Month: June 2006

  • Lots of people (including me) use Yahoo's email service, so in the off-chance you've not heard of this, here 'tis:

    Yahoo, world's most popular e-mail, hit by worm

    LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:
    YHOO - news), the world's largest
    provider of e-mail services, said on Monday that a software
    virus aimed at Yahoo Mail users had infected "a very small
    fraction" of its base of more than 200 million accounts.

    The e-mail virus, or worm, has been dubbed Yamanner and
    landed in Yahoo mailboxes bearing the headline "New Graphic
    " Once opened, the message infects the computer and
    spreads to other users listed in Yahoo users' e-mail address
    books, security experts said.

    The e-mail containing the virus need only be opened -- in
    contrast to most worms that are hidden in attachments and
    require users to take an additional step -- to release the
    virus, according to computer security site Symantec Corp.

    The Sunnyvale, California-based company advised users to
    update virus and firewall software on their computers and to
    block any e-mail sent from the address ""  (bolding mine)


    With any luck if it arrives at all it's being dumped in the Bulk Mail
    folder, which I expect most of us delete without checking, but
    apparently it's at least occasionally getting through.  Don't open

  • Talk about litigation run amok!  Catch this story from Yahoo! News:  "A U.S. consumer group sued the
    operator of the KFC fried chicken restaurant chain on Tuesday
    to try and force it to stop it from frying foods in an
    artery-clogging fat."

    If the fat used by KFC is too unhealthy, then DON'T EAT THERE.  e-wallbang

    If enough people stop eating at KFC due to the fat that company uses, trust me, the type of fat will be changed.

    What will this 'consumer group' take after next?  Krispy Kreme?

    Don't even think about it.  e-mggrumpy

    Currently in progress in North Carolina is the annual SBC (Southern Baptist) shindig, where it's distressing to read this account from an attendee who is liveblogging it:

    We ate at a restaurant for lunch today after the rush was over. The
    waitress was either about to cry or about to punch a wall. She asked if
    we were with "that convention". We said yes and asked her if she had
    experienced a good day with "us". She said that in fact she had not.
    She had worked about 3 shifts in the last 30 hours, and she said that
    her tips were measley.

    What is worse is that she said that
    everybody was leaving her these little papers with Bible verses on
    them. You guys have any idea what she is talking about? She even had
    low-tippers leave her one of those phony dollar-bill tracts. She asked
    us if we knew what it felt like to pick up what you thought was a great
    tip, only to find out that it was not real, and that the patron had
    actually been a cheapskate after she served them well?

    apologized on behalf of the clods who left her 5% and a tract. My buddy
    Klay was picking up the bill for us, and he tipped her so well that she
    ran up to us with a big smile and said, "Guys, you have just made up
    for the whole afternoon!"

    This was great, except it didn't help the other servers.  I'm no more of a fan of the tipping system than anyone else, but having had three children who've worked in the restaurant industry as servers, this sort of thing really hacks me. 

    You know what should be tried?  Tipping and no-tipping areas, with the no-tipping having a pass-through from the kitchen.  Diners choose what they want, fill out a ticket and take it up to the pass-through, the cook yells out the name on the ticket and the diner goes to retrieve his or her own food, gets beverages from a central location, and doesn't leave until their table is cleaned off.

    The tipping area would have the servers who bring the diner their food, drinks, clean off the tables, etc.

    It'd probably work best to simply have a "service charge" in lieu of a tip, and comment cards for rating the server.  A certain number of positive cards earns the server so much money, meaning it'll be in their best interest to provide diners with courteous and prompt service.

    Personally, Don and I would choose the server area, preferring to pay for the "restaurant" experience.  Those who must pinch pennies can have the same food without paying for service.  Thinking about it, it should lower the number of servers and bussers required, which could, in turn, lower the menu prices.

  • Okay, Mom, I'm impressed.  No doubt about it.  Folks, note the #10 on the daily ranking list in the lower left corner....that's her:

    I've never gotten anywhere approaching that high, no matter what game I'm playing!  Way to go, Mom!  e-woo

  • Finally talked to Charles this evening, and he did buy the Corvette.  Said he was pleased with the gas mileage, BTW.  ;^)

    Tell you what, that boy has more fun in New York City than most anyone else I know.  Today, after buying the car, he and his roommate drove from Long Island into Manhattan (however, $27 for five hours parking did dismay him a little).  As the two of them were strolling through Times Square, they were stopped and asked if they'd be willing to have their picture taken.  This is not an unusual request, according to Charles...when he and Joseph were in NYC a couple of weekends ago, they were stopped frequently.

    This time there was a twist, though.  Turned out to be a photo shoot for Shape magazine, and they'll be in the September issue, out in August!  Had to sign release forms, and give permanent addresses for their complimentary copy to be sent. 

    By golly, between the Waybourns in Good Housekeeping, and Charles in Shape, I'm starting to feel a little left out. 

    Charles, after a week-long period of intense activity regarding credit unions, insurance companies, and frequent calls home, has bought himself a slick new set of wheels:


    A 1989 Chevy Corvette with 95,000 miles.  It was owned by someone on Long Island, which doubtless explains the low mileage. 

    Nineteen years old, in the Navy, with a red Corvette.  Does it get any better than this? 

  • Mercy Maud!  I mentioned soccer's World Cup being treated as a Big Deal?  Well, I had no idea, no idea at all.  Over at Al Mohler's blog, he's written about the same thing, but more extensively, citing a Christian Science Monitor story, World Cup Boosts Growth, Binds Ties, Even Sparks War:

    Brazilian banks will close early, British
    productivity will nosedive, elections in Mexico could be affected, the
    fate of the French prime minister may hang on results. The event will
    touch even the frozen wastelands of Antarctica, where scientists have
    set up a live Internet feed so as not to miss the action.

    And at the grand finale on July 9, as many as a billion people -
    one-sixth of humanity - are expected to watch 22 men, adept at
    propelling a piece of leather around, compete for the ultimate victory
    in team sports.


    Germany is bracing for 4.5 million fans to arrive
    for the matches. The rest of the world is working to accommodate
    broadcasts. World Trade Organization negotiators have agreed to end
    meetings at 4 p.m. in time for kick-off. In China, 70 percent of
    football fans said they planned to watch all 63 matches, even though
    most will take place in the middle of the Chinese night. In the Koreas,
    North has turned to South for help with rebroadcasting, so its people
    can see some of the action. And Arab leaders are scrambling to help
    poor citizens see the games after a regional pay-TV network bought
    exclusive broadcasting rights.

    This is simply sports gone mad, is all:

    For the tournament winners, there are many
    dividends beyond the honor of being called world champion. All of the
    seven countries to win the trophy have experienced, however
    temporarily, a "World Cup effect." When Uruguay beat Brazil in 1950,
    the victory helped cement a nascent sense of nationhood in a country
    with a large immigrant population. When West Germany won in 1954, less
    than a decade on from the rubble of 1945, it became a symbol of

    Finally, France's first victory in 1998 was hailed as its most
    glorious moment since 1945. A million revelers poured onto the Champs
    Elysees. President Jacques Chirac's poll numbers shot up. Much was made
    of the "rainbow team" of Frenchmen, black and Arab second-generation

    "All those postwar problems - rebuilding France, decolonization, the
    war in Algeria, unemployment, social, and racial divisions - the World
    Cup victory was seen as a step on the way to coming to terms with it
    all," says Geoffrey Hare, the author of "Football in France."

    In this year's tournament, watch for Ivory Coast,
    perhaps Africa's strongest contender, but one with a wretched recent
    history of civil war. A successful run for the West African side may do
    wonders for reconciliation, analysts say. Soccer has a certain power to
    unify in Africa: Fighting in Liberia ceased when their star player,
    George Weah, was on the pitch; and Nigeria's civil war halted for two
    days in 1967 so both sides could watch visiting Pele play in a match.


    Defeat, however, can have a deleterious effect:
    Britain's Labour government in 1970 blamed electoral defeat partly on
    England's sudden exit from the World Cup a few days earlier. Andrés
    Escobar, a Colombian defender who scored on his own goal in the 1994
    World Cup, was shot dead upon returning home.

    Economies, too, may not escape unscathed. Academics from the
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology contend that a World Cup defeat
    has, on average, led to sizeable stock market falls in the country
    concerned. Winning the Cup, on the other hand, normally adds around 0.7
    percentage points to the victor's economic growth, according to
    economists at Dutch Bank ABN AMRO.

    Ultimately, it's just a game - isn't it?

    Legendary English coach Bill Shankly came to a different conclusion.

    "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death," he once remarked. "I'm very disappointed with that attitude."

    "I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."

    It's a strange, weird world.  e-afdbsmiley

  • It's hard to believe but it's time yet again for some of the annual fireworks photos!  Yup, last weekend the Concerts in the Garden series started up, and tonight I was able to get outside with my camera in time to snap a few pix.  Of course, it's early yet....the impressive fireworks will come toward the end of the month and on the 4th of July weekend.  Still, it's pretty cool to be able to sit or stand on one's front porch and watch these:

    June2006 006
    June2006 008June2006 010

    Dmitry and I do enjoy them! 

  • You never know what you're going to find at PetsMart.  I went to buy a box of litter box filters and on my way back to the front of the store, this caught my attention:


    Don't let dusty crickets embarrass you in front of family and friends this summer.  Catch 'em then pop 'em in the Handy Dandy Cricket Duster and your crickets will be clean and shiny once more. 

  • This morning I went to do some mall-walking and noticed a change that
    had been made to said mall; in front of the various department stores
    were seating areas similar to this one:


    most of them weren't as large as this one, but they all featured sofas
    and tables.  Not many people were utilizing them when I walked
    past, but I daresay when it gets busy they'll be filled. 
    Especially when back-to-school shopping time comes around.  ;^)

    ADDED:  The department
    store to the right used to be - or maybe still is? - a Foley's but the
    sign has been removed from above the entrance, presumably to make way
    for a Macy's sign.  That's going to be interesting, having the
    Foley's stores around here morph into Macy's.

  • Well, by golly, it's a start!  The Big-City-to-Fort-Worth's-East Mavericks won their first-ever game in the NBA finals.  e-cheerleader

    One down....three to go.  e-thumbs

    Turns out there's another sports event going on now, though it's not one I'd ever follow, i.e. the World Cup.  It's simply astounding how a-twitter other people get about it, however, based upon the stories in the news regarding English hooligans having their passports collected to insure they can't leave the country, etc.  What has caused what is largely viewed as a kiddie game in America to be such a rolicking big deal to the rest of the world? 

  • What on earth is the point of using such a teeny-tiny screw to fasten the cover for the Nintendo DS battery?  The DS died on us a week or so ago so, hoping a new battery's all that's required, I ordered one from Nintendo.  It came today.

    No way to replace it, as the screw is so small none of our screwdrivers will work, not even the "computer" ones.  Don said (via telephone, as he's in San Antonio tonight) it sounds as if it'll need a jeweler's screwdriver.  I tried the one for glasses that he has, only it's a flathead and what's required is a Phillips head.

    Now I'll have to go track down an eensy-beansy screwdriver tomorrow!  And with my luck it'll turn out it's not the battery at all.  e-fingers_ears