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Employment: Scams Are Among Us
In a world where COVID is rampant, not even the job scene is safe. I have been out of work since the middle of March. I lost two jobs on the same day. After a few months of debating the job market, I found an ideal concept. Remote job placement. I started looking into getting my insurance license and functioning through a home office.
But, I’ve wanted an office position, preferably in real estate. I have a background in both areas. I ended up coming across a perfect ad. A remote administrative assistant job to a real estate developer.
I applied for the position. He replied via text later that day. I’d read about more and more employers doing interviews over text. I thought nothing of it. At first.
He said all the right things. He asked all the appropriate questions. The interview took more than a day. He was with me step for step. I was so excited to have a chance to do what I love. Despite my willingness, he never performed a background check. I listed my references. I’d assumed he’d called them. I had been licensed by the state, to collect poker money. I had a proven track record in finances, sales, management and customer service. He told me that I was perfect for the job.
At first, the details were clear. Do his grocery shopping, content editing and drafting paperwork. I tried to do research on this man. I checked his phone number. Looked for Facebook. Searched into the company name that showed up in the job ad, as a professional e-mail address. His phone number was from California, but his ad stated the company was in Seattle.
He claimed he was a real estate developer. However, after looking into the company further, the Seattle company was an accounting firm. He claimed he was starting his own company.
After talking with him another day, I continued my research. I found a man, fitting the bill, who lived in California, at some point three years ago. Perhaps an explanation for the phone number. I still couldn’t find any social media.
The developer had his “IT man” contact me. They told me he needed remote access to my laptop. They needed to upload the company software. I had recently purchased a new laptop and had little information stored. My husband and I considered it an acceptable risk. We’ve learned in life, to always be precocious.
They told me I needed a bank account that was associated with his for frequent transfers. Once he found out my husband was a veteran, a USAA account was an option. Here is where some other force stepped in and saved my butt. While I was trying to create an account, they watched my computer. For a variety of reasons, I couldn’t create an account. I had to phone them, which prevented sharing my personal information over remote access. The process was delayed. I was to provide the details once I had them. The next move: obtain the account information of my personal account. They intended to transfer money for me to perform my job, while we waited.
My husband and I ended up using an old account we didn’t use anymore, to keep everything separate.
My husband said something offhanded that started the nuts and bolts going off in my head. Deposits of $10,000 was immediately flagged by the IRS. Unease started in earnest.
The next morning, I woke up to several missed calls from the employer. And one text. They were transferring $9000 to my account. My instructions were to book a hotel for a conference for 200 people, including a block off to stay in, and refreshments to last two days. He would give me a date later on. And he wanted it “near to me.”
Now, I live in a smaller parish, a half hour outside of New Orleans. Why would a Seattle real estate developer magically want a large conference, conveniently located where his REMOTE assistant lived? When I questioned him, he stated he wanted to test my capabilities.
All of this time, I expected a completely different gig. I expected more. Some sort of further vetting process. Who, in their right mind would hand a stranger $9000? I’d assumed a few hundred dollars, at most. Buy his milk. Keep his schedule.
My blood ran cold. This man had my account information. He had remote access to me.
When I demanded he stop the transaction, his story fell apart. I demanded more information. The name he gave me for a start-up company was a legitimate real estate firm in North Carolina. The website didn’t list his name anywhere. However, the company name was his last name.
I turned off my laptop and put it away. I needed to breathe; regroup. I stopped researching this man and started looking up scams.
And they were plentiful.
Assistants all over the USA and beyond, had fallen prey to this sick game. A few were as fortunate as me. People laundered tens of thousands of dollars to their “assistants.” The assistants took the money, and eventually sent some back. Or paid bills that weren’t genuine. And for a lot of people, when the hammer fell, it was on their heads. They went to jail. Or a thousand other horrible things.
I called the police. An officer came to my home, to go over everything. They confirmed my fears. Had I taken the money, who knew what would’ve happened. I called the bank and let them know. They recommended I close to account, to cut him off. I stopped taking his calls and texts.
In this life, often enough, too good to be true, is just that. These individuals have no qualms about using real information; just enough to confuse, to entice. Unfortunately, we live in a world that produces endless ways to scam and deceive. Just remember to use good sense. I certainly will.

