Day Zero Project: Completed No. 42

Sep 01

A Day Zero Project goal of P.J.’s has been completed!

Goal completed: Give money to a street performer

Date completed: August 2, 2014

Number: 42

Description: Basically, it’s an attempt to pay things forward a little. I was out of work for 2.5 years not too long ago, and I know how hard it can be. Though this one won’t make some massive difference, it’s the hope that it could help somebody. Often times I walk past street performers without a second glance. I wanted to change this.

Why I wanted to do it: Why not? Being unemployed for so long, I understand what people might go through. Though I don’t know the circumstances or lifestyle of these performers, I do know they work extremely hard and there are often some highly talented people. How many times have you passed by somebody performing on a street and kept going or even sped up your walk so you could get by without being hassled or feel bad? Me too. So, in the quest to pay things forward a little, I wanted to do this. And though I am blogging about this for one time — I plan on doing it more than once, when I see talented performers working hard.

How I did it: I was in Burlington for a baseball game. After having dinner, we noticed a nearby festival sort of thing going on. We walked around for a bit and came to somebody performing music. I didn’t even, honestly, think about this project at that point, rather I just wanted to give a few bucks as he was good. So I dropped a few bucks in his case as we slowly walked by and watched. It’s kind of cool to get a smile from a person as you do that, knowing that even a few bucks are appreciated.

About P.J.’s Day Zero Project: Day Zero is a project where people come up with 101 things to do over 1001 days. I started the project on August 1, 2014 with an anticipated finish date of April 28, 2017. Goals will not be revealed until they are completed. A private list is at the Day Zero website and the list will be made public upon completion of the project. It’s my thoughts that if things are kept private, should I not do them, change or find a way around it, I’d only be cheating myself.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Photo Blogging Challenge: September 2014′s theme is…

Aug 31

september2014I can’t believe the summer is gone.

OK, I know technically, it’s not. But when August ends … it starts feeling like it as there are colleges back in session, kids go back to school and everything else as, at least in the Northeast, everything seems to shift to fall mode.

But it was a good summer, albeit a fast one.

I had my Summer of Baseball Tour (which I’ll have in blog posts for the next month!), as well as softball and work and … yeah. I even, for the first time in months, got a round of disc golf in. Add all that up, however, and the summer months zipped by. It was a fun one and one I’ll remember … but, all good things come to an end.

So we move on with photos.

Now, here we are in September and the Photo Blogging Challenge chugs along. I hope you’ll get involved with us this month … and tell your other blogging friends as we’d love to see it grow!

As a reminder of a few things, let me copy and paste this from last month:

  • I have an e-mail reminder list set up (which I haven’t used lately because nobody seemed to want it. I’d like to start it again, so please let me know if you want in on it. If I don’t get any real responses for this, I will be deleting this part of the rules!). Basically, I’ll e-mail the group with about 10 days left in the month to remind you. When I remember, I’ll also shoot one out the day before the end of the month, as a reminder to post the following day. I can’t always guarantee that one though! If you are not on the list, let me know in the comments below that you would like to be on it. Note: I was bad on this … please join the Facebook group if you can. I update there more often!
  • Second, I set up a Facebook group for those who are interested. Reminders and maybe some discussions or other things can be done there.
  • If you haven’t already, attempt to check out everybody’s posts and consider commenting. These challenges are great for personal growth, but it’s also nice to be interactive with all the others in the challenge! That’s one of the best parts of this challenge — interacting and seeing other people’s work!

Before we hit up this month’s theme, for new people, allow me to refresh the rules a bit.

Here’s how it will work.

  • On the first of each month (or close to it), I’ll have a blog post here with the theme for the month.
  • Over the course of the month, participants will take photos with their interpretation of the theme. On the last day of the month (or close to it), participants should  publish their blog post, which will include five photos from the month. (please don’t recycle photos from the past … the idea is to hopefully challenge you to go out and take new photos each month to interpret the theme). And please only use photos you took.
  • I’ll have a link-up thing at the end of my post so people can come and post the links to their posts so, hopefully, everybody can go go check out and comment on other posts.

There is no rule on equipment or anything. Use a cell phone. Use film. Use a point-and-shoot. Use a DSLR. It doesn’t matter. Just make sure you publish your blog post on the last day of each month, come here and link up.

It’s simple!

Your blog posts can be as simple or as in-depth as you want. I’ll likely talk a little about each photo. But if all you want to do is post photos, feel free. The idea of this is to give a small challenge and give everybody a chance to express themselves with photography, participate in a challenge and have something to blog about.

