the new year…60s,70s,80s way

Russian Rainbow Gathering. Nezhitino, August 2005

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You might think I’m referring to the psychedelic era when the flower children came into their own….and I’m not referring to “keikis”… Hawaiian for offspring. You remember the young men and women donned in breezy shirts, slacks and skirts, fresh flowers stuck behind their ears…eyes glazed over from smoking joints of “pot, ” better known as marijuana. Or some even strung out on LSD.

No, no, no. Think…hearing aids, dentures, heart surgery, spandex, grandchildren, “snowbirds.” Okay, now you’re getting the picture. Seniors and baby boomers are those to whom I’m referring…in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Rather than spend the entire New Year‘s eve comfortably vegetating, my husband and I decided to accept a neighbor’s invitation for hors d’oeuvres, and dinner at a local restaurant afterwards. While they’d been to our home…to celebrate last Christmas…we’d never been to theirs. I was eager to join them because they’d just married in the spring. They are a wonderful couple, so deserving of a second chance at happiness…he’d lost his wife a few years ago and she’d been divorced for some time. I found it so easy to love them both.

We had a merry time, noshing  and visiting with old friends and new acquaintances. My husband and I were given a tour of a remodeled bathroom so that we could decide whether or not to use the carpenter who’d done the job. And we probably will, if he’s not overly-booked.

italian food

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Dinner at an Italian restaurant was the perfect ending to an already festive New Year’s Eve celebration. Seated on my right side was a new acquaintance who informed me that her family regularly vacations at Napili on Maui. Owning a timeshare, they’ve loved the sun, sand, and casual life I’d known having been born and raised on that island paradise. However I was unprepared for the news the woman imparted as we continued to talk.

Within the last couple of months she’d had her purse stolen while vacationing on Maui. Having forgotten it in the shopping cart at a grocery store, the purse was gone when she returned to fetch it. She spent several hours with the police sorting out the details. Upon returning home, another crime…more cynical…awaited her.

Playing bridge on the internet was something my new friend enjoyed doing. In the midst of a game she got a phone call. As she talked…a hacker broke into her computer and made off with…everything…credit card info, bank info, email addresses. Needless to say it took paid technicians to right the wrong, after her son’s attempts at doing so proved futile.

On top of her own problems, this warm-hearted lady is also dealing with her 93-year-old mom’s health issues as well.

 Embracing when we said our goodbyes, we were like 2 islanders who’d shared delicious food, savory wine, and a good time…”talking story”…pigeon english for “telling stories.”

…new year’s…new friends…new routine…not bad…

Signs welcoming visitor the Paia, Maui. Under ...

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Hippie bug!

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………hugmamma.  🙂

choose your weapon…(part 2-read last)

Cellphones

Image by Stéfan via Flickr

In my rush to publish this information I posted the problem before the solution. So if you haven’t read at it again…cyber crooks, click on the title and get the low-down. Then come on back for author Sid Kirchheimer’s suggestions for tackling these no good, freeloading…!#%&*…so and so’s!!!

So here’s your defense:

  • Don’t reply. Even sending a “remove” or “stop” response to a smishing text tells scammers that your number is active, meaning you may get more messages.
  • Don’t click on links in texts sent to you by unknown parties.
  • Block suspicious numbers. Your cellphone provider may be able to block numbers wher the texts and calls originate.
  • Your bank is texting you? Look up its number yourself–don’t trust the one provided in the text–and call.
  • Don’t store credit card and account login information in emailos or notes on the phone.
  • Set your phone to time out and lock after a short period. If it’s stolen, thieves won’t get personal information.
  • Install updates. When you receive a bona fide notification of an upgrade to your phone’s software, install it immediately. If you doubt the message is legitimate, call your cell or app provider.
Show Me Your Cellphone Wallpaper

Image by Sister72 via Flickr

…advantages…and disadvantages…to everything…including cellphones…

………hugmamma.

 

superheros…come to life?!?

