Friday, November 21st, 2008


Shawn is Home


          By the time you read this Shawn should be home in Sacramento with his wife and her family.  After spending a second tour in Iraq, he is finally home and for good this time "I hope".  Last Sunday he called me and let me know that he is in the U.S. and I knew it was for sure because he called me on his cell phone.  I was so happy to hear the news; a good feeling came over me at the time, kind of like a relief from the wait of hearing from him.  This was a short tour but it seemed like forever.  Shawn wants to go into law enforcement and will be applying to local departments in the area.  That is one area where jobs don't seem to be laying off, because as the economy goes downhill, criminals start to multiply.  Good luck at finding that perfect job Shawn, and send us a picture of your new car.



Uncle Bill Sahota has surgery


          Our Uncle Bill, husband of Aunt Pug, my mother's sister, had a bout with Mother Nature and had to have some plumbing done, but he is fine and should be back on his feet soon.  I have to thank my Sister Sandie and my Uncle Ted and his wife Les for the news about Uncle Bill.  We just saw him last at mom's gathering and he looked fine, he actually looks good for his age.  Sorry Bill, were pretty sure your older than 49.  Get well soon, we all need you to be home with Pug and stop flirting with those nurses.




Brandon is Sweet 16


          It is hard to believe that my youngest is now 16.  It seems just a few years ago he was tiny and cute.  Well he is still cute, has a few girls knocking on his door but nothing serious, at least nothing we know about.  Brandon is getting interested in computer software development and Web Site design as I mentioned in the last edition, however now it's getting serious because he knows stuff that I don't.  I like it when he helps out with the Halloween decor' because it gets him away from the computer for a time.  Between his computer games, Play Station, X-Box and Wii games, and his computer development stuff which includes Web Site Design, he has little time to do anything else.  They say if you spend too much time in front of a computer you will gain weight but that is not true.  Most computer geeks are thin because they don't take time to eat.  We try to keep him off during certain periods so he can eat, sleep and the other things we need him to do like spending quality time with us.



Economic News


          The economy is getting bad all over, but now more than ever we are glad we moved to Texas.  Because of the situation in Texas with oil and natural gas, as well as some other factors, we are not experiencing the downturn in the economy that other States are experiencing, at least not yet.  Jobless rates are below the average, and as I try to write this gas prices are going way down.  Just the other day I filled up on regular gas for $1.85 a gallon here in Keller, and just a few miles away, we saw it for $1.83.  Today Regular is at $1.69, premium is under $2 and I understand the price of oil is still dropping.  Housing is an area where Texas is still strong also, for example they never had a housing boom, so nothing busted.  We are not experiencing a rise in house values, at least not what we would like to see, but they are not going down as much either, only in certain neighborhoods where there are a lot of foreclosures, which causes some loss in home values of surrounding properties.  In general the house prices are cheaper here compared to California.  You can purchase a 3,000 Sqft. track home for less than $150,000.00, in a really good neighborhood.  And that is for a new home, look for something already lived in or smaller and it's even better.  For things like milk and other foods, the prices are about the same, maybe slightly less.  But overall we seem to be doing better than in other areas of the U.S. are, which helps us stay afloat.  Overall the gas prices are coming down but for how long?  This is a time to tighten the belt, and hang in there for an upturn, which economists are now predicting may not happen until 2010 instead of next summer.


If you need a tank of gas, come on to Texas!



Coupons are Right for a Down Economy


          We were never much for clipping coupons before, a few here and there, save a $1, or 50 cents or so, but never seriously.  Here in Texas, Albertson's and Kroger food stores offer double and triple coupons everyday.  I didn't think much of it, too much work for a little payback, however Marisa is working with some friends at work, learning how to organize and sort and purchase and use coupons.  We have collected them for a week now, she has her binder, so we put it to the test.  We went to Albertson's food store.  We purchased over $200 worth of food products, nothing we wouldn't have purchased anyway.  We had some store coupons along with our clipped ones, and we walked out of the store paying $84 total.  We saved $116 using coupons.  But that is not just it, and it does take some extra time to clip and sort, but it didn't take us any longer to shop.  That is where I thought the extra time would go, but no.  All of the extra time was spent clipping and organizing.  Marisa went to the Kroger earlier, purchasing $50 worth of groceries and only spending $19.  Total for one day's shopping, we spent $100 for $250 worth of groceries and we didn't buy anything we wouldn't have anyway.  I have placed the full story on the Family news page, check it out if you need another way to save.  Click Here!


Submit Your Story


          If you know of some family news, either on the Bennett side or the McCann side, and want it included in this newsletter, send it to me.  You can submit it using the feedback form Here, or Email me the information.  Include some pictures if you have some.  Get the word out, inform the masses...



If you don't see any pictures, click Here



Pug and Bill Sahota
















          Pictures on my Web Site are low res so they load in your browser faster but they are not good for printing.  So remember that any picture you like in any news letter or on the Web Site, you can have (in full resolution) for free.  All you have to do is Email me explaining which picture it is you want.  Let me know what type of internet connection you have, and any Email file size limits.  There is no limit to the number of pictures you can have.  Email me at;




          Don't forget to check out my Photo Gallery section on the Web Site.  There are over 100 photos and it's growing all of the time.  There is also a comics page.  Click below to see.


