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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox October 15th, 2021

Thoughts From My Inbox

October 15th, 2021

Darts, Romance, and Ranches

Happy Friday!  I just had a text that the National Weather Service is predicting “nuisance flooding” for Northeast Ohio today.  Not exactly sure what that is, but make sure you have your Wellies on. And, if you haven’t already done your shopping, this is your last reminder that tomorrow (in Ohio, anyway) is Sweetest Day. Don’t forget the box of chocolates!


Something About…


Romance Scams
I always thought that Sweetest Day was an Ohio thing, considering that it was invented in Cleveland.  Turns out (according to Wikipedia) that it’s a Midwest thing.  And parts of the Northeast.  And of course Florida, but not Alabama or Georgia. Seeing as how tomorrow is the big day, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share the most recent news about online romance scams and crypto currencies. Feel free to click through, but suffice it to say that the next person you meet on an online dating site and who asks for cryptocurrency probably isn’t legit.  Sorry to disappoint you.



I can’t say that I’m a huge soccer fan, although every now and then I might turn on a key international match. I do know that the American side has a history of playing well in big games down in Columbus.  They had another World Cup qualifier there on Wednesday night (a 2-1 win over Costa Rica), and I found this history of the Columbus connection to be quite interesting. 



Real Estate

Kanye West is selling one of his Wyoming ranches and asking $11M. While I love the idea of having my own trout pond and long distance shooting range, but I’m not keen on paying for my own on site restaurant as part of the deal.  I think I’ll take a pass on this one and go back to the drawing board.  




Water System Threats

CISA, NSA, FBI, and EPA have created a new document regarding the threat faced by our water and wastewater systems from ransomware and phishing. They’ve also provided some interesting infographics detailing these threats and how they work. We’ve already seen what can happen when our infrastructure is attacked (Colonial Pipeline, and to a lesser extent, recent attacks against meat processing plants and farming co-ops), but my guess is that the proper precautions still don’t exist. As much as I hate plastic water bottles, it’s probably a good idea to have a few extra on hand.


Foul Balls and Homeruns
If you’re a baseball fan, you’re probably familiar with McCovey Cove, behind the San Francisco Giants’ park. You know the one where all the kayakers wait for homerun balls?  If you want to learn how to improve your opportunity to catch one, next time you’re in SFO, you should watch this interview with a guy who’s retrieved 43 of them since the park opened.


iPhone Updates

If you have an iPhone, you need to update from iOS 15.0.1 to 15.0.2.  Something about kernel corruption (back to the farm co-op hacks mentioned above?), if you’re looking for the technical details.


Top 10 Phish Threats

Regular readers (or even those of you who are slightly irregular) will probably know that our security partner is Sophos.  From firewalls to endpoint security and even phish testing, Sophos is all we use.  This week I had a blog post from them that linked to an article highlighting the top 10 phish scams from 2020.  These are the items that had the greatest success rate in terms of users clicking on them when being phished by Sophos’ Phish Threat educational tool.  How many would you have clicked on?


Travel and Tourism

Last week, I shared a video from Svalbard, Norway, the northernmost town in the world. Soon thereafter, another Svalbard video made its way to my inbox, thanks to a regular reader.  This one is about the global seed bank, 120 meters deep in a mountainside, and holding 1 million seeds.  This is actually one of 1.700 such banks around the world, but the video offers a glimpse inside.  And reminds us why it’s so important to back up the important stuff;  your seeds and your data!

Rising Cyber Coverage Costs

As ransomware attacks continue to rise in frequency and severity, the cost of coverage also continues to increase.  That while the coverage limits decrease, and multi-factor authentication becomes a requirement. We rolled MFA out across our client base a year ago, asking those that weren’t interested to “opt out” and acknowledge their risk.  We still have one who refuses to implement, even though their carrier has threatened to cancel coverage.  Trust me- the extra step involved with authentication is well worth the savings in terms of lost time, money, and credibility. 


Ambush Marketing

The marketing team here at Ashton (me and Cat Fiorito) are always looking for new ways to market the company. A lot of the interesting things we see are B2C, which doesn’t do us a lot of good as a B2B company.  Had an interesting piece appear this week about headphone maker Beats By Dre, and how they took over the 2012 London Olympics, even though they weren’t one of the 11 official sponsors.  The newsletter piece didn’t translate well to this publication, so I found the Twitter thread to share.


For those of you who’ve never had the right venue to show off your innate shuffleboard skills, here’s one last reminder; our next Ashton Happy Hour takes place this coming Tuesday, October 19th at Forest City Shuffleboard in Ohio City.  We’ll be there from 5-7P for food, drinks, and friendly competition.  We’d love to see you and are happy to take any tips for improving our game.


RSVP Here!

Ted Lasso wrapped up its second season last week, and while I don’t think it was nearly as good as season one, it’s still a great show.  One scene has been making the rounds of our office this week, most recently at this morning’s quarterly State of the Company speech by Jim Millican.  As Walt Whitman suggested, it’s always good to be curious (volume up).


For all of those who asked about the Mayan pork I made last weekend, it was a big hit (even though I forgot to serve the charred and marinated red onions).  The margarita shrimp that I served as an app was even more popular though, and really easy to make.  This weekend, we’ve been invited to a chili cook off, so it’s a good thing the Buckeyes have a bye week-I’ll be standing in the kitchen tomorrow making chili. Tonight is the annual awards event for the Cleveland chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (who knew, right?).  My wife is on the event committee, and I know she’ll be thrilled when this is over.  


Big plans for your weekend?  Love to hear them if you have anything interesting going on.



Go Browns!


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