Sunday, February 28, 2021

FORGETTING YOUR PASSWORDS

FORGETTING YOUR PASSWORDS


In the whole scheme of things, a simple problem such as forgetting your password may not seem like much. I am here to tell you that it can be a major catastrophe, at least in my case. Everything that you do on line, you must make a password up. And sometimes you don't even get to make it up, the company assigns one to you and you are on your own to remember it.

I thought that I had come up with an ingenious idea. In my NOTES on my IPhone I made a folder titled Password City. Anytime that I had to make a new password for a company, I simply went to my Notes, wrote the company name and then my username along with the password.






It grew and grew and they were not in alphabetical order so I was always scrolling to find what I needed. One day during the pandemic, I took the time (which I had all the time in the world) to print them off, alphabetize them and retype them in my phone. 

Truly, I was so proud of myself. I use my Notes for several things. Like writing ideas for my blog, things I need to order soon from Amazon or Sephora, books I am deciding to read or not and many other random ideas. Notes just seemed to be a good place to store this kind of information.

Meanwhile my IPhone was acting a bit strange and our very tech savvy daughter happened to be over to help with other household jobs. We were so thankful for getting a few odd jobs taken care of and then Jenni also was going to check why I could not send e mails out. I could receive them but if I tried to reply or write a new note - NOTHING happened. She worked on it for a while and then she got it. I was so happy. Really, I did not want to make an appointment and go into an AT&T store. All was good.

Later that afternoon I needed to go to an account on my computer and yes, I had to sign in. It is one that I do not use very often. So I went to my handy dandy Password City on my IPhone and nothing was there. Not only was Password City gone but so were all of my other notes. I sort of panicked. Not sort of. I did. I tried to calmly figure it out by rebooting, by searching everywhere and nothing came up. I decided that maybe she would know what happened. Just wondering what I did now for my phone not to work properly.

At this stage I called her to ask what I need to do. She reminded me that when she went back to my Notes that Passwords were not there. I said to her that happens sometimes and all I have to do is reboot. This was not the case today. They were gone. Jenni tried to talk me through what I needed to do but what she was sending me was not coming up on my phone.

When she had me in Settings and searching for Mail, I noticed Passwords. Since nothing in Mail was helping me retrieve my passwords, nor Notes, I took a chance and clicked Passwords. It was locked and needed my pin. Luckily, I remembered that. There my passwords were. All 100 of them. Since I could not figure out if there was a way to transfer them over to Notes or not, I started doing it the old fashioned way. Found a legal pad and pen and just started writing them out by hand. One nice thing is that they were in alphabetical order. Plus, there were some that were obsolete and I could delete them.

Bless her heart, our daughter felt really bad. I assured her that it was not the end of the world. Steve and I were so thankful that she came over and took care of going up a very tall ladder to change a ceiling lightbulb (ceiling being 15 feet at least). Also helped to set up another hanging light that needed someone tall and able to hold a globe in place while replacing the old light bulb. Checking out why we could not get Peacock on our newest TV but on everything else...the list goes on.

Today I am already to the "O's" in my passwords doing it the old fashioned way. If companies didn't require so many different components to the passwords, it may make it easier. But one wants no capitals, others what at least 6 letters, 2 numbers and a special character. Oh my goodness! Let's all come together on this.


This is never going to happen. So I just need to find a solution to avoid this ever happening again. What I needed was a backup plan.




And yes, I had a Plan B and a Plan C to the Password City Note page on my phone. Meanwhile I came across some ideas that put a humorous approach to this whole fiasco.








For the record my Plan B is to have all of my Passwords written down and locked away. Plan C is to put them on Steve's phone. Most of the accounts he uses also. Now, he can just take care of seeing what he wants without asking me. One last interesting detail. My IPhone locked password setting said that it would be best if I had a different password for each account. Apparently I use one quite frequently which could cause a breach in security. Really? Please don't tell me that I should be able to rattle off close to 100 different passwords as I sign on. I am sure that would be close to impossible for anyone and I should have no worries that my memory is fading. Give me a break!






Sunday, February 21, 2021

WILL WE EVER GET OUT OF HERE?

