Monthly Archives: August 2004

Good news on the horizon

Although I don’t know enough at the moment to be more specific (perhaps I will by the end of the day), it appears that good news is on the horizon with respect to my job situation. Watch for “details at 11.”

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More Blogger enhancements

Blogger has just begun a new feature (that I’ve enabled on this blog) whereby you can email a link to a particular post I’ve made to one of your friends. It appears as a small envelope just to the right of comments below each post. If you happen to want to direct a friend to something that is posted here, now you have a means to do so.

It’s an anniversary

Forty-two years ago today, Carole Jean Oglesbee and I were married.

I can’t let the day pass without recalling that day and the 18 plus years of marriage we enjoyed. I’m delighted that after all these years and after having been divorced for as long as we have, we still have an extraordinarily good relationship.

Happy Anniversary, Carole.

Passwords

If you are a home computer user that doesn’t have to deal with a number of corporate applications continuously, then you may be tempted to use the same, simple password at a number of sites when prompted by them to create a password. It’s not that you can’t think up a clever different password for each site, but that if you do, you may never remember your cleverness from one visit to the site to the next. At work however, most of us have to have a variety of passwords for a number of different applications, and the corporate rules dictate that you change your password every 30 to 90 days. That makes passwords a major issue and a frequent headache.

With all the talk about the release of Windows XP SP2 and its emphasis on improving the security of the Windows OS, many of us have become more security conscious, and that’s a good thing. However, just giving some informed thought to the security issues that you control, such as passwords, could go a long way toward improving the security of your home system too.

This morning I read this blog entry by Robert Hensing (who is an incident response specialist for Microsoft) titled, “Why you shouldn’t be using passwords of any kind on your Windows networks …” I hope that attention-grabbing title is sufficient to get you to read the article and the subsequent discussion in the comments that follow from his readers. I’m sure it will get you to thinking, and if you give some thought to this issue, that may lead you to adopt some practices that will make your computing life a bit more secure.

Security depends upon your own attention to doing the simple things. Relying on Microsoft or any other software company to build an impregnable operating system is relinquishing your security to someone else and that, in my opinion, is not a very safe or wise move.

Neighbors

I am experiencing a strange new kind of neighborliness here in The Colonies lately.

I came home from work the other day and discovered a notice on my doorstep announcing the creation of a new Yahoo Group called “The Colonies” that was started by one of my neighbors. The notice was an invitation from him (Kurt Gross) to visit the site and become a member. Since I’m already a member of a number of other Yahoo Groups, I took him up on the invitation, because I think it is a nice use of technology to build connections within our community.

I couldn’t help reflecting though on how much times have changed since my early years, growing up. Back then neighbors were a part of your daily life. People didn’t seem to move around very much, so there was a certain stability in the group of people you thought of as your neighbors. And in those days folks didn’t spend as much time indoors, glued to the television or the computer in air-conditioned comfort as they do today. The television was in its infancy, the computer hadn’t yet been invented, and air-conditioning was something only the rich folks had.

Back then, a favorite nightly activity was sitting on the front porch trying to get some relief from the heat. As we children played to exhaustion in the front yard, the adults would sit on the porch and talk with each other late into the night, until it was time to go in and go to bed. People knew about all about each other, sometimes maybe even more than you might like, so it was difficult to do anything that was scandalous because you knew if you did it would be all over town before night fell the next day. And in what would be unthinkable today, people didn’t even lock their doors at night. Stone Mountain, Georgia, where I grew up, was a sleepy little town, and its residents’ lives were bound up with each other almost as if it were one big family.

Today, of course, the condominium complex in which I live is the size of a small town. There are 325 families who live in The Colonies, and I’d bet I know fewer than a dozen of them by name. People come and go to and from work without disturbing their neighbors, and in the evenings they go inside their homes and seldom spend much time out of doors. We have to struggle to get a quorum at our annual Homeowners’ Association meeting, where we elect the Board of Directors for the coming year. Few of us think much about this collective isolation, because it seems to occur by choice and without much regret. In fact, I think many of us would be shocked if one of our neighbors came up and knocked on the door just to say hello without some specific reason for “invading” the other’s space.

So I welcome this new effort on my neighbor’s part to create a community through this Yahoo Group. Maybe we’ll regain some of that “home town” feeling in the community we all belong to.

Kaitlin’s Baptism

Kaitlin, who is 7 years old, was baptised yesterday at the First Baptist Church of Concord with all of her family, including her grandmother, Carole Green, in attendance. Here is one of the more angelic pictures of the event.


Kaitlin’s Baptism Posted by Hello
A few additional pictures can be found here at my Pbase Photo Gallery.