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have been singled out for protection by real superheroes, not the make-believe ones of comic book fame. In its February 25, 2011 edition, The Wall Street Journal carried an article entitled “Bam! Pow! Superhero Groups Clash In an Epic Battle of Good vs. Good.” I knew I wanted to share this story so I added it to a stack of other articles I’ve been collecting.

I was mystified by the thought that real people would risk their self-esteem, not to mention their lives, wandering the streets of Seattle and Portland, bedecked in costumes that would surely have citizens chuckling, if not laughing out loud. Phoenix Jones will appear at Crypticon May 29thPhoenix Jones, a 22-yearold-day care worker, changes into his black-and-gold outfit at night, to walk Seattle attempting to “harass drug dealers and break up street fights.” This, it seems, is not as big  a deal to Jones as having to deal with “his latest nemeses: members of the ‘Real Life Superhero (RLSH) movement.’ ” So what’s the beef? Evidently they don’t like Jones’ confrontational style, or rather they don’t like that he’s getting all the publicity because of it.

World-wide RLSHers include grown men posing as Zetaman, Knight Owl, Dark Guardian and Mr. Raven Blade. Trying to convince the communities in which they serve that they’re the “real deal,” not geeky comic-book charachters, they feel their efforts are compromised by Jones’ physical approach. They prefer to carry out charitable works like delivering food to the homeless, rather than bring attention to themselves personally. They want to be “a force for good in the world,” and as such do not give out their names.

Real Life Superheroes, who seem to favor masks and dark clothing–sometimes emblazoned with homemade logos (like the Superman “S”)–exist in pockets all over the world. Some like Knight Owl and Thanatos, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, typically focus on charitable activities.

Others, such as New York’s Dark Guardian, patrol areas known for drug activity–a bit like the city’s old subway-riding Guardian Angels. Dark Guardian shines lights and takes videos to try to deter crime nonviolently, and he makes emergency calls to 911.

“Mostly, they’re relatively normal people trying to help out and have a little fun along the way,” says Tea Krulos, a Milwaukee writer working on a book about them.

Phoenix Jones, on the other hand, interjects himself into situations.

A mixed martial-arts fighter, he broke his nose last month while breaking up a fight, and he says he has been shot and stabbed, too. He often travels with a posse, sometimes carries a Taser nightstick and tear gas, and repeatedly has himself been mistaken for a criminal.

On a particular Friday evening Jones, accompanied by 3 men, Buster Doe, Pitch Black and Ski Man, a superhero-in-training, and a female, Blue Sparrow, walked Seattle’s streets. Obliging night spot patrons, Jones posed for photos outside the establishments but admitted that it “distracts me from my mission.” Turning to the task at hand, he “chastised a man for yelling at a downtrodden passerby. ‘Let’s keep it cool; let’s all have a good night,’ he said to the man, who quickly backed down. ” To those hanging out in areas frequented by drug dealers Jones remarked ” ‘Stay safe tonight,’ he said. ‘Stay warm.’ ” One thing was clear when he and his posse couldn’t catch a car driven by a suspected DUI, their inability to fly was a definite disadvantage. Jones admits to feeling foolish in his superhero get-up when he does little in the way of crime-fighting.

The EYE

While Seattle Police Detective Mark Jamieson congratulates the efforts of citizens getting involved, he is concerned about situations going awry. ” ‘Our concern is that if it goes badly, then we wind up getting called anyway, and we may get additional victims.’ ” Zetaman, a Portland superhero, feels similarly. After an evening of late-night patrolling in Seattle by both Jones’ group, the Rain City Superheroes, and Zetaman’s Real Life Superheroes, the leaders and their groups have gone their separate ways for good. Jones makes his position clear when he says ” ‘I don’t see the point in handing sandwiches to homeless people in areas in which the homeless are getting abused, attacked, harassed by drug dealers.’ ” And Zetaman charges back with ” ‘(A)ll of us are afraid of one day someone is going to get killed and it’ll be all over. … I don’t need this kind of macho c_ in my life and I don’t need to prove myself to anyone, least of all to Phoenix Jones and his Rain City Superhero Movement.’ ” Superhero Knight Owl makes a good point when he said ‘We’re not one giant family, … After all, we’re a colorful collection of individuals. We’re superheroes.’ “

how I wish superheros were real.

