Friday, July 31, 2009

The Ex-$14,000 Area Rug

A long time ago in a land far, far away, the Scats had money. It was by no means what people would call "old" money and only barely what you could call "new" money.

Nevertheless, we all had beautiful and excessively decorated homes, cars that suited our whims, clothing from boutiques, a cell phone in every hand, and not a care in the world. Except one. Mimi really liked her rugs. The ones that cost more than a car that were on the floor in just about every room of the house. I picked them out myself. They were gorgeous. Especially the one for Buddy's office.

Then the beginning of the end came along. I could still hear my Great Auntie Scat saying "Now, Buddy Scat, NEVER, I mean NEVER get into business with a non-Christian man." She was a shrewd business woman and her husband had been in business for some time doing electrical engineering work on large scale projects like the Hoover Dam (...just the Hoover Dam...). And other projects requiring an electrical engineer with vision and forethought. His death came quickly. She adored him and never remarried. Interesting lady.

In any case, Buddy took her advice and did exactly the opposite (in this we are much alike). He became partners with the most NON-Christian man he knew (my opinion). J was interesting, single-minded, and sharp-as-a-tack! However, he was no God-lover. And his animosity was well known. When it came time to find other board members and investors, J picked from his own pond and picked BW. I respectfully decline to comment on my opinion of that man.

Of course, Great Auntie Scat liked this not one little bit.....and true to her word, BW played his card and thus endeth that venture. Now fast forward and imagin that you and your baby is in the room with that $14,000 rug on the floor basically as the carpet. Eek. All sentences basically ended with "and mind the rug."

"Dinner is ready...mind the rug!"
"Are you going to the store...oh, mind the rug!"

So I did ask for it to be removed before I had a coronary of my own over the silly thing. Well, it's finally happened. The rug got baptised in Desitin--you, know, that baby butt cream that helps with diaper rash. It was on the floor where I couldn't see it and, well, bingo! I stepped on it and it shot the lid off like a miniature howitzer and the stream seemed constant for several seconds.....OMG! It was beautiful!!!!!! Then I realized.

You see, in the money days of ScatCo #1, when we actually took to decorating things. the main house was remodeled from top to bottom and rugs were purchased and Buddy's office was dressed to the nines. Becky Killoran litho's, special-ordered Asian print love seat (silk) and a few oriental side chairs (more silk), a bamboo lamp, single-piece glass table on oriental arch base...and...(drumroll) underneath all this the  FOURTEEN THOUSAND DOLLAR RUG!

Fabulous office!

NOT such a good idea to put on the floor of a room shared by two little boys, 4yr and 7yr.

I protested heavily.


But, alas, when it came time to move, that room's floor wasn't "pretty." Finished, but not painted prettily to match the remainder of the house. What boy on earth under the age of 7 cares???!!!??

Tell you what, though....their mommies, sure do!

Back to the tube of Desitin. It was like the Energizer Bunny...going and going and going...just unbelievably spewing this white, stinking slime from the belly of the tube all over the rug.

When it dawned on me to get off the tube (I was way too amazed to move) it was too late. Waaaaaaaay too late.

Squib walked in and just said "Ooooooooooooohhh, Mommy" and started running away no doubt thinking that I was fixing to get one big bad spanking from Buddy and he wanted no part in that. Having had a few close encounters himself, he knew a "bad thing" when he saw it. So he tattled on me to make sure he was extra-special-super-dooper-safe.

After scooping, dissolving, wiping, wiping, wiping, more dissolving, more wiping, wiping, wiping, and then giving up, the rug now has a giant clean-looking spot and....


It is no longer in the room!!!!!

Shoulda squashed that Desitin years ago ;) I highly recommend going OUTSIDE if you're in need of some sort of therapeutic squashing or oozing exercise.

Live sane and prosper.
Don't buy anything you wouldn't mind having desitin squooshed upon,


Monday, July 27, 2009

Some Days Just Stink

Compared to some, actually to most, my day has been one big frolic in a field of bluebonnets. Sure, I was woken up early and driven crazy. I spent most of the day exasperated and was ready to quit my job several times before noon. Then all the fam started rolling in with their disastrous stories of not being able to spend enough money (gee, what suffering) due to limits on various banking cards. Yes, this is generally my area, but today I just couldn't sympathize with their grousing over having to write a check instead of being able to use their debit card (no, we don't get charged differently). Not today. Today I just couldn't seem to care about such a minor thing. They all got what they wanted.

