The Bane of My Existence

Once again modern technology is making me insane. I thought computers and the internet are supposed to make our lives easier, but no, not so. Every day we use the internet to shop, do online banking and surf thousands of search engines for things like more shopping. Almost every place you go out there in cyberspace to do business has you set up a username and a password all in the name of security. And of course all of the IT gurus tell us to create a different unique password with capital and lower case letters with numbers and special characters at least a million characters long for each time we create a password. Some tell us to use a phrase such as, “Mary had a little lamb” but change some of the letters like this, “M2ryh#daLIT*&%-098b” to make it even more secure. Good luck remembering that one.

I don’t know about you but I have a bunch of passwords to remember. There is my work password to sign on to my computer, the password to sign on to my payroll, taxes and vacation, password to sign on to my health insurance benefits, retirement account, bank, and multiple shopping websites. Passwords, so many passwords to remember and of course you only get three tries before the web site locks you out. I bet hackers and identity thieves get more than three tries. So what’s a memory challenged internet user to do? Write down all of my different passwords, but then where do you store them, in a file on the computer? What if you get hacked, can the hacker find the password file and now have access to your whole life? Do you write it down on a piece of paper? If so where you hide it so only you know where it’s at and still have easy access? Or do you use one the password managers that come with your firewall protection software?

But I’m not so sure those are the best option either. I used one of those password managers and it forgot the password for the website I tried to use. Can you believe it, I logged on, my username and password populated perfectly, and evidently it was not the correct password. I even tried the “forgot password” button and it took me to a screen that wanted my phone number, are you kidding me, my phone number, what about my email address? I have no idea what phone number I put down, but I always know what email address I use. After trying every phone number I could think of I got the death message, “Too many tries, contact IT support to access your account”. It was nice enough to give the phone number of a live chat, but these people keep bankers hours, I can only call from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and whatever you do don’t even think about calling from noon to two, everyone will be at lunch. I have things to do today and sitting around waiting until 8:30 to talk to someone about resetting my password is not on my list. Seriously, the internet is open for business twenty-four seven, why is it that we can’t get technical support the same way?

There goes my blood pressure, perfect the doctor will love that.

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Cranky Me

Stand back everyone I’m going on a rant. Run, don’t look back, save yourself, I have passed irritated and have reached flat out cranky. I am working on three days of sleep deprivation and am pretty sure there will be a fourth and a fifth and so on. The reason for this new state, the weather has finally cooled off enough to allow us to open the windows and turn off the air conditioning. Refreshing you would think, but no, our neighbor has a Chocolate Lab puppy that is about nine or ten months old, a sweet loving and totally out of control monstrously large puppy. The neighbor’s will put the puppy out on a run I think just to get some away time from him. And what do puppies do when they are bored and have no one exercising, training and loving on them, puppies find ways to entertain themselves. They chew on inappropriate things like the deck, and furniture, dig up the yard and most of all, bark. Lucky us, the puppy is tied up outside our bedroom window.

The first night the puppy barked for an hour. He would bark nonstop for about five minutes, then stop for about five minutes lulling me into the false sense of relaxation, thinking that the neighbor had enough of him yapping and took him in. No such luck, he was just resting his vocal cords. This on and off barking continued on and on so that when the neighbor finally did take him in for the night, we were both so keyed up, neither one of us had any restful sleep. Getting up at two thirty in the morning for our work schedule makes for a short night anyway, but add only maybe a couple of hours of sleep and we have the start of short tempers. The second night we went to bed earlier because of the prior night’s lack of sleep and hoped for the best. The puppy started off again and barked his on and off routine for about forty-five minutes making another night of misery for us. Last night, he barked for an hour and a half. Mitch finally broke down and called the neighbor and left a message.

That was the whine, here comes the rant. I love dogs, but a barking dog grates on my soul. I cannot stand listening to a dog barking nonstop. If the dog starts barking go and check on the dog and find out why he’s barking. If it’s an intruder, shoot him and let the dog eat the intruder, the dog won’t be barking while he is eating. If nothing is wrong and the dog is just bored, get up off of your duff and go play with him. Run him around the yard throwing a ball, put him through some training drills or walk him. Anything to exercise his body and brain, but don’t leave the dog outside on a run to make the rest of the neighbors miserable.

I would be mortified if a neighbor called me to complain that my dogs were causing any inconvenience for them. I just don’t understand people anymore. What has happened to manners and thoughtfulness? The saddest part about the whole mess is that the puppy will probably be the one to suffer the most from our sleep deprivation. He will probably be kenneled more and for longer periods causing more out of control behavior or worse turned over to a shelter because the owners don’t want to deal with the problem.

Okay so much for my rant, I’m still tired and cranky, but I feel a little better getting that off my chest. Mitch and the dogs thank you too for letting me vent. Cross your fingers for us that maybe just maybe we might get a decent night’s sleep soon. That or pray for cold weather so we have to close the windows and turn on the furnace.

More Photos from Vacation

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Walking on the bluffs very high up and I am not sure this is really a trail.

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Mitch looking and the trail map and trying to reassure me that we are on the right path.

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Mitch found a sign and is really proud of himself.

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Grand Falls – the largest continuous flowing waterfall in Missouri, not as impressive as Niagara Falls, but not bad.

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What I did on My Vacation

We were on vacation this week and it didn’t come a moment too soon. I was in desperate need of some de-stressing. Our original vacation plans were to drive to Washington State and go on a serious week long wine tasting trek with some scenic vistas thrown in. But after going over the vacation budget and the cost estimates, we were a bit short and I am loathe to running up a huge credit card debt for a week of drinking and debauchery. Even though I am always up for debauchery and of course, drinking, I do have some limits.

After plan A tanked, we decided on plan B, a driving trip to New Mexico, going the NRA shooting center in Roton, New Mexico then driving on to Taos and tasting some of New Mexico’s wines. New Mexico is half the distance to Washington so I figured half the cost. Logical right? So that is what we decided on, drive to New Mexico, shoot up a bunch of ammunition, drive some wine and eat spicy food, what could be better?

Well fate decided that she had a better plan and evidently a sense of humor too. Not something I saw any humor in but I guess someone else might. There is a homeowner in this tiny burg that had let her property fall into extreme disrepair and the neighbors had been complaining. Original plans were made to condemn the property and tear it down. At the eleven hour the property owner showed up to a city meeting last fall to plead her case and of course our soft hearted codes enforcement officer, Mitch, fell for it. The city ended up giving her time to clean up the property and guess what, nothing was done. After many months of fruitless efforts to contact the owner, Mitch was finally able to serve her with a summons to come to court and guess what, the court date was smack dab in the middle of our vacation. There went plan B, straight down the tubes.

That left us with a very short window for any time away. We ended up with plan C, a quick sashay to other end of the state for a couple of days with Mitch and my camera. The two hooligans went to a pet spa to corrupt many new dogs and we got to sleep in hotel beds by ourselves, something very novel. We found out that we could sleep in a much smaller bed when it was just the two of us. We tasted a few Missouri wines though, I am not a fan of the wines here but I did buy an awesome t-shirt.

We found a few places to hike and got lost a couple of times hiking. You would think that being at a nature sanctuary with marked trails one would not get lost, but then one has never hiked with us. The nice lady at the Wildcat Nature Sanctuary even gave us a trail map and told us the direction to take and we still made the wrong turn, took the course backwards and ended up on the wrong side of the highway in the middle of a dry creek bed totally lost. Thank god we are smarter than most or you would be reading about a couple of idiots lost in the woods in southern Missouri.

All in all though the time away was short, we had fun just being away and hopefully my mental health has improved. By the way, here is the t-shirt I bought. It fits me don’t you think?

SAMSUNG

Water Pictures

I am a water nut. I love taking photos of water. Lakes, rivers, oceans, even little creeks are a favorite of mine to capture frame by frame. There is just something about water that moves me. So today I am sharing a bunch of photos I took on our little mini vacation this week. We started off at a place in St. James, MO called Maramac Spring Park, a private and state conservation combination park that is a trout hatchery. We don’t fish, but the view was very idyllic, quiet and still in the morning mists.

Tomorrow I’ll share photos of a couple of other places we stopped at, a nature sanctuary and a waterfall. See, I can’t help myself.

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Photos by Susan Kelly taken on my Canon Rebel

Surprises

Yesterday we went to see a play. Something I had never done. Oh I had been to dinner theater ages ago, but I’ve never gone to see a real play. So this was to be a new experience. And ladies surprise, it was Mitch that suggested it not me. He had read the review in the newspaper and was intrigued so he suggested it to me. I’m pretty much game for anything so it didn’t matter what the topic was, but I read the review too and said sure why not. The play was being run at a local theater house, “Unicorn Theater”. I went online to their website read about the venue and future offerings. The plays looked a bit offbeat, not stuffy at all. I went ahead and purchased tickets online and printed them out.

The play we were going to see was “Venus in Fur” and the paper reviewer had written that it was a bit kinky with bondage, leather and whips. I was really surprised that Mitch wanted to go. Mitch is not in to debauchery, me, well I’m always up for a bit of debauchery. Maybe more than a bit, but I’m not telling.

We decided to go to the Sunday matinee, thinking that it wouldn’t be very crowded and were immediately surprised that it was almost a packed house. Imagine that, all the seats filled on a Sunday afternoon, in the middle of the day, who knew plays were so popular. The next surprise was that the majority of the patrons were female and even more, elderly. We were the youngest in the crowd. There were more canes in the house than in an old folk’s home. I had no idea there were so many elderly women that were into kinky. It makes you wonder what goes on behind those lace curtains, doesn’t it?

The play started off sedately enough but soon the “F” word was flying around repeatedly. Me, I wasn’t offended because I can fling it with the best of them, but these women were my mother and grandmother’s ages. I would never say the “F” word in front of my mom, not if I wanted to keep my teeth. I looked around to see all the faces with the shocked disapproving looks and was completely floored that all of these women were laughing and slapping their legs at the raucous bawdy humor. I guess I need to get out more.

The play progressed to partial nudity, black leather spiked dog collar, black lace bra and garter complete with black stockings. And this was what the actress wore before she donned the sheer white nineteenth century gown. It was distracting for me to see the black under the prim and proper white gown. I’m pretty sure that was the point and it succeeded. The play was engrossing and held the audience in rapt attention all the way to the surprise ending.

We really enjoyed ourselves so much that I think there may be more plays in our future, and who knows, maybe more kink.

Treachery

The treachery of your words
Sweet and soft
Belie your actions
Deception and duplicity.

The look in your eyes
Guileless and loving
Seek to hide the truth
With smoke and mirrors.

Your lies are now exposed
I will not fall victim again
I will become as deceitful
And use your tactics against you.