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Apparently, some five or six months ago, LJ changed my default privacy setting without me knowing about it. I've been posting friends-locked posts and never even knew it. That pisses me the fuck off. I hate when systems make changes like that without your permission.

The down side of technology, folks.
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A few months back I had mentioned that Elf and I wanted to divorce ourselves from Bank of America and were looking at moving to a credit union. Well, we are on our way to finishing that divorce. It took longer than we expected because we pay a lot of our bills through EFT, and changing the EFT accounts differ for every single business (pain in the butt, let me tell you).

But even after the checking and savings accounts are shut down, we are still stuck with the Visa credit card at BoA until Elf gets a job, because neither one of us qualifies for a credit card from anywhere with him unemployed and me not making a cent of profit on my business.

So, in the mail about a week ago, I get this letter supposedly from BoA. I hadn't taken a close look at it until today. It stated that I might have experienced difficulty in using my PIN number for my credit card at an ATM (we never use our credit cards at ATMs) and gave me my actual PIN number.

Then it had a form at the bottom: PIN Code Request Form. This form gave me the option of selecting a new PIN number by writing it in the boxes provided

I immediately smelled scam, which became worse when I looked on the legitimate BoA website and could find neither the PO box mentioned on the return envelope nor the phone number listed. So, I called the phone number on the back of the credit card itself.

And I have discovered that BoA is not just idiotic, but dangerously idiotic.

First and foremost, the person I finally spoke to informed me that he couldn't find any indication that there were PIN declines on the system for my credit card, but they must be there because the system sent it out and he didn't think it was fraud. Then he went out of his way to assure me that if there was any fraud that occurred it wouldn't matter because they have excellent fraud protection on the account and would I like to change the PIN because they had several methods to do so...

I finally interrupted him to let him know that this is not what I needed to find out. I wanted to confirm that the letter in my hand actually came from BoA, because I would be very disturbed to find out that BoA was asking for people to change their PIN numbers in this manner. He didn't seem to get it at all. He also never asked what the phone number or PO box on the letter were, to confirm that they did, actually, come from BoA. He did state that as far as he knew the letter was from BoA.

What I got from all of this was:

1. The automated systems run the day-to-day operations of Bank of America. When the automated systems can be bothered to, they let the "ugly bags of mostly water" know some of what they do.

2. BoA doesn't seem interested in actually confirming whether mail fraud is taking place, just assuming that if the automated system said a letter had been sent, that the one in my hand must be it.

3. BoA is managed by a bunch of fucking morons who think that financial security means changing your PIN number by writing it in a set of little boxes, sealing it in an unsecured enveloped (that you can see through), mailing it through the unsecured postal mail, and finding it in the hands of who knows how many people before it is typed by the last person who, btw, now knows your PIN number, into the system.

DON'T EVER THINK THAT BANKING WITH BANK OF AMERICA IS A GOOD IDEA
omahas: (Default)
I've been meaning to post about this for a while, but this is my first opportunity. My coven has formed a group, A Magickal Life, to bring Maxine Sanders to America for a book tour and lecture.

This is an outstanding opportunity to hear from a woman who has lived the life of a Pagan Priestess, been part of the founding of a religious movement (the Alexandrian tradition), and made Neo-paganism part of household consciousness.

She'll be coming to Seattle and giving a reading from her new book, Firechild, presenting a lecture, and there will even be a party for sponsors, staff members, and volunteers with her.

Maxine will be here from August 21 through August 23, 2009. You can purchase your tickets for the lecture and the party right now at the website.

Man-buying

May. 19th, 2009 09:32 am
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Last weekend, Elf mentioned that I had stated that he had exhibited "the most ridiculous example of man buying" I had seen in a while...without, of course, going into detail. I was willing to let him get away with this until I saw his article today about Miller, and his desire to be "annoyed" with him regarding Miller's discussion of impulse buying and signaling.

Okay, Elf, now you've done it.

Because last weekend, Elf displayed the most egregious example of impulse buying I've ever seen, one which we stereotypically assign to woman, but interestingly enough in our relationship I rarely do.

He bought a leaf blower.

We were coming back from some event or other, and on the way back home, he saw a sign for a yard sale. "Wanna take a quick look," he asked.

I wasn't particularly interested, but yard sale season had arrived and, being a woman, I'm supposed to be enthusiastic, nay giddy with desire, so I said yes. Besides, it was a beautiful day, and it was a few more minutes away from teh kids.

Not surprisingly, the sale didn't have a huge amount there of interest. Mostly kids toys and clothes and such for children far younger than Kouryou-chan and Yamarrashi-chan. I spotted the leaf blower as we walked up to the sale and thought about pointing it out to Elf...I knew that he had been interested in one. But I figured that if he wanted it, he'd look it over himself. If not, we didn't really need to be spending money right now.

