Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bad News # 1 and # 2

#1: I had an unexpected and unpleasant surprise in store yesterday which has left me deflated, fed up and downright angry! I hadn't looked carefully enough at my natal chart and transits for Friday otherwise this might not have come as such a shock.

I had noticed transiting Jupiter would be exactly conjunct natal Mercury at 21 Capricorn and thought, "What can go wrong ? This has to be a good omen for my citizenship interview!" (See previous post). I should have studied the transits further and noticed that transiting Uranus (planet of the unexpected), my Sun's ruler, at 20 Pisces - sextile Mercury and transiting Jupiter, also transiting Mars (the anger planet)sat exactly on my natal (not re-located), ascendant at 15 Cancer, not a very good omen! Transiting Saturn at 2 Virgo may have something to do with this upset as well. It's opposing natal Jupiter (6 Pisces) and quincunx natal Sun at 6.46 Aquarius. Two inharmonious aspects by
Saturn, a restrictive planet associated with law and government.

I'm not sure how all that astrology ties in, or if it does, but I strongly suspect that it does. In one way I'm glad I didn't notice those aspects, if I had, I'd have thought something even worse might occur!

This is what happened:

We arrived at the USCIS office in Oklahoma City, all geared up for my important citizenship interview scheduled 1.05pm (see Thursday's post), We waited in a room, where the temperature was fit only for chilling meat, for half an hour before, and half an hour after the scheduled time, only to be told that two interviewing officers, of the three available, had had to go home sick that morning and the remaining officer's list was full, she could take no more interviews.

They had telephoned our home earlier with no response. We'd have left early even had we not decided to stay over the previous night, so a morning call after 9am would have made no difference. The journey is around 80 miles, and the weather had been very iffy for a couple of days with floods, tornado watches and violent storms. We did not want to risk missing this appointment for which I'd been waiting since last July.

We saw another applicant, the only other one present, sent away earlier, and because we were not approached at that time, around ten minutes before my appointment, felt that I must be listed with the remaining interviewing officer. It was not until half an hour after my scheduled time that we were given the bad news - by that time we were chilled to the bone, the air copnditioning was running full tilt, yet outside the temperature was only 61*!

Even more deflated was I as we watched two people who arrived long after we did, accompanied by an attorney, ushered in for their interview. Worse, when I asked the bearer of bad tidings, who was very apologetic, when I could expect re-scheduling he said the rest of April and all of May has been scheduled already it will be June or July for me. I had to bite my tongue - very hard. Arguing with DHS officials gets one nowhere, and might well put a black mark on one's application.

I'd already been put to the inconvenience of a second visit and overnight stay for a re-take of fingerprints - probably due to the operative's incompetence the first time around - then there was the 17 week wait I had to even get a receipt for my $400 cheque and acknowledgement of my application. I applied on 26 July 2007.

I am royally p...ed off!! Yeah, I know, worse things happen at sea, but I'm still p...ed!

Thank you to the kind family and friends who left lovely comments on my previous post - I'm sorry not to have happier news to relate.

Material from my blog is being ripped off in more than one place. I haven't worked out what is going on yet, but as well as the wholesale lifting of posts by one blog, without proper linkage back to mine, there are at least three other blogs carrying part of my posts, under fictitious authors' names, but which do actually link back to my blog when one clicks on the fictitious name. Peculiar! There's no indication on any of these rip-off blogs who they belong to, but they are all Wordpress blogs. All but the first mentioned carry Google Ads or some other adverts, so they are collecting money by using the work of other bloggers but not using the bloggers proper identities and using and no work of their own at all. I'm not the only blogger being ripped off.

Clicking on the Technorati logo at the foot of this page then on the "Authority" link on my Technorati rating, will bring up a list of places my material has been used. If anyone else involved knows the best way to tackle this I'd be glad to hear from them.

I'm not sure yet what to do about either Bad News #1 or #2 - but I'm working on it - and fuming!

After doing some research I have reported two of the sites to Google Adsense for violation. This seems the best way to tackle the problem. Will do more in due course if things don't improve.


R J Adams said...

I'm truly sorry to hear your sad tale. It is, of course, par for the course with the USCIS. Though that is no consolation whatever. I'm not surprised you were fuming. These people seem lacking in any semblance of humanity and treat their customers like cattle, at least that's been my experience. I do hope you get another appointment soon - and a successful one.

As for the other matter, I believe Google is your best bet. Generally they are sticklers for obeying the rules. Wordpress is, of course, a free platform like blogger, and I know of no 'complaints committee' that could deal with this sort of problem.

You're not alone, I often get link notifications to "blogs" that are just ads, though usually they do have a link back to Sparrow Chat.

Incidentally, clicking on your Technorati tag only takes an outsider to the homepage - there is no access to your 'Authority' tag, I guess till you log-in.

anthonynorth said...

Hi Twilight,
Sadly, this happens often, and there isn't really much you can do. It's happened to me, and it's damned annoying.
One thing I would suggest - if Wordpress blogs have AdSense, and they have 'wordpress' in the url, I think this is a violation of Wordpress policy of no advertising on blogs.

Twilight said...

Thanks - I'm still smarting, but have drafted a letter to the USCIS office, which I'll sleep on and post tomorrow if I'm of the same mind - it's polite, but points out a couple of things. ;-)

RJ and AN

Thanks - yes, I've been searching Google and it appears these so-called "splogs" are very very common, generated by software - possibly no human hand directly there at all. There seem to have been a surge of them in 2005 which caused an uproar....and still they continue, some say as many as 1 third of all blogs are splogs - like parasites.

Targeting The Adsense is the best
retaliation, as far as I can see. As you say, RJ Google is pretty fair, but they must be VERY busy, so I don't expect rapid solutions.

Thanks AN ,for the idea about 'Wordpress' in the URL, I'll check on that.

I wouldn't mind at all if any pennies generated by those adsense ads went to charity, but I object to it lining some individual or company's coffers, even if it's only a little.