Category: Random Thoughts

Invasion of the Body Snatchers …

What? Oh, okay, maybe ladybugs are not considered bodysnatchers, too small, not strong enough, or some such thing … but hey, when they gather like this—or is that swarm—in huge numbers, and I’m taking hundreds of them. Then yes, you start to think that maybe not going outside is a good thing because, you know, these guys are everywhere. And the idea of them landing on me, well, is kind of creepy.

It’s not like in the garden when you might see one or two, here and there. The air is literally heavy with them, here today. It’s 24-25c outside and we’re having a couple of last minute summer days before winter takes over. What? Fall? Sure, some of you might get a Fall, somewhere, but up here. We know. We know what October is like. We might, if we’re lucky, after this weekend’s wonderful heat, get a few more nice days. A few more warmish days, and yes, might even get plenty of brilliant blue skies as it turns cold. But then?

We know the first snowfall usually comes the second or third week of October. We usually have one before Canadian Thanksgiving, which doesn’t stay long. But then, we’ll get one before Halloween, and that one usually stays on the ground because, by then, it’s turned chilly cold. The temperature is skirting, or is that, flirting? with negative numbers. And overnight is single digits.

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Snip, Snip, Snip Part II

We did something dangerous, this week.

We bought a clipper set. We bought a very fancy clipper set … to cut hair. To cut ‘our‘ hair—not other people’s hair, just in case you were wondering if I were starting a new business. I’m not.

For those of you interested in this kind of thing, it’s a Philips 7000 series (though I wonder what happened to the previous 6999 versions?) It comes with three plastic comb fittings. A set of professional scissors, a separate simple plastic comb, and a cape. Yes, we’re going to become super heroes … or something.

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Doctor, Doctor

No, this is not a Doctor Who or knock, knock joke.

I have been without a doctor since mine retired over two years ago. And, since then, I’ve had to do the walk-in clinic—situated across the road from where we live—and get who ever the doctor is for that day. It is very frustrating when you have to get there 20 minutes before an appointment, and then, the doctor is always running late. So that you can end up being in their reception room for over an hour or more.

The last time I had to physically visit was February 19, just before the lockdown was announced. And … 4 days afterward. I fell ill.

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Hacked and Spammed

Once again, there has been another inglorious hack of government servers and services, here in Canada. This recent event happened last week, when hackers managed to use verified clients credentials to login and, present themselves as real people for the purpose of claiming the new unemployment benefit.

How long they had been doing this, and just how many people were actually hacked, we won’t know for a few weeks at least. Though the government shut down the entire system this weekend in an effort to stop anyone logging in and perpetrating the fraud further.

How did all this happen?

Well, let me tell you. Laziness. It starts with people using the same login in password and username for everything they do online and, then, when creating a profile and account login for an important government service, what do they do? They still use the same password and username. All this despite the fact they tell you when creating an account NOT to do this.

Back to, people are lazy.

So then, hackers raid somewhere like google mail, or facebook, or another easy target to get account data. Specifically, usernames and passwords. They then send out bots searching the internet to see if these same login details will access other websites and important service, like your PayPal account and, yes, government websites.

They can then legitimately login to your account without suspicion, and change your username and password and or divert money. Or, as in with the CERB payments, making fraudulent claims under Your name, using YOUR details, but having changed your address or payment method to something else. And suddenly You find you’re on the hook for thousands of dollars.

So please, please, PLEASE! Do not use the same username and password for everything, especially for your bank, online services, or anything involving money and payment. It’s a lot more complicated for a hacker to get your unique password and login information if it’s in a little black book, locked in your computer desk drawer, than it is from Google or Facebook.

This PSA is brought to you by the letters A and W, and on behalf of those of us who anally create complicated usernames and passwords.

Your friendly neighbourhood nag.

When It’s Funny, But Not Funny!

The one thing both me and mine always look to after we sit down together, after dinner, is the news. We especially love swapping the way news is covered by both the French and English speaking media, and comparing coverage/differences. And, let me tell you, there are a lot.

What one thinks as important is not necessarily what the other prioritises. The disparity can be a chasm. But it’s not just news coverage, it’s also how each of the very individual provinces and territories here, in Canada, deal with, react too, and administer to their own populations, in a way that almost tries to separate themselves from one another to the point of painful hilarity.

As an outsider, it’s eye watering. As in, I’m left wondering why? Why this need to be so different, are they not all Canadian?

Well, that’s the question and the answer is both yes, and eh, no. And, if you understand the dichotomy, dangerous territory in and of itself.

Which brings me back to the media, and specifically, the funnies section of the online media we both read. Here’s an example of the different approaches to how the provinces are handling COVID tracing. The Federal government sponsors an app to use on people’s smart phone to aid in said tracing, but only a few provinces begin to use it in any useful way. Meanwhile, Québec, who always insists on doing everything ‘their‘ way, refuses to use it. And, three months in, is still dithering with their own response.

Hence this cartoon, published yesterday: