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Saturday, November 17 2018 @ 11:49 AM UTC

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Time For The Rottweiler To Take A Little Break...

What is PG?[image1_right] By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Those of you who have been reading my website for a long time know that when I get a hold of something, I normally follow it through to the end and don't let go until it's done. Readers frequently tell me I can be "like a Rottweiler" when it comes to tenacity. However I also understand there's a thin line between "tenacity" and "obsessed." I've recently received some well intentioned feedback from a few people saying just that - "enough with the "Wild Bill" stuff already." People want me to get back to the normal stuff. Like, the fight over who will be picking up your garbage. And the weather. And drugs. And crime. And politics. One person asked me to got back to putting up photos of hot chicks in bikinis "because that's the only reason I read the website, anyway..." So, let it be known that I'm going to lay off the Wild Bill addiction somewhat and focus more on the other important issues in the local news. Like trash collection, weather, crime, and politics. And hooters. Don't forget hooters. See? You were worried about me, but I know what's important... (grin) Just so long as I stick to the highest levels of journalistic standards, then everything will be just fine.

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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On the road again...

What is PG?By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I was on the road again for a few days, and just got back from Bocas del Toro, more "Wild Bill" related stuff. I should be back to a normal flow by Monday.

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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9-11 Tribute - It's Been Nine Years

What is PG? By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - We said "We will never forget..." Until we did. It's been nine years and we still don't have Osama Bin Laden's head on a stake. And that's only because I'm not in charge. Is expansion of democracy in the Middle East our national strategy? The removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq? The destruction of the Taliban in Afghanistan? Can anyone tell me why our US servicemen have been killed and maimed over the past nine years in the Middle East? "The War Against Terror" - right? And yet we can't find and kill one dude? I see that as a failure and a national disgrace. What if Adolf Hitler was still running around in Argentina somewhere in 1954? Would you accept that? Where is our national furor?

The US military has one only response when the President of the United States gives and order, and that's to snap to attention, salute smartly, and say "Yes, sir." My order would have been "find him, kill him, and bring what's left of his body here in a Ziplock baggie..." That single mission should be the #1 priority for the military, the CIA, the State Department, and whoever else - until it is accomplished.

Why has that not been done yet? Because Pakistan says we can't go into those caves where he's hiding to root him out? Because some advisor says we can't piss anyone off? And now they're building a Mosque literally within "spitting distance" to ground zero - for one reason and one reason only - to poke yet another stick in our eye. Remember that - spitting distance. And you know what? We're going to let them. Not only that, it's being applauded.

At what point, exactly, did being an "American" become synonymous with having no balls whatsoever? With being a politically correct spineless sniveling bureaucrat who is unable to tell anyone to "pound sand" under any circumstances for fear of potential legal action by the ACLU or whoever. Either you stand for something, or you stand for nothing. But yet, this is what we have become. It's disgusting. We've forgotten, so many things.

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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"Malware" Warning - Should Be Cleared Up Now

What is PG?By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Google finally got around to running another scan of this website and they now say "Malware - Google has not detected any malware on this site." That's nice. Of course I've been working all day to reinstall the program that got hacked, replace the banners, mess with this, mess with that, etc. Anyway, the problem should be fixed. Please let me know if you get that warning again. You might want to hit "refresh" just to make sure you're not actually looking at something from the cache on your machine. So, that was a nice way to waste an entire day...

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Traffic Records Shattered Due To Serial Killers Holbert and Reese

What is PG?By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - On 20 July 2010 at 7:25 pm I published the very first story (anywhere, ever) about a pair of suspected serial killers - who we now know to be William Dathan Holbert and Laura Michelle Reese - in this article "Panama Guide Flash - Wanted As Primary Suspects - Multiple Murders - William "Wild Bill" Adolfo Cortez Reese and Wife". Within a couple of days the story about the murders in Bocas del Toro and the international manhunt for the killers was all over the news in Panama, Costa Rica, and in the United States. Accordingly, traffic to the website shot up as well and it will be a very long time before these records are broken. I should mention that until 20 July 2010 the traffic for the month of July was in the "normal" range, and I was expecting a total of about 110,000 unique visitors for the month - nice and steady growth - normal. The blast of traffic spiked in the end of July and then held for the first couple of weeks in August, and the story has since played itself out naturally. There might be a "Chapter 2" once the Costa Rica angle of the story picks up eventually, and there are a couple of television news programs in the works that might also spike interest again in the United States. Anyway, for me "traffic = food" ... It's too bad much of the traffic was generated due to the tragic murders of innocent victims. Hopefully this website provides news and information that would otherwise be unavailable - and I just don't want to be seen as tooting my own horn or anything on this one. I think the family members of the victims know exactly what I'm trying to say...

