Wednesday, February 27

BEWARE, Hacker Alert

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I don’t usually like to give hackers attention but I need to make my readers aware of some things that are happening to me on this website. I would also like to tell you that the people’s old accounts I’m mentioning are NOT hackers and are being taken advantage of. They don’t even know it’s happening.

When you have an old account on msn.com, or Blogger (it could happen with ANY account) and you don’t delete that account but leave it online with just a profile, or leave a website up that you quit using, you are setting yourselves up to be taken advantage of. A hacker will use your information or name that you leave behind gladly. They don’t need your password to do so either.

This year I have had to turn on comment monitoring on all of my websites and it makes me angry. It’s not so hard to monitor comments, but I had great trust in my readers and now I can’t.

It all started with emails and comments being sent out by (what I think) is a ‘bot’. A bot is a program a hacker will write that automatically sends a comment to your most popular and newest posts on your website to direct traffic to wherever they want it to go. That can be porn, or any kind of awful spam. Then if you have email notification enabled you will also get an email informing you of that comment.

These bots are written to use the old information that you leave around so when a person receives an email and looks to see who sent it, it will say it was sent by you, not the hacker.

Because these come from other countries who’s second (or third) language is English you can usually tell just by reading the comment that it’s not real. Still, some of them are pretty good and have fooled even me at times.


Here’s one I got last night:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Rise Of Internet Addiction And You":
I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet viewers, its really really fastidious paragraph on building up new blog.

Also visit my blog :: Puppies Vue Youtube
Also see my website: Kitties des vues youtube

Posted by Anonymous to Bekkie In Wonderland at 2/26/13, 7:39 PM

(I have taken the hyperlinks out and changed them so this person can’t get any traffic off of my website like they hoped to.)


The worst thing about this email (and fake comment) is that when I look to see who sent it, it says that Dreamwalker sent it.

Dreamwalker is an old contact of mine who I met on Windows Live years ago. He’s now on Blogger with a website that he maintains and DID NOT send this. However, when I trace this back he has an old profile set up that can be ‘pointed to’ easily enough with a bot.

I have been getting these from Dreamwalker, Lady Penelope, Eddy, Steve, JBH, and more but the majority come from ‘Anonymous’ and use these people’s names. There are some people’s names involved in this that I don’t really know because they have always left comments under the ‘Anonymous’ moniker and in the past have left good comments and behaved themselves.

Then yesterday I saw that JBH had left me a comment and that I had answered him (using my name) but not my words. It had no picture of me and I always use a picture. Yet it was written to ‘look like’ a normal conversation about British musicians verses American (as I just wrote a blog on Harrison’s birthday.)

I also knew Lady Penelope from Windows Live and I’d guess she probably doesn’t know about this either. I went on Dreamwalkers BlogSpot the other day and left him a message about this but he probably thinks I’m a crazy person and hasn’t answered me.

I don’t like using other people’s names but I’m illustrating a good point about being used as fodder by hackers and it can and will happen to you at some point on the Internet.


Here’s some of the best things you can do to stop this abuse of your private info:

1. When you are through with an account, delete it and don’t look back.

2. I see people who sign up for accounts constantly and then change them when they get tired of them or should of blocked a person. Don’t be one of those people who have ‘x’ number of accounts and can’t use them all. Someone else will.

3. NEVER give in to phishing, report it, and never tell anyone your very personal information or password. Phishing=fishing.

4. Use a secure password with a mixture of numbers and letters (no phone numbers) to better ensure that a hacker doesn’t use a number generator (or some other device) to access your account. Change this password frequently. Even if you never give your password to anyone you can still be hacked, with a good password it’s less likely.

5. I think using a picture of yourself on your profile makes it harder for a hacker to use your name for fake comments and such. Without a picture it’s easier to use your information. Some people still feel that using their own picture makes it easier to get taken advantage of, but I have found the opposite to be true.

6. Don’t leave old email addresses behind. I see that some people change email addresses like clothes. Not a good idea because duplicates are a hackers best friend.

