Keepin My Head Above Water


Doctor Ragnarok . says (11:18 PM) You went through hell, and you are a figure I look up to when I need a hero. because while it may not have been the lesson you -intended- to depart, the one you’ve left me with, anyways, was that there’s just never an excuse to give up or back down when important thing are on the line.
Doctor Ragnarok . says (11:22 PM)
“Do you know what my mother did, while she was going through school? LET ME TELL YOU A STORY….” I’d give them a *very* brief account of what I knew of the years after the divorce, and end with something along the lines of “…So unless you think what’s happening here measures up, quit bitching.”
Doctor Ragnarok . says (11:24 PM)
And now you know that you are the person I point to when I need an example of someone who had shitty odds and beat them pretty much through sheer force of will, and the power of friendship…Yes, you should write an autobiography. Everyone should have the chance to have you as a hero.

How does one go from HERO to being the worst person in the world? Such is life, a fall from grace? I don’t know, but I’m going to take the advice from the child who gave it. I’m going to write it. It is as much her story, and her brothers story and a story about two other girls–and I am going to write it.

It’s probably going to be called: Keeping My Head Above Water.
Or maybe…. The Pedestals From Which I Fell…. Or maybe they will be chapters… “Life REBOOTED”,  The UNLIKELY Ctrl-Alt-Delete! Oh, Wait–“The Ultimate Ctrl-Alt-Delete” , “Going, Going, Gone!”  “It’s all a Crapshoot, Right?”

I’ve been on more than one pedastal, it’s a place that no one wants to be because it is inevitable that the person(s) who put you there figure out that you are human after all. Then there is a ton of fall out. It happens with spouses, kids, and friends… Even when you tell them you don’t want to be there, there you are. In their mind.

The Angel that NEVER Was…. The Rebel that Was Before She Ever Knew the Concept.  Rebel Without a Cause, Because, She HAS ONE (maybe even TWO!)

A person just trying to survive the moments she’s been in, including those that her own choices created! That is doing what all other humans do… living, loving, hating,
making mistakes, not making mistakes, whatever.. I just live.  And so, I will write….(again)

See you next time on, “As The Stomach Turns…”  and “In My Very Public Life…”

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Lead — in 2015!

Two days ago, while working on a DIY project on our home, my husband found in our walls a can of “White Lead” made by Dutch Bros.  I’ll include a photo.

IMG_1331 WhiteLeadPaint9-17-2015The photo on top is a close up of the can and the second photo is of the can in the same area as we found it.  In the wall, above a support that holds up our roof rafters.  You can see one and a part rafters in the photo.  The can in the photo, had a lid that was loose.  I opened it up and it even had about a fifth of the canful of product, which had separated. White from oil.  I was even stupid enough to poke at it.  I took the photos yesterday and today.  (9/17/2015 <–two days after discovery)

We bought this house  in 2005. Neither of us were too concerned about lead.  Lead is an issue that I specifically remember hearing about as a kid, and had assumed that it was safely taken care of and all was well. 

Of course this whole thing has me researching about Lead.  Contacting folks hoping to

find out if my kids might be poisoned.  So, this might be an ongoing issue that I’ll be posting about.  We’ll see. 

Our house was built in 1953.  Sometime after that the garage (where the  can was found) was built.  It is obvious that whoever added on the garage was trying to keep it in the style of the home (Ranch Style), and the siding looks the same as on the house. I would think it was added soon after the house was built. 


