Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dana's been hacked.....

If any of you are followers of Dana of LIFE IS GOOD, I'd like to tell you that her blog, her Facebook account and her yahoo email address were all hacked into. She was able to get her email back, but the Facebook and Blog are history at this point. The passwords have been changed and she can no longer post.

Yes....she suspects it was done by the same people who have been terrorizing her.....unfortunately, they are family members or ex-family members. Right now she's trying to figure out what to do. So please, if you know anyone who follows her, pass on this info.

You know Dana.....SHE WILL BE BACK!!!

Also, if you have any ideas on how she can protect herself in the future and still post a blog (which she enjoys immensely), please let her know. Thanks to all of you.

Update: Go into the comments section of Dana's last post for a message from Joe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some days work is actually fun.....

The other day, in the afternoon, this guy comes into the building carrying a bucket, some bottles and a small hose. He stands in the hallway looking a bit lost, looks up at the sign above the door that says "Supervisor's Office" and walks in. He looks at me and asks if this is the Supervisor's Office.

Now, the corner of my mouth twitched but I managed to hold it together as my mind was saying, "not the sharpest knife in the drawer, are ya?" I nodded solemnly that it was indeed the Supervisor's office. He then proceeded to tell me that he was going to be spraying for ants around the offices and the perimeter of the building. I let my eyes drift down to his shirt, which has his name embroidered on one side and the name of the pest control company on the other. I state to him that we usually have a different company do that and asked him if he was new. (since I only work part-time I don't know everything that goes on) He said he was and left to go about his job.

A little bit later he came back and handed me one of those digital receipt thingies where you sign with a special pen and it looks all shakey. I start to sign and then noticed that the address on the invoice was that of the library, which is the building on the other side of the parking lot from ours. I tell him about this and his reply.............are you ready? Here it comes.............
He says....."Oh....ya know, I was kinda wondering where all the books were."

I swear.....this is a true story. I figure it's one of the rewards you get once in a while to make up for the fact that you have to work. The maintenance man and I had a good laugh about it after the guy left, headed toward the library. LOLOLOLOL Keep Smilin'

Friday, June 24, 2011

A problem solved.....

My daughter's refrigerator quit working. It's never a convenient time for something like that to happen. Thank goodness she hadn't just shopped, but she still had substantial food in it that had to be thrown away.....which she can't afford to do.

I've been working a lot more than usual lately and she wanted me along....more for moral support than anything else because I really don't know anything about refrigerators....other than I hate to clean them out. Of course it's not as bad as it used to be before frost-free ones came out.

Anyway, her kitchen is very small and the space for the refrigerator is also very small. She was going to have to measure carefully because a regular sized one just would not fit. So, armed with said measurements, we decided to make it a fun day and we picked Thursday because its the only day off I have this week. The only things I could tell her was to make sure it was frost-free.....and I guess they all are now....and to make sure the store would take away the old one. Free delivery would be great but not every place would offer it. An ice-maker would be wonderful if it doesn't cost too much extra.

So we had breakfast first and enjoyed that. Then we set off to store #1. We've had a couple of bad experiences with this store before.....the salespeople there seem to be uncaring and rude. But we had been told it was a good place to purchase a refrigerator, so we decided to check it out. We were treated the same way as before. Once they found out that she wasn't going to be spending a sinful amount of money on one of those refrigerators that do everything but balance your checkbook, the salesmen were uncaring and lost interest. When they found out that she needed a particular size......they implied that no such size was available and she'd have to settle for a tiny dorm sized one that was ridiculous. One was even suggesting she rip out her cupboards to make a bigger one fit. She was upset and getting stressed and looked at me with a "what do I do?" look on her face. One thing about getting can say what you feel and get away with it. I simply said "let's go someplace else.....I'm sure we can find something better elsewhere" and I said it loud enough for the salesmen to hear it. We promptly left.

She sadly said that we'd probably have to go to this one store that boasted of their low low prices. She was sad about it because this store is located in a not very desirable part of town and being two women and a child.....we felt quite vulnerable. I didn't want to go there either. We started to head in that direction when I said....."you know, I just don't want to go there, let's go to this other place right here around the bend and see what they have and if they say the same thing, then we'll have to make some phone calls". She said ok and actually breathed a sigh of relief.

Store #2 had friendly employees and the salesman who took care of us was knowledgeable and low pressure. He had exactly what she needed.....the size was perfect; the same size as the one in her kitchen right now. To top it off, it was on sale, they will take the old one away free of charge and delivery is free, free, free. The only thing she did that I really didn't agree with is that she wanted it in black, like the one pictured. Since her kitchen is so small, I'm afraid that black fridge is just going to leap out like a big black bear.....but it's her I didn't say too much. The only thing that matters is that it will be delivered by next Tuesday and this is one major problem solved. Oh and by the rained all day long.....sometimes it poured rain, so it was not exactly a perfect day for shopping, but it ended well and we made a memory.

