Saturday, July 01, 2006

772 John Scalzi's Paean to Canada

John Scalzi, of the AOL journal "By The Way...", has written a letter to Canada and posted it in honor of Canada Day. I have copied the whole letter because I think it's wonderful, and I want you to read it, and I know some of you don't want to get the AOL ID required to read his journal. But mostly because I want to keep it, so I can find it again easily in my archives. No, I haven't obtained his permission to copy it, but he gets enough email as it is, and I believe that having given him full credit (and it's not like in copying it I have cost him income from it) it will be ok. If he objects I'll remove it, but I hope that by then you've read it.

John's original is here:

Dear Canada:

Thank you for being you. As the co-inhabitant on the Great Geographical Duplex known as North America, you are the perfect neighbor: Friendly, decent, hard-working and forgiving. You're the Ned Flanders to our Homer Simpson: Always smiling, always ready to lend a hand, always patient about the return of power tools -- in your case, talent like Mike Meyers or Neil Young, whom we said we were just going to "borrow" for a couple of years, but haven't gotten around to sending back (although, to be fair, we did return Corey Hart in short order, and hardly the worse for wear).

Thank you for never going to war with us. Oh, sure, the British used you as staging grounds for a couple of their wars against us, but that doesn't count; the Brits were abusive, coercive parents to the both of us, so we know they were just using you to get to us, like abusive, coercive parents do sometimes. After we sorted them out, you've been the model of sheer peacefulness, which of course, we've used to our advantage. After all, not having to defend one of the longest contiguous borders in the entire world has saved us a tremendous amount of cash and effort over the years, which we've used to do other things, like, oh, invade Mexico and take over roughly two-thirds of that country.

(Always been touchy neighbor, that Mexico; heck, they practically begged us to invade and take California off their hands for them. We didn't want to do it. Well, maybe James Polk did. But the rest of us could have left well enough alone.)

You, on the other hand, have never given us an excuse to get all Manifest Destiny on you, and that's a fine, fine thing, because you know that in our more intemperate youth, we would have done just that, and then later everyone would have been sorry. Heck, even now, I'm sure there are some elements of our populace who would wouldn't mind stuffing Alberta or British Columbia into a sack if they thought no one was looking -- all that oil and fish and lumber, mmmmm, so tempting. But we'd never do it now. Because you're Canada, our constant, non-belligerent friend, and we couldn't do that to you (at least, so long as you stay in one piece -- another reason to tell those excitable Quebecois to calm the heck down).

We know it can't be easy living with us. It's like being the younger sibling of the Most Famous Person in the World -- the sibling that doesn't actually enjoy fame and went on to become an accountant or some such. When people meet you, they want to talk about your famous sibling and whatever damn fool thing they did that has the newspapers chattering, not about you (or about accounting). And sure, you've gone along with it, more or less politely, but we know that sooner or later it starts to grate on you. You have a life. You have feelings. You're your own country, and sometimes you don't give a crap about what we're doing.

But you still put up with it, and with us. It's more than we do. God forbid someone should ever bring up Canada to us; we'd have a blank look for a second, mumble something like "Oh, yes, Canada, a lovely, lovely country, all that hockey and beer, you know," and then find some way to direct the conversation back to us. We're just that way. It's a weakness. And we're glad you understand it.

And let's be honest. In some ways you're a greater country than the US is. In terms of sheer square mileage (or, in deference to the metric system you use up there, sheer square kilometerage), you've got us beat -- you're the second largest country by land mass, placing silver only to Russia. Also, while you, like we, had this tendency to displace the earlier natives of the land you wanted for yourself, you did a stand-up thing recently and gave many of them their own territory. This is not something I really see the US doing anytime soon -- it's not like we're going to say to our Native Americans, okay, here, have the Dakotas. Also, Macintosh toffee. Please mail me some right now.

