Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Got Robbed!

I did. I feel like someone just stole more than $180 dollars from me! I know exactly when it happened. I know exactly who did it. And apparently, what they did was completely legal!

Taking Pennysquezer as an example, I am going to try a cathartic blog about an embarrassing situation. It is also a confession to my bookkeeper before she sees the charges and asks "what the &@#%?"

I saw a product called "Colon Cleanse" from a company named Pure Nutrients on the website I track my weight on. A targeted ad! It will help you loose weight naturally! Fee trial. Just pay $5.95 shipping. I filled out the form, and a week latter, the product arrived. It is all natural, but it is still a laxative and gave me cramps. Not very cleansing. I quit taking them and put it out of my mind.

Imagine my surprise when another bottle showed up a month latter. I had that chilling sinking feeling that I had been had. Looking up my credit card account, I had indeed been billed $5.95. I had also been billed $88 two weeks later, the apparent end of the "free trial", and then $93.95 two weeks after that for the next months supply!

I tried calling the company to stop the robbery, but after twenty minutes on hold, I gave up. I called my credit card company to dispute the charges, but after taking a look at the fine print, and reading some other experience on the web, I don't hold much hope. What they did was legal. I feel angry and violated.

After a total of more than 60 minutes on hold, I got through to the company and canceled my "subscription". I had to call early in the morning to get through. I could hear a call center runing full speed in the background. I guess I'm not the only one. I submitted a complaint to the Oregon Department of Justice. I sent a email to the website that had the ad. I don't know what else to do, except to warn as many people out there as possible. There are robbers out there!

I'm not sure blogging about is going to help me feel better, but at least you've been warned. The only thing that really got cleansed was my wallet!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

On Top of Old Baldy

As part of Girl's Camp preparation, Rachel and I hiked to the top of Bald Hill with the third-year girls. It is a pretty view, but we were swarmed with flies. Luckily there are not hill this tall near Alpine!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another Night at the Library

Another year, another sleep over at the library. We are down to two girls of age now. They made sure I signed up early on the first day registration opened (it fills up quick).

Last years post.

On the apointed evening, we got there thirty minutes early, and were the third group in line. We still didn't get our first choice of areas, but we found a good one none the less.

The entertainment for the evening was Rick Meyer from Portland. He did an Old-time Music Show, using such instruments as spoons, washboards, harmonica, and mouth-harp. At one point he had five kids up on stage jamming with him.

They also showed the animated movie "Bolt", which was quite entertaining.

We slept in the teen area this year. We've been in a different spot every year.

Our butterfly, a craft project from the previous year, is still attached to a light fixture near the entrance. What makes it funnier, is that the librarians (at least the children's ones) know it is there, and know it is ours! Looks like it may be there for another year.

Now were are looking forward to the family reunion camp out coming up!

Father's Day Hike

The Wednesday before Father's Day, Robin took me on a hike at Chip Ross park with the Achievement Day girls. They packed a dinner for us, with cookies for desert. It was a fun activity and well attended.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What the ????

I'm sure my significant other rolls her eyes when she wakes up to find this on the dinner table. Take a guess at what Evil Mad Project (EMP) this is and fill out the poll to the right -->

Then, for the truly curious, find the answer here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Growing up Online

There is a pretty sobering PSB Frontline about children growing up online. You can watch the full program at their website. It really rang true after watching Elder Bednar's CES Fireside on the same topic (also available online).

Who'd of thought we could have Church programs on YouTube, or be able to listen to Church radio on line? Or that I could access them from a laptop while sitting in my favorite chair? Amazing.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Camp Alpine Preview

We spent a rainy weekend at Camp Alpine in order to give you a
sneak preview for Reunion 2009:

Pool at Libby's Leap.

New bridge above the Libby's Leap.

There was a hole at the bottom
of the pond?

Olsen Reunion Memorial
Zip-line launch pad!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Mystery for the Ages . . .

I saw a reference to the Voynich Manuscript in a cartoon of all places. It peaked my interest enough to Google it. It is a mysterious, undeciphered book thought to have been written in the 15th or 16th century. Some of the world's top cryptographers have tried to crack it without much success. There appears to be more theories about it than there are actual facts.

It reminds me of Kryptos, an encripted message sculpture at the CIA. In a couple of centuries, the same kind of speculation may apply to it (although a portion of it has already been decyphered).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Doing a 180

It is hard to believe that I am excited to see 180's on the weight scale again. Harder still to believe that I had to loose 10% of my body weight to get there, and that at 185, I would still be considered "overweight"!

I think the "Natural Man" must be quite oblivious to the small changes which lead to being far off course. I'm also working on a "entropy" theory of weight gain, in that a system (fitness/weight) tend to go from order (fit/trim) to disorder (unfit/overweight) unless energy (eating well/exercising) is expended to maintain it. It still needs some work.

I subscribe to the "physics" diet. That is, if you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. You can eat less. You can burn more. I'm trying to do both. Eating so you are not hungry or feel deprived is the real trick. I've been going to Weight Watchers meetings, an admission I would rank up there with being on antidepressants. It provides a convenient way to monitor calories, as well as a support group and positive reinforcement (you can get a round of applause for just showing up). Great Grandma posted a great summary of how it works. The male/female ratio is about 1:20, which would raise some interesting dynamics if I weren't attending with my significant other.

My biggest motivation has been charting my daily weight online (as shown above). It provides rapid feedback as to whether I'm on track or not. I am also enjoying not being so out of breath at the top of the stairs (I work on the third floor now), and feel I have more energy now (even though I work at a desk all day now).

Now, if I could just do a 170!