Day 200: Thursday with Cat Litter

Sorry, this is late and a bit rushed…it has been a crazy day!

I had just finished up working for the day from home. Then a strange text from American Express appeared on my phone. My card was stolen, or I was in California buying cat litter from InstaCart. I replied to the text to stop this and called Fraud for American Express, and we agreed to replace the card now. I tried to log on to the American Express website and had some access problems likely caused by the shutdown. While using the chat to learn what else, if anything, was charged on my card, I receive three delivery confirmation emails.

I figured the delivery was to the thief in San Fransico until I step outside. There are three huge jugs of kitty litter! I move it to in front of the house–I don’t know what to do with them (Later InstaCart said I can keep them).

A tried some experimenting today and discovered that I did have an InstaCart account created in 2019, and my Amex was set-up to buy items. I tried delivery of groceries before in 2019 and found it then too expensive. I had forgotten about it; I had not used the account again. Some hackers broke into the account today and tried to steal the Ameican Express card by running in test orders–it is what I would do if I was a hacker. American Express detected the fraud and shut down the card.

I checked, and there is a Java library to directly access an account in InstaCart using a technology I use at work and in my own Python coding, APIs. This was just like the hack I experienced a few years ago with Dominos. A hacker apparently ordered two pizzas from Dominios in Detroit using their cool APIs and my credit card number–Amex shut that down too, and that is how I have my current card now being replaced. InstaCart also has APIs to just order from your own coded application from what I saw on GitHub. Some hackers must have used my account to learn how to create orders and hack InstaCart.

Again, I have seen this before–usually costs me a few hours and is why I use American Express for some Internet items. Their hack detection is excellent.

Again, the American Express card is locked down, and a new card is on its way. The new password on the American Express card is also hard to remember and not likely to fall to any easy cracking.

So a late afternoon full of exciting learnings on security…with kitty litter.

I chatted with InstaCart, and they said I can just dispose of the kitty litter as I wish.

I also got a note that my payment for Amazon Prime was declined. Yes, the American Express is locked-down! I had to go on to Amazon and fix that.

This morning started at 6ish with a 7AM call rush again. I was ready in time for the call on data conversions on Zoom. I drank a lot of coffee this morning as I rushed through the Zoom meeting, email, text, and calls using Microsoft Teams. I also had some designs sent to me to be immediately approved or rejected. So it was a crazy rushed morning.

Susie was up in the morning to take her Thursday meds. Because she was up and it was lunchtime, I made her a grilled cheese sandwich and canned pears. I had soup from a can and a grilled cheese also. We are now out of cheddar!

The afternoon was full of coding and also trying to get the install of software working for Nike’s newest production computer–one of mine. We had a few more Zoom and team calls on that. I had to check and fix some changes line-by-line. One of the vendor patches had changed, and now I need to find the differences and align the code to match. I put on music for that kind of work. I managed to fix a few issues and sent it back to testing. Rushing all day!

After that, the Amex issues surfaced, Mariah had called me for a beer, and after the crazy day, I drove over to and joined her for a nice salad and a Ruby at McMenamins. Just one beer, but it was so good!

I am sad to learn that the President and First Lady have the infection. Please pray for them and for the Vice President.

Today more than nine-hundred twenty people are reported to have died from the virus in the USA.

For the President, his family, and the USA, I picked this: America.






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