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“What are you doing?”

That’s what my wife texted me with yesterday as I sat in front of my computer NOT writing.

Names and businesses have been changed on this blog to protect me from unwelcome lawsuits.

The truth of the matter is, you hear about it, but for some unknown reason you never really expect it to happen to you.

I’m talking about fraud. It’s a dirty little word, and in these times I understand why it is worse.

My first experience involved an internet application where I got a lot of my music from.  (When you’re a security guard you need your music.) A few months ago someone hacked into my account and used all of my store credit. Luckily for me I use prepaid gift cards so technically I didn’t lose anything. After a week worth of emails I was finally refunded the amount. It happened again a month later and again after a week a got a refund.

Along with a letter that stated this would be the last time I would receive compensation for any further breaches of my account. Since I change passwords so much I get confused I need to say this, “Uhh….if you had better security on your site this won’t happen again!”

The bad part, I still can’t find music I want to listen too. Not to mention the fact that my mp3 player was stolen a few weeks ago (since replaced).

My most recent experience with this was last Friday. Of course I didn’t realize it until Saturday, but the exciting part happened Friday.

For reasons that shall remain secret, we were looking for my debt card Saturday night and after about 15 minutes I hopped on line and checked my account. I knew the last time I used it was Friday. Since then, someone else had their way with my card.

After I used it for frozen pizza, Friday is always pizza night but I have to buy it Friday or it will disappear. (My wife claims there is a black hole in the freezer… I think it’s someone….er, something else.)

I was positive I put it back in my wallet, or maybe not. I might have put it in my pocket and it fell out when I pulled out my phone.

The culprit must have been following pretty close because it was grabbed and used 5 miles away within forty-five minutes.

I don’t know what they bought, and I sincerely don’t think I will ever find out, but they spent $1400.00 at a major retail store. I’m thinking a large HDTV. On the way home they stopped and got gas too.

It wasn’t the fact that I was short this money, I am sure I will get it back…eventually. What raised my blood pressure so much was that a few weeks ago my wife and I were in this same store and bought some Five Hour energy shots and the cashier asked for ID, yet a cashier forgets to ID someone for $1400.00

Of course there are a lot of variables, it was probably busy since it was the Friday before Mother’s Day and all the dads that were waiting for the last minute were out.{To the mom that got a brand new HDTV: Be sure you hook it up right.} Not to mention the fact that it was Friday, I can see how someone would forget to ask. But they shouldn’t.

I discovered Monday that they also tried to use it at yet another store, but this time the transaction was denied.

After a few calls the card was canceled, a police report was written, and I waited till Monday to call the store manager.

He wasn’t too happy about it either. I did take the opportunity to tell my unemployed step son about a job opening coming there soon.

I am surprised at how all the financial Companies I work with on a monthly basis, phone, credit card companies, are being so accommodating. It’s all turning out good at this time and I learned a lesson, Keep all plastic at home.

Update on hobbies ~ WoW is coming along good, I have moved my high level characters onto one realm (Shadowsong) so they can become better acquainted and assist each other when needed.

I did break down and make another Horde on Gilneas. I had a few there once but they all caught a bug and died.

And I discovered a new game called Portal. I know it really isn’t new, but it is new to me. If you ever need a game to stretch your brain this one is it. It’s a one person shooter, which I normally don’t play, where you wake up in the Aperture Science Labs testing facility as an android. Here, you are guided along your way by GLaDOS, a friendly computer voice that just wants to bake you into a cake.

You have over 18 levels (I know there are more but this is a far as I am.) of rooms with pits of  bubbling liquid that will kill you, energy balls that may kill you without warning and maniacal machine laser turrets that only sound friendly.

But don’t worry, along the way you find two portal guns that will help you in your journey, the difficult task is figuring out where to put them. WARNING: This game is extremely addictive and should be played with caution.

On the writing front my wife has been kind enough to proofread The Set’la, it’s amazing what you miss when you rush something, and I missed a lot.

I haven’t touched The Benock Chronicles for a while – still needs a lot of research.

