Handling Extroverts

At the snack table during the women’s networking workshop this morning, a tiny white- haired woman approached me.  She snagged a portion of a bagel and slapped cream cheese on it, saying she was splurging.

She attended one of those health fairs a week ago and they insisted she was 20 pounds overweight.   She asked me,”do I look overweight”?

Wow.  My expectations of this networking didn’t include talking to complete strangers about their weight at 11am in the morning.  I said no, and she blithely continued talking, about a new subject. I just smiled and nodded. This is my best method for handling extroverts.

I don’t dislike extroverts but their enthusiastic, in your face attitude is scary.  It’s like being dragged by a horse. You don’t want to be in that position but the horse won’t stop.

My friend, an avid networker, and social media butterfly encourages friends on Facebook to comment on posts, not just like them.  She’s an extrovert, too.  She’s a dear, but with no concept of how difficult it is for an introvert to interact on Facebook.  I’m happy when my friends like my posts, comments are not necessary.  To her, the extrovert, it’s rude not to comment.  To me, the introvert, it’s 5 minutes of agonizing over what the heck to write.

I heard introvert and extrovert have a new relation, ambivert.  Most of us are on the spectrum somewhere between true introvert and true extrovert.  Turns out I’m an ambivert, leaning heavily toward introvert.

I don’t like labels but an ambivert meter sounds good to me. Everyone wears one.  The meter tells you today Bob is leaning into introvert territory so you understand why he’s not talkative.  Jill’s meter says she a true extrovert so you’re ready for the onslaught.

From Shit Kicking to Runway Prancing

A short history of cowboy boots

If you’ve watched the fashion news lately, you’ve noticed this absurd look, double cowboy boots. The fashion industry managed to invent footwear more ungainly than a stiletto. Unlike a stiletto, this boot makes your feet look big, not your butt.

You’ll never run wearing these things, either.  Not that you’d want to.

I grew up wearing cowboy boots because I rode horses. I couldn’t get out of them fast enough once I got off the horse. They were for riding, not comfortable to walk in.

Just how did the cowboy boot get from working tool in the 1800’s to runway fashion?

The story begins in the cattle drives of the mid-1800’s and mass production. Cowboys needed cheap boots because cattle drives ate up boots. And cowboys weren’t rich. Mass production stepped in, producing high top boots (high shaft) for an affordable price. The one-inch heel prevented boots catching in the stirrup during unexpected exits from the horse. The high shaft kept ticks, sagebrush, and rattlesnakes at bay.

The 20th century brought the modern rodeo to town. Ropers needed a boot to ride and run in, and so the roper’s boot was born.  With a lower heel and shorter shaft (no more high top), the rodeo cowboy walked and ran easier in them. How I have no idea.

Rodeo grew in popularity, from a grubby, dusty back lot to indoor arenas. Everyone, including the cowboys, wanted to look upscale.  Boots manufactured from exotic leathers, like alligator, supplied that look.

After the 1970’s, country music moved mainstream along with urban cowboy movies. Looking cool in line dancing clubs demanded appropriate boots; for dancing, not steer wrestling. The cowboy boot upgraded to a fashion statement, with new accouterments such as lower shaft with shiny stuff on it.

I admit to owning a pair, the low shaft with shiny faux metal dots kind. I didn’t buy them. My partner got them on sale, as a gift for me. I couldn’t explain they brought back memories of horse shit, dust, and sore feet. So, I wear them in the fall and spring in the Pacific Northwest where I live. They’re good for kicking snails.

Shopping Cart Jockeys

The shopping carts jockey for position at the light, all eager to get a jump on it when the light goes green. One bears “The Donald” likeness on its basket, in orange and white.  Another is painted black with a skull and crossbones in white bolted to its basket.

I cover my ears as the light goes green and the carts scream away, jet engines pulsing. The age of oil is coming to a close and fast light carts which use little fuel are the rage. Once considered a novelty, and invented by a gear head in the UK in 2016.  They’re now the preferred transport in the 22nd century.

In the 22nd century, everyone shops online now for groceries and other stuff. So we had all these shopping carts lying about, rows upon rows of them. And very little oil to run cars, even small cars.

But shopping carts are even smaller, and that basket holds lots of your stuff including your kids.  And they’re fast with a jet engine strapped underneath.

NASCAR is gone but SHOPCARX is going strong. The well-known basket sponsors are among the largest retailers in the world, like Amazon, Victoria’s Secret and Wal-Mart. Fans screams for their favorites as the brightly decorated carts rattle around the track.