 WILL WE EVER GET OUT OF HERE?


This is Maggie Mae speaking. I am the youngest so I get to go first. Besides, I am the princess in this house. Davis can speak his mind after me. 

First of all, we were hardly ever going out due to something called the Coronavirus. When Lola and Smiley did go out they had strange things on their faces. When they did put us in the back of the car in our seat belts, places like the Drive-thru Pharmacy or Bank always gave us a treat. That is a thing of the past now. It seems that you get what you came for and go. Go where? Back home, of course. 

Then Lola discovered Keto coffees at Starbucks. Oh yes, that is our favorite place. They give each of us a puppachino! Davis and I love to lick out of the little paper cups filled with heavenly whipped cream. Our humans don't go every single day, but at least once a week. That is up until this white stuff came down everywhere.

There have been days that I have gone outside and this white stuff was coming down from the sky. I tried to catch it on my tongue and found it quite tasty. Then it started to cover our grass. I found it quite cold on my little paws. So Davis and I went into "zoomie" mode. For those of you who do not have dogs, this is where we get a crazed look in our eyes and run up and down and back and forth, hopping, skipping and galloping all around. It keeps us warm and really gets Lola chasing us to go inside. It is quite a fun little game. So much so, that Davis and I take turns pretending that we need to go out when we really just want out to play in the snow. They fall for it each time just because they don't want us to have an 'accident' in the house. Of course we would not ever do that. We are not little puppies any longer. It is just a game to play and they play it quite well. 



One morning we woke up to another 5 inches of snow so now it was 10 inches of snow on the ground. Smiley had a hard time getting the backdoor opened. Lola tried to sweep away some of the snow around the back door so that it would not freeze shut. Even with the fur on our bodies, I have never felt so cold. I heard Lola say that it was 1 degree. This was rare here is Memphis. Then add the wind and it felt below zero. Our humans have not purchased sweaters for us. Probably because when they do put on bandanas we each try to chew it off of each other. So I guess she is not going to try a sweater for us to stay warm. It is ok because I find my own way to stay warm.


Davis wants to play Mr. Macho Dog, calm, cool and collected. Cold? Not me! I can read him like a book. If Lola or Smiley sit on the sofa, he will be right there next to them trying to steal their warmth. 


See! There he is on top of Lola's lap with the blanket and I am barely at her feet. When he takes over, he takes as much as he can.



Both Davis and I need to get out of here to romp and play again at Doggie Day Care. We are surely hoping that the sun and warmer temps along with the rain coming in will make it happen sooner rather than later. We miss our friends, both the two legged ones and all of the four legged ones.




Yes, I am patiently waiting to see the green grass again and to be able to have the windows down and the breeze blowing in my face. What joy!

Well, I suppose it will be just me in this blog talking. Davis has decided to take a nap.


You know what they say, "Let sleeping dogs lie." So we shall just leave it at that and maybe he can take over the next blog for Lola.



Monday, February 15, 2021

FINDING JOY

 FINDING JOY


Even in a pandemic there are so many ways to find joy. As I am writing this, snow and ice is everywhere. Thank goodness for the pandemic. I am used to staying in and being safe or I think this snow would take me over the edge of not being able to get out for a few days. And, yes, I live in Memphis where we are not used to 8 - 10 inches of snow and do not have the road equipment to clear the roads. People laugh at those in the South for closing schools when a snowflake falls but there is good reason for that. 

With that being said, I am thinking of all the things I have (we all have) to be joyful for during this pandemic and snowstorm. The bulldog in the picture above is most definitely finding joy in getting his back scratched by scrunching back and forth in the grass. You can see the joy on his face. I am a sucker for dogs and I find joy just looking at this picture. So most definitely our two goldendoodles bring joy to me. They are usually so sweet and so smart. Sometimes too smart for their own good. They have ways to get to the better side of me with their soulful, loving eyes. Such personality! Such empathy! They seem to know exactly what to do in order to brighten my days. 

The song of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python comes to my mind. You must look for the joys and happiness that is right in front of you. Be aware. There are so many strategies for finding joy in our ordinary lives that we can actually experience extraordinary joy even in quarantine, work and daily routines.


