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Public Service Announcement: How To Teach Your Kids To Swim

29 May

Anyone that knows me knows that I love swimming. I started on swim team at six years old, started teaching swim lessons at 14, and was a swim coach for three years. I was also a lifeguard for five years. So, yes, I’ve spent a lot of time at pools.

I believe that swimming was a tremendous gift that my parents gave me. It is my form of meditation, and a form of exercise I can carry with me into adulthood, and through two pregnancies and recovering from knee surgery. I definitely want to pass on the same gift to my children.

Swimming is our main activity together in the summer. Like yesterday, when we went to the pool and were immersed for three hours. Nothing makes me happier than sharing my love of the water with my kids.

What frustrates me, though, is watching how some other parents approach swimming with their children. Namely, when people put their small children in suits that have built in life jackets, built in floatation and water wings, or water wings.

At all of the pools I worked at, having flotation devices on your children was strictly prohibited. There was a good reason for that rule — putting children in flotation devices gives them a false sense of security in the water. They believe they can swim, and they do not learn the proper respect for the water. It also messes up their body positioning in the water.

Yesterday, I watched a woman who had her two year old in a life vest and water wings. The woman was in the water, but standing 3 feet from her daughter, saying, “look, you can swim!”

What I see is a two year old getting false confidence that could be deadly if she comes across a body of water while an adult isn’t looking.

What also drives me crazy is the parents that put their kids in flotation devices and then sit on the deck watching from afar. First rule of teaching your kids to swim: GET IN THE WATER. There is no replacement for adult supervision. Ever. Keep the flotation devices OFF of your children, and get in and hold them, teaching them how to kick, blow bubbles, hold their breath, and move their arms. It is really that simple. Those simple skills may take a while, but that is really what it’s all about.

Also have them practice grabbing onto the wall (doing the monkey walk to get to more shallow water), and getting out on their own (that’s right, without any pushes from the parent). It is my goal to ensure if my kids fall into a pool by accident that they won’t panic, will be able to turn around, grab the wall, and get out. I also drill into their heads that they do not get in the water without me. Period. My almost 3 year old will wait patiently on the step until I get to the pool.

I think it’s also important to get in and swim with your kids. Get your hair wet. Wear goggles and have underwater tea parties. Swim like a mermaid. I was at the pool yesterday, and for the majority of the time, I was the only parent in the water. So many women don’t want to get their hair wet or mess up their makeup. My advice to you: get over it! It is much more fun to just jump in completely than worry about every splash messing something up. I think my kids learn how to respect and enjoy the water because they see me doing it as well.

So what should you do with your kids? If they’re young, it’s all about imagination and play. Try ring around the rosy (you all fall down underwater and blow bubbles), host tea parties, go on lion hunts (or insert your favorite animal, going through obstacles like sinking sand, holes water falls, etc. on your quest), play tag. I buy my kids super cool pool toys each year (because they all seem to disappear by the end of the summer anyway). We have a shark, dive rings, kick board, etc. The kick board is strictly for kicking with my supervision. It is not a flotation device! I will not buy them anything inflatable besides a ball. The ball is only acceptable because they cannot rely on it to keep them afloat. They must rely on me or themselves.

I think getting kids goggles also makes a huge difference. I’ve found the brand Finis to be the most reliable against leaks. Goggles take away the strange sensation of water in your eyes, and also helps you to open your eyes underwater and feel comfortable.

There you have my words of advice. And for the record, I do own life vests for my kids, but those are saved strictly for our lake or ocean outings, where a wave or a sudden dip in the sand could pull them under. They never wear them in the pool.

After three hours in the pool yesterday, I taught my kids another lifeguard trick… When you’re chilled from being in the water so long, there is NOTHING that feels as good as laying on the hot cement. NOTHING. I had a moment yesterday where we all three were laying on the pool deck together, and I couldn’t help beaming, knowing that the tradition of swimming will live on in these two.

Reasons I hate USPS

22 Jul

Edited to add:  After countless calls to the national USPS customer service and our local post office, I was told that my normal carrier was on vacation, and that’s why they thought the package got lost.  Just the day after she returned from vacation, the package arrived in my mailbox, thrilling me to no end.  So, lesson learned…  If you’re going to send USPS, buy insurance!  I know we shouldn’t have to, but this experience proved to me how unorganized they can be when things go wrong! 

**********************

I ordered a very sentimental, personalized gift back in June, and according to USPS, it was delivered to my house on Friday.

But the problem is that it really wasn’t. 

