Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Support your local library

Our normal routine is morning news until 7 a.m., then I turn to HGTV for "Simply Quilts" and "Carol Duvall" show. Then it's Discovery for two episodes of "How It's Made," which is when I fall asleep for my morning nap. When I wake up, Kent has changed the channel - but it's never the same thing. It could be a judge show, extreme videos on SpikeTV or "Walker, Texas Ranger."

At noon, it's the ABC soaps. I get to watch "All My Children," but have to get ready for work during "One Life to Live."

When I get home, it could be something on NatGeo, History or A&E (if "CSI: Miami" is on). Wednesday nights, we usually watch "Ghost Hunters." Friday nights I try to get home in time for the second viewing of "SG: Atlantis."

But, right now our cable is off, so we're watching DVDs borrowed from the library. Most of our personal collection is kiddie things like "Brother Bear" and "Finding Nemo." So I have borrowed the first and second season of "The Muppet Show," "Serenity," the second "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie and the first season of "Eureka," which we're watching at the moment. Gotta love the library.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Our family expands - again

Cayla called me at work yesterday afternoon with emotion in her voice. At first, I thought something was wrong, but quickly realized it was excitement. Mercedes Cow had given birth to her pups. She had three this time, one calico and two brownish-red and white. Those two also have different colors, I think it is lilac and red, according to the guinea pig book that Cayla has. So, one black-red-white and two red-lilac-white pups.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

So we have one vehicle that won't start and one that won't stop ...

I hadn't been driving my car since Kent returned from Kentucky. The last time it had been driven was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, when a random guy stopped and asked if we were going to sell it. He took it for a test drive and said he would pay $800 for it but didn't have the money that day.

He never came back.

So, I didn't drive the car because it was nearly out of gas and just kept driving the Blazer. Then on Jan. 4, Kent and I had a fight and he insisted that I get a battery so I could drive the car and leave "his" Blazer alone.

Fine. I had to borrow money from Mom for the battery and a few other things. Kent got the car jump-started and I drove it to Wal-Mart to get a new battery. It ran fine after that from Jan. 4 through Jan. 9. Then it wouldn't start.

So I've been driving the Blazer again, or Kent has taken me to work. Today, Cayla had Lollipop Orchestra, so I took her to the library. We went to Hy-Vee after that so I could take money out and get the truck gassed up - it was nearly empty. After gassing the truck, I drove home.

We stopped at the convenience store for sodas. I stayed in the truck listening to a CD I had borrowed from the library. When Cayla got back in the Blazer, I put my foot on the brake pedal and shifted from Park to Drive. Only, my foot went all the way to the floor. Not good.

So, I'm getting a ride to work today and a ride to church tomorrow. But after that, I don't know. We'll have to have the truck towed - that's going to be around $75, I think. Plus the charge for getting the brakes fixed. Great.

And I didn't mention the situation I discovered earlier, before Cayla and I left to go to the library. I got my coat from the back of the sofa - forgot to hang it up last night - and Buster had peed on it. Thanks, kitty. I don't know how I'll repay you for that one.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Get paid to click

I just signed up for bux.to. I got the link from a Lockergnome e-mail and signed up through that. The pay amount isn't a lot: one cent if you have a free account. But, people you refer add to your amount, too. I think they only go one level, so people who are referred by the people you refer don't count for you.

You need to have PayPal, because that's how they pay out. They will pay out once your account reaches at least $10. I've earned 71 cents so far.

I have signed up for a couple of things in the past. AllAdvantage didn't last long. I did get some money from them, but they went bust owing me more. MyPoints is a great program, but I haven't checked that e-mail in awhile. I've got more than 200 e-mails waiting for me and most will have expired. Still, I've gotten a lot of gift certificates from them. It's definitely worth it. I can get points for referring friends each month. If you are interested, you can send me an email by clicking on the link at right.

Get paid to click.

Weird phone call: possible scam

I placed an ad to find homes for Pumpkin and the two pups. Mama (as I call her - Cayla named the female cavy Mercedes Cow) will be giving birth within two weeks, and we've got to simplify the pet situation.

Over the weekend, the pups found new homes. Then yesterday I got a weird phone call.

The person who talked claimed to be a relay operator. He said he was helping a person who was communicating by computer - possibly a deaf person. The procedure is that the caller types the message, the relay operator says the message, the call recipient responds verbally and ends with "go ahead." The relay operator then types the response, the caller types again, and so on.

During the call, an operator supervisor broke in to tell me that the call fits the criteria of a scam. The call was dropped, but there was a second call. During the second call, I asked where the caller was from. Wisconsin. The caller said that shipping wouldn't be a problem and asked if I would e-mail the details.

I ended the call and e-mailed the caller. Here is the text of the e-mail:
"You called because I have a guinea pig for sale. You said you live in Wisconsin. What town in Wisconsin? This guinea pig is around Fort Dodge, Iowa, which is too far from Wisconsin. I'm sure there are guinea pigs much closer to where you live."

I have not received an e-mail in return.

What I think is going on is that someone found my ad online. It's possible that this is a scam. There are scams where people are given a check for way over the amount of the item and asked to give back the difference.

From the Iowa Attorney General's Web site:
"(Iowa Attorney General Tom) Miller listed the hallmarks of the new scheme:

■ The victim is selling a used car or some other item via the Internet. A buyer based in Africa sends an e-mail message that he wants to buy the item.
■ The buyer says he will pay with a cashier's check from a bank in the U.S.
■ At the last minute the buyer has some story why the cashier's check will be much more than the asking price - thousands of dollars more. "Just wire the difference back to me," he explains, "-- after the cashier's check clears, of course."
■ The victim thinks the cashier's check must be good when it's accepted by his or her bank and the funds are provided - but in a week or so the check turns out to be counterfeit.
■ Unfortunately, the victim has wired thousands of dollars to Africa, never to be seen again."

I'm guessing that since the caller didn't respond to my e-mail, I showed enough skepticism that they figured it wouldn't be worth the effort to continue. I'm sure there are easier marks out there.

In the meantime, we've got one cavy for sale and more to be born soon. Since the pups were born Nov. 10, I'm guessing Jan. 10 for a possible birth date. (Wikipedia article on cavies: The gestation period lasts from 59–72 days, with an average of 63–68 days.) So, it could be any day now. I just picked my birthday as the due date for the heck of it.