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Don't rent a house from "me" (it's a scam).

There are a lot of funny things that come with having a unique name.  People say it wrong.  People always want to know if you're related to the other <uncommon last name>s that they know (yes).  You spell it for people without being asked.

And, if someone on the internet has your name you know they are trying to impersonate you.  It's not just someone who so happens to have the same name.  It's the lowest form of ID theft.

Someone is out there masquerading as me.  

We started hearing about this a few weeks ago, when we listed our old house for sale. Someone was trying to rent out our old house on Gorge Classifieds and other sites, asking people to send them a deposit to rent our house without even seeing it.  He was using our house to scam people.  But, the thing that put it over the top is he was using my name to do it.

Eventually this person tried scamming someone who actually knew me.  The email was forwarded to me, and, sure enough, there was my name on the from line…
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2018 reading list

Near the end of 2017 I did something I hope becomes an end of year tradition.  I planned out all the books I’m going to read in the next year.  I read some great books last year and I hope that having a plan will make this year even better.

Why would I plan out a year of reading?Last year I was able to read a lot more than I have before.  However, there were still long periods throughout the year in which I wasn't reading anything, and some of what I read was just whatever was in front of me, not what I really wanted to read.  Like most things in life, I suspect, having a plan will help align what I do read with my goals.  There are several subjects I’m interested in, and didn’t read about.  There are authors I want to read more of, but haven’t made time to.  And modern fiction?  What is that?  (I  think I read one new book last year)

I made a realization a few months back.  My pile of books I want to read is much taller than the stack of books I have read in my life.  Continuous …

My 7 Favorite Books read in 2017

In 2017 I was a lot more purposeful about reading. Actually, one of my goals for the year to read and write more. I failed at my goal of writing a lot. However, I can say 2017 was the year I read more books than any other in recent memory. Here are some of my highlights from a year in books.

Scouting For BoysI wrote quite a lot about this in an earlier post. Reading what is essentially the original boy scout manual is a lot of fun. It has a lot of practical camping, hiking and tracking instructions as well as a whole lot of scouty chivalry and yarns by Lord Baden Powell.

ItI’m not much for horror books or horror movies or horrible musicals (maybe horror musicals). But It is just about one of the greatest novels I have ever read if not the longest. The characters and setting King created are extremely believable, especially thanks to the “Derry Interludes” which document the sordid history of the fictional Maine town. It’s an excellent book which I should probably write a whole de…

We read a Magic Tree House book. I'm not so sure about the series.

Sunset of the Sabertooth by Mary Pope Osborne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Plot and character development are really week. Although, this is the seventh book in the series, what do I expect at this point? At least one of my children enjoyed reading this book. The other one just shrugs her shoulders. Although, she's seven years old, what do I expect at this point?

At the end of the day the kids did remember enough scenes from this book that depict more or less what we know about life during the ice age. Mostly they learn that life was dangerous and cold, that people hunted, played flutes and painted cave walls.

I'm not sure what I think about this series of books. They are short enough I might give one more a try before writing them off completely. There are just plenty of better books for kids this age. Though, probably not very many about the prehistoric age.

View all my reviews

Things that make me nervous about our trip to Tikal

This Friday Amanda and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  It took us a bit but we eventually decided we should go on a trip and to somewhere neither of us had been before.  I've always wanted to see ancient ruins and love Starwars.  Enter Tikal, one of the most famous Mayan sites and home to the rebel alliance's Yavin 4 base.

I don't travel much.  I don't like traveling much.  I don't even like thinking about travelling.  It’s not that I don't want to see exotic places and do interesting things around the world.  I just don't want to deal with any of the headache of getting there or any of the less than desireable things I might encounter along the way.

I'm pretty good at negative visualization, what some people probably call worrying.  I’ll call it being prepared, though it still feels an awful lot like worrying.  I guess it's how I deal with the unknown.  I can't predict the future but I can take what I know and think up the worst possib…

Book Report: Scouting for Boys

Some backgroundFirst off, I should explain why I, a grown man living in the United States in the early 21st century decided to read a book written to British boys at the beginning of the 20th.  A few times I told someone I was reading this book I got a queer look (or innuendo about what “scouting for boys” meant).  So here goes.
My oldest daughter had just started to be involved with Girl Scouts.  She had been to a few meetings and my wife and I were discussing whether she should really be involved with one more activity.  That’s probably the opposite of how things should go, but it is the sort of thing that happens more often than not in our house.
Anyway, this led me to reflect on my own experiences with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  While I didn’t last very long in Boy Scouts I realized that Cub Scouts was probably one of the most important things in my life at the time.  There were a lot of good memories from the kids in my Webelos group.  I was taught what it means to be a good citi…