Excerpts from pet diaries

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EXCERPTS FROM A DOG’S DIARY

 Day number 180

8:00 am – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

9:30 am – OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

9:40 am – OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!

10:30 am – OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

11:30 am – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

12:00 noon – OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

1:00 pm – OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!

4:00 pm – OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

5:00 PM – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

5:30 PM – OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

 

Day number 181

8:00 am – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

9:30 am – OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

9:40 am – OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!

10:30 am – OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

11:30 am – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

12:00 noon – OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

1:00 pm – OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!

4:00 pm – OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

5:00 PM – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

5:30 PM – OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

 

Day number 182

8:00 am – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

9:30 am – OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

9:40 am – OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!

10:30 am – OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!

11:30 am – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

12:00 noon – OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

1:00 pm – OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!

1:30 pm – ooooooo. bath. bummer.

4:00 pm – OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!

5:00 PM – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!

5:30 PM – OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

 

 

 

 EXCERPTS FROM A CAT’S DIARY

DAY 752 – My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture.  Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.

 

DAY 761 – Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair…must try this on their bed.

 

DAY 765 – Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was…Hmmm. Not working according to plan.

 

DAY 768 – I am finally aware of how sadistic they are.  For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture.  This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called “shampoo.” What sick minds could invent such a liquid.  My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.

 

DAY 771 – There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call “beer”.  More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of “allergies. ” Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

 

DAY 774 – I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches.  The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time…

How to determine the number of bits used when generating a CSR

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I was looking for an answer to this question today and stumbled across a page on the MaximumASP site, which indicates that looking at the first few characters of the CSR will provide the answer.

I still want to do a bit of research to verify that what they have said is true, but it seems to be, based on my limited test. I generated CSRs for 512-, 1024-, 2048-, 4096-, 8192-, and 16384-bits* and examined the first few characters. My generated CSRs for 512- and 1024-bits matched the MaximumASP page. Here are my results.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to determine if a mobile number is on the Verizon network

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Need to find out if a mobile number is considered in-network for Verizon? There’s a page on Verizon’s site that let’s you find out easily and quickly: Determine if a mobile number is in the Verizon Wireless Mobile to Mobile Calling Family.

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft LifeCam software crashes

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Microsoft LifeCam software crashes upon startup. It seems to not be specific to my parent’s computer, but several potential solutions have been proposed. Here’s what I tried.

  1. Moved 04Geometric*.dll files from C:\Program Files\Microsoft LifeCam\Effects directory into C:\Program Files\Microsoft LifeCam\Effects Backup per this post. — This one change has allowed the camera software to run normally.

At the same time, the Skype software crashes, also when the camera kicks in. I assumed that it’s the same problem in both cases, but that assumption seems to be invalid.

I started Skype after making the change mentioned above and Skype still crashed after selecting the web cam.

I created a Visual Backup 2 directory as a sibling to the other one and moved all the other DLL files from the Effects directory into it and started teh LifeCam software again. It ran and didn’t show any effects from which to choose, as expected. I disabled TrueColor and closed the software, hoping that would help Skype. A few seconds later the LifeCam software crashed.

Inspecting the error report technical details that were sent to Microsoft showed that the LifeCam software was still at least referencing the moved DLL files, so I moved them completely outside the LifeCam directory tree and tried again. Same results.

The next thought was make sure that we had the most recent version of the software installed. One of the forum posts gave a link to the Microsoft page with the software and I downloaded both the most recent LifeCam software and the firmware update for the camera. The firmware program indicated that the camera was already up-to-date (which doesn’t surprise me as I applied the firmware update the day I unboxed the camera), and an inspection of the Version tab of the properties of one of the LifeCam executable files indicated that it was already at version 3.21 (the same as the software I just downloaded). I decided to try reinstalling the software anyway and was told that I had to uninstall and reboot first. So I did.

