Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lesson 254: Identity Theft

What a weekend, Readers, and it's only Friday night!

It was a week of ups and downs, 
just like the roller coaster I bravely rode this summer.

I'll write this blog in the same format,
start with some ups,
then we'll hit the dips,
and end with an adrenaline high.

I'll start at the platform, just like on the roller coaster.  It's neither an up or a down.  This is a place to be just flat out scared of what's to come.  Fitting that I was strapped in for my epic coaster ride with my almost fourteen year old nephew Jack.  He's the one who helped me conquer my roller coaster fear in June.  

Jack is at his momentous Boy Scout event, Order of the Arrow tonight, at a super secret location, far, far away from me and his Momma.  

He's earning a badge only a few receive.  I'm scared to death for him, and like Kenyan, probably won't sleep much tonight.  

The Good News of the Week:

The Lamp Post is clean and shiny.
My troops completed the Five Hour Power Scour on Tuesday.

We attacked the house as a team.  I took them all to the Dollar Store the night before and let them pick out their own cleaning products.  They also got to pick what jobs they wanted to do.  When you're dealing with kids and cleaning, ownership to the task is key.

Sam used an entire bottle of window cleaner on the front and back doors alone.  Ellen picked the One Sock Challenge.  Natalie stripped, washed,  and remade every single bed in the house, including Josie's (the dog bed).  

It's amazing what a family can get accomplished when it holds focus.  

Onto other excitement:
I got to hold Clicky's camera!!!!!!!!!!!

This is Clicky, my nickname for him, of course.

He is a local photographer.
His real name is Matt Kleck of MKleck Photography.  

MKleck Photography - Erie, PA

I work out with him a few times a week, 
and once in awhile he shows up with his camera.

Several of you noticed him in this Tough Mudder Photo.

Most asked, "What's with the guy in the ice skater's costume?"
A few others inquired about the "machinery strapped to the chests of the leaders."
No suicide bombers.  
The black straps hold little video cameras called Go Pros.
They are reasonably priced and great to use for adventure sports.

The camera lovers of the group all like to vie for Matt's attention.

I've been whining to hold his camera for months and he finally trusted me for a half a minute.
Ellen was manning my new camera for the evening and snapped this picture of me smooching the lens.
Upon review of the pictures, my witty one said, "It reminded me of Mary holding Jesus."  She then continued in her dry, teenager tone, "I was waiting for you to hold it up above your head like on The Lion King."

Clicky even surprised me with this handy little key chain.
I tested it out and it takes the perfect @$$ shots of people unaware.

Clicky and I got to take my dream shots of the summer.
I finally convinced my teammates to help me with the Shitter Was Full series.

If you remember Cousin Eddie from National Lampoons Christmas vacation, 
you'll understand the joke.

Here is the memory jogger.

Here is the link to see the video clip if you are so inclined:

Here is our version of The Shitter Was Full.
These horrible things are poorly placed along our beautiful bay front.
You might as well make the most of the photo op.

Now we're at the tippy top of that High News Hill:
My friend Tracy Northern won Challenge Erie 4!

She won the grand prize, 
but if you ask me,

we are all winners!

It's not just hearsay, Folks.  This program can and will change your life if your mind will allow it.
And, for you doubters, Doc (Dr. Steven Krauza, local chiropractor) has the data to back it all up.
Contact me for more information about the program and its amazing results.

We're heading downhill now.  Pull those belts in and grip the shoulder straps tight.
Onward to the bad news:

I had a bad run on Wednesday night.  
A foolish run, really.

It started out all well and good at the Logan House at Penn State Behrend,
with these fine and lovely ladies.

Some of us were tired at 7:00 in the evening.
I was a bit itchy and twitchy.
Yet, I knew some time with friends in the fresh air would do my body some good.
The collective energy of my group would fill in my gaps and make me feel strong.

So off I went on a 6ish mile downhill jaunt along the Bayfront Highway, 
to a place called the Tap House.
It is a nice beer place in Erie.

Our Winery Runs have morphed from Ice Cream Runs to Beer Runs.  Amen to that!

As with any city, there are certain parts that are not conducive to running.  
Note to Erieites:  East 12th Street is not the best design for runners.

We knew that going in, so that was not the planned route.  It was the shortcut I had to take because I fell behind the group.  I'm usually the tortoise, but not necessarily because of my own nature.  I can run as fast or as slow as I put my mind to.  In fact, I even kept up with the front runners for the first leg of the run because I hadn't chatted with them in awhile.  Here is the photo for proof that I could hang with Heather, Stacey, and Leslie for a little while.  That's them running past me when I broke away from them.

You see, I got distracted by the photo op.
American flags line the Bayfront Highway.
This series was placed on a bridge over Wintergreen Gorge.

I was trying to shoot the sun behind the flag,
but the wind kept blowing, as the middle set of runners in my group trotted by.

The shot was still a no go as the last of my group ran past me.
"Come on, Eloise!" they yelled.
"I'll catch up," I hollered back, as usual.

Every single time to date I have caught up.  
I swear I get the best workout in the group with all the stopping and starting that I do.  
It is interval work at its finest.

