Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Humor Has It

It's not that often that you find a blog that is both entertaining and informative, but over at Adapt, Adopt & Improve you'll find a lot of cleverly written, wit filled posts, as well as a variety of informative, instructional and more serious posts from time to time. Whether you are looking for a good chuckle or information on technology, this author has a bit of it all and sometimes with a twist of humor!

One of his recent posts; Banks at The Outer Banks, is a favorite of mine! Being raised in NC, this particular post rings true about the odd way we tend to refer to our local areas. This author make perfect sense to me when he asks the type of questions he asks about the banks of the outer banks of NC.

Having lived in Virginia just 30 minutes west of Interstate 95, I'd always wondered why we called that area "Northern VA"? Let's face it, Virginia looks like a lopsided triangle that leans to the right. So technically, we were located in the northeastern part of the state. After all it's not like "NOVA" is its own state!

What clever declarations does your state have about its local areas?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Online Job Offers; Legitimate or Not?

As some of you know, I've done work online as a syntax editor and most recently as a paid blogger. It came as no surprise then when I received an email inviting me to apply for a position as Site Moderator with a starting salary of $42,500 per year. For a moment I thought I had found my dream job or that at long last the job had found me! Sound too good to be true?

To check its validity I did a search on Google by typing in "toospoiled.com" scam. Here is what I found:

TooSpoiled, the next Impactww. New scams: eBandsearch , Scout / Scout2007

Instant Human Resources Scam

All Beware Of Instant Human Resources!!

Here is the email:

"Dear Susan ,

Your resume was recently viewed online and I feel that you are qualified to apply for a Site Moderator opening we have within the company. Too_Spoiled is one of the most exciting website launches of the last few years.

Site Moderators monitor the content of the site, flagging and/or removing any inappropriate postings. A Site Moderator would also look to stop any members from targeting minors on the site. Knowledge of HTML programming languages such as ColdFusion is preferred. This position is one that can be done from your home if you have a computer with online connection.

We have developed a compensation package that provides our Site Moderators a generous annual salary that begins at $42,500. Site Moderators with experience in this field can earn up to $52,000 per year. The opportunity for rapid advancement, tuition assistance and full medical and dental coverage is also included with this position.

If you’d like to further discuss this opportunity at Too_Spoiled, please click on the link below and fill out the online application. If the link doesn’t work, you can copy the address and paste it into your browser to go to the webpage.


You will be contacted in 1-2 days after we receive your online application by our Human Resources Department to schedule an interview.

Best Regards,

Brian Egelton

Take_my_name out of future_employment_considerations."

If you receive an email from hr@toospoiled.com, it is not a legitimate offer for employment. I also received an email from employment@goodgradesnow.com in a similar letter format. It too is covered in the search results above.

It's important to look for these things when checking the validity of an online offer or email:

1. Check the header and footer of the email for its origin:

Received: from mail.datagroupmailhost.com (datagroupmailhost.com []) by rly-db06.mx.aol.com (v118.4) with ESMTP id MAILRELAYINDB063-acd46adf88ca7.

This one appears to have come from a DATA MINING source.

2. Check the link address for secured information transfer. Both of these emails wanted you to fill out an application with your full name, address, phone numbers and attach a resume. A secured site or portal for private information is marked like this: https:// the "s" indicates that it is a secured site. In the link from the email there is no "s" in the http:// address.


Never send your personal information online unless you are confident that it is protected by a secured site and remember to read its privacy policy.

3. Do a search using the company name and the word scam on Google (or the search engine of your choosing) to see what information has been reported about the company. You can also search the Better Business Bureau for any reports.

4. Does the email reference where they viewed your resume? If you have posted your resume online at any of these sites; Careerbuilders.com, Monster.com, hotjobs.yahoo.com or any other legitimate job search tool, and you receive an offer it will be identified as such.

5. Last but not least, if you are still unsure about the emails origin and content ... delete it and/or report it as spam!

There's nothing like a scam to shake things up a bit in a job search. Just thought I'd share my findings. Happy job hunting!


Sunday, July 29, 2007


We woke up this morning, ate breakfast, and packed the van to head home from our visit with "Mr.D." We accomplished all the things we needed to and had to get home and prepare for the week ahead. Little did Ryan and Jenn know that we were about to have a visitor for the week.

About three weeks ago, "Mr.D" found out that he had to attend a training class for some engineering software program his company had recently purchased. The locations where they were holding the class ranged in distance from his house anywhere from 1 hour to a flight to Texas. He had a choice of locations and there just happened to be one here in our town. So, he put in his request and it was granted!

We didn't tell Ryan and Jenn because there was the chance they might cancel the class here if there were not enough students registered in time. So, as far as they knew "Mr.D" was headed to a class somewhere in NC or TX. Just as they finished unpacking we heard Jenn exclaim, "Mr.D's here?!" Imagine their surprise as he walked through the door with something Ryan left behind and said, "you guys are hard to catch up with!" We all laughed.

