Welcome to The Funny/Alerts Newsletter. Last weekend Anne and I celebrated our 8th Wedding Anniversary and today we celebrated 9 years together! It doesn't seem like it's been that long and I hope that the next 58 years go as smoothly. On our first honeymoon we had decided that Hawaii was a bit out of our reach and that we'd make it some other time. But since we still wanted to "get out of town", the question remained... where can we go?
Living in Reno, NV, puts us in a uniquely central location. Being within easy reach of some of the world's most attractive "hot spots" makes this type of decision a little heavier than most. After some discussion we made up our minds to escape to the Carson Valley Inn, in Minden. We had a great time! The suite was beautiful and cost was moderate.
As an added bonus we've been able to relive our memories ever year (including this year) and add some new ones. Such as: Saturday afternoon. Cruising in Anne's '64 Thunderbird with the windows down and the wind in our hair as we head south on Interstate 395. In between chatting and enjoying the awesome view of the Sierras, I'm serenading her with silly songs.
We drove effortlessly through Minden and Gardnerville while some people waved, pointed or just gawked. Dinner at a new Mexican restaurant (which we won't be going back to) and another smooth ride back to the "CVI". That night Anne was radiant! We cuddled, watched a video together and then slept 'till mid-morning followed by breakfast in bed (Room Service).
Sunday's drive back in the pre-afternoon day was graceful. Chatting, singing and a few stares (having too much fun, I guess!) later we arrived home. As I changed that night for bed I couldn't help but notice the sunburn I had on my right arm! 

Signed,
Co-Conspirator To Make The World A Better Place

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GRINS & GIGGLES:

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of the "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with the "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter. In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

If zis mad yu smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

[Thanks to Lee Peer for this one]

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CYBERSPACE ALERT:
IT Pros Predict Major Cyber-Attack
By Caron Carlson

To foment a sense of urgency regarding government spending on information security, the Business Software Alliance said last week that the majority of IT security professionals believe there will be a major cyber-attack against the government in the next 12 months. 

In a survey of 395 IT professionals in early June, the alliance did not seek any underlying rationale for the respondents' opinions, which could be based on anything from raw fear to financial self-interest to information that they have and we don't. However, the organization maintained that information security professionals are best positioned to assess the risk to government networks. 

"I think the important thing is that [the survey respondents] are doing this for a variety of reasons," Robert Holleyman, president and CEO of the BSA, said upon releasing the survey results. "They're living and breathing these issues every day." 

Despite the Bush Administration's projected massive increase in IT spending over the coming year and the appointment of a cyber-security "tsar," the industry is concerned about sustaining enough momentum to ensure that more resources are allocated to defending the country's data networks. More than a third of the participants in the BSA survey said that the gap between the threat of a major cyber attack and the government's ability to defend against it has increased since Sept. 11. 

"The temperature's been rising, but people aren't jumping," said Bill Conner, chairman and CEO of Entrust. "We are at war. We do need to move at war speed." 

The BSA recommended last week that to minimize the impact of cyber-attacks, the public and private sectors must accelerate their collaborative efforts. In particular, private companies must disclose more information about the vulnerability of their networks. "Two-thirds of all companies are not reporting or disclosing cyber-attacks or breaches," Conner said. 

Additionally, the government must ramp up its resources dedicated to cyber-security and increase partnerships with industry to deploy security technologies on a schedule reminiscent of the Y2K computer initiatives, the alliance said. In short, federal agencies need to spend more money on security technologies faster. 

However, regardless of the government's response, cyber-attacks on either public or private networks cannot be prevented altogether, Conner said. 

"Major cyber-attacks are going to happen," he said. "Our recommendations start to give a prescription to get from awareness to understanding to action. They would certainly reduce the implications and the impact of attacks." 

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TRUE STORY:
DRAGNET: Tom Van Lokeren, 47, knew who had stolen two of his credit cards, but police in San Francisco, Calif., refused to arrest the suspect. So Van Lokeren bought a fishing net at Fisherman's Wharf, plus a can of pepper spray and a stun gun at a military surplus store, and arrested the suspect himself. "I ran up after him, and I stunned him on the shoulder, then I used the pepper spray. [But] in all the ruckus, I ended up dropping the net. I never used it." The police finally took it from there, booking James Timothy Stevens, 21, on two counts of theft. Officers are too busy with emergencies to deal with "property crimes," said Police Capt. James L. Dudley, explaining the department's initial refusal to help. "It's not a life-threatening situation." Police, he added, "certainly don't encourage the public to make their own arrest. That's our job." (San Francisco Chronicle) ...The sad thing is, he doesn't even notice any irony in there.

