7.30.2016

Rambling Over Coffee: Possible Changes to the Way Third-Party Debt Collectors Collect Debts (You know, the ones that call your workplace, scream at you, swear at you and threaten you and your extended family)

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/regulators-propose-huge-overhaul-debt-collection-industry-040329014.html

Last night I was sipping some decaf and glancing through the news headlines when I saw an article about possible changes to the way third-party debt collectors collect their debts.  This is not addressing the way a company directly collects debts you owe to them; like if you are skipping payments on your car, credit card, mortgage... this is in regards to those horrible scammer companies who are constantly making the news for 'buying' piles of old debt for pennies on the dollar and then trying to hound people into paying the debt by unfair practices, harassment and even all out lies.

Since this has become a multi-billion dollar business in the past few years, the stories of innocent people getting pressured to pay debt that isn't theirs, is so old it's not legally collectible anymore or pay something just to get them to stop calling their friends, family, employer, co-workers has jumped off the charts.  If someone truly owes debt, of course they should pay but these companies randomly find names online that may or may not be the person, may or may not be related to the debtor, and proceed to call, harass, threaten, call names, scream at them and many times, do not follow the laws regarding debt collection.  That is the kind of debt-collection being discussed in the article for possible changes.

When we moved into our home almost five years ago we opted to keep a landline as a 'backup' phone for many various reasons that don't really matter in this post.  Our phone had been hooked up all of less than an hour when I got my first call; someone asking for a person with a different name.  I told them they had the wrong number, they didn't believe me and pushed to talk to this person.  I explained to them they probably had this number previous but we just moved in and it was our number now.  Within 2 hours another company was calling for that same guy.   Soon I stopped bothering to answer the phone and let the machine get all the calls because we found our 'new' number was pretty popular for the previous family.

Because their name and number was being sold all over the place, we were getting up to 8 calls some days.  Debt collectors, 'fake' charities looking for donations, offers for security systems, lowering our payments on credit cards and 'winning' a cruise or money from contests we never entered; as well as the India men in massive call centers saying their name is "Dustin" or "Brian" and are calling from Microsoft because there is a problem with my computer and they want to help.

Yes, I did come close to changing our number to stop the calls, but didn't for a variety of reasons.  And since most all the calls to the house were for people other than us, we just turned the ringer off and let the machine's robot like voice take them all.  Most hung up with no message.  I also figured that in time, all these companies would realize this number was useless to attempt to call. 

Ok... the coffee is talking again because I've filled this much of the post and haven't even gotten to the article yet!  Here is some bits from the article and the changes they are hoping to put into place.  Mostly;  the collectors can only call you 6 times a week and they have to have more proof the debt is actually yours, or is even owed.

"Once a debt is proven valid, 
a collector would be limited to no more than 
six communication attempts per week."


".... Consumers could no longer receive multiple calls per day from debt collectors and would have more ability to dispute their bills under proposals released Thursday to overhaul the multibillion-dollar debt collection industry. 

The new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would also require collectors to have more documentation to prove a debt is owed, and initiate a 30-day waiting period for loans tied to someone who has recently died — halting all collection attempts from a spouse or child during that time.

Regulators estimate roughly 70 million Americans are contacted by debt collectors each year, and more Americans submit complaints to state and federal agencies about unfair or deceptive practices than any other part of the consumer financial system. These would be the biggest changes to the industry since Congress passed the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act nearly 40 years ago.
“This is about bringing better accuracy and accountability to a market that desperately needs it,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

The changes, likely to face strong resistance from the industry and its allies in Washington, would affect only third-party debt collectors. The agency has yet to propose rules that would affect first-party debt collection practices, such as credit card companies and payday lenders.

Third-party collectors typically buy large databases of past-due loans and credit cards for pennies on the dollar, but those files can include loans discharged in bankruptcy or some too old to legally collect. Under the new rules, they would first have to more substantially show a debt is valid before starting collection.

Collectors would also have to provide clearer and easier ways for someone to dispute the debt. That would include a proposed “tear off” portion of a collection notice where someone can specify why the amount is wrong or why the debt is invalid, or allowing consumers to start disputing the debt over the phone. Right now, most disputes must be handled in writing.

If a consumer disputes a debt, collectors would be required to pause until they collect enough evidence to substantiate it. If the debt is sold, the new collector would inherit the dispute and would still have to provide validation, the CFPB says. This would solve a major source of complaints by consumers that collectors can harass them over debts that are in dispute already.

Once a debt is proven valid, a collector would be limited to no more than six communication attempts per week. If someone wants a collector to stop calling a certain number, such as a workplace, the new rules would make it easier to request that.

An advocacy group praised the CFPB for tackling the issue, but said the proposal does not go far enough. Margot Saunders with the National Consumer Law Center said the rules are overly complicated and still lets debt collectors rely on databases that may be inaccurate. The CFPB proposals do not address or increase the penalties that abusive debt collectors could face.

The agency will hold a hearing Thursday in Sacramento, California, to discuss the proposed rules. This is the first step in CFPB’s rulemaking process. Once formal rules are written, likely later this year, the public will have 90 days to comment before they go into effect.

7.25.2016

The Keurig is leaking SO bad we will once again be shopping for a coffee maker....


Rambling over coffee...

If you've been around these parts long or you've done a search, you know that I love the taste of coffee made fresh in a Keurig but oh, how they have terrible quality machines.  Better than ten years ago... but still hit or miss.  We've had 5 or 6 machines since 2005. (Now that I'm thinking about it, it could actually be 7 Keurigs since our first purchase in 2005.)  It's now July of 2016 so ours have averaged 2 years; give or take.  Some lasted 2 weeks or 5 months and others about 3 or 4 years so it all averages out.

The thing I hate about Keurigs is they do NOT want anyone trying to fix them... so they make it almost impossible to DIY.  We've taken apart 2 machines over the years but found it worthless and waste of time.  They want you to just buy a new one, and apparently that's what people do.

We always buy our coffee makers from Best Buy because I want the Black Tie Protection Plan.  (It's been 2 years since we bought our last one... I think it's still called Black Tie).  We learned early on with Keurigs; they make great coffee but they break down and their customer service sucks.  They want to blame it on you and telling you you did something wrong even if you haven't.  Most of them are reading from a script and are impossible to communicate with.  They don't care.

Ah... I think the coffee is starting to talk again.  Back on topic!

