Saturday, May 22, 2010

2968 Another bug?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than
it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
--George Bernard Shaw--


I remember when Mr. Potato Head (he was "born" in 1952) was just a box of plastic facial features. Parents had to provide a real potato for the head. It was more fun that way, because you could choose oddly shaped potatoes, and stick the nose on anywhere you wanted. Allowed much more creativity. Especially because it didn't necessarily have to be a potato.


I've had a slew (for my blog, a slew is about 15) of visits this morning to my post about the strange message that heralded the arrival of a virus. Something nasty must be going around.

I have a bunch of protective stuff on my system, and in the three-plus years I've had the laptop and Vista, I've been hit with a virus/trojan/sniffer three times, and every time it was caught, blocked, and removed by my valiant and ever vigilant protectors before it got entrenched. Only three is remarkable because of the amount of time I'm online and the range of sites I visit (...but significantly, no games sites, no "social" sites, no porn, and I never click on ads).

The last previous virus was acquired when my cursor accidentally crossed over an ad on, of all places, the Wall Street Journal (or maybe it was the New York Times) site. That was enough to release mayhem, and the newspaper later issued a public apology for the problem.

Early last week I got another. I had several windows/tabs open, and wasn't anywhere I hadn't been before, all trusted sites, when suddenly the popup came up asking for permission to open the Adobe PDF reader. Um, I hadn't tried to read any documents, let alone a PDF. I've heard that PDF docs can carry executable code, which can be malware. So I said no, and my sniffers all went crazy.

SpyBot Search and Destroy got rid of it for me. Because I hadn't opened the mysterious document, nothing permanent had been installed. I forget now what it was called, but a little research said it was a keylogger, which gathers passwords and all kinds of id info and ships it to parts unknown. Very dangerous.

My protectors:
  • Vista firewall
  • Firefox firewall
  • Popup blockers
  • McAfee Antivirus
  • SpyBot Search and Destroy
  • Ghostery- tells me what trackers are running on a site
  • Web of Trust (WOT) - marks all links showing on the screen as safe or unsafe
  • There are probably more that I've forgotten
They are all set to automatically update themselves and all either run constantly, or periodically. They probably slow my system down a bit, but a lot less than I'd be slowed down if they didn't.

Piper is constantly plagued by bad stuff. I suspect that young mortgage-handler guy who sometimes uses his office has been being naughty. A lot of porn sites require that you download their special video player, then you get that popup alert that your system has been infected and you must download a special program to get rid of it. If you try to close the popup, it just keeps coming back and you can't do anything else. You're effectively dead. Downloading the program is worse.

I told Piper to get tough with the kid about unsafe browsing, and it hasn't happened since. Really, since MY highly personal financial info is on (protected from the kid and any other human user by a password) and transferred through that computer, Piper should lock it up and allow no one on it. Passwords mean nothing to a virus.


The Hairless Hunk was working on my yard yesterday, and wanted to talk about what we can do about the flower(weed)bed across the front of the house north of the front door (which is 6'x34'). He wants to just dig it up, and put down a barrier layer topped with stone, with plants through the barrier and directly into the soil. I want to pave it and put huge flowerpots on it, for many reasons, not the least of which is that loose stone is difficult to remove leaves from, and within a year the leaves will support weeds, and weeds and leaves make soil which weeds love, plus weeds will grow up through the barrier holes in the middle of the shrubs, which makes the bigger weeds like volunteer trees, sumacs, and thistles impossible to spray or dig out, and it'll be the same maintenance horror again. I know paving will be expensive, but I refuse to be dissuaded.

I should never go outside when he's working. We should always communicate by email or phone, because every time we start talking, hours go by without notice. We must have talked for three or four hours yesterday and didn't notice the time passing at all. Damn. I admit I find him very attractive, but he's something like 20 years younger and married, with a passel of kids. The other day when I said that in 10 or 15 years my daughter would be trying to take my car keys away from me, he asked how old I was, and was shocked at the answer.

I don't know why. I do look it, especially if I'm tired, or with no makeup, or when my hair is a mess. I have been told I don't move like a crone, or talk or flirt or act like or have the attitudes of an aged hag. For some reason I'm seen as blond, not white-haired, even though it's (almost) white.

Sigh. I don't want to get any older.


For the last several years, while my weight was up and in constant flux, I was wearing stretch slacks all the time. They were enormously comfortable, and draped nicely over the lumps. Now I'm back into size 6, and it seems to be holding, so when my favorite boutique had a wide selection of non-stretch slacks on super sale, I bought a bunch. They are tighter, hug closer, less forgiving. And I rediscovered the other reason for loving looser stretchy pants.

In non-stretchy pants, I get "bumples" on my bottom. "Bumples" because they're not pimples - nothing so convenient as a head. Just big hard bumps under the skin, right on the sit-down spots. Not ingrown hairs, no hair there. Maybe an angry irritated sweat or oil gland, without infection. I'd forgotten about them.

I've now got a bumple. Blah.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

2967 I'm back from nowhere

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me,
it is the parts that I do understand.
--Mark Twain--


Wow. Nothing since last Saturday? I guess it's because I have a new toy, and we've had some sunny top-down-worthy days, which means all the time left over is taken up by ye olde to-do list.

I signed the contract for the house on Monday, so once the seller/builder signs, it's a committed deal.

On Tuesday, I joined The Man for the evening. Wednesday morning he set the pre-select buttons for me on Hal's satellite radio (Sirius) with the stations he thought I'd like. He did an excellent job - I love all his choices.

This evening I went to diner with Roman and his new lady friend. (I've told him over and over he should run ladies past me for approval, since he doesn't know what he wants.) I like her a lot, but I'm not sure whether it will be a good match. He needs to "do for" his lady, he needs for her to need him, it's an aphrodisiac to him, and this lady seems very strong and self-sufficient. On the other hand, she seems smart enough to play damsel in distress when he needs the boost, so maybe....

Otherwise, not much going on.


A pet peeve: Decimate. During a commercial for a blender or chopper or something (I wasn't really watching), to show the power, the demonstrator put chunks of concrete in it, and the machine "decimated it to powder!"


Pulverize, maybe. Decimate means to reduce by one tenth, and that's all it means. So unless the blender shot one of every ten chunks through the lid, it didn't decimate them.