But a small town I grew up in...some one had a day that litterally came from hell. The "M" family has known us Scats for some time. Their daughter "S" is one year younger than I and their son, "A" is one year younger than attrition. He and attrition were pretty tight for a few years. M's world shattered into pieces last week with the death of his wife "C." Now A and his two sons spent the day preparing for and having the first of two memorial services for C. She was a singular individual. A devout Christian, she worked for a battered children and women's shelter. She also was an outspoken advocate for the shelter. I did not know her well, but most who did remarked that ALL knew her to be first and foremost a follower of Christ. Her care was for the lost, the battered, and for her friends and family.

This puts any petty little thought of suffering or trials I have had for some time now to shame. And even I tell God that while I know he gives and he takes away...I need to see that His name is blessed in this somehow. I know it will be, but after all, I am a child and the request escapes my mouth before I can think.

A was a friend of Attrition's. Attrition is shattered and I have no basis for comfort except to say that this world is not our home. Satan has been given reign here only for a short time. And THEN the God of ALL creation will return and EVERYTHING will be as it SHOULD be.

As a Christian, I should feel a little out of place here. I just don't belong in a fallen world except to complete the tasks given to me by my Father. But, quite frankly, after today I am ready to go home.

There's Hope In Them Thar Hills!

Attrition and I have been slaving together all week to resurrect an ailing workstation and network/VPN, etc. Why it has taken two people an entire week perhaps exceeds the scope of this blog...more likely it exceeds the patience of this blogger. So, we finished our "work" at about 7pm last night and decided to proceed into Radiator Springs for a burger. We went to "The Hop." Don't knock it, it's all we've got in the way of fast food and cherry Dr. Peppers (which is why we were there). And, lo and behold, a discovery was made!!!!! In the last few weeks, the Hop has decided to start making you-know-what.....

.....YES! PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just couldn't resist. So, I got a small super cheese pizza and it was awesome....awesome for dinner an awesome again for brunch!!!!!

They don't really do it quickly and definitely not for delivery, but if you're having a craving, they're there to satisfy!

So, Merriweather, I guess if you're still looking for a retirement business you still have it as an option, but you'll have to compete, put them out of business, and or deliver.....I still think you'd have a niche here and, of course, my shameless free advertising.

Pizza'd Up!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hit the Road, Jack! (II)

That's right, boys and girls, Jack's back!

Can you believe it!!!!? I thought for sure this dude was toast. In fact, I know several associated dudes were, in fact, toasted. Inevitably, though, the weeds spring up even through an asphalt paved surface. Just look at my driveway.

Minding my own business yesterday and thinking of things more work-like such as "OMG!" and "How in the you-know-what are we EVER going to get that done??!?" I absent-mindedly heard my Yahoo! IM kerplunk in the background and low-and-behold there was yet another Jackley Smith David 419er that had yet to get the message. And I quote (his grammar, his syntax):

"Hello honey, how are u? I know all is wel with u, is it bcos of the money i asked 4, ok 4get about de money n come 4 me. i luv u so much."

At first glance, I hope you laughed and said to yourself, "Self, this is so lame!" Having done my research and having let my fingers do the walking months ago, I knew it to be lame. I also know this to be a different Jackley Smith David, but how I come by that information really isn't pertinent or exciting. So here is mystery stalker number, what, two, three, four? At least three, but probably four asking me to forget about the money he asked me for and instead requesting me to fly to Lagos, Nigeria. This person is OUT OF HIS TREE! There is no frickin' way! I could have sent four times the amount he requested for the cost of a single plane ticket!!!! Not to mention the fact that any person (let alone a short, crazy woman) would have to be nuts or desperate to fly all that way into a dangerous country to meet some person they don't even know!!!!!

Still, I write this for one reason. And it isn't the reason you think. Hop on the internet. Do a little research on 419 scams. Read the eventual outcome for the (mostly) women who find some bond with these criminals and in the end are kidnapped, tortured, and eventually mutilated and killed. Don't tell yourself it'll never happen to you. In our present technological age, we meet people all the time without a single method of verifying that they are who they say they are. We use our real names. We use our real home towns. We use pictures of our families and children. Our public information is there for anyone to pick through and find.

