We took a trip down to Mountaineer to do a little gambling. Today was a bad, bad gambling experience for me. Usually I don’t blow through the money so fast, but today was not one of my best in front of the slot machines.
After a couple hours I had gone through my money but everyone else was still playing, so I checked with my wife to see how she was doing. She was doing pretty well and slipped me another 40 bucks to go play. I ended up burning through that 40 bucks as well and decided I would mess with her.
I was teasing her that I was going to hit the ATM machine up for more money and she was freaking out about it. We were standing close to a machine that changes large bills in to smaller bills and I told my nephew to watch as I set up my wife. I started for the bill changer and reached for my wallet nice and slow so that she would catch me out of the corner of her eye. I acted like I was starting to use the ATM (remember, it’s not even a real ATM) and she just reacted. It was funny because she actually came at me kind of bent over and clapping her hands like she was trying to chase a dog off a couch or a cat off a kitchen counter. Hey! (clap clap).
It was one of the funniest things I think I ever saw. Here I am a grown man and my wife is trying to scat me away from the fake ATM machine by lunging at me and clapping her hands.
I’ve moved the site to the root of my server. You can access it from www.blindsquirrel.org or if you are using a newsreader you can grab my new feed here.Update those bookmarks and feeds and I’ll see you over at the new site. This one will be kept around as an archive, but no new data will be posted.
As more and more people are adding high speed Internet to their computers, there are some pretty serious risks that you may not be aware of. I’ve read that a brand new computer running Windows can be compromised in 12 minutes when plugged in to their DSL or Cable Internet connection. I’m not here to discuss if this is true or not, but there are a few things you can do to make yourself, and the rest of us on the Internet, a little safer. I’m going to assume you are running a version of Microsoft Windows for the rest of this.
- Make sure you are running all the available patches from Microsoft by running Windows Update.
- Buy an anti virus program and keep it up to date. If you buy anti virus software but don’t update it regularly from their web site, it will become useless in a week or so against anything new that comes out. Buy something from McAfee or Symantec and set it to update itself automatically.
- Load and enable a firewall. If you are running WindowsXP, there is really no reason you shouldn’t be running Service Pack 2 (SP2). Enable the firewall in it immediately. If you aren’t running WindowsXP, download ZoneAlarm and use it. If nothing else, these will stop things from trying to get IN to your computer. The WindowsXP firewall doesn’t do anything about stopping what is trying to get OUT of your computer. Either way, we’re trying to stop bad things from getting in to your computer.
Once you’ve done these things go to this site, read the doc there and click on the Proceed button. Follow the instructions and see what the rest of the world can see on your computer.
So you should now be more secure than you originally were, but how does that make the rest of us any safer? Because we have disabled the ability for spammers on the Internet to use your PC to send spam out to the rest of us. It’s called being a Zombie. The firewall will stop that ability. The rest of us on the Internet will thank you.
This is just a few quick steps that I would recommend you follow to become more secure on the Internet. This isn’t meant to be the answer to every bad thing you will find there. The last thing I would recommend you do is to download the Firefox web browser, install it, and allow it to become your default web browser. It blocks popups, has tabbed browsing, and more importantly for 90%+ of the Internet, it does not run ActiveX, which is one of the things that makes Internet Explorer so popular, but it also makes it very unsecure. It’s also faster in my opinion, so you can thank me later.
Lastly, you can do like I did and just remove Windows from the equation. I took my family to Apple Macintoshes and I’ve never looked back.
I had some problems with Val’s laptop when I took it from Suse Linux to WindowsXP. She actually seemed to be happier using it when I had Suse on it instead of Windows. So I downloaded Suse 9.3 and started working towards getting her away from Windows once again.
During this process I got bored and decided to bid on older, used iBooks on eBay. I kept losing bid after bid because I think I was just being to cheap for iBooks that were really not that old. So, I thought I would try a few of the older iBooks that came in “flavors” and had a handle to give it that true “Hello Kitty purse” look.
I had lost all of the iBooks that I bid on and only had one auction left to lose, so I figured I would wake up to find another eBay “you have been outbid” email. Surprisingly I won. Great. Now what? Val will kill me. No way will she be OK with me spending money on another computer! But maybe this won’t be so bad. It only cost me $182.50. She’ll still be upset but I have learned that she doesn’t get as mad if I keep the pain under 200 bucks.
I had an old Airport wireless card laying around and also added a 256MB stick of memory to it to give it a whopping 320MB of ram. The hard drive is only 6GB so I needed to be careful what I actually loaded on it. I started from scratch with my copy of OS X 10.3 Panther. It took a little while, but it loaded fine. I would have liked to put Tiger on it but it doesn’t have a DVD drive and I really didn’t feel like forcing it to work by other means. All Val really uses a computer for is web browsing and checking email. Since her email is a HotMail account she really just needs something portable with a browser. Enter – the Tangerine Hello Kitty purse.