7. If you receive comments turn on comment monitoring or limit comments so that people can’t leave them under ‘Anonymous’. I can’t think of the last time a comment was left under Anonymous that was worth reading and replying to.

8. If you know you are being hacked report it. No matter what kind of account you have, there will be a “spam” or “abuse” button waiting for your use. Most accounts also have an email address where you can tell a representative about your experience and stop the hacking.

9. Do a search on yourself once a month (or more) and use some elbow grease to track down old accounts and profiles that might be waiting to be abused by hackers.


I guarantee that if you practice these simple steps to protect yourself that when you do get an occasional bot or person hacking you at least you will know what to do and that it’s happening.

If someone tells you they are receiving emails (or anything) from you that you didn’t know about, don’t ignore it. These people are trying to help you, not make you feel stupid. Don’t feel duped if you are the last person to know, ACT on it.

It’s nothing personal. These people just want to use your good name to spread some of the most heinous crap that they can and put the blame on you. If these links they leave behind were normal accounts, why would they need to hack you? Don’t let them get away with it.

I will be using comment moderation from now on so take your spam elsewhere. You will never publish on any of my websites again. You know who you are.

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Monday, February 25

Beatle And Birthday Boy

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“Today’s Your Birthday” George Harrison turns 70 today.

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George!

I saw the news today oh boy! It said nothing about it being George Harrison’s birthday today. That is, until I got online. The good ole’ internet, what would I do without it?

I was going to write a short synopsis on George’s beginnings but if you don’t already know about him or the Beatles then you’ve had your head under a rock for decades or you’re too young to know better.

I will tell you a few things I knew about him and I found some neat quotes that I’ll be glad to pass along.

The first 45’s I ever bought (or lifted, I was a kid once) were by the Beatles. Movies were still in black and white and the Beatles first movie was coming to my small town’s movie theater. That’d be ‘A Hard Days Night’; a movie and a gold record for the Beatles in 1964.

To be picked to go to the first showing of the movie there was a deal about saving pennies for charity and getting a ticket (to ride) to go to the already overcrowded movie premier. I saved my pennies alright and my mom and I went to see my first true glance at the fab four.

The movie was about Paul’s nasty grandfather and the Beatle’s train ride to perform at a London TV show. With grandpa and many unwelcomed interruptions, the train ride is less than relaxing. Even in their first movie George Harrison escapes the rest of the gang to hide in the ‘goods van’ for some peace.

It wouldn’t be the first or the last time that George separated himself from the other lads during their long and winding road of a roller-coaster career.

"The nicest thing is to open the newspapers and not to find yourself in them." George Harrison.

At first, like any other guy finding himself in a band making gold records and getting ridiculously rich and famous George embraced his career in the Beatles. But it didn’t last for long as he was dubbed the “shy Beatle” right away with John, Paul and Ringo always brightly beaming in the lime light and receiving most of the attention.

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"The biggest break in my career was getting into the Beatles in 1962. The second biggest break since then is getting out of them." George Harrison.

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He soon found that he not only felt different, but he was different in his thoughts about life, music and religion. Fame and fortune soon became a heavy weight for him that he knew he wasn’t meant to carry.

“I remember thinking I just want more. This isn't it. Fame is not the goal. Money is not the goal. To be able to know how to get peace of mind, how to be happy, is something you don't just stumble across. You've got to search for it.” George Harrison.

And search he did becoming a follower of the Hare Krishna movement and spiritual mysticism where he finally found great happiness and acceptance.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm actually on the wrong planet. It’s great when I’m in my garden, but the minute I go out the gate I think, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’” George Harrison.

The lead guitarist of the Beatles died of metastatic non-small cell, lung cancer in 2001 but his legacy as a spiritualist, musician and Beatle lives on. He penned several of the Beatles greatest hits and his 1970 solo album “All Things Must Pass” was a number one hit in it’s time. He would have been 70 today.

