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How to Ensure Access to Your Online Accounts After Your Death

There was an interesting article put out by the Associated Press in the Sunday edition of the Greenville News, entitled “Deaths Leave Online Friends in Limbo”.

The article discussed the importance of having a contingency plan for those passwords, secrets, and other bits of extremely important information that you have stored inside your memory, or head.

As stated in the article:

 

David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, has had plenty of time to think about the issue.

“I work in the world’s largest medical center, and what you see here every day is people showing up in ambulances who didn’t expect that just five minutes earlier,” he said. “If you suddenly die or go into a coma, there can be a lot of things that are only in your head in terms of where things are stored, where your passwords are.”

He set up a site called Deathswitch, where people can set up e-mails that will be sent out automatically if they don’t check in at intervals they specify, like once a week. For $20 per year, members can create up to 30 e-mails with attachments like video files.

Regardless of what method you use, given this technological era the majority of us have entered into with online banking, emailing, blogging, and other types of social media, a contingency plan is needed.

Please provide your loved ones, family, and/or friends with an idea of where they might can find information that will better assist them in closing down your estate. I know it is a morbid thought but:

Nothing is certain but death and taxes.

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Living the Dream: While Looking Behind the Curtain

We want to assume that the majority of people are inherently good and that those people perform the integral duties by becoming the spokes of industry, or corporations. Subsequently making the majority of corporations inherently good.  If you live in today’s world simply observing day-to-day headlines, you understand that general belief is not a pragmatic one.

 I am only thirty years old.  I have not gone to war for my country.  I have not served my country in a governmental capacity.  I go to church. Volunteer on boards in my local community and serve humanity in the best way I know how. Fighting! Mentally sparring in the arena of insurance injustice and inequality.

My matriculation came through real life trauma, then subdued emotions, dogged persistence to overcome, sheer determination, alcoholic anesthetizing relief (perceived relief), a secondary trauma jarring my belief in God & good, and then a laboratory environment of learning with analysis being the saving grace-cynicism a plus.

 Law school was of course the laboratory, set in the home of the Allman Brothers and the Oculmulgee Indian Mounds.  The latter being the former in historic terms.  A filtering of those bright, over achieving, contentious and, for the most part, selfish graduates of a four year university.  Those more altruistic, non-confrontational went to medical school.  All the others, escaped the grasps of the constant oil and water analogies and media hyped rivalries.

The laboratory teaches analysis, subjective thoughts of the objective facts.  Hypocrisy would be a more fitting term for the advertised spring-board to greatness. A confrontation in my second year at the rat lab helped me utilize these great tools of subjective thought when a study abroad opportunity came available only to be denied by my “advisor”.  A further inquiry to the dean of the school indicated the root of the denial didn’t come from the concerns of my furthering education but the flow of my tuition being re-routed to another program for a semester. That simply will not work when the staff of a private law school is being paid so well.  (Hear the voice of the man behind the curtain reign down.)

It seems I have constantly been exposed to the “man behind the curtain” in my real world experiences.  Life was fine till I realized every day is not a given and 65 is not the age you finally have fun, or enjoy the “Golden Years”.  My financial advisor initially tried to question my mockery of a 401K until he heard my story. Cancer can be a hell of party pooper. As my Aunt Mary K says, “Every party needs a pooper that’s why, I’m inviting you. Party pooper!, Party pooper!” That song always helps take away the demonizing aspect of a leukemia diagnosis.

A much more light heart ed and fantasy world example of Dorothy looking around to see a tiny old man, would be my internship at Walt Disney World, aka The Rat.  I never was an overzealous Rat lover but those people are minted at Disney.  I worked in the park and stayed at an apartment complex full of similarly aged co-eds, both from the states and abroad.  I met some of the most real people down there and was even in the wedding of one those friends.  However, those grand memories can not extinguish the horrors of traveling within the tunnels underneath the Magic Kingdom and seeing Chip & Dale with their heads off making out with each other on their break.  Watching Cinderella smoke Marlboro Lights.  Eerily enough, observing Mickey Mouse characters with some type of fairy dust on them that cause their eyes to sparkle with more energy and enthusiasm than most male cheerleaders at a slumber party. Scariest thing I have ever seen, outside an intruder at my bedroom window when I was young.

