Los Angeles times - Trayvon Martin case: Sanford police chief temporarily steps aside
Christian Science Monitor - Will Trayvon Martin case spur rethinking of Stand Your Ground laws?
By now you have no doubt heard about Trayvon Martin, the 17 year old boy shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, variously described as nice guy, one man neighborhood watch, vigilante or wannabe police officer claims the shooting was self defense under Florida’s “stand your ground law”.
I’m not buying it. 911 tapes reveal a dispatcher telling Zimmerman to stop following Trayvon. Minutes later 911 tapes of neighbors reporting a voice pleading for mercy clearly record a gunshot, apparently the shot that ended this young man’s life.
My family owns and uses firearms. My wife and I have held concealed handgun permits for the past 11 years and I have extensive military training and experience with firearms dating back to the late ‘70s. We live in and our permits were issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the 24 so called “stand your ground” states. The following excerpt from Virginia Common Law covering the use of deadly force by non-law enforcement personnel was included in an e-mail reminder to members from the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League.
“Self-defense in Virginia’s common law goes back over 400 YEARS. If attacked, Common law allows an innocent citizen to be able to defend himself wherever he may be. Deadly force can be used in such a case if the victim REASONABLY feels that he is in IMMEDIATE danger of death or GRIEVOUS bodily injury. If you REASONABLY believe that a person who is attacking you is armed, then you can use deadly force even if, in the end, he was unarmed. Or, if you REASONABLY feel that an unarmed person, who is more powerful than you, is going to kill you with his bare hands and/or feet, you can use deadly force to stop that attack.
The key in Virginia’s Stand-Your-Ground common law is that you are not somehow an instigator of the violence so as to use that violence as an excuse to kill the other person. If, for example, you are closely following a suspect, or are confronting a suspect in some way, (both of which Zimmerman *appears* to have done) you may suddenly find yourself on very thin legal ice if attacked. This is where the extraordinary powers we give police come in handy for them. You and I lack many of those legal protections.
If you do find that you goofed up and are "part of the problem, " then you need to retreat as far as you can, indicate you have given up the fight, and only if cornered and the person persists in what you REASONABLY believe is a deadly attack, may you then use deadly force to protect yourself. You will certainly have a lot of explaining to do to the authorities if you find yourself in this kind of situation.”
In the United States a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. I readily admit that I do not have all the facts in this matter but from what I’ve read, heard and seen in the media when Zimmerman started following Mr. Martin he was no longer standing his ground. When he continued following Mr. Martin after being told to stop by the 911 dispatcher he was no longer standing his ground. By continuing to do so he became an instigator and, at least under our definition of Stand-Your-Ground, committed at the least manslaughter if not premeditated murder when he pulled the trigger.
Zimmerman’s continuing to follow Mr. Martin, in my opinion, constituted legal justification for Mr. Martin to defend himself, not the other way around. I for one think Zimmermen should be charged and made to answer for his actions in a court of law.
The police report for this incident, heavily redacted, has already been posted online and can be read by clicking the this link.
Dear Lord, please be with the Hokies this day.
I know, I know…….I haven’t been around lately and many of you are wondering if Frankie has finally managed to have me committed.
Not yet but she is working on it.
Actually, I’m still dealing with medical issues and just haven’t been up to blogging or even spending much time online. So far the doctors have done a pretty good job of telling me what is not wrong but still haven’t come up with a firm diagnosis.
My primary clinician is a little upset that I refuse to take two of the medications he prescribed but the side effects are worse than the illness so he’s just going to have to get over it. The other meds keep me pretty much sedated and that;s why I haven’t been around. To give you an idea of just how out of it I’ve been, I’ve only shot about 2 dozen frames since my last post on the 8th and they’re still on the memory card in one of the cameras.
There is a bright side to all of this. I’ll be well rested when it’s time to hitch up the dawgs to the truck and lend my northern cousin Kris a hand with his deliveries next month.
BUBBA CLAUS RIDES AGAIN!
Y’all may want to check your door and window locks and make sure the smoke alarm is in working condition. Ya never know what’s gonna happen when Bubba parks the truck on your roof and tumbles down your chimney.
Preparations are under way for our trip home to celebrate Mom’s 88th birthday.This means the sorting, packing, re-sorting, re-packing, re-re-sorting…..well you get the idea….. is underway and I’ll be out in the backyard cursing at the trees any minute now.
