LegalShield Works for Traffic Cases!

I haven’t talked about LegalShield here since the beginning of the year, mainly because I put my LegalShield business on hold last fall, to concentrate my efforts on getting a job.  Well now I have used it for a service all LegalShield Associates talk about – traffic tickets.  It all started at the beginning of May, but I waited until it was over so I could share how it turned out.

At least half of the commute to my new job is on Interstate 75, and the part of 75 between Lexington and the Kentucky River has been under repairs/resurfacing since I started.  On May 1 they got the first lanes finished, so drivers don’t have to dodge the potholes anymore.  The drive that morning was so smooth, it was delightful.  I didn’t realize how fast I was going until an unmarked car came up behind me and started flashing blue lights.

I guess I had it too easy when commuting to last last two jobs.  Going to L-3 Communications meant driving through the countryside past horse farms; you’re not likely to find many cops or state troopers there.  At DRS in Danbury, CT, I only had to go two and a half miles from my apartment to work, and it was bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way, so I couldn’t really get in trouble there before I reached my destination.  Now I have to watch for the cops again, for the first time since moving to Kentucky.  The good news is that if the road construction crew had been there that early in the morning, my fine would have been much worse.

Actually, I have a reputation for being the slowest driver in the family.  The last time I got a speeding ticket was in 1986.  When I told Leive about this one, she didn’t know I had it in me!

Anyway, I did what LegalShield told me to do; I faxed the ticket to our provider law firm in Louisville, and they promised to send a local attorney to court in my place.  I was introduced to the attorney by phone of May 30, and the court appointment was at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, June 3.  Eleven minutes later I got an e-mail from him; he got the ticket dismissed with a warning.  For me that is a best case scenario.  No fine, no points on my record.  Aside from being late to work on May 1, it was like I never got the ticket at all.  And there’s the power you have in your hands when LegalShield makes attorneys affordable to the common man!

Loose Ends to Start the Month With

The first message in this blog for September will be a follow-up on my message from last Friday.

First of all, the new UK football coach, Mark Stoops, had an embarrassing debut when UK lost to Western Kentucky last night.  Can you say Big Blue Frustration?

Weather-wise, we got five inches of rain for the whole month, and two of those inches fell on the last day.  Thank goodness it wasn’t all at once; there were at least three showers at my house, as wave after wave of rain clouds passed over from the northwest.  And there weren’t any leaks in the house this time; that’s the best news.

There doesn’t seem to be much point in a holiday for celebrating work when you don’t have a job.  Because of that I don’t plan to shop or otherwise goof off for Labor Day; I expect to be quite busy, though my schedule isn’t complete yet (I’ll mow the lawn if the grass is dry enough).

Leive’s niece Rezia came over, picked up Leive, and took her out to lunch.  That was awfully nice, but after they came back, they sat in the family room and talked for a couple of hours (in Cebuano, no doubt).  Did they have to do that where the family parrot, Brin-Brin, could see them?  Brin-Brin doesn’t like Rezia, because she married his worst enemy, and though she wouldn’t hurt a flea, whenever she comes to the house she makes Brin-Brin cry!  What a silly bird . . .

In the evening we went to visit my Dad, and ended up spending two hours at the retirement home, so Leive could give him a shave, haircut and manicure.  Definitely a job well done, to make up for the times I go there alone.

Finally, last month’s LegalShield promotion has been extended into September.  Normally it costs $149 to become a LegalShield Associate, but for a limited time, those who sign up can qualify for a $60 rebate if they make a sale this month.  What a deal, you’ll come out ahead almost immediately!  If you’re interested in knowing more, contact me for the details.

A Special Message for Anyone in Central Kentucky Tonight

Are you looking to make more money this year?  Mike Humes, one of the most successful Legalshield Associates, is coming to speak in Lexington on Monday evening, at the Embassy Suites on Newtown Pike.  When he got started in the business, he was an ordinary mailman; now he is a millionaire, and three years ago Ebony Magazine did a story on him, as one of the top entrepreneurs of 2010.  I like to say he "went postal" in a good way.  If you are interested in seeing him, contact me for the details, and you won’t have to pay to attend the business briefing.

