Image of the Day: Jack-O-Lantern 2002

One of my roommates and I had a pumpkin-carving party on Sunday. This is my contribution. Kathleen said all of my Jack-O-Lanterns look like they have deep concerns for the future. Is this another one of those “sometimes a jack-o-lantern is just a jack-o-lantern” moments?

The photo was stolen and cropped from Pat’s collection. Go check it out and bring his DSL to its knees!

Image of the Day: Don’t Ask

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Yet another pencil sketch. The instinct to hit “UNDO” is burned in now, thanks to all the time using the Wacom tablet. Man, I’m such a slob!

Image of the Day: Bad Art

More bad art! That old chestnut, the disembodied brain in a cyborg body! My classroom notes were coated with these things. I skipped using the Wacom, and drew this with a very modern mechanical pencil while watching the third Andromeda DVD. Here goes my last shred of geek cred, but I’m starting to really like that show. The episode where the captain makes contact with his old girlfriend from 300 years in the future has won me over. It’s cheesy sci-fi time-travelling melodrama at its best. And to think I have four whole seasons to go before I’m caught up!

IMAGE OF THE DAY: GNOME

I just needed to draw something tonight because it’s been so long. I don’t have much to say other than 1) Rush job, 2) I like Gnomes, and 3) if this one had a caption it would be “Is it safe to come out yet?” I just had kind of a trying week.

BTW, OWNZORED is ongoing, but I think I’ve got it under as much control as I’m going to for now. I’m not as freaked out as I was last week, at least.

Ownzored Part 5

And it goes on and on and on…

Update. Identity thief has also started up a second Sprint PCS account in my name with two phones… which I discovered when I got the bill. This is in addition to the phone they already tried to add to my pre-existing Sprint PCS account. I was able to call them up and kill it with no charge to myself, but they’ve had the phones since Oct. 4th.

I also got a “Welcome” package from Citibank for a new banking account that somebody tried to set up in my name. This is scaring me, since they always ask for Mother’s maiden name for that kind of stuff. I’m sure it’s a matter of public record, but I can’t think of any way I leaked it. As you might guess, my faith in this whole system is not as sound as it might have been before last week. Of course, I axed the bogus Citibank bank account too. I might axe the credit card account completely, though pretty soon I won’t be able to start new accounts anywhere for a while.

I think I know where I screwed up. Last month I put a voter registration form, change of address form, and a bunch of bill payments in the outgoing mailbox at my job. That mail was basically a complete set of every piece of information you would need to impersonate me, minus my Mother’s maiden name.

Yes, I realize how incredibly stupid this was of me. I mean, who am I to think I can trust the people I work with or the mail carriers not to intercept my mail and write down all of my juicy personal info!? Needless to say, I’m switching to the Blue boxes from now on, at least until I’m shown how stupid and insecure that is too… then I’m going to be training passenger pidgeons.

Thanks to Dale, I had some good resources to look into what to do next. Bright and early on Monday, I’m going to be flagging my info at the three big credit agencies as being haxored. It’ll get in my way for a while, but I can live with that. I need to make myself an inconvenient target.

I also filed a police report today, though I don’t know if it will do any good. Citibank will probably do most of the work, once they send me the affidavit to fill out with the list of bogus charges. $3000 is not chump change… (to me, anyway). I’m sure they’ll have a good fighting spirit. Sprint can’t be very happy either, since the perp basically got two working cell phones for a week on their dime.

Not that I think they’ll get caught. I only hope they’re done with me, now that I’m paying attention. There are millions more suckers just like me out there.

What weirds me out is how all this stuff keeps coming to my house. That isn’t very clandestine. I was able to kill the Citibank bank account before anybody was able to use it (I think). I was able to reverse a phone shipment… I was able to kill the iBook order. I wonder what the deal is.. is this all a smokescreen to keep me busy while somebody frames me for something big? Or is this just somebody throwing out everything they can to see what they can make stick? What am I going to find in my mailbox on Monday?