I called them on Saturday and opened a case, and also discovered that because I didn’t get insurance, I’m SOL if they don’t find it.  I’ve always had an issue with them selling insurance.  Aren’t I paying you for a service?  Why should I have to buy insurace if you fail to provide the service for which I’m paying you?!  Just makes me angry.

Now I’m even more angry.  They said someone would get back to me on Tuesday.  No one did.  I called on Tuesday, they said someone would call me by end of day. 

They didn’t.  I called on Wednesday.  They said someone would get back to me by end of day.  They didn’t.

I called today, and they said I should call the local post office.  I did.  The line has been busy for the past hour.

I’m ready to scream.  I’m not sure whether to re-order this package, or if I should still wait on them.  I’m sure the delivery person stuck this small package in the wrong mailbox, and I’m also wondering why no one bothered to get it to me if that is the case.

After this experience, I’m no longer going to use them unless it’s required.  Just because they’re a government entity doesn’t mean they can treat people like this.

Trumping the Vendor

9 Dec

Six months ago, I asked a vendor to do a quick 4 question survey to customers when they call our call center, and give me the results. They sat on the request for ages, and then handed me an estimate that it would cost $6400 do complete the survey for me.

In a stroke of brillance, I said, I’ll use SurveyMonkey, write up the survey, and you just have your people click on the link and then enter in what the customer says. Cost = FREE. Seriously, I just trumped a whole team of their people!

Thanks, SurveyMonkey.

This is Wrong on So Many Levels

15 Sep

In our paper this weekend was an article about a 22 year-old woman who is auctioning off her virginity in order to pay for student loans.  The “deed” will be done at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch here in Nevada.

I can’t tell you how much this disturbs me.  She is flaunting that she’ll be a “prostitute for a day”, and trying to get publicity through Howard Stern, and Good Morning America (good luck getting on the morning show I say). 

It’s just wrong.  Virginity is a special gift to give to someone you love, not to auction to the highest (not to mention freaky and perverted) bidder.

Here is a link to the article.

Oh, and as I was searching online for the link to this article, I found another mention of an 18 year-old who has already auctioned off her virginity.  An exerpt from that article:

“Reid revealed the highest bidder was a divorced 44-year-old BT engineer and father of two. He offered a staggering $20,500 for her ‘services’.

Reid admitted the experience was “horrible” but blessedly brief. “It was horrible. . . I felt nervous and scared,” she said.”

That is just sick. You know who I feel sorry for in these situations? The girls’ parents. I can’t imagine how heart broken (not to mention disgusted) my parents would have been if I had pulled such a stunt. Haven’t these girls heard of getting jobs?! Or perhaps choosing a less expensive university instead of selling their souls?!

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

11 Sep

High heeled shoes for infants.

I’m shaking my head on this one.  I hate high heels, and feel like we need to abolish them once and for all — NOT start having babies wear them!

Don’t Mistake Palin for Women’s Lib

2 Sep

Along with the rest of the nation, I was shocked with McCain’s choice of a woman, a relatively unkown woman, for VP. As I research more about her, I am appalled by what the election of her and McCain would mean for women’s rights, science and democracy.  I believe that McCain chose her to capture womens’ votes, but to fellow women, I say beware…

This article excerpt sums it up:

“A significant part of Palin’s base of support lies among social and Christian conservatives. Her positions on social issues emerged slowly during the campaign: on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them).”

And here are my thoughts on those issues:

Abortion — A highly charged topic, it is my belief that it is a woman’s right to choose what is right for her and her own body.  Although I have religious beliefs that would prevent me from choosing an abortion, it is MY RIGHT to make that choice.  This topic crosses heavily over into religion, and I firmly believe that we should maintain separation of church and state.  I also cringe at the implication to women’s rights if Roe vs. Wade is overturned.  As has happened in history, when abortions are outlawed, illegal operations crop up, which can severely compromise a woman’s health (if not kill her).  Pregnancy is a huge responsibility, in which you can really screw up a fetus/baby if you are not completely bought in to the process — via drugs, unhealthy eating, smoking, alcohol, etc.  Why do we want to force those types of people to carry out an unwanted pregnancy?!  This country was founded on religious freedom, so we should preserve the right for people with different beliefs to make their own decisions.  Especially in situations where the mother’s health or life could be compromised by a pregnancy, I say back off politicians and let the doctors make the decisions!

