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From the Editor's Desk...
Of Mellonheads and Fruitcakes...

Do you realize the year is almost over?   I must admit its been a fast, enlightening year for me.  I did realize, as a result of the "enlightenment", one major item though.  I thought I'd share it with you.

How many of you know of or, have experienced what a "fair weather" friend is? Let me clarify with the expression; "opportunistic friend".  Ah.... I knew you'd start to get the idea.  Here it is in a nutshell.  I find people coming to me introduced through friends and acquaintances.  The intro's are sincere enough but my Lord have I come across some "grabbers" and some fools.  For instance, a couple was intro'ed to me seeking help with computing abilities.  I began showing this couple the basic essentials.  Within three months, they were telling me what to and how to do it.  I kept my mouth shut and did a great deal of listening.

Ironically, it was this "jonnie-come-lately" who also showed up with a dead computer.... I said ironically for a reason.  You see, with the all the know-it-all posturing by this person, it didn't stop a computer virus (Chernobyl) from virtually eating this person's computer alive.  In almost twenty years of computing, teaching computers and writing about computers... I'd never seen a killer virus! It took this ninety day wonder to show me the very first killer computer virus.  Live and learn... 

As I was cleaning the hard drive of further infestation (over forty instances) I actually felt sorry for this poor soul!  It cost this computer user a new Motherboard as the CMOS on the infected mb was wiped clean.  In any case, to make a long story short this user went home with a fully working machine.  Cost?  One Mother Board....(around $100.00)

End of story, I'll probably never hear from this user again.... after all, with the basic instruction and the discovery and curing of the virus...    now part of the couple's experience.... they're "computer pro's"!  At least they think so... I hope not as they will soon be visited by the "rude awakening".  Have you bumped into any "aces" like these?  If so, I know how you feel.

If these users were to reach out to me... I'd forgive their transgressions and understand their faults and forgive those too.  After all, 'Tis the Season. (Can you imagine if we all did that? What a wonderful place the world would be.)

Chanukah and Christmas are, respectively, right around the corner.... Please do not forget the true meaning of these wonderful holidays. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  One of the major Christian High Holy Days of the Year. Of course, in the real spirit of the Holidays... Good Will Toward all Men and Forgiveness of Their Transgressions... is the right thing to do.  We all must be cognizant of these truths and follow them.  Else, we lose our humanity.  Good Will toward all Men... is a sweet psalm unto itself with a kind lesson for us all.

Chanukah (also spelled Hanukkah) is considered a minor Jewish holiday, but, like Christmas, has grown over the years in this country into a seasonal celebration, a bright time for family and friends to gather as days shorten and the solstice brings winter on its heels.

Called the feast of lights, Chanukah celebrates a miracle observed by the Maccabees, a persecuted Jewish tribe who won a fight for religious freedom. When tribe members began to rededicate their temple, the Temple of Jerusalem, they were disappointed to find only a day's worth of lamp oil.

Miraculously, this oil burned for eight days. Hence, the holiday Menorah candlestick that holds eight candles and a "Shamash," or servant candle, to light the others. During Chanukah one candle is lit the first night and another added each night until the final evening when all eight are burned.

The eight days of Chanukah are determined by the Lunar, not the Georgian calendar, so they move each year, occurring sometime in late November through December.

Just as Christmas decorations have moved beyond simple religious references to include Santa, elves, Frosty and Rudolph, Most celebrants want their Chanukah season decorations to be more than a series of Menorah candlesticks. Many have a growing collection of dreidels, the four-sided toy top once spun by Jewish children when little ones still played with tops, that has four letters representing the Hebrew words Nes Gadol Naya Sham, "A great miracle happened here." Dreidels come in silver, wood, clay, ceramic and glass. These objects, displayed as a collection during the year, make cheerful table decorations during the holidays.

Prepare and enjoy the holidays... but please, in your fervor, do not forget the true meanings of these holidays.  For if you do... you will have lost the true heartfelt spirit of Christmas and Chanukah.

Chanukah Begins at Sundown on Friday, December 3
(First Day of Chanukah)

I could be wrong... I don't think so... If you think I am... by all means, let me hear from you. You can also reach us via Email or our very own newsgroups.  Simple point your newsgroup reader to and you'll be there.

Time for a shameless plug;
STR has just announced the release and shipping of a new Software Reference CD titled:

The Saltwater Sport/Game Fish Digest cdv2 check it out.  It has five years of work into it, its graphics, photos and compilation of data.  The Data ranges from rule & regulations to recipes and just about everything else applicable to the title. This is a good one... get a copy today.  Updates are free for one year. Future releases will include Freshwater Sport/Game Fish and then.. Ornamental Fish Care & Keeping for both Fresh and Saltwater. PS, it makes a wonderful Christmas Gift!



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