Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
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It's been a long wait…

but I'm finally back to update. I suppose the easiest thing to do is to write a breakdown of what I've been up to over the first quarter of the year.

Job Front: While still technically unemployed, I've been pretty busy of late. January and February were a bust, job-wise, but the temp work has picked up nicely. I've been working at CSC pretty regularly since March.

I've also been writing several freelance pieces, including a 25,000-word booklet that I can't talk about. I ghostwrote it, and turned over all rights to the client. I'm actually writing another one now, on yet another subject I can't tell anyone of. Suffice it to say the general topic is collecting and collectibles. Each booklet has a specific topic.

Travel: So far this year, I've only been to Arizona, last week as a matter of fact. More on that in a later post.
Romance: Ah, young love. Still tripping around with Jon, and having a blast, too. There is much more to tell here, and right soon, in a later post.

Readings: I've been working on the last book of the Ring Trilogy, slowly, and have begun At Swim Two Birds by Flann O'Brian (a favorite writer).

Other topics for discussion include identity theft. In early April, someone used my Check Card number and some personal information to attempt to draft more than $2,000 from my checking account. They only got away with $95, but it was a huge hassle and very stressful. My recommendation is that you NEVER use a Check Card. Huge mistake. While regular credit cards offer protections (including the right to dispute a charge BEFORE they are paid with your hard-earned cash), Check Cards offer fewer protections. The money will be gone before you notice it, and it can take up to three weeks to get it back.
I've good reason to believe that someone with whom I regularly transact business, or someone who works at a store where I regularly shop, stole both my CC number, and my checking information (address, phone number). How do I know this, you might ask? Well, the perpetrator used MY name, correct address, and a (fake) phone number to rent a rack server from a company in Texas, for what purpose only God and the perp. know. The clue here is the fake phone number. See, when I give a check and the salesperson requests a phone number, well, I give a fake one that is one digit off my regular phone number. It's illegal in Maryland to demand a phone number, but just try to give a check without it. Huge hassle. Since it's illegal to ask, I don't feel obliged to tell the truth. Ergo, I have a standard phone number I regularly give out. (Everyone should have one prepared and memorized. This also works well with annoying men who pester you.)

Whoever rented the rack server used my standard fake phone number. Ah HA! So, the perpetrator must be someone who works at a place where I've given both checks and credit cards, and close together. Now, there is one boutique I've visited on occasion, and I recall at least once giving them a check, then noticing one more "must have item" which I paid for quickly using my Check Card. This means within minutes, I gave the person all the information they needed to screw me hard.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

I now work on a cash-only basis at stores I no longer trust. I'd give you the name of the store, but I COULD be wrong, and don't want to get sued for libel. Call me and I'll tell all.

I recommend that you use only one credit card online, and that you do NOT hand your card to the salesperson, if possible. Use cash when shopping at small stores where salespeople have less supervision, or at places new to you.

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