Pit stops are only allowed for engine trouble, broken wheels, and major dents.  The last cart with the fewest dents still running at the end of the day is the winner.  Shopping cart jockeys such as Quick Shop Sara and Tiny Wheels Tara are idolized like YouTube stars.

With only motorcycles, scooters and shopping carts on the road, and mandatory helmets most accidents are minor basket benders.  Citations most often issued are for speeding as that jet engine just goes to driver’s heads.  Those are followed by citations for gaudy unstable decoration, over stuffing the basket and CUI (carting under the influence).

The incidents of stuff flying out onto the road increase exponentially.  Fines are stiff for littering but still the sides of the road remain clogged with underwear, lingerie and sparkly stuff. Just last week, I took a thong to the helmet.

Unfaithful, Naughty and Cheat Wants You

I received some interesting scams this week but didn’t reply.

The new social site, BeBee, gets lots of profiles with pictures but no information about the person. A couple of “no info in profile” guys followed my profile.  Like a dummy, I followed back. I need to stop that.

The first follow netted me a reply through the site which required me to email them at the given address because they have a job for me processing payment for their company. I passed on that because I didn’t want to give them my email address.  And the job offer is roundabout ways to drain you dry by getting your bank account information.

I chuckled at the come on, after I followed the other guy without a complete profile. He claimed I could make 9 million dollars taking part in a business proposition if I’d just reply using the email address he provided.  Wow, 9 million!  I didn’t bother to email to find out how much he wanted me to invest because 9 million just screams scam.   And obviously, any money you send him is like flushing it down the toilet.  You will never see it again.

I like inventive scammers and they’re lackluster lately.  No fun to be had trying to figure out the scam.

A look through the spam on my email account turned up the 2 most used scam lures, sex, and money.  Unfaithful, Naughty and Cheat wants you to click on the link provided so you have a good time.  No way am I clicking that link to see a good time.  It’s a phishing scheme but gets points for the imaginative email address.  MaxCarLoan wants to know if I need extra spending money for the holidays.  Yes, I do but what does holiday spending have to do with car loans?  Max gets minus points for the poor link between email handle and phishing subject. Penny Stock Tips says You CAN make money on penny stocks.  According to an Internet search, you actually can. But only if you’re very, very careful and don’t click on Penny Stock Tips. The rest relate to enhancing your body parts or hooking up with cougars or pretty girls from Russia.  Do people really believe this stuff?  They must as it keeps arriving in my inbox.

Loaded Bratwurst

Gun control advocates are hailing the new law just passed as a major step in gun violence control in America. Since 2015, the last 20 years meant escalating gun violence in the US.  Now in 2035, all citizens fear for their lives when they walk out the door.

The law’s chances seemed slim last month, when the Republicans and Libertarians staged a sausage fest on the floor of the House.  But then, a running gun battle between police and convenience store robbers armed with AK-47’s on the Mall took a piece of Lincoln’s nose off at the Lincoln Memorial. Public outrage then fueled passage of the bill and signature by the President.

The details of the bill are a bit sketchy at this point. Sausage as a weapon is new to the US. It’s typical mostly in Germany and Austria.

The bill supposedly enacts sweeping gun reforms but enforcement remains a big question.  Local police may be expected to take the lead.  Most say they’re familiar with the types of sausage to be handed out and how to use them.

The main reform targets anyone with anger management issues, including road rage, and the slightly kooky. Anyone applying for a gun permit that falls into these categories during a polygraph test will be issued a sausage instead of a gun.

The preferred sausage is a “brat” which is American for bratwurst. Jagers are available for those preferring a harder, leaner sausage. Metal rings on the sausage ends are permitted for defensive purposes and ease of carry.

The reforms apply to gun shop owners, gun shows and online sales.  Shows and online sites are not happy about the polygraph tests. But most like the smell of sausage and worry a bit about their waistline with that much sausage hanging around.

Word out of Germany and Austria indicates car denting likely to increase and more bruises during altercations due to those metal rings.  Hand to hand with sausages expected to increase apprehension rate, as police need only give their canine officer a whiff of brat for tracking.

NRA is considering a new name, National Rifle and Wurst Association, NRWA.

Men in Painted Nails

It’s gone too far. The latest trend in nail art is Swiss cheese nails. No, I’m not talking real Swiss cheese, that smelly stuff.

The latest fad is drilling holes in the nail job which cost you a week’s worth of lattes.  You can go cheap and just blot a little polish remover to simulate holes, to be honest. But if you desire your nails to sport the latest fashion, real holes it must be.

This obsession with sparkling toes and long faux painted nails is madness to me. I feel ashamed when I’m out and about in my unpainted toe nails and bare fingernails. I’m not sure how long I can fight the urge to slap polish on my toes.

