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Archive for February, 2011

No photo this week but at the end there is a link to my photoblog called “Riff’s Photography Journal”. I already had scheduled to post the photo that you will see and if I hadn’t it most likely would not have been done. The reason why? Because I’ve spent a few days sick.

You see I usually post two photos a week on my photoblog and one is the Weekly Black & White Photography image. However, this week started out in a very un-normal way.

On Sunday I had a pretty bad toothache. It was gone by Monday morning and even though I was starting to feel a little down I still went off to work. By mid-morning my tooth ache was back and worse than before. At that point I became the best conversationalist you never did hear. All because every one I came into contact I let them do the talking and I just stood there trying to smile and just slightly nodding my head in agreement or disagreement.

I’d say a few words and turn to go back to work. Keeping track of a network isn’t easy and when you have a toothache it can become quite nerve-wracking. Yeah, I know the tooth connection.

Anyway, about 11:00 AM, not only was the tooth really aching, I also started to come down with a chile and some body aches. I dropped an email to my boss and said that I would be going home at lunch. Well, I did.

By evening I had come down also with a fever; just a little over 100. So, here I was with a toothache, chills, aching body parts and a fever…

I went to bed early and by 1:30 AM I was back awake. I finally got back up out of bed around 2:00 and took some more pills. The only thing I had to take was some extra strength migraine pills and I took two of those. I had taken some extra strength Aspirin before I had gone to bed.

For the next couple of hours I watched nothing on TV, as there really was nothing, or maybe it was the Weather Channel. Not sure which. However, by 4:00 Am the fever broke and I began to sweat like crazy. In addition, not only did the fever break but the tooth quit aching as well.

By 7:00 AM I thought that I was feeling pretty good and was sure that I would be OK at work. So I did; go to work that is…

To make this short I was going back home, again, at lunch time. I was drained and was just not feeling well overall. I’m convinced that between the chills, the aches and pains, and that darned toothache that the combination of them just took it all out of me.

Well, I stayed home today. I wanted to make sure I was recovering OK. So, it’s 8:30 PM, I’m writing this and I’m feeling pretty good. There’s no toothache, no chills and no aches and pains; still a little week, though. But I figure that after a good nights rest I’ll be ready for a full day a work for a change. We’ll see… 🙂

So, had it not been for the fact that I had already had this weeks Black & White Photography photo already scheduled for this morning it most likely would not have been published by now. So, here’s a link to that photo and I hope you like it… 🙂

Weekly Black & White Photography… Literary Hall…

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One of the things I do like about my work in Information Technology is that it does help out at home.

A few days ago, I was looking at some street photos at a site to which I always go. Suddenly my Microsoft Security Essentials log popped up; it had caught a malware bug. I used the program to quarantine the bug and then delete it. From my experience at work, I knew that there could be more to this than just this one occurence.

One of the programs I have for just such a case is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software. So I opened it and downloaded the latest definitions and then ran a quick scan. After a few minutes it had found 10 infected files and replications. I used the program to delete these files and then re-booted the PC.

After coming back up I then ran another, but full, scan of the HD on my PC, and went and took a shower. When I came back it showed that the HD was clean and at that point I decided to go on-line and make sure that the Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes were up to date but, lo and behold, I had no internet access…

Uh, ooh…

The first thing I tried was to access my router/modem to check connections but I could not open up the web-based program that ran it. “OK, now what?” is what I thought. I couldn’t access the Internet and I could not access the router/modem program. So, my thought at this time was that maybe one of the files that had been infected was somehow connected to that piece of equipment.

I checked the files in the quarantine folder and none of them, as I could tell, was not something connected with R/M. At this point I knew that I had an older R/M and went and got it. I set it up in place of the other piece of equipment and proceeded to access the web-based program that it had.

Know what? I couldn’t access it as well. ???

Now I really had a mystery on my hand. At this point I thought, “OK, if I was I work, what would be the first thing that I would check?” Of course, internet connection settings…

In Internet Explorer I went to Tools, Internet Options and then the Connections Tab. On the Connections Tab I found the listing for my Internet connections and selected my main one which is Verizon. I then selected the “LAN Connections” button and in the next window I found that the settings for using a “Proxy Server” was checked off. That should not have been.

I immediately un-checked the Proxy Server selection and then clicked on OK and kept backing out to the main window. I then re-booted the PC just to make sure all was up and running OK.

As soon as the PC came back up and was ready I then clicked on Internet Explore and up came the Internet to my home page. All was well. Evidently, when the Malware hit there must have been a backdoor selection to it so that when I went to delete the software it would disable my ability to access the router/modem and the Internet. Most likely so that I could not retrieve any programs needed to get rid of it.

