Monday, January 28, 2013

when will we learn?

photo by Vladimir Zotov

"The world is too big for us. Too much going on, too many crimes, too much violence & excitement. Try as you will,  you get behind in the race, in spite of yourself. It's an incessant strain to keep pace...and still, you lose ground. Science empties it's discoveries on you so fast that you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. The political world is news seen so rapidly you're out of breath trying to keep pace with who's in and who's out. Everything is high pressure. Human nature can't endure much more!"

~The Atlantic Journal, June 16, 1833.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

if anyone's counting, I no longer like chisels.

I'd tell you about my latest trip to the dentist, but the full version of the story puts the fear of God into anyone who listens. Instead, here's the short version of what happened: slice, peel, chisel, slice, peel, chisel, grind, drill, slice, chisel, chisel, trim, suture. Ow.

What's that phrase? Oh yah: Oy vey.

The good news is, I survived, my brain has made my jaw forgetful and my gums have nearly forgiven me. For now I eat lukewarm soup, tepid mashed potatoes, and try to master swallowing with only one side of my mouth.

I've also been napping a lot, and thinking how shadows are much bigger than their sources. I've been daydreaming about the future and then napping again when I realize how much I've got left to accomplish. My one room apartment has been reorganized and as a result, un-organized. Boxes have been opened, filing systems have been started, clothing has been tossed about and set in piles. My one room apartment is my kitchen, my living room, my library, my office, my retreat, my gym, and my sleeping quarters. Someone remind me that having twenty rooms in one is not conducive to organization. Then remind me again what creativity does best: works in mess, in spite of chaos, and not in the absence of it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

So, the Gov't lost your identity.

Recently, a portable hard drive containing over a half-million Canadians' personal information went missing from a government office. Did I say recently? Let me start over.

Recently, the government announced that a hard drive containing the personal information of over a half-million Canadians went missing two months ago.

Now, many of us (half a million, to be near-exact) are scrambling to find out what exactly went missing, what we do now, and how to protect our information from this point forward. As an attempt to stop the swirling about our heads, here is the information in one spot, as far as I know it to be true. Any updates can be left in the comments section.

How to find out if you are one of the people affected:
-The missing hard drive contains the personal information (SIN, addresses, loan amounts, etc) of 583,000 people who took out a Canada student loan between the year 2000-2006. Source Article.
-Phone 1-866-885-1866. This toll free number has been set up so you can check if you are included. Letters are being sent to the last known addresses of everyone affected. Phone the number to ensure they have your correct address if you don't receive a letter this week (they told me the letters should arrive very soon)
-Spouses and parents of borrowers were not affected, said a spokeswoman for Human Resource Minister Diane Finley.

What to do next:
Well, we're all making it up as we go at this point -- the letters we're all waiting for have yet to arrive in many of our mailboxes. Until then, I have been advised by a friend to 'flag' my SIN via Equifax and TransUnion (Canadian credit reporting companies). What I've learned: 'flagging' a SIN puts a warning on your number, and in order to complete a transaction with your SIN you will need to prove you're you (ID, possible paperwork, etc). A few hoops, which I've heard is a bit of a pain, but this means anyone trying to use your SIN without your consent will have to, hopefully unsuccessfully, jump through the same hoops. To me, it was worth it.

*Note: The service of flagging a SIN is FREE as provided by Equifax. You will have to sit through a few sales pitches for "extra access" to your credit report (malarky, in my opinion), but the base service of what you're going for (SIN flag) should be provided free of charge by Equifax. Note on the note: at the time of publishing, I have not gotten through to TransUnion. I will confirm later if TransUnion also provides this service free of charge.

*Other note: Equifax and TransUnion do not share information, so if you want to flag your SIN, you'll need to do so with both companies.

Equifax number: 1-855-233-9226
TransUnion number: 1-800-663-9980

Class Action?
There are, according to media, a small number of class action lawsuits (two-three at last reading) that have been started for people effected by this security breach. At this point, I am still looking into this and do not have enough information to share. Is it a good idea to be involved? How will this effect me, and the situation in general? What happens if we win/lose? Any insights, please comment! All of us are in need of more information.

When I get mine, I'll give more details. I am assuming, with great hope, that the letter has more practical advice than what I've been able to find so far from official sources.
Note: This letter is being sent to the last address they have on file for you. Have you moved? You may want to phone that number (1-866-885-1866) to make sure they have the correct address.

I am not, by any means, financially savvy and I do NOT know anything beyond what I've mentioned here about credit reports, SIN's, flagging SIN's, the effects of flagging a SIN, etc. For all I know, this post could be filled with terrible advice. Better advice can be placed in the comments section.

I can not make the difference between 'affect' and 'effect' stick in my brain and often use it incorrectly. Mockery can be placed in the comments section.

Monday, January 7, 2013

borrowing a mantra

I am happy to report that my new year's intentions have been going swimmingly. In conversation with Anita yesterday, while discussing my progress and efforts, I continually replaced "this week" with "the year so far." Something about the change in phraseology makes me feel good, even though it's only been seven days. If ever tempted to scoff at a little accomplishment, I have been quickly reminding myself that it all has to start somewhere: with a few pennies, the vacumming of a rug, the jotting of an idea.

Over at The Den, Chelsea states this year's mantra: work for it. I read this post and I am bolstered, encouraged, reminded of what's to come. Every thing I want or want to produce is going to take work, and lots of it. For my dreams to come to fruition, it is I who has to see them realized, by doing what needs to be done. Perhaps it is the impending decade mark (30!), but I have embraced my responsibility in a way I've not embraced it before. My feet feel very 'on the ground', and my shoulders have adjusted to the weight of what I sense is coming my way. If I am to write books, I am first to write pages, sentences, notations and take the time to storyboard. If I am to gain financial independence, I am first to hold myself accountable, do more with less, be creative and frugal. There is much to be done, and in turn there is much to balance. I have so much lax&lazy time to make up for; my twenties have been fun, but rather unproductive. Now, as I near that decade mark (30!), I feel the need to change.

Other years I have bounded absent mindedly from one goal to the next, never anticipating how truly focused I must remain to reach my goals (and as a result, reaching very few of them). Inside me now, the blind unfettered hope has been replaced by a sense of belonging, a sense of duty, and joy in the tasks at hand. I know what I am to do, and for the first time, am happy for the work.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

examining the trends

First came the birds, silhouetted, still,
balancing up on wire. Our draw was to
the bird's eye view,
to taking our sight higher.

Then came freer birds with wings, in flight,
their bodies still showed black,
yet giving us, leading us to, light.

Then the Great bird of night,
beckoning us to pause, sat perched.
Details emerged.
They began to show up
like new buds in the morning,
or dew drops in spring;
populating everywhere,
reminding feet of ground.
Something was spun,
wars begun, confusion
took its root.

But still we fell our hearts toward that peaceful hoot:
the wisdom in the owl.

Next out were the bandits, the decision makers;
the prize takers. Raccoons and foxes, squirrels too.
Stay awake at night, store up what is right,
and be aware; once you've stored it up: share.

Combining the traits in these trends, perhaps, dear friends,
suggests the animals know more than we do.
© afterthoughtcomposer

would LOVE to find the original source
of this photo, beyond Pinterest. Anyone? Help!