29 April 2015


I am very excited. Kinsey is starting to make preparations for our upcoming trip to the Heart of Everything That Is aka the Black hills of South Dakota. Kinsey read this book over the winter and it got her all worked up about the area. She wrote about it on her blog: Finding Red Cloud & The Heart of Everything That Is.

Yesterday she de-winterized our girl Clementine and began systems checks.

Our Clementine patiently waiting to be rescued from storage.
It has sort of become our spring time ritual to make a run up to Lake McDonald, in Glacier National Park, to see how Clem is feeling. Happy to report she was as frisky as ever. Clem has a little Mercedes diesel engine and it runs like a top even towing Shadow.

It was an awesomely gorgeous day and not surprisingly people were already enjoying the park. At this tinme of year you can just drive in as the park isn't officially open. They have opened Going to the Sun Road to hikers and bikers so many were there for that.

Surrounded by snow capped mountains Lake McDonald is always a site to see. In the photo below some folks are enjoying the sun along with the beauty.

Lake McDonald Glacier National Park
Of course, even gorgeous scenery cannot help but be enhanced by the presence of moi. It's not my fault I think I'm beautiful. Everyone tells me so even with my funny summer hair cut.

Molly Montana at Glacier National Park
There seems to be a lot less snow around than last year. For comparison check out the photos from April 20, 2014. If I remember correctly they didn't get Going to the Sun Road open 'til way late last year.

Kinsey is always amazed and delighted by the lake's clear water. In the photo below it's hard to believe the stones you see are underwater.

Crystal clear water at Lake McDonald Glacier National Park
Other people were out on the lake doing a little kayaking.

Kayaking Lake McDonald Glacier National Park
I had to wait around for like hours whilst Kinsey tinkered around with Clementine. From her tinkering she determined the stove was working as was the refrigerator. Us girls can do without a lot but when it comes to our grub things have got to be right. The house batteries were working as agreed but a check showed they needed their water topped off. So, far things are looking good!

After Kinsey finished fooling around we took off on a walk along the lake. At the campground just before you hit Going to the Sun Road we met the nicest young people. A brother and sister from, would you believe, South Dakota! Well, you can imagine that was grounds for a good deal of talking and sharing of information. We now actually have a contact in Rapid City, their mom Pete who is a travel agent and knows everything about the area. I don't know how Kinsey does it but this sort of thing happens all the time. People just come into our lives just at the right times. But, I help. People are always wanting to meet me so Kinsey gets to meet them too. I am a very effective goodwill ambassador if I do say so myself.

Shea & Tanner our new friends from South Dakota

So, it was a great dry run. After we got home Kinsey drained out all the anti-freeze, treated the pooper and we are looking good to go. The last thing that needs to be checked is the water heater but I'm betting it's working too.

Ciao for now,
Molly Montana

©Kinsey Barnard

26 April 2015


Today we took off  up a road we'd not driven before, Good Creek Road to be exact. There are lots of roads I've not been down, me being just a puppy and all. It is hard to believe that Kinsey still finds new ones after over thirteen years of driving around this area.

We thought we were looking for Good Creek but ended up going into the Miller Creek Demonstration Forest, part of the Flathead National Forest.  I'm not sure what a demonstration forest is but we didn't see any demonstrators. Nice thing about the Montana forests, don't hardly ever see any demonstrators in them. Just saw a few whitetail deer. All they were demonstrating is how graceful they can be when charging off with their long, white tails flying. I would have loved to demonstrate how graceful I can be whilst chasing after them.

Flathead National Forest

We decided to walk rather than drive into the forest because it's still a little early and we were in Shadow (Ford Focus). These single track forest service roads can get a little dicey during the melt. Shadow has about two inches of clearance and no four wheel drive.

Miller Creek was a gushing. I always love to here water rushing. I'll bet the folks in California would like to hear it too only in their own creeks. Sure glad this little corner of the world isn't having water problems, at least not at the moment. Never know when that might could change. Mother Nature can be plenty fickle, or so Kinsey says.

