Monday, November 5, 2018

Sometimes.... it gets tricky.

I work on websites. a lot. I run into problems with updates, etc. It gets very technical.

I have no friends I can chat about that with. None are techs. He's busy with his own work, I don't want to bother him. They don't know what is coming out of my mouth, so I stay quiet about it all.

But now, I work freelance with a new web design business, and have a new friend that I can chat tech with!

Yay! geekspeak!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Resurrecting a Sea Scout Ship!

When I first moved here to Slidell, Louisiana I looked for a Sea Scout Ship to join, and was disappointed when I heard that they had all been wiped out by Hurricane Katrina!

A year later I found a ship fairly local (Covington/Mandeville - half hour or so) SS Ship 312/314 and asked if there were any ships closer to me. There isn't, but there WAS: Ship 1 Sea Raptor. Jacques Walker gave me the email address, name, and phone number of a Commodore who was trying to resurrect Ship 1. Yay! I called, left a message, emailed - no response.

Fast Forward a year later... I have gone through SALT leader training with ship 312/314, I have a Sea Scout Manual, I attended their first landship ceremony as a unit, took some pics, and gave some input! I was informed that the resurrection of Ship 1 was indefinitely postponed. So I could join ships 312/314 (Scout Ship and Explorer Club), but still 30-45 min away.  

Shortly thereafter, Jacques sent me a message saying he had given my name/email/phone number to that same Commodore. I don't know what I was expecting, but lunch that week, and now I'm the Ship's Committee Member, and we had a formation meeting!

Our charter is ready to submit, we have 5 adult leaders, and now only need 5 youths to join! Then we can send it all off with our application fee!

We have a couple events in November where we will be distributing informational flyers to let the community know we are back! The Commodore, she is the Commodore of Tammany Yacht Club, our ship's Charter Organization! I also have approval from some local business to bring our flyer in to post up! Including West Marine! 


Lady of Lourdes Church 11-06-18
Faith Music Fest 11-10-18

Exciting times!

I'm even more excited that technology has changed so much there is a HUGE amount of info and training aids online now! I love it!!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

An Airstream Dream!

They're so discombobulated!

I dreamt that Dave and I won a dealership contest. Two big prizes:

One couple won a Vintage Airstream with a Vintage Truck to pull it.
One couple won a Modern Airstream with a Modern truck to pull it.

We accepted our prizes, but the remainder of the dream was the two of us trying to chase them down to see if they wanted to swap with us!

So funny. I was SO disappointed when I woke up and we didn't have that Airstream.     :(

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I bought a boat!

I wasn't really looking for one, and then I was!

Our house came with a canoe. Dave won't get into it because it doesn't have a motor. So I went looking for a trolling motor. I found one locally for $25 and now I have a trolling motor on the back of my flat-back canoe!

But... in the search I came across a vintage sailboat in decent shape for only $1000! I was so excited!

And then... the guy was a tool. I had money in hand and he wouldn't make an appointment with me, kept dragging it out. He finally admitted that he was trying to start a bidding war. I don't play that. Ever. price, money, exchange, leave with a product.

That's how that should have gone, so I walked away. Sad face. :(

What the searching did was get my interest in getting a sailboat back up. I was in Sea Scouts for more than a decade, and have been trying to find a Sea Scout ship locally, but they were all wiped out by Hurricane Katrina.

I work as a Regional Sales Rep for POP Yachts and POP RVs. So I wishlist search a lot. They have made it much more difficult for me by deactivating my public profile.

I found some sailboats I like, but... I found this, and brought it home:

1984 Shamrock Walk-through Cuddy

It has its own website here: Http://

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What has happened to good customer service?

I am finding that I have paid a good amount of money at every turn, just to find out later that so-and-so company didn't do what I was specifically paying for. It is so frustrating, as in some cases I found out literally years later.

For example, for two years I had all kinds of electrical issues with my truck. It got to the point that I stopped driving it. I found out when I started really looking into what its issues were that the parts store sold me the wrong battery group for my truck!

Needless to say, discussions with the manager, receipt in hand, and hours later - they replaced the battery at no cost. The problem? By then, I thought that I had an electrical drain somewhere so we had disconnected the alarm, disconnected the power door locks, removed door panels, disconnected the stereo and amplifier, and more.

