Check this out … The Mountain .. Are you tough enough to climb the mountain?
I don’t who he is… but
Check this out … The Mountain .. Are you tough enough to climb the mountain?
I don’t who he is… but
My beautiful Malibu home (right next to Arnold) is secure. I now have a VPN (virtual pirate network) up to keep evil predators at pirate bay. Nice. But I have to remember that the network provides privacy not anonymity. It is impossible not to leave a digital footprint anywhere on the Internet (my goodness don’t you watch “Person of Interest” – Harold can get anyone!!!) and if evilness wants to find you and hack you, they will. But a VPN helps.
The analogy I read this week about a VPN was very appropriate. It goes like this… You have a house (over looking a beautiful virtual non-polluted ocean – plastic palms, a sun that never burns you). A VPN only provides curtains so people can’t look in your house, and see what you’re doing inside (bring out the bong boys!). However, since you have a street address, people still know you live somewhere. A VPN gives you privacy, so you can walk around the house in the buff or exchange banking information with more security. It maintains privacy, but people still know you have a house somewhere in Malibu or London or Toronto.
No one is one hundred per cent secure with any VPN. If someone wants to break into your house they will and can. Don’t fall for a false sense of security. But in today’s internet you need to setup an extra network for security because the days of your local internet provider assisting you are over. They provide the cupcakes for anyone who wants to look in your windows.
It was fun setting up the network. It only took me two days and a couple of hundred bucks for equipment (half bottle of scotch and a neck massage). But man I can feel the privacy. The curtains (thick red velvet drapes from The Game of Thrones) are closed. Now I’m going to put on my favourite pirate costume, with a wooden leg, parrot on my shoulder and shiny metal hook and dance around the house. I just downloaded the first season of “The Ropers” from Pirate Bay (it should be free).
And that’s another reason for hiding behind curtains. No one will know how my favourite TV shows appear on my hard drive. I don’t even know. All I know is they magically appear on my hard drive (Ummm, really?). I watch them a week after the broadcast date because they don’t have commercials. I hate TV advertising. It makes me want to take pills, many pills and dress like a pirate. It’s the same useless products over and over, asking me to buy crap that I don’t need or making me drool over a bacon double cheese burger I see flashed a hundred times a day. No wonder we have an obesity epidemic.
Yep and once again kudos to my friend and yours Edward “the privacy man” Snowden. Not that he supports my magically appearing TV shows, but he made us all aware that we had better make sure the curtains are drawn because you never know what creepy bastard is looking in your windows, just waiting to make your Christmas presents magically disappear.
Shopping with plastic cash and an internet connection is not all it’s cracked up to be. Problems do arise. I mean no disrespect, but what the hell did this Chinese company send me? See the picture? I have no idea what it is (the instructions are in an unknown language). It is NOT the USB connector I ordered. In fact I’m afraid to know what it really is – a long narrow slinky thing with two pink stubbies at either end. Ah, maybe that’s what it is – a new and innovative Chinese version of slinky.
On-line shopping is wonderful especially if you are an agoraphobic nut case like myself. I hate crowds and I’d rather not deal with overly hormoned, caffeinated and device driven teens trying to run me down in the mall. Nor do I like the constant barrage of buy, buy, buy in loud colours and scents. Yes, on-line shopping – you always get what you want, there’s never a line up and your “in-house” shopping mall smells like last night’s cheese pizza (oooh too much lactose).
Now I’ve ordered tons of stuff via ip addresses from skis to cell phone pouches to extra memory for my laptop. I’ve ordered neat stuff for my Dad and had it delivered while he was golfing in sunny Arizona. On this occasion, I sent him some golf balls, tees and a putting green that wraps around his toilet, so the next time he’s doing his business, his putter is only inches away.
However, my purchases are mild compared to some of the stuff people have ordered on-line, for example a hamster from India. Now, how the hell is that going to work? Is there a guarantee? Proof of life? And what do you do before you send? Stuff the poor creature in a box with a three month supply of pellets and the entire Lord of the Rings franchise? How about ordering some belly button lint? Yes please. Six pounds and can you send it anonymously to my boss? Or perhaps the perfect stocking stuffer of 1500 live lady bugs or twenty-five tons of chicken feet? Yes, such practical gifts for house and home.
And a note of advice, do not drink and order on-line. You don’t want to wake up one morning surrounded by the FBI, NSA or KFC because after watching “Homeland,” you wanted to know if you actually could buy some plutonium from Iran. Ouch!
It’s not like I’m going to stop ordering on-line, just because I received a mystery gift. The biggest bonus is the hours of fun I’m going to have trying to figure out what this long bendy thing with two pink knobs actually does. “Here, kitty, kitty.”
Happy Halloween my friends… here’s a scary night time story to put the children to sleep .. or NOT .. Mama and the Baby
When I got up nice and early this morning to go for my run, the sky was still pitch black. A darkness so black it was like running into a tunnel with no light at the end. As I stepped outside, I knew a creepy darkness was going to fill my morning escapade.