Molly on Miller Creek
The road was all up hill and as it turned out not driving Shadow in was the right decision. Couple of miles up and we hit snow and ice. Kinsey didn't have any spikes with her so that about finished us off. She feels if she's going to fall and break her neck she'd rather do it somewhere where there was a chance of someone finding us. No cell service up here.

Winter not done up here

As luck would have it our timing could not have been better. No sooner did we reach the car than the clouds let fly with a burst of slushy hail.

Hail and snow on the windshield
Once again our hike was derailed by weather. But, not to worry now that we have gotten a taste of the area we will return later to explore some more.

Ciao for now!
Molly Montana

©Kinsey Barnard

18 April 2015


My Magic Jack Horror Story started four days ago on April 14th  when I tried to get help with my Magic Jack device. What I got was a MAGIC JACK HORROR STORY .

Since my first article much has transpired. I'd like to pass it along because I think there are things I have learned that others might find useful.

First let me just say, I have used a Magic Jack for several years. If I have any criticism it would be that the connection quality can sometimes be not so clear. It's been worse lately and maybe that was because the device was going bad. The cost is extremely attractive. Currently, I am paying around $35 for a year of unlimited long distance calling so I am inclined to put up with a little inconvenience. I don't like talking on my cell phone so when I'm at home I use Magic Jack to make calls. I just plug it into a USB port, sit back at my computer and talk as though I'm on speaker. My hands are free to make notes or what ever task I wish. I don't use it for incoming calls because I would have to be at the computer receive them. I simply don't give the number out. You do get voice mail should one wish to receive calls.

As mentioned in the previous article, this whole debacle began when my Magic Device failed to function. In a nutshell I engaged in two on line chats that cost me an hour and a half only to be told my device was bad. I was told how to order a replacement. I logged into my account and did as instructed but when I pressed the buy button I got a message that the card was "null". I entered the number several times and got the same message. At this point my frustration level was over the moon. I Googled "Magic Jack customer service" to find a phone number. I called a number that I believed was Magic Jack. The call was answered Magic Jack tech support. From there the horror story began. You can get the details in my previous article MAGIC JACK HORROR STORY.

I went on Magic Jack's Facebook page to tell them what had happened and try to get help. They said they passed the information on to the Third Party Misrepresentation Team (TPMT). It took some time but I finally did hear from TPMT. The tenor of the responses were condescending and were signed TPMT. Out of total frustration I finally said I was going to call corporate headquarters in West Palm Beach. Not long after, I got an e-mail with an actual persons name, Meghan, included in the message and from there I started to get somewhere.

I had already begun to suspect I hadn't been talking to Magic Jack technical support at all. I provided Magic Jack with my phone number and the general time of my call. There was no record of my call. It began to look like I had called some fly by night operation. When the call was answered the person announced "Magic Jack technical support". Ordinarily, I wouldn't be so sure about this except, using the numbers I provided, Meghan was able to report back to me the Magic Jack name had been illegally used. I bought it hook line and sinker. My first tip: When searching for customer support be very careful the number you call belongs to the company you seek. Your search will turn up all kinds of results using the company name in the title, many of which have nothing to do with the company you want. I totally believed I was talking to Magic Jack.

Tip: The guy I spoke with gave his name as Steve Snyder. I was advised Magic Jack employees never give there last names. Now that I think about it I don't think any large reputable company does.

As luck would have it I recently purchased a Microsoft Notebook and a Nortons Security program to go with it. I've used Macs for years and never used any security programs and never have had any problems. Macs have been famous for their security. Lately, I have begun to doubt that security. My impression is that Apple doesn't care much about their computers anymore. Apple customer service stinks. They have made so much money off iPads, iPhones etc. Macs are barely a footnote in their financial sweepstakes. Companies put their money where they get the greatest ROI. That's not Macs for Apple.

I installed the Nortons program on my Mac. And, guess what? Less than 24 hours after the so called security audit Nortons found and removed a Trojan. Now there are two possibilities neither good. (1) It was either a slip shod audit or the audit was never even done. (2) The tech company put the Trojan on my machine.

Tip: I don't believe Macs are safe any more, certainly not like they once were. I have been worried about this for some time and now I'm convinced. If you are using a Mac get a security program. Don't rely on an outdated perception. So far, I like this Norton program. It's running all the time and yes I've already used tech support. It was very good.

Now here's the corker. the odds of any of this happening are a million to one. If I had not gotten that "null" message when I tried to buy a new Magic Jack I wouldn't have been looking for tech support. As it turned out that "null" was due to some work Magic Jack was performing on their site. The odds of me trying to buy the device at that very time were exceedingly small.

So, other than being a little slow to take me seriously I have no complaints with Magic Jack. I think they should have comped me on the replacement device because it was their fault the order form wasn't working properly. I should have the new device early next week and I will report how it's functioning in a comment to this article. If all goes well I will be renewing my annual subscription come June.

My Mother always told me "Every cloud has a silver lining". It has always been so in my life. This is another example. The whole episode was a hug pain the patookie but I have come out of it with knowledge I would not have otherwise had. I feel it is knowledge I can put to good use.

©Kinsey Barnard

17 April 2015


As regular readers know Kinsey has been embroiled in a MAGIC JACK HORROR STORY. After several days of trying she thinks she's got it all sorted out and will be doing a followup article to explain exactly what happened. TWITTER followers and FACEBOOK followers will want to keep and eye out for it. She learned a lot of things, many of which could be helpful to you too. It'll probably be out this weekend.

Back to the Cow Pie Party. Kinsey spent I don't know how many hours over three days trying to get to the bottom of the Magic Jack debacle. She has very little hair left on her head. Prior to that fiasco we were working hard in the forest.Yesterday was a drop dead gorgeous day so Kinsey declared a holiday and we went to the Tobacco River for a walk. There is a great walk along the river that ends up in the tiny burg of Rexford.

I'm a lot of help!
It's still early in the year for things to be pretty on the river so we just walked along enjoying the sunshine. There were a few Canadian Geese in the pastures and apparently there had been some cows out on the trail. While Kinsey walked along, day dreaming, I fell behind and before she knew what I was up to I was having the time of my life, a cow pie party if you will! I had found a lovely pile of cow poop and was flat on my back, with feet in the air wriggling around on top of it. Oh, yum! I was literally happy as a pig in poop! When Kinsey turned around to see what I was up to it was way too late for me to be anything but a poopy puppy!

Cow Pie Puppy!
We went down to the river so I could jump in it. But, I'm not real big on swimming so it did very little to get rid of the poop. So much for Kinsey's afternoon idyl along the river. Thank goodness we had needed to make a trip to the dump so we were driving the ranch truck. If we'd been in any other vehicle she probably would have left me. I was one stinky girl! And, I LOVED it!

Back at the ranch Kinsey hosed me down, which I did not love. But, I'm pretty much back to normal except for my collar which was nicely encrusted in poop. I think Kinsey still loves me.

Never a dull day around here I can tell you!

Ciao for now,
Molly, the poop head, Montana

©Kinsey Barnard

15 April 2015


I'm turning over my blog to Kinsey this morning. She had quite a day yesterday and you may be interested in the story.

Hi, this is Kinsey writing. As Molly said I had a heck of a day yesterday.  I have used Magic Jack for a number of years and generally been happy with the device. Yesterday morning I tried to install my magicJack on my computer and it would not work. After several attempts I went on line to magicJack's customer service chat. I reached a fellow who tried to help me but after about thirty minutes we were cutoff without a resolution. I tried the chat line again and got hold of another agent who proceeded to take me through the same procedures I had gone through before. I tried to tell her all the things had already been tried but she insisted I do it all again. This was another lengthy call at the end of which the person told me my Magic Jack was bad and I needed to replace it by going to my online account and ordering a new one.