That’s it. Easy, right? So join in! Help us continue to grow this challenge by telling fellow bloggers/photographers about the challenge and hopefully it can become a great monthly thing!

For those still with me, this month’s theme is: Black and White.

I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with here. There are so many ways to do this and I think there will be some great stuff. I can’t wait to see. And, after last months “Colorful” theme, this should be fun.

Please make sure your blog post publishes Tuesday, September 30. 

If you think you are going to take part in this, drop a comment below so we can see who all might be trying to tackle this challenge!

History of the challenge (past month’s themes – links to see everybody else’s posts are at the end of the linked post):

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Snapshot Saturday: August 30

Aug 30

Another blast from the past!

I seriously am not sure about this one …but it was in some old family photos. So, anybody from the family?

This is?

This is?

Enjoy!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Photo Blogging Challenge (August 2014): Colorful

Aug 29

From people I have talked with, if this theme is any indication, we should have a pretty good turnout.

But before we worry about that.

Colorful is an interesting theme as it can be so many things. This month, my camera pooped out again (seriously), so I am mixing things a little bit here with my regular camera and iPhone.

I tried to give a variety of things… though there’s always a theme within a theme, it seems.

Anyway, I am truly looking forward to seeing what others came up with me and how they went with the theme. Until then, allow me to share my five for the month with the theme colorful.

And, as a reminder, we’re a fun little challenge community. So come back in a day or two and check everybody who linked up and drop a comment on each other’s posts… it makes it more fun. I’ll be making my rounds at the end of the weekend! Oh. and don’t forget to come back Sunday, Aug. 31 to see the theme for September!

1. Cameron

Like I wasn’t going to put one of these in here? I did a photo day with my nephew/Godson (and you can see more photos in a post I did about that by clicking here) all dressed up in Phillies garb. So I had to find one I hadn’t used… and here’s one of them.

One happy and colorful little guy!

One happy and colorful little guy!

2. Little League World Series

I went to the Little League World Series for the first time, earlier this month. It’s truly amazing how colorful it is, from the team uniforms, to the fans, to the fields and everything else. Here’s a view from where we watched one of the games.

 

Williamsport!

Williamsport!

3. Champions!

Our softball team won the league championship this year. It was a fun season and an interesting series, but we prevailed, which was awesome. A couple of days later, another team I played on (a few times) this year, won a league championship. Very cool stuff. Here’s the trophy and ball from the championship game from my main league.

photo 1 (5)

4. Sunflower 

I always love photos like this… so bright!

In bloom!

In bloom!

5. Ski lift

I am editing this after posting to make this my fifth… as I had forgotten about it. But this was an old ski lift in the middle of a city… saw it while finding a geocache nearby, of course.

Stopped.

Stopped.

That’s my five for the month. And, now it’s your turn.

If you took part this month, make sure you link up below. And for those who participated, make sure you try and get to other people’s blogs and comment and visit so we can continue to grow this challenge. Don’t forget, too, to come back tomorrow, Friday, August 1, and see the theme for August! NOTE: I also set up a Facebook group for those who participate in the challenge and are interested. I’ll post any announcements there and hopefully it can be a place where things are discussed and some interaction etc. You can access it here.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Internet love & being phished: And that’s a wrap, folks!

Aug 28

(This is part of a short series about being phished for love on the Internet. This is the sixth and final part of the series, which has run the past two weeks on A ‘lil HooHaa).

Being skeptical can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing.

It works both ways because sometimes the skepticism can go against you. By this I mean you could be skeptical about what is in front of you and it could be a legit situation. On the other hand, it can be a good thing as it makes you think a bit more about the “too good to be true” situation.

This includes internet scammers.

int-lov-phish

As you have read in the series I’ve run over the past couple of weeks (if you haven’t read them, go back and check it out – the links to each are at the bottom of this post), people will go to pretty much any level to try and scam cash out of people. The promise of love goes a long way, and if you add in religion, you can really pull people’s strings.

Thankfully, in each of the situations I wrote about, nobody lost any money or fell for anything,

That doesn’t change the fact that every day people fall for scams. It can be something as simple as household repairs or calling about back taxes or things on the internet where you can get rich quick.

But as the old saying goes … if it’s too good to be true…

The reality of these two situations is nobody got hurt, lost money or had anything truly bad to them.

That’s a good thing.

