Sunday, September 17, 2017


Right on the tails of the Equifax data breach, today I received a text from my bank.

Years ago, I set up all of my banks and credit cards to send me a text any time more than $1.00 is charged (or deducted).  Whether I am ordering online or using in person, I want to be alerted.  That way I can tell if someone other than me is using my account.

Luckily, I did NOT click on that link but went to my computer to get online and sign in to my Chase account.  I rarely use my debit card with Chase and I have no credit card with them. No problem noted. I called the Customer Support line.  Yep ... a bonified scam.  She asked me to send a copy of the text to their Abuse department, which I did.

Please do not ever EVER click on a link in a text OR an email, even if you know the person (supposedly) ... even if it is from your favorite (and only) sister.  Always verify ... hackers can take over an email account and soon, even a text message account.

Just sayin ....

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Oregon House Bill 2591

My state government has done the most amazing thing!  Mobile electronic devices are now no longer welcome in the driver's seat.  They are AGAINST THE LAW.  Yes, even if you are stopped in traffic.  Even if you are using it for GPS.  Even if you are calling your boss.  EVEN IF.

Cell phones MUST be attached to your car and considered "hands free" or it is against the law to touch them.  I can tell you distracted drivers are out in full force, weaving across lines on the streets and the highways.  Fiddling at a stoplight and forgetting to go on green.  Then they get pissy when you honk to remind them to drive!  Almost hitting pedestrians who are crossing in the crosswalk with the light in their favor.  It is scary!

Honestly, both of my cars have bluetooth phone and it is still too distracting for me to talk and drive.  IF I were on the highway heading straight for five hours, I might be able to chat.  Otherwise, I would be so focused on the conversation that I would miss my exit.

I do use GPS.  My grandmother-mobile has a big screen GPS.  The other car that I brought back from Maui HAS a big screen but the disc stopped working for the mainland ... I guess I will have to bite the bullet and order the newest DVD.  Kate has been using her phone or iPad for GPS but it is on her lap.

This new law is effective October 1.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

IF HE HAD A GRAVE ... He'd roll over in it

I have lived in Oregon since 1981.  And in Lake Oswego since 1984.  It's a great little city of 37,000+ people.  We have 36 city parks, encompassing 600 acres.  Most of them have free wi-fi and we have 7 within walking distance of the condo.  The boys are out and about at one or more every day.

The parks are well maintained with beautiful landscaping.  Our medians are almost traffic stopping.  But lately the City has embarked on some huge mistakes.

Actually, it may have started before I met Mr. Ralph.  He was hopping mad when the council decided to build a newly funded library away from the "downtown" area, so it is no longer a walkable adventure.  Mr. Ralph was on the board of the library and failed to convince them of his foresight. It turns out their predictions were really off and additions and remodels soon followed.  (In fairness, we do have a GREAT library and it is one of the County's most used amenities!)  

The City also built a new City Hall and Police Station around the same time.  In the spot Mr. Ralph thought should house the library.  I just learned that in March the City Council decided to invest in constructing a new City Hall .... with urban renewal funds rather than making "costly repairs".  Shouldn't a building last longer than 25 years?  They are also separating City Hall and Police Station, knocking down the old building and then building two new structures across the street from each other.  Busiest street in this little berg ... just what we do not need (in my humble opinion) is more traffic and parking issues.  Or more debt!

Several years ago the City purchased a huge insurance company complex at the westernmost corner of the City.  HUGE.  300 parking spaces.  BIG building.  They did it without thinking and without public forum.  It turned out to be a FLOP ... they were using it for Parks and Rec but it was too far for most residents.  It was way too expensive to heat and they finally (FINALLY) sold it at a loss.

Now I'm concerned about the cost of these two new buildings and all the environmental impacts they will bring.

Poor Mr. Ralph.  If he had a traditional grave ....

Monday, September 11, 2017


Today I went to my first class called the Aging Mastery Program.

I was very disappointed and probably won't go back.  My condo buddy also signed up for the class and was equally disappointed.  We are maybe 15 years too young for this class.  The leader of the class was not a very good public speaker, wasn't very enthused and mostly read from the book or showed us videos.  I would say there were about a dozen folks attending.  

She paired us up for a "social" session and my person was an 85 year old gal who just lost her husband about a year ago.  She is just so lost (and I do remember those days clearly).  Luckily I gave her my card so if I don't return, she can still contact me.

Several of the upcoming classes have guest speakers.  So maybe I shouldn't be so hasty.  I could just think of so many other things I could have been doing with that 90 minutes ...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Summers in Portland are fabulous.  Dry and sunny for all our outside concerts and Farmer's Markets.  Great for Jesse's garden.  But things have taken a wicked turn for the worse.

