Good Morning. At least it feels like morning. Sort of. Well. No, it doesn’t. The clock SAYS it’s morning. I actually got up a bit early to take the time to do my hair since I just got it cut yesterday and it takes a few times of doing it to get the styling down with a new cut. It took slightly longer than what I normally spend, which is next to nothing, but not as long as I thought it would. And none of that really makes any difference in anyone’s world but mine, but since the caffeine hasn’t soaked in and done its magic to the brain cells yet, this is as good as it gets.
Pepsi Cat is still doing well, actually this morning she’s nearly perky. Makes me feel really bad for not separating the cats sooner. Poor thing must have been being abused for a long time. I know we aren’t out of the woods, but it’s nice to see her wandering around, even if she is bumping into everything.
Verse of the Day
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
So many times Satan seduces us into a flat, 2 dimensional Christianity — going to church and doing good deeds. But God calls us to a three dimensional faith. He wants us to love him with all of our being in all of our actions and with all of our might.
Food for Thought
Yesterday I was reading posts on the women’s prayer and support group I am a part of on Facebook and felt so badly for the young lady who was posting. I can’t go into her details because they aren’t mine to tell, but it just made me so grateful for my childhood, for my parents and the safety I felt growing up. I was nurtured and loved, and I tend to forget – as I’m sure so many of us do – that others weren’t that fortunate. They didn’t experience love, security or safety and they couldn’t count on their parents to give it to them. The cruelty that some children experience growing up shapes who they are as adults and how they interact with everyone around them, and how much the either love or hate themselves. Hug your children, make them feel safe and loved. Hug your parents, let them know that you appreciate them and the life they gave you growing up – provided they were nurturing and loving parents of course. If you had a horrific upbringing filled with abuse and horror, seek help. You deserve to love yourself and are not at fault for what happened to you when you were a child.
Candy-Making Day – I can’t quickly find anything to back this one up, but I would assume that since Valentine’s Day is coming, and candy gets so ridiculously expensive for this holiday, that the idea was to go out on a limb and do something fantastic for the one you love and make them some candy!
Car Insurance Day – This one is listed as a celebration on the lists I use, but I can’t find a single thing about it! I did find LOTS of insurance companies out there vying for my business. Today make sure you have insurance. It’s not only the law, it’s a good idea.
Change Your Password Day – Today is officially the day to change your password, and the day was started with the tech bloggers at Gizmodo.com. Everyone knows that changing our passwords is something we should do, but we don’t always do it. Heck with as many sites as all of us are on, it’s hard to remember what they all are! But it’s a good thing to do to protect yourself, so maybe make a list and keep it with you until you can remember them all. I think I’ll get started on that today! Changing your password isn’t just a matter of changing a character or two – something I’m guilty of doing – but actually changing the entire thing and making it difficult for someone to hack. The worry isn’t the kid next door, or some random neighbor trying to get free Internet off of you, it is from those evil people who would hack into your info and take over your finances, your life, and steal the lists of contacts so they can do the same to them. The people like this are running programs that can, according to Gizmodo’s Rachel Swaby, “run thousands of encrypted passwords by dictionaries of several languages, everything in the World Fact Book, and Wikipedia in a matter of minutes.” Here are 10 suggestions for setting up a very secure password and how to protect yourself and your information.
Use Different Passwords – We all have a lot of different accounts, and I’m sure most of us use the same basic password with a few little changes for each, to make it easier to remember. You should have a different password completely for each one. If someone hacks into one of your accounts, just think how easy it would be to get everything from your OTHER accounts!
Avoid the Obvious – Yes, obvious words are easy for us to remember, but computers and people are very good at guessing these. A “brute-force” program can hack a common password like “monkey” in about 3 minutes. Uncommon words, or anagrams, can be hacked in a bit over an hour. Any program or person can get a list of birth dates, anniversaries and phone numbers very quickly just by a few minutes online.
Complexity – Non-word, random characters can be hacked by a brute-force program in about a month. If you add some numbers to those random characters, that time frame increases to about eight months. Pick numbers and letters that mean something to you but that aren’t found online or obvious.
