Thursday, February 14, 2013

Not a happy post.

A partial list of things that annoyed me today:

- the chicken paprikash I made for dinner was too spicy. In order to save dinner, I pulled the meat out of the gravy, rinsed it off, dumped the gravy, and stewed the meat in a clear broth. In the end it was edible, but I was kind of hoping for a dish that warranted a few more colourful adjectives. I suspect the blame lies not with my cooking skill or the recipe, but because our paprika is some super-spicy variant.

- Bryan Adams' new baby is named Lula RosyLea. Because Mirabella Bunny's sister obviously needed an equally stupid name. Adams' named this child after the song Be-Bop-A-Lula and a creative spelling of a slang term  for ‘a cup of tea’. The random capitalization in RosyLea is the worst part. Also I can't shake the feeling that Adams is too old for this shit. His daughter's have names that seem more appropriate for children born to glamour models and football players.

- after logging onto the Vancity website to check the balance on a prepaid credit card, I received this message:

Figuring it was better to get the security check out of the way, I clicked through  (but only after screen capping the page, because I was already suspicious) to 10 questions that were OBVIOUSLY not related to security, but attempts to profile users. Since I'd already logged into the site with my password AND the site featured a https address AND because it was aesthetically exactly like the main Vancity credit card page AND I needed to know my balance immediately, I figured I had nothing to lose. I answered the questions. Sort of:

True to my answer to the last question I went on twitter and complained. I received these responses:

I don't know what to make of this. For one thing I'm not so sure that I was on a phishing site. Like I noted earlier: I did visually check the address and noted the security hypertext tag AND I was already logged onto Vancity's credit card site before I got the weird message. Also as soon as I clicked onto submit, I was directed to my credit card account with all the correct transactions. This last part is most distressing and makes me wonder if this is a phishing attempt sanctioned by Vancity or done on the QT by one of their employees. They're not my usual bank, and I don't have a particular positive opinion of the outfit. Any thoughts? Advice?

Phew. I spoke with VanCity and the questions 
(which I still think are ridiculous and strange) are legitimate. 
Check out the comment left by Anonymous (February 15, 2013 at 5:17 PM) for a quick overview.

-I watched What's Your Number while working-out today and yesterday. It's a good movie with a different take on rom-com conventions and Anna Faris is very funny. But. BUT! I couldn't get passed her hair. It was the colour and consistency of straw. It was distracting but I think with a little bit of tweaking she would look so much better. This makes me shallow, right? Also a hypocrite, since I'm hardly a style maven.

- I fell while walking the dog at lunch. As I tried to keep myself from tumbling I felt a vibration in my tibia and I sensed that it was *gulp* starting to bend. There was a sharp stab of pain deep beneath my muscles at the core of my calf. Then I twisted my ankle. And tore my inner thigh muscle. Landed heavily on my hand. Wrenched my arm. Strained my neck. Lost my dignity.

A second after I landed, I rolled onto all fours, catching my breath and wondering if I'd actually broken my leg. I took a few deep breaths and looked around for Zarf and Klaxon. They were squealing with equal parts horror and delight. When I'd started to fall, I'd flailed my arms and accidentally launched a poo bag high in the air.  On it's way up and it's way down, it narrowly missed hitting them. As fans of physical comedy they were in hysterics. Their laughter made me feel a bit better. But my humiliation and pain were not over yet.

Just then Fogo bounded up, mounted me and started humping.

Happy Freakin' Valentine's Day!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

When he got home from work Mr Wrath gave me the gift of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. It helped my mood immeasurably. As did these cards:

How was your Valentine's Day?


  1. OK, the weirdest thing just happened - the first time I loaded your page, the header & background were missing & the title font was different, so I thought you'd done a (really strange) redesign. Then I reloaded it and POOF! it's back.

    The VanCity thing seems pretty sketchy, but I love your answers to the security questions. That said, I'd be VERY nervous if they are claiming something that came up AFTER you'd already logged in to their 'secure' sight is a phishing page. Were I them, I'd be very worried. Have you tried logging in today? Did the same screen come up?

    1. I have 2 pre-paid credit cards with Vancity (not by my choice) and the phishing questions came up on both accounts. I'm unnerved by the whole situation, AND a bit defensive lest someone think I'm a bone-headed internet noob who can't spot an online scam. This was so seemless that I'm going to cast shade on Vancity. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go help a Nigerian prince launder money.

  2. I have no good advice about the VanCity thing, but I fully plan to use 123 What The Hell Street as my address for all security BS questions in the future. Inspired!

    I wish I could have found similarly amusing valentine's cards for H - although his would have been related to Game of Thrones or Battlestar Galatica. Instead H and I accidentally got each other the exact same card. I guess it means we are right for each other - or perhaps that the card selection around here is crap...

    1. My husband and I didn't exchange cards, but if we did he'd probably like a Dilbert card. Or some other engineer-type humour.

