Monday, July 16, 2018

F*(%ing Scammers

Many of you know that my Grandma was scammed out of many, many thousands of dollars and her piece of mind. In fact, Mom's pretty certain that Grandma chose death over going home, because the scammers had her convinced that they would kill her family and/or burn her house down if she didn't come up with more money. Yeah, they're assholes.

However, because of the scammers, we've been pretty vocal about trying to educate people about scammers. Sometimes, examples just fall into your lap. Like the email I received yesterday from Heath Willis (whjeffrystz @ I'm going to post it in its entirety and add comments that I hope you'll find helpful.

I will directly come to the point. I know that hxxxxxxx3 is your password. (Former password, I've changed my password several times since that was my password. I also don't ever use the "remember password" function on any devices.) Most importantly, I know your secret (Generic, he's playing on people's guilty conscious. Most people have said or done something they wish no one would ever find out about, no matter how small or innocent.) and I've evidence of it. You don't know me personally and no one hired me to look into you. 

It is just your hard luck that I stumbled across your bad deeds. In fact, I setup a malware on the adult vids (pornography) (hello, everyone's greatest fear - getting caught watching porn! The pearl-clutchers will keel over just reading this threat) and you visited this web site to experience fun (you know what I mean). While you were busy watching videos, your web browser started out operating as a Rdp (Remote control desktop) that has a keylogger which gave me access to your display as well as cam (just enough technical information that it sounds extra scary). After that, my software obtained your entire contacts from your messenger, facebook, as well as email. (This is where people get really nervous - who wants their co-workers, family, and friends, not to mention casual acquaintances to even *think* they've looked at a porn site?) 

Next, I gave in much more hours than I should've investigating into your life and generated a two screen video. First part shows the recording you were viewing and second part shows the recording from your web camera (its you doing nasty things). (This is really rich, because I disable all of my web cameras AND cover them with tape. I do have two cameras that aren't covered (phone and tablet), but they are disabled and require permission to enable them. Go ahead, send out the videos of the back of the piece of tape. )
Honestly, I am willing to forget all information about you and let you continue with your regular life. And I will give you two options which will accomplish this. These two choices are with the idea to ignore this letter, or perhaps pay me $ 1900. Let’s examine those two options in more details. 

First Option is to ignore this message. You should know what is going to happen if you pick this path. I will certainly send out your video recording to your entire contacts including close relatives, co-workers, etc. (This is what frightens most people. My life is pretty much an open book. Sure, there are things that I've said or done that I'm not proud of, but my life won't end from the humiliation threatened here.) It doesn't protect you from the humiliation you and your family will feel when friends and family discover your sordid videos (yep, the back of the tape covering my camera is truly sordid) from me. 

Second Option is to pay me $ 1900. We will name this my “privacy fee”. (He calls it a "privacy fee", I call it extortion.) Now let me tell you what happens if you choose this path. Your secret remains your secret. I'll erase the recording immediately. You continue on with your routine life as though none of this ever happened. 

Now you must be thinking, “I should go to the cops”. (I had planned to go to the cops, but there really isn't a thing they can do. But ... I can share this email and out the fucker in another way.) Without a doubt, I have covered my steps to ensure this mail can't be tracked to me also it won't prevent the evidence from destroying your health. I am not looking to dig a hole in your pocket. I just want to be paid for the time I place into investigating you. Let's assume you have decided to create all this disappear and pay me the confidentiality fee. You'll make the payment via Bitcoin (if you don't know how, type "how to buy bitcoins" in search engine) 

Required Amount: $ 1900 
Receiving Bitcoin Address: 1LMtLYR2vUzfvooVowaUqNLCzRyuf2XMA7 
(It's CASE sensitive, so copy and paste it carefully) 

