Monday, August 25, 2014

Hacked! :::update at end:::

I can't believe it.  Last week when I saw the thread on Blab about Breyer being hacked but I didn't really pay much attention since I hadn't bought anything on their website in a couple of months, give or take.  But then they released Breyerfest overstock on Friday and they had the bears and Champagne Toast that I wanted so I didn't hesitate to buy them.  Then yesterday I decided to buy the 25th anniversary program.  Well, this afternoon my work phone rang.  It had an 800 number and since I wasn't expecting any calls I didn't answer.  They left a message, but I was in the process of looking the phone number up on Google.  A couple of reports said it was a scam about fraudulent activity, but I kept reading and discovered that people were having legitimate issues with their bank accounts.  I began to panic as I hurried to log into my bank account and the first thing I see is the amount is half of what it should be.  Crap!  So I clicked on the hyperlink and was FLOORED
Pending Transactions     Note: Amounts may change ( Learn More )
CHKCARDAmazon Services-Kindle866 216 1072 WA
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What the f**k??... Someone had hacked my account and bought not one, but FOUR baseball tickets plus some hair thing. The bank reversed the first charge, but not the subsequent three. So I called the bank to do a fraud package. I'm beyond words. I can't believe this happened to me. Other people on Blab are reporting similar issues today, including someone who also got the Chicago Cubs tickets on their account. A couple of people called Breyer to let them know and one person said they'd notify the appropriate people while another person denied it came from Breyer despite the fact that the accounts that were hacked are only used for specific online purchases.

Hopefully the bank will rule in my favor very quickly so my money will be returned. I'm not a rich person and the amount they took was my car money. So, if you bought anything from in the past week or two, check your account.

On a good note, though, I have the two bears and Champagne Toast coming. There's possibility that either of them could be the coveted solid silver ones. I can't wait to get them!!!!

****update 8/27**** the fraudulent charges posted to my bank account last night! but as of this moment, my account has been credited back except the .01 for the hair thing, but I can live with that. The credit is showing as 'pending' but I feel so much better seeing it back in my account. I still need to wait for my new card, though, and memorize the new number. Hahaha

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Stablemates and a cute Bento Box

I don't buy things all that often on eBay. It comes in spurts and has no rhyme or reason for when I decide to look for something. A couple of weeks ago I decided to look for cat themed Bento Boxes and when I saw this one, I had to have it
One of the problems, though, was that the auction wasn't due to end for another 6 days since it was a new listing. So I made a mental note of when it was going to end and when it came close to that time, I decided how much I was willing to spend and I made my bid...and won! Hurray! Next came the 2nd "problem" was shipping from Japan so I had to wait for close to two weeks for it to get here, but it finally did on Friday and I used it for the first time yesterday. I think it's super cute and I look forward to using it more often. I will hopefully get to go to the San Francisco area next summer for the opening of Fresno Chaffee Zoo's new Africa exhibit and finally I'll get to visit stores that have a bunch of Bento stuff. I've been to ones in San Diego and Los Angeles area, but they didn't have much. There's stores in the Bay Area that have TONS of boxes and assorted supplies. I can't wait.

Anyway, over the weekend I was browsing eBay again in search of potentially adding some Stablemates to my congas. I was quite surprised when I went to the main page on Saturday and saw this
eBay is a world-wide site so I was surprised to see something on it from Arizona. And not even Phoenix. The Round-Up drive in was in Scottsdale. I remember going there once or twice, but mostly we went to the Scottsdale 6 Drive In. I come from a generation where drive ins were more common than indoor theaters and sadly not many drive ins exist. The Round-Up closed many years ago and the Scottsdale 6 closed 2 years ago. The buildings and movie screens are still there, but they're dark. I haven't seen a movie at a drive in for more than 20 years, but I have fond memories of the times we went. I saw the Black Stallion at the Scottsdale 6, but more often than not my brother and I would end up falling asleep in the back of the van we had at the time.

