Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sam’s Just A Good Guy, Ya Know?

I just love it when I don’t have to think of something clever to write about………..from my e-mail, I bring you…….

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Pet Care Credit America, (PCCA)

5425 Wisconsin Avenue

Suite 600, PM 614

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815

 

Attention,

 

The Pet Care Credit (PCCA) was established in year 2000 as a non-profit organization to financially assist great pet owners and rescue organizations with veterinary medical costs in times of crisis. Our board members are a dedicated group of great pet owners and fanciers with extensive backgrounds in the breed. We are committed to providing funding resources for pets that are in dire need of medical attention and whose owner/rescuer finds they are unable to cover the basic costs of veterinary care.

 

We have received tremendous donations from our Rich Pets Owners nationwide; the organization also began rewarding the pets via the Cash Relay Program. Through these two programs are to proudly help our pet owners re-unite, more than $50,000 was received from our rich pet owners to reward 100 Pets Owners.

 

Pets Care Credit America is building a nationwide network of animal and pet advocates through the use of the PCCA, the Facebook page, and other private efforts both online and offline to continue building our community and reuniting pets with their owners across the country. We are pleased to inform you today 25th Sept, 2012, you have been selected among the lucky members to receive our cash reward for your pets. We have pledge the sum of $1000.00 as gratitude to your pet. We are happy with pet lovers and we will like to send our support to you in form of a cashier check, please advise us on the name and address where we can send this reward to you. Also, this reward must be used as expenses for your pet only.

 

Your support allows us to grow and build our network as well as increase awareness and our capacity to help. Please use the form below to receive a reward payable via Money Order/cashier check to lost dog founder and be sure to share our site with others.

 

•Name on Check:

• Address:

•City:

•State:

•Zip Code:

•D.O.B:

•Home Phone:

•Cell Phone:

•Email:

•Gift Amount $1000

 

May we thank you publicly in our blog

 

Sincerely,

Sam Duncan

President, PCCA

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Awww…isn’t that thoughtful of ol’ Sam here?  Of course, this is just another scam in a looooooong line of scams, and you know what that means, right?

 

It’s time for “Fun With Scammers!”

 

Of course I checked out their Facebook page mentioned in the e-mail.  They don’t have one.

 

Shocking, I know.

 

Then, it was time to craft a reply:

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Sam,

I am so deeply touched and honored by your gratitude for my devotion to my pet rock.

Coincidentally, rock’s name is “Rock”.  I toyed with using the name “Boulder” or “Granite”, you know something to boost his ego, but since he didn’t seem to have a preference I selected “Rock”, because I secretly suspect he’s a big Rock Hudson fan.

Whenever a movie starring Rock Hudson comes on the television, Rock sits very still the whole time.  I’d say that’s a pretty good indication he’s a fan, wouldn’t you?

Rock is also the best listener I’ve ever met. I can talk to him for hours, and I know he will listen intently, never interrupt me, and always be a solid buddy I can truly lean on.

I have several pictures of Rock, but if I send you one I know I’ll want to send them all, and you’re probably a very busy man who doesn’t have time to look at pictures of pet rocks all day.

If you do want a picture, though, just let me know.

There is only one thing about Rock that is slightly disturbing, and really I think it’s the reason most people don’t go for the pet rock thing. He’s a cannibal.

He eats pebbles, there I said it.  He’s also been known to eat gravel, and when I can’t afford anything else he eats sand.  He loves to nibble on sand, and I often give it to him as a treat when money is plentiful and the gravel and pebbles flow like wine..really clunky wine, but you get the idea.

Your $1,000 will go towards purchasing the finest river rock pebbles money can buy.  Rock really loves the smooth ones that are sold for decorative purposes. 

One more thing Rock loves is taking trips.  He sits on the dashboard of my car and never moves.  He’s truly an excellent traveler, so I think I may use some of the money to treat him to a long-awaited vacation on the beaches of Florida.  There, he can graze on the sand and soak up the ocean…literally. 

I cannot tell you how much this gift means to me and when I told Rock I believe he vibrated with excitement!

Or maybe we hit a pothole – we were in the car at the time – either way, I could tell how very excited he was.

Below is all my contact information, please forward my money order as soon as possible.  Now that I’ve told Rock about this honor, I don’t want to disappoint him.