Let me tell you, I am so frustrated, I am selling the truck. I have had it for 13 years - by the way, almost the longest stint for me for any vehicle I have ever owned aside from the '64 Falcon I am restoring very slowly.... I have owned over 35 vehicles, most only last 2 years or so.

Another fine example of customer service? Many moons ago, I had paid to setup a for-profit corporation and a 501C3 non-profit corporation. Nothing ever happened with them as my business associate moved out of state, and we let everything fall by the wayside. Now I want to put new life back into the 501C3, so I contacted the organizations to do so, and found out that they registered it as a FOR PROFIT corporation! Are you kidding me? How much liability would I have had had I actually done anything in that company's name??? omg it makes my head spin just thinking about it.

Starting anew today... with some great new business associates, great old business associates, and new life and goals, as well as follow-through!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Job Searching: The Importance of Dressing Up


The Never-ending Job Search

Yesterday I had another interview. It was fairly last minute, and I rushed to the bathroom, showered, changed, dressed, did my make-up and hair.... It was online with no video camera. My boyfriend was perplexed. Why was I going to all this trouble, when the interviewer wasn't going to see me?? My answer - it makes me feel better, more confident in my responses. What if, mid-interview they had asked me to video chat? It all worked out - I am fairly certain I got the job!

It also worked out that I got another interview arranged just a short while later, that was a video interview - and I was ready.

There are several things you should do for a video interview already mentioned above:

  1. Clean up: If you get ready like it is a face-to-face interview, your demeanor changes. Your attitude, your awareness of self; your confidence.
  2. Dress-up: they may want to see you, even if you don't think it might go there. It gives you a confidence in the process that you do not gain otherwise. Plus, they may want to see how deal with the unexpected. Be ready for anything; right now!
  3. Do your hair: nicely, for the same reasons listed above.
  4. Put on perfume or cologne; you like it - it gives you confidence.

Your Resume - Update it!

No, I am not interesting in insurance sales or financial adviser positions, thank you!
No, I am not interesting in insurance sales or financial adviser positions, thank you!
Make sure it is visually balanced and flows well. I now check mine every time I apply - recently I had to download it, and their interface had rearranged everything! Check, check, and recheck before applying!
Make sure it is visually balanced and flows well. I now check mine every time I apply - recently I had to download it, and their interface had rearranged everything! Check, check, and recheck before applying!

Resume Skills & Bullet Points

Make sure that your skill-set has the keywords used within the posted position in it! If the company uses OCR scanning software to screen email submissions - you definitely want yours to pass the scan and get looked at! One more point: if you are emailing directly to someone to review, have bullet points, and make it pretty! HOWEVER, if you are submitting via any of the job board sites save a version that is an .rtf file so you can tell the difference, and remove all of the bullet points. I have found that when it gets uploaded into most interfaces, the bullet points don't get translated well, and end up as very weird looking ASCII text. (see above photo for no bullet points)

Bullet Points

Only use bullet points if you are sending your resume directly to a person to review! I keep multiple formats on hand, all with the same content: .rtf, .pdf, .doc depending on how it will be sent over.
Only use bullet points if you are sending your resume directly to a person to review! I keep multiple formats on hand, all with the same content: .rtf, .pdf, .doc depending on how it will be sent over.

What is your favorite Job Board to use?

So many choices.... which Job Board gives you the best results? (I'll limit it to the big ones... and Other)

See results

Lastly: Beware of Scammers!!

So I have had my first real scam attempted (that I let flow a little further forward-thinking the sheriff department could actually do something). In my determined attempt to gain decent employment, a career... I had a 'wait-a-minute, this sounds too good to be true' incident. Well, thank you to my southern-California raised cynicism, I am happy to report it failed. But what a time-waster! I felt it was a scam from the get-go, but allowed them to actually send me something. Which I took to the sheriff department.

