In Which I Do NOT Steal A Man’s Identity, But Could Do So Easily

You put together a puzzle. You take a photo. You run it through the Waterlogue app on your cell phone and this is what you get: PRETTY!

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED

I was sitting in the waiting area in a small boutique eyeglass shop that is in an old house, formerly a residence, but now zoned for commercial use.

I was having my spectacles adjusted. The optician helping me had taken my glasses with her into the back of the house, probably into what was formerly [maybe still is?] the kitchen, to have her way with them.

Across the room from me a different optician was talking with a man who was ordering new glasses. The room we were in was what would have been the living/dining room, with an 8′ ceiling, about 20′ x 15′ in size.

This man hadn’t gotten new glasses in over 12 years. The optician had found his file, a paper one, and was confirming details by saying things about him out loud to him.

Very normal.

BUT THERE WAS THIS LITTLE ISSUE WITH ACOUSTICS

Inadvertently I was overhearing everything that was being said between these two people. I didn’t want to hear but I did. I’ve changed the specific details to protect his identity, but the following is what I know about this man:

  • his former residence is 123 Oak Street in one community;
  • his current residence, that he moved into in 2017, is 4567 Eagle’s Nest Drive in a different community;
  • his last name is Smith;
  • his legal first name is Frederick, but he goes by his middle name, Daniel, preferring to be called Dan;
  • his wife’s name is Martha;
  • his brother who also buys glasses in this boutique is named Will;
  • he has no children;
  • he confirmed the date of his birth, he is 44 years old;
  • he confirmed his cell phone number, mentioning that he’s had it for years
  • he used to work for Blah Blah Blah Corporation but now works from home for Yada Yada Yada Corporation;
  • his medical insurance is Boring Useless Insurance Company;
  • he no longer has a checking account with Fancy Regional Bank;  and
  • he prefers to use his Visa for large purchases because he gets points for travel on Whoop-ass Airline.

The optician didn’t ask about the following but in the course of their conversation I also learned that:

  • he drives a BMW that was parked outside directly in front of this business;
  • he and his wife have been remodeling their house using Super Duper Home Remodeling Company;  and
  • they have a vacation planned for August.

Obviously I accidentally know a lot about this man, the proverbial ship I passed in the night. If I was a person with nefarious intentions I could easily have snapped a fast photo of him + his car’s license plate, then assumed his identity by knowing these random, but incredibly personal, details about him.

KIND OF SCARY, HUH?

Please discuss 😳

The Tale Of Diligent Dave & The Wily Fiber Optic Cable

We were told that the switch from coaxial cable to fiber optic cable would happen on Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Here’s what actually happened.

~ ~

This is my DIY standing desk arrangement. It’s a wonderful use for the 1966 50th Anniversary Edition of the World Book Encyclopedia.

~ ~

The following will please the optimists, inform the curious, disappoint the naysayers, and entertain the pre-amused…

At 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday we got a knock on the front door from a man who told us he was going to be digging a trench through the yard where the new cable would be buried. He did so without any fuss.

At 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, only a half hour late, a man who I shall call Diligent Dave but Z-D refers to as That Kid, pulled into our driveway to start things rolling. Diligent Dave sat inside his truck for a while goofing around on a computer, wandered around our front yard a few times, then backed out of our driveway and drove up  & down our street many times.

At 9:30 a.m. Diligent Dave came to the front door and told us:

  1. there was something wrong, his computer indicated that the connection to the above ground fiber optic utility box on the street didn’t exist even though lines had been installed on this street earlier in the fall;
  2. he had called the department that installed the lines to have someone come out to find out what was wrong; and
  3. he could come inside the house and start running the cable line from the basement up to the home office while we waited to see IF the connection outside on the street really did exist.

At 11:00 a.m. a man, let’s call him Happy Henry, from the outside installation department came to the front door to talk with Diligent Dave. They chatted about what wasn’t happening.

At 11:30 a.m. two trucks, each driven by one man, arrived. After conferring with Happy Henry those two men pulled out a table and some tools. They went into the neighbor’s yard where they set up the table and started messing around with the above ground fiber optic utility box, hoping to find our house’s particular cable connection inside it.

At 12:15 p.m. a miracle occurred and voilà the “missing” outside fiber optic cable connection was found, meaning that all we needed now was for Diligent Dave to finish his job.

At 1:15 p.m. Diligent Dave succeeded in getting the cable line across the ceiling in the basement, up through the wall and into the home office… behind my desk.

At 1:20 p.m. Z-D and Diligent Dave carefully moved my desk with all the stuff on it [my desktop computer, Keyzia, included] away from the wall so that Diligent Dave could fiddle around near the baseboard and attach a small magical box to the wall.