Stem cell research — In my opinion, this is another instance where the religious views of politicians are getting in the way of science.  I don’t understand why we cannot use the cells from embryos left over from fertility treatments that are set to be destroyed anyway.  Once you have known someone that is impacted by an infliction that could benefit from stem cell research, you see first hand how frustrating it is that politicians are impeding the progress.  I’ve had two very good friends that were paralyzed — one paraplegic and one quadriplegic.  For my friend, Heidi Van Arnem (please go read about her), that was a quadriplegic, it is too late to improve her life with stem cell research because she died at age 36 from complications due to her paralysis.  I worked with the disability community during my tenure at General Motors, and to hear first hand from these people about the great implications of stem cell research, I just don’t understand why we would choose to protect cells from embryos that would be destroyed anyway over the health improvement implications for existing people already struggling with disabilities.  At least McCain isn’t outwardly opposed to stem cell research, as he is quoted as saying, ““This is a tough issue for those of us in the pro-life community. I would remind you that these stem cells are either going to be discarded or perpetually frozen. We need to do what we can to relieve human suffering.”

Physician assisted suicide — I don’t understand why we cannot afford humans the same dignity we offer animals when the pain is just too much.  I have watched one of my grandparents suffer with emphysema, and another with dimensia, and both were fates that I just can’t imagine anyone would want to endure.  Once again, this is a religious decision that politicians are thwarting.  This is a free country.  If I don’t have the religious beliefs to stop me from engaging in physician assisted suicide, what right does Washington have to stop me?  I don’t think I’d personally do this either, but once again, I firmly believe it should be my choice.

Same sex marriage — The health benefits are tied to the same sex marriage debate.  I say if people want to get married and follow the same laws and ties of marriage, then so be it.  If they then choose to get divorced, they will then have to endure the same trials as any heterosexual couple.  Once again, this country was founded on religious tolerance, so I think politicians should stop making the religious judgement that same sex marriage is wrong, and just let people make their own choices and deal with the ramifications that those choices cause.

So, as we face Decision 2008, once again, I find myself choosing to vote for the lesser of two evils.  I’m not convinced either McCain or Obama are the candidates that this country needs.

You Know What Really Chaps My Hide?

28 Aug

Now that it is summer, I regularly get peeved by the cute young things that come to the gym just to sunbathe in their bikinis.  (I know, something my male readers couldn’t understand.)  I workout HARD every time I go to the gym.  I have a trainer that regularly kicks my butt.  I bust my butt in spin class, on the treadmill, and I swim really hard when I work out in the pool.

It just doesn’t seem fair that when they go to the gym, all they do is slather on tanning oil and lay in their oh so perfect bodies.  I workout hard enough to deserve a body like that, darnit!  It’s just not fair!

All Politicians Are Jerks

8 Aug

John Edwards has admitted to having an affair while his wife was undergoing cancer treatments.

Excuse me?!  He did that to the woman that stood by him and helped him campaign in the midst of her own personal health crisis?!  To the mother of his children, WHILE SHE WAS BATTLING CANCER?!

Is it a prerequisite now-days for politicians to be first class A-holes and idiots?!  And I actually thought he was one of the few good guys in Washington. 

I’d like to think that if I was diagnosed with cancer that my husband would take care of me and also take care of the children, and NOT go sleep with another woman and possibly have fathered a child with her!

This news angers me on so many levels.  I remember questioning his character when he decided to keep running for president despite his wife’s dire diagnosis of most likely terminal cancer.  I remember being in awe that she would continue to step up and represent him despite that diagnosis.  And for him to go off and screw another woman during that time is completely inexcusable to me.

Living in a Haze

10 Jul

Image courtesy of the Reno Gazette Journal.

The veil of smoke is back in Reno, after lifting slightly for a few days.  This is the third week where we’re covered in smoke from the California fires.  The air quality is horrible, and people are recommending that we stay inside.  The sun looked red through the smoke last night.  It is very ominous.

This just plain sucks.  And I can’t help but think it’s a symptom of global warming, and a sign of things to come.  Fires this bad with smoke this bad just didn’t happen when I was growing up.  It’s becoming a trend in the summers for us to have nasty smoke hanging around, and honestly, if this keeps up, we may want to move.  Summer is my favorite time of year, and it is so tainted by this smoke, and it makes me sad to not be able to see our beautiful Sierra Nevadas.

Some people close to me say Al Gore is full of bunk (you know who you are).  I tell you, some of the predictions he has made have come true, including increased forest fires, flooding and increased severe weather, and the melting of the North Pole.  It’s just depressing.  I worry what this world will be like for the next generation.

