Think twice about giving money to panhandlers on the side of the road - they may be trying to scam you

A $500 purse and a new cellphone worth almost $1000 - but her sign is begging for money for 'diapers' and 'baby stuff'.

Source - https://www.facebook.com/unionpolicenj/photos/a.306694949409635/2081690611910051

It was rather ironic I came upon this story this afternoon as soon as I sat down at my computer with fresh coffee.  You see, I was just reading on my own hometown news and following a discussion in the comments about some people 'working the exit' of our nearest interstate, pan-handling, but then getting into a really nice vehicle, driving 1 mile to the next exit, picking up their friend and taking off.  In the comments, some well-meaning but clueless, big hearted people were saying how the man asking for money couldn't be lying, because he even had a military 'VET' hat on.  One young person argued, and honestly believed you could only get a 'military vet' hat if you had gone through a background check and proved you were in the military.   Yes, she was quickly righted on that fact - that you can buy them EVERYWHERE.  No background checks needed.

So anyway; I was just reading about people scamming by asking for money when in fact it was their 'job' and they were making $60,000-100,000 a year tax free by doing so.

And then I saw this one...  sigh.

A woman from Romania is making big dollars... from the big hearts of Americans.

Union Township (New Jersey) Police approached a woman walking in and out of traffic on a busy street with a sign that read, “I have 1 baby please in the name of God help me to buy baby stuff and diapers.” The sign also featured a photo of a young child. According to the post on Facebook, the woman claimed to be from Romania and living in Queens.

Our Street Crimes Unit officers found this woman walking in and out of traffic with the below sign attempting to scam people. She was asking for cash for her baby, but they pointed out to her that she had a $500 purse, some jewelry and a new iPhone X and did not appear to be in critical need of cash.

Their investigation led her to admit that she and several other women got dropped off to panhandle throughout NJ. She was issued a ticket for Impeding the flow of traffic and received a township summons Soliciting without a permit.

“It is nice to be charitable, but it’s not a good idea to donate to someone on the side of the road with a sign,” the Union New Jersey Police Department wrote. “If you see someone who may need help, you can call our HQ and our officers will respond and assess.”

Meh, it's just the coffee talking again............


Rambling over Coffee: A song from my childhood - Once Upon a Unicorn (I think???)

About a year ago, I had an old memory pop into my head of a song I recall singing in grade school.  I remember I loved it and had never heard it before, but we had a music teacher that was only there for 1 year before moving on to bigger and greener pastures than our little bitty school, and he had chosen some incredibly 'different' songs for our concerts that year he was there.

One of the songs at our Christmas concert was about a unicorn and oh how I loved unicorns back then!  My bedroom was filled with unicorn mirrors, figurines, stuffed unicorns, sparkly 'sun catchers' in the shapes of unicorns, music boxes and more...  and be still my heart - we got to sing about them at our Christmas concert!

I don't recall the teacher's name, but I can see his face.  I can even remember his wife and his little girl sitting in the audience that evening.  I recall the 'banter' he had with the audience before the song started.  He asked the crowd if anyone had ever seen a unicorn before.  Among the twitters and chuckles, one man raised his hand.  The music teacher, a bit caught off guard (because, who was going to say YES they've seen a unicorn?) asked the man, slouched down in his seat, with his arms cross and his farmer's style cap on his head this;  "Well sir, may I ask you where you saw that unicorn!?"  The man just smiled and shook his head no.

The crowd laughed... and we started to sing.

I wanted to find this song online.  I was hoping for a version on Youtube or a recording so I could hear it again, but I never found a copy of it.  I don't give up hope though, as I think I've blogged previously about a couple different songs I searched for years for online and they were no where to be found... until the internet got bigger.  As the internet grows and more and more information is added, it gets easier and easier to find 'things'.

So I believe that someday, someone will upload a copy of this song that I recall from one concert from my childhood and I'll hear it again.

Until then, I have bits and pieces of the song in my memory... although I can't promise the lyrics are correct!  Ha ha.  I sing it in my head sometimes anyway.

Once Upon a Unicorn

Once upon a time, and far away, 
in a land that was enchanted and serene...
To a little lad, one sunny day, 
came a creature that was never, ever seen.

For where most had two horns,
he only had one!
And a coat of white that bedazzled the sun!

He said, "Come and run with me!  Come and run with me!
In the sunlight, in the moonlight, come and run with me!"

"For I am a unicorn!  I'm a horse with a single horn! And now it is Christmas morn!  Come and run with me!"

Related products available through Amazon;

Once Upon a Unicorn: An illustrated children's book
100 Singalong Songs For Kids
Children's Songs, A Collection of Childhood Favorites


Rambling over Coffee: Are you too stupid to camp? Maybe.

Firefighters slam 'idiot' first-time campers for fire in 'controversial' Facebook post

SOURCE:  Firefighters slam 'idiot' first-time campers for fire in 'controversial' Facebook post

A group of young first-time campers were called out on Facebook by firefighters in Victoria, Australia, last week after lighting a fire in the middle of a forest without taking the proper precautions first.

“WHAT DO IDIOTS DO WHEN THEY GO CAMPING IN THE BUSH FOR THE FIRST TIME?” the post on the Woodend CFA Facebook page read. “Well, of course, you drive [into] the middle of a tinder dry forest and light a campfire that has [the] potential to start a seriously dangerous bush fire.”

“They had not cleared an area around the fire or dug a pit. They just lit the fire on the ground surrounded by dry fuels. They also just put many large logs several [meters] long onto the fire and let it spread along the logs,” the firemen wrote, also noting the young men only had about six small water bottles to put the fire out with.

In a follow-up post on Facebook Monday, firemen apologized for their anger, but shared an update about the campers.

“This morning we received a call from a bush walker who was disgusted at what he discovered at the abandoned camp site. The Woodend CFA was so concerned at the description of severe littering that we drove out to inspect for ourselves,” the follow-up post read.

“The attached photos do not do justice to the scope and spread of the waste left behind. Not only an abandoned tent and chair, but inside the tent was stacked [with] even more rubbish. There are bags of rubbish spread far and wide and left dropped at the camp site.”

However, the Woodend CFA account said they managed to get a car registration when they went out the first time and have handed over the information to the police to follow-up with the “disrespectful” first-time campers.

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