At 1:30 p.m. our fiber optic cable connection happened.  Then under Diligent Dave’s watchful eye we started testing all our electronic gadgets [computers, phones, iPad, TVs] to confirm that the wifi, now connected to the fiber optic cable, was indeed working as advertised. It was.

At 1:45 p.m. after Z-D and Diligent Dave moved my desk back into place,  Diligent Dave left and there was joy in the land.

But, of course, there is more to the story, the After Party so to speak…

Once Diligent Dave left the house Zen-Den and I ducked out of the house to go to the grocery.  At 2:30 p.m. whilst in the midst of shopping in the grocery we received a phone call from a slightly frantic Diligent Dave who had left his tool bag in our basement and REALLY needed it to be able to do his next appointment at 3:00 p.m.

Thus we quickly bought our food, rushed home [a 10 minute drive] so we could retrieve Diligent Dave’s tool bag in our basement and hand it to him.  He was pleased, expressing thanks, telling us that his next job was only 8 minutes away so he’d be there to start it on time.

Unlike our job where he showed up a half hour late BUT who doesn’t like a touch of innocent irony to go along with their new scary fast fiber optic cable?

~ ~ ~ ~

Questions of the daY

Regardless of the type of computer you use, do you have a sitting or standing desk? Or do you prefer to sit at a table? Or to plop your computer onto your lap?

Do you know how you get your internet connection in your home? Do you like it?

Considering that Zen-Den continues to refer to Diligent Dave as That Kid, do you believe, like I do, that Z-D the recently semi-retired is well on his way to becoming an old codger?

~ ~ ~ ~

Tea For Two: Talking About A Retirement Side Hustle + 2 Story Updates

• • •

TEA FOR TWO, THAT’S ME & YOU

I’ve heard it said that most marital communication is the word *WHAT* being shouted between rooms.

I believe this to be true.

Especially now that Zen-Den, Esq., has retired, sort of.

You see, he retired from his main source of employment, a full-time job with benefits, and is now self-employed as an advisor wandering around at home, sometimes advising his former main source of employment while other times chatting it up with new prospects.

This is called a side hustle.

I am told.

So this means, from my point of view, that He Who Has A Side Hustle is underfoot almost all day long. Like a cheerful puppy. And because he’s accustomed to barking talking almost all day long, he has begun to NEED to tell me things.

While we are in different rooms.

Why just the other morning he shouted something to me from the kitchen while I was in our home study.

I said *what* of course.

He then walked into the home study and told me he had a few calls to take in the morning. After that he was going to organize the tea drawer where we keep, come to find out, 12 different teas*.

So you can see that He Who Has A Side Hustle is finding productive ways to occupy himself that for the most part keep him from pestering and annoying me all day long, and allow him to believe he is a valuable part of this household.

Because he is, of course.

* Knowing that someone is going to ask, the 12 kinds of tea in the drawer are:

  1. Ceylon Orange Pekoe
  2. Constant Comment
  3. Earl Grey
  4. English Breakfast
  5. English Teatime
  6. Green Tea
  7. Green Tea with Pomegranate, Raspberry & Strawberry
  8. Irish Breakfast
  9. Lady Grey
  10. Oolong Tea
  11. Peppermint
  12. Perfect Peach

• • •

UPDATES TO STORIES

1. We named the skeleton Earl. Thanks to everyone who offered name ideas. Y’all are funny. [Original story HERE.]

2.  After writing about how I accidentally acquired a bag of potato chips, Z-D was at Kroger using the U-scan. He used the barcode reader to ring up a six-pack of beer and it did, but then while placing the beer on the wonky wobbly bagging carousel he accidentally dropped the six-pack on the floor. The impact caused the metal caps on two bottles to loosen, spewing carbonated beer from the bottles.

Instead of going back to get a new six-pack, for which he paid in full, Z-D left the store with four bottles of beer. Thus he paid for something he did not get and thereby, I believe, restored balance in our relationship with Kroger. [Original story HERE.]

• • •

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

When thinking about retirement what is the first idea that pops into your mind? Does this thought make you worry or happy– or something else? 

If you drink tea, hot &/or cold, how many kinds of it do you have in your home? Are you about variety or uniformity?     

So what do you think, was it Kroger Karma that caused Zen-Den to drop that beer, making us whole with them again?

• • 💚 • •

Alumni Directories & The Art Of Mischievousness

Apropos of a delightfully snarky conversation with a friend…

FRIEND HAS RECEIVED AN INVITATION to her college reunion this fall. She has no interest in attending, but has the opportunity to be included in the alumni directory.

She would like that.

To do this she has to fill out an online form telling ye olde university details about who she is now. The form will not be accepted unless it is filled in completely.

Friend, like me, graduated from a liberal arts university. Hers, Methodist. Mine, Lutheran.

Friend, like me, majored in something to do with words. Hers, Romance Languages. Mine, English Literature.

Friend, like me, graduated from college and never returned to her hometown, instead choosing to make her way in the big bad world on her own.

Friend, like me, received almost no career counseling while in college. Instead she’s had many jobs, but none that suggest a specific title showing the summation of her work accomplishments*.

• • •

As always, Calvin asks the important questions

• • •

THE PROBLEM, AS WE SEE IT, is that Friend is unsure about how to describe herself on this ridiculous form that will ONLY be accepted if she fills in ALL the blanks.

Does she take the dutiful route and tell this university, where she received a great classical education but had no help finding work, about ONE of the things she’s done? That is, does she say she’s an Interpreter, even though she did that briefly?

OR should she be more irreverent, feeling no need to divulge anything specific about her work history to this institution that provided no career guidance. That is, does she say she’s a Woman of International Mystery?

I relate to this problem.

I know that when I’ve been forced to fill in forms like the one Friend is dealing with, I waiver between saying I’m a Writer or a Kept Woman. Both are apt, more or less, and satisfy the nosy computer system.

So what say you?

IF you were in this situation wherein you only needed to fill in the blank as a means to an end AND you felt no loyalty to the university from which you graduated…

Would your answer be sincere or flippant? 
And why?
Do you consider yourself mischievous at times?
And if so, how does that make you feel?

* If you’re a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher or an accountant [or whatever], you’ve not had to deal with this situation. But for those who have wandered through life working at various jobs, contributing to the GNP in our own ways, this can be problematic.

You Decide: Behaving Hypocritically Or Showing Sound Judgment

~ • ~

I CAN SEE WHAT HAPPENED FROM TWO PERSPECTIVES 

On the one hand I believe people can change and that’s a defining characteristic of humanity.  As we gain experience and knowledge we are able to change, preferably for the better, as we go along.

But on the other hand I like to keep my distance from people who have demonstrated they’re irony-impaired and don’t have the sense God gave a goose, regardless of whether they may have changed or not.

Judge me as you will.

~ • ~

I WAS ON INSTAGRAM WHEN IT MADE A SUGGESTION ABOUT WHO I SHOULD FOLLOW  

When I saw the name I recognized it immediately and shouted “HELL NO.”

Literally.

Shouted those words out loud.

Then I started laughing because I hadn’t thought about this woman, Zelda, in years.

I met Zelda, an author wannabe, through a mutual acquaintance who knew that Zelda was creating her author’s platform which was to include a personal blog.

Our mutual acquaintance thought that I might be able to answer some of Zelda’s questions about writing a personal blog. And I did.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

~ • ~

YOU SEE, ZELDA WAS GOING TO WRITE HER MEMOIR

It was to be about what she’d learned about how to get along with people while living on four continents.

She had stories to tell about her experiences while overcoming language barriers and adapting to the idiosyncrasies of the cultures around her.

There was a charming Kum Ba Yah hippy vibe to her thinking and Zelda was a wordy girl, of that I have no doubt.  She could talk up a storm about the book she had yet to write.

The thesis statement for her proposed memoir was something to the effect of: by taking time to listen and understand people you can connect on a deeper level regardless of your background. It just takes effort.

Being proactive, she’d started a blog for her author’s platform.

Oh yes she had.

~ • ~

BUT THERE WAS A PROBLEM

She couldn’t figure out how to attract readers.  She knew that as an author-to-be she’d need to be able prove to a literary agent that she had a loyal online following.

This was something that had not happened despite the time she was pouring into her blog;  she was clueless as to why this was so.

In an attempt to get to gain perspective on her problem I asked her which blogs she followed and commented on. She seemed baffled, genuinely confused.

She replied, you mean I’m supposed to pay attention to other blogs?  

I said, yes, that’s the deal. That’s how you connect in the blogosphere. You pay attention to other bloggers, leave thoughtful comments, then those people become your readers. 

To which she said, why would I do that? I don’t care about those people. All I want is for them to pay attention to me so I can sell my book.

And therein was the crux of the problem for this author wannabe/newbie blogger who wanted to tell YOU what to do, but had no intention of making any effort to do so herself.

Go figure, huh?

~ • ~

NOW I GRANT YOU ZELDA COULD HAVE CHANGED

It’s been years since I met her, but looking at her IG account I saw no evidence that she’d written her memoir or that she had a public personal blog.

Instead I saw an Instagram feed with selfies– and not much else.

Knowing what you do now, would you want to follow her on social media? Hmmm? 

Am I being hypocritical by not allowing her the opportunity to show me that she has changed OR am I protecting my personal boundaries/sanity by not following her?

Discuss.