What Should Be Made Of The PS5 In Its Upcoming Console War?
written by Melissa King July 9, 2020
All of my adult life, I have been firmly cemented on the PlayStation side of the big debate of the ultimate gamer’s experiences, between PS and Xbox. I doubt that will ever change. Some rumors have the PS5 coming out in November of 2020. However, I doubt we will hear much until August. So until then, I wait with bated breath. 
In late July, Microsoft plans to have an event. It hasn’t been discussed externally, but one would think that the event may be to reveal the price and release date of the next Microsoft gaming experience. With the console war going on in earnest, PlayStation is speculated to be waiting for Microsoft to lay down their cards first. This could influence both vital pieces of information for the PS5’s near future. It wouldn’t be the first time they banked on the mistakes of their counterpart, and it may not be the last.
With that being said, when the PS5 finally hits shelves, expect the price point to be somewhere in the range of $450 and $600. A little high; but I hope it’s worth it. I remember the Playstation 2, when released, had cost me around $299 back in 2000. With inflation, I suppose the PS5 will reflect a similarity.
This time around, Sony is delivering to their fans the highly touted DualShock series controllers, replacing their previous DualSense technology. The photos of the controllers are reminiscent of an Xbox controller. This is a major reason why I don’t favor the rival company, as I don’t like the feel of them by comparison. On the flip side, some of the bonuses for the new design is that the controller will be lighter and the battery life will be increased. 
Just recently, PlayStation released photos of their brand new white system. It was very surprising, mainly because of the sudden huge shift in color from the predominantly grey/black motif we have seen from past consoles. Yet, this isn’t the only change The PS5 has been rumored to be up to. Fans can expect the PS5 to have a scale roughly 50% larger than that of the Xbox Series X, quite possibly the biggest console in creation, rivaling a PC. The system will contain a solid state drive, greatly increasing speed, and give designers more flexibility on creating in-depth world building. Also mentioned is the support of external hard drives as well. However, it is recommended to put off the purchase of one to allow the first generation to work out its kinks, which makes perfect sense. After buying the first generation PS2, I learned to wait until generation 2 or 3 to ensure the best possible playing experience. 
What’s more, The PS5 console will be compatible with PS4 games. I love this. Growing up, we had every single console known to man. From Atari, to Nintendo 64, and beyond. They were beloved, but took up so much room. Imagine a console that could house EVERY flavor ever made! There is some speculation on issues with the PS5’s capabilities to handle constant high-running power, giving a greater chance of producing heat. The PS4 had been modeled to deal with the inevitability. But, with the natural progression of vivid and immense detail of the games—and the constant demands on the structure—will the PS5 hold up and be worth the wait? 

Identity Is Harder Than You Think....
Some time ago, I’d met someone who told me they weren’t racist, they just didn’t approve of mixed race couples. At first, I thought HEY, WOAH! Hypocrite, much?
That’s like me saying, I hate tomatoes. But, what I don’t say is, I love ketchup. Which, evidently, is true.
A comment can hurt, on the surface. But, what if you don’t understand their reasoning behind it? I didn’t say what I immediately thought. I asked WHY? Why do you think that?
This was his reasoning. He doesn’t believe that the children of mixed races deserve the flack they get. He grew up in NOLA East, Chalmette, to be more precise, closer to downtown, than the outer ridges. He is Italian, but grew up in an African American neighborhood. He watched mixed race children ridiculed and excluded (and those are nice words for what he told me), from a young age, leaving a lasting impression on him.
Perhaps, we need to dig deeper than the average person is willing to do. Open your eyes, and take a good look around. Not everything is as it seems on the surface.
I had a conversation last night about labels, equality and the like. I have been thinking about it since. While, I understand my thoughts seem a little all over the place, it’s because they are.
Such as, how I saw a picture of a very young boy playing dress up: make up, pearls and heels. Which brought up the issue of what toys young children should play with. Which brought back a few articles I was reading about transgender/sexual association/gender identity.
While I understand that this issue scares the hell out of a lot of parents, it is a valid, strong issue some have to consider. What if your six year old daughter comes to you and says, I want to cut off all of my hair! I don’t want to play with those dolls, or put on that pink party dress you’re making me wear!
I’ve read some stories recently about how parents try to impress, maybe even force what they think is right on that child, when they are absolutely adamant. Sometimes, it isn’t a phase, or a whim that will go away in a week. It is the mentality of the child. It is, in essence who they are. We, as parents try to do right by our children. But, in the same token, we have to take that child’s happiness and well being to heart.
If, a parent tries to force their views on an impressionable mind, they might’ve hurt themselves, as well as their child. Perhaps, the child now thinks they can’t be who they are. It is wrong. They now think they can’t come to their parents. What if that child later discovers they are indeed
transgender/gay/lesbian/Buddha/extraterrestrial (you get my point) so on and so forth. They are ridiculed at school, and they have to hide at home. They become withdrawn. The parent begs, pleads to know what is wrong, and they can’t tell them. They can’t risk their parents love. Their only lighthouse in a storm of distrust and vulgar prejudice.
What becomes of them?
At the end of the day, what the parent wants for their child, only goes so far. To be a productive, functional adult, we all have to be accepted, respected, for who we are. People shouldn’t have to hide, only to survive.
So much out there is ready to knock us down. Family and friends shouldn’t be one of them. Take a breath; sit back, read, research. Come back with a level head. What is good for the goose, isn’t necessarily good for the gander. 