So our current Keurig started to leak last year but it was intermittently and did so, that we thought it was us.  "Hmm, there is a pool of water next to the reservoir, did I accidentally spill?"  That sort of thing.  Then it got worse but I couldn't tell where it was leaking from so I folded a kitchen towel under the machine and some days it was completely dry, other days it would be soaked through like a toddler's diaper.  No rhyme or reason.

However we are now at the point where not only do we know it's leaking (it's not us) and it's leaking so much the towel is soaked daily... I have to concede.  Do I use one of the other 5 'regular' coffee pots we own instead?  I don't like the taste of 'pot' coffee though.  It just doesn't compare to fresh, single cup brewed.  We own 2 Mr. Coffee Single Serve Coffee Brewer; my husband has one in his office at work and our 20 year old has one for her college dorm.  I would consider getting another as they've worked perfectly for them thus far.  But... I also used a family members Keurig 2.0 Brewing System while staying at their home this spring, and I loved being able to brew all 3 cups of my hot, strong, black coffee at one time, into my travel mug.  No using 3 small k-cups and the taste was of course, incredible as most freshly brewed cups are. However, at one time we had a Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Brewstation which we LOVED but they were 'new' at the time and needed some engineering changes in design (the seal in the coffee reservoir dried out with the heat and leaked terribly) but they have improved them SO MUCH over the last 10 years that I'm seriously considering one again.   They have also came out with a version that can be a brewstation or a single mug serving... which I am going to research a bit because I really think it's a contender. (Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker, 2-Way).  I've mentioned the iCoffee Single Serve Coffee Brewer previously but honestly I haven't read enough personal reviews to know if I trust it to be a long-working machine or not (then again, Keurigs constantly break so it's got to be better than that, right?). 









Related products available through Amazon;

Keurig 2.0 Brewing System
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Brewstation
iCoffee Single Serve Coffee Brewer













7.23.2016

Rambling Over Coffee: Nervous to try AirBnB for the first time. Testing the waters with my big toe but afraid to jump in!



What is Airbnb?

The short answer: people renting out a couch, room, house, apartment, condo...  to people looking for a place to stay.

From their website:

Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet.

Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries.

Using Airbnb allows you to stay in a wide range of lodging, from simple futons on the ground to really nice apartments in funky neighborhoods to luxury villas steps from the beach. There are even castles, treehouses, and Airstream trailers. And because nearly all of what you pay goes to the owner directly, you’re keeping your money close to the ground.


_________________________________________



I was making a cross country (the USA) trip in June and looked at various options stay in the affordability range (which was, no budget at all, but not in the good way.  More like, barely enough for gas and pack some sandwiches or something to eat on the road).  I decided on the route I wanted to take (avoiding a couple key cities for various reasons) and figured if I drove about 10 hours the first day and 9 the second, I could make it in 2 days and only have to sleep somewhere 1 night.  Then I looked at options; hotel, sleep at a rest area in my car, camp?  I wanted to camp... but my husband and my Dad were both adamantly against it.  I brought my camping gear anyway... but wicked storms, flooding, tornadoes and 100 degree heat made me change my mind and I did end up in hotels in the end.

And now, I have to do the same trip again.

This time I remembered Airbnb existed and I thought I'd log in to see what was available in my 'stopover' city.  I found 1 that looked ok and affordable but dang... a little nerve wracking.  A single woman, traveling alone and booking a sleepover in someone elses home. I just don't know if I'm ready to make this leap of faith!

It doesn't help that I've spent time researching and reading forums and blogs... and although 90% of the stories are positive and went fine, it's the horror stories that stand out and stay with you!  You can't unread what you've read or unsee what you've seen, you know?

So... tonight, I am just pondering this road trip and I have to admit, I'm a sucker for wimping out of 'new' experiences (like booking an Airbnb) and although I hate to spend $130 on a hotel room for one night when I'm arriving, exhausted, sleeping and getting up and leaving again... I know I probably will opt for that in the end over tent camping or Airbnb.

It's just that I realized, with all the people I know personally; family or friends - I don't personally know anyone who has used/booked Airbnb and I guess I'm a little gun-shy to give it a go.  I keep testing the waters with my toe but afraid to jump in.

7.20.2016

Current word that is making me crazy: SHAME. As in; body shaming. Mom shaming. Etc.




Current word that is making me crazy:  SHAME.  As in;  body shaming. Mom shaming. Etc.

(Because it's being over used in social media and those nauseating 'an open letter to' articles lifted from bloggers sites and facebook and then featured as a 'news' article on bigger name sites). 

shame   SHām/
verb
gerund or present participle: shaming

(of a person, action, or situation) make (someone) feel ashamed.
"I tried to shame him into giving some away"
synonyms: humiliate, mortify, chagrin, embarrass, abash, chasten, humble, take down a peg or two, cut down to size; More

informalshow up, make someone eat crow
"he was shamed in public"

bring shame to.
"the entire debacle has shamed our community"
synonyms: disgrace, dishonor, discredit, degrade, debase; More

stigmatize, taint, sully, tarnish, besmirch, blacken, drag through the mud
"you shamed your family's name"

antonyms: honor
cause (someone) to feel ashamed or inadequate by outdoing or surpassing them.
"she shames me with her eighty-year-old energy"


7.19.2016

Windstream and other Communication Companies: Check out all their extra 'fees' that can raise that "LIFETIME GUARANTEE" price $30 a month


When we moved to our current home I looked over the availability of communications for internet, phone, tv reception etc.  We didn't have choices on a few utilities due to the location of our home so in the end I made the best choices (and sometimes the only choices) available to us and got everything hooked up as needed.

One of the companies we use is Windstream.  We've been a customer for a couple years now and one of the interesting things about their billing is that signing up for a bundle package that came with a lifetime guarantee price of $59.99 a month regularly costs me $90 a month.

Today I looked over the details of my bill and there are so many fees and charges unrelated to any of our usage, it's almost mind boggling.  There are a couple fees listed (and charged twice) like the "federal universal service fee"  because they apparently get to charge it for the 'windstream communications' part of the bill as well as the regular 'windstream' part of the bill. 

How your 'LIFETIME GUARANTEE BUNDLE PRICE' of $59.99 actually equals almost $100 every month.

Let's look at some of these fees!