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What I’m learning at my CHIP class

Tonights CHIP class was probably the hardest so far. This class doesn’t just address diet or perhaps an easier to swallow (Pun intended) word, “nutrition.” It also addresses dealing with stress, and self care. Tonight, class dealt specially with forgiveness. This is not a new idea for me. I’ve been working on that for a long, long time. I had no intentions of sharing my past–or any of my experiences… but others opened up, and there was this chain reaction, and suddenly I felt I really had some insight that *might* help another person. Basically–the subject of sexual assault was brought up, and the woman who brought it up said she would NEVER forgive the perp. I guess for me the most healing part of the class is when a man made it quite clear that he was sorry he’d said some things to his kids and that he could never take it back. You could soooo feel his pain. Later he shared that he and wife, had lost two kids, one at 18 and one at 23. The 18 was killed by a drunk driver. How in the world do you forgive that? And I could feel that because when the police picked up my step father, he was all packed up and ready for his trip. He had only called and asked if he could pick up my child from school. I had no idea that he was planning on going out of town with her. My guess is that she would not have come back alive. How do you forgive that?! Fast forward 24 years, or something close to that. If you have a hurt, that is hurting you so bad that it affects your present life with a girlfriend, wife, husband, boyfriend, your kids… then forgiveness is essential. I don’t like using the term forgiveness–it is a little bit misleading, but I know of no other word in our language that covers the process any better. It’s not about forgiving and forgetting. It’s not about condoning the actions of the perp. It’s not about letting a bad guy or gal off the hook for their actions. It’s about you–the person with the hurt. What it boils down to is that by forgiving them– you release yourself emotionally from their power. Depending on the hurt you may do this several times over the years…someone like me… will be doing it the rest of her/his life. But, it is necessary because it helps to soften the anger and it helps to take away the pain. I made a conscious decision a long time ago, after I watched my mothers reaction to the whole mess– I was not going to go my grave bitter and angry. My number one reason for this is that I wanted to set an example for my kids that there are better, more productive ways to handle our situation than what I had chosen in the past. Basically, I just wanted to be a good example, and kind of light the way for them, and show them it could be done. Have I stumbled? Oh yes…. does it hurt? Of course… to heal from these things, one must look the devil square in the face and say, “be gone…” so to speak. I was in tears during tonights class.. listening to all these folks share their biggest hurts. And a few of them had no interest in the exercise associated with class, writing a letter to the person we are forgiving. It is a letter that never has to be mailed, it is not for the perp– logically, if letter would have an impact on a perp, then they would NOT be a perp. That letter is for you, because it is the beginning of the end, something tangible that you can let go of when you are ready to help yourself, let go…. and move on.. and live! That letter is you taking back your life, your liberty, your freedom, and your power… I’ve written many such letters, and I can tell you that the very first time I was sure that I was wasting my energy–but many moons later, I can look back and I know it helped. And it was free… I’ve had several really great therapists who have helped in many ways. But no therapist can do the letter writing for you, nor can they light the candle that you use to set the letter aflame…. and only you can use this letter as a tool to bring the hurt and anger to your consciousness, decide let go of the anger and pain… do it for you. Take back your life, and your health. You deserve it.

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CHIP for Your Health

CHIP Class.. We March Onward Towards the Great (UN)Known!!

We started a CHIP class about 14 weeks ago. My husband had already lost 40 lbs or so on the Sugar Buster diet. Problem is that he let that diet rationalize that it was ok to eat stuff like Salami, lunch meat, .. well you can picture it, if it had a hoof, or ate grass…and it was a protein source, he pretty much ate it with relish. (not sweet pickle relish.. just relish!) I did not even begin to ‘diet’ until we started CHIP. CHIP is, in our course at least, Complete Health Improvement Plan. It is a course about Lifestyle and how a lifestyle can affect your health. The founders, and other knowledgeable experts simply present you with the science, and they let you make up your mind. In Roseburg, Oregon–so far, the class is 18 weeks. Spread over time, it lets the ideas sink into your mind and penetrate our awareness. And it keeps us coming back so that if we decide to ‘buy in’ to what we are learning we also have a built in support system. Our class didn’t officially start until after the first two weeks had gone by–we will have the advantage of 20 weeks of CHIP guided by Dr. Charles Ross, a local doctor who teaches with flare, with heart, and with sincere energy.