I haven't personally had a run-in like this before. I do have a besotted 19yr old on MySpace who swears that an "older woman" like me is exactly what he needs. Guess he thinks he can just drive here conveniently whenever he wants to from North Carolina? Keeps sending me shots of his buff upper bod. Sad. Great upper body...the head doesn't seem to screwed on well, though.

There are some, though, who truly believe that these 419ers need help. Money or tickets or something....and unfortunately all they get out of the deal is more bribery, danger, and in some cases violence.

The real reason I write blogs like this is for those of you out there who DO have your hearts and minds in the right place and want to help those in need, to trust those you meet, to give freely of what you have, and to share your lives with others. Still others of you may just be in desperate need of someone to share a few moments with or deeper still, someone to love. To you, I say with all sincerity that those are all wonderful things to want. But, please, guard your heart, your mind, your life, and your loved ones. Be careful! Know what you're getting into.

Here are some guidelines I use to keep myself safe. These are by NO MEANS guaranteed to keep you perfectly safe!!!!! I am not a law enforcement agent nor am I educated or licensed to advise you on legal matters.

1. Don't use your real name or the real names of your family members when on the internet for chatting or MySpace, CafeMom, etc. Many people use their real names for Facebook without difficulty and if you choose to do that, restrict your other info and do not connect it to any other chat or dating accounts.

2. Don't use your real physical address. Can you say Yahoo! Maps? Now if you live "near Houston" like me...the odds are pretty good no one is going to find you.

3. Don't use your real telephone. Yes, this includes cells. This info is traceable.

4. If you get in touch with an old friend or family member and wish to give them your personal information, do it in a private email from your email address, not a private message on a chat service or as a post or status message on a chat service.

5. If you meet someone that you would like to get to know better, BE CAREFUL. Go slowly. Restrict your chats to the computer or a cell phone for quite some time. Ask for verifiable information. A copy of their driver license by fax or scanned image is a good start. Any non-criminal won't mind. Passport, too, if they have one. If they ask for your phone #, get their's too. If they want to meet, do not disclose your home address. Meet them at a common and well-trafficked location like Starbucks or Barnes&Noble for a short meeting. Keep your meetings short and public and with others for some time until you are comfortable. Then maybe one on one still at a crowded public venue. When you feel you are comfortable with them meeting you at your home, have other guests, too! The key is to NEVER be alone with the other person until you know them well. Or, as well as possible. ALWAYS tell someone when you are going out and where and when you expect to return.

6. Remember the copies of the DL and Passport? Use an online service or PI and for about $40+ bucks you can have them check the other person's records before things get too serious.

Be safe, please! (But still, have fun!!!)


Speaking of Sanity... has been brought to my attention (by my own self...we chat amongst ourselves in here and try to come to a general consensus...what my Friends of Bill would call a "group conscience"...just in my own head) that my oldest son, Beanstalk, turned 7 on Thursday without a single mention in this here blog I call mine. Uh-oh, right? Yeah...

Happy Birthday, big man...I love you!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Facebook Phenomenon (--or—My Own Personal History of Total Geekdom)

Let me tell you first just a little bit about our first PC (“our” refers to Attrition and myself). Now, I’m not talking about calculators or the Commodore 64’s and other things you could plug into your television and use commands written in Basic to make Mr. Bojangles dance. I’m talking about a real PC with a motherboard, a (then) true 5.25” floppy (very floppy) drive, a single monitor and no mouse. (Mice….who’d have thought)?

Of course, Dad had always been working on computers. His were, in general, the size of a refrigerator or larger and “programs” were written as key-punches into an individual card and stacks of cards represented a single program itself. Not the sort of thing you want to drop accidentally on your way to put it into the computer (which happened on occasion). At that time, all I knew was that it was fun to operate the keypunch machines and fun to color on the cards. He graduated to large, magnetic tape quickly, but I was still too young to care about anything more than whether or not he was going to bring home the plastic storage rings for Attrition and I to play with.

So at the ripe old age of 12 (me) and 9 (Attrition), Buddy Scat decided that if we were to get a computer of our own, we would first have to build one. This didn’t surprise us. Everything in our house worked that way pretty much.

