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Wed May 12, 2021, 03:27 PM

Colonial Pipeline said to have no plan pay hackers ransom

Source: Washington Post

Colonial Pipeline has no plan at this point to pay a ransom to decrypt data files, said two people familiar with the matter. Rather, they are working with the cybersecurity firm Mandiant to restore the data from backup systems where possible and rebuild systems where backups are unavailable, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is still under investigation.

Colonial had no comment. A spokeswoman for Mandiant, which is a division of the cyber firm FireEye, also declined to comment.

The hackers, a criminal group thought to operate mostly out of Russia, also appeared to be readying to extort Colonial by stealing data that it could later threaten to release unless a fee were paid. But Mandiant quickly traced the stolen data to a server owned by a New York hosting firm, which over the weekend shut the server down, preventing any data to flow to the hackers, according to several people familiar with the matter.

With that extortion avenue sealed off and with Mandiant helping to restore data and rebuild systems, “there’s no reason to make the payment,” one of the people said. DarkSide ransom demands can range from $500,000 to more than $5 million, according to Mandiant.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/05/12/gas-shortage-colonial-pipeline-live-updates/#link-NFBKS44NJRCGDNDBIMOLJJMK2Q

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply Colonial Pipeline said to have no plan pay hackers ransom (Original post)
BumRushDaShow May 12 OP
OhZone May 12 #1
Hugh_Lebowski May 12 #3
BComplex May 12 #9
Hugh_Lebowski May 12 #12
BComplex May 12 #13
iluvtennis May 12 #23
lilymidnite May 12 #15
OhZone May 12 #18
jmowreader May 12 #32
Miguelito Loveless May 12 #20
Hugh_Lebowski May 12 #27
ZZenith May 12 #2
Hugh_Lebowski May 12 #4
ZZenith May 12 #8
Hugh_Lebowski May 12 #10
Miguelito Loveless May 12 #21
mahatmakanejeeves May 12 #22
Miguelito Loveless May 12 #24
mahatmakanejeeves May 12 #25
GregariousGroundhog May 12 #14
Hugh_Lebowski May 12 #16
miyazaki May 13 #46
soothsayer May 12 #5
hlthe2b May 12 #6
CrispyQ May 12 #7
reACTIONary May 12 #30
spike jones May 12 #11
marie999 May 12 #17
Skittles May 12 #29
Dave Starsky May 12 #19
rictofen May 12 #26
Sapient Donkey May 12 #28
Rocknation May 12 #31
OhZone May 13 #33
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 13 #35
OhZone May 13 #39
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 13 #34
BumRushDaShow May 13 #37
OhZone May 13 #40
BumRushDaShow May 13 #41
OhZone May 13 #42
BumRushDaShow May 13 #43
OhZone May 13 #44
BumRushDaShow May 13 #45
OhZone May 13 #47
BumRushDaShow May 13 #48
OhZone May 13 #49
BumRushDaShow May 13 #50
OhZone May 13 #51
Rocknation May 13 #36
BumRushDaShow May 13 #38

Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:30 PM

1. Yeah, they need to -

make more frequent backups in the future, at the very least.

As we all do.

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Response to OhZone (Reply #1)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:34 PM

3. And disconnected, offsite ones for something as critical to the infrastructure of a huge part of the

country as the operation of this pipeline is.

Honestly something like this should've taken a few hours at most to fix if their IT folks were doing their job right.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #3)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:53 PM

9. Here on the east coast, all the gas stations are out of gas. We cancelled our trip to see our

daughter because we wouldn't be able to buy gas on the route. Everyone is in long lines at every station that has gas...until that station runs out, too. Word gets around quickly when there's a station that has gas.

It's like the toilet paper mess...folks are filling up their gas cans and milk jugs.

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Response to BComplex (Reply #9)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:59 PM

12. Just a matter of time til the reports of car fires, house fires, and horrible burns pour in

The large majority of citizens pump it into their gas tanks and that's it, they don't really know how to handle it.

And there's a reason there's laws about only pumping it into licensed containers.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #12)

Wed May 12, 2021, 04:03 PM

13. True that!

There will be a lot of people hurt by this selfishness and insanity.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #3)

Wed May 12, 2021, 05:37 PM

23. Amen! It galls me to no end how lax this company (and likely others) are with regard to security. n/

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Response to OhZone (Reply #1)

Wed May 12, 2021, 04:28 PM

15. Replicate to remote system

Idiots. Why weren't they at the *very* least taking backups, say, hourly. And, real-time replication technology is not that expensive.
It takes skill to set up, but is bulletproof, encryptable.