I was warned by friends and even another doctor in my life. One friend, a retired nutritionist, who once worked for the VA heard about our class, and she said, “…it’s not that Ross guy teaching is it?…” She’d come to the conclusion that he was a fanatic on the edge pushing people into unhealthiness. One of my many doctors questioned the usefulness of this class. I had to admit (only 2 weeks into the class) that Dr. Ross did come close to what one might describe as the preacher at the pulpit. I told the doctor, probably all he needed was the pulpit and the image would be complete. But, you know, Dr. Ross has been very clear from the very beginning, to let us know what were his ideas, and what were CHIPs. And the more time I spend with him in class, the more I appreciate his health, his vigor, his sincerity, his wealth of knowledge, and his sincere drive to see us succeed. He is simply a man with a vision, one he has committed to, and how many of us can say that?

The class is about lifestyle. It’s about nutrition, it’s about treating yourself kindly, it’s about making good choices (you know, like: thou shalt not smoke ANYTHING.) It’s about encouraging each of us on along our journey so that we can restore our health via proper nutrition, and self-care.
My husband has lost 30 more lbs. A total of 70. In less than 20 lbs, he’ll be at his ideal weight. He was on FIVE high blood pressure pills, and now he is on one. He was on 70 units of Lantus Insulin every night. He now takes NONE. Don’t want to get too personal, but, men… it works again! My are we having fun!! If that doesn’t impress you– let me tell you, less than a year ago, we were literally waiting for him to die. His cardiologist had told him to put his house in order. There was nothing more that could be done. At 39 years of age he had his first stent. Two years later, another. At age 43, he had open heart surgery and had four grafts (by passes) on six blockages. During all his life, they found upon opening up, he’d already grown one by pass himself. At age 6, he and his older brother were found to have high cholesterol–450 was his number at 6 years old. He spent his entire youth on many experimental drugs given via UC Medical Center in San Francisco. Keep in mind this is genetic his father was dead at 34 of heart attack, his older brother died at 46 years of age, an older sister has heart issues as well. These Snyder’s in general just don’t live that long. Talk about feeling doomed.

While my husband was playing guinea pig in San Francisco, my father had his first heart attack at age 32. It was massive and killed 1/2 his heart. That was around 1970–give or take a few. A couple years later he had open heart surgery, and it was one of the first. His team at Stanford had Dr. Debakey (I hope I didn’t just really misspell his name horribly) on board as a consultant, the surgery was just that new. My dad healed very well from surgery and he went on with is life. He quit smoking, mom fed him only egg whites, but you know a lot of damage was done. Ten years later, at age 43 he had his third, and final heart attack. He was on the heart transplant list when he died. All I can tell you from this little girl perspective–is that I was an awful lot like dad, every one said I looked just like him. That must have meant that I had it too, this dreaded heart problem. I took it so seriously, that I have written each of my children goodbye letters to remind them that I love them with all my heart, and that I want them to be happy and healthy, and to have a very, very good life. I took it so seriously that when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure in my 20’s… I just knew I was doomed.. it was inevitable, and because I am of the female persuasion–I figured I’d probably be dead by 32 years of age. 32–it came and went. 43–came and went, but I did get a pacemaker to confirm my diagnosis. The doctors didn’t explain things too well, like the pacemaker pretty much fixed my problem, and that I was not in any danger of dying anytime soon. And my cath came out clean! Today, I am 53, and I have outlived all my goals, so here I set alive and looking for new goals. Maybe I should go back to school!!

So many things simply were not talked about in my house growing up. As far as I knew…. most people quit having sex by at least 32 years of age. How is that I got to 53 and still wanted a life?? Into this CHIP class we marched. The more I learned the more I recognized, the more I became afraid. This program is basically health reform as prescribed by Ellen G. White, a Seventh Day Adventist Prophet, in the mid, and late 1800’s. I know this why?? Because dad’s side of the family was 7th Dayers, and I wanted to be one too. When I tried to go on a healthy diet when much younger.. I was pretty much ridiculed by my ex husband, and bullied into giving it up. With no support from family–there is no success. My fear, I later realized was fear of failure…again (you know… I’m on a diet AGAIN).