Tell no one what will you use the Bitcoins for or they may not sell it to you. (In Gavin de Becker's book "The Gift of Fear" he mentions that the bad guy will tell you what their weaknesses are. That's exactly what happened here - if I dare tell anyone I'm buying the Bitcoin from, they won't sell to me. Why wouldn't I tell them, now that I know his weakness? You know, if I actually had the money and was scared enough of humiliation to pay the extortion fee.) The method to acquire bitcoin will take a couple of days so do not delay.
I have a unique pixel in this e mail (Again, sounds so scary. People like me, who aren't tech savvy are now scratching our heads, wondering if this is even possible. Hell, for all I know, it might be. I don't care, because his biggest threat is humiliation. Puhleeze, he doesn't know my life, he has no idea how frequently I open my own mouth and humiliate my self.), and right now I know that you've read through this mail. You now have 2 days in order to make the payment. If I don't get the Bitcoins, I will certainly send your video to all your contacts including friends and family, coworkers, and so forth (Ooooo.... the people in my contacts list might get a fake video of me. Or it might be real, from me laying in bed watching Netflix on my tablet (again, camera is disabled and I must give permission to enable them), but whatevs. The fact is, that he's going to have to go to a lot of work to make videos that look incriminating). You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Having said that, if I do get paid, I'll destroy the video immediately. It's a non-negotiable one time offer, so don't ruin my time & yours. Your time has started (Now this threat is just lazy and screams Hollywood.). 
So there it is: play on someone's deepest, darkest secret (if they knew what it was, they'd address it directly instead of making vague mention, they play on the fact that so many Americans watch porn, and assume that's everyone's darkest secret); make specific threats (humiliation); demand money; and end with a witty one-liner.

Now, I will honestly admit I was afraid to open my email from my laptop (my personal emails go to my phone), because I didn't want to inadvertently give this guy access. After talking with the IT guys at work, I was assured that if I was running my malware I would be safe to go in and change my password again. Like I mentioned earlier, the password "Heath" said he had was from years ago.

A handful of my friends received similar emails yesterday, and Lee Lofland (of The Graveyard Shift) checked with some people he knows and was told it was most likely from the LinkedIn (or MySpace or even PoliceOne) breach from a few years ago. That makes sense, because that was my password back then.

I will be spending the day running scans and updating all of my passwords on all of my devices, though I do it a couple times a year anyway.

If this guy does try to send out emails to my contacts list, I hope you enjoy watching the back of the tape I cover all of my cameras with, though it would probably be in your best interest to not open any email from him - you don't want to give him access to your own accounts.

Monday, February 19, 2018

What Can *I* Do to Save Lives?

Last week, I read a post shared by Renegade Medics on Facebook. The gist is that everyone in a school setting should be trained in trauma management. Does that mean that secretaries, teachers, and custodians need to be paramedic certified? No.

Credit: Renegade Medics

What it means is that a lot of traumatic deaths (in this case, gunshot wounds) are preventable if people are trained to deal with them. It matters not if a person is pro-gun or anti-gun, we all have the ability to save lives.

I am personally fairly comfortable with treating trauma, as I started my "life" in medicine first as an athletic trainer, then an EMT. Though I currently teach Medical Assistants, I'm still fairly comfortable with trauma. I knew that if something happened at work, I'd be okay handling it, but I was being short-sighted. While I could handle it, could others on our campus?

After reading the post by Renegade Medics, I made up my mind to do something about it, because they are right - everyone on campus should be trained. That's something I can do for my campus - staff and students.

I immediately started texting my boss, telling him that I wanted to place a trauma kit in every classroom and that I wanted to do a staff/faculty training to teach everyone how to use it. I'm not looking at making a full trauma kit - there won't be any IV bags, trach kits, etc. It will be a very basic, oh shit bag, with TQs, chest seals, and packing gauze. You know, basically what I carry in my IFAK. One in every classroom, with all staff/faculty members trained will go a long way toward saving lives.

I know, after every big tragedy, we look around and ask, "what can I do?". Well, this is what I can do.

What can you do? Start by getting training yourself. Here's a great place to start:
Look for free classes near you. Or, if you're an instructor, sign up to teach free classes.

