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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Sept. 1st, 2023

Being that it’s the Friday of a long holiday weekend, we had our usual parking lot cookout this afternoon, which is part of the reason this is so late in making it to your inbox.  Back in college, Jim Millican (Ashton’s president) and I (as well as our friends and roommates) had many hours of fun with a waterballoon slingshot, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have one in my desk here at the office. 


On sunny cookout days, the slingshot will often make its way outside where the new team members, interns, or other unsuspecting folks are sent downrange for target practice.  Jim himself was nice enough to stand in the target zone today (that’s him on the right, below, with Nathan Homewood, one of our newest engineers) and offered that anybody who could hit him would be given Monday off.  Sadly, nobody found the range… 

Something about ...

Small Biz Ransomware

We hear a lot of small businesses say “I’m too small to be targeted by ransomware” or “I don’t have data that anybody wants.  Our response is always “nobody is too small” or “they may not want your data, but know that if you can’t access it, you’ll pay up.”  Small businesses are often better targets because they have this mindset, and because they’ve not taken the precautions that many big businesses have in terms of cybersecurity.  Now there’s a new ransomware variant specifically targeting small businesses and individuals

Security Updates

If you’re in the 3.44% of the population who uses Firefox as an internet browser (I always have it open on one monitor, just so I can confirm that changes to our website work as they do on Chrome), you should make the necessary security updates.  

Additionally, Barracuda this week released another reminder that if you’re using their email security solution, you should (if you haven’t already) update that as well.  

Natural Disasters

If While I haven’t seen any wildfire scams (Maui) but CISA is now reminding people of hurricane-related scams (Florida).  Before you don’t to any cause from which you might receive a text or email, please make sure it’s legit.  

College Football

College football starts for real this weekend, which makes this the best time of the year (week ‘zero’ last week shouldn’t count).  This guy has attended a game in every FBS stadium and is now making the rounds of the FCS schools.  He even finds the obstructed view seats in every stadium and posts pics, just for fun. 

And, as a Buckeye fan, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that it was 16 years ago today that App State won in the Big House, beating “That Team Up North”.  Anybody remember how many batteries it takes to beat Michigan?  One double A. 


As far as Google is concerned, Ashton Solutions is a “managed services provider”.  Nobody really knows what that is, but if we want to rank highly in terms of the broadest definition of what we do, we have to talk about “managed services”, even though we are well beyond what a managed services provider offer.  We also have to be active on social media, even though nobody really cares about what we tweet or post on Facebook.  It’s all just a big game, but it satisfies Google’s search ranking algorithm.  But now there’s question as to whether Google’s time has passed.  


For some reason, a twelve year old article about McDonald’s McRib sandwich came through my inbox this week.  I can’t say I’ve ever eaten one, but we always did wonder how they came to be and how they stuck together.  And now I know.  

And while I wasn’t going to post an article about bay leaves, I thought they’d go well with pork.  I always seem to have a jar of bay leaves in the spice drawer, until I really need them (split pea soup or black bean chili come to mind).  I didn’t realize how many different varieties there are, but I do know that if you have ants and don’t want to use ant traps (for fear that your dogs will eat them), you can place some bay leaves around the effected areas and the ants will go away.

Nancy's Nuggets

I don’t recall whether Nancy watched Geraldo Rivera as he broke into Al Capone’s empty vault, but this piece she sent me about the recently discovered time capsule at West Point made me wonder.  

She also sent me this piece about NYC rat tours.  For those in the City who can’t find a rat on their own (not sure how that’s possible), people are now giving free tours.  We’ve done ghost tours and walking food tours in numerous different cities, but never seen a rat tour.

I’ll leave you with an article about fonts and where they come from.  Until I started working on branding, I never really considered fonts. I just remember from 8th grade typing class (on a real typewriter) that the font was Pica. These days, I’m very familiar with Ashton’s font (Gotham) and the font I use here (Calibri, since Gotham isn’t available).   Have you ever wondered where fonts come from? Now you can spend five minutes to read about it!

Here’s hoping you enjoy the long weekend.  As mentioned above, much of tomorrow afternoon will be spent in front of the tv watching the Buckeyes game.  The Great Geauga County Fair is usually on our agenda for a few hours, and while we may not make it downtown for the airshow, it’s always fun to see what might fly over our house. 

Go Bucks!


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