Fact is, we don't appreciate you. We ignore you. Despite hearing it played frequently at sporting events, the only two words most of us know of your national anthem are "O, Canada," and that's only because they're also the title of your national anthem. What little of the Canadian culture we do pick up comes from old SCTV skits and Rush albums. You know the name of every US president since Lincoln, whereas we're hard pressed to name your current Prime Minister. The only really nice thing we've done for you in the last couple of decades was to get into a tizzy about those ice skaters a couple of Olympics ago, which prompted media from other places to talk about a "North American bias." We were confused about the "north" part of that.

Well, although I know it won't make up for the years of neglect, or for the waves of draft-dodgers who scurried across your borders, or for stealing the Stanley Cup from you year after year, or for, well, every lame thing we do because we're big, fat, self-centered and oblivious -- I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being so very Canadian: Calm, collected, agreeable with just the merest hint of passive-aggressiveness, which, by the way, we so totally deserve. The fact is, there is no other country we'd prefer to have live with us. Sure, we're all chummy with Britain now, but just imagine what it'd be like if we had to live with them. We'd've nuked them by now. When all is said and done, Canada, we make a perfect pair.

Come here, let's hug. And bring that Macintosh toffee with you.

771 Front Yard Photos

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Some photos showing the newly cleared side of the front yard.

A deer:

Isn't it nice the way this "tree" spreads? Only trouble is, it isn't a tree.

Note the vines climbing up the tree trunk in the above photo. THIS is what it really is:

For you city folk, or non-North Americans, that's poison ivy. It's one of the biggest examples I've ever seen. In the next photo, you can see the full plant. The topknot of smaller leaves at the top are the supporting tree, a black locust.

A view of the newly cleared woods at the bottom of the lot. I noticed yesterday that all the wild roses, Virginia creeper, and poison ivy that the kid cleared out are trying to come back. He had cut them, but not killed the roots, so as soon as we have two days without rain, I'll have to fill the sprayer with Roundup and finish the job.

For the first time in the twelve years I've been living here, the house is visible from the road!

I had mentioned that I may have lost two more trees in that last storm. Yesterday I was able to get a good look. One tree is leaning, but may be ok. One tree is down. Remember that photo above of the enormous poison ivy vine? It was growing up one trunk of a double-trunk locust. Guess which trunk broke and came down. There's now a 5 foot high, 12 foot diameter, mound of poison ivy in the side yard. Any volunteers to clean it up?

Friday, June 30, 2006

770 Ashokan Photos

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Photos from my visit to the Ashokan Reservoir yesterday. They didn't come out well because the sun was behind clouds, and the air was full of mist, and I was using an old point-'n-shoot 35 mm camera with no adjustments, but they're good enough for me.

Unfortunately, it's not all that impressive unless you know what the spillway and the falls normally look like. In the spring, with the snowmelt runoff, there's a light "see-through" spill of water over about half the spillway. In summer, there frequently is almost no spill at all. (This is NYC's water supply.)

The spillway from the bridge, looking northwest:

Below the spillway, the water goes into a small stream over rocks. The stream is usually narrow enough for a good athlete to jump over. People like to sit and picnic on the rocks. They are under water now. For scale, those are fullsized mature trees. View from the spillway bridge, looking southeast:

The stream continues south, through a rock chasm. At a point where the chasm is especially narrow and deep, a road crosses on a little bridge, and just north of the bridge, there's a waterfall. It's usually a tall narrow stream of water, bouncing over three or so levels into a deep narrow cleft. There's so much water here now, the cleft is full - there's almost no falls! The roar was deafening. Looking north from the falls bridge:

The water was moving very fast, looked angry. South from the falls bridge:

This is usually a narrow stream deep in a cleft in the rocks. A closer look downstream:

There seemed to be less water than on Thursday. Thursday, where you see the ripple in the middle of the above photo, and at the top of what appears to be another falls just before the flooded trees, the water was shooting straight up into the air. (Or maybe there's more water now, and, being deeper, it's able to flow more smoothly over the obstructing rocks?)