So we did.

It was VERY slow.

And it did only one thing.

It generated prime numbers.

So, we attached a DOT-matrix printer (bzzzt bzzzt bzzz...oh you remember that noise!) to our little computer and it then began printing out each new prime number it calculated. Went lickety-split for the first few…then it had to think harder and harder. The harder it had to think, the more time it took. Soon, we were only getting one number per day…then a number every two days, then a week, then we almost forgot about it, but it was STILL WORKING! So, we found some closet space and moved the whole experiment in there. The sound of the printer zipping off a new number interrupted anything else going on in the house as we geeked out staring at the new number…whoa, dude! 13,111! We did our little prime number dance and then life went back to “normal” for a few weeks. Our own definition of normal, of course.

Needless to say, we got our computer. An 8086, I believe...**snicker**

I remember those were the days when Kilobytes were “big.”

Now, here I sit with a 320 Gig hard drive in my laptop, no less, with 2.5 G memory and an Intel Core processor. All this came to pass in my lifetime. Heck, digital watches, video games, and so much more just weren’t there until I was six or seven years old!

Jump from there to now and holy cow!!! What a change!

And the internet has now reopened my world with the invention of Facebook. I don’t know who started these types of online communities. Well, I know who was behind FB. At first, we had websites, IM and email….but this takes that up a level by far. Now, with Facebook, I have quite literally found every close friend I’ve ever had. I’ve become closer to acquaintances that are now friends, and am now meeting new folks that are exciting, different, and refreshing.

The tone is always one of love and care, advice and suggestions, laughter and joking, encouragement and cheer, and I have yet to see any flaming even amongst some friends I know to be diametrically opposed to each other’s political or religious views. I see that happening to people I know, but I could care less to drag my junk out of the trash (where it belongs) mush less throw it at someone I like. Or dislike.

I have friends in almost every state of the union and several in other countries (including CA—couldn’t resist, A). All are in various stages of life and you just get that melting pot feeling when you’re there!

So, if you’re like and really want to get to know me….following me around Facebook! If you can find me (Challaaaaaaange!) check me out! Or if you already know who I am, find me there. You might just learn some things you never knew.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sometimes Small Towns Are Just Small

I have really been relishing small-town life for the past two years. Having moved around from place to place since, well, birth, I have always longed for a place to call home. I didn’t arrive here by choice, but by circumstance. However, I had always felt at home here. Papa and Baba have had a house here on the lake since I was three and I have always come here for summers and holidays. Many of the people here now are the still the same and I have grown up with their children and now our children play together. I don’t have any other place that I would call my hometown. The longest I lived anywhere was for six years in another small town in Oklahoma (near Tulsa), but I had no idea what small really meant then.

According to the little green sign you pass when you enter Radiator Springs(obviously not the real name, but seriously what Squib calls it...for realz) we have now topped out at 693 people. Where are all those people? I surely don’t know. It doesn’t even take five minutes to drive to the next “town” and I’m not so sure that Radiator Springs and the surrounding “towns” aren’t counting some of the same people twice….

The nice thing about living here is that everything is just flat easier. We’re the county seat, so you can imagine how many people must be in other counties. Taxes are much lower. General living expenses are remarkably lower than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. There’s no pace you have to keep up with. Our grocery store is about the size of a Chili’s restaurant, which does cut down on the creativity of our menu, but we get around that by shopping a little when we’re in the greater Houston area. Library, post office, burger joint, diner, café, little shops on the square that sell resale and trinket odds-n-ends, hardware store, two feed stores, two dollar stores, more churches than we could possibly fill up (some of those folks are going to have to adjusting their belief structure a tad), fair grounds, schools (consolidated with another nearby town), two banks, some realtors, one CPA, a bail bondsman, and that’s about it….well, of course the fledgling Scat Family Trio’s Oil and Gas prospecting business.
Medical care is in the “next town over” to quote the natives which is about 25 minutes away and there’s a Wal-mart there which looks like Mecca to me now that I haven’t set foot in a mall since 2007.
I misspoke a little about traffic. We do occasionally have traffic-jams, but only during the monthly trail ride and early in the mornings when some of the ranchers are moving their cattle.