Unfortunately, there is nothing the sheriff can do about it - apparently, they get hundreds of these reports per month. So I say to you - use Google, it is your friend. Google the name of the person in the text with the company name, like this: "John Doe" "Bhushan Steel*" in the Google search bar. Then go find the company website, and in my case, I contacted their HR department and asked about the employees by name - the HR department will give you a yes or no answer on whether someone works for them. I explained what was happening in my 'Interviewing Process' and the rep stated neither of the names provided worked there, and that "X company would NEVER send you a check, or ask you to pay for X." The scammer wanted me to buy some software to connect to the company VPN... maybe $50-$100 software? Nope - they sent me $3,450.00!

My favorite part was the Nigerian gentleman who called me from what sounded like a telemarketing room, stating he was the company attorney, and that they would be suing me for not sending their check back. I told them to get it back from the sheriff department after 30 days!

Be leary... I asked this latest attempt: ...before you continue, may I ask if you require any type of fees or check to cash? to move forward if I am selected?

No response. So I sent them Bhushan Steel's warning. Stay safe out there in your search, and good luck! I believe a good old phone interview, inviting you to a face-to-face is still your best chance of not being a scam victim. The company spokesperson for the phone interview may not be local, but the location you will be working from is - and someone should be able to have a sit-down with you!


*I am using Bhushan Steel, a real company as my example, as they are 'on to' the scam. On the company website, they have this warning in bright red at the bottom of their website: Job seekers Alert!
It has been brought to our notice that certain individuals are misleading job applicants by claiming themselves to be employees of Bhushan Steel Ltd or as authorized job agency of Bhushan Steel Ltd. They have been misguiding the candidates to deposit a certain amount of money in lieu of providing employment or as a deposit towards travel for the final interview round, etc.
Bhushan Steel Ltd does not take any such fees/facilitation charges in lieu of employment.
Anyone dealing with such an agency/employment portal/individual will be doing so at his/her own risk and the Company will not be held responsible for such loss or damage suffered directly or indirectly.

Scammer Check

I cropped off the Routing number, as it really was their account at the company. Basically - the scammers want you to cash the check, and purchase stuff, and send them the receipts. Then you're liable to repay the bank when it comes back as a fake.
I cropped off the Routing number, as it really was their account at the company. Basically - the scammers want you to cash the check and purchase stuff, and send them the receipts. Then you're liable to repay the bank when it comes back as a fake. | Source

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Prolong Your Roof Life! Repair It Yourself!


Fix that leaky chimney or flashing!

As having spent a few hours on my roof today to remedy an issue with our chimney I have to share that in a previous life, I worked as a roof inspector for quality assurance. We were a third-party entity that provided an RFP to roofing contractors, then enforced the SOW onsite. The end-user hired our company to represent them in all roofing matters, so for the purposes here, we were the end-user customer.

The way a roofing system works is there are several layers in this case for a ply system and aggregate roofing material on top. We provided what the system would be, the materials it was to be made of, and ensured that it was installed per our specs - which in some instances exceeded the manufacturer's specifications.

The underlayment goes down, then the roofing system on top of that, then the metal flashings, and if you're lucky - it includes the finishing roof cement, granules, and silver paint.

Repaired Chimney Flashing

Finished Chimney Flashing Repair
Finished Chimney Flashing Repair

Fixing Flashings

On top of the roofing system, when you set metal flashings at every roof system penetration, you need to ensure that the water barrier is still intact. Unfortunately, in a residential setting, most roofing contractors do not finish the flashings in the manner in which we do in a commercial setting. What normally happens in a commercial setting is that the contractor sets the new metal flashing down on top of the roof system using tar and/or mastic (roof cement), complete with granules embedded and silver paint.

