This category contains 9 posts

A Gift Of The Magi

…or at least from friends and family! :-)

Whenever I get a windfall, I usually spend it on bills.  Or necessities.  Groceries.  Or one of those things, and perhaps a meal out.

This year, I did get a gift card or two, and some actual cash.  Not a lot, but more than I had previously(!)  I am blessed.

Instead of buying my annual collection of diabetic socks, or having a new edition of ‘Ed Sullivan’ (the really big shoe) built up, I opted for something a bit more frivolous.

Some time back, my roommate J gave me her old computer tablet.  It worked for about four months, when the on-off switch went South.  A common occurrence in this model, I’m told.  Also $200 to repair!  For a now three-year-old tablet.

For Christmas I bought myself an inexpensive, more up-to-date 9″ computer tablet!  With Android KitKat 4.4!

It doesn’t have very good cameras (I have a cell for that!), and it’s not bluetooth compatible, but it’s MINE!  Much lighter weight than the hand-me-down, fast, and with a quad processor.

Sadly, it’s of PRC manufacture.

But, with my gifts, I only had to pay the $7.98 for one day Amazon shipping!  I figure, if it breaks in a week, I’ve had a new tablet for eight bucks!

20141231_100129And, now I don’t have to use my cell phone to back-up blog if my PC fails!


My Dragon Touch 9″ Tablet


Of course, as with buying a new gun, there are always tertiary accessories needed.  A screen protector and protective case!  (ordered this afternoon)!





SO…THIS Explains It!


I’ve been having ‘problems’ for some time now with regard to the posting of commentary on others blogs and some folks seeing MY little blog and commenting, as well.

Seems WordPress has had some issues.  I left Blogger a couple years ago, as THEY had some issues!

More than 100,000 WordPress websites have been infected with malware after attackers exploited a vulnerability in a popular WordPress plugin called RevSlider. The attack turns the infected WordPress sites into unwilling distributors of yet more malware, this time aimed at visitors to the sites.

The malware campaign has been dubbed SoakSoak because it causes some infected websites to redirect visitors to a malicious website at In an attempt to curb the infections, Google has blacklisted over 11,000 affected WordPress domains, according to Menifee, California-based security company Sucuri.

We get what we pay for!

I can’t afford to pay for a blogging platform – I certainly hope those are running without issue(?)

h/t Rev. Paul

Guffaw, Now PLEASED!

I sometimes get frustrated with the ‘stuff of life’.  I’m disabled, on a small disability income, my 15-year old Oldsmobile is more or less parked for lack of funds for needed repairs, and with my disabilities regarding walking, standing or even sitting it is sometimes difficult or painful.  And a little less than two years ago I lost my home of 18 years.

Yes, sometimes I whine about other stuff, too.

BUT, I try to keep a stiff upper lip.  And keep chipping away at those things that I can do something about.

My stand-alone desktop computer has been waylayed for a little over a month.  For most folks having their home computer not functioning correctly is an annoyance, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal.

BUT, not being very ambulatory, and now even less mobile, it became readily apparent my computer is a window to the outside world.  My email, and 3-year-old blog being it’s primary functions.  I can talk back to the TV, but it rarely responds.

FORTUNATELY, my roommate J loaned me an old laptop she wasn’t using for me to keep up with the day’s events and continue to publish my blog (such as it is) daily, as I’ve done since March 6, 2011.

For this I am forever grateful.

Being less-than-competent with regard to computer/Internet stuff, I’ve not been able to diagnose the problem with my computer, determine if it was even repairable, or what the cost might be.

J left town to visit her daughter and become a tourist for the holiday weekend, and I’m left as the dog wrangler again.  This is okay, because I love the dogs (and the cat – more or less) and it gives me more time to try to move files to the laptop and play at fixing my old computer.


Somehow, something inadvertently changed a couple of settings (not me!) – I changed them back (with about 100 missteps in the interim) and now the computer connects to the Internet, again!!


I’m using my original machine to write this!

