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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox May 3rd, 2024

Sorry for the late start today, but it just means the end of your week will get here even quicker.  Had a breakfast meeting at 9A today, and by the time I got to the office, it was time to fire up the grill for chicken and ribs.  Of course, the charcoal never started properly so I was 45 minutes behind schedule with lunch for the team, and now more than 45 minutes behind schedule, here.  


Pretty sure that, at some point this week, I had a link to the article from which the image below appeared.  Can’t find it, but the image tells you all you need to know about how safe your password is.  Still using 1234? That’s not even a challenge. “Password”?  That upper case ‘P’ adds three days to good old “password”, but it’s still pretty quick.  As I look through the configurations we use for managing our clients, I see passwords like “Tool-Ground-Capitol-Fence-Bound-Enter-7”.  Based on the chart below, that would take 19 quadrillion years to hack (and yes, I’ve altered that PW).


Once you’ve changed your passwords to be at least a little more secure, scroll down to learn about terminal velocity, elk antlers, healthcare hacks, and more.

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Elk Antlers

I’ve always thought it would be cool to have one of those antler chandeliers that you see on something like Yellowstone… Our buddy Paul, who’s the director of facilities for one of the churches we work with, often sends information that I share here.  This one about collecting elk antlers in Wyoming was pretty interesting. Who knew there was such a big market for them?!?

Terminal Velocity

Did you hear the one about the phone that got sucked out of a Boeing jet at 16,000 feet when the door plug fell out?  How does a phone fall off the counter and crack, yet survive a drop from three miles up?  It seems it has to do with where and how it lands, and that terminal velocity means a fall from 300′ is no different than one from 16,000′.  


My freshman year roommate was into “railfanning” according to his bio in the babybook/facebook.  He could identify a train from three miles away, based solely on its whistle.  We never had much in common.  This one doesn’t qualify as real estate, but it is all about a kid who spends his nights sleeping on a train…

Health Hackers

When you start getting spam and phishing emails that tie back to all of your existing maladies, you can blame it on United Healthcare and their subsidiary Change Healthcare.  It was announced a few weeks back that they’d suffered a data breach, but a new article claims that “a ransomware gang took files containing personal data and protected health information that it says may “cover a substantial proportion of people in America.” That’s a lot of data.

Real Estate

Some years back, a high school buddy (and dedicated reader of this publication) was considering buying a house in Bozeman, MT, close to some of his favorite skiing.  He still gets local real estate alerts, and thought that my readers might be curious to know what $800K can get you in that sleepy little town a little west of Cleveland on I-90..  

For The Birds

As a kid, we always had a bird feeder in the yard, and my parents filled it regularly. As an adult, we have a couple of different feeders around the yard.  We refer to them as “bird feeders”, but they often get hijacked by squirrels and raccoons.  As you’re watching birds out your window, have you ever wondered where all of their different colors come from?  Now you can find out!  Hopefully retired Ashton engineer Tom Evans is still reading this publication… he and his wife are big birders. 

Data Breach Stats

Verizon has just released their annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) and to save you the trouble of adding your email to a mailing list prior to being able to view the report, I downloaded it and posted it to our website.  You can read it here. If you don’t feel like reading the entire thing, here are some takeaways, with all data based on 30,000+ reported breaches; 

  • 68% of breaches stemmed from human error (clicking a bad link, falling for social engineering, not configuring a system properly, etc.
  • 15% of breaches came through supply chain attacks (think Target getting hacked because an HVAC vendor wasn’t properly secured, or your business getting hacked because your technology partner got hacked)
  • 32% of breaches involved ransomware or extortion, with the average cost being $46,000.

Nancy's Nuggets

Nancy didn’t send me this one, but I’m sure it will have a special place in her heart. Six or seven years back, as she was doing some last minute cleaning before guests were expected, she put a big jug of cheesepuffs in the oven.  She didn’t have time to find a good space in a cupboard, so the oven was the next best bet. Unfortunately, she didn’t inform me of her random hiding place.  A couple of days later, I turned on the oven to preheat it for whatever I was making.  Within 20 minutes, there was a gray cloud throughout our first floor, and toxic smell.  Melted plastic and burnt cheesepuffs make quite the combination. In this instance, there was no cooking of cheesepuffs… Just eating them. Make sure to click through to the Instagram posts.  

We’re spending much of the weekend packing up and moving everything from our family room and kitchen, in preparation for the floors to be refinished beginning on Monday.  As it was explained to me, I think we’ll be living in the basement for at least the next week. That will give me plenty of time to analyze the data put together here, showing the birthplaces of every North American ever to play in the NHL. Once that’s done, I’ll probably watch the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby, along with a mint julep or two… the only time of the year I mix those up.


Have a great weekend.


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