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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox October 22nd, 2021

Thoughts From My Inbox

October 22nd, 2021

Scorigami, Balloon League, and Sniper Dogs

By the time you get this, I’ll be fishing (not necessarily catching) for trout on the Little Juniata river in Central PA. I’m out here for the weekend with college buddies, attending the Penn State/Illinois football game.  I don’t care for either team (Go Bucks), but it’s guys I’ve known since the first day of freshman year in 1987, and it’s hard to beat fishing and football with friends.  We’ve done this once before, for Penn State’s ‘white out’ game against Ohio State in 2018.  Three of us in scarlet, 100,000 (including our host) in white. The Buckeyes won that night, and I was allowed to go to the game, even after testing the host’s fire extinguisher on him at our pregame tailgate (he wasn’t too happy with me). Who brings a fire extinguisher to a tailgate, anyway?


Something About…



This one is completely new to me, and made it to my inbox when the Rams beat the Giants 38-11 on Sunday. A scorigami is a score that has never before been recorded in a league (in this case, the NFL).  This one was the 1,067th unique score in NFL history.


The Balloon World Cup

Well, this is another new one to me as well, although I do recall playing something similar as a kid. Which reminds me of all the made up games we used to play in the dorm, back in college.  Ask Ashton President Jim Millican some time, as he loves to tell those stories! If you don’t want to read the article about ‘balloon league’, at least watch this video of two brothers showing the game at its finest




Juice Jacking
We may have talked about it in the past, but a good reminder never hurt anybody.  Thanks to our buddy Anton Ruighaver from Techlinq, out in New Jersey, for a good list of tips on how to avoid using public phone charging stations, thereby avoiding being victimized by juice jackers.





 My wife the stone, tile, and interior design expert is on the board of the local chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and was kind enough to send me everything I always wanted to know about bathrooms and sanitation.  Part I. It was actually interesting to learn about the advent of indoor showers and flush toilets, as well as the fact that the bathtub derived from a horse trough.  And I was very pleased to see that Thomas Crapper truly did have a hand in all of this, having taken the original S trap on a toilet and turned it into a U trap.


Email Marketing Tips


If you’re looking to improve your email marketing (I know I am), here’s a great list of 31 tips (in a Twitter thread). I may not use all 31, but some are common sense, and others I never would’ve thought of.



CISA has released a new advisory on BlackMatter ransomware, which is Ransomware As A Service (yes, you too can pay to run your own ransomware campaign!).  The tactics and techniques are rather technical (say that five times, fast), but the mitigations are pretty basic- consider them another good reminder for your own business.


Trust But Verify

The Ashton engineering team is taught to live by the term “trust but verify”.  This means that when somebody tells you something, you should trust it, but you should also verify what you’re hearing.  The same holds true when it comes to security- especially considering financial matters such as wire transfers and bank accounts.  Just the other day, Lisa, our VP of Business Solutions, asked me if I’d requested an update to my bank account info for direct deposit.  Somebody claiming to be me emailed her, and asked that she update my bank account info.  She immediately came to my office to get face to face confirmation that no, I had not made any such request.


A company in the UAE recently lost $35M thanks to forged emails and deepfake audio. We’re getting to the point that even a voicemail should not be sufficient proof when dealing with finances.  



September’s Top Cyber Attacks

Curious to learn more about the top cyber attacks, globally, in September?  Here’s a list, including the French and South African governments, a national postal service, and an American university.  At the risk of sounding old, I think that it’s a pretty sad state of affairs that a university had to cancel classes and homework assignments because there was no wifi access.  Paper and pencil, anybody?


Sniper Dogs

A four-legged robot in the shape of a dog, carrying a 6.5mm sniper rifle with a range of 1,200 meters?  Who needs a security system???


I’ve been sitting here struggling with how to wrap up this week’s edition… And now I get to thank long time Ashton client Doug Freer (LawnLad, Blue Moose) for providing me some content.  If you know Doug, send him your best wishes, as I just found out he broke his ankle and tibia in a beer league hockey game last night.  While he was yelling at the officials.  Good for him – the officials in that league are crummy!  As I recall, Doug took my place on our team six years ago when I blew my knee out on a ski trip.  It was soon after that when I realized I didn’t miss the 10:30PM game times followed by drinking beer in the parking lot until 1AM. I hope Doug’s back on his skates sooner rather than later!


Go Bucks!



Go Browns!


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