For Your Protection

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credit card   Technology has beat me down again; this time in the form of my credit and debit cards. Lucky me, all of my cards expired at the end of January. Yes, ALL of them. So now I am a hobo with no cash (pretty much the same thing I was before). But now, I have no identity either. My debit card never arrived even though I remember filling out a change of address form last year. I didn’t sweat it too much. But when two other cards never arrived either, I had to start wondering what the hell is going on? I don’t know if it is the fault of the companies or the fault of the fabulous U. S. Postal service but something isn’t right. How can 3 different cards NEVER arrive? We have a locked mailbox. We also have a mailwoman who I am convinced is a binge drinker (often on the job). You do the math.

I first called the card company for the card with the most money on it. So, I call and wait for 30 minutes to talk to a human. I have entered all of my personal information already and answered security questions. A woman who speaks very little English comes on the line. She asks me a series of more questions for “security purposes”. I answer those as well. I explain the situation and finally get her to understand. She looks up the address on file and it is in fact the address I currently live at. She tells me that they mailed my new card on Dec. 15th. I said ok, but I never received it! She tells me I will have to file for a replacement. Why do I have to file for anything? You messed up, not me. In order to file for a replacement, you need to have a driver’s license with your current address. Well, of course my license has my old address on it. I ask if there is another way. She said if I had 3 forms of another kind of ID and a current bill that I could fax those in but only after a 5 day waiting period. I start getting a bit irritated because now this sounds like work. She gets snippy with me and says this is to ensure MY safety. Well congratulations morons, you have ensured that the authorized user of the account can’t gain access to it. I feel so much better now.

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Kids Roaming The Cyberworld

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kid on computer   Damn you social media! Now, my daughter has been sucked into the madness. I know, I am a geezer and too old fashioned. But, I don’t believe 10 year olds belong on Facebook, Tweety, Clicker or whatever the heck is out there. She just isn’t ready for those pressures and doesn’t understand the safety measures that need to be taken. Nonetheless, today her dad found her on Instagram. He called me and I asked her about it and got the instant tears but she claims she doesn’t have it on her iPod. Well, she doesn’t have the app anymore. She deleted it, so she’s got me there. But, her account still exists with pictures and posts a plenty. When I asked her why she wanted the account she said EVERYONE in her class has it! I don’t know if that’s true but she will be the ONE who doesn’t. Now, I am the big, bad meanie. That’s ok, I am here to be her MOM first and then her friend. Can’t we just keep playing Candyland?? I am not ready for all of this.

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Passwords Keep People Out, Including Me

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password     Passwords. They are everywhere. You can’t do anything without them. Those little login boxes are lurking all around just waiting to mock at me and spew out “Password incorrect, please try again”. For “safety” reasons we are told to not reuse the same password for different places. And, it shouldn’t be anything obvious like our address, kids’ names or favorite sports team. How on Earth could I remember anything else, most days I can barely recall what day of the week it is. I would seriously have to remember about 20 different user name/password combinations just to get through the day. Now, most sites have added the bonus of needing a capital letter, a symbol, a number and who knows what else. Like it wasn’t hard enough to begin with. I keep trying what I think the password is until I get the message asking me if I have forgotten my password. No, I am purposely entering the wrong crap just to waste time and see if I can drive myself crazy. Then, you get the endless questions verifying that this is your account. What is my favorite food? What was my first job? What was the name of your first pet? Now, you would think I should know the answers to these questions. After all, I have answered them before and this shit is about me. But, sometimes I still get it wrong and receive a message saying I have to contact customer service. At that point I start cussing, slam the computer down and give up the fight. Until we meet again…which is probably tomorrow.

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10 of the Most Dangerous Baby Toys Ever Sold

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cabbage patch    As parents, it’s our job to keep our kids safe in a world full of many potential dangers. But, how often is the danger found right in their toy box? Or, in the products we buy to keep them “safe” while they play? Keep on your toes, the threats are lurking everywhere. Here I thought lawn darts and the easy bake oven were all I had to worry about. Take a look at this list and you’ll see it is much more complicated than that.

