Sep 7, 2008

Hijacked on Vacation!

Sorry for the delay in posting my blog. I went on vacation and, guess what -- my laptop got hijacked! No, armed gunmen didn’t do it. It wasn’t a South Jersey terrorist-cell either. It was far worse. So horrible I can’t talk about it. I’ll write about it though . . . it was . . . nerds! Anonymous, angry, probably single nerds who wrote hacking software to overtake my Internet Explorer and establish some other page as my home page. No matter what I tried to do on the Internet, within seconds, the website I typed in would close and the nerdy website would take over. I couldn’t access e-mail, weather, or I felt alone, disconnected from the world.

Sure I was on vacation, but how could I possibly have fun without Internet access? What next, my cell phone? Is this how cavemen had to live? The next few days were a fog, a living h---. All I had to fall back on was sun and sand, family, friends, liquor in abundance, beautiful weather, lots of laughs. It was stressful.

I couldn't focus on fun. I did what anyone would do after a hijacking. I waited for a ransom note. Remember when Mel Gibson went postal on that guy who kidnapped his kid in that movie Ransom? I figured I’d do that. I walked to the Cape May Vacation Handgun Store store to purchase an arsenal of weapons, along with some really cute beach souvenirs. Luckily, I took my sons with me, so they were able to help me carry the handguns back to the hotel. Then I lay in wait.

It took me a few days to realize that no one was actually kidnapped and that no ransom note was forthcoming, so I changed my strategy. I went back to the Handgun Store and was told there is a no-return policy. What am I going to do with 15 different guns? Thank goodness Christmas is coming, and I have a large family! Anyway, I did what anyone else in my circumstance would do. I put away the laptop and decided to deal with the issue when vacation was over.

When we got home, we went right to school and work, so the laptop remained on the back burner for a while. My husband is a software engineer, so he got a powerful spyware package. He purchased the Super Duper, New, Sensitive, Sometimes-Vulnerable 007 James Bond Super Edition Spyware. We loaded it, but it didn't do anything. I called all kinds of places to get help and figure out what to do. I dialed 411, Information, but they couldn’t provide any information to help solve my problem. They just kept asking "what city" my Internet was hijacked in. I called the airport's information desk to see how they deal with a hijacking, but they treated me as if I was crazy, so I hung up.

Finally, after breaking down my husband through weeks of whining and complaining, he spent yesterday working on my computer and removed the problem. So now I’m back on track and ready to write. Did you miss me? I missed you, anonymous reader.

Actually, I know the vacation sounded horrible, but it was great! Cape May, NJ, is a great beach spot. You can walk from the beach to hotels to everything you want on the island, and it’s less than a mile to almost anywhere.

One of my favorite pastimes is when we rent a bike for six. There’s five of us and four seats at which you can pedal. This year, for the first time, I was chauffeured around by my husband and boys for most of the hour we rented the bike. We basically ride to a convenience store to get slurpees and then back. I encouraged them to pedal faster with inspiring words like, “You call that pedaling? My dead grandmother can pedal faster than you.” When they got fed up of my taunts, they made me pedal -- and to illustrate how slow I am, the boys each jumped off the bike while it was in motion, ran ahead, waited, and jumped back on. (That part is true.) I thought we were moving at MACH 10, but when I saw my dad pass me in his wheelchair, I realized it was more like .5 mph. So I ate a little crow, but it was wonderful. I saw my parents, my sister's family, and I spent time with my husband and boys. Life doesn't get better than that. Anyway, I'm back on the saddle, so look for a new entry next Sunday.

I do want to warn you to make sure your computer security doesn't expire, lest you fall prey to hackers too! Have a great week!


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