Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thursday Thirteen

1. Some weeks Thursday creeps up on me and here I am, with nothing to write. Then I have to do what I'm doing today - just fly off the cuff and hope something comes to me.

2. A book I listened to recently split a character in two and gave her two parallel lives. This was a nod to the theory of the multiverse. Listening to a book that utilizes this was a bit difficult, but not impossible. (The book was Maybe In Another Life, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, if you're interested.)

3. As I understand multiverse theory, and this may be incorrect, I am not looking it up, what happens is that with every decision you make, because there's a choice, the "you" in another multiverse makes a different choice. That splits into a new universe where that person continues on. 

4. While this seems like it may be possible, if you follow it through, that means every micro-nano-second of your life, you're splitting into pieces and creating new universes, because don't we make decisions practically every second?

5. Much of what we do is habit - but it's a still choice as to whether you wash your hair the same way, or not. So, theoretically every little second there would be a split, ad infinitum, on and on, because each one of those splits would go on to make decisions and create new universes, too, while you're still creating new universes.

6. As Sheldon said in The Big Bang Theory, in one of those universes I am probably a clown. As in the kind that dresses up in a suit with a big nose, not the snarky somewhat sarcastic person I actually am sometimes.

7. I have often wondered where my life would have gone had I made different choices along the way. What if I had not decided to go to the high school football game where I met my husband? Most likely he would have met someone else and he would be married to another woman.

8. And me? Maybe I would have gone on to become a college professor, or a lawyer, or maybe none of those things. Maybe I would have met some other man and married him. Maybe I'd be a bag woman living under a bridge. I have no way of knowing.

9. Isn't this what fiction is, sort of? We fall into a different world when we read fiction, a whole other universe, so to speak, even if the fiction is not fantasy or science fiction. It's still a fictional world with fictional characters. 

10. Or is the writer subconsciously channeling a life being led by some alternative person created by some decision made when he or she was five years old? Are we aware on some level that we're creating different worlds - or are we losing parts of ourselves in this process? Shouldn't there be a gain and a loss to even things out?

11. Fortunately for me, I am no quantum theorist, I just know about this because I read a lot and I've seen it come up in various things. They talked about it some in The Big Bang Theory, too. I wonder how many people know more science from watching that show. I know I do. I just hope it's good science.

12.  Maybe ghosts are actually other universes that somehow bisect with our own, some place where there's a thin veil and the worlds cross over. 

13. And then there's the concept of time. I doubt it would be the same in each universe, so in some universes maybe it would be pre-industrial times, and in others maybe it would simply be hunter-gather land. Some would have to be in the future, wouldn't they? Or not. I don't know.

Weird things to think about. I should read a book about it sometime when I have time.


Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while, and this is my 856th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Red Alert

Since the beginning of the year, we've been notified of security breaches with our bank, our insurance agent, a doctor's office I hadn't been to since 2015, and now ATT.

Some of these companies offered free monitoring through one source or another. We signed up for them.

Last night, my husband received a notice that his Social Security number was on the dark web (whatever that is), and along with this information was a list of other information available with his number.

The problem was the other information wasn't his information. It was someone else entirely.

After a 50-minute wait on the phone, my husband got an agent with the monitoring company, who told him that the criminals on the dark web create names and addresses to go with the Social Security number, and then sell that information for who-knows-what nefarious purposes.

And there was nothing they could do, the agent said. We could only take some precautions that were already outlined in the email that alerted him to this potential problem.

This morning, I spent several hours first reviewing our credit reports and then implementing credit freezes and fraud alerts on our information. I keep up with this stuff fairly well anyway, but this was an engrossing detailed look at everything. It was a pain in the butt, but I am happy to report that I didn't find anything amiss.

But that doesn't mean something couldn't be amiss a little further down the road.