Sincerely,

Natasha Bzychiewkski

2784569 Cellblock C

Leavenworth, KS 56890

01/01/75

No home phone

888-555-1212 – cell

anywho@yahoo.com

p.s. I tried to ‘like’ your Facebook page, but was unable to locate.  I think Rock’s been playing on my computer while I’m at work – he’s clever like that – and may have done something to the Facebook-thingy.  Whatever, I’ll figure it out, but you may thank me on your blog publicly so long as you mention Rock, too.

p.p.s. Are you sure you don’t want a picture of Rock for your blog?

Ostentatiously Pretentious, or Pretentiously Ostentatious?

I have been hugely irritated by something for a reaaaaaaaaaaaalllllly long time, and you folks are the recipients of my diatribe.

Yay you..and me.

What in the name of all that is pretentious is up with a) subdivision and b) street names anymore?

We may have subdivisions names:

*Preston Oaks, Preston Hollow, Preston Hollow Oaks,  The Lakes, The Lakes on Preston, The Lakes on Preston Hollow, The Hollows on Preston Lake, The Lakes on Oaks at Preston Hollow, and The Lakes on Preston at Oaks Hollow.

And that’s just the N. Dallas area.

There are streets named:

**Arbor Trails, Rolling Meadow, Trails End, Arbor Glenn, High Meadow, Blue Glenn, Arbor Blue Trails, Glenn Rolling Meadow, and End Arbor Blue Trails.

And those may all be found in The Lakes on Oaks at Preston Hollow.

None of the above involve hollows, oaks, prestons, lakes, arbors, trails (okay, maybe trails are involved), glens, meadows, rolling, blue, or high.

This is prairie-land.  Stretching as far as the eye can see, a ‘hill’ is anything a foot above the ground.

So why all the pretense?

It irritates the hell out of me and always has.  Do we really have to think we’re so uppity, in our tract homes, to have high-brow sounding names for our neighborhoods and streets? 

Honey, as my mama says – a house is a house is a house, in Bent Tree or Bee Tree, the only difference is the price you pay.

And, for all our *creative* use of words meant to evoke the Scottish Highlands – good grief, there is actually an area here called “The Highlands”…it’s not – we suck at naming cities.

***We have:

Flower Mound – I imagine the naming went like this:  “Bob, what will we call this lovely patch of land?” Bob, looking at the pile of dead petunias in his yard his wife just removed after they died from the heat, “I know! We’ll call it ‘Flower Mound’.”  The rest is history.

Grand Prairie – it’s flat, it’s big, it’s a grand prairie

White Settlement – yes, it is named for what you think it’s named for, but no longer applies…of course.

Oak Cliff – and by ‘cliff’ we mean a rocky hill, overlooking the highway

Cedar Hill – the lone survivor, a cedar tree sits on a hill three feet high

Farmer’s Branch – some guy named Farmer cut down a branch one day……….

I’d about given up all hope of ever finding one neighborhood that was properly named, that would evoke the kind of feelings that would make me want to live there.

Until one sunny day in October one year, when I was traveling the southern portions of the Metro-OMG-does-it-ever-end-are-we-in-Mexico?-plex and I passed a big sign carved into rocks marking the entrance to the most epic and amazing and I-want-to-live-there neighborhood of all time.

Sleepy Hollow the sign proclaimed. 

The entrance was overgrown trees, shrubs that needed a trim, and even a few flowers here and there. There was ivy partially covering one of the signs.  It looked lovely, dark, deep, and creepy.

I had to see this.

I turned around as soon as I could and went back to Sleepy Hollow.

I was not disappointed as I inched my car along the twisty, turning, switchback-like roads that took me deeper into its dark recesses.  Oak and Maple and other benign-sounding monikers adorned the normal-looking street signs.

It was very quiet.  I saw not a soul, I could see birds flitting from huge oak to huge oak and it got darker as I drove further, turning down road after road, until I began to wonder if I’d be able to find my way back out of this seemingly-endless subdivision.

It was all very Sleepy Hollow-esque, but the best part was the houses.  I swear, if Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t actually design some of these homes, he was definitely an influence on the person who did.

The entire place was, in a word, awesome.

And then, I had to leave and I drove past The Lakes on the Shore of Glenn Trails, and didn’t see lakes, shores, glens (okay I did see a couple of guys, one of them could have been named Glenn) or trails and it was back to reality.

