Cruzio Newsletter, Number 212, July 28th, 2022

1. Note from Cruzio’s CEO

A kitten driving a Ferraris

What computers are for: Photoshopping kittens into Ferraris

Let’s just take a moment and enjoy the beautiful summer we’re having. A lot of the world is boiling hot but we’re literally just chilling here on the gorgeous California Coast. It’s a good time to live and work here.

That’s it, that’s the note.

2. Phishing is Rampant — Don’t Fall for It

A father and daughter play in a pretend boat made of cardboard

This is a fun kind of fishing. Phishing, on the other hand, is something to avoid

We’re seeing more phishing scams come through email over in the last several months. The schemes are more targeted and they’re fooling more people.

These emails appear to be from a trusted business, bank or insurance company — or an ISP like Cruzio/Coastside. They’ll say anything to get you to click on the link. Scammers want your personal information: passwords, social security numbers, stuff like that, to sell on the web. They might also use your password to install programs on your computer that run unnoticed for years to come.

Symantec reports that the most common words used in scam email subject lines are:
1. Urgent
2. Request
3. Important
4. Payment
5. Attention

Notice anything special about these words? They’re pushing for fast action. A legitimate company will rarely tell a subscriber to act hastily via email.

And the more urgent the email, the more likely it is to be a scam.

To make sure you don’t get fooled, don’t click on links in the email. If it’s a company you actually do business with, you may want to check it out — businesses do sometimes ask you for information or payment for legitimate reasons. But unless the email’s expected, contact the company as you usually would (for Cruzio, just go to and ask if it’s legit.

And if you do click a link, get even more suspicious if they ask you for personal information like logins and passwords. That should set off warning bells. Again, give yourself a moment, contact the company, and ask about it.

3. How NOT to Fall for Fake Email

Here’s a good way to tell whether an email is fake or not. We’ll use a real example of someone using a fake Cruzio email to try to trick you.

Usually you’ll get an email that looks like it’s from a trusted business or a friend. In your mailbox, it looks like the first screen shot below.

But if you hover your cursor over the “from” address — in this case, “Cruzio Internet” — you’ll see something like the second picture. The email isn’t really from Cruzio. It’s from “”.

So ignore that email, or send it to us! We collect these, and we report them. Other ISPs do the same. Usually by the time you see email like this, we’ve already gotten the site taken down.

But just to be sure: check the details, and if you have any doubts at all, contact us!

Looks like this email is from Cruzio:
Example of a scam email

Hover over the sender… that’s not a address! Delete the email!

Example of a scam email

This works with any spam. It’s not 100% — sophisticated hackers can spoof email addresses — but that’s hard to do. You’ll catch most phishing with this trick.

4. California Local Explores Hip Santa Cruz

Professor Ralph Abraham

Some students said Ralph’s class was like having Jerry Garcia for a professor

Santa Cruz is the Hippest Little City in America. Who Knew?

Cruzio co-founder Chris Neklason recently wrote two articles of local interest for California Local.

The first is an interview with Dynamical Systems and Chaos Theory pioneer Ralph Abraham about his short strange trip from teaching advanced math at Princeton University to moving to Santa Cruz to teach at UCSC in 1968.

“It’s very similar to your first psychedelic trip. When I was experiencing this [world of mathematics], I had no idea that psychedelics existed.”

The second is a review of the five-volume Hip Santa Cruz series of oral histories and memoirs documenting the sixties and seventies in the local area, edited and published by the very same Ralph Abraham.

“Paula Holtz… at 16 ran off with the Merry Pranksters and at 19 was married to Prankster Ron “Hassler” Bevirt by Paul Lee in the UCSC Quarry Amphitheater. Holtz later gave birth to a beautiful baby boy at home with her husband, attended by local women. She went on to become a nurse midwife and received a Ph.D in clinical psychology while raising her son, JoeBen Bevirt, who himself would go on to found Joby Aviation and coax electricity into flight.”

While you’re there, subscribe to the weekly California Local email newsletter, which makes it easy to catch up with the local news and learn about upcoming local government meetings and community events.

5. Oh the Places We Go!

Winery view

Photo by Rob Genovesi

Everybody needs great internet. And though our headquarters is in a more urban area (downtown Santa Cruz — plus a field office in Half Moon Bay) we also work hard to get people connected all over the tri-bay area.

Our technicians love to snap pictures when they’re afield — gorgeous views are a perk of the job — and they have sent back some lovely pictures. Here’s a sample, more on the blog.

Night view

Photo by Alison Lowenthal


6. We’re Merging, Please Pardon Our Dust

Cruzio logo and Coastside logo against scenic lighthouse views

Remember how Cruzio and Coastside Net, two independent, customer-minded ISPs, merged earlier this year?

It’s been a great thing all around, with our excellent staffs working together, our lovely subscribers getting upgrades as fast as we can manage, and our resources combined. But it can be little challenging at times.

Our website sometimes looks a little wonky when we’re combining information, for example.

One of the bigger pain points has been merging our billing systems. Billing is the less glamorous side of a network-building business like ours, we know but it’s important to get it right.

