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Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder — MindBlog Archives

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January 1 - 31, 2004

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Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder

01.31.04 - 10:23 am (CT)
I spent yesterday doing what I should have done the other day, but was too busy goofing offmore end of the year bookkeeping duties — I filled out federal tax forms (i.e. W-3, 1096, W-2's, and 1099's) and then completed the 2003 bookkeeping summary that gets sent off to the accountant, so he can fill out the 1120 and 1040. Now, you can see how easy it was to get sidetracked and blow off a whole day playing around here at MindBlog.

Taxes should be a four-letter word, as it disgusts me that somehow others think that my money is really theirs and they just let me keep some of it… whatever they deem in their "let them eat cake" omnipotence that I should be able to get by on. Who the heck are these wizards who sit behind the curtain declaring what everyone may have to live on? Actually what they do is decide how much of your money they want to spend and then declare that you should manage just fine on… whatever is left!

There's no science, math, or anything else to it — they just stick their hands down deep in your pockets, pull out all they can fit in their greedy, little, sweaty palms, all the while admonishing you on how shameful it is that you earned so much and how others (i.e. whatever their cause du jour is) have so much less than you, so they are just "leveling the playing field". Never mind that you used your hands, back, and brains to get what you have and, quite frankly, others should have done the same… it's back to the old fable of "The Ant and the Grasshopper", and just to clarify, you are the ant and the others are the grasshopper!

(Note: Thanks to that icon of the Internet, the Dictionary Diva herself, Peg of Peg's Picks for link and verbiage assistance.)
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01.27.04 - 6:40 pm (CT)
There is all sorts of free stuff on the Web that you can use on your website — from, as I talked about last month, security alert feeds, to news headline feeds, to daily tip feeds. Today I've been playing with a tip feed that is FREE from SitePoint, which is one of my favorite Web design/development sites — they are just loaded with information on just about everything Web.

 
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Free from Sitepoint

Anyway, I didn't have any time on my hands, so I thought to myself, of course, why not just make some? It was a semi-brilliant way to blow off a good portion of the day, but a not-so-brilliant idea when you don't have even a bad portion of a day to blow. Oh well, the time is gone now and you certainly can't get it back, although I suppose I could swipe some from another day — borrow it as it were — and use that for whatever it was I didn't get around to doing today, because I was goofing off.

Back to the subject of my play — SitePoint has a standard "no fuss, no muss" feed that looks nice enough, but didn't "fit in" here at MindBlog, so I went with their text-only version and then played with the CSS to make it more me. Now, it fits in, although I'm not sure I'm happy with it yet, but I definitely have absolutely no more time to take, that I don't have, to play with it anymore today.

However, tomorrow is another day, so if it doesn't look the same tomorrow or next week, then you'll know that I swiped some more time that I didn't have and tweaked it here and, maybe, there. Until then, if you'd like some fresh, FREE content for your site, run over to SitePoint and sign up (a relatively painless process) for a daily tip feed for your site.
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01.25.04 - 8:58 am (CT)
Last month I mentioned in passing that EarthLink's Spy Audit had located the RemEye Trojan on my computer, well I have since investigated the matter and found that it was a POSSIBLE Trojan, not a definite one. The reason it is only a possible one is that the remeye.exe file that comes with WinVNC — a shareware Virtual Network Computing program — is only a Trojan if the person who installed it didn't change the default password to something else.

In my case, one of my sons, who shall remain nameless, installed WinVNC on my computer to access information at his work, and he assures me that in my particular case, "The password is not determined by the VNC client but rather by the VNC server that I connected to under the VPN (secure) client. The executable that you are referencing on your 'puter is a 'client only' APP and thus should NEVER allow anyone to access your 'puter." So, there you have it, but just to be absolutely, positively sure, I'll have him check it all when he comes over to see his mother later today — better to be safe than sorry.