My job as a database administrator was (I just retired) to keep this stuff from happening. I had hourly encrypted backups to tape, nightly full backups, real-time replication to 5 systems, dataguard (another replication) to 3 systems in 3 cities. And I was a single DBA shop. The sysadmin and I could've had this back up and running in 90 minutes.

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Response to lilymidnite (Reply #15)

Wed May 12, 2021, 04:55 PM

18. Exactly!

I have coworkers who do stuff like that.

And I know of mainframes where everything is mirrored and audited so if one side fails the other side picks things up.

I know some mainframes use their own special OS too, right?

So windows compatible encrypting software wouldn't work.

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Response to OhZone (Reply #18)

Wed May 12, 2021, 10:56 PM

32. True about mainframes

I LOVE big iron! Especially big iron running proprietary OS like VM. Not super happy that the new IBM Z/Systems are running Linux.

Among my millions of jobs in Berlin was being sysop on a Navy mainframe running Aegis Tactical Executive Program. We did our backups very simply: once every three days we dropped all the users off the system and did a complete copy of each disc pack to another disc pack. There were two disc packs in the system and we had three working drives, so the drill was to copy the system pack to another system pack, the text pack to another text pack, mount the new copies (so we knew they worked) and put the old ones on a shelf.

If this backup scheme would have been operative at Colonial Pipeline, they could have had the whole system back in operation in an hour - the length of time it would have taken to shut down, pull the old hard drives, install ones from Staples where the infected ones were, and restored from backups. IT these days makes me cringe...people are not backing up and eventually they’re gonna get fucked.

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Response to lilymidnite (Reply #15)

Wed May 12, 2021, 05:01 PM

20. It is a cheap and reliable system

that takes skilled people to run and maintain. They do not want to pay for the people.

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Response to lilymidnite (Reply #15)

Wed May 12, 2021, 07:31 PM

27. I'm an SQL Developer with some DBA-like responsibilities ... much less since the shop went to AWS

and we have an Ops guy that handles a lot of the DBA stuff.

Just saying Hi

Also, replication doesn't help if someone f***s up your data ... you just have copies of wrong stuff

Backups though ... helps for sure. But the data they've encrypted was likely regular files as opposed to db data tables, right?

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:32 PM

2. This stinks to high Heaven.

Kabuki vibe abounds.

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #2)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:36 PM

4. Yeah, their IT staff either freaking sucks to a level that beggars belief ...

Or ... what you're saying.

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Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #4)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:41 PM

8. Mind you, I'm not saying that a Koch-owned oil company is incapable of hiring a substandard

IT crew, but as Malaise adroitly pointed out earlier, gas shortages are a time-tested method of manipulating a population.

Desperate men employing desperate measures as their empires crumble around them.

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #8)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:54 PM

10. I'm onboard with your thesis ZZ my man (nt)

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #8)

Wed May 12, 2021, 05:05 PM

21. The problem is that

creating a false shortage is a very short term gain, and seriously makes the case against oil long term. I drive an EV and am not the least bit inconvenienced by this. More people are going to realize this just as many Californians are realizing that solar with a battery backup up means never losing power.

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Response to Miguelito Loveless (Reply #21)

Wed May 12, 2021, 05:11 PM

22. "I drive an EV and am not the least bit inconvenienced by this."

Last edited Wed May 12, 2021, 06:31 PM - Edit history (4)

Sure, of course not. I mean, as long as you don't eat food:



Source: https://fleetnewsdaily.com/truck-driver-shortage-fuel-rising-grocery-store-prices/

Or live in an economy that depends on the delivery of commodities in bulk:



Big Loaded CSX Grain Train
220 views•Apr 20, 2018

StAr's YT Hub
945 subscribers

Grain train G801 goes east with three locos and 91 cars.

Seen 4/20/18 in Gaithersburg, MD.

The lead unit, 811, runs on diesel. So do the next two. The cars are grain cars. Loaded, they carry 110 tons each; the smaller ones, 100 tons each.

Count the cars. If they were loaded, how many tons of grain would that be? It could be soybeans, it could be corn; I don't know. It gets turned into bread, it gets turned into cooking oil; beats me.

Or depend on the ability of people to travel from one place to another.



