Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Waste of a Vote?

I do not agree with Obama on anything, but after watching the debates McCain made me quite ill, mainly because of the difference in the way they presented themselves. Obama didn't take the offensive, he was cool and composed and was able to communicate clearly. McCain jumped to the offensive right away and was not at all pleasing to watch or listen to. There are other things McCain has done or said that are very inconsistent and I don't know that I want to vote for him, even though I claim to be a republican. So, I have a question I'd like to pose to the few who read my blog...

Would it be considered throwing my vote away if I were to vote for one of the non-major party candidates (assuming they align more with what I think should happen in the next four years)?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Card Game: Double Speed

Object: Get rid of your cards before the other player

Number of Players: 2

Setup: Deal the entire deck, face down, equally between the two players

  • Both players hold their decks face down in one hand and at the same time flip over four cards (face up) in front of them (see diagram below).
  • Each player then tries to be the first to flip over a new card on any pairs on the table. For example, below there are two 2's and two 5's, either player can flip a card on top of those cards.
  • The same could go if there are 3 of the same number down.
  • If one of the players were to flip a card on top of the 5 below, and the new card was also a 5, another card could be flipped on top of the second 5.
  • When there are no longer any pairs on the table, you gather the four piles on your side and put them at the bottom of your deck. Each player then lays out four new cards from the tops of their decks and another round begins.
  • Play continues until either player has cards in his hand, once the last card is flipped over, play ends and that player wins.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Security Tip: "Security Software Isn't Sufficient..." - Patch!

I read an interesting article that talks about the not so good strategy of anti-virus companies like Symantec, TrendMicro, and McAfee. These companies don't focus on detecting vulnerabilities in applications and operating systems (the root of the problem) they "are geared toward cranking out signatures for hacker payloads: the worms, Trojan horses and spyware that are identified in the wild, given names and then spotted by adding a new detection "fingerprint" to the software."

Basically these security companies wait for hacker 'A' to write an exploit for Microsoft Office and then they update your virus signatures to fight off that particular hacker and keep you from getting infected when you open an infected word document. But then hacker 'B' comes along and creates a new payload (malicious code) that exploits the same vulnerability, and because it's not yet been fingerprinted by your virus software you get infected!  These companies can't really fix the vulnerabilities, so they shoot for trying to stop known malware by black listing it.

So, just because you have security software does not mean you're safe. Keep your browsers, applications, operating systems, etc., all up to date. That means install the required updates/patches and restart your computer for them to take effect. Most programs have an automatic update feature (sometimes you have to manually click on it), find it and use it.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I was preparing a lesson for deacon's quorum the a couple weeks ago on the topic of controlling our thoughts and language. I came across the following quote from a talk given in the April 2007 General Conference:
The adversary will have very little power to tempt you with things that you have never touched.
I've also read C.S. Lewis's similar viewpoint that it isn't giving into the wind that makes a tree strong or surrendering to your enemy in war that leads to victory; the wind must be withstood and your enemy resisted to build your strength against evil.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Card Game: Speed

Number of Players: 2

Object: To get rid of all cards before the other player.

Set-up: 4 piles in a row between you and your opponent. First and last pile have 5 cards each (red), face down. The middle two piles (blue) are only one card each face down. Deal a hand of five cards to each player (green), and then deal the remaining cards into two refill piles for each player (purple).

Play: Each player then flips over a middle (blue) card at the same time and then builds on top of those numbers (either up or down) sequentially. If the highest card ends up on top you can place the lowest card on it, or a card of value one less than the high card. Similar for a low card. When the cards in your hand get below 5, use the refill deck (purple) to replenish your hand. The first person to play all the cards from their hand and refill deck wins.