After the reboot, I noticed that the camera was still listed in the My Computer window, so I right-clicked and chose Properties. A quick Test Camera yielded an all-is-well dialog box. Going back to My Computer and double-clicking on the camera brought up a window with the live camera feed. Closing the window worked fine–no crash. I looked for the C:\Program Files\Microsoft LifeCam directory and it’s nowhere to be found. Just to see what would happen, I started Skype and selected the camera for both the audio and video devices and clicked on Save. Normally Skype crashed at this point, but it didn’t this time. I grabbed my laptop and started a video call between it and my parent’s computer and everything worked just as it should. Even ending the call didn’t result in a Skype crash like it used to.

At this point, I’m considering the issue resolved. The only thing I wish we still had is the TrueColor correction, but I’m willing to live without it if it means that Skype isn’t crashing.

Seth’s Blog: Consumer debt is not your friend

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“Debt seems like fun for a long time, until it’s not. And everyone does it. We’ve been sold very hard on acquisition = happiness, and consumer debt is the engine that permits this. Until it doesn’t.”

“It’s simple: when the utility of what you want (however you measure it) is less than the cost of the debt, don’t buy it.”

Read Mr. Godin’s blog post–I can’t say it better than he can.

Seth’s Blog: Consumer debt is not your friend.

Pumpkin Cookie Cakes

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Ingredients

  • 1 package (18.5 oz) butter cake mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 c. oats
  • 1 c. flour
  • Optional: 6 oz white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine cake mix, oil, eggs and mix.
  3. Add pumpkin pie filling and mix.
  4. Stir in the oats and flour in a bowl. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
  5. Add the white chocolate chips and mix.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  7. NOTE: These cookies don’t settle as they bake.

Adapted from Cake Mix Cookies on cooks.com.

Word Study: Poieo and Prasso

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Definitions

Poieo and prasso are both often translated “to do” in our English Bible, but they have very different flavors. Prasso has “to do” as a primary definition and “to practice” as a secondary definition. The feeling here is very physical and control-oriented–I take out the trash, paint the barn (Manley), make the bed, vacuum the floor. Those activities are prasso. I get tired as I do these things. Often times I have to make a conscious effort to make myself do those things. The common usage of prasso during Bible times was with regard to business. Prasso is always about results and ability (how something gets done). Read the rest of this entry »

Malware infection: Total XP Security

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My church’s secretary called me a few days ago and indicated that she saw a number of popups on her computer screen that seemed suspicious. She wasn’t able to catch anyone by phone at the time, so she did the next best thing she could think of–she shut down the computer without clicking on anything.

It was a day and a half before I was able to make it to the church to look at the PC and I discovered that the pastor had booted it during that day and allowed it to run normally (it serves as a file and print server in addition to being the secretary’s primary workstation). After a partial run of ClamWinAV (which I had downloaded, updated, configured to run in standalone mode, and burned to a CD so I wouldn’t risk infecting my USB drive, I decided to take the machine home and scan the drive on a computer with a known good Antivirus/antimalware program (Microsoft Security Essentials [MSE]).

MSE scanned the drive and found only one problem, which I had it remove. I loaded the drive back into the church’s computer and headed back to the church. Upon booting the computer, everything appeared to be normal. I quickly discovered, however, that all was not well. None of the shortcuts on the desktop worked. Neither did any other program I tried to run. I would always get an “Application not found” or the “Open with” dialog box. Right-clicking on a shortcut or executable file gave me the normal Open, Run as…, and Scan with AVG Free options, but I noticed a new “start” option.

Checking the registry for the .exe class (HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\shell\open\command) showed that the (Default) action was now ‘”C:\Documents and Settings\User\Local Settings\Application Data\ave.exe” /start “%1” %*.’ A quick Google search indicated that this was part of the Total XP Security fake antivirus program.

Some more quick searching via Google turned up some excellent instructions for removing Total XP Security at BleepingComputer.com.

I also discovered another useful tool during this process: Norton Safe Web. Norton Safe Web scans sites for security problems and gives a report on its findings. It also allows visitors to rate and comment about sites. While Googling for instructions to remove Total XP Security I found several sets of instructions on sites that were not rated well by Norton Safe Web. BleepingComputer.com, however, has an excellent rating.

