Painting

Preparing for “there”

You know how they say that bad things happen in threes? Let me tell you a story and you can tell me if you think I’m done.

  1. Monday I received a notice from the Oregon Unemployment Department (more about this later) that I had an unemployment claim in. Someone is using my information to try to scan unemployment. Much form filling has commenced.
  2. Wednesday I received notice from the IRS that they had “adjusted” my refund and now I wasn’t getting as much. I’ve written a letter explaining why they are wrong.
  3. Friday I got caught in traffic jam and an expedition that should have taken around 4.5 hours ended up taking 10.

Obviously, none of these items are catastrophic. But I’m eager to get any bad stuff cleared because in a couple weeks I’ll be taking a long vacation.

Vacation

Over a year ago, family friends drove over from Montana to surprise me at my show. I added a visit to see them in June 2021 to my calendar. Then Peggy Judy announced a workshop near the time I was planning at her studio in Colorado. And thus, a rather epic road trip was born.

  • Spokane: Turnbill NWR
  • Montana: National Bison Refuge
  • Hamilton (friends)
  • West Yellowstone: Red Lakes NWR
  • Jackson: Rangely National Elk Refuge, Seedskadee NWR
  • Crawford: Sand Basin horses
  • Peggy Judy Workshop
  • Moab: Arches & Canyonlands
  • Salt Lake City
  • Boise: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

I’ve been watching COVID news pretty closely, and started really making plans this spring when it looked like some of the restrictions would lift. And now, I’m pretty committed. I hope the news this week does launch a COVID wave that swamps everything while I’m away. I’ve made hotel reservations, started a couple of vacation boxes of things I need to take, and the kittens met their house sitter this weekend. It’s happening!

Repetition, not Pattern

In last week’s post, I accidently said the May challenge was pattern. It’s not. It’s repetition. Oops. I’m not sure I nailed it with these. These are last week’s starts and how I’ve played with them over the week. None of these are supposed to be “serious”, so I’m just working through some ideas.

I also spend some time with this painting. Sigh. I don’t feel up to a post about it. It’s still a long way from finished.

Three ring

A Rant

Caution: Political commentary beyond this point! Stop reading if you are feeling sensitive!

As I mentioned above, my information was used to create a phony unemployment claim. I’ve spend the week making phone calls to the bank and various credit agencies, freezing as many things as possible to protect myself. It’s annoying, but apparently just part of modern life.

Here’s what makes me crazy, though.

I work for the State of Oregon. Like all government entities, the State of Oregon is subject to public information requests, as it should be. Periodically, all employees are informed that their name, address, agency affiliation, and (I think) salary has been requested as part of a public information request. I believe that the information is “segmented” so that the interested parties get a list of name and address, but that information is deliberately “untied” from the other information. The state does its best to protect the privacy of the employees.

Following this, I always get a bunch of political fliers and various “information” about why I shouldn’t be in a union and the bad things the union is doing. Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just like I’m entitled to a shredder.

But what drives me NUTS is that there are NO backstops about what happens to that information. I’ll bet anyone a dollar that some employee of the Freedom Foundation (the most frequent asker) takes home the lists at the end of the day and goes to scammer town.

And there is nothing I, or anyone else, can do to stop them.