Special needs puppy needs a home

I’ve been a little slow to post this, alot of you readers come here via the same avenue that I used to find this post.  But little Major still needs a home, and so let the networking begin!


This is Major.  She’s from the last litter that the Atomic Nerds have raised.  And she as a potentially major heart defect:

unfortunately, the consultation I had with a veterinary cardiologist revealed what she’s actually got is pulmonic stenosis, a different and much less common (the cardiologist commented she’d simply never seen it in an Akita before now) issue. We do not yet know how severe the stenosis is- she was too young at the time to get a good picture- but the cardiologist suggested it wasn’t likely to be mild. We’ll know when she is old enough to have another, clearer ultrasound done in another month or two. She also has a defect in the wall between her ventricles, which the cardiologist said may either be making things worse or actually helping; apparently they often occur together and the treatment for THAT defect on its own is giving the patient an artificial case of stenosis. Apparently Major is very medically interesting! I could have done with boring, personally.

So Major needs a home.  She needs a home that can handle an Akita (which isn’t the easiest breed to work with) and she needs a home that can handle potentially major medical bills and possibly the far to early heart-break if her condition means her life is shortened.

Those factors combined have made finding her a home difficult.  If you are up to the task please contact the Atomic Nerds via the email in the linked post.  If you know someone who might be up to the task please share this with them!

Cold and Garden

We’ve had a pretty nice fall, weather wise.  We had an early mild frost mid September, that barely touched anything except heavily shaded areas.  And then it was gorgeous.  Temps in the upper 60’s and 70’s, lows just cold enough you wanted a coat.

Its finally come to an end.  These last few days its been colder and colder, the high progressively chillier and chillier though the lows only barely touched the freezing mark.  Then last night it froze.  I’m not sure what low we actually hit, but our thermometer said 22 degrees at 8am this morning.  I forgot to bring in the pumpkin yesterday before dark (I worked extra hours and by the time I remembered it was already full dark), so that’ll be coming in today.  And tomorrow I’ll dig up the remainder of the carrots.  I can safely assume everything else is dead.

Course, this coming Friday we have a predicted high of 67…..


Final garden tally:

1 cantalope (the rest rotted on the vine for no obvious reason)

0 watermelons (they looked good…till they all split before they were ripe)

2 pumpkins (one tiny)

1 batch of hot peppers (mixed hot wax and jalapeno), enough to make 1 batch of jelly (I usually get at least two, and last year I got 3 batches)

a random assortment of carrots, some did better than others

8 onions ( I only planted 10)

several zucchini, enough to keep us in zucchini muffins for the winter no problem

popcorn: the popcorn planted in the containers did pretty well though I had some fertilization problems, the popcorn in the ground mostly drowned, however I had 0 problems with ears being stolen.  Though I can’t prove it I suspect that the fact that it wasn’t sweet corn means that the critters weren’t drawn in.  I WILL be doing popcorn again next year.

Sunflowers: did pretty well despite the rain, we’ve got several heads of seeds drying

Berries: the ONLY survivors from my original plantings are my mixed assortment of blueberries.  Between being drowned, then scorched, and then drowned again, everything else died.  The blueberries aren’t huge, but they’re alive, putting out new growth, and even had a few berries this year, I’ve been highly impressed, especially since one of the varieties is a fancy thats only barely tolerant of this sort of climate.  I planted new berries this year using tires as raised beds.  They all survived the summer rains and one of the golden raspberries even produced some late berries!

I’ve made a deal with a local repair shop to get used tires for free.  As many at a time as I can fit in the back of my Dodge Caliber.  Which means 4-5 large truck tires or 8-10 car tires per load.  I’m picking them up after work every day till I have the shed as full as I’m willing to get it, and then I’ll spend my free time this winter cutting sidewalls.  Nothing will be planted in the ground next year, everything will go in “raised beds” courtesy of those tires.  Filling them with dirt is going to suck.  I’ll have to see if I can arrange a couple pickup-loads before the ground thaws in the late winter so that we can drive right on back and shovel it into the tires from the truck bed.  But I think it’ll be worth it in the long run for the garden.  And I need to figure out how to handle the weeds.  Standard weedbarrier just doesn’t hold up well to that sort of abuse.  I’m thinking some cheap tarps held down by the tires and cut under the tires to allow roots through, but we’ll see what I can get, and I’m not sure about the run-off from those…..


OMG Cashback SCAM!!!!—-False

So, the following post is going around Facebook again:




PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR RECEIPTS – THIS IS IMPORTANT AS YOU START YOUR SHOPPING FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS BEFORE LEAVING ANY CASHIER’S STATION!!!!! THIS SCAM CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE, AT ANY RETAIL OR WHOLESALE LOCATION!!! It happened at a Wal-Mart Supercenter a month ago. I bought a bunch of stuff, over $150, & I glanced at my receipt as the cashier was handing me the bags. I saw a cash-back of $40. I told her I didn’t request a cash back & to delete it. She said I’d have to take the $40 because she couldn’t delete it. I told her to call a supervisor. Supervisor came & said I’d have to take it! I said NO! Taking the $40 would be a cash advance against my Discover & I wasn’t paying interest on the cash advance!!!!! If they couldn’t delete it then they would have to delete the whole order. So the supervisor had the cashier delete the whole order & rescan everything! The second time I looked at the electronic tab before I signed & a cash-back of $20 popped up. At that point I told the cashier & she deleted it. The total came out right. the cashier agreed that the electronic pad must be defective. (yeah, right!) Obviously the cashier knew the electronic pad wasn’t defective because she NEVER offered me the $40 at the beginning. Can you imagine how many people went through before me & at the end of her shift how much money she pocketed? Just to alert everyone. My coworker went to Milford , DE Wal-Mart last week. She had her items rung up by the cashier. The cashier hurried her along and didn’t give her a receipt. She asked the cashier for a receipt and the cashier was annoyed and gave it to her. My coworker didn’t look at her receipt until later that night. The receipt showed that she asked for $20 cash back. SHE DID NOT ASK FOR CASH BACK! My coworker called Wal-Mart who investigated but could not see the cashier pocket the money. She then called her niece who works for the bank and her niece told her This is a new scam. The cashier will key in that you asked for cash back and then hand it to her friend who is the next person in line. Please, please, please check your receipts right away when using credit or debit cards! This is NOT limited to Wal-Mart, although they are the largest retailer so they have the most incidents. I am adding to this…. My husband and I were in Wal-Mart North Salisbury and paying with a credit card. When my husband went to sign the credit card signer, he just happened to notice there was a $20 cash back added. He told the cashier that he did not ask nor want cash back and she said this machine has been messing up and she canceled it. We didn’t think anything of it until we read this email. I wonder how many “seniors” have been, or will be, “stung” by this one???? BEFORE LEAVING THE CASHIER’S STATION!!!!! CHECK YOUR RECEIPT BEFORE LEAVING THE STAND. I’VE SEEN PEOPLE DO JUST THAT. NOW I’LL START! PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS, KIDS, LOVED ONES


Alright folks.  Basic common sense ought to tell you that this one has only the TINIEST little bit of truth to it.  The rest of it is as false as it comes.

Fact one: although some credit cards do allow a cash advance to be drawn on them in order to do so you HAVE TO ENTER A PIN # and it has to be done at either an ATM or at a bank.  It CANNOT be done at the register.  Also, you CANNOT enter your PIN at a register in order to pay for a purchase you when you are paying with a credit card.  I’ve had customers try.  On most registers there isn’t even an option, and on the few that allow you to do so it declines for “incorrect transaction type”.

Fact two: If you ARE paying with a debit card, and have chosen to use your PIN instead of hitting credit, on all but the OLDEST of register systems the cashiers do NOT have the option to choose cash back for you.  You have to hit all those buttons yourself.  AND you then have to re-approve the total amount.  So if you get cash back you didn’t want the only one to blame is yourself.

Now, the tidbit of truth: IF you are paying using a DEBIT CARD, AND instead of hitting credit on the keypad you choose to enter your PIN #, AND if the cashier is slick enough and fast enough, it is in theory possible for this to happen.

But the solution to keep this from happening is REALLY REALLY EASY: always hit the credit option and never use your PIN at a register to pay for a purchase.  First off your bank is probably charging you a fee for making purchases that way, if not at first then likely after so many a month.  Second the keypad of a register in a store is NOT a secure location to type in your PIN (trust me on this, were I so inclined I could have stolen a billion PIN numbers by now, and not just because I’m the cashier, but also on occasion when I’m behind people in line!).

If you really need the cash go find an ATM where you have a chance of using your body to shield the PIN pad while you type.

If you simply HAVE to use your PIN to make a purchase instead of hitting credit there’s two things you should be doing:

First: NEVER allow the cashier to grab the pad and hit buttons for you (its actually against company policy for them to do so ANYWAY in most stores), and

Second: if you didn’t request cash back then the cash drawer on the register SHOULD NOT pop open on all but the oldest of register systems, so if it DOES pop open then stop and check your receipt.  Its a security precaution taken by companies, unless the cashier has to get something out of the drawer or put something in it the cash drawer DOES NOT pop open, both to keep dishonest cashiers out of the cash and also to prevent snatch and grabs by thieves.

The one other tidbit of truth to this hoax: always check your receipt.  Even the best and most honest of cashiers makes mistakes, its entirely possible to accidentally double scan items for example.  And there are certainly lazy cashiers who don’t care, and there are certainly dishonest ones too. 

Additional info: Snopes,

Pictures and update

Not much going on  here.  I’m still without a desktop.  Mostly because I’m picky about what I want in a computer (for example Windows 7 and NOT 8 thank you very much) which means that the new computer isn’t going to be the cheapest one on the market.  I don’t need anything HUGELY high end, but it has to have Win 7, and it has to be able to handle the graphics and video work I do.   And we just don’t have that much spare cash at the moment.  BTW, on the same note: Don’t bother with Dell’s financing.  Apparently they tell everyone that they’re approved and THEN lock the account till they finish their verification process (which can take weeks) during which you can’t use the account to purchase a computer.  They pissed me off enough that once we DO buy me a new computer I can promise it won’t be a Dell, dispite the fact that my last two computers were Dells and in general I like their product.


Anyway, some pictures I’ve taken recently:



Blog Appearenance

I know, the header’s screwy, the guy who writes the theme I’ve butchered to create my own has modified his code, and without my computer I don’t have the tools I need to fix it.  Though if this takes to long I may end up installing them on hubby’s computer so I can fix it.

On the same note, anyone know of any GOOD resources for learning PHP?  I really just need to break down and create my own theme…..