January 31, 2008

Pam Thinks I'm Excellent

See - she gave me this award!  Now I'm supposed to give my own awards... geeze how in the world am I going to decide?  And I think I'll do what Pam did and not email anyone - probably not a good thing to find out no one is reading here - but there it is.

1. Sissy Willis (although Sissy doesn't usually do this stuff - I'll still give her the award)
2. Erica
3. Mr. Hairboy himself - Parkway Rest Stop
4. Sarahk
5. Jill
6. Joe Tobacco
7. Eric
8. Redneck
9. Venomous Kate - who's been sick lately, maybe this will make her feel a bit better.
10. The Lemon Stand

That's only 10 out of over 100 blogs on my feed reader.  You have no idea how hard it was to choose just 10.   (even though Pam helped out by choosing a bunch for me )

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 10:51 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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Political Call...

Today I received a political call on my answering machine.***  It was for a McCain rally tomorrow evening in Chicago...

I guess I'm still on the Illinois Republican's list.  I wonder if the invitation includes free airfare?

***note to self - figure out how the damned machine works so you can cut off these calls instead of waiting for the caller to get done chatting

Posted by: Teresa in Ummmmm at 10:01 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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Trying to Kill My Computer

I install very few extras on my computer.  My system is pretty basic, having those things I deem "essential" to be able to work and do some other things smoothly.  Unlike many computer screens I see, mine is remarkably clear of icons.

Tuesday, after quite a bit of deliberation, I decided to install a new bit of software - it wasn't essential (that should have been the first warning not to do it), but it was something I wanted and thought would make my computer life a bit easier in some respects.

Unfortunately, the software was not a bit stable.  Within 24 hours my computer had blue screened twice and "frozen" a couple more times.  As this NEVER happens to me - I knew exactly what the trouble was.  Now could I undo it?


Last night, after an entire day out at a meeting (left at 7:30am returned home at 6:30pm), and seeing my 2nd blue screen of death, I figured it was better not to wait.

I spent the rest of the evening fixing my computer.  Got rid of the program, plus one or two others that had crept on the system and were sitting around taking up space - these had been useful at one time, but were no longer.  Then I updated the patches, having waited after their initial release to see if any major problems occurred.  Not to mention clearing out temporary files.  And I nearly forgot to add - scanning everything with my virus scanner plus an "outside" scanner.  (I like to be careful and there were a couple of processes in my list I didn't like the look of - turned out they were associated with the program I blew away)

Of course this was hours of work.  I feel a bit better now I've got it up and running.  So far, so good. But I'm now worried that I might have done irreparable damage and it will come back to bite me again later.  We shall see.

I hate software. 

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 09:04 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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January 28, 2008

An Old Meme Returns

I was over at Sissy's where she has a fun post using an old meme. It's one I never did, but since Suzette mentioned recently that The Eyre Affair is on her "to be read" list, I had dug out my own copy.

Of course this book is perfect for such a meme.

Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

I won't be tagging anyone, but here is the result (albeit a couple more than 3 sentences because the presentation demands such)

He connected up the heavy mains feed to the back of the book and switched the power to "on"; he then started work on the myriad of knobs and dials that covered the front of the heavy volume. Despite the Prose Portal being essentially a bio-mechanism, there were still many delicate procedures that had to be set before the device would work; and since the portal was of an absurd complexity, Mycroft was forced to write up the precise sequence of start-up events and combinations in a small child's exercise book of which - ever wary of foreign spies - he held the only copy. He studied the small book for several moments before twisting the dials, setting the switches and gently increasing the power, all the while muttering to himself and Polly:
"Binametrics, spherics, numerics. I'm--"
"Off!" replied Mycroft sadly. "No, wait...There!"
He smiled happily as the last of the warning lights extringuished. He took his wife's hand and squeezed it affectionately.
"Would you care to have the honor?" he asked. "The first human being to step inside a Wordsworth poem?"

Ah what fun this book is.  I hadn't thought about it for a while.  Yes, I'm glad Suzette mentioned she was going to read it because it's just the sort of lift one needs in the middle of dreary winter time.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 08:16 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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January 27, 2008

Fun With News...

