Certain He’d Won a Pile of Dough

So much for the short reprieve from old man winter when finding the wind blowing from the north again, and our temps hovering around zero this morning. I did see where we’re supposed to have a few days in the 30’s this week, but as we all know, our recent winters are like being on a teeter-totter with one day being comfortable and the other miserable.

With it being another Sunday morning, I headed off to my little corner to get my contemplative session started before the sun came up. With it being all the colder out, there was even less street noise entering my building which enabled me to get where I needed to be with my spiritual session. For whatever reason, there were several people coming to mind whom I’d not see or heard from in months, which may have been my queue to give them a call just to see how they’ve been. Other than that, it was another good experience, and thankfully I was able to wash away all the bad thoughts I was continuing to have regarding that closing this past Monday. I hope to never again have a close call like that one because it could’ve easily fallen apart at the last minute.

Shortly after I finished my prayer session, I went to work at getting started on my taxes, and today’s job was centered around preparing the journal pages I use every year for itemizing. I only worked on it for several hours because I had other things to do, but happy I’ve now officially begun that hated task. My tax person sent me a little note with the date and time I’m supposed to be there, so I’d better have them readied before that day arrives.

Since the sun was shining brightly, I took a short drive out in the countryside, just to get get the city “stink” off of me, and while out, I spied a woodpecker sheltering itself from the biting wind, and managed to get a photo of it before it flew off, which I’m now using for tonight’s photo. I’m still not sure if it was trying to hide from me, or bracing itself against the wind.

When I got back, I placed a call to a buyer I’ve been working with and asked if she’d like to see my new listing at 313 S. Hampshire Place. She was up for it, so I headed over about an hour later to show it. The viewing went well, but I’m not sure which direction she’ll take because there’ve been other homes she’s felt the same way about. In spite of her uncertainty, I was glad there were no negative comments about it while we were there. I also made sure to point out all the extra built-ins the home has, as well as its top drawer quality of construction. There’s no doubt it is a beauty.

After arriving back at office, I went to work again on those now dried hot peppers. The Cayenne peppers I took a photo of and shared last week, have already been cleaned and ground. I ended up with more than I thought because I managed to get nearly a quart and a half from them, and boy is that coarse powder a striking orange-red. I haven’t cooked with any of it yet, but it does have an even more complex inviting smell than the last batch I created about three years ago.

What I worked on for about two hours this afternoon, were the smaller cultivars which I’ll be wanting to taste once they’re cleaned and ground because they appear to be a cross between three of my tried and true varieties. I’m hoping they’ll have a similar complex hotness which creeps up on you, along with a slight taste of smoke which I’ve always found interesting. I finally had to call it quits because it was getting late and my little bucket was nearly full. It’s going to be another multi-hour task to get them all cleaned and ground, but on a positive note, those hours offer a much-needed quiet time which allows hourly slots of time for personal thought.

The headlines of an article caught my eye this morning, so I gave it a good read which was talking about the six scams that target our elderly and they are as follows.

1. Sweepstakes and Lotteries. Yes, I’ve heard several stories out of the mouths of far too trusting elderly people these recent years regarding such scams, and one of them went so far as to stop at my office and want to start looking at houses because he was certain he’d won a pile of dough. As much as I questioned the validity of it all, the more he insisted until I finally said, “The day you get those funds in your account, come and see me.” Without saying, you already know the rest of the story.

2. Tech Support. I’ve not personally known anyone who’s given those callers who claim their computers are infected their access codes, but after those naive elderly give them their remote codes to their computers, they dig into their personal files and demand payment. I know for sure it’s going on, but again, I don’t personally know of anyone who’s had it happen to them.

3. Grandchild in Need. On two different occasions I’ve heard from the mouths of grandmothers who nearly got hoodwinked into sending money to someone claiming to be their grandchild in desperate need. If if wasn’t for a daughter’s last minute intervention, one of them was ready to have several thousand dollars wired out of her bank account. Those devils seem to always target in the middle of the night when the elderly are the most vulnerable.

4. Romance. I’ve heard of a relative of a client having been duped by a person claiming to be someone he’d gone to college with but lost contact after graduation. That was quite the shock for him after his son stepped into the picture and started asking the right questions. No more romance calls were taken after that little happening.

5. Social Security. Time and time again the Social Security Administration has told our general public not to pay any attention to anyone claiming to be one of their representatives. Unfortunately, there’s far more of those Social Security scams taking place than are actually being reported. As they’ve said, “When in doubt, call your local Social Security office.”

6. Fly-by-Night Contractors Following Natural Disasters. Back when we had that major hail storm back in 2001 or 2002, I heard many sad stories about roofers who were showing up at the doors of our elderly and getting pre-payments for work they never did.  I can’t even imagine how many were duped because I personally knew of at least four elderly households that had it happen to them. Please only use reputable local contractors whenever there’s a disaster, and be sure to ask for a list of local references who you can call.

If you’d like to read that article, here’s the link: Six Scams that Prey on the Elderly

Tonight’s One-liner is: Robocall scams not only inconvenience us at the dinner table, but they also prey on the vulnerable, including our seniors which I find despicable.

Joe Chodur

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