"There's high, and there's high, and to get really high -- I mean so high that you can walk on the water, that high -- that's where I'm going." George Harrison.

I like to think that’s where he is right now. Looking down on us all and shaking his head in great amusement.

Source info taken from Wikipedia

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Saturday, February 16

Life In Your Years

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Do you feel like you spend the time you have in your life wisely?

We only go around once and during that time we have to meet many challenges in order to get what we really want.

Countdown Of Life

Ugly Baby photo ATT00016.gif  First you’re born. You have about 78 years left statistically speaking.

Sleeping Moon photo moon_sleep_md_clr.gif  You’re sleeping for about 29 years of that time. That leaves you with 49 waking years.Book photo book_page_flip_md_clr.gif  Time to get educated. You spend 31,000 hours studying or in class. Added up, that’s about 31/2 years. 

 photo av479034.gif  You’ve graduated congratulations! Time to put in your 91,000 hours at work. That’s about 101/2 years.

Stuck In Traffic photo CarJam.gif  All that time you spend in traffic. Say good-bye to one whole year of your life.

 photo crazyrabbit.gif  Brushing your teeth, showering, sitting on the toilet and dressing. That’s 21/2 years.

Coffee Break photo coffeetime.gif  Eating and drinking takes 4 years. You’ve got 28 years left.

 photo Animated-Checklist.gif  Shopping, grocery runs, Amazon.com; it adds up to about 21/2 years. 

 photo Animated_Chef.gif  Cooking, cleaning, yard work and 6 years spent doing chores. 

I'm A Woman photo ATT00007.gif   You spend 11/2 years caring for kids and loved ones. That’s 18 precious years left….

 photo th0fa48ffe.gif  Of which you spend half watching TV, playing video games, online, or pick your poison you spend about 9 years doing it and you have only those 9 years left.

  photo forgetful.gif  Out of 78 years on this earth, 9 years and 6 months are yours.

 photo 01-1.gif  Nine years to spend with your family and friends. To play, laugh and cry. To fall in love. To see the world and fulfill all of your passions.

 photo Yell.gif So why are you still in front of the computer? What would you rather be doing? Go out and do THAT instead.

It’s not the years in your life that count

It’s the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln

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National TV Show Wants Your Videos

Become the next viral video sensation and let Right This Minute help you out!

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This could be your video (not real, just an example.)

Every day news and life is happening all around us. And people like you are capturing those moments and events on video. At RTM, our producers work day and night searching the web to find the most interesting news and entertaining videos from all over the world to share on TV and the web.

You could have your video on our show. If you have a video that you’d like us to see;

Then upload your video to rightthisminute.com.

Who knows, the next great video could be yours!

This is a re-share from my inbox.

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Tuesday, February 12

Lessen The Chance Of Messin’ Your Pants

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Lessen the chance of messin' your pants!

As I was watching my morning guilty pleasure, “Right This Minute” I saw a product that really revolutionizes the outdoor experience in the woods. Created by Laura Stude, she says she invented the Strap and Crap™ after reminiscing about a particularly unpleasant outdoor restroom experience many years ago.

She says; “Though my professional background is in marketing and social media, I have a true passion for the outdoors and a mind that's constantly problem-solving in inventor mode. I'm really excited about bringing this to my fellow outdoorsfolk and helping them lessen the chance of messin' their pants!”

I would most certainly use this product. Women especially are at a huge disadvantage when hiking in the woods and needing to relieve themselves.


 
Watch this video of her product.

 

Benefits, Uses and Specs

  • Made in USA
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Designed for use by individuals weighing up to 250 lbs.
  • Lightweight and packable - weighs less than 1 lb. and folds neatly
  • Sanitary
  • 9 ft in length
  • No need to remove your pack
  • Great for hiking, backpacking, hunting, camping and many other outdoor activities
  • Loops for add-ons (TP, bear bell, shovel, hand sanitizer, etc.)
  • Useful for securing other gear, hanging food out of reach of hungry bears, or even as a leash for Fido
  • Practical for men, women and children
  • Colors available for custom units


This product is still accumulating funds for putting it on the market. Laura Stude is asking for donations to get on the ground floor of her product. For more information or helping with funding; Strap And Crap. You can also vote on your favorite T-shirt for the product.