Some ways that I have come across is to keep being social. I do have friends who do go out to eat inside restaurants or do outside dining (weather permitting) but I am not quite ready for that. In fact, that is one of the two super spreaders of the Coronavirus. Eating inside, even with social distancing and crowds over ten, let's just say I have made my decision to avoid both. However, there are ways to Zoom meet, FaceTime, or meet up in a car for take out food at a local restaurant. I know some people who have a Virtual Game Night with Zoom Meetings. 




Reading to grandchildren on FaceTime, texting in groups about current events...your only limitation is your imagination. Having strong personal connections with other people has been proven to be directly related to overall happiness and better health in studies at Harvard. One study suggested that if you go in to a coffee shop without striking up a conversation with the barista or into the grocery store without talking to the cashier or bagger than you are more than likely not having any real social interaction and are less connected. It is the little things that can make you happier.



Like taking time for yourself. Light some fragrant candles, enjoy a cup of tea, read some of your piles of books awaiting you or write in your journal. There does not need to be anything more than taking special self-care and practice relaxing. It will bring on positive emotions. Get your rubber ducky out and take a warm bubble bath.


Having pictures around where you work that bring you happiness. Sometimes it can be plants. If you do not have a green thumb then the choices can be easy to keep alive plants such as cacti or even some very realistic silk plants. Any of these plants require very little watering and can bring you joy.


If you are able to give a donation to a cause that is in need, even if it is a little bit, then that will help you know that you did something for someone else. If you are short on cash, you can always do something nice for someone such as bake some cookies, or even calling to check in. 

Adding some color to a room that you are in frequently can brighten your spirits. It can be as simple as a new throw pillow or a new picture. Bright colors usually bring happiness to those who are around them. Color translates to joy. Also, organization of your work space can bring you happiness. Ever so often I just need to move things around if for no other reason than just to stir things up. 

There is research that shows exercise, if you can find the right kind for your own body, can have big mood-boosters. Simple walks to using small hand weights can get your mind in a happier place, even if it is just for ten minutes.


The most positive way for me to find joy is to skip the news first thing in the morning. I like to limit how much I watch or read. Instead, of news it helps to write down things that I am grateful for. My grateful jug is growing. It is a way to start my day with things that I have planned that I know will bring me joy. If things fall through the cracks, then I can write about it in my nightly journal writing with possibly some solutions of how I could have made it better. In my mind, this is a way to not feel as if I should kick myself for being a failure. I like to believe that, "Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." Wise words from Winston Churchill. Happy and soulful music is something that I like to use when working. Whether I am cooking, writing or reading. Music is always a mood enhancer for me.

It is true that money can't buy happiness but what will bring happiness is prioritizing how you will spend it. If you can afford to invest in time-saving services such as housecleaners, lawn services or grocery deliveries than by all means this would be something to look into if it brings you joy. 

Once you have a few extra minutes then use this time to clear your mind. I like to have a few quiet moments to meditate about the joys that I found and experienced throughout the day. That is what my nightly journal writing is all about. Positive things that have happened or possibly a way that I could have turned things around to make some positive magic happen. I like to find joy everyday and yes, it is possible once you find your path to more happiness.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

TOGETHER WE ARE BETTER

TOGETHER WE ARE BETTER



 Never have I ever claimed to be an expert in the field of science. There is someone that I highly respect for his knowledge in the science of infectious disease as the world is in the midst of COVID-19. His name is Dr. Fauci. Even he admits when he or another scientist learn something new that may overturn their original thoughts they share the new information with the public. The one thing that he does believe is that there now is enough information to help all of us protect ourselves. We just need to be savvy enough to heed the advice. The vaccine will be helping as more and more are being given their first and second doses, yet this does not mean life will return to the way things used to be. There is a new normal and it will be baby steps to get there. We must all learn to be patient. 

Dr. Fauci has determined that congregating in bars and indoor restaurants is not a good idea. First of all it is close to impossible to have social distancing and of course you must take your mask off in order to drink and eat. Many restaurants have set up outside dining spots with social distancing. There is also curbside and take-out. Yes, it is not quite the same as socially going out to eat with friends and family. Before we can do that safely, we need to follow the suggested guidelines. I miss meeting friends and family just as much as the next person. I really sympathize with those who live alone. 