As the Tin Man looks for his heart only to realize there is no magic potion or quick fix for the traits we all possess. It just takes a little common sense and some introspect.  Life is frail. It can be taken away in the snap of your fingers.  As I stood by mother’s bed and watched over her during a 6 hour period, her lungs slowly constricted causing her breathes to get shorter and shorter.  Eventually her mortal shell could no longer operate and I witnessed her last breathe.  Her eyes slowly moved upward into her head and that was the finale to a year of her suffering immensely.  Pain so bad I awoke in the middle of the night to hear her screaming at the top of her lungs because the cancer was just eating her.

This leads to the Scarecrow searching for his brain, a search I have had to make on numerous occasions.  Self-pity had set in on my first round with cancer and I was having an exceptionally bad day when I just flew off the handle with an older gentleman that told me to not let the cancer get me down.  I made the horrible mistake of asking what he knew about it anyway.  He proceeded to tell me of his wife’s death, son’s death, and recent diagnosis he had with the horrible disease.  I learned quickly to never think my life is worse than anyone else’s.  You never know what someone else is going through.

There is no doubt finding courage for the Lion can be a hard task.  Externally he’s the “King of the Jungle”, all fear him and revere his dominance and power.  However, internally he struggles to face everyday life.  We all have felt this if we are in tune with who we truly are. I brave this daily posting my thoughts and writings for all to see.  The hardest and the most joyous thing in the world can be living.   Really living.  Looking at the leaves on a tree and seeing them for the wonderful thing God created with so much life and existence.  If you fail to enjoy the simplest things in life, how can you expect to enjoy the bigger things like your health?

Then again, what do I know?  I’m just “Living the Dream”.

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Hostage Negotiating 101

While visiting in Charleston, SC this weekend, a friend of mine lost her cell phone partying downtown. She was noticeably upset on Sunday morning, especially since her husband was due back home that afternoon, and she did not want anything to be awry. In an attempt to check her voice-mail messages someone answered her phone. She was both elated and confused at the same time, given her still clouded mind from the libations consumed the night prior.  Instinctively, she quickly set up a meeting point to retrieve the phone and when asked about a “reward”, I assisted her in saying $100.00.

Given that her husband is one of my best friends, I couldn’t let her go down to the Waterfront Park on her own. The mission was simple, get the phone back with as few casualties as possible. We headed down to the rendezvous point to meet her phone’s captors.  Before arrival at the park, we received intel from our main headquarters in Mt. Pleasant, that the captors were wearing black pants, black hoodies, and were in a hurry because they had to go back to their mama.

I wish the setting could be more ominous but upon arriving at the beautiful fountain on a day where the sunshine was bright and warm, we quickly spotted the captors. They were a group of “rose boys” disguising their ruse by diligently working their trade at the first set of picnic tables.  I sent my friend ahead with my phone to call her phone and set the trap. Using the 13 years of backyard ambushes with my neighbors as my experience, I stayed back and monitored.  The plan was simple, lure the boys further on the pier so they would only have one exit, past me. The call was made and …

 

out of the 4 “rose boys” the youngest answered her phone and directed her in. The oldest one, about 14, sat on the upper railing of the peer and monitored. I “darted” in on the group as my friend came from the opposite direction. There we were. Face to face with the 8-10 year old “rose boy posse”. Almost, fearlessly the young captor offered me a rose made of palmetto tree pieces until he realized my intentions were for his other wares.

