Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Week In Computer Hell

My Face Has Been Removed From Facebook...

(Blogging live from my underground dungeon computer complex somewhere on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River)

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, I started out the week with some kind of stupid little piss-ant computer hemorrhoid on the server PC which spent all day and night popping up telling me it was on my computer's butt and wanting to sell me some kind of salve to smear on the hurting area of my technical life.

Norton/Symantic couldn't find it and therefor couldn't fix it within the first 36 hours of infestation, but somehow either by being on the ball for once or accidentally Microsoft offered a "system update" that my Vista operating system downloaded and installed all by it's stupid self and as a result the festering computer canker sore/rectal intrusion seems to have gone away, although the machine is still belching and farting a little when I try to run important things like AutoCAD.

Then this morning an old friend from High School reported that someone was impersonating me on Facebook saying that I was stranded in London and asking for money to get home.


Anyone that knows me knows that the last place on the entire planet I would go is London, England, with Paris, France following along a close second...even behind Opp, Alabama or Morocco or Turkey or Greece or anywhere else on the European or Asian Continents.

Then another friend down on our little island called me and said some woman had contacted him, referencing me, and wanting to offer her services.

Dangit, where were these women when I could have used them, and why didn't they call me first?

Then I got this e-mail from "the Facebook Team":

Hi ,

Your account has been temporarily suspended for security purposes. Our systems indicate that your Facebook account has been compromised by cybercriminals attempting to impersonate you. These criminals often will try to trick your friends into sending them money by claiming that you are stuck in a far away location and need assistance. It is possible that your email account was compromised as well. As such, we have sent this email to all email accounts recently associated with your account. Obtaining access to a victim's email is one of the primary ways these cybercriminals have been operating. Please take the following steps to regain control of your account:

1. Select new, unique passwords for any email addresses associated with your Facebook account.

2. Respond to this email to get the account verification process started.

3. Closely follow the instructions provided in our follow up email. We also encourage you to visit the following page for more information about Facebook security and how to report suspicious material:

Facebook Security

By the time I re-read their correspondence...realizing that FACEBOOK was having a problem and requiring ME to take action to correct it...I was tired and cranky and as a result I wrote this back to them...

**** you ***holes...I hardly used your stupid "social networking" service and if it takes more than 5 minutes for me to jump through the hoops to correct something which happened on your system and servers then I won't be back.

I write my own blogs and own and pay my own domain names and I didn't do anything which caused YOUR SYSTEM to be compromised, so get it fixed and get it right and make it easy or let's just say goodbye...


at this point I assume that I'm probably banned from Facebook for life, even though whatever happened happened on their end of the Internet universe, not on my machine I don't believe.

Regardless, I did follow up and changed all of my passwords on important stuff like bank accounts and stuff but here's my point with Facebook.


I write this blog and my cooking blog The Redneck Gourmet, and I'm on the verge with a little more financial success in 2010 of buying my own domain names for my company and my personal use and leaving Blogger and Intuit behind. While many of my friends and family are just now discovering the Internet and beginning to do simple blogging by using Twitter and Facebook, I'm an old man in the Internet world.

My ex-wife had an Internet account while working with the Georgia Tech Research Institute way back in 1984, and I had a MCI mail account I set up with my company in 1985.

I remember when there was nothing on the Internet but a bunch of nerds sending Wordstar files and Lotus 123 spreadsheets back and forth in between comma delimited Dbase III database files.

There was no "social networking" and no "retail transactions" and no pictures of naked women to be found unless you liked printing out something on a dot matrix printer produced with periods, commas, and other ASCII characters.

Something like this made a young computer nerd's day back then...

So any way, right now now I'm afraid to use the server for any financial transactions for fear that there might still be some keystroke logger or something lurking around under the surface.

I'm tempted to buy a new small external hard drive, do a full back up of all of my photos and word processor/spreadsheet files, and then wipe the hard drive clean and re-install a copy of Windows XP professional which I bought last year and be done with Vista in this building...because Vista SUCKS.


It not only SUCKs, it TOTALLY SUCKS.

Only problem is I'll have to spend half a Saturday re-installing things like Photoshop CS3 and AutoCAD and then downloading Google Earth and the latest editions of Adobe and all of the zillions of other programs I use on a daily basis.

