WE ARE ARCHAIC – AND I’VE BEEN HACKED – Marilyn Armstrong

ARCHAIC

We were the hot new writers that got WordPress ‘on the board’ back in their early days, but we are old now and they want something different. More money. A lot more money. Apparently the profits they are making are insufficient to keep them rolling along, so pretty much everything that made them special is being trashed in favor of getting more people to buy expensive — very expensive — business accounts.

Since most of us are NOT businesses, we can’t possibly afford the price and for a writer or photographer, the offering is meaningless. If you aren’t selling a product, you simply don’t need what they are selling. And since they aren’t offering it “piecemeal,” it’s impossible. So at the end of this month, there will be no daily post, no weekly photo challenge, no other challenges. None.

That was the second worst news of yesterday. The top news of the day was I got hacked. Not infected with a virus, but actually hacked, like big companies. Which is pretty weird since this isn’t a company, big or little and we don’t have any money. What we do have and what they are after, are credit cards. I have been very cautious about adding cards to services. That’s the plus. And they didn’t get anything money from me, though they tried. Amazon spotted them and closed me down immediately as did PayPal. Walmart took a lot longer, but ultimately got it done.

The problem was not solved on my computer, so lurking beneath the surface of my computer is a massive porn site in Nigeria and under the pornography is a bunch of hackers from the dark web.

Whoa! The dark web? Seriously? Me? Why me?

I’m sure everyone who has ever been hacked has asked that question while pointing their lonely face at the virtual sky.

The answer is I don’t know. I’m sure that Microsoft knows and so does Dell, because the only way I realized I had been hacked was that they called ME. These guys are on their “hot list” of dangerous hackers, so now I’m listed on the “dangerous hackers” site too.

My accounts are closed and the only serious problem for me is that this includes Kindle books and Audible. I don’t have a password at Amazon and won’t until I call them and tell them it’s safe.

That’s the bad news. The better news is that I back up my stuff. Pictures and documents are all backed up to external hard drives. NOT clouds because if they were clouded, I might not be able to even get to them. The less good news is that my PC is closed down — off — and that’s where all my photography and processing software lives. So making pictures is going to be difficult until I get my other computer back.

The better news is that Garry and his ears are ready to move on to the electric Borg cycle in his hearing epic. We are waiting for the doctor’s scheduler to call. Sometime in July, probably. We’ll know more soon.

Overall, it hasn’t been one of my better weeks. I’m trying to not get too depressed — and not quite succeeding. It has been a week of losses and discovering no matter how careful you are, you are vulnerable. The bad guys are out there and you are the target. It isn’t because of who you are or anything special. They are looking to steal your credit card information and they have some amazing tools with which to do it.

Back up your stuff externally on hard drives you own — and be extremely careful about leaving credit card information in your online accounts.

Then hope for the best.

Just one picture today because it’s the only one I’ve got at the moment. Everything else is on hard drives that don’t interact well with this Mac … or on the other, off-line computer.

Great day in the morning, my friend. GREAT day.

NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT – Marilyn Armstrong

Maybe getting old isn’t all that bad, now that you mention it.

There was a question on my local Facebook page asking for suggestions about local pediatricians. I suddenly realized I don’t actually know any pediatricians. Not a single one. I don’t know where to buy Pampers and I haven’t had to get up at dawn to make sure I get the kid on the bus in the middle of January when it’s 10 below zero. No more making dawn sandwiches or buying pounds of bologna, cheese, and sandwich bags.

My son is 49 and my granddaughter is 21, so I guess it shouldn’t be a big surprise, but it was. Because I don’t exactly remember when I slipped free of worrying about kid stuff. As long as Kaity was a child, it remained part of my world.

Now … it’s finished. Whatever worrying I do, it’s about my adult son and grownup granddaughter.

I’m not worried about the routes for school buses or looking for a great playground. Or wondering how many pairs of shoes the child will need this year. I am not wrapped in the world of children anymore.

Do I miss it?

Are you kidding?

I won’t be packing lunch or overseeing homework assignments. I will not have to listen to the kid lying about how he or she did the homework during study hall, trying to decide whether or not to call him or her on it, or just say “screw it” and move on.

The only bus in town

What is more, I don’t need to update my résumé. I won’t be commuting to a distant office or planning a vacation based around a two-week vacation. Given our finances, I might not get any vacation, but I don’t really need a long vacation, though I wouldn’t mind one should one wander this way.

I will probably only set my alarm a dozen times during the coming year and that will be a dozen times too many.

There are worse things than being old and I think going to work is one of them.

Retirement. Way to go!

MAYLOWERS OF MASSACHUSETTS – Marilyn Armstrong

MAYFLOWER – Flower of the Day

One of the great things about using the internet is learning stuff. Cee mentioned that Columbine is Colorado’s state flower … which made me wonder what our Massachusetts’ state flower might be.

Mayflowers

Turns out to be the Mayflower. Yes, just like the name of the boat that landed in Plymouth. Though I’m pretty sure it didn’t land on the rock or it would have crashed, so I’m assuming they anchored and went ashore in a more normal way.

Mayflowers – in May!

Meanwhile, though, I have tons of Mayflowers in our yard. They are wild, so they cover the grass, usually together with our first flock of dandelions. It makes a very pretty purple and yellow carpet in the early part of spring.

More Mayflowers
I was told that this is another kind of Mayflower

Late April typically, though it was May this year because of the cold weather that wouldn’t leave. Not to mention the wind, rain, sleet, and snow. Or, what we like to call “our miserable weather.”

Mayflowers
Mayflowers and pink-eyed grass

Nothing stops those wildflowers, though. We didn’t get the usually thatch of dandelions and Mayflower, but we got them. This time, fewer dandelions and more Mayflowers.

CEE’S BLACK & WHITE FLOWER CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

CEE’S BLACK & WHITE FLOWER CHALLENGE

Chrysanthemum
Orchids
Daisy

Zinnias