Saturday, 28 February 2015

a wonky barn door

It seems doors are all the rage lately on blogs.

Last week Donna at Funky Junk Interiors shared this wacky door, and I love it!


And today I saw Angie at Knick of Time had made a mini barn door which is absolutely gorgeous:


Before I knew doors were going to be the trend I made my own shed door in the casita. Up till now we'd had a half door, bottom only obviously (top only would have been plain stupid!) between the casita entry and workshop. Since I sometimes put the poodles in there when grooming customers arrive and leave, I needed to close them in better.

I used to leave them in the house, but with open windows in summer I'm afraid they'll knock out a flyscreen or three. I won't let them meet and greet cause they're very protective and won't let people into the yard unless I'm there to let them in.

So I decided to keep them in my workshop. The theory behind the top door was less vision = less barking. Turns out it doesn't work quite that way, but hey, we now have a more gap filling door than we had before!


You'll notice the crooked gap between the two doors (I blame the door frame, it must be crooked)... the way the timber runs in different directions... the holes in the plaster where the poodles tried their paws at remodelling... Its all part of the charm.

Disclaimer:

I didn't actually MAKE this door from scratch. I used a door from an old chicken coop I'd demolished when I bought my house in Fentonbury. Since then I'd used this door and its matching partner as 'keep the dog out of the bedroom' gates in Fentonbury and here.


So, I basically adapted what I had to create the top part of a door for the casita.

Since the door is heavy, I needed some T hinges which I had to buy. I didn't have any the right size. I then had to cut a couple of pieces of timber so that the hinges had something to actually attach to. The door timber isn't that thick.


I kinda like my added bits. They're sort of like the patchwork of Donna's door, just not as neat or charmingly random as hers.


I used a hook latch to secure the upper door to the chalkboard dog lead organiser. Since the top door has to swing opposite to the lower door (long story having to do with light switches around corners), I have to keep it open unless its in use to keep poodle eyes from seeing too much.

Since the only time I need to access the lead organiser is when I'm grooming, and since the poodles are usually locked up at that time, its not a problem.


To keep it closed I used a tiny bolt I had in one of my collections and simply put a hole in the door jam.


Easy.

A bit wonky but I don't mind. I can make a better door if I want. Just look at the door I made for the phone station. I just didn't want to this time!

In fact, my next door project will be more like Donna's or Angie's if I can get the right balance between wacky and neat.

z

ripped off - an angry post


I am angry, in case you haven't guessed it.

On Wednesday afternoon I lost my wallet and some lowlife found it and went on a shopping spree using my cards.

How did they do that without my PIN? Paypass and Paywave of course! This nifty newest convenient way to shop! Now, for purchases under $100 you don't need a pin! You just tap and go!

The problem is that ANYONE can tap and go with your card! And to the scum of the earth like the people who found my card, this was wonderful. All they had to do was make sure they visited as many shops as possible in the shortest time possible (before I realised my wallet was missing) and make as many purchases under $100 as they could.

I left work at 3pm on Wednesday as I had a meeting to go to. On the way I stopped at the house of an old guy who sells plants in his driveway, just around the corner from work. I'd been by in the morning and had him set aside a ton of plants for me.

I parked the car, picked up the bags of pots, paid him and put the pots in the car, leaving my wallet on the car and forgetting it there as I drove off.

I've never done something this stupid before.

I was at the meeting by 3.20pm.

By 3.20pm the lowlife scum had already found my cards and started their shopping spree.

First they visited Woolworths where they made 4 transactions on the one card. Then they had lunch at Banjos. Then the bottle shop for booze, and the gas station for fuel.

From there they went into the city center and visited Target, Jetty Surf, Red Herring among other places and made multiple purchases on both cards.

Then they went to Moonah to another bottle shop and Harris Scarfe.

From there to Glenorchy to another bottle shop (all up over $200 worth of booze), the shopping center where they made multiple purchases in many shops.

Their last stop was the Bridgewater McDonalds where their $66 dinner purchase was declined.

