Monday, March 27, 2017

Colorists beware - Scam Alert


I don’t consider myself a particularly good colorist, but apparently, I’m good enough for someone to steal my work. And I’m not the only one.

Pictured above is a page from ‘Creative Haven – Creative Cats’, colored by Rachel Pinto. The seller took this picture and made it available on t-shirts, sweatshirt, mugs, or wall art. She did not ask Rachel’s permission, nor did she get permission from Marjorie Sarnat who drew the pages of the book, or the publishing house.


The seller promoted Rachel and my work on Facebook stating that this these colorings were available for a limited time only. Unfortunately for the seller, but fortunately for Rachel and me, the prices are rather steep. The cat book only costs $4,61 on Amazon.com, but the seller charges $15,99 for one finished coloring page, plus $5,99 for shipping.

Both Rachel and I have tried to reach the seller via Facebook but she doesn’t respond, other than with more promotional nonsense.

So we contacted the publisher and have made them aware of what this person is doing.

If you have colorings online, you could be her next victim.






Saturday, March 25, 2017

Alia Aliia Nasyrova - aka the real Rapunzel




Yesterday the media ran a story on Alia Aliia Nasyrova, nicknamed ‘The Real Rapunzel’. Her hair apparently is 2 meters long and weigh approximately 2 kg.

While some people admired her commitment, others commented that it must be quite a burden living with such long and heavy hair, while others still were of the opinion that she should donate her hair to cancer patients.

This last statement makes me so mad. I was a cancer patient myself and if anyone had asked me if I would want someone to cut their hair to benefit me, I would have said … ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Let me say this though ...

Nobody can donate anything to a cancer patient. At best, someone can donate hair to a wig-making institution such as Locks of Love, and there it gets tricky.

A few years ago I heard that Locks of Love was a scam, that they sold the hair they received to Hollywood and Europe. I decided to get to the bottom of this claim and wrote to Locks of Love.

I received an email back in which the writer confirmed that this is true, the hair received does get sold.

The writer stated that 70% of all hair received was useless and got discarded. It was either too short or chemical treated. Hair that has been permed or color treated is unsuitable for wig making.

The writer stated that a lot of ponytails just don’t contain enough hair to make a wig and combining several ponytails is not an option.

The 30% that is useable gets sold to film studios in Hollywood and theaters in Europe. Where the money goes to is anyone's guess.

The writer went on to say that cancer patients never qualify for a wig donation on grounds that after their chemo treatment, their own hair grows back.







Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Are cats meteorologists


All winter I’ve been bragging about the mild temperatures in Toronto. We experienced a mild November, a pleasant December, January was not nearly as cold as expected, and February – usually the coldest month – was surprisingly warm. But now, now that we’re halfway in March, now we’re getting it.

For days now we’ve suffered freezing temperatures, with the wind chill often recording -20 or even -25. My winter coat, which I haven’t worn all winter, now comes out of the closet, along with ear warmers, gloves, and a scarf. That is, if I go outside because a few times now I’ve forfeited setting foot out the door.

Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to spring. Just six more days and the new season arrives and with it hopefully warmer weather.

As for now, Toronto – the whole of Ontario actually – is under a snow alert. There’s talk of inches and inches of snow. So far I haven’t seen anything. When I look outside I see that the balcony, the parking lot below and the surrounding fields are having a light dusting of the white stuff, but that’s it. Not 12 inches like expected, barely 2 millimeters.

A few weeks ago, it was the same when rain is expected. The weather report warned of heavy rainfall and flooding, but all Toronto experienced was a light drizzle.

These meteorologists constantly get it wrong. I don’t know what their job involves, but they don’t seem to be very good at it.

Now my cats, on the other hand, they have an excellent handle on the weather situation. If they’re grooming themselves and they wash behind their ears, rain is coming. I don’t know about other cats, but I can trust my lot.

Cat owners might be familiar with this. The cat licks her front paw and then wipes the paw back to front over her ear. If it’s a single wipe, there’s nothing to worry about, but if the paw goes over the ear two, three or even four times … then there’s definitely a chance of rain.



Perhaps the institute for weather predictions should fire their meteorologists and hire a couple of cats.






Monday, March 6, 2017

Contena - scamming freelance writers


As a professional freelancer, I constantly keep an eye out for new opportunities. So when I noticed a website called Contena, I was quick to apply.

I received the response that the website currently didn’t take on any new writers, but that I would be notified when there were vacancies. True to their word, a short time later I received a notification that Contena would be “opening its doors” to 50 new writers on February 28th at 12:00.
I had high hopes, kept myself available on February 28 and visited the site for registration as soon as I got the green light.

My hopes were smashed within seconds. To become a member of Contena, writers were required to make six payments of $97. I’m not in the habit of swearing, but on this occasion I thought … WTF!

I’m a member of two other freelance sites and they never asked me for a penny. On the contrary, they pay me.
No sooner had I said no to Contena’s offer, or I received an email …

“Earn $1,000 a month. You complete our course and use Contena to land one client. This client is willing to pay $100 per article and wants 3 articles week. Each article takes you about an hour to write.”

