Hair Dye and Thrifting and Ransomware…Oh My!

I put ALL of my blog posts from the previous 15’ish years in “draft mode” some time in 2019 when my kids hit peak MY MOM’S BLOG IS EMBARRASSING feelings. This motivated me to finally go through all of my archives post-by-post, partly to note any of the “Let’s Talk About My Kid’s Breastfeeding Habits” and mark them as “NEVER TO BE PUBLISHED AGAIN” and partly to clean up some of the unimportant content so that when I eventually die, my kid’s don’t have to read 1,200 posts about the reality TV I watched in their youth.

(The results are in the sidebar. Every time I finish a year I “republish” them all and link the year in the sidebar.)

(Let’s not talk about how the first time I republished them I realized it sent trackbacks to all of my old blog friends who I used to link to all the time and they were confused why suddenly I was publishing an old post from 2005 and it was really embarrassing and I might still get cringe-shivers thinking about it.)

ANYWAY! This gave me an opportunity to clean up some formatting because I used to just use a different platform and I used to insert the reference code from pictures on Flickr instead of uploading actual pictures to this website. Since I don’t use Flickr anymore and WordPress is different from Movable Type…none of the posts from the first many years have photos with them and a lot of them have weird formatting tags. (It has been fun going through old photos to find ones that fit the posts.)

OH! And during the culling I’ve discovered spam attacks on my blog! Like…somehow, someone figured out how to just cram links into my content in ways that make sense which was evidently a popular way to get respectable links to business pages…cramming links into archived content on WordPress sites. So I’m having to clean that up too and IT IS HARD TO SPOT because it often blends seamlessly into my content. IT IS SO WEIRD.

Unfortunately, I posted a SHIT TON in the first few years because there was no social media so I basically made a blog post for every tweet/instagram/Facebook post I do now. Also, back in those days tons of people commented so writing a new blog post was like starting a new conversation with my friends and I was VERY lonely as I was never going out and doing anything to make real-world friends and so that contact was just about the only socialization I had from 2004 to 2010.

So, if I open an entry and just see it’s a short one about TV or a quick “embarrassing” story from my day, I delete it. I just don’t think there’s a world where my kids will want to read through all of that nonsense (Like…we’re talking 80+ blog entries some months) for interesting tidbits from their childhood.

I also used to do a lot of “Bulleted Posts” which I think was a common blog post format back in the day but most of the time every bullet is like…a tweet or a Facebook status…kinda benign and relevant only in that moment and so if I see a bulleted list post? I DELETE THE HELL OUT OF THAT CRAP.

BUT. Here’s the thing. Now that I’ve been reminded I used to do that? I AM CONSTANTLY WANTING TO POST BULLETED LISTS NOW! Like…somedays I have a few things I want to document on this blog and nothing too dramatic or interesting but worth noting. So, if you’ve noticed, a few times I’ve done just Random Headings Of Miscellany instead of bulleted lists because…for some reason…that feels more valid?

So…without further ado…a few random headings separating non-related topics.

Brunettes Have More Fun

We dyed Nikki’s hair this weekend! And then we took some photos of her thrifted outfit (not the cropped tank, but the sweater and pants) to document her awesome skills. We used a “semi-permanent” dye so that it didn’t truly lift any of her color because we didn’t want to damage her hair for a color she might ended up hating once it’s on her head. She loves it, so once it fades maybe we’ll consider something more permanent? I’m not sure. Either way it looks great and I’m very proud because I have had some terrible hair-dye experiences in the past and really tried to discourage the whole attempt because of them…but we did it!

Thrifting

My kids have both gotten really into thrifting. We used to budget $75-$100 every month for “new clothes” for anyone in the family. This would go fast since my kids are both still growing into their adult forms and often needed new clothes.

But now that we are living off savings, that budget is gone. BUT, they are still growing out of clothes and so…WE THRIFT!

Every city is different, but here’s there’s a “chain” of charity thrifts stores called “Saving Way” and they have the best prices, they often have sales (making the prices even better) and they have the feminine tops on the clothing racks organized by size and color which, for some reason, makes it all less overwhelming.

Wes has gotten into it as well and joined us this weekend on the, “Let’s photograph this ‘fit that I paid $3 for.” There’s just never as many masculine items of clothing (although my kids honestly scan both fem/masc racks because basic t-shirts can be found on both) which is usually his style and so he’s never as lucky as his sister, but he scored this outfit this weekend and it’s awesome.

(Not the shoes. Those are new. We have yet to have any luck thrifting shoes, BUT WE KEEP LOOKING.)

I also scored a killer stack of books recently from the same thrift store. All of these for, like 9 bucks. $2 per hardback, $1 for the paperback. I’ve read the Ward and the Diamant book and loved them and glad to own them now, the others have just been on my list.

Cybersecurity Thread Day!

My kids are out of school today. Like, no in-person…no remote learning. Wes was home on a 14-day quarantine because someone he sat next to was experiencing “symptoms of covid” and the school forces every kid on a 14-day quarantine if they sit next to potentially infected. They also have to wear masks and there’s a lot of efforts to keep distance and so we’ve not really seen spread in the school, this is just precautionary. Our spread has all been connected to sports/social events.

ANYWAY. So he’s been on “remote learning” for 2 weeks now. Nikki’s school was doing “staggered” schedules which meant so is in school (with masks and desk shields) 2-3 days a week and home remote learning for the other days.

But yesterday? We were told early in the day to SHUT IT ALL DOWN. Like…”Turn of all school-issued devices and log out of all school remote-learning tools ASAP.” And then they let the kids out early (since the ones in school couldn’t do any learning without their devices) and shut everything down for today. This is what the website said.

We thank you for your understanding surrounding the early dismissal today. Our district is continuing to work with both local and federal authorities to work to resolve this cybersecurity threat, which appears to be a ransomware attack.

To mitigate the spread of the cyberattack, we will proceed with closing schools and campuses tomorrow on Dec. 1, 2020. Students, faculty, and staff members will not report to buildings. For clarity, students and teachers will not engage in remote learning.

We continue to encourage all users to ensure HCS devices remain off and to avoid logging on any HCS platforms until further notice.While we are working to resume classes as quickly as possible, we acknowledge this may require some additional time away from buildings.

We will keep you informed as we continue to consult with authorities and determine a plan moving forward. We ask for your support and flexibility during this time as we have only the best interests of students, families, and employees in mind.

HCS

Isn’t that CRAZY? Like…I can not believe we don’t have more information about what’s going on. There’s all these rumors about parents getting weird phone calls from HCS numbers asking about their kids by name/birthdate…there’s lots of murmurs of “this is bad, y’all….really bad” from people who I feel like probably know a bit of what’s going on. There’s a story from Baltimore where classes might resume a week later (their’s happened right before Thanksgiving though so maybe it was slower to resolve) but they’re also being really tight-lipped about it.

I don’t know, it just feels like the thing you SHOULD NOT BE TIGHT LIPPED ABOUT. I’m okay with it taking awhile to fix if you just keep me in the loop, you know?

*sigh* So who had that on their 2020 bingo card?

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