Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Near Peggy\'s Cove, Nova Scotia

It’s The Cow’s Fault . . .

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Yesterday, (Wednesday) was grocery shopping/prescription day, so about 11am I headed over to the Bryan/College Station area, about 30 miles away. My first stop was the Home Depot to pick up a few things. I’m going to replace the lavatory faucet in the next few days and I needed a can of plumber’s putty for the base. I had some, but found it had dried out.

The handle broke on the old faucet and, although I tried to repair it, the fix just wouldn’t hold. So a new one it is. I picked one up last week so I’ll try and get it done in the next couple of days. Right now the handle is a pair of Vicegrips.

Whatever works.

My next stop was the Sam’s Club to pick up the prescriptions that didn’t go through last week. When we filled some prescriptions at the Sam’s in Mishawaka, IN this past June, for some reason, after filling them, they cancelled them. So the pharmacist here had to get things straightened out. Turns out that nobody at the Mishawaka store had any idea what had happened. They said it was probably a ‘computer error.’

Yeah, right. Somebody had to press that key. The computer didn’t do it by itself.

One thing at Sam’s took me by surprise though.

Christmas at Sam's

This is just ridiculous. They actually have Halloween stuff, Thanksgiving stuff, and Christmas stuff all there together. And there’s probably some New Year’s hats and horns in there somewhere.

After stopping at Wal-Mart for groceries, and to return the ‘Octopus’ shower hose from last week, I headed over by Texas A&M to pick up lunch.

Yelp had really good things to say about Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, so we thought we’d give it a try. Turns out it’s right across the street from the A&M campus and it’s a pretty big place.

With a very small menu.

Chicken Fingers. That’s pretty much it.

They have a 3 piece box, a 4 piece box, a 6 piece family box, and a Chicken Finger Sandwich. That’s it, except for Tailgater boxes of 50 or 100 pieces.

For drinks, they’ve got the usually soft drinks, sweet tea, unsweet tea, and their fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Their sweet and unsweet teas are in those dispensers with the big clear domes on top. One of them is labeled ‘UnSweet Tea’, one of them is labeled ‘Sweet Tea’, and the 3rd one is labeled ‘Sweetness’. ‘Sweetness’ was a light brown liquid that looked like very weak tea, and after a few seconds, I realized what it was.

Real sweet tea is not sweetened with sugar, but with simple syrup. Simple syrup is made by boiling one part water and one part sugar until it’s clear and then letting it cool.

You might not think that tea sweetened with simple syrup would taste different than tea sweetened directly with sugar, but it does. It probably has something to do with the slight caramelization that occurs with the boiling. Or maybe not. But it does taste different. And better.

So what was in the ‘Sweetness’ dispenser was tea-flavored simple syrup, for those who like a little extra ‘sugar rush’ with their sweet tea.

Looking over the menu, I ordered two of the Caniac Combo’s, the 6 piece dinners, since we always like to have leftovers for another meal. And for our drinks that were included, I got their fresh-squeezed lemonade for both of us.

Caniac Combo

Getting back to the gate, we found the chicken fingers and sides really, really good. But for what it’s worth, the pieces we got weren’t quite as big as the ones in the picture, but they were delicious. And 3 pieces was plenty, leaving us another meal for later.

Back to today. When I got up this morning about 11:30, I noticed DirecTV was down, saying it had lost the signal. But it was raining a little and the radar showed a lot of thunderstorms to our south, so I figured that was the problem.

But later in the afternoon after I was outside and Jan had gone in, it still wasn’t working. So I went around the front of the rig to check out our Winegard dome, and the first thing I saw was the empty stand that the dome sits on.

“Crap, somebody stole my dome,” was my first thought. But getting closer, this is what I found.

CowSat

Now I knew it hadn’t been windy enough to do this, but what the heck? And then getting closer explained it all.

The power and signal cables were all dragged back toward the rig, pulling the dome with it. Looking at the prints in the mud told me a cow had walked through on his way to the small pond behind us and had gotten tangled in the wires laying on the ground.

I was a little worried about the dome still working after all that, but apparently it’s pretty tough. I put it back on the stand, rebooted it, and a few minutes later we had pictures again.

Later, Jan said that a cow had come around the the front of the rig earlier in the morning, stopped and then, looking at Jan, mooed and walked off. I guess the moo meant “I think I just broke something.”

Tomorrow it looks like more rain is in the forecast. Oh Boy!

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Thought for the Day:

In grade school it’s called bullying, but later in life it’s referred to as upper level management.   (thanks, Aunt Sherwee)

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From Russia . . . with Love?

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Someone in Russia, and the Netherlands too, doesn’t like me.

Or at least they’re trying to hack into my blog.

Twice this week or so, someone from the Russian Federation, Volgodansk in particular, has tried to log in to my blog, i.e. take it over. And last week, someone in the Netherlands tried to do the same thing.

Why, I don’t know. But this has been going on for a while. In fact, since I moved to this new blog theme a few months ago, there have been 2317 lockouts.

A lockout comes about after 4 failed login attempts. At this point, that person’s IP address was blocked from trying to login again for 20 minutes. After they were locked out 4 times like this, they were then locked out for 24 hours. At least that’s how it was until a couple of days ago.

Now they get two failed attempts, and then they’re locked out for 60 minutes, not 20. And then after they do this twice, they’re now locked out for 48 hours, not 24.

The culprits are probably using bots or scripts to throw words and numbers at the blog. In fact there are specially-written programs, coupled with dictionaries, just for this purpose. But they will almost certainly not guess mine. Because it’s not a word or words. It’s garbage.

It looks something like this.

oIh$P+T1f $.s-W   (not the real password of course)

You can use a website like Strong Password Generator to create this type of password for you. Or you can just make it up. And No, you don’t have to remember this. You use a password manager, like Roboform, or LastPass.

A password manager works like this. When you go to any website that requires you to login, and you enter your name and password, the password manager pops up and asks if you want to save this password. When you click YES, the next time you come back to this site, the password manager pops up and asks if you want to login. When you click YES, it enters the name and password for you. Neat!

And the other neat thing is that when you first go to a new site and it wants you to give it a password to set up your account or login, the password manager will create one of these strong garbage passwords for you.

And then you never have to worry about it again.

Roboform costs about $30. LastPass is free. But at least get one of them.

Finishing up, whatever you do, don’t use the same password, or same few passwords for all your logins. (and some of you out there know who you are.) This is just inviting trouble.

Remember the news a couple of weeks ago about 5 million Gmail accounts and passwords were stolen. Now think if your bank account login uses the same one. And don’t think that because you’re just little old you, you’re not a target. How would they know about you?

They don’t, but they have millions of bots out there, trying to hack into millions of accounts at the same time. And they just sit back and wait for the results to roll in. And they only thing they had to do was click the Start button.

It’s all a game of numbers, just like Spam email, for example. They can sent out tens of millions of spam emails with the click of a button, at little or no cost. So if they get a few thousand sales, or even a few hundred, they’ve made money. That’s why they keep doing it.

So pay attention, and let’s be safe out there.

Oh, as far as here today, it’s rained all evening, and a guy saw a rattlesnake about a hundred feet up the road.

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Thought for the Day:

Heaven is where:
   the police are British,
the lovers French,
the mechanics German,
the chefs Italian,
and it is all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is where:
   the police are German,
the lovers Swiss,
the mechanics French,
the chefs British,
and it is all organized by the Italians.

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