Tomorrow morning will a week that I have been without Ozzie. Even though it’s gotten easier to get up and face each day, it still hurts just as much. It was 14 years ago since our paths crossed and I brought him home. He was at PetSmart the day I went looking for a cat. I had been living on my own for a while but never had a cat of my own. There were other cats there but Ozzie was the one who came to me and was nuzzling against the cage towards me. He let me play with him and I let him love me with his claws. I always say it was he that picked me that day.

As the years progressed, we grew up together. We both had similar personalities.  He didn’t need a lot of attention or love but always wanted to be able to see you. Sometimes he’d want to snuggle, some times he’d just want to in ear shot. Other times he’d want to be on his own. He could find great hiding spots. On no more than one occasion we had the entire house searching for him only to have him wander out of his hiding spot, all the while watching us frantically searching for him back and forth.

We made a lot of moves together. Our lives changed together. In many ways he was my best friend, in other ways he was the closest I’ve had to a son. My phone and Facebook were always filled with pictures of him. Over the years my lenses had captured his essences.   The love that he shared with us all, we shared with all of you.

I didn’t tell anyone about his illness other than Patti. And I didn’t even tell her about my decision until I had already come up with it myself. Through all my life I know I’ve made a lot of decisions but none as difficult as the one I had to make last week. We had a very long weekend together. One night in particular I found myself cuddled with him in his sleeping spot and I was a mess.   As I lay there next to him he put his paw on my arm and just sat there. If he could have said “there, there” he probably would have. I’d like to believe that he under stood what I was telling him through all that sobbing and even though I was trying to comfort him, he was comforting me.

I didn’t want any attention from sympathy or trying to explain. I just wanted time to try and get through these past days without turning in to a sobbing mess. Patti mentioned to me that there are a lot of people out there who loved him just as much as we did. I’ve spent a lot of time remembering the past 14 years.   I know you have many of your own memories of him which is why I’m sharing this with you now. He filled all of our hearts with joy and laughter, he filled our laps with purrs and cat hair, and he left our cheeks and ears with wet nose kisses and licks.

He can’t ever be replaced and I don’t know if my heart ever will be able to love another like I loved him. There are others in our house who need just as much love and he did. Tibby and Roscoe miss their friend too I’m sure. I have to express my heart felt thanks to North Plano Animal Hospital and their staff for their compassion and understanding. I wish you could have gotten to know him as well as the rest of us had.

If I could share anything with the rest of you, it would be to cherish the ones you love every day you can. I know sometimes it’s harder to than others. Days when they are batting at the window at 2am in the morning because their food dish is empty or when they find their mouse in the middle of the night. Or when they want to snuggle.. on your face.. as you try and sleep. I know it’s darn right painful when they kneed your lap or lick the ear wax out of your ear, but it’s what they do. It’s their way of showing the same love you show them. Enjoy them while you can.

The past week has been hard not seeing him come to the food dish when it’s being filled, or not in his usual sleeping spot, or not on the side of the couch we used to sit at together. I keep thinking that I need to tread quietly when I’m going to the bathroom in the middle of the night as not to disturb him.. or I think see him walk around a corner sometimes. I’m sure it will get easier as time goes on, just need some time.

Ozzie, I know I never said everything I wanted to say. Many of our best times were those quiet unspoken moments. Thank you for picking me all those years ago, thank you for loving me, for understanding me and for putting up with me. Thank you for the unconditional love you always showed me and those who meant the most to me. You will always have a special place in my heart. I will never forget you.

ozzie copy


Heartbleed, A SSL Vulnerability

A weakness in the protocol that makes your secure sites, secure is no longer secure. At least for now. A patch has been made and being deployed but not everyone is patched yet. So what to do. I would recommend testing any SSL Site that you use with http://filippo.io/Heartbleed It’s not safe enough to just put the main site address but put the actually SSL host for example, my bank is  plainscaptialbank.com  but when i click to login to my online banking it takes me to ibank.plainscaptial.com.  I put that address in the test field and found that it is not patched from CVE-2014-0160. So while these sites are not patched, i’ll just avoid using them until they are corrected.

The risk here is that someone could be posing as the real site and scooping up any information you give them.  your browser won’t know any different and see that the certificate is valid and not warn you of any risk.