I’m way out of whack with human history on this.  The ancient Egyptians and Chinese painted their nails.  The Chinese invented nail polish. By the way guys, you’re out of whack with human history too. The Egyptian and Chinese men also painted their nails.  In Egypt, black represented the power color.

It’s amazing how fashion changes over the centuries.  A man with black nails owned the power 3000 years ago.  Today, he’s just Goth.  Guys in Babylonia went all out before a battle with curls and nail color.  One had to look their best before being slaughtered. Nail painting for both men and women continued into the 1800’s. Then cowboys and John Wayne arrived.  Men and painted nails parted ways.  But not always curls, General Custer sported curls and manly swagger.

Nail art turned into serious art in the 21st century. The designs are intricate and beautiful. For me, that’s a lot of trouble to go to for art which breaks and grows out so quickly. Just call me extremely rational.

I grew up on a ranch, shoveling horse shit and riding horses. Gloves adorned my hands most of the day and broken nails happened, a lot. Now, I garden and gloves adorn my hands while out.  I spend most days glued to my laptop’s keyboard and my typing is crap with short nails.  Forget typing with long nails, never work for me.

Toenails are another story.  I’m too rational for toenail art.  But some polish will make them less homely and me a bit more fashionable.

Fetch the Money

I took a week off from interacting with scammers. They were in the news though.  The scammers bamboozled by their own virus when they infect their computers with it.  At least, that’s what security researchers with a weird sense of entertainment say. The researchers watch the dollars flying into Nigeria as they follow the virus trail. The infection begins the wire-wire scheme, fondly known as “fetch the money”.  The malware sniffs out employee emails containing financial transactions and wags its tail when it finds them. The scammers hijack the transaction. The long arm of international law doesn’t reach very far and employees like to download intriguing stuff, so the scammers keep throwing that ball in the newest game of fetch.

A pizza box huddling under an airplane seat caused the evacuation of a plane. Just as the plane finished loading, the box acted suspiciously, peering out from under the seat. The crew and passengers exited the plane quickly. The bomb sniffing dog brought on to the plane quickly identified the box as left over pepperoni and cheese, with no sausage. The dog received a treat for his fine work but not the left over pizza, a disappointment. The box, now identified as trash, was unloaded off the plane.

A trend in India is not likely to catch on, putting cow shit on the back of your cell phone to dampen the harmful radioactive waves coming off it.  A cult leader in India claims he protects himself this way and recommends it to his followers. It’s definitely a way to prevent anyone from borrowing your phone. The cult leader claims it only works with Indian cow shit so we’re out of luck in other parts of the world. After short consideration of that thought, we’re actually lucky as who wants to be around anyone with cow shit on their phone.

Cockroaches in a small town south of Seattle are appealing for calm.  They admit to being a bit dirty and creepy to have around, but use of a homemade flame thrower against them is overkill.  The guy in apartment B decided to rid himself of the pesky creatures using an open flame.  He pointed aerosol bug spray at them, then flicked open a lighter underneath the spray. The flame thrower missed the roaches but caught his possessions square on. Some possessions proved flammable and burst into flames. The roaches and unlucky roach killer suffered a bit of smoke inhalation.

The Stylish Bank Robber

And the stupid criminal of the week goes to the guy doing wheelies with his motorcycle in a parking lot. This attracted the police. He fled the scene at over 100 mph, running a stop sign.  This dude bragged about getting away on his Face book page, complete with hash tags.  He thought #everyonelovedit, but he was mistaken. Someone sent a copy of the page to the police.  The police responded swiftly #yourbusted#dumbass.

Then, there is the belle of the ball who robbed a bank, in NYC. This criminal figured prom dress and heels best attire for robbery at gunpoint. Black and silver gown complimented by tall black hat and sunglasses.  Accessories included matching silver handgun.  That’s a criminal with a real sense of style.

I just can’t help myself.  I keep responding to scammers.  This one involves getting your email address but I’m not sure how the scam progresses after that. Not willing to give out my email to find out. These popped up on the new beBee social site. One identified himself as a general, a female general. Really, a female general wants to get my email to “correspond”?  No, I don’t think so. Where do they come up with this stuff?

One of the effects of magic mushrooms is kidnapping alligators.  A dude in Florida busted for magic mushroom picking in a state wildlife sanctuary piled on a few more charges by picking up an alligator.  The 2 foot long alligator released back into the wild, but his kidnaper will not be released any time soon.

Need to pack your funeral with people, just invite strippers to dance on your casket.  A well attended funeral is a status symbol in China so the dead are inviting the barely clad to put on a show. While the dearly departed are smiling, their relatives are not and neither are Chinese authorities.

