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Unexpected Voicemails

This past week, I received a couple of very unusual voice mails. One was from the Tele-Ministry System and the other was from Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

Tele-Ministry System message

I have no idea how they got my phone number, but they left a message asking me to call them back. I wasn't sure what to make of it, so I decided to do some research online. It turns out that the Tele-Ministry System is a religious organization that uses automated messages to spread their faith. After reading more about them, I decided that I didn't want anything to do with them and deleted the voice mail.

Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes message

Publishers Clearing House (PCH) is a legitimate company that runs sweepstakes and lotteries. However, there are many scams out there that use the PCH name in order to try and trick people into sending them money.

One common scam is when someone calls you claiming to be from PCH and saying that you've won a large prize. They may even tell you to call back on a specific number in order to "claim" your winnings. However, this is not how PCH operates - they will never contact winners directly by phone in order to award them a prize.

If you receive any calls like the one I got, it's important not to give out any personal information or money, and instead report the scammer call back number to authorities.

Voice Messages

Tele-Ministry System Transcript

Full Transcript from Hooper Communications:


Hello this is Tim Hooper from Mobile Alabama for the tele ministry system 
do you want to grow your ministry 
our church system is the only system that can call 1,500 people a day 
40,000 people a month in your own voice to invite to your church 
or to tell about the needs of your ministry 
our sister knows every cell phone number and landline number in the general public 
Pastor, make a message in your own voice and enter in any area code or zip code in our system makes everything all number in 3 seconds 
the person calls can leave a message 
go to your website to make a donation 
you could average 50 plus responses a day from people needing prayer 
people interested in joining your ministry 
people offering to make donations to the ministry 
one telephone call from you to the community could pay for the system in full from their donations
also our system can be used to contact any group of your church and your voice.

Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes Scam

Full Transcript of the scam:


Hello this is a secure phone call from the sweepstakes headquarters at 4800 Signature Dr., Raleigh, NC 
You are a selected winner with Publishers' Clearinghouse Sweepstakes 
and association with Windstar international 
your claim code is 100234 
I repeat 100234 
This represents the grand prize package of 2.5 million 
and the most awesome bonus prize ever 
A brand new 2022 BMW congratulations 
Please call our claim department at 623-264-1613 
Again 623-264-1613 
We will be expecting your call for clearance 
There will be agents available to assist with your delivery schedule thanks for your patience...
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Operation 4k Camera

I brought 2 cameras to the 2022 Boston Marathon near the 5-mile mark - my GoPro Hero 9 and the Canon xa40.

Here is a sample of 4K footage from both cameras. They were taken from the same point moments apart. It's a good idea of the quality of the videos p

roduced by these cameras.

Settings

GoPro Hero 9 - Default Activity Settings in 4K mode with wide lens.

Canon xa40 - Auto Focus and Auto Exposure in 4K mode

Video

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iCloud Phone Scam

Every once in a while the house phone would get a call from Apple about my iCloud account. These are clearly scams because there's no reason for Apple to be calling you about your iCloud account.

In the following very brief call you can hear the person trying to set up the scam. I think that the next step would be for them to log into my account to "fix" the problem.

Phone Scam

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Covid Mortgage Health Center

I get a lot of strange calls. Most of the time I have my phone on Do Not Disturb. Every once in a while I'll get a voice message from a potential scammer.

Here's a voice mail that I got. They put some weird background music that made me want to put a slide show of flowers.

Transcript was provided by Apple and it seemed pretty accurate.

Transcript

This is the Covid mortgage health center we are reaching out to you as a follow up on a state disbursement notice that was recently forwarded to your home this is for a 2% interest rate program based on a mandated program for the federal cares act and offers you savings around $400 per month on your mortgage and one of the case counselors would like to explain the program to you on how to obtain the savings you were eligible for the program is time sensitive and we need to speak to you within the next 24 hours you may contact us back today on this number.

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Michael Savage

This weeks audio clip is from April 30, 1999.

