My World |
Blogging my Activities ... Interests
I just received an email from John proudly announcing that he has been accepted to Berry college law school for the spring 2015 semester. He worked and studied very hard to pass the LSATs needed to get admitted to any law school. I'm waiting for him to tell me what his score was on those tests.
For the next two or three years he'll have his nose stuck in a book studying for his law classes. I am confident he can do well if he spends the time a good student should to learn the complexities of law or at least where to look. I decided to post a picture of John when we were in the Florida Keys a few years back. My heartiest congratulations to John.
Yesterday I was tired of watching what was available on my cable. The bowl games were not very interesting and neither were the teams from my point of view. At the time there was very little in the way of movies available on cable or anything else I wanted to watch as far as that goes. So I decided to try my Amazon Firestick to watch a documentary about the recent real estate crash. It was just the thing I needed to watch - something interesting and true.
Then after watching it for a short period of time my screen went blank. I played around with the remote and eventually got the screen back on and was able to continue the documentary at the point I lost it. Then this happened again for no apparent reason. After the third time I decided to figure out what was causing the outage. First I checked the signal strength to the Firestick - it was plenty strong. My Firestick is connected to the same HDMI switch as my Apple TV. Neither of these devices are actually off but rather always on standby. Next I tried disconnecting my Apple TV from the HDMI switch and bingo the picture came back. When I plugged the Apple TV back in I lost the picture again. The issue apparently was the two devices were fighting one another through the HDMI switch. It is a three way switch so I changed the Apple TV port to a different one and it worked fine. The test will be to see if both devices continue to work okay or fight one another.
We've been having some rather unusually bad weather for the last couple of weeks. It happens to be sunny and nice at the moment but there are clouds in the area. For several days in a row it rained and was just gloomy around here. We had high humidity which is unusual for this time of year in Vero. It's not rained hard any day but we've had a constant drizzle just to make things nasty and depressing. I wouldn't want to go to the beach like the folks in the image.
The mystery of the missing tenant next door continues. Now the porch light stays on 24/7 when it used to be on only at night. There is a small table on the deck that's been there for a couple of weeks. I've not seen the tall lean guy who was the tenant nor have I seen anyone else except one college-age person that went in and came right out. The interesting thing is there's no for rent sign up. The lady that owns the building always puts a sign up when there's a vacancy so apparently someone is continuing to pay rent? This whole thing has been rather strange.
My lawn maintenance guy, James, was over here yesterday to work on my lawn. It really didn't need mowing because it hasn't grown much but he mowed it anyway. For the last week or perhaps a little longer my lawn has been covered by leaves falling from the trees around my house - I believe this process has finished because there's no more leaves to fall. I have an automatic irrigation system that waters the lawn on the days, time and length I choose. I've had it set for two days a week to run in the early morning for 15 minutes.
I mention all the rain we've been having so irrigating the yard was not necessary and in fact was too much. The moisture along with the fact the leaves were on top of the grass for a period of time has cause me to have some lawn fungus as illustrated in the image. James called Michael who is the guy that services my lawn once a month with herbicides, pesticides, fertilizer, and anything else it needs. He should be over early next week to spray the lawn and kill the fungus. I want to have a nice green lawn all the time.
Yesterday Starr brought the computer I gave her over for a tuneup. She's had it for a few years now and has done basically nothing. Tuneups don't always work and often take a long time so I decided to reformat the hard drive and install a fresh version of Windows 7. Luckily I found a Windows 7 .iso file that I could burn to a disk which has all the updates through November of this year. After installation I only had to download seven updates instead of 167 like last time. I've got my hands on some AVG Internet Security keys which allegedly are good for several years. That was the security program I installed which is better than any she has used before. The problem as I see it is this better security software will give alerts and Starr won't know what to do. Kaspersky is always given me alerts but I know what to do - this is new territory for her.
It's Friday January 2nd and there are four more bowl games today. They include the TAXSLAYER BOWL, VALERO ALAMO BOWL, LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL and TICKETCITY CACTUS BOWL. I simply have to laugh at the name of the first bowl - TaxSlayer Bowl, what a great name. For those who don't know there is a website called TaxSlayer.com which aids individuals in completing tax returns and things of that nature. They specialize in offering potential tax saving ideas. The game itself is between Iowa and Tennessee both with similar records of winning just one or two more games than they lost. Of course I'll switch around to see which if any of the games are interesting to me.
