This is something you must not do, so let that be a lesson to you

Stan & Jan Berenstain Look I Can Ride a Bike 1964

I’ve talked a lot about my Magnificent Seven who have done an excellent job writing for this site, but I haven’t talked much about my Magnificent Panel and they deserve a little more space.

The Magnificent Panel is a weekly panel on DaTechGuy on DaRadio who talk about the issues of the week. I of course am the moderator, Joe Mangiacotti, when in studio gets an automatic seat. He’s been out recovering from surgery lately and we hope to have him back this week.

The rest of the panel consists of A conservative (usually a blogger) on the phone another in studio and finally in the Prestigious Bob Beckel chair a strong liberal. The idea is to have nobody come on more than once a month to allow a wider selection of panelists who are available.

So far we have had Tom Wesley, the Lonely Conservative, Fausta & Chip Jones in the conservative chair and this week GOP Candidate Tim Imholt & Blogger Yid With Lid will be having their turn.

The liberal seats is very important because it is the contrary seat, the one that produces conflict.

I have three strong liberals who appear on DaTechguy on DaRadio in the prestigious Bob Beckel Chair for outnumbered liberals. Mike Hummell, Dominic Nanni & Maxine Baptiste.

I discovered Dominic & Maxine while disagreeing on Twitter, Mike actually discovered me when I wrote that perhaps the Hostess Bakers were “Going Galt”.

I still need one more liberal to round out the panel and have actually offered the spot to two local liberals and one one twitter who all unfortunately could not be available on a regular basis on Saturdays during the time of the panels.

As a rule all of the liberals I’ve mentioned above disagree with me on almost everything political and will likely continue to do so but all of them, the ones currently on my panel and the ones who were offered the spot but weren’t free have one thing in common:

They make an argument for their side and they do it without insult.

I hope to fill that last spot before the end of the year and I’d like to do it with someone from twitter if at all possible. So if you are such a liberal who might want that last spot let me give you some advice:

When I tweet out something like this:

Don’t answer with something like this:

 

If you can’t make an argument beyond “Palin is stupid & you’re a Chump” Then you’re not good enough for DaTechGuy on DaRadio’s Magnificent Panel.

My readers and listeners deserve better than that.

 

It’s Thanksgiving. Time for one of my train of thought diatribes that will either make fans of those reading and have them heading back for seconds or have people humming Crazy Train by the end of the article. Maybe a bit of both. Anyhoo — It’s also time to reflect on what we’re grateful for, spend time with family, watch college football, watch parades with over-sized cartoon character balloons float by and eat ourselves until we lapse into food comas. Some of us, in the wee hours of the morning, will rise and engage in the American version of the ‘running of the bulls’ known as “Black Friday”.

There are some folks just can’t seem to slow down for even twenty-four hours and really unwind over a holiday. Me? My version of “Black Friday” does not include such rushing around, urgency or stalking gifts like prey on the savannah. Nope.  I have no problem rolling out of bed as late as my young children will let me, padding down to the kitchen for my morning injection of caffeine and then lazing through the deals on Amazon.com.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to shop just like the next gal. I just don’t relish being mowed down by people who think Christmas shopping is a contact sport. My day will include watching parades, The Peanuts holiday classics and of course, my Thanksgiving favorite, Home for the Holidays. Can’t go on writing without playing the clip of one of my favorite scenes. This is the dinner scene, which epitomizes both the dysfunction and awkwardness of some family interactions with the added bonus of being chock full of Robert Downey Jr. comedy win.  NSFW warning

 

Of course, all that shopping mayhem comes after the food, drink and more food, drink and food and drink… lather, rinse, repeat. There’s the meal to deal with first and I guarantee you this year will have a slice of Obamacare conversation fun with a side of “how’s that hopey changey stuff workin’ out for ya?”  Those of us dealing with liquid courage fortified, progressive family members who just can’t let it go — Ace has some tips for you. Personally, I try to avoid politics talk at the holidays. I do enough of it every day as a blogger. Holidays are my reprieve.  When relatives on the other side of the political fence does bring it up, I politely side step the first time and even a second. If they persist… well, they’ve had fair warning and you should be recording it with your phone.  Nothing is a better wet blanket and subject changer than a liberal given a verbal wedgie caught on camera. Just sayin’.