  3. It's malware. Banking Trojan. Likely ZeUS/Citadel variant. It's on your PC. I can see why they'd think it was a phishing site, but it's common for that type of malware to inject the physical site's login forms with extra fields or display a pop-up screen asking for more info. Don't login into your banking site without getting your machine checked, and I'd change all my online passwords (not from that machine you're using).

    1. Thanks for answering. A quick poke around the web tells me this has all the hallmarks of a banking Trojan, except I'm on a mac. Do you know if mac os x are now susceptible to these malware attacks?

    2. No, not the ones I listed anyway -- as far as I'm aware of. The flashback banking trojan in 2012 did, however. It still looks suspicious to me, but maybe these are real questions. Although, they're awfully strange profile questions, in that case...

    3. There were a few advanced targeted attacks against mac osx machines in the news recently. For instance, the Dalai Lama/Tibetan activists were attacked by targeting them specificall (Chinese government sponsored hackers). They used a backdoor introduced by sending a word document with an old vulnerability

      There were previous, similar attacks against Uyghur supporters. None of those is normally a dedicated banking trojan though, but anything is possible.

      Now, I'm wondering. Maybe someone else with a Mac (and a reloadable card) will volunteer to check the site out, so everyone knows for sure.

    4. Looks like it isn't malware. Same thing happens on a Windows machine.

      I think, from googling, and since the site is housed in the US (housed by Fidelity National Information Services -, the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council has mandated all web sites asking for cardholder data have two authentication methods as of the end of last year. Other sites housed by fisglobal, have similar security questions. The user has to go through it once, and select 4 questions.

    5. Are all the above anonymous comments by the same person? I'm going to assume yes and say: "Anonymous" you are a wise person. I did spend a few hours googling various methods of checking for malware (I learned quite a bit, btw) and did some poking around in various mysterious parts of my harddrive. Good news: I'm all clean. WHEEEEE!

      Also Vancity did get in touch with me at about the same time you posted and told me EXACTLY what you wrote at 5:17 pm. This raises a few more questions, (ie why is a Canadian bank using a site based out of the US?, and why didn't someone tell the twitter-operator what was going on?) but the main thing is: I didn't screw up. Yes. It is all about ME!.

      But again, thanks for all your answers. It was a big help.


    6. Glad to hear it that the questions are valid; I figured so. Also, I'm happy to hear that you checked for Malware, and found none.

      I read your blog sometimes, and since I have a reloadable card too, I thought I'd comment. Ended up getting carried away with it, I guess ;-)

      Anyway, I'm not wise, I just have a little experience with detecting and examining malware.

  4. Hey, that's not the vancity banking website. Did you tell them that you were talking about the reloadable visa site?

  5. OMG, died, just DIED, at the Benedict valentine. That is brill. I'm not even interested in him, and yet I still want him to cut the cake at my wedding to Mark Hamill.

    Our youngest has been taught this quote from When Harry Met Sally, by my husband: "Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash. But I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie!" She hauls it out at random moments, complete with Billy Crystal impersonation, and it's hilarious. As a result I could not read your paprikash story without laughing. It's become an inherently funny word. Awesome!

    1. That's so cute!

      The first time I made paprikash was because I knew the When Harry Met Sally reference.

  6. Nan! You did a Surly Thursday post! Get down with your bad self!

    I did not laugh AT ALL at your falling down story, but felt sincere empathetic pain and distress. Until the dog-humping part and then I snorted a TINY little bit and felt horrible about it.

    Incestuous valentines FTW. And yes, Bryan Adams seriously needs to be bitch-slapped. And will be, some day, by his daughters.

    1. It is a Surly Thursday post, isn't it? I'd rather people laugh at me than not laugh at all. It's my idea of charity. I am here for you amusement.

  7. So we need follow up details. You're all right, right? I totally didn't laugh even a tiny bit. Honest. Mostly.

    I am personally very suspicious of the vancity site, but all I have to offer is sympathy and suspicion.

    I suspect Bryan Adams' daughters will soon go by Mira and Rose. But speaking of names, a friend and I have come up with perfect names for girl twins--Rose (short for Rosacea) and Ruby (short for Rubella.) Every time you took them to the dr the nursing staff would give you death glares cuz they'd see the full names on their charts. You would be the subject of a million conversations at parties.

    1. I'm still pretty achey. But as long as I take small mincing steps and stay on flat ground I'm okay.

      Rosacea and Rubella are lovely names -- if you could divorce them from the connotations of ill heatlh. I'll let you know if your suggestions generate any interesting google hits.

  8. Those are some awesome Anon comments up there. I do so appreciate anyone who uses the word "whilst."

    1) The name Lula RosyLea sounds like Rosacea. I do hope the new bebe has unblemished skin.

    2) I laughed at the dog humping. I'm sorry.