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I already reported this to Phonebusters, but I haven't seen anything on the web about it, so consider this my post.

Luke Pacholski
My Address

February 13th, 2005

It is our pleasure to inform you that you have emerged as a Category "D" winner of the North American Lottery Corporation's annual Unclaimed Funds Random Drawing. Currently you are entitled to a cash prize equaling to [sic] amount of $89,018.00 (USD). The reference number for your prize is [reference number], please refer to this number in all further correspondence.

Every year the lotteries we administer are left with a surplus of funds due to prizes that are not claimed for various reasons stemming from lost tickets to claim expiration. Regulations state that a company must award a certain percentage of total profits in order to maintain the status of a "Lottery" and it is for this reason the amount of a prize increases when there is no winner in most lotteries. It would be unethical to sell tickets for prizes which have produced a prior profit for our company. Therefore, individuals are selected at random to win these funds. Due to the effect these funds have on our profits, all prizes will be awarded in lump sum payments.

This year's surplus totals over $9,600,000.00 (USD) and these funds are reallocated into the public sector via random draws. Your name was selected from a database of 411 Directory Assistance listings as a Category "D" winner. Only twelve (12) winners emerged in this category and each will receive payout of $89,018.00 (USD) from the $1,068,216.00 (USD) prize pool for Category "D" winners.

Contents enclosed within your UPS Express package are: 1) Tax Clearance information document as well as 2) an agreement of confidentiality (signature required). Please review all information carefully, and contact our office at 1.888.764.0359 Ext. 1 within the hours of: Monday thru Friday 9am to 8pm EST and Saturday 10am to 5pm. One of our representatives will be delighted to educate and guide you through the entire process. It is important that you contact our office upon delivery of your package as there are time constraints pertaining to your claim.

We at North American Lottery Corporation offer our deepest congratulations on your prize winnings. We do stress that an immediate response is required, so please do not procrastinate on this issue.

Yours Truly,

Patrick A. Greer
C.E.O. North American Lottery Corporation.

804 Warden Avenue
Scarborough, ON M1L 4T7

(888) 764-0359 ext. 1 - toll free
(888) 764-0363 - fax
There's also a "Tax Clearance Information Form" which I'll post in the comments.

I called the number and spoke with "Claire Dawson" at extension 82. The claim was that since this would be going from Canada to the US there is some sort of export tax (of $2,257.00) that must be paid, and it has to be paid before you can receive the money. She said that had to go directly to the Canada Revenue Agency, but apparently there are some smoke and mirrors (I didn't get that far into it) so that they get the money instead. Supposedly I had 5 days to pay this tax, which meant it has to be paid by this Friday. Why would a clock start ticking just because I called? Anyway, the line was that after this tax was paid I would get the $89k right away, either via a wire transfer or a cashiers check.

According to Phonebusters, one twist on this is they send a check to cover the taxes, which you then "pay" so you can get your prize. The hitch is the check is fake. Most banks will let you deposit it, but it will bounce within a few days. Which doesn't happen until after you've already sent off the money.

Oh, here's the WHOIS info for that domain:
Registration Service Provided By: Acenet Inc

Domain name:

Registrant Contact:

Nia Cordingley (NALCORP1@MAIL.COM)
Fax: +1.4165236231
46 Howland Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5R3B3

Administrative Contact:

Nia Cordingley (NALCORP1@MAIL.COM)
Fax: +1.4165236231
46 Howland Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5R3B3

Technical Contact:

Nia Cordingley (NALCORP1@MAIL.COM)
Fax: +1.4165236231
46 Howland Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5R3B3

Status: Locked

Name Servers:

Creation date: 18 Feb 2006 14:54:17
Expiration date: 18 Feb 2007 14:54:17
So, there you have it.

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More photos. Yesterday I started working on the walls in the dining room, removing the paneling and wallpaper (what is it with us and that stuff?). Today we took a little road trip.

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First of all, I apologize in advance to the subjects of this post if it makes them uncomfortable. I know at least one of them reads this blog, and it certainly isn't my intention to be rude or insensitive. I wish them both the best.

