Posted in Everyday Life

And you are…?

Ladies…. Ladies, ladies, ladies. And gents, really.

I have a bone to pick with many of you apparently, and for your own good.

Why? Oh, I’ll tell you why. Yes, I will!

Because we don’t ask. We assume. Just because so-and-so said this-and-that, he or she is who he or she says he or she is and they are there to do what he or she said.

Okay, okay, okay. A little too serious of a tone for me. Whew! I was giving myself an ulcer and wrinkles!

Here’s why I’m a little upset though.

I came home from work early today. I just couldn’t sit any longer. I was too tired and had a lot of school-related stuff on my mind. Including procrastinating that school-related stuff – hahaha, I’m just kidding.

I got groceries on my way, so I had two decent sized paper bags with handles to take in the house. I situated myself to more easily enter the gate and a man walks up from the alley.

“Hi, pardon me. Do you have dogs?”

I noticed the man had a cut-off grey cut-off t-shirt, jeans, work boots, grey close-cut hair which could have been blonde at some point in his life, blue eyes, tattoo on his arm.

“Uh, yes, I do. Why do you ask?”

“I’m here to change your meter outside the house. I just need to know if your dogs are in the house so I can go through the gate.”

“Oh, and do you have identification?”

“My truck is right over there,” it was within eyeshot around the corner of our fence, obvious markings and all. “I’m with AEP. It’s a new meter. I’ll need to shut off your electric for only about 5 seconds.”

“Oh yeah, sure! That’s fine. The dogs are in the house.”

“Thank you, I’ll bring the truck over real quick.”

So, I take the groceries in, observing. He puts on his AEP hardhat, a navy blue long sleeve shirt.

While he’s walking toward the meter, the man says to me, “you know, in all the years I have worked for AEP, you are the first person who has ever asked me for identification. That’s very smart of you.”

I was a little stunned. “Really? That’s kind of disturbing.”

“We’ll, keep it up.”

I didn’t ask him how many years, dang it!

The man made the switch if the meter and left just as quickly as he arrived. His presence and the unstartling way in which he approached me and explained his purpose was very nice, but he actually still could have been anybody.

I texted Howard to let him know the AEP guy had been here. Date and time stamp.

Would you have noticed what I noticed? I didn’t get a good look at specific identification of the truck, but I got a good look at him. Would you be too busy to see and later recall specific things about his attire, tattoo, equipment? Would you have noticed what time it was? Would you have done something to mark the date and time?

I’m not saying there was anything unusual or alarming about the man. I’m just thinking, how aware of our surroundings are we?

Practice being aware of your surroundings. People watch. Do they have tattoos or piercings? Long hair, short hair, lost a bet with a weed whacker? Is their hair color obvious, or dyed, or grey but seems like it could have been blonde, brown, red? Eye color, contacts, colored contacts, glasses? Do they dress a particular way? Hood, preppy, old-man-ish, closet dirty librarian, brand names, holes or tears in clothing? Jewelry like watches, rings (which hand?), earrings, necklaces, bracelets? Cordially say things to people passing by. Do they have accents? Do they react a way you don’t expect? Do they interact with anyone else? Which way did they head?

There are so many more things to think of. Including, “where did I put that mace?”

Are you ever really, completely safe? No, not really. But, you can increase your odds of safety in any situation just by making note of any number of things about your surroundings and people around you. Have confidence in that. If you do not have confidence in your ability to at least semi-accurately perceive and recall what you perceived, PRACTICE!

Suggestion for AEP techs and other such employees: properly introduce yourself first!!!!


Abrupt, I know. Hahaha!

Posted in Everyday Life, Family, Fun

Togetherville For Kids & Their Grown-Ups

What in the world in Togetherville? You may ask. Togetherville is a new social networking site that is working with Facebook to help parents raise socially responsible Facebookers. Now, I’m not sure that the articles necessarily say those very specific words, but that’s what it comes right down to. Just don’t quote me on it.

I think it’s a fantastic idea. Kids are always, so I’ve heard, nagging their parents to be allowed to get a Facebook account of their own. Not gonna happen, you may say. However, many of these tech savvy kids who have been playing with old cell phones since yours busted and you got a new one so your kid could play with the old one have already figured out hack codes for heaven only knows what.

Some say nip it in the bud. In other words, get them started with your supervision. Togetherville allows you to sign in with your Facebook and, Mom, Dad, your statuses on Togetherville will be, upon customizing your settings, updated on Facebook. 🙂 I got a cool comment from @Togetherville on Twitter that made note of that.

As for your kids, what goes on Togetherville stays on Togetherville. So I’ve read. Now, some of the apps may be a little juvenile for some of the kids, but c’mon. Look at Farmville for crying out loud. The kids can start on Togetherville at age 6. That’s kindergarten or 1st grade for tons of kids. I think that they’ll feel like one of the ‘big kids’ and you’ll get to watch them have fun!

The idea of parents being on Togetherville too is so that parents can monitor activity. Just be aware of who else is on Togetherville as well. I’m not saying there’s anything to worry about, but as always, be super-sleuths while your kiddos are doodling and chatting.

The news has said on Facebook that there is a group that allegedly makes it easier for pedifiles to check our photos of your kiddos. Freak out! What are you talking about? I don’t know the name of the group, but more than likely one of your friends has re-posted a status about it warning you against joining or ‘liking’ it. It’s more than likely easier than you think. I mean, if we’re relying on the government to notify residents that there are registered sex offenders in the neighborhood, we’re not going to know soon enough.

Keep your oculars peeled. Togetherville sounds like oodles of fun and well-regulated. Check it out for yourself before your kids catch wind of it. That way, *grin and nudge* you’ll be the cool ones for introducing them to something fun & safe.

Don’t forget to check out the privacy settings on Togetherville. There may be default safety, but you may be able to make it just that much more secure. Check out your own Facebook’s privacy settings if you haven’t done so in the past several months. There may be something that you need to update as well. Anything that is on an “Everybody” setting is exposed to the World Wide Web and subject to search engines.

Have fun!!!