All in all, in three hours they visited 20 or so shops and, between my Mastercard and my Visa, they got over $1000 worth of stuff.

Not bad for THREE HOURS work.

And all in transactions under $100 each.

I think that surely, if I was a shop assistant and saw someone using the same card for multiple small transactions, warning bells would go off. And my credit card is bright orange, not a common card at all. It stands out. I read a forum on this subject and found comments from people who work in shops where they've suspected something was up - in most cases they just let the suspects pay and leave without notifying the police or bank.

While this was going on, I had no idea my wallet was even missing. I had my meeting, then drove home, stopping at a friend's for a visit. I heard my phone beep, saw a message to call BankWest but planned to call when I got home. When I got home I fed the animals, mowed the lawn and totally forgot about the message.

In the morning I remembered and called them - getting online at the same time to find $500 worth of transactions I had not made. That's when I realised I couldn't find my wallet. First thought was that I'd forgotten it at the plant man's place, but later on I remembered putting it on the car.

I immediately called Bank West and cancelled the Mastercard. They had suspended it by then, however not before $736.63 worth of transactions had gone through.

I was angry, upset, disbelieving, violated. Maybe its cause I'm honest and honest people just don't think like that... we can't see ourselves doing something like that so we're surprised when others do.

I had a playdate for Romeo with a couple of other poodle friends but I stopped at the police station to report the lost wallet/stolen wallet. After all, the wallet contained everything! They said that since the cards had been used it wasn't just a matter of reporting a missing wallet, it was fraud. However, without transaction details they couldn't make a report.

It wasn't till I was at the playdate and said to my friends "at least they can't use my debit card and access my savings account without my PIN" that I realised they COULD.

And did.

Cause of course my debit card is also a VISA card and it has paywave.

So on the phone National Australia Bank. I wanted to know if they'd used that card. Without being able to answer the security question (what automatic deductions do you have on this account - I knew I had one but couldn't remember what) they wouldn't give me any information. Even when I could tell them exactly what my last purchases were prior to losing it, and what payments went in there regularly... Cause I may have been the person who'd stolen the card.

Like the person who stole the card would care about anything other than a balance! Just a simple Yes or No answer was all I wanted.

I was in the city without access to the internet so I went to a friend's house and logged on to internet banking... . About 10 transactions on that account, approx $250 at that stage. I printed them out for the police.

I couldn't print out the Mastercard transactions cause they'd closed that account already. Bank West sent me a list. This list had transactions on it that hadn't been on my online banking in the morning.

They visited 20 or so places and made over $1000 in purchases... All because they could use Paywave and Paypass without a PIN.

(I keep saying 'over $1000' cause I'm not sure of the exact amount.)

When I asked the bank to give me a card without the tap and go feature I was told that no one makes credit cards without it any more and it cannot be disabled.

At least with National Australia Bank I was able to get them to issue me a plain debit card, not a VISA, as my replacement card... no chip, no paywave.

Everyone says "hey, you'll get it all back, the fraud protection on the cards will cover it". That may be so... but if they'd had to use a PIN this wouldn't have happened at all. I wouldn't have to wait 4-6 weeks for my money to be refunded.

I'm angry. I work for my money. I have 3 jobs. It was very hard for me to save to the point where I actually had some money in my savings account and I'd paid out my credit card. Now I wish I hadn't bothered! If there was no money in my account and my credit card was still maxed out, they wouldn't have been able to go shopping with my money!

Not long ago credit cards here went from signature to requiring a PIN. I thought that was a great step in security.

Then they bring this in. I just don't see how this can be more secure.

I've done a ton of reading and its all about how fast and convenient this new system is, how much faster and easier we can now spend our money, how its much safer cause no one can scan your card when its in your bag, or duplicate your magnetic strip... That the new chip technology gives each transaction its own unique number or some such, giving the new cards an 'added layer of security'.

Like this:

What about security?