1 month of service;

Access charge per FCC order 
Access Recovery charge
911 service
Federal Universal Service Fee
Dual Party Relay Surcharge
Deregulated Administration Fee
Federal Tax
State Utility Tax
Access Recovery Rate Change
Interstate Service Fee
Federal Universal Service Fee
State Utility Tax



Here is an explanation of their fees and surcharges from their website:


Windstream Communications Fee and Surcharge Guide

Below is a listing of all Windstream fees and surcharges. Please note that not all surcharges and fees apply to all customers.
Interstate Service Fee - Allows Windstream to recover costs, such as those associated with provisioning and maintaining customer accounts on the Company's network and interstate and international connection charges. Applies per account.
Network Cost Recovery Fee – Assists Windstream in recovering costs associated with routing telephone calls to their destinations. Applies monthly per line/trunk as specified in Windstream’s Tariffs and/or Terms and Conditions.
Federal Subscriber Line Charge Fee – Helps Windstream recoup the costs associated with building, maintaining and connecting telephone lines to your business. Applies monthly per telephone line or trunk.
Federal Universal Service Fund Fee – Designed to recover Windstream’s contribution to federal universal service fund programs, and is determined based upon Windstream’s own contribution to these programs. The Federal Communications Commission establishes a quarterly contribution factor, and Windstream recovers its contribution from its customers.
Local Number Portability Fee – Designed to help Windstream defray the costs of providing number portability. Number portability enables customers to retain their existing telephone numbers when they switch to another service provider. Applies monthly to local telephone lines/trunks.
State Telecommunications Relay Service Fund Surcharge – Assessed by states to assist disabled persons with access to telephone services and equipment. Applies monthly to all local telephone lines/trunks.
State Universal Service Fund Fee – Used to subsidize telephone service for rural health care providers, low-income residences, schools and libraries at the state level. Applies based on local and intrastate telephone usage and/or lines.
State 911 Recovery Surcharge – Assessed to recover the cost of providing 911 access to emergency services. Applies based on local and intrastate telephone usage and/or lines.
Payphone Fee – Assessed each time a Windstream customer uses a Windstream calling card or 1-8XX number at a payphone to help defray the per call compensation assessed to Windstream by the payphone provider for completing such calls.
Regulatory Access Fee – Assessed to help off-set costs associated with maintaining equal access call origination and termination facilities domestically and internationally. Applies per line.
Emergency Services Fee – Assessed to help recover costs of operating Windstream’s emergency systems and equipment that support the availability of emergency services to customers. Applies per line, subject to a per customer cap.
Late Payment Charge and Late Payment Collection Fee – This charge and this Fee recover the costs associated with the administration and collection of unpaid balances and are not government-mandated. The Late Payment Collection Fee may not apply to all customers.
Access Recovery Charge – The FCC permits local telephone companies to assess this charge to recover a portion of the costs incurred in the provision and maintenance of telephone service to connect customer’s homes and businesses to the telephone network.
Regulatory Assessment Surcharge (RAS) - As a telecommunications company, Windstream must make various payments to local, state, and federal departments and agencies, including, but not limited to, administration fees, inspection and supervision fees, and general public utility commission assessments. RAS is designed to help Windstream recover the cost of these payments. Windstream assesses RAS on end‐user customers based on the individual customer’s respective interstate and international services invoiced.
Carrier Infrastructure Fee Charge - Carrier Infrastructure Surcharge is a 1.75% assessment on all services. The assessment is for the administration of services by personnel and systems throughout our network including: network security, infrastructure management, and tax, regulatory and tariff administration.
Property Tax Recovery Charge - The Property Tax Recovery Charge (PTRC) is a 1.5% assessment applied to long distance and local usage. PTRC is assessed based on the customers tax plan.
Paperbill fee - This charge applies to business accounts in certain states who chose to continue to receive a full paper bill. Fee is designed to recover the cost of producing a paper bill. In lieu of a paper invoice customers, may elect to receive a summary invoice at no charge.
Deregulated Administration Fee - The Deregulated Administration Fee recovers costs associated with administration and provision of many products and services such as maintenance and entertainment services. This fee is not a tax or fee required by the government.
Franchise/Right-of-Way Fee - Governmental entities may charge Windstream to use the public rights-of-way to provide service to our customers. This fee collects Windstream’s costs associated with those charges. This fee is not a tax or charge required by the government.

Francis Francis Iperespresso Machine - Maybe the cutest little espresso machine on the market?


http://amzn.to/29VwCIH


Critics rave over the elegant design and one-touch convenience of the Francis Francis X7.1. Designed to work exclusively with illy iperEspresso capsules (Medium Roasted, Decaf, Lungo, Dark Roasted), the striking Francis Francis X7.1 gives you café quality espresso based drinks at the touch of a button. Unlike conventional one-stage systems, the iperEspresso method uses an innovative, patented two-stage process to create intensely aromatic, full-bodied espresso with rich, velvety crema that lasts and lasts. And because the extraction takes place entirely inside the capsule, the coffee and machine never come in contact making for easy clean up.

The auto-stop feature assures perfect volume in the cup, while the pannarello steam wand froths milk for thick and delicious cappuccino and latte. Designed by renowned Italian architect Luca Trazzi, this striking machine adds a strong visual statement to any kitchen.

Perhaps the cutest espresso machine - it reminds me of a little Disney Pixar character.  That's what caught my eye this morning when I was browsing around for espresso machines online.  The similarity to a little character with tiny little ears, big eyes and a round nose.  But... it's also a rather modern, sleek design and perhaps my penchant for seeing a cute little adorable critter in the design is just a byproduct of the oodles of strong, black coffee I've already partaken of all morning!

This particular image above is the Francis Francis X7.1 Iperespresso Machine in red.  But it also comes in black.

Features:
  • One-touch brewing cycle
  • Pannarello steam wand for easy frothing of milk
  • Auto-stop feature for programmable volume
  • Power save mode
  • Steel thermoblock with 15 bar pump
  • Unlike conventional one-stage systems, the iperEspresso capsule system uses an innovative, patented two-stage process to create intensely aromatic
  • Auto-stop feature assures perfect volume in the cup, while professional steam wand froths milk for thick and delicious cappuccino and latte
  • Designed by renowned Italian architect Luca Trazzi, this striking machine adds a strong visual statement to any kitchen
There are four (4) different variety of pods or 'capsules' if you will;


Medium Roast: a smooth balanced and pleasantly nuanced flavor that is both sweet and rich.
Dark Roast:
roasted at a higher temperature for a longer time this coffee is intense and robust full flavored coffee.
Decaffeinated:
same flavor profile as Medium Roast but without the caffeine.
Lungo:
Medium Roast capsules that have been specially formulated for more coffee volume to be savored in a larger cup, without having to make any adjustments to the machine. Providing you with even more of the same great illy flavor and aroma to enjoy. 