Just Brin-Brin and I

Well, Leive is out of the house.  She left at 4 PM with the ladies of our church to go on a retreat in the nearest Kentucky mountains, 46 miles southeast of here.  They went again to Aldersgate, the same campground Leive and I had been to before; see my message from May 30, 2010 for the pictures I took when I was at Aldersgate.  They will return on Saturday afternoon, so here in the house it is just Brin-Brin the parrot and myself for roughly 48 hours.

I joked before they left that I expected my biggest problem would be getting along with Brin-Brin.  He still prefers Leive’s company over mine, to the point that I have nicknamed him “Snapping Pigeon” and “the Original Angry Bird.”  Fortunately he did not shred the newspaper today, though I expected him to when I took out the garbage without his permission.

As it stands, I had a bigger challenge this evening.  At 6 PM I went out to run a couple of errands and look for prospects for my LegalShield business.  I had the Buick blocking the garage door (the van of one of the church ladies is currently parked where I normally park the Buick), so I took the Buick on this run, instead of the Nissan, though the Nissan is definitely in better condition.  It stalled twice on the way out, before the engine warmed up –- I’m used to that behavior, alas.  Then it ran all right for most of the trip, until I came back.  About four tenths of a mile from home, the engine quit again, and this time I could not get it started again.  If this was Florida, I would have tried pushing it the rest of the way home, because Florida is flat.  As is, I had to go up a hill to get home from here.

Fortunately I still had my AAA membership from my adventure in Connecticut (see my message from September 27, 2011).  I used that to call a tow truck, and they arrived an hour later to take the Buick and I home.  We left it on the curb by the mailbox, instead of in the driveway; I’ll wait until after the ladies come back before deciding what to do about the broken-down car.  One thing’s for sure, when I can afford to replace one of the cars, the Buick will be replaced first.

I picked up some sweat, dust and mosquito bites while waiting for the tow truck, so after getting back I took a shower.  Now I’m having a very late dinner; hopefully tomorrow won’t be quite as interesting.

Our Trip to Georgia, 2013

I’m back at last.  From July 3 to 7 Leive & I were in Georgia, visiting our daughter Lindy, her husband Adam and our granddaughter Lexi.  This was the first time we had seen them in two years.  I also actively promoted my LegalShield Business while I was down there, so this was a business trip as well as a pleasure one.

To avoid wear and tear on our own aging cars, I rented a Chevy Impala.  It handled well, but the weather was against us for most of the way down.  Both Kentucky and Georgia are having a very wet summer (last week alone, Kentucky got nearly as much rain as it normally gets for all of July), and it rained from the Kentucky-Tennessee border to Dublin, GA, a distance of about 410 miles.  Before it was over I joked about driving in a hurricane; the weather and traffic jams (in southern Tennessee and Atlanta) caused us to arrive quite late, long after Lexi had gone to bed.

Lexi is now three years old, so I doubt if she remembers our last visit.  For our second day we drove to Savannah to buy her some presents, and I brought some more from Kentucky, so she probably thinks the Fourth of July is another Christmas.  Here she is in Savannah’s Ross store with Leive.


The next day (Friday) was Leive’s birthday.  Because of the on-and-off rain, we stayed home for most of the morning and afternoon, but in the evening we all went to Leive’s favorite Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood, to celebrate.  They had a special menu, so Leive gave Lexi a scare with a crawfish!


And Lexi got quite a reaction when she fed the fish in the restaurant fish pond.


On Saturday, I was out aggressively distributing LegalShield business cards and brochures.  This interesting antique shop was closed, though.  Supposedly “Hopeulikit” is also the name of that neighborhood.


Nearby I noticed a house where the American flag was at half-mast while the Confederate flag flew twice as high.  For many Georgians the Civil War never really ended.


Meanwhile at home, Lexi helped Leive make the dough for sio pao (steamed rolls with a meat filling).


That evening we went to a popular clubhouse, and played a game of bowling.  Here Lexi jumped when she saw Leive bowl a good ball.  Later she helped out when Lindy’s ball got stuck in the gutter, and she went out on the lane to roll the ball back to me.  I’m sure I would have slipped if I had gone there, because the lanes are greased.  After the game, Lexi and Lindy played in the clubhouse ball pit until it was time to go home.


