Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Through the Keyhole - May 2020

MAY 2020
Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter
Can you guess the location?
"This city literally recreated in real life what The Walking Dead created on the small screen.  Left side of photo is the TV show, the right side is a photo from last month.  Home to Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Sean Combs, Puffy, Diddy, and Brother Love. Can you guess the location?"

Are you tired of this yet?
I am.  Although we are not living in the Walking Dead series, it sometimes feels like we are headed for that.  I will be honest - I am tired of this whole thing.  The masks scare everybody.  However, I get a kick out of the people who ride around in their cars (alone) with their masks on.  Today I saw masks for sale at the hot dog joint.  Capitalism at its finest.  It all seems so surreal.  Standing on x's on the floor keeping your distance from others...  Sneeze guards on every cash register.  Fear of using cash and receiving change.  The fear is real and I think could be more paralyzing than the virus itself. 

When this is all over we will find out if it was worth it.  Right now, it feels like the jail is about to break and as the weather warms, good luck keeping people indoors after a long winter and shutdown.

I am tired of this and everyone I talk to is too.

I, for one, do not want to settle for some 'new normal'.  I think the goal should be to return to a life where the masks are gone, we shake hands, we don't give each other the stink eye for touching the avacados and we return to our American way of life.  That should be the goal anyways.  How we get there is anyone's guess but we know for sure we can't live like this.

Open up the country and let us small businesses get back to work.

So although I salute all of the front line workers and health care professionals, I salute you all who work in the most important part of the American economy, the small business.  There is no doubt that this crisis pointed out that we are important, essential and a large part of the engine that is the American economy. 

We may be small but we are strong, inventive and perseverant. Hang in there guys and gals - I SALUTE YOU.

So until we are all back to work, have some fun reading this nonsense I put together for your enjoyment.
Zoom Call FAILS...

If you can AVOID Zoom Meetings you should...It can be dangerous.

I find it interesting that the majority of educational institutions are using Zoom as the technology of choice for online meetings.  To begin with, it is not safe yet 300 million users are on the platform as of today. 

Security researchers have called Zoom a PRIVACY DISASTER and FUNDEMENTALLY CORRUPT.  Zoom has been accused of being slow to address security vulnerabilities suggesting that 3rd parties could gain surreptitious access to consumer webcams.

The phenomenon known as "Zoombombing" is on the rise.  Many students are guilty of giving out their Zoom meeting links so that others can gain access to the meeting and destroy the content. Zoom meetings can be accessed by a short number-based URL, which can easily be generated and guessed by hackers.

What's more is that there is no end to end encryption.  At this point only online meetings that are truly secure can show up to 4 screens at one time.  If there are more than that, you are probably not in a secure, encrypted meeting.

It has been said, hackers could tap into users cameras and this was proven with macs in early April.  Zoom said it fixed the mac issue but the number of security flaws with Zoom in the past make it as bad as malicious software.  Let's make this simple - Zoom is malware.

The app even can surveil its users and know if you have looked away from the meeting for more than 30 seconds.

Probably the worst thing about Zoom is that their end user agreement allows them to share your data with other companies.  And by share I mean SELL your data to the likes of Facebook for advertising purposes.

The sad part is that our educational system uses Zoom because it is FREE for meetings less than 40 minutes.  I use the term FREE as in NO MONEY is exchanged to use it in this fashion.  However, it is clear Zoom can cost you in many ways that are not directly related to your pocketbook.

There is a cost and it is to your privacy.

Use Microsoft Teams for your meetings and unload this software immediately.  If you can't use it on a computer that has none of your data on it.

That's all.  I'm out.
Happy Birthday TURNkey IT

24 years old April 24, 1996
That's me in 1996. My how time flies...
Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was Rob Woerdehoff
 who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!
ANSWER: Omaha, Nebraska
"This heartland city was home to Jim Hendry (former Cubs GM) when he coached baseball at a famous college here.  "About Schmidt" was filmed here and it is home to four of the largest companies in the world.  You can see why Mr. Buffett loves it here and stays.  Can you name it?"