Friday, February 9, 2018

My First Drink of the Kool-Aid

I've posted a lot about Perfectly Posh recently. (Here, here, and ... here.) So much that you might be under the impression I'm a consultant, but I'm not. I'm just a middle-aged woman who has very recently found out how good it can feel to take care of herself. I mean, I've always managed to feed, bathe, and clothe myself. Occasionally, I even expended the energy to work-out, but I never gave much thought to caring for my skin. And I certainly never realized that caring for my skin would make me feel better, so please forgive this sudden onslaught. I have definitely started drinking the Posh Kool-Aid.

My first taste of the Kool-Aid was the Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme. I might have mentioned that before, but I don't think I said why I fell in love with the lotions.

For many, many years I loved the lotions from Bath and Body Works, but those lotions washed off easily, and after a while, gave me migraines. About two years ago, I tried Bath and Body Works lotion again, and was very thankful it washed off easily, because I hadn't even finished rubbing it in before the headache started. I think it has a lot to do with the chemicals they use to scent their lotions.

Until I found this BFYHC, I used a lotion bar when I could. I do love a good lotion bar, because it protects my hands so well. But ... my hands are always cold, so getting the lotion bar warm enough to spread and soak in was always a problem. I never suffered a migraine from one, though, and I think that's because most lotion bars are made with beeswax and natural ingredients.

Even though I don't currently work in medicine, I still wash my hands and wear gloves a lot, so winter has always been miserable for my hands. They were always dry and itchy. I've developed a sensitivity to certain brands of gloves, and when the skin on my hands is in bad shape, the sensitivity reaction gets worse.

The very first item I ever bought from Posh was one of their BFYHCs. Remember, I'd been sampling it for a few weeks from my hay lady, so when Momma Fargo started selling Posh, I thought I'd buy something to support her. The only products of theirs I was familiar with was the hand creme.

It took about one full day for me to fall head-over-heels in love with the stuff. I took it to work, where I could use it after washing my hands and before putting on gloves to help seal my hands. Turns out, it doesn't wash off nearly as easily as the lotion from Bath and Body Works and I haven't found a scent yet that gives me a migraine.

If you've suffered from dry, itchy skin, you know that some times when you put lotion on it burns. That's because of the alcohol content of traditional lotions. I have found that Posh's hand cremes are soothing, not burn-y, and they seal my hands well against gloves.

The hand cremes are thick and silky feeling, but soak in nicely and do not leave my hands feeling greasy. The scent, for me, is not overpowering. In fact, I can only really smell it when I put the hand creme on and then only if my hands are near my face.

Through trial and error, I found that my face does not like the BFYCHs, nor do my legs. I bought a lighter lotion (Hippie Horray, I think is what it's called) for my legs, and use Moisture 911 on my face. Momma Fargo does have customers who use BFYHC on their faces without a problem, but my face didn't like it.

(You'll notice links in my sidebar for both Momma Fargo and Momma Bear. If you click on their Posh icon, it will take you to their consultant pages. I make nothing from having those links there - I'm not a consultant - but since I love the product and you'll be seeing a lot of posts about it for a while, I thought I'd do them a solid and put in their links.)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What Are We? The Addams Family?

I've shared with you Grandpa Ed's legs. Lots of people I know love the story behind his legs, but are really, really glad that they live at my house. I get it, if the roles were reversed, I'd be right there with you.

The other night, Jay and I had dinner with Mom and Bill at Grandma's house. As you can imagine, there is a lot of cleaning and sorting of stuff going on. A lot of it. (Side note: it was a lot easier to clean out Grandma Mary's house, because it was mostly junk. We took the items that had sentimental value, but she didn't own anything of value other than the house itself.)

One of the things Mom and Bill ran across were Grandma's dentures with the "cutters". Now, I know Grandma used to talk about her dentures with the "cutters", and she complained a time or two about not being able to chew as well without them, but I actually had zero idea what she was talking about.

We all just kind of humored her about her magic, cutting dentures. And then Mom and Bill found these ...

