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Dinner, A Storm, and a New Arrival!

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Okay, tonight is my “General Post” night (now and Fri).  I decided to let you have 3 topics in 1!

First, let’s discuss the weather from last night (Monday).  My buddy and I went out to eat for out weekly dinner.  We discussed a lot of topics, but the one for current weather came up very near last.  My buddy is a farmer, so he watches out for weather a lot.  He told me and looked it up on his phone that much of Indiana was covered/or being covered in Red (not good).  Weather report was about 2 inches of rain by late Tuesday night (about 24-30 hours).  He looked outside and decided to leave.  So did I.  However, I did snap 3 pictures of what was heading my way when I left (see below).  OMG!!!

Storm Coming 082514-03 Storm Coming 082514-02Storm Coming 082514-01Okay, now, for all this coming mess, by the time I got home (about 15 minutes), the sky was clearing and we had received very few drops of rain and a bit of rumbling!  It did rain later, but kind of a general rain, nothing special.  Don’t know what’s coming tonight and tomorrow, but, so far, I laugh at the weather (hope I don’t really regret saying that).

Number Two:  A new Arrival.

I finally received and set up my new computer!  I need to tell you how much of a difference it has made for me.  I had a 3.0 Dual processor, decent video card (upgraded), 1.5 TB of disc space (1 TB on an external drive), and 2 GB Ram.  My new computer is an Alienware Computer from Dell.  It has a video card that is 1-2 steps up from what I had upgraded to, 2 TB of disc space, a 4.0 Quad processor, and 16 GB of Ram.

This one screams!!!  I love playing Fallout 3 and Skyrim.  I have always played them on medium speed/resolution and had problems with that.  Now, both play on Ultra High speed/resolution and no problems to speak of!  There are details I had never seen before and Skyrim is beautiful!

I also purchased a new Surge/Battery UPS and had to buy Word Essentials to keep Word and Excel.

Number Three.  Dinner.

Here is one of my favorite food recipes since going extreme Vegan.  I developed this recipe.  It uses brand name products for a lot of it, but they are assorted and I worked out the mixture.

Great/Easy Chili Recipe – Vegan Style – 6 Ingredients

5 Cans

1 Can Hormel Chili Vegetarian with Beans (99% Fat free) (15 oz)

1 Can Hunts Dinner Starters seasoned Tomato Sauce for Chili (15 oz)

1 Can Golden Sweet Whole Kernel Corn (15.25 oz) (Do NOT drain)

1 Can Brooks Just for Chili Med. With Onions Tomato Sauce (15 oz)

1 Can Bush’s Best Chili Magic Chili Starter Traditional Mild (15.5 oz)

1 Cup Elbow Macaroni Dry

______________________________________________________

  1. Put all ingredients into a crock pot (I think mine is a 2 quart)
  2. Stir thoroughly
  3. Turn Crock pot on high (Cover)
  4. Cook for 3 hours (Stir Once, perhaps, twice)
  5. Turn Down to warm (Stir and check if boiling)
  6. If boiling for a time, skip to step 8.
  7. Heat on warm up to 3 more hours
  8. Serve*
  9. Put remainder into containers and refrigerate (eat within 3 days**)
  10. Clean crock pot asap before it gets hard and difficult to clean

Makes about 4 2-cup servings or 8 1-cup servings

1 Cup = about 10 Grams of Fiber and 50 Grams of Carbs

(Don’t forget, you get to subtract the fiber from the carbs, so net= 40 Carbs/cup)

*Feel free to add some Cayenne Pepper to taste (I do). As is, it has a decent kick, but not too strong.

**Tastes great reheated

Okay, that’s my 3 bits of news today.  Feel caught up if you want.  My health is improving, my weight is dropping (slowly, but that’s good!), and I am on my way to being a Skyrim fanatic!  I can’t wait to see how Oblivion runs on it. Tomb Raider should be awesome.

Namaste,

Scott

Too Much? Where Do You Draw the Line?

Man Gets 10 Years for Hacking Email and Posting Nude Pics of Celebs (article to read)

Second Article (can be reached from a link in the above article)

.

It would seem this young, 35, man managed to hack the email accounts of more than a couple of dozen celebrities, and then find (or take) some nude pics, as well as send some to a celeb website where they were made public.

Feel free to read the article and watch the video.  I think Scarlett Johansson is stunning; however, I also think she deserves her privacy.  I don’t know how he managed the pics from hacking the email accounts, but it doesn’t really matter.  He invaded their privacy.  People’s reactions were interesting.  Many said that the only reason he got any time was the fact that they were celebrities.  Hmm…  Other people were saying he got too much time as rape is often less than 10 years.   What do you think?

Personal opinion:  I imagine he did get it worse because they were celebrities.  You shouldn’t mess with famous people, especially women, and then ones with a lot of money.   Second, there were more than a dozen women involved.  One count of rape might get less than 10, but I bet 12 wouldn’t.