I had just started on my way to catch them when I found this fallen flag lying in the path.
"And they call themselves Americans!" scoffed Eloise!
"They ran right over this flag and didn't pick it up!"

So I did.

and then I farted around trying to get this D Plus picture,
and really fell far behind.

Renee our resident Rockette is 6 feet 5, and was wearing a hot pink ball cap.
Her trio was next up from me.
Surely she'll stay in my line of sight, I thought.

I thought wrong.
I got distracted by this dead mouse I found on the path.

I couldn't help but think of Eloise, on LOST, Season 4, 
episode, The Constant.

By the time I looked up, my group was long gone.

I was feeling itchy and twitchy, it was getting dark, 
and I flat out didn't have it in me to chase them.

You're brave now, Eloise.  You can go this alone.  
So I decided to stop and stake some more fun pictures.

Where can you find this leaf, local readers?

Does this help?

How about this?

Ahhhhh, now you see it!
Do you see me?

Fun game, huh?
Yeah, it was fun for me too.

I continued on finding all kinds of loot along my way.
A single shoe that was probably a clue to some mystery,
This cup of coffee the murderer probably drank before he axed the guy with one shoe,

and this really cool Burger King crown.

I couldn't wait to come upon my friends and show them my finds.
Eloise would have stories to tell for sure.  
Over a beer on a fine summer night, nonetheless!

I'm not great with maps or with math, but when I hit the intersection of East 12 and the Bayfront,
I knew I had to take shortcut in order to ever connect again with my friends.

I hung a left at the corner of Stupidity and Carelessness, Readers.  
If you were on that stretch of Erie roadway on Wednesday night, you may have witnessed a very dumb blond, carrying an American flag and wearing a Burger King crown, running top speed down through an area not exactly Runner Friendly.

It was probably a sight to see for sure.  
Without a doubt, I got the best workout of the group.
I beat Heather Cass to the destination point, probably due to a shorter distance.  Had I matched her stride for stride, I still maintain that on my adrenaline alone, I would have smoked her.  
Eloise was F-L-Y-I-N-G!!!!

I made it back in one piece, despite the honks, cat calls, and a few DANG BEEEEEEETCH! comments.

After a heated exchange street side, (my heat breathed upon them),
we sat down and had a beer together like good friends do.  

Thankfully, I am an avid reader of Heather Cass's Runner's Notes, and did have a cell phone with me, my id, some water, money, and Benedryl ( never know when you are going to run into that bee.........).  I was prepared for problems, but not for my own lack of good judgment.  

Live and learn, so they say.  I've learned, They.
There is also a fine line between bravery and stupidity, so says Helen.
I got that too, Grandma.

We've changed our group running rules a bit.  
No run whereabouts posted on open facebook walls.
The straggler never runs the back of the pack alone.  Ever.
No camera shot is ever worth losing sight of your 6 foot 5, pink hatted beacon of hope.

I promise not to break the rules, Friends.

Pinky swear!!!::Shannon McCaffrey::

I didn't lose a single thing on that run, but I did gain lots of smart, hard earned knowledge.

What I did lose this week was my debit card.  
Another down.
My card and pin number were compromised and some thief helped himself to a $600 spending spree at an Arizona Wal-Mart.  He also appeared to celebrate the theft with an Extra Value Meal at McDonald's shortly after that.  

A new card and pin number are being issued this week.
I have to remember another number.
This should be fun.

The identity thief in the southwest paled in comparison to the one who as been plaguing me since Good Friday.  I met Finnoula Flanigan, my clever and crafty mystery pen pal this evening.  

I was given this package by Doc, at the Challenge Erie Finale Party.
It turned out he was just delivering a message, and They always say
don't shoot the messenger.

so I didn't.
Instead I opened the envelope to find a lamp post note 
and a beautiful necklace.

Still the Real Fionnula Flanigan would not stand up.
She hid in the crowd for another twenty minutes until the big reveal video.

It was then I found out that it was.....

THE MINION!!!!!!!!

This story has intrigued so many people.  Hundreds of you have been hooked, and there are several of you that have guessed it was Jennifer Kelly, long time friend and also a colleague at Harbor Creek High School.

The Fionnula Flanigan mystery is so special to me, and many of you, it will get it's own Stand Alone blog post on Tuesday.  I need a few days to interview my clever friend who was able to Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast Old Eloise.  I'll repost some of the clues and her explanations, as well as what I have planned to do with this story next.  

The mystery isn't over yet, so don't be bummed.  The sender of the mysterious Myrtle Beach post card was NOT Jennifer.  We have a another identity theft!!!!!!!!!!!  Now that the Minion and I will have combined minds, we should be able to root out the impostor together in no time!

I drank the Kool-Aid, Readers and it was GREAT!
This was the best summer I've ever had and I have Fionnula to thank for a lot of that.
You, too Doc, 
my team, 
my running pals, 
my Tough Mudders, 
my children & hubby, 
Kenyan and Crew,
my family,

You are the inspiration for all I share here at the Lamp Post.

If you would like to see some more photos of the week, 

This link will take you directly to my youtube account.
Click on the video Blurred Lines.
It is one of my favorite songs of the summer.

Until Tuesday,

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