Friday, October 30, 2009


I'm taking a big chance on this. Hopefully none of my readers will be negatively affected by these images. But please beware; someone some where in the world may be placed into a total, paralyzing panic, simply by viewing these images. Such is the nature of a true phobia.
PHOBIA: an anxiety disorder characterized by extreme and irrational fear, not simple dislike, of simple things or social situations.

Theatraphobia, an irrational fear of Theaters...

Tachophobia: An irrational fear of Speed.

Selenophobia: An irrational fear of the Moon.

Rhytiphobia: An irrational fear of Getting Wrinkles.

Placophobia: An irrational fear of Tombstones.

Pediophobia: An irrational fear of Dolls.

Ornithophobia: An irrational fear of Birds.

Orphidiophobia: An irrational fear of Snakes.

Omphalophobia: An irrational fear of Belly Buttons.

Nephophobia: An irrational fear of Clouds.

Myrmecophobia: An irrational fear of Ants.

Metrophobia: An irrational fear of Poems.

Lutraphobia: An irrational fear of Otters.

Nephophobia: An irrational fear of Lakes.

Lepidopterophobia: An irrational fear of Moths and Butterflies.

Gephyrophobia: An irrational fear of Crossing Bridges.

Geniophobia: An irrational fear of Chins.

Gallophobia: An irrational fear of France or French culture.

Dendrophobia: An irrational fear of Trees.

Cyclophobia: An irrational fear of Bicycles.

Chorophobia: An irrational fear of Dancing.

Chiroptophobia: An irrational fear of Bats.

Chirophobia: An irrational fear of Hands.

Chionophobia: An irrational fear of Snow.

Catoptrophobia: An irrational fear of Mirrors.

Carnophobia: An irrational fear of Meat.

Caligyephobia: An irrational fear of Beautiful Women.

Aulophobia: An irrational fear of Flutes.

Arachnephobia: An irrational fear of Spiders.

Achridophobia: An irrational fear of Grasshoppers.

If you thought you had one of these Phobias, and you are still reading this; Congratulations, either you didn't have it or now you're cured.

Classic Black Friday

My Classic Black Fridays are in homage to my fashionista mentor the NicNacManiac.
Check her pages daily for some of the most interesting fashion and decorating ideas on the web.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday

The President of the United States in the name of the The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Mortar Man with Headquarters and Service Company, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division, against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the morning of 1 March 1969, Private First Class Bruce was on watch in his night defensive position at Fire Support Base Tomahawk in Quang Nam Province when he heard movements ahead of him. An enemy explosive charge was thrown toward his position and he reacted instantly, catching the device and shouting to alert his companions. Realizing the danger to the adjacent position with its two occupants Private First Class Bruce Held the device to his body and attempted to carry it from the vicinity of the entrenched Marines. As he moved away, Private First Class Bruce's indomitable courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty saved the lives of three of his fellow Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 26, 2009

Manic Monday

What vital IT threat should I cover today? The latest email scam riding the ether is an e-mail pretending to come from the FBI or the Homeland Security department. It has various topics and contents. But they all include an attachment that is a malware, which will search through your computer looking for financial information, and will install a key-logger on your system. Your first suspicion should be to ask "Why is the FBI sending anything to me?" They won't. Unless you belong to a law enforcement department, and even then it's not likely. Please avoid the temptation to play Sherlock, and just delete it. The feds are already aware of this one. But if you would like to read something from the DHS, then by all means go here.

