I was paranoid about viruses, and ran virus scanning with negative results. Besides, I very careful about opening attachments.
I was paranoid about a crackers, and so ran a network sniffer looking for odd traffic and again, negative results. Besides, I've learned the hard way to use a firewall, so it seemed unlikey.
My PC has a microphone on it, and after several months of getting annoying prompts from outlook to train the pc for speech recognition, I decided to try it. Saw, grabbed the microphone, and quickly determined that speech recognition on Windows XP would be at best a large investment of time. So I left the microphone close to keyboard and then proceeded to use outlook to compose a message. Then the random word noise heated up. I realized then that voice recognition was interpreting the random noise in my office has English words.
So I removed speech voice recognition (go to control panel -> settings -> regional and language -> languages -> details -> speech recognition and then click remove).
Things seem to be better now.