Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Way (Yes, Way!)

Rox just sent me a forward that I can't resist posting:

"I have often wondered why it is, that the conservatives are called the 'right' and the liberals are called the 'left.' By chance I stumbled upon this verse in the Bible:

Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV):

'The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.'

Yep, that's gotta be it!"

Too funny!

Friend or Foe?

While working on my new journal pages for my website, something strange happened to my Facebook news feed. Whenever one of my Friends liked or commented on a status of one of their Friends, a stranger to me, the stranger's status and all the associated comments were displayed on my news feed. This happened one day, disappeared the next, and returned the day after. It was odd.

That's not what this post is about.

One stranger's status was about her ex-husband remarrying and her hope that someone warned his new wife about his alcoholism and abusiveness because none of her friends who knew him had the decency to warn her. She ended her status with, "SHAME ON YOU!"

I know exactly what she means because when I was 18, I got engaged to an abusive man before knowing he was abusive. A couple of my friends from high school knew what he was like but didn't warn me because I was so happy they didn't want to spoil my happiness. They said they didn't want to hurt my feelings. As a result, I ended up in the emergency room.

Fortunately, my friends owned up to their mistake and apologized although that didn't happen until several weeks after I got him out of my life with the help of the police, my apartment building's security guard, and my dad.

Years later, I discovered a true friend in Roxie whom I've mentioned in previous posts. Not only does she support me with my writing, when I got close to a friend with the expectation of more, she warned me about an undesirable aspect of his that had great potential for causing problems if we had married. Unbeknownst to her, I already knew about it and because he was in counseling for it, I thought it would work out somehow.

My affinity for the man ended when he abandoned me, not saying a word nor giving me a hug or anything but keeping his distance when my mother died unexpectedly. That's not what good friends do and there's no way anyone should entertain any thoughts of marriage whatsoever to someone who won't stand by you during a hard time like the death of a parent.

But, because of my supposed friendship with him, I learned that Roxie is a good friend because she has my back. She has proved that she wants only good for me.

Unfortunately, none of the comments for the Facebook stranger's status acknowledged her pain at the betrayal of her friends who should have warned her about her ex. The best comment reassured her that she will find a good man. The others told her to put it behind her and move on.

I was appalled. Although they probably had good intentions, what they did was like telling a victim of a traffic accident to get up and walk away after being hit by a drunk driver instead of helping her get to a hospital. As a result, I sent her a message telling her to ignore them and go get counseling because that's the best way to get over the kind of injury she sustained and be able to move on with her life. She thanked me for taking the time to give good advice to a total stranger.

Another type of friend was revealed when I posted "Understanding Rape." A woman with a rape recovery blog had linked to my post and when I went to check out her blog, I read that some of her friends blamed her for being raped. Yes, her own friends blamed her for being the victim of a violent crime! There are also supposed friends who are stupid enough to have the nerve to ask the rape victim if she enjoyed it. Who enjoys being violated?! Talk about revictimization.

Yet another type of friend was exposed when a woman was going through recovery and healing for being raped and abused by her husband whom she eventually divorced. The friend didn't simply say, "It's over. Move on," as another callously insensitive friend did, this one spent hours and hours over several days badgering the victim to abandon her recovery and healing process.

With friends like that, who needs enemies?

What kind of friend are you, a true friend like Roxie, or a foe in disguise like the others I described?

Friday, August 20, 2010


Returning to Wal-Mart today, I was surprised to see that only the orange plates are 75 cents. The other colors are US$1.50 for a set of four.

The bowls are 75 cents per set, not 50 cents.

Still a great price, I bought my bowls and am setting one aside for motel camping.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Double Score!

One of the challenges of traveling is finding suitable gear at affordable prices. Because I don't want to always eat in restaurants, my packing list includes a picnic set consisting of a plate, bowl, cup, knife, fork, spoon, salt & pepper shaker, and a can opener.

While I love my Orikaso plate and bowl that I've had for four or five years because they're extremely lightweight and take up practically no space, after a while on a long trip, I sometimes get tired of having to be careful of the plate's flexibility and my food trying to slide off the edge when I leave it flat to make the most of the 9.5-inch square. Although I can snap up the corners to make it less flexible and to raise the sides 1.5 - 2.75 inches, doing so decreases the usable surface to either 6.25" or 3-7/8" which makes a nice, square bowl.