I saw a couple of things online today that made me stop and do a double take, so naturally I must share.

First we have this headline:

WWF group urges halt to Mediterranean tuna sales

For a few minutes I was trying to figure out why Wrestlers would care about tuna sales. Then I remembered that the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) is now the WWE (World Wresting Entertainment) and the headline lost all appeal.

Then this story is popping up all over the place:

Disabled Spy Satellite Threatens Earth

A few of the opening paragraphs made me laugh.

WASHINGTON - A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could hit the Earth in late February or early March, government officials said Saturday.

"could hit the earth"... so what happens if it doesn't hit the earth?  Where does it go then? 

...and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down...

It might not come down?  If it doesn't come down there's no problem right?

Okay I'll stop.  It was just too silly and a poorly worded article that is being copied everywhere it seems.

What can I say, some days I'm easily amused.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 10:57 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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January 26, 2008

I Need Some Spare Memory

The other day I was blog reading in my usual "read fast there are so many posts" fashion.  (The only way I could read slower is if I read fewer blogs.  Since I don't like giving up blogs - I just try to read faster. This comes back to haunt me at times.)

I read a post that I'd like to go back and reread... trouble is - I can't find it.

I don't think it's on my regular list of reading.  I think I clicked a link somewhere, but I'm not sure!  Which means I'll never find it again. 

It falls into the realm of "fun posts"  as it was about the author very much disliking the TSA 3oz rules and the 1 quart plastic bag rule.  Her "rebellion" made me laugh - mostly because I wasn't standing in line behind her - but for the life of me I can't remember where I read it.

Like I said - not earth stopping or even "important".  But since I can't remember where I read it - this means I want to find it.  One of those oddities of life.  If I knew where it was, I probably would never have thought of rereading it.

I need new memory - a spare chip implant or something.  And it should be non-volatile. 

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 05:08 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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January 23, 2008

Everyone Was Wrong

The worst part is they all think they're right!

I was over at Jill's where she had posted this story.

A Deep Divide: Digital Kids, Analog Parents

The kid knows no boundaries. But neither does the adult. The high school senior is so lost in a hyper-public, YouTube world that he thinks nothing of forwarding a private phone call to the entire planet. The wife of the Fairfax County public school administrator the kid called at home is understandably miffed about the invasion into her private sphere, yet she returns fire with a shockingly disproportionate blast of rage.

What you have here is NOT a divide over digital vs. analog - you simply have a bunch of people who never learned any manners.  Period.

First you have a kid who calls one of the school's officials at home - not at the office, but at home to basically whine about having to go to school when it has snowed.  This is the first breach of decorum.  Not surprising that he wouldn't want to go to school.  What is surprising is that he is a high school senior and he's doing this.  It's the type of behavior I might expect from a second or third grader.

Then we have the wife of the school official returning the call.  Breach of decorum number two.  This was not a call to her, she had no business returning the call unless her husband requested it.  If he did - that is yet another breach.  She is not the school official, she shouldn't be handling this. 

Then we have her completely and totally inappropriate rant at the student.  (What are we up to... number 4 or 5 now on the etiquette break down?)

...when Candy Tistadt returned Kori's call and left a message referring to the students her husband serves as "snotty-nosed little brats," and urged Kori to "Get over it, kid, and go to school!"

There's a bright idea - call the student names.  Now that's showing real adult restraint isn't it. (Okay I'm going to stop counting - the poor behavior simply gets worse and worse)

He (Devraj Kori) responded by posting the message she left on You Tube!  Oh good - now we're into "one upping" each other.  Can you hear the conversation in his head?  "Okay b*&^% you wanna leave me that kind of message, I'll fix you!"

He's a SENIOR - this means he's nearly, if not already, 18 years old.  He's too old to get a pass for not having control over his actions because he's angry!   If he hasn't learned restraint by now, when is he going to learn it?  Or does he think that the entire world is going to bend over backward to be nice to him?   Once again you have behavior more suited to a younger child - this time maybe ten or eleven years old.

What astounded me most was the response by the head of one of the schools in this district, when the youtube hit the fan...

