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I'm embarrassed to say that I got hit, hard, with the Virtumonde trojan infection. I don't peer-to-peer and am pretty cautious about the programs I download/run, only downloading fairly well-known programs from trusted mainstream download sites. Even with those precautions and antivirus/firewall running, I still got infected. The internet was useless with pop-ups and redirects among other problems that were quickly spreading across my system. A little research reveals Vundo or Virtumondo is one of the worst and most difficult to get rid of trojans around. My infection included: Virtumonde, Virtumonde.generic, Virtumonde.sci, Virtumonde.prx and Smitfraud-C.
McAfee, Ad-Aware, Spybot and VundoFix were all useless, either missing the infected files or identifying them but failing to remove them. After much research and reading of help forums I gave Malwarebytes' free Anti-Malware program a try. After running it once, it cut in half the number of infected files and after running it a second time, it eliminated all signs of the infection.
If you have a virus/trojan infection, it would well be worth your time to check out the fine folks at Malwarebytes. They sure saved my butt! Also, thanks to all the volunteers I encountered at various forums who donate their time and experience analyzing logs and scans and providing people with detailed assistance with fighting computer viruses and trojans. I didn't submit my own problem anywhere, but I wouldn't have been able to clear things up without reading their detailed instructions to others; thanks!
Joey our cat. He's about 11 years old maybe. He had a tough life as a stray in Chandler, Oklahoma, surviving on his own in the wild before he adopted us. Now he lives the life of leisure, sleeping all day and following me from room to room in the evenings. He really loves to help out with the computer sitting between me and the keyboard. Two more closer ups after the jump.
Aunt Donelda concluded her visit today. Before she left, she and the boys modeled their Thing t-shirts Donelda got on her last trip to Disney World this year. Will didn't quite understand why he was Thing 3 and kept insisting, "Me two," because that's how old he is. Aunt Donelda really helped to make Christmas special for the boys (all of us) this year!
Aunt Donelda, Drew and Will show their Christmas spirit.
Drew, Will, Mama and Daddy wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!
This year's tree is a 9 foot Nobel Fir tree. Compared to last year's Fraser Fir, the needles are more rubbery such that they don't poke your skin while hanging lights and ornaments. Also, this must have been the fullest tree we've ever had. There are only a handful of ornaments hanging inside the tree. It is so full with no gaps or openings that there just wasn't any place or need to hang ornaments deep inside. The few we managed to shove inside practically can't be seen. Other than a top that ends a little abruptly, it's a perfect tree.
After hanging lights, while putting up ornaments, one-half of the very top string of lights started slowly flashing followed by it going out completely. I replaced the bulb at the end of the dark half but to no avail. Somewhere in the half-string is a burnt out bulb. I'll look for it when we take the lights down. So, if you look closely, you can see the very top right of the tree is without lights.
Drew and Will were a hoot hanging ornaments. Will refused to use hooks. We'd tell him, "Will, you need a hook," and Will would respond with confidence, "No, O-A," (his version of OK). Will would then place three ornaments on the very tip of the exact same branch, despite no ornaments being anywhere else on the tree. Together the boys did a terrific job of decorating the bottom-third of the tree.
Click "Continue reading" to see another picture of the boys.
Drew and Will recently visited Santa Claus to tell him what they wanted for Christmas. They had been practicing for weeks and were very excited. Will brought along a picture of a Star Wars lightsaber and was ready to say "Mace" to let Santa know that he wanted Mace Windu's purple lightsaber. All Drew wanted to ask Santa for was a Star Wars Asajj Ventress action figure.
Unfortunately, it's so incredibly awesome getting to see Santa Claus that the boys got a little shy and weren't able to ask Santa for what they wanted. Fortunately, Drew stepped in to help out Will and Mama helped out Drew. Santa was great, as usual, and I think he knows exactly what the boys want!
This is our Festivus Pole-Tree. I'm looking forward to the Airing of Grievances. Unfortunately, I was out voted and I had to let the tree out of its string cocoon.
Fortunately, we have the best automatic tree-waterer ever invented. Drew and Will are both very enthusiastic about checking the water level and making sure the tree has enough to drink.
Drew celebrated his friend Aidan's birthday today at SSB Kids! in Broken Arrow. It's a 20,000 square foot multi-sport center which was set up with enough inflatables, running, jumping and climbing activities, obstacle courses and foam pits to tire out the most energetic five year-old.
A very attentive staff kept the kids well organized and having constant safe fun. I asked Drew what he liked the best and he said, "All of it."
Drew showed no hesitation completing the different obstacle courses available. It was really a nice facility which I hope we get to go back to in the near future.
Good friends Matt Cassens and Kevin Gleeson over at St. Blogustine have created the Nobama Dissent Bumper Sticker proclaiming, "Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism." Liberals thought this was a pretty clever slogan during the Bush years. Now Matt and Kevin want see how THEY like it!
They're selling them at just over cost, so click on over and pick yourself up one.
There's nothing better than real mashed potatoes, with the peals left on, and, fortunately, we have the best automatic potato masher(s) in town. Just boil the potatoes, drain and drop them on the floor. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Interrupt when desired consistency is reached. Yum!