GRAVELLY POINT
(HD) Watching Airplanes - Gravelly Point Plane Spotting - Washington National Airport KDCA/DCA
34,852 views•Jul 5, 2017

Jay’s O'Hare Aviation
76.8K subscribers

This video is forever dedicated to the memory of one of the finest planespotters ever... Steve Bezman a.k.a. 99carnot. His kindness and encouragement to the planespotters and aviation enthusiasts of YouTube will always be remembered.

When the members of the air crew lay over between flights, how do they get from the airport to their lodgings?



Vegas Airport Transportation Tips
10,602 views•Sep 14, 2012

Very unOfficial Travel Guides
48.1K subscribers

Need help getting to your resort/hotel from the airport in Vegas? WATCH THIS VIDEO NOW!!!

When I was in Vegas, I stayed at a place where the air crews stayed, so I can personally attest that this is how they are transported.

When your electric car needs repair or new parts or new tires, how are those parts getting to the repair facility?

The power line workers who maintain the transmission lines that deliver the electricity to your abode: how do they get to those lines?



hinstalling marker ball 2012
4,661,645 views•Sep 18, 2012

helicopterlineman
9.14K subscribers

Installing aerial markers in West Virginia

Or maybe they're working from one of those boring old bucket trucks:



Source: https://www.tdworld.com/electric-utility-operations/article/20966170/take-a-look-inside-a-linemans-bucket-truck

I'm lucky I can find the power switch on my work-issue laptop. That's as much IT as I know, so I am unable to deliver my expertise on what I would have done.

But I do know this:

Yes, this affects you.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #22)

Wed May 12, 2021, 05:57 PM

24. My point wasn't that I was unconcerned about this

or believed myself immune from it, but was in the context of my remark that if oil interests were involved in creating a fake shortage as one poster was postulating, it would return short terms gains, but utterly destroy their business long term by showing people how vulnerable they are to this type of thing.

I started driving electric in 2014 with a used 2012 Leaf. During that time there have been about 4 supply disruptions in my area due to pipeline failures and storms. After each one, at least one friend or co-worker has switched to EV/solar to escape gasoline/power disruption. In the last few days I have been peppered with questions about my EV. Every time something like this happens, more people switch. The drops become a trickle, and trickles, become streams, then rivers.

The pandemic has taught people to stock up on food because we can't rely on a government run by the incompetent. At the moment my pantry can get me through 6-8 weeks, but I am set for water, power and transport indefinitely. The more people who realize how vulnerable we are because of oil, the faster the transition will speed up.

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Response to Miguelito Loveless (Reply #24)


Response to Hugh_Lebowski (Reply #4)

Wed May 12, 2021, 04:25 PM

14. It could be poor management too

Even with decent IT staff, disaster recovery plans are rarely effective unless they are practiced on a somewhat regular basis. DR plans don't get practiced and refined unless management allocates the necessary resources to make it happen.

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Response to GregariousGroundhog (Reply #14)

Wed May 12, 2021, 04:43 PM

16. Fair point! (nt)

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Response to GregariousGroundhog (Reply #14)

Thu May 13, 2021, 02:22 PM

46. Very true. Worked for a major tv affiliate where the engineers

never bothered to test the stations half million dollar backup generator twice a year as prescribed.
Of course power was lost in a major storm, the generator never kicked in like it was supposed to,
and hilarity ensued as the assistant engineer was jumping the backup storage batteries to maintain our on air capability with a work truck, while the incompetent fuck chief engineer was hiding from the GM in a utility closet.

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #2)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:38 PM

5. Ha! Traced it to a server... at trump tower perhaps?

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:41 PM

6. I hope they can do this and quickly. Paying these cretins is hurting us all.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed May 12, 2021, 03:41 PM

7. This is why you don't privatize critical systems.

People bought a load of shit when they signed on to the GOPs "private companies can do it better & cheaper." They might do it cheaper so the officers & board can suck off more profit, but better? No guarantee of that.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #7)

Wed May 12, 2021, 09:22 PM

30. Do you really believe the government ...

... does "critical systems" any better? I don't.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed May 12, 2021, 04:53 PM

17. I was a mainframe operator in South Florida.

Every night before running the nightly updates and reports I ran a backup of all the files. I worked for three different companies over a period of 20 years. They all ran backups every night.

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Response to marie999 (Reply #17)

Wed May 12, 2021, 09:08 PM

29. I hear you Marie

backups constantly in progress for all accounts, what the heck happened here

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed May 12, 2021, 04:55 PM

19. Apparently, these people never watched Battlestar Galactica.

I seem to recall that none of the Galactica's mission-critical systems were networked, explicitly to avoid similar fuckery by Cylons or other similar cybervarmints.