Sunset is still in the process also, it is getting close. The first part is here and the second half is over here.

My main project right now is writing a short story for L. M. Stull’s latest contest. It’s a tough one, but I have the first part figured out. I wrote it at work and emailed to myself, just can’t remember which email.

I guess this is long enough. Hope I didn’t break a blog rule by making it over 1000 words.

So, how is everyone else doing on your stuff?

Oh, and if you happen to click on any of my story links up there, let me know what you think.


Dragon Speak

Today, we will step again into my time machine. Watch your step there.

Be sure to fasten your belts. We are only going back about 10 years and zooming ahead to 5.

When I first started really getting into my writing, about ten years ago, I joined a website that I am sure a lot of you have heard of called I learned a lot from that site, and I had a lot of fun with it. After a while the reviews slowed down and some of the suggestions were just simply wrong. That and other reasons hastened my retreat from there.

While I was there I participated in what ever contests came up – including a 500 word dialogue contest. I didn’t always win but I managed to come in a close second occasionally. The moderator would pick the subject and challenge us.  These were straight dialogue, no intros, no action, you had to be able to see the story unfold without all the other stuff. They were pretty fun.

In my search for a good blog topic, I thought about this a few times and wondered if I had any of those stories still around. Well I found one. I think the subject here was dragons.

With out further ado, Dragon Speak

“What are you doing here? HUMAN!”

“Looking for you.”

“And what do you intend to do to me, once you find me?”

“You keep talking and I will find you.”

“No, you won’t. This canyon you’re in just echoes the sound of my voice off the rocks. And you didn’t answer my first question.”

“I will…slay you. Yeah, I’ll slay you.”

“You slay me, but with laughter. You’re a funny little human.”

“No. You’re wrong. The sword I carry is forged with magic.”

“You still have to find me first. And that sword looks too heavy for your thin bones to wield.”

“You see me? That means I’m close.”

“That means nothing! I can move through the air, as you are limited within the narrow confines of my trap!”

“Flying away will not help. I heard the sound of your wings, felt the brush of the air you disturbed against my cheek.”

“No. You cannot hear the sound of my wings. They are silent, as you will be soon little human.”

“Hide and seek works both ways dragon….”

“Then I challenge you to seek me out….Where did you go?…Did you run and hide human!”

“Why would I hide, when I can strike?”

“Hey! That hurt….The sun will set soon; I will have you for dinner to get revenge from the scar you set upon my tail.”

“Ha…you fly again. Are you a dragon, or a rodent? I can wait till darkness comes. I shall banish you from these rocky mountains, so you no longer trouble man.”

“What is the name of your sword human? Its sting seems familiar.”

“The name is of no consequence. You have met it in the past, but it will avenge for the deed you did.”

“Oh. Now I know you. You carry the sword of Askalath. But, you cannot be him. You’re standing on his ashes.”

“Missed again dragon! Tell me, why you returned the sword to his home?”

“He was the bravest human I have yet to meet. We battled for three days and nights. The scar I wear on my face, he placed with that sword. Now that I have a matching one on my tail, I am complete.”

“So you saw fit to return his sword to his home.”

“It was a way of honoring him.”

“You just dropped it through the roof, and went on. Never looking back.”

“How would you know of that?”

“Because I was talking to his wife, my mother, when the sword came through the roof, and sliced through her heart.”

“Oh…Now I see. This is double revenge. You wish to take it out on me, I welcome the fight….the pain….you have pierced my chest…”

“Yes dragon. I am the son of Asklath. Blinded by the horror I witnessed as a child. I can hear better, smell better, walk quieter than any man on this earth. I have stood in front of you for the last five minutes, and you didn’t even see me.”

“….I die….”

Hope you liked my tale.

Oh, before I take you back to the present, I need to mention that I will be interviewed about my book Journey of Tara by Kelli McCraken on Para Your Normal’s Blog Talk Radio show Monday at 6PM. Please be sure to tune in and ask me anything.

Well almost anything.

Ok, are we ready to go back?….We missing anyone? Hmm… thought there was one more…oh well, hold on!