Those Great, Not so Secure, Computers We Love!

We love our computers, don’t we? I mean, they have made our everyday life so much easier and being able to play cool games anytime is also a plus! I mean, Star Wars: The Old Republic anybody? So, what am I talking about this blog post? There is a good chance that I just started to ramble on this digital piece of paper with the intent of stealing that precious two kilobytes of bandwidth it took to load this up from you, but that’s not the case….this time.  
 
Some of you might know that I am pursuing a college degree in Information Systems Security. That is pretty much learning how people can break in to systems, steal and destroy your data. It is scary how easy it is to do! I participated in an online lab for one of my courses that showed me how simple it was. I was able to execute an attack against a port and slip in to the backdoor of a Linux machine and get root privileges! (Pretty much, I controlled that machine). Of course this was a school environment and it was their own computers, so nothing malicious happened, but it was a demonstration that how simply leaving one port open allowed someone to execute an attack that got inside!
 
Now, I’m not trying to scare you or anything like that. I just wanted to give you food for thought about how insecure computers can be. To leave you with a bit of peace, make sure your windows firewalls are on, you have spyware control on there (I recommend Spybot Search and Destroy) and that you have a virus scanner on there. (I love Norton, but for those of you who are cheap, take a look at AVG Free).
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Just be careful where you go on the internet and make sure you really want to be clicking on that link. You do not want to accidentally let someone in. 

Facing those Insurmountable Odds

Have you ever decided something and when you finally sat down to put it in to action, you were completely struck by the insurmountable odds in front of you? Well, that is what just happened to me when I decided to not only get back in to writing, but also to try and make it pay. I have always loved writing and after a recent string of jobs that I just could not fit in, it dawned on me that it might be time to try my hand at something that I once loved.
 
The hard question is, could I do it? For so long, writing had been my only passion and now it has be reduced to a bunch of scribbles on the back of receipts. The feeling of creation had completely left me and some days I just stare at a blank page just wishing the words would come out of my fingers. Could that ever happen again?
 
I sometimes wonder if it is that line that all writers hit. When you move away from looking at it as a hobby and an “art” to realizing it has to be a business if you plan to make money at it. Sometimes I wonder if I cannot accept the fact that writing is going to be a chore and inspiration is never going to hit me every time I sit down at my computer to tap words out.
 
So, why is this blog on the failing writer that I am? Well, this blog post is the first step into the New Year to go from being a scribbler on the back to receipts to a freelance writer who has gotten a renewed love for writing. I want to get back the excitement and the adventure of this wonderful craft and leave behind the awful, horrible, writer’s block that has haunted me for years.
So, this is to my future freelance career and I hope you all (if anyone is out there reading this) will join me for the ride! 

The Curse of Being an Author

Ever since I was twelve years old and my mother gave me my dad’s old college typewriter, I told myself and everyone who was willing to listen to me that I was going to become a writer. Now, at the old age of twenty-nine, I look at what I have done and wonder if I ever accomplished my goal and if it was even possible.

Being an author is not a blessing as you might think, but more of a gilded curse. I have heard many aspiring authors say that they want to write, tell stories, and to make money, but I just shake my head and think to myself that they really do not understand what it means to be one. For me, writing is something that I have to do. I must tell a story no matter what and even when I cannot write because of a mental block or that I am tired, I find myself writing little notes in my book or even posting to this blog.
To all you aspiring writers, writing will infect your soul. You will have the burning desire to write and it will consume you when you are not able to put those words down on paper. Am I trying to scare you off? No, not at all. I love being a writer, even if sometimes I feel that the stories in my mind are trying to rip their way out. I am in love with that feeling when you have a clear cognizance and are able to spend the next two or three hours just penning what you want. For me, it has become rare because of my real world responsibilities, but you cannot beat the feeling of accomplishment and love as you bring a character to life on paper.
Writing is such a big thing to me, sometimes I worry that it will take over and I will always be trying to devote time even if it really is an unending hobby. I mean, when do you decide, “I’ve written enough stories, I’m done.” That never happens.
So, to all you writers out there, keep up what you are doing. You are not alone in the uncontrollable urge to tell some story. As you hunch over your laptop putting out yet another fan fiction, or essay, or article, realize that you are not alone and someone else has admitted they have the addiction of words. And then say a pray for them.

My First Published Story of 2014!

You know those days where nothing seems to be going right? The days when your projects are behind, life has decided to kick you in the face multiple times, AND you spill your favorite pop all over your favorite shirt? (Of course it’s a blue shirt and a dark pop). That is what has been happening to me for a few weeks, but something exciting has happened and I’m glad to share!

I have published my first story for 2014! It’s the first part of a serial I plan to work on all year and you can find it here:

http://www.jukepopserials.com/home/read/1835

If you are interested, please take a look, comment, vote and give me your feedback. It’s only through help that I will be able to improve and become a better writer. You’re support, though invisible, is essential. I appreciate every bit you all give me!

Thanks!

A New Blog and a New Adventure

It has been a long time since I’ve written in a blog. I think about a year ago when my original one was taken down thanks to some hackers getting past the nucleus install and put their porn ads all over the comments. Oh, well.

Now, as I’m trying to get back in to the world of writing for the year of 2014, I have decided that I do need a blog to keep up the practice and to talk like I used to. I’ve missed the enjoyment of sitting and writing something with no pressure nor any care who or what is reading it.
So, stay tuned for more writings from me and I hope I do not bore you all to death.

The Bizarre Bazaar – Funny Huh?

Went to the bazaar today and it was…bizarre (hee, hee, get the play on words?) Tuesday are my day off and so Wilson and I (Wilson’s a good friend of mine from the shop) decided to head to the other side of the base to do some shopping at the BX/PX.

The Bazaar is a little building where everything is glass doors and all the items are compacted in there for everybody to see, hanging from ceilings with ancient helmets from Afghanistan’s past to brand new DVDs (both real and pirated). To top it off, you have a little Afghanis sitting in their corner with their white hats, robes, and smiles. If felt like I had walked into one of those middle eastern movies where you see the people hawking their wares on the market.

What was cool about the bazaar is that it was like a real middle eastern one. There were no price tags on anything! Wilson did a marvelous job haggling for an item by pretending not to be that interested in it and got the seller to lower his price. Sad to say, I did not do as good of a job.

What caught my eye was a hand made chess set in a wooden box covered in green felt. The pieces were carved out of marble and so was the board. The seller had already allied up beside me with a big grin on his face.

“Good morning, Friend! Beautiful chess set made from the quarries of Kabul, Afghanistan. Give you a very good price.”

Here was the shocker. Something like this would go for about 150 to 200 dollars in the United States. I asked how much and he said, “Only 35 American dollars”.

I have him that price just because it was such a beautiful board. Stupid American, right?

But I do own a gorgeous chess set. I’m glad I bought it and plan to go back, though this time gonna do some haggling and see what deals I can get. Oh, what fun in Afghanistan!