His class sessions will last through Friday, and instead of him staying in a strange town or out of state, eating out every for every meal, or having to drive an hour or more to class each day, we thought staying here would be a nice idea. This way we get to see each other, he doesn't have a long commute, he can relax in the evenings and eat home cooked meals. He will still have to catch a bite out while attending class in town, but it's nice to have him come "home" in the evening. ;)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Plans for the weekend shape up ...

After my doctors appointment this afternoon the kids and I will head west for a weekend of work and play. Jenn is trying to earn some money for her activities with school this year, so "Mr.D" has offered her a job cutting his lawn. While she's mowing I'll be doing the laundry, "Mr.D" will be working on things he needs to before his class next week, and Ryan will be chillin' out playing his new PS2. What the kids don't know is what is in store for next week; a surprise for everyone! For now, its time to get ready for the day, get packed and clean house before my appointment. More later ... ;)

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Hardest Part: Waiting for Results

Mom & Dad will head to Chapel Hill this week to see the head of oncology about the discovery of a mass on her ovary. I'm not sure if they will know that day, or if she will have to wait for any test results to come in. Either way, having to wait to know what this mass is and what will come next is the hardest part of the process. It doesn't make it any easier that she was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago and underwent radical surgery and radiation treatment. Since that time she has remained cancer free and all of us are believing for the best outcome. She has been the most remarkable woman through all of this and we are all thankful to still have her with us! Thank you for your positive vibes, thoughts and prayers for her continued good health; updates to follow after the appointment on Thursday.

Read how the discovery was made on: Request for Positive Thoughts & Prayers

After the first visit to Chapel Hill: Update: Request for Positive Thoughts & Prayers

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Online Occupations

In 1999 I started working online for an educational website that offered practice tests for students grades 1 - 6 to aide them in their quest to excel on the test that are given each year in VA. There was a team of teachers, syntax editors, web developers and the owners who both worked on the sets for the website for content and handled the marketing of our product. At the time our only competitor was EduTest.com who has now added grades 7 - 12 to their practice tests. However, time and inability for the powers to be to agree on techniques on marketing would prove to be our demise. I thoroughly enjoyed that job as I not only edited the sets in all subjects, but I also put together link pages in each. I would love to find this same type of work online, the idea o telecommuting sounds great considering the price of transportation these days. The search continues for online occupations!

"Blue Man Group" Concerts!

No not this blue man group, though they wish they could play any instrument as well as the real "Blue Man Group" who will be performing at two locations near us this November! Check out these dates and locations!

November 03, 2007
Charlotte Bobcats Arena
Get Tickets Here

November 04, 2007
Crown Coliseum
Get Tickets Here

I remember the first time I saw this group perform on DVD (thanks "Mr.D"); it was incredible! It's amazing that these men were able to put together such an awesome sound using objects other than the usual musical instruments. It's a ways off, November; but it's a concert in our state! What do you think "Mr.D"? Would you like to go?

Just one month left ...

before school starts and everyone is beginning to gear up. Ryan has been working with a friend learning about landscaping which will help him with his classes at school. Advanced Studies in Horticulture II and Environmental Resources I & II. Jenn is attending Color Guard Camp this coming week in preparation for the marching season this year. I will be stopping by the college to see about getting registered for another class towards my degree in Information Technology. I still have to take some of the core subjects before getting more involved in the program; perhaps it's time to take that Algebra class?

Update: When teens have fall outs ...

When Jenn checked her new messages this morning she found one from her friend (we'll call her Amelia) regarding the fall out from last year. They had been sending messages back and forth this last week because Amelia left a nasty message about Jenn's newest best friend. Her message had some colorful instructional language, and an equally colorful descriptive name for Jenn's newest best friend. To say the least, Jenn was angered with Amelia and let her know that she was not happy with the message. She let Amelia know that she felt that she had been ignored the last few weeks of school and that based on how Amelia was acting now perhaps they should just remain on cordial speaking terms as they will be on the same color guard team. The response was dramatic, something about how hurt she was and that she had never ignored Jenn. Jenn decided not to respond back just yet. Then a few minutes later Jenn's sister that lives in NJ sent her a message saying that Amelia wanted her to be her friend on an online site. Jenn asked Pamela not to accept the invitation as there was really no need for Pamela to be talking to Jenn's friends (whether Jenn and the friend are getting along or not); but as Pamela does, she does and she added Amelia to her group of friends (not a positive thing to do). I hope Jenn well keep her head about all of this and not let the drama include her.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

When teens have fall outs ...

About a year ago Jenn and a friend of hers were spending the night together after an evening at church with her friend's family. As life would have it, the two managed to do something stupid which was about to get them in trouble. After I had picked Jennifer up from their house I received a phone from her friend's mother. We discussed what she had discovered and the need to get together to talk about what had happened. I talked to Jenn to get her side of the story then called the other mom to set up a time to meet. For whatever reason, there didn't seem to be a good time for her family to entertain a discussion. When the girls returned to school the other parent had instructed her daughter not to have anything to do with Jenn. She was crushed!

