The Park is Open

You may not realize this, however during the winter season when highway 410 is closed – “the park is open”. Which means you can strap on your snow shoes and make your way up highway 410.

We recently went on a 4 mile round trip hike where we followed Highway 410 until we came to where it meets the White River. A few downed trees, but nothing impassable. We saw recent elk tracks as too. We had lunch near the river and drank our cocoa made with melted snow – or “snow-co”.

Afterwords we went up to Crystal Mountain Ski resort with plans to ride the Gondola to the summit. However the woman manning the ticket both warned us away as the visibility was extremely low, and the gondola was delayed because of the winds. So we decided to try the lodge for lunch, which was extremely busy. Just as we were deciding to leave I hear “Jeff?”. It was old friends Tom and Terra Ahlborn were sitting at a table right next the waiting area. We opted for gong to Charlie’s’ Cafe in Enumclaw – which as it turned out closed at 2 PM that day. So we ended up going to The Butter Biscuit. It was a great day with some great friends.

 

More information and directions on this hike here.

 

 

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If You are Using Trend Micro – Stop and Change your Passwords 

Trend Micro has patched the recently discovered Password Manager flaw that enabled hackers to steal users’ passwords, but it faces long-term damage to its reputation.

Source: Password Manager flaw will hurt Trend Micro’s reputation

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Amateur Extra?

Well for the last 13 weeks I have been going to a class to get my Amature Extra license. Tomorrow I take the test. I have to get 74% (37) correct on 50 question test. Wish me luck!

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HACKED!

So when Robin suddenly started getting prompted to enter her Apple ID password on her phone,and her password was not working, my first thought was there was a problem at Apple. They just re-did the Apple ID page on Friday. So I figured it was related.

We soon realized it was not. When we had trouble finding the password reset email from apple – I did some digging and found some new filters added to Robin’s gmail account.

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 3.54.32 PM

extra filters

So that’s why we could not find the email from Apple. Email from Apple, Nordstrom, and Costco were being forwarded to root@startconfig.com and then deleted.

So first things first. Change the gmail password, then enable two factor authentication on her account. Next delete the filters added by Robins attackers.

Looking at the login history for google, a couple of strange logins…

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 5.21.50 PM

 

Seems that Robin has been traveling a lot these last couple of hours, and using Chrome and Firefox (she does not) … Tumwater is kind of close to home.

Now on to those accounts, first Nordstrom. Yep, several payment methods added to our account – all of them stolen cards. Over a $1,000 in purchases (perfume) sent to different addresses around the US. Quick call to Nordstrom and it’s taken care of. Note: one of the packages was being delivered to Robin at our address.

Head over to Costco. Yep, same thing added payment methods for cards that are not ours, orders sent to multiple deliveries – one of them the same name and address from the Nordstrom order.

On to Apple.com … One Gen 4 Apple TV to be delivered to Robin at our address on a new payment method – a card that was not ours.

So it was tense couple of hours as I tracked this stuff down, and give Robin a quick education in two factor authentication.

So two things that worried me, why have some of these items delivered to our home. When Robin signed onto her Costco account it worked, which meant they had not changed her password.

So it turns out that Robin has the same password for both Costco and her email. She assures me that these are the only accounts using that password.

So the good news is I stopped them dead in their tracks. All their orders have been cancelled and they no longer have access to Robin’s mail.

However, two packages were slated to be delivered to our door, and there is that Tumwater address… Good thing we have a camera on the front porch. I just might work from home for a couple of days this week…

Oh, and a quick phone call to godaddy.com where the domain startconfig.com is parked to let them know it’s been misbehaving.

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Why SBS’ ’60s Hitler comedy Danger 5 is awesome

So last winter while I was unemployed and could not sleep one night, I discovered Danger 5. It’s stupid, hilarious, and I could not get enough of it. If you need more convincing – read this article from movieplot. Then you and I can exchange drink recipes my friend.