But what if somebody fell for the one and wired $875 to this person – in Ghana. Most of these money transfers would be through Western Union (which, for the record, has a good page on fraud and scams) and when they get the money – goodbye!

For research purposes, I tried to e-mail both Irina and Linda to see if they would respond, speak up, talk or whatever.

Not shockingly, both e-mails bounced back as no longer working. I didn’t, however, try the one phone number as I didn’t want to deal with anything on the other end. With internet numbers and all of that easy to get now, it’s a bit better just to let it go.

For me, this made for a good series of blog posts. But in the bigger scheme of things, it also shows what is out there. People pry on others emotions and things like that to try and scam you out of money. They reel you in with a sob story, promise of love or something else and then try and guilt you into money. When the money doesn’t come and they realize you are likely onto them, they move on to the next person.

Hopefully that person is skeptical, too.

And hey, the Internet is an obvious medium for finding love or friendship. Look at all the legit dating sites and things like that. But, always keep in mind that anybody can be anything on the Internet. So if they come asking for cash quickly, you may want to re-consider this possible mate.

It’s my hope this series of stories was entertaining to you and, maybe, informing.

To read the other parts in this series, please click on the following links:

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Internet love & being phished: No money for you!

Aug 27

(This is part of a short series about being phished for love on the Internet. This the fifth part of the series, which runs this week at A ‘lil HooHaa).

In the world of scamming, things can take a turn for the worse quickly. That’s how this all works, after all –iIf there isn’t some sort of tragedy, it’s hard to pry cash from somebody’s hands.

It’s time to take that turn in this story.

int-lov-phish

She begins by telling him how lucky he is.

since you started communicating with me, I can see that you have a beautiful soul, there are so many ways I have found out about this, I will explain in details later. I just want to inform you that I really appreciate our friendship and I have prayed to God to give us the strength to take it to the next level. I have desired to have a man of patience, this is one of the virtue I have seen in you.

Amen!

She’s also slightly younger than he, and she likes that because guys her age don’t know how to handle the ladies (and she should know, with her two relationships and all).

Then… mixed in with her regular e-mail, she drops it:

I have decided its best for me to go over to Africa and bring my dad home so that he can have adequate medical attention. I will be flying this morning by 10:am. I have booked my flight yesterday because I can’t bear it, if anything should happen to my father. I pray that almighty God keep you safe till I return.

So, apparently, her father isn’t doing well in Africa. That being said, she’s a registered nurse and her father owns a pretty solid business, so this should be a slam dunk, right? Go get him better and come back and then run to your prince. Seems simple, no?

He responds wishing her well and that he is praying for the safe return of all.

She’s now in Africa and claims she will try and call him later that evening (didn’t happen). But, this all begins… now, the phishing starts.

It’s raining heavily here and I am trying to get the doctors to sign papers allowing me to fly dad back home but they still insist that they can handle it. I am limited on cash and my credit cards is not allowed access at the atm here and this is getting me worried since dad is not in a good condition to give me some cash which i needed for an urgent pressing matters.

Here she is... how can you say no? Send the money!

Here she is… how can you say no? Send the money!

 

I manage to tell him about you and he smile. I know he is happy because that has been his desire for me to find a good man and date again. Anyway, I gotta go now and take care of him. Waiting to hear from you.

Am I the only one who realizes she writes like those scam e-mails we all get about winning a lotto in Nigeria or something? Exactly.

Life is not good for Linda at this moment, though. She needs money to help her father, despite him owning businesses and her being a nurse and all. Who travels to Africa – even in an emergency – and doesn’t find a way to make sure they have access to money? Apparently Linda.

Somewhere along the way, she asks him for financial help. He’s broke. He wishes she had asked around payday and maybe he could help some It’s money she needs, though, so she can get her and her father back to the United States.

Then, he wonders, how much does she need? He now questions her, too, about this. Is this real? A scam? He’s talked to friends now (me included) about this and we agree it’s a scam. So he plays on to see what happens. She responded:

Honey I was paralyzed after reading what you wrote, and i tried to put myself in your shoes and I agree with you 100%, I said to myself that you are a good man, for even accepting to assist me, it’s not easy to trust people you have not met these days due to so many issues going on the net. But for clarity sake I am attaching a scan copy of my dad’s Int’l passport.

If you want any more evidence about myself I will provide. Tomorrow I will get a plate card and write your name boldly on it. I am sending you some pictures I took today at the hotel where I am lodged. 

It’s all about trying to get things done and get money. Now, Linda is realizing this may not happen. All this work to get stranded in Africa? For goodness sake!