It seems that Dr. Fauci takes and follows his own advice. His daughter needed to come home. She flew home and the Faucis had their basement set up as a guest room, including a bathroom. Their daughter stayed there for 14 days in quarantine before she joined her mother and father out of the basement. He said that he was wanting so badly to just give her a hug. That is exactly how we feel in our house about our children. We have one son who is a pilot and had to come home before he was able to get his own apartment and also had to quarantine upstairs. Dr. Fauci states that he wouldn't take a plane or any public transportation at this time due to him being in the high risk category. Like most of us, he does not like to admit it but certain ages are more likely to come down with the virus than others. Add any health issues and you double the risk. It is important to not assume your risk is zero because of your age. 


Our local Health Department visits restaurants and bars and either fines them or closes them down if protocols are not followed. This includes all public places such as gyms, hair salons, spas, and stores. More and more people are now adhering to wearing masks, washing hands and using hand sanitizers, as well as maintaining social distancing. This is the way we will get back to some normalcy. If you are consistent in your socializing, and have a friend or family over for a cup of tea then keep the number down to 2 - 4 people, social distancing and never sharing common bowls, utensils, etc., along with meeting outside. Winter and cold weather may slow this down unless you have a firepit - where there is a will there may be a way. Just do it safely. Outdoors is better than indoors. Plus the family or friends who you have over must not have traveled nor go out in large groups. 

Exercising is still important but for a certain segment of the population, it may not be the safest way to exercise in a gym. Outdoor walking or biking, fitness videos and even walking around in your home if you do not have a treadmill or stationary bike. It still is a matter of avoiding crowds. 



There is the matter of schools being open or virtual. Really there is not one way or another that is right or wrong. Large school districts have a much tougher time following the guidelines of the CDC. Public schools with outdated air filtering systems can't compare to private schools who have the money to add extra maintenance and have smaller class sizes so that social distancing will work. Children need to be in schools but there needs to be a priority for the safety and welfare of the children, as well as the teachers and staff.



When I had to go to a new doctor he said that he always used to shake his new patients' hands. Now he gives them the 'elbow bump.' With masks on our faces it is not always easy to see that smile. One must be good at reading the smile from the eyes. 



A new safety precaution that I read about was to drive with your car windows down some. It helps in the air circulation which lowers your chance of inhaling the virus. So keep that mask on and let some fresh air inside your car. It is important to remember that asymptomatic people can spread the virus.

It has been reported that taking zinc and vitamin D3 may help. Dr. Fauci has stated that zinc in reality does not have any effect. On the other hand being out in the sunshine, as well as taking vitamin D3 has some merit. Blood types have been studied and some types seem to be more immune to the virus than others. Nothing is a for sure fact. Scientists are all working together to find true facts. 

Scientists are working to prove if the virus survives 72 hours on surfaces or not. They have discovered that the virus can be retrieved from cloth surfaces for this long but what hasn't been shown is that it is able to still be actually transmitted this way. You can isolate it from doorknobs, steel, chrome, etc. but they do not believe that it is a major modality of transmission.

There is no question about it...the U.S. did make lots of mistakes in handling the pandemic in the early stages. Relying on herd immunity is just a bad idea in general according to experts. If everyone contracted it, even with the relatively high percentage of people who are without symptoms, many people who are elderly or have underlying conditions are at risk. There are long term effects for some people. It does not seem to be a way to predict who will have a mild case vs someone who may take weeks before they feel close to normal again.



Dr. Fauci does not want to see the country shut down. We need the economy to continue moving forward but that is not all. Psychologically, it would be devastating to close everything down. Life must go on, just in a safe manner Wearing a mask should not be a political statement and I for one (and yes, I am the forever optimist) believe that more and more people are getting over that. We have a new leader who does follow the science of this pandemic and heeds warnings. Everyone needs to pull together in a uniform manner. We can't afford weak links to win. Our country has been through tough times before and we can work together to turn our country around in a positive manner.



