5 February 2012

Good morning and what a terrific week we’ve had – bracingly fresh or f***ing freezing, depending on your perspective but, in general, fine, clear, bright blue skies. Toward the end of the week the temperatures dropped from merely f***ing freezing to “OMG it’s f***ing cold!” I hadn’t really appreciated that there were that many negative numbers. Then, on Saturday afternoon the cold front from Siberia ran into the slightly-less cold front rumbling in from the Atlantic to give us our first real snowfall of the winter. As is often the case, we’ve had it less severe than other parts of the country for which I am always grateful.

It starting snowing about 3.30 yesterday afternoon and by this morning we had, what for us is, an appreciable amount – about 6 inches. As long as (a) it’s gone by Monday morning and (b) this is the only noticeable snowfall we have this winter, we’ll  be perfectly content.

Greg's Blueberry MuffinI am on a mission which I hope you will all be prepared to help me with. I am on a mission to find the perfect blueberry muffin recipe. I’m not sure but it was probably the entry in Katie’s Morsl blog about Banana Crumb Muffins which got me started. Whatever the inspiration, however, I can confirm that I am getting very close to perfection. I’ve been using this recipe and the latest batch on Thursday was pretty good. Still, I would be grateful to receive any alternative recipes which you have run across so that I can continue my quest. I’ll publish the best suggestions!

On a different subject altogether, boy, am I some sort of lucky guy? Now I’ve always suspected that this was the case but recently I was able to confirm that I must be one of the luckiest guys on the planet. And, I’m not just talking about being married to the lovely Ms Playchute, lucky as that undoubtedly is.

The other day I was looking for an e-mail message I was expecting which hadn’t arrived. I wondered whether it might have landed in my spam folder by accident so, for the first time in some considerable time, I delved into my spam folder and am I glad I did.

I had no idea how many opportunities I was missing and how unbelievably lucky I am! Over the last two weeks I have received five e-mails outlining how I was due to receive a considerable sum of money.

The first was from MasterCard and apparently I have won their international Mega-Jackpot. Interestingly, this “competition” is also sponsored by Microsoft so it must be true! It looks like I’ve won 6.6 million of some currency although I can’t quite work out what the “J” means in front of the amount.

MasterCard® / Microsoft® INTERNATIONAL MEGA JACKPOT
MICROSOFT OFFICE, UNITED KINGDOM
PRESENT DIRECTOR; MR. Dennes Vandergate
PHONE:   +44 7024067001 EXT 009
REGISTRATION NO: 9027640
INSURANCE NO: MSTC006
TAX CLEARANCE NO: 28456

AMOUNT WON: Ј6,600,000.00

This email address has brought you an unexpected luck, please read through this message. Your e-mail address was selected and confirmed by our co-sponsor Microsoft International, through their latest internet software. Be informed that your prize (MasterCard No: 5148 6547 8940 6543) has been insured and ready for pay out. Contact your claims administrator for further instructions…

Then, would you believe it, I had another e-mail alerting me to the fact that a lovely woman who unfortunately is suffering with “terminal cancerous problems” and has only days to live, was kindly going to give me £2m so that I can help fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, the destitute and down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren women and anyone else who proves to be genuinely handicapped.

That’s not all! I also had an e-mail from a representative of the International Monetary Fund in Washington. This informed me that I was one of five beneficiaries to benefit from their newly invented “Fund Discovery Management and Payment Bureau”. I was one of the lucky ones, apparently, because of the “outstanding payment and transaction” I have in Africa. Now, I’m not sure how I forgot about all those payments and transactions I have in Africa but I am very grateful to the IMF for reminding me about them and for choosing me as one of the five beneficiaries of this new programme.

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
FINANCIAL MONITORY DEPARTMENT/UNIT.
International Monetary Fund, 1900 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC, 20431 United Kingdom Regional.
Telephone Operator: + 234 8091 818 180
FROM:INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)

ATTENTION,

It may interest you to know that your name has been out listed among the next five beneficiaries to benefit from our newly invented program as an associate of World Fund Discovery Management and Payment Bureau. This is in regard’s to the outstanding payment and transaction you have in Africa and yet to receive your fund.

And so it goes on! I am about to receive $5.95m from the United Nations via HSBC (which also is apparently due to my continuing work to help less privileged children) and the Bank of Africa has just realised that I have $6.2m which has been languishing in a “dominate” account for the past eighteen months.

All this in the last couple of weeks!

So, it looks like Ms Playchute and I will be set for life as soon as I fire off these e-mails providing all my banking details, usernames and passwords so that they can deposit the funds directly into my account.

I have to admit, I was somewhat surprised to discover how many of these institutions don’t seem to have any sort of corporate e-mail system. I would have expected, for example, the IMF to have an e-mail address at the imf.org domain but apparently not. It seems that the administrators of these schemes all have either Hotmail or Yahoo mail accounts. Still, I’m sure it’s all perfectly genuine.

Finally, now that winter has arrived, I thought I would share the following from The Other Coast by Adrian Raeside (click for a larger version):

Nuts

And finally, finally, as we get ready for this evening’s entertainment, I ran across the following cartoon last Sunday – it’s from Shoe by Chris Cassatt, Gary Brookins and Susie MacNelly and sums up one of the many reasons Penelope loves American football. (Click for a larger version).

Why Penny loves football

Much love to you all,

Greg