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'Unprecedented MELTDOWN': Voice Of America Failed To Notice 'hacker' Takeover Of Its Blog Page, Former Executive Reveals

( education / news / rss )
The official page of the US taxpayer-funded government outlet Voice of America on a Russian social media site was not just neglected for years, but allowed to be taken over by hostile hackers, a former executive has claimed. Read Full Article at ... read more

The Good Old Days

( culture / writing / blog / shopping )
Ah, the good ol' days when the shelves were full! Click the image.... read more

US Department Of Transportation To Ban Dog Breed Discrimination On Airlines

( culture / writing / blog / pets )
The regulation is set to put an end to airlines discriminating against service dogs based on their appearance or breed--particularly pit bulls. via goodnewsnetwork... read more

No Annoying Prompts

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
Aren't you glad we don't have any of those annoying pop-up ads asking you to join our newsletter? Ironic, isn't it, given that we are an online newsletter?... read more

Free Vector Graphics Editor

( culture / writing / blog )
Could be useful. See (this one's for Windows, but there's a version for Mac and Linux, too) inkscape.org... read more

Most Popular Site On The Internet

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
This is the 12,157,539th most popular website in the world, according to silktide.com! Wow! We have hit the big time. See image here: ... read more

Support This Site

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
...should you be so inclined: Buy one of my books at Amazon or SmashWords, or Buy me a (virtual) cup of coffee, o ... read more

How To Support This Website

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
...should you be so inclined: Buy one of my books at Amazon or SmashWords, or Buy me a (virtual) cup of coffee... read more

Random Observations

( culture / humor / blog )
Miscellaneous Had alarm set for 4:15a.m., but the trash collectors in the alley behind my hotel thought 3:30 would be better. At the airport, I was busted for trying to sneak contraband mouthwash and sweet tea through security OK how are you supposed to cut a mango? No idea. How's this for a great... read more

History Of Friendsnews.com

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
FYI for those researching insignificant corners of the web: Wayback Machine... read more

"Russia-Gate" Explained

( education / writing / blog )
Russia-gate, explainedThis pretty well sums up the stupidity known as Russia-gate: russiagate cartoon. And, can we please stop adding gate to the end of every scandal? Millennials are too young to remember Watergate, the or ... read more

1-2-3 Day!

( culture / writing / blog / numbers )
Today is 1-2-3 day! January 23. Exciting, right? Just think, twenty-six years from today it'll be 1-2-3-4-5 day! I'll probably be dead by then, but somebody will enjoy it! ... read more

Trail Of Blood

( culture / humor / blog )
Walking in from the parking lot into work this morning, on the sidewalk I saw what looked like a trail of blood. There was a big spot of it at the top of the sidewalk, and it dwindled as it continued downhill toward the front door. What the...? This building is out in the middle of formerly beautiful countryside. Maybe a coyote (or a pack) killed a... read more

Is It Down Right Now

( culture / writing / blog )
Useful site to see if it's your connection (or firewall) or the site itself that's having a problem: Is It Down Right Now? Someone emailed us about their tool here: ... read more

Spend Time Instead Of Money

( culture / writing / blog )
Great idea! ... around the world, people are using a system of exchange that requires something everyone is, for the most part, given equally, every day: Time. via ... read more

Diary, 7/29/2017

( culture / writing / blog / diary )
I just went down the road to the quickie-mart and got coffee. It's something I do most every weekend morning since throwing away my home coffee maker to keep me from drinking too much of it. On the way there, I saw what I thought was a dead turtle in the road. I hate that. Poor things just can't move fast enough. Half way there, up ... read more

Please Patronize Me

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
Check out my Patreon page. Patrons get free stuff! Well, not technically free since you do have to pay at least $1 to get anything. Still ... It would be amazing if I had any fans at all to help finance what I do! Thank you for (possibly) being one.&qu... read more

