I Hacked My Webhost!

November 24th, 2014 by gooseneck No comments »

I didn’t even mean it! That’s how good of a hacker I am. Just kidding. I did cause my host to go down and got my account all suspended like. Cause I’m a lazy jerk.

hacker

Approximately my skill level of hacking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You see this website is quite old. Currently there are posts going back to 2005. I have some backup data stretching to 2004. There were posts from earlier that are gone, lost due to a lack of backups in the way back. There have been times when I have made very frequent posts, and other points where I have made zero posts. The most recent dry spell was from June 2012 to about June 2014. It’s an interesting time frame when you think about it. Let’s just say two years. For two years it has just sat on my webhost’s server doing nothing. No posts, no checking in on the website. WordPress updates were far and few between. I started posting again in June, and started working on getting everything updated, included the site’s theme. The going was slow, maybe only a few minutes every couple of weeks.

Well one of the plug-ins I had installed had become very out of date during that time. WAY out of date. In fact I think the publisher stopped maintaining it before my last hiatus. Someone took advantage of this hole and crashed the webserver causing my host to suspend my account. Not at all what I had intended to happen. Shame on me for falling behind.

This is a valuable lesson for myself and anyone else out there running a WordPress website. Patch Patch Patch! As frequently as you can. Did that plug-in stop being maintained? Ask yourself if you need it. If you do look for an alternative that is being maintained. Migrate to it immediately. WordPress has gone way out of their way to make patching an incredibly easy process now. Most important of all don’t forget to backup!

Thankfully I was able to work with my host and we got rid of that nasty old plug-in and now everything is honky dory. I’ve done my best to speed things up for refreshing the site. Hopefully I’ll have that ready to go here soon.

Starve a Vampire. Donate Blood.

October 14th, 2014 by gooseneck No comments »

starveavampire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know what The Vampire Diaries are. Judging by the photo it looks like a cheap knock off of True Blood, probably sprinkled with some sparkly vampire ala Twilight. So nothing worth watching. Anyways it’s a catchy catch phrase and includes a young attractive woman in a seductive but obviously uncomfortable position. So I’m for it. Bad goose! Bad!

The Red Cross sent me an email and told me they sent my blood to Licking Memorial Hospital. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy since that is where I was taken for my concussion a few years ago. Even though I did not require blood that day it makes me feel like I’m paying it forward. Which is a warm and fuzzy feeling. This is a cheap and shameless plug for donating. Go do it and feel good! They even have a cool app for your iPhone! How can you say no to iPhone app!

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As you can see it’s pretty slick so go download it for free! I’ll be going back sometime soon, once the trauma of needles has worn off. That one pint up there is so lonely it must get some friends to hang out with.

Out of the Black Odyssey One

October 11th, 2014 by gooseneck No comments »

This is the fourth book in the series and seems like it is the last. This is sad and quizzical at the same time.

51SHHESoufL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Black Odyssey One by Evan Currie continues the adventures of the Odyssey crew and their galactic war against a relentless army bred for destruction and their enigmatic controllers…..who we don’t hear from. This would be OK since this book covers a pivotal battle for the survival of a planet. The book is non stop action and does well to set this hectic pace and make you experience the fatigue the soldiers do. We’ll learn more about the enemy behind the enemy, the history of the allies and tie everything together nicely in the next book. Except I don’t believe there is going to be a next book. This one seemed dues ex machina to completion. Which is really sad because Currie did an excellent job of bringing these characters to life. He did an excellent job writing in a specific sci-fi genre of space battles.

If you check the Amazon reviews you see a lot of negative reviews. “Half the fighting is on the ground!” I get it you were pulled in by the space battles, I was too. But how did you miss the over arching story? Or do you just not care? It’s fantastic! It just ends too soon. What about the planetary AIs? What about the enemy controlling the Drasin? Where the heck did the allies come from? Write these things down and put them in a fifth book please!

It Happened on the Way to War

September 25th, 2014 by gooseneck No comments »

Amazon had this book on one of it’s daily deal sales and the blending of war and philanthropy sounded interesting.

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It Happened on the Way to War by Rye Barcot shares the story of the author growing up. He gains from mother a desire to help others through philanthropy at a young age. He gains the desire to help others through the military from his father. Rye joins the marines while in college and balances both with starting his own non-profit organization. Since we’re all this dedicated and motivated at 18 the book can come across as preachy at times. Speaking of preachy it is obvious that Rye would make one hell of a preacher, the undertones are present through the entire book. It isn’t a complaint, instead more of a warning. This is a book about Rye’s life and experiences and can give some good perspective towards your own. Rye often struggles with juggling all the different parts of his life and finding a healthy balance between them. Showing how difficult it can be and how much work it can require is typically missing from an autobiography. Rye has no problem showing you his flaws.