All the creeks around here are like this now. I wonder what happens to the fish? There's no way they could fight currents like this, so they must get washed away. Away to where? All the creeks around here end up in the Hudson. Do the fish all get washed to the Hudson? The Hudson is tidal and salty. Can creek fish live in that? And almost all the creeks have a dam somewhere. If the fish get washed over the dam, how can there be ANY fish above the dams?

Just another thing I don't understand.

769 Sore Eye

Friday, June 30, 2006

My left eye is red, burning, and weeping. Great. Friday afternoon of a four-day weekend. Typical. Reminds me of when Daughter was little. She always got sick just before four-day weekends.

On the way home from the reservoir last night I stopped to shop for a clock radio. I also bought two more tops, size small, and looked (unsuccessfully) for some smaller bras. I had parked the rental car in the only available space in the huge parking lot. When I came out of the store, it was raining again, and - oh, joy - I couldn't remember where I'd parked.

With the van, that's never a problem, because, well, I know what the van looks like. And it's BIG. So if I just wander in the general direction, I can see it three aisles over. The rental is small, and silver. Every fifth car in the lot was small and silver. (Every second was an SUV, blocking the view of what's next to it.) I went up and down aisles reading license plates, looking for the number on the key tag.

About 2 am last night I headed for bed, and went to put the new tops away, right on top of the pile of size L's that I don't want to wear any more. They look like maternity tops. So I started sorting tops. I now have two large containers of almost-new tops bound for eBay.

Got to bed around 4:30, asleep at 5, and was awakened by a phone call at 9 am. The Maritime Museum volunteer coordinator called, wondering if I could work the gift shop on July 4th. They were going to be closed on the 4th, but then decided to open for the afternoon. (Sheesh. Mickey Mouse outfit. A museum in a tourist area, and they were going to be closed?) I'll be there alone. What the hell, I have no life, yeah, sure, I'll be there. I'll take a book.

Not a good day so far. But it's not raining, and I'll go back to the reservoir with a camera, and maybe things will get better.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

768 Ashokan; Trees Down

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I went to the Ashokan Reservoir this evening to see what the rain has done. There's the spillway, where excess water spills over and resumes being a creek. A little further down, the creek passes through a narrow rock gorge, and there's a pretty little falls you can see from the bridge over the creek.

In all the years I've been visiting the reservoir, I have never seen it like it was this evening. The gorge was especially amazing- the entire cleft was full of water, and it was shooting water straight up in the air everywhere it was hitting rocks underneath, places where ordinarily it changes direction, weaving back and forth. There were thousands of swallows wheeling in the air over the water.

I'm going back tomorrow, and tomorrow I won't forget the camera. Pictures will be posted sometime.

It started raining while I was at Ashokan. By the time I got near Kingston, it was raining so hard I decided to take refuge in a diner and have a sandwich, until it stopped. As I was driving on home, I could see a lot of lightening in the direction of home. Big sky to ground bolts, about one every five seconds. Stuff was getting hit.

When I got to the village, I found out what was getting hit. The post office has two beautifully-shaped trees in front. Not big, maybe 20 feet, but spreading. The trunks go up maybe 10 feet and then divide into many spreading branches that are covered in flowers at the end of the branches in mid-summer, and bright yellow-pink leaves in fall. I always wanted to find out what they are, so I could get one for my front yard.

Both trees are now all over the road, getting cut up with chain saws. Sad. I could see men directing traffic around something in the road, and I rolled down the window, and when I got close enough to see what they were cutting up I shouted "Oh, no!" so loud I startled the flagman.

It didn't look like wind damage exactly. The "outside" branches on each tree are ok, but the upwardly spreading branches look like they got split open, like they exploded. They look like pieces of shattered toothpick sticking up. The whole center of each tree, except for the toothpicks, is gone. You see that with lightening damage. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

Because my street is high, we often get the worst of the wind. There were small and medium sized branches all over the street, and one major tree down, at the house before mine, that I had to inch around. It was too dark to say for sure, but it sorta looks like I may have lost two more trees in the woods. I haven't been able to check the back yard yet.

This is all very weird.