Couch Potato

( culture / writing / blog )
I've been a couch potato all day. Well, most of the day. I did finally pull up the dead crops in the vegetable garden at one point. And I did do some recycling, taking the paper, bottles, cans and plastic bags out of the trash cans and putting it into the appropriate recycle bins in the garage. I tried to accomplish a few things on the ... read more

Folding Clothes

( culture / writing / blog )
I thought I'd watch some sports while folding clothes (making up for my complete lack of doing chores yesterday). My choices were NBA basketball (where travelling is only called after 6 or 7 steps), bull riding (where I just feel sorry for the bulls), or a dog show (where I just couldn't care less). My sister Lucy would be in TV heaven, but... read more

Airlines Misbehaving

( culture / writing / blog / airlines )
United Airlines says Thank you, American Airlines, now everyone finally knows we're not the ONLY aholes! Yes, the woman was apparently belligerent (just like United's victim), but these so-call... read more

Another Page Of Mine

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
It's a site called Patreon where they help creative people find patrons to support their work. My page is here: Patreon It would be amazing if I had any fans at all to help finance what I do!... read more


( life / health / environment / blog )
Had to park under an overpass this morning to avoid tornadoes. No problems for me but one did touch down right near work. Someone said it hit Macy's (just across the Interstate).... read more

Local Pick Up

( culture / writing / blog / shopping )
Just ordered a $10 item on eBay. They offered in Las Vegas, Nevada versus delivering it. I live in Nashville. I need to decide if it's worth driving out there. Suggestions?... read more

Out Of Toothpaste

( culture / humor / blog )
Me (joking, the other day): I'm out of toothpaste! Whaddaya gonna do about it? Wife (without missing a beat): Find a husband with toothpaste, I guess. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I married her. :) And that's why I'm at the store right now, buying toothpaste.... read more

Fence Guy

( culture / writing / blog )
So, the wife texts me saying, Fence guy quoted $35500 to do the fence. He's coming out Wednesday. This is a fence repair for a small backyard, not a new thousand acre fence. Me: How much?! Wife (paraphrasing): Oops, I left out the decimal point!... read more

Watch Tara The Hero Cat Attempt To Throw A Ceremonial First Pitch

( culture / writing / blog )
via hWatch Tara the Hero Cat attempt to throw a ceremonial first pitch For those who saw ... read more

The World According To Time Magazine

( culture / writing / blog )
The World According to TIME Magazine. For those who still read TIME magazine.... read more

We Stopped SOPA, Let's Stop The TPP

( culture / writing / blog )
We stopped SOPA, let's stop the TPPThe text of the agreement has been shrouded in secrecy. But we know from leaked documents that the TPP would let corporations monitor our online activities, cut off our Internet access, delete content and impose fines. via ... read more

The Fallacy Of Lesser Evil Choice

( culture / writing / blog )
... the main issue here is that it is delusional if not moronic for persons who describe themselves as progressive to insist upon copping out to the Lesser-Evil candidate for fear of losing an election, rather than to support -- whatever the odds -- a candidate they will admit to possessing superior intelligence, m ... read more

RFK Jr On JFK's Attempts To End The Cold War

( culture / writing / blog )
RFK Jr on JFK's attempts to end the cold warBolshakov smuggled a letter, the first of 21 declassified in 1993, to JFK's press secretary, Pierre Salinger, in a folded newspaper. In it, Khrushchev expressed regret about Vienna and embraced JFKs proposal for a path to peace and disarmament. ... read more

Simple Reform Could Save America From Wall Street

( culture / writing / blog )
A Simple Reform Could Save America From Wall Street and Boost the Economy: What's Washington Waiting For? We're talking about a financial ... read more

Spot The Psycho Before They Spot You

( culture / writing / blog )
Activist Post: Spot the Psycho Before They Spot You. We hang the petty thieves, and appoint the great ones to public office. -- Aesop ... read more


( culture / writing / blog )
Obama himself says, The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident. And he's right, for a ... read more