 

heavens to mergatroid!!!…………real life?…………or reality show gone amok?!?
………………………….hugmamma.

“geotagging,” wordpress.com

Geotagging

Image via Wikipedia

My blog buddy, scriptorobscura, alerted me to another potential “geotagging” hazard. And it’s on our blogs. Yikes! We’re all grown ups so I guess wordpress.com felt each one of us should decide our own fates. We can opt to have our whereabouts tracked through our blogs, or we can “pull the plug” on that particular feature. It’s up to us. Here’s what scriptorobscura had to say.

One Response to “internet theft,” geotagging scriptorobscura says:

March 5, 2011 at 4:28 AM (Edit)

Thank you so much for alerting all of us to this and for sharing this valuable and sobering piece of information with all of us. This is something that everyone needs to be aware of.

By the way, if you have not already, you can disable (or make sure it is already disabled!) geotagging on your WordPress blog (gasp! did you know that blogs had geotagging too? Egads!) by going to your dashboard, clicking on users, then clicking on personal settings, and then unchecking (unticking?) the little box on the uppermost right hand corner under the heading My Location. Phew!

Hope this helps Huge, huge hugs for all the information that you share with all of us…thank you so much for what you do…

One Response to “geotagging,” wordpress.com scriptorobscura says:

March 5, 2011 at 9:29 AM (Edit)

By the way, I forgot to say that after you uncheck the little box, you have to click on the “save changes” button on the upper left to make sure that your preferences are saved! Otherwise it might still permit geotagging on your blog!

                                                 

we’ve both “got your backs”…hugmamma.  😉

 

“internet theft,” geotagging

Motorola L71

Image via Wikipedia

A good friend sent along a warning about geotagging.” The use of some cameras and cell phones, like the smart phone, to take pictures, can inadvertently track down your whereabouts. Posting them on the internet, gives computer-savvy thieves the opportunity to retrieve the tracking information imbedded in the photos. Jewelry pictured on Craig’s List can be targeted for theft, because the seller’s exact location can be determined with the use of a computer. The same applies when a child’s picture is posted, or the family pet, or household furnishings.

The obvious question we have to ask is which products are rigged for geotagging? I guess retailers would need to be asked that question. The second question owners of these devices must seriously consider is whether the risk of home invasion, or worse, is worth a few seconds of acclaim on the internet.

The Fortunes of a Street Waif, an illustration...

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My final question, a rhetorical one, is why don’t these thieves get their own lives? The amount of time and energy they give to stealing another’s identity, or belongings, or both, would be better spent creating their own legacy. Given one brand new life to live at birth, why trash it for someone’s’ used life, used things? I guess the only viable answer is that the work is too hard, and gratification is a long-time coming.

If you’d like a word from the experts, click on the following link to view the video that was part of a TV channel’s news broadcast. It might be worth the few extra minutes.

FYI…Here’s a news clip about the geotagging capability on some phones/cameras:

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=7621105

definitely something to contemplate…hugmamma.   

more bad news, unless you take action

Sorry to be the bearer of so many “beware” notices. But as I said in the “spokeo.com” post, “I’ve got your back!”

On the local evening news, viewers were alerted to the fact that car break-ins aren’t because the thieves want to make off with your car. No! They’re looking to steal your identity! Most of us leave the original copies of our vehicle registration and car insurance safely ensconced in our glove compartments or consoles, right? Wrong! Evidently the thieves are hijacking those documents so that they can become…US.

Police are suggesting that car owners take said documents with us when we leave our cars unattended. Okay…

looks like i’ll need a bigger purse…but what about the guys?…there might be a resurgence in the market for male hand bags, like in the 70s?…hugmamma.

