Friday, January 24, 2014

Recent Target Revelation and your Debit/Credit Card

Is it just me or has this come as a wake up call for personal privacy and banking protection?

dollar signI remember when the debit card first hit the scene. In California, a certain gas station charged you if you used the debit card, a 20 cent transaction fee. But the banks were pushing the use, because it would reduce the number of humans it would take process your purchases, and some would reward you for not using checks and swiping instead.

It seems we have come full circle! It just might be safer to use checks again.

I shopped at Target during the recent data theft, not once but several times. It is the closest multi-retailer (general merchandise/groceries/pharmacy) to me. I don’t have any idea, if any of my data was stolen. I waited about 3 days:

  • to see what Target would tell us
  • listened to the news about what we should do
  • and then I went to the banks.

So far the only answer that has really been given is monitor your statements. I don’t know about you, but it is not always easy to remember where you spent your money, I mean really… if you manage a house you swipe a lot!!!

We have all been conditioned that the cards are a safe way to transferimages money from your account to the retailers account, debit was immediate, and we have been told that credit gives you protection of a credit card. Well I am here to tell you it does not. I did not do an in-depth study, I did not contact any ‘knowitalls’ in the banking/money industry. I did a little reading, here and here, asked a couple of questions and then put that together with some common sense.

swipeI cancelled the possible compromised card and had the bank issue a new one. We monitor our accounts almost daily. It is so easy these days, but even with a checkbook, I forget that I WROTE a check and that is nearly as rare as hens teeth! After living in South Africa, where banking fraud, skimming credit cards, and phishing scams are frequent we are more vigilant than ever about banking and theft.To prove the point, the DH was looking at the banking info the on Monday, he asked did I buy anything from a place called Tickets Direct in Utah for $300 plus? Nope. He immediately called the bank to report the fraud (and cancelled the card). It took 4 days for it to be resolved, but the money was taken from our account while the charge was pending and eventually reversed. If you were living close to the ‘bank balance’ edge, then a $300 charge could cause problems. For the record, a CREDIT CARD is the only card that has real consumer protections, a DEBIT CARD does NOT!

bankTo protect ourselves, we have opened another checking account. This one is not linked to our main account. It is with the same bank for easy transfer of money from one account to the other. Now we will have an account for shopping in the stores and online (-along with PayPal), and if compromised the thieves won’t get everything, just the limited funds we add to the account. I don’t want to wade through the mess if someone got access to the main account…. mortgage payment, insurance payments, utilities -never mind all the fees the bank will charge for overdrafts and the letter writing. The loss of actual money is not the worst thing that can happen. Your credit will be damaged and your identity could also be stolen or severely compromised. What I don’t understand is why the banks have not encouraged everyone to cancel the card they used at Target or other compromised retailer? It will cost a few cents… but better that than bankrupt customers.

What have you been told? What are you doing to protect yourself?

More later. Beth

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Playing… with silk

I have been busy lately, trying to get back into a bit of a routine… It is very difficult for me to do that… partly, ok mostly due to the fact I don’t have a routine…. at least as it relates to time. I get up in the morning… between 4 and 5 and I end the day between 9 and 10… and other than getting dinner on the table… between 5 and 6 that is the extent of my mandatory time frames. Between those time frames, I get a little housekeeping done, some shopping and some sewing. I need to fit some exercise time in there…. somewhere, because if I want to leave those extra 20 pounds, (mentioned in the last post) somewhere….  that is what I am going to have to do.

I have gotten back to the sewing space, but the items below were completed before Christmas and all will live out of town.

I sent this to my friend Wolfie, who lives in Sweden. cr W-10x13

It did not quite make it for Christmas. I had an envelope and could put up to 4 pounds in it. So I asked a friend if she had anything to send, so we had to wait…. It is another in the ‘Letter’ series…. about 10 x 12 inches. The “W” is  Dupioni Silk appliqued on Dupioni Silk background, cotton batting and backing… of course all machine done!

I sent this “Letter” to my fried Trish who lives in Wisconsin. cr-T-10-x-9

She helped me fill up the envelope destined for Sweden. The “T” is cotton appliqued to Dupioni Silk as well. It is not the same color as the ‘W’, it is from a different piece of silk. The same cotton batting and a cotton backing, also all done by machine.

I have 5 letters in the alphabet done… only 21 more to go! We’ll see if I get there or give up … I have a few ideas… floating around.

I also made this little piece for one of my Sisters in Law.

jos gift

I have a couple of pieces of Japanese cotton Yukata. Yukata fabrics are relatively narrow, because traditionally they are used to make kimonos. Finished it is about 15 x 20 inches. Last year she made a comment about needing some art on her walls…. FMQ, cotton thread, cotton batting and backing.

Currently working on a Challenge… called “New”, it can be something new to you, new technique, new materials… any thing “new’. I have already started. It began with an envelope of scrap bits sent to me by a friend… in IL. Also working on a UFO… but I am busy unstitching the quilting…. didn’t like how the sandwich was not staying flat…. it is a foundation pieced -puzzle ball blocks… and the foundation fabric is stiff and removing it is not an option! So going to have to figure out something… else!

As always…. more LATER!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Hairy Holiday!

Whew…… I can’t say that loud enough… The Holidays are over! I stopped long enough to figure out the last time I cooked a turkey meal. The last time I cooked the whole kit and caboodle was Christmas 2008. It was like riding a bike… tasted good and I didn’t miss a beat. Turkey was good, but the soup was better!!!! The whole reason I make a turkey is for the soup. Yeah, sure the stuffing and gravy are good, but for me it’s the soup.

Now for the hairy situation…

no it’s not the weather

or the dogs…

its me… longhair sm

I have a habit of just letting my hair grow. Once just to see if it would stop growing. It doesn’t. In 1996 my hair was down to my ankles. Really! almost to the floor. That would be really long if I was 6 feet tall, but I’m not… I’m just a hair more than 5 feet…. The last time I had it cut was 2009…. since then it has grown… down to my butt.

braid sm

I keep it in a braid, which is then rolled up on my head. I was sick of the long hair and the amount of time it took to wash and dry it. So today I got it cut…. I gave it to ‘Wigs for Kids’. I have donated to Locks of Love, but I haven’t heard good things about their program. Today I left a tail close to 20 inches long.

I need to remember to cut it….. new hair sm

again before it gets long again.

Next I need to find a place to leave 20 pounds.


More Later- Beth