Excerpt from ClimateCrisis.net:

We’re already seeing changes. Glaciers are melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing.

  The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.2
  Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.3
  The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.4
  At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.5

 

If the warming continues, we can expect catastrophic consequences.

   
  Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.7
  Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.
  Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.
  The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.8
  More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.9Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years — to 300,000 people a year.9

What Does Beauty Really Get You?

2 Jul

Ever since we were little girls, we are conditioned to think that if you have beauty, you have it all.  Look at all the Disney princess movies — the evil people are ugly, and the pretty people are good and always get the prince.  It’s that conditioning that makes me stop and contemplate that having beauty in the real world doesn’t always mean you get the prince.

For instance, Christie Brinkley is in the midst of a divorce battle with Peter Cook, who had an affair with an 18 year old, and racked up $3,000 per month in online p0rn.  He was married to Christie Brinkley!  She is the epitome of beautiful, even in her 50s, I would be thrilled to look like her.  You’d think any man would be completely satisfied to be with Christie Brinkley for the rest of his life.  But Peter Cook turned out to be no prince at all.

Or what about the Wonderbra model Elisabetta Gregoraci.  Not to judge a book by its cover (all be it a RICH cover), but it baffles me how someone as gorgeous as her ends up with someone like this:

(courtesy of The Superficial)

Or that Christina Aguilera could end up with someone that looks like this:

(also courtesy of The Superficial)

I know that beauty is only skin deep, and yes, we should choose a mate based on personality and not looks.  But come on!  Shouldn’t there be some sort of physical attraction there?!

It almost seems to me that in Hollywood at least, beauty seems to beg a sort of calamity in your life.  So as much as I may want to lose weight and count calories and work out like crazy, I have to remember that I have pretty much all I ever wanted out of life with a loving husband and beautiful daughter, so I need to remember that chasing after the unattainable American ideal of beauty is a rather fruitless endeavor.

Right?!

Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to have kids

6 Feb

Video about a woman driving drunk that buckled up a case of beer in her car but not her one year old child.

That is so infuriating.

Email Hell

4 Feb

emailhell.jpg

I’m back, but I’m in email hell.  I’ll write as soon as I get one nostril above the water line.

Pump Up The Volume

20 Dec

It snowed last night.  It only snowed a little, and it’s all melted off in the valley right now.  But at the gym today, there were people working out in their snow boots and wearing stocking hats.

And to those people, I just have to say YOU ARE NOT WORKING OUT HARD ENOUGH.  The gym is 70 degrees inside year round.  Working out in outdoor winter gear is just plain stupid.

That’s all.

Burned Again

6 Dec

Someday I’m going to learn my lesson.  For the second year in a row, I have been burned by online Christmas shopping.  Last year, I had to show up to Christmas morning with pictures of many of the gifts I had purchased online Dec. 1 that were delayed in shipping.  I placed an order this year on Dec. 3 at Amazon.com, and just found out that they don’t intend for it to arrive until the week AFTER Christmas.  Of course, there wasn’t any messaging about this before the purchase, as I wouldn’t have purchased with them if that was the case. (Note to my friend, A, it’s the shipment headed for your house, so expect a delay!)

How do online retailers get away with this?!

Edited to add:  I would be remiss not to post that Amazon has rectified the situation.  After utilizing their ‘click to call’ feature, where within a split second of me clicking on the button telling them to call me, the phone rang, and the customer service representative totally fixed the problem.  There is a reason why I’m an avid Amazon customer!

The Execs That Made This Decision Haven’t Traveled With Toddlers Recently

19 Sep

As if air travel with a toddler wasn’t miserable enough, my favorite airline, Southwest, has totally disappointed me by deciding to end pre-boarding for people traveling with children under 4.  Ugha.  It is challenge enough to get to the airport early enough to check bags and get through security, but now we have to worry about our spot in line?!  Say farewell to sitting together as a family (where it helps to have a ratio of 2:1), and say hello to sitting in a middle seat with a lap child and strangers on either side.  Oh boy, does that sound like fun.

Southwest, you have failed me.

Back off of the Pooch

11 Sep

I didn’t actually see Britney Spears’ performance at the MTV VMA awards this week, but I am just LIVID about the media saying she looked out of shape and had a stomach pooch.

