October 29, 2011

Thieves in the Night and Reward for Stolen Statues

Stolen Statues
Stolen Grecian Lady Statue

So we put up more lights including motion detectors. Lights even go on inside and in the room above over-looking the front of my building. We even have seven Yorkie watch dogs, and a daughter whose two rooms are in the front of the building.

Empty Spaces

More Empty Spaces

So somebody needed them perhaps to sell at a flea market so they can make money. Or sell them to customers because the thieves are yard workers, or avid gardeners. One thing for certain, they are local and they drive a truck or van. All totaled they stole over $1500.00 worth of statues.
Even More Empty Space

I hope they are caught and get their just due.

More Empty Space

Empty Places
As for me, I am offering a reward for their safe return. But I doubt it - thieves are thieves after all.

A List of the Gone But Not Forgotten
1. Grecian Lady approx 4 ft tall
2. Pair (2) of Victorian Maple Leaf / Pineapple Statues about 65 pounds each - sand painted.
3. Light House Bird Bath - Silver, black, Red
4. Giant Stork/Heron Statue
5. Red Gnome/Elf
6. Easter Island Statue
7. Maui Head
8. Planter with Evergreen
9. Frog Statue
10. Tiered Frog Bath
11. Victorian planter
Giant Green Frog as seen on the upper right side of picture.

October 20, 2011

In Banks We Trust . . to keep coming up with new ways to steal our money.

Free checking is like a dinosaur with most banks these days, extinct. Even though my checks are perfectly plain, I think twice before I write one because it costs me $.17 for each check. 

Pity the poor banks who now have to"adjust our pricing to reflect today’s economics" as one was quoted saying in a newspaper article. Oh, but don't worry, if you keep a minimum balance of several thousand dollars to as low as $15, 000 on hand in some of the California banks - you won't be affected.

To quote another paper, "and with a new rule that just took affect that limits banks’ ability to make money from merchants, it also means paying for the privilege of swiping your debit card."

I expect momentarily for my bank, BB&T, to follow suit with the likes of Bank America, Wells Fargo, Citi, and a myriad of other State and local to join one of the greatest organized theft rings in the country, not to mention the world even though the French started (the trend) first.  Give me a break, please, how can you test charging banking customers for using there own money? A debit card is a direct route to a bank account isn't it. It's bad enough if you can't find one of your own bank's teller machine and use another bank - you are often charged twice for the transaction - by your bank and the teller machine's bank. 

Are we suppose to feel sorry for banks now because they can't over charge you for bouncing a check or screw the retailer with too high credit card processing fees. Wait a minute -  first what you are not being told is that banks have been continually devising new ways to take both consumers and retailers' money. 

Wait . . . You're the teller. I'm the customer!
No . . . I'm the teller. You're the customer!
I am both a consumer and a very small retailer and I am struggling to make a decision as not to take debit or credit cards in my shop, and to post a check or cash only sign. While this can and will hurt my business, my bank has been ruthless in slamming my account with fees. They have actually come up with a way to cover their perceived losses. One is called PCI DSS certification fee for the sheer pleasure of being compliant with your credit card machine. (excuse me - this the machine that  I had to purchase from their merchant department and who processes all my transactions - but I am the one being charged).Then there is a net work access fee (oh- I pay for the phone line). Then there is the discount due, the card pass through fee is still there, and won't know the difference until next month, but last month, they took a whopping 45% of my sales. This isn't all - I received a letter from my bank as to another new law advising me that they must hold 28% of my payment card transactions due to a new IRS law if I don't comply (but they can't tell me how I need to comply).. 

There's more to come and I imagine law makers in every state across the country jumping on Louisiana's band wagon. It seems the state just initiated a new law that bans cash for second hand transactions. This was posted on a Louisiana Eye Witness News: http://www.klfy.com/story/15717759/second-hand-dealer-law.

I hope you read the lame excuse that it's because the " bill is targeted at criminals who steal anything from copper to televisions, and sell them for a quick buck. Having a paper trail will make it easier for law enforcement."

Yeah - right on again. Just another new plan devising a way to get more of our money. The consumer has to pay with a debit or credit card; the shop owner must maintain a merchant account, and the credit card companies and banks will be happy again. 

I can't wait to hear what they come up with next - - - any bets?

Hmm - now that I think of the criminals are to blame for this new law - so does this mean that the merchant can only purchase goods with a credit card in order to resell an item, and the crooks must also have a credit/debit card machine? Huh - Did I miss something here?

Merchant: "Hi Mr Crook - Sure I'll buy it, but I can't give you cash. Do you accept Visa/Master Card/ American Express or debit card?"

Crook: "Certainly. I have a wireless machine. They're fab"

October 2, 2011

Dixie Classic Fair in Forsyth County NC

Me Like You . . . YUM!
Today was one of those beautiful Autumn days and what better way to while away the afternoon, but at the Dixie Classic Fair.

There was a time in my life when I used to go for the rides, but now I go to eat my way through the food, which, seems to get more outrageous every year. Such as the deep fried Kool-Aid and cheese cake. My favorite is the Gyros - The food vendor comes from New York where they know how to make real Gyros meat, not to mention the cumber sauce.

Super Heroes
The meat and fixings are so good, I send my husband there several times during the week (because he can get in for free) just to pick up a Gyro to-go-box, and one that we can reassemble at home.

Ceaser/Howdy Doody/Nero
Then there are the buildings and exhibits. Every year my daughter Beverly II's school, which is a special education school, participates, primarily through the art department. So the Education building is the second stop (after the Gyros). Earlier last week, Beverly who goes to Carter High School in Winston Salem, said, "Mom, Ms Goodwin asked if I could bring Ceaser to school so that she can enter him in the fair."

Ziggy the Cat
"You mean Ceaser aka Howdty Doody, aka Nero?." She giggled. She gave the bust to me for mother's day this past May and it has had a place of honor in my house since then. When I look at the face, I am torn between, Ceaser, Howdy Doody, and Nero. I just love the naivety and the kind of kooky happiness and grin that looks back at me.
"Of course you can, but we need to wrap him carefully," I said.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic when we walked down the aisle and I immediately say Howdy sitting with a Blue Ribbon next to him.

Carter HS Class Project
But behind Howdy was a collective class project which not only had a Blue Ribbon, but a Judges Best in Show Purple Ribbon, and then there was Ziggy (our cat) colorfully hanging on the wall with a Red Ribbon for second place next to him.

There was only one thing I could do and that was to go win a prize for my talented daughter. I tried bingo first, but that was a drag and after loosing $5.00, I decided to go for the gold.

My Shining Star and My Very
Own Super Hero
"You know, the booths with the biggest stuffed animals?" I told Beverly II and my husband, Bud the Plumber, "The biggest prizes mean the game is next to impossible to win. It's fixed."

So I bought a bucket of rings for $3.00 and tossed them on to a bottle and WON!

It was a piece of cake - almost as easy as eating the deep fried cheese cake.