Sunday was the day of our trip home.  We got rain from Macon onward, so I wished out loud that it would finish by the time we got to Knoxville.  On previous trips I learned to dislike the 60-mile drive between Knoxville and the Kentucky border, because the mountains and the elevation make that stretch a challenge, especially when the weather is bad.  Well, it did clear up in Knoxville, so northern Tennessee wasn’t so bad this time; I even got through it before the sun went down.  As we entered Kentucky, it looked like the worst part of the trip was behind us.

Or so we thought.  At mile marker 73, just short of Berea, KY, traffic stopped in all northbound lanes.  Gradually we learned that five miles ahead, two semi trucks collided, causing a hazmat spill, and the authorities didn’t want any cars continuing on, or even going back, until they knew what the spilled chemical was and decided what to do about it.  We ended up sitting there for four hours, making this worse than the Berea accident that stopped us in June 2007; that traffic jam only lasted three hours.  Still, it could have been worse; the weather was just right, for a change, and it took some drivers six hours to get out of there.  Here is the only news story I could find on the accident:

Traffic is moving again on I-75 in Madison County after a crash forced northbound lanes near Berea to close down. Around 8 on Sunday night near mile marker 78, a semi was rear ended by another semi. The second truck was hauling hydrated alumina, a non-hazardous chemical that spilled into all three northbound lanes. Crews finished cleaning up the wreck early Monday morning.


The cops detoured us to a side road at the Berea exit, which we took to Highway 25, and followed that to Richmond, where we could use I-75 again.  In the end we got home at 1:20 AM, four hours later than expected.  I couldn’t sleep late, though, because I had to return the rental car.  By tomorrow we should be completely recovered from the trip, and will get back into the routine of home life.

It Was Nice Knowing You, Chrome

I have had an Internet presence for nearly sixteen years; in Internet time that is more than a century, right?  In the course of that period I have had several favorite browsers:  WebTV (1997-99), Internet Explorer (1998-2004), Firefox (2004-08), Google Chrome (2008-10), Opera (six months in 2010), and Google Chrome again (2010-13).  I also have Avant and Safari installed on my laptop, though I have never used them much.  Now I have switched back to Opera.

What happened is that a week ago, a gentleman picked up one of my LegalShield business cards and said he definitely needed our services.  However, we couldn’t get all the information we needed to sign him up when we met in person.  By the time I got the rest of the info, it was the weekend, so we decided to sign him up online, instead of with a paper application.  This was the first time I had tried an online application, since LegalShield Associates got new business websites last April.  Each time I filled out two pages of electronic forms and hit the “submit” button, I got an error message.  I did this four times, using my then-favorite browser, Chrome.  Then on a hunch, I tried filling out the forms using Opera, and that went through on the first try.

I know, Opera is not the most popular browser around; some of you probably aren’t familiar with it.  According to Wikipedia, about 2 percent of the folks in cyberspace use Opera, and the only country where it has more than 50 percent of the users is Belarus.  Yes, the same Belarus where a fisherman was recently killed by a beaver; the former White Russian republic is starting to look like the strangest country in eastern Europe.  Still, even when another browser was my favorite, I kept Opera handy, because these days, it is the only browser which handles MHT files properly.

The most unusual part of the story came when I called LegalShield to tell them about my online experience, and verify that they got the application.  They said that because Chrome consumes too many system resources, their websites are designed to work with every browser except Chrome.  I wish I had known that sooner.

I spent Sunday afternoon switching the default browser on my laptop from Chrome to Opera, synchronizing the bookmarks, and downloading Opera onto my tablet.  Still, leaving Chrome seems like the end of an era.  I have always liked Google software, and a year or two ago, I persuaded Leive to switch browsers, from Internet Explorer to Chrome.  In fact, the Google software was one reason why I picked a Google tablet last January; because I was already familiar with the programs, it was easy to learn how to use the tablet.  And last week Leive and I were amused, when we saw the Google Earth truck drive through our part of Lexington.  But I am planning to sign up a lot more people as LegalShield Members and Associates, so Chrome will have to go.  Oh well, let’s see if my second period with Opera as my default browser lasts longer than the first.

