Anyone else tired of the empower network?


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Anyone else tired of the Empower Network? It seems every other post on Craigslist under writing and even some freelance writing websites have links to this company and the bare chested founder. It wouldn’t bother me so much, but the posts always make it sound like a legitimate writing job. Then you click the link and you’re back to a shill for the Empower Network. Do a search for the company and you’ll get page after page of ‘I drank the kool aid’ followers dying to get you to sign up for their $25 a month hosted blog sites.

Then I read today that somehow Google ranks these pages higher than others for some reason. I need to look more into that. I may have to start being more discriminating with my choices of search engines. I think I’ve seen enough of those sites with their cheesy graphics to last me a lifetime. There is something about the yellow play icon that makes me twitch.


Demolition of abandoned properties in Chicago and elsewhere


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Last week my mayor, Rahm Emmanuel, decided it was time to start using the tools at his disposal to start tearing down abandoned buildings here in Chicago. His thinking is that they harbor gangs and generally cause issues for the law abiding citizens that live around them. I can’t say I don’t agree to some extent, most abandoned buildings aren’t boarded up properly. You know the ones, plywood hanging off the doors and windows, trash strewn all over what used to be the yard, I get it. Just another target for gang bangers to stash their weapons, deal their drugs and hide from the cops when they roll up. Well, that’s what my mayor says anyways.

It’s not like this idea is new. Last year I heard about the mayor of Detroit planning the same thing. They were saying so many people have left the city and abandoned their homes that once they tear all those down it will be like the suburbs with green space everywhere. Then last night on NPR they were talking about St. Louis, where they too are starting to tear down abandoned buildings too.

Gary Indiana, my birthplace, started to do that some years back. I drove through there last summer after a massive traffic jam caused my husband and I to reroute off of 80/94 to Ridge Road. I have to say honestly I couldn’t tell if they are still tearing down properties. I saw so many abandoned buildings in need of tearing down, that I wonder what qualifies as an abandoned property in that city. Is it if you don’t pay your property taxes? What if you pay your taxes but the property is uninhabited and has safety violations? I saw an old auto garage that nature was taking back, no windows or doors left, vines and weeds hanging off of everything but it had a for sale sign on it. Just a few weeks ago I went through the Aetna and Miller sections of the city and saw numerous homes in various stages of abandonment, some burned out and half boarded, others left to mother nature to reclaim with no windows or doors, not properly secured at all. It was sad. I wouldn’t want to live near those homes, they seem haunted by better days and attracting of bad energy.

Gas stations and emergency preparedness


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There was an interesting post on NPR about thr power outages in West Virginia last week. My folks drove down I 64 last Saturday unaware of how bad it was until it was too late to reroute. They were lucky to find gas at an old mom and pop gas station that had old analog pumps. Cash only and they had to wait over an hour to fill up.

This makes me wonder, why don’t more gas stations have backup power sources? Sure most have some battery backups on the registers but what about the pumps?

Considering our dependence on gasoline to power our vehicles, and generators in the event of a power outage, they should be required to have a generator. I’d really rather see wind or solar technology, but the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun goes down at night.

In the meantime, I’m falling back on my wintertime rituals for emergency preparedness year round. Always keep the tank as full as possible and check the weather and news for your route ahead of time. I’m adding to that a stash of food and water on my next roadtrip too.

National Clean Your Cubicle Day


My boss decided to announce yesterday that it was national clean your cubicle day. I guess great minds think alike, I was thinking on my way into the office that morning that the rising tide of notes and general disarray in my tiny cubicle was going to consume me.

Here’s the after image, the before was too hideous to post.

Isn’t that just the cutest baby ever? I know, I’m biased. 😉

Neat and tidy!

In the beginning…


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I’ve started this blog to share my views and knowledge. I’ve been a tech for over ten years now and I have a lot of information to share. I can’t be a tech 24 hours a day, so there will be posts on other topics as the mood strikes too.

On the technology front, expect some posts concerning topics that you may not have heard of yet, like the retirement of the credit card magnetic stripe, changes in PCI compliance and the retirement of Windows XP coming up next year. I’ll be posting those in the coming weeks.