September 14th, 2014
This afternoon, Kelly showed me what she thought was a realistic looking phishing email she received. Upon further examination, however, we realized it was a legitimate fraud alert sent from our credit card company.
I quickly called the customer service number on the back of my card and learned of a fraudulent charge put in today to Xoom Corporation, a wire transfer company of some sort based in San Francisco. Within minutes, a new credit card was being sent out and the fraud charges declined. This was the card we were sent only in February as a replacement for the Target credit card breach, so it lasted all of 7 months before being compromised. Nice.
With all the news about Home Depot’s recent, massive credit card breach, I first wondered if the company was to blame for my fraud instance. In actuality, I almost never shop at Home Depot. The last time I did was February 1st and that was using my previous credit card. Read the rest of this entry »
September 13th, 2014
Despite all of the negatives in their lives—the stress, the unhealthy lifestyle, the meager social life, the financial challenges, the pop culture oblivion, and the longing for younger days—parents still find themselves happier. We can’t prove exactly what drives these numbers. I have good friends who are physically unable to have kids, which no doubt affects their happiness. Some people choose not to have kids because of other hardships in their lives. And, surely, lots of unhappy parents only say they’re happy because they think they’re supposed to.
But maybe joy indeed doesn’t just have to come from extrinsic things and fabulous social lives—it can come from the adventure of raising a family, from teaching and nurturing others, from sacrifice, and from unconditional love.
via Hands down, people without kids have better lives—except for this one major thing – Quartz.
September 12th, 2014
‘Dissent is Patriotic” sign overlooking the World Trade Center.
I took an eye-opening cab ride on a business trip to New York several years ago. It wasn’t the driving that raised my hair as much as the topic of conversation. My cabbie, a native English speaker, had a tale to tell about the 1996 attack on the World Trade Center. It was his opinion that someone higher up had allowed that bombing to happen, since a gigantic security rule was broken when the van that was detonated was allowed to enter the parking deck.
“I drive my cab there all the time,” he told me. “I know where we people are allowed to park and where they’re not allowed to park.”
I challenged the cabbie on this but he was insistent. “No way. That couldn’t have happened in a million years without someone higher up approving it,” he said.
At the time I chalked it up as a tale from an overly imaginative cab driver, but it wasn’t long before news broke that the FBI was deeply involved in a supposedly botched sting operation in which fake explosives were to be switched in at the last moment. Whoops!
Here’s Dan Rather’s report on CBS the night of October 28, 1993:
I don’t recall hearing that any FBI agents lost their jobs after fucking up a sting operation, bombing a building, and killing six people. Do you?
Fast forward to today. Another 9/11 anniversary has come and gone and even 13 years after the event I can’t help but feel awkward pausing for a moment of silence. It isn’t that I’m not saddened by the loss of lives on that terrible day, it is the way that event is continues to be described as a terrorist attack. There has never been any doubt in my mind that the official narrative of 9/11 is complete bunk, and I must admit that every year my certainty grows.
We lost a lot more than 3,000 lives that day, in my opinion we lost the republic. That truly deserves a moment of silence.
Read the rest of this entry »
September 12th, 2014
Wedding bliss, 1999
Kelly and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary yesterday. For a little romantic night out, we spent our evening with a few hundred other Ligon Middle School parents at the Open House. Hey, at least we were together and, to be honest, it was fun! We’re going out tomorrow night for a romantic dinner.
Above is a scan of a wedding photo we’ve had on our shelf almost since our wedding day. The color may have faded but the love is stronger than ever!
September 11th, 2014
Look, I’ve said it before and I still believe every word. ISIS represents no threat to the United States. None.
Are there terrorists in this world who would like to give us a bloody nose? Absolutely. You know what? You’ve already surrendered an astounding amount of your personal privacy in the name of enabling agencies to reduce that threat. Stop being so eager to bend over and give the little that remains. You’re already going through ridiculous rituals at airports and government offices and museums and bus stations and football stadiums and probably at the local Gymboree, all designed to give you the illusion of safety at an immense cost in both time and money. You’ve already given up everything from the privacy of your phone calls and emails to the ability to take some shampoo on the road. Don’t get out the checkbook to buy more nonsense.
via My fellow Americans, please stop being idiots.
September 10th, 2014
I’ve got a business idea brewing in my mind, an idea for a consumer safety device. Might even be patentable. I’ll have to see how far I can go with it, starting first with building a prototype. Like I don’t already have enough to do.
September 10th, 2014
I got my lab results on Monday. They all look perfect – everything is right down the middle of the acceptable ranges. I’m as healthy as a horse … except for the weird. unexplained twitching I experienced.
Fortunately, the twitching has almost totally stopped since the family bike ride we all took on Sunday morning. And my muscles are not feeling as tense during the night, giving me a better night of sleep every night.
As nice as the clean labs are, though, it doesn’t really explain what happened. As it appears to not be an issue and my doc is satisfied I suppose I’ll just chalk it up to a mystery for now.
September 9th, 2014
How do dogs violently shake their heads when they’re drying off without giving themselves concussions? It makes my head hurt just watching them yet it never seems to faze the dog.
September 7th, 2014
Our first rum in Jamaica
This is part two of our vacation to Jamaica. Read part one here.
While my bag wasn’t waiting at the baggage claim, a bag very similar to mine was there. I realized quickly that my bag most likely made it to Jamaica but got mistakenly carted off by another passenger, thinking it was his. I checked the address tag on the bag and got the name of the owner, a guy from Pittsburgh. It seemed only a matter of time before he realized his mistake and I would be reunited with my bag.
The family and I went outside the airport and met our pre-arranged taxi at the curb. Our driver, Byron (which he pronounced “Barry-um”) kindly drove us to the hotel and provided us tips about what we should see. Zipling, snorkeling, and a trip to Blue Hole were all discussed. Byron offered to be our tour guide for a day at Blue Hole or the nearby city of Ocho Rios for a flat fee. We took his card from him as he dropped us off at the Holiday Inn Sunspree, about 10 minutes east of the airport.
Read the rest of this entry »