September 22, 2009

Comments revisited

I have just approved eight comments that were sitting in the moderation queue - some of them for over two months. Clearly I am not all that good with this whole comment moderation thing. The blog was only asking for moderation on comments on posts older than fourteen days, but with my current blogging activity rate, that has, at times, included everything, even the most recent entry here. I have decided to remove the comment moderation requirement, and just go with the captcha method of spam comment prevention for now. We'll see how it goes. That may well be enough.

If you've commented and been disappointed in not receiving a reply, I apologize. Thanks for coming by, and I hope you'll be back again to allow me to make ammends.

September 18, 2009

A Friday random ten

Here are the first ten songs randomly selected by iTunes to populate my iPod today:

1) See How I Miss You - Bruce Cockburn
2) Subculture - New Order
3) Children And All That Jazz - Joan Baez
4) Aranjuez - Robert Michaels
5) Practice What You Preach - Barry White
6) Someone That You're With - Nickelback
7) 4:39 AM (For The First Time Today - Part 2) - Roger Waters
8) Cum On Everybody - Eminem
9) Alien (Live Version) - Bush
10) Right Hand Man - Joan Osborne

An interesting collection of songs, I thought. Have an interesting weekend, everybody.

September 16, 2009

The ABCs of Curling - R

illum_r is for rock. I've touched on the rock in several previous entries, including 'A', where I discuss a rock's origins; 'I', in which I mention the rock's unique shape, and 'L', which treats the way a rock interacts with the ice when it is in motion. Finally, the rock gets to be the star of its very own entry.

<- Start at the beginning.

Up next: S is for...

September 15, 2009

A little bit of decorating

We recently repainted the living room/dining room area in our house. By recently, I mean, last summer. Since then we've been slowly picking away at this design element, and that accessory, and the other piece of furniture. The new couch arrived last week (and when I say arrived, I mean, we borrowed my father-in-law's van and went to Sears to pick it up ourselves). Prior to that, Pat had nabbed a large mirror for the wall above the couch from one of those discount home stores for some stupid stupid low price. I think it was regular fifty nine dollars, on sale for twenty nine dollars, on clearance for seventeen-fifty. Looks awesome, and no one notices the teeny little crack in the bottom corner. (Or, you know, if they do, I hit them over the head with a big stick, drag them down into the basement, and brick them up behind a wall.)

The one thing we had the hardest time with was deciding what to do with the long wall that runs the full length of both the living room and the dining room. Finally, we decided to create a photo mosaic of multiple smaller pictures, rather than try to find larger, affordable (key, that) prints to hang. I dusted off the CD full of pictures I took during our trip to Italy four years ago, and we made a run to IKEA to pick up a gaggle (herd? pride? clutch? flock? drove? brood?) of frames, in a variety of sizes.

Here is the result:

Photo Mosaic

You can click on the picture to go to my Flickr photostream, where you can look at a larger version of this picture, and all of the photographs we used to fill the frames. You know, if you want.

September 01, 2009

Don't click this link!

Today I signed in to Facebook to find a message telling me that one of my "friends" had posted a link on my wall. It was a You Tube link with the title, "WOW Video!" I was about to click on it to see what video this "friend," Kathryn, was sending me. Before I could, though, my skeptical radar kicked in, and I hesitated. Why would Kathryn, who is the older sister of a guy I was sorta friends with, on and off, in public school, more than thirty years ago be sending me a link to a video with no note of explanation attached? I mean, I knew her, and all, but we "friended" each other on Facebook because of that "friend" suggest feature: she was a "friend" of a "friend" of someone who was a "friend" of one of my "friends"...or something like that. But since we "friended" each other, we haven't actually exchanged two words. (Hi Kathryn - there, that's two).

I have this little habit I have developed over several years of web surfing. Before I click any link, I hover my mouse over it first, and look at the bottom left corner of my browser to see if the actual URL is the same as the one presented to my mouse. In this case, it was - no flag there - or was there? Sure it was a web address that had the words, "youtube," in it, but YouTube addresses all start with youtube dot com slash something, something, something. In this link, the 'youtube' was later in the address, with a bunch of random numbers in front of it. But Facebook pages are wierd, they embed other links within them all the time. I clicked on the link.

I did it, I clicked the link. I was lucky. It took me to a page titled, "Facebook Video," with a little video window on the left, and a picture of my "friend" on the right, and a message that said, Kathryn wants you to see this video. But the little video screen was black, with a message in it that said, "you must upgrade to the latest version of Flash to see this video. Click here to upgrade." I...almost clicked there to upgrade. Two things saved me. First, I have a teenaged son who uses YouTube on a daily basis. I'd seen him using it yesterday. I mean, it's possible that my Flash player needed an upgrade from yesterday to today, but that skeptical radar was buzzing again. I did my little hover the mouse trick again, and noted that clicking the link in question would download a file called setup.exe - a perfectly reasonable thing for an upgrade link to point to. I almost clicked the link. I didn't click. I have this pathological fear of exe files.

I started adding up all the little warning signs in my head, and they added up to, "danger, Will Robinson!" I deleted the link from my wall, and headed over to Kathryn's profile page to ask her if she, indeed, had sent me the link intentionally. And I wasn't the first. There were seven comments before mine, all saying, "hey! Why'd you send me a virus?"

Chalk one up for skeptical radar.