I Met Lisette Brodey in Squalor, New Mexico

Back in the early days of Twitter I stumbled on a book titled “Squalor, New Mexico.” I was curious since I had been raised in New Mexico and thought I knew all the towns in the state but had never heard of Squalor. Not the shy type, as long as there was a computer between me and the rest of the world, I reached out and had a chat with Lisette ( @LisetteBrodey ). She wouldn’t divulge many details but suggested I read it.

It didn’t seem to be my cup of tea but I had to find out where this town was!

Needless to say, I was captivated by the writing and story and finished the book over a weekend. I couldn’t put it down. I did discover where Squalor was located. I suggest if you don’t know, that you get the book and learn the secret location.

Not long after, I bought the Desert Series – Mystical High, Desert Star, and Drawn Apart. I was so impressed I ordered multiple sets of the series to give to my granddaughters for Christmas.

Enchanted with her stories and writing style, I picked up Crooked Moon and spent another long weekend reading it from cover to cover.

Hotel Obscure was next in my collection and it did not disappoint! The life stories captured in this book are incredible.

Lisette’s story telling ability captivates from the first page and holds your attention to the final credits. It’s sad when I reach the end wanting more.

Now I’ve got Molly Hacker is Too Picky and Love, Look Away for more drama!

If you haven’t tried Lisette Brodey then I urge you to not waste another minute! It doesn’t matter where you start (except in the Desert Series).

Recommended without qualification! Mikey Likes It!

Like a Thief in the Night

I was alarmed yesterday when I received an email regarding a login to my EA (Electronic Arts) account from the Czech Republic! First, I didn’t know I had an EA account and second, I was busy looking at Twitter – how could I be logging in!

I didn’t click on the link in the email thinking it might be a hacker trying to get my personal information but instead typed the address for EA directly in my browser. The site came up and I used my standard username and password and logged in with no problems.

So I did have an account! I was alarmed that my standard credentials worked and apparently were compromised. I nosed around and made sure there was no payment information attached, nothing had been purchased, or any other secret information was available to thieves. I proceeded to change my password to some nasty string I’ll never remember; added two-factor authentication to make it even harder to get in; then logged out remembering I had created the account four years ago for the PlayStation I bought for the grandkids.

Reflecting, I am embarrassed to admit I did use the same username and password for this site that I had used on other “unimportant” sites. I know better! I preach it all day every day – yet I am guilty of doing what I rail against. Luckily, no damage was done but it could have been much worse.

Which leads me to some words of caution – you may have an account with money or other financial value that you established and never bothered to setup access to it through the internet. In fact, the internet may not have existed when you did it!

Financial institutions have progressed, in spite of what ads would have you believe, and made your accounts available online. It’s all in the spirit of making it easier for you to control your accounts and transact business without leaving the comfort of your favorite recliner. Mainly, it’s to keep you out of the offices and making them hire tellers to help you.

Some of your accounts may be long term and you have no reason to ever look at them beyond your statements you get in the mail. You figure when you need the money in your old age that’s when you’ll figure out how to withdraw it.

In the meantime, the folks in the world of the dark web have gotten all your personal information. Through all the breaches that have occurred you can bet your secret life has been stored in a database, along with millions of others, and is available for less than a dollar.

These nefarious characters can take advantage of all the convenience institutions have created for their customers and create an online persona with access to your account. Answer a few questions, setup a username, and the vault opens. With all the information they brazenly call the help desk if they encounter issues with ‘forgotten’ passwords and usernames. It doesn’t take much to convince the phone reps that they are you!

Before you know it – the pile of cash you are counting on for your sunset years is gone – wired to some bank in the sunny Caribbean!

What I’m suggesting – if you have online access to your financial accounts make sure you login regularly and keep your username and password updated. Use hard stuff – write it down if you must – but make it difficult to figure out. If you haven’t setup online access but it’s available you should set it up before someone else does that for you!

This is not my normal style – well maybe it is – but I really felt a PSA was in order. I’m very close to this subject and just wanted to be a noisy gong in the desert.

What’s Old is New Again

Twitter doubled the limit from 140 characters to 280 characters – some time ago. Some of you may not have been on Twitter in the “old days” when you struggled to fit a comprehensible thought into the constraints of the box. All characters counted – even your favorite URL.

Oh the gyrations we pulled, leaving out vowels, using only first letters of words, trying URL shorteners – always trying to leave enough room that followers could reply without messing up your message.

I recently tried to add what I thought was a short poem only to find out it was almost 500 characters long! How to share it? Remembered WordPress and free blogs and thought I’d set up a free account. To my surprise I discovered that I had set one up in 2010!

Resurrected and inspected the mess I had created. There was the poem I wanted to share along with some short writings.

Anyway, here it is – again!

I cross the road because I can...
Crossing the road!

Primal Screams

I am a proponent of many different methods of stress relief including meditation, yoga, chanting, rhythm induced trances, boxing and primal screaming.

Primal screaming takes the least amount of thought. There is nothing intellectual, no out of body experience, no hallucinations, no touching the face of whomever you want to touch – it is pure animal.

There are two things I want to tell you about this technique:

1)      It is sudden. It is over as soon as you run out of breath. You must let go completely. The scream emanates from the lowest recesses of your bowels. When you are finished you flop down and enjoy complete freedom from whatever pressure caused you distress.
2)      Don’t do it in your cubicle during business hours.

I’ve got to go now – the people from HR are here to do the exit interview and escort me out. I’ll log in later…

Mikey :}