Yes, those are wire "cutters" on her molars.
Normally, I'd be completely disgusted about finding decades-old dentures tucked away in a cupboard somewhere, but I'm equal parts fascinated and disgusted by these. My first thought when Mom showed them to me was, "Grandma could eat the hell out of some steak with those!", followed quickly by "I would hate to bite my tongue!".

During our initial walk-through of the house, I claimed a couple of things: the yellow step-stool, the fridge (don't judge, it's the coolest fridge ever, and it's going to stay with the house for now), and this pair of pictures (?). I'm not sure exactly what they are, but ever since I was a little kid, I've loved these things.

They are made of pieces of bark and moss, so I don't know what to call them. Are they fiber art? Are they decoupage?

When going through Grandma's photo albums, we saw that this set started as a set of four. Two remain. The best we can figure is that they're 60 years old. The one big lie Mom ever told was about these picture-things, but that's her story, so you'll have to ask her about it.

Like Ed's legs, Jay was not thrilled with having these in the house. Lucky for him, I never intended them to go up in our house, they're in my office at work. I haven't hung them up yet (obviously), but they go well with my trail riding pictures.

Lord only knows what other treasures we'll unearth as we continue to clean out her house.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

What Is All This Stuff?

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about having a face routine, when I've never had one in the past. I started with just BFF and added in the Never Grow Up serum. Every couple of weeks I added something else in, but the reality is all I need (and pretty much all anyone needs) is BFF and Moisture 911.

Probably the most important thing to remember when using Posh products is that you barely use any product. For the first couple of weeks, I way overused everything, so start with about half of what you think you'll need and adjust from there.

My face routine, now that I've had one (for three whole months!) looks something like this:
  • BFF in the shower (pea-sized dollop will do my face and neck and it's still probably a bit too much). BFF is for getting rid of the dead skin cells and it does it very nicely.
  • Prize on the Eyes once I'm out of the shower, under each eye. Just a dab - like the head of a straight pin - will cover each under eye. This is supposed to lighten the dark circles. Not sure it's lightning them, or pronouncing them, but the skin does feel tighter and I seem to have less luggage.
  • Never Grow Up serum, one pump will do my crow's feet, forehead, around my mouth (trying to avoid those mouth wrinkles), and my bigger neck wrinkles. I feel very fortunate that I don't have a ton of wrinkles yet, but I'm doing my level best to avoid them.
  • While waiting for the serum to absorb, I use the Bring on the Bubbly lip scrub. Always, always follow this with some sort of lip stuff. I have the Melon Drama from Posh, but don't like it much, so I use my favorite lip stuff made by a co-worker's husband.
  • After the NGU serum has been absorbed, I follow with Never Grow Up creme in the same areas. I just touch the creme with my finger and use that to cover the NGU serum.
  • I finish with a pea-sized dollop of Moisture 911 over my face and neck. I can tell if I forget the 911, because my skin feels tight and itchy, so if you're going to scrub off all of the dead cells, it's a really good idea to soothe the healthy cells underneath with 911.
I honestly cannot tell you whether or not using Posh products has rolled back the clock, but I can tell you that my skin feels much better.

I didn't realize I had any hippie in me, but I do love that all of the ingredients are natural, or derived from natural products, instead of being completely synthetic. There are even some of their products that are vegan, if that matters to you. What matters to me, above everything else, is that my skin feels good; I would think that anyone with sensitive skin could use most of these products without any issues.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Face Routine - What's That?

Until last November, my face care consisted of clear water in the shower. I so rarely wear make-up that each time I do, I have to go buy new stuff because it dries out between usages. I figured that clear water was just fine. I mean, I actually have pretty good skin for being an old-ish broad.

It's not that I haven't tried to take care of my face, it's just that everything seemed so cumbersome and the warnings were dire - you had to use all of these specific products and you could never, ever stop using them or your face would shrivel up like an old apple and fall off.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't that bad, but that's how I felt. I'm not even sure how I went from sampling hand lotion when I bought hay to falling face-first into the Posh lifestyle.