But, I have lost 30 lbs so far. My dosage of my diabetes (type 2) medication metformin has been halved to 500 mg. 2x per day. My thyroid which has lain dormant for 16 years has suddenly started functioning again–that’s a story in and of itself let me tell you. The only thing I have to blame that on is this Lifestyle Change. Time will tell of course… OH, I forgot to mention, about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with two forms of arthritis. Both have been very painful. I have not been in pain for weeks!!!! This is NOT NORMAL. 😉 In a good sort of way, of course!

With the success I have had in about 18 weeks (total), I set myself a goal of losing another 20 lbs by class end. And I know I won’t make it because of my thyroid throwing a monkey wrench in there, but I won’t consider myself a failure because now I have the proper tools, and the support system I need to succeed. You see, Dr. Ross, has made it abundantly clear that we have joined the CHIP Lifer’s club and as long as he’s alive and kicking and facilitating a class, we can go back in with the front lines and get the shot in the arm so to speak that we need. And so, at 51 years of age, my husband is alive and LIVING. He is not sitting in a chair waiting to die. He still has blockages, he still has chest pain, but he can take a break from activities and rest and then go back to it. And at 53 years of age–I feel like– well, I just feel like I have more than a few really healthy years left to live. Sex included! Who knew!?!?

Does anyone ever stop and think, and realize… “OH, My Goodness.. Prayer answered…”

To those who have already passed judgement without experiencing it yourself, my suggestion to you is to come to a class. I can assure that you that Charlie Ross won’t mind. None of us will. Our story really isn’t a lot different from others in the class, and as long as we continue to eat our ‘rainbow’ for our meals, and stay away from that which has a face or a mother –then we will be healthy enough to tell you that we have succeeded at last–at living a very HEALTHY LIFE.

🙂 In the words of my dad… “So, how do you like them apples?”

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Off the Fence and On the Offense

Found this on Facebook today.

Found the above graphic on Facebook today, and just took offense to what is says, and here is why:

You know that problem with this attitude is that not all “Christians” and their “God” are archaic, and bigoted, and infantile. I personally, do not believe in the same kind of hell a lot of Christians do. I think it’s all here: heaven and hell, and it’s all what we make it here and now. And I do not believe in a cruel God. The bible was written 2,000 years ago, for a people who were so culturally different than we are today, that most of it is up for interpretation and updating in so far as the fact, that people today need to update their outlook on the old ways, and the old words. It is clear that if there is a God, we were given free choice, and most of the ‘hell’ we live through is created from our own choices (meaning ours as in society over time, and as individuals). I believe there are things we can take from the bible and stand on and it’s a foundation that can last for forever–the 10 commandments being part. The Sermon on the Mount, etc. But, it also says that God loves us like a parent does a child –and that means, if he/she/it does, then it is a loving, and forgiving God,which means all will be welcome at his/her/its table. There are days when I know 110% that there is a God, and there are days when I struggle to even think there could be one. Being raised by a vocal atheist mother does that to a person. But, I for one get the most comfort on a day to day basis thinking that there is someone out there bigger and more powerful than I am to turn things right in the end -someone who is still teaching us what love, compassion, and empathy truly are. I know my view is not mainstream. I know I’ll might loose a few friends because of my view. But, I really hate being lumped in with all the “archaic, bigoted, and infantile.” That statement alone would lead me to ask that writer to look in the mirror and remove the mote from his own eye first. In this country we believe in religious freedom, CHOICE, for everyone. Most of us respect that, and many of us CHERISH the right, and the respect given to us for our choices, as much as we cherish and respect another human being for their choices. We should not be arguing over these things. We all have a choice, and we should be going about our business, living how we choose, and not “preaching” AT people about the right and wrong of it. If we were not ok to be aesthete, christian, Buddhist, Islamic, or whatever, then GOD would not have come up with FREE WILL. There are many, many paths to the Divine, and it has many, many names, and features. Divinity is all around us….and for some God has nothing to do with it. I can accept that and you, and I hope you will accept me.

