Tell us what's happened to you recently (that's interesting)


You know what’s fun when you’re in the midst of an international move? Having to go to the hospital to get 4 hernias repaired.

Fortunately my surgeon was able to insert a new mesh laproscopically and I was released the same day. Still, I’m not allowed to lift anything over 15 lbs for the next 60 days, which will be fun for Ruth.


Ouch. The worst timing possible.
Are movers expensive these days? You wouldn’t want your wife to get hurt too.
I haven’t moved in 30 years, so I have no idea.


I’ve got a friend in construction down there, so he’s coming up with a truck and a couple of his guys to move us. In other words, I have no clue.


Ah, well that’s much better.
I somehow got the idea that your wife was going to attempt it all by herself.
I also imagined a helluva guilt trip for you. ;)


I feel a lot guiltier about the fact that I’ll be working my (last) home show the first weekend of January, and she will be packing on her own at that time.


So everyone with a child who is a student in one of San Diego Unified’s schools got notice today of a data breach related to a phishing scam:

What did they get access to? These things:

  • Student and selected staff personal identifying information, to include: first and last name, date of birth, mailing address, home address, telephone number;
  • Student enrollment information, to include: schedule, discipline incident information, health information, school(s) of attendance, transfer information, legal notices on file, attendance data;
  • Student and selected staff Social Security Number and/or State Student ID Number
  • Student and staff parent, guardian and emergency contact personal identifying information, to include: first and last name, phone numbers, address (if provided), email address, employer information;
  • Selected staff benefits information, to include: health benefits enrollment information, beneficiary identify information, dependent identity information, savings or flexible spending account information;
  • Selected staff payroll and compensation information, to include: viewable paychecks and pay advices, deduction information, tax information, direct deposit financial institution name, routing number and account number, salary and leave information;

Access to the systems noted also included the ability to alter data within those systems.

I’m not sure if I’ve heard of a worse data breach than this one. It’s all laid out there. Everything someone would need to create a fake credit card or identity in my 8 year old’s name. Is the school district providing assistance to affected people? Is there a hotline for people with questions? Do they have a plan to manage the public response? Not yet, though I can smell a class action lawsuit coming. The school district personnel (including most teachers and administrators) routinely impress me as people who have never seen a computer before, who approach any technology more recent than the telegraph with great trepidation, and who invite this kind of breach through sheer fumbling ineptitude. I gnash my teeth often at the stupid shit they do. Now I have to go call the credit agencies.


Sorry to hear! What a mess.


Why would public schools be asking for Social Security Numbers? That’s not a requirement.


I’m pretty certain I’ve had to provide these in at least a couple of the 9,000 forms I fill out every year at the start of the year. Maybe the free lunch application, which my kids don’t qualify for, but helps the school determine its eligibility for state and federal funding?

I can’t believe that health and disciplinary information was compromised. Schools are exempt from HIPAA requirements for some reason (though they may be subject to other data privacy regulations; I don’t know), but this scale of breach at a medical facility could result in millions of dollars of fines.


I know we have the devil in a dress over education at the moment, but last I checked it’s against the law (federal) to require Social Security Numbers for students to be enrolled in public schools. If they ask for it they’re supposed to make sure everyone knows it’s 100% voluntary information.

As for state programs like free lunch, that I am not so sure about.


Christmas Traditions.

So my dad told me a story about a week and a half ago about how there is this family Christmas tradition of eating Frango mints or something on Christmas eve. Apparently he used get these from Nordstrom. Naturally I ran out and ordered 3 boxes hoping one of them would make it for Christmas and exactly one has and will make it for Christmas.

Here’s the problem, none of his children know anything about this “family tradition,” and neither does his ex-wife, that’s my mom. We have no idea what he’s talking about. I didn’t even know about this brand of chocolate until I was in my 30s and my sister now on the East Coast (I’m West) started telling me about brands that are popular over there and things like people go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee not donuts.

Anyway, in my natural sarcastic self I told my he can’t call that a family tradition. For one thing, he didn’t pass it down and for another, it didn’t happen.

He’s still getting a box on Christmas eve though since he seems fond of them.

I also wonder if my dad is losing his mind, like taking someone else’s story and transposing himself into it.


Or just a cantankerous old fool taking the piss. It’s what I would were I a granddad


is that code for making shit up so I buy him mints?


They are, were, a Chicago thing. They got big here, and were a local staple due to Marshal Fields downtown making them for decades.

Now that is no more, bought by Macy’s and production moved out of their downtown store, but it is very much a thing around here. It’s also a very common gift item, being the ideal work gift as it is about as safe as possible.

I brought back a few boxes to Portland after thanksgiving. They even had the Chicago skyline on the box.


See when i travel, I love stuff like that. I know it’s commercial but it really says you went somewhere when you bring back something that stylized for where you were. These chocolates look nice. I’ll see if he shares with us on Monday. I know I’ve never had them before.


I don’t know why you’re so quick to dismiss your dad’s tradition. Isn’t it more likely that the tradition is real and that everyone, other than your dad, met aliens and had your memories wiped by the Men in Black?


They’re also a thing hereabouts in the Twin Cities. Or anyway, when my mom’s husband’s parents were still around they always had a box of Frango mints in the house for Christmas.


This has been pretty true lately, especially with my outgoing boss being a total dipstick about it. I’m also still adjusting to the pain that the membranes are experiencing, some from not ever really experiencing airflow (I still don’t know how I survived that), and I expect some is from the grafting and radiation. It’s very tender at times and makes me want to sneeze really bad.

Worst of all, though, is just looking at the size of the medical bills, even with really good insurance. Blech. Kinda daunting. And I just got notified that the finance people somehow coded my retirement wrong (how of all the employees did they bungle mine?) so I have a huge debt there.

OTOH, thanks to @Sonoftgb, it looks like I can take a pretty cheap weekend off one of these days down at the beach. NEVER thought of that when I decided to move to AZ for a while. :P


One other thing that has helped me when things got really bad was taking a Q-tip and kinda painting the insides of my nose with Vaseline or Aquafor. Get all the way up in there, just smoosh that stuff all around. Helps protect the tissues and give them time to calm down when they’re inflamed or upset or just tender.

Good luck with the bills :/ I’ve been “lucky” enough to have insurers that didn’t try to argue about anything, but I’m still paying my however many thousands in premiums + deductibles every year. Merely awful medical costs, rather than crippling. Hooray!


Yes! My Christmas present to myself has arrived:

I honestly cannot remember when I was this excited about something this irrelevant :-).

Now to decide which one to build first. The one I really wanted was the Opera House, having had a wonderful New Years Eve there in 1994/1995 (damn, I’m getting old). The Tower Bridge was a bonus, as the seller sold the pair for a good price. So I think I’ll start with the Bridge and keep the best one for later. Which will be a lot later: this is what 4295 pieces look like: