Friday, July 20, 2018

The History of Going to the Beach

Maldives, Tropics, Tropical, Aerial View  Although I grew up near the beach, I've never been one to really enjoy spending tons of time at there.  Growing up, my sister would spend hours lying on the beach, trying to get a tan.  At that time, people associated healthy with tans. 

Going to the beach for the day or for a vacation is only a recent thing.  Back in the early days, before the 18th century, people feared the water and beaches.

Many people sailed off and never returned.  The beach was also where ships wrecked, people died, or natural disaster occurred.  Tsunami's could wipe out whole towns in a few minutes.  It's understandable why people feared the beach.

The poets and painters began changing the seaside into something more romantic.  People started heading to the beach to check out the real thing to compare it with the written words, or painted scenes. 

Around the middle of the 18th century, things changed.   During the Industrial Revolution, it was observed that many of those in the upper classes seemed much paler and sicker, triggering  the idea the sea could restore people's health. Doctors began prescribing time at the sea for medicinal purposes.  This lead to the growth of seaside  resorts which catered to the elite by helping to 'treat' a variety of diseases such as rickets, gout, leprosy, etc.

The prescriptions included information for how long, how often, and when they should go in.  There were even scholarly papers written on the subject.  At the time, people would sometimes climb into a barrel to be lowered into the water for prescribed time.  Sometimes, people would walk in for a bit, then out.  Men were often naked while women had attendants who would hold their heads under  the water when a wave broke.

By 1840, more people from a variety of classes began heading to the beach because it provided an escape from daily life.  The growth of public transportation such as trains aided this growth.  Even the phrase "on the beach" which used to mean poverty and helplessness evolved to mean health and pleasure.  In addition, 'vacation' changed meaning from referring to a forced absence from work to taking time off for a desirable activity.

Once seaside resorts appeared in the United Kingdom, they spread to Europe beginning in France before moving on to Italy, Northern Germany and parts of Scandinavia.  Eventually, it became a desirable place for everyone, not just the richest.  By the end of the 19th century, it was common to go to the beach to swim but it was not easy for women to swim because they wore wool swim suits, covering them from neck to knee with knee high stockings and shoes. 

In fact, Brighton became the first seaside resort for the working class person but over the years, seaside amusement parks sprung up such as Coney Island to provide entertainment for people.  In addition, styles and attitudes changed so women were able to swim in much smaller and lighter outfits. 

Now, the beach is a place to hang when the weather is good.  Some people spend all day there while other buy a cottage so they can spend more time at the shore.  I am one of those people who burns fairly easily when I spend too much time out in the sun, so I don't get out as much as I should.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The 10 Most Expensive Houses in the World.

Architecture, House, 3D, Design  I am thinking about moving in a year or two but right now, I look.  I know what I can afford but I've been looking at the higher end homes, just to drool and see what they have.  They have so much that makes them just awesome.  I'd love to win the lottery but in the meantime, I just drool.

One I saw was in Washington state ran like 8 million for a place that is over 11,000 square feet and multiple acres of land. Even the places that run 2 million have a huge monthly mortgage payment, way more than I make per month.  It would take about a half or three fourths of a year to pay one month.

I wondered how expensive the most expensive places in the world run and they are not in order. 

1.  This 135 million dollar house is found in Beverly Hills, California.  There is a main house with several small houses scattered on 6 acres of land.  The main house has a 50 foot entry way, carved ceiling, a library, wrap around balcony, billiard room, family room, patio that can seat 400, art deco night club, two movie rooms, and a spa.  If you want to you could rent it for $600,000 per month.  This house has appeared in several movies including "The Godfather" and "The Bodyguard"

2. This 102 million dollar house, called the 'Fleur de Lys' mansion in Los Angeles.  This 12 bedroom, 15 bathroom house was influenced by a castle.  It has a 3000 foot wine cellar with tasting room, a double story library, ballroom, commercial kitchen, along with a spa, pool and tennis courts.  It was built in 2002 but sold in 2007 when the couple who built it, divorced.  this has also been featured in a couple so shows including an Audi Superbowl commercial.

3. Popping over to France, you'll run into the $750 million mansion built by Belgium's King Leopold II in 1902.  The 11 bedroom 14 bathroom place sits on 50 acres of land.  It includes an outdoor kitchen, commercial greenhouse, pool, and helipad.  it has also been featured in several films.

4. Back to Central Park in New York City, where you'll find a $45 million penthouse.  It has over 10,000 square feet.  The address, 15 Central Park West is considered one of the most powerful addresses in the world.

5. Over in London, you'll find the $89.4 million Kensington Gardens. It was purchased by an Indian billionaire who renovated it using marble from the same quarry as that used in the Taj Mahal.  The 55,000 square feet includes, 12 bathrooms, a swimming pool, ballroom and Turkish bath among other things.

6. Go over to Monaco where you can purchase a 35,000 square foot penthouse for $400 million.  It is at the top of a 560 foot skyscraper with a 360 degree view of the surrounding water.  It is only a couple years old.

7. If you have $1 billion available, why not look at a 27 story, 400,000 square foot mansion.  It's multi-story garage can hold up to 168 cars,  three helipads,  a home theater for 50,  gardens, guest suites, and a ballroom.

8. Of course, Bill Gate's house in Medina, Washington makes the list.  It's a 66,000 square foot complex valued at $125.5 million.  It includes and almost 4,000 square foot pool building, a 2,500 square foot gym, a just over 2000 square foot library, a just under 2,500 square foot reception hall with a garage that is just over 6,000 square feet.  All of those bigger than all the houses I've lived in.

9.  Head back to Beverly Hills to find the $195 million Mediterranean mansion.  Its 53,000 square feet includes 12 bedrooms with 24 bathrooms, its own bowling alley, theater, swimming pools, and a garage that can hold 27 cars comfortably.

10. In New York State, you'll find a 63 acre place in the Hamptons valued at almost $249 million.  The approximately 20,000 square foot house includes 29 bedrooms with 39 bathrooms, its own power plant, three swimming pools, a 164 person theater , bowling alley and more.

I'm trying to figure out why someone needs 29 bedrooms since most families are not that large but if they have the money and are willing to pay for it, why not.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

New Scam.

Shopping Woman Girl Shop Woman Shopping Pe Just the other morning, I received another text on my phone, offering me the job of mystery shopper.  I didn't ask for the information to be sent as i have a regular job, so this tells me it is another scam.

There are real companies who hire people mystery shoppers but they do not send unsolicited emails or texts looking for people.

These scams work in several different ways.  One way is to create a web site where you have to pay money to access it in order to find out more about the job, a directory of the companies, and the certifications that are required.  Of course the jobs require you pay more to obtain their certification which is worthless.  Lists of legitimate companies are available for free on the internet.

A second way is that you are hired to evaluate a local money transfer service.  The idea is that you are sent a check which you deposit into your account.  Of course the check is for more than you need, so you are to keep a fee, take the rest and wire it to a third party.  By the time you find out the check is fake, it is too late.

Although the bank gives you access to the monies, it can take up to several weeks for the lack of funds to become known.  Unfortunately, the person who has to make sure the bank gets its money is the one who deposited it.  This means you could be out a couple of thousand.  This is a variation of the fake check scam, similar to the car wrap scheme.

Ways to tell its a scam:
1.  The email is via gmail or AOL.
2.  If its a text, the phone number is not a normal one.  The phone number on this text showed up as 141-020-0500 which has been identified as a scam phone number.
3.  You are offered good pay for doing very little.
4. They tell you to deposit a check, take a small amount out before wiring it to someone.
5. The 'employers' set a deadline of say two days from receiving the check to deposit it, withdraw the money, and sending it on.  There is pressure to do it in a very short time because they want to get it done before the bank discovers the check is fake.

In the past scammers used mail, then moved to e-mail before heading off to texting.  Be suspicious of any offer which sounds too good to be true.  I had someone receive the car wrap text and asked me about it.  I promptly checked the internet for more info to verify it was a scam.  Thankfully, the person listened to me and did not follow through.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Chef Sean Walklin's Grilled Kale Recipe

Vegetables Vitamins Diet Food Eat Cooking I promised you the delicious kale recipe I tasted last week at the Farmer's Market.  I had planned on sharing it with you yesterday but I thought the information on the scam was much more important.

