Friday, April 15, 2011

Staying Safe: What Your Burglar Won't Tell You

Thanks to Barb L. for sending us this information.  Wasp spray?  Who knew?


I am particularly interested in the part about the wasp spray...

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it athttp://www.faketv/


1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard.. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air.. To me, it's an invitation.

8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis , who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

Protection for you and your home:

If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil plans for you.. (I guess I can get rid of the baseball bat.).


A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection. Thought this was interesting and might be of use.


On the heels of a break-in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, self-defense experts have a tip that could save your life.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed.

Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them."

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, "spray the culprit in the eyes". It's a tip he's given to students for decades. It's also one he wants everyone to hear. If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

"That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out."

Maybe even save a life.

Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr.'s office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across to do the same. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there, and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.
P.S. I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is fantastic. Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone. My mom has suggested to my dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem.

All good advice to follow and share with your family and friends.  Thanks, Barb L. for forwarding this to us.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cycling: Red Rock Canyon Tour, June 28-July 3, 2010

One of our friends is a retired Air Force officer who is an avid cyclist.  Of course, living in San Antonio with its mild weather helps him to engage in his favorite sport all year round.  Others in our group also like cycling, as a serious sport or as recreation. (You may remember the Titusville Trail outing.)

Bob is a serious cyclist who participates in the most interesting trips.  In this post, he discusses the trip and gives us a link to the New York Times for further info. Bob writes:

This is a bike Tour I did last year with LizardHeadCycling. There were only 12 of us on the tour and two guides--some really spectacular scenery throughout and the last night was spent in Monument Valley where something like 37 movies(several John Wayne westerns) have been filmed. We rode through the Navaho Indian Reservation in the Four Corners area.The last day of riding was through the Moki Dugout and on to Lake Powell for about 108 miles with some mega climbs. Anyway, Chris Solomon , a NY Times adventure/travel journalist rode the entire tour, and we also had a photo journalist with us who took some great photos. This is the article that appeared last year in the NY Times. I'm going to send you a video as well as I was interviewed daily by the photo journalist to get my take on this herculean endeavor from the perspective a 67 -year -old rider.
Fantastic, Bob!   Those of us who couldn't possibly accomplish such a trip are in awe.  For those of us who also do serious cycling, this is a tour you may want to do.  Thanks, again, Bob.  We look forward to the video.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finally! Time to Read:Tonight in the Rivers of Pittsburgh by Brian Lee Weakland:

Thanks to Cheryl, we have three suggestions for those of us interested in the history of Pennsylvania-especially the western section, including the NW and SW. Cheryl writes the following:

Tonight in the Rivers of Pittsburgh by Brian Lee Weakland

This is the first of a trilogy which takes place in NW and SW Pa – there is even mention of Edinboro College.

Well written, mesmerizing, local lore, history and politics. It will hold your interest and provide information you may not know about our area.

Second book– Woods on Fire (an Indian name) – continues the story and the mystery. Excellent

Zelienople Road is the third installment – I am awaiting the book, but am sure it will live up to the other two and give closure to the characters and events.

It's great to have some non-fiction suggestions for us to enjoy.  Thanks, Cheryl, for recommending these three.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finally! Time to Read: The Fiction Works of John Hart

So who's John Hart? asked the clerk at Barnes & Noble.  True, he's not as widely known as he deserves to be. But she did find one of his works, The Last Child on the shelf.

Actually, John Hart is the author of three works of fiction: 
  • The King of Lies (2006, Thomas Dunne Books); 
  • Down River (2007, Thomas Dunne Books);  and
  • The Last Child (2009, Thomas Dunne Books).
Thousands of books land on the New York Times Bestseller List-some worth reading and some not.  We're all busy women with little time to enjoy a favorite moment with a good book.  The works of John Hart are definitely worth our time. 

All three are studies of age-old questions:  What is love?  Can grievous hurts be forgiven?  Can children show adults what courage is?  Is it possible to confront and defeat the evils that people commit? Can family ties overcome the pressures of lies, deceit, accusation, and death?Is there any hope that families torn apart can be whole again?

All three books are set in North Carolina and feature families in conflict.  In The King of Lies, Jackson Workman Pickens, is a son who has dutifully followed his father's goals for him:  a career in law; the socially recognized wife;  the house on the hill.  All the while, he endures living in his father's shadow.  That is, until his father disappears, and the son is suspected of murdering him.

Family struggles and the interplay between brother and sister, wife and father, man and his reluctance to  defy the life his father had mapped out for him all swirl in, out, and  around 'Work' as he attempts to right the wrongs he has committed, that he has allowed to happen, and that are blamed on him. 

In Down River, a son has been disowned by his father based on the accusation of his second wife. Although acquitted, Adam Chase lives with the pain of everyone's certainty that he really is a murderer.   He  reluctantly returns to his father's plantation five years later at the urging of a high school friend. He finds a stepmother who still hates him, a woman who still loves him, a friend who has been murdered, a young girl who has waited for him, a step brother and sister who haven't forgotte him,and violent confrontations between the townspeople and his family.

As with The King of Lies, Down River has murder at its center, but the real story is the psychological interplay of families  in Rowan County. 

In The Last Child, Hart portrays the disappearance of a  daughter and the subsequent dissolution of her family.  How can parents handle such grief?  What happens to the little boy who has to look after his mother, search for his sister, and try to believe that his father will return?   How does the child reconcile the teachings of his childhood with the evils that he sees?  The strength of this child's spirit  and his determination to find the truth are  the real story here-so much so that  the reader wants to reach in and rescue him.  

And his writing:   It has been described by reviewers as "masterful"(The News and Observer)  and of The Last Child, the Providence Journal describes Hart's work as "A brilliant vision beautifully realized." 

John Hart is an author worth our time. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Our Health: A Reminder and Something New to Consider

A long time ago, I read a book by a physician who said she studied medicine because, as a young person, she watched  over her mother as she waited for an ambulance.  She had called for medical assistance because her mother was suffering a heart attack.  She knew about aspirin, but not about what else she should have prevented her mother from doing while waiting for help.

Thanks to Barb R., we can all reinforce this important information.


Something that we can do to help ourselves.

First, it's nice to know that...

Bayer is making crystal aspirin to dissolve under the tongue. It works much faster than the tablets.

Why keep aspirin by your bedside?

About Heart Attacks...

There are other symptoms of a heart attack besides the pain on the left arm.

One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea and lots ofsweating; however these symptoms may also occur less frequently.

Note: There may be NO pain in the chest during a heart attack

The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep did not wake up.

However, if pain occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep.

If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow them with a bit of water.

Afterwards: CALL 911

- say "heart attack!"

- say that you have taken 2 aspirins..

- phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by

- take a seat on a chair or sofa near the front door, and wait for their arrival and... DO NOT lie down .

A Cardiologist has stated that, if each person, after receiving this e-mail, sends it to 10 people, probably one life can be saved!

I have already shared the information- - What about you?

The young girl who watched her mother pass away while waiting for an ambulance did not know a vital point:  Do not lie down.  Remember this, and tell everyone you care about to follow this advice in case of a suspected heart attack.

Thanks to Barb R. who sent us this information forwarded to her by a friend.