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History bites us in the a**

I’ve come to the conclusion that our own personal history does indeed come back to bite us in the a**.    And because it’s our own personal history it can hit us in many different & unique ways.  To be honest, it’s not all bad, but it’s the bad that hits us between the eyes, knocks us down, and has us wishing we were never born!

Part of my own personal history is that I am a mother.   A mother of four.  Most women are mom’s so that part of it is not so special.  I am the mother of three survivors of sexual abuse. I also am a survivor.  What I have learned over the years is that it “runs in the family” so to speak.  So, considering the history of my clan (which again is not unique), it was just our turn.  I guess…

I was once given a statistic by a therapist.  Really, it was a very sad statistic, and incredibly horrible thing that is a truth about women on a whole. The vast majority of mothers sweep the news of a child being sexually abused under the rug.  They do not protect the child, they do not fight the perpetrator, in fact, some of them blame the child.   I’m no where near the majority on that one– I fought.

I fought and I lost.  And I’ll explain, because it’s all real debatable if I lost or not.  But, from a legal standpoint, I lost– I lost for my child.  I just lost.

Now before I go on,  let me just explain, one of those three kids is adopted, and her abuse happened before I had any power to do anything for her.  The perpetrator is a teacher in San Jose, California.  If I had the name,  I would STILL turn him in.  But, she did not see it as a bad thing, and has never given me any information.  Just the same, that teacher needs to walk on tip toe, and watch his back.  One day she’ll realize she wasn’t as grown up as she thought she was.

And for my son– it’s all a big question mark.  He’s made accusations, the perp denies.  There is no proof except in behaviors, and if that were to settle a case, then the perp lies.
Mom acts accordingly.  It is an ongoing situation.

And perps do lie.  In my step-father’s confession to police, he claimed that he was given permission to molest my oldest child.  Permission from myself and my husband (at the time, now an ex).   He was given no such permission from me.  I doubt if he was given permission from my ex, but then with him, who the hell knows… My ex actually asked me to sleep with his sister….

A sick situation every way you turn it ’round.

But, it’s been over 20  years now.  The perpetrator, step-father is six feet under.  And two days ago I ‘heard’ for the first time that my mother (a retired school district employee) actually announced herself before going upstairs where my step father was with my daughter, so as not to intrude, or maybe not to see, knowing her, so that when she said she didn’t know… she could rationalize it all in her mind.  The bottom line is that she failed to protect her grand daughter.

You know, it’s hard to forget all the facts..the hurt is just so huge.  My life was shattered in one day.  I cried because I felt I’d lost something, a girlfriend suggest that I’d lost my daughters innocence.  I don’t know, I think I just cried because it was such a big hurt.

That morning, after dropping my seven  year old daughter off at school, I went over to my mothers house so we could take our daily walk.  It was a time that I enjoyed, my mother and I actually talked…  I thought we had a good relationship. I thought I had a mom.

The morning kind of started out normally.  Except that mom had to say something.  Very quietly so as to not wake my step-father who was at that time a  hard working AC Transit bus driver.  He worked late.  The had a nice life together. A two story, three bedroom, 1 1/2 bath and two car garage.  On the outside it looked comfortable, peaceful, maybe even upper middle class.  She drove an Olds, and he drove the Cad.

So mom needed to talk.  She started out by telling me that my daughter could not go on their trip with them that summer.  Ok!! Not an issue, every couple is entitled to time alone. But I have to admit I was over 20 years younger then too.  I had to ask why.  The more that was said, the more I questioned sometimes aloud, and sometimes not. But, all in all, my mother sounded jealous of my daughter, and I flat out told her that she was making me think that my step father was molesting my child.  Her response to that was to throw her arms up in the air and walk away from me up the stairs.