This is good practice for the trip home because it’s a proven fact that the idiot per mile population on Virginia’s highways increases exponentially as you travel east until you get to the gridlock that is Hampton Roads, road rage capitol of the known world. Add to that the stress from having to keep a sharp eye out for speed traps and it’s little wonder my blood pressure spikes every time I have to make the trip.
If there is one thing the USAF taught me that stuck it’s how to pack. I can usually get my bags packed (duffle, camera bags and computer bag) in 10 minutes but Frankie, Queen of the Pack Rats, always has a terrible time cramming everything into and on top of the truck. If we had a tractor trailer she would find a way to overload it! I’m always amazed that a fidget (Female mIDGET) always needs a suitcase that’s at least twice the size of everything I carry, combined.
Once Frankie finishes overloading Godzilla I have to wait until she falls asleep before going out and unloading enough
junk crap trash “good stuff” to allow room for me to drive the truck and use the rear view mirrors. When she wakes up she always tries to stuff the excess back into the truck until I get that look in my eye and start searching for matches. Then she squirrels it away until her next attempt at setting a Guinness Book world record for most junk hauled across Virginia in a passenger vehicle.
Internet access at Mom’s involves a trip to McDonald’s to use their free Wi-Fi access because Mom views computers as one of the greatest evils ever visited upon mankind. My Internet Service Provider does not offer dial up access and the cost of a wireless plan would put a dent in my camera gear budget and that ain’t happening! I do have a 3G cell phone but I’m an old geezer and only use my cell for phone. I dropped the data plan after realizing that I only used it for about an hour total during the 3 month mandatory prescription period when I first got the phone. I figured the extra $49 a month would be better spent on that huge lens I wanted……and I did!
Anyhoo, I’ll be off line for most of the next week. When I get back I should have loads of pictures to share. On the other hand I may make the papers if I succumb to temptation and open fire on the idiots in a Virginia Beach traffic jam. At least tourist season is over so I’ll only have to deal with local idiots wandering around lost and not the summer time imported variety (mostly from Ohio, New Jersey and Quebec), as well.
See you when we get back….. unless I’m incarcerated or involuntarily committed!
P.S. If you happen to find yourself on a Virginia highway anywhere between Mount Rogers and the Atlantic Ocean during the next week you may want to re-consider your trip. That large green object with a dog head hanging out each side rapidly growing larger in your rear view mirrors will be Godzilla moving at a high rate of speed in and easterly direction tomorrow and westerly a week from tomorrow. I’m not braking for anything! You have been warned.
(Re-posted from today’s Blogger page. I know, I know…..I’m just lazy!)
I haven’t spent nearly enough time with the cameras or writing lately so when THE BOSS pointed out the harvest moon just rising at the end of the ridge I grabbed the camera with the big lens mounted and stepped out the front door. All of these were shot hand held with my Sigma 150 – 500MM optically stabilized lens.
I really need to practice using the big lens because it’s heavy at 4 lbs. and next Monday we’re going home for a week to help Mom celebrate her 88th birthday. I know I’ll be shooting a lot on the beach as well as around the city, both in the urban and rural areas. To top the week off we’re going to the Air Show at Naval Air Station Oceana next weekend before piling in Godzilla and returning to God’s Country. I’m gonna need to build up my forearms so I don’t pass out from exertion right in the middle of shooting a low level pass!
Suffice it to say, I may not have much to post now but by the end of the month I should have about a gazillion* frames to process. If my calculations are correct I should go blind just before Halloween.
*That’s gazillion, not to be confused with Brazilian, which frequently confused our last Dufus in Chief who should not be confused with Rick Perry, his successor as governor of Texas, who wants to be the next Dufus in Chief only without the pesky IQ thingamajig.
Say what you may about the current occupant of the Oval Office; even with a do nothing congress he has managed to accomplish one thing:
……and he has proof!
(Actual bin Laden funeral
By the way, while we’re on the topic of Al Qaeda …..and don’t ask me how we got there:
Okay, “Peggy”, the attendant says it’s time to get me in my fancy jammies with the buckles in the back and for one of those itty-bitty cups of the funny orange “Kool-Aid”.
Peggy is not to be trifled with
I’ll see y’all tomorrow unless I manage to chew through the straps again. Y’all might want to lock your doors…..and buy a helmet.
This is the surprise I was talking about in my last post.
