Archive for August, 2003

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Old House / New House (We Pray)

August 21, 2003

From this ...    ... to this!

Today we placed an offer on a house in Hudson, New Hampshire, that we really fell in love with. This would place me only 18 miles from work, instead of 50—a big difference, especially considering the need for more family time.

We will know tomorrow (probably) if our offer is accepted, and it is, of course, contingent on our selling the house in Brockton. Today we had five showings, and have had one or two a day for the past three weeks. We reduced our price a little bit, as our realtor recommended, and are really praying that this “whole package” works out.

In other family events, the kids are getting ready to go back to school (here for a month or two), and Naomi is due in 8 1/2 weeks! Wow.

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Lies, Darned Lies, and Marketing

August 19, 2003

I’ve come across this new breed of popup ad a few times in the past couple of weeks:

Brought to you by the evil folks at ZendMedia and the vendors of ComputerShield (http://ad1.zendmedia.com/ad-rpc.php?id=ad46) ...

Yet again we have an attempt to prey on the gullible and less-than-well-informed computer users. What infuriates me most about this—even beyond the desire to trick the user into thinking his or her computer has a problem (much like the “Your Internet connection is not operating at full speed” garbage ads)—is that the ad site claims the user’s computer is infected, regardless of the fact that the user’s computer (like mine) might be patched or firewalled and completely invulnerable to the RPC worm.

I wonder how many people have been duped by this scheme? This makes me very angry indeed.

Folks need to learn to differentiate between a scam advertisement and a real security threat, and this sort of schrecklichkeit is abominable.

And a Final Rant Is Due: Look, if you’re going to have a computer connected to the Internet, or even just receiving e-mail of any kind, you must install some good antivirus software and keep your machine updated with the latest security patches (which means running the Windows Update service for most people). Do not use McAffee because it stinks—you’re much better off with Norton Antivirus. Do update your virus definitions at least every week, and run a full scan that often as well. If you can’t afford Norton AntiVirus, try one of several free alternatives, such as BitDefender, Avast, AntiVir, or AVG Anti-Virus.

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A Cool Word

August 19, 2003

The German language has some fascinating words, some of which have made their way into accepted use in other languages.

Schadenfreude: The pleasure one gets from talking about catastrophies; delight in another person’s misfortune.

I came across this in the short story “Thomas the Proclaimer,” by Robert Silverberg, published in his novelette collection entitled Sailing to Byzantium. (Thanks to Kevin Miller for the loan of the book.)

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Happy Birthday to Me

August 11, 2003

I know it’s a bit odd to announce one’s own birthday, but, hey, I turned 35 years old. This makes me exactly halfway through a normal lifespan, according to Moses:

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. (Psalm 90:10)

Yesterday seems to have gone unnoticed by virtually everyone. Even my mother had to be reminded by my brother Aaron!

Nichelle had a tough day, and wasn’t able to do much, although I believe she is scheming up something.

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Seinfeld was a “Show about Nothing,” but this Is Just Plain Dumb

August 5, 2003

Much Ado About Nothing at Edinburgh Fringe
Tue August 5, 2003 10:19 AM ET
By Paul Majendie

EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Sit back, relax and watch the play that offers absolutely nothing—no actors, no props, no sound and no plot.

See the full article at Reuters.