The next day another email …

·  You are making $100 / hour.
·  You are making an additional $1,200 / month.
·  You are working 12 hours a month.
As an experienced freelance writer, I didn’t believe a word of it and neither should you. If this were true, just about everyone who can string two sentences together would quit their job and become a freelance writer. No more getting out of bed at the crack of dawn, no more commuting, no more braving the elements, no more working for peanuts.
Cortena promises people who work only 12 hours a month to make $1,200. Can you image how much one would make if you were to apply yourself from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.!
This is all bogus of course. Clients don’t pay writers $100 for an article. Most clients offer 3 to 5 cents per word or $20 to $25 for a 500-word article.
Established writers might get as much as $50 for an article, but that is still a far cry from the $100 Cortena promises.
Cortena itself is doing very well though. Imagine if 50 writers fell for their scam, that is $97 x 6 x 50. That is $29,100 and all they had to do was set up a website, make some promises and then wait for unsuspecting, naive writers to fall for their scam.
Whoever visits the Contena website will see that they have plenty of jobs available, but all of them are bogus. Click on a link, any link, and you are forced to register and pay. After you've paid, the jobs disappear, supposedly taken by other writers. When I asked some to the point questions, I never heard from Kevin (the founder of the scam site) again.
If you’re a writer, far better to become a member of Constant Content or Crowd Content. You don’t have to pay a penny and you’ll have plenty work to keep you busy.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Cat toys ... are they worth the money


Yesterday I mentioned that Holly was at the vet with ingrowing paw nails. http://connymanero.weebly.com/blog/march-04th-2017 however, that was not the only problem. 

At 14 lbs the vet was of the opinion that Holly is overweight. I asked him what I could do about this. After all, it’s not like I can deprive her of food or feed her salads, carrot sticks and celery.

The vet had three suggestions: switch to weight management food, replace a bowl of food with a catmosphere, and increase playtime.


This advice was followed up right away. I switched Holly’s food, bought not one but catmosphere balls and ordered a toy online.

While the weight management food was a hit, the catmospheres and the toy was not. Mickey, Charlotte, Gabriel and Holly looked at the balls, didn’t know what to make of it and even seemed afraid of them. I demonstrated how to get the food out of the balls, but no, they wanted nothing to do with them.

As for the toy … I saw the 3 tier ball toy advertised on Facebook, the kittens had lots of fun with it, but my lot didn’t trust the newcomer.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BHWXHTPhmc

The pictures reflect their reaction …

Mickey ... what is this?

Gabriel ... what am I supposed to do with this?

Holly ... I'm not fat, I'm fluffy

Charlotte wouldn't even go near it.

That thing looks suspicious
Now it so happens that I received a box of chocolates tied up with a red ribbon. And this ribbon was the biggest hit ever. Mickey, Charlotte, Gabriel, and Holly took turns playing with the ribbon, picking it up in their mouth and dragging it away, or bringing it to me to play with them. They can’t get enough of it.

Conclusion … 

Catmosphere $7 (x2) … take it away
Ball toy $20 … afraid of it
Red ribbon $0 … loads of fun



Saturday, March 4, 2017

Holly at the vet


Holly was at the vet last month, twice. I could see that she wasn’t herself, but didn’t know what was wrong. So she was loaded into a cat carrier, and we took a cab to the clinic.

The doctor didn’t know what to make of it either. He couldn’t find anything wrong with Holly and suggested bloodwork to find the cause of her ailment.

I didn’t think this necessary. Holly wasn’t sick, as such. Since she did have a slight temperature the doctor gave her an injection for pain and fever and almost immediately I could see a change in Holly.

Not for long, though. A few days later, Holly was back to her listless self and wouldn’t let us touch her front paws. She didn’t limp, and she didn’t lick her paws, so obviously she wasn’t hurt, but something was clearly wrong. So, off to the vet we went again.

When the vet inspected her front paws, he was growled and hissed at, and Holly even took a swipe at his hand. But this time he got to the bottom of her problem … Holly had in growing paw nails. Her nails were clipped and that was the end of the problem. Well, it took a few days for the pain to subside, but day by day she got better and now she’s back to her usual self.

Since I can’t go to the vet every time Holly needs to have her nails clipped, I’m gonna have to learn to do this myself. It’s not complicated, with the right tool it’s easy. One just has to make sure not to take off too much.

The vet showed me and if I’m nervous about it, even if I only take off 1 mm that’s okay. It’s basically just snipping off the points.

Who knew that clipping a cats’ nails could be so important.





Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A rather upsetting letter


I received a rather upsetting letter yesterday. My doctor, of over 15 years, is retiring. Not because of her age, but because to stay home with her children.

Not only is her retirement a huge inconvenience for me and all her other patients, I also find it upsetting that a woman just throws away her education. An education that took several years and over $100,000.

Fortunately, I am not her mother. If I was I would take her to task and point out that if she wanted to get married and have babies, she should have realized this a little sooner. I would also insist that she pays back every cent I put in her education.

I knew trouble was coming the moment I saw a diamond ring on the third finger of her left hand. Two months after she got married she announced she was pregnant, followed by a year’s maternity leave.

When she came back to her practice, she announced she was pregnant again and off she went to another year of maternity leave.

When her year was up, and she was expected to come back, she announced that she would take an extra year off. Standing in for her was another doctor who I didn’t particularly like. I only put up with her while waiting for Dr. X to come back.

Unfortunately for me and all her other patients, she’s not coming back. She now made the formal announcement that she’s going to stay home and have more babies.
Well, one thing is for sure, if they get measles or whooping cough, at least she won’t have to take them to a doctor.


Is she the only one? Far from it. I've seen it time and time again. Young women, full of dreams and ambitions when they leave high school. They go to university and become doctors, lawyers, accountants or any other type of professionals. Then they meet a man, their biological clock starting working overtime and before long they flush it all down the drain to get married and have babies.

It makes me bloody mad. Smart woman, an education that cost thousands and for what …

www.connymanero.weebly.com