Lost A Friend

( culture / writing / blog )
--No, not that kind of lost (knock on wood). So get that lump out of your throat. No, I just noticed I've lost a friend.Don't you hate it when you're walking along talking to someone, it's crowded, you hear a muffled scream but think nothing of it, only to realize several blocks down the street that your friend is no ... read more

Just Another Sunday

( culture / writing / blog / shopping )
Wife and kid are off at this thing called church. Maybe you've heard of it. I'm not familiar. Not sure what to make of it. :)I'm basically just hanging out waiting for the new mattress to be delivered. We told the delivery guy, Anytime! He sounded foreign. I hope he shows up before 10pm! Never know with these dang ferners! Anyw... read more

Taibbi Reveals Smoking Gun At Moodys And S&P

( culture / writing / blog )
Taibbi reveals smoking gun at moody's and s&pLord help our fing scam?.?.?.?this has to be the stupidest place I have worked at, writes one Standard & Poor's executive. As you know, I had difficulties explaining 'HOW' we got to those numbers since there is no science behind it, confesses ... read more

Father's Day

( culture / writing / blog / holidays )
I'm just writing this post to get something new on the blog other than that free ad for Windows 7. :) We drove up to be with my wife's side of the family today for Father's Day. An extra special treat upon returning home was to discover that our 8-year-old, Elizabeth, had decided to trim her hair -- to give herself bangs ... read more

Revealing NSA Spying Program Doesn't Harm National Security

( culture / writing / blog )
Revealing NSA Spying Program DOESN'T Harm National SecurityTerrorists Already Knew about the Programs ... The Only People Who Were Kept In the Dark Were the American People via ... read more

New Washer

( culture / writing / blog / appliances )
The new washer was delivered today. I let them take the old one away even though we'd just bought it (used) a week ago. That's right, it lasted just one week. Oh well, we didn't really need that $200 (after tax and delivery), anyway. </sarcasm> I say let them take it because I could have had the repairman from the store, ... read more

Guest Posting

( culture / writing / blog / friendsnews )
I've been following and listening to Jeff Goins's TribeWriters program, and he says an important aspect to successful blogging (at least as far as getting noticed) is to guest post on other people's blogs. Jeff is a great resource, by the way. So, if you want to post something ... read more

Blog Content

( culture / writing / blog / internet )
I'm as guilty as anyone about trying to add content to my blog just for the sake of content (because search engines look for and rate highly based on how fresh your blog's content is). But someone whose blog/newsletter I subscribe to has stooped to simply stating the obvious, maybe phrasing it differently, just to have an interesting to... read more

Great Suction!

( culture / writing / blog )
In preparation for the much-anticipated Comcast installation (Internet, not TV), I do as they suggest and clear out a space where I want them to put the cable wall jack. Once I have that space cleared, I decide to vacuum the area. It's almost an instinctive reaction: You clear out a space that ... read more

Why Is Boston Terrorism But Not Aurora Sandy Hook Tucson And Columbine

( culture / writing / blog )
Why is Boston 'terrorism' but not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine?Glenn Greenwald asks in his latest column, Why is Boston 'terrorism' but not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Co ... read more

Doing The Dishes

( culture / humor / blog )
So, my wife tells me most people do the dishes every day. I don't believe her. Every day? I ask.Yes, every day, she says.Every single day? I persist. She nods. You don't mean, I search for clarification, it's something that is an 'every day' thing, but in reality is not done literally every single day, do... read more

Tried To Mow The Lawn

( culture / writing / blog / garden )
Well, I tried to mow the lawn, but the lawnmower wouldn't start. I swear. :) It's probably all clogged up from sitting there unused all winter. It was a hand-me-down mower, anyway, probably in need of replacing, but that's just not in the budget right now. Actually, the yard looks better au natural at the moment b... read more

We Need A New Sherman Antitrust Act

( culture / writing / blog )
via @holmes3804We need a new Sherman Antitrust Act! (or enforce the one we've got).Limit, by statute, the allowed size of any company.Having too much of the economy controlled by too few corporati ... read more

