Welcome to The Funny/Alerts Newsletter. The last two weeks I've been wondering what I was going to end up with for our Broadband Cable Internet Service Provider (ISP). It seems that Excite wanted to sell their @Home internet service to AT&T, but couldn't get the price they wanted. So Excite basically said "Be that way. I'm going home and I'm taking my ball with me!" They did this by filing for bankruptcy and petitioning the court for permission to terminate their contract with (who else) AT&T.
While we've been waiting for things to settle down, both AT&T and Charter (who recently purchased TCI cable TV here) have been sending all of the @Home subscribers various emails promising that service wouldn't be interrupted. In fact, everyone that I could reach at both company's tech support numbers just kept telling me that if/when Excite terminated service I would get an email instructing me where to get the download I needed to sign up for their cable internet service. I tried calling several times and spoke with many different people and NONE of them understood that if the internet connection goes away so does email!
Saturday arrived and I tried to log onto the internet... no joy. Just as I had tried to explain to these "I'm not a tech" Tech Support people all internet service was gone. Now when I called back everyone just asked me "Did you run the download?" You call that help? Ghee. So I gave in (big mistake) and ran the file that I had, fortunately, procured on Thursday via a link in one of the Charter emails. This thing seemed to work OK, but then only succeded in locking up my system several times after the re-boot! Once I was past that problem it ran several checks and tested various connections to the internet (all of which it said had passed). Afterwards, I opened IE and not only was it v.6, but it was bleach white! No color anywhere; none of the buttons, toolbar, status or even borders! Not only that, but it couldn't get even one page from the web.
Fed up and sure that the install must have gotten corrupted, I decided to call the "No Tech" line on Sunday. Guess what... it's SUPPOSED to look like that. Ha! One of the things that I hate about running this type of software package on my system is all of the branded software that they put on your system. After insisting on speaking with a TECH, I was finally connected with Marvin and, on a second call, Joe. These two at least understood that the only thing that's really necessary is to simply give the computer the settings necessary and it'll talk to the net all day long!
Because they aren't allowed to support any other hardware on the connection, it was up to me to configure the router so that all the other computers could get online. Fortunately, I had the foresight to sign Dad up for BigFoot and set up a HotMail account for him to catch stuff until things settled down. Then I pointed BigFoot to Anne's and my HotMail accounts. Good thing, too. because the router took a while to get online.
After I got the router set up it seemed to be "lag-ey", but it was working. (Lag. n. Having a large delay; such that one finds it difficult to game on the 'net. Generally not acceptable to "Power Users"). ;) Joe told me what the secret settings were for Dad's Outlook Express and I transfered those settings to Anne's Netscape Messenger and my Eudora. Oh, yea! Another gripe: Eudora is only the #2 most used email software on the planet, but does Charter train their people to configure it? NOoooo! Good thing it's easy to do; but I just thought I'd throw that in. Hahaha.
And that, Your Honor, is why the newsletter is late. :)

===
GRINS & GIGGLES:

Six months after the waiter died, his widow went to see a medium, who promised she would contact the dead man. 

During the seance, the widow was sure she saw her husband standing in the corner, dressed in his waiter's outfit.

"Arnold!" she cried. "Come closer and speak to me!"

A hoarse voice from the corner wailed, "I can't. It's not my table."

===
CYBERSPACE ALERT (virus):
WORM_BADTRANS.B

Description:
This memory-resident Internet worm is a variant of WORM_BADTRANS.A. It propagates via MAPI32 (email), has a Key Logger (logs every keystroke so that its creator can look for log-in names and passwords) component, and arrives with randomly selected double-extension filenames. 

It does not require the email receiver to open the attachment for it to execute. It uses a known vulnerability in Internet Explorer-based email clients (Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Express) to automatically execute the file attachment. This is also known as Automatic Execution of Embedded MIME type.

Solution:
1} Start your system is Safe Mode. This is a special way of loading Windows when there is a “system-critical” problem that interferes with the normal operation of Windows. Safe Mode allows you to troubleshoot Windows and to determine what is causing Windows to not function properly. Usually after you have corrected the problem in Safe Mode and you reboot your computer, Windows loads normally.

2} Go to the %System% directory. %System% is variable. It is usually located in the root directory C:\ (C:\System).

3} In the above directory, delete the CP_25389.NLS file.

4} Click Start>Run, type Regedit then hit the Enter key.

5} Double click the following: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>Software>Microsoft Windows>CurrentVersion>RunOnce

6} In the right panel, look for following registry value: kernel32

7} Click the registry value and then delete it.

8} Restart your system.

9} Scan your system with antivirus and delete all files detected as WORM_BADTRANS.B. To do this you must download the latest AV signature file and scan their system.

Ps. If necessary, users may use HouseCall, Trend Micro's free online virus scanner.

http://housecall.antivirus.com/

===
MEATSPACE ALERT:
"Officer 1 to base." "Base here. Go ahead" "Base, I have several 'I.D.-10-T' cases to report. Please stand by."

1. WILL THE REAL DUMMY PLEASE STAND UP?
AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months, saying he lacked intellectual leadership. He received a $26 million severance package.
Perhaps it's not Walter who's lacking intelligence?

2. WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS:
Police in Oakland, California spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them in the police line, shouting, "Please come out and give yourself up."

3. WHAT WAS PLAN B?
An Illinois man, pretending to have a gun, kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines, wherein the kidnapper proceeded to withdraw money... from his own bank accounts.

4. THE GETAWAY!
A man walked into a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Stop, and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.

5. DID I SAY THAT???
Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn't control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words, "Give me all your money or I'll shoot," the man shouted, "That's not what I said!"

6. ARE WE COMMUNICATING?
A man spoke frantically into the phone, "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!" "Is this her first child?" the doctor asked. "No!", the man shouted, "This is her husband!"

7. NOT THE SHARPEST TOOL IN THE SHED!
In Modesto, California, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun, but unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket. (hellllllooooooo!)

8. THE GRAND FINALE Last summer, down on Lake Isabelle, located in the high desert, an hour east of Bakersfield, California, some folks, new to boating, were having a problem. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get their brand new 22 ft. Bayliner to perform. It wouldn't get on a plane at all, and it was very sluggish in almost every maneuver, no matter how much power was applied.

After about an hour of trying to make it go, they putted to a nearby marina, thinking someone there could tell them what was wrong. A thorough topside check revealed everything in perfect working condition. The engine ran fine, the outdrive went up and down, the prop was the correct size and pitch. So, one of the marina guys jumped in the water to check underneath.
He came up choking on water, he was laughing so hard. Under the boat, still strapped securely in place... was the trailer.

[thanks to Roy Howard for this one]

===
GREAT UTIL:
Keep track of your savings bonds with this free software from the U.S. Treasury Department.

The Savings Bond Wizard helps you manage your savings bond inventory on your PC. It allows you to maintain an inventory of your bonds and determine the current redemption value, earned interest, and other information. You can also print your bond inventory, providing you with an important record if you ever need to replace any of your savings bonds.

NOTE: this is a link that will download the 3 1/2 megabyte file. If you can't click on it, copy and paste it into your browser.

ftp://208.131.225.4:21/sbwiz.exe

===
FOND REMEMBERENCES:

Come with me.... close your eyes and go back in time... back before the Internet... back before semiautomatics and crack... back before SEGA or Nintendo... way back! I'm talking about sitting on the curb; sitting on the stoop... about hide-and-go-seek, Simon says and red-light-green-light. Lunch boxes with a Thermos... chocolate milk, going home for lunch, penny candy from the store, hopscotch, butterscotch, skates with keys, jacks and Cracker Jacks, hula hoops and sunflower seeds, wax lips and mustaches, Mary Jane's, saddle shoes and Coke bottles with the names of cities on the bottom.

Remember when it took five minutes for the TV to warm up. When nearly everyone's Mom was at home when the kids arrived home from school. When nobody owned a purebred dog. When a quarter was a decent allowance. When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.

When your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces. When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done everyday and wore high heels. Remember running through the sprinkler, circle pins, bobby pins, Mickey Mouse Club, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Kookla, Fran and Ollie, Spin and Marty... all in black and white. When around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like going somewhere.

Climbing trees, making forts, backyard shows, lemonade stands, cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, staring at clouds, jumping on the bed, pillow fights, ribbon candy, angel hair on the Christmas tree, Jackie Gleason, white gloves, walking to the movie theater, running till you were out of breath, laughing so hard that your stomach hurt... remember that? Not stepping on a crack or you'd break your mother's back... paper-chains at Christmas, silhouettes of Lincoln and Washington... the smells of school, of paste and Evening in Paris. What about the girl who dotted her i's with hearts?

The Stroll, popcorn balls and sock hops? Remember when there were just two types of sneakers for girls and boys, Keds and PF Flyers, and the only time you wore them at school was for gym. And the girls had those ugly gym uniforms.

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking - all for free -- every time! And, you didn't pay for air either, and you got trading stamps to boot! When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents. When the worst thing you could do at school was flunk a test or chew gum.

And the prom was in the auditorium and you danced to a real orchestra. When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed -- and did!

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited the student at home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents' and grandparents' were a much bigger threat! But we survived because their love was so much greater than the threat. Remember when a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream car -- used to cruise, peel out, lay rubber or watch the submarine races? When people went steady; and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped Band-Aids, dental floss, or yarn coated with pastel-frost nail polish so it would fit their finger. When no one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the car and house doors were never locked! Remember lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like a..."

And playing baseball with no adults needed to enforce the rules of the game. Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals, because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger. And, with all our progress; don't you just wish, that just once you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace... and share it with the children of today? So send this on to someone who can still remember Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Laurel and Hardy, Howdy Doody and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow Knows, Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk... As well as the sound of a real mower on Saturday morning, and Summers filled with bike rides, baseball games, bowling, visits to the pool... and eating Kool-Aid powder with sugar from the palm of your hand. There, didn't that feel good? Just to lean back and say: "Yeah... I remember......."

[thanks to Anne Peer for this one]

===
QUICK WIT:

If you want one year of prosperity, plant corn.
If you want ten years of prosperity, plant trees.
If you want one hundred years of prosperity, educate people.