Back to the stablemates...I ended up finding 3 being sold by the same person and they were molds I conga so I put a G2 Appaloosa and a G2 Clydesdale in my cart then sent a 'best offer' for the other G2 Appaloosa I wanted. That one was a bit scuffed up and I didn't think it was worth what she was asking so I offered a little less (more?) than half. I always get that mixed up which word should be used. She had it at a price and my offer was half plus a dollar. Anyway, she accepted the offer and sent me an invoice with the total then mailed it yesterday. This package I didn't have to wait near as long for because she lived in Phoenix! She mailed it Monday and I got it Tuesday. Hurray!
The Flicka model, which is on the far left, is the one that was described as having a few marks on it due to being played with, but I think she didn't quite accurately describe the condition, but I didn't complain because it was inexpensive and it wasn't a huge deal. I don't show or anything so I wasn't looking for LSQ or even PSQ models. And I've been wanting the Flicka model anyway so I don't care. I'm going to have to do some rearranging now, though, because there isn't any room for the 3 new ones to be displayed with their respective congas.

We've been getting some pretty good storms the past few days. Yesterday the sun was shining then all of a sudden it got super dark and was raining. Then the sun came out again, but a short while later it got dark and rainy again. It was crazy. And for a short time they had to close one of the two roads that lead in and out of my business because of flooding. Luckily, the road reopened before it was time to leave for the day. Then last night, about 8:00 or so, it started pouring again and there was quite a bit of thunder. The fire department had to do some water rescues yesterday. I wonder how many of them will be charged with the Stupid Motorist Law...what that is, is anyone who goes around a marked road block warning people of flooding ahead or that the road is closed during flooding, if they get stuck and the fire department has to come and get them out, they are fined. I don't know what the fine is, but I imagine that combined with being shown on the news is likely enough to make you think twice before doing it again. Surprisingly, knowing about the law and seeing other water rescues on the news doesn't keep people from driving through flooded washes. Complete idiots, they are. I don't care if you want to risk your life and damage your vehicle by doing that, but you put the lives of the firefighters at risk when they have to come pull your stupid ass out of the water.

Well, I guess that's it for now! Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More Wild Horses...

So, after seeing the herd in the river, I worried that would be the only ones I saw since it's been pretty hot and I figured the horses would be "hunkering down" in the daytime or staying close to the water. I got to the main road where I usually see the horses and noticed they have new signs up that weren't there last time I was in the area.
I'm glad they have them to warn motorists of the horses that can be around, but it makes me sad that the signs are necessary. Unfortunately, they're very necessary because I've heard of some horses being hit in the past. :( I think I saw at least 5 signs in each direction.

It wasn't long after passing the lake and ranch turn-offs that I spotted something moving amongst the desert brush on the left side of the road. HORSES! I pulled over as quickly as I was able to and spent then next 15 minutes or so leap-frogging them, waiting for them to stop moving long enough for me to get some good pictures. When they did stop, though, they were mostly hidden in the brush so I wasn't able to get any real good shots. That's okay, though, because it was great to just have been able to see them. There were two foals who're probably less than 4 months old and one who was 14 to 16 months old. I don't know if I've seen this band before. At first I thought maybe it was the ones I saw where I was able to get pretty close to, but that group had 2 grays and one foal and this group had 1 gray and two foals. hahaha.
I think the gray horse was the band stallion because he was always in the lead and kept turning around to wait for the others to catch up.
I also got to see a short fight between two of the horses, but I wasn't quick enough with my camera as I'd just gotten out of my car.  It wasn't anything major and they may have been playing more than fighting since it was over real quick and I never saw anything else during my time with them. 

Last night we had a storm blow through and it's still raining some this morning and I've heard some thunder.  The temperature, though, has been real nice and would've been a good morning to go looking for the horses if it wasn't storming.  It's only supposed to be 98 today, which is nice, but I'm sure the humidity will make it gross outside.  I hate being hot and sticky.  hahaha.  But it's the middle of August and I know the super hot temperatures are slowly on their way out and once it cools down I'll probably go hunting more often.   We shall see, though, how often I end up going since I always end up disappointed when I don't get to see them and I don't want to take it for granted that I can see them "whenever I want" since I know it's not true.

Have a good Wednesday!

Monday, August 11, 2014

A 3 hour tour...a 3 hour tour...

Except it was only an hour and a half and went around a lake and not the Hawaiian Islands.  We did have a Skipper and a First Mate, though.  hahaha.  Anyway, as I mentioned last week, I went on a lake cruise at Saguaro Lake, which is one of several man-made lakes in Arizona and the closest one in my area, if you don't count Tempe Town Lake, which I don't because of its size and they don't allow motorized boats on it (too small and shallow) except the boats that clean the lake and the fire department boats.