Fooling Themselves

( culture / writing / blog )
The elites are adept at fooling themselves into thinking they know best.This superiority that they bestow upon themselves is a convenient justification for keeping us commoners in the dark, and keeping themselves in power. ... read more

Russia Ousts US NGOs, Fake Protests Peter Out

( culture / writing / blog )
Reuters states ... Putin ... has pushed through laws which critics say can be used to stifle dissent - tightening controls of the Internet ... and broadening the definition of treason. Activist Post: Russi... read more

Texas Threatens To Arrest International Monitors

( culture / writing / blog )
When the government remains unresponsive to egregious attempts to suppress the vote, such as mass mailings to ex-felons falsely telling them they are not allowed to vote, there certainly is a need for someone to step in to document the scandal and demand the issues be rectified. via ... read more

Diary, 7/2/2012

( culture / writing / blog )
It almost rained today. I know, exciting. Apparently, it did rain pretty hard in some places, but not here on the south side. Hopefully, by this time next week it will have rained several times. The possibility is in the forecast, anyway. Just trying to keep my crops healthy. As Mark Twain said, Everybody talks about the weat... read more

Diary, 6/30/2012

( culture / writing / blog / diary )
It's supposed to be record heat again today. Yesterday was 109F degrees, which is unheard of in Nashville. Today is supposed to be 107F. I've already watered my fruit trees and vegetable garden in the backyard this morning. Yesterday when I came home from work, the garden was literally wilted from the heat. I have never had an entire garden ... read more


( culture / writing / blog )
Great video ... and idea.! Stay informed, subscribe to our mailing list: bit.ly/Updates Buy the DVD w/ 50 minutes of bonus features: thrivemovement.com/st... read more

Unplugging Americans From The Matrix

( culture / writing / blog )
... political elites represent only the powerful special interests that write the country's laws in exchange for funding the political campaigns of lawmakers. via Unplugging Americans from the MatrixThe West passes judgment on ... read more

Virginia Declares Emperor Has No Clothes Nullif

( culture / writing / blog )
Virginia declares emperor has no clothes: nullifies NDAAVirginia declares emperor has no clothes: nullifies NDAA Good for Virginia!And it looks like Tennessee may follow suit. ... read more

Taxpayers Lose 13 Billion As Govt Exits Chrysler

( culture / writing / blog )
Taxpayers lose $1.3 billion as gov't exits Chryslervia Taxpayers lose $1.3 billion as gov't exits Chrysler U.S. taxpayers likely lost $1.3 billion in the government bailout of Chrysler, the Treasury ... read more

Tennessee Begins To Push Back Against NDAA Tyranny

( culture / writing / blog )
Some possible good news, for a change:... any federal law purporting to require local or state law enforcement agencies to act at the direction of the federal government or the United States military is beyond the authority granted to the federal government pursuant to the United States Constitution, is not recognized by this ... read more

Super Committee Members Super Corrupt

( culture / writing / blog )
rawstory.com/rs/2011/08/18/wall-street-firms-donated-11-2-million-to-members-of-debt-super-committee/The bipartisan super committee created by the debt ceiling dea ... read more

Goldman Sachs Exec Working For Issa

( culture / writing / blog )
truth-out.org/goldman-sachs-vp-changed-his-name-now-advances-goldman-lobbying-interests-top-staffer-darrell-issa/1 ... read more

Welfare For The Rich

( culture / writing / blog )
via dailybail.com/home/matt-taibbi-the-real-housewives-of-wall-street-how-morgan-st.html ... read more

Kite Flying

( culture / writing / blog )
As it turned out, today was a good day for kite flying. Elizabeth, 6, had been bugging me about flying her new kite since returning from the vet this morning. We had brought all three pugs in to see ... read more

Solar Power Without Solar Cells

( culture / writing / blog )
Cool! via Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible. You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We've all been taught that ... read more

