Dear Mr. Cobol -- 11/16/02

No, I've not been out of town, just very busy at work.

We'd moved our offices around... my department moved from the second floor back down to the first floor, essentially returning to the same spot we'd moved from back in '99. I assume that all of this makes sense to someone in facilities management. This meant that a significant chunk of my time was taken up during election week with packing up everything in my Dilbert cube (plus assisting with packing up or tagging the contents of our department's shared space, like our departmental library and our printer area, etc.) and at the same time attempting to prepare for the presentations I would be doing the following week. A week ago Friday was the moving day and we were all supposed to work from home that day, but I came in to work with a colleague on installing and configuring software in the classroom that we would be using the following Monday. He and I and someone from out-of-town would be sharing the task of doing presentations to sixteen technical sales types about a new software system that our employer will be announcing in a few more weeks.

The presentations seemed to go well, although nothing ran quite as scheduled because our audience had lots of very technical questions, resulting in some sections taking much longer than scheduled and a constant rearranging of our schedule. That kept me busy through some very long days and a few hours at night reviewing the material I would present the next day. (As I said, these guys had lots of very technical questions.) And somehow I also managed to get eighty percent moved into my new office space (i.e,. I had packed five boxes and four of them are now unpacked) and someday soon I will get used to which drawer holds what material. Plus I had to do some final reviews of material for the team Julie and I had been working with in Dallas a couple of weeks ago.

And I have one week to finish making updates and corrections to the material for the new course I wrote during this summer. The work in Dallas was dealing with a new version of the software, so I have to update some units to reflect those changes. I'm going to be teaching it during the second week of December, so I have to get the material to the printer by this coming Friday. My plans are to take all of Thanksgiving week off. Julie's course (dealing with the same software, except she's doing an installation, configuration and administration course and mine is on application development) will be the first week of December and I need to sit in on that. So I guess I'm going to be insanely busy this coming week, but then I can relax Thanksgiving week.

Got in a five mile run this morning -- around six-thirty, so I was back home before the rain started. Then my daughter and I had appointments to donate blood at 9:45. She came home from work around seven-thirty and fell asleep. She was really unconscious but I insisted that she wake up and come to the Blood Bank with me, not realizing that she had not slept at all during the day yesterday... the Red Cross suggested that she was too exhausted to donate and should come another time, so I drove her back home, but by then she was really cranky and angry at me. She's been sleeping since then so I'm hoping all will be forgiven once she is rested. I brought my iPAQ with me and discovered that playing solitaire on a PDA is a pleasant way to pass the time while you have a tube stuck in your arm draining a pint of blood.

I have a mail account under the name COBOL_Jim, from my days as a COBOL programmer. (COmmon Business Oriented Language.) I have received numerous emails soliciting my participation in various schemes to make millions of dollars by assisting in getting various ill-gotten gains out of Nigeria on behalf of government employees, families of ex-dictators, etc. My profile for my COBOL_Jim account lists my first name as Jim and my last name as Cobol. I recently received the following email, addressed to Mr. Cobol:

I am Dezi Daniel a solicitor at law. I am the Personal
Attorney to Mr. Mark Cobol a National of your
Country,who has lived in Nigeria for the past fifty
years, andwhom here in after shall be referred to as
my client.In April 1999, my client, was involved in a
fatal caraccident . All occupants of the vehicle
unfortunately lost there lives, my client was one of

I have contacted you to assist in repatriating most
especially,the money left behind by my client before
they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the
bank where this huge deposits were lodged. 

Particularly, the City Trust Finance Company where the
deceased had an account valued at about 30 million
dollars has issued me a notice to provide the Next of
kin, or have the account confiscated.  

I seek your consent to present you as the Next of kin
of the deceased since you have the same last name so
that the proceeds of this account valued at 30 million
dollars can be paid to you, as my clients Next of Kin,
and then we can share the amount on a mutual agreed
percentage.All legal documents to back up your claim
as the deceased Next of Kin, will be provided. All I
require is your honest cooperation to enable us see
this deal through. 

I guarantee that this will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from
anybreach of the law. Please get in touch with me, to
enable us discuss further about this transaction.

Best regards, 


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