767 Hooked on Cigarettes, Yummies, or Sex - Pick One.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I was sitting here reading, glanced down at my thigh, and saw an odd black spot. Tiny. It wouldn't brush off. I bent me double so I could get a good look at it. Tick. Nymph. Mouthparts pulled out easily, so I guess it hadn't been "hooked on" for long, but long enough to inject some blood thinner, 'cause there's now a red spot and a tiny lump under the skin.

Now of course I'm feeling things walking all over me. I worry because I have no one to check my back and other awkward places. I can't do it with mirrors because my eyes aren't good enough, and I can't focus in certain ranges. The only way I could identify this as a tick was to take my glasses off and get nose-close. Little hard to do that with my backside.


With all the rain, my complaint about car windows is back. Used to be that there was a channel around the top of the side windows, so rain from the roof and blown from the windshield was directed around the windows. Like a house gutter works. In cars these days, it seems that channel is missing. The top of the door is smooth, and the sides of the cars have a lot of slope. So when you drive (or even just sit) in the rain with the window slightly open, even just an inch, rain pours in. More than what just falls on that spot, all the rain from that side of the roof and from the side of the windshield drips - more than just drips - is directed! - right in.

Then they put all the electrical buttons for locks, power windows and mirrors, everything, on the door. On a horizontal place. Right where the rain is funneled in. Right into the buttons. That can't be good. Even if you never open the window in the rain, if you open the door in a torrent, those buttons all collect water.

There's an auto supply store next to the rental car office, so yesterday I bought some curved plastic doohickys that you stick on over the windows. They keep wind from blowing in so hard, and maybe they'll block water, too. Next time I get to visit my van, I'll stick 'em on.


I fell asleep last night with the TV on. Rare, because I almost never watch TV in bed. I can't see it well when I'm lying down, and at the time I usually go to bed, there's nothing but infomercials on. (No cable here.)

Anyway, I woke up this morning to voices on TV, and it felt good! Usually I wake to silence, and that feels so lonesome. Starts the day out lonesome. I think I'll buy me a clock radio.


Why do all those hour-long infomercials think they have to have music in the background? Not even real music. It's the same 8 or 10 notes repeated over and over. And over. And over. For an hour. Even if I were interested in whatever they were selling, the "music" drives me away by the third bar.


I want to quit smoking. It's finally really time. It's finally coming from within, which means it finally has a chance of working. But there's a problem.

Cigarettes. Yummies. Sex.

I can do without any two of the above, but not all three at once. Sorry, I really can't.

Example 1 - When I try to go without cigarettes on my own, suddenly the jelly beans and peanut butter cups and potato chips that have been so easy to resist (not even resist - I've had no desire for them this past year) occupy the empty spaces in my mind. I want them! I need them! Combine that with the lowered metabolism when you quit smoking, and my desire to lose these last 20 lbs, and I'm in trouble.

Example 2 - When I am with Roman, I can go without cigarettes, and I don't get food cravings, either. Of course, the longest that's been tested is three days, but I'm confident, given the way I felt on the third day, that it could have been longer. Long enough to detox and lose more weight. But as soon as I leave him, always with the possibility in mind that that was the last time, I immediately need a cigarette. Or a hot fudge sundae.

So before I quit smoking, either I have to lose the last bit of weight and unbury the treadmill, so I can go ahead and indulge my yummy cravings, or I have to find me a man of my own. Preferably both. Otherwise, two weeks in I could break into a Quick Shop in the middle of the night, gobble all the yummies, and rape the clerk. (And if it were Tall Dark & Handsome II, the guy in the village, the temptation is huge!)

I guess I'm just too sensual for words.... (ok, weak. go away.)

766 More 800-503-7001

I'm still getting several search hits a day, people looking for info on 800-503-7001, but almost no one is leaving a comment as to their experience, so thank you Wolfgang for leaving the following comment and letting me know what's been happening. (And, uh, let us know whether you get billed!)

