Monday, May 23, 2011

I am appalled.....

at how uncaring our society has become.

Saturday I stopped at an ATM and withdrew some money as I was meeting a friend for breakfast. One of the twenties I received had a man's name and full social security number written on it. Not once, but twice; once on each side of the bill in dark bold ink. I folded the bill and put it separate so I wouldn't spend it. I decided to act on this poor man's behalf when the banks were open on Monday.

Today I had to stop at the grocery store and inside the store is a branch of a bank. It is not my bank but I figured any bank would do for my purpose.

I went up to the counter and took out the bill. I explained to several of the tellers (who were getting ready to leave for the day as the bank was now closed) how I had received the bill and showed them the information it contained. I asked if they would take the bill when they reopened and send it in for destruction so as to protect this man's identity from thieves. She informed me that they could do that but that they could not give me another $20 in exchange for it. I guess my shocked look said it all. She stated that I should just go ahead and spend it....maybe I could try and scribble the information out if I wanted to.

Doesn't anyone care anymore? I bet you that if it had been HER information on that bill, she would have been more than happy to have exchanged it. I know banks submit worn out and partially destroyed bills all the time so they can be chopped up into confetti. Heck, the Feds even make money on selling little bags of that confetti.

Now I don't know if this man who's name is on the bill is a hateful soul or if his ex-wife or girlfriend just wants to cause him grief. I know nothing about him except for his name and social security number. I am going to go to my own bank and see what they say. If they give me the same answer.....then maybe I will just go to the news media with this. I think its disgraceful that human beings care so less about each other that they would let this valuable information float around out for the taking. Especially since the federal government has guidelines in place to deal with the disposal of money. You can be assured that the BANK doesn't take a loss.....they would get reimbursement by the government for the destroyed bill.

Stay tuned for the ending of this one. And Mr. can rest assured that I will protect your information.....even if I have no other recourse than to mark it up so badly its absolutely impossible to read, which may make it non-negotiable. I just hope there aren't any more bills out there with your info on them.

Anyone have any ideas? Any bank tellers out there? Tell me what to do. I can't afford to lose $20 myself or I'd just destroy it and be done with it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And so it continues.....

I am woman on the edge, I tell ya.....a woman on the edge. If there were any bridges close by, I think I would be jumping off one of them.

I wrote a HUGE email to a friend and just as I was ending computer shut down and re-booted itself, snickering and laughing under its breath. This is the memory problem I've been having and its slowly driving me crazy. I can't WAIT until my computer guy gets here with the extra memory.

So, then after a re-boot, I'm too tired to re-write the entire email I figure I will do it the next day. Mind you.....I'm having to put up with this constant......chirp.....from the battery back-up. But its either that or no computer. I am not strong enough to move it and plug the outlets into something else or I sure would do it.

Late last night, before retiring, I decided to check the weather. I noticed that my keyboard was not working. All three lights were lit up....which I've never seen before.....but it was not working. I said to hell with it and went to bed. This morning I decide to pull the CPU out from the shelf alongside the computer desk and check the back to see if the keyboard had somehow gotten unplugged.....which I doubted since the lights were on. I pulled the CPU out and checked the fittings, then rebooted. YAY....the keyboard worked.....but the mouse didn't.

Now I'll tell can get by without a keyboard if necessary. You can use an on-screen keyboard and your mouse to type. Its slow and tedious, but it does work. I've had to do it before. But you cannot get by without a mouse. Well, I guess you CAN....but I don't know how. So for ME....I can't get by without a mouse. So I had to pull the CPU back out and check the fittings again and this time I got both the keyboard and the mouse to work. My self-confidence was beginning to rise. It fell through the basement shortly thereafter as I realized that now I have no sound. I'm done. I'm not touching another frickin' thing until my guy gets here......and if he doesn't get here soon, there will be a taped outline of my body on the living room floor.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It'll get ya.....

Lately its been ...."everything seems to be going wrong" around here. Hmmmm...that prompted me to wonder if Mercury is retrograde again. I checked and its not. Not that it would have made a difference one way or just would have given me an excuse to use. "Oh yeah....Mercury is retrograde, you know....and that's when stuff goes wrong". such luck.