The chef made a minor change to the recipe.  Since the kale was so tender and sweet, he omitted the apple and he grilled some shrimp, cut it up before tossing it on top of the kale dish.

He placed the shrimp on top rather than in the mix because there were a couple of vegetarians around who wanted to taste the kale.  He also sprinkled the bread crumbs on at the end so those who needed a gluten free sample could have it.
It was so good, I ordered an electric grill for my house so I can grill inside during the winter.  I've always wanted to grill but couldn't due to too much snow in the winter.  Now I can do it. It might not be as good as with charcoal but I don't have to find any in the middle of a rural Alaskan village.  I don't even think they get it out there.

Grilled Kale
1/2 day-old baguette, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups) or store-bought breadcrumbs
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
3 large bunches Tuscan or regular kale, ribs and stems removed
1/2 apple, cored, very thinly sliced lengthwise
3 radishes, trimmed, very thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss bread with 4 tablespoons of oil on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until crisp and golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let cool. Pulse in a food processor until you get coarse crumbs with some larger pea-size pieces remaining. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in paprika; set aside.
Meanwhile, mix yogurt, crème fraîche, garlic, lemon juice and honey in a medium bowl. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of oil, whisking until combined. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Toss kale with remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl to coat; massage leaves to soften. Working in batches, grill kale, turning often, until nicely charred and slightly wilted, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer back to bowl when done and let cool slightly. Add apple and radish and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing; toss again.
Serve salad topped with reserved paprika breadcrumbs and the seafood of your choice.

It isn't that hard to adjust for Vegans, Gluten-Free, or other dietary restrictions.  The sample was so good, I immediately went out and purchased some kale that I've used in other ways because the weather has been kind of rainy and I haven't been able to use my outdoor grill.  I'll get more and try grilling it then.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Have a great day, and let me know what you think, because I'd love to hear.

Monday, July 16, 2018

This Scam Is Out and About

Car, Wrapped, Covered, Auto, Vehicle The other day, I received a text on my cell phone offering me an easy way to earn a set amount of money per week.

The text went as follows:
FRM: Darren Mclachlan
MSG: Hiring for Pepsi Cola Car & Bikes wraps for $550 weekly.  Reply yes to apprise better.

Sounds like a great way to earn money without having to do much other than allowing someone to wrap you car with an advertisement and you just drive around.

Unfortunately, this is a scam.According to several sites online, the text I received is the first step in the scam referred to as the "Hook".  It temps people because they don't have to do much except drive around.  The idea is that you respond to the text.  They get your information and send you a check or directly deposit an amount for more than the first week's earning. The extra is to pay for your car being wrapped and you are asked to send the extra via wire to the company who supposedly will wrap your car.  Although the car wrapping people are in a different state, they have someone who will be assigned to complete the job in your area.

The check you are sent looks as if it is from a legitimate company complete with routing number, address, signature etc.   You have no clue it is not a good check and neither does the bank, so you go ahead, deposit it before sending the rest of the money on. By the time you find out the check is not valid, its too late.  You have to make up the money from your account.  Neither the person issuing the check, nor the one who will wrap your car is real. 

The text I received was for Pepsi but there are also text's and email offers for energy drinks such as Rockstar, Monster, and Red Rain, Red Bull, or other companies such as Heineken beer and Cricket Wireless. 

Things to look for to tell you its a scam include:
1.  Cashing the check and sending the difference between your promised pay and the amount of the check wired via a company such as Western Union.
2.  The companies issuing checks have nothing to do with car wrapping or the product.
3.  The person you send it to is listed in a totally different state.
4.  They require you to do this immediately
5.  The English in the text or e-mail has lots of misspellings and incorrect grammar usage.

The biggest tip off of being a scam is requiring you to wire the money.  The only thing a person needs to pick up the wire is usually a fake ID and once they've picked up the money, you will not be able to recover it.

Although this particular scam has been around since at least 2013 based on the information I can find, it appears scammers are moving from email to texting to attract victims.  This is the current incarnation of the fake check scam.  Keep your eyes open for it.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.