If you are here because you got an odd call from that number, please leave a comment on this post and tell us what your experience was. (If you don't have a Blogger account, don't worry about the "Login" part of the comments form - it won't be necessary to actually log in.)

I'll be happy to act as "800-503-7001 Central". Come back and see what others have to say.


At 5:28 PM EDT, Wolfgang K said...
When you see the Caller ID 800-503-7001 DO NOT PICK-UP!!!

Today, 06/28/2006 at 13:11 PDT I received a call from them, stating that they are [why-pe-dot-com], something like

The guy on the phone initially only wanted to confirm my business information he had for a yellow page listing and then said that they would offer me premium service for free. After he had confirmed all the info with me on the phone, he brought an automated and recording service on the line that asked to answer the questions after the beep. Answers will be recorded, he said and that I am not supposed to hit pound after each answer, instead he would do so for me.
So as soon as I had answered the questions like what is the business name and address and my name and title, they said that they now will start with a free complimentary yellow page business listing that will be upgraded automatically after ten days and the monthly service charge of $39.99 will be billed directly on the next phone bill. I clearly said 'no' at that time and that I am not accepting any such offer. Outrageously enough the guys said, you need to answer with 'yes' to confirm your understanding that you will have to call to cancel your service, do you understand? At that time I said 'no, I am not accepting any service' and assume that this still would have been recorded. So technically, I should be OK and they should not be able to charge anything on my phone bill.

Since they apparently can bill through the phone company, there must be some sort of affiliation even though the automated voice said that there was no direct relationship with the public phone service provider. Since they have the ability to charging their service on the phone bill they must be regulated under FCC regulations - I assume.
Somebody should go and get them!

In the call I got, the woman didn't get any further than comfirming that I am (Hidden), and then she hung up. No explanation of why she wanted to know, which messed with my head more than a little.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

765 Wednesday

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I took the van back to Mr. T. early this morning. They "wiped the codes", I guess that means they reset the van's computer, and they told me to drive it for a few days and see what happens.

I decided to drive around right then. I got 15 miles and it was perfectly fine, and then suddenly it hesitated a few times, the check engine light went on, and almost immediately it stalled, right in the middle of an intersection. It took three tries to get it to start again.

I think it's the computer. Either the computer is bad, or it's getting bad input. GIGO. The van ran fine until the computer had acquired enough info to start trying to adjust stuff, and then it choked the engine. That's what I think. But what do I know.

Limped back to Mr. T.'s. He wasn't happy. Got another Enterprise rental. Enterprise is starting to feel sorry for me. They gave me a Kia, with $20/day off the regular price.

Dinner this evening with Mensa, an Indian restaurant in New Paltz. I wore a sari.

Roman and I talked for a while at the car after dinner, and I offended him again. We had a good phone conversation last night, and he called to make sure I was awake early this morning, but it was like I had to annoy him to push him away this evening. Which really wasn't necessary. I had sat across the table from him through dinner (so much for his promise to always save me a seat next to him - I arrived late), and he avoided my eyes all evening. I guess it will take us a while to figure out how to relate.

Oh, well, just as well, I guess. I need someone who is more open and less guarded. But just as sensitive, intelligent, and furry. Big order. Not easy. Discouraging.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

764 "freedbacking" and "bloglines"

[Later edit - added the "oops" at the bottom.]

The Blogger folks want feedback. We are to post our comments and suggestions, with the words "freedbacking" and "bloglines" in the post, so they can collect them.

Okey Dokey. Here's mine.

When a visitor comes into my blog at a particular entry, rather than the main page, they see the "About Me" and a list of posts previous to this particular one, but they do not see the archives links, posts subsequent to this one, nor my other links. There is no obvious way the visitor can get to posts after (later than) the one they came in to - and that's likely the direction they'd want to go. So -
  • When one post is showing, we need "Forward" and "Back" buttons, at the least.

  • It would be nice if the full Archives list was also provided with a single entry.

  • (It would be best if all the usual "non-body" stuff were included with a single post, but hey, I don't want to be greedy....)

