Franconians Don’t Climb

In earlier days one sat at the desk and worked for pay. Nowadays one sits at the desk, works and hopes to get the contract.
It’s not as bad as it sounds. But in order to land an assignment for a larger transcription project one must proof to command the necessary ability & carefulness – how to do better than by working on the job ? And they really picked out a tough example. Let’s hope all this leads to a contract in the end.

When I had enough of that scribble (and the description of body functions & fluids, it is history of medicine) I had a look into Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine (Eng.) – I have absolutely no clue how the 1867 volume has found its way onto my shelves. Thumbing through I found an article* about Hygiene.
Mrs HOPKINSON says that “every one has heard till his ears ache, how important is ventilation” – but people don’t give a damn : “The steam cars are filled with passengers, who sternly refuse admittance to the outer air.” Also people know that movement in fresh air and moderation in drinking and eating is key to health, but nobody cares.
Interestingly she mentions “Preissnitz in Prussia”, he installed a “water-cure” ; of course Mrs HOPKINSON finds, that “wash and be clean” is simpler and better – who needs these damn Prussians anyway ?
In fact Herr PRIEßNITZ (Ger., Eng.) is born in the Austrian part of Silesia. 1846, five years before his death, he was awarded the große goldene Verdienstmedallie (perhaps something like this, just in gold) by his Austrian Emperor. PRIEßNITZ died only 52 years old of a “shrinking liver” – perhaps a water-cure and moderation in eat & drink – ?

Besides the Austrian water-cure Mrs HOPKINSON mentions fabulous Franconia :

“Our countrymen enjoy change of place and change of air. We like to plunge at Newport, to climb at Franconia, to pour libations at Saratoga to Hygieia. We like to give money for things, and have our money’s worth. Why should we bathe in this miserable brook Jordan which runs before our very door ? Are not Abana (Ger., Eng.) and Pharphar (Ger., Eng.) better.”

Franconia ? Best country in the world, no doubt about it – especially because there is not much to be climbed upon around here. Some stony things in the Fränkische Schweiz (Ger., Eng.), yes, but that is really remote and I doubt Mrs HOPKINSON knew about the very existence of this area. So what is she talking about ?
There are a lot of new ports in the new world, one in Pennsylvanien too (Eng.). “Libations” may point to Saratoga Springs (Eng.) in NewYork. And Franconia ? Climb ?
Maybe she mistook our humble hills for the Alps.


* HOPKINSON: Hygiene. In: Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, Philadelphia, March 1867, 258-260

Guggala wuggala

Exactly. I have set up a “business”-website for me & my abilities for rent at the start of this month. Yes, I’ve should have done more, like pestering people around the globe with it and telling them something like “Hire me – or drop dead !”, but I am a friendly man, basically. So I tinkered on ebay and tried to sell some things, with mixed results, but at least some cash seems to drip in.
I watched in awe as gargle~ and ping-bot came by and crawled my website – yes, promote me !
I did this and that with the text(s) until the seo-plugin was satisfied – a bit of a waste imho, gargle & Co. do what they want & there is only a small chance that whatever one does with the text has any real result, it seriously does not change their algorithms, does it ? And I emphasise on a readable text and no silly series of slogans or dumb catch phrases. So there.
But who was dumping a full load of shtuff on me ? Spam comments and spam emails of course. Heavens, within 21 days there were more than fifty spam comments (on only four blog posts ; and two comments I can not delete – this makes me mad !) and I do not know how many emails via the contact form – I just deleted them. Interestingly spam-emails also came through to another email address of mine.
This evening I had enough and looked for a kind of captcha-plugin or similar. For the contact form I now use something that works behind the scene, it’s called a honey-pot. It is thought of as a kind of first defence ; the developers say if it’s too weak a real captcha-thingy should do the trick.
For the comments form (yes, there is a blog, ach – I already mentioned it) I choose the slider captcha – bots do not use a mouse, at least I hope so. It replaces the usual torn numbers or letters (some are really too difficult !) with a mouse gesture, a simple slider. I like the simplicity of this.
Slowly but steadily normal services will be resumed around here, I guess ; crawling back to Blogland. Silvaner helps.

Verzärteltes Pflänzchen

I declare this week closed. Could have done without it anyway. Tuesday afternoon saw an intense discussion in the headquarters of mago inc., I think the result was acceptable for all parties involved. Afterwards I needed a glass of wine and a cigarette.
The special customer (“Pay ? Why pay ?”) shall be cursed – it’s filed under learning costs & is a good lesson – this will not happen again. One should always listen to that small inner voice.
On Wednesday I felt pretty run down, I slept and slept, on Thursday too ; my brain had turned into some mush. It’s only today that I start to feel better, the joints do not hurt no longer, and, most importantly, my eyes are not swollen any more & I can open them: Last night I had difficulties to recognize myself in the bathroom mirror ; and what I saw looked like a B-movie-alien-zombie.
Most time, when not sleeping, I hung around the web playing silly games (gorilla) or scrolling through Amusing Planet or such sites. But due to brain shut down I mostly gazed at pictures and was happy with understanding bold headlines. Today is the first time I went outside, and while the wind is not that cold as it was at the start of the week it bites me – I may have looked very odd with hat, scarf & jacket while others run around in t-shirts & shorts.
So it’s time to try to go through the emails of the last days & generally “to happen” again not on the vegetable-level only. I remember vaguely that things were noted in my calendar, I will at least write it into next week, before I crawl in my bed again.

Adventures in Computing

Some weeks go I received an email from dropbox telling me that they had changed their terms of service. Nice to tell me, but why ? It dawned on me that sometimes in 2013 or 2012 I had opened an account there out of curiosity, simply to have a look. I never used it and thought that they’d simply delete it when it’s not used for say 12 months ? So I went there, logged in with the standard name and password and deleted the account.
I received a confirmation email:

“This email is a confirmation that you’ve deleted your Dropbox account. Your files are no longer on Dropbox, but we haven’t removed them from your computers.”

It’s nice that they refrained from deleting stuff from my computer(s). I had no idea … In the end it is simply a friendly hint that nothing is lost on one’s machine(s) when the service is cancelled. I may be a bit paranoid.

But what made me think is that I simply pegged in some address & a “password” and was in. I realized that I use(d) only one password for all and everything. I am not that vain to believe that what I read on GoodNoos, or my preferences on StumbleUpon or something else of this kind, would be of any interest for the big bad hacker. But I use it for more serious accounts too, business and tax related for example. And I would not like someone to have a look there. Of course I realise that if a state, be it my own or a really friendly superpower, would for what reasons ever have an interest to read these data, they could. But I do not want to make it that easy.
Additionally the heartbleed-bug affected some sites I use, and all of a sudden this rather simple & pretty worn “password” does not look so nice any more.
So I had a look at so-called password managers that come with encryption tools and autofill abilities. On Slate was an article about it. Some are free, and from these some only work with IE or FF. I use a chromium derivative, and finally tested KeePass2 – maybe it’s too late for the developer to rethink the naming.
I think I like it. It works well so far ; one can change a lot of things (what I will surely do not, but one can play around) ; it can generate passwords that are hard to crack, and fills them in when I want this to happen – I think that is what I like about it : It only works when I tell the program to do what it should do on an account starting page, no automatisms. So slowly and one by one the list of “managed” & changed (!) passwords will grow.
Of course, if this little database goes kaputt, I have a real problem.