When the sick one is the rider, not the horse.

When the sick one is the rider, not the horse.

Please go to my google blog, The Horse Mad Scientist, to read my post about the problem child in my barn…and her not so sick horse.

I no longer allow likes on wordpress. An evil troll has been harassing me and has cost me a virus infected hard drive (which is no longer the case) and the way he gets in is by the like button.


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My apology to Western Equitation and the evils of Rollkur

My apology to Western Equitation and the evils of Rollkur

Please go to my Blogger blog, “The Horse Mad Scientist’ at thehorsemadscientist.blogspot.com

I add both ways to connect after having suffered a bad virus attack.

The photos were lifted from the internet via Google images, and in some cases I know the site, for instance, The Mugwump Chronicles here on Word Press.

Thank you for your understanding. See you at Horse Mad!

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Every day is a bad hair day

Every day is a bad hair day

I have hair from hell. Well, no. It’s not bad  hair..in fact I get a lot of compliments on its condition.

What makes it bad is that it NEVER. EVER. looks good.

Please go to my Google blog, The Horse Mad Scientist at blogspot.com


If you wonder why I am doing a link AND a copy and paste address, it’s due to a computer virus mine suffered. Now I don’t trust links. I don’t want you to go through what I did, but I DO want you to visit the other blog. Please. Because not being able to blog drove me insane. Just like my hair.

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Lessons learned

I experienced a horrible virus attack on my computer. It messed things up, went dinking around in my accounts (but didn’t get any information because I don’t keep stuff like bank account numbers or my SSN on it). So it got pissy and destroyed my hard drive.

Now my PC has a new hard drive, and things are all screwy with passwords…for instance, it took several tries to get into Word Press. But they’re beginning to balance out.

Lessons learned

I have been offline for over a week. Well, actually, my computer has been in hospital for a week.

My last post related that an evil thief had inserted a virus into my computer.

Now I know how, and what, it was.

It got into my computer when I made the mistake of clicking on what I thought was a recipe from a friend of mine. I didn’t know he had a cooking blog, and now, I know, he didn’t.

This person or persons got into my computer and inserted a Trojan horse virus in my Through the Bridle Lightly blog, by going through the desktop shortcut.

Don’t worry, you won’t catch it from reading this. Or even commenting, as you probably don’t have a shortcut to my computer. Once I realized my computer was infected, I disconnected from the net and took it to someone I thought would remove the virus.

The virus did a lot of searching throughout my computer. Fortunately, I don’t keep bank accounts, or things like my social security number on my computer.

It was in his shop for three days. He noodled around with it, but the moment I got it home and reconnected to the net, the virus re-inserted itself immediately. Not only that, it had morphed, changing to fit the situation. The original had been removed? But still, there were a few lines of code left that told the virus to mutate as it was under attack.

I then took it to a REAL computer repairman, who kept it for another three days. He removed the hard drive and put it on another machine, and within minutes of starting a virus removal program, the virus did the nasty job it had been created for: it killed my hard drive.

But, like surgery, that also made it so that it will never infect my computer again. The hard drive was already several years old, so I had a new one installed. That took care of the virus.

It also took care of all my settings. But fortunately, I back up my computer at least once a week. So I lost nothing but a month of work, and I’d not done much. The repairman was so grateful, he kept saying, thank you for backing your files up. So often someone brings an ailing or dead computer into his office saying oh my god, get it back for me, back up, what do you mean back up? Data recovery from a dead hard drive is almost impossible.

In the meantime, I’d purchased a new laptop. It had Windows 10 on it.

Without any more time wastage, let me tell you, do NOT go near Windows 10. It is worse than a virus. You know a virus is bad. But Windows 10 is even worse in that it’s just as controlling, it just doesn’t kill your computer. But it enslaves it. It is not yours. Windows 10 updates when it chooses, whether or not you have the internet connection that can tolerate hours and hours of updates.

10 has a thing called Cortana. Cortana is supposed to be an assistant, but what it really does is get in your way and insist on doing things the way Microsoft wants, not you. For instance, Cortana sends information on what you are doing online to Microsoft. Don’t want that invasion of your privacy? Don’t want to pay for that data harvesting? Tough shit. You are going to do it.

Writing, composing, etc? You now have to PAY a subscription in order to compose anything on your computer. No longer can you use Word. Nope, now you have to buy it.

Want to change the way things look on your screen? Nope, that is virtually impossible.

Want to search? You get bing. Bing is useless as a search engine. Microsoft wanted to challenge Google, so created bing (I can’t bring myself to give it the respect of a capital letter). So you must go to cortana, type in a word that you want searched, it goes to bing which takes the information off of: Google.

Plus you get ads. Lots of them.

Don’t want them?
Tough shit. You are going to get them. They’re harvesting your data to sell to advertisers.