Every holiday is celebrated by the entire community and taken very seriously and, yes, everyone does know everything there is to know about everyone else.
Except me. I am a bit of an unknown quantity. I have a gift…I can keep my mouth shut.
Today, though, I really felt like I was in the middle of the middle of nowhere. Normal day. It was Saturday, but when you live and work as I do, all days are work days when the boys are not around. And with that humongous, looming, taunting, frantic, and inescapable deadline hanging over my head…I just needed a fix.

All I wanted was a pizza.

That’s all.

One pizza.

One little bitty pizza.

Mimi and I were here alone, so I had to stay with her. Therefore, the need for a pizza escalated into the need for a pizza delivery in addition to just a pizza. Simple, right?


Our little town not only does not have a pizza joint, but is so far away from one that pizza places in adjacent towns will neither deliver nor prepare one for take-out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My first thought was about our youth minister…I mean, really! How do you have a youth ministry alive and kicking without pizza!!! It’s the culinary language of kids and teens alike!
Then, I started contemplating how very badly I wanted pizza and just exactly how much I might be willing to pay extra for one pizza to be delivered here. I don’t have to tell you that the amount was rather exorbitant. I was desperate!
Fortunately, Attrition made plans to stay over tonight so he could play drums for us tomorrow…first instruction I gave was BRING PIZZA!!!! I WILL PAY!!!!
There are many, many things I love about Radiator Springs. I really don’t want to have to leave here permanently. But sometimes…..

Sometimes small towns are just a little too small.

Today, if it hadn’t been for internet access and Attrition, I’d have cracked open like a piñata!

Still in one piece,

P.S. Happy Birthday to my youngest, Squash Blossom!!!! 4 whole years old today!

Friday, July 17, 2009

East Texas Night Life

Last night, I gave up working on my impending deadline at about 9:30p and decided to head to bed a little early and get a good night’s sleep. The idea was my eyes needed refreshing after staring at three screens of squiggle all day. So, tell me, why is it that every time I try to do this every wild animal in the county sees fit to hide under my house as though it were their only safe haven?

The house is built on piers primarily due to the slope of the land, but also due to the nature of the ground on which it is built. There are advantages to having your house on piers…but somehow after last night I can't think of one to save my life.

As I stood today looking into the cavern beneath my bedroom, I instantly got a flashback of all the dry shelter caves I have seen when exploring/hiking throughout the West and Mid-West United States and the Ozarks. They look exactly the same. And in looking about the neighborhood, I’ve found that all the other homes on piers are UP on piers….usually to create parking and/or boat storage. At our house, we’ve made a safe haven for animals of all kinds!!! And most of these animals being nocturnal, well, that goes a long way toward explaining the interest all the dogs have in our house. It must look like a midnight McDonalds to them!
Then there are the snakes. Squash Blossom and I were making our way to the Scat Family Trio offices one morning and darn near stepped upon what we later thought to be a very young rattle snake. It was gorgeous, actually. A pale, but rich greenish-gold with a diamond blue-black pattern stretching all the way down it’s back. It hissed and jumped, but no rattle, so I assumed it was a Copperhead—even though it didn’t look it. Nevertheless, I lobbed SqB about 20yds away and told him to go into the house and STAY THERE!!!! For once, he obeyed. Single machete to the neck and Mr. Snake was no more. His head remained, but his body went through all the throes of trying to attack and finally crawled off. I remain a little leery of his brothers and sisters….and parents for that matter. We’ve also found Corral snakes here recently and have been unable to trap them or render them headless.

Mimi and I are here for the weekend alone (alone  alone  alone  can you hear that? it's nooothing!)…quite a refreshing time. No panicking octogenarians, no harassment or sarcasm (which is the way of things in this family). Not even any kids. I intend to go back in and sleep like a baby! The only reason for this blog is to let you in on the night life I experience and give you an update. Buddy and the Grand Scats had a great meeting and it sounds like the Scat family trio is going to get off the ground in a serious way here in the next months! That would really be something. Wow.

We shall see.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Well, I am still here. I’m desperately in need of a good write and I think I have one in me tonight. Words seem so simple to use, but I think they are far more abused than, in fact, used. The word for today is deadline.