Both of the girls were at fault for the misbehavior and yet Jenn was getting the butt end of the punishment deal. I told Jennifer that I had forgiven her and her friend, but apparently the other parent didn't. As time passed things would get worse. Jenn wasn't allowed to call her friend until she was off restriction. When she tried to contact her after it was over she was still not allowed to speak to her friend (her mother's rules). The friend began to treat Jenn with such disrespect that there were days Jenn was miserable. I tried to no avail some days to get her to understand that this was no way for a "Christian" family to treat another Christian. It went on for months and eventually Jenn took what she could get from the situation while at school. They seemed to be talking again but there wouldn't be anymore after school activities together.

One day the mother called to talk to Jenn and tell her that they had missed her and wanted her to come to a birthday party for their daughter. I was more than concerned about this sudden change in the parents boundaries. I called the mother back later and we had a nice chat and I explained that I was not at all comfortable with the sudden change, that Jenn had been through a lot of ugliness as a result of them not getting together with us to talk back when the incident occurred. I told her I would have to think about this relationship going any further than one they could maintain during school.

There is more to this situation than meets the eye. I watched the drama unfold during their time apart, and what I saw was one person contaminating the life of another. I watched as my daughter tried to take all of the responsibility for what the two had conspired to do together just to hold on to a friend as her friend belittled her and acted as though she was not worthy of her time. Why is it so hard to get our children to see that when someone, even a friend, treats them with such disrespect that they should step back and possibly move on?

This friendship may have survived had it been a healthy one; however this didn't seem to be that sound. My prayer is that this family will get the help it needs before there are greater problems to handle. Jenn has moved forward, has a new best friend and is beginning to let the people that cause drama in her life to move along. She is growing up quite nicely and I am thankful that she wants more for her life than drama and stress!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sorrowful Discovery

During my visit at the employment security commission office today I made a sorrowful discovery; Jason Fadness (age 21) had been killed in an automobile accident. I was researching his parents address to add to my resume when it pulled up the article about the crash. A sudden wave of shock and then sorrow rushed through me; I can only imagine their grief. We've known his family since 1990 when we started working for them. Over the years the relationship went from that of employers to friends and we were able to spend time together out in Maryland at their bay house on the Chesapeake. Their three children, Jennifer, Jason and Sarah were all in the age ranges of our children; Pamela was closest in age to Jason. We had a great fun and thoroughly enjoyed our time with them. One tends to be thankful for those closest to them when something like this occurs. One of five children myself, I am so very thankful to still have all of my brothers in my life and to for us to have all of our children healthy and happy. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Lyn, Jeff, and the girls, as we mourn with them. Jason was an intelligent, creative, and funny young man with a beautiful smile; he will be missed but not forgotten. Here's hoping that those closet to him; including his friends, will honor his memory by living their lives to the fullest!

Monday, July 16, 2007

When things get busy ...

time passes all too quickly! This last month my youngest went to VA to spend five weeks with her sister, my son has made three trips with the FFA, and I've been to Tennessee and western NC to visit with "Mr.D" and is family. All of us in different directions for the first part of our summer. With all of the travels came mixed emotions, answers to questions to help piece a puzzle together, and time for reflection, relaxation and reconnecting relationships. Everyone is home now, celebrated by a homecoming and cookout, with friends and family gathering to say hello again.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Relaxing on the Tennessee River

This year we spent the 4th of July weekend in Tennessee with "Mr.D" and his family. Our trip started with a stopover in Asheville, NC for the night on Tuesday. We arrived Wednesday afternoon at Simonne & Gary's early enough to relax a bit before Theresa, Ed and Celine arrived for the cookout complete with fireworks and fun. After a good night's rest, we headed into Nashville to the mall on Thursday to see some of the sites. Then on Friday we went into a nearby town to an Irish pub for lunch and to check out all of the shoppes in the historic district. Later that day we had another cookout over at Theresa & Ed's place complete with live entertainment; Celine on her slip & slide! Saturday we went out on the Tennessee River with Simonne & Gary for some relaxation. As we traveled down the peaceful waters of the river, we wondered why we had waited until then to come to the river. Next time, we agreed to make plans to stay at the camper there at the marina. Sunday came all too soon and we had to head home to NC. The trip was long but enjoyable; all in all this was a great 4th of July celebration!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Finding a New Job

If things happen for reason, the when one door opens another one opens. For months now our company has seen a sharp decline in business due to the loss of it's largest customer. At first I thought we were doing great, but as the months passed I knew we were in trouble. Two people had been hired after me to help in customer service and within weeks were let go. I don't think I could have continued to work there either as often as one of them was asked to leave from day to day because we were slow. Then this spring and into the summer, the boss would hint as to the necessity of trimming back our hours. She suggest that perhaps we could take alternating days off each week, then perhaps us working from 12:00 noon until 4:30 p.m. since most of our active customer base was in the western part of the United States, then she change our hours of operation from 5 full days to 4 full day and 6 hours on Fridays. We loved the early out on Fridays, but wondered what the next cut would be? I found out today, so I am back in the market looking for a new job.