There are things they left in place: your choice of a thousand different fonts. How often do you use wing dings? Never? Me, too. I need two fonts, not a million. But no, someone in Microsoft has the clout to keep all those stupid fonts in your machine, taking up space.

With 10, you also get bloatware. TONS of it. Programs you will never, ever use. The ones you DO want to use, you are now required to pay extra money for. Excel? Power Point? Gone…unless you pay. There’s a phony trio of processing programs but you only get them for 30 days. Then you have to buy them or spend extra money for the Office 360 ‘suite” for a lot of money.

Let’s say you have a photo you want to send to someone in an email.

Photo Manager is gone. In its place is a thing called Paint. Paint allows you to crop, and change the color values. But you can’t resize it from a 2 MB picture to something manageable, like 800 kb. If you want to to do that, you have to BUY a program off the Microsoft “Store” (a wannabe Google Play Store) and pay a subscription…just to resize a photo.

Want to shut it down? No “Start” button (which in itself was stupid…why “Start” and not ‘Shut Down”? You’ve already started the computer and Windows, “Start’ is illogical. But we’ve learned to click on the start button to shut down the computer.

But no more. Now there is a windows icon where the start button used to be, and you have to do two more steps to get the computer to shut down.

Microsoft doesn’t WANT you to shut down the computer. It wants to keep it’s greedly fingers in your machine at all times, to harvest data, to store WHAT? And to get more money from you.

What Windows has become is lucrative extortion, a way of getting you to shell out more money for what is already a useless program. It’s become so user unfriendly, so infuriating in lack of services, that I took my brand new laptop to the same repairman who had my trusty PC in his shop and said, Remove 10 and put Windows 7 on the laptop, as well as restoring it on the PC.

He did. Now I no longer have to deal with Windows 10.

So here is what I’ve learned, and you should take my experience as a advice.

  1. Back up your data. Today. NOW. Use an external hard drive that you can physically disconnect from your computer. Back up OFTEN.
  2. Never click on a picture in a blog that seems suspicious.I don’t care if you don’t ever click on a link in my blogs, probably I won’t ever put a link in again. I will instead write out the link to my Blogger blog, The Horse Mad Scientist. Please DO go to my Horse Mad blog, though. I’ve missed writing.
  3. Don’t put a shortcut on your desktop. Always type in the URL.
  4. Run virus and malware checks OFTEN. That’s how I found mine.
  5. Don’t pay for aggravation. Windows 10 isn’t worth it. Keep 7. They are supposed to keep updating it until 2020, and quite honestly, I hope by then, someone creates a Windows like program that doesn’t grab you by your heels to shake every bit of money out of you.
  6. Don’t keep passwords in a folder titled as such.
  7. Don’t keep financial or private information on your computer.
  8. MOST IMPORTANT: change your passwords OFTEN. Make them hard to repeat. I keep a notebook next to my keyboard with URLs, name of the site and the most recent password. Use upper case, lower case, $ymB0L$, like } { >”, numbers, and DON”T use names or words found in a dictionary. ‘horselover 123″ is a dead giveaway. That’s how they got in to my account in the first place. Part of that is Word Press makes it so difficult to change a password and keeps changing my email. If your words are found in a dictionary, the thieves will find it. Don’t use the same password for every site. I know, I know. What a pain in the A$$…but do it anyway. Or suffer, like I did, the consequences.

Good luck. The thieves are getting craftier, better at penetrating your defenses. Even something as mundane as a horse oriented blog is no longer safe.

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Beware of empty blogs

In a way, having my identity stolen several years ago has paid off. I was placed in a credit monitoring program which is fairly comprehensive, in that they monitor EVERYTHING, not just credit.

A few days ago, I received an alert that my password to my two blogs on Word Press had been ‘compromised’.

I promptly changed them, and then contacted a technician at the monitoring program.

After some digging, he found that the password had been stolen by whomever created an empty blog.

Earlier I had mentioned (and posted) that I was receiving empty blogs. I wrote about it, titling the post “What are they trying to accomplish?” Well, now I know.

As you know, Word Press notifies you by email that Someone Liked My Blog Post “——-“, and that I should go see what they’re up to.

I did. First time it was ‘cuteanimal pictures”. Puppies and kitten pictures lifted wholesale from the web. No writing. No credits, no comments,  Nothing “about me” Nichts, nein nada.

I removed the jerk. Next time it was something a bit different: “Loveanimals” or some such rot. Again: pictures stolen from the web (no name of owner, no weblinks, etc). No writing. No information, no opinion, etc. Nothing “about me”.

I began to call this ‘blishing’..someone crawling around on the blogosphere, trying to get someone to click on a link (hidden, mind you) in their blog. It’s ‘phishing’ on the blog.