Update: Well by popular demand.....the name of the store where everyone was so friendly, courteous and knowledgeable.....and where we made the purchase.......none other than HOME DEPOT. Great Store!! I would not be afraid to recommend them to anyone. Never have I seen so many smiling faces under one roof. Good Job, Home Depot Employees! We'll be back.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

There is something very wrong here.....

Before I start on my rant.....something right happened. My FOLLOWERS are back! Just as mysteriously as they disappeared, (way back in January, I think) they are now back. So I'm happy about that!

Now back to the scheduled post ......
I took my ONE dog to the vet for her annual check-up and shots. I had already purchased her license in January. She is healthy....although not feeling very well today. I think its because of the shots yesterday. If she's not herself by tomorrow I'll have to give them a call.

Anyway, this visit set me back $ was more than last year because she was due for booster shots on two different 3-year shots. The actual office call was $42 and the rest was for tests and preventive medicine.

How many times do we see ads on TV and in the mail BEGGING people to PLEASE adopt a pet. I want to in the world can the average person AFFORD to have a pet with prices like this. According to the news media, The Humane Society is being criticized right now for putting down so many cats and dogs here lately. I guess just too many people no longer can afford their beloved pets and have left them off in hopes that they will find good homes.....causing serious over-crowding. The Humane Society states that they find homes for 100% of the animals left with them who are healthy.....but only 40% of those left with them ARE healthy. The other 60% are animals with health issues......and medicine is expensive. This is accounting for the pets left off with does not take into account the unbelievable amount of cats and dogs abandoned on the streets and left to fend for themselves. It's truly heartbreaking.

I know that I absolutely cannot afford to have more than one pet. Additionally, I feel bad because I can't really give her all of what she needs. Although they are not horrible, she needs to have her teeth cleaned before they DO get horrible..... and the vet charges $331 for this. Right now I'm brushing her teeth with (ugh) Chicken flavored toothpaste. She's really very good about me messing around with her mouth but it doesn't do the thorough job a professional cleaning would do.....however, its about $315 cheaper, so that's what I do. I know people who have 3 and 4 dogs......I just wonder how in the world they can afford them!

So right now I feel like I'm sitting on top of a mountain and just throwing money up in the air to watch it fly. It seems like every time I turn around here lately.....I'm having to pay out something big. The upgrading of my computer and a new battery backup was $250; fixing the back-room computer (older one for the grandkids) $150; the vet bill $325. Homeowner's insurance renewal payment $250. Retina doctor's payment; $150. My daughter's refrigerator quit on her and since she has NO money.....three guesses who will probably have to help her. And that also makes me think about my OWN refrigerator.....I can't really remember how old it is. (sending tiny prayers upward for its continued good working condition)

But I'm getting off track......back to the issue of homeless pets. I think we need to work on some sort of plan NATIONALLY to assure that people can have pets (a huge joy in my life, and I know a huge joy in the lives of so many others) without it costing them a small fortune. Adoptions are just not going to happen when people know that mandatory vet visits and shots are so expensive. I'm not looking for a hand-out.....I would volunteer some time to help out in exchange for getting a discount on the vet bill and required shots. What do you think? Does your state have organizations where pets can be taken for their shots at a much more reasonable price? The Humane Society here is supposed to be cheaper, but my daughter didn't think there was that much difference; it was still expensive.

I think a program should be set up where you can get a coupon for a discount at your regular vet's office. If you have to go to a different location, you know as well as I do that it will be crowded and long lines with pets in tow is not a good thing.....not to mention all the paperwork and medical histories on each pet. A nightmare! Make it available to anyone willing to give their own time, thus avoiding the cost of checking out financial history on each individual. I would be willing to volunteer my time doing something for so many hours to ensure that I could afford to get my pet all she needs. Now I just have to think of what jobs could be done on a volunteer basis with minimal supervision and no training required (which would be costly) that would save the state money, so they could justify paying toward your vet bill. know what? My ex-boss is now a Senator. I think I will write him and ask him to think about this. Please offer me some suggestions that I can put in my letter to him. Who knows....maybe Michigan can be the first state to start something that will become a National program, allowing many families the option of keeping their beloved pets instead of having to give them away because they can no longer afford them. The more hours you volunteer, the more coupons you get toward your vet bill. Please get your thinking caps on......and thank you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Have you ever wondered.....

about your thought processes? In other words, you're sitting there thinking about something and all of a sudden you WHY in the world am I thinking about this, of all things. So you start to put your thoughts in reverse and figure out how one thought leads to another and so on. It actually shows you how amazing our brains are.....and there really IS some reasoning to our thought processes. Sometimes, I get lost and I'm not able to take it all the way back....but its good exercise for the brain nevertheless. However, you can save yourself all that reversing if you wake up thinking of something and from there it just leads you off onto some path down memory lane.