Ramblings Of An Erotica Writer: Perception

Dear Readers,
Perception is in the eyes of the beholder. A book gets judged by its cover—and being a graphic and cover artist, I know this better than most.
Is it fair? No. However, it is reality. Some people just see the world as they’re going to see it. There are aspects around them that make them associate these things with the good or bad.
For my wedding last month, I had my hair dyed black, with a few blue streaks—nothing major and very subtle, to the point most people didn’t notice they were there, unless they really looked. Including this one woman who occasionally comes to the medical building I have an office in.
As many of my strange stories start out, as this is where a lot of it happens—I’m a smoker, so obviously, I do go outside with my book to have a cigarette. It’s in a parking out with a cement ledge I sit on, right next to a parking spot. Last week, this woman parked, and got out. I smiled, she smiled, went in. No big deal right? My hair was up, the weather cloudy, so my hair looked black.
This past weekend, I went to Sally’s and purchased an array of products, because I was bored. Without getting into the exhausting process I went through to achieve the current results, I have black and a lot of vivid blue hair. Black on top, down to the line of my chin, where it jaggedly cuts into the blue down 7-10 inches, depending, since my long hair is layered.
Today it is sunny. In the sun, my hair is without a doubt BLUE. Even the black-blue closer to my roots shimmer a similar color. I’ve done a lot “worse” to my hair, shocking, if you will. It’s hair! It grows back. Didn’t think much of it.
So imagine my amusement this morning, while I’m sitting outside with the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, trying to figure out if Rene was Arlene’s ex-husband in the TV series as well (I don’t remember if he was, as I recall him being her current boyfriend on TV), having my cigarette, and that same woman walks out of the building toward her car
I looked up at the woman and smiled—she didn’t return it. She skirted around the area I occupied by a 10-foot radius (a very hard feat to manage since it isn’t a big space with the other cars). The woman glared at me. She couldn’t stop staring at my hair when got into her car and, surprise, surprise, locked her doors.
To be honest, I smiled, and then laughed. She wasn’t impressed with my reaction—I believe she took offence. At first glance, she didn’t clue in who I was. Not that I expected her to. But when I met her eyes through her windshield, I saw it—the recognition. She’d figured it out. Like come on—I’m in the same place multiple times a day, you’ve seen me before; I didn’t jump you, steal your car, demand money or whatever else you thought I’d do. Was a PARTIAL dye-job enough to make you forget that? With her brow furrowed, she backed up and left, but that puzzled look stayed on her face.
I wonder what her opinion of me would’ve been had I truly woke up this morning and decided I was *Goth* today. Right now, I have jeans and a red jacket on. Nothing majorly “abnormal,” but I could’ve donned my “dom” boots with a lot of metal and 6-inch heels, stripped red and black thigh highs, black skirt and a rocked a skull t-shirt. Could’ve been cargo pants and a t-shirt 10 sizes too big for me. Sweats and a hoodie.  My fashion is as unreliable as Vancouver’s weather, just as my hair is. People’s reactions don’t seem to be.
No matter what color the hair, style of clothes or anything—we’re still the same people on in the inside, just in altered packaging.
What do you think?
Kayden McLeod 