Yes, I have a deadline at work that is eating my lunch (and my dinner). Tension is high. Nerves are exposed and easily gotten upon. Deadline number one is Friday with a couple of potential investors. And the second deadline is Tuesday with a disgruntled client.

I looked up the definition of deadline and probably should not ever have done that. It dates back to the American Civil War era when a line would be drawn in the dirt past which prisoners would be shot on sight should they choose to cross it. It is, apparently, common in POW camp lingo as the real deal…a line past which prisoners may expect death.

This was obviously not the right word to research while trying to reach my own personal deadline. Other info points to the word having a number of figurative senses from “muffled” to “absolutely.”

Levertheness, I have a deadline and at my current rate will be done on July 23rd…two days late.
Why am I blogging, you ask? Well, for starters, it keeps me sane. And second, the most important reason is that it gives me a creative outlet as opposed to my daily mathematical modeling work. Wouldn’t want my right brain to atrophy any further than it already has.

All around me here, life has been going on relatively normally. The grass now looks like dried straw (bring on the cows!) due to the drought. Temps haven’t gotten below 98 F for the longest time. My friend says this means El Nino’s going to dump water on us all during the fall season. Of course, we don’t really have fall. We have Houston heat (summer), more Houston heat (though a little less humidity) which I refer to as fall, one month of winter (which amounts to fall in most other places), and spring—which is much like our fall.
Beanstalk has been going to two day schools this summer and loving it. He has a shadow that follows along with him and he is superb. Thank you, Matt! He’s eating most of his calories by mouth with a bolus of formula plus Calcium-rich powdered milk in the a.m. So, he’s bulking up!! Yay! Maybe I’ll have to change his name, soon? Anyway, he’s having a great summer.

Squib is with his Daddy for the week so that momma can work, work, work!!! Gotta make the donuts J.

Fortunately I like my job and the people I work with….

….I just can’t imagine working like this for anyone else.

I would if I had to, but I am fortunate and grateful that at this time I do not.

Enough for now!!!! Much more to come!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Musing on a Typical Work Day

I am discovering that I must not really be a people person. I work with people, but they are predominantly family. I know people in our neighborhood and community and church. I have friends, though only two you would call “close.” One is Attrition, but he’s my brother so many people don’t count him on my friend list. He’s really the only person in the world that speaks my language. When we converse it is in a language of music and movie quotes that are barely intelligible to anyone else.

JKP is my closest female friend. She’s in New York—perhaps that’s why we get along so well? She’s wonderful and I enjoy talking to her so much. She’s an awesome mother and a pharmacy school student. She has a ripping sense of humor and we spend a lot of time laughing together and talking about our kids. She’s got a 4-yr-old named Beanstalk, too. He’s growing up so fast!

Other than those two, I find it very difficult and often times exhausting to relate to people face-to-face who are over the age of 12. I even shy away from the telephone. Blogging doesn’t bother me because, as you may have noticed, no one really follows my blog. The singing that I do doesn’t require me to interact with the audience…I get up, sing, and sit down…which doesn’t require me to think of something to say or chat about because I already know the words and when/how to sing them.

I work mostly with computers, though, and we get along just fine.

It’s that freelance talking stuff that gets under my skin.

Yesterday, we (myself, Buddy, and PawPaw—the Scat Family Trio) traveled about an hour-and-a-half away to Houston’s Galleria area to pay a visit to one of our clients. It was a situation where there were multiple sets of data and even more incidents of miscommunication during the last five months and we needed to get everything ironed out. They have the advantage of experience with the software that they asked us to use. I saw it for the first time in February when we first contracted to work with them. They also have the advantage of technical support. So I have to fly blind and experiment a lot to get our desired result. Backtracking and explaining is tedious and obviously some of my steps were unnecessary. How could I have known, though?

I attacked it scientifically and worked my way through all possible scenarios. Yes, some were unnecessary…but you only find that out after the fact. I hope they felt the visit went well. At least I got to view the project through their eyes and I know how to duplicate that scenario here in our offices for further work. They got hung soooooo hung up on the word 'duplicate', so I’m trying to purge it from my vocabulary…recreate or reproduce would just be different words, but perhaps they would sit better in our clients’ ears. Who knows? NEVER again shall anything ever-never-ever be "duplicated" again. I am the lowest peon in the group and I rather like it that way. Leaving my little enclave to explain things is at the top of my list of “Things I Do Not Like to Do!” Add to the problem that I lack the typical software weenie jargon, too. I can used the software, but if you have to use acronyms that are either "cool" or deemed necessary for a learned software weenie, then I shalt be cast out!