Well, we finished our perusal, decided there was really nothing of interest, and got back into the car, which was parked in the driveway. He pulled out, then glanced back at the sale as he started to drive away....and jammed on the brakes.

"Hey, they have a leaf blower!"

"Yes," I said, "didn't you see it? It was right in front."

He then immediately turned off the car and started to jump out. "Elf!" I called out. "What the hell are you doing?! We're in the middle of the road!"

"Oh," he replied. "Well, it's all right, there's nobody coming."

Aghhhh! "Elf, you can't leave the car here. Pull it over to the side of the street."

Grudgingly, he did so, then trotted back up to the driveway. He grabbed the leaf blower, ran his hands down it's loooooooooooooong black blow pipe....and told them woman he'd buy it. "How much is it?"

"$10."

My jaw dropped, not at the price (which was more than reasonable for a used leaf blower which starts at $50 or so), but that he'd make a decision like that without any questions or anything.

"Uh, Elf," I called from the car, "shouldn't you ask if they have a manual? Is it electric? Does it come with the cord?" Can you test it to make sure it fracking works??

He held it up. "It has a cord plug-in just like all our other ones...our cords will work with it." Totally missing the point, of course. The lady mentioned that she wasn't sure if she had the manual, and wouldn't know where to look. Am I the only one who keeps all the manuals for every device in my house in folders?

"I'll take it." Elf handed the $10 over, then hopped back to the car. I glared at him.

"I can't believe you just did that," I growled at him. "That was the most disgusting example of...of..."

"Man-buying?" he input.

"Yeah," I muttered.

Later, he went out and plugged the thing in. It seems to work fine. At least, he had no problems with it. After he was finished blowing the walkway and both driveways, he proceeded to blow the small private road we share with the other four families on the block. I walked out to him at that point.

"Enjoying your substitute penis?" I asked.

He grinned enormously, then stuck the thing between his legs. "Oh, yeah!"
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I logged into my Bank of America credit card account a couple of days ago in order to pay my credit card. Upon doing so, I saw that there was no link anymore between my credit card and my checking account...and no ability to pay the cc.

Thinking that maybe this had something to do with my other credit card (which had to be shut down and restarted in a new account because someone stole the info and was trying to charge stuff to it), I called up Bank of America to get some help. After being shunted through several people (and having to repeat myself every time), I was thoroughly annoyed by the time I reached the person who I should talk to.

She was an idiot. At first she didn't even listen to me, and got the facts wrong. When I tried to tell her she was incorrect about things and I was trying to correct her, she wouldn't at first stop talking. Then when I got across to her that yes, there are indeed two cards, and only one of them was shut down, and the other one is the one that I wanted to make a payment on and couldn't for the reasons I was trying to give her, she finally went into the damn account and started looking.

And told me that I would have to link the credit card account and checking account all over again because they had done an upgrade to the online accounts and wiped all of the links up between people's accounts. And she didn't even say it apologetically, or caringly at all. She didn't sound as though she cared a bit. I was furious, actually. Not that the upgrade had been performed, but that they (1) had wiped the account links and (2) that if they had to do it, they couldn't be bothered to send out an alert through their existing system to folks to LET THEM KNOW!! As she said, "people will find out when they log in to make a payment."

I am getting more and more interested in the idea of ditching Bank of America and moving to another bank. Elf has been interested in BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union). Thoughts?
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Dear Universe:

It was very amusing in the beginning, and I kind of liked being associated with our wonderful President so often. However, the amusement value has worn off, and the NRE is done.

YOU CAN STOP FOOLING PEOPLE INTO CALLING ME OBAMA NOW!!

Sincerely, Omaha
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I've created a community which, upon retrospect, is probably misnamed. Omaha's Writing Community kind of give's the impression that I've come up with a writing community for everyone to share their writing. Well, it's just for me to post my writing...to torment you, the reader, with, if you choose to join the community. The location is here. I'll have to approve your joining, it's not open to just anyone. So, if you'd like to read what I've written so far (and it pushes me to write more, which is good) go ahead and join. If you dare...BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
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Today we learned that Dinah, our beloved cat of almost 18 years, would have to be put down. She had too many medical problems, and the latest one would prevent her from eating properly at all...in the past week she was eating less and less, until the past two days she was eating practically nothing.

We just got back from the vet...VCA Five Corners runs a very understanding vet, and they were all understanding, and have the ability to check off taking the body home for burial right on the form. But it was so difficult, even knowing it was the best.

And now I have to leave on a trip for Macworld in San Francisco. Yeah, today was stressful even before this. Now, it's hell.