In the playoff games yesterday Alabama loss to Ohio State 42 to 35 and Oregon completely in embarrassed Florida State by beating them 59 to 20. The Alabama game was close and could've gone either way. Florida State lost from the very beginning of the game with mistake after mistake - they must've fumbled the ball six or seven times giving Oregon the opportunity to score and of course they did. While watching the game one wonders why these two teams were on the field together because their talent didn't resemble one another. Oregon State was clearly the superior team.
If you look at Florida State's record during the year you will see they beat six teams by less than a touchdown. The closest game was the Georgia Tech - Florida State game when Florida State pulled it out there a*s at the end to win by two points. After watching both Florida State in Georgia Tech play in bowl games this weekend my biased view is the Georgia Tech has a better football team and would be Florida State two out of three games.
There are other games I enjoyed watching like the Michigan State - Baylor game in which Michigan State a won 42 to 41. Now that's my kind of game.
In our local paper I read Sunday's 83-degree high in Vero Beach was one degree below the national high of 84 set in nearby Melbourne in Brevard County, matching the temperature recorded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the National Weather Service. It was 10 degrees above normal and one degree below the record 84 degrees set in 1981 for that date in Vero Beach. We did not have snow over the Christmas holidays.
you've heard me talk about how much I distrust Google because I think they invade the privacy of people who use their programs. I absolutely love the search engine but not much else beyond that. I use Google voice for texting because I have no other method of texting on my computer - I think there might be other programs available.
The image you see is taken from my Kaspersky security software. You can see I have blocked three Google programs - Google updater, Hangouts plug-in, and Google Chrome preinstall. When I say I've blocked the program I mean they are not able to run on this computer and if a drive - by download is attempted it too will be blocked. I've taken the time to review my Google settings to eliminate all search logs and caching of sites. Of course their cookies are blocked as well. In fact, cookies on all websites are blocked except those I specifically allow by use of a utility on my browser.
I've been doing some testing with my packet sniffer programs and can report it will take me longer to understand them. It is interesting to see what sort of data goes to and from other devices on my network. Clearly the most active devices are my desktop and laptop. I'll go into more detail about this once I learn more and can speak with a bit of understanding.
As I was dictating this post I took a screenshot of the devices on my network. You will note that both my Amazon fire stick and Apple TV are active although they are not on. You can't actually turn them off but only put them into a sleep mode. To completely turn them off your you'd have to unplug. There are other devices on the network that are mine which are off and some simply labeled "network device" which was someone using my network with their laptop or smart phone while visiting me. My router gives me the option of blocking any device all the time or during certain hours. Actually it's a pretty cool router.
In case anyone is wondering, I am one happy camper this morning. Georgia Tech yellow jackets handedly defeated Mississippi State last night in the Orange bowl. The final score was 49 to 34 but Georgia Tech played better than the score indicates. As the game was on I couldn't watch it every minute because of the anxiety and stress that flows over me when Georgia Tech is playing. Why the heck does that happen to an old fart like me? However, this morning I watch the games start to finish on a replay with a big smile on my face.
It was new years Eve in 1966 when yours truly attended the Orange bowl as a freshman at Georgia Tech. I don't even remember who we played but I do remember Georgia Tech lost that game. To my knowledge, GT has not been invited back to the Orange bowl since then. But when they did return they returned with a seemingly unstoppable team. The following was on the ESPN website this morning;
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.-- Georgia Tech players hopped happily, hugged each other and danced in place. The clock had just struck midnight on New Year's Eve, so they had two things to celebrate.
Minutes earlier, the Yellow Jackets had completed a 49-34 victory over Mississippi State in the Capital One Orange Bowl.
Quarterback Justin Thomas was chosen the game's outstanding player Wednesday night after he directed an offense that totaled a Capital One Orange Bowl-record 452 yards rushing. He ran for 121 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for 125 yards and a score. He was named the most valuable player in the game.
It is especially nice to know that most of the great players this year will return next year. The quarterback, Justin Thomas, is simply awesome. He has incredible speed and can throw the ball 70 yards in the air.
Another thing I noticed last night was Georgia Tech's new uniform I've not seen before. They look good! In the image above Synjyn Days scored a touchdown and simply laid the ball in the end zone. The announcer for ESPN, Brent Musburger, commented on what a classy player he was for simply placing the ball down and then walking back to the sideline. Of course I could go on and on but I think you get the flavor of my comments this morning - Georgia Tech won and I'm happy!