We have ash falling here from a fire about 30 miles east of here.  (Which was started by young teens and fireworks).  

Portland has had a long HOT dry summer and now we are paying the price.  I bet we have had more over 90 degree days than ever recorded.  So many forest fires and such devastation.  Several highways are closed and many towns have been evacuated.

If only Irma would bring a little of her rain this way ... We have a vacation planned in Central Oregon (Sunriver Resort) at the end of the month and the forest fires near there may put an end to that.  I sure hope we get our money back ...

Saturday, September 2, 2017


Whoa.  This Board position is way more work than I anticipated.  I’m getting my assertive on!


a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.

One lady has been removing shrubs around her condo for the past two years.  The first time happened late at night and she was just SHOCKED!  How could someone come so near her condo and do such a thing!  The second time it happened (during the daylight hours) people saw her.  With the help of some stronger neighbors to help remove the evidence.  The third time she blamed the landscape company.  No one has asked her to rectify!  

This time the past prez (and still on the Board) was ANGRY in front of her and she said "oh dear, maybe you better smack my hands" …. and laughed.  She even removed some plants from in front of her next door neighbor’s!  She asks her male neighbor to help her dispose of branches and dig out roots!  What is with these people?  

Rather than send her a written reprimand with a huge fine from the Property Management Company, I went over to talk to her.  First she lied.  Then she laughed!!  Then she said “I’m just following suit” and “others have told me this was fine”.  I kept my cool (although I did ask her if others jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, would she?)(and that I know she can read and that she has our bylaws and house rules that specifically outline how you can get your landscape changed), and kept repeating that I want IN WRITING how she plans to rectify things.  She kept interrupting with but this and but that and I would simply repeat my mantra "I would like, in writing, how you plan to rectify this"  She asks "rectify everything"  Well, yes, everything that you have damaged over the past two years.  And don't tell me the man in the moon came one night and took three five foot rhododendrens.

A nosy neighbor (who probably told her it was okay)(she's the biggest condo gossip and Queen of misinformation)(and has BEEN on the Board and the Landscape Committee so she knows it is NOT OKAY) came up on her patio to interrupt our conversation and I asked her to please come back in ten minutes.  She continued to blather and I raised my voice and said SYLVIA, please leave as this is a private conversation that does not concern you.

My heart was racing by the time I returned home.  The past prez came over to be sure I was okay and asked how the whole thing played out.  So the adrenaline kept pumping.

Next up, a relative of my wonderful next door neighbor (she who shares her awesome Persian cooking) ALWAYS parks his huge Mercedes in the red curb fire lane rather than an uncovered parking spot.  I was needing to back out (and I really could have done it without moving his car but I wanted to prove a point) to take Jesse to his garden and the boys to the library.  The first time I asked, he was sitting on her sofa (I was looking in the screen door) ... and he snorted!  I had to repeat myself and add that it needed to happen NOW so I could get my car out.  She was wringing her hands and muttering and not knowing what to do ... Iranian men do not like ladies suggesting they do things ... and she does not want her neighbors to be upset.  He finally moved it.

It seems to me that when someone is in a situation where they know they are in the wrong, it brings out the bad in bad people ... and the good in good people.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Tonight is the first Board meeting since I became the Chair.

Our first item on the agenda is always Open Forum.  This is the time to speak up if you have a question or concern.  The underground connection is telling me to brace myself.  The mean girls are going to lay it all out for me!

Some exciting topics:

  • We want to elect the Landscape Chair ... not have the Board appoint one (as specified in our ByLaws and as we have done for 500 years). Because they want one of their cronies in that coveted position ... one who will not work within the budget.
  • We want to purchase bark mulch for $35,000 although our budget is $15,000.  And it will be 1.5 inches thick rather than our Landscape vendor suggests 3 inch minimum.

  • We want to fire the Landscape vendor.  Even though we have not vetted any replacement vendor.  Because THIS Vendor really does take direction ONLY from the Landscape Chair or a Board member.  Not their every little whim.  (How rude!)  But we can't have 112 people asking them to do "just this one little thing for me".
  • We want a phone and address directory of our community.  So we can send unwanted political dissertations (a past Chair used confidential email addresses that were for Board eyes only) and news about our upcoming productions (for our one thespian Diva).  Too bad if people want their privacy!  We may email all Owners and ask them if they want to opt in to such a directory?  That seem reasonable? 
I am also going to resign from newsletter production.  Mainly I'm tired of doing it (after 7 years) and it's like pulling teeth to get committee updates or ideas for articles.  My buddy, and former chair, is the only one who thanks me more than once a year.  Most of all, it seems like a conflict of interest for the Chair to be in control of communication.

Earlier this year, when we had such a complaining neighbor (Poopy Patty), I made up a pretend newsletter .... oh how I would love to do the final issue like this!