There was a news article the other day about security and the Internet. To be specific, it was about non-security. Unfortunately, it was the latest in a steady stream of iffy news that gives us all pause about free-wheeling use of our laptops and PCs. It seems personal information and privacy is under attack again by forces who hope to dupe you for their own financial gain or rob you of highly sensitive numbers and codes and passwords when you’re not looking. Some perform these e-raids out of pure maliciousness. I am chagrined to admit I am one of the dupees.
Their point of entree is the innocuous emails we send and receive by the bushel. This is what essentially bugs me about the Web. Our fascination with it and its speed and its pizazz leaves us vulnerable, enough so that an industry has sprouted up to defeat these forces or at least keep them at bay. The good guys goal: stay a step ahead of the baddies.
These are odd words from a guy who uses the Internet to proffer his theories on writing to his children and friends. Indeed, you see the actual letters that are painstakingly kept off the Web. It is the pot calling the kettle black to say my effort is somehow different. I suppose it would be splitting hairs to say the letters are posted after the fact yet, in theory, these heretofore private messages could be forwarded to the rest of the known world if enough people bothered to click the right buttons.
Yet the point is that I think there is enough of a difference between me and the Internet that I take some solice knowing that at least for some brief period of time, what I send on paper remains on paper and in private until those single sheets become electrified on this digital platform.
Because this is Wednesday, we delve into the archives for a relatively ancient letter to Ellen and Reid.
November 15, 2004
EB and Reid:
Well now, so you’ll be home in a matter of hours after you receive this missive. It will be good to have you here, because, Scooter is running rampant through the house chewing, gnawing, eating. He’s back to his old self. We need you as dog sitters.
We’ve left the fire pit and white lawn chairs out back even though the rest of the yard work for the fall is done. We thought if you guys wanted to have Kristin and Jeff sit around the fire on T-Day you could, or just have friends over for a warm chat. We lined the upper part of the pergola with some white Christmas lights for added warmth and flare.
Your mom has totally cleaned the basement area (Reid, your car, aka Trashmaster remains untouched by human hands) and even put up a large bare canvas on which she intends to paint some colors or landscape or something like that. Remember, this comes from a woman who has been painting pudgy nude men in her spare time, so who knows what it will eventually look like. She even got a new remote that should work with the TV since REID GOOFED UP THE PREVIOUS REMOTE.
Trying to gear up for a new newsfeature with _________________. The working title is the __ Room of the Week. We’ll change the name, but it should be pretty good. I expect a lot of papers will pick this up if it is done right, meaning well designed and kind of funky yet classy. I got a 10 year contract for it. Now I’m trying to sell sponsorships for it. Gulp.
Tough days for the D______ family across the street. Mr. D______ was diagnosed with colon cancer about two weeks ago, and then his father passes away early last week. We offered to take the kids to see ‘Polar Express’ but they were too busy. We may take them during the T-Day weekend.
We’ve been to the store and tried to anticipate everything you might want, but the i-e cr–m and c–kies are already gone. So are the chips and the dip and the peanut brittle. And the brats, too, along with the Life cereal and the good caramel apples. But we’ve got plenty of wholesome broccoli and sprouts.
You guys take it easy. Call us en route when you change planes to give us a heads-up about your expected arrival times. Make sure you get to the airport at least 2 hours early. EB, if you can get out on an earlier flight, do it.