Monday, June 30, 2008

Capital One ID Theft Update

It has been 2 months since I last communicated with Capital One. They have made no attempt to contact me in any way. They have not acknowledged my request for information pertaining to their investigation, as we have a right to request under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. I can only presume they have decided to ignore me completely, and that they did not do an investigation as they are also required to do under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

For those interested in looking in on my situation with them, I have updated the page on my site. One credit bureau has removed the subject account from my records, but the other two haven't. Since they have no desire to be just, I will post scans of some of the evidence they furnished me and you can decide for yourself if they are worth dealing with.

What's in my wallet? It will never be Capital One.


Saturday, June 28, 2008


We saw Wall-E yesterday. It's the latest Pixar creation. I was less than impressed. They lived up to their standards in computer animation, but that's where it ended. The story line was one of the worst I've seen, and it smacked blatantly of Al Gore, the evil "big business", and socialism.

Wall-E is a robot programmed to clean up the Earth after us humans trashed it to the point of forcing ourselves off of the planet. When a more modern robot probe comes to Earth and finds one living plant, it takes possession of it and returns it to the "mother ship" - coincidentally, the one all of us self-banished humans are living on. This is to be a signal that it's safe to return to Earth, evidence that it is once again able to sustain life. Of course, the evil corporate giant doesn't want them to return to Earth to have a life again. Every one of the mother ship's occupants are obese and are only able to move around on levitating chairs, those occupants presumably the only Earthlings remaining. The chairs resemble gaming chairs with monitors, and they follow specific paths throughout the ship. Robots are everywhere to wait on them hand and foot. This is a result of the sole corporate giant creating a life of "do-nothing" for everybody. Everything in existence has the company's logo on it.

So, you have what would have been a real cute love story between two robots - had they concentrated on that story line. They didn't. The major story was that us humans destroyed our own habitat with trash, and became slaves to the only surviving corporate giant of the time. Whether you see this as Wal-Mart monopolizing the Earth or socialism at its worst, it still lays waste to a potentially excellent movie. Unfortunately, the green fanatics also took over this digital production.

I am not against taking care of our Earth by any means. It's a no-brainer that we should. Those like Al Gore take common sense to an extreme. Wall-E would have done much better to avoid that topic altogether.


Friday, June 27, 2008


Originally uploaded by HighPlainsDox
Last night, I hoped to get some awesome sunset shots, but it didn't pan out like I hopes. I did get a few shots, though. This is one of them. The sun was departing our sky once again, dropping below some cloud cover before slipping below the horizon. You can see more of last night's shots by clicking on this image.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Junk Mail Pushers

I must be a bit intolerant today.

When I got home for lunch, I had some more junk mail waiting for me: Another "last chance" extended warranty offer for the '05 Taurus we just bought. I've been calling and asking to be taken off mailing lists of these warranty companies. I've been getting a lot of 'em. One last week was very obliging and did so without question. Today I tried again with another company. This time it didn't work. I was very clear that I didn't want their warranty, as I never do buy into them. They don't benefit me. (I told him that from the onset.) Besides, chances are the service facility wouldn't honor it anyhow. That's pretty common with these warranties. Anyhow, this dude I talked to wasn't going to let me get off the list. He kept trying to convince me how much I needed to have it. He even went so far as to lie to me by saying that most people ask to be on their junk mail list! I have a hard time believing that. It makes no sense at all. ("Please, PLEASE send me your junk mail!") When he asked me if I've ever broken down after my manufacturer's warranty ran out, I demanded to speak to his supervisor. Wouldn't you know it? That's when he got my customer ID number from me and took me off the list. Funny how that changed his mind.

Must be my run-in with APX's salesman (below), and all I've found out about them since. Why can't they take "no" for an answer? Yes, I did get rather short with him and even raised my voice a bit - just in case he didn't hear me.

I'm the kind who will go shopping for what I want. I have a strong distaste for someone coming to me or contacting me, telling me how much I need what he has to sell me. For me, that's enough of a reason to NOT want what he's offering - especially if it's "now or never". If it is, then he will get an immediate reply of "Never!"