With the above pods you can make a variety of drinks (just like or really close to your local coffee house does but you can do it at home, in your pajamas).

Espresso
It's the purest way to enjoy coffee, highlighting its aroma and flavor at the maximum intensity; a tiny miracle of chemistry and physics that is as much art as it is science.

Cappuccino A favorite in coffee bars and cafés, cappuccino is easy to prepare at home once you master the finer points of steaming and frothing. A cup of cappuccino should contain one shot of espresso coffee and equal parts of steamed milk and froth.

Cafe Latte While holding back the milk froth, pour hot steamed milk over a shot of espresso (1oz) until the glass is filled. Top the drink with a rich layer of frothy milk.

Lungo For those who prefer more coffee (3oz) in their cup, lungo capsules provide a unique full bodied taste experience that differs from both traditional espresso and brewed coffee.









Related products available through Amazon;

illy iperEspresso Capsules Medium Roasted Coffee, 5-Ounce, 21-Count Capsules
Francis Francis X7.1 Iperespresso Machine, Red
Francis Francis for illy iperEspresso Machine
Illy Caffe Y1.1 216623 Touch Espresso Machine, Red

7.18.2016

12 Year Boy Walking Home From a Small Town Fair Frisked & Put Into the Back of a Cop Car And Interrogated....



A 12 year old boy walks down the street with his friend at 3:00 in the afternoon.  They are walking home from a small festival in the park with games, food booths and a few rides.  They are laughing, joking and in high spirits as they both are carrying rolled up posters they won at a dart game at the festival.  They are walking to their home about 8 blocks away.

Suddenly a police car pulls up along side them.  They keep walking as they've done nothing wrong.  The police car paces them and the window rolls down.  The white cop calls out to them;  "Boys!"  The boy and his friend stop and look at the police officer in the car.  The car stops and the officer gets out.  He asks them;  "Say, you boys wouldn't know anything about some broken windows around here would you?"

"No....."  they answer.  They've been back at the festival all afternoon.

The police officer has them lean up against the car and frisks them.

They are too stunned and scared to say anything so they stand and wait.

The officer then tells them to get into the backseat of the squad car, they are going for a little ride.

(This is totally illegal of him, but the boys are 12 years old, scared and don't know any different.)

Scared and sitting in the back seat, the officer drives ahead a few blocks and turns down a side street with new construction in the area.  As he drives he interrogates the boys as to their names, where they live, where they've been, what they've been doing and whether they've been walking through the new construction area throwing rocks and breaking into empty homes.

The boys are confused but tell him no... again, they've been at the festival.

The police officer stops at a town home complex and tells the boys to stay put as he gets out of the car and approaches the front door of one of the duplexes.  He rings the bell and waits.  The door is opened by a heavyset white woman with dirty, loose mismatched clothing, who greets the officer and then sticks her head out past the officers to glare at the police car and specifically, the boys sitting in the backseat.  The police officer nods and walks back to the car.

He tells the boys they've had a complaint that the woman thought she heard glass breaking and thought it might be coming from the homes under construction at the end of the block.  He tells them, "So boys, we're going to drive through.  Are we going to find some broken windows?"

The boys tell him not that they know of.  Inside they are thinking, "I hope they don't find any broken glass, because if they DO they are going to blame it on us!"

Luckily all is quiet and the police officer doesn't see any broken windows as they slowly cruise up and down the streets. He drives back towards the festival and drops the boys off with an admonishment of not getting into any trouble or breaking anything or he knows who they are.

______________________________________


A teenager waits in a hotel parking lot for his friend on a Friday evening around 8:pm.  He and his friend are going to go hang out and play video games, but his friend has to stop to say hi to a girl who is having a birthday party there, and will be out in 5 minutes.

As the teen waits in his car a police officer pulls up in his squad car.  He drives slowly through the parking lot and stops next to the teen.  Getting out of his car he approaches the teenager and asks him what he's doing hanging out in the parking lot.  The teen tells him he's just waiting for his friend to come out and he should be out in a just a minute or two.

The cop continues with questions as to why they are at the hotel, what they are doing and where they are going.  The teen answers all questions as sitting around playing video games on Friday night is pretty much the biggest excitement they have planned.

The police officer is looking around the inside of the teen's car as he talks to him supposedly just making conversation.  At this point the officer gets a bit of an attitude and asks him if he has any alcohol or controlled substances.  The teen responds in the negative.  The cop asks him if he can search his vehicle?  "Sure" the teen answers.

The teenager has been through this before.  He drives a 10 year old silver Pontiac that shouts "teen" driver all over it.  He's pulled over, watched and approached by the police all too often.

The police officer makes him pop his trunk open.

Orange and green Solo cups are laying in the trunk.  The police officers head and shoulders get a little more rigid.  He assumes he is going to bust the teen for alcohol!  He smirks and tilts his head to look into the trunk.  Does he find beer? Bottles of vodka?

Nope.  He sees three cartons of soda pop.  Grape, strawberry and orange to be exact.  The teens favorite kinds.

The police officer gives him a little ribbing for having soda.  The teen informs the officer he doesn't drink alcohol but he loves orange soda.  The police officer leaves empty handed, the friend comes back out and they leave.

Just another night being hassled by the cops.

________________________________________


The 12 year old boy and the 'teen' in the two examples (Just two of many examples) above are my son.
A good kid.  Catholic. Non-drinker. Non-partier. Drives the speed limit. Drinks soda. Plays video games. On the football, baseball and track teams.  
Spent his whole teenage life being hassled by police officers. 
He's white. With blonde hair with green eyes.

7.13.2016

Pondering over Coffee: Surrounded by Corruption, Scandals & Lies

This morning I'm sipping some strong, hot, black coffee and clicking through some random news articles and of course a link leads to a link... which is where I ended up reading this editorial opinion pieces from observer.com (http://observer.com/2016/07/up-next-for-the-fbi-clinton-foundation-corruption).