If you would like more information on: the RemEye Trojan, then check out this Network World Fusion article, Spyware Removal Tools Stop Snoopers, the MegaSecurity RemEye 1.0 document (thank you to Gary Randall of Expetec of Frankfort IL for pointing this one out) and the Pest Patrol RemEye 1.0 report; and WinVNC, then check out the Real VNC website. And, as always, before you go goofing around with removing anything from your computer, if you don't know what you're doing, have someone who does know what they are doing, do it for you — you'll thank me later (probably much later, when you do know what you are doing) for that tidbit of wise advice.
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01.18.04 -8:56 am (CT)
MindBlog is mostly a play activity for me — it's a place on the Web where I can say just about anything I want, whenever I want, although I do try to stay with chat about Web development, I have been known to stray to quick peeks at, or commentary on, my personal life. I don't make any money from MindBlog and never expect to make any from it, as it is not a business, but like I said, is a play activity for me.

There are actually a few people out there who are professional bloggers — mostly journalists who were already famous long before they started blogging — who make money from paid advertising, paid subscriptions, or their real-life employers who consider their blog to be just an extension of their regular journalist duties. However, most of us bloggers blog with no compensation other than the pure enjoyment of spouting off about whatever it is we like to spout off about. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I blog for several reasons, but mostly because I can.

For those of us who blog for whatever reason, there is a nice little Yahoo! Group — Yahoo! Groups: Blogging_Community — where you can chat with and/or get help from fellow bloggers, with most of the chat being about blogging in general, but there are snippets of everything from politics to the latest "How To" at the different sites that offer blog hosting and software. I mostly lurk in the background — only stepping into the open when it seems no one else has the answer to someone's request for help with coding problems — and rarely do I actually go to the site, as I get a daily email with all of the day's comments, etc., but if you are considering blogging or already are blogging, you might just want to come lurk with me at the Blogging_Community.
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01.14.04 - 9:25 pm (CT)
Sometimes you're getting played, and sometimes you're not… sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don't — the hard part is figuring out whether you're getting played and if you are, what to do about it. Do you let the player know that you know you're being played, and then put up your guard even more than before, while still trying to get things worked out, or do you just say, "Screw it" and walk away? And that is the (rather long) question for today — not that I'm asking you to answer it, because if I thought you had the answer, heck, I would have just called you for that tidbit of wisdom.
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01.10.04 - 10:03 am (CT)
Time flies when you're having… lots of other things to do, but busy is good! Although finishing off the previous year's bookkeeping duties is not high up on my list of fun things to do, it is at the top of my list of necessary things to do. Also, I have been dealing with a legal matter (another necessary thing) for one of my sites, which is all I'm going to say on that until it is settled, hopefully, in my favor.

Just a passing thought, but I wonder if all lawyers were on the debate team in high school. One would think that in order to be able to argue on either side of any particular issue at the drop of a… hat, that they would have been captain of the debate team material. I can usually see both sides of an issue, however, arguing for something that I don't personally believe in, well, I doubt that I would be very good at it, which is probably one of the many reasons that I am not a lawyer.

And I do so enjoy being good at whatever I choose to do, although there are several things — singing comes to mind — that I really do enjoy even though I am terrible at, but do it anyway because I enjoy doing it. Then there are the things that I am really good at — math comes to mind — that I do not enjoy at all, but do anyway because they are necessary, which leads me right back to where I started… bookkeeping.
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01.01.04 - 7:17 am (CT)
Yesterday a client emailed me with a few needed changes on their page at a business directory site — the parent company for which they work objected to their use of a particular phrase in several places on that page. Considering that this particular page is totally independent of the parent company's website (it does have several links to company's site), it might be a wonder that they came across the client's page at all, except that they had done a routine search for their site and the client's page had popped up at number three… right after two listings for their site!

This might be happenstance or it might very well be just another case of darn good search engine optimization by this Pageminder (the subject of a previous MB Quick Tip). Either way, the client is thrilled — I believe he said, "Pretty cool!" — and, since I removed the offending phrase, the parent company is now satisfied. Thrilled and satisfied… not a bad way to end a year, eh?
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