So today, I was informed I needed to get up there and fix it... since we are expecting rain. So I go up, and it is readily apparent where we needed some help at the chimney. So here is how you do it:


  • Brush
  • Broom
  • Rags
  • Nitrile gloves (more than a pair - this stuff gets messy, mastic is toxic)
  • 2" putty knife/spatula
  • Mastic - if you are expecting rain the same day or so get the 'wet' version.
  • Webbing of some sort: the mesh used for drywall repair or fiberglass, or similar
  • Granules: absorb, kitty litter, or similar
  • Silver Paint; reflective roof paint preferred


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mastic - standardMastic - wetDust BrromPush Broom - I took this opportunity to clean all of the pine needles off of all of the valleys.1-1/2" to 2" Putty KnifeRoofing Granules; kitty litter, oil absorbing, etc.
Mastic - standard
Mastic - standard

How to do it:

  1. Clean the debris from the area with a brush or whatever tools necessary.
  2. Using a 2" putty knife or similar, spread the mastic along the area to be repaired. about the width of the putty knife, making sure there is a proper seal; no holes above the membrane.
  3. Add the granules onto the mastic once completed, patting them into the mastic - not just sitting on top.
  4. Paint the whole line of mastic/granules silver.
  5. Do this at every area for repair, remembering that water flows downhill, including around all of the flashings*.
  6. Check the flashings welded areas and rims, sealing any area that has come apart. Notate that you need new flashings, replace at next roof repair opportunity.

This should get you through the worst of it! Let me know how it goes!

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Finished Chimney Flashing RepairChimney Flashing; prior to any repairMastic applied, you can see the mesh I placed - you cover it with another coat of mastic.After the mastic is applied, add the granules - make sure you press them into the mastic to ensure retaining the granules.Let it set up a bit... at least a half hour or so, then paint it with the silver paint.Seen from the ground, you can see the flashings were rusty and unprotected; with no mastic.Bare flashing; don't think your roofer skipped something on you, this is commonly done in a residential application. Homeowners don't know enough to ask for them.You can see the top edge of the flashing where the metal is separating, possibly leaking water down below, or under the roof system.As a temporary solution, I applied the mastic here as well, then painted the entire flashing - mainly as a new starting point for me to monitor from here on out.The larger flashing, you can see here they had sealed it, and painted it silver, but the seal had broken.A closer view of the broken seal.I applied more mastic, then repainted the whole thing as the other flashings.Newly painted/sealed flashings from the ground. From this vantage point, any rusting or compromised flashings should be readily visible.
Finished Chimney Flashing Repair
Finished Chimney Flashing Repair

Me up on the roof.....

How did it go?

How much roofing experience do you have? How was this for you?

See results

Monday, February 29, 2016

I love reading!

I started reading very early, as my father was an attorney and had an extensive library. One of my earliest reading memories is from when I was in 4th grade. I had completed the Highlights-based assignments signed off by the teacher. During our reading session, I was sitting with nothing on my desk, reading a book in my lap. The teacher walked over and asked what I was doing, and I held up the book. She said 'there's no way that you understand what is happening in this book.' I was reading James Clavell's Shogun, which is at the very least at a 6-9th grade reading level, as well as over 1000 pages. I stated that I was on page 128 in the novel, and that she could ask me any question about what was happening in that section, and I would answered them.  Shortly after that, they pulled me out of class during the reading session to tutor the 6th graders at the school. I love reading; my entire family loves reading, and we do so on every vacation. One time, at a family reunion - sitting in a room of 19 people, the only 2 not reading were the one-year-old baby, and the person playing with her!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

I'm not usually one to make extravagant New Year's Resolutions, but this year.... I am going to raise from the dead one from 2004.

In 2004 I had written down a personal goal for a course in Managing Quality at Keller Graduate School. Here it is:

Personal Goals
Goal 1: Complete SCUBA certification; buy all necessary equipment.
Take additional Advanced Open Water Diver and Shipwreck Diver Courses.


PADI Open Water Diver certification course is in progress, open water dive is left.
Have purchased:  Mask, snorkel, gloves, fins, buoyancy compensation device (BCD),
dive computer, 4mm wetsuit, compass, dive log, air tank, gauges, and dive planner.

Equipment needed:  Would like an underwater dive camera.  
Additional courses:  Advanced Open Water Certification course will be in March, followed by Shipwreck Diver course in July.

Degree of Difficulty:

Easily accomplished

While this seems like it was an easy goal, what happened after this was written changed the course of my life. I was in a really bad car accident that year. I had to discontinue school, spent the next 2 years in physical therapy and doctor visits, and ultimately I lost my house. All of it is getting back on track finally: I feel better, bought a new home, and share it with a great man. Now for the goals again... I want to reinstate them now! 