*there may or may not be subdivisions bearing these names…if there aren’t there soon will be

**ditto about the may/may not on the street names

***these are real towns…the explanation for their naming…meh…maybe

Remember Last Week? Yeah, Me Neither…

But apparently I promised the answer to the burning question…what the hell is that?

It’s corn.

No, really, it is.

Thanks for playing and y’all are all winners in my book.

 

Quick, Take a Guess!!

On what this is:

…oooooh…pretty….

And then tell me in the comments what you think it is……extra credit for, ahem, *creativity*.

I’ll tell you what it is on Monday.

No, you don’t win anything for this.

I mean, yes..yes you do.

You win the Internets!

Good luck with that.

Excerpt One, Chapter One

Dad took the pencil in his hand and stared blankly at the paper.

“Daddy, draw a clock face.”

Nothing.

“Mr. XXXXX, do you know how to draw a clock face?”

“I don’t never draw nothin’.” Dad said, shoving the paper back at the doctor.

“Okay, I’ll start it for you.” The doctor said, as he drew a circle on the paper, and slid the paper and pencil  back across the table to Dad.

“You can do this, XXX.” XXXX said and I gave her a look that would wilt flowers.  She stopped before saying  anything else.

I put my hand on Dad’s arm, and gently said, “Daddy, it’s okay.  This isn’t a pass/fail kind of test.”

I’m finding that as I begin to write the memories and feelings come flooding in and overwhelm me.  I’ve decided that instead of my usual write-as-you-go style, I’m going to start writing down notes and points to plot on the timeline.  For some reason, it’s important to me that I get things as they happened in order…..I mean exactly, and I’m working mostly from memory here.  Dad’s girlfriend is nowhere to be found, but my sister is helping fill in some fo the gaps.  I think she’s as excited about this project as I am.

Bye, Bye, Blackbird

I watched the most fascinating hour on The History Channel (one of my favorite stops on the dial) very early last Saturday morning.

And I ended up in awe.

And pissed.

Really, really, really pissed.

And sad, too.

It was the story of the “Blackbird”, the United States’ revolutionary, amazing, mind-boggling feat of engineering – the SR-71 reconnaissance (spy) plane that debuted in the early 1960’s.

She’s a sexy beast, ain’t she?

It flew at speeds greater than mach 3, and at altitudes reaching 80,000 feet.

And it was the brainchild of the amazing Kelly Johnson, just a kid from Ishpeming (don’t you just love that name?) Michigan, who took many challenges on, and is probably best known for his Blackbird.  

With slide rules, protractors, lots of pencils and many erasers, Mr. Johnson and his team set about meeting the challenge of creating an aircraft that left virtually no radar ‘footprint’ and could fly so fast that by the time a SAM (surface-to-air-missile) was loaded and launched the airplane was already way past the target area. The Blackbird could gather recon images so amazingly clear that individual license plates on vehicle were easily read….from 80,000 feet at over 1,000 miles per hour

Let that soak in for a minute.

I could go into the details of the SR-71, but that’s not what this rant is about.

I wanna know, dammit, where the hell are all the geniuses?  The people who could go out into the wilderness with a pocket knife and build a shopping mall, or sit at a conference table with other geniuses and design an over-the-top spy plane.

Those types.

Where.Did.They.Go?

That’s what I kept thinking as I watched the special.

Where are all the smart people?

Granted, there are some and innovations are still being made.

But, it seems nowadays they’re geared towards the individual and less for the greater good.

The iPhone 5 was just announced, and so what?  Will it make us safer?  Will it take pictures at 80,000 feet, traveling at over 1,000 miles per hour?

No, it’ll just make Angry Birds work faster on a larger screen.

Tesla, Edison, Einstein, Shelby, Wright, Carrier, Ford, Goddard, Sikorsky, and Cousteau – to name a few – were all brilliant minds of the 20th century and they gave us everything from practical applications of electricity to the first scuba gear.

In the 21st century?  We have a birth control patch, the glorified scooter called a ‘Segway’ – remember that hype? – and a log for your fireplace made from coffee grounds.

You see how we’ve gone from greater good to individual gratification?

What has happened to us?

And by ‘us’ I mean collectively, as a race, what has happened to humans? 

Are we lazy? Complacent? Self-centered?

I submit we are all of the above.

