Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beware of Nasty Spyware!

So, went to use our home computer the other night only to find it infected with a Spyware product called "System Check". Of course at the time I didn't know that and things didn't look good at all.

There were numerous pop-up messages about file corruption, RAM memory failure, damaged hard drive clusters, etc. This spyware also produced this official looking System Check utility that displayed the "PC Performance & Stability analysis report", which was dire at best.

I couldn't do much of anything - I was unable to launch the Task Manager, open Explorer, the registry editor, etc. When I was finally able to get Explorer opened most of the files and folders were gone or so it appeared. Although, I do a pretty good job of backing up our important data and pictures, I've not done it in a couple months, so we were concerned and upset at what looked like a complete loss!

Like a special ops person my training in this area allowed me to overcome these obstacles and triumphantly rid our computer of this nasty spyware - WINNING!

This nasty program modified the computers registry in numerous places. For example, it flagged all files and folders as hidden (which is why they appeared to be gone), it hide Task Manager and the desktop and added "CyisMyTSAH.exe" to the Run section of the registry. Any and all items listed in the Run section get executed each and every time the computer is rebooted - very sneaky and very nasty.

The premise behind this attack is to get the infected users to purchased the full version of this fake utility, which they claim will "fix" all the problems. BEWARE, this is a scam! All they want is your money!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


These are either cucumbers or zucchini squash or perhaps one of each. I was too disturbed at finding these and having to remove them to really care. I found them in the vegetable drawer of my dads refrigerator. Notice the state they're in now, and he just left on vacation for six weeks. Still not sure if the horrendous odor coming from the fridge was a result of these dudes or the half dozen other items he left in there, which were already spoiled.

I REALLY wish I had it in me to leave these items, as well as the other rotting and expired items, right where I found them. To let my dad return home after six weeks and take care of it himself. However, and perhaps it's my OCD, but I couldn't. It would have bothered me too much. So, I removed it all.

Hmm, I wonder if the folks who have attended his open houses have noticed?! I don't believe anyone has opened the fridge, but you don't have to, the smells hit you as soon as you walk in the door.

Minnie and Lulu - #2 of 2012

Okay, we stepped it up a tad and banged out the above 550 piece puzzle. This was one of the more difficult puzzles that I've done. And we're now onto puzzle number 3...

Alaska's Puffins - #1 of 2012

Well, it's that time of year again when daylight is shortened and it's too cold to do much of anything outside, which mean jigsaw puzzle time at the ole homestead.

We started with the above 500 piece puzzle, our first of 2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chocolate Snow!

Following last weekends snow storm, Emilie had a brainstorm and made herself a cup of chocolate snow. Doesn't look appealing to me but she loved it. I tend to stay away from both yellow and brown snow but that's just me. We'd invite you over to sample some but most of the snow has since melted with the temperature rise and warm rain we had. Maybe next time...

Sunday, January 22, 2012


BIG game this afternoon! New England is all abuzz about our New England Patriots!

It's a great time to be a New England/Boston sports fan!


Round Is A Shape!

So, JoAnne came home from the market yesterday with oodles of stuff and in the first bag I unpacked, a box of Kellogg's Special K cereal. I'm thinking okay we're gonna do a better job, the two of us, and start watching what we eat and get back in shape.

However, subsequent bags I unpacked produced: Nacho Cheese Doritos, Lay's Potato Chips, Heluva Good! White Cheddar & Bacon sour cream dip and a box of Cheez-It's (new flavor mozzarella - does sound good!).

I'm now convinced that the Special K was inadvertently added to JoAnne's bags, perhaps left behind from the person ahead of her at check out but if you talk to her please don't tell her I said this, shhhh!

My First Haiku...

So beautiful as it falls
A blanket of white covers all
Shoveling blows

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside, BRR!

As you can see from the above pic it was only 7.8 degrees outside this morning at 8:23AM, YIKES!

What you also might notice is that the weather girl is sporting her summertime attire. Looks like the batteries might need to be replaced to correct this. However, so long as the temperature is being reported correctly, which it is, then no need to fuss with it...if you know what I mean ;-)

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble...

The wild turkeys have been visiting more often these days and boy are there a lot of them, as you can see in the above picture - over 20! These dudes were just hanging out in the next door neighbors front yard. It had rained the night before and all that morning, so they were stationed there pruning themselves and trying to dry off. Pretty content they were for the longest time before slowly working there way into the woods.

Better Late Than Never!

