Monthly Archives: February 2012

Viruses Happen

mr yuk

The good news:  I still have never had a computer get infected with an email virus while using Lotus Notes.  That 18-year run is still going.

The bad news:  My laptop got a virus through a random act of browsing.  It happened thanks to a touch pad strategically located between the palms of the hands where it can occasionally cause the mouse to move or misread a mouse click.  It has happened many times in the past.  I’m typing away when suddenly the cursor jumps to somewhere else on the screen and my typing starts appearing in the wrong place.  This time it went to the browser window and who knows what input it took before I stopped typing.  It’s the first time being a fast typist was a liability for me.  I just know that suddenly I started getting a chain of popups.

I closed everything and it didn’t look like anything evil happened, but since then my computer started crashing randomly and would never come out of hibernation properly.  A full virus scan revealed a problem, but it needed the help of a Norton Anti-virus bootable CD.  OK, I created the bootable CD from another computer and ran the repair tool.  After that the PC quit booting altogether.  This was a case where the cure was worse than the illness.  No, it won’t even restore to a previous recovery point.  Sure, I could resort to a system image recovery that I made some time ago, but there are no guarantees of recovery at that point.  Who knows what devilry is at work with the Norton tool and virus.

I put in a call to Norton support and pretty quickly the guy at the other end decided to escalate this one to the next level.  They actually scheduled a time the support guy would call back.  This is going to be a true test of Norton’s support service.  I’ll keep you posted.  Meanwhile, the blog will continue to be quiet thanks to this new time-sucking event.


How to have your own Grand Canyon Expedition: Grand Canyon 2013 Main Lottery is Open and Accepting Applications

As you read this tale do you wish you could have your own experience rafting the Grand Canyon?  It’s easier to get there than you might think.  Yes, you can take the easier, more expensive route of going on a professionally guided trip.  But doing your own private trip has an element of risk and excitement that you won’t feel if you have guides that have been down hundreds of times.  A private trip is truly an expedition.  Yes, there are significant logistics involved and you’ll need people experienced in whitewater to row the rafts.  (I had lots of whitewater experience before the trip, but almost no rowing experience, and I made it down the river fine.) But a private trip is really the best way to go.

If you have a love of the wilderness and adventure, a tolerance for camping for an extended period of time without all the luxuries of “civilization”, then you can get a trip of your own together.  Before you go, I strongly recommend experiencing at least one or two extended trips of 5 or more days before going to the Canyon, so you know what is involved.  Those trips don’t have to be river trips either.  Backpacking trips will provide a similar experience.  This helps you learn what gear and clothing works for you and what doesn’t.  You will also want some experience rafting so you know what the experience is like running rapids in a raft. You can learn more about it at their website:

So what are are you waiting for?  Step 1: Apply for the lottery and pay your $25.  Step 2: Win a launch date and begin planning.
The lottery just opened today and they will be accepting applications for the annual lottery from February 1 to February 22 for launch dates in 2013.  Here is the email they sent announcing it:

Date:    02/01/2012 07:19 AM
Subject:    2013 Main Lottery is Open and Accepting Applications

The 2013 Main Lottery is now accepting applications for 449 calendar year 2013 noncommercial river trips. Lottery applications will be accepted through noon MST on Wednesday, February 22, 2012, and the lottery drawing will take place by the end of that week. Applicants can log in after Friday, February 24, 2012 to find out if they won.

Lottery winners will have until noon MST on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 to pay their trip deposits ($400 for standard sized trips, $200 for small sized trips).

A list of the available launch dates can be found at

Additionally, the following 2012 launch dates were previously released in follow-up lotteries and were not claimed. They are currently available outside of the lottery system to the first live caller to 1-800-959-9164 (i.e. cannot be claimed by leaving a message).
Standard Sized Trips (1 – 16 people):
February 2012: 3
March 2012: 1, 3, 4

If you need any assistance, please ask. We are happy to help.

Steve Sullivan, Grand Canyon River Permits Office


The Grand Canyon River Permits Office sends out emails announcing the main lottery
and follow-up lotteries. You can choose to receive all,
none, or any combination of these emails. To set your email preferences,
login and then click on “Edit Personal Information”.

To be sure our emails get to you, add the following two email addresses
( and to your email contacts.
This should prevent River Permits Office emails from being blocked by a spam filter.

Grand Canyon River Permits Office Contact Information

Phone:  800-959-9164 (toll free)
928-638-7843 (optional non-toll-free number to same line)

Fax:   928-638-7844

Mail:  National Park Service
Grand Canyon River Permits
1824 S. Thompson St., Suite 201
Flagstaff, AZ 86001


Main River Permit Information:  – click on River
Available Launch Dates:
Noncommercial River Trip Regulations:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Statistics From Past Lotteries:
Lottery Website:
Password Reset:


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