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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Sermon

As your substitute pastor this evening, I must apologize  for not showing up earlier but I was busy, busy and frustrated with my computer. Then I got mad --anybody'd get mad. Here's what happened:
I took pencil outdoors and doodled a bird  perched on our west fence, then  brought my notebook indoors and tried to photo it with this laptop's webcam. Never had any trouble doing that before. Did this time. I got a message from the screen saying another system was interfering with my efforts. I pondered and surveyed, then noticed a symbol in the lower-screen task bar that wasn't here before my last Windows update. It was a weird little "eye"-thing that was labeled "YouCam". I clicked on it and it wanted money in exchange for a lot of special effects that I was uncertain about. So I tried to tell it "No" but it ignored me and wanted money. No figure was mentioned, but I had a divine hunch it would be substantial. I wanted to slap the offender, but then recalled the words of Saint Mark.

Whatever you click on a suspicious site --even if it was installed by Windows, Frontier or Hewlett Packard-- will get you deeper into its nefarious negotiations, and greater resistance will just mess you up more. Saint Mark --not the Biblical one but the American one, Mark Twain, said "Never slap a man who is chewing tobacco." So I got devious.

I got into my files and found the offender, an apparently empty folder marked YouCam, and deleted it. Then I went to my task bar and deleted it from that too. No violence, no anger, just the reestablishment of a Geodoodled bird on this post. I forget what I was going to have the bird say, but he did dictate a bit about religion that might apply to this sermon: "Remember, human, if you don't believe in God, He's also demonstrated severe reservations about you."

Go in peace, please. 



29 comments:

  1. Love your bird, admire your perserverance and warm to a deity who has doubts.

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    1. EC, you remind me: I once took a comparative-religion class so long ago the professor would set the wastebasket on fire with the dottle of his pipe. He said, "Faith cannot exist without doubt." Good sane old days.

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  2. All of us should heed those words of St. Mark. Your homiletic advice is timely.
    I think the Council of Algorithm meeting on the isle of Cyber have devised an infinite number of ways to implant companions of that weird little eye thing on our screens, large and small. The hustle is on.

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    1. Tom, I truly suspect this all began when I accidentally left my computer plugged in all night. In the morning, I checked my Blogger stats and the little map was bright green on Russia. I'm still resetting functions that were skewed that night.

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  3. Love the final statement. I think PC's are specifically designed to catch the unwary, the confused, the.....well everyone really.

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    1. Thanks Tom, must agree with your take on PC design. I spent this morning resetting wards that were compromised in my browser extensions and firewall. I'm not a highly technically-minded guy, but you'd be surprised at how fast my fingers fly to guard this little site.

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  4. Computers are not conducive to peace. Many a time I have threatened to rip out the guts, submerge them in water, throw out the body (no trace left to condemn me for my violence) and never ever again set finger on a keyboard. But...... Your little bird is lovely.

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    1. Delores, I have used that method to adjust a computer that misbehaved 4 years ago. It was quite effective. However, the resulting expense of replacement impelled me to cultivate an interest in cottage industries of certain Eastern European countries. My fingers do the fighting. The birds are plentiful and delightful this year, thank you. Their doodled images are well-protected too!

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  5. I commend you finding a solution to the computer problem and I admire your skill at doodling your avian visitor.

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    1. Most kind Catalyst, your catalytic encouragement helps me cope with cyber-threats. Is cybercommunication composing the chemistry --wonders and explosions-- of a new age?

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  6. Your artwork is always a treat, Geo. I'm glad you're finding ways past the fount of insanity called "progress" on the internet!

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    1. O_Jenny, I wouldn't recognize myself without doodles. They are stabilizing exercises in a complicated time of "progress".

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  7. You outsmarted that little eye. Good for you.

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    1. Thanks, dear Emma. I don't know what this generation of peeping toms gets out of spying on an old puzzled-looking guy like me. FBI recommends putting tape over the web-cam. That's what they tell people in government.

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  8. Tape over the webcam - well, if the Facebook guy does it and people in government...

    Glad you got rid of whatever. Not sure I would know how to deal with an evil eye.

    Love the bird!

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    1. Thank you, Pixel Peeper. Birds are pretty talkative and cheerful lately. And they sit for quick portraits. It's encouraging. Also, the "evil eye" has not returned --and Frontier reports my pc is fully protected.

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  9. I am glad to read, Geo, that you were successful in deleting your spy. I found some devil on my computer this morning. I did not panic but passed the problem on to my Retired Man. He loved the challenge and got rid of that dirty bird who wanted to come live in my computer and flutter around and do all kinds of nasty things. I am glad to read that you were successful in deleting your spy. We must remain diligent at all times as we move about in this world of ever-changing and probing technology.
    This world is getting too complicated for me.

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    1. Dear Arleen, I'm beginning to suspect we are the last generation to understand even half of our possessions. Your excellent "Retired Man" deserves compliments and rewards for his successful repair. I know from experience that skill doesn't come easily. Bravo and Brava!

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  10. I am so in awe of you Geo!!
    I never know what to do when these type of things turn up on my screen.
    I try to click them off...only to be taken to God knows where and have my data taken! :/
    Has happened so many times...

    On a lighter note...I do love your bird doodle!
    Such a cute little fella.:))

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    1. Thanks, Ygraine! I've gotten better at organizing some things on this machine but still have to telephone for tech-support sometimes. There are so many competitive programs that don't agree with each others' company --and opportunistic malware. I can't always keep up with them.

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  11. I wish I could do that with other annoying money-seeking entities I've come across-utilities bills and taxes, primarily. I'm just grumbly today. Carry on with your excellent bird doodling and thank you for the tip. I've just realized I have a web cam, too. No eyecon yet, but I'll keep an eye out for it.

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    1. Mio Eccellente Consigliere, thank you. Today, I found the "Youcam" file had reestablished itself and I had to delete it again. I don't think it qualifies as malware but it is certainly botherware. If my efforts to ward it off fail again, I'll call tech-support --or an exorcist.

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    2. Oh Chicken, I found our that if I switched my browser from Firefox to Internet Explorer and back again, "Cyberlink Youcam" would return. So I had to get to the innards of Apple until I found out where to "uninstall" a program. When I only half-understood their instructions I thought (as the old joke goes), "Better keep my hat on. We could end up miles from here!" Pleased to say I won't need an exorcist.

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  12. You went into the battle with strong reinforcements, and defeated the enemy. Yay!
    How I hate the PC evil villains. I also tape my webcam, have for years. My adult kids made fun of me then. Ha.

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    1. Susan, I wish I could take all the credit but learned this morning that something broke Google. I did get GFC back and Webcam on my own, but found dashboard reader doing strange things. Went to Google forum with the problem and learned it was happening all over the world. Back to normal now. Better minds than mine are working on it.

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  13. The bird is beautiful, though.
    I think these problems can be easily solved when we have a good antivirus program.

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    1. Thanks, Ana. I suspect even the best antivirus programs are preoccupied with identifying new malware. Sometimes it takes a while.

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  14. I love the Twain advice - worth a sainthood, surely! Good work Geo, I think you may qualify too :-)

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    1. Lisa, I sure appreciate the nomination but have decided not to stand for sainthood out of a fear of canonization --which I believe involves heavy artillery and might hurt.

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