Gary's Photo Gallery



Can't see the pictures?

Click Here to view this newsletter online


Picture Archives



The Bennett Bunch back in the News


Hi everyone!


          I hope you are all doing well. I got an email from MSN that they are going to be closing the groups service down in February. They have partnered with another groups service so I've moved our group over there. I will include a link to the group on Multiply so you can join it.  I will be uploading some pictures to the new site in the next few days. Pictures are going to be of the boys at Halloween. I won't give away details, but they were tooo cute!   OH and Josh is walking. I've got a video to upload at the new site as well.


Love to all,  Christie



          If you want to join the Bennett Bunch, you first have to create a profile in Multiply, then search for the Bennett Bunch group on the right under "Search Groups", click on "Join this Group" on the right.  Christie will approve you and allow you in.  BTW Christie, my membership is still pending...:-)



Join the Group and Keep in touch with our Utah family



My Haunting


          As most of you know and all of you will know, I am addicted to Halloween.  I get therapy every year around the first of October, then by All Hollow's Eve, it's better, and I survive another year.  Well I never knew it was contagious but this year my next door neighbor is working on his haunt.  I gave him some instructions for building the graveyard fence.  Since then his creative juices have been flowing full flow.  He said to me one day when I was over there looking at the fence progress, "I'm really getting into this".  I knew at that time he was addicted.  There is no cure.  Here is what the haunts looked like; Click Here once there, select 2008 to see what we did for this year.



Did you change the password on your new Router?


          A Trojan horse virus masquerading as a video "codec" required to view content on certain Web sites tries to change key settings on the victim's Internet router so that all of the victim's Web traffic is routed through servers controlled by the attackers.  According to researchers contacted by Security Fix, recent versions of the ubiquitous "Zlob" Trojan (also known as DNSChanger) will check to see if the victim uses a wireless or wired hardware router. If so, it tries to guess the password needed to administer the router by consulting a built-in list of default router username/password combinations. If successful, the malware alters the victim's domain name system (DNS) records so that all future traffic passes through the attacker's network first. DNS can be thought of as the Internet's phone book, translating human-friendly names like example.com into numeric addresses that are easier for networking.  Read More Here!


          The key is to change the default password as soon as you fire up the new router.  This is a good rule to live by, with anything that assigns a default password.  Defaults are meant to be temporary and are known to everyone so you can get into the software in case of a problem, you can reset to the default, then start over.  You should make your passwords strong by adding numbers to your letters, and even stronger by using upper case and lower case as well as numbers.










Neighbor Bruce at work

Click above to view the 2008 page







Ubiquitous "Zlob" Trojan


Can change your Router




  Try it out by going to these sections  

Changes to Our Web Site


          We are working on a new Web Site directory which will make it easier for you to get to a section or page without having to dig through all the stuff on our Site.  The Site is getting so large that we had to make this change to make it easier to get to your favorite section.  If you have any questions about this change, send me an Email.


          To go directly to a section, just type in the url you want to see, for example, to find the Newsletter Directory type the following url;




Or if you want the Photo Gallery, type in the following url;




or for the Halloween Pages;




          Each shortcut url will take you to the main page of that section.  From there you will have access to the rest of the Web Site.  A full list is available from the Site Map for awhile to help you figure this out, click Here for that list.  Of course some pages are part of other sections so not all pages will be available like this, however all of the main pages will be.  It should make it easier to find most things, but none of the links within the Web Site will change due to this.




























          Our privacy policy is very simple.  We do not give out information to anyone unless they are an immediate relative.  We do not give out personal information to anyone.  We will not post addresses or phone numbers unless specifically asked to do so, and then only within the secure section of the Site.


Sign someone up to Receive our newsletters


          Sign someone up to receive this newsletter.  If you find a family member or friend is not on our mailing list and you know they would enjoy receiving it, sign them up.  Go Here to send a request.  Or if you are sick and tired of getting this newsletter, use the same form to cancel and remove your name from the list.


          Don't forget about my Downloads Page on the Web Site.  I will try to place links to important programs and utilities from time to time for you to download.  I know some of you still have dial-up access so I will try to make things smaller to download faster to your machine.


          I have added some links that I think some of you will enjoy, if you haven't checked them out before, check them out now.  Especially check out Google Earth.  If you haven't seen what it is, download it and install it, you can zoom in on anyplace on earth.  It also includes Google Sky, which shows the night sky and all of the stars.  You can see what the sky looks like from your house, right on your screen.  My Links Page...  I found out recently that it also has a flight simulator which is hidden like an "Easter egg" (a small program or movie hidden in a program or utility).  I will post how to find it next time.


          Missed a past edition of the newsletter?  You can view past issues on our Web Site.  Some are actually printable, you'll need Adobe Reader to download and print them.  Go Here to view past issues of our newsletters.



Gary McCann



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