Saturday, January 30, 2021

Double Vision

 DOUBLE VISION


Although I personally did not start the issues with my eyes with double vision, it is a common symptom of possibly having cataracts. Before I developed cataracts, I really did not have the knowledge that I wish I had known before my diagnosis. I now am learning as I go. Better late than never.

First of all, we all have heard of those around us who have the surgery and feel wonderful afterwards. I always mistakenly thought that it usually happened to the elderly. Let me tell you right now...I am not elderly. At least I don't consider myself elderly.

My yearly eye doctor appointment has always been a part of my life. My previous year's visit, he mentioned that he saw just a "touch" of the start of cataracts. He also said that he has seen that start last for ten years before anything needs to be done on many patients. It turns out that he saw the same thing in my husband's eyes. When we went in this year, Steve passed through with flying colors. Me? Not so much. I knew that I was not seeing clearly and simply thought that my prescription needed to be adjusted some. However, when my eye doctor showed me the vision that he could take me to compared to what I have now - it was still blurry and not great. That was what the cataract was doing to my vision. He said he could get the change that he just showed me in my glasses or I could get cataract surgery in order to take the cloudiness away. My response was to let me think about it.

Really, to tell the truth, when I got in the car and all the way home I held it in and then burst out in tears as we pulled in the driveway. By talking it out with my husband and daughter, and getting over the shock, I decided that it was not a bad thing. Talking to friends who have had it done gave me hope that the surgery was easy and I would be so happy to see clearly again. Possibly without glasses. Since I have worn glasses and contacts since I was 12, this was a great incentive.

I did a little research and found out that a cataract is a dense, cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eye. It begins when proteins in the eye form clumps that prevent the lens from sending clear images to the retina. Usually, it develops slowly and eventually interferes with your vision. I also continued to read that you may end up with cataracts in both eyes but they don't always form at the same time. Also they are common in older people, with over half of people in the United States having undergone cataract surgery by the time they are 80. Really? I am not near 80.

Some of the symptoms were there for me such as the blurry vision, feeling as if I needed a new prescription lens, night vision bothering me, and sensitivity to glare. I always wear sunglasses, as this is not a new symptom. The sun really bothers my eyes. Also, never have I enjoyed driving at night. The other symptoms that can happen are seeing double, halos surrounding lights, tinting of the eyes and colors fading.







Also, I did not have a totally cloudy eye visible to myself or anyone looking at my eyes. Cataracts can be extremely debilitating that can cause major problems in someone's life. They do not happen to everyone. It is usually through aging (there is that word again) and is a discoloration of the eye lens which alerts the person to their condition. Unless you are like me and simply clueless. Just believing that all I needed was a new pair of glasses. 

Some people think they can delay the eventual surgery by wearing sunglasses and not smoking. Yes, in my research some of the possible causes of cataracts are smoking, diabetes, radiation therapy, long term use of steroids, other eye conditions and eye trauma. I did go through radiation therapy for breast cancer, but who knows if that helped spur my catartacts on? And, I know smoking is not good for you but I for one am sick and tired of smoking being the cause of a hang nail to a heart attack. If doctors would just not blame smoking on everything, then I believe more people would quit if the medical industry stuck to the big reasons to not smoke. When I see 80 plus year old women smoking with no side effects and then hear of a 40 year old who died of lung cancer who never smoked, it throws up questions to be answered. 

I do know that radiation therapy and certain hormonal drugs that were prescribed to me caused havoc on my body after my cancer surgery. There are different kinds of cataracts from nuclear cataracts, secondary cataracts, trauma cataracts, posterior cataracts, radiation cataracts, congenital cataracts (infants), and cortical cataracts. I suppose it really does not matter (except to the surgeon) which kind you develop. Something needs to be done.

What is most important is having your doctor perform a comprehensive eye exam to check for cataracts and to assess your vision at different distances and tonometry to measure your eye pressure.




Surgery is most definitely recommended when cataracts prevent you from going about your daily activities such as reading and driving. Surgery to remove a cataract is generally very safe and has a high success rate. Most people can go home the same day as their surgery with a driver. 