Visit went well, I think, but the plan we emerged from the meeting with was incredibly ambiguous. Here I sit ready to go whenever we get the call…but the phone is not ringing. This does not speak well for my people skills.

The other thing that just slayed me the whole day was the intensity Papa poured into all the mundane details. Every detail he saw the whole day.

Buddy was driving. I was riding shotgun due to the fact that I am getting over some mysterious stomach bug and had no desire to revisit previous symptoms. This landed Papa Scat driving while seated firmly in the back seat. We all three know the Galleria area and all the paths to and fro like the backs of our hands having lived and worked there for years. But it is just not in PaPaw Scat’s nature to just let it go and let someone else drive. Every sign, stop sign, traffic sign, exit sign, lane change, traffic light (and corresponding color), left turn, right turn, etc. was announced from the back seat along with instructions on how to observe it. Driving West down one street, in addition to traffic observance, we got a running commentary on the buildings and area…driving East (later) on the same street, we got the same story. And that’s only a small portion of the running commentary he kept up from the back seat.

Buddy tried to laugh quietly to himself (though you could obviously see him grinning and shaking up and down) and I could not help but roll my eyes a time or two. I’m not sure why Papa does that. It could be anything from the need for control to sheer boredom to the inability to enjoy quiet. Nevertheless it still reminds me of that guy in the Billy Crystal/Debra Winger movie Forget Paris that just kept repeating…”You want it? You got it! Toyota.” Over, and over, and over again.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hit the Road, Jack!

[Thanks for today’s inspiration goes to Train’s My Private Nation album (one of my all-time faves) and to Queen for Another One Bites the Dust which I dedicate to every poor male soul past, present, and future that has to deal with my family in the process of getting to know me.]

My most memorable first date was you, Mr. S, because when you came in the door my father’s first question to you was “What do you know about Fibonacci numbers?” Kudos to you for answering without batting an eyelash: “I don't know.” I’d love to tell you on behalf of your gender that he’s gotten easier to deal with over the years, but that just isn’t the case. Now he doesn’t feel good until he has a copy of a valid driver license and Passport. We have family connections in varying degrees of law enforcement and if anything (and I do mean ANYTHING) turns up on your record, well too bad for you. So, being 37 and all, I’ve worked a deal out with my brother, attrition, and a few of his law enforcement contacts to help me out when I meet new folks--especially if it’s someone trolling MySpace accounts for b-e-a-u-tiful women like ME.

The reason I write this article is to tell you how real and dangerous just one of these “very interested” guys can be. It all starts innocently….”I will like to meet you.” So I looked at his pic. I looked at my pic. Couldn’t figure out why a pic like that would like a pic like me, but what the hey? I asked him, “Why do you pick me?” “Because I like you.” STOP! Now, you’ve read our entire communication thus far…and he’s decided he likes me? (RED FLAG 1) Then he says “I am from USA/FLORIDA/MIAMI.” Who in Miami, FL writes it like that? And doesn’t he know that me here in TX already knows FL is in USA? (RED FLAG 2)

So, I ask a few clarifying questions and my Yahoo! IM doesn’t carry any personal information and only one other contact…so I thought it might be interesting to talk to this yo-yo. I asked where he worked. He answers “OilAir Hydraulics, INC.” I clarify “In Miami?” He answers to the affirmative, but I am already on OilAir’s website because I know that their headquarters is, in fact, right here with me in the Greater Houston area (stroke of luck that I am actually in the oil business)…more checking and lo-and-behold: Internet Scandal Man isn’t on the company roster at all (at least his face isn't)—let alone as the Managing Director or Board Member of any kind. (so, what was that, RED FLAGS 3-5)

I must admit to some morbid curiosity at this point. There were several possibilities. 1) He just wants to chat and pretend he’s somebody. What a pity. Folks, if you just can't be happy being who you are, then you need to get there as quickly as possible. 2) He’s a stalker. 3) He’s going to try to pull some sort of internet money scam…the most popular being the 419 fraud/Advanced Fee Fraud…a scheme to entice the victim to send ever-increasing amounts of money with the promise that they will be rewarded with even greater sums of money for their trouble. Nigerian letter frauds started this sort of crime which has now expanded to include the use of contacting victims via dating websites and social websites like MySpace, in my case.