The thing that bothers me most is that if he can break into their emails, how safe is ours?  It brought the entire idea of computer security back up for me.  I try very hard to keep my stuff secure, just on general principles.  However, I do send emails to some people that I would prefer don’t get seen by the general public.  I am talking about simple things like giving someone an opinion that is just for them to know.  Also, like telling a secret to someone and not meaning to share it with the world.  If I have those, I imagine you have your own versions.  How would you feel if everything you emailed to anyone was put on Facebook for all to see?

This worries me more as IP numbers (that’s the ones that identify something on the Internet) are used on appliances, and other devices.  I have read that there are ways to hack into someone’s webcam and set it so that someone else is seeing or recording whatever the webcam is seeing.  That would go for hearing, too.  Think about the times you are just talking or walking around your house and pass near enough to your computer for the webcam to see or hear you.  Want that on Facebook?

A last thought.  IP  addresses are being hooked to appliances like refrigerators now.  That way if your refrigerator does a self-test and finds that something is going out, it can phone the repair man so he can call you to set up an appointment before it goes bad and you lose your stuff.  Also, they are going in ovens so that you can turn them on/off, set timers, check things with your phone.  Great…however, don’t you think that some middle school kid is gonna hack that refrigerator or stove and do things with them?  You could, conceivably, come home to find all your lights on, the stove burning supper, the heat is off in January, and the refrigerator is defrosting everything.

I guess, though I love technology, my reaction is very similar to Charlie Brown’s when he was asked how he would react if he had to relive his life exactly as before…yes, he screamed and ran out of the picture.  We need some changes, I think, before implementing all these changes.  As the old saying goes:  “Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should do something.

Let’s hear it.  What is your reaction to all of this?

Namaste,

Scott

A Little Java in the Morning?

This article was sent to me by a friend recently:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is advising people to temporarily disable the Java software on their computers to avoid potential hacking attacks.

The recommendation came in an advisory issued late Thursday, following up on concerns raised by computer security experts.

Experts believe hackers have found a flaw in Java’s coding that creates an opening for criminal activity and other high-tech mischief.

Java is a widely used technical language that allows computer programmers to write a wide variety of Internet applications and other software programs that can run on just about any computer’s operating system.

Oracle Corp. bought Java as part of a $7.3 billion acquisition of the software’s creator, Sun Microsystems, in 2010.

Oracle, which is based in Redwood Shores, Calif., had no immediate comment late Friday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

I did a bit of research and came up with this article:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/08/critical-java-exploit-spreads/

Thing is that this article is from August 2012.  Is there still a problem?  A new one?

Some further digging prompted the idea that there was a problem just last week, but may be fixed as stated in this article:

http://techland.time.com/2013/01/14/oracle-says-java-patch-fixes-security-problem/

All well and fine.  But, what is Java?  Why do we care?

http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/whatis_java.xml

Put very simply, Java is a small amount of programming that is used by games, mobile phones, and other devices (to the tune of about 850 million computers) to make them run better.  For us, a lot of it is used in your browser (Foxfire, Netscape, etc…).  The problem is that this vulnerability may allow a hacker to get into your computer and steal information.  One way they do this is by putting a small bit of malware (a bad program) in your computer that runs and can monitor emails, passwords, and other pieces of info.  It could also allow them to simply have your computer’s hard drive be ruined (empty of useable info) next time you reboot.  Hundreds or thousands of possibilities for a good hacker to disable your computer and/or steal your life.

My understanding is that, right now, they haven’t fixed it.  I went to “Control Panel” on my computer and simply uninstalled Java until they fix it.  That may stop some of my programs from working or working well.  So be it.  If the patches they have created will fix it, I will put them on and reinstall it.

I put this out there just so you would have a heads up.  Do with this info as you will.  But, know this, just because you ignore or don’t understand a problem, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Latest note:  I was still looking and it appears that you can go here and get the latest “fixed” version of Java.  This is them talking, not me.  I loaded it.  But, I am not guaranteeing anything. 🙂

http://java.com/en/download/index.jsp

Namaste,

Scott

Well, Lookie at what I, Finally, did…

No, thank goodness this wasn’t the problem.

Several weeks ago, when I got the idea in my head that I needed a new, bigger hard drive for my computer – I should have had my head examined…

Buying the hard drive was easy.  If it had all been that easy…but it wasn’t.  I believe I did two previous posts ( one and two ) on this computer glitch, disaster, problem.  Read them at your leisure, then finish it up here.