A brief history on Saguaro was formed by the Stewart Mountain Dam, which was completed in 1930.  It was the last of the reservoirs to be built on the Salt River.  The lake is named for the Saguaro Cactus, which stand in the surrounding desert landscape.   It is 12 miles from dam to dam and has 22 miles of shoreline.  Much of the rock formations seen in and around the lake were made by volcanic ash that was spewed into the atmosphere years and years ago then settled back down to earth and gradually hardened and is really pretty neat.

While driving around on Wednesday I went down to Saguaro Lake Ranch, which is on the other side of the dam to see if I could shoot any of the horses at the stables, only to discover

Apparently the owners closed up shop in May, but according to the ranch (the entire area is the ranch and includes rental cabins) website, they'll have a new stable in operation come Fall.

But you don't care about any of that so...on with the pictures!!!
Desert Belle
Saguaro Lake Marina

Bald Eagle nest---VERY cool

Elephant Rock
Campground---only accessible by boat

Crested Saguaro Cactus--they're not sure what causes the arm to fan out like that and they've very uncommon

Nest again w/1 bird gone

It was really a neat trip and I'll definitely do it again because apparently they take different routes sometimes.  And they also see different types of wildlife on the trips.  We were told there's often a Bighorn Sheep hanging out on one of the rock formations, but he wasn't there the day of this cruise.  It would've been awesome to see a wild Bighorn Sheep, but I was super excited to see the wild Bald Eagles.  I've seen them in Washington and in Flagstaff (AZ), but never closer to my area. 

Well, I guess that's it for now.  Tomorrow or Wednesday I'll put up the other horse photos I got.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Did I or didn't I?

See wild horses yesterday, that is. I wasn't able to do a blog post about the lake cruise this morning like I'd hoped to and so decided to go ahead and end your suffering and post my experience today rather than make you wait until Monday to find out.

So, did I or didn't I?
I was driving over the river and I looked to the east and spotted the two in the middle so I got turned around and went back because I had no way of knowing if they'd be the only ones I'd see. I took some pictures then moved on, but didn't get far because I realized my lens was dirty so I had to turn around and go back. Fortunately traffic wasn't very heavy. And I'm surprised that I've never encountered law enforcement getting on me for parking on the shoulder of the bridge. Anyway, I noticed a small group of horses to the north of the two in the river and took pictures of them, too. I later saw there was a foal in the group when I reviewed the images and you can see 'him' in the second two pictures. Even though I'm kind of far away, I can't say for absolute certainty that I have or have not seen this herd before. It would certainly be exciting if I haven't. I'd have to look at other pictures to see if I recognize any of them.

I saw more horses in a different location, but apparently the pictures didn't get emailed to my gmail so those ones will have to wait. Those pictures aren't all that spectacular, but sometimes it's more about the experience of seeing the horses than the pictures, but those certainly make the experience better. Hahahaha. I can't wait until the weather cools down so I can go hunting and not have to spend the second half of the day trying to find a place with air conditioning.

Well, that's it for now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Random Cool Video Wednesday...

This was just too cute not to share.

I don't know how he managed to maintain his composure...not a peep out of him.

I had intended to post this much earlier. Like before I left home this morning. But I was running late and completely forgot. I had the day off and went on a horse hunt. I won't reveal my success or failure just yet. Just remember, not every hunt ends in success and I post about my failures, too. :D. In addition to my hunt, I took a boat tour of a local lake. I wasn't sure it was going to happen because the website said if less than ten people booked the tour they'd cancel and re-schedule. Well, I can't just take random days off in hopes that the tour sells enough tickets so I feared I'd have to eat the $20 price. Fortunately that didn't happen and I had a nice trip where I even learned some interesting tidbits about Arizona history. I hope to have some of those pictures up tomorrow, along with the highlight of the trip, which I won't mention until I post the pictures. I apologize if my secretiveness is annoying, but hopefully it will be worth the wait. And if it makes you feel any better...I got too much sun today and now I feel sick. Blech.

Well, I hope everyone's Wednesday has been a good one.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Annoying blogger...

I just can't figure this one out. Yesterday I noticed all the stuff that used to be on the right side of my blog is now at the bottom and the pictures and posts towards the bottom have turned white and are more centered.  I didn't do anything to change it, but there it is.    It's annoying beyond belief because I don't know what happened to it or how to change it back.  According to the settings, everything is as it should be.

**edited** I was trying to figure out how to fix my blog and just now got to wondering if the weirdness to one of the posts had something to do with it so I went to that post and removed the pictures then re-added them. After that I was able to get the stuff on the right side again like it should be. Yay!