We just got home from the Smyth County Animal Shelter where we pulled Buddy’s new companion, Molly. She’s estimated to be a year old, has been spayed and, as far as we can tell, is in excellent health. We don’t know if she’s up to date on all her shots but if her previous owner went to the trouble and expense of having her spayed it stands to reason she’s probably had all vaccinations. Just the same she’ll be paying a visit to our vet.
We decided to adopt for several reasons:
Buddy has severe separation anxiety, even to the point that he whines and howls if I leave him in the house while I mow the yard. We feel that a companion animal may help with this.
Molly was picked up as a stray on 16 August and her days were numbered.
We absolutely love Labs and wish we had room for dozens but we only have room for two.
She’s so beautiful we just had to bring her home!
First order of business when we got home was Frontline Flea Treatment (just in case), fitting Molly with a “halty harness” until Santa Claus arrives in his big brown truck with the new collars and double lead then a big ol’ bowl of kibble which she wolfed down.
Buddy and Molly are still getting acquainted but, after the 30 mile trip home in the back seat with Laura, the sniffing and growling has stopped and the “kissing” has commenced! At least we don’t have to worry about puppies because they’ve both been fixed.
I know what you’re thinking…..”What is this Looney Toon up to now?”
Well, I’ll tell you what I’m up to………….tomorrow!
That’s right…….I’m gonna keep y’all in suspense. MWAHAHAHA!
No, it doesn’t involve law enforcement, tranquilizer guns, restraint devices, roller skating chimpanzees or clown cars and you probably won’t need a helmet.
Kinda scary ain’t it?
Not as scary as this:
Meanwhile, in Australia……….
Sorry I haven’t been around to make y’all shake your heads and ask yourselves why I haven’t been institutionalized yet…….and NO, that’s not why I haven’t been online much recently.
THE BOSS has had some medical issues that have been occupying what little is left of my mind. I haven’t even picked up a camera in several days.
She is being treated by several very competent medical professionals is okay, at home and at the moment well sedated. Her preliminary prognoses are very favorable and she’ll get a better handle on her condition tomorrow when she sees one of the specialists she’s been referred to and gets the lab results.
Now, while she’s still unconscious I’ll go check the straps on her straight jacket and the padlocks on the chains. You’d think she’d behave herself, especially after I cut the handle off her broom, effectively grounding her but NO-O-O-O!
Did I mention that the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee are just moving in to combine with a low pressure system that arrived in our area last night? The weather guess says heavy rain, 4 to 8 inches, through Thursday followed by scattered thunderstorms through the weekend. I’ll go absolutely stir crazy! If you already think I’m as screwy as a soup sammich you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
I spoke with my brother again this morning and he says they have Mom’s house buttoned down to ride out Hurricane Irene.
There is one positive aspect of this storm.The torrential rains will aid firefighters who have been battling the Great Dismal Swamp wildfire which was started by a lighting strike two weeks ago. So far it has burned over 5,500 acres. Smoke from the fire has triggered air quality alerts 200 miles away!
This Afternoon: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. East wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Tonight: Tropical storm conditions expected, with hurricane conditions possible. Scattered rain and thunderstorms, then rain likely and possibly a thunderstorm after midnight. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Cloudy, with a low around 76. East wind 11 to 16 mph increasing to between 29 and 39 mph. Winds could gust as high as 46 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
Saturday: Tropical storm conditions expected, with hurricane conditions possible. Rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 80. East wind 45 to 55 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts in excess of 4 inches possible.
Saturday Night: Hurricane conditions expected. Rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 73. North wind 60 to 80 mph decreasing to between 45 and 55 mph. Winds could gust as high as 95 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts in excess of 4 inches possible.
Sunday: Isolated showers before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Windy, with a west wind between 24 and 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
The latest updates have Irene moving across the Hampton Roads (Tidewater to locals), Virginia area tomorrow afternoon as either a weak category 2 or strong category 1 hurricane.
Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale
Winds & Effects
No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Also, some coastal flooding and minor pier damage.
Some roofing material, door, and window damage. Considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes, etc. Flooding damages piers and small craft in unprotected moorings may break their moorings.
Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings, with a minor amount of curtain wall failures. Mobile homes are destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by floating debris. Terrain may be flooded well inland.
More extensive curtain wall failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion of beach areas. Terrain may be flooded well inland.
18 ft. +
Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Flooding causes major damage to lower floors of all structures near the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be required.
Mom lives just east of Norfolk, in the extreme threat area on the map above.
