Life, photos but not the universe

new scams and old

The other day I answered the phone to an almost impenetrable accent which I understood to be saying it came from Microsoft and was alerting me to viruses present on my computers.  “How did you get that sort of information?” I asked, perhaps not in a very friendly way.  Impenetrable rang off.


I googled telephone virus scams and found that indeed there was such a scam doing the rounds some time last year and obviously it isn’t going to be stopped any time soon.  It still amazes me that there are people who give cold callers information over the phone and in this case, allowed complete strangers to remotely operate their computers and, naturally, while pretending to fix non-existent viruses, to extract personal and financial information.  I suppose we all get caught out occasionally.  Anyway I was amused by this quote from a support centre manager.

Gupta said he was aware of sites and call centres in Kolkata operating a “support” scam. He said some pretended to call on behalf of onlinepccare.com. “I’d say 80% of the sites are using content stolen from us. They’ve copied spelling errors from us.”

I shall be watching out for spelling errors in future.

Anyway, while trailing around the hills last week, I went to Wayland’s Smithy.  It’s up on the Ridgeway about two hills beyond the White Horse at Uffington and I arrived as the sun was getting low.  Slightly alarmingly, as it’s a very deserted spot at that time of day, I encountered two blokes who seemed, to say the least, a little weird.  However, one of them was a photographer and after a few minutes conversation about cameras and the positive energy of the place (Umm.  Yes, well actually I find it a slightly creepy place but that’s part of its appeal.) I concluded that they were a couple.  Of sorts.  I don’t have any kind of radar about this kind of thing but after a bit I felt that I ought to stop chatting, get my photos and tactfully leave them together.

So I did.

Here are several attempts to get atmospheric shots.  I wasn’t altogether satisfied – the light was colourful but not quite bright enough.  I’ve looked up google images and found that other people got better results in brighter early afternoon light and in winter when the trees are bare.  Oh dear – obviously I will have to go there again.

I was unable to test the ancient tradition that if you left your horse tethered nearby overnight and a silver coin on the capstone you’d find the horse reshod in the morning and your money gone, having neither a horse nor a silver coin to my name.  I wondered briefly* what would happen if you could leave a car with a flat tyre up there and um – some sort of coin – probably quite a big one.  In fact, probably a note or several in today’s money.  Well  that can’t be tested either as motor vehicles aren’t allowed on the Ridgeway these days and I feel that your average mythic smith wouldn’t go all the way to the road to look for passing trade.

As I write, the wind is positively lashing the branches of the big oak tree at our gate and the wisteria is frenziedly slapping at the window pane.  Lovely.  I know that soon it’s going to get cold and probably wet as well but I do find the changing weather exciting.

*Well no, really I didn’t wonder at all but I’m sure the idea could be worked into a story.


October 10, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Well, originally I was thinking ‘how cool is THAT?!’….and then I went reading. And I discovered what ‘excarnation’ was and how it was done. And then I got spooked–and not even by the fellas that were a couple!

    Holy cow……given that information, going at sunset woulda been a major ‘get your feet under you, you can DO this’ adventure!

    I don’t know why you think the results aren’t cool–cuz they are, especially given what Wayland’s Smitty actually is/was(?). I think you captured the mood very well, actually.
    Wow. You’ve a brave soul. LOL

    Or–you figured out what ‘excarnation’ was AFTER the adventure maybe?

    Comment by Mel | October 11, 2011 | Reply

  2. Not sure what you were going for, as far as the atmospheric..
    The images are lovely, and the one with the sun inbetween the rocks, ..oh yes!
    I love the whole do not call thingie we have here in the states.
    keeps the caller scammers to a minimum!

    Comment by ☼Illuminary☼ | October 12, 2011 | Reply

  3. Ooh. Well, fact is Mel that I only skimmed though the wikipedia thing to check that I’d got the legend approximately right, after I got home. I have to admit that excarnation didn’t catch my eye at all. Probably just as well. And now I’m quite sure that any energy generated from there is creepy rather than positive.

    I’m not sure either Illuminary. Never mind. It was nice anyway to catch the sun between the rocks : ).
    We have some kind of call screening here but it doesn’t seem to work very well, possibly because we run the business from our home phone.

    Comment by letouttoplay | October 12, 2011 | Reply

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