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January 2013

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As much as I hated my old job, the one thing I miss the most is discovering and killing computer viruses. It was my favourite part of the job. Seeing the first signs of a virus, detecting a new virus never seen before, figuring out how to disinfect it from a computer and then sharing the virus knowledge with the rest of the team. I loved being a super duper virus killing ninja.

virus

Is it strange I get excited seeing the signs of a computer virus and working out how to fix it?

A few years ago I wrote about The Security Tool Virus & steps on how to fix it. It was a virus which was pretty new at the time & 60% of my working day was spent fixing it. I found that the computers were usually infected via p0rn sites, which of course was denied by the users involved. Unluckily for them, we had a tool to know exactly what websites they visited which left them rather red faced.

I miss that. Unfortunately, in my current job; viruses are dealt with the Operational Security Team and I never get to see any. I want to be in that team. It interests me and something I want to be involved in. I just need to figure out how to get my toes in the door. All part of my master plan….

Rewind to late last year and screams from my mother “The police have taken over my computer, they say there’s been illegal activity, they want £100 to unlock my computer. What have I done?”. As soon as I saw her laptop, I knew it was a virus. However, at the time I didn’t really know much about it after being out of the loop of Virus Killing.

This virus is aimed to scare people:

Attention! Illegal activity was revealed!

Your operational system is locked as a result of Great Britain law violation!

The following violations were revealed: your IP address (lists your actual IP) was detected on illegal pornographic sites including child pornography, zoophilia and violent scenes with children! Pornographic video with elements of violence and child pornography were revealed on your PC!

This lockout is intended to eliminate possible distribution of the above materials from your PC in the Internet.

For your PC to be unlocked you have to pay penalty equal to £100! The penalty is to be paid 24 hours from the moment when your PC was locked! If the penalty is not paid all the data will be removed from your PC!

The problem with this is that scaring people works right into their hands, my mother included. The page they show looks legit to those who don’t know much about computers and many people have no doubt fallen for it. £100 is a lot of money, but I have an incline that’s just the beginning.

On Wednesday, I was invited to the Glasgow Hilton for Afternoon Tea at the semi-new Tì Tea Lounge courtesy of The Scottish Blogger Network in liaison with the lovely people over at DADA. I love Afternoon Tea, there is something to be said of the pure joy of eating little dainty cakes and sandwiches.

Derived from the Scottish Gaelic word for tea, Tì represents a modern, fashionable and cosmopolitan lounge filled with energy and personality. Tì not only offers traditional afternoon tea (£14 pp) but will introduce new versions of the classic with the “Tì Afternoon Tea with a Twist” including “Confessions of a Chocoholic” (£15 pp) and “Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea” (£17 pp).

We were met with a champagne reception and shown to our seats at the lounge, just off the lobby. Each table was perfectly laid out with dainty glass tea cups and staff then presented us with one of the three different types of Afternoon Teas they have on the menu. My table was presented with the Classic Afternoon Tea; an assortment of dainty finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam, lemon pancakes and a selection of sweet artisan cakes.

tea cup

classic afternoon tea

I’ve never been to the States before, even though you could never tell with an accent like mine. My parents on the other hand, have been lots of times… including two road trips East Coast and West Coast. I’m a tad jealous. Okay, more than a tad. I want to go, but I’m pretty sure my bank will scream no.

New York

The last time my parents were in New York, they only spent 2 days roaming around. My mom would love to go back to New York to explore the entire city and agrees that you really need more than 2 days. So… they’ve decided to go back either later this year or next year. I’m trying to get an invite, it would be rude not too, right?

I keep dropping little hints in about the best vacation spots in & around New York, the places I’ve love to visit within New York and all the restaurants I want to try that I’ve seen on TV (damn you Man vs Food damn you!). Have they listened yet? No. Guess I have to work on them some more… unless they are reading this blog post *waves*

Saying that, my dad is thinking about taking part in the New York Half Marathon, so I could tag along to support him, right? It would only be fair… just to give him the support and not to borrow his credit card at all. Nope, not at all. I’m liking the sound of this already…

I love exploring and I’m pretty sure I could get lost in New York for an entire day with my camera. It just looks so pretty & is one of my Top 10 Must See Destinations. Japan & China being the next on my exploration list.

What city do you want to explore?

The Academy has spoken. The nominees for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have just been announced which will air on February 24th hosted by Seth MacFarlane. I’m a little disappointed that Rust and Bone did not receive any nominations. It was by far one of the most powerful films I have ever seen and Marion Cotillard was superb!

The main category nominees are below along with my prediction of the winners in bold text.

I love Burgers. I could quite happily munch away on them every day (minus the fact my arteries would explode if I actually did!). They are my weakness along with a good Pizza. I woke up one morning craving a good Home-Made Burger so I decided to go out at buy the ingredients to make my own Ultimate Burger. I also blame James for this. His Burger Blog teases me daily and I swear I can hear it whispering my name!

So how do you go about creating your very own Ultimate Burger? Well it’s simple if you think about it. You choose what type of meat patty you want, the toppings you’d like, the sauce and the perfect bun to hold it all together. I knew my Ultimate Burger would be beef, include bacon, a spicy tangy sauce, lettuce, onions and some sort of good quality bun. After hunting down all my ingredients and re-kindling my love for Whole Foods Market in Giffnock, I created my Ultimate Burger.

Ultimate Burger

Looks pretty good huh?

It doesn’t really feel like a New Year. It didn’t even feel like Christmas. It’s as if 2012 decided to fast forward itself as it was in a rush to finish. However, it is 2013. 365 days for us to make new resolutions, new mistakes, new experiences and meet new people.

2013

Last Year, I didn’t have any resolutions per say, more like things I wanted to achieve by the end of 2012. Out of the mental list I made, all by one was fully achieved. Pretty good going if you ask me.

Highlights of 2012? Finally passing my driving license, buying myself a brand new car an hour after passing my test, doing a lot of voluntary work which will help my CV, getting two pay rises at work, meeting lots of new people, getting my iPad Mini & well… something I don’t want to blog about just yet.

For 2013, I haven’t fully worked out what I really want to achieve by the end of the year. We all have the same ones to start with; stop eating crappy food, lose weight, be healthy bla bla bla but in all honestly, all I want is to be happy. Not too much to ask, is it?

Do you have resolutions or a list of things you want to achieve for 2013?