paranoia browsing by category


OK, But I Like It More Than It Likes Me

Friday, April 1st, 2016

No you hang up first.

No you.


I Call This Photo “The Stalker”

Monday, November 9th, 2015


Varmint Cong

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

International Shipping

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

So UPS, let me get this straight.

Someone ships an express worldwide package — 58 pounds — to Ghana, Africa, using my UPS account number, but from an origin that’s about 2,000 miles away from where I live. The bill for the shipping is over $1,000. I almost never ship anything, let alone anything to Africa.

You don’t see anything just a little bit odd about that scenario?

Texas Monthly

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

What I’ve learned in the last year of reading Texas’s premiere “lifestyle” magazine: Lots and lots of people have been horribly murdered in Texas over the last thirty years, and virtually none of the people incarcerated (or executed) for the crimes have been guilty. So, where are all the real killers?

Choose Your Own Adventure

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

So I’m in the parking garage and go to the elevator…



So I go to the stairs…


Best Spammer “Name” Ever

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

“Lazarus Nielsen”

Columbine at 13

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Everything you remember about Columbine is wrong. A new book out reminds of what really went down. One interesting tidbit from this page:

Myth #5. There were no warning signs that could have prevented the Columbine massacre.

Truth: Other parents had complained about Eric Harris, multiple times. Both Eric and Dylan had been arrested before. Thirteen months before the shooting, investigators discovered evidence that Eric was building pipe bombs. Dozens of pages of obscene threats on the internet were also documented. The sheriff’s department covered up the initial evidence that signaled the threat.

Outlook vs. iCloud

Monday, September 24th, 2012

This is probably only going to be of interest to a few dozen Googlers who happen by, but here goes:

Outlook 2007 and iCloud 2.0 don’t get along. If you have email stuck in your Outlook outbox (particularly scheduled items), uninstall iCloud. Everything will work suddenly work fine after a reboot.

If You Use Firefox, Install This

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Lazarus has saved my butt many times. What it does: It recovers text you have filled out in Firefox forms or text boxes so when you accidentally close a tab, or if a login screen suddenly pops up when you’re in WordPress and you save a document… only to discover that, no, WordPress can’t save a thing if you’ve been inadvertently logged out. Lazarus fixes all of that with a simple plug-in.

Get it now before you need it.

Oh No They Didn’t…

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

WordPress and CAPTCHA Systems

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Just installed my first CAPTCHA antispam system on today at the behest of my web host. (We don’t get much spam, but, well, long story.) Installed SI CAPTCHA and it seems to work as advertised, page loads aren’t significantly impacted, and the images are easy to read. Anyone else have in-depth experience with CAPTCHAs on WordPress? Anything I should look out for?

These Kids Today

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Amazed to see the army kids headed into middle school this morning… about half with a Starbucks cup in hand.

How to: Change All Files from “Hidden” to “Unhidden”

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Vestiges of a virus left a computer with most of the files in the My Documents folder invisible, so the malware creator could make it appear that files were damaged (and magically “repaired” once you paid for the software to fix things).

I removed the virus but the files stayed set hidden. Online advice about fixing this didn’t work, but I stumbled upon the correct solution myself. Here’s how to fix this issue if it happens to you. This should work in most versions of Windows, from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Find the folder containing the files you want to repair in Windows Explorer.

Right-click on the folder and choose Properties.

The “Hidden” box will (probably) be clear, indicating all files are “unhidden” — which isn’t correct.

Check the box so that it has a check mark in it (not a square). Click Apply and select “Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files.” Click OK.

It will take several minutes for all files in that folder to be updated. They will now all be hidden. Don’t panic.

When it’s done, UNCHECK the “Hidden” box so that it’s clear, and click Apply again. Select the “Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files” option again and click OK.

Now, all files will — finally — no longer be hidden.

Anger Management

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Just off the phone with a debt collector for Providian who literally screamed at me: “Why don’t you pay your debts!?”

Only problem: I’ve never had an account with Providian. Wrong Chris Null.

“The first thing they told me was, ‘Leave your cats and get out.'”

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

In a story full of great quotes, that was perhaps the greatest.

The Supermarket’s Scourge Against Tall People

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

tall people

But What Are They Looking At?

Friday, October 7th, 2011

I couldn’t imagine better “scared face” pictures… the Fear Factory must be doing something right. Wooooo — Halloween!


Friday, September 9th, 2011

In a bit of a pickle as to how to surreptitiously communicate with other grown-ups in the presence of children, now that my daughter is old enough to figure out things that I spell aloud instead of say. Pig Latin seems useless.

I’m Never Clicking on Anything Again

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Yesterday I fell prey to my first phishing attack in years. I caught it a minute after I clicked the link and provided my Twitter account info, but the damage was already done. It took nearly an hour to change all the relevant passwords. Had it been a more “secure” password that got compromised it would have been an all-weekend experience. Joy.

Reminder to self and everyone else: No matter who sends you the email, even if it’s your best friend in the world, and no matter how funny they say you looked in “this photo,” do not click the link!