In addition to sustained hurricane force winds the area is predicted to get 8+ inches of rain with a 4 to 8 foot storm and unusually high lunar tides. I may need to borrow Fish Hook’s boat as well as his utility trailer if I get a call to bring in supplies to repair storm damage.
Now all we can do is wait and pray.
…..for a few words from Mother Nature.
I have more photos to post from the Civil War re-enactment in Saltville this past weekend but they’ll have to go on the back burner for a short while. Mother Nature has decided to remind us that she’s in charge and I have some preparations to make.
First my youngest brother called Tuesday afternoon worried that Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story was under attack because he heard 4 loud booms which shook the house, rattled dishes in the cabinets and set all of the interior doors swinging back and forth. While we didn’t get so much as a jiggle up here in the Blue Ridge Mountains I was online when he called and, just as he was describing what had happened, a news alert about the East Coast earthquake popped up in my inbox. The epicenter was about 150 miles northwest of where he lives and, while they received no damage, it did give folks in that area a scare.
Now I’m following the weather updates as Hurricane Irene bears down on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Mom lives in Virginia Beach, about 100 miles due north of the Outer Banks (just east of Norfolk on the map below) and tropical storm warnings for her area are already up. The weather guessers are currently forecasting that the storm will strike the Outer Banks as a category 3 storm, track north across Currituck Sound and head back out into the Atlantic Ocean after crossing Virginia Beach as a category 2 hurricane late Saturday.
The governors of Virginia and North Carolina have already declared states of emergency and mandatory evacuation of the Outer Banks were have been ordered. The US Navy and Air Force are taking this storm seriously enough that all ships in Norfolk have been ordered out to sea and aircraft from Joint Base Langley-Eustis and Naval Station Norfolk and Naval Air Station Oceana are being dispersed to air bases inland.
Mom has lived in her Virginia Beach home for 50 years and has ridden out many a tropical storm, hurricane and winter nor’easter there. As a result she refuses to leave no matter what emergency officials advise and I’m sure she’ll do the same this time.
There is an upside to the hurricane bearing down on the East Coast. The heavy rainfall it brings with it will be a huge help in getting the wildfire that has been burning in the Great Dismal Swamp for the past couple of weeks under control. Mom’s area has been under code orange, red and purple air quality alerts recently because of heavy smoke from the estimated 5,500 acres of peat bog which is smoldering on the Virginia/ North Carolina border.
My younger brothers and a sister still live in Virginia Beach but about the only thing I can count on from them is a call for help once the storm hits……if the land lines or cell towers are still in place. That sounds harsh, I know, but the three of them together have all the common sense God gave a rock and that’s being extremely generous.
This scenario puts me in an odd position. After living in Virginia Beach most of my life I became accustomed to keeping emergency gear ready to load in the car in case we had to evacuate ahead of a hurricane. While Mom was always ready to ride one out Frankie, Laura and I were always ready to “git while the gittin; was good”. Now, living 325 miles west of Virginia Beach and safe from the storm, I’m preparing to do the opposite; load the emergency gear into the truck and head for Virginia Beach once the storm passes! This is where owning a 3.5 ton, 4 wheel drive, gas guzzling monster SUV becomes a blessing.
Now to remove the winter gear from the two 32 gallon totes in the shed and replace it with items more suitable for warm weather, especially extra tarps in case Mom has any roof damage. When Frankie gets home from work I’ll get the young man next door to help load the totes into the truck and then it’s just a matter of waiting for the storm to hit.
Actually, this arrangement may work to our advantage. In the aftermath of a major storm supplies, especially building materials and emergency generators, are hard to come by because home improvement and building supply stores are quickly stripped bare as hundreds of thousands of people try to repair storm damage. There is a Lowe’s Home Improvement store 2 miles from our house and I have to drive right past it to reach the on ramp for Interstate 81. My brother in law lives just down the street from us and I’m sure he’d lend me his utility trailer. Between the trailer and the luggage rack on the roof of the truck I can probably haul enough building materials to repair any damage Mom might sustain.
In case you’re wondering, if I have to head east with a load of gear I have no intention of loading or unloading anything heavy. The last thing I need to do is aggravate my already wrecked back and legs and become another person needing medical attention in a disaster zone. Lowe’s has a crew of men available to load purchases free of charge. Frankie and I have used these guys several times over the years. Once I get to Mom’s my brothers, while not over burdened with common sense, are both large and healthy. Then there are Mom’s neighbors, 2 or whom are Navy SEALs and the man right next door is a building contractor. I think we’ll have the heavy lifting covered.
