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Category: science

04/25/09 11:08 - 62ºF - ID#48507

Food Inc. Paranoia or the truth?

I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately. (e:Jason)'s obesity Vs. smoking posts are not really "out there". These two diseases have more parallel atherosclerotic rotten little end-arteries in common than we can ever imagine.

Since its easier to examine oneself than generalize by poking into what a whole population is doing, I am going to be taking a microscope to my eating habits starting today. The idea is to take concepts from nutritional sciences and turn them on their head. Over my own head.

It's very fashionable to make resolutions to eat right. What is eating right, exactly? With the level of additives and ingredients in all kinds of food nowadays, does "eating right" mean the same thing as it did a few decades or even a few years back? Though the definition of "eating right" might have changed, the effect of "eating right" remains the same. The ultimate goal is to reach the peak of the human lifespan on this planet without diseases cutting short your stay or making it miserable in the last few years.

Can we attain this goal with the food that we consume? Is it the food alone or some kind of an additional psychological attitude that contributes to who ends up on what side of the hospital bed? All of them - fascinating questions with almost no definite answers.
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Permalink: Food_Inc_Paranoia_or_the_truth_.html
Words: 237
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/09/11 08:10

Category: flat hunt

04/25/09 11:44 - 74ºF - ID#48498

Buffalo Craigslist Credit Report Scam

I advertised on the Buffalo Craigslist Apartments/Housing Wanted section yesterday I was somewhat doubtful about getting any results but I got a bunch of emails.

The first wave of emails read:

Shareef Ennes <>
Hi do you still need a house?

Muirin Seaver <>
Hey, do you need housing still?

Loviise Blackwood
Hi, I just saw your CL ad. Do you still need housing?

Greer Rowley <>
Hi, I noticed your ad. Are you still looking for a place?

Milena Dodd <>
Hello, are you still looking for housing?

jennamasters.masters674 <>
Hey are you still looking for a place to stay?

galegdwn <>
Hi there. I was just reading the Craigslist Ads, are you still looking for somewhere to stay?

  • That is starting to look like a hundred ways to say the same thing. Heh.

I thought it was worth a shot so I replied. In some cases I sent a blank email back just to check whether they were even reading my replies. In some replies, I wrote, "No, thanks." Regardless of what I wrote/or didn't write, I got these immediate canned replies from all of them in response to my blank/negative/postive email:

Shareef Ennes <>
Greer Rowley <>
Loviise Blackwood <>
galegdwn <>

Hi there, nice to hear from you. Well that's good because I have many places available for you in the area. What's your exact price range? How soon were you looking to move? Before I show you any listings I'd like to get a feel of what you'd qualify for, we can do this by getting your credit score. Our office has a relationship with a credit report company to give our clients free credit reports, if you'd like to get one through our partner go to http:// or you can get one through your own means, just please get this to me and we can get you into something. I look forward to speaking with you.


Muirin Seaver <>
Milena Dodd <>
jennamasters.masters674 <>

Hi, thanks for messaging me back. I'm a realtor and have a decent amount of listings in the area in your price range. How soon were you looking to move? Before I show you any listings I'd like to get a feel of what you'd qualify for, we can do this by getting your credit score. Our office has a relationship with a credit report company to give our clients free credit reports, if you'd like to get one through our partner go to http:// or you can get one through your own means, just please get this to me and we can get you into something. I look forward to talking to you and getting you situated.

The whole lightening speed response thing unnerved me and I sent them an email back saying:

Hi Muirin,

Thanks for your email. My price range is anything less than $570 including all utilities. My current lease ends on Jun 30th. I am required to give my current landlord a 60 day notice before I move. Would you have places ready to move in by last week of June?

I have my current credit report from Equifax. Could you please let me know which office you are affiliated with - before I send you my report. Also, are you in the same office as Shareef Ennes?


I didn't get a reply from any of them.

Later in the day, I got this email:

sun kratzhoefer <>


Just saw your advert on craigslist buffalo looking for studio/1 br
late may/early june.

I hope you dotn mind me mailing but I wish someone told me this before, I was looking for an apt for me and my kids in buffalo but kept getting turned down.

My friend told me it was a good idea to get a credit rep'ort done and take that along when you view the appts. This shows them you are serious about renting and puts you aheadof the other people in the list.

Anyway she showed me this site where you can get a fr#ee report done and it worked wonders, me and the kids are happy in our new appt.

If you need to get one done you can get a fr]ee one doen here http://

let me know how you get on.

all the best

Jamie Low

There were three more emails.

One from someone called: Enola Denney <> saying that she had some mystery location flat painted dark blue and if I minded that paint colour. (Also requesting a credit report from: http:// ) for $3

A mass-email from someone from UB South Campus: Sounded genuine because there was no request for a credit report, just the location, email and telephone number. I am guessing this is a UB student looking to sublet his room in a shared house.

The most genuine email was from a former professor from Canisius who linked to a personal website and replied to each of my requirements. But alas, the flat he is renting out is a block from Niagara St. and quite a hike from Roswell.

A typical credit report has all your:
- Former and current credit card details
- Last four digits of your SSN
- Your date of birth
- Your full address and past addresses
- Your current credit card balance and balance/payment histories.

Are these people sending anonymous unsigned emails cheeky enough to believe that suckers would send them their credit reports and literally invite them to an identity theft party??! What is this - the Buffalo Craigslist Apartment Wanted version of the big Nigerian I -have-embezzeled-funds-give-me-your-bank-account-number email scam?

There is NO such thing as a free credit report from anyone other than the Federal Trade Commission's single authorized website: stated clearly here: (which, in turn directs you to three credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and Trans Union to request your once a year free credit report)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a prominent warning:

The FTC advises consumers who order their free annual credit reports online to be sure to correctly spell, or link to it from the FTC's website to avoid being misdirected to other websites that offer supposedly free reports,but only with the purchase of other products. While consumers may be offered additional products or services while on the authorized website, they are not required to make a purchase to receive their free annual credit reports.

and even a youtube video channel: with pretty interesting educational videos on credit scam and phishing.

I did get my current Mayflower flat from craigslist, and no one asked me my credit scores then. Are all these people identity theives? Why would anyone want a credit score from you EVEN BEFORE they show you a flat? If they are Buffalo residents wouldn't their names turn up on the white pages? They are unlisted, anonymous, un-"google-able" and downright dodgy.

The lesson: Avoid the housing/apartment wanted section on Buffalo Craigslist.
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Permalink: Buffalo_Craigslist_Credit_Report_Scam.html
Words: 1298
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/13/12 04:18

Category: the odes

04/24/09 09:48 - 62ºF - ID#48495

Buffalo Wings?

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Permalink: Buffalo_Wings_.html
Words: 10
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: flat hunt

04/24/09 10:35 - 53ºF - ID#48488

Morbid Question

Do you ever check if people were murdered or committed suicide in the flat you want to rent? If you find out that a homicide/suicide did happen sometime in the past, in the very flat you are considering, would you back out? Is it odd to scour police records for homicide as a background check for your future flat or home?

I was looking at news reports for the Ambassador building on North Street and found someone had reported a murder in #402 back in 2000-2001. I am speculating about what I might do if I do come across a situation where the flat I am interested in turns out to have a grisly past.

EDIT: I stepped up my flat hunt and posted on craigslist. Does anyone even read the "wanted" section? I wonder...

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Permalink: Morbid_Question.html
Words: 141
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: art

04/21/09 05:44 - 45ºF - ID#48471

Life is often a big fat...

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Permalink: Life_is_often_a_big_fat_.html
Words: 8
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: music

04/21/09 02:16 - 44ºF - ID#48463

Tina. Kick it.

And just because I am in flat-hunt mode...

  • The super-awesome Kirstin Chenoweth in what she does best. I love her persona. :)
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Permalink: Tina_Kick_it_.html
Words: 40
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: flat hunt

04/20/09 08:33 - 45ºF - ID#48445

Renting and Background Checks

(e:Heidi), thanks for the tip. I shall be contacting the Kissling interests property manager today. :)

I just got an email from an apartment owner/manager I had written to earlier. I am surprised that she has such detailed requirements for credit scores of prospective renters. (e:Paul), I am posting this for you. She wrote to tell me that I would need to provide her with a credit score report and included these specs in her email:

Here's how the deposit works based on your credit score:
Credit Score Below 500 - Deposit is $475 + $475 1st month = total is $950 to move in
Credit Score 500-600 - Deposit is $325 + $475 1st month = total is $800 to move in
Credit Score 600-700 - Deposit is $175 + $475 1st month = total is $650 to move in
Credit Score Above 700 - Deposit is $0 + $475 1st month = total is $475 to move in

I think, with the kind of rotten luck you have had with your renters, its time you set some of these rules in place as well.
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Permalink: Renting_and_Background_Checks.html
Words: 168
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: flat hunt

04/17/09 10:34 - 43ºF - ID#48426

Mayflower = Moneysucker

It's that time of the year again. Nevermind the recession and the layoffs and the expenses, the Mayflower (henceforth called the Moneysucker) overlords have decided that I would need to pay $$ more every month this coming year if I choose to re-lease.

I hate this. Tiny studios like mine shouldn't be this expensive. IN BUFFALO! I just read (e:jenks)'s journal. Apparently, I shouldn't be paying more than 1/3rd of what I make, in rent. Looks like I have been paying more than 1/3rd for the past 2 years at the Mayflower-moneysucker. And now the moneysucker wants more. The very thought of coughing up $$ more this year with no complementary increase in what I make is really distressing. :/

Thus, I am back to a flat-hunt. I still don't want to live more than a mile out from Roswell, hate carpets and would LOVE south-facing windows. My budget is anything @ or below $580.

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Permalink: Mayflower_Moneysucker.html
Words: 150
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: the odes

04/16/09 11:13 - ID#48411

Got any suggestions?

Can people help with #5 to #10? :)

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Permalink: Got_any_suggestions_.html
Words: 7
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: the odes

04/12/09 03:53 - 30ºF - ID#48361

The Fall


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Permalink: The_Fall.html
Words: 2
Location: Buffalo, NY



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