I logged on to my account and did as instructed. It turned out that my device was no longer under warranty and I needed to purchase the replacement. I proceeded to do that. I punched in my card information and got and error message saying something about it being "null". I'd never seen a message like that before. I had found the chat line so unhelpful that I decided to call customer service directly. A man named Steve came on the line and I explained to him I could not get my card to work and read him the error message. He said that message meant the problem was not with the Magic Jack but with my computer. He said he could find out what the problem was if I gave him access to my computer. I trusted him because he worked for Magic Jack. The first thing he told me was that someone had hacked my computer and turned off my firewall. Not only did they turn it off they disabled it so I couldn't turn it on. This was a lie. I later checked with Apple and they ship iMacs with the firewall off as the default setting.

Then he ran some other data on my computer and told me that indeed I had been hacked and the hackers had made an 85% penetration. That they were very close to being able to hack all my internet accounts and steal my identity. To say that I freaked out is an understatement. The agent told me I would need a level 7 technician to fix the problems and asked if I knew one.  I said no I didn't. He said well he could put me in touch with a company that specialized just this type of work. The company was AGA Tech Experts. He said they had an office in Billings. I checked this morning and can find no record of such a company in Billings. They do have a very sketchy website.

Steve told me he could arrange a conference call with the company and so he did. The AGA person Albert said he was a supervisor and quoted me to $149.95 to do the work. No money up front. I would be invoiced with a description of all the work done after it was complete. Keep in mind I am on a conference call set up by a representative of Magic Jack I reached through Magic Jack's customer service number. I had no reason to think this was not on the up and up. I was then turned over to a Damien who would do the work. At this point Steve bowed out.

Now AGA has control of my computer and they set to work. Or so I think. I have no idea at this point. AGA had control of the computer for several hours. I good part of that time was spent using my name to chat with Magic Jack about the device not working. The following is a transcript of AGA impersonating me.

Natasha: Hi there!
Please hold on while I read your previous chats.
Natasha: Are you familiar with MAC computer?
Mary Barnard: yes
Natasha: Okay.
Natasha: One moment please...
Natasha: Ok
Mary Barnard: it appears to me there is problem with my magic jack
Natasha: Yes I checked the whole notes and it seems that the problem is the device itself.
Natasha: Ok magicJack, LP warrants the Device against component defects for one year after purchase. We have determined you need a replacement device, but your device is outside the one year warranty. We charge a fee of $24.95 to ship a replacement device to your US address. (Only if applicable, and an additional $6.00 to ship your replacement to a Canadian address.) When you receive the replacement, just plug it in and you will be prompted to select the device you wish to replace. Your remaining time and telephone number will automatically transfer. For you to be able to get a replacement just go to my.magicjack.com then go to Account tab then locate Warranty replacement you can process your own replacement.
Mary Barnard: okay
Natasha: By the way, the device that you will receive for that could be a new model.
Natasha: Is there anything else I may help you with today?
Mary Barnard: no
Mary Barnard: when i will get it replaced?
Natasha: Ok Mary, thanks for your time.
Natasha: If you wished to process it now you can get it 2-4 Business days.
Natasha: You can process it to your own account.
Mary Barnard: ok…but how can i process
Natasha: For you to be able to get a replacement just go to my.magicjack.com then go to Account tab then locate Warranty replacement you can process your own replacement.
Mary Barnard: let me check
Natasha: Sure
Natasha: Click here to login
Natasha: Are you there Mary?
Natasha: I have not heard from you in a while. Do you wish to continue this chat session?
Mary Barnard: i want to change my card detail
Mary Barnard: how can i do that
Mary Barnard: so that i can pay
Natasha: Hold on
Natasha: Put the cursor on the ACCOUNT tab then locate the MANAGE PAYMENT INFORMATION then add your card,
Natasha: Please check to be sure you have entered all of your credit card information correctly including your card number, billing address (The address where your statement is delivered.), expiration date and card security code.
Mary Barnard: okay
Natasha: ok
Natasha: How was it?
Natasha: Ok it's done Order Number: TS54718043, Order Date: 04/14/2015. It will be on Express Shipping and will typically be delivered in 2 ? 4 days after shipment. Expect a notification via email when the order is fulfilled. You will receive an email within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) that will confirm your order and provide a tracking number.
Natasha: Is there anything else I may help you with today?
Natasha: I have not heard from you in a while. Do you wish to continue this chat session?

