May 28th, 2015


Visit Echo Harbor

Went a little more "classic travel poster" than strict Art Deco with this one. Probably too much detail on the wicker man to be Art Deco, but it's hard to do a wicker man without squiggly bits. Echo Harbor is, of course, one of the towns in the Hidden Almanac podcast. It is the weird sinister town where bad things happen. The tourism board would like you to overlook this.

You have to get up really close to see the human sacrifices.

...There's a phrase I don't type every day.

If you'd like to have such a thing in your home, you may be weird, but I will enable that!

My Birthday Has Been Interesting

I am cheerful! Really! I mean, I got some work done and did a call with my editor and sorted a few bits and everything is generally good. The end of 37 was great, the future bodes well for 38.

And then I went to check my bank balance to see if I could buy myself a painting I kind of wanted for my birthday, and it was a LOT lower than I expected, so I checked recent transactions, and hey, look at that, somebody has been systematically draining my account for about four days, to the tune of over a thousand dollars. florists.

I stared at this for awhile. A thousand dollars in multiple transactions at multiple florists? What the hell?

And then a friend on Twitter did the gentle throat-clearing tweet and informed me that many escort services show up on credit card statements as flower deliveries, which suddenly made a LOT more sense. Though that was either a very cheap escort or somebody's got a phone sex habit. Suspecting the phone sex thing, myself.

And they had the unmitigated gall to use my debit card to set up a recurring charge for their AT&T account! (I hope AT&T can catch 'em--I can't find a fraud division that can actually help me, and got tired of shuffling between numbers merely to find out if I could take petty vengeance by reporting their phone stolen or something.)

Anyway, this has happened before--my increasing suspicion is that is full of security holes, because it seems like about one time in ten, when I order ink from them, I get my card stolen a week later. But we all order so many things on-line these days that I can't be sure. So it's not like I'm not an old hand at dealing with this--I called Wells Fargo (and surprisingly they hadn't caught it--normally they catch it in a few hours, so the criminal was doing something right) and they always fix it promptly and then after an hour of excitement talking with them (they were also baffled by the flower thing, which makes me think that it wasn't reading like the usual chargeback/money laundering/refund thing) we sorted out all the fraud bits and they'll take it from there and my money will return hopefully soon. (They are generally quite good about this bit.)

(And I am not about to be plunged into poverty, never fear, the bills will all get paid while it's being sorted, but a thousand bucks is a lot of money to suddenly take a walk somewhere without my permission. There was some flailing.)

So I drove off to my local branch, which is in the next small town over, got in one minute before they locked the doors, and threw myself on their mercy. Fortunately I've brought them books in the past and gone there for years, so they like me well enough, and they stayed open late, changed my PIN, and got me a temporary debit card. Mad gratitude to the Wells Fargo in Siler City for this.

(Naturally I am traveling next week, because life. Just once I want to have a card stolen when I'm NOT about to go out of town...)

So it was a weird day already, and my birthday dinner got a bit screwed up through miscommunication--not a big deal, no one's fault, but a little glitch in the road--and then somebody left a weird anonymous comment on my last post, which had the weird word salad header I associate with spam, but which was full of random slurs and negging and didn't seem to be selling a product. (This is less offensive and more puzzling. I do not care if anonymous strangers wish to call me a psycho bitch, but why are they insulting my upper arms and my car? My car is AWESOME. I can haul mulch like you would not BELIEVE with that car. And I've never been concerned about the state of my upper arms. Like, of all the body parts they could seize on, they found the one over which I feel no insecurity whatsoever. This leads me to believe that someone is just spamming insults at random, though my googling did not turn up any repeated phrases. Regardless, very odd.)

So it's been a day. Honestly, everything after about 1:30 has been rather more difficult than it needed to be. But I have wine. And the bank will get me my money back, after I have jumped through a few flaming hoops, and spammers gonna spam, and there is a tortoiseshell kitten upside down and asleep supervising me, so life is clearly mostly fine. Still, quite a day.

(Also, big thanks to the fan--or fans?--or friends?--who have mailed me all that Tecnu for my poison ivy. Thank you! The gel is helping and I will use the scrub next time I am forced to pull some.)