Make it even MORE Complex – If you add just a little bit MORE difficulty to your password, you can make it secure for life. It would take a brute-force program 219 years to hack a password that contains just 6 random characters with mixed letter cases, numbers and symbols. If you add a symbol or two to a short password, you increase your security quite a bit!
Use a Pass phrase- experts say that easily remembered, random, multi-word phrases are ten times more secure than the most secure random character, mixed cased, number and symbol passwords. This is true because the phrases are only in your mind!
Longer Is Better – no matter whether you are using characters, symbols and numbers, or pass phrases, the longer it is, the better it is! Use at least 10 characters if you can because it adds more time to a program’s ability to hack them.
Make It Weird – It doesn’t matter which type of password you use, if you add strange characters or symbols and numbers, it will throw any brute-force program off the trail. Even if you add spaces to a password, it will help. If you can’t add a space, add an underscore or some other punctuation.
Don’t Use These Passwords – Whatever you do, don’t use common passwords. These are actually passwords people used that were utterly useless, and the ones that topped the list of 25 worst: password, 123456, 12345678, qwerty, abc123. Also on the list were: letmein, iloveyou, password, 654321 and trustno1. Um . . . yeah. They didn’t need to bother with a password at all if they were going to use any of these.
Change It Often – Some have said that passwords are like toothbrushes, don’t let anyone else use it, and change it every 6 months. Experts say that, depending on how much you use the Internet, that you should change your passwords every three to six months. And even though it’s a bother, you should really change it completely, not just make slight adjustments (I’m so guilty of this!). If you keep in mind that a hacker can only access accounts with that password for as long as you use it as your password, changing it limits what can be hacked. Think about it – if it takes a brute-force program eight months to hack a minimally complex password, if you change it in six, you’ve solved a problem before it is one.
Get a Password Management App – I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a program keeping track of my passwords, but some folks might like to use them. Password Management Apps just keep track of your passwords for you and you don’t have to worry about it. For me? A slip of paper tucked into a secure spot will do it for me and nobody is going to hack that.
Decorating With Candy Day – How fun is this??? Today create and enjoy all of your favorite sweets and have fun doing it! Decorate cookies, cakes, cheesecake, or whatever you have with your favorite little candies! It is fun, it’s festive and it’s tasty! Be creative. Then maybe you can post pictures for me on the Facebook page since I’m turning over a new leaf – again – and putting away thoughts of candy for no
G.I. Joe Day – Toys are definitely for children to play with and enjoy, but they can also be educational! G.I. Joe is a line of action figures from Hasbro that came out after WWI. Initially the products were modeled after the four main branches of the armed forces: The Action Army Solder, Action Navy Sailor, Action Air Force Pilot and the Action Marine. In 1967 they introduced the Action Nurse to the collection, but it didn’t do as well as the other figures. G.I. Joe was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2003. I didn’t know there WAS a toy hall of fame! My brother had G.I. Joe, he used to date my Barbie when my brother wasn’t looking and screaming at me to leave his toys alone! hahaha
Hula in The Coola Day – Alright, this one may get the FUN FUN FUN award of the day! Hula in the Coola Day was created because folks in the northern states were pretty sick and tired of the cold weather during the winter, and by February they were really ready for some heat. They bought some hula skirts, tossed the coats, mittens, pants and scarves aside for the day and went outside and did the hula like folks who don’t care if they catch their death out in the cold! hahaha They figured a hula party would trick themselves into pretending it wasn’t cold, and give them some fun in the process. It may not have felt like summer, but I bet it was a lot of fun! The trick to fooling themselves that it wasn’t winter could come from drinking cold, Bahama style drinks with little umbrellas in them.
National Freedom Day – Today we celebrate freedom from slavery and recognize that America symbolizes freedom. This day was set up in 1948 to remind us what we stand for and comes from the signing of the 13th amendment outlawing slavery. Celebrate this day by thinking about, and appreciating, your own freedoms and realizing how fortunate we are to live in America. Now let’s take our country back! We have gone far astray from what our forefathers intended, and we have left the path of freedom, that path is being obliterated daily. Over a year ago many of us stood up made our voices be heard, and they are STILL being heard – of course often we are drowned out by the screeching of the left, but we are free, our lives have improved over the past year and many of us are looking forward to the next 7 years under this President (because I am very confident he’ll get a 2nd term) and we are confident that our freedoms are more secure now than they were just over a year ago. May we as a nation continue to be a beacon of freedom in the darkness.