Wait ... yes, I do. I bought the stocking stuffers from my hay lady, found out that Momma Fargo became a consultant and purchased a Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme (BFYHC) from her (My Hands are Thai'd, I believe). I loved the BFYHC, because it didn't leave my hands greasy, but I also didn't need to reapply it a million times throughout the day.

Included in my order was a sample of BFF (Best Face Forever). I held onto the sample for a while; a lot of times facial exfoliants were too abrasive and dried my skin out. I kind of hung out in the Posh group I was in, and heard amazing things about BFF, so I decided one day to give it a try. Rather than try to replicate my initial reaction to BFF, I thought I'd just paste my original thoughts below:
"I've heard great things about BFF from people who've used it, but I wasn't too excited about it because usually exfoliating face scrubs are awful on my face - it's like using rough grit sandpaper.

I got a sample of BFF and decided to use it today.

Oh. My. God. Where has this been my whole life?

I didn't feel like I was using a circular sander on my face, and the spearmint (I think that's what is in it) was so soothing and cooling. It did gently exfoliate my problem areas and my face feels so nice and smooth.

I was afraid that once I got out of the shower and dried off, that my face would feel tight and dry, but it doesn't."
I pretty much still feel this way about BFF, and started adding things into my routine. My next purchase was the Never Grow Up serum for my developing crow's feet. One thing led to another, and I added in Moisture 911. Two weeks later, I was compelled to add this to the Posh page I was on:
"Ok, so I've been using BFF and Never Grow Up serum for about two weeks. I do not use it as directed. I use the BFF every other day (every day makes my face sensitive), and the NGU every day. This past week, I started adding in Moisture 911.

I don't know that I've SEEN a difference in my face, but I definitely FEEL a difference. The skin on my face is so smooth and soft, and the dry, flaky skin on each side of my nose is gone.

I was afraid that adding in the Moisture 911 would be too much, that it would make my face feel greasy, since most moisturizers do, but it hasn't. It has been a nice addition to my new face ritual (remember, I've never had a face routine).

Part of me wishes I'd taken before pictures to compare with, but I hate the camera so much and I was afraid there wouldn't be any visible change. For now, I'm super happy with the textural change in the skin on my face.

The only problem I see with these products is that it will be a while before I have to replace the products - a little goes a long way! That's great for my bank account, but maybe not so great for Posh, as my refill orders will only be every 3-4 months, if not longer."
I'm actually surprised that I've been able to keep this up, and I think it's because my face feels so good. Three months. That's how long I've managed to keep this up, and frankly, I'm astounded.

Many people report that they've seen blemishes and sun spots fade using the BFF/Moisture 911 combo, and I thought I couldn't say that. I'm prone to keratinized pores - they look like whiteheads, but are really a build up of keratin in the pore, so they're hard, white bumps. I just figured I had to live with them. Every five or ten years, I'd get mad and dig them out, but they always returned. I realized about three weeks ago that the one I had on the side of my nose had completely disappeared, and the one on my chin that I'd dug out about the time I started using Posh has not reappeared.

It seems every few weeks, I add something new to my routine. I used to be able to get up at 7:00 a.m., be showered, and out of the house by 7:30 a.m. That doesn't quite happen any more, honestly, because it takes me just a bit longer to get ready. I now need 45 minutes to get out of the house, but I'm okay with that simply because I feel better. The great thing is that if I'm running late, I can just wash with BFF, put on some Moisture 911 and feel good about still taking care of my face.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

I Might be a Girl After All

It started out innocently enough. I walked into the office to write a check for my round bale of hay, and the office smelled so good. I sniffed around at the girly products, enjoyed the scents, and left.

The next trip, I picked up a tester and put some lotion on my hands. So amazing. I sniffed at all of the other stuff, wrote my check and left.

The following trip, I bounded into the office to pay for my hay and was poking around at all the girl stuff. I saw a little card noting that some of it was on sale. Being before Christmas, I picked up six of the packages for stocking stuffers. My hay lady and her kids loaded me up with samples and a catalog. I squeezed a bit of the tester lotion on my hands, wrote my check(s), and left.