The second suggestion concerns viewing the archives. Displaying one month's worth all at once can make for a huge page! And it's sometimes difficult to find a particular entry or date unless you can remember a unique word combination to search on. So -
  • Instead of displaying a month of archived posts as one huge page, could they be displayed as date, title (the link), and the first ten words? Sort of like what you get when you use the "Search this blog" button.

Other than that, I'm happy.

[Oops? I notice that most others are posting comments and suggestions for Bloglines. I thought they wanted comments on Bloglines and/or Blogger. My suggestions apply to Blogger only. They are the same folks, aren't they? No? Oh well. Maybe they'll pass it along.]

763 My Mini-Van Is Trying to Kill Me

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Got the call from Mr. T. this afternoon that the van was all fixed and ready to go. It seems it was again (third time) a bad sensor. The first two were the O2 sensor, this time it was the cam position sensor. $165. I paid for the repair, transferred my junk from the rental car back to the van, and drove the rental to Kingston to return it. Enterprise provided a driver to take me back to Mr. T.'s.

Started up the van, got about two blocks down the road, and --- the check engine light went on.

I caught Mr. T. in the parking lot as he was closing up. He said "You're kidding. I drove it to Rhinebeck and back this morning to test it, and it was fine. You drive it a half mile, and it breaks." He says it's time to trade it in. "It's seven years old, and it's going to start costing more to fix it than it's worth."

Well, it's not really seven years old. It's a Braun conversion Chrysler-Dodge Entervan (watch the little movie at the link), so although it's a 2000 model, it didn't go on the market until 2001. The odometer just turned 40,000 miles. The only thing that has ever gone wrong with it is those silly sensors. And it's more than just a mini-van. It's an easy-to-load enclosed "pickup truck", a camper, and a passenger car all rolled into one. I can stand up straight inside. I love it! I'm not ready to give it up.

But it's killing me.

So, it goes back in early tomorrow morning. I may or may not have to rent another car. Bleck.

762 Say It, Sister!

You want to work up a little righteous indignation? Read this:, from Aya.

("We" and "our" refers to the Middle East in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

761 800-503-7001

[Edit 08/30/2006 - Google turns up this entry for people searching on "800-503-7001". If that includes you, dear reader, please go to this later entry instead, and leave a comment.]

Heh heh! I'm still getting hits from people searching for information on that strange phone number, like six more today. I know why my entry shows up in the search results list, but I couldn't understand why anyone would bother to actually go look at it. There must be more promising stuff out there.

So I searched for 800-503-7001 in Google, and guess what? I'm the only hit! Snork!

The searchers are probably disappointed, not only because I have nothing to offer, but, because all these entries are ONE PAGE, they are presented with the whole thing, not the 800-503-7001 piece. They could search the blog at the top, but I don't think they do. They take one look, give up, and leave. Snork snork.

Besides, the entries with the comments that could shed light don't have the number in them.

(So, if you're here looking for info on 800-503-7001, there's no answer here. Could be international call, calling card call, blocked number, bleck. Theories, no facts. My case was a female voice who asked "Are you Silk-En-Drum?" and hung up immediately when I said yes. Stalker?)

760 Tree Attacks

Monday, June 26, 2006

I heard a sound outside this afternoon, like someone was unloading boxes from a truck in the driveway, but I hadn't heard a truck come up the drive. I went outside to look for the source of the noise, and found a tree had fallen in the newly cleared woods.

A black locust had split diagonally about 15 feet up the trunk, and the top 50 feet of the tree had fallen. Luckily, it fell toward the property line, not across the driveway, but it took out the cord the kid had so painstakingly laid to mark the lot line.

I forgot to mention that a tree fell on the road as I was returning from a meeting in Highland last evening. I was entering the village (the speed limit had just dropped from 55 to 40mph, which was lucky), and suddenly, whoosh, a tree fell from the right verge, across the road very close in front of me. I whipped into the left lane and shoulder, so I bounced over some smaller branches from the top of the tree. The tires on the rental car felt wobbly for a few blocks, but then it straightened out, so no damage done. But it sure was scary. I don't know what would have happened if I'd hit the trunk, or if there had been a car coming from the other direction - or if it fell on me!

