I Did Do It…

Sometime ago, I admitted to taking on a job I wasn’t sure I was qualified for.   The hard drive for the laptop arrived, I took a couple days to gird my loins and then, much to my surprise, the job went smoothly and a working laptop was delivered to the customer, along with the old hard drive, in case they wanted to hire a real expert to retrieve their files.

You may wonder why it’s taken this long for me to post the update…

I was waiting for a call informing me that my repairs were short-lived and a demand for a refund…

This self-improvement stuff is not always a walk in the park.

Since nearly a month has passed with no phone calls and no dirty looks when I walk by each morning during Oakley’s exercise time, I conclude it’s safe to surmise that I did, in fact, do it.

Next item on self-improvement list:

“Learn to suppress the urge to wait for the other shoe to drop.”

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In a somewhat related topic, one of my email accounts was hacked.   Or at least I think it was.   Which is funny, because I’m pretty proactive about complicated passwords and frequent changing.  My customers complain when they receive their initial set-up information and password(s),

“I’ll never remember that!”

To which I reply,

“Fine – change it to whatever you want – just please, please do not use “password1234”.

So yesterday, I spent the day deleting accounts, setting up new ones and doing a thorough scouring of my computer.   None of which revealed any source of the fraudulent email sent from my account.

I found some cool new tools.  I also realized though I may have downsized my material possessions, my bookmarks menu, as of yesterday, qualified me for ‘hoarder’ status.

I only re-bookmarked eight of the long list of folders/links.

I’m feeling pretty purified this a.m.

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Many years ago, I spent my working time between two state agencies.   With duties that required 4 or 5 different log-ins and passwords, at each place.   With strict instructions to not repeat anything, anywhere.  And the requirement to change said passwords every 30 days.

I took these instructions to heart.   At home, with yellow legal pad on my lap and cold beer in hand, I thought about how to accomplish this feat without having anything written down anywhere…

The system I came up with has worked for 15 years – in fact, it worked until yesterday…

And so, I came up with a new one.

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I admit to having fallen behind on what’s what in computer world.   Like most everyone I know, I learn what I need to and cross my fingers for the rest.   The only reason I’m sought out for help is my life experience has been varied enough to have dabbled in quite a few different venues.

And also because my financial status means I have to learn how to fix things myself, rather than hiring an expert to do it for me.  Yesterday’s events made me take a good look at what I know – what I need – and what can be let go.

Simplifying my life means I’m tuning into how complex a new object is – do I understand how it works?  If it breaks, can I fix it myself?   What if the electricity goes out, can I still use it?  Can I maintain my daily needs if all that is supplied to me and under the control of someone else simply breaks or disappears?

Sadly, sections of my life remain that can still be knocked for a loop by outside forces.   Or can result in a wasted day, fixing what someone else decided to destroy for their own benefit, or just for the fun of it.

Much like the peasant in Dark Age Europe, I can arise each day, minding my own business and doing what I need to do – all the while aware that unseen forces may strike at anytime, to lay waste to the little bit I’ve achieved.

Rather than losing my life, virtue or survival needs, I only lose my reputation, financial status and worthiness to participate in modern society via a three digit number –  666 doesn’t get you much in way of shelter, transportation,  work or insurance to protect you from Life’s little hiccups.

It also seems you may not even be able to get a date now, unless your three-digit score is of sufficient value.

Life, Love and the pursuit of things that bring you the experience of happiness are now in the hands of someone else…

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It occurs to me that nothing much has changed in 1,500 years.   Only the methods and means of devastation have.   Instead of a quick thrust of the sword and a blessed end to a life spent waiting for the next catastrophe, you can now experience the devastation of your livelihood with the added benefit of being guilty of planting your crops in an area where Bad Guys are known to roam and not putting up a tall enough fence.

You not only get to live, but you also get to shoulder the blame for the marauding behavior of others.

Which makes sense –

People who are dead don’t pay banking fees, taxes or support our medical system.  They have no need for insurance or global investments.

People who are blameless have no need to purchase security or back-up options.  The also don’t pay fees to change or hide the listings which reveal their crop locations.

Welcome to the new Dark Ages.

I’ll take Flattery with a side of Criticism and Spam, Please

Yes, I admit, I read my spam comments before I “Delete Permanently”.   Sometimes, the software gets it wrong, right?

After my absence this week, I had four comments in Spam –

The usual mistyped messages that look like someone took phrases from an “Effective Leadership” phrase book and lumped them all together.

But one caught my eye – I deleted it, and so cannot give you it verbatim, but here’s the gist:

“I enjoyed your blog – you’re such an expert – maybe you should put a couple of pictures in to illustrate it better.”

Which is quaint – how do you picture me musing?  A brain with some flashes of lightening over it?

Or the overused and much cliched light bulb?

But it did get me to thinking….

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What if we all replied to the spammers?  What if we could send them private emails, call their house at 1:00 in the morning (hey, it’s 10 a.m. where I live – deal with it).

We could tell them thank you so much for helping me to make my blog better – any other hints?   In fact, since my blog has followers and yours doesn’t, because anyone who clicks to your site just gave you the door you needed to access their financial information, how about a cut, eh?   How much is it worth to you?

Since my blog will soon be shut down, due to the poor judgement of allowing you to display your link on it, it will take me some time to get up and running again.    And if I continue to help you, I will need to re-do my blog and blog name every two weeks or so….

So, if you’re a spammer, I’m happy to do business with you.  By my estimations of what you’ll get and what I’ll lose, I’m thinking that you can pay me $765,912 for each comment I approve.

Unless, I have some better offers from other spammers, in which case, the price just went up….

What?!? You’re upset?  Deal with it buddy, this is your version of capitalism…

Boycott Call

Today’s surfing revealed that Target is being boycotted.  Seems the picture they painted to encourage people to do business with them is not the same picture created by their political campaign donation choices.

I also visited the 1 for All website – Purpose? Educate and give those who value the First Amendment a place to gather.

I was interested in the section “Right to Petition”. According to the authors, doesn’t get much attention, since right to petition usually includes speaking your mind and gathering with other folks who feel the way you do. (Freedom of Speech and Assembly)

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The modern petition seems to work better when utilized in “Boycott” fashion.

To that end, I’m calling on my fellow Americans to Boycott the following:

  • Purchase of any product that is advertised via spam junk mail – if no one buys, they should stop sending.
  • Purchase or donation to any unsolicited telemarketing call – again, no one buys, they can’t justify telemarketer salaries.
  • Doing business with any company who has outsourced their customer service center to a foreign country (It’s our duty!  We just put millions of telemarketers out of work – they need jobs.)

I have loads more, but let’s just start with those three…