April 30, 2006

Soon To Arrive

Our newest appliance - a gas grill. Today beloved husband and I finally made the effort and went grill shopping. Well, maybe I should say, I've been researching them online and today we hit one of the local stores and looked at a couple of models I thought would suit our needs.

The grill is a significant piece of equipment for me. That's why I was extra careful. Currently our kitchen has some dandy looking appliances - they were made for house beautiful. Unfortunately, I don't think they were made for actual, real life cooking.

The most frustrating thing, other than the horrific switch from gas to electric (hate it!) , is the "smoking oven". No matter what I do, how I cook, how careful I am, the damned thing belches out smoke whenever I use it to cook. No matter the style of cooking, bake or broil, there will be smoke. I have run the cleaning cycle at least once a month since we moved in. In my last house with a decent run of the mill gas range - I ran the cleaning cycle twice a year - if I remembered. I am so frustrated, I am hoisting the white flag - I give up!

You may wonder why we didn't just get a new oven. Well, the problem is, the original owners (who didn't do much cooking) had builtins of "rare" appliances. Right now, the maker of our oven has a store about 50 miles away. Other stores out here used to carry it, but no more. It's an odd size, so any oven work will also entail cabinet work and very likely a new exhaust fan. Plus I would want to put in a gas cooktop (propane) at the very least while everything is torn up. The price tag on all that is far higher than I want to spend at the moment. Thus the new grill - I'll just cook outside and use gas to do it!

I've never used a gas grill before - only charcoal. I love charcoal, but let's face it, it isn't the easiest thing in the world to fire it up in mid winter. With gas, you just make sure you have propane, and you're good to go. For the summer I'm thinking we'll use the charcoal grill on occasion, but for most cooking I can get back to using gas. Especially nice is the side burner, which I am very much looking forward to using. Yes, we splurged on that - it certainly wasn't absolutely necessary.

We didn't get a huge grill, although it was fun looking at the Viking outdoor oven - it's the Cadillac of gas grills. If I had the money, I'd drop it on that baby in a heartbeat! I love good cooking equipment, I think we've got potential with the nice 4 burner model headed our way. With only 2 people to feed, I can do meat on 2 burners and vegies on the other 2 at a lower temp, plus any extras like rice on the side burner.

But you never know what kind of fun will happen when you mix me with a heated cooking surface. This is why I'm paying a few dollars extra to have the store deliver it and set it up. I can have them show me how everything works and I can make sure that when it catches on fire for the first time - it will hopefully not be my fault for improperly connecting the gas line or some such nonsense.

Stay tuned. Tuesday is delivery day.

Posted by: Teresa in Food and Drink at 05:33 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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April 28, 2006

Very Strange

I can't quite figure out why, but I'm suddenly being inundated with hits from google-image for the "cat" picture I posted for blog sis TNT way back in January.

For me it's very odd to get more than 100 hits a day (most of those being google/yahoo searches were people ended up in the wrong place) but this is very strange. On Fridays my average hits run 60 tops, with a more realistic average being 45-50, today I'm nearing 200 - and they're mostly for that picture. I wonder what's going on here.

Posted by: Teresa in Ummmmm at 02:51 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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New Way to Catch a Phish

It's the latest Phishing scheme and I wasn't going to blog about it, then changed my mind.

Earlier this month, San Francisco-based Cloudmark trapped an e-mailed phishing attack in its security filters that appeared to come from a small bank in a big city and directed recipients to verify their account information by dialing a certain phone number. The Cloudmark user who received the e-mail and alerted the company knew it was a phishing scam because he's not a customer of this bank.

It seems people are catching on to the email only approach (about time) and the bad guys are moving on to a new way to scam people.

And that's where VoIP comes in. By simply acquiring a VoIP account, associating it with a phone number and backing it up with an interactive voice-recognition system and free PBX software running on a cheap PC, phishers can build phone systems that appear as elaborate as those used by banks, O'Donnell says. "They're leveraging the same economies that make VoIP attractive for small businesses," he says.

Regardless of the method used by the phishers, let us say it yet again... DO NOT EVER EVER EVER GIVE OUT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION BECAUSE YOU RECEIVED AN EMAIL!

Are we very clear on this? If your bank has a problem they should contact you through the old fashioned channels of either US Mail or a direct telephone call to you. If you ever receive an email like this - go to your phone book, find your bank's phone number, and dial them direct. OR go to the bank in person! It's your money, and your account. Keep it safe.