There's always an opportunity to learn from science fiction.

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Response to Dave Starsky (Reply #19)

Wed May 12, 2021, 07:21 PM

26. So say we all

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Response to Dave Starsky (Reply #19)

Wed May 12, 2021, 08:28 PM

28. That is a reference I will be storing for future use. Thank you.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Wed May 12, 2021, 09:46 PM

31. Well, duh dot com (if you'll pardon the expression)

Last edited Thu May 27, 2021, 11:33 PM - Edit history (12)

I suspected that this was what was going on when I read that they expected to be back online no later than late next week.

There's no need to pay a ransom if you've taken the precaution of being able to re-encrypt your data and files and upload them to another sever. I've done it myself when my blog outgrew the Web hosts I was using. I receive a copy of the blog's database every 24 hours, and back up its physical files offline as well as online!


Rocknation

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 10:30 AM

33. My carpool friend who I just spoke with -

(we haven't carpooled in ages for a number of reasons including the pandemic)

reminded me of the things that secure his mainframe.

A prorprietary OS.

Multi-factor authentication for the firewalls that prevent you from even logging in.

Special security once you log in that prevents most from updating system files.

Some kind of transaction monotoring thing (I forgot what he called it) that backs out incomplete and suspicuous transaction.

Nightly backups.

Also, did I mention the proprietary non-windows, non-linux OS?

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Response to OhZone (Reply #33)

Thu May 13, 2021, 12:26 PM

35. In most cases it's something the end user downloaded.

That's why this malware is often called a Trojan Horse.

You can prevent a lot of people from logging into your system but that won't matter if you're not careful of what you're downloading.

However even a legitimate download might be infected. Remember the Solar Winds hack? I'm sure a lot of people using their software downloaded what they thought was an update.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #35)

Thu May 13, 2021, 12:49 PM

39. I'm under the impression -

that there is no easily available common software for my friend's boxes. It's not windows, linux, or apple.

And you would specifically have to logon on through various hurdles, and upload the program and try to run it, when the mainframe security would just say, no. ha

One's email does not run through a mainframe, right?






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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 12:19 PM

34. Colonial Pipeline paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom, sources say

Colonial Pipeline Co. paid nearly $5 million to Eastern European hackers on Friday, contradicting reports earlier this week that the company had no intention of paying an extortion fee to help restore the country’s largest fuel pipeline, according to two people familiar with the transaction.

The company paid the hefty ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency within hours after the attack, underscoring the immense pressure faced by the Georgia-based operator to get gasoline and jet fuel flowing again to major cities along the East Coast, those people said. A third person familiar with the situation said U.S. government officials are aware that Colonial made the payment.

Once they received the payment, the hackers provided the operator with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled computer network. The tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system, one of the people familiar with the company’s efforts said.

A representative from Colonial declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the National Security Council.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/colonial-pipeline-paid-hackers-nearly-dollar5-million-in-ransom-sources-say/ar-BB1gHobz

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #34)

Thu May 13, 2021, 12:43 PM

37. !!!!

I know they were being pummeled to get that pipeline up and running by the end of the week, come hell or high water. The ones impacted the most are largely "red" and "red-turning-purple" states.

And as a note, when these articles talk about the "major cities along the east coast" the ones they seem to want to talk about are not up here in Philly and north. It appears that those north of VA generally have other pipe lines that provide similar fuel and hell, just outside of Philly, we have huge refineries that I expect feed into the system (although over the years some of them have closed down). They should say "cities along the SOUTHeast coast".





This is who is getting impacted at the moment (not counting the airlines as I believe kerosene flows in some of those pipes) -



Anyway (I know that was a bit much ) - thanks for that update!!!!

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #37)

Thu May 13, 2021, 01:08 PM

40. NJ FTW! ha

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Response to OhZone (Reply #40)

Thu May 13, 2021, 01:21 PM

41. But only Jersey, dunna shore





(sorry, been wanting to do this ^^^ to you )

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #41)

Thu May 13, 2021, 01:27 PM

42. Ha! Get outta here with your -

Bennie speak.

I'll put a hole in your ozone!


Ha!



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Response to OhZone (Reply #42)

Thu May 13, 2021, 01:34 PM

43. Youse guys are gonna have to deal wit

the Philly jawn right heeyah!

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #43)

Thu May 13, 2021, 01:57 PM

44. Oh, if you're from Philly, then you're a Shoobie -

not a Benny.




I'm from the Central Jersey shore not South Jersey.

