Archive for February 27, 2018

Warning to Widows/Widowers & Others

My husband passed away over a year ago, but I’ve been keeping his email account open to tie up loose ends.  I was about to close it yesterday and discovered that his credit was still available.

I had frozen my credit at all three agencies but left his, thinking that it would disappear after he died.

The problem here is that our credit info was on each other’s  report, since we co-borrowed, for example, home and auto loans.  I started to wonder, then, if someone could access my information through our shared data and gather enough from it and elsewhere to steal my identity.  Nobody that I asked could answer for certain if his open credit could help lead to my identity theft.

So I froze his credit yesterday. Considering how lax at least one of the credit reporting agencies has been in guarding our information, I felt it would be a good idea.  Especially since older persons and widowed persons are often targets of financial scams.

You might want to freeze your credit, too.  Even if you aren’t widowed.  You can unfreeze it if you need to apply for a loan or new credit card.  Be sure you do so at all three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.  It’s easy to do online.

Be safe.

 

Kindness of Strangers

This short video reminded me of all the the times I, as a disabled person, have experienced the kindness of strangers.  People really are created in God’s image.

Pass it On

Pass on your magazine or newspaper to someone else as you leave a coffee shop or anywhere people wait for services—bus stop, barber, office, etc.  It helps them take up wait-time, keeps you from lugging the already-read material around with you, keeps the item from going into the trash awhile longer, and may save a tree!

[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000 or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]

How to Get Away with Raping a Child

It’s easy in some states–just marry the child.  Child marriage is legal in all states, leaving an “out” for someone caught abusing a child. Next week, Florida will possibly be the first state to ban this practice.  It’s about time we stop this crime against American children and close the loopholes that some lawmakers want to keep open.

Go to America’s child marriage cover up to read more and sign a petition to ban child marriage in Florida.  It may not be your state, but the ban has to start somewhere, and politicians respond to being put into the national spotlight.  Another thing you can do is to contact your own state’s representatives and demand that they introduce legislation to enact such a ban.

For the sake of the children.

 

Wisdom of Lincoln

In honor of Presidents’ week, let’s let our 16th President give us our Thoughtful Thursday quote: 

“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” — Abraham Lincoln

 

Lost from our Childhood (For Fun)

If you’re 60+ this will bring back memories.  If you’re younger, it should give you a chuckle. If you’re a teenager, it will give you ammunition next time an adult tries to tell you that you should speak English, like they grew up doing. [Thanks to Linda Younts for sending me this, which I’ve slightly modified.  She knows how much I love word-play.]

Lost Words From Our Childhood, words gone as fast as the buggy whip!

  • Mergatroyd! as in Heavens to Mergatroyd!
  • Jalopy…as in I drove a jalopy when I was young.
  • Hunky Dory…as in I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle

Then there are those expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology:

  • Don’t touch that dial
  • Carbon copy
  • You sound like a broken record
  • [He was] hung out to dry

And how we’d describe people and actions:

  • [He has] a lot of moxie
  • [We’d put on our best] bib and tucker [to] straighten up and fly right
  • [We accused people of being] a knucklehead [or] a nincompoop, [or] a pill
  • [He’s] in like Flynn [and] living the life of Riley
  • [I wouldn’t do that]–not for all the tea in China!
  • We’d see signs (and write graffiti saying “Kilroy was here”

Or all those expressions now replaced by “the ‘F’ word”:

  • Heavens to Betsy!
  • Gee whillikers!
  • Jumping Jehoshaphat!
  • Holy moley!

We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” or “This is a “fine kettle of fish!’” we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed as omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.

My comment: I wouldn’t mind going back to an era when we had a whole bunch of expressions rather than a few socially questionable ones that try to cover all situations–and fail.

Fake News isn’t New

I stumbled on this article at a time when I was gritting my teeth over a “news” story that had been emailed to me by a friend, who got it from her friend, and so on and so on.  My friend is an intelligent person, but sometimes she blindly accepts as factual what she receives from a friend she trusts.   (I used to do that, too.)

This article from FactCheck.Org, How to Spot Fake News, offers a list of things we can do to be sure that what we’re reading or hearing is true.  I’ll list them here, and you can go to the article to read detailed explanations of each.

  • Consider the source.
  • Read beyond the headline.
  • Check the author.
  • What’s the support?
  • Check the date.
  • Is this some kind of joke?
  • Check your biases.
  • Consult the experts.

I know it seems  like a lot of work.  But it’s worth it if we can nip rumor and misinformation in the bud so that we can know, and act on, the truth.

 

Did You Know This About Our Previous Presidents?

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I offer you some fun facts about a bunch of Presidents.  Maybe you can work some of them into cocktail-party conversation.  These are a few of the ones you’ll find at Presidents Day Trivia: Facts About The 45 US Presidents.  I just thought we needed to lighten up for a day on the men who have occupied that esteemed Oval Office.

  • Warren G. Harding had feet sized 14.
  • Martin Van Buren is the one who popularized the use of the term “OK.”
  • Lincoln’s national historical park has a building with 56 steps, one meant for each year he lived before being assassinated.
  • During the Civil War, Rutherford B. Hayes was wounded four times in battle.
  • James Buchanan is the only president to not have a wife while in office. Grover Cleveland started at the White House single but later got married in office.

Stop Dangerous Flare-Ups

You’ve seen them, either in person or on TV–bursts of smoke and flame from oil and gas stacks.  This process of “flaring” burns off wasted…wait for it…METHANE.  Yes, they put hazardous,  health-endangering methane into the air people breathe.

But doesn’t the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management oversee this to protect us?  Yes and no.  Soon possibly mainly no.  Because that Department has proposed weakening what protections currently exist.  Leaving the way open to more flaring, which means more methane into our air to poison it and increase the threat to life.

Read more about this and sign the petition to the Secretary of the Interior to urge him to oppose this proposal.

Heads Up–Be Aware!

Events of this week–and of many other previous weeks with similar events–make it imperative that all of us stay alert for signs of mental illness and report them when we see them.  Tell the person’s family, physician, clergy person, teacher, principal, police…anyone in a position to intervene before it’s too late.  Think of it this way: there are likely others who, like you, have noticed the signs but questioned your own judgment and so did nothing.  We learn after, for example, each school shooting that people had noticed.  What if they had said something?

The following is directly from Warning Signs of Mental Illness, an article by the American Psychiatric Association.

 

Signs & Symptoms

If several of the following are occurring, it may useful to follow up with a mental health professional.

  • Withdrawal — Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others
  • Drop in functioning — An unusual drop in functioning, at school, work or social activities, such as quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems thinking — Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
  • Increased sensitivity — Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
  • Apathy — Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity
  • Feeling disconnected — A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
  • Illogical thinking — Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
  • Nervousness — Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
  • Unusual behavior – Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior
  • Sleep or appetite changes — Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care
  • Mood changes — Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings

One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness. But if a person is experiencing several at one time and the symptoms are causing serious problems in the ability to study, work or relate to others, he/she should be seen by a mental health professional. People with suicidal thoughts or intent, or thoughts of harming others, need immediate attention.