Not two days later, I found out that Momma Fargo has started selling the same good stinky stuff that my hay lady was selling. Well, hell, I did was a good blog sister would do, and placed an order.

And that's how my obsession with Perfectly Posh started.

I love this stuff, I really, really do.

What started off as a little bit of lotion has turned me into a girl. Not a girly-girl. More like ... a better smelling cowboy-girl.

Because I love this stuff so much, I'll be sharing some reviews of the products I've fallen in love with over the next few days (or weeks, or months, you know how terrible I am at posting).

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Grandpa Ed

Grandma Juanita's death has definitely made me nostalgic, remembering my childhood.

Grandpa Ed was the grandpa I grew up with, and he brought a lot of laughter into our lives. I have stories for days about Grandpa Ed, but mostly I wanted to share with you my favorite thing ever.

Jay says Ed's legs are creepy; they just make me smile.
Grandpa Ed was an auto body man, and an excellent one at that. Today, he would have his own TV show "flipping" cars. He was always covered in Bondo and paint.

Grandma Juanita met her match with Grandpa Ed when it came to orneriness. He had this table commissioned just to see how she would react when she came into the house and saw his legs. It mysteriously disappeared, and we didn't dare ask about it, considering how heartbroken we all were with his sudden death.

Imagine his dismay when she loved the table. Found it hilarious and proudly showed it off to everyone.

When we found "Ed's legs" in a shed, I quickly claimed them and rushed home to set them up in a corner to surprise Jay.

He thinks Ed's legs are creepy. He just doesn't appreciate them.

They make me smile every time I look over and see the table, so they're staying. (Even if not one single one of my children wants them when I die.)

Friday, February 2, 2018

And Then There Were Three

One of the things that was important to my family, especially my grandmother and great-grandmother, was the fact that we had so many living generations. But not just living generations, no, living generations of women. That was very important to them. (I can't get the picture to insert properly, sorry 'bout that.)

Grandma Juanita, Ashinator, me, Great-Grandma Wheeler, Mom
Great-Grandma Wheeler died twenty or so years ago, leaving our family with only four generations. It was sad, but the hope was always there that we'd get back up to five. After all, we come from some tough stock, but we couldn't count on it, because Ashee was just a baby. When she and Micky got married in August, Grandma Juanita started wondering when we were going to get five.

Sorry for the blurry picture, it's the only one I have.

Sadly, it looks like we'll never make it to five generations again. Grandma Juanita passed away on Saturday, January 27 at 89 years old. It's been a shock, because up until the week before Christmas she'd been her usual ornery, sassy self.

On her 89th birthday
Her hospital visit before Christmas was short - she'd pulled a muscle in her back, but when she went to have it looked at, the docs realized she had Congestive Heart Failure. Now, CHF always sounds terrible, but there are a lot of people who can manage it well, and it appeared Grandma was one of them. Some diuretic and potassium and she was good as new. Well, as good as she was before.

Her back healed up and she resumed life as though nothing had happened. She had always said she was going to live to 107 (it started as 104, but kept getting prolonged), and we had no reason to doubt her.

Unfortunately, she developed a UTI and got severely dehydrated. Mom took her to the hospital, where they found not only a UTI and dehydration, but pneumonia and sepsis. Some IV fluids and antibiotics, and it looked like she was going to beat it. Mom made arrangements for her to go to a nursing home until she was strong enough to move back into her own place. Grandma never made it to the nursing home.

As incredibly hard as it is to lose Grandma, I'm thankful that she didn't suffer a long, protracted illness. She was fiercely independent and able to live on her own right up until she was hospitalized. Pneumonia is the great killer of the elderly, and it strikes fairly quickly, for which I am thankful. I know it would have been devastating for Grandma to lose her quality of life through cancer or a stroke.

Mom might be the bionic cowgirl, but she got her basic toughness from Grandma Juanita who suffered from polio as a child. You wouldn't know that one leg was two inches shorter than the other, or that she had scoliosis so bad that one side of her rib cage touched her hip bone. Not once did she complain, she just did what needed doing her whole life. I hope to be half as tough as those two women.

