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Posts from the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

A New Web Scam

I’m not sure how new the scam itself is, but this incarnation seems to have begun in mid-July. A person presenting himself as Martin Dumont leaves a comment on your site saying that he is an advertising agent for Lacoste. Here is the first part of the comment


Sorry I write you via comments. But I could not find contact e-mail or feedback form on your site.

My name is Martin Dumont and I represent PAKBB Agency. We are making an advertising campaign for Lacoste Company (it is a French company producing clothes, footwear, perfumery etc.) and we would like to place their banner at your site We are interested in banners of the following sizes: 160×600, 240×400, 300×250, 336×280, 468×60, 728×90. What can be your price for one banner (banner should appear at ALL pages of your site) of abovementioned sizes (please specify the place for the banner – top, bottom, left, right)? Please mention a normal link for banner, without javascript code and set prices in US dollars per month.

P.S. Please, delete this comment.

Looking up his domain info takes you to a Ukrainian web host. And an initial Google search turns up a couple of others that he has contacted as well. Clearly this is an opening to a scam. A few reports indicate that after some back-and-forth, Mr. Dumont points you to a zip file download that is no doubt malware.

Well, Mr. Dumont – I did as you asked and deleted your comment. Folks, steer clear of this.


Don’t Tell Me Your Goals – Just Work Toward Them

Maybe that is harsh advice. I don’t know. There are some theories that exist that say sharing your goals makes you more likely to meet them. The theory is that people will check in with you and hold you accountable to meeting them. I think the truth is that unless it is someone with a vested stake in you (e.g. your boss, your spouse, your parents), they are likely to feel uncomfortable holding you accountable and will actually console you when you don’t take steps to reach your goal. “Oh, but you had so many other things going on it’s understandable you didn’t accomplish x.”

I recently read of a study that observed individual behavior in this area and measured the outcome of success based on whether they shared their intentions. It found that in “Four different tests of 63 people, those who kept their intentions private were more likely to achieve them than those who made them public and were acknowledged by others.” People feel good about creating their sense of self and are thus less motivated to actually take the steps to actualize that sense.

With that said – I have a few big things on the horizon and I literally have told 2 people. And they only needed to know because they would be impacted by them. I’ll be sure to share once they are accomplished. 

Stay tuned! But read more in the mean time: Shut up! Announcing your plans makes you less motivated to accomplish them



Over time I have come to accept that age is just a number. It can be used as potential gauge of a lot of things, but it’s really just a milepost. I’ve roamed this planet for 37 years and have experienced quite a bit. The pleasures, the pains and every emotion in between. At this point, my age is simply an indicator of the events that I’ve lived through. Hostages in Iran, the fall of the iron curtain, the opening of China to the world, and the onset of the digital age are among the key events that have shaped the world in the time that I’ve breathed it’s air.

How old do I feel? 25. Some days 19, but it’s not awkward to order a drink since I’m legal, so 19 is fleeting. 

What’s my metabolic age? 16. According to my Tanita scale, anyway. Let’s hope the hormones of the 16 year old don’t come with that.

So I can measure myself in many different ways, but at the end of the day it is just a snapshot in time. Looking back is interesting but it obfuscates the present. Looking forward is interesting as well, but worrying about it may prevent enjoying the here and now. 

If what I did yesterday still seems big and audacious, then I must not have tried hard enough today.

Rock on.


Rest In Peace, Johnny Lewis O’Brien

This post is somewhat of a departure for me. I normally don’t post truly personal stuff, nor do I typically name names. This site is usually about racing or technology so if you’re here for one of those reasons, you might want to just skip this post. If you want a glimpse of the softer side of “Iron Mike” then read on.

Normally I would’ve posted my Peachtree Road Race report for 2010 by now, but I have been dealing with the loss of a dear friend. Johnny O’Brien whom I’d been friends with for over 15 years passed away not long after I crossed the finish line on Sunday. He’d been battling cancer, and appropriately and unknowingly I wore yellow on 7/4.

Johnny isn’t suffering any more, and tonight his friends gathered together to say goodbye and share laughter and tears. Johnny and I didn’t see eye to eye on everything and tonight he proved me wrong on one very big account. To Rachel – You have no idea how happy I am that you and your daughter were part of Johnny’s life. I was wrong.

Life is too short and precious to live it with regrets. I have to continue to be the best friend I can be to all whose lives I am in. We are all different people with different definitions of happy and as such we won’t always see things eye to eye. And that’s OK.

I miss you Johnny, and I’ll forever think of you when I pound the pavement or watch fireworks on the 4th of July.

Random Thoughts While Driving

When you have a 14 hour drive, all sorts of random and sometimes deep thoughts cross your mind.

Wind farms don’t seem to be ugly. I’ve always heard that the aesthetic aspects are what makes them undesirable. I seem to recall an effort to put them on Martha’s Vineyard some years ago and the Kennedy family saying that they are great as long as they can’t see them. So much for being a friend of the green environment. There were several such installations in Northern Illinois and they broke up the corn nicely. I tried to get a picture, but every time I snapped one with my iPhone a mound of corn stalks rose up and blocked the view.

Speaking of corn – Holy Corn, Batman! What on earth do we do with all this corn? For HOURS it was just corn fields as far as the eye could see. I thought we were paying farmers NOT to plant this stuff. I have heard of government cheese (aka gument cheese), I wonder if there is government corn? I did notice signs encouraging the development of motors that could run entirely on corn ethanol (if that’s what it’s called).

Speaking of signs, I guess having frontage on an interstate highway is akin to having a broadcast radio frequency. There were many messages along the way. There appears to be a call for alcohol reform in Wisconsin (probably those pesky college kids causing problems). There are also some folks who want to carry concealed weapons. Their signs read: When you outlaw concealed carry <next sign> Only outlaws will carry concealed <next sign> Guns Save Lives. 

Speaking of lives, I have compassion for people who have lost loved ones prematurely due to accidents. BUT, what’s up with all the road-side memorials? This is what cemetaries are for, people! This activity causes two problems. First, the memorials themselves can be very distracting. Pile up a bunch of balloons, flowers, and teddy bears and everyone will ogle assuming that a child lost his life. Second, the people setting these up are stopping on the highway and creating obstacles. At one time I heard a proposal that would set up periodic memorial stops for families who lost someone between miles x and y. Sort of like a rest area but for grieving. Weird.

Speaking of weird, who names fireworks stands? Has there been market research to indicate that I want to buy fireworks from Crazy Eddie? I think I would rather purchase my explosives from someone named Cautious Carl, but maybe that’s just me. One thing I did notice was that you don’t see any Four-Finger Freddie’s fireworks stands. 

That’s about it for now. Off to get in an open water swim in Lake Monona!