JoAnne picked up the above bulbs packages several months ago. They were marked down and she got them for next to nothing, winning :-)

Getting them planted had been on my "list", and for the longest time the weather had been cooperating too. However, call it forgetfulness or procrastination or whatever, I didn't get them planted. Last weekend that changed - although the ground is now frozen I ran the risk of losing all these bulbs if I didn't do something with them. Some were starting to get soft and punky and some were starting to sprout. So, I went to plan B and simply planted them all together in the compost pile. It too was frozen on top but I was able to dig down deep enough to get them all in and covered nicely for the long winter ahead.

The plan now is to keep my fingers crossed and hope they all survive, best case scenario, and then transplant them come Spring time when they start popping through the soil. Worst case, they become compost...

Friday, January 13, 2012

(2) Battleship Games

1971 vintage "Battleship" game by Milton Bradley.

1967 vintage "Battleship" game by Milton Bradley.

Barbie Benton (Barbara Lynn Klein)

I acquired a couple vintage Barbie Benton playboys the other day:

July 1969 and May 1972

For the article of course!

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...

Gracie, pictured above, has gone missing?

I need to take the bullet on this one. You see, last weekend I came across another, yes another, pile of cat puke in the basement and I saw red, so I chased her outside and she's yet to return.

Honestly, I'm OK with it. However, Emilie is NOT and I full understand and that is what bothers me most.

So, if in your travels you happen to come across this feline, please let me know - NO substitues please.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Vasilopita 2011

Well, another year has come and gone - where does the time go? With it, so does another family tradition, the cutting of the Vasilopita otherwise known as the dime cake. As always the cake was delicious. This years winner of the baked in dime - my dad!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Go To The Head Of The Class Game

1967 vintage "Go To The Head Of The Class - Series 16" game by Milton Bradley

Crooked Toes, Ouch!

When visiting my Farmer Friend the other day I got to see several of the chickens that we gave to him when they were just chicks. One of them was the Barred Rock Rooster (see previous post) - what a handsome dude! I adopted him thinking that the person who advertised him had incorrectly identified him - I thought that it was a little pullet (girl), oops.

Anyway, back when he was a chick his toes on both feet were very crooked. This is usually caused when the humidity during incubation is too low. This can sometimes be corrected by splinting the toes if identified early on. That was not the case with this guy, as you can see from the picture above. Although grossly crooked on both feet, he's doing just fine. He's adjusted well and does everything a chicken with normal toes would do and rules his pen with a iron beak. Don't turn your back on him either or he just might give you a what for!

Baby It's Cold Outside...

This is my Farmer Friends greenhouse. Looks kinda lonely sitting there all by itself. She's still holding up just fine and has made it through the recent hurricane and wind storms without issues. However, that being said, my friend is definitely pushing his luck and keeping his fingers crossed too that she makes it through this winter. You see we covered her back in 2006 (I think) but with only 4-year plastic. The saving grace and what's making the difference is that we double it, so there are two layers. Although it still looks fine there are some holes in the outer layer and it doesn't hold the heat nearly as well as it should be. He's been struggling but has been able to keep the temperature inside above freezing, thus keeping the plants inside alive.

To help accomplish this he purchased a second wood stove, pictured below. So, he now has two wood stoves up and running now; one at each end of the greenhouse. Sounds warm and cozy but in reality it's anything but - the new stove runs about 5-hours before it needs to be filled again, so it needs constant attention. It's difficult to keep a 60' long x 12' wide x 10' tall greenhouse toasty with only wood stoves and without a lot of effort.

I just hope that Mother Nature is kind this winter, so that he makes it to Spring without incident and without taxing him too much. After all, he's no sping chicken...

Nom Nom Nom Nom Yummy!

"Just a squirrel trying to get a nut"
- C+C Music Factory's song Gonna Make You Sweet (Everybody Dance Now)

Actually, it's a Red Squirrel dining on pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. What a nice way to recycle and compost. Especially, enjoy seeing more of the Red Squirrels versus the annoying Grey ones.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Bounce Bounce No More...

The high winds we had several weeks ago got a hold of the neighbors trampoline and bounced it around some. It doesn't look too good does it? Surprisingly, it survived the hurricane that passed through last year, so it's odd that the smaller wind storm had it's way with it this time around. However, that being said and from what I could tell, the neighbors didn't do a thing to prevent this from happening. If it was mine I would have dismantled it and stored out of harms way or at the least I would have secured it to something solid.

Sunday, January 01, 2012