".......... Brown is just one of several Clinton super delegates to recently be exposed for fraudulent activity. Late last month, Congressman Chaka Fattah was convicted on charges of racketeering, corruption and stealing charitable funds. Senator Bob Menendez, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Governor Dannel Malloy, and former Virginia Governor who served as Clinton’s 2008 campaign chair, Terry McAuliffe, are also in the midst of corruption probes.

It would appear that only Hillary and Bill truly seem to understand how to launder funds for political favors, with the Clinton Foundation front-and-center for aspiring pupils of white collar crime.

Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, received money from the Clinton Foundation (while employed by the State Department) and from Teneo Consulting—a firm owned by a close Clinton associate, Declan Kelly. Kelly built his network while working at the State Department under Clinton. In April, Politico reported that Kelly’s relationship with Clinton’s State Department, “represents a fresh illustration of the blurring of the lines between Hillary Clinton’s political network and her State Department that critics have long noted.”

In 2011, ABC News revealed Rajiv Fernando, a Clinton Foundation donor, was appointed to an Intelligence Board at the State Department by Clinton despite having no background or qualifications for the role. Shortly after ABC began asking questions, Fernando quietly resigned.

The Clinton Foundation also paid Sidney Blumenthal $200,000 a month to advise Hillary Clinton on State Department matters. According to The Hill, the FBI has yet to rule out the Clinton Foundation‘s influence on Hillary Clinton‘s State Department, as there have been multiple conflicts of interest between the two.

An investigation by Vox revealed at least 181 Clinton Foundation donors lobbied the State Department while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state. UBS, for example, paid Bill Clinton $1.5 million in speaking fees shortly after Hillary Clinton helped the Swiss bank settle a lawsuit with the IRS—for a fraction of what the IRS initially sought.

Clinton Foundation donations have also been linked to State Department favors  to weapons manufacturers and foreign governments. Peter Schweitzer’s book, Clinton Cash, cites four trustees of the Clinton Foundation charged with or convicted of financial crimes. Aside from the security risks her private email server posed, evidence suggests Clinton’s intent was not convenience, but rather to circumvent FOIA laws.

Billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who claims to have co-founded the Clinton Global Initiative, served 13 months in jail for soliciting prostitution from a minor. Epstein is the subject of ongoing litigation involving several other underage victims, and flight logs from Epstein’s private jet show Bill Clinton flew with him at least 26 times. Vice News reported one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts, told her attorneys she had damaging information on Bill Clinton.

Since Bill left the White House in 2000, the Clinton Foundation has build the Clinton name into a brand to provide networking opportunities for Hillary Clinton’s political career. The charity has been used to unprecedented degrees to leverage power and influence for political gains, with little transparency and regulation.

In their investigation of donations to the Clinton Foundation, Politifact recently claimed “Nonprofits, such as the Clinton Foundation, have nearly no obligation to publicly reveal who gives them money. They might need to tell a government agency, but the details remain confidential.”

The Clinton Foundation blurs lines between politics, business, charity and public service, and the ability to investigate the Foundation’s litany of questionable donations is compromised. For all the millions of dollars that have passed through the Clinton Foundation, it will be challenging—even for the Clintons—to evade an indictment if Hillary is elected president."








7.12.2016

What is Amazon Prime and Is it Worth it For Me? (I don't have it because it's not a good fit for me but my daughters use it constantly....)



Today is Amazon Prime Day so it's a good day to mention over morning coffee that I'm an affiliate of Amazon - and a customer. I order from them about once or twice a month for all sorts of items;  foods, toys, clothing, kitchen appliances, coffee, candle supplies, soap making supplies, freeze dried foods, emergency gear, camping gear...  but I don't have Amazon Prime and as of right now, I don't plan to as it's not something that is worth it to me. (I'll tell you more in a minute.)

On the contrary, two of my three kids DO have Amazon Prime and love it and use it constantly.  My daughter is in college and shops Amazon not only for books for school, but other dorm supplies, as well as ordering things online from clothing to purses to fun candies, food items and gifts for her boyfriend and family members.  She uses it for streaming free TV shows and movies as well as free music. It works well for her and is worth the fee.

So why isn't it a good match for me?

First - if you aren't familiar, check out what Amazon Prime offers;


After your free trial, Amazon Prime is just $99/year. Cancel anytime.

There's more to Prime than FREE Two-Day Shipping


Your membership also includes:

Unlimited streaming with Prime Video
Choose from tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes

Ad-free music with Prime Music
Listen to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists

Unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos
Secure photo storage with anywhere access

Access to Kindle Owners' Lending Library and Kindle First
Borrow a book a month from over 800,000 titles and choose one pre-released title each month

Early access to thousands of great deals
Get 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon, and shop new events on MyHabit.com




_______________________________________________


Although I order once or twice a month, I always shop the free ship by Amazon option and meet the minimum $49 threshold for free regular 5-7 day shipping.  I'm rarely in a hurry for my items and I have the time to price compare and shop not only on Amazon, but all their competitors as well.  I do own an ereader and enjoy Kindle books but I'm totally fine with 'buying' the free books and shop for deals almost weekly.  I do not watch TV.  I stopped watching TV in September of 1999 and haven't watched it or missed it since then.  Streaming tv and movies hold no interest for me and I do not keep my photos online. I prefer to keep our family photos stored on a hard drive in my own home.  So for me, Amazon Prime offers free 2 day shipping but that's about it.  I do not use any of the other bundled services.  I'm cheap, so spending $99 a year isn't something I've been interested in doing.

However;  for my 2 daughters?  TOTALLY worth it and they get more than their money's worth from it.

Is it right for you?

Determine whether you would use the services it offers (listed above).
And perhaps, give it a try by using the free 30 day trial and if it's not right for you you can cancel after your free membership expires.



7.11.2016

Pondering over Coffee: The REAL social game; Pokemon Go


Chit chat around the kitchen table this morning.....

I briefly wrote about the new Pokemon Go app yesterday but while I'm sitting here with morning coffee I just had to shake my head and chuckle.  My son had yesterday off from work.  He sent me a snapchat photo later of a bunch of random strangers in the park, all of them with their phones out, playing Poke'mon Go and meeting each other in the process.  

He texted me at 10:PM last night to say that he was just getting home.  He had left his apartment that morning at 11:00 am to walk to the park, playing the app.  He ended up meeting so many new people also playing the game that he ended up walking all over town, hanging out in the park, met about 20 new people and got home last night at 10:00 pm.  He said it was funny that Pokemon is a game; yet all the people playing it around town yesterday were adults, married couples, people with babies... no kids.