Hmmmmm. I never did look to see if there were any scratches on the side of the car. Ok, I just went out and looked. It's ok. I'd hate to have to explain to Enterprise.

Oh, and I haven't heard anything about the van yet. Not good.

We've had rain for most days of every week for a long time now. Heavy rain, not just showers. There's standing water everywhere, and frequent crawls across the bottom of the TV screen, warning of flooding. Except for a few thunderstorms, there hasn't been much wind, so I don't know why these trees are breaking partway up, as opposed to uprooting from the soggy ground. In both cases, there was only a little high wind. Gently waving treetops, not like in past storms, when I've seen these same trees bent almost parallel to the ground. (It takes a LOT to put a 90 degree bend in a black locust!)

I don't much care for rain anyway, but the weather lately feels almost ominous. The air is green.

759 Dance Video

I hesitated at first to post this without specific permission, but it's on her commercial website, and I have pointed people there before, so anyone could get there on their own, and besides, recognition and advertising ain't bad, so.... without futher ado:

If you have a fast connection, like cable, watch this:

This is Willow. The video is in Quicktime format, about 48 mb. Without a fast connection you won't get the full effect, you'll miss the fluidity. Note the controlled strength, the sensuousness, the power.

Absolutely amazing. (With my dialup connection, I haven't seen this video, but I saw the live performance on June 17 in New Paltz, where this was taped.)

You're welcome.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

758 Spyware Zapping

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Last night I installed Spybot - Search & Destroy, and started a scan. After one hour, Spybot had scanned all of about 8,000 of 41,392 files, or definititons, or whatever that number is. I left it running and went to bed.

When I checked this morning, I expected to see the promised red and green list of bad stuff and maybe-ok stuff. Instead, I found ... nothing. Then I noticed that some things that I had stopped before starting Spybot, like the external hard drive handler, were up. Apparently, sometime during the night, the system had restarted.

Spybot wouldn't do that. About the only time I've seen the system re-IPL itself is when the electricity bounced. And when power blinks enough to cause that, household clocks are left blinking - especially the one on the microwave.

The microwave is not blinking.

I have no idea what happened.

I restarted Spybot, and it seems to be running faster this morning, even though I'm typing this into Notepad at the same time.


Well, an hour and a half later, it has found:
  • Ferret
  • Hotbar
  • WebTrends live
  • ValueClick
  • SexTracker (?!?!)
  • MediaPlex
  • HitBox
  • FastClick
  • DoubleClickCoreMetrics
  • CasaleMedia
  • BFast
  • Avenue A, Inc
  • Alexa Related
  • Adviva
  • Bluemountain
  • BonziBuddy
All in red. I had Spybot remove or neuter them all.

757 My Power Color

Your Power Color Is Red-Orange

At Your Highest:
You are warm, sensitive, and focused on your personal growth.

At Your Lowest:
You become defensive and critical if you feel attacked.

In Love:
You are loyal - but you demand the respect you deserve.

How You're Attractive:
You are very affectionate and inspire trust.

Your Eternal Question:
"Am I Respected?"
What's Your Power Color?

This is so true, I think.

I got to thinking about how the above is so true for me. Weird how sometimes these stupid quizzes seem to come out right on the mark. (Of course - if they don't, the results don't get posted.) Anyhow, I decided to take the test again, but to answer as a particular friend would answer.
Your Power Color Is Teal

At Your Highest:
You feel accomplished and optimistic about the future.

At Your Lowest:
You feel in a slump and lack creativity.

In Love:
You tend to be many people's ideal partner.

How You're Attractive:
You make people feel confident and accepted.

Your Eternal Question:
"What Impression Am I Giving?"

This is scary. It's perfect! Even weirder, the two colors chosen have significance. No other colors would have meant anything, but these do. I'm getting that weird feeling again....