Hey Vlad,
Can I call you Vlad? I'm just going to try it and see what happens. 
How's it going? 

Turns out not so well now that I Googled how to spell your name. Sounds like you need to get a few things in order. Good luck with the British Troops and all...  Enough about politics though, I want to talk about hacking.

Earlier today my wife and I took our newly adopted son to the doctor where he was poked, prodded, and otherwise boy-handled until he was crying and sporting quite a nice bland brown band-aid. The good news is that he's ok, nothing out of the ordinary and we may even have received good news that his hypospadia may not be an issue. If you don't know what it is don't Google it at work. Here is a hot pic of us at the doctor: 

While Josh is getting examined Ben is brushing up on his playlists, podcasts, Khan Academy courses, but most of all Angry Birds 2. 

After the doctor's appointment I ventured out for bread and other items so we can make our gourmet meals in the hotel room. Nothing beats a "free" sandwich for the week at a price that beats a single bottle of Evian here in the hotel room. I managed to navigate an underground train entrance, an overpass, and I even paid with awkward change just to confuse the nice teller at the store. Somehow I thought an extra 2 RMB would make a difference. It didn't. Having finished our lunch Ben and I wandered the grounds and then met with Sir Richard who put our papers together for the consulate meeting on Tuesday. Following that we went for a family swim in the freezing pool and pouring rain that will be a good story someday I'm sure. Here's a hint: we ended up wet. 

Now comes the point I wanted to make. Dinner. Last night was gourmet nuggets at McDonald's which means that tonight old fashioned Chinese food was on the menu. Being the man of the house I chose a spot and we set off dodging raindrops on our way to dinner. Our first choice was a bust as the Chinese food didn't include noodles which is the extent of Ben and my "Chinese" food. We hit a few other spots including a Korean Barbecue, and Japanese sit down, and we finally ended up at Paddy Field Irish Pub. That's right, only a true man with unquestionable navigation skills can set off for Chinese food and end up in an Irish Pub. 

Whilst we were enjoying our slightly pricier but oh so delicious mistake in navigation it came to my attention that the POS (Point of Sale) systems employed by the Guinness guzzling gestalt showed a pretty prairie picture on screen when switching between windows. Now, to the untrained eye this may have appeared as nothing but a mere personal prairie preference for one's desktop background, ahhh but to you and me, Vlad, it was the tell tale sign of an out of date POS system that is in dire need of an upgrade. That's right, they are running Windows XP! (Insert scary sound effect here). 

April 8th, 2014 was the final day that Microsoft sent out security patches for much beloved and widely deployed Windows XP operating system. At the time it was a bittersweet day as Microsoft was pushing the Metro-themed and mightily confusing Windows 8 variant, and Windows 7 just hadn't had the deployment reach that Microsoft was hoping for. I'm sure that Paddy Field is just one of many local establishments that are still making their money using antiquated and highly vulnerable software. So, Vlad, I ask this of you: Please stop messing with Americans in the United States and instead mess with unsuspecting tourists trying to get a good burger in the middle of China. These poor desperate chaps will walk through pouring rain storms with a single umbrella amongst four of them to get their grubby hands on a greasy burger or fabulous chicken fajitas (only $10.99!!!) and their credit information is prime for the picking.  

For a quick recap we have: 

  • Joshua has so far passed all his medical exams
  • Ben still likes to swim even if the water is 20C
  • Steve still struggles with Chinese Food
  • Kristi is likely on her way to sainthood for this trip
  • Russia should spend their time compromising POS systems in Guangzhou and leave America Alone. If they are in fact doing anything. (Don't want to get busted for libel)

That is my quick recap of my day and for the credit conscious consumers worried that the old POS system is going to ruin me... I paid cash. 

Don't forget to check out www.kristivandyk.com for the real story of the day.