Communication Rustler


Cree Vicar Dave - SASS Life #49907

Being on the road doesn’t stop us from keeping in contact with the rest of the world.  Today we can communicate in seconds with our neighbor that may be hundreds of miles away.  In the Old West they had mail communications, but today computers speed it up a little over the Pony Express.  But when the ole PC contracts a bad case of the flu it does slow things up a bit. 


I was awakened by The Vicar’s Wife early one Monday morning a while back.  Her voice echoed through the aluminum walls of our trailer: “Well we’re done!!!  The computer is messed up.  There are BIG RED LETTERS on the screen and nothing works.”  Somehow a mischievous hacker had snuck into our “Silver Bullet” RV under cover of darkness and rustled our ability to communicate with others.  If an Old West outlaw snuck into your camp at night in times of yore and rifled through your saddle bags, about the worst he could do was rip up your paper and steal your pen & ink ta keep ya from writin’ back home.  All that was needed then was ta ride into town the next morning and buy some more correspondence conveyance  devices and you were up and runnin’ again.  But today it is a major operation to remedy the problem.  It says in Proverbs 3:29 NRSV, “Do not plan harm against your neighbor who lives trustingly beside you.” 


It is amazing how much the computer has come to dominate our lives.  A little over a decade ago we used pen and ink or, at best, a typewriter as our mode of correspondence.  Today the computer has taken over.  Letters are written and sent via the PC.  The articles I write are punched out on the keyboard, spellchecked, grammar enhanced, edited, stored along with adjoining photos and eventually sent in to be published all via the computer.  I find Cowboy Action Shooting™ clubs to shoot at, check to see when they shoot, where they shoot and how ta get ta where they shoot on my computer.  So when that virus struck it was no small thing. 


We had a FIREWALL so the problem could be easily remedied, right?  Kind of like ridin’ over ta the general store and pickin’ up a tablet, feather quill pen and some ink.  Not quite so easy.  After calling our computer security supplier and spending an hour on hold The Vicar’s Wife took directions on how ta cure the problem.  After 3 hours of running their fix over and over she got another number to call ta get it fixed right.  The earliest that help was available was Friday at 6: 00AM.  The computer expert would call then and make it well.  (The definition of an “EXPERT” is someone who rides in from over two hundred miles away and carries a briefcase.)  Oh by the way it’ll be another $129.00 US Dollars plus the $59.00 a year that was paid to keep this from happening in the first place.  Maybe it’s time ta go back ta paper, pen and ink, well not just yet. 


Friday rolled around and the phone rang a little after six in the morning.  The computer “expert” rode into our trailer through the telephone.  He tinkered with the PC for some 3 hours and then declared it healthy as a horse.  Another couple hours were spent running the scanner.  So the total grief factor amounted to $129.00 plus 8 hours of time.  Times that by the many thousands of other cowpokes affected and it adds up to an astonishing amount of “Hacker Headache”. 


I hope the person who initiated the virus had as much fun sneaking into our camp by cover of cyberspace darkness and pilfering our saddle bags as we had getting things back in order again.  But the Bible says that we are to: “Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.” (Romans 12:14 The Amplified Bible).  People who devise viruses to invade computers have way too much time on their hands.  What we need ta do is find out who they are and get them into Cowboy Action Shooting™.  That way all their extra time would be spent loading ammo and practicing.  Then they would be a blessing to us and we would not have to be concerned about a stealth computer rustler sneaking into our PC camp by dark of internet night. 


Hope ta see ya on the trail. 


God bless,

Even the rustlers, 


Photo by: Indian Paintbrush