Source: Why SBS’ ’60s Hitler comedy Danger 5 is awesome

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Welcome Benjamin Thomas Bankston

Welcome Ben!

Welcome Ben!

On October 28 at 4:23 AM the first member of a new generation of the Vorous family arrived. Benjamin Thomas Bankston. Nichelle (mom) is doing fine. Everyone is excited and I look forward to watching my first great-nephew grow up!

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Robin Killed Smoke + Cedar

So the TNT ran an article today that the Smoke + Cedar is closing. I’m blaming Robin and her devastating Yelp Review. After a year and a half, it’s still the most “helpful” review, and it’s not the most flattering. However Robin is not to blame. I have it on good authority that is more of a problem between SMOKE + CEDAR and the Elks Club.

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The Hike I Cannot Tell You About

12049216_10154344110668986_5139853329590833771_nSo we went on a hike on the Washington Coast last weekend and it was amazing. After a 3 hour drive and 2 mile gentle hike, we found ourselves on the Washington coast… and I cannot tell you how to get there.

You see when we went on the hike to Tubal Cain Mine last year we were joined by some friends Anne and Paul. As is customary with any hike, once the evening sets in and you’re huddled around the flashlight lantern (burn bans) you start talking about hikes.

Well Ann and Paul told us about a place along the Pacific North West Trail that sounded wonderful. They then swore us to secrecy about their secret trail head that turned a 14 mile round trip into a 4 mile round trip.

Well last weekend we finally got around to doing that.  It was great time, except for when some of our party went off trail mushroom hunting and lost their way for a little while. I brought along the KX3 and borrowed Chris’ HAM Stick to see if I could make some QRP QSOs with a saltwater ground plane. Total fail. I really have to work on my QRP skills. Because of the surf and beach, there was no easy way total advantage of the saltwater for the radials on my antenna. I could hear plenty of activity on 15 meters for the CQ Worldwide DX contest going on. My 5 Watts was just not cutting it though. I should have just brought an antenna launcher and set up a random wire antenna in the trees.

For lunch I had my now traditional steak and roasted peppers prepared over my BioLite Stove and grill, along with a good single malt scotch.

Afterwords, thanks to our mushroom hunters we has some fresh chanterelle mushrooms at the trail head before heading home.

So it’s hard to write this hike up and also stick to our non-disclosure agreement with Anne and Paul about revealing how we go there… I’ll just say that if you enter the destination into Google Maps, it will take you to the very spot where we parked the Jeep.

So here are some heavily redacted photos so as to keep the location safe.

 

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More Power!

kxpa100_fr_1280So my 100W linear amplifier arrived today. Made by Elecraft, the same people who made my KX3 radio. Going to use if for Salmon Run this weekend.

Chris (N7CPM) and I have a strategy for Salmon Run. Find the county with the history of the fewest operators and set our stations. That turned out to be Ferry county. The same Ferry county that my friend Linda and her husband Phil moved to recently and start a B&B in Kettle Falls, WA.

So Chris and I are spending the weekend there and plan on being one of the most popular stations. Since everyone will batteling to get Kettle Falls to sweep all counties for the contest.

 

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The Worst-Designed Thing You’ve Never Noticed

Robin and were having a relaxed Sunday morning and we started watching a TED Talk on the TV. It was about design and flags. It was a great 18 minute presentation. When the presenter Roman Mars started talking about City Flags, we paused it, and looked up Tacoma. It was apparently obvious that the flag violated the 5 rules of flag design he shared moments earlier. We pressed play, and a minute later Roman showed a slide containing 10 examples of bad city flags – there much to our amusement was the City of Tacoma’s flag.

It’s a fun presentation and informative at same time. I highly recommend you watch it when you have 18 minutes. Don’t worry people of Tacoma, you have nothing to worry about, just check out the flag for the city of Milwaukee or Pocatello.

tacoma flag

 

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