Supermarket Meat Tainted With Drug Resistant Bacteria

( culture / writing / blog )
Supermarket meat tainted with drug-resistant bacteriaAnother reason to go vegetarian, although their math isn't right. Forty-seven percent is much worse than 1 in 4. Maybe we should actually read the article? :) via ... read more

The Skeleton Closet

( culture / writing / blog )
The Skeleton Closet.Good stuff! All the Scandals on All the Candidates for President --Since 1995-- Because character DOES matter. You've come to the right place for dirt, attitude and opinionated character reviews of all the presidenti ... read more

Higher Percentage Of Americans Believed In King George

( culture / writing / blog )
During the Revolutionary War than Congress Today ... read more

Fox Shoots Hunter In Belarus

( culture / writing / blog )
Hooray for the fox! via Fox shoots hunter in Belarus A wounded fox shot its would-be killer in Belarus by pulling the trigger on the hunter's gun as the pair scuffled after the man tried to fin... read more

Food Safety Hypocrites

( culture / writing / blog )
These people all need to go: libertynewsonline.com/article30129693.php... read more

Something To Ponder

( culture / writing / blog )
Railroad tracks The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates designed the US railroads. Why did the English build them like that? Because the first r ... read more

Is This Not Treason?

( culture / writing / blog )
Is this not treason?By his own admission, Cantor appears to be a traitorous dumb ass: crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/his-own-standard-did-eric-cantor-just ... read more

Fall Is Definitely Here

( life / health / environment / blog )
It was actually cold all day today, but that didn't stop me and Elizabeth, then the pugs, from spending half of our day outside! First, we went exploring the new neighborhood being built nearby. I don't know why they're building. There's plenty of existing houses that no one wants to buy. Whatever. At least they've created lots of good dirt piles t... read more

Diary, 7/24/2010

( culture / writing / blog / diary )
We all went to the Nashville Zoo today. My God it was hot ... and sticky. Luckily, Blue Bell Ice Cream was handing out free cups of vanilla ice cream, which we grabbed upon arrival and at departure. I think today was literally the hott... read more

Diary, 7/23/2010

( culture / writing / blog )
I'm lying here on the couch -- with the pugs asleep next to me -- getting my new laptop just the way I like it. A customer was supposed to show up and drop off their laptop today at 3, but that never happened. Shoulda guessed that, but I had to be here in guess they did show up. Anyway, this new laptop is much older than the new A ... read more

It Has Long Been Time For Joe Lieberman To Go

( culture / writing / blog )
The epitome of slime, of course, it's long BEEN time for Joe Lieberman to go: libertymaven.com/2010/06/22/loathsome-joe-liebermans-internet-kill-switch/10005/ --... read more

How To Anonymize Your Browsing

( culture / writing / blog )
To anonymize your browsing, use one of these anonymizer sites and/or programs:Sites Anonymouse.org Connect... read more


( culture / writing / blog )
I almost stepped on a snake as Elizabeth and I came out of the creek. Yes, we were in the creek. Anyway, I yelled, Aaaah when he slithered past me toward Elizabeth and into the water. Elizabeth wanted to get a better look at him as he lay there half in the water, half out. It was only three feet long, but I didn't know if it was ... read more

Thawing Out

( culture / writing / blog )
Hopefully. It snowed a good 5-6 inches Friday in and around Nashville. It wasn't good snowman/snowball snow, though. Not in our neighborhood, anyway. It was too crusty because of the freezing rain that came after the snow. It made for great sledding, though, which Elizabeth and I spent several hours doing over the past few days. The pugs ... read more

A Day Without My Car

( culture / writing / blog / transportation )
I'm just testing this Windows Live Writer software. UPDATE: There's now a newer, open-source version here. It was a dark and stormy night ... No, it was an unusually cold day ... yeah, that's it ... for the firs... read more

A Few Bumper Stickers

( culture / writing / blog )
And one t-shirt, too. That's not me in the picture. :) Here's my store: zazzle.com/holmes3804 Make custom gifts at ... read more

