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June 2012

May 2012

Why Facebook can never be gangsta

 When I did something wrong as a youngster, the last thing I thought about doing was taking a picture of the act and making it public.  How hard is that to figure out?  Picture=proof.

So when I read a news article like this, I'm still baffled why an offender thinks a photo taunt to a victim is worth their inevitable arrest.  How fitting is the term Facebook now.  The words "face" and "book" should be enough to warn potential violators.

The theft happened in Arlington, Virginia.  Area police say typical burglary cases are normally left unsolved.  I can understand that, if there's no trail of clues or witnesses it hard to find the culprit. So I wasn't surprised in learning how many cases go unsolved.  I've come to the conclusion that it up to you to protect your household and limit the risk.  Don't keep large sums of cash in your house, have an alarm system, get a dog, lock the doors/windows, and don't advertise when you're not home.  Limit who you're letting in your home. Thieves often know the layout before hand because they've been to the house before.

What surprised me the most was the  father's observation about his son losing some documents including one he had never backed up for years.  Never backed up?  How difficult is it to setup a back-up these days?  You can buy a nice hard drive with some backup software that will automatically run a backup as often as you need. Companies make these programs so user-friendly that it's impossible to come up with a reason not to have it.  

My three simple rules I tell friends and coworkers-

  1. Backup everything
  2. Uses strong passwords and don't write them down
  3. Never send email/post something you wouldn't want on the front page of newspaper


European Union Open House

Denmark Open House
Being back in the States, the last thing I thought I'd do was attend another Embassy function.  And then along comes the EU Embassy Open House a couple weeks ago.  Friends wanted to check out some of the Embassies so I drove us into DC. 

All the European Union embassies opened their doors at 10AM and allowed the public to take a tour of the grounds and internal meet/greet areas.  Among the ones we saw were the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Lithuania.  I was hoping to see more, but by noon lines of people outside many of the Embassies were so long it took about an hour to get in.  But it was fun being on the other side.  I spent more time wondering what the officers jobs really instead going through the tours.  I'm sure they would have enjoyed having a Saturday off, but host country locals really do enjoy seeing how other countries embassies look and operate.

I ended up parking my car in my old DC neighborhood near the National Cathedral.  Not much has changed except for a few restaurants.  I don't miss the higher rent in DC but the location will always bring back fond memories.  Most of the embassies reside along "Embassy Row" (Massachusetts avenue).  The same street I rode my bike on during my commute and long before I realized I was going to work in a similar environment overseas.


This site's two most popular posts over the last week were about smoking and cats.  So here's my mashup encore.  There are weird people on the Internets.  Enjoy.

Smokem' if you got em


Me-needs a trainer
Meow - a 2 year old cat dies due to tragic weight problem

Ok, I like cats even though I'm a dog owner.  So seeing stories like this make me wonder why some humans still haven't evolved as quickly as others.  Maybe the cat's elderly owner forgot how often they were feeding the cat.  The story link doesn't say.  

My solution, for what seems to be a common pet obesity problem, create another (altered)-reality show "The Biggest Pet Loser".  Owners would accompany fat cats and pudgy pooches as they exercise each week.  Not only do we get the viseral shock value of the overweight pets, but we also get to  lambast the owners with harse comments on their irresponsibility.

I'd even watch a show like that.  Just make sure the royalty check has my name spelled correctly.

1st year back

  Lucia shade

One year has passed since Lucia and I left Russia.  The months passed quickly, as they often do, and leave me to wonder what I really accomplished during my first year back.  Most of it was spent with friends (old and new), working on home projects, and getting use to the new assignment in DC.

Now that one year has passed, I have to start thinking about what I want to do for my next assignment.  I'm still enjoying my time back in the U.S. so staying in DC may be in my future for a few more years at least.

Lucia has adapted to her new life in the U.S.  So much so that she's finally more relaxed around groups of people.  The first few years in Vladivostok were tough for trying to walk a dog everyday.  So it was mainly my fault for not getting her acclimated faster to other people.  As a watchdog, she does a fantastic job if a stranger comes through the yard.  But out in public I've had to work with her on what's acceptable behavior around other dogs and new humans.  

A year ago she wouldn't allow a strange child to come up and pet her.  Thankfully, she never bit anyone, instead she just moved away and stayed clear of new people.  But over the last few months she started allowing children to pet her without moving away.  Definitely easier to deal with now than trying to explain to a child why a dog doesn't want to be touched.

She adapting to riding in my car more now.  In Vlad, car trips were akin to see the Vet.  Now she knows a car ride will usually take her to a new place.  She's learned where her spot is in the car also. The FJ's suicide doors confused her originally but now she's figuring out which door opens to the back seat.