It's very weird knowing we only have three generations now; this is the "smallest" my family has ever been. It's very weird that Mom is now the matriarch (she can't ever, ever die).

I never got over the fact that there was no longer Lava soap in the bathroom after Grandpa Ed died (31 years ago, and I still look for that stupid soap), and I'm not sure I'll get over the fact that Grandma will no longer be sitting at her kitchen table, deck of cards in hand, ready to kick our butts in Gin Rummy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Adventures with Christine, Part 6

I was telling my work wife about some of these adventures and mentioned in conversation the car's name. She looked at me and asked, "Didn't Christine kill her owner?"

Ummm...I didn't know what to say to that. I mean, she had a point, but I'm not Christine's owner, Deejo is. I love my brother and all, but she is his car, so if she chooses to live up to her name sake, well, I'll miss him. (Jokes, y'all, jokes, just chill out.)

At this point in our adventures, I'd learned to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I was beginning to feel like Christine and I had sorted each other out and that we were getting along fine. There was the occasional, "really, Christine?" moment, but our adventures were petering out. At least, I thought they were.

A day or so before Deejo and I traded cars back, Christine and I drove to work without any problems. It was just a plain ole commute, and kind of boring. Like I said, I was beginning to feel like we'd reached an understanding and we were going to live in harmony until she went back home.

I thanked her for nice ride to work when I parked. I got out of the car and went about three steps before she beeped at me. Not the normal "doors are locked" beep, but more of a "hey, pay attention!" beep. I walked back and opened the door, but didn't see anything amiss, so I closed her door and walked away. Again, she beeped at me.

I still didn't know what the beep meant, but everything looked okay, so I reached into my coat pocket for the keys to manually lock her doors.

The problem was that there were no keys in my coat pocket.

So I checked my other coat pocket.

Nope. Nothing.

I frantically patted all of my pockets: coat, pants, shirt. There were no Christine keys anywhere.

At this point, I was beginning to panic, but tried to calm myself down by reasoning that if the keys weren't in my pocket, they had to be in Christine. I opened the door and looked everywhere, but there were no keys.

The thought struck me that she had allowed me to start her and drive off with the keys still hanging in the kitchen. It's about ten feet from the key hanger to where I park and there's a window. Now, I don't know if those things work on line-of-sight or what, but I know that I've never had a push button start car and, frankly, how the shit works is magic in my eyes.

By this time, I'm in full-blown Oh Shit mode and attempt to call Deejo. If she did, in fact, allow me to start and drive away from the house with the keys still hanging on the hanger, I was now stuck at work. I took some comfort in the fact that if I couldn't start her to drive home, no one else could start her to steal her.

I left Deejo a terse, "call me" voice mail, then shot off a quick text to Jay asking him to bring me the keys when he got off work. I frantically and obsessively checked all of my pockets again, just in case I missed them the first time.

There was nothing to do but laugh at the situation. I was laughing so hard at the absurdity of it all that I had tears. I shared with my co-workers what I believed to have happened, and they were laughing along side me (or maybe at me).

I thought, "Bill is going to love this story," so I called up to the lodge and, in between laughing fits, told him what happened. By this time, I was convinced Christine had allowed this. She had already shown me her wicked sense of humor and I wouldn't put it past her. Bill calmly explained that there was no way I could have driven out of range of the keys, that the push button start cars all have a kill switch so things like this didn't happen.

I told him that Christine had her own mind and she did what she damn well pleased. She might have a kill switch, but she also loved messing with me. Under Bill's advisement, I went back out to her and looked for the keys again. I'd already been through her interior looking for the keys the first time (and the second and third), but to humor him, I went back out.

I climbed down into the driver's seat, and started searching all over again. They were nowhere. Seriously, there were no ... wait, what was that little glint of metal? I shifted position and looked where I thought I saw the glint of metal between the console and the seat. At first I didn't see it, but when I shifted position, I saw it again. Barely a quarter of an inch of the key ring was visible, but it was lodged between the console and the seat adjustment bars. I couldn't reach them.

There was nothing to do but laugh again, though this time there were swear words involved with my laughter. Back into the building I went to find something to fish out the keys. With the help of two work study students and a wire coat hanger, we were able to finally retrieve the keys.

As I walked away from Christine with the recently recovered keys, I'm certain I heard her laugh when she gave her "doors are locked" beep.

Now, there are some people who would say the keys just slipped out of my pocket and fell between the seat and console. Those people have not spent enough time with Deejo's curvy girl, Christine.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Adventures with Christine, Part 5

Not only does Christine consider herself an agent of Karma, she has also appointed herself Chief of Food Consumption.

The day after I rushed her through her meal, I offered to run and pick up lunch for my co-workers. Deejo had warned me that ordering through a drive-thru could be ... challenging. I assumed the challenge was because Christine is so low-slung. I mean, at five-foot tall, I have to climb down into her. In Salome, I'm pretty level with the drive-thru windows, so I mentally prepared myself to have to reach UP to the drive-thru windows.

I placed my order and drove to the first window to pay. Yep, had to extend my arm almost all the way up to hand my card to the cashier. No problem, I'd planned for that and pulled as close to the building as possible so that I could reach up to the window. I was mentally patting myself on the back for navigating the "challenge" of going through the drive-thru.

At the next window, they passed my sodas down to me and I got them settled into the cup holders. I reached up for the bag of food, grabbed it, and tried to bring it in through the window.

Christine said, "nope".

Like with the laundry, I thought I'd angle the bag and give it another go.

Christine said, "nope".

I panicked slightly, and went to open the door, so I could reach around the door and bring the food in through the door. Except that I'd pulled in so close to the building that I couldn't open the door without dinging up Christine.

Remembering that we solved our laundry lesson by removing some of the clothes, I took part of the order out of the bag and set it on the passenger seat, then tried again.

Christine said, "nice try, fatso. Nope."

Christine showed me I hadn't fully learned my lesson and refused to allow me to pass the bag of food in through the window again. So I took more of the order out of the bag and set it on the passenger seat. We repeated this over and over until just one item remained in the bag, at which time, she graciously allowed me to bring the bag into the car.

I'm certain the people in the car behind me were laughing their asses off watching me struggle. I mean, if the roles were reversed, I would have been laughing right along with them.

I quickly put all of the removed food back into the bag and drove back to work, alternatively cussing at Christine for being a pain in my ass and trying to explain to her that all of that food wasn't just for me.

She didn't care.

Lesson learned, you Chief of Food Consumption bitch.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Adventures with Christine, Part 4

The time finally rolled around to feed Christine. She gets excellent gas mileage for a sports car, which meant I had to fill up after two and a half trips to work.

I pulled into the gas station and swiped my rewards card. I knew we had accumulated enough points for $0.10 off per gallon, but was pleasantly surprised when the computer asked if I wanted to use our $0.30 off per gallon. Being only partially selfish, I opted to use $0.20 off and leave the remainder for Jay to use next time he filled his tank.

Smiling with happiness at my good fortune, I began feeding Christine. But, good lord, she was taking forever. Even with the gas pump handle open all the way, she was taking her own sweet time filling up.

I watched the counter on the pump ever so slowly tick upward. My happiness quickly turned to frustration.

"Oh, for fuck's sake, Christine, hurry up! I've got to get to work at some point this morning," I grumbled at her.

Seconds later, the pump clicked off.

"Thank you," I said and removed the nozzle. I glanced at the pump and was slightly puzzled that she only required seven and a half gallons to fill up, but the pump had clearly clicked off and I wasn't going to risk overfilling a car that wasn't mine.

I slipped down into the driver's seat, waited while Christine kindly moved my seat to my programmed settings (she sometimes goes on strike and I have *gasp* manually move my seat into position), and started the engine.

When I noticed the gas gauge only move to half a tank, I just shook my head. Christine obviously considers herself an agent of Karma; rushing her meal was definitely an offense in her eyes.

Well played, Christine, well played.