Diary, 10/28/2009

( culture / writing / blog )
We had a Fall Festival party at Elizabeth's daycare/preschool tonight (called that because some parents don't like Halloween). Elizabeth went dressed up in her Minnie Mouse costume. She was very cute. But then, she's cute no matter how she's dressed. :) They had a magic show that was cute, but I've seen better. :) Actually, ... read more

Diary, 10/17/2009

( culture / writing / blog )
Been trying to learn Cisco (network routing equipment) online through skillsoft.com, which I was given access to in my severance package. Maybe I need to just move out in order to get everything done that needs getting done. My 4 year old daughter thinks just because I'm working from home right ... read more

Diary, 10/15/2009

( culture / writing / blog )
Two weeks shy of my birthday and I'm still looking for a job. I don't know why. I never really fit in at these corporate soul-sucking places. Oh that's right, I need to pay the mortgage, daycare, grocery bill, utilities, car payment and its insurance. And don't forget the exorbitant health care premiums. You ever tried buying health ... read more

New Fence

( culture / writing / blog )
I forgot to mention that I built a fence last weekend. It only spans about 12 feet from the side of the house to the retaining wall dividing us from our slightly-uphill neighbor. I've still got to cut a gate into it. Hopefully, I can pull that off. I pulled it off. See below. Then, maybe next weekend I'll get the other side of the house f... read more

Diary, 4/2/2009

( culture / writing / blog )
Today is Dad's birthday. 90 years old! Amazing. I'm 48, in case you're wondering. Amazing ... ly disgusting! Oh well. Anyway, back to Dad. Longevity runs in his side of the family. His mother lived to be 101. His father made it to 81 or so, as did his oldest brother and only sister ... I think. I didn't really pay ... read more

Free Remote Control Software

( culture / writing / blog )
This looks really good: teamviewer.com/index.aspx Of course, I've already been using the one from Zoho, too, here: meeting.zoho.com/agent/ZohoMeet ... read more

Your Outgoing Mail Server

( culture / writing / blog )
Hopefully yours is listed here, anyway. :) amailsender.com/support/smtpserver/ ... read more

Software Updater

( culture / writing / blog )
CNET has created a fantastic new service called Tech Tracker that I wish I'd come up with. It tracks and keeps up to date all of the software on your computer! Mac or Windows! The only catch is that you have to create an account on their site and give them your email address. Hopefully it's worth it. Here's the link: ... read more

Diary, 11/10/2008

( culture / writing / blog / diary )
Parents all worry about how well they're raising their kids; how they will behave; what kind of people they will grow up to be. Well, tonight I discovered a sad truth about our youngest daughter, Sunny. She likes to hang out in gutters. You heard me. Gutters! Oh, the shame of it all! Sunny is a cat, in case you didn't know. She was appa... read more

Diary, 11/7/2008

( culture / writing / blog )
Well, I had a hell of a day. It started off normally enough, though it was raining, which is increasingly rare around here. I dropped Elizabeth off at school on my way to work, and from there my day took a wrong turn. I took side streets the rest of the way to work instead of the main Old Hickory Blvd route. The side streets are just faster, us... read more

How To Get People To Stop Forwarding Stuff To You

( culture / writing / blog )
Go to stopforwarding.us/ ... read more

Harmony Haven Therapeutic Riding And Horse Rescue

( culture / writing / blog )
We have started our non-profit organization in Cottonwood. Harmony Haven Therapy Riding and Horse Rescue. We will add you to our mailing list if you want updates (we now have 3 horses for our riders). Hope to hear from everyone. -- Jeannie, 2008 Click below to see how much they've changed since this original post!... read more

Diary, 4/26/2008

( culture / writing / blog )
I took Joey to the vet this morning for a routine follow-up. I volunteered because I thought his appointment would conflict with Tara's plans to take Elizabeth to meet up with her Auntie, Tara's sister Sandy, at the Franklin Street Fair. Tara conveniently allowed me to think that. When Joey and I got back home, Tara and Elizabeth were b... read more

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