This was one, travel was another, restore my '64 Falcon was the third. I want all of these reinstated, please!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Restoration of a Land Yacht -

I published another paper on Restoration of a Land_Yacht

I am gathering a collection... lol.

You can view them all here:

This one is on our Airstream:

Monday, June 8, 2015

Helping the Community; Down and Out in Downtown L.A.

This weekend was a difficult one for me emotionally.... I am trying to de-clutter my world. So I started cleaning out my truck (finally found keys that would get into it after my landlord threw out the set I had provided for them). We had never 'fully ' moved into this house, since the truck still had about a dozen boxes in it.

We have now. Just in time... to gear up to moving again. SO...... I am going through all the boxes, throwing things out, listing stuff on eBay and OfferUp in an attemot to make some money and get stuff out of my house. Good times.

The first box I opened.... a picture of my first dog Siggy. I had her from when she was 4 weeks old, to when she was 16. I miss her every day.

So that brought tears to my eyes, and I fought off crying. The next items, I found were documents, birth, marriage and death certificates, doctor notes, handwritten notes, and more, from my mother and her husband. Both have passed. These all bring up weird emotions for me. We were not a happy family. She died 01-09-08 after an accidental fall on 01-04-08; she never regained consciousness.

In the end, she was generous and giving of her time to her community, and volunteered with the homeless in downtown Los Angeles with LACAN.

But... my mom was a prolific writer. So I am going to share some of what she has written, in no particular order as there is no way to tell when it was written. Some of it was to present to others, the other parts - who knows. I have typed these as she has written them (fighting my internal urge to correct any grammatical errors she may have made). If they are dated, I am going to put them in here under their actual date.

Peggy - My mom was always laughing.

It doesn't even matter WHEN these were written, the topic is always timely. The need is always there.


Saint Jerome's Speech by Peggy Cummings

Good morning to you all. My name is Peggy Cummings and I would like to let you know what the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has meant to me.

Three years ago my husband was dying of bladder cancer. Both of us had to leave our jobs - him because he could no longer walk with the tumor rapidly growing inside him; and me, to care for him at home.

After his death, and exhausting all of our savings, I had nowhere but downtown to find a place to live.

Not only that, but Social Security was paying me a widow's benefit until they realized I was too young to collect. They put a freeze on my checking account, then took the $1,600 I had there. Also told me I had to repay the $6,000 they had given me.

Without a dime to my name, I learned that the Union Rescue Mission would allow me to stay for free until I gained an income again.

I was determined to give back to the downtown community for helping me when I needed it the most.

My case manager referred me to the Los Angeles Community Action Network - LACAN. They always welcome any help I could give.

They have been working over six years creating opportunities for low-income and homeless people such as me to gain a new start in life.

I volunteered my services for 1 1/2 years because I had finally found my place in life. LACAN's efforts to give power and voice for residents and their issues is building safer neighborhoods through our Community Watch program and providing education that allows residents to succeed in fighting City Hall to recognize that something needs to change so that needy persons are helped with housing and services.

LACAN is also providing a means of earning additional income through our Vendor Training program where they are licensed to solicit donations by distributing the only street newspaper in L.A....the Community Connection.

Six months ago, I was hired as a policy intern and organizer to work for our outreach efforts to a community in desperate need of support. With the unavailability of affordable housing, let alone nutritional food, and the horrendous "28-day shuffle" - LACAN continues its struggle to make the "power that be" change the plight of 90,000 homeless people within our city limits.

We've managed to place a moratorium on SRO hotels selling to developers to have replacement housing provided before renovations are begun, and residents are no longer forced to the streets. Our Residential Organizing Committee meetings are held twice a month.

Please help us to continue to give our low-income and homeless residents the life they need.

It's wrong for our government to continue to spend billions of dollars around the world - and depriving residents of America the same resources.

We need to help our downtown needy persons first.

Thank you so much for the caring. Please give as generously as you are able to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Those 90,000 homeless in L.A. are struggling for dignity.

Sometimes.... it gets tricky.

I work on websites. a lot. I run into problems with updates, etc. It gets very technical. I have no friends I can chat about that with. No...