 

 

Those were the days

When I was younger – school age, Thanksgiving often included some kind of artistic expression like tracing your hand. You know, a hand turkey? Your thumb becomes the head and you decorate the other fingers like they were feathers. I can remember half our the class one year making Pilgrim hats and the other half making Indian vests out of paper grocery bags, complete with papooses for the girls. Almost every year without fail, there was the inevitable Thanksgiving luncheon. Moms and dads showed up and the cafeteria served turkey and stuffing.

When I got older, Thanksgiving meant an essay or research paper. Some of the over-achievers would make Mayflower replicas or pilgrim settlement dioramas. These tasks all reminds me of The Peanuts, which are staples in our house on every holiday. Their straightforward take on just about everything is something sorely missing these days. I dare say some of the politically correct parents probably find Peanuts appalling. I find them refreshing.  Sally sums it up nicely:

Going back to the research paper bit, I always seem to remember Myles Standish first. One thing that irked me then and still irks me now, is most places spell his name Miles when it’s really Myles. Pet peeve I suppose. Anyway — Standish was, for all intents and purposes, the Pilgrim’s military leader.  The Pilgrims hired him to both lead and coordinate the defenses of the Plymouth Colony. The consensus is that Standish was stationed in Holland as part of Queen Elizabeth’s army when he was engaged by the Pilgrims to become their military leader. His duties were not only of a defensive nature, he was instrumental in some of the exploration of the area we know today as Cape Cod. At History.com, there is a decent summary of the departure of the Mayflower for America.

 

Myles Standish Proud

The farthest thing from history lessons and The Peanuts is probably my retro taste in 80’s music. Peanuts are nostalgic and so is music for most folks. This might be jumping the train tracks a bit I know, but for me the name Myles Standish also conjures up the opening to R.E.M.’s song

The song Begin the Begin is the first track off R.E.M.’s fourth album, Life’s Rich Pageant, which came out in 1986. Yep. I’m a bit of an R.E.M addict… still.

Begin the Begin was meant to be a protest song, which in a historical way, suits the reference it makes to Myles Standish. Standish after all was basically accompanying protesters. I think I also like this song because how often do we see historical references like that in lyrics any more? The number of kids getting the reference the first time around today would probably be less than those who get the obscure references in a Dennis Miller stand up routine. That failure to grasp onto knowledge is becoming a systemic failure nationwide. No one thinks anymore – hence the rise of the low info voters.  But I digress…back to the song.

The opening lyrics:

Birdie in the hand for life’s rich demand
The insurgency began and you missed it
I looked for it and I found it
Myles Standish proud, congratulate me

A philanderer’s tie, a murderer’s shoe
Life’s rich demand creates supply in the hand
Of the power, the only vote that matters

Silence means security, silence means approval
Watchin’ Zenith on the TV, tiger run around the tree
Follow the leader, run and turn into butter

 

The song overall is a statement on the corruption of society and its institutions. . It’s also got a bit of the ‘look at me!’ bit in the line ‘Myles Standish proud, congratulate me.’  Shorter:  Look at me, see what I’ve created of what you rejected. The last refrain I included above (bold text), for me,  is a little shout out to the media right now.  You reap what you sow, guys.

When it came out, Reagan had just been re-elected and Iran-Contra was swirling in the media. The title itself was a call to arms that is arguably more applicable today, given the transparency issues and scandal of the Obama administration, than when first written.  Hopefully, our history books will read in a more straightforward manner like a Peanuts cartoon or have the brutal honesty of an R.E.M song. That would be something to be grateful for I think.