There is no escaping this kind of thing in this country, because we have politicians who do not believe in regulating companies so that they would have to say, actually implement good hacker protection on their accounts. It is beyond comprehension to me to know that my bank was hacked, for example. The bank should have better protection. Plus, they didn't even offer any monitoring. They just sent a letter that said too bad, so sad, your tough luck. 

My insurance company and ATT should have had better protection, too. However, I guess they saved money so that 73 million of us could now worry about whether or not our credit or our good name was being stolen.

Sometimes, your name is all you have. You shouldn't have to defend it, yet here we are.

In any event, we must all be diligent. Things are falling apart, and we must take care. Watch our backs, so to speak. Maybe watch your friends' backs, too.

Here are steps you can take to protect yourself:

1. Create a mySocial Security account with the Social Security Administration to claim your SSN and prevent others from doing so.
2. Review your earnings on your Social Security Statement to ensure accuracy.
3. Obtain free credit reports from and check for unrecognized accounts or charges.
4. Monitor your bank and credit card accounts regularly for any unauthorized transactions.
5. Set up a fraud alert by contacting one of the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.
6. Consider a credit freeze with the three credit bureaus, which makes it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name.
7. Additionally, it’s important to update your passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for an added layer of security. If you suspect any fraudulent activity, report it to the authorities immediately.

For more detailed guidance, you may want to consult with a professional who specializes in identity theft protection and recovery. However, I don't have any idea how to find one of those professionals and neither does anyone else, I suspect. If you know, let me in on the secret, please!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sunday Stealing

1. What have you been the most ignorant about in your life?

A. How food works and interacts with the body. I still haven't figured out how a little tiny brownie turns into 3 pounds.

2. What in the world would you most like to see protected?

A. Women's rights as human beings.

3. How do you waste the biggest chunk of time each day or week?

A. Internet

4. Who is the scariest person you've ever known?

A. I've met a lot of politicians. Many of them are/were scary, especially at the state and federal levels.

5. What was the job you enjoyed the least?

A. Parts manager.

6. What thing about your family are you the most proud of?

A. My father built up a decent business.

7. What kind of power do you want most?

A. I would like to be strong-willed, not weak-willed.

8. What's the best piece of advice you ever received?

A. I don't know. Wear clean underwear all the time, I guess.  

9. What's the thing you know the most about?

A. I am a Jill of all trades. I know a little about lots of things, but not necessarily a lot about one thing.

10. When were you most moved by a ceremony?

A. I don't remember. 

11. What is the best gift you ever gave to someone?

A. A bird feeder that takes pictures.

12. What is the cruelest thing you've ever suffered?

A. Really? I'm not going there.

13. What's the single nastiest thing you've ever done to someone?

A. I don't do nasty, at least, not intentionally. I try to be a nice person.

14. What problem do you think is most common among friends your age?

A. We're all getting old and we creak.


I encourage you to visit other participants in Sunday Stealing posts and leave a comment. Cheers to all us thieves who love memes, however we come by them.

15.    What is the strongest craving you get?

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Saturday 9: She'd Rather Be with Me

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this week's song we learn that this particular girl would rather be spending time with her lover. Instead of answering these 9 questions, what would you rather be doing?

A. I enjoy answering the questions, so there really isn't anything I'd rather be doing at the moment.

2) Lead singer Howard Kaylan was a very good student. First, he won a Bank of America Fine Arts Award, then he was the valedictorian of his graduating class, and was awarded a scholarship to UCLA. Tell us about something that distinguished your high school career.

A. I graduated 4th in my class of 252 students, I was in the National Honor Society, and I was chosen to speak at graduation.

3) Howard Kaylan formed this week's group, The Turtles, with Mark Volman. They met while performing in their high school choir and continued working together for 55 years. Are you still in touch with old friends from high school?

A. Sort of. I connected with many of them in 2011, when we had our 30th reunion. I see their posts flit across my Facebook feed from time to time. Sometimes what I see are obituaries. We are growing old. Also, my husband and I attended the same high school, though he graduated four years ahead of me. I see more of his friends than I do my own.