You know how much I would love to look like that after having a kid?!  And she’s had two!  One of those is less than a year old!  And we wonder why women and girls in this country have body issues.  We’re telling them that this is what it looks like to be out of shape.

britney_spears_2007_vmas_05.jpg

Granted, I know she’s probably had work done, but still, why must we be so darn critical of looks?!  I give her kudos for being able to go on national TV after having a kid so recently.  Lord knows I couldn’t do that…

I Hadn’t Thought To Try SWIMMING

9 Aug

The other day, I was running on the treadmill at the gym, and my hip started hurting.  This has happened the past several times I’ve run.  I mentioned this to a friend in the locker room who is a runner.  I was telling her that I like running, but sometimes I just feel that my body isn’t really built for it.  Afterall, most runners are skinny little people.  I am not.

At that point in the conversation, this other girl I’ve never met piped in and said, “you should try swimming!”

I was almost speechless.  If she only knew that I had put in 8,200 yards in two days over the weekend.  That I have been putting in some insane yardage in the past month perparing for a 2.7 mile open water swim this weekend. 

“I have been.” I told her.

She proceeded to try to sell me on how wonderful swimming is, and for some reason, it really grated on my nerves.  I could just picture her liesurely doing side stroke for 10 laps while thinking that was a workout.

But next thing I knew, one of the trainers that works at the gym, who was in the middle of changing, and was n-a-k-e-d, started saying that I just need to stretch, and she proceeded to demonstrate stretches for me, while she was totally in the buff.  That was a bit strange.

I left the gym that day shaking my head. 

One thing that just truly grates my nerves is that I’ve been absolutely busting my butt at the gym and in the pool, and I haven’t lost weight but actually gained a pound.  And don’t start lecturing me about muscle weighs more than fat.  With the amount of cardio I’ve been doing, it should have nudged the needle on the scale.  Anyway, I get so irritated when I see women with killer bodies coming to the gym or the pool just to sun bathe in their string bikinis.  Or when they put on skimpy workout clothes, and do a workout that  serves to show off their body and prance than to break a sweat. 

It just isn’t fair.  Why was I cursed with the metabolism of a 80 year old woman?!  For the amount of hours and sweat I put in (minimum of 6 days a week, average heart rate around 170), I should be the one that can prance around in a bikini.  Grrrr… 

Two days left until my big swim at Donner Lake.  Must hit the pool one more time today.  I guess I’ll give that swimming thing a try. (Said with utmost sarcasm.)

Crap

19 Jun

Darnit. In my quest to remove people’s names from my site, I broke about half of the pictures on my site because names were in the code for the pictures.

*muttering explicatives*

Way to create work for myself… Darn search and replace feature…

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Pet Peeves

18 May

A few of my Internet pet peeves:

1. When one of my favorite bloggers quits. Argh! It’s like reading a book and finding out the ending is ripped out. There are several sites I’ve been reading for YEARS and they recently kicked the bucket. DARN YOU!!!

2. When people put songs on their MySpace profile pages. 99% of the time when I’m on the computer, I have my own music playing, and to have your song start blaring over my music is highly annoying.

3. Private profile pages on MySpace. Seriously, why bother? Just don’t post incriminating information or pictures and you’re fine.

4. Comment spam. My blog is getting over run with comment spam. I know I need to switch platforms to upgrade the comments functionality, but who has time for that?! If your comment doesn’t show up on my site, it’s probably because I accidentally deleted it while filtering out all of the spam comments.

5. Back to MySpace, what is up with the crappy layouts people use? They are mostly horribly distracting and make the pages hard to read.

I’m done ranting for now. Little Miss is still home sick with a fever, which turned out to definitely not be teething, as it peaked at 103.2. I’m fighting off the cough of the devil. Hopefully some day we will all be well again.

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Who Runs This Place, Anyway?

17 Apr

Our taxes were completed at about 12:30 am. Just back from the post office, to which I’d like to submit this feedback:

  • This is a great day for your self-serve kiosk to be out of service
  • Weren’t you expecting a lot of business today?! Perhaps you could have staffed up
  • Speaking of the staff, could they move any SLOWER? I watched them mosey from the back room back up to the front counter repeatedly as the line grew and grew
  • To the people who were mailing things other than tax returns, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! The woman ahead of me was mailing a Land’s End return. Seriously?!

Glad that project is over for another year. We have made our annual contribution to the black hole otherwise known as Iraq.

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Don’t Get Hacked

28 Mar

I just discovered a great article (thanks to Web-Goddess) about password hacking. After reading about how the author would hack a hypothetical account, I realized why I was such a sitting duck when my Gmail account got hacked last Fall.

Many of my accounts had the same user name and password, and were all tied to that email. Once the hacker was into my email, he could easily access my financial information and other sensitive data.

I just used that author’s advice and changed all of my user names and passwords following his guidance for strong passwords.

This probably means I’ll persistantly not be able to get into accounts, but the data in those accounts will be safe!

Now go, read the article and protect yourself!

How To Make Me Crabby

28 Feb

I stopped by the grocery store yesterday after work. I needed to buy the basics, but I was primarily concerned with buying some nice dark chocolate. I find that a small piece of chocolate each day can curb my sweet cravings and make me feel happy all around.

When I got home and unpacked the bags, one item was missing.

My chocolate.

Of all things to leave out, they picked my chocolate. Yes, they managed to charge me for it. They couldn’t have left out the spinach, salad, etc. They had to leave out the chocolate. I searched my car not once, not twice, but three times, and confirmed the chocolate is missing in action. And it really is just too much of a pain in my butt to march back in there to get my chocolate because one trip to the store weekly is challenge enough with a 1 year old.

I don’t know if that started a string of events, but I woke up this morning, and soon thereafter, I was just peeved. And I’ve been peeved the whole day, wanting to just go home and take a nap. In my prior life, on days like this, I might actually cave into that whim,and after a nap and some veg-out time, I’d probably be my normal chipper self. But I have plenty of real substantial reasons for which I miss work, and hence I shall just remain peeved.

I did manage to sneak away to purchase some chocolate at a nearby store, which after that and a tall cup of leaded coffee (which I save for situations when I really need the jolt), perhaps I will see myself out of this peevish hole in which my day has been residing.

The Journey of Death

21 Feb

For all of you NMSU Aggie Alumni out there, you need to read this article which was on the front page of the Reno Gazette Journal on Monday.

I was a amuzed, and a bit miffed at the negative portrayal the journalist gave of Las Cruces, a city that is very fond in my heart.

A few quotes:

“An early visitor, Spanish explorer Don Juan de Onate, called his trip there in 1598 the “Jornado del Muerto.”

In English, that’s “Journey of Death.” Not exactly a chamber of commerce slogan.

The city, founded in 1849, got its name after some travelers were killed by Apaches, and the survivors marked their graves with crosses, calling the area “La Placita de Las Cruces,” or “Place of the Crosses.”

Not much of a tale to attract tourists or Wolf Pack fans.”

The Las Cruces that I left almost 10 years ago was a charming college town with a lot of Spanish culture. You could find some of the best New Mexican food there, and there were REAL cowboys everywhere (as opposed to Reno, which has Rednecks and wanna be cowboys). And the bars there had the best two stepping and swing dancing joints I’ve ever been experienced.

I miss the Organ mountains, the pecan groves, the Rio Grande (especially the parties along the river banks), the mild winters and the food and the nightlife. It’s just different there. It’s a shame the journalist couldn’t appreciate different.

I didn’t appreciate the negative slant the article took, and just for that, I sure hope that my Aggies put this writer in his place when they play UNR.

I think we have a fighting chance, because our team already beat the UNR Wolf Pack once this season.

Go Aggies!

You Think?!

1 Feb

Warming ‘very likely’ due to man, report to say

Officials from 113 countries agreed Thursday that a much-awaited report will say that recent global warming was “very likely” caused by human activity

Um, DUH!

Google’s at it Again

18 Jan

Looks like Google is at it again with their “stellar” customer service when someone’s account gets hacked.

Help me spread the word that The Happiness of Pursuit has been hacked and is getting the silent treatment from Google.

I didn’t tell all of you the end of my Google story, by the way. They finally restored my account access, because someone within Google’s realm said they were able to verify my identity, even though they didn’t ask me any more questions. I later received an email from someone on the Google security team saying that they were researching my incident, and found some emails that the hacker had deleted from my account, so they restored those emails.

The emails were the password change confirmation and account name change confirmation emails from eBay. From those emails, I was able to find the IP address of the hacker. I sent that IP address to that person at Google, and they tracked it down to an Internet Service Provider in Italy. I was told that they could try to track the person through the ISP, but that the ISP most likely wouldn’t help, and Google thought it would be a dead end anyway.

I felt a bit better about the experience to know that Google was following up on the hacking of my account, but I still think they need to improve their process for handling these hackings. The amount of time that the hacker had access to my account was totally unacceptable. They should look at eBay as an example, who has an online chat with a customer service agent for issues with security. Yes, I had to wait in queue for 45 minutes, but I was happy to do that in order to get a live person to help me solve the issue on the spot. Kudos, eBay. Shame on you, Google.