AIRLINE INSECURITY: A week after a pilot and a co-pilot for America West Airlines were arrested for trying to fly an airliner drunk, a passenger boarding an America West flight from San Francisco, Calif., to Tucson, Ariz., asked flight attendants if they had "checked the crew for sobriety." The attendants took immediate action: they threw her off the plane. "Safety is no joking matter," explained America West spokeswoman Patty Nowack. "While this passenger may have been joking it is difficult to determine if someone is joking or serious. We take any comment regarding safety seriously." (Reuters) ...Passenger warning: Anyone who considers a serious, rational question a "joking threat to safety" may be drunk.

DRINKING, NOT THINKING: Craig Anthony Gribben, 27, was trying to get into his car, but the key broke off in the lock. He asked the police in Tauranga, New Zealand, for help. The officer was a tad suspicious when he noticed Gribben wasn't wearing any pants. A check of the car Gribben was trying to get into revealed it wasn't his -- it belonged to a local police officer. He was arrested. Gribben's lawyer later explained that his client was simply "very drunk" and thought the car was his.(Hawke's Bay Today) ...It could have been worse: if it was his car the cops would have gotten him for drunk driving.

DRINKING, NOT THINKING III: Sheriff's deputies in Gainesville, Fla., responded to a car alarm after a 911 caller said there was a man locked inside the car trying to kick his way out through a window. Deputies arrived to find David Christopher Lander, 51, "trying to hide, all scrunched down in the back seat," a sheriff's spokesman said. The car's alarm system automatically locked the doors when it was activated. "I guess he thought deputies couldn't see him. Had he pushed the button on the driver's side door, he could have gotten out." Witnesses said Lander reeked of alcohol. He was arrested and charged with burglary and, since some of the car's contents were in his pockets, theft. (Gainesville Sun) ...Look at that! The first time a cop ever responded to a car alarm, and he got a collar!

THERE WAS STILL ANOTHER fire last week, this time right in Boulder. Being interested in how stupid people can be, you'll appreciate this: a helicopter dropping water on the fire had to ask the police to clear people from around the lake he was dipping water out of because so many people were gathered around to watch it was getting dangerous. (Duh!) If that wasn't bad enough, another officer was dispatched out to have a talk with a paraglider who was trying to get a close look at the fire! And, if THAT wasn't bad enough, he was in the way -- of a tanker plane! Even I am continuously amazed at how stupid people can be.

DRIVEN: "Cops: Man Steals Car to Get to [Car] Theft Hearing" -- Jersey City Journal headline

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SOFTWARE:
Remedies for Virus Relief

When you hear about a computer virus going around, it's time to make doubly sure that your computer is not vulnerable to catch - or pass along - the infection. Besides the preventative actions you can take, there are things you need to do if you think you have a virus to get your computer back to health.

How do I know if a virus alert is genuine?
Is it real or is it a hoax? If you've seen or read about a new virus via a reputable news source or publication, it is probably not a hoax. However, if you receive an e-mail, even from someone you know, regarding a new virus alert that asks you to pass it along, stop! This is a common trick used by virus creators to spread the infection.

Instead of forwarding a virus alert e-mail to your address list, confirm whether or not the virus alert is real by contacting either your anti-virus vendor or Microshaft Product Support Services. Once you've confirmed that the virus threat is real, the next course of action is to fix it.

How do I know if I have it (yet)?
Unless you have anti-virus software installed on your computer, you simply won't be able to know if it has been infected. In many cases, a virus can slow your computer's processor or trigger other unusual behavior; however, these symptoms can also be caused by a number of unrelated reasons.

Keep up-to-date with the latest virus definitions by regularly visiting your anti-virus software vendor's Web site to download them, or by running scheduled updates to your anti-virus software. Only then will your software be able to recognize the latest identified threats.

What do I do to get rid of it?
Once you have identified that you have a virus, follow the directions on your anti-virus software vendor's Web site to download the latest definitions or updates that will fix or remove the virus. In some cases, you may also need to follow the steps provided to manually remove viral code within your system.