“spokeo.com,” selling your personal info

Had coffee with friends Mary and Amy who still attend Kristina’s exercise classes. I vowed that I’d be back soon. Need all that bumping and grinding to keep my “plumbing” in top notch working order. Anyway…

Mary informed us of a very interesting and scary bit of info.  Amongst many online sites that are probably making money off of our heretofore private information is one called “spokeo.com.” My friend explained the rundown of personal data the site had amassed on her, her husband, and their 2 daughters. After gasping in disbelief, I whipped out my notepad to take some notes. Mary proceeded to inform us how we could opt out of “spokeo.com.” At least they give you that!

I’ve successfully removed one of my files. I need to repeat the process for another, and then do the same for my husband and daughter. Of course doing so doesn’t extract my information from other websites guilty of the same identify theft, but it’s a start.

So here’s how you can proceed to follow our lead if you like.

  • Go to “spokeo.com”
  • Type in your name.
  • Select from among the choices offered. (There are 2 other people blest with my name, or something akin to it.)
  • After you gather your wits about you, scroll down to the very small print, and notice “privacy.”
  •  Before clicking on “privacy,” however, take your cursor to the top of your screen’s left hand corner where you’ll see the URL for your profile. Copy it. Then click on “privacy.”
  • “Paste” your URL in the area indicated.
  • Type in your email address so that “spokeo.com” can confirm that your profile has been removed from their listings.
  • Finish by typing in thecode word provided.
  • You will be instructed to visit your email address.
  • You will be asked to click to confirm that you desire removal.
  • VOILE! Your personal info will be returned to your safekeeping…until some other site makes you a “star.”

Maybe I’m a real novice to internet intrigue, but with a little help, no, a lot of help, from friends, and family, I can hang onto my innocence a little while longer. And if you want my help? Hey! I’ve “got your back” too!!!

why can’t people think of ways to make money without underhandedly mooching off of others?…hugmamma.

“dave’s killer bread,” or saying no to “bread on drugs!”

My favorite bread to go with my favorite peanut butter featured in my 1/12/11 post? Robust Raisin by Dave’s Killer Bread! It’s 100% whole grain with 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 700 miligrams of Omega 3 fatty acids in each slice. Yes, there are 10 grams of sugar, but it’s a treat for me since I’ve reduced my sugar consumption considerably. I refrain from pigging out on candies, pastries, cookies, cake, ice cream and sugar in any hot beverage. I’ve even cut way, way back on having sweet, alcoholic drinks. No more lemon drop or sour apple martinis. Boo hoo, poor me!

I’m a sucker for a good story, and Dave tells a great one about redemption, his.

I was a four-time loser before I realized I was in the wrong game. 15 years in prison is a pretty tough way to find oneself, but I have no regrets. This time around, I took advantage of all those long and lonely days by practicing my guitar, exercising, and getting to know myself–without drugs. To my utter amazement, I started liking what I was seeing. It’s been said that adversity introduces a man to himself and I found this to be true. If I had not suffered, I can safely assure you that you would not be reading the label on a loaf of my killer bread. A whole lot of suffering has transformed an ex-con into an honest man who is doing his best to make the world a better place…one loaf of bread at a time. DAVE DAHL

Dave goes on to describe his brand of bread.

When I set out to make a killer raisin bread, I knew it had to be healthier than any other raisin bread out there. I designed it to be 100% whole grain with loads of tasty, nutritious seeds. And like all killer breads, it needed to be organic and free of animal products. That was easier said than done, and this product is the result of a lot of trial and error. Try it, I think you’ll love it. DAVE

Google “Facebook/Dave’skillerbread” to become a fan. Follow him on Twitter: @killerbreadman. Get the whole story: www.Daveskillerbread.com/story.

for sandwiches, i like dave’s killer bread “21 whole grains,” 5 frams fiber, 6 grams protein, and only 4 grams sugar…yummy…hugmamma