Ground Zero

September 24th, 2014 by gooseneck No comments »

Amazon recommended this book to me. I didn’t think much as I read the description. But then I looked at the cover of Ground Zero: A Zombie Apocalypse by Nicholas Ryan and quote caught my eye:

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Hey! That D.J. Molles guy is the one that wrote that book I love. If he likes this guys book then I will give him my monies to read it to. D.J. was right. This is a great book! Unlike The Remaining series this features an average joe. A guy that you can easily relate to. Someone that has zero skills for the zombiepocalypse just like you. All of the characters and situations you would expect are here in the book but Nicholas does a great job of bringing the characters to life and makes you invest in them and their future. He leaves the world open at the end of the book which I felt was odd at the time when I read this because I thought it was a standalone book. As I’m sitting down to write this though there are two more books, the third gets released tomorrow! Some of these Amazon authors are really stepping up their games and I am all for giving them my money! If you enjoy the genre you will enjoy Nicholas’ work.

9/11 – A Present

September 12th, 2014 by gooseneck 2 comments »

Yesterday would have been my grandfather’s 94th birthday. It’s weird to think about that, let alone write it out. I miss him a great deal.  While everyone else was thinking and talking about the 2001 tragedy I was thinking of him. It may be selfish of me but that’s life. I decided to give my grandfather a birthday present I know he would have loved:

 

Here I am donating blood at the Red Cross.

Here I am donating blood at the Red Cross.

 

My grandfather donated 35 gallons of blood to the Red Cross. Why is it such a big deal for me to donate? Truth be told I am deathly afraid of that thing the nurses have so kindly covered up in the photo above. That thing that makes me squeamish to even watch in a movie. Every time. The most horrible thing that has ever existed. A needle. I avoid them at all costs. Even writing about them nauseates.

I’ll also let you in on a second secret: I tend to go down like a giant, bald sack of potatoes whenever any blood is drawn from me. Even the small vials the doctor’s offices take for testing will knock me down for a ridiculous amount of time. No idea why, but this has been going on since my teenage years. Needless to say after about one minute of drawing blood last night I stammered out the words “I feel dizzy and not good.” The nurse agreed that I did not look well. It then took three staff members the entire twenty minute allotment to get my entire pint out. It then took me close to two hours to get back on my feet. They tried their best to reassure me that this is normal for noobie blood givers. Won’t they be in for a surprise when I reprise my role next time?

Eight of those visits to equal a gallon. It really puts in to perspective my grandfather’s commitment. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to match his effort, but I think I can promise to honor his birthday each year going forward.

Meta

August 24th, 2014 by gooseneck No comments »

Amazon seems to be hell bent on having me read every single teen sci-fi book out there. Meta by Tom Reynolds. Alien bands give humans extraordinary powers, and our teen protagonist gets the best bands of the lot, giving him a number of powers. This is surprisingly some of the best writing that I’ve come across. Superheros have been done to nausea so there’s no surprises with powers or situations. The faux batman is spot on and brilliant and works wonderful with the authors dry humor. Definitely worth picking up for a quick day read.

47 Ronin

August 24th, 2014 by gooseneck No comments »

I read 47 Ronin by John Allyn as the smash hit movie about Tom Cruise running through Japan a white guy in Japan was about to hit theaters. The story of 47 Ronin has many variations that have arisen over the years so I figured the movie would be nothing like the book.

I did end up watching the movie as well, and found it to be a wonderful pop corn action flick, but I did enjoy the book better. The version this book covers seems to be a more realistic and historical version. It focused strongly on honor and morals, things very important to the samurai. I found it fascinating how much importance the ronin placed upon the honor of their master. Sacrificing everything to restore it. Japanese literature has pumped out thousands of revenge stories, they seem to do it well and it feels like the story of 47 ronin is the originator. This one is definitely worth picking up and reading.

Sufficiently Advanced Technology

August 23rd, 2014 by gooseneck No comments »

I read Sufficiently Advanced Technology by Christopher Nuttall in February this year. I found this book on Amazon’s daily deals and picked it up since it has an interesting premise. A technologically advanced space faring human empire comes across a world without technology, instead having magic. The writing is vivid and the characters are adequately fleshed out. The more the author focused in on this one planet and a handful of characters I longed to hear more about the rest of the galaxy and of its politics and cultures. The idea of an artificial intelligence being able to live in a flesh and blood body held interest with me but was quickly lost as the action picked up towards the end of the book. It was a good read that I finished within a couple of weeks.

Rainbows End

February 27th, 2014 by gooseneck No comments »

In January and February I read Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge. It was recommended to me by a friend out on the east coast. He’s a guy that loves to get all the new gadgets and loves to talk geek with you. He also rides bikes so he’s a balanced member of society.

You're Welcome!

My friend is polite though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were on the phone one day and mentioned I had been reading a bit of science fiction. He immediately jumped and recommended this book. The book is all about the future of technology, wearable computing, digitization and how people now interact with technology. Wrapped up in a thick noir the book takes a while to start explaining the technology and characters before moving the plot forward with any real effort. Once the plot starts to develop the pace of the book picks up quickly and becomes really hard to put the book down.