paranoia browsing by category


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!

The Rumor Mill

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Four years on, iPhone rumormongering is still big business. Isn’t anyone tired of this yet?

Municipal Serendipity

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Apparently from Glen Park Festival


It’s Funny Because It’s True

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

My Daughter Speaks the Truth

Monday, March 7th, 2011

click for the big version…

I’m Talking Mangos

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Can someone explain to me where the produce that those guys sell on the side of the road actually comes from? And how come there seems to be so much of it?

Sometimes It Sucks to Be Tall

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

From the Ottawa Sun

A seven-year-old giraffe featured on a British television drama was struck and killed by lightning in South Africa Monday.

Hamley is not the first giraffe to be struck by lightning.

In 1996, lightning reportedly struck and killed a 5.5-metre tall giraffe that was standing on a hill in the Rhino and Lion Reserve in northeastern South Africa. A year later, its mate was struck and killed by lightning.

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Pet peeve.

Let’s say you’ve spent some time with someone — perhaps you’ve gone to dinner with another couple, or you’ve had a couple of drinks with them and chatted the evening away.

My beef: When you are parting ways at the end of the evening, you get the usual, “When are we going to get together again?” speech. You haven’t even finished that evening’s festivities, and they’re already pining for the next event? I know my company is invariably scintillating, but I need a little downtime before I start making more plans.

Am I crazy? Don’t answer that.

Finger Jerky, Perhaps?

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

You know after you remove a Band-Aid that’s gotten soaking wet: That white, wrinkly, squishy look that your skin gets where it’s been covered up? They need a really good name for that.

About That Clerk Position…

Monday, July 12th, 2010

I have a soft spot for this spam/virus I just received. In fact, I love it.

Like John Waters’ Moustache

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Can someone explain to me why some otherwise attractive women pluck their eyebrows down to pencil-thin lines? It is the scariest thing on earth.

Perhaps This Is Why My Drain Is Slow

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Plumber: “How did the water drain before?”

Me: “…”

It’s Like Skype But With Typing?

Monday, April 26th, 2010

My 7-year-old attempts to explain what email is to my 4-year-old:

“It’s like texting with a computer.”

The scary thing is that the 4-year-old understood.

Sometimes Sleeping Is Hard

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Had insane dreams last night. People (even some dead ones) from the distant past playing major roles. Espionage and hitmen after me, holed up in a hotel room. My kids were overgrown to 5’6″ tall (but still 4-7 years old).

Things got so weird I was woken up and told that I was having a crazy dream, then went back to sleep.

But that was part of the dream, too.

The hitman/hotel story continued where it left off.

Still not sure if I’m up.