We can’t turn back the clock, but if we could I’d outlaw the personal computer.

It’s a pet peeve of mine, and even as I use one every day I’ll take a good book or a History Channel documentary on an amazing airplane, over the automated machine that is useful as a tool and Lord, please save me from the day it ever becomes my master.

And, yes, the irony that I’m a self-centered blogger bent on sharing my every thought with the world via a personal computer is not lost on me for a moment.

I said I use the tools, I didn’t say I liked using them.

I’d also like to believe there are smart people out there, who never read a blog and instead are wondering around the wilderness, pocketknife in hand, scouting a good place to build a shopping mall.

I Don’t Know How to Respond to That

Sometime during the years we had four teenagers in the house, the kids and I developed a unique method for communicating.

3 X 3 Post-it notes left on the kitchen table, morning, noon or night were just big enough for quick notes, pleas, questions, etc. between me and the strangers sharing our house and using all the damned towels.

Not exactly heartfelt, soul-searching types of communications you see in Lifetime movies, but we got our points across.

Until the day that my oldest daughter left this one on the table:

“Mom, where k-y?”

I must admit I had no idea how to respond to a request for K-Y from my then 17-yr. old daughter.

Of course, my first reaction (okay, second reaction – my first was why is she asking me this question) was to Google chastity belts  – they still exist, I went against one of my own Internet rules here and actually asked Uncle Google about ‘chastity belts’, knowing there’s not a ready vat of brain bleach on the stove this morning ::shudders:: that’s how much I love you people – but quickly decided that was just a tad bit too Middle Ages even for me.

Instead I responded on my way to work that morning with:

“??”

And waited all day to find out the answer.  Was my baby girl involved in some kind of kinky activity that I really didn’t want to know about…even though I had to? If so, did I really believe she’d leave me a long note about her new job as Busty McChesterson and how it was a vital tool of ‘the trade’, and didn’t we keep a supply and if not, why not?

The mind raced, back and forth, all day.

When I got home, I raced to the kitchen table to see if I’d gotten a reply.

I had:

“Key”

I bought a bigger Post-It note pad the very next day.

Desperate Times

It appears that things have gotten pretty bad at the headquarters of Scammers R Us.

 This e-mail arrived in my inbox and I detect a subtle threatening tone.

 Or, am I just being paranoid?

 I’m pretty sure this is from my airport-lost courier from a while back and he’s running out of cash for Starbucks. 

 I feel his pain, but I’m not going to give him any more money.

 Tough love, baby. Look it up.

 Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division Fbi Headquarters In Washington, D.C.

Federal Bureau Of Investigation

J. Edgar Hoover Building

935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001

Website: www.sunshineandrainbows.gov

 

Attention Beneficiary

 

 

FBI OFFICIAL NOTICE? GET BACK TO US IMMEDIATELY IF YOU DONT WANT US TO ARREST YOU AND JAIL YOU FOR YOUR OWN GOOD

 

This is the final warning you are going to receive from us. I hope you understand how many times this message has been sent to you?

 

We have warned you so many times and you have decided to ignore our e-mails is it because you believe we have not been instructed to get you arrested, today if you fail to respond back to us with the payment details below, then we would first send a letter to the MAYOR of the city where you reside and direct them to close your bank account until you have been put jailed and all your properties will be confiscated by the FBI, CIA and other enforcement agency. We would also send a letter to the company/agency that you are working for so that they could get you fired until we are through with our investigations because a suspect is not suppose to be working for the government or any private organization.

 

Your ID which we have in our database have been sent to all the crimes agencies in America for them to inset you in their website as an internet fraudsters and to warn people from having any deals with you. This would have been solved all this while if you had gotten the CERTIFICATE SIGNED, ENDORSED AND STAMPED as you where instructed in the e-mail below. This is the federal bureau of investigation (FBI) am writing in response to the e-mail you sent to us and am using this medium to inform you that there is no more time left to waste because you have been given a mandate. As stated earlier to have the document endorsed, signed and stamped without failure and you must adhere to these directives to avoid you blaming yourself at last when we must have arrested and jailed you for life and all your properties confiscated.

