September 16th, 2014

What to do, what to do: people using my email address to sign up for accounts

Long, long ago, gmail was in beta. A friend of mine somehow got signed up when it was invite only, and I asked him to add me, but I didn't use the account for very long because I have a different primary email address and because I was an idiot and signed up for firstname.lastname@gmail.com, I got a lot of spam AND account information for stuff other people signed up for. A while back, I made it a Project (in the GTD sense) to unsubscribe from everything, which helped, but it has been an ongoing task to unsubscribe from new things. Along the way, I have learned a lot about how various companies set up accounts and I Am Not Impressed. Many, many services that I would expect to know better (Match.com, I mean you) do not roundtrip email addresses before letting people sign up for them (also disqus). The latest discovery along these lines is Spotify.

Seriously. Spotify does not round trip emails.

Well, Insert Expletives Here. Disqus had the nerve to suggest I just roundtrip the password reset and take over the account. And then I can decide whether to nuke it or keep it around as a placeholder. In the Spotify case, I took it over and have requested customer service to get rid of it (partly out of curiosity -- it took a while to convince Dropbox to disconnect the email, and I want to know if it is easier to convince a service to disconnect before or after I've commandeered the account).

None of these accounts (because I caught them early on) have any interesting information attached to them (other emails, phone numbers, physical addresses, etc.). I'm sort of waiting for that to happen.

Dishwasher woes

For a long while now, our Bosch dishwasher (which is not particularly old -- newer than the house), has been giving us E 24 codes intermittently. We clean out the filter (which is never particularly dirty) and try a couple more times and it usually works. But then it started giving us an E 24 every single time.

This is not a perfect dishwasher. It goes through rinse aid at an appalling rate. Possibly related to that, there is sometimes mystery film on the dishes. Sometimes the soap dispenser gets stuck and doesn't open properly.

But this Just Doesn't Run thing is infuriating. R. has a trick -- open it up during points in the cycle where it is testing the pump -- and that will get it running and once running, it runs fine and drains completely. This is _not_ a clog.

The very nice man from Hunter Appliance has been out three times. On the first visit, he established that we had accurately described that it was not a clog. On the second visit, he had a replacement control board. That did not fix the problem. He called Bosch; they suggested there was a sensor in the pump and that the pump should be replaced. The machine ran correctly twice after visit number 3 (which was _yesterday_), and is now back to its wicked E 24 ways. Because we recognize that it could be a clog, we did that whole drill again, then resorted to the usual trick.

My fury, at this point, is pretty epic. If it were Just The Dishwasher, I might or might not be that annoyed, but there have been other things (my favorite dog just died -- neighbor's dog, but I've been buying that dog treats for years now. I loved him and he is gone; there was a Mental Health Event in the extended family recently, fortunately non-fatal; my son's transportation to and from school has been amazingly sketchy, culminating in what is normally a 25 minute ride home becoming over an hour and a half and causing two temper tantrums over a missed play therapy appointment), and I'm feeling like I'm in straw-camel's-back mode.

Google says (and the appliance guy's call to Bosch as well) that we are not the only people to experience this problem with Bosch dishwashers. Obvs, I will be calling the lovely people at Hunter Appliance again tomorrow and hoping that they will have something helpful to say. I'm this close to buying a new dishwasher, but what the hell am I supposed to pick? Bosch has some of the highest reliability out there and I got what appears to be a lemon.

A Few Words about Child Abuse

And I would like to be clear here. If it involves blood, a hospital visit and/or damage to genitals, it is not corporal punishment or discipline or anything like that. It is child abuse.

There is a fairly high profile case right now involving an athlete. As a result of publicity associated with his reinstatement with his team after being indicted for child abuse, his charitable foundation -- which is named after a nickname his father gave him -- has gone on "hiatus" and taken down the pages which refer to the non-profit partners because people have been calling the non-profit partners and asking them painful questions.

The Internet Wayback Machine tells us that several of these non-profit partners are directed at reducing domestic abuse (Cornerstone Minneapolis, The Texas Council on Family Violence), but there are also organizations listed like Special Olympics, Feed the Children, Toys for Tots, Make a Wish and similar. There are a few human trafficking foundations (including DNA, the Demi and Ashton foundation).

Here is one of the more interesting selections:

The Symphonic Love foundation: http://symphoniclovefoundation.org/

The Symphonic Love foundation is Chris Brown's charitable foundation.

Obviously, there are a whole lot of things that one could comment on, but I'm going to start with one. Out of 18 listed partners on the old About Us page, 5 have within the name either the athlete's name, or the initials of his nickname. 2 (DNA and Symphonic Love) are other celebrity foundations, which means another layer between the money and the target recipient. 1 is or was a Rosemount, MN special education school -- not sure what that's about, but it would be interesting to find out. There's sort of a grab bag of big feel good operations, a few domestic violence groups, and some Houston connected charities.

The mix of charities that people set up or choose say _something_ about them. It would be interesting to know what domestic violence operations in general think about physically disciplining children (one assumes they deplore child abuse) -- seems like something worth asking about in general, not just because this particular offender gave money to one. But more importantly, I worry a whole lot about people who really involve their own name over and over and over again in their charitable activities.

Matthew 6:3, dude. Seriously.

History and Genealogy

I received a message from a distant cousin on ancestry. There was a question about a shared ancestor who is believed to have been born in 1764. Many trees show this man, a Mennonite, as being born in Russia. When I saw that, I went, yeah, that's not right. Because the first Mennonites arrived in Russia in 1787, and 1787 is after 1764. So I just put in "Prussia" and didn't think of it again.

http://www.gameo.org/index.php?title=Chortitza_Mennonite_Settlement_(Zaporizhia_Oblast,_Ukraine)

So my distant cousin would like to know my rationale for saying "Prussia" rather than the "generally held" South Russia.

So I politely pointed the cousin at the above link, and suggested reading Dyck's history, and maybe Klassen's book (_Mennonites in Early Modern Poland and Prussia_).

I love history, so it is a joy to have an excuse to read more, and a frisson of wonderment to feel like I am reading about my relatives. But I understand that even many genealogists find history incredibly boring. Still, genealogists need to know the timeline of migrations of Their People, or they will get sucked into really embarrassingly obvious errors.

I'm betting I'll be getting another message shortly about why I think the man's son (who was born after the first settlement was established in Russia) was also born in Prussia. I'll need to dig around to remember why I thought that.