Well, this isn’t getting the totes packed so I guess I had better get to it. I’ll keep y’all posted and if I do have to go you know I’ll have pictures to post when I get back. I take my cameras everywhere!
Way, way back in the latter part of the last century I was a wild child, confirmed bachelor and hard core party animal burning the candle at both ends ……… with a blow torch.
October 6. 1986 was the occasion of my my youngest brother’s annual birthday pig pickin’, all day and all night keg party and gathering of the heathens. Naturally I showed up ready to rock. When I walked in the door the first thing I saw was a hot little blonde sitting at the kitchen table. Something just clicked between the two of us and we’ve been together ever since!
Since that fateful night we’ve been through a lot of good times and some very bad times but I wouldn’t change a thing. She is my soul mate and the love of my life!
Today Frankie (aka THE BOSS) and I celebrate our
150th 23rd wedding anniversary. Finding photos of the two of us together is tough because I’m usually behind the camera and she’s normally camera shy but I think these two will fit the bill.
Summer 1987 on the Yorktown Battlefield, Virginia. Good Lord were we ever young!
May 2010 Gorge Wythe High School – Wytheville, Virginia – Laura’s high school graduation. Laura is our pride and joy.
When we first met everyone said it would never last. HAH! Fat lot they knew.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, BABY DUCK!
…… that I’m actually reading the user’s manual for the new camera that arrived on the Big Brown Truck today!
Note to the reader: This was originally posted on my Virginia Through My Lens Page on 20 July. Reposted and updated here for my Word Press audience.
That’s right, I Roket Man, king of computer crashes, undisputed master of falling down in a most spectacular fashion, poster child for crutches and bandages, am READING A MANUAL! And I don’t mean I’m just looking at the pictures, either.
You may want to mark your calendars because the odds of my doing this again in my lifetime are very slim.
The new camera, a Canon T3, is no leap forward in technology over the Canon XS/1000D DSLR I’ve been using. In fact it’s a little simpler but what it does do is shoot HD video. Since our old early 90s vintage Panasonic VHS behemoth camcorder bit the big one a few years ago I’ve been thinking about switching to digital video. Those thoughts always fell to the wayside when some new toy for my DSLR caught my eye……like a lens, tripod, camera bag, etc. I have at least 5 or 6 bags because my collection of goodies keeps growing and the bags don’t. At least the T3 accepts all of the lenses I already own which is a good thing because I have so much gear now that I find myself shopping for a pack frame and saddle bags for Buddy so he can help tote my gear.
Come to think of it, I don’t even know if we have a functioning VHS deck but we do have 2 DVD players and there’s a DVD-RW in this laptop which I know for a fact works.You see, most computers with Windows 7 pre-installed DO NOT come with recovery disks and one of the first things I did when I took delivery of this machine was to create one because there hasn’t been a computer built that I can’t crash!
If the weather forecast for the rest of the week holds true I’ll know this camera inside and out before I soot the first frame…….or you may see some extremely boring video of the moon because chances are the heat and humidity may drop enough after sunset that I’ll be able to breathe outdoors. COPD is a b***h!
Well, this isn’t getting that manual read so I had better get back to it. Once I finish the book I think I’ll also go through the tutorials on the DVD included with the camera. I may even run some of the free tutorials on the Canon web site.
No, I’m not being conscientious. I can’t use the new camera yet because the battery pack is taking FOREVER to charge!
Naturally this camera doesn’t use the same battery that my XS uses. That figures because I have 2 fully charged spare battery packs for it.
NOTE TO SELF: Order spare battery packs for the T3!
The man in the Big Brown Truck came to see me again today! I already call him Santa Claus and greet him with a hearty HO! HO! HO! when he pulls up in front of the house but if he keeps this up I just might forgive him for not bringing that pony I wanted when I was 6.
Today he brought my new remote shutter switch and a high capacity 32Gb, high speed read/write SDHC card!
Now if the weather would only return to the normal hot, hazy and humid but the weather guessers are saying we’ll be in hotter than blue blazes mode for weeks to come. If they’re right don’t be surprised to find nothing but videos of Buddy chasing his tennis ball collection for the rest of the summer.
What a terrible thought!
Let’s all pray for a freak blizzard or two or three. Right about now two feet of snow sounds like heaven!