(AGA asked me for the card information so they could order me a new device.)

Since I have not heard from you for some time, I am going to close this chat. If you need any help in the future, please do not hesitate to chat with us again. Good bye
Since we haven't heard from you, we must release this chat. Please click here should you need further assistance: www.magicJack.com/techchat

(AGA just abandoned the conversation. Something I would not be inclined to do)

The AGA people came back and said they were finished and the cost of the Magic Jack would be deducted from my bill. The they wanted me to sign a contract and pay them. I had started this trip down the rabbit hole around 9:00am. It was 3:30pm when they said they were done. I was fried so I told them I could not sign anything I could not have time to read and understand. They tried to pressure me but I said no. There was no invoice with a description of services. They are supposed to call back today to finish the transaction.

I don't know much about this sort of thing but it seems to me that either an employee of Magic Jack is running a scam or Magic Jack has itself has been hacked. Either way it calls having dealings with the company into question. Again keep in mind, I got into this mess directly from a phone call to Magic Jack's customer service line.

I contacted Magic Jack on Facebook this morning and they told me they had no third party relationships. They responded "That company is not affiliated with magicJack in any way whatsoever. You should receive an email shortly from our Misrepresentation Team".

It's been several of hours now and no word from Magic Jack. They clearly do not share my level of concern. Which is in itself very concerning to me. The a quality company response  would been more along the lines of .... We are sorry to hear of your experience. We will do everything we can to sort out exactly what happened.

I also asked them in a separate message if they had an employee named Steve S. They chose not to answer.

I will keep you apprised of what I find out but, in the meantime, if you have any dealings with Magic Jack I suggest you use extreme caution.

Please pass this article on to anyone you know who might find my experience useful.  Honestly, you would not want a friend to go through an experience like this one.

©Kinsey Barnard

10 April 2015


Yesterday we made a new hiking discovery and it's only a mile further down the road from Lone Pine State Park. This park is a Flathead County Park. And as it turns out a way cool park.  Like the sky this is a big park for a county park over 400 acres. I wish we'd found it this winter because it looks like a great place to snow shoe.

Herron Park
The big meadow is setup for eventing jumping/competitions. And, even though it's still early spring and the grass is still brown it's not hard to imagine how beautiful it is once the grass greens. Kinsey wants to find out when they have their play days cuz she is crazy for cross country jumping. You may recall the Rebecca Farms Event she went to last July. I had to stay at home last year but she promises no photography this year just me getting a chance to behave in a crowd. Yay!

Ha! I could jump over those obstacles with the best of them.

Molly Montana at Herron Park

But, all Kinsey would let me do was pose.

Molly Montana at Herron Park
I don't know if you can tell. I've had another grooming nightmare. This time using a neighbor recommendation. Kinsey's mother taught her "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything". Kinsey passed that bit of wisdom on to me. So, I'm just saying this one didn't work out either. I look like a wooly lamb. My tail looks like a pom pom!

Herron Park

When we arrived it was sunny but, as so often happens in the spring before long it started to rain. The trails go up into the mountains and we had gotten just a couple of miles before we turned back in case the rain turned into something more than we wanted to endure. At this time of year they aren't warms rains. Me, I would have been fine but you know who is such a wuss. But, from what we saw there is much more for us to explore here and we will be returning very soon.

Ciao for now,
Molly Montana

©Kinsey Barnard

04 April 2015


Kinsey feeds me Canidae dog food. I like it a lot. After watching this video I like it even more. I just had my annual check up and the Doc said I am in A-1 condition. With so much junk food being sold out there I just thought any pet lovers amongst my fans might appreciate seeing this. It's pretty clear these people are old fashioned, they care about what they do. If you can get your human to watch the video you might be really glad you did. Ciao for now, Molly Montana