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Monday, February 11

Will You Be Mine?

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February 14 is Valentine's Day. Although it is celebrated as a lovers' holiday today, with the giving of candy, cards, diamonds, (hint, hint) flowers, or other gifts between couples in love, it originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop.

 photo 2nn4v5-1.gifValentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

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Cupid, another symbol of the holiday, became associated with it because he was the Roman god of passion and erotic love. He also was associated with desire. Cupid was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid played a role in several mythical adventures. In Vergil's Aeneid, Cupid prompts Dido to fall in love with Aeneas, with tragic results. Cupid is a central character in the traditional tale of Cupid and Psyche, as told by Apuleius. In modern times, cupid is often depicted as a chubby cherub-like creature with wings, shooting his arrows to inflict desire on his unsuspecting victims. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards or is imprinted on heart-shaped candies.

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In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings.

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Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap." Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

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I fondly remember making hand-made Valentines to take to school for 6th grade. Even though we had always handed out Valentines in grade school, this time I had someone “special” to give one to. Steve Weber was his name and it was love at first sight.

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At home I got together the art supplies to make it with. Elmer's glue, scissors, scrap paper, ribbon and lace. Getting to use my mom’s “sharp” scissors I excitedly and carefully cut out my hearts making sure they were perfect. As I worked, I bit my tongue lightly with great concentration. I cut a big red paper heart and then a smaller pink one and so on until I was happy with the results. I worked on that Valentine for hours selecting just the right lace, the satin ribbon and then I stopped. What should I write on it?

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I walked into the kitchen; “What should I write on my Valentine?” I asked my mom who was cooking supper and smoking her ever present cigarette; “Are you done with the scissors yet Bekkie? I told you to return them to the sewing box when you’re done.” Not answering I silently slunk back into my bedroom. Luckily she didn’t know I liked a boy.

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I was stymied, what could I write on the Valentine that would make Steve like me? Even though she was my best friend I knew Barbara Snyder liked him too; all the girls did. I knew she was probably making him a Valentine tonight too. Or worse yet maybe her mom got her store bought cards! How could mine compete with fancy store bought cards? I felt miserable. 

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I thought about asking my mom to buy store bought cards and then quickly put that bad idea out of my head. Then it came to me; Will You Be Mine? It wasn’t all lovey dovey either. It was simple and seemed perfect. I ran to get the sparkles so I could finish my card. Surely he’ll like it and then me.

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The next day at school it was time to pass out the Valentine cards, but I had a plan. I was going to give Steve my card at recess by the big tree, not now. I felt my bravado fade when I saw Barbara Snyder passing out her store bought cards. I watched like a hawk while Steve looked through his cards. He didn’t react to any of them in particular. Gosh he was cute. He turned and locked eyes with me. I turned fire engine red and turned away while I pretended to fiddle with a card that Jerry Lewis had just given me. 

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At recess I raced down the hill and took my place by the big tree. I got there first, good. Steve would be playing baseball nearby. I wanted to do this before my girlfriends found me and then I spied Steve. He walked right up to me. “Barbara said you like me;” he said somewhat accusingly. I turned 50 shades of red, extended my shaky hand with the card in it and stammered; “This is for you Steve.” He took the card without reading it, hit me really hard on the arm, and ran off to play with his friends.

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“He loves me;” I thought to myself triumphantly.

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Sunday, February 10

Year Of The Water Snake

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Happy Year Of The Snake!

Google had different “doodles” for the Chinese New Year 2013 depending on what country you were in. One of the doodles is also a game. (Check it out and other Google Doodles using the link.) To play the game you steer the snake around and the more stuff he “eats” the higher score you get. Hopefully you can do better than I did.