I guess we can start with Blogger going haywire. I have been having problems with my Followers widget on Blogger for months and its never been fixed. I figure they must need some time to work on it.....and I'll be patient. In the meantime....if you don't see your avatar in my Followers widget or if you just plain don't see Followers at isn't because I removed them. I guess they are still visible if you use Chrome. A lot of people have told me they can see them yeah, it could be just me. I use Firefox.

Anyway, Blogger went goofy and some people lost a lot of stuff. I didn't lose too much, some comments and my update about my ......shudder.....eye. I guess we should all keep back-ups of what we post. What's that? You do? Oh well.....I don't and I guess I should.

Then came our usual weekly and my family's. We have supper and a movie....maybe two movies. We had Mexican that night and then settled in for a good movie. We put the disc in the VCR and........nothing. It wouldn't read the disc.....hell, it wouldn't even acknowledge that it was a VCR. At that point I think it may have thought it was a riding lawn mower. We fooled around with it and fooled around with it. More than an hour went by. My mood was getting dark. Now this poor little VCR, that is probably 8 years old, if not more.....has been a good one but it has been acting up here and there. Things like you having to rap sharply on top of it or the drawer won't open to accept the disc. Just small stuff like that. But it prompted me to buy another VCR around Christmas. I found one on sale and so, knowing that I would need it shortly, I purchased it. Notice I said Christmas! It has been sitting in the box, unopened, next to my TV in the living room ever since. Neither my daughter or I know anything about VCR's and everyone I asked to hook it up for me always said, "yeah, sure,.....I'll do that for you next my next life." Needless to say, it never got hooked up, let alone opened up.

So we decided, how hard can this be? Kids can do this for god's sake. You just take one cable off the old one and put it in the opening labeled the same in the new one. Piece of cake!

We pulled everything out from the shelf under the TV (Good Lord it gets dusty under there!). I did the brain wracking job of putting the batteries in the remote. Hey! I had to do my part too. Well....seems as though the cables I have hooked up to the old VCR have a pin in the fittings and the new cables have color coded plugs. Of COURSE the new VCR did not have any places for a fitting that had a pin. This truly puzzled us and we ended up putting everything back in the box. We replaced the old VCR right where it had been and stared at it for a while, our brains whirling. I must say that perseverance paid off in this respect because after fooling with it for only another hour or so, we did get it to acknowledge the disc and to actually play it without further incident. Of course we were afraid to even so much as sneeze during the movie in fear that the vibrations would make it revert to thinking it was, perhaps, a coffee pot and therefore refuse to play the disc.

We had a terrific thunder-storm later that night. I slept through most of it. In the morning my computer would not turn on. It was completely dead! Upon further investigation, I found that my Comcast modem was also dead. I tried to reset it and it laughed at me. Now, picture this....if you possibly can. Underneath my computer desk I have a conglomeration of wires that is beyond description. I am afraid to mess with any of them and leave it all to the guy who works on my computer. If it wasn't for the fact that most of my stuff had power and was working in that room, I would have thought I had blown a fuse. I was at a loss and so I called my computer guy. The first thing he did was tell me to check the surge protector power strips and that he'd be out on Sunday to take a look. Now....he didn't say he'd FIX it on Sunday....just that he'd take a look. That always makes me nervous.

Well, I did find that my computer and modem are plugged into a battery back-up system. I do that because power failures have fried two computers over the years. Somehow the battery back up had been turned off. When I turned it back on.....I had power to the computer and to the modem once again.....but now I have this irritating "chirp" that is going on. The back-up system doesn't seem to be recharging. I have a feeling that it is dead. He'll be here in an hour and will tell me.

Once I had the computer up and running I felt like I belonged in the world again. (sad, isn't it?) I have since noticed that my adding machine and my answering machine are not working. I'm hoping that its because they have become unplugged when I was messing in the jumble of wires under there. I went to recharge my cell phone and the battery is no longer taking a charge. I really can't complain....I've had the phone for over 10 years. Are you seeing a pattern here?