As I said in the opening paragraph, you’re either going back for seconds with a re-read or humming Crazy Train. Well, enough of the train of thought ramblings from me, pass the pie and whipped cream. Enjoy your food comas, folks. Either way, let’s begin again…Take a page out of Linus’ book and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving Day and for the first in a very long time is also the first day of Hanukkah  a lot of you reading this are likely spending the morning either cooking or preparing to eat a huge meal.

But later tonight a lot of you are going to be online and tomorrow even more are going to be out for Black Friday looking for deals many of you looking for computers and tablets, not only for yourselves but for older relatives.

Many people, particularly older ones are still fairly computer illiterate and many who have been using computers etc for a while know nothing about how the machines actually work.

More importantly as computes have progressed so has computer fraud.  Every year the fraudsters have become smarter and smarter finding new and ingenious ways to separate people from their personal information and ultimately their money.

I’m not in that business anymore but the folks at Bernard PC are.  The Bossman Bernie told me about a new threat that he’s been dealing with lately and was kind enough to write up this warning for DaTechGuy readers (I intermix my own comments within):

An overseas call center posing as Microsoft has been calling people at their homes, claiming to be Microsoft, and claiming to have knowledge of a virus in your computer.

These calls are a hoax.

As a general rule most spammers don’t expose themselves this way.  It’s  a clever move on their part, nobody is going to think the guy on the phone is a spammer. Bernie continues…

The caller makes it sound urgent, and tries to talk the victims into clicking through some screens that give them access to your computer.

As a person who used to do Tech Support this takes time and effort it’s exactly the type of thing a real tech support person might to.  It lulls the mark into a false sense of security.

They then proceed to open event viewers and other system logs to search for even the most minor errors and then try to convince the victim that they have a serious virus that needs to be addressed immediately.

As soon as those folks who have never seen an event viewer or system lag see those red X’s, “!” points and yellow warning triangles they’ll be convinced that they’re in more trouble than a Thanksgiving Cook who realizes at 10 AM his oven doesn’t work.

It’s at this point, Dear Reader, where they ask for those coveted credit card digits. If these folks call you, we suggest saying “not interested” or nothing at all, and hanging up on them. This is a scam that preys on the lack of knowledge and a fear they help to create in order to con you out of about $100.

What’s the best kind of scam, the type of scam when the person involved doesn’t realize their scammed.  As far as the mark is concerned that $100 to $150 charge is just payment for services rendered.

If you really have a virus, there is not a company in the world that is going to call you to tell you unless you have paid them in advance to monitor such an event. And, Microsoft is not in the antivirus business. Even companies like Symantec and McAfee aren’t going to call you to tell you that you have a virus, and antivirus is what they do.

But that’s not the worst of it. Not only do these fraudsters have your credit card info, info that they can sell or access at any time they wish, they get remote access to your system as they install their “fix” which may harvest all kinds of information from your license keys (that can be resold and mess you up when it becomes a duplicate) to contact lists (than can be used to mark new targets) and of course if you have your tax forms etc  or bank info, they’ve hit the motherload!  All of these things are things valuable commodities on the black market of internet crime.

And if they are REALLY smart then in 6 months or nine months or a year they will call you back, mention their previous call and say this is a follow up and lo and behold when they check that system, the virus were back and they’ll be happy to fix it again for you, for another $150 fee of course.

Think about it, even without selling all that other info with only two victims a day five days a week a scammer can make $75,000 a year with two weeks vacation and weekends off and if he or she has a friendly manor they might even get their victims to recommend them to their friends.  That is the Pièce de résistance.

May I be so bold as to suggest that if you find yourself getting such a call or suspect that you might have your system infected you give my friends at Bernard PC a call at 774-322-6045 and they will take care of you.

Bernard PC

But don’t do it on Thanksgiving day or Black Friday.  Bernard PC is closed both days so those days can be enjoyed.

Some might thing this isn’t a proper post for thanksgiving but if being warned against a scam before it robs you isn’t cause to give thanks, what is?

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Olimometer 2.52

Thanksgiving day is here I still need those 9 tip jar hitters at $25 or twelve at $20 means to make “payroll” & mortgage.

Please consider being one of them.

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