Do you recognize this little Gizmo? It has become ubiquitous in the IT world. They are relatively inexpensive, come in many sizes and shapes, will fit easily in your pocket and look like they belong in a 007 movie. They are just like bad advice; everybody has some. In fact they are so common place that most people are not suspicious of them.
However, not everyone shares this open trust. And rightly so. They are great for students to carry homework back and forth to school. And for people who want to bring work home and finish later. Unfortunately School computer networks are notoriously insecure. And these little FOBS can transport infected files everywhere they go. So when Junior brings his term paper home to work on over the weekend, he leaves something nasty on the PC that you are using to finish the cost analysis spreadsheet for your CFO. So the virus that was on the school's library computer last Thursday is now on the Corp Financial Officer's PC, today.
Sound a little far fetched? In my work I have actually had this very scenario play itself out. But this little tool has a far more sinister element. They can actually be configured to be a boot device.
Lets play a scenario. The year; 2009. The place; a corporate office in a large metropolitan area of the US. The players; CEO of the corp. And a young, hyper-intelligent IT specialist from the help desk.
The day starts like any other work day Friday. Except the CEO can't get into the secure server to retrieve files needed for the Board of Directors meeting tonight. The CEO 's admin assistant calls the help desk, all the triage questions are bypassed and an "Immediate Urgency" trouble ticket is issued. Since this is the CEO, the help desk assigns the best tech they have to the job. Credentials, degrees, and numerous accolades for superior performance of duty. The tech gathers the tools to get the job done and heads for the front office. The CEO is off to a downtown meeting, so the Admin Assistant allows the tech into the bosses office. The assistant was making online reservations for the bosses vacation plans next week, so he leaves the tech alone in the office.
The astute technician quickly discovers from the less than cryptic error message, the user permissions had been revoked from the CEO's account. Probably one of those silly jerks in the SYSADMIN group did a fat-finger on the keyboard yesterday. No time to wonder why? It's a case of do or die. The tech quickly restores the user access permissions to the CEO's account. But the only prudent thing to do is verify the access is working. So she uses the CEO's login to access the secure server. His corporate files are visible and the names of the files are very interesting. Especially the one named "LAYOFFS."
Temptation becomes desire. The consequences are weighted. She was logged in as thec CEO. So the file's access would show the CEO as the last opener. But the time/date stamp showed the file was last closed yesterday. If she opened it now it could be traced to her quit easily. So out comes the trusty thumb drive. It is attached to the lanyard hanging around her neck. She loads the drive into the USB slot and decides to take the contents of the entire directory. 7 Gig in all. There is plenty of room on the 16 Gig thumber. Wait! Someone might notice a trafic flow that big on the highspeed ethernet. But it's only 7:47 AM. Th network engineers are still in their daily morning meeting. And the only security guy here this time in the morning is out back smoking a cigarette. In fact he'll be there until 8:05 when the CSO shows up as per his ritual.
Seven minutes later Shelley the IT tech is back at her desk, with a copy of every file in the CEO's private directory. She opens the LAYOFFS file and third from the top, is her name. Now she feels justified for taking the other files also. Plus this explains the HR appointment on her calendar set for 3:00 PM today. Time is short. If she's being fired this afternoon, she has a lot of work to do.
These little tools pose such a serious security threat, many companies have forbidden their use. Some have taken a more drastic step, and have filled the USB slots on corp PCs with epoxy. There is another possible threat. If you use one of these little gems, besure to safe guard it. There are a couple of companies that manufacture secure thumb drives. But they are quite expensive and won't be found in the local Walmart. In many instances the data housed on a computer is far more valuable than the computer itself. If the data is placed on a device the size of your thumb, I don't need to go anywherenear your PC to steal its most valuable commodity.
'MEMER THIS: Security is inconvenient by its nature. And any new convenient device is bound to open a plethora of security issues.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ashokan Farewell

I don't know why! But, I can't listen to this song without tears.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Just in case you didn't know


Music to stir the soul

Remember when? Gracie Slick said "Don't trust anyone over thirty." She turns 70 on 30 Oct. Who guessed that health freak would live to see 70?

How'd we get to this point?