So.....while I had the system running, I went to my bill-paying sites and scheduled my payments through the end of this month......just in case. Yep, just in case he has to take my computer and I am without for a period of time. See? I'm trying desperately to head off Murphy at the pass.....but if there is possibly ONE tiny way something can go wrong......of course it will. But, you knew that, didn't you?

Update: My computer guy was here.(BLESS his heart) The new VCR is hooked up and the old one that is temperamental about working is now in the den. It will play VHS tapes and I have a bunch of those so I might as well keep it. The battery back-up, in all likely-hood took a 'hit' during the storm. He says those back-ups can only take one hit and then that's it. He's had his for 10 years and its still working. This is my second one in 5 years. Go figure. Anyway, he'll be back in a few days....I'm getting a memory upgrade.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Well.....this just stinks

Yep, here I am still up....bright eyed and bushy tailed and its 3 o'clock in the morning. I have an eye doctor's appointment today and I'm extremely nervous over it. I do not want another shot in the eye!

So, hopefully, I won't have to have one.....but my condition has not improved that much.....although it HAS improved. I just can't predict what's going to happen and that's making me fearful.

And.....another thing. I might as well say it, although I am ashamed to. My 40 year old son once again ignored me on Mother's Day. No card, no phone call....not even a drive-by wave. He only lives a mile and a half away so that's no excuse. I guess it wouldn't bother me so much if I hadn't gone to hell and back raising him. He was/is ADHD and I suspect some bi-polar thrown in for good measure. Back then they didn't have names for that stuff.....he was just known as a kid who was into everything (a la Dennis the Menace) and I received a phone call from the school on a daily basis. Lord give me strength. Well, my daughter and granddaughter showed up on Sunday and we had a lovely day. Thank God for her. She brought dinner, flowers and cards and most of all......Love! My grandson called .... he was unable to come over as he worked 14 hours that day.

So I did get remembered but it still hurts to have one of your children neglect you on those special days. Especially when you don't even know why. I hope none of you ever experience it. No matter how hard you try to protect yourself from still does hurt.

Update: I DID have to have another shot in my eye (shudder) but the doctor feels that this should be my last one. He says the eye is healing nicely and wants to see me again in 2 months.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

An award.....thank you

to Orea of The Higher Voice for giving this to me. I am supposed to list 7 things about myself and then pass this award on to 15 NEWLY FOUND blogs. Sorry to say, every newly found blog I wanted to pass this award on to already has been given it! I was involved with the A-Z Challenge and even though I did find some new blogs I loved, I really didn't have time to do much searching once I was through posting each alphabet post. So 15 NEW blogs is kind of a tall order for me.

Now.....since its my blog....(heh heh heh) I'm going to change things a bit. I am awarding this award to you if you are on my sidebar as a blog I frequent and love. Yep.....yours for the taking.....and well-deserved too, cause if your blog wasn't fantastic, it wouldn't be on my sidebar. So please accept it....from my heart.
Now, the 7 things.
1. I enjoy watching some cartoons.
2. I talk to my plants.
3. Animals love me, even guard dogs will let me pet them. (blowing their owner's minds)
4. If someone hurts me, I never really recover from it or forget it.
5. I'm terrified of doctors and dentists and will make myself sick thinking about an upcoming appointment.
6. I've always wished I was musically inclined (cannot carry a tune with a basket or play any instrument)
7. I had 3 imaginary friends when I was little (plight of an only child).

So there you have it. Please take your award and pass it on. And, thank you again, Orea.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Is it just me..... it because I'm older now and more....uh....cranky? Or do some of these things get to you too.

I was grocery shopping the other day. I hate to grocery shop. So I realize my attitude is not the best when I have to do this chore. But anyway.....I'm behind this woman who chooses to stop, in the middle of the walkway, between produce and bakery, where there isn't enough room to pass her on either side and make adjustments to herself. By this I mean, adjust the bra, adjust the may have been a wig....take off her eyeglasses and clean them on her this time my patience level had reached O. After I uttered "excuse me" a couple times, she jumped, clutched her chest and apologized profusely. Yeah, yeah, lady....just move so I can get this dang shopping out of the way. Although I didn't say that, I just smiled forcibly and said, "that's ok" and went about my business. Why do we do that?? I know and SHE knows that its really NOT ok. Furthermore, she knows that I know she knows. Just once I'd like to really say....yeah, this time I'll overlook it, next time, I'm gonna draw down on ya just for being stupid.