"It used to be you could have an inappropriate or rude conversation with someone and it would stay private," says Ron McClain, head of the Parkmont School in the District and a parent of teenagers in the Montgomery County schools. "There's a much fuzzier line between public and private now. This is a case where the technology has outpaced our ability to cope with its effects. As parents, we're way behind."

So... it's okay to be rude when you believe you can get away with it and there will be no consequences???

Holy crap!  No wonder the kid hasn't learned anything - even the supposed "educators" know nothing about proper behavior. 

As I said, this is not about the digital world smacking the older people amongst us. I'm of their age range and I know more than my kids do about the digital world - ignorance of technology is not the issue!

This is about people with no idea of how to interact civilly with each other. It's exactly the outcome I would expect.  If the adults don't act with some sort of decorum, how in the world can they teach it or even expect it from the students?

Also expected is the reaction of the journalist who wrote the story. He completely missed this aspect of it in his rush to blame technology.  There's a surprise.  But if he did go after the real cause of the problem, his entire story is gone. 

Blaming technology is just so easy. It doesn't fight back and leaves everyone with that feeling of... "gee there's nothing we can do".  I think reporters enjoy stories like that - they're easier to write - no analysis required.

As it stands, it's very likely none of them know how to spell the word etiquette, much less know what it means.  Maybe if we turned it into a computer game at least the kids would learn.  However, at this point, they may all be beyond hope. Thus you will have an entire district of kids taking to the world with no idea of polite behavior. 

Wonderful - where can I hide?

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 09:53 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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I'm A Super!

Snagged from Richmond...

Your Superpower Should Be Super Speed


You're quick witted and fast to act.
You're mind works at warp speed. From your perspective, everyone else is living in slow motion.
You get so much done, people have accused you of not sleeping.
Definitely not a couch potato, you feel a bit crazy if you're not busy doing something.

Why you would be a good superhero: You're be the first on the scene... and likely to finish the job before anyone else shows up

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Being bored by everyone else. Including other superheroes!

What Should Your Superpower Be?

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 02:11 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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January 22, 2008

But It Could Be True

I was reading through The Register and came across this bit of Henny Penny action

CIA claims crackers took out power grids

Of course the first questions are when? where? how? and how come I hadn't heard anything about it?

"We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands. We suspect, but cannot confirm, that some of these attackers had the benefit of inside knowledge," Donahue said, according to a statement posted on the SANS web site. "We have information that cyber attacks have been used to disrupt power equipment in several regions outside the US. In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the internet," he added.

Alrighty then. 

They suspect attacks, but won't confirm them. They claim multiple cities were hit with power outages, but won't say where or when it happened. 

Excuse me while I yawn. 

This is the type of baseless, scaremongering claim that does far more to hurt than to help when talking about computer and industry security. 

SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) is the system that runs most of the utilities around the country.  It has its issues, mostly that it is insecure within the confines of the utility company itself.  It could be broken into from outside, but that is very problematical for many reasons. 

Unless the other countries are using the same systems we use, set up in the same way in regard to internet access, how can he begin to equate a supposed attack elsewhere in the world with a possible attack in this country? 

The real annoyance is the lack of factual evidence. The statement itself has no content. There's nothing - not one single fact to back up what he's saying.  It's the all powerful - super menacing (cue scary music) "we know this to be true, we just can't tell you why - it's a security issue"...(/scary music)

If he's serious, he should be fired for turning a legitimate threat into a farce.  In all other cases, this guy needs to do some remedial fairytale reading.  The Brothers Grimm could point him in the right direction on matters of scaring the kiddies. 

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 06:32 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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January 20, 2008

Play Video Games... Save A Life

Man Imitates America's Army, Saves Lives

It's not always a waste of time to sit around and play games.

"I used a towel as a dressing and asked the man to hold the towel on his wound and to raise his hand above his head to lessen the blood flow which allowed me to evaluate his other injuries which included a cut on his head," Galvanek said in a letter to the America's Army design team.

Galvanek said he learned about controlling bleeding from playing section two of the "medic" class training in America's Army, a game developed by the Army as a recruitment tool.

Go Army!  That's quite the tool you've got there!

Hat Tip Slashdot

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 05:53 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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