I can say that the day of the surgery I was better than the next day. I felt a bit of grittiness in my eye on Day 2, which the doctor told me that my dry eye syndrome had a lot to do with that. He was encouraging in letting me know that should go away soon. Plus, sleeping for one week with the plastic cover over my eye was doing a number on my sleep pattern. Luckily, I am able to take a nap to catch up some. One week! I can do this. The other issue, and I am just being honest...four weeks with no eye make-up is a big dot deal for me. So I suppose it is good that we are in a stay home safe mode for Covid. When we do go pick up groceries or drive through pharmacy, I wear my dark sunglasses.  

In just two weeks from my left eye operated on, I will have my right eye done. I can honestly say that I can't wait. Yesterday when I woke from my nap and opened my eyes, I was amazed that out of my left eye I was seeing so clearly. It really was a huge difference in what I was seeing out of my right which is most definitely still blurry. So the good news is, cataract surgery is a pretty simple process that has very few risks, and it has enormous benefits including eliminating the symptoms of cataracts that lowered my quality of life in the first place.





THE END IS IN SIGHT!




Sunday, January 24, 2021

Pitch With Passion

 PITCH WITH PASSION


There has been so much going on, not only in the world, but here in the United States. I started thinking about how the women in the limelight got to where they did. What helped to guide me in that direction were many events that led up to the 2021 Inauguration. Of course, it goes back way before that, yet this is where I want to start.

The fact that we now have our first woman vice president is a long time coming. If you go back to Kamala Harris childhood it was all in the building of her character.

 She believed she could, so she did. 

During this Inauguration there was a woman who demonstrates her own self worth with confidence, and that would be Dr. Jill Biden, the President's wife. She has no intention riding on the coattails of her husband but intends to continue in her teaching profession, as well as taking care of the responsibilities of being the First Lady.

She believed she could, so she did.

On this same day there was a young woman who walked with confidence and spoke eloquently when she shared her poetry with the world at the microphone. Her name is Amanda Gorman and we will be hearing a lot from her, of that I am quite sure.  Her poem brought tears to many eyes. It was a visual telling of her poem. 

She believed she could, so she did.

These three women all in one day gave so much hope that America would rise up and be strong again. It will take a lot of work but together we can do it. 

There are so many women who came before these three and so I would like to share a few as a reminder of strong capable women who are in the limelight frequently and talk about how they pitch with passion and confidence.







This is not a political blog. It is a blog on how women can pitch with passion to get where they want to go. First of all they have to demonstrate confidence. They figure out their why, what their vision is and how they will achieve it. When opportunity knocks they are there telling the concise story with enthusiasm. 

They share hope and promise and a positivity that is built on their self-confidence. Once you start believing in yourself magic starts to happen. It is the most beautiful thing that a woman can wear. Self-confidence is a super power that no one can take away.

This is not just for women who are in the news. It is for the special health care workers, the teachers, the grocery store workers and so many others who care and go above and beyond with their self-confidence that they can do it and make a difference by how they accomplish their jobs.

Tell me I can't and I will show you I can is their motto.





Sunday, January 17, 2021

TELEPHONE LINE - HELLO


TELEPHONE LINE

HELLO


The telephone is most definitely something that we all need and use. What we don't need is some yahoo calling us at all hours either a live person or a recorded message, some of which try to trick you into believing that they are a real human. Some days at my house are worse than others. Yesterday, we set a record of 15 telemarketers or robocalls in one day. There are some things that you can do that may help reduce some of these nuisance calls.



 In researching some about this topic, I learned a few tricks myself. First of all be sure that you are registered in the DO NOT CALL REGISTRY. You can find out by going on the Federal Trade Commission website. It will ask you to put your number in and then they will send you an e mail about whether you are verified and in the system. At my house we have two cell phones and one land line phone. I am trying desperately to get rid of the landline phone but we are a democracy in this house and the other person is not ready to give it up. So meanwhile it stays until we can come to an agreement about it.

Even with being verified that all of our phones are on the List, we still get way too many calls. The FTC has given some suggestions of what to do if you receive these annoying calls.



