Who does that in Fargo?

Mike stopped briefly at Harbor Freight today to look at some sort of tool.  He was in and out of the store in a matter of minutes.  When he returned to his truck in the parking lot he saw a man with a big, relatively new, black Ford truck taking wood and pallets out of the back of Mike’s truck and loading them into his own.

You may recall me mentioning Mike’s newest hobby of up-cycling pallet and other wood.  He was bringing a truckload of items home when he made that stop at Harbor Freight.  When Mike saw what was happening, he yelled out at the man asking him what he was doing.  The man was startled.  Apparently, he thought Mike would be in the store longer.  The man had already taken a number of things out of Mike’s truck and put them in his own.  Needless to say, Mike insisted that the man return them to his truck.  According to Mike, he kept asking the man why he had taken the wood out of his truck, but the man never really responded.  I imagine being caught red-handed stealing out of Mike’s truck and being confronted by him about it gave the man quite a fright.  Mike can be an intimidating looking fellow when he has his “are you stealing my stuff” look on his face.

Mike got all his wood back because he came out of the store at the right time and was not going to let this man drive away with his wood, but the whole episode leaves me unsettled.  Who does that?  Actually, scratch that.  Who does that in Fargo?  Who just steals things out of someone’s truck bed in broad daylight?

Sure, it wasn’t the crime of the century, but it was theft.  This guy committed a crime.  Mike did not call the police because he was headed to pick-up Cheyenne from school.  I would have called the police.  I would have thrown a bloody fit.

Mike has already moved on.  I have not.  I can see this type of thing happening in California or other places, but not in Fargo.  That is not how we roll – we don’t steal from each other.  I hope the man in the black Ford truck thinks long and hard before he tries something like this again.  Who knows, the next time he may be greeted by someone even more intimidating than Mike – a crazy woman who will not only call the police, but also lecture him for a solid hour on the way his actions soiled Fargo’s good name.  Okay, maybe an hour and a half of lecture. ;-)

Day one thousand three hundred and eighty-five of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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Ask only what you can pour for your mother…

Old-timers and history buffs – I am in the former category – will remember President Kennedy’s now iconic statement, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  I always liked this statement because I think it speaks to the duty and responsibility of citizenship.  I think too many folks have moved away from recognizing that duty and responsibility – what a pity.

But the thing that kept President Kennedy’s statement ever-fresh for me (seeing as I was only four years old when he died), was the revamped statement that I first came upon in the nineties.  The revamped version shifted the focus from the country to your mother.

As a mother, I endorse this statement.  I have been using this one for decades now. But lo and behold, I happened upon another version in the most recent What on Earth catalog.  Now that I have three grown children, I think I will need to incorporate this new version into my repertoire.

CN1791

Do you suppose it is wrong to use the inspiring words of a former president to your own selfish advantage? Wait…only answer that if you are a mother…a mother who has lived through teenagers.  You are right there with me aren’t you moms?  There is a debt to be paid by the offspring that you successfully navigated back from teenager-hood to humanity. Spread the word…the sense of duty and responsibility needs to be hammered home. ;-)

Day one thousand three hundred and eighty-four of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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An Easter shout-out…

Easter is a religious holiday, not unlike Christmas, that has become so much more about all the other stuff – cards, gifts, goodies, and family gatherings – than the religious significance.  I am not necessarily complaining about it, merely recognizing it.  All the kitsch and family tradition that goes along with Easter has dwarfed the religious significance.

Of course, that makes sense in the commercial world we live in.  Talking about death and resurrection is nice if you like that kind of thing; but, candy, Easter egg hunts, and family fun has a broader mass appeal.  Bunnies and chicks and lambs trump Jesus.  Again, not complaining, merely recognizing.  Easter is big business and chocolate is universal.

I know there are many devout folks out there who are putting the religious significance of Easter ahead of the secular celebration.  As a girl raised in the Catholic Church I understand that significance and I respect it.  These days I am not as bound by Catholic doctrine, but I still hold in my belief system the piety of Easter.

I hope your Easter has been all the things you wanted it to be based on your faith, values, and family customs.  I offer the same irreverent reverence at The New Forty today as I do every day. So please accept my shout-out to my peeps…to include JC. ;-)

Day one thousand three hundred and eighty-three of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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I wish I knew then, what I know now…

I wish I knew then, what I know now, about the data vulnerabilities tied to technology.  If I had known what a hot mess this would all be I would have never shopped online and operated on a cash only basis.  Alas, that ship has sailed.  Data and technology are inextricably tied together and have created a rich target for the skilled and committed cyber criminals who find their way past firewalls and encryption to steal data and cause financial mayhem.

I have received so many free credit monitoring offerings over the past four to five years based on my “secured data” being accessed that I have essentially had almost continuous monitoring. I have concluded that “secured data” is a fantasy.  It was a delightful concept when folks talked about computers 30 years ago, but these days we know better.  Every week we hear about some new threat or data breach.

The newest mega-threat is the Heartbleed Bug.  I have already received a collection of emails from various companies advising me to change my password because their system is vulnerable or to rest assured that their system is not vulnerable.  The Heartbleed Bug is after passwords and other data and a lot of sites are vulnerable.  My credit union is one of the places that advised an immediate password change.  I took care of that right away when I received the email as I do not want to be the infamous fool from the old saying – “A fool and her money are soon parted.”  I was happy I did change it too when I went on the credit union’s online site this afternoon and discovered that it was compromised. I don’t know whether it was due to the Heartbleed Bug or due to some other technology genius, but I advised my credit union straight away that something was seriously amiss via a voice mail and email.  Unfortunately, my credit union is closed over the weekend, so they may not realize that their site has been hijacked until Monday.

In the meantime, I remember the days when you had to physically go to the bank to transact business and you mailed checks to pay bills.  There were security vulnerabilities then as well, but they were not quite as difficult to handle.  Technology has us by the short hairs my friends and there really is no turning back.  All we can do now is to be vigilant – we must watch all of our accounts and our credit reports for any evidence of fraudulent efforts.

Day one thousand three hundred and eighty-two of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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A special place in Hell…

There must be a special place in Hell for those who use a cloak of faith and Godliness to visit wrongful acts on others.  I am talking about those who abuse the trust that is placed with them as spiritual leaders and behave as if they live by a different set of rules.  And the God-fearing – the flock – they follow faithfully casting aside doubt because they believe that a man or woman of God surely possesses character that is beyond reproach.

I have no patience for those who manipulate and abuse others, but my patience turns to an extreme disgust when the manipulation and abuse comes from a trusted spiritual leader.   As such, I hope they find and lock up Victor Barnard, the Minnesota minister that is “accused of 59 felony counts of criminal sexual conduct with two young girls while they were members of his church.”  One of Barnard’s victims said that he  first molested her “after he preached to her that he represented Jesus Christ in the flesh.”

Jesus Christ my ass!  How dare this wretched man align his despicable actions with a sense of Godliness.  This is wrong on so many levels, and yet, we hear about it happening again and again.  And the reason for that my friends is that being a man or woman of the cloth delivers a level of power.  After all, they are very directly spreading God’s word – they are  vessels for God’s work.  That is an important gig and the flock follows them believing that their souls are pure.  But they are not all pure…indeed, some are dark and decrepit.  Some are like Barnard.

Barnard was last seen in Washington.  His current whereabouts are unknown.  The victims would like to see him do jail time, but that day may never come. But never fear, eventually he will leave this earth, and when he does he’ll come to fully appreciate the price attached to the injuries he visited upon others while on earth.  He’ll be going to his special place and there he will stay for a very long time.  Eventually, God will make this right.

Day one thousand three hundred and eighty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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