Well, the laptop is out of commission. 😦 Thanks to an abrupt introduction to ransomware, I had to play computer tech along with my teenager. Here’s the lowdown. I was looking at the blog, or facebook, or some profoundly educational site, when suddenly-dum dum duuuuum! several tabs opened one after the other. I looked down at the mouse pad thinking that I had rested my palm somewhere unfortunate. Nope. The screen filled with a picture of a skull and a weird computer chair. At the top it read something to the effect of “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I have hijacked your computer. I have taken control of your desktop and password protected it. You have 1 hour to pay me 20 dollars through PayPal. If not I will destroy everything on your hard drive. Oh, and if you DARE to shut your computer down, you will lose everything, so be careful!!” Then began the countdown clock.
Jerkface, sorry, POS!!!
Well, I immediately screamed for Jacob to get on the other computer and look up the name of the self-professed hacker. Nothing. Then I told him to get outta my way so I could search for what we were dealing with. Luckily, I remembered Kim Komando (love her!!) saying something about it, and that you should NEVER pay!! Oh, Miss Kim, I wasn’t payin nuttin!!! That’s when I learned that it was called ransomware. I jumped up from the desk, ran to the laptop and told Jacob to go to the other computer and continue searching for a solution. He found one and walked me through the process. After 30 minutes of having a coronary and telling everyone to shut up, we got it under control long enough to install Spybot. Spybot picked up all kinds of stuff immediately and began blocking it. We left the laptop on another 30 minutes. In that time, there were three more attempts to get control of the desktop. When the webcam let us know that it was being remotely activated, I told Jacob to just shut the darn thing off and go bury it out in the corn patch.
All of that was to bring me to this point. The laptop has the card reader. Sigh. So all my adorable pics that I have blog ready are in limbo. For now.
In light of that I will try to write about my days activities in such a way that you will have a clear mental picture! No camera necessary!
So, its Thursday morning, breezy, almost TOO breezy. I step outside with hair up in a sloppy pony, jeans with the hem hanging in a ripped smile above my sneakers, an ill-fitting navy blue t-shirt, ratty black hoodie, topped with a green wind breaker. My eyes gaze off to the side of the house to survey the final patch of grass that I missed the other day. ‘Yeah’, I think, ‘I should totally mow that.’
Off in the distance, I hear the sound of the riding lawnmower. My father in law is making his way through the orchard. Can he, will he, make it to our side of the property before I get the push mower out? (Self propelled, don’t worry). I can just stay inside and let him get to it. Or, we can race. Oh yeah, it’s on! I wait and watch him. When he turns to head in the opposite direction from me, I make a break for it. I run to the shed and rip the lawnmower out. I push and run to the other side of the house. I size up the area and decide that I am going to start with the flower garden. I will have the rows clean, neat and trimmed before the Old Man knows what hit him.
I begin to pull the cord vigorously. Nothing. 5 times. 6 times. I look, is he watching me? No, he’s still headed up the same row, way out in the walnuts. 7 times, 8 times-the ruby-red lawnmower roars to life. Oh yeah, 8 is my lucky number. I zip down the rows of day lilies and daffodils. Four quick turns and I am the master. I then start the diagonal pattern on the lawn. Look at those wheel ruts, I follow them like a Jedi. Perfect. Then, the lawnmower begins to sputter. Out. of. gas.
I park it and whip off my wind breaker in frustration. Still, only part way done! I look off and see that FIL has made it over to the grape vines and is looking at me through his gray hood, pulled down like an assassins cowl. I search desperately for some other activity that shows my awesomeness. I glance once again at the flowers, each row 50 feet long (maybe 100!) and teeming with weeds. Oh yes, I will weed them!! I get down on my hands and knees, furiously throwing dandelion and clover. Clipping briars and crepe myrtle with garden shears. I am a warrior!
Then, as the riding lawnmower approached I realize what he was seeing. My big wide behind on all fours, grandma underwear riding up, sticking out of my saggy jeans. My t-shirt creeping up my back to show off my sorry tramp stamp and back fat. No makeup, and destroying weeds like a frenzied Joan Crawford. (Box office poison??????)
Yep. I stand up quickly. Cat like, I run the mower back to the shed, sneak inside the house and watch out the kitchen window. I just know he is going to shake his head at my gardening effort.
He just mowed the lawn and went home.