Santa Claus arrived yesterday in his BIG BROWN TRUCK.
He delivered the new super telephoto zoom lens THE BOSS let me order and I am STOKED!
The new lens (150-500MM) compared to my previous “long lens” (55-250MM). The case that came with the new lens is almost as big as my camera bag! For that matter, the lens hood that come with that big critter in actually taller than the lens on the right!
THE BOSS let me ride along when she went to town to run some errands this morning and, as always, I had my camera with me. While Buddy and I waited for her in the Wal-Mart parking lot a man walking by noticed me experimenting with different camera and lens settings and stopped to ask if I could see the moon with that thing. I told him it was too close and I think he believed me.
Now I need to get Buddy fitted for a pack harness so that he can tote that monster for me. According to the manual that came with it ……..yes, I read the manual…….. the optical stabilizer allows for free hand shooting but until I get all the bells and whistles figured out the tripod I keep forgetting to take with me will suddenly become a must have item.
We’ve had rain 14 out of the last 18 days and it’s really putting a crimp in my photography excursions. The weather guesser says the sun should return this weekend and I’m hoping to he’s right because I’m itching to get out and put this monster through it’s paces. Pictures to follow……..
The following is a bulletin posted on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) web site today. This thing is spreading like wildfire!
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691 www.fbi.gov
For Immediate Release May 3, 2011
Malicious Software Features Usama bin Laden Links to Ensnare Unsuspecting Computer Users
The FBI today warns computer users to exercise caution when they receive e-mails that purport to show photos or videos of Usama bin Laden’s recent death. This content could be a virus that could damage your computer. This malicious software or "malware" can embed itself in computers and spread to users’ contact lists, thereby infecting the systems of associates, friends and family members. These viruses are often programmed to steal your personally identifiable information.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) urges computer users to not open unsolicited (spam) e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages. Even if the sender is familiar, the public should exercise due diligence. Computer owners must ensure they have up-to-date firewall and anti-virus software running on their machines to detect and deflect malicious software.
The IC3 recommends the public do the following:
- Adjust the privacy settings on social networking sites you frequent to make it more difficult for people you know and do not know to post content to your page. Even a "friend" can unknowingly pass on multimedia that’s actually malicious software.
- Do not agree to download software to view videos. These applications can infect your computer.
- Read e-mails you receive carefully. Fraudulent messages often feature misspellings, poor grammar and nonstandard English.
- Report e-mails you receive that purport to be from the FBI. Criminals often use the FBI’s name and seal to add legitimacy to their fraudulent schemes. In fact, the FBI does not send unsolicited e-mails to the public. Should you receive unsolicited messages that feature the FBI’s name, seal or that reference a division or unit within the FBI or an individual employee, report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s spreading across Face Book tonight much faster than it is via e-mail. A Google search turned up warnings from news agencies across the glob. I sure hope none of y’all have been hit by this prime example of just how fast the lowlifes out there try to reel people in.
I haven’t been online much lately because events in the real world have monopolized my free time. Thank you all for your kind notes and concerned e-mails but I have not managed to get incarcerated or to hurt myself again….so far.
For those of you who don’t already know, I was injured in a serious fall at home in October 2005. Despite spinal repair surgery, 8 months in a #%@&!!! body brace and almost a year of intensive physical therapy those injuries left me permanently disabled and unable to hold a job. There aren’t many employers willing to hire an old geezer like me who can’t bend at the waist, sit, stand or walk for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time, sees nothing wrong with using his cane to settle disagreements and consumes enough prescription drugs each day to keep a small horse stoned out of it’s gourd.
Well, hopefully, that’s about to change.
I’ve begun the application process with a company that specializes in matching people in my situation with federally subsidized work from home programs. I’ve begun the preliminary selection and qualifications process and should begin online training within the next week or so. Once that is completed I’ll be matched up with either a federal agency or private company and will be working from home part time.
This will cut into my online play time and my wandering through the countryside with my camera in my lap and dog at my side but the extra money will be welcome, even if I only make enough to cover my DSL/Sat TV and ammo bills as well as a new piece of photography gear every now and then.
Oh,man………I just looked at that last sentence and realized I’ll need 2 part time jobs just to cover the last item on my list! All I know is something’s gotta give because Social Security Disability Income just don’t cut it!
Well, there you have it. The reason for my mysterious absence lately. I’d write more or include a few photos but I have to practice speaking with an Indian accent in case I’m assigned to a tech support call center. Yeah, I know that’s not politically correct but……..well, you know.
