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Today’s blog is brought to you by the word, “CHARGE.” Those of us that grew up with Sesame Street or watched it as adults with our young children will recognize the opening to various segments. I was particularly affected by this word in the last week thanks to fraud, opportunity, new procedures and more. Let me explain . . . 

On Wednesday, I was part of putting on a hybrid seminar/webinar on cybersecurity for manufacturing companies in particular. We talked about what NOT to do via email to avoid identity theft and how valuable a driver’s license number is to a professional hacker. Check out the video at A driver’s license is pretty cheap, while a full medical history is worth an amount that explains the cyber attacks on hospitals.

The next day, a client I’m working with indicated a profile picture of myself was not adequate to put me into their system and they needed a more official ID. Hmmm. Strike that advice and take the risk of sending an ID via email.

That same morning, after doing work at the computer for an hour or so, I noticed a fraud alert in my special financial email account. After a call to the bank hotline, we closed down that charge card and had them issue a new one. I get to look forward to changing the card number in dozens of places where that card is regularly used. My son says he has that happen about once a year now. It’s regular enough that he has a spreadsheet of several dozen places where he has to put in the new information.

I received the new cards in short time via UPS. But, then I had trouble activating the new card. I could not do it on the mobile app and I could not do it online via the web. After another call to the bank, found out they still had a bloc on the account. Once that was removed, I was able to get back into business. I used the card within 24 hours to make sure it is working. 

Friday, we drove our new electric Mustang Mach-E on a 200 mile trip. It was pouring rain and terrible traffic. What normally takes 4 hours took over 6 hours to complete. We planned to “charge up” a bit at 100 miles out, same as we’ve done for 2 decades when driving our gasoline vehicles. We had scoped out a charger at the same exit and were ready to go—or so I thought. I had downloaded just about every EV charge app there is to my phone. Alas, in the pouring rain, I could not get the designated charger to initiate. It would not accept my charge card (a different one that the one with fraud on it.) It would not connect with the app. I tried calling the support number mentioned either in the app or online. When they asked for the number at the top of the charger and I could not find one, I realized I was calling support for the wrong EV Charging company. Sort of like trying to use your Shell rewards card at an Exxon station. Actually, thanks to Mastercard or Visa, that actually works. The EV Charging companies need to get off their own proprietary cards. Well, thank goodness I had fully charged the battery. We made it the full 200 miles with lots of miles to spare. My wife likes to say that my attempt at charging the vehicle was an epic fail where FAIL is an acronym for First Attempt In Learning.

Later that night I found a high speed charger nearby. The plug in to the garage was able to give me 3 miles of distance per hour, while the high speed charger could give me 3 miles of distance per minute.

Next, I just finished training for a new service offering for my consulting business. I’m charging ahead with the training and the work needed for business development. I spent time last week sending out notes to some people and time today meeting with people as a followup. 

The Charge of the Light Brigade is famous. I don’t think my experiences measure up to that. However, around the world we still have warriors charging into battle. We have fire fighters charging into buildings. We have police charging after suspects.

Barker, Thomas Jones; The Charge of the Light Brigade; Defence Academy of the United Kingdom;

I took training as an electrical engineer, so I know everything in this world is charged up by the positive protons and negative electrons. So, I’m charged up and ready to go. How about you?