If you want more information on heartbleed visit:  http://heartbleed.com

Thanks to Riley for posing the question to me this morning.


sites which also appear to need to be patched,

Amigo Energy (my.amigoenergy.com)

Song Select (us.songselect.com)


http://ibank.plainscapital.com is now secure.




2 years ago today, a freak hail storm went through our neighborhood and interrupted our peaceful lives. Patti, Hannah and I were at Wing Stop having dinner after leaving church. Weather was forecasting a storm but it wasn’t raining yet. As we were waiting for our meal the rain started, and the lighting, and the wind, and the thunder and then the hail. The storm itself didn’t last but a few moments but it seamed like an eternity. The rest of the kids were at the house and no calls were going through our cell phones. I decided to drive through that mess and try and get home. As i stepped outside my feet landed in a deep puddle of ice water. Traffic barley moved mostly because the roads were not visible. standing water, ice and steam from the water vapor made visibility nearly zero. Not to mention all of the debris on the road. Trees, traffic signals, street signs. It looked like a war zone. The vapor from the ice caused a eerie haze to peer it’s way through the headlights. It was like a scene from an armagaton movie. I finally got home. Everyone was safe and accounted for. The house took a beating. Every north facing window had to be replaced. The north part of the car port was ripped to shreds, the north side of the shed was shredded, the roof needed to be replaced, and every leaf on the trees were now on the ground. For McAllen, the storm was epic. Given the magnitude, the community is fortunate to have escaped with no serious injuries and no fatalities.  In all, 217 persons were rescued from being trapped in hail and wind damaged homes and flood waters, more than 1,000 homes and businesses were damaged, and more than 25,000 customers were without power during the peak of the storm.  According to the Insurance Council of Texas and verified by the Property Claims Service of the Insurance Services Office, insured damages tallied $260 million; total damage, including uninsured property, is likely tens of millions of dollars more. In all, 2,800 homeowners’ claims and 3,000 auto claims had been made by the end of 2012. The storm ranked 21st costliest in Texas since 1950 (in 2012 dollars).




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Feeling useful again

From the first time I visited Covenant Church I knew that this was the church that i wanted to be a part of.  Everything about this pace was what i was looking for.  A relevant message, like-minded beliefs, a warm welcoming environment, a strong worship team, an amazing media team and a clearly defined vision were some of the initial items that i was able to check off my list.  I visited Covenant every chance i could.  I would intentionally plan my business trips to dallas to include a Wednesday evening layover.  The true test was bringing Patti to see it for herself.  The evening of my “interview” in Dallas, we got to encounter a Wednesday evening together.  She felt the exact same way i did the first time i visited.

It was nice to sit in a service and get to participate in worship without being called to fix something or check on things.  I could just relax and recharge.  I made contact with the executive director of media and introduced myself and expressed my skills and desire to serve with them.  Once we made the move up here we started the process of getting officially plugged in the church.  We went through their next steps program.  Around the same time the church also conducted a big “Get in the Game” campaign to recruit new volunteers throughout the church.

Get in the Game Draft Day 2014 (HQ) from Covenant Church on Vimeo.

One of the biggest struggles i’ve found since moving here has been the solitude.  Back in the valley I knew people all over.  Family, Friends, Church Family, co-workers.   A lifetime of relationships nurtured and cherished.  These past few months have been a bit lonely.  Sam went back to the valley to visit his other grandparents so the house has been very quiet without him.  I at least have work that i can spend a few hours a day at, Patti is probably even more lonely than i am at the moment.

We’ve sent out inquiries to some “Small Groups” in our area from the church but haven’t heard back from any yet.  I did find out about a men’s group that meets on fridays at 6am (!)  I’ve been attending a few of those but i’m really not a morning person and it makes for some longggg fridays.  This past weekend we were invited to a reception for the new media volunteers and got to get to know several of the staff.  It was nice getting to hang out with other adults.  At the table we were sitting at i got to visit with the audio guys.  They were really fun and down to earth.  It’s refreshing to talk to other professionals who know what they are actually talking about.  I also got to visit with the lighting guy and some of the administrative staff.  Although there are so many places i can find myself getting plugged in with, Video, Lighting, graphics, audio, etc.. i’m finding myself inclined to all of them. I really am just so excited to finally get to be a part of a team again that i’ll take anything they are needing help with.  Ok anything may be a stretch but there are several tasks i can see myself covering easily.

Last night we had our first group training with the video team.  Patti and I got to meet some of the directors.  Learn their terms and equipment.  Tonight we have another training with the lighting guy.  On sunday we are both already lined up to shadow some positions during actual services.

I’m not really sure where i see myself setting down in.  Coming from a position where I found myself having to learn each component of the technical ministry to a  place where i can choose it a little daunting.

I am rather proud of what we were able to accomplish at AGCC.  From where they started to where i left them, they are much better off.  I conducted several major conversions and planned quite a few long term projects.  I’m glad to saw that I was able to accomplish all of my goals and i don’t have any regrets.  Now i’m looking forward to a new chapter in our lives.  A chance to not be a single entity but a part of a larger team that I not only pour myself into but also be nurtured as well.  Just talking with some of these guys it’s nice to hang out with like minded people who understand what your talking about.  I’m anxious to develops these friendships and expand “our circle” beyond the walls in which we live.


So i got this message from “Bank of America”
from: bankofamerica@locked.com

Message from Bank Of American. Debit Mastercard Locked. Please call : 8882119377

So I figure, sure i’ll bite. From a spoofed number I dial and wait to see what i get. In a computer synthesized voice, “Thank you for calling bank of America, we regret to inform you that your card has been locked. Press 1 to unlock and 2 to leave.” so i press 1. then it asks for my 16 digit card number. I try a fake 123456 sequence first. They have an algorithm in place to verify for proper card placement. Ok fine.. i’ll use a “real” card number.
This one took, then they asked for:
expiration date
pin number
and last 4 digits of the social security number.

they even built in a “please wait will you card is being reactivated”, 5 second pause, “your card has been reactivated”.

A few things stand out here that it’s not real. first of all, i don’t have a bank of america debit card, a valid intuition wouldn’t have a synthesized voice in their IVR. And they wouldn’t ask for all that information. at most perhaps a portion of that data. The safest way to see if your card really is “locked” is to call the institution directly, (not with the number provided in the email) and SPEAK to someone about your account.

Happy Birthday Princess

I have found myself married to one of those most amazing women put on this earth. She is truely a proverbs 31 woman..

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

-The Message

She has blessed me in so many ways. Her presence is a treasure highly valued. Everyone wants to be in her presence. Her children each are a bright star in my night sky. They each in their own way have praticing the gifts that were instilled in them many years ago.  Watching her with our grandson has given me the opportunity to see the mothering side of her i never got to see before.

One of the things I had asked for in my wish list for a wife was someone i could come home and “talk shop” with.  Someone who was interested in the the weird stuff that i find exciting.  When we are at church or an event she’s noticing the technical stuff behind the scenes that i thought only i was interested in.  She’s edited all of the McHi band videos, she’s built several websites.  She was even the IT point person for her office in Edinburg.

She always brings out the best in me.  She’s an encourager and supporter.  She stood behind me and helped me decide about this new job.  She never complained or asked me to do something i wouldn’t want to do.   My family loves her, i think she talks more to myparents and sisters more than i do.  I love you Patti.  My prayer for you is that i can make you as happy as you’ve made me.  That i can fill your life with as much joy as you’ve given me and that all our years to come will be even better then they already have been.  

New phishing scam

A new tactic is afoot.  This one is even more cleaver than other ones i’ve seen.  They go around the phishing philters and compromised websites by delivering the html directly to you via a hashed url.  PLEASE, take caution when opening links from email, even if they appear from someone you know.  Verify with the person before you actually do give up personal information..

I got an email today:

So this email is coming from someone i know, they are using that person’s name in the message.  The red flags in this message is.. the lack of consistency in the fonts, the urgency of clicking on the link, (it’s very important) and the fact that no other information is included such as what the document is that he wants me to read.

Continue reading New phishing scam

Scammers new tricks.

This email came through today.  They are banking on the chance that the person getting the email will think that someone they know has passed and want to find out more by clicking on the link.  The link actually takes users back to a different site that has been compromised to include the malicious link.  Take caution when an email wants you to click on a link.