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Those Pesky Russian Hackers... (Malware Implant - Hack)

What is PG?By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - While I was away some Russian hackers were able to get into the software I use to run banner ads on this website. They implanted some malicious script (Malware) yesterday afternoon while I was on a plane flying back from San Jose, Costa Rica. Basically, the script was tagged on to the end of the banner ads that were running, so if a user clicked on a banner, another page was opened for a gambling site. All of this was done, of course, without my knowledge or consent. Google immediately picked up on the existence of the Malware script and put www.panama-guide.com in the Internet dog-house. Anyone who visited the site received a warning that the website might contain Malware – and it did. They were right.

Yesterday afternoon I started getting calls and emails from many people, asking “what’s going on.” This morning I identified the problem. I found and deleted the Malware script. To be sure, I deleted the entire program that manages the banner ads on the website. Once that was done, I requested Google to scan the website and to remove the warning. It will probably take Google at least a few minutes (or maybe longer) to rescan www.panama-guide.com, confirm the Malware has been removed, and to let www.panama-guide.com out of the Internet doghouse. As I said, in order to be absolutely sure that the problem has been resolved, I deleted the entire program that was causing the problem. As it usually happens, these kinds of problems end up resulting in a better website in the end. I have now downloaded the most recent version of that software and I will be installing the new upgrade later today. Once I’m absolutely sure it’s properly installed and configured, safe, secure, and running correctly (with no security loopholes) I’ll let it go live. In short, “the system worked” to a certain degree. Sure, the hackers were able to penetrate and exploit a security flaw, but Google picked up on the script almost immediately.

And of course, that friggin’ whack job Jerry Ray Hall, using his normal alias of “Texas Downer” took advantage of the situation to blast out an email, trying to say that I did this intentionally. Jerry Ray Hall is a scumbag of the worst order, and only a dirt bag like him would try to exploit something like this for his own personal gain. Whatever – he’s still pissed off because he will never be elected to congress. And in short, if that nutcase is mad at me, then I must be doing something right… (grin).

Anyway, problem solved. And my apologies for – well – what those Russian hackers did. To be perfectly clear - there was a problem and it has since been fixed. Hopefully Google will run their scan again and remove the warning, which is no longer either valid or required. I'm glad Google caught the problem, but now I wish they could be just a little faster or more nimble in removing the warning...

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Back in the Saddle After Trip to Honor Cher Hughes in Florida

What is PG?By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I'm back in the office this morning, after spending the last five days on a trip to St. Petersburg in Florida to attend a memorial ceremony for Cher Hughes. It was an honor to meet her closest friends and family members, and I came away with an even greater sense of what a wonderful person she was. The memorial ceremony was a remembrance and of course it was a very sad event, and the situation is horrendous. However many focused on the more joyful and spontaneous aspects of Cher's life and personality. Like, the fact that she was a certified electrician, and how she liked to climb up in the bucket truck in a bikini to work on the billboards (she owned a sign company.) Her love for children, how she liked to have a great time with family and friends, her skills as a business woman - she was loved and respected by many, and she will be missed. I'm going to post some of the photos I took while I was there later (I'll add them to this article) but right now I just wanted to put out a quick note to say "I'm back" and I've got a lot to get caught up on. And, my focus remains - Jaco, Costa Rica...

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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On The Road Until Next Monday - 23 August 2010

What is PG?By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The family members of Cher Hughes have graciously invited me to attend the memorial ceremony that will be held in her honor in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday afternoon. I'll be out of the office until next Monday morning. Anyone who wants to contact me can call the US Magic Jack number (845) 514-9893 and leave a voice message, which will be forwarded to me via email. I don't think my Movistar cell phone will work in Florida, but it might. In any case, the best way to communicate for the next few days will be via email - don@panama-guide.com - which I will be checking while on the road.