Folks, I need your help. Those of you who know me know that I’m an animal lover and the subject of this post just sickens me.
Most of you are probably unaware of the outrageous conduct of animal control officers at the Chesterfield, South Carolina Animal Shelter. At least 22 dogs from the shelter were taken to the Sheriff’s Department firing range, shot and hastily buried in a nearby landfill. There is also evidenced gathered by an undercover investigator of shelter animals being sold as fighting animals while other animals at the shelter, used as bait dogs, were mauled to death to impress prospective buyers of fighting dogs.
It has come to light that the shelter manager is a convicted felon who takes pride in telling prospective buyers that the fighting animals he sells trace their bloodlines to some of the dogs once owned by NFL player Michael Vick who did time in federal prison for dogfighting convictions.
The shelter falls under the purview of Chesterfield County Sheriff Sam Parker who initially tried to sweep the matter under the rug, blaming it on his predecessor.
My friend Jeanne Newton has established a blog Watch Dogging For Justice with background information as well as up to date information. Please take the time to stop by and, if you are as angry about this as Jeanne and I please make your voice heard via the email links to the State Police, State Solicitor and Governor.
This is not the only case of blatant mismanagement of animal shelters but this case is already in the public eye. If enough pressure is applied to bring about an official investigation and to see those responsible for these criminal acts brought to justice it may bring about change in other shelters.
Please help us speak out for those poor creatures who cannot speak for themselves.
I was all set to shoot the super moon last night, camera sensor and all lenses cleaned, tripod out of the truck and a close eye on the eastern horizon.
However, Mother Nature decided to throw me a curve and provide some overcast for the big event.
Using my longest lens I managed to capture a few frames but they’re nowhere near as good as I had hoped for.
Oh well, we’ll have another super moon in 2029. I hope I still remember how to use the camera when I’m 74 years old.
The guy in the large brown truck FINALLY arrived about 10 minutes after I had given up on him and headed for town. I think what actually happened was that Frankie called him and told him it was safe to deliver my new laptop……that I was gone and didn’t have a gun or 3 with me when I left. I can’t wait until he shows up tomorrow with the next box that I ordered (Ain’t package tracking great?) I’ll bet he has a stroke lugging that box up to my porch and the icing on the cake will be my devilish grin when I tell him to be careful with that case of ammunition he’s toting!
Anywho, Elmo 8.0 is here and I’m playing with it to see what all the buttons do. Now for some first impressions:
- This Toshiba laptop with the high definition 17.3 inch screen is HUGE compared to my old machine! I love the graphics!
- I ordered 8 Gb of RAM and this thing smokes!
- The keyboard will take some getting used to and the key response isn’t what I’m used to but I shall endeavor to persevere. The numeric keypad on the right side is nice to have.
- I ordered a wireless laser trackball and I LOVE it but have a feeling I may be walking around with a sprained thumb before long.
- Windows 7…….I’ll get used to it before long but I do have one major gripe. Those thick headed trolls at Microshaft have decided that you’ll either use Windows Live Mail or pay $50 for a copy of Outlook! I don’t even have a Live or Hotmail account anymore and even if I did it is incompatible with my main mail account so I’m stuck using web mail again……or at least until I can get in touch with my ISP tomorrow and have them tell me why I can’t make Thunderbird work.
Oh well…..tomorrow’s another day. Frankie has to get her head examined vision checked, I hope to get my new glasses while she’s being tortured examined and then we need to make a very large cash donation to Wal-Mart and Food lion in exchange for enough groceries to make the chest freezer, fridge and cabinets bulge. Laura has already been warned that we still have a key to her apartment and we may need to use some of her storage space as well.
Now….back to transferring files from Elmo 7.0 to Elmo 8.0.
After a nasty crash Friday evening I finally have my laptop functioning properly once again. I wiped the hard drive and did a clean install of Windows Vista Home Premium using the re-install DVD that came with the computer.
While waiting for all the updates and patches to download and install I spent some time at the bedroom window waiting for a cardinal to appear. My patience was soon rewarded.
I came out of this entire mess far better than some of my more spectacular crashes of years past. The portable hard drives the girls gave me for Christmas 2009 to store my photos on came with a very handy utility that puts a pop up message on my desk top reminding me to back up my files. All I have to do is connect the USB cable, click okay and the backup is done while I continue to wander cyber space, kill space aliens or do whatever it is I do when left without adult supervision. If the cable could attach itself this would be totally idiot proof!