If you need further assistance, you can contact your anti-virus software vendor or Microsoft Product Support Services for support in removing the virus. (To obtain virus removal support from Microsoft Product Support Services, you will need current anti-virus software installed on your computer.)

How do I know it's gone?
In most cases, if you download the latest virus definitions from your anti-virus software vendor, this will take care of the virus. However, you still need to be alert, because many times a Trojan horse is spread like a virus or could be spread with a virus, but may not show symptoms for quite a while, if ever. If you notice your computer or Internet connection running without your using it, or if your computer settings change, you should go to your anti-virus software vendor's Web site to install the latest definitions or scan your machine to detect the presence of any Trojan horses.

What do I do to protect my computer from getting viruses?
There is no magic bullet that will protect your computer or files from infection. The best strategy against any security breach is a well-informed and proactive defense.

The most important actions you can take are:
·Install anti-virus software and keep it current, ideally updating it weekly. This is your first and best defense.
·Use Windows Update to scan and update your Windows operating system with the latest free software patches, including those for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook Express.
·Use Office Products Update to keep Microsoft OutlookŪ and other Microsoft Office programs up-to-date to help guard against virus intrusions.
·Learn how to set security features.
·Install a firewall, especially if you use a high-speed Internet connection.

Other good practices to follow:
·Be cautious about visiting unknown or untrusted Web sites. Untrusted or disreputable Web sites can transmit a virus directly into your computer.
Staying on the main routes of the information highway will help keep you safer. 
·Don't open e-mail attachments from anyone you don't know-and be wary of those from people you do. Some viruses spread by mailing themselves to contacts in an infected computer's address book. If you have any doubts about the safety of an attachment, check with the source before opening it. 
By using discretion, keeping your anti-virus software up-to-date, and erring on the side of caution, you can help correct and protect the health of your computer system. Prevention is often the best medicine.

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WHAT MAKES A GOOD FRIEND?

In kindergarten
your idea of a good friend was the person who let you have 
the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one. 

In first grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who went to the 
bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls. 

In second grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you 
stand up to the class bully. 

In third grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who shared their 
lunch with you when you forgot yours on the bus. 

In fourth grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who was willing to 
switch square dancing partners in gym so you wouldn't have to be stuck 
do-si-do-ing with Nasty Nick or Smelly Susan. 

In fifth grade
your idea of a friend was the person who saved a seat on the 
back of the bus for you. 

In sixth grade
your idea of a friend was the person who went up to Nick or 
Susan, your new crush, and asked them to dance with you, so that if they said 
no you wouldn't have to be embarrassed. 

In seventh grade
your idea of a friend was the person who let you copy the 
social studies homework from the night before that you had. 

In eighth grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pack 
up your stuffed animals and old baseball but didn't laugh at you when you 
finished and broke out into tears. 

In ninth grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who would go to a 
party thrown by a senior so you wouldn't wind up being the only freshman 
there. 

In tenth grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who changed their 
schedule so you would have someone to sit with at lunch. 

In eleventh grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who gave you 
rides in their new car, convinced your parents that you shouldn't be 
grounded, consoled you when you broke up with Nick or Susan, and found you a 
date to the prom. 

In twelfth grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you 
pick out a college/university, assured you that you would get into that 
college/university, helped you deal with your parents who were having a hard 
time adjusting to the idea of letting you go... 

At graduation
your idea of a good friend was the person who was crying on the 
inside but managed the biggest smile one could give as they congratulated 
you. 

The summer after twelfth grade
your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you clean up the bottles from that party, helped you sneak out of the house when you just couldn't deal with your parents, assured you that now that you and Nick or you and Susan were back together, you could make it through anything, helped you pack up for university and just silently hugged you as you looked through blurry eyes at 18 years of memories you were leaving behind, and finally on those last days of childhood, went out of their way to give you reassurance that you would make it in college as well as you had these past 18 years, and most importantly sent you off to college knowing you were loved. 

Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person who gives you the better of the two choices, holds your hand when you're scared, helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you, thinks of you at times when you are not there, reminds you of what you have forgotten, helps you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer, stays with you so that you have confidence, goes out of their way to make time for you, helps you clear up your mistakes, helps you deal with pressure from others, smiles for you when they are sad, helps you become a better person, and most importantly loves you! 

[thanks to Barbara Crawford for this one]

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QUICK WIT:

Accept praise and believe it as readily as you would criticism

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