It didn’t take but a week for Internet Scam Man to find himself on a business trip to (drum roll) Nigeria (RED FLAG 6). Where he messaged me over a couple of days about the work he was doing. I know about drilling wells enough to know that he had no clue what he was talking about (RED FLAG 7). I was biding my time. Sure enough, two weeks ago, today, I get a very somber message from a "doctor" saying Scam Man has been in an accident (RED FLAG 8). Gee…how convenient. Also convenient was that scam man had supposedly used all the money he took with him to pay the correct officials—ok, BRIBE—to award him a contract. Who cares if I believe that or not? I mean, really?!!! We’re up to 8 red flags here! You can double that number if you include all our discussions on why he can't clearly speak the English language (or Dutch or German—the two he fell back on). (Oh, I almost forgot the at-least 20 red flags that flew when he mentioned he hired a bulldozer to "get the oil from the ground.")

Enter attrition. He and I have a pow wow and discuss all the information we would like to have before we pass this on to our "friends in the business." I continue chatting with Internet Scoundrel Man and get all that data from him. I pass to attrition. attrition calls in his favors. And now there are several people around this little planet we call Earth who are having a very bad day.

I feel minimally bad for them, but only for about two seconds and then I think of the BILLIONS of dollars our government agencies say are pouring into other countries just from 419 scams alone.
If you have received an email or request like I have described go to:
There you can follow easy instructions about how to forward questionable messages to the proper authorities and help in the fight against these criminals. And, seriously, you should fight it. It's not only disgusting, but dangerous. Law enforcement agencies and IT professionals across the globe are fighting it 24-7.

Hit the Road, Jack!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Here we are all on this binary highway clicking and clacking an hopefully not hacking (can't you give it a rest for ONE NIGHT?) demonstrating exactly the reason we celebrate this day not just in this country, but in many countries around the world. Our freedom is not just ours any more. We've passed it around and there are others around the world who are grateful. Thanks to all those who made that possible over the last 233+ years. Two things, though. First: We are not done passing it around! This is our most important job outside our own borders. Let freedom ring for other peoples around the world. Second: We need to watch our step. Our Bill of Rights is a thing to be protected. And, oh yes, I will tarnish this day by saying that I believe it to be in danger sometimes. End of sermon. (for today)

I'm Scat, I'm the 37yr old mother of two living in a crazy little town in Texas just off the beaten path to nowhere. 911 can't even find our house...we'll, they couldn't, but now apparently we have our own post-it note up at dispatch. My oldest son is Beanstalk. He's very appropriately named. Though he is only six I suspect he will be my height within a year. I know he's already as smart or smarter than me...perhaps I can dress him as me and send him to work and I shall go to second grade :) but I think the boobs would give me away. Humph. My youngest is Squash Blossom (or SqB..pronounced squib). We're the Scats while we're blogging. If you know what scat is, then you will understand why my 3 yr old son thinks the name is so very fetching. Scat is his favorite word and when I asked him what my name should be, "Scat" was his unequivocal first choice.

I do live a rather interesting life here with my family...and by family I mean FAMILY!!!! Me, the boys, my parents, and my father's parents all live in this little white house together, eat together, work together, but thank God (and I do) we do NOT have to all sleep together. SqB and I do, so nights are interesting. We have a schedule, everyone has their areas (physically and job-wise), and once you figure out that you're really only having a private conversation if you're anonymously blogging to the free world, well then you're OK with it. I just try to comfort myself with that erroneous idea that all the new ideas have already been thought of. So what's the big deal if no one hears mine? Yeah, whatever.

Tomorrow is an early day for me, so I must cut this short, but I will bait you with this....oh yes, Scat meets Internet Stalker Man. Not exactly what I would like to have as a first topic, but I have been having TOO much fun to keep it to myself. Tales of mommy's dark side tomorrow and an intro to my beloved brother who I will affectionately refer to as Booger--only now I call him attrition.

Gnite All!