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2013 is the year of the Water Snake. Because of lunar dating, the first day of the Chinese year can fall anywhere between late January and the mid-February. Lunar New Year in the US calendar takes place on Sunday, February 10. It is based on cycles of the lunar phase and for the Chinese it is also known as the 'Spring Festival'. Chinese New Year celebrations begin the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day and provide an opportunity for families to get together for dinner. Food will include pork, duck, chicken and sweet delicacies and the family will end the night by setting off firecrackers.


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The Chinese water snake (known as Enhydris chinensis) or Chinese smooth water snake is a species of snake found in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. It bites but is not venomous.


What to expect in the year of the snake?

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Lucky colors for the year are gold, silver, white, beige, yellow, brown and red, while the unlucky colors are green, black, grey and blue.

The snake has a reputation for being treacherous and dangerous. Nobody calls someone they actually like a snake. Snakes are also considered slimy predators.  

Snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013)

People born in the year of the Snake will suffer inauspicious and difficult periods from time to time throughout the year. However, financially, it is a fortunate year for Snakes; they will have satisfactory stable incomes but never from gambling. Money comes from all sources, but it is easy come and easy go. It is not a good time to develop another new investment or business expansion. They have to watch their expenses to avoid being over budget.

They also have to pay attention to the relationships with their father, partners, friends and brothers or sisters. In doing business, it is important to have contracts in black and white to avoid any conflicts or regrets in the future.

Love affairs are in the flat line. They should not expect too much or they will be disappointed. Lovers should be patient and avoid being over-emotional with each other.

On health, Snakes should pay special attention to road safety, stay away from sharp objects and beware of problems with the liver, heart, high blood pressure and cardiovascular system. They have to watch their diet and do more proper exercise.


If you were born in a different year you still can’t avoid the pull of the snake. To see what it means to you look up your Chinese horoscope sign.

Rat: Secrets abound this year for Rat. As Rats often encounter financial snarls in Snake years, this not a good year to start a new business. Rat should keep assets out of sight or hidden to discourage envy and theft.

Ox: The Ox and Snake are good friends, and so the slower pace of 2013 suits Ox. Family difficulties, the only bump in the road, may trigger the Ox temper. Be tolerant of those who do not share your opinion and values. Tricky legal matters could hurt you financially.

Tiger: Tiger may find this Snake year slow and boring at times. Extreme caution should be used to prevent a love affair from turning into a scandal. Tigers in the entertainment industry are favored in Snake years, especially female Tigers.

Rabbit: 2013 is an exceptional year for peace-loving Rabbit with business travel prominent. A career change improves finances. Domestic problems are few. This is a lucky year for speculation especially from Aug 2013 to Jan 2014.

Dragon: Dragon finds Snake years mellow. Even though life’s pace slows down, Dragon’s world remains as unpredictable as ever, though they usually land on their feet. Outspoken Dragon should listen to all sides of an issue before passing judgment, and think before speaking.

Horse: Infatuations are many for Horse, as it is an exciting yet crazy year for love. Freedom loving Horse has to make decisions as new doors open. Horse will whinny with delight at developments in professional life.

Goat: New challenges and travel for business are in the wind. Guard valuables and luggage while traveling. Financially, Goat rises to former status, but expenses may drain cash flow. Influential and social contacts figure strongly.

Monkey: A Snake year stimulates Monkey’s quick-wit and sense of humor and others take notice. Should a hint of infidelity raise its ugly head, run don't walk to the nearest exit. Physical exercise is a must.

Rooster: Stylish Rooster is center stage in 2013. Marital or family difficulties may arise. If so, be tactful and avoid personal disagreements. A journey, move, or change in family structure could

Dog: Dog bounces back from a rough 2012. Pleasure and earthy sexuality replace pessimism and worry. Loyalty and skepticism figure prominently. Improving the fate others brings happiness. Love finds you when you least expect it.