This may not be watching a rose bloom, or being in love, or a new car, but DAMN I’m pleased!

pleased frog


SO…Whatya THINK?

Comodo-IceDragonMy computer is 5 years old, and a rebuild.  A HP 300-1020 20″ Touchscreen AMD Athlon II X2 235e processor 2.70 GHz…w/additional memory, wireless mouse and keyboard.  I cannot afford a new one.

I’m a reluctant Windows guy.  Could never afford the Apple.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve used IE 9, 10, 11, Firefox, Chrome and Opera browsers.  And seem to keep picking up ‘bugs’ on each browser.  Such that spending 20 minutes setting up my daily blog post (with a today’s quote, funny, beauty and You Tube clip) has almost doubled to 40 minutes because of software ‘issues’.  I keep having to switch in mid-publish because a window locks up, or won’t open, or won’t allow copy/paste of instructions…yatta, yatta, yatta.  PITA!

YES, I’ve cleaned up my registry, removed malware.  Regularly.  I run Kasparsky.  I even uninstalled FF and Chrome as they seemed to be the most buggy.  I recently installed Mozilla WaterFox, because it purportedly works better with 64 bit machines.  But some of the same buggery happened.  (Pun intended).

Then, I installed Comodo IceDragon.  Also from Mozilla, but tweaked differently.

Thus far, no apparent bugs.  (Knock-on-wood)

And here’s my question(s) – am I doing anything wrong?  Should I look to an entirely different browser, or blogging software?  I’ve been much happier with WordPress (over Blogger) two of the past (almost) three years!

REMEMBER, when you answer – I an NOT a geek, I only pretend to be one on the blogosphere.

Suggestions?  Ideas?

PS – IceDragon seems to be working well (after two days of blogging and browsing)!  Who knew?

For A Good Time, Call The KGB…

kgb…the GRU, NKVD, MVD, Stasi, MSS – or the FSB (the current incarnation of Russian intelligence apparat)

It seems Borepatch has determined the FSB is using their own version of Google, and is quite happy with their algorithms.  Welcome to YANDEX.   He says:

1. Russia has a bunch of excellent computer scientists, and Yandex seems to have picked up a bunch of them.  The Russians always excelled at algorithms (I’d go so far as to say that their mathematics training beats ours handily), and search is a game of algorithms.  I’m told that the Russian language is more difficult for computers to deal with than English (it is an inflected language, unlike ours), and so the Yandex algorithms originally developed for Russian really shine when aimed at English sites.

2. It gives me very good results – for most things I’ve been looking for, better than Google.  Google’s blogsearch has become a joke, which is perhaps a testament to Google’s internal lack of focus.  I find that bloggy related searches are much more productive on Yandex.~

~And now we come to what brought me to Yandex in the first place: Google is evil.  We all know it.  Furthermore, Google seems to be playing footsie with the US Government Intelligence Agencies:

One privacy advantage Yandex has which Google never will: Yandex does not do business with American intelligence agencies.  I do not like the fact that Google has become an arm of US intelligence agencies. It is to their credit that Google discloses their relationship with the US government (most of Silicon Valley is in bed with the spooks, but they don’t talk about  it). It is the surveillance  state that I abhor. Yandex may very well be doing the same thing with the Russian government, but the FSB is a much smaller threat to American civil rights than our own spooks. While I see no imminent dangers from the all-seeing eye, and I am far from paranoid, the US is going through a weird time right now, and history is a dark and bloody subject. Do I really want the future government  to know what websearches I was doing in 2010? No, thanks,  tovarich.

Paranoia?  I don’t think so.  And, just for S & Gs, I ran Guffaw in AZ on Yandex.

20 returns on the first page – only one in Russian.  Only one about guffawing, and not the blog.  Seems focused, as Borepatch intones.

I’m thinking of using this occasionally (instead of BING), just to annoy the three-letter folks in bed with Google. Otherwise, what good is a “uncensored” Internet?

Hell, I’m already on ‘the list.’