~    File a complaint with the FTC, which does require you to write the time and day, name of the company and the number they used to call you. You can report the call on their website or by calling their number 888-382-1222. The DO NOT CALL list does not take care of political calls, charitable calls, debt collectors, or surveys. But most definitely when they say that are from the IRS, Social Security, Microsoft Windows or a company that you do not do business with they are trying to scam information from you. Be sure to report these if you are trying to stop these predators. 



~    Never answer yes if they ask if they are speaking to Miss ______. These are professional scammers and they can take that recording of you saying yes and place it in an audio claiming you said yes to purchasing whatever they were selling.

~    Also never press numbers. They may say press 1 if you want to talk to someone about this call or press 2 to be removed from their call list. If you press anything, you will be on their permanent cycle of calls. Possibly it would send you to some live person who speaks with a heavy accent and always has the name of Bob or Harry and wants all kind of private financial information in order to help you. 



~    Next it is suggested that you just don't answer the phone if it is a number that you do not recognize or hang up before they get two words out of their mouth. I usually need to answer due to calls from service technicians calling to tell me they are on their way, or a doctor's office or a business using a private number. I have chosen to just hang up on the ones I do not know. If they are a real human, which is not always easy to tell, order them to never call again and tell them that you are reporting them. I have a good friend who has a loud ear piercing whistle that she blows into the phone. 

~    There are some apps, which are free, that may help. Your cell phone company may be able to assist you in finding the right one for you. There is a free app that seems to work well called nomorobo. It has caught a few spam risk calls and I just don't answer them. Then  I go in my cell recent calls and block that number. They just keep getting new numbers all the time.

Sharing this frustration with friends helps all of us to vent and I have discovered some creative ways to have fun with these people who insist on invading our privacy. Why not turn the table on them and make it a game. 

Here are a few of the responses that I have been told about:

1.    Ms. Miles will be happy to speak to you. Her billing rate is $500 an hour. If you'll give me your credit card number now, I'll book a time slot just for you. 'click'

2.  What are you wearing ? 'click'

3.   So sorry. I am busy now but give me your number and I can call you back. 'click' 

4.    You are so lucky. You are the hundredth caller today. You win a special prize. Hold on for 30 minutes and I'll go get it for you. 'click'

5.    I just had a great session with my shrink and I'm dying to share this breakthrough I had. 'click'

6.    Hey, great timing. I need you to settle an argument between my husband and me. 'click'

7.    I am so glad you called. I just finished memorizing the Gettysburg Address. Can I try it out on you? 'click'

8.    I'm working on jokes for my next Toastmaster's meeting. Knock knock! 'click'

9.    I just got my online certification in astrology. Tell me your birthday and I'll give you your horoscope for the day. 'click'

10.   Oh, I thought you were my ride. Can you Uber a car for me? 'click'

11.   Sheriff's Department, how may I help you? 'click'

12    My puppy has been doing the cutest things all morning. Give me your number and I will text you his pictures. 'click'

I will leave you with the lyrics of this great song that Jeff Lynne sang in ELO. Maybe thinking about some good music will help the feeling of frustration we get from all of the unwanted scammers. 

Doo da wop doo bee doo da wop do lang


Telephone Line

"Hello, how are you?
Have you been alright through all those lonely,
lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely nights?"
That's what I'd say, I'd tell you ev'rything
if you pick up that telephone, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Hey, How you feelin'?
Are you still the same, don't you realize the things we did,
we did were all for real, not a dream.
I just can't believe they've all faded out of view, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, oo.
Doo da wop, doo bee doo da wop, do wah doo lang.
Blue days, black nights, doo wah doo lang.
I look into the sky, The love you need ain't gonna see you through,
And I wonder why the little things you planned ain't comin' true.
Oh, oh, telephone line, Give me some time, I'm living in twilight.
Oh, oh, telephone line, Give me some time, I'm living in twilight.
O. K. so no one's answering,
Well, can't you just let it ring a little longer,
longer, longer oh, I'll just sit tight,
Through shadows of the night let it ring forever more, oh, hoh hoh hoh.
Doo da wop, doo bee doo da wop, do wah doo lang
Blue days, black nights, doo wah doo lang
Doo da wop, doo bee doo da wop, do wah doo lang