I swear people, it's times like this when I'm tempted to rip off my clothes, put on a loin cloth and moccasins boat shoes, smear my face and chest with colored mud and clay, and go live in the woods for a month just to prove that I can do it again (picture the scenes out of the movie "Predator" with me being the Arnold with a ever greying, ever balding head and a pot belly.)


I don't LIKE it, but I realize that we're all in a world of hurt when the sniveling, bed wetting, tye dyed, booger eating, tree hugging socialists finally overload our infrastructure and it all comes crashing down around our heads one day.

I admit it...I'm ADDICTED to my COMPUTER(S).


THUNK (the sound of me falling over backwards out of my chair)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Garden Takes Shape

I'll Swap A Cow For Some "Magic Beans"...

I don't believe that I've ever mentioned here on the blog that the family who built our house in 1963 and owned it until we bought it in 2008 also owned a small farm here in Eastern Tennessee, so when we moved into this place we weren't surprised that the property was literally infested with wooden and metal poles and stakes and other artifacts left over from them having planted and grown an extensive assortment of vegetables and other ornamental plants over the past four plus decades.

There's a vegetable plot, covered with "landscape cloth" with holes cut every 12 to 24 inches which covers an area about 12' wide x 30' long, out in rear corner of the back yard.

Thus I regret to admit that through a combination of being gainfully employed and busy as heck the first season, and just being generally lazy the second year...2009, that best intentions aside our well intended efforts to extend the gardening traditions around here have basically consisted of growing a few potted plants and watching our "lawn technician" mow the grass and assault us with the hated weed eater and leaf blower every week or so.

All of that history ruefully behind me, this year I'm resolute that things are going to be different in the area of home gardening on several fronts.

First of all, with all of the cooking that goes on around here on a regular basis, a herb garden plot could definitely enhance our efforts while at the same time possibly saving a little money in the process.

Things like Basil and Cilantro and Parsley are staples in the bottom trays of my Fridge and I end up throwing away or drying probably 25% to 30% of what we buy, so having fresh stuff growing outside the back door would pay back immediately and those kind of plants basically take care of themselves because they--in spite of all of the hype--are actually WEEDS.

Next there's things like Tomatoes and Tomatillos, stuff we use for sauces and salsas and which are just plain fun to produce. I find the Roma and "Bunch type" hybrid tomatoes to be much more useful to try to grow at home according to my Googling efforts, although a couple stalks of the "Better Boy" or "Best Boy" or "Beefsteak" variety sandwich sized slicers will probably make it into the dirt here in the end.

I don't think that we have enough room to do beans or peas or any other of the "staked" varieties, but I have a spot where I want to toss out some different varieties of Summer and Winter Squash and let them fight it out for space, and possibly do a couple of hills of Watermelons, and I have a package of ...get this...SIX "GIANT PUMPKIN" seeds which I paid almost 50 cents each (that would be PER SEED...not PER PACK) for last year and never planted.

These so-called "Dill's Atlantic Giant" seeds are supposed to be capable of producing pumpkins which weigh between 400 and 500 pounds each.


I guess that's better than growing a bean stalk going up out of sight outside my deck, into the clouds, and having to screw around with all of that "Fee Fie Foe Fum...English Man's Blood stuff..."

Me and the Turbo Pup would probably pee on ourselves and everything else in sight when the "not-so Jolly Green Giant" came stomping know?

But then again I guess that on a positive note managing to actually grow something alive a gourd that sized could get me on the local news without involving the police or fire department unless the thing fell over or rolled over me while trying to move it into the kitchen.

I've previously handled and carved a 140 pounder back on SSI in 2005 or 2006, so IF I ever manage to grow something which weighs that much I'm considering hollowing it out, putting a tag and tires on it, and hitting the road towing it behind the old Chevy Suburban doing carnivals and circus side shows.

Does anybody there a Redneck version of "Cirque du Soleil?"

Oh yeah...we call it the "County Fair" down in these parts here in the South.

Any way, I think that you could almost LIVE inside a 500 pound pumpkin, you know?.

Back to gardening in general, basically anything else included beyond the above listed vegetable/fruit inventory, with the exception of possibly some hot and sweet peppers, has yet to congeal/coagulate within the confides of my hyperactive mind. forgot...I also need to plant some Onions and Garlic and to do something to keep my breath from being all fresh and minty...

As then as is usual, now I have to do an AutoCAD drawing of everything overlayed on our residential plot plan. And there will be a surveying crew involved (survey crew = me and little Missy the Turbo Pup and Pat running around outside with my 100' tape measure, a can of OSHA orange paint, some wooden stakes, and a giant roll of string), and then there are the endless Bills of materials...and a rental soil tiller and...

Man...I get tired just trying to write about it all...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Hobby

I'm Learning To Walk Like These Guys...

(Someone call all the King's Horses and Men 911 when I'm through with my lessons)

Chili Withdrawal

I'm Perfecting Being Useless...

So after being out of town for five days and basically wasting Monday waiting on some people to respond to questions and get me paperwork, I ended up working my butt off yesterday getting caught up on some personal and business stuff, and about 5:30 PM managed to get four more rebuilt valves packaged and out the door to FedEX in the process.

Now since 3 AM this morning I've managed to get all of my paperwork done including the invoice for yesterday's shipment and the job files have everything punched on my little micro three hole punch (I've got to buy a big honkin' three hole paper punch before I lose my mind) and organized in their little tabbed binders and so now I can settle back into my normal lethargic existence.

Please excuse me because I just might doze off here at the keyboard...but I digress...

Not to brag, but it's supposed to rain all week here in Knoxtown so working outside on the house is out (and I've basically replaced and painted everything in arm's reach inside the building in the past 23 months,) so here's a look at my carefully considered plans for the balance of my morning. (I know that some out there might pity me in my slovenliness because I actually aspire to conduct myself this way, but I offer no apology because I have so much time invested in perfecting the process.)

5:30 to 6:00 AM.........finish blogging and fooling around on the Internet

6 PM until 7 AM...........wallow around in my bed with my dog watching FOX and Friends in the morning

7 AM until 8 AM.......doze watching FOX and Friends

8 AM until 11 AM............Doze while listening to talk radio

11 AM until...zzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZ....snort...snore...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Back To Reality?

Where's My Chili Pot...

Well, I've been home less than 48 hours and I'm already tired of FOX News and the Internet in general, and now I have yet another stupid "Anti-Spyware" virus on the server PC.

It popped up late yesterday afternoon and refuses to turn even screws with Mozilla Firefox.

It won't even show me any Boobs or other Porno as a consolation prize for putting up with it, it just keeps on telling me that my computer is "infected" with "Malware" and "Spyware" and "Trojan Software" and offering to sell me their software to fix the situation.

To me it's sort of like that dipstick Michael Moore making a movie in which he warns everyone about "obese, unshaven, loud mouthed, ignorant, ill-informed, socialist/progressive tree hugging patchouli stinking tye dyed malfeasants" making movies about "obese, unshaven, loud mouthed, ignorant, ill-informed, socialist/progressive tree hugging patchouli stinking tied died malfeasants."

Any way, I've done a complete Norton 360 scan coming up on twice now in the next few minutes, and with a half terrabyte drive that takes about a week and a half about two hours each and when I get through posting down here I'm going upstairs with my 10 pound hand sledge hammer and a caulk gun full of construction adhesive and threaten my computer to free itself from the Internet transmitted computer deamons...or else.

Just for the record, the Chinese or Koreans or Ethiopian or Cuban hackers or 15 year old pimple faced kids in Paduca, Kentucky that wrote the shit that's presently contaminating my computer go by the name "Vista Antispyware 2010"...and if it were up to me I'd vote to pass a law where the government tracks down these ingrate bastards, captures them, brings them back here to the US and puts them in the Moat in the Gorilla habitat at Zoo Atlanta.

Then every Saturday if the Gorillas haven't killed them violating various bodily orifices the owners of computers which have been infected with the products of their insidious efforts would be allowed to come to the Zoo and bombard them from the pedestrian walkways with damaged computer hard drives, useless desktops and laptops, and weeks worth of Septic Tank waste stored in Glad "Force-Flex" trash bags.

If anybody has a better idea for a punishment, feel free to let me know, and in the mean time I have to go take a nap now and stop thinking about this before my head explodes...

