As to our computer blackout, we still don't know what caused it to shut down and try to reboot, but Monday evening Jan checked to be sure all the gadgets were properly plugged into the tower. They were. However....
Buddy: Don't you dare try to blame me for what happened. I was NOT crawling under the back of the desk when the machine went bananas!
Cyndi: We know that Buddy, but you might have loosened the cord during the number of times you DID crawl under the back of the desk to sleep at Jan's feet.
Well, however it happened, the cord that connects the USB Hub to the computer fell out of the hub, and the external hard drive with all our photos was connected to it. It took Jan's brother going into places we aren't even allowed to know exist to get the computer to boot and Windows to load. But it's running a bit hot, so we're not sure if a fan went out or the computer is having hot flashes or high blood pressure. There is an ac unit behind it and Jan has put a fan in front of it, so we hope it will keep going at least a couple more months. Cross your paws, please.
And today Jan sent a message to both of the co-sponsors of the Cutest Dog Competition since the CDC has not responded to any of her questions and has deleted her comments off their blog. There was one auto reply from dog.com saying they answer within a day or two, so they have not had time to respond, but we would like to post the message here as it was sent.
I entered my dog Merci in the 2nd week of the Cutest Dog Competition which you're co-sponsoring and am thorougly frustrated. Not just the things I'm reading elsewhere about the integrity of the contest, but the problems I have been experiencing myself. I am short on time so I am going to refer you to my blog www.jansfunnyfarm.com where I was putting Merci's link in every day until my computer went out last Friday. The last two posts there have been on the contest and they have not been positive.
When I tried to vote Sunday from a neighbor's computer because mine still would not start, I spent an hour getting Out of Service messages and when I finally reached Merci's voting page, I was told to "register your email and get a password to vote." Well, I registered when I entered Merci and didn't have the password with me or even know if that is the one that was wanted. Then I found everyone else was having to re-register and some still couldn't vote after that.
And when I went back this morning, I was told to register again. I didn't even bother to vote for my own dog. I had no idea voters were having to register to vote. I assumed we just had to register to enter a dog. What does an email address have to do with an IP address? Is it the one with the most email addresses or the one with the most IP addresses or the one with both that will win this? Whichever, this contest does appear to give an unfair advantage to those who can and would cheat.
I have left 2 comments on separate CDC blog posts and both have been deleted, asking how the few can get thousands of votes while (I can't speak for others) me and my friends are constantly thwarted in our efforts to even get through. One of the comments deleted from the CDC blog is posted on jansfunnyfarm.com. I've been working to network more votes each week on my blog, on Twitter and through emails. Many of Merci's voters never get through because of of some problem. If this is happening to us, it is happening to others. And that makes for a very poorly run and monitored "competition."
On top of that, I learned this morning that not only can IP addresses be faked, but "with blind or blinding firewalls that blab out random IPs the programs can blast a voting thing like this, overwhelming it." So, if this is true, how is the CDC monitoring votes to be sure someone isn't cheating?
I would be interested in your view on these problems. I will continue to post and to tweet on what is happening to me and my friends who tried to vote for Merci and to seek answers as to what is going on. It would be nice to win but I would not want to win by cheating and I do not want to continue to ask my friends and blog readers to waste their time attempting to vote for Merci until this is cleared up.
Jan's Funny Farm Poop & Scoop Janitorial Staff (No, Jan didn't really sign it this way, but the title helps keep her humble.)
So that's where we stand right now. We've had comments and emails from a number of you stating you had problems voting for Merci. We're sorry for the inconvenience we caused you. Had we imagined it would ever be like this, we would never have entered Merci. She is a winner in our book!