Anyway, some friends of mine are getting divorced. I can't say I know the details behind it, nor am I sure I really need or want to. Now, I've certainly known people who had gotten divorced, and probably even a few who were going through divorces. This is certainly the closest to me, though, and probably the only one where I've known both people since before they were even dating. That's what's particularly strange - seeing everything (well, bits and pieces at least) from start to finish. Previously I've just seen the end of things, not the start as well.

I don't know. Maybe I'm reading too far into this and taking it too seriously. Whatever the case, it's made me pause and think. Is it better to be forever unsure, or be sure and then wrong?

I should probably stop here before I go further into rambling territory. Thoughts and discussion would be most welcome.

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UP 2006 photos here.

Yesterday I got a pair of speakers from somebody in the neighborhood. I've been having a blast, but something tells me Amy hasn't.

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Ok, the belated weekend wrap-up.

First off, on Friday I finally got my new toy - a Nikon D200. Yeah, in some ways it's overkill, but it's been fun so far. It's easy to take lots of pictures with it. I took the "after" pictures of the floor with it, along with a bunch of shots in the UP (not yet posted).

After the UPS man was kind enough to stop by, we headed up to the UP for a quick getaway. The drive wasn't too bad until we got about 3 or 4 miles from our destination. There was still a bit of snow on the road, but there were fairly clear tracks were tires had been so traction wasn't too bad. Until we hit a slick spot, that is. Yes, the car started to go one direction, which I was able to correct, and then it started going the other direction. In the end we made it out alive, but Amy clearly wasn't having fun.

Once we got up there, we casually asked Catherine if she had seen a jacket liner there. The liner for my Columbia jacket had been missing for months, and one thought was we had left it in the UP last winter. I had pretty much ruled that out, though, as I was sure that I wore it after our last trip. Apparently I wasn't so sure after all, since she pulled out none other than my liner. Finally!

Our luck didn't run out there, however. On our way home I was using quite a bit of washer fluid and was wondering how much I had left. At about this very moment I went to use some more and...nothing. As luck would have it, there was literally a gas station in sight. Mind you, the next station was probably 30 or 40 miles away.

On top of that, I had previously mentioned to Amy that I should get a tire pressure gauge, as I didn't think the mileage lately was as good as it should be. She thought there might already be one in the car, and sure enough, there was. At the stop for washer fluid I checked the pressure in all the tires. They are rated for 32 PSI, but were only inflated to about 25 PSI. I got the air hose and started filling. Checked the pressure again - hmm, looks like about 24 PSI. After leaving the hose on even longer, the pressure was down to about 22 PSI. Not good. I went inside and asked if there was a problem with the compressor. "Oh, it's probably off. I'll go turn it on for you. You'll want to wait a few minutes, though, as the last person that came through ended up letting the air out of their tires." Duly noted.

Anyway, we got home in one piece to our nice new floors.

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The floor is DONE (other than a few small touch-ups). The final pictures are here. I also posted some in-progress photos as well. It's a little darker than we were expecting, but it still looks great - certainly much better than before.

Lot more to post in a bit...

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I find it completely insane how this administration can lie with such a straight face. Bless Russ Feingold for making an issue of this. From the Gonzales confirmation hearings, 1/6/05.
[Senator Feingold] I, also, would like you to answer this: does the President, in your opinion, have the authority, acting as Commander in Chief, to authorize warrantless searches of Americans' homes and wiretaps of their conversations in violation of the criminal and foreign intelligence surveillance statutes of this country?

Judge Gonzales. Senator, the August 30th memo has been withdrawn. It has been rejected, including that section regarding the Commander in Chief's authority to ignore the criminal statutes. So it has been rejected by the executive branch. I, categorically, reject it. And, in addition to that, as I have said repeatedly today, this administration does not engage in torture and will not condone torture. And so what we are really discussing is a hypothetical situation that--

Senator Feingold. Judge Gonzales, I have asked a broader question. I am asking whether, in general, the President has the constitutional authority, at least in theory, to authorize violations of criminal law when there are duly enacted statutes simply because he is Commander in Chief? Does he have that power?

Judge Gonzales. Senator, in my judgment, you have phrased sort of a hypothetical situation.
The complete transcript can be found here.

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

WFS Logo

One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.