We took no walk, I left, I went on with my day on that cold, cloudy January day in 1991.

That afternoon, the fog lifted as it did most days in the San Fransisco Bay Area.  And the phone rang. Mom was on the other end.  She whispered because she did not want her husband to hear–
“there is an after school special on TV today. Have Pammy watch it.”
“Why are you whispering mom?”…
“So Jack won’t hear.”
“Why can’t Jack hear?  What is so special about this show, mom?”
“Just have Pammy watch the show.”

So, I picked up my girl from school. We went to  McDonald’s and picked up dinner so that I didn’t have to cook during the show. My husband, myself, and my daughter at down on the couch to watch the after school special with dinner right there.  And I literally watched my daughter try to literally climb the walls to get away from the information coming through–the after school special was about a little girl being molested.

“Mommy, I have something to tell you”

That is how our journey started. And everyone defending my mother listens to her denials,  and assersions that she knew nothing, when in fact, she knew it all, and even made a deal with the devil so that she could continue to live her nice life in suburbia.

I called the police immediately.  Later, I went to my mothers job to talk to her.  Don’t tell Jack what is going on, I’ve called the police.  My mother looked me straight in the eye and wanted to know why I had called the police.

My mother’s job at that time was as an attendance aide for Newark Unified School District. An underpaid person to keep track of student attendance and to threaten them back to school if that what was needed.  Part of her job was to go into homes and talk to parents about student attendance.  She was by law a mandated reporter.  If she saw abuse it was her job to report it to the authorities.  I’m sure she failed at that more than once.

It took months to get the full story from my daughter, though I’m sure I never got the full story.  She was seven at the time. No one could blame her for not remembering, not wanting to talk about it although once she opened up, she seemed very open.  It took months for it to hit me full force and realize what ALL had happened.  Though the truth is, that I’ll never know what ALL happened, because the perpetrator and his wife, I’m sure are taking plenty to their grave with them.

It was a holiday weekend, and I had to wait for the detectives to interview us, to do their work, and to apprehend my step-father.  They finally got him on Tuesday that next week. He called me and asked me if he could pick my daughter up from school.  I said yes, and I called the  detective.  I did not want to tip off my step-father so I had acted naturally.  I got off the phone with the police and went and pulled my daughter out of school, took her home, and locked the front door.  The police found him on campus, and played good cop/bad cop with him; basically playing with his mind and letting him leave, following him. He headed towards our house, it turns out he wanted to know where my daughter was. They stopped him, and searched his car and the home.  The car was packed up for a trip.
I’ve lived my life wondering, if my daughter would have lived through that trip. The house was clean except for video’s that the police found.  My daughter at her dance recitals.  The detective told me that  my step-father watched them to “get off.”  I found it all just unbelievable.

My step-confessed.  He was charged with four mistomeaner accounts, although the detective later told me that there was enough evidence to charge him with over a dozen felony counts.  He was sent to Alameda County Jail to wait his arraignment.  That night we asked my mother to spend the night with us, so she felt safe, so we felt safe.

As she and I talked about what happened.  One remark came from her mouth that caught me utterly by surprise.  Keeping in mind that my mother was in her early 50’s at the time, and my step-father was 57 years of age.  My mother said, “I was afraid that Jack would divorce me and marry her, so I had to protect myself.”  The other ‘woman’ was all of seven years old on that day!

I got up and walked out to the front porch of our home to get some air…and I took deep breaths.  My husband followed me and I asked him if I had really heard what I had just heard.  He affirmed it.  How does a woman who doesn’t know anything know to protect herself? How??

The reader may wish to believe as do many of my mothers friends do, that I made this all up. That is what my mother told them. I made it all up, and I put the ideas in my daughters head.  She quietly supported my actions as a mother until I called her on these facts, and then I became a liar, a bad mother, a bad person…somehow, I became the bad guy.