 

Aqua Leisure Baby Boat

When you picture a “boat”, something that floats usually comes to mind. Well, not this time. From 2002-2009, this baby boat was sold in a variety of colors and styles; a crab, a seahorse, a turtle. All adorable to look at but don’t even think about putting your baby in one. Turns out, the leg strap often tears allowing baby to plunge right through. No injuries were reported and Aqua Leisure paid a $650,000 penalty. Their website boasts that they have been selling “fun, safe and innovative products for 40 years”. Try convincing all those frantic parents.

 

Fisher Price Little People

These fun, little characters were produced from the late 1950’s until the early 1990’s. Starting off as wood and then plastic, these little guys presented quite a choking hazard for the kids. The result? Starting in 1991, /Fisher Price switched to an oversize model that was nearly twice the width as the originals. These were lovingly referred to as “chunky people”. But, as kids became “chunky people” (no blame to Fisher Price), and society starting recognizing obesity in children, they needed a new image. The next design was a slimmer version with limbs and made completely out of rubber.

 

Teletubby Po

This doll hit store shelves in 1998. Based on a popular character from The Teletubbies T.V. show, it looked innocent enough. But, parents started reporting that Po had quite the potty mouth and was teaching kids to say “fagot” and “bite my butt”. The doll was pulled from shelves even though Playskool claimed the doll was only saying “faster” and “slower”. Now, the only vulgarity we need to worry about is Daddy after stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night.

 

Cabbage Patch Kids: Snack Time Kid

Debuting in 1996, this was an adorable doll that mimicked eating by “chewing” on plastic snacks. That wasn’t all she chewed on. She also possessed a sick craving for baby fingers and little girls’ hair. After several reports from parents, Mattel pulled the chompin’ cutie line. 500,000 dolls had already been sold.

 

Magic Start & Crawl Stand

No need to wait for an older sibling to beat you up, this toy can give you bruises and black eyes when it falls on top of you. It was designed for babies still crawling to pull up on and stand. Unfortunately, the whole thing would often fall on baby’s head. Playskool recalled the toy in 2003 after 44 reports of “tipping”.

 

Baby Walker Toy Attachments

We are all familiar with the baby walker. It’s big and bulky and dangerous to all grown-ups who want to keep their toes. Turns out, a walker made by Kolcraft Enterprises was dangerous for babies too. The toy attachments on the tray (stars) were detaching from the stems. That left sharp edges causing injuries to baby’s eyes, eyelids, face and tongue. Talk about seeing stars. Thankfully, it was recalled in 2002.

 

Thomas & Friends Trains

I think I can, I think I can… can what? Get lead poisoning, that’s what. Many wooden Thomas & Friends locomotives tested positive for high levels of lead in their paint. In 2007, the rails were shut down and these toys were stopped dead in their tracks.

 

Water Balz

These were marble sized balls that absorbed water and “grew”. The package boasted that it “Grows to the size of a racquetball”. Sounds okay, right? Maybe not if it is inside your stomach. An 8 month old girl swallowed one and had to have surgery to remove the monster that can expand up to 400 times its original size. Talk about some serious water retention. DuneCraft voluntarily recalled Water Balz in 2012.

 

Jingles

C’mon, with a name like that, how could this little penguin pose any threat? In 2008, this penguin ended up in about 3,000 homes. It was too big to be a choking hazard so what’s the problem? It all started with a beheading. One young boy ripped the head right off old Jingles and exposed the nails that held the bird together. Jingles flew the coop shortly afterward.

 

Oscar the Grouch Doll

We all know Oscar can be a bit of a crab. Now, we know why. The popular Sesame Street character was wearing a garbage can lid for a hat. Too bad the hat could easily break off which posed as a choking hazard to little ones. This Oscar doll was trashed in 2008.

 

 

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