All of these charges and bogus accounts so far were basically made at about the same time, so I hope this thing blows over soon. Every day I get something new in the mail, and every day I have to cancel another bogus account or fill out another report.

I’ve been asked a few times if I think this is something personal against me, and so far I don’t think so. I may not be the most loveable guy on the planet, but I’m not aware of any actual enemies. But I do worry that if this person is taken in for this that I might have earned an enemy. I don’t know if my next move is supposed to be moving out of town.

This big cloud of question marks is killing me.

OWNZORED PART 4

All right this isn’t funny any more.

That package from Sprint PCS was a second phone that somebody was trying to add to my wireless account. This means it went beyond somebody getting my credit card number. This means somebody has been intercepting my mail, and probably has my SSN (or I don’t think they would have authorized the second phone).

This is full-on identity theft, and I have no fucking idea what to do next.

I am well and truly owned. There’s somebody out there who has my number, and is more than willing to use it to hurt me. And there’s nothing I can do about it other than just take it. I wish I had the knowledge and abitity to prevent this stuff from happening to me, but I am not 1337 enough to keep up with the bastards out there.

OWNZORED PART 3

Damn, when it rains it pours.

I got a hold of Apple, and it turns out somebody tried to order an iBook with my Mastercard. I jokingly asked for the shipping address so I could go beat somebody up, and the response was that for that exact reason they couldn’t give it to me. That’s understandable. If I were serious about taking vigilante action, it would probably be some poor sap at some convenient location who took the fall. At least the cops are likely to ask some questions before they start shooting.

Ownzored Part 2

Okay, I think I’m getting to the bottom of what happened to my Citibank Mastercard. I found these images on my Mac desktop under the filenames “so_long.jpg” and “sucker.jpg,” respectively:

Ownzored

It looks like somebody tried to fund a vacation on my Citibank Mastercard. There were a bunch of huge cash withdrawals in addition to a reservation at a hotel, all of which are purchases I think I would remember.

Not to mention a mysterious call from Apple about a purchase made on the same card but shipped to another address (and this isn’t the card I used to buy the G4 tower). Also, today I got a UPS note for an attempted delivery of something from Sprint PCS that cost $330 but that I have no recollection of ordering. I told UPS to return to sender because whatever it is I don’t want it and I don’t want to get shafted on the return shipping either. I hope it’s not a huge battle to reverse the charge.

I feel absolutely 0wn3d. A whole bunch of things all suddenly happened at once. I don’t think I’ve been particularly careless with my credit card numbers, but it would only take one slip. This is the first time I was hit, so I hope this was just the day my unlucky number was drawn, and not a sign that things are getting worse.

Luckily, Citibank was on top of it, and noticed the pattern before any of the purchases were authorized (or at least billed). With the state of things as they are, I’m glad the credit card companies are willing to take the hit for this sort of thing, because I would be kissing a significant chunk of my savings goodbye otherwise.

No use getting pissed off. I hope whoever did this is crushed by a meteor, though. A nice big one coated in magma, riddled with razor sharp spikes and blaring out the Muzak version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” because that’s how badly I want them to suffer through their final moments. But other than that I’m totally cool about this.

IMAGE OF THE DAY: Wall

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Okay, here is “Random Chick” #2. I was mostly playing around with tinting and other goofy Photoshop tricks this time.

The locale is kinda sorta the Twin Peaks tourist trap, which is a quick jaunt from my house on Panorama Dr. in San Francisco. That’s supposed to be Sutro tower looming in the background, much as it always does around here. The perspective and placement is all wrong, but she’s probably looking straight at Market Street, which cuts through the center of downtown with its blinding array of streeet lights.

I wandered up to Twin Peaks tonight and spent about an hour vegging at the view of San Francisco and the surrounding area. It sometimes still blows my mind that I actually live in “the city” after all these years. It’s a weird paradoxical feeling, since you can only feel so special for living in a big city, being surrounded as you are by millions of other people who all live there too. But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m gonna enjoy it while I can.