“Mom, where is the gun? I want the gun.”

“How do you know about the gun? What are you going to do with it?”

“Pammy told me about it, and I’m taking it to the police.”  That monster threatened my child with a gun.

“Mom, where is the vibrator… I want the vibrator.”

“How do you know about the vibrator, and what are you going to do with it?”

“Pammy told me, mom, and I’m taking it to the police.”  The monster used a vibrator on my child.

My mother did not know?

My mother once told me, about how she and Jack had fought over my daughters school photograph.  He would sit at the table in the mornings eating his oatmeal and stare at the photo the whole time.  She made it sound as if he were totally addicted to my child.  She would hide the photograph.  He would find it, put it back, and go on back to his staring.  This “fight” apparently went on for weeks…

She did not know?

She knew….

She still knows… she is still waiting for me to apologize.  It is she who needs to apologize.  My daughter was never meant to be blood money for her to use as her own.  My daughter was and is a gift from the universe to be treasured, and taught, and loved, and protected.

Patricia Lorine Coop Rowe Doyal of Newark, California: You owe my daughter an apology!

You don’t protect yourself from a seven year old.  You protect the seven year old from the monster!!!!!!



Posted in History, Just Jabber, Mental Illnesses, My Maternal Side, Political Crap, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

VanAtta video


My cousin made this video, and it is very good. Anyone with the Vanatta surname in their background really wants to see this!! Variations on the name include: VanEtten (the original form), Vanattor, VanAtter, Vannatta, etc. The name has been convoluted a lot over the years, but if you have one of those names, congratulations, you are related to me!! Hehehe!!! ~P.A.R.S

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Read this!

Good Day Everyone—
I hope everyone is well. I’m writing about something very important. Please read the whole email.Today, I found out that a license that I deal with has been compromised. It has been used to activate the product 175,379 times.Let me say first, there virtually NO one person to blame for this. The best we can do is keep our networking hardware and software up to date, and PRAY.

However, now that I’ve said that I want to offer some advice that you can use to help prevent this from happening again. When I talked to the tech support person at Microsoft she used a very important word when she talked to me. She said that, “This key was actually blocked because it was leaked.” The important word here is LEAKED.

What that means is that the network is vulnerable in some way. My guess is that someone hacked into the network and stole the license from one of the machines.

If you are using a personally owned mobile machine (aka laptop, netbook, tablet, ipod, ipad, smartphone, etc.) and connecting to the network at school:

1. Make sure that your antimalware and antivirus software are updated with the most recent definitions.
2. If you have software firewall, make sure it is turned ON.
3. If you have the capability of hard wiring yourself into the network, then consider doing that. Ethernet is far more secure than wireless.
4. NEVER download software from a source you do not trust. (I know that is a broad statement)
5. Consider NEVER connecting to a wireless hotspot. They should be secure, but they are incredibly easy to hack.
6. Be careful to never accept and install illegal copies of software from anyone, or any place on the internet.
7. Do not loan (even for a ½ minute) your machine to anyone. Period

If you need something, PLEASE, PLEASE ask. Send me an email! Sometimes it is hard for even me with all these years’ experience to know when a website has legitimate software. Having said that, I also know about a lot of places that are not legitimate. Even when you get legitimate software from a hack website, you are downloading a lot more than you are bargaining for.

Very recently a client downloaded a FREE version of Adobe Reader. This is very legitimate software. However, she choose to go to a website other than to download the program from, and now her machine is full of malware and spyware. The machine is slower than molasses, and it drops network connections all the time. I spend more of my time correcting these kinds of problems on client machines than I do any other activity. So, keep in mind if you are confused, you are NOT alone. ASK!!

In the meantime, Please don’t use any borrowed or second hand thumb drives (aka flash drives, USB drives, memory sticks) unless you know or trust the source. This will help to keep possible movement of malware designed to steal licenses to a minimum.