I woke up this morning humming "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley. I can remember when that song first came out and my mother thought it was absolutely ridiculous and said it made no sense at all. Of course it went on to be a chart buster and helped push Elvis to the top and secured his title as "The King" forever-more. However, I also felt that the song really made no sense as well, but I was a "tween" at the time and I would have never admitted it, especially to my mom cause that would mean I was agreeing that she was right; plus that..... it really didn't matter. Songs didn't HAVE to make sense. I accepted that and, accordingly, the song has never made sense to me all these years.....until today.

Well, this morning I was thinking about that and also thinking about the lyrics. "You ain't never caught a rabbit, so you ain't no friend o' mine". All of a sudden, a light bulb went off. As I mentioned before, I loved to date boys from the south and did end up marrying one. He was from a poor family in the deep south. He told me many stories of his childhood and also about his dog, Charlie. Charlie was a big dog (think mix between shepherd, spaniel and coon hound....and lord only knows what else). The dog pictured, although not Charlie, is as close as I could find to what he looked like from photos I've seen. He was a typical southern sharecropper's dog, laying under the porch for coolness, chasing coons, keeping foxes out of the chicken house and following the kids around. Lots of different jobs: Protector of the house, snake killer and squirrel hunter......and also a good buddy.

My future husband (youngest boy out of family of 15), who I shall refer to as J.R., was about 9 or 10 at the time and his dad (who was SO very strict) gave him 4 shotgun shells and told him to go shoot some squirrels for supper. Now he knew that if he came home with all 4 shells gone, he had BETTER have 4 dead somethings to show for it. There was no such thing as wasting was expensive and they didn't have extra money to throw away. If he couldn't account for 4 shells being gone, he got a whipping.....a good hard one.

So he and Charlie went off into the woods to hunt. He had been shooting since he was old enough to pick up the shotgun and was a good shot, as most southern boys are. You can imagine the fear in his little heart when he missed a shot and the squirrel got away. He sat, leaned against a tree, 3 dead squirrels by his side, no shotgun shells left and Charlie sitting on his haunches facing him. The tears were flowing as he confessed to Charlie a whipping was surely waiting for him. He said that Charlie trotted off and came back in just a little while and dropped a dead rabbit next to him. He said that dog was a life saver that day. He had gone out and killed a rabbit and brought it back, just like he understood what J.R.'s fate was going to be. The boys always took their game home and, after showing it to their pa just so he could confirm the amount (if you only have 2 dead somethings you damn well better have 2 shells left), they gave it to their mama, who cleaned it and fixed it up for supper. He knew she would never tell on him, that there were no shotgun pellets in the rabbit because she hated to see her boys whipped for something like that.

Anyway.....the line about not catching a rabbit in Elvis's song, suddenly made sense to me. It had probably made sense to every southern boy in the world....but now it was clear to me. And that was my thought processes upon waking, this beautiful morning. Rest in peace, Charlie, wherever you're were a good dog and a true "friend" to a scared little boy. I'm wondering if Elvis had ever had the same experience. What do you think?

Friday, June 3, 2011

A learning experience.....

for me. I know you all have been waiting with bated breath to hear the ending in reference to poor Mr. M and his SS number plastered on the $20 bill.

I finally found the time to stop at my own bank (credit union) tonight after work. I walked in and asked for the manager and got the runaround so I figured he/she had left for the day. The teller who helped me asked if she could be of assistance rather than the manager. So I explained to her that I had received the 20 from their ATM machine in the lobby and what was written on it as I handed it over to her.

The nosy teller in the next window piped up and said that it was probably counterfeit as that's how they (the banks) mark counterfeit bills. My teller retorted "then how did it get back in circulation if it was turned in as counterfeit" as she tested it with her counterfeit detector pen. She then announced to the other teller that it was a good bill. The other teller then said a bunch of stuff to her, most of it I couldn't hear....but I did hear "because of that new ruling, we can't do anything about it; she'll have to send it in to the government herself and wait for them to make a decision on giving her another bill".

Thank goodness......some people still have compassion. My teller took another 20 out of her drawer and handed it to me. She said....."You shouldn't have to be out the money....after all, you got it from our machine. I'll figure out a way to take care of this, don't worry". And I'm not worrying about it because I know that she doesn't want Mr. M's info to get out there either. I thanked her sincerely.....for caring, as I gave the other teller the evil eye. (as only a post-menopausal mother can successfully accomplish)

This tells me.....and now I'm telling careful about the bills you accept. Looks like if you get stuck with a bad're exactly that....STUCK. ATM's are another story; I guess you're taking a chance every time you use one. The banks don't seem to care anymore unless you find that rare gem of a credit union employee, like I did. I hope she doesn't get in trouble with her boss for what she did. She did do the right know it and I know it. Rest easy, Mr. M.