We get more Bennies than Shoobies.

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Response to OhZone (Reply #44)

Thu May 13, 2021, 02:22 PM

45. ....







Don't hear much about Central Jersey except for what's happening in Trenton or Princeton.

We cover the South Jersey market, (but also Trenton. Because. State Capital. And. Governor. Hell, I hear more on the news here about Murphy than my own damn governor Tom Wolf.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #45)

Thu May 13, 2021, 03:34 PM

47. That's Central Jersey West

I'm on the shore - Central Jersey EAST near Seaside and Island Beach.

It's actually kinda hard for me to get to Princeton and Trenton - and I'm so sorry to hear you have to hear about our politics. Most of Jersey doesn't like Trenton either. Ha.


Most of the main roads here are north-south-centric unless you want to go between AC and Philly. (Atlantic City Expressway)

The road I take to Princeton and Trenton and Philly is two lanes for most of it, and it has - CIRCLES! OHNOES! (It's even a little bit of a pain to get a lot of places in NJ, since it's such a mix of rural areas, suburbs, wildlife areas, shore towns, and congested areas up north)

Road to Princeton/Philly 1 lane either way -


Road to NY - multiple lanes either way -
?width=640


But I did venture there to get to that Princeton record store when I was a teen. I used to love that place.

Is Jawn a recent slang. I don't remember it from my trips to Philly and South Street and Tower Records and Zipper head.


Or even more recently when I did my Rocky impression. ha

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Response to OhZone (Reply #47)

Thu May 13, 2021, 04:46 PM

48. "Most of the main roads here are north-south-centric"

In other words, "what exit off the Turnpike(s) - NJ or Garden State?".

I have been up and down and across to and fro, and diagonally hither and yon, far too many times in New Jersey. I have an aunt and cousins and a niece living in Jersey (all in North Jersey though). My parents used to own a plot of land in N. Cape May but my mom sold it back in the '70s.

And yeah, the Jersey jughandles are awful.

But as a sidenote, I am glad they FINALLY fixed the "I-95 problem" and New Jersey. I.e., you would think that if you stayed on I-95 through Philly, you'd eventually go across some bridge and continue straight along "I-95" on the other side of the bridge in Jersey (the NJ Turnpike)... But NOOOOooooooo. You suddenly realize, previously unbeknownst to you, that the highway you were on had magically changed to I-295 (with no signs) and you would be heading over the Scudder-Falls bridge, finally confirming that you were on "I-295" and not "I-95" once you are on the Jersey side.



The re-signing has now been completed.

"Jawn" seems to be something that was suddenly "discovered" and "commercialized" recently, but it was slang that I remember using back in high school in the '70s. It was sortof a placeholder noun for "a thing" (e.g., "Yo, gimme that jawn.." ) or as a slang adjective for something that is really fantastic/incredible (e.g., "That party was the jawn" ). I think they have said it was a variation of the slang word "joint" (i.e. "That movie was the joint!" ) and I remember using that term too for the same reasons.

I miss miss miss Tower Records! It was one of the few places in the area that sold laserdisc movies!

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #48)

Thu May 13, 2021, 05:03 PM

49. IKR - Tower Records was great!

Funny how I missed "jawn."

Anyway, Yeah, it's "what's your Exit off the Garden State Parkway" for me.

Where I am there is no easy access to diagonal roads like the Turnpike and the AC expressway. It's North/South GSP OR slow roads everywhere else.

Yeah NJ signage is not great. Like my brother in Brick complains, there is a sign on one of his fav roads - to go to the parkway, labeled "Parkway North." So you think it's ONLY for the north, but there is a Parkway South exit just past it. Why not say that both directions are coming up?!

He says he wants to take a sharpie to it. ha!

Also, Princeton records appears to still be open for business! OHYEAH!







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Response to OhZone (Reply #49)

Thu May 13, 2021, 05:11 PM

50. Some days I wish for this when I'm over in your state





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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #50)

Thu May 13, 2021, 05:24 PM

51. You got that right -

It can get wild.

Also the left lane hogs are often Bennies from NY.

Terrible drivers.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 13, 2021, 12:35 PM

36. And according to two OTHER sources

Colonial Pipeline Co. paid nearly $5 million to Eastern European hackers on Friday, contradicting reports earlier this week that the company had no intention of paying an extortion fee to help restore the country’s largest fuel pipeline, according to two people familiar with the transaction...

Well, it would be the perfect "excuse" for Colonial to keep their gas prices inflated...


rocktivity

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