(The current model Orikaso plate uses tabs instead of snaps and the resultant size may not be the same as mine.)

A Frisbee works well, but is heavier, thicker, and doesn't pack as well for air travel.

A Titanium plate, while durable and lightweight, costs too much for me to consider at this time.

A Corelle pie plate is a nice change from the Orikaso plate, but is suitable only for motel camping, being too heavy for air travel.

A coffee can lid is too small and too flexible for my taste.

A round, plastic plate costing US$2 - $3 seemed like the best alternative until I went to Wal-Mart a few days ago.

Walking past an alcove at the front of the store where the banking, hairdressing, and other services are located, a colorful array caught my eye.

The shelves were stacked full with plastic plates, bowls, tumblers, and aluminum and stainless steel water bottles on clearance.

Checking out the Mainstays polypropylene (resin ID code #5) square plates in fuchsia, blue, green, and orange, I was pleased to find them lightweight with very little flexibility. Generously sized at 9.75 inches, each plate has a slight, rising edge that stands 5/16" above the table top, acting as a speed bump for crumbs and other food items trying to make a fast escape, yet low enough for easy packing.

Best of all, the plates are sold for only US$0.75 for a set of four.


At only $0.50 for a set of four, I think I'll go back for the matching bowls. Since they won't pack as well, I'll continue to use my Orikaso for air travel, but I might use one of these bowls instead of the heavier Corelle bowl I've been using for motel camping. Considering the price, the loss will be negligible if it doesn't work out as well as I hope.

Double score!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Go to Now

Today, I'm finally getting back to what I thought I'd be doing before I was so rudely interrupted by the revelation that spammers have been using one of my domain name email addresses to forge their headers.

Such is life: God's will, God's way, God's timing.

Or, as I've heard it said in this part of the country, "...Lord willing and the creeks don't rise."

James 4:

13. Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Friday, August 6, 2010

D*@%! Spammers

Some low-down, no-good, dirty, slimy, frickin spammer(s) stole one of my domain names and an associated email address to forge email headers to escape detection and being shut down as they've done to so many other netizens.

As a result, I'm busy with damage control and what can be done to protect my other domain names.

Fortunately, the last few years have seen the acceptance of the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record to help authenticate legitimate email. Had I known about and used it in time, it might have saved me from jumping through hoops getting up to speed this week trying to protect my domain from being blacklisted.

So far, I've set up and published SPF TXT records for my DNS to authenticate my outgoing email with the help of the SPF Setup Wizard. One thing I don't like about the wizard is that it doesn't give the option of -all which means the email is to be treated as spam if it doesn't match the passing criteria, although changing the softfail ~all to the hardfail -all is easy enough by manually editing it.

For the domain names that I'm not using for email, my SPF record is simply:

v=spf1 -all

because any and all email from those domains should be considered forgeries by spammers. Should I decide to use one for email later, it's easy enough to modify the record and republish it through my DNS.

I'm also transferring my domain name registration to another registrar, that I've been using since 1999, because it offers free privacy protection.

(I'd provide a link, except I can't find one for only domain registrations and the current website is all about packages. Using the same company for both domain name registration and web hosting is a really bad idea because you could lose both in one fell swoop. For an idea of how bad a situation can be, read some of the complaints at NoDaddy.)

Some registrars charge for the privacy service and my former registrar of the forged domain name doesn't offer it at all. I'm sure that's how the spammers got it because the email addy that I've seen in spam had to have been harvested from the public Whois listing since I use it exclusively as my contact email address for domain name registration and web hosting.

Just to make sure, I've also changed my contact email address on my website from a simple disguise that some might now be able to decrypt to an image that can't be read by computers. Visitors won't be able to click a mailto link anymore, but I don't get enough emails through my website to warrant my setting up an email form.

Maybe the slight inconvenience of having to read, manually call up their email client and enter my addy will discourage the weirdoes from emailing me like the guy who complained about my dissing pencils on one of my pen pages. (Please see the last paragraph for what I wrote about using a pencil and remember that I didn't make the rules; I was merely reporting them for my visitors' convenience.)

My next step is to set up a webpage to let any recipients of spam purporting to be from me know that I did NOT have anything to do with it. I've already created the page, but must wait for the registration transfer to be completed before I can set it up with my web host.


Luke 6:28b ...pray for them which despitefully use you.