There were two other bowl games yesterday but neither were exciting. I watch them off and on but neither got my attention as much as the Orange bowl. Today there are a whole slew of bowl games starting at noon but the best of them will come later today. Here's a list:
NEW YEAR'S DAY BOWL GAMES
Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015
(19) Auburn vs. (18) Wisconsin - Noon ET, ESPN2
Goodyear Cotton Bowl
(8) Michigan State vs. (5) Baylor - 12:30pm ET, ESPN
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
(25) Minnesota vs. (16) Missouri - 1pm ET, ABC
Rose Bowl Game
(2) Oregon vs. (3) Florida State - 4:30pm ET, ESPN
Allstate Sugar Bowl
(1) Alabama vs. (4) Ohio State - 8:30pm ET, ESPN
You can probably guess what I'll be doing the rest of the day. If a game gets out of control I'll probably watch a movie instead.
It's January 1, 2015 but I feel the same as I did on December 31, 2014. At least it is not raining today like it was yesterday. My belief is that 2015 will be a good year for many of us and I hope that includes you.
OMG I made a colossal mistake yesterday afternoon when I went to Wally World (aka Wal-Mart) to pick up a prescription. Knowing that I was going to have to go to Publix I thought I do some shopping while I was getting my prescription. When it comes to shopping at Wally World not everything is cheaper than the same product at Publix and often they don't even have the product I want to buy. But there is a much bigger problem.
Yesterday about 50% of the people shopping had to lean on their cart to prevent from falling down. Many of the shoppers could've moved slower but I just don't know how! It felt like I was a cow in a over crowded cattle car - there are people everywhere moving slower than a sloth with absolutely no awareness of their surrounding environment. It was a horrible experience and one I'll not repeat. It seemed that everyone in the store had to show an ID indicating they were over 60 years old, half blind, slow, with no concern of blocking the narrow aisles. Publix aisles are much wider, the people move faster and are concerned about others in the store around. What little savings may be obtained by shopping at Wally World is simply not worth it IMO.
Yesterday morning John came to visit before he went back to Orlando where he has an apartment. For those who don't remember, John is Starr's oldest son who recently graduated from FSU. He took the LSAT exams a few weeks ago with the idea of entering law school perhaps as early as winter semester. He feels confident he did well mainly because he took a preparation course the previous 10 weeks before taking the exams. For the first semester he'd like to go to Berry College located near his Orlando apartment. He is going on a cruise and will receive the results of his exam the day he returns on January 6th. The picture was taken in Islamorda in the Florida Keys several years ago.
Berry College is not a world-famous law school but does have a good reputation. When he completes law school and passes the Florida bar he'll be able to immediately go to work with this uncle Mark who has a very successful firm in Orlando. My belief is he is certainly very capable of graduating from law school as long as he spends the time going to class and studying a lot. It would be foolish to pass up an opportunity to step into a successful firm which in a few years he could take over. He has another uncle and an aunt that are both lawyers.
While I was out yesterday I decided to fill my tank with gas even though I had about 20% left in the tank which I last filled on June 11th. It costs about half as much this time as it did when I filled up last June. When John was leaving yesterday he noticed my front right tire looked low so while I was getting gas I also filled all four tires to the proper PSI. Each tire was down about seven PSI from the recommended tire pressure. John asked me when I last filled the tires - to my recollection I've not put air in them since the new tires were put on about five years ago. I'm surprised that people at Mercedes in Fort Pierce didn't notice that all my last service trip.
I've not had my car serviced in about two years simply because I've only gone about 2000 miles or less during that period of time. When they service my car they change the oil and add that expensive synthetic stuff - the oil change costs about $150 alone. Why should I take good top quality synthetic oil that's only gone less than 2000 miles? I guess it wouldn't hurt to have it serviced again because I try to keep it in top condition. Years ago I used to change my oil every 10,000 miles or more - my have times changed!
A couple times in my recent posts I've mentioned the upstairs apartment next door and the fact the tenant disappeared one night after a big heavy white person banged on his door between 11 and 12 o'clock on a Saturday night. The day after that incident the police came but did not get in. Since then I've only seen one young college age kid go inside for a few minutes and then leave. I've not seen the guy who rented the apartment go into it in a couple of months now. I did have a sighting of him in a car parked across the street last week but he did not go into the apartment.
