Last week in this space I introduced Kim, a woman who I have not met. We had a telephone conversation and it seemed to me that the bottom line was that she was asking for my kindness in the world.
I'm delighted my last column engendered such deep emotions in so many people and I'd like to thank them for talking the time to write in. If every one of those people gave $40 to a local rescue, they could be instrumental in helping stop slaughter in America.
We have all probably heard of term "malware." This term, however, is only an umbrella to many sub-categories of malware types. Under the general term "malware" are Viruses, Trojans, Worms, Adware, Spyware, Logic Bombs and Ransomware. While all of these perform very different malicious activities, ransomware generally takes assets (in most cases: files), locks them up and them demands money from you (ransom).
Now the holidays are in full swing -- not that they weren't already since retailers now elect to skip right over Thanksgiving the start blasting Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. We find ourselves preparing for yet another holiday season full of discount prices, shopping headaches and then eventually Christmas itself, which always comes with a welcome relief.
A loving mother drowns her children. A decorated soldier prowls through homes in Afghanistan, killing people in their beds. A quiet, popular community leader kills himself and his wife. A respected minister runs away with his secretary. How could it happen?
Her name is Kim and we have not met. But she's called for me a few times, and stopped by the office and finally last week we connected by telephone.
Lots of people call me, for lots of reasons.
Just saw the photo of our community water tank from years past (published in "Looking Back" on Nov. 12). It was later painted silver with the lettering in black. I have a similar photo but the trees, still bending in the wind, look to be a bit older.
"I want to buy a new computer. What should I look for?"
Eventually, our computers, unfortunately, will fail us. Like all machines, our computers, smartphones and even tablets will likely fall victim to a software, hardware or other issue that renders them unusable.
On a recent road trip I picked up the Seattle Times during a layover at Seattle-Tacoma airport (SEATAC), a story on the front page caught my attention; it talked about a proposal that recently went to voters that raises the minimum wage for many SEATAC workers to a whopping $15 an hour. The proposal was too close to call at the time, although it had an early lead with several absentee ballots still to count.
There is a deep dark secret in the equine industry -- illegal horse "rescues" and the shady auctions that have sprung up in the vacuum created by the the confluence of three events: the slaughter ban, the Great Recession and the worst drought the West has seen in decades. Even though the ban was lifted, the damage has been done. The slaughter ban is an excellent example of how a good idea gets totally perverted by our representatives in Congress. The thousands of horses that have died horrific, long, grueling deaths haunt me.
Elsewhere in this week's edition you'll find a brief story reporting that Pizza Hut is expected to open in Tehachapi. And just after we sent that page off to be printed we heard from Pizza Hut's spokeperson that indeed they will be opening (Dec. 23) on Tucker Road between Albertson's and Baskin Robbins. Like Hungry Howie's, Little Caesar's and Domino's, the Tehachapi Pizza Hut will be carry-out and delivery.
Most of us these days have a computer of some kind. We understand pretty quickly that if we don't make certain choices, the computer will make them for us. It's something called "default settings." If I don't choose a font and type size for something I'm typing, the default is Calibri, 11 point. I can choose any of a few hundred fonts, in a range of sizes. But if I don't make that choice, I get Calibri 11 point. I can easily choose another default. But until I do, it's Calibri 11 point. There are a lot of those default settings. Unless I do something to change them, they stay with me, making choices about how my computer works. That's what computers do. They keep doing what they have been told to do, and do it the way they have been programmed to do it, default settings and all.