I'm still looking hard at Jaco, Costa Rica, during the period of time of 30 April - 11 June 2007. I received an email today from a German tourist who was there at that time, who was renting a house in the "Ricos y Famosos" neighborhood of Jaco, Costa Rica. He reported that one night, at about 3:00 am, both he and his wife heard a blood curdling, nearby scream from a woman, and they both immediately thought someone had been killed. Remember - the "perfect" Holbert victim is on the run and hiding from the authorities. If you know of someone who ran to Costa Rica in the spring of 2007 and who has not been heard of since (like Jeffery A. Kline) then they might have run into William Dathan Holbert. Right now I think there are probably three additional victims in Jaco somewhere, one woman and two men, yet to be discovered and identified. Unfortunately, it appears this nightmare is far from over...

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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The Panama Guide Rogue's Gallery

What is PG? By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - In my job I have a tendency to piss people off sometimes. I speak frankly, call a "spade a spade," strive to find and tell the truth, and I don't like to hold punches. Over the years there have been several incidents and series of news stories and reports focusing on certain individuals who have surfaced, and I've published articles to expose these people for the crooks and scumbags they really are. Naturally, the subjects of these reports don't like it, and quite frankly I don't care a bit. For the most part these people have brought this negative attention upon themselves through their own actions and only they should be held responsible for the things they have done. So anyway, occasionally pissing people off is nothing more than a hazard of the job. I've gathered together some of the most notorious of these losers into what I'm calling the Panama Guide Rogue's Gallery - those who deserve special recognition forever more. And please note, there are a whole bunch of others running around the Republic of Panama who might be deserving of such recognition, however I am reserving this space only for those with whom I have dealt specifically. In other words, if the Panamanian authorities arrest some US citizen and deport him back to the United States (and I had absolutely nothing to do with it) then it's just a newsworthy story, but that guy doesn't make the list. These are only the people with whom I've had the displeasure of having to deal with directly, in one way or the other. I'll be pulling this article back up and adding more in the future - I'm sure there will be no shortage of losers and whack-jobs to add to the list. I'm going to try to keep the list in something close to chronological order - so that the guy on the top of the list is the most recent addition. And, I'll be working to update, add to, improve, and enhance the information available over time. With no further adieu, I present the Panama-Guide Rogue's Gallery, with our most recent addition, the pair of serial killers, William Dathan Holbert and Laura Michelle Reese. (more)
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Traffic Surge Crashed Website Server (Sorry)

What is PG? By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Apparently a lot of people all wanted to read about the ongoing strikes and protests in Bocas del Toro last night, and a surge in traffic to the website crashed the server. This is frustrating, because it's not the first time this has happened. Back in 2007 when Toni Grossi Abrams was killed in Panama, CNN and FOX picked up the story in New York and included a reference to Panama Guide in their reporting. The response from the public and the sheer volume of Internet traffic to the website instantly overwhelmed the server - at that point in time I was still on a "shared" server. Learning from that event, I had my service provider shift the website to a "dedicated" server, meaning my website sits all alone on it's own box. That was supposed to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

It Happened Again: Well, guess what. About 18 months ago the same thing happened - server crashed due to a traffic surge. The answer from the service provider this time was to upgrade the RAM on the dedicated server. So, for the past 18 months I've been paying an additional $30 bucks a month for more RAM - which was supposed to be there specifically to keep the server running in the event of another traffic surge. And it's been working fine, until last night.

Watched It Happen: At about 5:20 pm last night I issued an email containing links to the articles I published over the weekend about the strikes in Bocas del Toro. Shortly thereafter I watched as the simultaneous connections grew from 50, to 70, to 90, to more than 110, and then more than 140. As the number of simultaneous connections went over 140, which is unusual, I even took a screen snap at the time. Then, about five minutes later the website crashed. I knew immediately what had happened - traffic to the website had overwhelmed the server (again.) I immediately notified the service provider and they rebooted the server and the website came back up. However, one of the MySQL data tables had crashed so there were no articles available. It took a second level technician another couple of hours to repair the table, and when I went to bed last night the site was fine. Apparently the table crashed again sometime during the night, and right now they have fixed it (again) and are working to keep it from happening again.

My Apologies: It's hard to complain about too much traffic to the website. However, the technology behind the site should be able to handle any kind of a surge - even if it's 10,000 simultaneous connections or more. In any case, I apologize for the problem and any inconvenience it might have caused, and hopefully I'll be able to learn something about why this happened and take even more steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. And as always, thanks for making Panama-Guide.com the #1 source of English language news in the Republic of Panama. My readers (you guys) are the best...

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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