I love you Dinah.
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I had a very busy weekend. And not just because of the things that we as a family did that Elf blogged about. I'm talking about things that I did myself.

In which Omaha praises herself for a job well done. )
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I'm done with it.

I've spent the past two fucking days trying to do this properly, and over my lifetime, I've never gotten this right.

Never, in my existence, have I *ever* gotten a fucking homemade pie crust to NOT FUCKING SHRINK!! Not from scratch, not from a refrigerated dough!

I'm finished with this bullshit. For all of you in those stupid ass forums who wax on and on about how you can't figure out how people like me can't do a pie crust correctly because it's *so easy*...GO TO HELL.

Elf is off to get me a pre-made pie crust. Hopefully, it won't shrink while cooking the damn filling.
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I have one Puyallup Fair adult entry ticket that I'm willing to sell at 20% of the cost of the normal admission. That's $8 instead of $10 for thems that didn't grab their calculator fast enough. ;-) If you are interested, email me/message me through LJ or my email address. Remember, the fair goes until the 21st.
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'Nuff said.

Your results:
You are Spock
Spock
84%
James T. Kirk (Captain)
75%
Beverly Crusher
70%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
60%
Deanna Troi
55%
Jean-Luc Picard
55%
Will Riker
50%
Worf
50%
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
50%
Uhura
35%
Chekov
35%
Data
27%
Mr. Scott
20%
Geordi LaForge
10%
Mr. Sulu
10%
You are skilled in knowledge and logic.
You believe that the needs of the many
outweigh the needs of the few.


Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...

omahas: (Default)
Recently, at the RNC Convention in St.Paul, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga, was conversing with reporters and said:

"Just from what little I've seen of her and Mr. Obama, Senator Obama, they're a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks they're uppity."


When asked to clarify that he actually used the word "uppity", Westmoreland confirmed it. "Uppity, yeah," the newspaper The Hill reported.

Uppity. Means "self-important, arrogant". Originates from a late 19th century reformation of the word "up". As in, trying to move up from your current class because you think you're more important than you are.

Yeah, uppity has been associated with class wars for a long time. The fact that Westmoreland has used that term in association with the term "elitist" (which, btw, comes from French and Latin "to elect") means that the Republicans want the term elitist to be associated not with someone who is part of the electorate, but someone who is trying to move outside their class without permission.

An angry black man who is not in his place.
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Last night I was listening to the Democratic National Convention live coverage on a number of different radio stations as Elf drove me up to coven night. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton was about to give her speech just as we got there, so I couldn't hear it. I wanted to...I was interested in whether she intended on bringing the party together, and how she would do it.

Apparently, she made a very empowering speech (she's a Clinton, she can do that) and impressed many people. Including a certain delegate from Washington state, who was then interviewed on CNN.com about her thoughts. This delegate, who happens to be from my LD, spoke from the heart about her thoughts. She's a Hillary Clinton supporter, and expressed her concern that she wasn't certain if she could vote for Barack Obama, or would choose not to vote at all in the general election.

Now, beyond the fact that I really just don't understand this way of thinking (what on earth is so frightening about Barack Obama, folks...are you really that scared of change?!) there is the problem that she expressed these views on national television.

See, when one does something like that, expressing one's thoughts from the heart, in a charged political environment...well, you're bound to get responses. Pretty charged, explosive responses. Yeah, like 60 blogs in less than 12 hours talking about you responses. Like people seeking out which LD you belong to and sending emails to you through it responses. And of course, being the webmaster, I get to field the emails.

I'm not responding to the emails...that's the delegate's and possibly the chair's job. But I've read every one, and forwarded each one to the delegate and chair, and replied to the sender that their email has been received and forwarded on.

Most of the emails, as well as the blogs I've been reading, show an interesting trend. The delegate has become an icon of the African American vote (yes, she is black). Or rather, a representation in many minds of the lack of African American vote...handing the political process over to the majority white. Turning the African American invisible again.

I don't agree with the delegate's view on who to support. When I first heard Barack Obama give his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I turned to Elf and said, "That man is going to be president some day." I've been tracking him ever since, and supporting him from the day he announced.

I don't agree with the delegate's view about voting in this election. I think it's important that we Democrats support our nominated candidate. We had two excellent candidates, and if Hillary had been nominated, I would have voted for her...despite the fact that I have *very strong issues* with many of her attitudes and behaviors. My lack of vote really translates to a vote to McCain (since only those who vote will have an impact on who becomes president).

But the delegate apparently feels that withdrawing from the voting process gives her a voice for dissent regarding how she thinks Hillary Clinton was treated. Or maybe she really is just afraid of what change really means...once you open the door of change that Barack Obama represents, there's no closing it again (and dammit, I'll be putting a doorstop in there to make sure!!).