The little bugger really works well. I’m adding this post with it right now. The battery life is fantastic and the performance is much better than I ever expected. So, one more Windows machine out the door and another Apple machine in. I like not worrying about her dealing with viruses and spyware. That’s just a little less support I’ll need to do in my own home.
I call that a win-win.
I decided that I didn’t like the options I had with iBlog any longer and wanted to move to something web based. I decided to move over to Blogger. I never knew you could use it and publish to your own servers. If I would have known that I would have moved a long time ago.
So, you’ll notice a different look to the site. I like it. I’m sure I’ll be messing with it a ton until I get it how I want it.
If you are using any kind of RSS reader or syndication, make sure to update your feed using the Site Feed link under the Links section. The old link is now effectively dead. During the republishing of some articles your newsreader may get a bunch of my older stuff again, Sorry about that. I’ll see if I can avoid it entirely, if not it should not be that big of a deal after this weekend.
I’ve also decided to just start fresh with posts to this blog instead of bringing any old stuff over. You will always be able to find the old stuff by following the Old Blog link under the Links section on the right.
Enjoy the new site and let me know what you think.
When we go to Erie, we always make it a point to eat at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. We’ve done this for a long, long time. I had become great friends with a little dish they like to call Burrito Deluxe. Delicious. Simple. Safe. Or so I thought.
Last Saturday we made one of our many trips to Erie and stopped in at what I will now only refer to as el Coli. All 11 of us assumed our regular positions around the 3 tables they joined together for us and all pretty much ordered the exact same thing as every other trip. My nephew and I both had the Burrito Deluxe, an intriguing blend of 1 chicken burrito and 1 beef burrito, a little lettuce on the top, 1 slice of tomato, and some sour cream. Everything was delicious. It always is.
24 hours later I wasn’t feeling right. My stomach was a little upset. I took a few Tums and waited for them to take affect. After a couple hours we decided to just head home. It was a *long* drive as my stomach kept trying to sing along with the radio. I’ve never heard it make such noises. You know you are bad when all you can think about for 120 miles is where a good place to pull over would be in case you need to. Once we got home I immediately headed for bed. Then the bathroom. Then the bed. Then the bathroom. Then…you get the idea. The next 48 hours can only be described as how Mel Gibson’s character must have felt in the final scene of Braveheart right after he screams “freedom!” and they start pulling his innards out one by one. Not pleasant at all. I am still a little tender today from all the hurling I did Sunday and Monday.
I missed work Monday. I missed work Tuesday. Well, I didn’t really *miss* it but I wasn’t able to go. Wednesday I went in and left at 2:30pm. I missed Thursday. Made it back to work pretty much OK today. Feeling much, much better. Thursday I went to the doctor and they told me nothing has been going around. It was some kind of gastro viral thing and I should just ride it out. That’ll be 10 bucks please. I did find out that my nephew has been sick as well though. Aha! We’re on to something. We both ate the same thing. We’re both sick. Nothing is going around. The 10 dollar doctor told me so. The evidence is pretty clear – my favorite mexican restaurant tried to kill me through food poisoning. I never saw it coming. We always had such a good relationship too. Had to have been an inside job. My nephew was probably just an unfortunate innocent bystander who happened to order the wrong thing at the wrong time. Poor sap.
But at work today I find out that someone else I work with has the same symptoms now. He’s out sick. Someone else I work with has a wife and kid that have both been home all week with “flu like” symptoms and their doctor (that must cost more than 10 bucks) told them that they were the 4th and 5th patients that they have seen with this new stomach virus. There’s a chance that we could just be in on the fun so early that the doctors, even the 10 dollar ones, are just starting to see people with the symptoms.
Hmmm. Stomach virus. Other people that have never eaten at el Coli have the same symptoms. Can’t be. This would put a kink in my food poisoning scenario. Could it be that my nephew and I just happened to be some of the first to experience this new strain of stomach virus? Naaa. Had to be the food poisoning.
el Coli – banned!
The cable modem is really working out. Downloads are so much faster than they were with my sDSL. However, I have heard that Verizon will be offering their FIOS service in my area some time in September. Fiber to the home! Phenomenal speeds at very good prices. I may have to leave cable behind in a few months. It would figure since Verizon said hosting
servers is fine with their FIOS service. Now that I don’t need it.Out of boredom I switched my wife’s SuSe linux laptop back to WindowsXP with every possible patch and update. I thought she would be thrilled. Guess what. I should have left her on linux. She’s not real happy with it and was happier with the linux solution. I may end up taking it back to linux again.
Lastly, Apple released 10.4.2 yesterday and I installed it. No issues to report and after 24 hours I can honestly say that it is the fastest, smoothest thing I have ever run from Apple. Remember, I wasn’t interested in Apple until they moved to Unix. Great job Apple. My PowerBook and Mac Mini are running smooth like butter. I’ll add it to the iMac later.