When I get groceries, it seems I can never do this chore without the help of someone, usually the kindness of strangers. I am short. I have always been short. I've gotten shorter as I've aged, which pisses me off. I was always 5' tall. Now I'm 4'11. Anyway, I simply cannot reach items that are put on the top shelf if they are set more than halfway back on the shelf. No matter what, it seems like I have to have at least TWO items each trip that are positioned just so. My suggestion to grocery store managers.....why not put things on the top shelf that tall people basketballs. Seriously though.....I know the top shelf has to hold SOMETHING I just wish it were things that I never needed. Have I mentioned that I hate grocery shopping?

This also brings to mind that it always seems like the item or items you need are being blocked by A) a store employee who is restocking B) a man who is searching for something with a puzzled look on his face or C) a frazzled mother with one of those carts the size of a Buick loaded with children.....or all of the aforementioned. Unless I'm in a particularly bad mood, I try and wait it out without saying anything, in hopes that they will take the hint and move but that doesn't always work. Once in a while you have to excuse yourself and attempt to reach the item.
And then they act all surprised. why in the world did they think you were standing there for so long....admiring the view? their shoes? or just cause you're weird?

I'll end this with the parking lot. To the woman who repeatedly parks in the handicapped spot and who does not have a handicapped license or placard......I really don't think it negates the legal requirements for that spot if you sit in your vehicle reading while your passenger goes shopping in the store. You are still taking up the space that is designed for people who have difficulty walking because of a health reason and not because of laziness. You know who you are.....and shame on you. By the way, did you know the fine for illegally using a handicapped spot is $500.? Oh....and since our State needs money, a lot of those offenses are now being ticketed. Just sayin'......

I've got some movies to review so watch for that coming up in a few days. In the meantime, it looks like the s-word is finally out of here for a few months. My hope for a hot summer is slowly being diminished though. So far it has been unseasonably chilly. Every once in a while we experience a chilly summer and I fear this may be one of them. I feel bad for my own selfish reasons (hot weather = less pain)....but on a larger scale its so bad for tourism and our state could really use those extra funds right now. We'll just have to wait and see......Mom Nature, as you know, has a mind of her own.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The most unforgettable cat ever......

has also got to be included if I'm talking about our pets. When my daughter was approaching 4, she wanted a kitty. I already had a dog, a toy Manchester terrier that thought she was a child....but she was a one person dog and that one person was me. She didn't want to have much to do with anyone else and when I wasn't home, she would hide under the bed and stay there until I came home. Don't think she was hiding because she was afraid....not at all. That dog thought she was a German Shepherd. She hid because she was bored with everyone else in the house except me. But this is about the cat.

I happened to stop at a garage sale about 2 miles from my house and in a tall cardboard box was what was left of a litter of kittens. Mom was an Angora and Dad was a 'em and leave 'em type....a Siamese. I glanced into the box and there were two left. They both were white but one had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen. I picked her up and she snuggled up under my chin and began to nurse on the collar of my blouse, her little paws kneading the material as she purred contentedly. I couldn't resist and so I brought her home. My daughter was delighted and promptly named her after our babysitter, Tina.

My dog was not impressed in the least. Tina loved her though and never stopped loving her as long as she lived. Once in a while they would play but they never fought. When my dog died (at 15) Tina went from room to room mournfully meowing. It was heartbreaking as it was obvious that she missed her K9 friend. She kept that up for over a week. Tina acted more like a dog than a cat. I'm not trying to be mean here....I'm just stating a fact. Most cats are aloof and independent but Tina would actually come when you called her. She would come in response to her name, as well as kitty, kitty kitty. She is pictured with this post sitting in her favorite place, the warm cable box. We lived in a subdivision in the outskirts of town and so she "went outside" to go potty. She never had a litter box until she was very old and I got her one to use because it was so bitterly cold outside that last winter and she was 17 by then.