Pig: Shrewd marketing of a product or project change Pig’s financial future bringing success in career matters. Travel may be required. It is a romantically turbulent time, possiby involving deception. Character and honesty will be tested. April to July is not good for litigation.


In general, this is suppose to be a year of good fortune and making lots of money. The bad economy is suppose to change for the better and surpass our greatest expectations. It’s a good year for love and marriage too. If you’re thinking of popping the question it’s a good time to do it this year.

I hope this year is a good and profitable year for you and yours!   

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Friday, February 8

Posting And Publishing With Windows Live Writer

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Take a big sip of that coffee and face the day because it’s Friday, the day I wait for after every Monday morning. Tee hee!

I recently changed my layout here and I’m very pleased with the results. The old layout was stuck (for lack of a better word) and Blogger wouldn’t let me put a new background on it. I was so tired of the day-glow colored mushrooms and wanted them gone. They were so yesterday.

Not for lack of trying I decided to change my color scheme instead. No go. Just as I was cursing Blogger out I eyed the other layouts. They seemed to be beckoning me to look at them. I didn’t have anything to lose and I had faith that Blogger would keep my content intact as I tried some of them. As long as I didn’t click on Save I’d be OK.

I saw this Picture Window layout and it was like at first sight. I am still searching for my own perfect background for this new look, this being the first time I ever used one of the Blogger backgrounds. In the mean time, this is a very nice look for me and I’m not in a hurry to change it.

I changed almost everything else about this layout. Because I’m a pretty fair webmaster and artist I have (my own) standards for any website I put up. I have been on two social networks now with Bekkie In Wonderland. One was Windows Live Spaces and after WL dumped those spaces and sent us to Wordpress I found Blogger. Blogger beats out all other blogging platforms as far as I’m concerned. If I had my old site next to this one right now the difference would be night and day.

Then I looked up an older post and got an unpleasant surprise. When I changed my post background from white to black and my lettering from black to white I was upset when I realized a lot of my older blogs didn’t make the change with me.

It’s not a Blogger design problem or anything. When I first started blogging my inexperience was shouting out to the rooftops….”she doesn’t know what’s she’s doing!” And it was so true, my writing was atrocious. I hadn’t started using Windows Live Writer yet and I was using all kinds of different fonts, colors, font sizes and wasn’t putting regular breaks in my posts. So I have no one else to blame that I have to go through these posts and straighten them out after changing my layout and colors recently.

It’s not like I have to do them ALL over, only some really old posts. In the meantime if you are reading any of these old posts I apologize for the black on black mess and the crooked images. They are readable but I’d wait a week until I get them straightened out.

For all you bloggers out there the best advice I can give you is to use Windows Live Writer for all your blog proofing needs. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s free to download and use. It came out in 2010 for Microsoft Office but it’s a stand-alone proofer. You can use it for more than one account and it’s a tool I can’t do without. It’s so much better than the proofer that comes with Blogger or other similar accounts.

With WLW you can insert images, videos, hyperlinks, breaks, horizontal lines, tables, maps, plug-ins, emoticons, post tags, bullets, numbering and more. Whether you use source code or not you have a choice of all kinds of fonts and all of the normal proofing tools. WLW even has a picture tool to edit your photos with. Crop them, re-size them, center them, put watermarks on them, sharpen them, It is packed with options. Don’t forget the active spell checker (never misspell on your posts again) and helpful word counter.

The best part is that once you link it to your blog account it looks at your account settings and downloads them so while you are writing your post it looks just like it will on your website; colors, font sizes, and all. When you are done you can publish the post with one click and it’s on it’s way to your website.

I know, I should be making some money pushing WLW; I really am trying to sell you on it. That’s just because it’s such an important tool for a good looking website. Why make it hard on yourself when blogging? Also, if I had used it for all of my blog posts I wouldn’t be re-doing the proofs on the older ones and I would of saved myself some trouble. When your posts are proofed correctly when you do make a layout change on your account you can bet your posts will fall in line for you.