Most people think of Omaha as a mundane, boring place in the middle of Nebraska where there is nothing to do.  The truth is that there are a lot of good reasons to live there in this underrated city. 

To begin with, you can catch a flight out of there to just about any place in the world.  You may have to connect through a big city but you can get there and people find that a good reason to live there.

Omaha is one of the top music cities in the US and there are no shortage of restaurants and bars to visit.  Omaha's food scene earned it a spot on the Top 10 Foodie Cities in 2014.

From theater to art, Omaha has cultural venues that inspire, entertain and keep residents coming back for more.

Home to the NCAA Men's College World Series and MiLB's Storm Chasers, residents can easily pick a team to root for.

Omaha is home to one of the world’s best zoos. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is more like a biological park, dedicated to conservation around the globe and home to the world’s largest indoor desert, world’s largest glazed geodesic dome, and North America’s largest indoor rainforest.

Another renowned Omaha attraction is the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Most people call him Bob. He’s a 3,000 foot bridge floating over the Missouri River linking more than 150 miles of hiking and biking trails. Bob also connects Nebraska and Iowa – in fact, standing on Bob’s state line and taking a photo is called “Bobbing.” The best part about Bob is that he Instagrams, tweets and vlogs!

The Reuben sandwich was invented in Omaha – we don’t care what New Yorkers say! During a late-night poker game at the Blackstone Hotel, a local grocer was asked to “ante-up” and create a new dish. The available ingredients resulted in an American menu staple.

Omaha is on the forefront of the farm-to-fork movement – of course, this is farm country. In fact, the nation is taking notice of the city’s fresh fare. Omaha is home to three of the top 100 certified restaurants on the Good Food 100 List – The Grey Plume, Dante, and Kitchen Table are recognized for their strong commitment to sustainable sourcing.
Four Fortune 500 Headquarters call Omaha home: 
Berkshire Hathaway (#3) - Warren Buffett’s multinational holding company.
​Union Pacific Railroad (#141) - The largest U.S. rail network serving 23 Western states.
Mutual of Omaha Insurance (#337) - Known for its popular “Wild Kingdom” TV and now web series.
Kiewit Corporation (#339) - Construction, engineering, and mining.One of the world’s largest employee-owned companies.

You can’t talk about business in Omaha without mentioning one of the world’s richest people, billionaire Warren Buffett. Buffett continues to call Omaha home and brings thousands of shareholders to the city for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.
Omaha in 4 minutes including footage of Warren Buffett's home...
Downtown life in Omaha ~5 minutes
Warren Buffett's favorite steakhouse~2 minutes
NYC Shopkeeper defies LOCKDOWN
This man is brave. Watch his stance on the lockdown. (4 minutes)
How you HAVE to spend your PPP $
Let's face it, if you received or are going to receive any PPP funds, you need to follow the guidelines so that you receive loan forgiveness.

According to the US Treasury, in order for your loan to be forgivable, you must spend the money on the following:

  • Payroll costs, including benefits;
  • Interest on mortgage obligations, incurred before February 15, 2020;
  • Rent, under lease agreements in force before February 15, 2020; and
  • Utilities, for which service began before February 15, 2020.

What counts as payroll costs? Payroll costs include:
  • Salary, wages, commissions, or tips (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee);
  • Employee benefits including costs for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payments required for the provisions of group
    health care benefits including insurance premiums; and payment of any retirement
  • State and local taxes assessed on compensation; and
  • For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.
There is much we can interpret but if your support contract existed before

February 15, 2020, then your PPP dollars can be spent here at

1964 Ad for WD-40
Johnny's Aspirations
A teacher asks her class, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Little Johnny says “I wanna be a billionaire, going to the most expensive clubs, take the hottest woman with me, give her a Ferrari worth over a million bucks, an apartment in Hawaii, a mansion in Paris, a jet to travel through Europe, an Infinite Visa Card and to make love to her three times a day”.