Tina would stretch out her body and take her paw and jiggle the doorknob. This is how we knew she wanted outside. If she wanted a drink of water, she would jump on the bathroom countertop and meow until you turned on the faucet, then she would drink from it. When we moved and took up residence on a paved road with much more traffic I was always afraid that she would get hit by a car. A car just tipped her tail and broke it as she was running across the street one day. She was always proud to walk around with that tail straight up in the air like an exclamation point but for about 2 months until it healed, her tail was bent over half way up so it looked like an inverted capitol L. I honestly think she felt humiliated looking like that. It taught her a lesson though and after that she always sat and waited until no cars were coming before she would cross.

Everyone loved Tina. Even people who usually hated cats loved Tina. She had the best personality of any cat I've ever been around. However, one day my kids had found a tiny kitten, an itty bitty yellow striped ball of fluff. Of course they brought it home and wanted to keep it. I may have consented but our sweet, angelic, loveable Tina instantly turned into a demon, the likes of which I'd never seen. Emitting low guttural growls, ears flattened back against her head, tail swishing rapidly from side to side as she spit and hissed like a cat straight out of Hades, she backed the kitten into a corner. The tiny kitten spit, spat and hissed right back at her with its back arched. It was ridiculously funny but yet I had to be cautious. Tina still had her claws and I could tell she meant business. The tiny kitten had to go. Once out of the house, Tina morphed back into her original sweet purring self, as she cleaned her whiskers and eyed me knowingly.

One time Tina disappeared and I feared the worse. She had been spayed so I knew it wasn't that. I feared she may have been hit by a car. We looked and looked for daughter was a weeping mess. After about a week or so, I heard the familiar thump she made when she jumped on the door, wanting inside. I couldn't believe it as I whipped open the door and there she was. Our snow white cat was dark gray, she was so filthy.....but she was ok. She was hungry as a bear though. I think she had gotten locked in the neighbor's shed.

Tina lived to be a little over 17. She had a heart attack and went quickly. She still holds a special place in our hearts. I wish I could tell you all the stories I have about her, but there just isn't enough blog space. If you're ever going to get a cat, my wish for you is that you find one as great as Tina.

Monday, May 2, 2011

KC.....was a family member

I don't believe I've talked about before on my blog. I guess its about time I gave her some recognition.

My daughter bought this precious Cockatiel for me one Christmas. I named her KC. I had just lost my Chihuahua to old age and was feeling pretty empty. It had been many years since I had owned a bird, which was a parakeet. I was still working every day at the time and wasn't sure I could devote enough time to teaching a bird everything I had taught my parakeet, but seeing that precious face, I was delighted and willing to try.

I had her for over 11 years and was told that was a pretty good age for a Cockatiel. She was never sick; I just found her laying on the bottom of her cage one morning.

Anyway, her wings were clipped and yet she was such a strong flyer, she could still fly for short distances. I have very fond memories of her flying down from her cage and walking that pigeon toed walk they do across the living room floor, climbing up onto my foot and walking up my pant leg onto my lap, from there up my arm to my shoulder and then give my hair a little tug and my ear a nibble, just to say HI. This bird was a pure delight. She would often follow me, on foot, down the hallway to the bathroom or one of the bedrooms. She would "answer" me with a chirp when I came home from work and also when I called her name. When I moved her cage so she could see out to the driveway, I could hear her loudly chirp as I got out of my car. I know she had seen me drive in. She'd keep that up until I came into the house and over to her cage to acknowledge her. Unlike humans, I guess the females of the species do not talk, so KC never uttered a word, just chirps in varying degrees of loudness and some off-color squawks I took as swearing when she got to playing a little too rough with her toys.

When I rescued the 4 year old Lhasa Apso and brought him home, I was quite leery as I didn't want anything to happen to KC. Of course, KC was fearless. The dog, however, didn't quite know what to think of this little feathered being. But he never hurt KC and would follow along behind her as KC walked on the floor, trying to turn her over with his nose so he could sniff her. In the first picture, that was KC's favorite place to perch when I was on the computer. There she could over-see everything I did and make suggestions. In the second picture, she is giving my grandson a KC kiss. She was the most loving bird and I sure do miss her. Its amazing how something so small and something that most people can be quick to judge as having NO brain....can surprise you with their intelligence, their capacity for love and how attached you become to them.