She still asks for him to help. She’ll pay him back as soon as she’s home. She will wait until payday. Her father will be forever grateful that a stranger would help.

This was the proof that she was real... because, you know, that poster definitely looks written by hand...

This was the proof that she was real… because, you know, that poster definitely looks written by hand…

Here’s the kicker:

There are people I can call for help to send me money on my fathers behalf but my dad will get mad with me if I do that due to his pride.  I just want to do something to show him that I am a grown up lady and that I can take charge of things when he is not around because he always sees me as a kid. 

Here’s a grownup plan – call people you know and trust and get the cash. I would be calling whoever possible to get the money rather than trying to scam somebody.

And heck, she only needs $870! That will settle things and get him out of there! And how should he send her the money? Western Union, of course. It will be in the nurse’s name who has cared for her father because she lives in Ghana and has been very kind. It’s easier for her to pick up the coin, you see.

She tells him all how to do this. After all, she needs this money to make her father better. But, until then, she’s going to take a warm bath and go pray at her father’s bed.

Oh … and $870? Not a chance our fair friend can come up with that scratch. Sure, he feels bad he can’t help, but damn, that’s a lot of coin! In fact, it’s nearly two paychecks! He has no connections he can borrow from, either. He’s stuck. What’s a man to do?

After all, he trusts she would pay him back (not really) and her father must be able to forgive her if she calls his connections, no?

But Linda still believes she can get some cash. How? She talks to the nurse about selling a bracelet she has. It’s expensive. Maybe that will do it? So the nurse takes her to a place, presumably some sort of a pawn shop, maybe?

We went there this morning and they prize the bracelet at 500$, that bracelet is a gift dad gave to me on my last birthday.

I think its a good idea if I sell it. But my fear is that it does not cover all the amount required. So I thought to ask you, If you can get the remaining balance if I sell the bracelet at 500? What do you say, please let me know.

Well, now we’re down to $370! Maybe this is affordable and manageable?

Not a chance, Linda.

Then, a miracle!

She sold the bracelet. Her father is doing better. She even fed him his favorite food. When she’s able to, she’ll let him know.

And that, of course, makes our prince happy. And he hopes they will be able to chat soon. Maybe – just maybe – this person is legit and she was truly in need of help.

She needs but just a small amount of money to save her father... and then together you will be forever!

She needs but just a small amount of money to save her father… and then together you will be forever!

No?

Fine. Be cynics!

She responds, though. And yes, of course, things took a turn for the worse. It’s sad, you see.

I have been thinking so much about you and my heart is at peace any time I think of you. Honey I tried to sell my bracelet and they refused to buy it. They want me to give them the receipt which I used to purchase it and I told them its just a gift from my dad and i also explained the circumstance to them but they couldn’t. But not to worry i am trying to explore other ways to get the rest of the money. Today I thought of what to do to make you believe in me so I decided to snap myself this way. Just view the picture below and tell me what you feel about me.

By then, our hero was past this. He knew this was a scam. The romance was no more. Alas, 10 days later or so, he reaches out to her. He says he hasn’t heard from her and hopes she is well and that her father is doing better.

Turns out, not so much.

My dad is dead

Well, that was an abrupt way to end things.

And just like that, the phishing ended. No more correspondence. Nothing. I sure hope Linda is OK.

No money lost and none gained for the scammer. That’s the best thing about this.

Final wrap of this series comes tomorrow!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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Day Zero Project: Completed No. 14

Aug 26

A Day Zero Project goal of P.J.’s has been completed!

Goal completed: Write a blog post about the DayZero project within the first week of the start date.

Date completed: August 4, 2014

Number: 14

Description: This was a blog post to talk about my upcoming Day Zero Project, as well as putting it out there that I am doing it.

Why I wanted to do it: One, it shows others I am doing it. Second, it gives me a bit of accountability, despite not making the list public until I finish a goal and/or the project. Plus, all completed goals are going to be put on the site.

How I did it: I blogged about the project and my thoughts on it, as well as what I hope to do with it.

About P.J.’s Day Zero Project: Day Zero is a project where people come up with 101 things to do over 1001 days. I started the project on August 1, 2014 with an anticipated finish date of April 28, 2017. Goals will not be revealed until they are completed. A private list is at the Day Zero website and the list will be made public upon completion of the project. It’s my thoughts that if things are kept private, should I not do them, change or find a way around it, I’d only be cheating myself.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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