 

You failed to comply with our directives/instruction and that was the reason why we didn’t hear from you, as our director has already been notified about you get the process completed yesterday and right now the WARRANT OF ARREST has been signed against you and it will be carried out in the next 48hours as strictly signed by the FBI director. We have investigated and found out that you didn’t have any idea when the fraudulent deal was committed with your information’s/identity and right now if you ID is placed on our website as a wanted person, I believe you know that it will be a shame to you and your entire family because after then it will be announce in all the local channels that you are wanted by the FBI.

 

As a good Christian and a Honest man, I decided to see how i could be of help to you because i would not be happy to see you end up in jail and all your properties confiscated all because your information’s was used to carry out a fraudulent transactions, i called the EFCC and they directed me to a private attorney who could help you get the process done and he stated that he will endorse, sign and stamp the document at the sum of $180 usd only and i believe this process is cheaper for you.

 

You need to do every possible thing today and tomorrow to get this process done because our director has called to inform me that the warrant of arrest has been signed against you and once it has been approved, then the arrest will be carried out, and from our investigations we learnt that you were the person that forwarded your identity to one impostor/fraudsters in Nigeria when he had a deal with you about the transfer of some illegal funds into your bank account which is valued at the sum of $10.500,000.00 usd.

 

I pleaded on your behalf so that this agency could give you till 25/7/2012 so that you could get this process done because i learnt that you were sent several e-mail without getting a response from you, Bear it in mind that this is the only way that i can be able to help you at this moment or you would have to face the law and its consequences once it has befall on you. You would make the payment through western union money transfer with the below details.

 

NAME: BALEY  LAMIN

ADDRESS:  LAGOS NIGERIA

TEXT QUESTION:IN GOD

ANSWER: WE TRUST

AMOUNT: $180

Senders Full Name======

Sender Full Address:====

MTCN:=========

 

I particularly liked the part about how the FBI has a sworn warrant for my arrest, even though it’s apparent I had no idea I was perpetrating a fraud. 

I also like the fact that I’m supposed to send $180 to Baley Lamin in Lagos, Nigeria.  That’s it, no other address.  I guess the postman in Nigeria just wanders the countryside calling out the names on the envelopes until someone answers.

No wonder the money these people promise me never gets here. My address is way too specific for them.  

So Far – Prologue

Okay, this is what I have so far….

Prologue –

Daddy’s death was a shock.  Not in the fact that he died, but rather in the manner in which he died.

It wasn’t all rainbow-pooping unicorns where the dying patient simply slows their breathing and then stops altogether all the while looking like they just stepped off a magazine cover.

It was brutal, raw, loud, excruciating to watch and is now forever emblazoned on my heart and my brain.

In some ways, the heartbreak of watching him die was a lot like the heartbreak of watching him leave me when I was six years old.

The difference being that even at six I knew he was just a phone call away.

Now, his body lays in a grave in a national cemetery. Daddy was a U.S. Army veteran during peacetime, and he served because it was expected of him.  He left when his four years were up, and he never looked back. 

He did that a lot.

Never looking back.

The one exception was me.

He tried hard not to, from the moment when Mom told him she was pregnant and he responded with “Shit! I don’t want kids”, to the years he avoided being anything remotely resembling a father, he tried very hard.

I think by the time my half-sister came along, Daddy had resigned himself to the fact that sometimes you are a father like it or not.

Not that much effort went into her upbringing either.

Still, we loved him white hot and fierce because..well, because that’s what most little girls do.  They worship, adore and love their daddies with complete abandon.

So, it was with us.

And, it made this journey so much harder than either of us thought it would be.

This isn’t a tribute to a doting father.  This is a raw, real, sometimes funny, look at what it’s like to deal with an 8-yr. old who shaves.

 

Here Goes Nothing!

Last week, I took a poll to see if you people thought I should write a book.

According to the poll, I’ll sell at least ten copies if I can get this thing written and find a publisher interested in it.

No, I will NOT self-publish.

Yes, I’m a snobbish bitchy-writer who refuses to even consider vanity publishing.

I’ll keep you semi-posted, because I’m finding the task not so much daunting as painful.

I write a line, grab a tissue, wipe the tears and proceed.

I do this over and over.

I’m running out of tissues.

Thank you, really..no, really, thank you for believing I can do this. 

I’ll mention all of you on my dedication page.  You’ll know I mean you, because it’ll say “To all of You”.

So, here goes nothing and if my posts here are sporadic, remember you only have yourselves to blame….or thank.