Tag Archives: PM

Setting boundaries with difficult tenants

As a landlord, I’ve dealt with some difficult tenants, and I’ve noticed they all tend to use very similar tactics. Setting boundaries is a necessity to keep things under control, and in the end keep all of your tenants happy while keeping yourself sane.

Continue reading Setting boundaries with difficult tenants

Reversing some WordPress malware

Aug 2016 update: Back in 2015, some kind of spam bot wormed its way into my site. I quickly cleaned it up, then decoded the attack and posted details here. Not long after, the spambot started directing traffic to this post, because it contains enough of the magic words, I guess. Only instead of serving up spam, it’s serving up my analysis. I’d rather you read this than spam, so I’ve left this page up.

On to the original post…

A few minutes ago I received an alert that some files had changed on my site (thanks to All-In-One WP Security). But I hadn’t changed anything and WordPress hadn’t updated itself.

Here’s what I found, and how I fixed it.

Continue reading Reversing some WordPress malware

My Angry Birds pals

“Dad!” my sons approached me breathlessly. “Did you know they’re making an Angry Birds Transformers?”

“I’m not surprised. They’ll make Angry Birds anything. Angry Birds Do Taxes. Angry Birds This Old House. Angry Birds This Old Car.” And then, for the coup de grâce, I added, “Angry Birds Beavis and Butt-Head.”

Do I need to tell you my very young boys quickly lost all interest in Transformers and wanted to know everything about Beavis and Butt-Head? OK. They wanted to know everything–and I mean everything–about Beavis and Butt-Head. Especially Butt-Head. Continue reading My Angry Birds pals

Don’t research when you’re in a groove. Yes. That.

Lifehacker has a great writing tip that I take for granted, but come to think of it, may not be obvious to everyone: When you’re in a groove, don’t interrupt your writing with research.

The groove is much too valuable for that. When the words are flowing effortlessly, ride it out as long as it lasts. It usually takes a while to find that groove, so just go with it. I usually won’t break a groove to edit, either. Just let the words flow. You’ll always be more productive that way. Continue reading Don’t research when you’re in a groove. Yes. That.

Better than the shirt off my back

My oldest just started kindergarten, and he needed some school supplies, of course. Among those supplies was a paint shirt, and the instructions said an old adult-sized shirt would be fine.

We sent him with something, but he wanted a different one his second week of school–something bigger than what we sent him initially, so that it would cover his legs too. “I want a plain shirt,” he told me. “One with no writing on it.”

Then he paused. “The shirt you have on looks good.” Continue reading Better than the shirt off my back

How I accidentally found a way to mess with “Peggy”

“Peggy” from “Computer Support Department” just won’t give up. He called me again at about 8 PM this evening. This time, I played along. I had a thrift-store junker PC for him to infect with his malware. The only problem was, the hard drive wasn’t connected and neither was the power cord. So I quickly hooked all that up, booted up, and then played along.

“I want you to click on Internet Explorer.”

“OK.”

“What do you see?”

“Page cannot be found.”

Thus I learned that Peggy isn’t very good at troubleshooting network issues. Continue reading How I accidentally found a way to mess with “Peggy”

Another benefit of not having debt

I’ve written about how not having debt gives you power, though I can’t find the particular post at the moment. But I remember when I got my first mortgage. I went to a party, and my boss was there, along with my five other bosses, and the big boss got this look in his eye when I said I’d bought a house. That look in his eye said one thing: I own you, and I can do whatever I want to you.

And he did. From that day forward, all of the assignments nobody else wanted fell on me. Anything that was destined to fail went to me. And the cycle followed me from job to job, then stopped, like turning out a light, the day after my wife and I paid off our mortgage. It was the closest thing to magic I’ve ever seen. One day, I was the guy who got assignments at 3 PM on a Friday that were going to take me 8 hours to get done–and they had to be done by 8 AM on Monday, and one day, I wasn’t that guy anymore.

I tested it again this month. I turned down a job that offered me a $7,000 pay cut. Nothing unusual about that, right? Not in this case. In this case, rejecting that pay cut meant I didn’t have a job anymore. Continue reading Another benefit of not having debt

It’s 6:21 PM. Do you know what the current version of Firefox is?

Veteran blogger John Dominik reported yesterday that upgrading to Firefox 13 fixed some problems for him. So of course he’ll be thrilled to know that Firefox released a new version the very next day. The. Very. Next. Day.

From a security standpoint, there are two things to like about the new version.

Continue reading It’s 6:21 PM. Do you know what the current version of Firefox is?

Message says Firefox is already running when it isn’t

Earlier this week, when doing an emergency computer upgrade, Firefox gave me a weird problem. I installed Firefox, then when I tried to launch it, I got the popup dialog box stating that Firefox is already running. When, of course, it wasn’t–I’d just installed it.

There are a couple of helpful articles on Mozilla’s knowledge base.  It didn’t quite solve my problem, but it pointed me in the right direction.
Continue reading Message says Firefox is already running when it isn’t