October 10, 2017

Day On Hold Due To Storms

Waking up to thunder, lightning and rain it was still hard to have Sadie understand that the morning walk is cancelled and most likely the afternoon walk as well. She made a gallant effort to change my mind but soon after her short trip out in the rain to pee after her lunch, she came inside and jumped up into the large leather chair with the ottoman ... her normal sleeping spot during the day.

Stella also migrated outside during the light rain but went very slowly and very close to the house ... Heidi??? ... she never moved off the couch and only looked straight ahead when I told her after their lunch it was time to go outside. Basset Hounds are stubborn but I've found out not nearly as much as a Bloodhound.

With a day of rain and the urge to blog I thought I'd post photos I took of the hounds from September 11 till the end of the month and post them below, so you could see we were still active when we were not blogging. It seemed longer than that since I deleted the blog but from my personal private blog that includes all of the Wordpress posts, this blogs posts and other info I write about ... it showed it was September 11 when I deleted both public blogs.

I'll admit if feels good to be back posting photos for other people to see. I've heard back from a lot of the regular readers and a few by email. I guess blogging to some is a real part of their life, writers or otherwise. There is a fine line between being addicted to blogs and reading/writing them for a recorded journal, something to look back on in the future when the memory might end up a little fuzzy.

I think I have this blog now back to where it was. Luckily I did two three things before deleting the Wordpress blog and this blog. I imported all 131 posts from the Wordpress blog into my "master copy". It took a while because I had to reload every photo because Wordpress and Blogger did not work well together on that importing process due to two different platforms.

Second, I went into my Blogger dashboard for this blog and wrote down all the html settings to be used later. At the time I was thinking of only using those settings to change the template of my private journal blog ... but after looking at it, I kept the private master copy the same colors this old blog was in the first 4 years.

I also exported a backup from Blogger to my computer, so I had all the posts, and comments to import into my private master copy. Since it was a Blogger backup, it worked smooth to add over a 1,000 posts with photos and comments in the same date sequence on my master copy.

Some may have caught the short template change last night while I was watching my 3rd of 4 baseball games. It didn't last long and when the game went to commercials between innings I jumped on my iMac and changed the blog template back to this one. It will stay this way even if I have new options for templates in a more current design.

It will be a slow night tonight for us 'sports addicts' ... only one baseball game on, no football games tonight unless one of the sports channels are showing Saturday games again on tape. Yes, they do that and at times depending who is playing I will sit and watch those games. Only a 'sports junkie' would understand.

With the rain and wet highways, taking the Z4 to the body shop for the estimate is put on hold. I've been caught in an unexpected rain before driving the Z4 but 99.9% of the time, the tires don't hit the pavement if it's raining or snowing ... and maybe if it's overcast with a chance of rain.

Those little buds (spurs) you see are irritating as ever .. they stick to the hair of the hounds and to my jeans or shorts depending how close we get to them. If they don't cut the field before winter, these will turn dead brown and still stick to the hounds and I as we walk through the field this winter. Lets hope they cut the field one more time before winter.

I was going to write a separate post about the new Apple operating system updates but I'll just write a few short things about them. Last summer since I am a gambler, I volunteered for their Apple 'beta' program ... which lets me download their new macOS in the 'beta' form which may cause problems to my computer. After a week I felt confident enough to download that to my laptop also.

As far as the iPhone and iPad ... I did not try their 'beta' program. I waited for the finished product.

A week apart in September (17?) everyone that has Apple computers, phones or tablets were able to download the new macOS High Sierra and the iOS 11.

I don't use hardly any of the features that are new mainly because I don't have unlimited data on my phone or computer. Yet I found the generic changes and improvements to both systems to be fantastic. There are a lot more ways to edit photos on both the computer and phone. Pictures do look sharper on the iPhone compared to before the iOS 11 update.

Safari is faster as a browser with built in blocks for automatic video play plus those 3rd party advertisers tracking every step you make on the internet. They complained to Apple about being blocked but I like it.

As far as security I have always felt if the FBI has to ask Apple or force them to open computers, phones or tablets for their investigations, then the Apple security must be top notch.

That matters when you are trying to prevent someone hacking your phone or computer ... but may no longer matter to protect you from someone taking your social security number, name, address, cars, whatever .... The Government OPM, now Experian and Yahoo last year ... whatever private information I have online "locked" away by companies are now in the hands of the Chinese (Gov Breach), Russians etc.

I don't have the amount of money hackers are looking for. I don't have any yachts tied to the local pier nor do I have credit cards with tons of money available ... so I am probably pretty safe. Yet just in case I did do the processes to 'security freeze' my  accounts that are automatically downloaded at the three credit agencies ... Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

The government was kind enough to give me 3 years of Identity Theft protection with them monitoring everything about me in case someone tries to steal my ID or start new loans in my name. As an added feature they track sex offenders telling me when they move into the area I live or the town I live. The number of those notifications are alarming, even in this small rural town out in the middle of 'Nowhere, USA".