Winston Churchill once said, "The farther back into the past you look. The further into the future you can see." There have been so many lessons in America's history that could have taught us to avoid war. General Robert E. Lee, the greatest tactician in the American Civil War, won almost every battle field encounter. Yet, The Confederacy lost the war. The combined forces of The US military won every battle field encounter, including the Tet offensive, yet the Viet Nam war was considered a loss. But battles don't win wars. Wars are not the property of the military. War is the property of the leadership of a nation. In our country, war and the power to start it belongs to the Congress. They can't just "Cry Havoc. And set loose the dogs of war" as Caesar said. They must have a strategy. A "WHY" and a "When" and a "Where' and a "When it's over." The congress says go, and the military responds. But the congress must stipulate the end objective.

Lets take a look into the "WAY-BACK Machine" to the time of early Rome. The lessons we learned in school when I was a boy told of Hannibal. Everyone knows he marched across the Alps with Elephants to conquer Rome. If that was his strategy, then why is there still a Rome? Truth be known, conquest of Rome was never his objective. Hannibal was from Carthage, somewhere in northern Africa. I say somewhere , because Archeologists still aren't sure exactly where. More on that in a minute.
The fledgling Roman empire had cut off the trading ports in central and northern Italy. So the Carthaginians were forced to go through the the Iberian peninsula (modern day Andorra, Portugal and Spain) to conduct trade with Europe. Hannibal's father Hannibal 1, was general of the army and his hatred of Rome and everything Romish was passed on to his son, Hannibal II. So when his father died, Hannibal carried the torch. He was a ruthless leader. When any his field generals lost in battle, Hannibal would have them crucified (I bet you thought the Romans invented that). As far a tactics were concerned, Hannibal has no equals. Every encounter with the Legions of Rome where a total rout and ended in annihilation of the Romans. The Roman senate gave up their power to a military leader to help stop the Carthaginian scourge. Rome was still no match for Hannibal's superior generalship. The Romans feared that a single military leader would fail to return power to the people. So, they established a dual military leadership. One was an all out warrior. Fight until no one is left. The other preferred guerrilla hit and run tactics. These leaders, by edict, changed roles every day. Hannibal, who preferred full scale frontal assault knew which day he would find that particular response. So he lured the legion into a battle and in one 6 hour day they killed 70,000 Romans. Shortly thereafter, the Carthaginian government recalled Hannibal and the trouble for Rome on their own home land ended.
Minor disagreement between the two nations continued for a decade or so. When the Roman senate sent Scipio Africanus to follow a new strategy. His orders were succinct and precise. Destroy Carthage. Leave no two stones on top of each other. Kill everything that breathes. And sew the ground with salt for 50 stadia in every direction. 2200 years later and we still don't know exactly where Carthage was.
Now that's strategy! Tactics don't win wars. Undefeated general don't win wars either. Strategy wins wars, and politicians make strategies. We are currently 9 months into this congress's term and we still don't have a strategy for the war in Afghanistan or Iraq. This is not President Obama's decision or dilemma. No matter what the News says. The President is only the strategy maker during times of declared war. And this pack of spineless, namby pamby, skillet licking, lilly livered, Casper Milquetoast, pontificators in your congress are shirking their duty. And every day Americans are dying and being crippled, because these Godless malingerers refuse to do what they are taking your money as pay for doing. They don't have to strip mine a country down to the basalt, or bomb them back to the stone age. But they've got to do something. If you don't have an end game, Don't play chess. If you don't know how to end a war, don't start one of those either.
Thanks, I'm now off the soapbox. For today!

