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Showing posts from 2015


Last year (July 2014) I took the PCI Professional online course and passed the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center in Mt. Laurel, NJ.  This year I had to take the PCI-Internal Security Assessor course because it became a requirement at my place of employment.  This past Friday I passed the exam at Pearson VUE so I am now a certified PCI-ISA, and I still hold my PCI Professional title as well.  The PCI-ISA certification lasts only one year, so I'll have to re-certify each year, but the PCI-P certification lasts three years. I felt that these two tests had a lot of overlap, so if you already have the PCI-P certification I would highly recommend going for the PCI-ISA certification if your company is a PCI participating organization and will sponsor you.  The PCI-ISA certification is only valid as long as you work for the sponsoring company.  So if I quit tomorrow or get laid off, I lose the PCI-ISA cert. If you are taking the PCI-ISA course now and are getting ready to take the e

Amazon scam

I recently became victim of an Amazon scam that "isn't that uncommon," according to the scammer.  Yes, that's right.  I had an e-mail conversation with the scammer.  More on that later. The first warning came when I received an e-mail from Amazon thanking me for updating my account's e-mail address.  "What?" I thought.  "I didn't make any changes to my e-mail address for my Amazon account.  This must be a spam e-mail or a phishing attempt."  But no, it's not.  Upon examination of the e-mail, I saw that it was a legitimate message from Amazon Customer Support. I immediately got to a computer and logged in to my Amazon account.  I usually have the "Remember Me" setting flagged in my browser at home, so when I opened I was greeted with "Hello, Mark."  "Good," I thought.  "My account is probably safe." But when I clicked on the "Your Account" link to check my e-mail address,

Samsung Saga Comes to an End

Yesterday morning Angie called me at work to tell me that the Samsung TV was spewing smoke out of the top of the unit.  She smelled a burning odor, so she unplugged it.  The picture had already gone black and the unit wouldn't power up. So... I'm finally throwing in the towel on this television set.  The Samsung FP-T5084 was top-rated when I purchased it for about $2,200 from Circuit City in March of 2008.  But after 1 1/2 years of usage it began to give us problems.  We had one repair done under warranty, and then after that I replaced the main board and numerous fuses. So long, Samsung FP-T5084.  You're getting kicked to the curb. Life's Good. Yes, we bought an LG 55" TV to replace the old Samsung.  Long live the LG!

Fish tank water leakage

Last night, just before dinner, Dillon accidentally knocked a wine bottle into the glass front of our 10-gallon fish tank.  Luckily, the glass held together but enough cracks appeared to cause numerous spouts of water to throw about 8 gallons of water onto the kitchen floor, countertop, and into the rec room!  We had to grab all of our bathroom towels to sop up the water as it fell onto the wood floors, but there was nothing we could do to stop the water from flowing out.  The tank was too heavy to lift with the water in it and various decorative rocks and things, so we had to wait for most of the water to drain out.  I was finally able to lift the tank without the glass breaking all the way through, and carried it out onto the back patio. After the massive clean-up effort, I took Dillon over to PetSmart so we could buy a replacement tank.  Thankfully, we saved the fish by scooping them out and dropping them into a pitcher of water.  So when we got back from PetSmart we prepped the t