Yahoo now owned by Verizon, told all of us last week that ALL their Yahoo accounts were hacked last year ... not just a million of us. I didn't do anything with Yahoo except one email address so I could set up and log into my Flickr photo account. One that I still consider the best online service to store unlimited number of photos, no matter the file size.

As far as Experian ... a true example of what happens when you don't do your Windows or Apple updates they send to you. They send those updates to you so you can install and  'patch' holes they have found in their operating systems or improvements and bug fixes ... but it's important to do them every time just so your computer, phone, and tablets are not exposed to hackers from the holes you don't know about and didn't 'patch' with that latest update.

No offense to English majors in college or alumni ... but there isn't a place for you in IT Security jobs ... like the IT CEO Experian hired and then fired after the breach. Somethings you can't understand why they happen no matter how hard you try. Experian situation is definitely a 'head scratcher'.

It just so happened I found a friend's computer a few weeks ago so far out of date with the updates I was shocked. He had me look at his computer for some 'things' that were going on ... once I saw the last time he updated his computer, those 'things' did not surprise me.

In his case if it were my computer I would have wiped the hard drive clean and reloaded all my files from a backup ... but he didn't have a backup of his computer. In Apple the "Time Machine" auto backup is a great thing to set up. Last May when I bought a new iMac after 7 years, "Time Machine" proved it works just as advertised. I loaded all of my old files and close to 65,000 photos.

I found out sometime Sunday morning what happens when you spend months trying to hide from friends and society. That process of disappearing also included deleting this blog, the wordpress blog, my facebook and twitter accounts. I am a loner by my own admission but when you start doing things to strengthen your description of 'hermit' ... it's never a good thing, especially retired and living alone.

What a rude awakening to hear the doorbell ring Sunday morning after getting to bed at 5:30am. The hounds and I rarely get visitors and never on Sunday morning after I watch 12-17 straight hours of college football. Yet, in a confused state waking up in bed ... it sure did sound like the doorbell. Who could that be ... on a Sunday???

So what did I see as I staggered half asleep from the bedroom to the door while Sadie and Stella were barking or howling being property protectors ??? Three old friends from college, over 43 years of friendship, standing at my door smiling .... wanting to know what was going on and if I was okay.

For the 2nd time since April (police that time), people were at my door to check to see if I still had a pulse due to my lack of communication with long time friends all the way back from my college days. They didn't fly into town just to check on me but once they found out how close I lived to their reunion they thought it was the perfect time to get some answers from the hermit himself. All three women are still boasting this morning of their 'technical expertise' in finding me.

The hounds were more than happy for the visitors and those thee women found out what the hounds that are 'blogging all-stars' worldwide, looked like and were introduced what I have mentioned over the years ....... bloodhound drool.

So things once again are good ... they feel better, I feel better. Yet I have to watch myself when my loner tendencies turn into total hermit-i-zation ... or modern technology will let anyone find me and ring the doorbell.

As amazing as modern technology is ... it is scary at times for what it can do.

I was very happy to see my old friends but to give you an idea ... technology wise ... all three of them lived out of state scattered over the USA, had never been to my house but had only my mailing address they use sending me an annual Christmas gift.

With just a iPhone GPS and my address they were at my door ... easy peasy.

I remember when the website Whitepages first came out I showed and explained to my dad the hazards of "this new internet stuff" in 1996. I walked him through how I could look up just his name and the town he lived in to get his phone number and street address, use google maps to get his location. He is will be 89 next month and has a Facebook account with close to 1,000 friends, ex students and ex players he talks to.

All that information was free 20 years ago but is now offered by Whitepages for a small monthly fee.

So basically the moral of the story is .... when Windows or Apple sends you those updates ... do them!!!

For solo travelers, solo retirees living in houses, condos or apartments ... keep in touch with your family and friends no matter how bad you may feel or no matter how much you want to disappear ... otherwise that 'doorbell' at your residence may ring.

I forgot until I added a few things to the blog this morning that when you 'delete' a blog permanently everything is erased ... including those "followers" that started when I made this blog in October 2011. As of today I have one follower showing, which is fine ... I'll keep that 'gadget' on the sidebar.

I have many tell me they follow by email, some bookmark the site, some use Feedly ... it's all good.

I had been thinking the previous week about rebuilding and restarting this blog. Maybe with the Experian breech of personal information was what started me thinking we are never totally secure from online activity. So why not blog for those that like seeing the hounds and those that like reading my gibberish?

Or was it a coincidence I worked and built the blog the afternoon after my old friends shocked me by their visit that morning and publishing my first post that night ... or ... maybe all of these things happened for a reason and all came together on the same day after getting in formation during the weeks prior.

Anyway ... the hounds are happy to be famous again, they love attention, and I am happy to be back sharing photos and writing about life in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

It's still raining as I post this and all the hounds are in a deep state of sleep with Sadie snoring ... so much for the hound walks today.

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