Classic Black Friday

Classic Black Friday. In homage to my fashionista mentor, NicNacManiac.
Check out her Magnificent style sense today...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday


Awarded the Medal Of Honor, for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving as a Rifleman with Company D, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam on November 12, 1969. As a member of a reaction force which was pinned down by enemy fire while assisting a platoon in the same circumstance, Private First Class Dias, observing that both units were sustaining casualties, initiated an aggressive assault against an enemy machine gun bunker which was the principal source of hostile fire. Severely wounded by enemy snipers while charging across the open area, he pulled himself to the shelter of a nearby rock. Braving enemy fire for a second time, Private First Class Dias was again wounded. Unable to walk, he crawled fifteen meters to the protection of a rock located near his objective and, repeatedly exposing himself to intense hostile fire, unsuccessfully threw several hand grenades at the machine gun emplacement. Still determined to destroy the emplacement, Private First Class Dias again moved into the open and was wounded a third time by sniper fire. As he threw a last grenade which destroyed the enemy position, he was mortally wounded by another enemy round. Private First Class Dias' indomitable courage, dynamic initiative, and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in service to his country.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

almost Wordless Wednesday

Active service members are not the only ones who sacrifice for our country. Some day a Marine will hand my family a flag just like this one. I pray none of you has to lay a personal sacrifice on the altar of freedom.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cyber Security Awareness Month...

Ask and you shall receive. Thank you dear friend. Thank you also Steve your's is great, But someone beat us to the draw...

Every Kid needs one of these.

An Uncle Buck


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Manic Monday

To start out I would like to say that October is, among many other important things, Cyber Security Awareness month. This is the first year that it has been in effect and very few people have ever heard of such a thing. So I am soliciting help for an awareness ribbon. Like the pink ribbon for Breast cancer awareness and the yellow ribbon for remembrance of our troops. I would like to have a ribbon Black in color with gold edges and the words CYBER and SECURITY in gold down the legs of the ribbon. Leave me a comment if you can help.

Last week I said I would tell you how to track where your computer has been on the Internet. Let me start by warning you that it is illegal to do this on a computer that you don’t personally own. And even if you find something suspicious, there may be an innocent explanation (Misspelled URL addresses[ used to be a porn site will redirect you to a site of dubious content] POP-UP windows can and will make their way into the list as well) So leave the forensics to the experts. Also the Hawthorn Effect is in full control and simply looking at a file on a computer will change the ownership and the time access codes.

Most people equate the Internet with the World Wide Web. WWW is part of the Internet, and there is much more to the Internet than web browsing. But that is where we will concentrate. The first place to start would be the Windows <START> Button. Click <START> and point at “Recent Items” This will show a list of all the latest items opened by a program on your PC. Then point your cursor at the Recycle Bin Icon. Right click it and select browse. This will give you a list of all deleted files since the last time it was emptied. Now on to the good stuff. I’m going to confine this to use of Mozilla’s Firefox. If you need info for another browser leave a comment and I’ll get that info for you next Monday.

In Firefox there is a <HISTORY> menu at the top of the window. Click it and click <Show all history>. This will open a new window with a list of all the URLs visited. That is if the user didn’t delete he history files. If the history file list is empty there is still no need to panic. Maybe the history is set to clear on closing. But that isn’t the end. In the address bar of Firefox type ‘about:cache?=disk’ without the quotes and hit <ENTER>. This will bring  up a list of files statistics where you can see the info below:

Disk cache device

Number of entries:

Maximum storage size:
51200 KiB

Storage in use:
44963 KiB

Cache Directory:

List Cache Entries

Offline cache device

Number of entries:

Maximum storage size:
512000 KiB

Storage in use:
0 KiB

Cache Directory:

List Cache Entries


Point and click on one of the “List Cache Entries”. From there you can click on the links to see information about the file. Their will also include a link to the picture or item that was cached. So now you have a list of files that Firefox thought was important enough to save for future browsing that does not go away when the history is dumped. None of this would be admissible in a court. Because the files could have come about for the reasons I listed earlier. But it may prove useful for enforcing your personal “Unacceptable Use Policy” at home.

Stay safe and happy computing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Music for your soul

I have a very eclectic taste in music.

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Kick back and jam

First to kinda kick things off, a LED ZEP GOLDIE;

Then a little Johnny Cash: sorry y'all this is as country as I get;


Friday, October 16, 2009