I removed that person. I wondered what are they doing? Trying to get a like without working for it? Trying to get on a ‘fairly’ successful blog? Trying..what?

This last time, though, I received a ‘like’ from  “Cookingwithevan” and did I want to see what they’re up to? Well, I KNOW an Evan. So I looked at it and foolishly, clicked on a recipe. It took me to SOMEONE ELSE’s blog. Not ‘Evan”. No information about who Evan is. It’s certainly not MY Evan.  No recipe. No credit for the true owner or author. And again, No information about the original “like”, Evan.

Well, this time, Evan got me. Somehow he got my password to Word Press. This is quite a feat because I never remember it!

That set off alarms with my credit monitoring program. The tech told me that clicking on the recipe inserted a code that sent my password back to the thief. Now it was all over the “Dark Web”. He used a term that I can’t remember…after all, I was a bit excited.. that means the password is sold to thieves in the underworld of cyber theft.

I changed ALL my passwords, because it would have been very easy, once the thief got my password, to start rummaging about. But I wasn’t quick enough…the thief tried to change my mailing address! Not my webmail…my SNAIL mail address.

That set off another alarm.

I called the USPS and let them know someone has stolen my ID. AGAIN. And trying to steal whatever.

So BEWARE, Bloggers and Word Pressers! BEWARE. Someone is out there who has figured out that people blog and are fairly trusting. He knows what you like and will do everything he can to steal from you. Beware. Beware of empty blogs

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Sherlock Season 4: Disappointing

This isn’t horse related in the slightest.

I am a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan. I fell hard for him watching the first two seasons of “Sherlock”. Since them I’ve watched him play Richard III, Alan Turing, and watched “War Horse” again just for his scenes. In ALL of his movies, he is believeable. So this isn’t about Cumberbatch. He is the most consummate actor I have ever been privileged to watch. I truly think he could breathe life into the Sphinx.

His first two seasons as Sherlock were magnificent.

I liked the way he used his skills, his mind, his personality (what there was of it, him being a ‘high functioning sociopath’) and his use of technology.

But Season 3 was by turns stupid (“The Abominable Bride” was Abominable) and silly, with Holmes getting stupid ass drunk and the whole shambles of the unnecessary wedding. The death of the Palace Guard was unbelievable, not even close to being possible. Season 3 was more like a soap opera, although (I may have the seasons wrong) it took me two watchings of the one of Irene Adler to really get the gist of it, and then I liked it.)

It’s the writers, the producers, and the directors who are totally EFFING up this incredible series.

The 1 Jan 2017 episode “The Six Thatchers” was DREADFUL. Why all this blood, the violence, the shootings? UNNECESSARY!! What happened to the brainy Sherlock? He was hardly in this episode as anything more than a prop! It was the John and Mary show.  Did Sherlock use his skills of observation? Once or twice, no more.  What was up with Watson? He didn’t have the best marriage..I would have run like a rabbit upon meeting Mary..but for him to start a relationship with some girl on a bus??  Not that I can blame him, but he had a baby to look after now, despite Mary’s shortcomings as a wife. Suddenly he dumps the baby on poor, long suffering Molly and he’s off somewhere??

To be bluntly honest, though, I’m glad Mary is out of the picture. She just didn’t fit.

The producers and writers of “Sherlock” must be on holiday. This episode seemed to rush like hell through anything brainy in order to get to overly long, overly realistic,  dreadful depictions of torture, copious amounts of blood, and gunfire. I can’t explain it, I can’t believe this sudden drop in quality. Unless, of course, the producers have decided to kill the whole series off by drowning it in blood. If that is the case, they are succeeding.

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What are they trying to accomplish?

Recently I’ve begun receiving “following your blog’ notices in the typical Word Press format.


The trouble is, the creator(s) of the blog aren’t blogging. When you go to their blog, there is not a word about who they are, what they do, or even why they are clogging up the blogosphere. The blogger has figured out I’m an animal person, as they aim their blog at me with pictures labled “cute puppy pictures’ or “cute kitty pictures’.

And there pictures, no doubt…I bet clipped from the internet.

Not a single typed word of explanation, not a word of introduction or even why they’re bothering me.

I am coming to the conviction it’s  merely a new way of piggybacking on other people’s blogs. Or perhaps a way to worm their way into my computer in order to do nasty things. You know, I think it’s Blishing…blogging with phishing as its aim.

I smell a dirty, dead rat here….

I’ve received three so far and that’s all I’m going to get. Once I realize it’s trash, into the spam folder it goes.

Not going to work, kitty and puppy picture poster. Sorry. Nope. You want coverage…you need to work for it, just like every other blogger. And if you’re a troll or a thief, it’s not going to work, either.

And those people who read this blog, who are legitimate bloggers themselves, do NOT give these clickbaiters the time of day. Don’t go to their website and don’t post their information on your blog.

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