Malacca gang attacks postman near army camp, stealing secret documents. Armed with only their hands, the gang overpowered the postman, wresting the satchel from him. Before police arrived, the gang took to the trees, carrying the satchel with them.  Monkeys are illiterate so the secrets will not get out. However, retrieving them will not be easy. The gang does not respond to drop it and put your hands in the air.

Bacon Bits

86 year old grandma in UK defeats robber with bacon. The criminal seriously underestimated grandma, attempting to rob her in the grocery store of the ATM money she recently withdrew. Luckily, grandma threw a package of bacon into her cart just seconds before. Thinking quickly, she grabbed the package of bacon, and with precise aim, banged the robber over the head with it repeatedly. The robber retreated. Police ask the public to be on the lookout for an extra greasy women smelling of bacon, likely being followed by a pack of dogs. Bacon sales are up, especially the extra thick cut, as the newest use for bacon spreads in popularity.

The smell of chicken repels mosquitoes, according to latest research.  The studies are only preliminary, so it will be years before this conversation takes place between humans. “Do I smell chicken?  No, that’s just my mosquito repellent.”  Or before this conversation takes place between mosquitoes.  “Did you get a whiff of that stuff? Yeah, made me want to gag, I couldn’t fly away fast enough.”

Company in Japan introduces armpit fan to keep cool in summer. You just clip on to your shirt or pants and get a wind in all the right places. Unfortunately, these devices garner complaints from co-workers nearby. They complain of drafts and smells in all the wrong places.

The stupid criminal of the week goes to the author who believed his own writing. He attempted to rob a bank just like the character in his book, in mask with a starter pistol. He found out the hard way how fictional his story was. He was quickly arrested. Sitting in jail gives him plenty of time to edit his book, fixing those exceptionally fictional parts.

A man clad only in shorts and armed with a few beers climbed a broadcast tower in Missouri. He savored the view and the beers for a few hours. He tossed down the beers and asked the police to recycle the cans. When finally coaxed down by police, he claimed he just wanted a find a cool breeze and a nice view. He ended up with an air conditioned ride downtown and a view of Herbert, the guard.

Riding a moped at high speed with potatoes and laundry down Dudley Rd. earns driver a ticket and costs him his moped. Apparently, it’s very dangerous for potatoes and laundry to exceed 30 mph, which is the top speed of most mopeds.

Your Scammer is Showing

Small town in South Carolina bans saggy pants so your underwear costs more if you show it. Timmonsville council passed the ordinance which includes fines up to $600.  Ordinance not expected to bring in lots of revenue.  It’s expected to keep the town well-groomed and encourage the youth to graduate college as accountants.  Council obviously not considering the future of fashion as saggy pants with your undies showing will be standard attire in the year 2116. And they will need to repeal the ordinance in 100 years.

Man seeking courtship in Pennsylvania shows up at his neighbor’s door naked.  Apparently, his version of courtship is showing up ready to go, tools in hand.  His neighbor rejected his tools outright, calling them ancient. Police also rejected his tools, requesting he pull on some pants before they hauled him off to jail.

Conservative Christian pastor claims Pokemon is a cyber demon.  A new species of orchid discovered in Colombia displays the face of the devil according to botanists.  Satan says he likes all this attention but its way off base. He enjoys Pokemon like everyone else but no way could he conjure up demons like that. As for the orchid, Satan says he looks nothing like the stamen crown in the middle of the orchid.  He’s no idea what that Dante dude tripped out on but his appearance isn’t even close to those pictures Dante imagined.

Wild boar arrives on Polish beach after a nice swim and discovers a bunch of primates parking their asses’ in his space. Infuriated, he attempts to chase them away. A wild scuffle ensues and a few cuts and bruises later, the boar relinquishes his beach. But not before a few unkind grunts about the pasty skinned furless beasts and their hoggish habits.

Yes, I talked to scammers again this week. I am a glutton for punishment. They showed up on this new social network, beBee, with legit looking profiles. The first set used Japanese businessmen profiles. When I connected, the message received screamed scam.  “We want you to do accounts receivable for our company in the US,” which is scam language for “we need your bank account numbers in order for you to do this.” I never replied. The second acted as if beBee is a dating site and he wanted to score.  He asked me if I was married with kids. Oh and he called me “dear”, a favorite scammer word. I hate to be called dear and told him so. Then, the scam spews forth. “I just want to speak about business investment and I’m a high caliber man,”which is scam again for can I have your bank account numbers. The dating aspect is an interesting twist, I must admit.