In the past I had the auto update set to run Sunday morning but this past week decided to change the setting to run Friday evening while I’m busy yelling at the talking heads on the nightly “news”. Man, was that a good decision!
This week’s back up finished at 6:44. The crash occurred at approximately 9:30. As I had already done the day’s photo editing and written and published a blog for the day all that was lost was my web surfing history and my saved game progress from an hour or so of “Redneck Rampage”! Yes, I know it’s an oldie and it has to run in compatibility mode but sometimes a guy just needs a good first person shooter to keep the voices in his head happy.
As I said, I wiped the hard drive and did a clean install of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office. My re-install disks are 2 years old and did not include any of the service packs and “important” updates Microshaft has dumped on us in the meantime. I meant to disable the automatic install feature in Windows Update but once it started running I was a little leery of interfering so I let it go….and go….and go…. it took 46 hours and that was using a brand new DSL modem and letting the system run constantly!
At least I got a quick dose of Face Book now and then to stay in touch with the outside world now and then. By the outside world I mean out there in Cyber Space, not outside of my house. By court order I’m not allowed to touch any of the dirt bags miserable bastards pieces of s*** a**holes neighbors after that unfortunate slinging gravel across the street with the Dandelion Destroyer….every time I saw them outdoors episode. On the plus side we had the best trimmed lawn on this end of the street before the sheriff took the keys to my lawn mower. Little does he know that keys are for people who don’t know how to hotwire and engine!
Now I sit here with a fully functional laptop, Windows Live Essentials 2011 and even Internet Explorer 8! The latter is still too damn slow for me and I’ll stick with Google Chrome for my web surfing. As for the former, there are a few features in it (Messenger, Live Mail, Family Controls, etc.) that I’m going to uninstall but this thing does work and it’s even a little faster.
I still have to restore the backed up files but I have files to restore this time. I also have all the photos I’ve shot in the past 2 years, nearly 40,000 of them, as well as all the Mp3 files I’ve “found on the web”. I think that rates a WOO-HOO!
LEARN FROM MY EXPERIENCE FOLKS;
BACK UP THEM FILES!
YA NEVER KNOW…….
Oh, and I didn’t really use my riding mower as an improvised gravel chunkin’ machine gun to terrorize the neighborhood jerks who seem to take great satisfaction in doing everything they can think of to piss me off……..or did I?
I’m more than a little irritated at the moment. My Internet connection keeps dropping out and tech support says it looks like I need to replace the modem…..again. This will make the 4th one in a little over 2 years! I’m just glad I’m leasing the stupid thing. A clue as to how well these DSL modems hold up is the part of the instructions that arrives with each new one that reads “Step 1. Disconnect and discard faulty modem.” Ever cautious when dealing with those “customer service” types I called the first time I read that and the tech support person said “Just chuck it in the trash; we don’t refurbish them and no sense paying to ship it back so that we can toss it in the trash!”
When we lived in Virginia Beach we had Cox cable/Internet/phone service. While I loved the consistently reliable high speed web access that puts my current provider to shame, I was just waiting for the day that $199 modem I let them talk me into buying suddenly burst into flames. Actually, I paid an extra equipment warranty fee for just that reason but I knew that sooner or later the payment would arrive a day late and that modem would self destruct the minute it was out of warranty. Now I long for a modem that could match the 5 problem free years we got out of that cable modem.
Anyway, I’m not ignoring y’all. If I don’t make much noise between now and Tuesday, the estimated delivery date for the new modem, it will be because I’m spending more time rebooting the stupid modem than actually surfing the web……damn it! On the other hand, I now have an excuse to go hang out at McDonald’s, using the free Wi-Fi access and scaring the teeny boppers:
What’s with the old geezer sitting in the corner, cussing and throwing things?
I don’t know but I just remembered I need to go home and do my Algebra homework!
OMG, I think that’s Laura Allen’s dad. Didn’t he threaten to kill every boy she dated if they ever made her cry?
Yeah, and I heard he used his beg green truck to over the principal’s car, with his family in it, for making Laura pay for a lost book. You know…….I think I’ll help you with that homework and write a term paper while I’m at it, just in case. You never can tell when you’ll need a spare term paper!
Maybe the county school board will pay me for helping the GPA of the entire student body rise a couple of points.