Yesterday I saw someone go in but it wasn't the tenant. There is now a small table on the porch that was not there before. My belief is the stuff the guy had in the apartment is still there because I've never seen it taken out. Of course they could've done it at 3 AM in the morning and I wouldn't know. Most of the time I don't pay much attention to the tenants in that apartment but this is the only tenant that apparently had people chasing him.
My old home in Atlanta I lived in for 33 years is now up for sale. It was purchased by two or three young men who planned on being roommates but as things go they eventually moved out to live with her girlfriends, move to a new town for a new job, etc. My plans are two post some pictures available on the Internet by the realtor on another day.
Today there are three bowl games on two of which I think I'll really enjoy. In the Belk Bowl Georgia plays Louisville and in the Franklin America Mortgage Bowl Notre Dame plays LSU. Tonight in the Foster Farms Bowl Maryland plays Stanford. Yesterday's games were good - Clemson beat the snot out of Oklahoma 40 - 6 and a Texas A&M beat West Virginia 45 - 37.
Have any of you folks noticed just how many bowl games are going to be played this season? At one point I think I counted 33 bowl games although it seems like there are more. Somewhere I read that there are three or four new bowl games for the season one of which is the Bitcoin Bowl held in Tampa Florida earlier. Today is Sunday and is the only day without a bowl game until January 6. Last night I watched two bowl games - the Duck Commander Independence Bowl and the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The teams I wanted to win in each bowl Duke and University of Miami lost. The games were high-scoring and close so I did enjoy watching them. Yesterday there were a total of five different bowls and tomorrow there will be three games.
Georgia Tech plays in the Orange bowl on New Year's eve against Mississippi State. The people in Las Vegas all think that Mississippi State will win the game by at least one touchdown. Actually I like it when Georgia Tech is the underdog because I believe they seem to play better. If Georgia Tech's defense can stop Mississippi State's offense I think Georgia Tech has a good chance. Will find out in just a couple of days.
Today I watched a movie called "Tusk" rated a 5.7 by IMDb - anything above 5 is usually OK. The IMDb labeled it a comedy/drama/horror movie - what do you expect with that combination? Well in this case the movie was strange to say the least and I watched about half of it although I thought about turning it off sooner. The movie gods were looking over me and cause the movie to freeze after about a hour. The decision to stop watching it was made for me. I would not recommend you seen the movie - I don't want to even talk about the bizarre plot.
A couple of days ago I talked about the series on MSNBC called "Lock Up". Over the holidays they been running several episodes every night. Last night I watched it a bit and reached the same decision as I had before. The people in lockup were there because they were using drugs/alcohol but for the most part somehow seemed to adapt to the situation. That still is amazing to me but I guess you do what you must to get by.
Yesterday I went into my store room famously known as the Dolphin Room to look for some computer related equipment. I was wondering if I can use a WebCam connected to a router with a USB plug without a computer between the router and the WebCam. I do have a router with which I can test this but after thinking about it I've come to the conclusion it won't work because the drivers needed to operate the WebCam will not be found in the router. Of course I can use and IP cam without a router or computer as long as I can supply it with power. An IP cam would be a much better choice than the USB option but it was just my inquisitive mind wondering what can be done.
While in the Dolphin Room I found some actual prints I brought to Vero from Atlanta which included some of my adventure traveling. I can remember the day so very well when the picture you see was taken in Tanzania on the Serengeti. We arrived at this destination via an old WWII DC - 3 airplane from Nairobi. The pilot had to "buzz the landing area" to scare off the wild creatures grazing just below us. I'm talking about wildebeests and impalas - the pilot got within 50 feet of the ground and of course the creatures scattered in every direction.
That Safari with Wendy was among the top two or three adventure trips in my life. Perhaps my first safari in Africa mainly in Kenya would rank number one with this Safari being number two. I'd have to think about it more but maybe trekking through the Himalaya Mountains or cruising through the Galapagos archipelago might be in second place because this Safari was my second one. If you have one out of the country adventure trip to making in your life my pick would be an African Safari. I can't begin to tell you all the exciting daily adventures we had on this 26 day trip.
For the last couple of days I've been working on the packet sniffing applications I mentioned earlier and a way to block a specific IP on my home network when I'm not using the device to which the IP is assigned. On my next post I'll talk about these exciting discoveries while trying to not put you to sleep.