So here I am running around 5:30 am and usually I am the only person on foot in the park. There are the occasional cyclists, but I know most of them by their “good morning” or the silence they pass on (that early morning silence speaks tons). Yep, it’s just me, the deer and the beaver clan. On this run through the pit of darkness, I look behind me which I never do because there’s usually no one behind me but, to my horror, there’s a light following me. I try to shake the beam trailing me, but it won’t go away. I speed up. It speeds up. I decide to take a quick right because no one ever goes this way except me and the beavers. I jerk my head and look behind. The halogen beam is still clinging to my ass like a squished piece of tomato I just sat on. I’m getting nervous. What if this stalker wants to jump me and steal my disgustingly sweaty reflective coat or my Samsung Galaxy S 000, the first one ever made, or maybe they want the ten buck reflective hat I bought on the weekend. Oh the horror!
Of course I don’t think in my paranoid, read too many John la Carre novels mind, what stupid attacker would hide in the bushes or run behind you with a gigantic high beam halogen light. A light that spreads enough radiance to land a 747.
A new plan dawns on me. I’ll just out run the bastard. I pick up the pace. I’m flying through the air so quickly, my feet don’t even touch the ground. Then I get this idea. I’m going to loop around at the end of the path, so I’ll face my supposed attacker on the way back. And when I see their ugly face, I’ll wish the person a “good morning.” There is nothing worse to a CIA ninja assassin than a pleasant “good morning.” That’s right kill the agent with kindness. Take that Smiley.
I continue to glide to the end of the path and turn around. I’m running directly towards the ninja drone coming down the path. Our halogen beams ready to tangle. Soon we’ll be face to face and I‘ll meet the object of my fear. I’m primed, fists clenched. We meet and I look him strait in the eye balls and I immediately drop my stink eye. The guy must have been about ninety years old. But he was really clipping along for an old feller. He looks up at me and with a huge gleaming smile and says, “Good morning, young fella. Nice pace you got there. Keep up the good work.” My heart sinks.
When I go home I check my time. Very, very quick indeed. Paranoid equals super fast time. Thanks old feller. This is my second fastest time on the dark path. My personal best record was when I thought a pit bull in the bushes was chasing me, but it turned out to be a squirrel with an attitude.
Winter comes quickly to the lovely city I live in. Just last week, we were hit by a massive snow storm. Yes in September. Officially that’s still summer. Another problem living here in the northern climes is the darkness. It comes very early. Soon we’ll go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. Yep, early fall means we start the move into our northern “cave.” No light except for that dim beacon at the very far end of the cave, called summer. Only nine months away. Well, that was until I met some cyclists on my morning run. Thanks to them the light of summer is eternal.
Usually I go for an early morning run around five-thirty. It’s the only way I’ll get it done (no interference – life doesn’t get in the way before the sun comes up). I especially love to run outside. All summer long it’s been great. It’s been a beautiful sunny Zen experience. It’s not unusual to see beaver, deer and the occasional coyote bouncing across my path. No pit vipers, crocs or nasty spiders in this pleasant garden of Eden. Ah the quiet days of summer. Just me, the trees, the bright rising sun and a few friendly dog walkers who are out at the same time as me.
However, this week it all changed, paradise lost as well as the sun. My route was tranquil because last year we had a flood and it wiped out part of the path. This made it difficult for cyclists because the detour is a rough and narrow make-shift path through the bush. One has to be very careful, especially in the morning darkness. If you tip over on your bike or make a wrong step, it’s a fifteen meter drop into rocks and river. It kept the snakes out of Eden. We pedestrians had a code to keep it a secret. “Quiet this morning, eh?” “Yep.” And then a two finger salute. Sometimes we’d make a hissing sound just as a reminder.
But the code got broke. Somehow, those cycling snakes realized the route around the flood damage was passable (they must have some nefarious network where they gather commuting plans to take over the world). The pit vipers have entered Eden. And with them came their lights. They use these blinding halogen lights that are so bright you’d think your minutes away from an alien abduction.
After these lights blind you, you can’t see anything but dancing dots. It’s as if you had looked directly into the sun for an hour. When I die and see the light, I hope to hell it’s not one of these halogen lights because I’ll crap my pants for fear that I’m going to cyclist hell. This hell is a very bright and hot place where you ride a stationary bike for eternity, but the horror is you actually think you’re going somewhere.
Now, not all cycling commuters are pit vipers with halogen lights. It’s the racing and reckless bastards who need to share the path. Slow down, be courteous and realize there are other people on the path, especially in the morning darkness. And take it easy with those lights. They can burn a hole in a person’s retina. Ah, screw it. Time to hit the gym and run through the bright sunshine of New Zealand. On a screen, of course. The funny thing is I actually think I’m going somewhere.
Picture courtesy unfocusedpolaroids