More Phishing

Last night I got a phone call at 10:49 PM.  Mind you, it’s never a good sign when you get a call that late; it could be an emergency from Leive’s family in the Philippines.  It turned out to be the India-based company that tried to scam me six months ago.  This time they masked their phone number as 253-802-0309.  My guess is that they want me to think they’re from Microsoft, by using a number with a Washington State area code.  Aside from that, their pitch was the same.

To make sure that none of you fall for this trick, I’m going to re-post what I wrote about it last November 30.  Quote:

Phishing can happen over the phone, as well as by e-mail. Case in point: Recently I got a strange phone call that showed up on my caller ID as 202-011-3341. When I answered it, a guy with a heavy Indian accent told me he was from "Microsoft Windows Help," claimed that my computer was infected with a virus, and that I needed to turn it on.

I hung up after arguing for half a minute. Too many warning signals were touched off by that call. First, there were too many voices in the background; it sounded more like a boiler room operation than your typical customer service center. Second, in the past I have gotten technical support from an Indian company called iYogi, but when they call, they use a toll-free number, not a number from the 202 area code. IYogi’s technicians speak better English, too. Third, no American phone number starts with a zero; they probably masked the real number from my caller ID. Fourth, I have used Microsoft products since the mid-1990s, but I can’t remember Microsoft ever calling me; I always called them.

Just to be on the safe side, I gave my computer a complete virus scan afterwards. It didn’t surprise me a bit when no bugs or malware turned up. I also Googled the phone number, and found others reporting it as coming from a scam artist. I’m sure that if I had complied with the caller’s demands, they would have taken control of my computer, for whatever mischief they had in mind.

Aside from the phisher calling me, this is the same type of scam as phishing by e-mail; the goal is identity theft, or to infect another computer. Fortunately my antivirus software is up to date, and I have identity theft protection for a worst case scenario.

Unquote:  This time I dragged them out, telling them I don’t believe them and that I plan to get my attorney on this, until they hung up.  That may be the best solution, if you can’t fight them; as long as one of them is talking to you, he cannot be fooling anyone else.  Still, with my membership in LegalShield & Kroll, it’s worth a try to see if I can sue someone outside the country, or sic the Feds on them.  After all, they’re breaking more than one law by calling someone on the “Do Not Call” list so late.

A Late Cold Snap

We got a couple of inches of rain in the middle of the week, enough for a puddle to form in the basement (arrgh!).  Then behind it came a surprise cold front.  I say “surprise” because it looked like it was 70 degrees outside yesterday, when it really was 43; it caused me to step outside without a jacket.  Part of it was because the heat wasn’t running; it took until last night for it to get cool enough indoors to trigger on the furnace.  This morning it was only 34 degrees, prompting a frost advisory.

Since I last wrote about our activities in Kentucky, Leive has planted some petunias by the front door.  And because of the rain mentioned above, the grass is finally growing, so I will start mowing the lawn (and the weeds in it) very soon.  I don’t believe I ever had to wait until late April to start mowing before; I remember years when I had to do it as early as the third week of March.

You may remember that I planted a Red Delicious apple tree in the backyard last October, and I promised to get a mate for it the following spring.  Well, I went and bought the companion tree earlier this week, and will plant it when conditions are right (probably tomorrow).  The new tree is a Fuji apple, which is recommended for cross-pollination with a Red Delicious; it also happens to be Leive’s favorite kind of apple.  The only store in town with Fujis is K-Mart, and their trees are semi-dwarf varieties, so we have room for two of them, if we want to get another.  Also, the price was marked down from $15 to $10; I suspect K-Mart isn’t selling many trees this year.

Last Monday marked two and a half years since I was laid off here in Kentucky, and today marks one year since my last job (the contract assignment in Connecticut) ended.  So the next time somebody asks me what I do for a living, I will be tempted to say “nothing at all.”  No signs of economic recovery since I went to some interviews and job fairs in January.  Again, it looks like my LegalShield business is my best hope for success in the future, so expect me to push it more.  Last week I let a phone call offering a contract job get in the way of my prospecting.  That was stupid; by trying to find a job and new Members/Associates at the same time, I ended up failing at both.  From now on my business will definitely take precedence; heck, it will be the only priority once the unemployment assistance runs out.