Wal-Mart allowed me to order online my new monitor and a copy of Windows 7 for home.  I was even allowed to have it sent, for free, to the Anderson store.  The monitor came in first and I was able to set it up on my computer with the old hard drive in about an hour, shorter than the time to get ready, drive there, get it, and return home.  It is so nice to be able to, actually, “see” the print in the emails and posts.  The in-transit monitor was a huge and heavy clunker a whopping 13 inches across (wow!).  I did save it, just in case…

My copy of Windows 7 came in yesterday.  I decided to wait until today to pick it up.  I, of course, browsed the computer games while there.  They had a copy of “500,000 Games” that sat in the $9.96 spot and I “just had to have it”.  When I went to pay for it, the register rang up $21.96.  I looked at the young man and said, “No.” and gave him the package.  He was a kind soul (or didn’t want to bother putting it back up – I don’t care), so, after showing him where I found it, he said it was in the wrong spot, but that he would sell it to me for $10.  This was excellent; I took him up on the deal and decided to head home.

Windows 7, I decided on the upgrade option, took about 3-4 hours, during which time I watched two of the hundreds of movies I have that I haven’t watched yet.  It, pretty well, loaded itself and would have been much quicker if I hadn’t saved so many files and settings.  When I got it all up and running, I found that my email still wouldn’t run and, without paying around $139, I wasn’t going to get Outlook to work.  I looked at Google, of course, and after about an hour, decided to use my Comcast online account and supplement it with a program called “PSTViewerLite”.  This nifty little baby allows me to view all my saved emails without loading Outlook.  I get to try it for about 15 days, then it is $29.95, a darn sight better than $139.  We shall see.  What has happened is what always seems to happen with upgrades:  they fix some things, improve some things, and mess up a lot of good things.

I will get used to using online email.  I enjoyed the mail rules and all the little things that made Outlook so great a tool for someone who enjoys saving and sorting emails.

Sam (Everyday Aspergers) was excited the other day and told me how she enjoys my tales of dating that I post off and on.  I told her I might have another story or two soon to tell and she was very happy.  I need to give it some time and see what happens for now.  I am also trying to finish up the “I-am-behind-about-a-hundred-posts-to-read” fiasco.  The email reader will help.  Thanks all of you for your support, your kindness, and your love – those are the things that help keep me smiling when I would like to scream.

Namaste,

Scott

A bit of a Finish to the Computer Drama

Well, Christmas was officially over about 4 minutes ago.  I made it through and all things are pretty good.  My Dad ended up in ER Christmas morning about 5.  He was having trouble breathing, so prayers please!  He is home and is better.

As for me, however, my computer and I nearly parted friends.  As you know if you have been following, I have been trying to put in a bigger hard drive, backup my stuff, and get my email working.  Christmas Eve found me working on it.  I also needed to cook my special pumpkin pie for diabetics.  Easy recipe is to follow what is on the Libby’s brand pumpkin can but substitute Splenda cooking sweetener for the sugar and I leave out cloves and add pumpkin spice.  It goes from about 60 carbs a slice to about 14 carbs a slice.  I know the calories have to be dropping, too, I just don’t count them.

Anyway, I mixed up a double batch.  Now, I had already spent almost an hour trying to figure out if I could use the condensed milk I had that said “Best if used by Nov 12, 2012”.  I called Mom; she called the grocery store while I looked on Google.  Grocery and Google concurred that condensed milk is good for a very long time if not opened.  When I opened it, the smell was only as nasty as normal for condensed milk – lol.  I mixed it all up really well and went to the oven, which was on preheat.  When I checked it the broiler was on.  I worked and worked and could not figure out why the temp knob kept turning on the broiler.  Finally, I understood that my cleaning person had taken off the knobs to clean them well and had put them on backwards!  Switched them and all was fine.

I went back and worked on my computer and again after the Christmas Eve celebration.  This time I got it working!  It booted and all I needed was to get email working…but wait!  as I was checking it out, the monitor blew out!  I checked, reset, then replaced it with one that is very, very old (weighs about 50 pounds and is 13 inches).

Very very late (or early – depending), I and Google managed to get my email working.  I would put an exclamation on that sentence, but it was still glitchy and I did not have a “sent items” folder.  I found out that Outlook 2000 is not to be used on Vista without many problem.  So, today (Christmas Day) I switched it back to the old hard drive.  The new one is my backup for now and works well enough.  My plan is to buy a new copy of Windows 7 and a monitor and replace both, putting the software on my new hard drive.  It should work.  That is my project for the next 2 weeks.

Finally!  Christmas is over and I am told that we are expecting a blizzard this morning in about 2 1/2 hours.  I have food and your wonderful company, so I should be happy for the most part.  I really needed my cleaning person to be able to get here though and help me get the house ready for everyone on New Years Day!  What a holiday!

Still, I hope you all enjoyed your time with friends and family and pets.  It has been a glorious year so far and I am looking forward to the next one.  How much better could it be?!  After all, we outlived an apocalypse!!!

Love you all,

Scott

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