I inquired about the phone. Actually, I told him to give me the phone. He asked about the money. I told him he stole the phone and should be happy that I don’t call police. The young, “rose boy posse” did not like the questioning of their morality as they held my friend’s phone for ransom. They said they found it fair and square. This probably had some truth to it considering my friends accounts of her night out. However, I pushed forward stating that they stole it and the police would have to believe me or them.  Blanket looks of confusion persisted throughout the whole group now, including myself as to the next step. The youngest captor and possessor of the phone, inquired as to an amount I was willing to pay. I said I would give him $20.00 and right when I was about to hand over the money, I realized we had no idea of the phone’s physical condition and function. The phone was made available for viewing and the transaction then went down, my $20.00 for my friend’s phone.

The oldest “rose boy” still perched on the pier snarled and I asked what his problem was. Some words of engagement were made but luckily my wits were about me and I decided to not get in a fight in public with a 14 year old. 

The captors most interesting move came as my friend and I were walking back to the car and laughing about the whole ordeal.  The young “rose boy” came up behind us saying, “Hey, you!” After about the third or fourth time I turned around.  The “rose boy” had remembered the initial $100.00 offered as a reward for the phone. Interestingly enough, I was impressed with his persistence but not with his position in the negotiating.  We had the captured phone in hand and he had already accepted the $20.00 offered for the phone.

Charleston is helping these young, “rose boy” entrepreneurs, better peddle their wares as illustrated in the video below.  They sure did make a quick $20.00 off my friend’s phone. The interesting issue would have been the break point of the depleting value of the phone and my friend’s desire to have that phone vis-a-vis having an excuse to go get a new phone.

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Do I Need A Doctor, Lawyer, or Preacher? Part 3-Priorities

Often times doctors play God, attorneys battle at the gates of heaven and hell, and preachers try and enable all to walk the walk.

  1. Preachers: As defined by Wikipedia:

Some believe a preacher is distinct from a theologian by focusing on the communication of the doctrine rather than the development of the doctrine. Others see preaching and theology as being intertwined. Preaching is not limited to religious views, but it extends to moral and social world-views as well. Preachers are common throughout most cultures. They can take the form of a Christian minister on a Sunday morning, or an Islamic Imam or Da’ee on a Friday afternoon. The point of preaching is to inform or convince the hearer of a certain world-view or belief. 

  • You should go to a preacher when you question the meaning of life, want to know more about  Christand/or God, seek a deeper spiritual journey, and/or simply to learn more about faith and religion.
  • You should titheto the church one tenth of your earnings.
  • I am a Christian and therefore believe in God.
  • I attend NewSpring in Greenville after having attended in Anderson for several years.
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Do I Need A Doctor, Lawyer, or Preacher?: Part 2-People

  1. Lawyers: As defined by Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Lawyers, also called attorneys, act as both advocates and advisors in our society. As advocates, they represent one of the parties in criminal and civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in court to support their client. As advisors, lawyers counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest particular courses of action in business and personal matters. Whether acting as an advocate or an advisor, all attorneys research the intent of laws and judicial decisions and apply the law to the specific circumstances faced by their clients.

 

  • You go to a lawyer when you have been injured by the act of someone or something, when you want to set up and conduct a business, enter into a real estate transaction, get a divorce, settle a dispute, seek Social Security Benefits, and other types of inquires as to your legal rights with any given situation.
  • Lawyer’s Pay: Some lawyers work by the hour, others by retainer fee, and still others by contingency fee.
  • Contrary to popular belief, lawyers don’t hate doctors. Likewise, lawyers are men and women of faith and religion. (Now if a lawyer practices medical malpractice there is often times no love lost between those attorneys and the doctors they pursue).
  • If you need a lawyer inquire with your state Bar organization, ie SC BAR, research on the Internet, ie GoogleLinkedIn, and Twitter, and/or check your local Yellow Pagesor Talking Phone Book.
  • Choose the lawyer and law firm you are most comfortable with.
  • An interesting article entitled “Investigation Confidential”about how to choose an attorney.
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