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Let There Be Rain!

Tonight is one of a series of nights that we've had rain come through. Although short-lived, they have been pretty strong storms and sometimes with large hail in isolated areas. Tonight we are seeing less severe storms with longer lasting rains. The thunder's been rolling, lightning, heavy rain. No severe storm watches or warnings in the area. We seem to be getting the drenching we've needed. There ain't no way we'll get enough to get the lake level up, but it will green things up a bit more. And, to top it all off - I might get some more lightning shots when it passes. WeatherTap radar shows 80-100 strikes per minute on the back side of the rain. That would be perfect! After the rain stops, I can set up on my front porch and see it all!

That is, unless it peters out. *sigh* My fingers are crossed.


I got a shot or two off the front porch before the flurry of lightning was supposed to come around on the back side of the storms. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. While radar shows bunches of lightning strikes, the sky isn't showing it. Well, the lightning strike function is a beta function. I guess I'll have to be content with this one:

Yep, I do like it! Might be my best with the Rebel XT so far.


*** Suspicious Person Update ***

Further research on my part has found that:

Apex in Berkley, CA, is not the company in the post below. They have had many calls about the APX Alarm in Provo, Utah. These are different companies. APX will even try to associate themselves as a partner or subsidiary of Honeywell. They are not. They only use some of Honeywell's equipment. There is no affiliation of any other kind. They are a completely different company with no corporate ties, even though their logos on shirts, etc., have the name "Honeywell" under their own. APX has only been in business since 2005, according to internet searches, and is trying to ride in on the coattails of Honeywell's reputation and longevity.

"From New York City, Honeywell corporate spokesman David Gottlieb says emphatically that his company does not employ door-to-door salespeople. Honeywell does not sell directly to homeowners, he points out. Instead, the company sells to thousands of independent dealers who utilize many kinds of sales promotions. Some sell from storefronts, some through newspaper ads, and some by going from home to home. Honeywell provides guidelines about how its logo and trademark can be used, he says, and has standards that prohibit anyone from representing themselves as agents of the company. If Honeywell knows of questionable practices, Gottlieb says, it will investigate the dealers involved and correct the problem." (Honeywell's contact information can be found HERE.)

I called APX in Provo this afternoon at 800-430-2077, asking if they had a local office here. The lady said "Yes". She asked if someone called on the house, and I said "Yes" and asked for the number of the local office. Then the story changed. She told me that they only had a temporary office here through the summer. I again asked for the number. She then told me that all they have are representatives with cell phones, but the "bosses" are there in Utah an asked if I wanted to talk to the one that has this area. I saw what was going on and just said "No, thank you for your time" and immediately hung up.

I did some more research by Googling "apx alarm problems" and got a lot of bad stuff on them. Allegations and claims of not answering alarms they are supposed to be monitoring, to running a scam and preying on the elderly. Google it yourself and do your own research. Remember, it's "APX Alarm Security Systems" or "Apex Alarm LLC" of Provo, UT - not Apex Alarm of Berkley, CA.

As with any door-to-door salesmen, if any of APX's door-to-door salesmen call, do not let them pressure you into anything. If you have an alarm system already, do not give them any information about it. Research these guys first, before you do anything. You may want to consider staying with the big names like ADT, Brinks, etc.

From here on out, if APX shows up at my door they will be tresspassing and I will call the police on them again.

Caveat Emptor: Let The Buyer Beware!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Suspicious Person

At about 8:20pm this evening (6/23/08), a young man was going door-to-door selling alarm systems. His T-shirt said APX/Honeywell on his left side chest. I asked for his business card, and he said he didn't have one - that they wouldn't give him any. (yeah, right!) He was on foot and had no company vehicle that I saw. He was very nosy about the security system I have in the house, but I gave him no specifics and told him that we were already all set.

I called the local PD asking them to check on this guy, and they made some passes through the area trying to find him. They didn't.

APX/Honeywell's main office is in Berkley, CA, but I found a similarly-named company named "Apex Alarm LLC" of Orem, UT.