2011 Vancouver Riot; Insanity, Stupidity and Carnage

Dear Reader,
Last night, Vancouver lost the Stanley Cup. Boston won. Congrats guys. I wish the Canucks the best of luck in the next season. You all did awesome this season, and accomplished so much.
As for the city of Vancouver and the residents—no big deal—it’s just a game, right?
The second I woke up this morning, I remembered what I told my fiancée last night, thirty seconds after Boston took the cup. “Now, there will be death, destruction and violence.” And after that, I’d watched a movie and went to bed.
What I woke up to stunned and sickened me. I was scared to open my browser this morning, and just by putting riot into Google—there is was; plain as day, in full colour.
Mayhem. Flipped cars, roaring fires, countless windows shattered, rioters and looters everywhere. People getting beaten up, accused rape and people in critical condition—and more.
I spent a few hours looking at photos and you-tube videos this morning. I wanted to know just what people were capable of. These images that flashed by my eyes put any riot in the movies to shame. Because they were real. They happened, in the city I live in.
And what else did I notice? Almost all of the prominent offenders were kids or young adults.
I found a Facebook page completely devoted to posting pictures of the rioters, in hopes they will be identified and prosecuted. On this page, I found screenshots of the rioter’s Facebook profiles, their profile images depicting the carnage with them standing in front of it, like they were in front of some infamous monument.  But, in some sick and twisted way, I suppose that is what they made it. They were proud to openly state their heinous crimes, right in public and on social networking sites. To make it worse, their friends told them to delete these status’, that they would get caught. Most didn’t chastise them, but cheered them on, like they actually accomplished some great feat in life. Stupidity breeds stupidity.
One person said on Facebook they were now “history.” Yes, you asshole. You made history. You made the news. You made You-tube and websites, and conversations between civilized people who look on you now with revulsion. Your childish, useless antics hurt people, businesses, terrified people who were trapped in buildings, who had nothing to do with the riot, waiting for the police dealing with the rioters, to get their families out safely.
And for what? By the end of it, were any of these people even thinking about the game anymore? I would bet not. They were thinking about what they could destroy next, caught up in the growing frenzy that had taken over, grew and spread like a plague bent on annihilation.
*Insert sarcastic applauses here* What did this gain the rioters? Very short lived fame amongst their equally young, naïve and idiotic peers. Shortly followed by a witch hunt that begins today, and jail time. How does being locked up in a cage sound? In this day and age of social networking, people can and will find you. And since you post what you did and the pictures to prove it, you will be found. You will be punished.
Was it worth it?
And what did the innocent gain? Destruction of their property, terror—because they are people who live downtown, in the thick of it. They had nothing to do with anything, and they paid for daring to own real estate in Vancouver’s core. I heard it said that to be downtown, you deserved what you got for even being there. Mostly that’s true—though not all. What about the business owners who aren’t open today, who lost their part or all of their livelihood as they clean up the carnage. What about the people who lost their cars in fires, or had their homes broken into? What about the other events people attended last night—that had nothing to do with the game? That just had the sheer dumb luck of being booked months ago, before the game night had been decided by the NHL? Those people had already bought and paid for their tickets. Concerts around here don’t get out until between nine-eleven pm. Prime riot hour. And they were stuck in the middle of it, forced to hide or flee.
Some people are being ridiculed for doing nothing about the crimes, for staying out of the way—trying to get out of Vancouver as fast as they could. What would you do if a mob was coming your way? Call the police—who are already there? Perhaps fight them back, one to a thousand people.
Some hockey-goers stayed in Vancouver and they didn’t do anything destructive. They just stood there and watched like a show being put on for them. Should they be absolved? Or is it guilt by association? They think they should be pardoned, because they were merely an audience—a lot of them, a cheering one at that from what I read. I really don’t know—I wasn’t there, and I don’t know what was in their heads to say either way.
Another site devoted to finding the rioters, created by someone with good intentions was misused. There were several captioned photographs of rioters and the Vancouver Canucks. The displayed words and Photoshopped images completely diminishes why the page exists in the first place—to bring the wrongdoers too much needed justice. This diminishes people as a whole, using a good purpose to spread yet more immaturity, stretching it out, making a bad situation worse. And again, what was the point of THIS? It doesn’t make any sense.
I suppose, none of it is really supposed to.
In a world where war and riots are upon many of us, over issues such a freedom, poverty and pain, one would think that those lucky enough to have what we do, wouldn’t break over in chaos for something as asinine as a hockey game.
I applaud Vancouver’s RCMP, police and the general population who braved the anarchy, to help those in need of it, who were cleaning up the streets before the riot had even ended. The people who are out on the streets of Vancouver, today, while I write this, cleaning up the mess of juvenile, idle minds who have no place in civilized society.
When I woke, I was disgusted. Now, as I think about this, not just the riot, but everything that will come of it, I can’t shake the feeling of disappointment and repulsion. I doubt many of us Vancouverites can. Again, immaturity breeds more immaturity, just as stupidity spawns stupidity.
For those involved, grow up and fast. Because when you land in jail, you’ll have to.
I will ask one more time—was it worth it?

Kayden McLeod
Sensual Treats Ezine covers and some content within

SIren Book reviews ezine that I helped co-create

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