A Moment in Guffaw’s PC History!

not with THIS machine, though!

not with THIS machine, though!

I’ve been on the Internet since 1993.  Bulletin boards and such.  IRC.  I used dial-up.  Then computer memory became too complex and massive to handle a straight analog telephone connection.

So I got broadband.  Expensive broadband.  And it served me well, when I could afford it.

Then, my roommate gave me her  Wi-Fi hotspot.  Much like broadband, a little less expensive, but a little spotty with coverage and speed.

NOW, she decided to get a cable modem and router…

Remarkable!  I connect faster, more quality, security and speed!.  And it’s only showing 4 of 5 bars at peak periods!  (I’m upstairs from the router.)  No buffering on video!  For the first time in Guffaw’s PC History!

Live and learn.

PS – I no longer have the Timex Sinclair.  I’ve moved past 16K…

Cleanliness is next to…

So, I’m reading passing-over, yet again, another warning on the Internet regarding keyboards.  It seems, more than public bathrooms, computer keyboards are THE source of e-coli bacteria for most folks.  E-coli is one of those nasty things we sometimes access through uncooked food and can cause serious illness and even death.

Yeah yeah, sure sure…yawn

I’m a bit of a germaphobe.  Being slightly OCD and having been ill many times in my life, this is not surprising.  A while back I was reading how the so-called 5-second rule is more realistically a 5-minute rule.  (dropping food on to a generally-clean-appearing floor does not automatically mean it’s instantly acquired enough strange bacteria to be a health hazard if eaten!  As if I’d do something like that! :-P)  Currently living in a house with three dogs and a cat usually means mishandled food doesn’t even make it to the floor.  If it does, it means they’re kenneled, sleeping or seriously full.

So, back to the keyboard.  Specifically MY cordless computer keyboard.  Usually observed in low-light conditions, no issues are observed.  Wait-a-minute…what’s THAT on the keyboard, that red stuff (OH, it’s probably wearing paint…) WAIT!  The keyboard has black with white lettering, no color!  Uh-oh…

Yep.  A couple months back, just after my move, I developed a habit of eating at my computer, over my keyboard in some cases.  Usually…aw geez!  That’s it!  Jack-In-The-Box Tacos!


Apply Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to the affected area, twice!  And to all the electronic gadget remotes living in my room, just in case.  Because one never knows.

I feel better now, and a little hungry.  What sounds good?  mmmmm-tacos!

Attention FTC, neither Jack-In-The-Box nor The Clorox Company have given me anything save delicious, cheap, greasy food and cleanliness.  In that order.  Go clean your own keyboards!

Computer Virus ALERT!

This may be old hat (tin foil) to the real geeks out there, but Judy just alerted me to a computer virus potential which doesn’t look good, set to run in July.

The FBI Anti-Virus website is free, and walks one through detection, destruction and immunization.  Of course, my tin-foil-hatted wookie brain half-joked that this was just some way for the Feds to get us to voluntarily download software.

That’s what I get for watching Person-of-Interest before sleep.

'Person of Interest' TV Show

h/t Judy

Computer SNAFU Bleg

Emphasis on Eff ME!
For the past couple weeks, my computer has been running slower, and slower…and slower.  AND not connecting well.  And dropping connection.
I did all the analyses, and have been operating on the premise that while I reside in the 6th largest metro area in the U.S., I’m in a dead spot.
My ex-gf has to go out to the carport to obtain a decent cellular telephone signal.
So, my broadband connection is sometimes iffy.  Well, ALWAYS iffy.  And slow, and finicky.
Yesterday, most of the blogs to which I tried to connect, didn’t…or took forever.
I finally came up with the bright idea to switch back to IE9 (shudder!) from Firefox.
That’s made an amazing difference!!!  Who knew?  The whole reason I went to Firefox in the first place was IE9 and Blogger weren’t getting along.
And I DO try to blog.
My resident computer geek suggests I reload Firefox.  I’m reluctant because of all the stuff I’ve saved and have resident therein.  But I don’t like IE9.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…


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