Y'all have a LOVELY day...if you will...

Monday, March 08, 2010

More Chili Pictures

Mug Shots...

I, like my father before me, am always generally behind the camera rather than in front of it most of the time, thus I hardly have any pictures of me other than Police mug shots things accidentally shot by other people that wander by when I'm up to something interesting or possibly stupid.

Any way, Pat managed to take a few extra photos on Saturday and I though that I'd toss them up here on the blog to finish documenting the event for posterior posterity.

Here's a photo of some Hippie dude that stopped by to work on the Booth:

And here's a look at Me channeling my "Inner Rasta," wearing my Chef's Jacket, apron, and Chili Pepper Chef's pants, sitting with the Turbo Pup resting after serving all of our chili...

I find it pretty cool to have learned how to cook mass quantities of food, but it's time to stop reminiscing and go back to work I guess...

Beauty Transformation

Everybody Cover Your Eyes

(thank's to, Neal Boortz, the Pastor of The Church of the Painful Truth)


Crime Scene Chili Photos

Visual Evidence As Promised...

I'm pleased to report that we made it back to Knoxtown on Sunday after an uneventful 8 hour ride.

Now after drinks & dinner and sorting out the mail, I figured that I'd post some stuff here showing everyone what we've been up to the past five days.

Here's a view of the pile of raw materials after being dumped out on the ground at the Event Venue about 6:30 AM Saturday morning (click on any of the photos to enlarge).

And here we are with the tent set up, all of the food delivered, and the "Chili Shack" erection well under way.

All the roof framing up, and just a few more skins to install...that's EIGHT GALLONS of rendered pork stock there on the table in the big plastic containers.

The finished product, with decorations in place ready to serve our Chili...

There's Little Missy the Turbo Pup standing guard duty back behind the tent.

General crowd you see the place was PACKED...and they started clammoring to be fed at 11 AM although the official start time and first judging sample wasn't supposed to happen until 11:30...

My 15 gallon chili pot somewhere about 12:15...we were in panic mode because we were supposed to serve until 2 PM but we ran out at 1:15...

The Turbo Pup again, sitting in the shade, looking for someone to give a good barking to...

A look behind the scenes at the cooking area and tent...notice the blue insulation board lables on the back side of the panels...

More crowd photos looking from inside the serving area in our Chili Shack. We were only one of three teams that actually did something besides tents and tables with banners/signs...

The unofficial estimate was a little over 2000 tickets sold.

Pat and John and our friend Walt yucking it up and handing out Green Butt Chili...

And the end of the day about 4 PM with everything loaded back in and on John's Explorer ready to head back to the Blackwater Grill...

And here's a look at the Guys and the Booth that beat us again this year...

Go figure...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Even More Crap What Pisses Me Off This Morning

Imperial Federal Government Assholes Politicians Gone Wild...

I swear to God, Ladies and Gentlemen, I think that we need to get together and steal a B-52 and Nuke the capitol mall in Washington DC with my latest invention--"The Rogers' Positronic Dirty Rat Bastard Tax & Spend Liberal Seeking Smart Bomb."

I call it the RPDRBTSLSSB for short...and looking at that acronym someone might like to buy a vowel...Alex...

Or maybe we should just get up a posse and go round up virtually everyone in the national elected political structure, Democrat and Republican, and gift wrap them each in their own burlap sacks with a couple of used bowling balls and tie the package up and toss the whole lot of them into the Potomac River.

Why, you might ask?

(and if you're with the CIA or FBI or other law enforcement agency read my entire blog before you put me on the no-fly list or come knocking on my door...I tend to write sort of over the top, in an absurd and obvious metaforical/silly ass harmless stupid Redneck manner here on this blog)

Because of crap like the stuff going on in this News story:

Newly anointed House Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D-Mich.) repaid a Maryland property-tax credit Friday that he should not have received, his office confirmed.

Levin, who owns a home in Chevy Chase, Md., received a $690 credit on his most recent property tax bill, the result of Montgomery County program that provided one-time credits to residential property owners in the 2009-10 tax year.


Levin replaced Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) at the Ways and Means Committee helm this week after pending ethics investigations forced Rangel to step down from the post.

The ethics committee admonished Rangel in February for taking part in two trips to the Caribbean that violated House rules, citing his staff’s knowledge that the trips received prohibited corporate funding.

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly known as the ethics panel, is also still reviewing Rangel’s personal finances under an investigation opened in September 2008.

That review includes Rangel’s failure to report rental income from a Dominican beach house; his lease of three rent-controlled apartments in his district; his use of House parking facilities for long-term vehicle storage; personal assets he failed to report on financial disclosures; and his fundraising efforts for a City College of New York facility named in his honor. Rangel has denied any wrongdoing.

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), the second-ranking Ways and Means Committee member who was passed over for the chairmanship, also recently faced an ethics committee review of his Maryland home.

The way I would handle things is this simple.

Just ask the question: "Will the person on the finance committee who/whom (I can never get that right) has filed and paid their taxes correctly please stand up, and everybody else run to the restroom or take a smoke break?"

Notice I don't use the word "persons" intentionally?

That is because I bet that there's a good chance that you'd be looking at an empty room, except possibly a couple of Aids or Secretaries Administrative Assistants or Monaca Lewinskies Interns.


You see, it just pisses me of when the same elected idiots which keep getting appointed further up the government food chain to the Chairmanships/Chairwoman-manships and that think nothing of jumping my Federal income tax rates 3 to 5% or more in the next couple of years...and at the same time can cavalierly indicate to "working families" and the "disenfranchised" earned income credit whores that I owe them $5000 of my money in the form of a "Capitol Gains" tax for taking the risk of buying real estate with CASH...CASH MONEY I already paid income tax on when I earned it and managed to keep some of it...

(taking a deep breath here boss...)

yet these idiots, men and women who are paid $174,000 each year for their so-called "service" in the US Senate and House (and get an automatic raise each year unless they as a group vote against it,) are constantly over and Over and OVER...and over and over and over and over and under and over.... caught and eventually embarrassed into having to belatedly pay back stupid little itty bitty sums like $690 when their finances and taxes come under the microscope of the national lamestream media--a media which willingly turns a blind eye as often as is possible if you happen to have a "(D)" beside your name on the election ballot.

They want to pass laws and spend money and tax me and you, yet they try to get away with silly, stupid little omissions like that and I bet you $10 that this same circumstance of "omissions" is almost across the board with these elitist bastards/bitches.

The way I see things, and based on some negative personal experience from my own past in the form of innocent, ignorant mistakes on various and sundry local and state and federal tax "issues"...

I would never try to get away with silly crap like scamming the Property Tax "Homestead Exemption" or any one of the other intrusive, bullshit taxes the elected geniuses levy on my ever greying, ever balding head and wallet.

It just isn't worth it if there isn't at least five or six figures behind the dollar sign (that would mean $10,000 to something over $100,000 for those of you that went to college at the Universities of Tennessee or Georgia.)

Yet it seems to me that almost EVERY SINGLE TIME someone gets elected or appointed to anything from the title of "Presidential Dog Washer" to "Head Ho' What Run the House" they have to go digging into the file cabinets in their fifth or sixth bedroom or make calls to their accountant in NYC and get a bottle of "Whiteout" or an eraser and smudge their way back into compliance with INCOME TAX LAWS...

"laws" which they insist on foisting on the rest of us working stiffs without a bit of regard for the amount of effort it takes to comply with their legalized robbery money grubbing political pandering BS.

I've had it up to here People (pointing to the top of the aforementioned ever greying ever balding head), and I'm tired of the Government looking to me as a slave and a source of ever increasing "Income," and I'm tired of other people (but not necessarily YOU there reading this blog if you carry your own financial freight) looking to the Imperial By-God Federal Government of the United States of 'Merica as a SOURCE of their own income and benefits.

...taking a couple more breaths here...

OK, 'nuff said I guess...I have to go to bed now in anticipation of enduring 8 hours on the intestate highway system...something I gladly pay my taxes for in order to keep it maintained, but otherwise I want everyone to just get the hell out... Mr./Mrs./Transgendered Politician/Tax Collector, and leave me and my girl and my dog and my wallet ALONE...

Is that too much to ask?

You're dismissed then...And that will be all...for now...