Unfortunately, when you express your views on national tv, everyone who hears you places their own expectations and views on top of yours, and the original thoughts can be blown out of proportion to a monumental degree. In less than 24 hours. And for that, I feel sorry for this delegate.
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I'm sitting in the SeaTac airport awaiting the call of my row. I'm heading to Las Vegas to attend the New Media Expo. I'm rather surprised. Actually, I'm very surprised...I've access to free WiFi. I've never had that here before. What a pity I only got access to it for about ten minutes.
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I'm sitting in a Tullys (bless them for free wifi throughout the day; this, Starbucks, is why I spent the week at Tullys instead of with you...LEARN SOMETHING), and am reading Elf's brain today, specifically about the anti-gay Alabama A.G. who is rumored to have been caught by his wife playing "hide the salami" with his male aide. And in a pathway that is too complicated and insane to repeat to you, I started thinking about how we, as a country, are so stuck on religion as our platform for delivering a moral/ethical value system.

It occurred to me that religion doesn't do that at all. Beyond the formal term "religion" really being meant to refer to a spiritual system that has become "corporatized" complete with policies to follow, possibly a book to guide the adherents, priests to "lay down the law" as it were...even beyond that, calling religion just a spiritual system, still, we in this country actually don't use it as our basis for our value system.

We have a value system set apart from religion/spirituality. In fact, we determine which religions are "legitimate" in this country *based* on this non-spiritual/religious value system. Many in this country claim that we follow a "Christian-based" value system, but that is wrong, because not only has Christianity changed over the years and centuries, while our value system has in fact gone in different directions, but Christians in this country practice the faith differently from Christians in other countries.

In other words, our non-religious value system *molds* the religions that it comes into contact with to become more like itself. This is the reason that we feel so uncomfortable with religious groups that refuse to use medicine to treat their dying children, rather using prayer (which *does not work* without medicine...even medieval monks knew that!), or groups that force totalitarian dictatorships upon their cult groups, or groups that try to spiritualize science by removing all of the facts that they don't agree with. Because all of these violate our values systems in this country.

And that is the message that we need to get out to push in the face of the religious-right which strives to claim only one religion has cornered the market on values, ethics, and morals in this country.
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I am having some loan documents overnighted to me tomorrow, but they might not make it to me until after business hours. I was wondering if there were any in my circle of friends and area who were notaries, or knew notaries that worked after 5 pm? Thanks muchly for any help. :)
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I use LinkedIn for all sorts of things. It's turned into a very important resource for me. Not only does it provide me with lot's of connections to people I know in various industries, but allows me to connect with lot's of people I wouldn't ordinarily be able to connect with that I could use the resources of. An invaluable resource for me, I would say.

LinkedIn has a great feature...the ability to ask a question. You can ask that question of just those directly linked to you, or the general community. Today, I popped onto LinkedIn to locate contact info for a guy I wanted to interview. And there, on the right hand side, in the "popular questions of the day" category...

...Was a question by Barack Obama!

Holy Shit, Barack Obama asked a question on LinkedIn. Holy Shit, Barack Obama has an account on LinkedIn! These were all of the thoughts that went through my head. It was a great question..."What ideas do you have to keep America competitive in the years ahead." (If you have an account, hop on and go answer it if you have ideas...I'm sure you do ;)

Oh, and he's three degrees away from me in the community, which means that someone who is linked directly to me is linked to someone who is directly linked to him. Wouldn't take much to get directly linked. Heh.

McCain...this is the reason why being aware of computers is not enough. Being aware of the Internet is not enough. You need to use them, to really understand what their power is. You are old, sir, and I don't mean that in the physical sense either. I know a lot of 80 year olds that have more current technological savvy then you do. You are behind the times, and you are unwilling to even attempt to catch up. You don't belong as President of this country.
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Ordinarily I don't touch ads with a ten foot pole. But this one was sooooooooo sweet..I just had to share...

omahas: (Default)
This morning I woke up, ready to move forward with a busy day. I had a lot of work, plus a meeting in the early afternoon, and Kouryou-chan had ballet after school.

Unfortunately, my brain chose to get in the way. Around 10:30 am it decided to have a seizure....a pretty serious one. I busted my lip. Not sure how, I had enough of a warning that I got to lie down on the floor...must have banged my face against the floor. When I woke up, I was sitting in my chair in front of my computer again. I let [livejournal.com profile] elfs and [livejournal.com profile] fallenpegasus know what happened (I was talking to them online at the time) and cancelled my afternoon meeting. Then it was off to bed, where I slept for about 5 hours.

I'm still tired, and my head still hurts a bit. Ibuprofen is your friend. :/
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