Friday, August 1, 2014

A look into "my window"...not literally haha

The rain poured down from the sky and and soaked everything in it's path while lightning lit up the night sky and thunder threatened to deafen everything with ears.  Karyn Matthews ignored the storm that raged around her as she stood in a newly-formed puddle of water, watching the large, silver horse trailer slowly back up to the barn.  Karyn could only guess what was going on in the minds of the animals secured inside the vehicle every time there was a boom of thunder.  Karyn herself flinched even though she knew thunder couldn't physically hurt.  She'd never been a big fan of thunderstorms, yet here she stood in the middle of probably the biggest one she'd ever experienced.  If it weren't for the arrival of the horse transport, however, she would be tucked safely inside her house.

I'm sure I've mentioned a time or two that I like to write stories and how long I've been writing.  I always have tons of story ideas running rampant in my brain and TV shows and songs often get other ideas tossed into an already crowded mix.  A couple of years ago, after spending a few hours at the San Diego Zoo I went back to my hotel, sat down and started writing a story about a tiger keeper and a koala keeper.  Some stories have to be thought about for awhile before I can even hope to put pen to paper, but being at the zoo that day gave me such an overwhelming urge to write.  I literally had the physical need to do it.  That had never happened before and hasn't happened since.  Other stories start off well only to crash and burn a few pages in.  A very small few make it to the end and the ones that do end up in the recycle bin eventually because I think of things that should have been added.  My whale trainer story, one I've literally been working on off  and on since 2005 has gone through so many transformations and is currently only a few lines from being finished, but I can't bring myself to do it.  Not because I don't want it to end but because I'm suddenly disgusted with it.  Much of it is pretty decent, but most of it is garbage, in my head.  The few people who I've shared my writing with has really enjoyed it, but I still crash and burn.  I have no desire to become a published author.  To write for a living.  Why do I do it, then?  Because it makes my brain happy.

So what does any of this have to do with anything?  A story I've been having issues with has gotten new life breathed into it.  At one time, it was actually a completed product, but I didn't like how I rushed the ending.  I could've just changed the ending, but once there's something I don't like about it the whole thi gets dumped.  Silly, I know, but I'm my own worse enemy.  I put it aside and was working on my whale trainer story, but the horses were always on the fringes of my mind.  Never forgotten and always brewing.  Until today.  All the ducks lined up.  I finished reading the book I had on my iPad mini and had no access to another one since I only have one on at a time that's available to be read.  The weaker was a bit sketchy.  I had two new notebooks in my cabinet at work.  I pulled one out...
And voila!  New life was breathed into the story.  The beginning, which is the first 'paragraph' changed dramatically.  It's changed a couple of times before, but that's besides the point.  Hahaha.  For now, the story is going well.  Being a full-sized notebook, it's a bit more unwieldy than the steno pads I usually use so it might be a 'for work only' type thing since I have a large desk space to use,  but we shall see.

You may have noticed more and more of my blog posts have been happening in the eveni.  It's not really by choice, but since my supervisor has put a ban on internet usage during the work day and blogging from my cell phone is a little difficult, I work with the time I have available.  When I can, I'll blog first thing in the morning.  Multiple photo posts will still be in the morning since I upload my pictures at work.  Did I mention I need a new camera?  I know I mentioned the dogs getting ahold of my work bag the other night.  I had a small camera, a Kodak C182, I think it is, in a case in my bag and they somehow managed to get the camera out of it's pouch.  The battery cover door is gone and as a result, the batteries don't want to stay inside.  Kind of hard to use a camera when the batteries won't stay put.  It wasn't an expensive camera, but it was a convenient one.  I could fit it in my pocket and nobody would know it was there.  I have other cameras plus my cell phone, but they lack the convenience of the Kodak so I'd like to replace it eventually.

Well, I guess that's it for now. I can't believe it's August already. The only real bonus to that is the oppressively hot summer is at least half over. We really have been lucky this summer, though, and have only had a handful of days that were 105 or above. Not only that, but we haven't yet been running our a/c 24/7 yet. Usually by now we are, but we are still able to turn it off around 11pm or 12am and leaving it off until anywhere between 11am and 3pm the next day. It might still happen, having to leave it on all night, but maybe not. And considering the monster dogs are still not 100% house-trained, being able to keep the door open certainly is beneficial.

Before I go I just want to say that this last sentence is written by voice alone so there is no punctuation. Pretty cool, huh?

*Edited to add* apparently all I have to do is say the punctuation I want!!