He hates computers, so he was happy to see so many people outside making REAL friend connections and not sitting inside on social media.

























7.10.2016

Pondering over coffee: Protecting our elderly family members and friends from scammers....

Pondering over coffee:  Protecting our elderly family members and friends from scammers....

My father-in-law is pretty healthy, has a sound mind and lives alone. He does quite well for himself but he is of a a generation where honesty was expected, phone calls were anticipated events, and if someone had a 'business' it meant they were legit. 

You trusted people.

This morning I thought I'd just chat about this over coffee as I read an article in the news about a company (Leading Health Source) scammed one woman from Iowa for $44,000 worth of pills, and how the state of Iowa has banned this company from doing business there.  Of course I thought of my father-in-law.  It's possible he's been scammed a couple times that we know about and probably scammed a few times that we don't know about; as many elderly are embarrassed to admit it to anyone.  He has complete control over own finances and is of sound mind... just gullible due to his personality and his generation's belief in the honesty of people.

I know my father-in-law was 'scammed' by a fast talking local guy in his hometown about 30 years ago...  when he wasn't considered 'elderly' and should have been smart enough to send the guy packing.  But, personality comes into play here.  He was taken for $10,000 in an 'investment' scheme for a new product the guy convinced him was going to be the next big thing.

He was talked into some ridiculous purchases over the next 15-20 years and did most of his 'shopping' from the back of catalogs and obscure magazines.  Instead of running down to the local hardware store to purchase a new riding lawn mower, he would order a $6,000 model from some ad in the back of one of the many magazines or catalogs (with names unrecognizable to the average person) that were constantly coming to  his home. His clothing was ordered from a catalog as well - but none that I had ever heard of.  He ordered all his clothes from them for 15 years and proudly told us he was such a good customer of theirs that they sent him a 'free watch' with his last order.  His computer was bought from an individual doing business in his home basement in a small town about 10 miles away and paid $900 for what would have been about $350 at the local Best Buy.  His living room curtains were made by a local woman for $1000 when he could have bought the same thing from JC Penney for $100.

He also sent a check for $1,000 to an ad in the back of his AARP magazine but finally asked me to check into it for him as it had been a year and he had never heard anything from them or gotten any paperwork after sending in his check. He totally trusted the investment ad because he believed anything advertised in the AARP magazine was legit.

It's just his generation and how he believes you should do business.  Trust people and shop local when you can.  And if there is an ad in a catalog or magazine; then it's got to be true or they wouldn't have accepted the advertising. 

My point is that this is a man in sound heath, mind and body; who is easily taken in and purchases things he doesn't need or pays inflated prices for because he is of a generation of trust. 

But what about our elderly family members who are not only trustworthy, but may be extremely lonely, mentally ill, or confused?  Those that don't understand America is not a country of church going honest businessmen anymore; but we are a global society now with a mixture of cultures that don't hold true to a man is as good as his word?  They may not even understand that someone from half the world away, in Nigeria or Pakistan might actually be calling their HOME PHONE and lying to them to steal from them.  It's a concept so foreign to them or is confusing and they fall for it.

AH I'm rambling over my morning coffee again.  SUFFICE TO SAY this is why we need to be vigilant for our elderly family members and friends.  Talk to them, bring up the topic of sales phone calls, or threatening phone calls from supposed IRS or companies and see if they have been getting calls.  If they are a close family member, it may be possible to have a frank, open discussion about their credit cards and see if you can look over the charges to make sure they are all legit.  Depending on the situation, the personalities involved and whether or not physical or mental illness or disabilities come into play - it may be time to see if having power of attorney is warranted.

In short; we need to protect our loved ones..... 



______________________________________________

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/financial-fraud-hammering-retirees-tune-140000586.html

Karla Sibert was sitting in an Iowa hospital waiting room when she got some shocking news.


"I had her cell phone with me...and that's when I intercepted some phone calls," said Sibert. One was from a salesperson with Leading Health Source, a Las Vegas-based nutritional supplements company, wanting to know how her mother was feeling and if her new pills were helping.

Confused at first, Karla Sibert played along, asking how many pills were ordered and how much they cost.

Skeptical about what she was being told, the younger Sibert, who has power of attorney over her parents' finances, whipped out her mother's credit cards and began calling the card companies to check recent activity. Altogether on three cards, she found $44,000 worth of charges from Leading Health Source for boxes and boxes of unopened pills and drops. The products claimed to address a variety of health issues such as dry eyes or memory loss.

Once her mother was out of surgery, Karla Sibert asked her what happened.

"She said there was just about $500 dollars that she OK'd on a credit card," she said. As a result, her mother "didn't remember doing it and doesn't remember it was of that magnitude."

"Cases of older Americans being taken advantage of by telemarketers, investment professionals or even members of their own family are a common and growing problem that occurs mostly under the radar, advocates say. One recent study found seniors lose an average of $36.4 billion annually from financial abuse."




Having power of attorney over her parents' finances helped Karla Sibert get most of the card charges reversed. She also filed a complaint with the Iowa attorney general's office, who opened an investigation into Leading Health Source.

"They came up with this ridiculous defense that the Siberts were distributors...so that's why they were buying so much," said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

In a 2014 letter to the Iowa attorney general's office, Leading Health Source claimed it was unaware that Karla Sibert had power of attorney over her parent's finances when her mother purchased the products. If the company had been notified, "Mrs. Sibert would have been put on our list of customers not to call," the company said.

Eventually, Leading Health Source returned the remainder of Marlene Sibert's money. An Iowa judge also barred the company from doing business in the state.

Karla Sibert hopes elderly consumers, their children and caregivers will learn from her experience.

"You need to be your parents' advocate," she said. "There's just no question in my mind that people need to stay involved with their parents."




Apparently EVERYONE is playing it: Travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon with Pokémon GO. With Pokémon GO, you’ll discover Pokémon in a whole new world—your own!

Chatting over morning coffee at the kitchen table.....



Pokémon GO

Travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon with Pokémon GO for iPhone and Android devices. With Pokémon GO, you’ll discover Pokémon in a whole new world—your own! Pokémon GO is built on Niantic’s Real World Gaming Platform and will use real locations to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon. Pokémon GO allows you to find and catch more than a hundred species of Pokémon as you explore your surroundings.