After this clown left, I called the company [that they appeared to be] and asked for a local office here to find out if they have anybody going door-to-door. He said there is no office here, and went on to emphatically say that they NEVER go door-to-door soliciting business. He said they thought there was a "ring" out of Provo, Utah that was doing this.

After finding this out, I called the PD again. This time, an officer came to the house and took all the information I had. He also spoke to the neighbors who also talked to this guy. When one neighbor told him she worked for law enforcement, he was taken aback. When he left her house, he seemed to forget about his mission and walked around the corner.

This guy just didn't add up. I don't know if he's a scam artist, or if he was casing the neighborhood, or what. I kept the neighbors around us informed on what was going on so they can keep an eye out, too. Beware! This happens everywhere.

*** UPDATE! ***


Saturday, June 21, 2008


Last night, we had some rain go through the entire area. Sure was nice to see it again. We've had several sessions with the rain gods over recent weeks, but it doesn't seem to dump much on us each time. Most or all of it might go to the north or south of us, or pass us on the east or west - like there is some strange "Bermuda triangle" bubble over us.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that after persistent rain last night before going to bed, it was still raining when we got up this morning and flood warnings have been out for our county all night long. That, my friends, is a blessing! Thunderstorms rolled through last night (some severe), and we have the slow, steady rain this morning. Thank God for that!

We can only hope we get a lot more like this in the weeks to come. We have a lake that needs filled up in the worst way.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama's "White House"?

You may have heard of the button that showed up at the recent Texas Republican Convention. One of the many vendors there apparently had a dozen buttons he was trying to test the market with for this particular item. This is one of two companies from Florida owned by the same guy, operating out of the same building. They sell political buttons, T-shirts, caps, etc., with sayings for each party. One company is geared for Republicans and one for Democrats. This particular button, there were only 12 there. Only 4 were sold. It's not like they were in mass production of them, but feeling the market out.

It seems that this particular button has taken a lot of heat (and the Republicans it's supposed to appeal to), because a lot of people think "racism" before "humor". It is obvious that the saying is intended to be humorous if you take the time to consider the kind of things the companies offer. I do not believe that there is malicious or racial intent.

IMO, people need to lighten up a bit. This was a good excuse for the Democrats to scream "Republican racists!" all over again. They pretend to be offended by this, even though they are guilty of as much racism as they accuse Republicans of. They accuse Republicans of being the party of hate and intolerance while demonstrating the same hate and intolerance they accuse Republicans of. It's not a politics thing. It's a people thing. (Not to mention that the Republicans didn't do anything. It was a private VENDOR from FLORIDA!) One side has the same percentage of bigots and racists that the other side does.

People shouldn't take themselves so seriously. If we could learn to laugh at ourselves, we would not be so distressed all the time over such petty crap. As a result, we'd be on the road to exterminating racism from our lives. We have all said things that could be construed as being racist or bigotry. We have all told or laughed at jokes that someone could take offense to. So what? It's humor, people. Maybe not your brand, but it is humor.

I'm glad I work around Mexicans who can tell a Mexican joke as well as a white boy joke. I'm glad I work around some Democrats who can tell a Clinton joke as well as a Bush joke. I'm glad they take no offense when I do the same. This is the true road to unity and equality. As a bonus, we are all less distressed because nobody makes themselves distressed over pettiness such as this.

The button?

BTW, the image of this button has been faked. It's a "PhotoShop" job, and this is the exact same image that is all over the blogosphere. It was done with Nikon's software that is packaged with the D40, the camera the blank button was shot with.

Let us all see humor where humor is intended, even if you don't like that brand of humor. It would be a much more tolerant country.


Monday, June 09, 2008


Originally uploaded by HighPlainsDox
Storms rumbled through our area last night - and it's about time! Some of the cells had the potential of 4" hail along with the rains. We got lucky on that end of it with only marble size hail. The rain was sure a blessing, but we still need a lot more. Keep it coming!

This was the first chance I've had at shooting lightning since I got my Rebel XT. This is the only decent shot I got before the rains came.