house. Thanks, I'll contact them directly rather than going through some dodgy web site.

If you could see the trees around my house, you'd know that several satellite installers have told me that I shouldn't even bother with a dish.

Nope, still don't need to enlarge body parts I don't have.

As seen on TV? And spam!

Hello? Well, hello to you, too. Now get off my lawn.

Why yes, I'll join an injury settlement for a pill I've never taken or an operation I've never had. Uh, not.

Don't need a business phone system, thank you. I work from home.

I already protect my garage floor - with junk. ;-)

Hey, I didn't know the fda (sic) had arrest powers!

Don't need shutters.

Don't have neuropathy.

My wrinkles have wrinkles. Reverse THAT.

Don't have an Ipad (sic).

I already have a degree - from a place with more cred than your online university.

Thanks, but I've already hooked up with someone sexy, and we've been married - to each other! - for nearly 35 years. 

I'm not a man. Thanks for asking. Now take your blue pills elsewhere.

I don't have diabetes. Why would I want to reverse that condition?

Obama allows me to go solar? Wow! Betcha one of your solar rigs that the next president will allow it to, and your spam will say so! (No, I'm not being political. Just watch. We'll all get spam starting in 2017 invoking the name of whoever wins the next election.)

I think there's a reason you want beginners to test your beta code, dude, and I'm not falling for it.

Don't need a loan, and if I did I'd go to the bank.

Nope, still don't need blue pills.

Thank you for your attention. 

Filed under: Spam            
8/12/2014 10:50:01 AM
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SoonerCon schedule
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
Next weekend is SoonerCon. It's one of our favorite conventions, and this year looks like fun. When isn't it? I hope I never find out. 

I'll have items in the Art Show. Bid early and bid often, either on my items or those by any of the fine artists in attendance. 

Here's my schedule:

4:00 PM, Ballroom C: Companion: Girl Friday or Emotional Liability?
Who is the Doctor without the Companion? Would Doctor Who be a successful show without a Companion? Does the Companion create unneeded sexual or emotional tension in the story arcs of the series?
With: Cyn Burton, Bev Hale, and Caroline Spector

9:00 AM, 10-Forward Cantina: Koffee Klatch  with lots and lots of people. Come join us for coffee and conversation. 

2:00 PM, Joyner: Successful Steampunk Cosplay
A DIY panel for beginners. What is Steampunk? What is needed to effectively pull off the Steampunk look without breaking the bank or looking off our chump.
With: Bev Hale, Elizabeth Snicer, and Ynhared

3:00 PM, Mann: Dr Who: The Anti-Antihero
The Doctor is the best person, er, Timelord ever. Sure he makes some mistakes but things seem to work out as they were meant to in the end. Is the Doctor's ultra-goodness his best appeal? What gives him such cross-generational staying power?
With: Tim Frayser, Ethan Nahte, and Allison Stein

5:00 PM, J Stage: Radio Show Rehearsal
Here's your chance to be a radio star! Our show this year is "Game of Groans, A Further Adventure of Sam Shade, Private Mouth."
With: Paul and Chris Barrett

8:00 PM, J Stage: Masquerade
We'll be live on stage during the break to perform the radio show!

11:00 AM, Ballroom B: Commission Work: The Joys, Pitfalls, and Just Plain Weirdness
It is hard enough for the artist to do their work when they are trying to realize their vision. Commission work can be even more treacherous. Discuss why it is so hard to create someone else's vision.
With: Jerry Bennett, Peri Charliflu, Tim Chessmore, Dell Harris, and Vincent Villafranca

1:00 PM, Cain: Manners and Morbidity
Ever notice how the Victorians were super polite and refined, but they also liked to take pictures of dead people and make trinkets from human hair? This panel discusses the dichotomy between the hallmark manners and etiquette of the Victorians and their curious mourning customs from a modern perspective.
With: J. Kathleen Cheny, Sheri Dean, and Ynhared

Hope to see you there!

Filed under: Conventions            
6/17/2014 8:12:40 PM
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It's Friday. Have A Cat
Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett
In honor of Friday the 13th, here's Midnight at the Small Catnip Collider.


Filed under: Pictures   Cats         
6/13/2014 3:52:15 PM
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Events and Appearances:
9/26/2014  - 9/28/2014
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6/26/2015  - 6/28/2015

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