The Pokémon video game series has used real-world locations such as the Hokkaido and Kanto regions of Japan, New York, and Paris as inspiration for the fantasy settings in which its games take place. In Pokémon GO, the real world will be the setting!

Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns around where you live and even around the globe to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you're near a Pokémon. Once you've encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone's touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away! Also look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items.

_____________________________________________



This morning as I sip my coffee I thought about the phone call my son made to me last night.  He lives on his own now, in his first apartment, his first job after college; and is 1100 miles away.  Earlier yesterday he had sent me a text to say "Sooo... might be addicted to Poke'mon GO! LOL"  I responded that I wasn't sure what it really was, but I had friends who were also commenting they were playing it. End of story.

But then last night around 8:30 pm my cell phone rang.  It was my son.  Typical 23 year old guys don't usually call their Moms for no reason so I picked up, wondering if it was good or bad....   the connection, however, was poor and he was cutting out badly and couldn't hear me at all.  I hung up, and then went and got the house phone to call him back on.  (Yes, we keep a landline - exactly for that reason. We do not get cell reception where we live because you know, Sprint is just that awesome... NOT.)

I finally get through to him and greet him; waiting to hear what the call is about.

"SO!  About Poke'mon Go......."
"Seriously!?  You called me to just to tell me about a game!?"
"Yep."

But I admit the story he called to tell me about was humorous.  Apparently he got to work yesterday and 'everyone' was playing it.  He works at a very large retail business establishment and while he was in one part of the building he found there was a 'magic cart' located there.  He told his friend/co-worker to come and get the get the magic cart too.  Word spreads fast.  He laughed when suddenly there were TWENTY employees rushing to that location to get the magic cart.  20!  Too funny.

Not sure how long this game will be the 'in' thing but apparently everyone is playing it.





















7.09.2016

Coffee People Jet Fuel Coffee, Extra Bold, K-Cup Portion Count for Keurig Brewers 96-Count

I decided it was time to get back to featuring some coffee's but I've been primarily drinking Starbuck's Pike Place brewed at home in my Keurig along with the Sam's Club store brand Colombian so I haven't been trying a lot of different brands or styles lately.  Instead, I chose one that has a LOT of reviews by others and comes up almost perfect in the scoring department.  I had this one a couple years ago but haven't had it lately.





Jet Fuel Coffee


1,858 customer reviews and 24 answered questions on Amazon along with an almost perfect score of 5 stars (4.5 out of 5 with almost 2000 reviews) on Amazon is pretty freakin' good considering EVERYONE has an opinion on coffee.  Overwhelmingly I found comments on this little number to be 'full bodied' and 'smooth' and not as bitter as many of the 'strong' coffee's are.

About the Product

Bold coffee; bold personality
Extra bold; dark roast
Easy to use Kcups

Extra bold dark roast; bold coffee, bold personality
Trans fat, kosher and gluten free

After December 2014 purchasers found them to be 2.0 compatible as well.

K-Cup perfect for Keurig Single Cup Brewers
K-cups also compatible with new Keurig 2.0 Brewer





7.08.2016

Got College Kids? Got a Heavy Work Day? STUDY FUEL COFFEE for your Keurig Brewers





Study Fuel coffee is a blend of Arabica coffee with added caffeine to double the boost.
  • Single serve cups compatible with Keurig K-cup brewers, including Keurig 2.0, patented single serve cup
  • "2X Caffeine to help you Stay Awake Normal Coffee = 85 mg Caffeine. Study Fuel Coffee = 170mg Caffeine."
  • 100% Arabica Coffee
  • Medium Roast
  • Kosher Parve

Available at local retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond but if you can't find it locally, you can order it through Amazon;

Study Fuel Medium Roast Coffee, 12 Count (Pack of 2) (Compatible with 2.0 Keurig Brewers)
Study Fuel Medium Roast Coffee, 12 Count (Pack of 6) (Compatible with 2.0 Keurig Brewers)

My "In a Hotel Room" Review of Wise Foods Freeze Dried Food - Cook in Pouch Style (Noodles In Mushroom Sauce with Beef Flavor)




In June I did some solo cross-country traveling through the USA. I had a wedding in one state and a family reunion in another state and a family that was booked solid with work schedules so I was solo for this one.  I had a week free in between where I thought I might do some tent camping or touring around the Grand Canyon or maybe Mt. Rushmore as well as considering camping my way back home.

I didn't really have plans in place and figured I'd 'wing it' so I packed accordingly.  I minimized my always packed-ready-to-go camping backpack to a smaller one that would fit into the storage compartment in the car, and ordered two boxes of add hot water only and cook in the pouch meals from Amazon.  I chose Wise Foods Company Favorites 72 Hour Cook-in-Pouch Meal Kit.

In the end I didn't end up camping because it was hovering around 100 degrees, I decided to stay with my oldest daughter during that week 'free' between events and I didn't camp on the way home because it was oh-my-God-awful weather I ended up driving through for 2 days straight (white-knuckled, rain so hard you can't see through the windshield, cars going off the road, black skies and pray all the way through kind of weather).  Not tent camping weather.  So I stayed in a hotel on the way home instead.

And THAT is how this post came to be.

(Because I've had 3 cups of coffee and I tend to ramble, here is the rest of the story.  If you want to skip to JUST the review, well, skip down past the image of the Wise foods.)

On the way home I had booked a hotel with a chain I use pretty often in other cities but having never stayed in this area before, I booked online based on photos and reviews as well as trusting the 'chain' itself.  After a horrible, stressful, awful, black skies, tornado's, flooding and accidents-surrounding-me drive, I arrived.

Okaaaay.  Not exactly in the best location.  Thankfully JUST off the interstate by .3 miles but I got the heebie-jeebies.  I'm a blonde woman, traveling solo, in a not-the-greatest area.  I was starving and hadn't ate all day since I left the hotel early that morning 5 states away.  My plan was to fill my tank with gas so I wouldn't have to in the morning, and to grab some dinner from McDonalds or somewhere close.

The closest gas station was only about 1/2 block away. I pulled in.  Took note of my surroundings.  Glad it was 5:20 pm because had it been 9:20 pm I would not have gotten out of my car.  Sketchy area.  Let's just leave it there.  I tried to be as inconspicuous, quiet and focused as I could. Got gas, got out of there and I did NOT venture another block into the city to hit up the local McDonalds.  

I decided I would rather starve or eat from the hotel vending machine.

Back to the hotel parking lot.  Started to think I should see if I could 'switch' my reservation to the same hotel but a different location in the city.  I tried calling the 800 number.  Got someone in India who spoke such horrible English the only thing I understood was at the very very end of her rambling gibberish:  "May I have your name please?"
"Umm.  No.  I changed my mind.  Thank You."
Waited 30 seconds.
Called back - hoping to get someone I could understand.
Another babble-gibberish-can't-understand-him until he said "Mynameis Brandon. MayIhaveyournameplease?"
I WANTED to say;  OMGosh I am SURE your name is NOT BRANDON and I cannot understand a THING you are saying!

INSTEAD I actually said, "No.  I've decided not to do this after all.  Thanks anyway."

After the horribly stressful long drive across 5 states in awful weather and being exhausted, hungry, and not in ANY mood to deal with customer service people I cannot even understand,  I used my phone to look up the phone number of the hotel in town that I WANTED to switch my reservation to.  Hoping it would be an easy switch in their system (because it's the SAME HOTEL just a location 3 miles away in a better area).

Nope.
He said I'd have to call the main 800 number to do that.
I told him I already tried.  They couldn't speak English.
I asked him if I could just cancel the current reservation in the bad location and make a brand new one in his location?
Nope.
"It's 5:30 pm.  Anything after 5:00 pm and they'd charge you for it anyway.  They're real sticklers for that."
Fuckity Fuck. Fuck. Fuck

Needless to say I hauled my cookies into the hotel and made due.
But, there was no way I was going to venture out again to get food.
I don't eat sugar and I get sick from junk food since I almost never eat it.
That's when I remembered the backpack in my storage compartment! It has food in it!

And THAT is how I came to test the WISE FOODS cook in the pouch freeze dried food.   

I ordered 2 boxes of the pouches on Amazon.  Partly because I needed to get to the minimum order to get free shipping (I refuse to get Prime) and partly because I figured this:  When you are hiking and camping and it's time to eat, you are probably starving and ANYTHING tastes good. I had faith that these would be good enough to feed a very hungry hiker/camper and with a long shelf life (7 years) I knew I'd use them for one reason or another.  The other reason is because I have used their other products (the kind you cook in a pan over heat) and found them to be really good so I felt confident ordering 2 boxes.

I wanted something hot, filling and comforting.  Noodles in Mushroom Sauce with Beef fit the bill.  Pretty low sugar (3 grams) and I'm a sucker for anything 'mushroom' saucey.





I heated up the water in the microwave.  Had my hotel not had a microwave I simply would have heated it up in the in room coffee maker by brewing coffee without any coffee.  (Obviously if I was camping I'd heat water over the fire.)




I know from experience with 2 other brands I've used, that these meals usually need a tad less water than called for or they turn out a little soupy.  I decreased the water by a couple ounces, poured the boiling water in and closed the pouch to wait 12-15 minutes.


When I opened it, it smelled AWESOME.  Of course, you have to remember I hadn't ate anything in about 12 hours since I left the other hotel, 5 states away that morning, but it smelled so good.  The pouch says it makes 2 servings.  I will agree with that if you are not starving, and if you have something else with dinner as well.  I was so hungry I had no problem eating about 1 1/2 servings and then finished off the rest, being 'full' at that point.

DETAILS:

• 2 total servings per pouch

• 17 grams of protein per serving

• Net weight per pouch: 5.6oz

• Lightweight and packable

• 7 year shelf-life

• Perfect for camping and backpacking

• Made in the USA

INGREDIENTS: Pasta (Durumn Semolina Flour [Wheat], Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate [Iron], Thiamine Mononitrate, Ribo avin, Folic Acid), Freeze-Dried Beef (Beef, Salt, Spices, Flavorings, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Grill Flavor [Maltodextrin, Flavor {from Corn Oil}, Modi ed Corn Starch, Corn Syrup Solids]). Maltodextrin, Potato Flour, Food Starch - Modi ed, Sweet Whey, Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Textured Vegetable Protein (Soy Flour, Caramel Color), Natural Flavors, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Salt, Guar Gum, Sour Cream Powder (Cultured Cream [Cream, Nonfat Milk, Culture Enyzmes], Salt, Lactic Acid), Dried Onions, Dried Mushrooms, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Sodium Caseinate (a Milk derivative), Mono and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Titanium Dioxide, Annatto and Turmeric (for Color), Garlic Powder, Lactic Acid Powder, Xanthan Gum, Parsley, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate.

CONTAINS: MILK, SOY, WHEAT.

MY THOUGHTS:


  • Smelled incredible.  Tasted good.
  • As high sodium as these meals have, I still felt it needed a little table salt to bring out some of the flavor. I had a tiny packet in my purse (yes I keep random things in my purse in case of emergency; that being one of them).
  • Decreasing the water just a tad was right on.
  • It thickens up quickly after you open the package so letting it sit another minute or two 'opened' was a good idea.
  • I would gently squeeze the package during the rehydrating process to 'mix it up' a little as I just let it sit and 'cook' and the center noodles, meat and mushrooms didn't get as much liquid and I had a couple spots that had a bit of a crunch to them. My fault for not 'stirring' the package and getting liquid on all the product first.
  • It was hot, it was tasty.
  • It is not at all 'healthy' and I did feel sluggish and a bit bloated after eating it.
  • On a more personal note: it also caused some bathroom issues.  This really clogs up the system if you know what I mean.  I was happy I was at the end of my 2 week solo trip rather than the beginning AND I was happy I wasn't going to be living on them for a whole week.
  • I would limit this kind of meal to once a day and eat lots of oatmeal and fiber rich foods for breakfast and fruit and nuts for snacking to keep things moving along.

I'm happy with these meals generally speaking and I do keep some in the car along with a container of water in case of emergencies... like being in a hotel, all alone, in the middle of a bad neighborhood and not wanting to venture out after dark! Ha ha.



Related products available through Amazon;

Wise Company 60 Serving Entrée Only Grab and Go Food Kit (13x9x10-Inch, 11-Pounds)
Wise Foods Emergency Food Supply Favorites (Box Kit)
Wise Foods Company Favorites 72 Hour Cook-in-Pouch Meal Kit
Wise Foods Company Favorites 72 Hour Cook-in-Pouch Meal Kit

 




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