Although you can make a contactless payment with up to 4cm reach, most credit card companies require you to tap your credit card for the transaction to go through, ensuring you don't pay for another person's sale. Even if you do accidentally tap your credit card twice on the terminal, you won't be charged because every transaction generates a unique authentication code which cannot be used again.
The wireless technology can be concerning because no pin or signature is needed for a sale to be processed. Not to fret - all NFC cards use the latest chip technology, which come with secure encryption (cryptographic key) technology to protect you from thieves who might try to 'scan' the wallet in your pocket.
There's not much stopping a thief from hitting up the shopping centre with purchases under $100 at different outlets but as with other payment methods (e.g pin, signature), most credit cards provide a zero liability policy. This means that you will be covered for any unauthorised transactions, with 100% reimbursement. Some providers state that you must notify the institution immediately in order to get your money back.

Source

Now have a look at this article by the Financial Obudsman Service... particularly look at this line which baffles me:

A customer can only be held liable for unauthorised contactless transactions if:
1. Their card was misused, lost or stolen. 
2. They knew that their card was misused, lost or stolen.
3. They took an unreasonably long time to tell the card issuer about the misuse,
loss or theft of the card.

HUH?... how else would there be any unauthorized transactions on your card if it wasn't misused, lost or stolen????

If you're not tired of reading, most articles about this flashy tap and go system are upbeat and positive, like this one. Some, like this one, are a bit more balanced as they include the cons, but again, its more about the positives.

Personally, having just been through this violation, I fail to see the positives.

I fail to see how not having a PIN is in any way a more secure way to do things.We should have the chip and a PIN, which is how I use my cards. That'd make sense.

Maybe we just need to be given the choice on if we want our cards to have a tap and go option.

Maybe banks should let people make up their own minds and let them enable or disable tap and go, even it must be available on their card.

I'd like it disabled on my cards please. I know a lot of people would like that too.

I should have replacement cards in a week or so and my 'dispute' should be resolved (favourably I should hope) in 4-6 weeks. Till then I just have the fun part of replacing my driver's license, library card, membership cards, health insurance card, medicare card, etc.


z

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

who let the dogs out?


To look at them you wouldn't think butter would melt in their mouths. They're so pretty, so cuddly, so loving.

You'd never guess that lion hearts nest inside their curly chests.


Many's the time I've come home to find dead chickens, birds or ducks in the yard. Or occasionally woken up to the unpleasant task of burying a wallaby or possum.

I'm not proud to say that the carnage count includes rats, mice, a goose and even a bandicoot.

While we try to keep our yard critter safe (poodles in - critters out) we sometimes fail. And you can be sure the poodles are there to rub that failure in our faces every time.


This is one aspect of larger dogs with a high prey drive that I dislike. I know its natural - they hunt. Its what they do. I have to accept it, I don't have to like it. Especially when I'm the one finding and disposing of the bodies like an accomplice after the fact.

Neighbours see me out in the paddock with a shovel, looking furtively over my shoulder as I dispose of the evidence, and they worry if they need to be concerned for Wayne.

At least toy poodles didn't have a chance of bringing down larger prey... a small bird, a mouse, a skink. But with standards the hole you have to dig is much bigger.


Up till recently, all bodies retrieved were intact. No blood, less evidence.

At least, I'd tell myself, they're neat killers - one grab around the neck, a good shake and its curtains for the critter who had the misfortune to step inside our yard. No mess.

Very befitting a poodle.

Just the thing to be grateful for: intact corpses.


Except for one memorable occasion when I came home with a friend to find Romeo parading round the yard with a duck head in his mouth. The rest of the duck was still intact though... just minus the head...

Way to impress visitors.


So, you can imagine how disgusting it was to wake up on Sunday morning and find what looked, at first appearance, to be an intact dead pademelon, only to find its guts lying next to it. Outside its body. In a neat little bundle. Barely a mark on it. Like someone had carefully opened a birthday present.

Yup.

Disgusting.


Then, this morning, I woke up to find a single feather and some guts on the footpath.


Great.

I might be good at identifying animals, but even my abilities were stretched to identify this one from the inside out.

I think it was a native hen.

I have no idea how it got in the yard. The poodles leave things alone out in the paddock, but anything that comes in their yard is, literally, dead meat.

sigh.

z