Michael Savage, a popular radio talk show host from KSFO in San Francisco, replays his show opening.

The whole purpose is to make light of some of the failed NATO bombings of Yugoslavia that were going on at the time.

Listen to the Clip

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November 1999 Commercials

This week's Media Monday features some commercials I found on a VHS tape that had content from November 1999. I pulled off some commercials from that recording.

Watch the Commercials

Details

  • Discover Card - With USPS running away after delivery.
  • Dino Crisis by Capcom - Weird way to sell a video game.
  • AOL 5.0 - Aired during the peak of membership. Broadband would start gaining popularity in 2000.
  • Checkout.com - This looked to be an online rental service.
  • McAfee - Interesting way to sell computer security.
  • Web Without Wires by Motorola - Motorola promoted the world without wires.
  • Duracell Ultra - Duracell always promotes that they have the fastest battery.
  • eTrade with PacBell Promotion - Interesting promotion for new eTrade customers - California Only.
  • Intel Web Outfitter Service - Back in 1999, Intel offered a lot of free services on their website - not anymore.
  • Saturn SL - Classic Saturn Commercial.
  • Toyota Celica - Classic Toyota Celica commercial.
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Commercials from 2006 and Earlier

This week's media Monday is a mix of some 2006 commercials. These were recorded using iMovie on my old G4 computer.

Video Collection

Here's this week line up:

  • ProLine Infomercial - A minute into the ProLine Infomercial
  • McDonalds - Eddie the Echo plays Mini Golf
  • Wild Card Sunday - Introduction to the NFC Wild Card Sunday Game
  • Pepsi Machine - A Pepsi Machine plays football
  • MasterCard - featuring Payton Manning.
  • Nextel - A couple of guys getting down in the office
  • Buy.com - CEO promoting Buy.com from the rooftop
  • Crush Soda - Watch the manager drink all the crush soda during the game.
  • McDonald Nuggets - Is this the first Chicken McNuggets commercial from McDonalds? (Not sure of the air date - maybe 1983?)

Commercial

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Auto Insurance Scam Calls

This week's Media Monday is a phone call that I got last week about car insurance. This is a typical type of call that I get.

Listen In

Couple of Notes

When the call got transferred none of the information that I provided to the original person was sent. Why did they ask me them? What are they going to do with that information?

The second call I got was an automated call. I got that particular call a couple of times that day and only once got beyond saying 'Good.'

I get this spam calls all the time usually they piggyback on each other. Almost if a vendor sells my active number and a machine takes immediate action and calls the number.

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Ski Wachusetts

This week's media is a montage of a video of Juliana going to Wachusett's Mountain in Palmer Massachusetts. She spent 2 mornings learning how to ski. We spent the third-day free skiing.

Video was shot using a GoPro Hero 9 attached to a ski pole via Gooseneck Clamp mount. The weather was really cold on the third day that the GoPro couldn't warm up to work properly.

Watch Video

Ski Wachusetts

Mount Wachusett's offers 90 minutes of skiing. Students get an opportunity to ski before and after the lesson to practice what they learned.

We arrived early each day so we could get the first lesson of the day. The lessons start at 8 am.

Level 3 start on the Easy trail and end the day on the intermediate trail. Level 4 conductors their classes on the intermediate trail.

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Memory Power Infomercial

Back in the 1990s, Infomercials were the late-night filler spot for many networks. I enjoyed watching them as a good way to fall asleep.

When going through my VHS collection, I found the Memory Power by Harry Lorayne infomercial. This is the kind of infomercial that would put me to sleep. It's just a show that will put you to sleep.

Watch this broadcast from 1998:

Order the Tapes on eBay

You can order the Memory Power by Harry Lorayne 5 Cassettes/ 1 VHS Tape Set~1988,1992 for about $20 on eBay.

The funny thing is that some people are selling the 1992 cassettes as new, they ordered the tapes but never bothered to open and listen to them.

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