4) First Daughter Tricia Nixon was a big Turtles fan and brought them to the White House to perform for a private party. They almost didn't go. When the engraved invitation came, tied with ribbon, the boys thought it was an elaborate practical joke. Have you ever successfully pulled off a practical joke?

A. A very long time ago, my father had a band. They were playing music in a parking lot across from the high school. It was a hot day and there was little to do except listen to them play and I'd heard them often. I wandered around and found some tarry asphalt and rolled it into rolls so that it looked like black licorice. I innocently went up to one of the band members and asked him if he'd like some licorice. He accepted. I stopped him before he put it in his mouth. His girlfriend lit into me like I'd committed murder. I just laughed at her. She was really mad, though. I'd have never let him eat it.

5) The Turtles' bass player was Chip Douglas. He left the band in 1967 to produce The Monkees. It's Chip that Davy Jones refers to at the beginning of "Daydream Believer" ("What number is this Chip?" "7A!"). What's your favorite Monkees song?

A. Last Train to Clarksville is the first one that comes to mind.

6) The Turtles broke up in 1970. Pressure from their record label to do more and do it cheaper was just too much of a hassle. But Howard and Mark continued to work together, renaming themselves Flo and Eddie. They sang backup on records by Frank Zappa, Alice Cooper and Bruce Springsteen and on children's TV shows like The Care Bears. Backup work provided less money but more fun. Given the choice, would you rather do a job that paid well that you didn't enjoy, or a job you liked that earned you a smaller paycheck?

A. I would prefer to do work I like. That is basically what I did. It didn't pay well, but I don't regret it.

7) In 1967, when this song was popular, the RMS Queen Mary was retired after 31 years of service. Now docked in Long Beach, the ship has been refurbished with state-of-the-art wifi, satellite hookups, and projection screens and is a popular choice for conventions and annual business meetings. When were you most recently on a boat or ship?

A. We toured a warship when we were in Charleston, SC. The USS Yorktown is on display there for tourists and visitors.

8) Also in 1967, Elvis married Priscilla. You don't need last names to know who we're talking about, do you? Can you think of another couple with whom the world is on a first-name basis?

A. Lucy and Desi, Barrack and Michelle, George and Barbara, Sonny and Cher.

9) Random question: If your phone were to ring right now, who do you think would be calling?

A. My brother.


I encourage you to visit the posts of other participants in Saturday 9 and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

For the Birds

The winds last night howled so that I thought the end of the house was going to rip off the foundation. I do not recall such winds in my youth. Now it seems that every time we get a front through, the winds are right behind.


I have been watching the eagles at Big Bear in California attempt to raise a clutch. The eggs were not viable and did not hatch. They should have hatched around the first of March. Now it is mid-April, and last night was the first night one of the eagle pair did not sit on the nest. One of the eggs broke yesterday morning, and that seemed to be the end of it. Jackie, as they call the female, had given up on the eggs about five days ago, but Shadow, as they call the male, was determined to continue attempting to raise chicks. He began sleeping on the nest at night. But last night he roosted in a nearby tree with Jackie. When I check the live feed now, I see two small eggs, half buried in nesting material, and a backdrop of a beautiful lake and mountains. It's a lovely view to look at, but the eagles made it interesting. They are quite personable, and each has its own way of doing things. They both like sticks, however, and generally returned to the nest each time with a stick to add to the pile. I don't know if they will continue to add sticks and work on the nest over the summer. From what the moderators of the live feed say, the female is only able to lay eggs from January through March. I will check in occasionally to see what's going on.


We have another bag of feed for the birds, one we bought some months ago. We usually stop feeding them about now, but last year we attempted to carry over a bag of feed and it molded. So once the wind stops blowing, we need to fill the feeder again so we can rid ourselves of this bag of food. Once it is gone, the birds will have to wait until late September or early October for more goodies. The bird feed is too expensive to waste.


And let's end this weird little post on a lovely note: