Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Experian Experience

The other day I got a letter from the credit service Experian. They were writing to tell me that there may have been an unauthorized disclosure of my personal information.  On September 15, 2015 they discovered that an unauthorized party had accessed Experian servers. They immediately began to investigate what had happened. They also took additional security measures.

About a week later Experian notified the company maintain information for that a breach had taken place. The information the hackers got was essentially all of my information. No credit card or banking information was obtained. But everything else was.

The letter went on to say that they apologized for the incident. Then this line I found particularly amusing: We recognize that this issue can be frustrating, and we are taking steps to protect you and your personal information. Frustrating is not a word I would use to describe. Alarming because it happened. 
And just how reliable are the steps they are taking to protect you and your personal information. Seems to me that the cats out of the bag on that one. The horse has left the barn. Insert any other cliche you might like. The damage has been done. That Experian is sincerely apologizing for what happened doesn’t mitigate in any way shape or form that it happened.

My information is out there for anyone to use. Who needs any credit card information when they have all of my other pertinent information. They can use that to open as many credit card accounts they want.

I was a little pissed. Until I really read the letter more carefully.

The company that Experian said I had an account with I don’t have an account with at all.

It then occurred to me that maybe I’d open someone else’s mail. I made sure I found the envelope the letter had come in just in case I had to put it back in the mail. And it turns out I had opened some else’s mail. But well only sort of. It had another name but my address. I had to look at the address for a while and think yeah that’s my address. The had the zip plus four on the address as well.

I thought a little while as to what I should actually do at this point. Clearly Experian had gotten their information wrong. (Makes you really have faith in what they do. They can’t keep the information they have secure and they can’t seem to properly notify people that their information has been hacked.)

I decided I should call up Experian and let them know what happened.

First and foremost it took a really really long time to actual get a real human being to talk to. I did finally get someone. I explained what had happened. His response was oh then just throw the letter out. I asked him again and he said the same thing.

I was surprised to say the least. I had other things to do so I just hung up. 
But as I thought about it more; it made me angry. Experian had no interest in trying to find the person whose name appeared on the letter I received. It raised so many question. How was my addressed obtained in the first place? How many other people received letters the same way? The response certainly belies the tone of the letter that Experian is somehow concerned about the fact that sensitive personal information has been breached. 
I put a fraud alert on my credit that will alert merchants that my information might have been hacked. If you do it with one of the credit bureaus the information is passed on to the other two. Needless to say I did not go through Experian to this. 

In the future I will certainly think long and hard about doing any sort of business with Experian.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Charlie Turns into Psycho Kitty at the Vets

Psycho Charlie getting ready to pounce.

Charlie and Linus needed to get their shots. Rabies and some other shot. They were do for the shots in September. But September was a little busy for me. I decided I’d take them after I got back from Detroit. I called to make an appointment and the first weekend time they had was for the 17th. The first actual appointment was in the middle of the week at like 11am. I said I couldn’t get to that one. So we set it up for the 17th at 2pm.

Not exactly the optimum time for an appointment. Sort of leaves you with little ability to plan anything for the morning or afternoon. I ended up doing cleaning. Finally went through some old VHS tapes that I haven’t touched in years and decided which ones to throw out. Also did a load of laundry and a little vacuuming as well.

I left a little after 1 for the ride to the vet. They hadn’t been in the car since the last time we went to the vet which was two years ago. It is a good 30 minute drive to the vets. And it seems I hit just about every light red which only added time to the drive. I go to a Banfield hospital which is associated with Pet Smart. It is a ways away but it has good hours and parking is easy. I took Sam to DuPont vet and I liked them a great deal it was hard to find parking.

Charlie started to get annoyed in the car. He let me know about. I tried to calm him down but without much luck. We arrived at the vets on time. We waited a little bit because they were just getting back from lunch.

I said to the vet that Linus was the calm one. Charlie was a biter. It was decided to let Charlie out to roam around the exam room while dealing with Linus. They let Charlie out to explore. He seemed very interested in the room. Then we turned to Linus. Linus was not a problem at all. He allowed the doctor to listen to his heart, look at his teeth, get his shots even clip his claws no problem at all.

Next up Charlie. He was having none of it. A hiss, spitting, yowling, biting, scratching machine he became. No matter what done, he would not calm down. Then brought in the cat gloves which are heavy duty gloves that go up to the elbow of the person. Also brought in a blanket. They were able to get him up on the table and listen to his heart before he got away. But that was about it.

They tried again. They brought in a third person. Got him for a little while but still he got away. He was even more pissed off now. I said that that was enough. We'd make other arrangements. Now the task was to get him back in his carrier. That was fun. Hissing and growling and all sorts of other charming noises coming out of him. Psycho kitty had emerged.

Finally got him back in his carrier.

The upshot is that in a couple of weeks he will be going back to the vet. I'll drop him off and they will sedate him and then do the exam. This won't happen until the middle of November. In the mean time I'm going to explore other possibilities closer to home. I think the ride in the car really set him off.

But wow what a fun afternoon!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Force Awakens Less than Two Months Away

What more can you say.

Denis and I have our tickets. For some reason it is not playing at the Uptown Theater. But that is not stopping us from seeing it.

We have tickets for December 17, the day before it officially opens, at AMC Georgetown. We're going to the 11:30 pm show.

Oh and just to give you an idea of just how many times it is going to be shown there is a mutiplex in Virginia that is showing Star Wars 32 times. Yes, 32 times. 32 times from 7pm to the last show around midnight on Thursday. Wow.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Madonna in Concert in Detroit

What a spectacular concert. As I said one of the best I've seen. I'd like to thank Denis for inviting me along for this adventure.

I hope the next group of posts gives a little sense of what the concert was like.

I'll have a few more posts that wrap up the trip to Detroit in the next day or so.

Once again thanks Denis for including me on this Holiday!

Holiday by Madonna

The last song of one of the best concerts I've been to. Holiday of course. The clip above is the one I took. The clip below gives a different perspective.

What a great way to end the concert!

Madonna — Material Girl

What would a Madonna concert be without Material Girl.

More Pictures from the show

Even More Pictures from the Concert

Singing Rebel Heart

Madonna Set List

Madonna is lowered to the stage.

Madonna takes the stage.

Here's the list of songs that she sang that night.

Bitch I'm Madonna
Burning Up
Holy Water
(with "Vogue" snippet)
Devil Pray
(video interlude)
Body Shop
True Blue
Deeper and Deeper
(with "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" snippet)
Like a Virgin
(with "Justify My Love" and "Heartbeat" samples)
(video interlude; with "… more )
Living for Love
La Isla Bonita
Dress You Up
(with "Into the Groove" and "Lucky Star" snippets)
Who's That Girl
(acoustic; first time live since 2009)
Rebel Heart
(video interlude)
(with "Give It 2 Me" sample and "Chicago" snippet)
Candy Shop
Material Girl
La vie en rose
(Édith Piaf cover)
Unapologetic Bitch

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Madonna — Frozen

Instead of Ghosttown Madonna performed Frozen the first time in concert since 2009. It was incredible.

Here's another view of Frozen.

Madonna the Concert

A collection of shots right before the start of the concert.

The stage was amazing. Much more elaborate than it looks.

Denis and I at the concert.

Ghosttown — Madonna — Rebel Heart Tour

This song wasn't part of the show we saw. But it happens to be one of my favorites off the Rebel Heart Album.

Heart Break City — Madonna in Detroit

One of favorite songs from the evening.

The Concert — Madonna — Rebel Heart

Finally the concert came. Wow it was great.

The next bunch of posts will be pictures and video from the concert. Some of the pictures Denis took and some of the video will be from other people at the Detroit show.

So we start off with what Denis and I called the bouncing men.

The pictures tell the story about this. It was incredible how far down these guys were able to go. They came very close to touching the hands of people in the audience.

The View from the Top

Here are a few pictures of the view from the top of the GM Renaissance Center.

Only two choices on which floor you wanted to go to.

A look up the river.

A look down the river toward Detroit

A look at suburban Detroit

Tigers Stadium

Diner at Coach Insignia

We weren’t properly dressed to eat in the restaurant (we had on jeans). But the bar served the same food so we ate there. And what a meal it was. Denis had two cocktails. I just stuck with water.

We both had Filet Mignon. And both of us loved it. I had a side of mac and cheese with lobster. It had huge chunks of lobster in it. It was just a amazing. For dessert I had ice cream. Denis had Creme Brulee with raspberries.

At the end we were both stuffed. It was a good thing that we walked to the arena for the concert.

My Filet. Yummy

Denis and his drink

The lobster mac and cheese

Ice cream!

Denis and his Green Car

I saw this first and pointed it out to Denis. Denis loves lime green. At one point his hair and beard was dyed lime green. So this just jumped out to me that this was Denis’s car. Now Denis is not much of a driver. I pointed that out and he said he could hire someone to drive him around in the car.

Even the inside had green trim.

The Show Room at GM Renaissance Center

It only made sense since this was a GM building that there would be a show room showing off GM cars. And that’s what there was. There were cars you could actually get in. Then there were cars like the Corvette that you could only look at. In part I’m thinking because it cost $60K and was a Corvette.

The very very hot and super cool Corvette

The view looking up from the show room