If you have already given out this information because you didn't see this first, please contact your bank immediately - call them directly and not from a phone number you found in an email.

This has been a public service message from your friendly neighborhood geek.

You're Welcome!

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 05:35 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 27, 2006

Walking Around Boston

Today we visited Boston, which is a great city to see on foot. It was a gorgeous day (a bit chilly for me, but it would have to be 90 before I started thinking it was warm). Years ago we had visited the city and did most of The Freedom Trail tour.

The one thing we missed, because of the huge crowds, was The USS Constitution. today we finally got on board and got the tour. What a fabulous ship. The most amazing thing to me was how solid the deck was. If I didn't know it was wood I would have sworn I was standing on a concrete floor. Since it's a Navy vessel - the oldest commissioned vessel on the water - the tours were given by Navy personnel. The young man who did our tour was excellent, enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable. If you are ever in Boston, I highly recommend taking the time to see it.

We stopped at Boston Beer Works for a late lunch. Surprisingly, the food was excellent. Since they are a brewery, I expected passable food with emphasis on the beer (which I don't even drink). Husband and son had beer, I had water. We all had excellent sandwiches.

Afterward young son notes - he got a sunburn. This never happened during his entire year in Southwest Asia... go figure.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 06:19 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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April 26, 2006

Only the News Media Would Be Surprised

When it comes right down to it, is anyone except the news media surprised by this?

UPDATE - thought it was a news site, guess it's google watch blog. Still, anyone? Am I the only one who thinks this is par for the course?

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 04:59 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 25, 2006

On Leave

Young son has arrived in town - he's on leave. Which means I've been a bit busy today. But after being awake for the last 23 hours - he's hit the sack. So I decided to see if anything was happening online.

My blog daughter Mathcog Idiocy has been posting some key word searches she's been getting. I thought I'd have a look at mine and here are some of the more... interesting... things people are looking for.

"reddi-whip how it works"

I think we need Harvey to give us a full explanation of that one.

"write compile run undetected keylogger windows xp"

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk! Someone is trying to be very naughty!

"velvet painting clint eastwood"

What is it about velvet paintings and Clint? I had no idea this was such a big thing - but this is a frequent search string. Amazing.

"starbucks stupid training class"

This would be the person who flunked... right? The one I DON'T want making my drink for me.

In other news... it looks like Tony Snow from Fox News will be the new White House Press Secretary. It will be very interesting to see how he works out. He's smart enough and he's a quick thinker - both necessary qualities for a Press Secretary. The big thing will be - how does he handle the White House Press jackals? Stay tuned... I'm sure there will be some interesting press briefings.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 05:21 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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April 24, 2006

24 - The Giggle Hour

First off, let me reiterate... I love Chloe! She was a hoot when she was talking to Buchanan. Telling him his computer is a piece of junk, but she thinks she can use it! Even better she adds "Sir" on the end. *yes I was giggling* However, I find it impossible to believe that she's having THAT much trouble getting through the firewall to the State Department... I think that's about the most unbelievable moment in the show. (considering Chloe's talents and the lack thereof in goverment departments)

Then we have Audrey's father calling to tell Jack he wants to help after double crossing him in the first place. Good for Jack for telling him to shove it. Yep Devane still reminds me of a Kennedy - especially when he very woodenly shouted the apology into the phone. *more giggling* Could he possibly sound any more fake? However, he redeemed himself by driving the car off the cliff. I never would have thought he had it in him.

Oh yeah, Audrey... couldn't quite pull the trigger on Henderson - even though he's responsible for her father's death (or supposed death - no confirmation on that yet). The least she could have done would be to take out a knee or something.

I knew Karen, who is running CTU, was going to turn out to be a good person! Once again we have a moment of levity when she interviews Shari (little miss sexual harassment - finally remembered to look up her name). Dear little Shari starts confessing to being mentally unhinged when Karen asks her why she let Chloe escape. *giggle becomes a laugh*

Karen - who is a smart person - has suddenly put it mostly together and is taking the right actions. Miles is still being a scumbag - is he's in on the President's plot? I really want him to be so Jack can beat the tar out of him. I'm also wondering how his keycard is going to come in to use later. I bet Chloe gives it to Jack to get him into CTU before this is all over. So far Miles the smarmy back stabber hasn't realized the card is gone. Best conversation of the night is when Mike Novak is talking to Karen and tells her things have been strange at the Presidential compound. *definitely laughing*

As for the President and Mrs. Prez... I was all in favor of her taking out her slimy husband at the end of the show - but that may be done by the new people to appear tonight - one assumes they are rogue Secret Service. I can't quite figure them out, they MUST be getting something out of it that we don't know about yet because you don't commit all these crimes just to keep the President in place. This does clear up the murder of Walt Cummings near the beginning of the season - the President did it. However, it looks like Mrs. Prez has finally realized just how awful her husband is... what will she do about it? The President is still talking about sending her to Vermont - maybe she can hook up with Howard Dean... *giggling again*

Next week... Jack hijacks a plane... this I've got to see. Very slow night for Jack tonight - he only got to slug Henderson once. Curtis got to take out a few of Henderson's men when rescuing Audrey, otherwise no more mayhem... don't like that at all!

Posted by: Teresa in Television at 05:42 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Did They Ask?

I stumbled across this little blurb on the Yahoo news today.

Many Cancer Survivors Stop Mammographies

ATLANTA - More than a third of breast cancer survivors gradually stop getting annual mammographies, according to a new study.

The results may indicate women grow complacent about medical screening once they get past the medical scare, said the study's lead author, Dr. Chyke Doubeni of the University of Massachusetts.

Others said it's more likely survivors avoid screenings because they dread a recurrence of the cancer and additional treatment.

It is incredible to me that any of these people think they should be taken seriously. After all - it's not as if they can't just go and ASK people! They already have a number 63% (Correction that should read) 37% - they must have gotten it from somewhere. If you know the number - and you know the patients, then it is the height of irresponsibility to throw out reasons without actually ASKING any of these women.

They may be right for some of the women, but I would venture to say that for my part - I would avoid it because it's a very painful procedure. It is painful to the point that I have often wondered - how much damage is being done by the test itself? And if you look at it in the light of how painful it is, why is it so difficult to believe that a woman who has had major surgery, chemo, and radiation, might just want to skip yet another painful procedure on a body part that has already been overly stressed?

It seems as if the people pushing for breast cancer screening have decided this is the be all - end all of tests... you better not question it's efficacy in any way - or you must be "for" letting women get breast cancer. Or, if you're a woman who avoids the test - you must be sticking your head in the sand and just don't want to know!

Isn't it amazing. People who question just about everything else from supposed lack of funding for research, to whether women get enough attention in the ER... won't allow any question as to the method of detection for breast cancer. Instead of placing any blame on the test itself - they blame the women!

How about - humans are conditioned to survive by avoiding things that HURT them. This HURTS. Therefore, being well adapted creatures of survival... we avoid it! Not one single remark in the article covers this - it is so typical of a medical establishment who believe they know what is best for all of us. Which leads me to believe it is these researchers are the ones sticking their heads in the sand. If you don't even consider the test itself to be a problem, and eliminate it without even stopping to consider it, how valid is the rest of your research?

I call bull sh*t on this one.

If they want more women to be screened - they're going to have to come up with a procedure that doesn't hurt... period - or is far less painful than the current method. Especially for women who have already been through the wringer and just can't work their mind up to accepting more pain. They still won't get everyone - they never will. But you will get more women willing to be screened if they aren't smashed and flattened.

BTW - you can be screened using MRI technology... any takers as to the reason that isn't used more often?

Posted by: Teresa in Medical at 09:13 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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April 23, 2006

Multiplying Like Rabbits

The Bad Example Family is growing exponentially! Not only do I have 2 new blog grandkids.... The Other Sister Person who made her way into the blogosphere a couple of days ago. Today my newest grandkid Zephyr's Place has at least managed to put up her own lame first post.

But then I head over to Harvey's place and find out I have a brand new blog brother too - The Wandering Gunslinger! Harvey has the birth announcement up at his place.

Pretty soon the Bad Example Family will rule the blogosphere - just wait and see.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 03:01 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Batting 1000 for the Weekend

I missed the whole thing.

I was all set to go to the milblog conference and I had to drop out at the last minute. It was all for a good reason (the interference of real life at just the wrong moment...), and yes I'm moping - I know I missed a great time.

Congratulations to Andi for pulling it all together - head over and see some behind the scenes pictures. Sounds like it was a wonderful time.

Best of all... Sgt. Hook has the interesting details that have been mysteriously left out of the official reports.

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 02:45 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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