No Politics Day – We’ve been pretty much eating, breathing, hearing and probably dreaming politics for months and months, so this is as good a day as any to say NO! At least for one day, set it aside. That’s easier said than done though, since it’s everywhere we look right now. If you can, just turn it off and look away, tune it all out. For myself, I don’t know if I can do that. I really do enjoy reading, hearing and seeing everything that is going on, especially under this administration.
Robinson Crusoe Day – This day has been designated as Robinson Crusoe Day to commemorate the anniversary of the rescue of Alexander Selkirk in 1709. Selkirk was a Scottish sailor who had been set ashore in September of 1704 on the island of Juan Fernandez after he’d had an argument with his captain. What he experienced on the island are said to have formed the basis for Daniel Defoe’s book “Robinson Crusoe”. The novel Robinson Crusoe has attracted the attention of literary historians, economists, political scientists and philosophers over the years, and opened up many discussions about basic human needs and the consequences of civilization crashing into primitive cultures. Today’s reader may be horrified by Crusoe’s opinions about slavery and his attitude towards his man Friday, but you have to put into perspective WHEN this was written, and the social norms of the time. We can’t re-write history, no matter how hard some may try, and that’s what people thought at the time. Get your panties unwadded and just view it as what was, and not what is. Many books and movies have come out of this novel – such as Gilligan’s Island – which I still enjoy even as a grown-up. It may be silly, but it’s not filled with swearing and smut – but that’s another blog post. If you haven’t read Robinson Crusoe, please, pick up a copy from the library and take in a little classic reading.
Serpent Day – Today is National Serpent Day, and though I am certainly NOT a fan of snakes, I’ll give it a spot since there are so many who do love them. In Latin, serpent is “something that creeps”, which is so appropriate! Serpents are famous throughout mythology and come in all sizes and shapes from dragons to sea serpents. One of the most recognized serpents throughout the ages, and from the beginning of Biblical times, is the snake. I wouldn’t have one in the house, or anywhere near me, for that matter, but many people do have them as pets in their homes. If you can tolerate snakes learn something new about them today, and if you’re a fan . . . celebrate your scaly friends. (shiver)
Spunky Old Broads Day – Do you know a spunky old broad? hahaha ARE you a spunky old broad? You qualify if you are over 50 (I don’t care what the number is, I refuse to call myself old), and march to your own beat no matter what anyone says or thinks. My Grandma Jewell always fit into this category for my whole life. I will never, ever forget when she worked as a matron in a juvenile detention facility. I was old enough to remember going to work with her, but I know my brother hadn’t been born yet, so I must have been around 3 years old. She would hold me up to the bars of the cells where the prisoners were locked up and say to me “See those kids? They did bad things – VERY VERY bad things and because they did bad things, they are locked in jail. Do not grow up to be like those kids!” I would nod, as if I had a clue what she was talking about, she’d give me a Lifesaver and take me to the kitchen with her to prepare lunch for the “guests” of the county. She didn’t take any guff off of any of them! Gotta love those spunky old broads, especially when they love you with all their heart. My other Grandma was spunky too, but spunky in a different, softer way. I miss them both so much.
Food Celebration of the Day
National Baked Alaska Day – Many claim they invented baked Alaska, but its name comes from Delmonico’s Restaurant, which served the dish in 1876 in honor of America’s newest state. I sort of made a low carb version last night – though I admit I cheated a bit. I made Carolyn Ketchum’s Almond pound cake, only instead of putting it into a loaf pan, I made muffin tops out of it for the base, then I topped it with Halo Top low carb ice cream – I chose the candy bar and cinnamon bun flavors, then topped it with meringue and baked it briefly. I know I didn’t get it toasted enough but I was worried about how much the ice cream was melting. It wasn’t bad! These pictures aren’t very good, but they are what I ended up with.