Friday, December 19, 2014

The Visa fraud check criteria needs to be tweaked.

Honestly, I'm glad Visa keeps an eye on purchases in case of fraud.  I do watch my accounts very closely.  In fact, early last year I discovered that I had been hijacked before Visa even noticed.

But not everyone is vigilant.  And I imagine that the holidays are a busy time for fraud. 

Still, I think that the algorithms that are used to detect fraud need to be fine-tuned.  Isn't the process supposed to detect purchases that are out of the ordinary for the particular user? 

Did I get a call when I bought a $150 gift card for massages?  No. 

Did I get a call when I spent $900 on a new mattress? No. 

I got a call when I donated on-line to charity. 

Seriously.  How many people steal a credit card to make donations to pet charities?

Not only that, but these are the same charities I donated to last year, and throughout the year.   And the year before. 

I wouldn't be annoyed if the mattress had triggered the call.  How often do I buy mattresses?  

Calling me based on a purchase I make 2 or 3 times a year seems flawed. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bogie lit up Thanksgiving

I had a nice Thanksgiving.  Since there are only 4 of us - me, Mom, my sister and her boyfriend, we decided to take the lazy way out for Thanksgiving dinner.

Black Angus was open and had a wonderful smelling turkey dinner.  But I had steak.  A sublime filet mignon.  I mean, how can you go to a steak house and not have steak?   Besides, I have turkey often.  Steak, rarely.

Afterwards, Bogie and I went over to the hospital.  I figured anyone staying or working in the hospital on Thanksgiving could use a little cheering up.

Bogie wore a Christmas tie and was very popular.  Seven or eight people took pictures of him.  One nurse gave him a piece of turkey.

A nice day.  A day to be thankful for.  One of many days to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

This was really weird

Bogie and I were out walking the other afternoon.  It was a lovely day and I decided to walk farther and in a different direction. 
We walked along the main street by our subdivision.  There is a landscaped community area along the sidewalk that varies in width from 3 to 10 feet, artfully planted with bushes and trees. 

As we turned the corner, clear down at the other end of the long block, I saw a blue shirt.  I try to be aware of other people walking so I can pull Bogie off to the side and let them pass.  
He's very friendly, but not everyone wants to meet a 125-pound Great Dane.  Doubly so if they are walking a dog of their own. 
Then the shirt disappeared.  I shrugged and figured it was a kid playing in the landscaping.  Either he was closer to the end of the block wall than I realized or he hopped the wall.  
As we get to the middle of the block, I hear barking from behind a big bush that is next to a large tree. 
I think, "Oh, dear. Loose dog."  
I am getting a better grip on Bogie's leash, when I look up.  
It wasn't a dog. 
A bandanna-wearing, stringy-gray-haired, sunglasses-wearing man was grinning at us from behind the bush. 
Bogie looked at him.  Bogie looked at me.  We turned away and resumed walking. 
Apparently, the man had skulked along the wall, hidden by he landscaping until he found a hiding place. He looked like a homeless person, except he wasn't carrying any belongings.  
I kept looking over my shoulder to see where he went, but I never saw him leave his hiding place.  
Still, when we came back, there was no one anywhere along the block. 
Very odd. 
Bogie

Friday, October 10, 2014

It's hard to understand other people's relationships

I got a call recently from a friend who was totally ticked off.  She went out to dinner with her live-in boyfriend and friends of his from out of state.

During the entire meal, he kept tapping her with his foot under the table because he didn't like what she was talking about.

This is after he told her exactly what to wear and how to look for his friends.

She claims she will never go out in public with him again. And she still loves him.

Huh?

How can you love someone that belittles who you are and thinks that you are not good enough for his friends?

Okay, maybe I understand loving him.  I don't understand staying with him.  She deserves better.

I have another, former, friend who quit her job for very justifiable reasons.  Her husband decided that if she could quit, so could he.  Um, he wasn't the one being tortured by a micro-manager.  She got another job within 5 months.

The last time I talked to her, he still wasn't working after 5 years.  This is why she's a former friend.  She was too embarrassed to talk to me any longer.

If she had been happy with the situation, I would have said, Whatever happens between you two is your business.  But she was miserable and talking about getting her reward in the afterlife.

She won't leave him because she loves him.

When did love become the excuse to accept whatever bad behavior people wanted to foist on us?

If our significant others actually loved us, wouldn't they treat us better?

Don't we all deserve to be treated better?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Maybe I don't want to retire

I just turned 60.  Since I turned 55, internet ads, spam, and snail mail have been full of tips about how to retire.  And I had generally expected that one day I would be able to retire.  Not for a while, but eventually.

I didn't consider whether I actually wanted to retire.  When Joan Rivers died, lots of attention was given to the fact that at 81 she was as busy as ever.  She had no desire to retire when she was already doing what she loved.

Retirement started out as a way to get old employees who could no longer handle the physical labor to get out of the way of new and younger employees.

Well, I work with my mind.  As long as I can think and can type, I'm good.   And when I started with the company, they had a 78-year-old developer.  Obviously, the company isn't averse to older employees.

I sat down to consider what I would gain if I retired?  What do I want to do when I retire?

Read?  I do that now.  I could read more, but I already read a book a week.

Travel?  I could do that now.  I don't because I don't like to leave my fur babies behind.  So logically, travel isn't that important to me.

Sleep in?  I can set my own hours now.  I don't sleep in because I don't like the later morning traffic.

Volunteer?  Sure, I could do more, but Bogie and I volunteer now.

So far, there isn't an overriding reason to retire.

What would I lose if I retired?  Well, income, of course.  But more importantly, the interaction with people and the challenges that keep my mind sharp.  I look forward to my weekends because they are different than my weekdays.

For now, I think my focus isn't going to be on retirement.  It's going to be on enjoying my job for as long as I can.

Update -
Apparently I'm not the only one not hurrying to retirement.  Washington Post

Saturday, September 13, 2014

inadequate career counseling.

I like my job.  I'm a software engineer.  I've been either in development or quality assurance for the past 15 years.  I keep going from one to the other.  Right now I'm in QA, but mostly writing code.

It's a good fit for me.  It's creative, challenging, educational, and satisfying.

I stumbled into this line of work.

Computer engineer was not a path suggested to me in high school career counseling.  The idea that computers would be a viable career hadn't been accepted yet. And would probably not have been recommended to a girl, anyway.

But there were a lot of other things that weren't offered to me in career counseling.

I didn't know that Linguistics was a profession.  That might have been cool. I did well in Spanish class.  But I didn't even know the job existed.

I didn't know that I could have become an archaeologist, a museum curator, a genealogist. Maybe I could have been a private investigator, or a spy for the CIA. (No, too nervous.) 

Writer was suggested, since my Dad was a writer.  But I knew I didn't want to be a free-lance writer.
The pay was sporadic at best.  I knew I couldn't live like that.

The only jobs my school counselor suggested were doctor, lawyer, or teacher.  Things might have been different if I had been aware of all the options there were.

I don't know if she saw no potential in me, or if she lacked imagination.  Did living in the middle of Iowa corn country seem to limit my options?  We're talking 1972, so maybe she thought my true calling was simply wife and mother?

That said, I haven't suffered from the oversight.  I've had an interesting life with a variety of jobs and it has brought me here to a happy place.

Still, there is a little bit of me that says, What if I had known about that?  Where would I be now?  Would I be just as happy?


Why didn't someone tell me?