I am so glad the weekend’s here, I’m ready for it. Everyone’s talking about the storm that’s dumping huge amounts of snow and sleet on 7 states and stranding travelers all over the world. I was just mentioning the other day in a blog that in 1958 in Indiana, we had 3 feet of snow. It sounds like that record might finally be buried. Lol!

For those of you with android phones or tablets I’m adding a tab to my site for applications that I recommend, what they do and where to get them. I hope to have it started in a week or so and will add to it as I go. The best part is these are mostly freebies and some of them don’t even have ads on them. I hope it’s a new feature you will use and like.

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Wednesday, February 6

Garden In A Bottle

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To look at this flourishing mass of plant life you’d think David Latimer had a magical green thumb. Truth be told, his bottle garden, now almost in its 53rd year hasn’t taken up much of his time. In fact, on the last occasion he watered it Ted Heath was Prime Minister and Richard Nixon was in the White House.

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Pensioner David Latimer planted his seedlings in a 10 gallon glass container and gave it a last quarter of a pint of water in 1972 before sealing it shut as an experiment. For the last 40 years it has been completely sealed off from the outside world. But the indoor variety of spiderworts (or Latin name, Tradescantia,) within has thrived, filling its globular bottle with healthy foliage.

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Mr. Latimer now 80 said; “It’s 6ft from a window so gets a bit of sunlight. It grows towards the light so it gets turned round every so often so it grows evenly. Otherwise it’s the definition of low-maintenance. I’ve never pruned it, it just seems to have grown to the limits of the bottle.”

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It was Easter Sunday in 1960 when Mr. Latimer thought it would be fun to start a bottle garden out of idle curiosity. He said: “At the time the chemical industry had changed to transporting things in plastic bottles so there were a lot of cheap glass ones on the market.” At that time bottle gardens were a craze and Mr. Latimer wanted to see what happened if he tried growing one himself.

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The bottle stands on display under the stairs in the hallway of his home in Cranleigh, Surrey. The same spot it has occupied for 27 years after he and his wife Gretchen moved from Lancashire when he retired as an electrical engineer.

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His bottle garden was revealed to the world when he took a photograph of it into BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time and asked the panel of experts if it is ‘of scientific or horticultural interest’.

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He hopes to pass on the experiment to his grown-up children after he is gone. If they do not want it, he will leave it to the Royal Horticultural Society.  

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How A Bottle Garden Works

Bottle gardens work because their sealed space creates an entirely self-sufficient ecosystem in which plants can survive by using photosynthesis to recycle nutrients.

The only external input needed to keep the plant going is light, since this provides it with the energy it needs to create its own food and continue to grow.

Light shining on the leaves of the plant is absorbed by proteins containing chlorophylls (a green pigment).

Some of that light energy is stored in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that stores energy. The rest is used to remove electrons from the water being absorbed from the soil through the plant's roots.

These electrons then become 'free' - and are used in chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, releasing oxygen.

This photosynthesis process is the opposite of the cellular respiration that occurs in other organisms, including humans, where carbohydrates containing energy react with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water, and release chemical energy.

But the eco-system also uses cellular respiration to break down decaying material shed by the plant. In this part of the process, bacteria inside the soil of the bottle garden absorbs the plant's waste oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide which the growing plant can reuse.

And, of course, at night, when there is no sunlight to drive photosynthesis, the plant will also use cellular respiration to keep itself alive by breaking down the stored nutrients.

Because the bottle garden is a closed environment, that means its water cycle is also a self-contained process.

The water in the bottle gets taken up by plants’ roots, is released into the air during transpiration, condenses down into the potting mixture, where the cycle begins again.

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Mr. Latimer’s garden in a bottle is just another way to make a terrarium. Terrarium’s are fun to make and are very low maintenance. They don’t cost a lot to make and maintain, although it’s prudent to pick out a good container to plant it in. After all, it will be the plant’s home for a lifetime.

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Source for story quotes and story idea-Daily Mail UK

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