The teacher, shocked, and not knowing what to do with the bad behavior of the child, decides not to give importance to what he said and then continues the lesson. “And you, Susie? ” the teacher asks. Susie says “I wanna be Johnny’s girl.”
Good to know.
Gotta love the Trombone Bike...
This always gets a giggle.  VIDEO ~2 minutes.
Queen Elizabeth's Amazing Life
I was a little shocked by the pictures when I see how long she's been around.
She gives new meaning to the phrase
"Long Live the Queen"!
How old does this one make you feel?
You will LAUGH. Read THIS!
If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there's no hope for you.  I was crying by the end. This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in New Mexico.

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better.

For those of you who have lived in New Mexico, you know how true this is.  They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around.  It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Santa Fe Plaza .  

Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, who was visiting from  Gering , Nebraska.  Frank: "Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off.  The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native New Mexicans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge #3."

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:

Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato.  Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor.  Very mild. 
Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway.  Took me two beers to put the flames out.  I hope that's the worst one.  These New Mexicans are crazy.

Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork.  Slight jalapeno tang.                                             Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children.  I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain.  I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver.  They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.
Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA.  I've located a uranium spill.  My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano.  Everyone knows the routine by now.  Get me more beer before I ignite.  Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest.  I'm getting sh*t-faced from all of the beer.

Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing. 
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans.  Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it.  Is it possible to burn out taste buds?  Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills.  This 300 lb.  Woman is starting to look HOT ..  Just like this nuclear waste I'm eating!  Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili.  Jalapeno peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick.  Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato.  Must admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes.  I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics.  The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage.  Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher.  I wonder if I'm burning my lips off.  It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming.  Screw them.

Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili.  Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet.  Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic.  Superb.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames.  I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair.  No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally.  Can't feel my lips anymore.  I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.

Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment.  **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3.  He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing.  I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water.  My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth.  My pants are full of lava to match my shirt.  At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me.  I've decided to stop breathing.  It's too painful.  Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway.  If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili.  Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili.  Neither mild nor hot.  Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself.  Not sure if he's going to make it.  Poor fella, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 -- No report 
Construction Genius
1920 is 100 years ago...
The year is 1920 "One hundred years ago."
What a difference a century makes!

Here are some statistics for the Year 1920:

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower .
The average US wage in 1920 was 22 cents per hour.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year.
A dentist earned $2,500 per year.
A veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.
And, a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at home
Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, And, used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4 Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars ...

The population of Las Vegas , Nevada was only 30.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was neither a Mother's Day nor a Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write
And, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstores.
Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!" (Shocking?)

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help...

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. 

Quarantine Haircuts

Peanut Curry Chicken


  • Spice Blend:
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth, or to taste
  • ¾ cup unsweetened natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup ketchup 
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 green poblano pepper, diced
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice
  • 1 lime, for garnish
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


  • Step 1
    Mix salt, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.
  • Step 2
    Place chicken pieces in a separate bowl and add 1/2 of the spice blend. Mix together thoroughly to coat each surface with spice blend.
  • Step 3
    Heat oil over high heat in a heavy pot. Brown half of the chicken pieces on all sides. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  • Step 4
    Reduce heat to medium and add onion to pot. Saute until onions start to turn translucent and golden, 1 or 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook about 1 minute. Stir in remaining spice blend; cook and stir one minute. Pour in chicken broth. Add browned chicken along with accumulated juices. Stir in peanut butter and ketchup; add brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to maintain a gentle, steady simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  • Step 5
    Transfer zucchini, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, and peanuts to the pot. Stir to mix. Continue simmering until chicken and vegetables are fork tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Step 6
    Serve over rice with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of peanuts and chopped cilantro.

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