Also, at home networks: make sure your firewall on your router is turned ON. Never turn it off. Consider hard wiring yourself into network instead of using wireless.

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Are PCs dead?

Hi there, I just read an article and I thought I’d share it!

Concerning the death of the PC, I’ve been asked by several people what the wave of the future is. Are PCs dead? My answer has been 1.) If I try to say what the next fad is, I’d be pretty silly because technology is changing at a rate that most people cannot predict what will truly come into play next.

2.) How in the world can PCs be dead when to write a report, or create a website or just about any kind of document you really need a Keyboard! In general, keyboards are built into or are plug in (able) to the device. I have an extra keyboard for my tablet. But it’s very small, about five inches by 8 inches. Way too small to type in a comfortable way!

I do not see tablets or smart phones replacing PCs anytime soon for those reasons alone. But, there are other reasons. The largest tablet that I am aware of is a 10 inch screen. I’m getting old. I like the larger screens that come with a PC. When I make graphics for a website or a document, I want to be able to zoom in to the pixel level and change what I want to change, that requires more video power than any tablet will give me, not to mention the real estate needed on a monitor. There are just so many reasons that PCs will be sticking around!

From an educator standpoint my guess is that PCs will mostly be sticking around if for no other reason, Keyboarding.
Any child who grows up and goes into working on computers for a living will need these skills. IF they work for a newspaper, they’ll need
The keyboard short cuts for their word processing or graphics editing. IF they go into accounting they’ll have to know their way around spreadsheets intimately. Police officers have PCs attached inside the cars now, as do those big rigs you see running down the road. I have an uncle who drove truck, before he retired in 2007 he was having to use a proprietary system inside his truck. A person can’t even run a farm without a computer these days!

Anyway, end of that lecture! LOL. The intent of this email is only to point out that I am not the only person with this opinion.
Below is a link to an article written by a very well respected expert in the PC world. I thought you might enjoy it! Peg

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Remember BCC!

Just a few notes about privacy and emails.

#1: No matter what you do there is NO real privacy when it comes to email. ***IF*** someone really wants to see what is going on (who all it’s going to) then there are ways to find out. It’s not difficult at all. Don’t believe for one minute that you are safe from spies because the email whizzes through cyberspace so fast. This is not true. The internet provider can provide a log of what is said, as can the email provider (if it is a separate company), and a crack with a computer can easily find it floating out there in archives in cyberspace. When it’s reached point B from point A, it’s not gone. The best solution for this particular part of your lesson ? is if the message is so important that others should not hear it or see it (i.e. of a very personal nature, or corporate secrets, etc.) then don’t send the communication via email.

#2: At the level of an average computer user some folks will know how to BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) and some will not.
It’s ok either way. This is a way to give recipients of emails some semblance of privacy. That includes me, who knows it gives no true privacy, because I know most people out there don’t know how to ‘hack’ the emails to get email addresses out of the email header. Blind Carbon Copy option is available In every email program I’ve ever used. It might be hidden but it’s always there so far as I can tell. Usually to unhide it, all you have to do is click the CC (carbon copy) or To buttons in the mail program to get it to show.

When you are mass mailing a group of people from a place like a school or business where privacy is a big issue then always, always send the email to yourself (NOTE: this particular email I sent to ME!). The TO: field should always say to Joe Blow, Perfectly Peggy, Office Supreme, or whoever you are. You can even customize your email. To have it say it’s from anyone, or anything you want. But that’s probably another lesson.

Then put all the folks you want to send an email to in the BCC field. It doesn’t matter if you want to send a group (called a Contact Group in Office 2010 and above, just called a group in Outlook 7 and below) or to a few individuals. The process is exactly the same.

Here are some pretty good resources about the BCC feature:

For Outlook 2010


BCC in Thunderbird:

BCC in Gmail:

BCC in Yahoo:

I hope this helps you all some! Peggy

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