However, since my Microsoft Security Essentials was already up to date, it caught it before it could do anymore damage than it did and that allowed me to be able to update Malwarebytes and do the scan’s needed to capture, quarantine and delete the bug and it’s associated bots. This PC is now clean.

If I had not had any knowledge of this, or of what I should have been checking, I wonder if I would have been able to make effective repairs to my PC without paying for it. Most people would not have been able to do so. Knowing what to do first and then where to check for where the possible problem might have been is something I learned because of my work, and for that I’m grateful.

As a follow-up to the Proxy Server selection I should give a brief explanation of just what a Proxy Server is. Basically it is just another piece of equipment that can control your access to resources on your network or in making a connection to the Internet. When the LAN settings Proxy Server is checked, your PC would first look for that server before trying to access the Internet. If it doesn’t see the Server you won’t get a connection to anything. Because of rules that can be applied to it, the Server would either allow or dis-allow your request for Internet connection.

In my case, since there is no Proxy Server, my PC could not see the Internet as it could not gain access to a supposed Server. Thus, no Internet connection, not even to the router/modem as the Proxy Server would have been between the R/M and my PC. That is also why I could not access the web-based program.

This is why I love the work that I do and why I do not mind in bringing home my work. It sure helps in time of need… 🙂

This is how my router/modem looks:

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Admittedly there are some things about the work that I do that I will miss. I enjoy the type of work that I do and the clients with which I work. However, what I won’t miss is the Vinegar at work. If it won’t for the Honey I think I would have left long time ago.

Now I can just hear you saying, “what in the world is he talking about; Honey or Vinegar?” Well, let me be brief about this. “You” are either Honey or Vinegar…

You see, a Honey person is someone who is kind, courteous, smiles and speaks in a respectful manner. Someone who is really nice to be around. On the other hand a Vinegar person is someone who is bitter, grumpy, always complaining and blaming others for their own inadequacies, and one that you don’t like being in the same room with you, let alone in the same building.

Oh yes, we have a couple of Vinegar people where I work and they have no idea that they are that way. To them, being the way they are is normal and everyone else is not in their league. I’m sure you’ve seen a few people like this where you work. The problem is that you can’t do anything about it.

You don’t dare say anything to them about it as they would make your life either a living hell or just go to the boss and complain about your harassment. So, what’s a person to do?

In my case, I’m just bidding my time until retirement and then just walk out without even saying goodby to the Vinegar people. Just let them wonder about it. They will, just for a moment, and then go out and find someone new to drive crazy. I’ll feel bad about that for about five minutes, maybe, then smile and go about starting a new life.

How about you? The people with whom you work, are they Honey people or Vinegar People? Hopefully Honey… 🙂

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The one thing I worry about the most is not making it to retirement to enjoy it.

Now I’m not fatalistic and I know that my time won’t happen until it arrives at the date that God has set. In Psalm 139 and verse 16 we read, “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.And in Your book they all were written , The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”

So, I know there is a time set for my departure from this world and I just want to depart from work before that happens. Yet, I’ve always felt, and said so, that I was going to live until I’m 102. Now that gives me 38 more years to go. We’ll see.

This past week has been one of those weather/whether weeks. The weather has been determining whether or not I go to work. Yesterday we awoke to ice everywhere. No cars had gone up or down our street for the sheer reason it was a sheet of ice. It wasn’t until the county salt truck came by that we knew we had a chance to make it.

Out of the drive we went and we did enounter some sliding, especially in the parking lot across the street at the bottom of the hill as we turned to head off to work. That’s all you need to know about that.

Once at work we found the employees parking lot a sheet of ice. If I had ice skates I could have skated across the lot. However, as it was, the weather once again almost determined whether or not I was going to work that day. Before I even made it past the front of the Jeep (4 wheel drive all the way) I slipped on the ice, twisted my ankle, leg started going out from under me, twisted my back to turn to the side so that I could bring down my hand to brace myself against the fall, twisted my hip, jammed my hand against the ground, jarred my should when the hand hit and rammed my elbow against my ribs as the hand bounced off of the ground and the shoulder would not give way. The only thing that actually touched the ground was my hand and the side of my knee and leg.

However, the best thing about this was that throughout all of the twisting, flapping and falling I was able to keep my balance well enough that I did not drop one bit of my coffee. THAT would have REALLY set me off… 🙂

So, since I don’t have a picture of this for you to view, I gave you as best of a description that I could so that you can visualize for yourself what I must have looked like as this event took place. Enjoy… 🙂

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