Following the BleepingComputer.com removal instructions has gotten my church’s computer on the right track again. The Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program took about 20 minutes to run and found over 40 infected files/rogue registry keys! It was able to remove them (with a reboot).

I have since removed the AVG virus program and replaced it with MSE. Let’s hope that we don’t end up in this situation again!

This does lead to another question, though. Is MSE enough protection on a PC? Some people don’t think so.

Running MSE and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware side-by-side.

The easy way to make dig more useful: .digrc

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I’ve been a long-time “dig” user (on Mac and Linux) to retrieve DNS records before I start transferring a domain to a new registrar. Every time I issue the same dig commands to gather the data I need and put it in a text file for easy reference later. Dig always outputs way more information than I need and I end up fishing through most of it to find the one or two lines that interest me.

$ dig jssm.com any

; <<>> DiG 9.3.6-APPLE-P2 <<>> jssm.com any
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 37409
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 7, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;jssm.com.                      IN      ANY

;; ANSWER SECTION:
jssm.com.               7200    IN      MX      5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      MX      0 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      A       216.98.141.250
jssm.com.               7200    IN      A       69.72.142.98
jssm.com.               7200    IN      SOA     ns8.zoneedit.com. soacontact.zoneedit.com. 1255263341 14400 7200 950400 7200
jssm.com.               7200    IN      NS      ns17.zoneedit.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      NS      ns8.zoneedit.com.

;; Query time: 62 msec
;; SERVER: 172.16.0.100#53(172.16.0.100)
;; WHEN: Tue Mar  9 10:10:20 2010
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 203

Dig Options

After perusing the man page for dig, I discovered the magical combination of options that hides all the stuff I don’t want to see while still returning all the data I do want to see: +nostats +nocomments +nocmd +noquestion +recurse.

Now my command is messy, cumbersome, and difficult to remember, but I have what I want:

$ dig +nostats +nocomments +nocmd +noquestion +recurse jssm.com any

jssm.com.               7200    IN      MX      0 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      MX      5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      A       69.72.142.98
jssm.com.               7200    IN      A       216.98.141.250
jssm.com.               7200    IN      SOA     ns8.zoneedit.com. soacontact.zoneedit.com. 1255263341 14400 7200 950400 7200
jssm.com.               7200    IN      NS      ns8.zoneedit.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      NS      ns17.zoneedit.com.

.digrc

I was delighted to see that dig supports a .digrc file for setting default options. I simply plopped the options I like into my ~/.digrc file all on a single line, issued my simple query, and voila! just the data I need without the extra stuff I don’t.

$ dig jssm.com any
jssm.com.               7200    IN      MX      0 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      MX      5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      A       69.72.142.98
jssm.com.               7200    IN      A       216.98.141.250
jssm.com.               7200    IN      SOA     ns8.zoneedit.com. soacontact.zoneedit.com. 1255263341 14400 7200 950400 7200
jssm.com.               7200    IN      NS      ns8.zoneedit.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      NS      ns17.zoneedit.com.

Bonus Syntax

I also discovered that dig supports multiple queries on the command line. I can now issue a single command and get all the DNS information I need for a domain:

$ dig jssm.com any www.jssm.com any mail.jssm.com any
jssm.com.               7200    IN      MX      5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      MX      0 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      A       216.98.141.250
jssm.com.               7200    IN      A       69.72.142.98
jssm.com.               7200    IN      SOA     ns8.zoneedit.com. soacontact.zoneedit.com. 1255263341 14400 7200 950400 7200
jssm.com.               7200    IN      NS      ns17.zoneedit.com.
jssm.com.               7200    IN      NS      ns8.zoneedit.com.
www.jssm.com.           7200    IN      CNAME   wfb.zoneedit.com.
wfb.zoneedit.com.       951     IN      A       216.98.141.250
wfb.zoneedit.com.       951     IN      A       69.72.142.98
mail.jssm.com.          7200    IN      CNAME   ghs.google.com.

Questions to ask when looking for an apartment

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  • Can we install child locks on the cabinets, etc.?