Our dedicated (and glamorous) Billing team — Adia, Carlos, Iasha, Andrew, Sandi, Alex — has been working hard to make sure bills go out and payments get recorded properly. We still have two billing systems running at once, while we work to combine them. Which slows us down a bit.

So, and this is mostly affecting Coastside (or “Cruzio North”) subscribers, sometimes payments aren’t recorded as quickly as they should be. Apologies. This is complicated work, we’re adapting to the situation, and we’re improving rapidly.

7. They Meet at the Wharf, but Where Do Woodies Come From?

Line up of Woodies cars at the Santa Cruz Wharf

Woodie madness was back in Santa Cruz last month, and as usual Cruzio supplied internet to the event on the Municipal Wharf. People are out there all day, they need their connection!

It’s hard to imagine now, but all auto bodies were once made completely of wood, like the buggies they replaced. Yup, Woodies are another technology story.

Over the years, auto makers used less and less wood and more and more metal. By the mid-1950s, nobody was using wood any more, and those old part-wood cars could be had cheaply.

Cue the surfers, who needed cars to take their big boards to the beach. And thus, Surf City Santa Cruz will forever love the fabled woodie — which actually was an old, unreliable car back in the day. Nothing like the pristine, gorgeous autos we see displayed now.

Many more fun facts about woodies from our investigative reporter, Jesus Lopez!

  • a woodie car is described as cars with side panels and a whole or partial frame constructed from wood, clever!
  • in the 1920’s, most cars with wood paneling were mostly made by custom shops, however, Henry Ford bought 400,000 acres of forest land in
    Michigan in 1920 and shipped out the wood to be milled and assembled until they took over full operations of milling and assembling themselves in
  • the Ford Model A of 1929 was the first mass-produced woodie
  • the first woodies were actually the original SUV’s, as they were used on ranches and other rural areas as they had a lot of space for storage
    and a high capacity to tow
  • Ford mostly used maple, birch, mahogany or gum wood for the panels, and companies like GM and Chrysler even used ash wood
  • the look of the woodies changed drastically in the 1940’s as advancements in steelmaking made more things possible
    however, by 1947, they started becoming very unprofitable due to the heavy labor needed to produce them, and by 1951 Chevy stopped making wood-
    bodied cars altogether
  • Oldsmobile stopped even earlier, in 1949. At the time they were producing their high-end
    family cars with a list price of about $3,295,
    equivalent to about $35k in today’s money
  • today, a fully restored 1949 Oldsmobile could sell for upwards of $80k
  • between 1949-1951 the cars still featured real wood but in the form of panels inserted onto the doors, and the wood aspect of the cars was no
    longer structural, rather cosmetic
  • the last major maker to offer a FULL production woodie with real wood on the exterior
    was Buck in 1953
  • no carmaker has made a “real” woodie since 1971, with the demise of the British
    automaker, Morris Minor Traveler
  • some woodies required more than 150 pieces of wood to put together at the factory
  • they add about 200-300lbs to a standard sedan
  • because the wood panels required a lot more maintenance than steel bodies, most consumers decided to ditch them for steel bodied cars, and by the mid-1950’s most cars with real wood were discontinued
  • however, around the 1960’s, surfers looking for a cheap car to transport their surfboards discovered on the wagons that weren’t very popular anymore, and in a way, popularized them once again
  • in fact, it was the surfers and the surf music (most the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean) that popularized the term “woodie”
  • this meant that in the 1960’s we saw a lot of faux-wood paneling that stuck around for many years and clearly didn’t look as good… getting flashbacks of a 80’s family van or a PT Cruiser with sun faded “wood” paneling
  • in 1995, the US Postal service issued a 15 cent stamp commemorating woodies
  • like most things do lately, woodies have their very own special day to celebrate them, the third Saturday of July
  • in 2010 Chevy “woodied” up a Chevy Spark for the Paris Auto Show… spoiler, it didn’t look great
  • and, as it’s always a good excuse to post a song related to the topic, The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean did a great song about woodies that expresses how crummy they were back in the day. If you can get over the “two girls for every boy” stuff, it’s a classic connecting the woodies to the surfers and it even mentions wetsuits, invented by Santa Cruz legend Jack O’Neill:
  • “I bought a ’30 Ford wagon and we call it a woodie

    (Surf City, here we come)

    You know it’s not very cherry, it’s an oldie but a goody

    (Surf City, here we come)

    Well, it ain’t got a back seat or a rear window

    But it still gets me where I wanna go”

    8. From Sea Dubs to World Champions

    Clay Thompson on basketball court wi Santa Cruz players

    The Golden State Warriors won their fourth basketball championship in eight years just last month. And Santa Cruz can take some credit for it.

    The slam-dunks of Jonathan Kuminga, the determination of Kevon Looney, the fine shooting of Jordan Poole — we got to see them all up close in Santa Cruz at the Kaiser Arena. Before they went onto the championship stage, they played for our local G-League team, the Santa Cruz Warriors.

    So when we saw Poole sink an amazing half-court three in Game 2 of the Finals, Santa Cruz fans looked at each other and said, yeah that’s our guy.

    Interviewer: “What do you think you’ll remember most about this journey?
    Klay: “About the journey? Probably the dog days down in Santa Cruz.”

    Klay Thompson scrimmaged in Santa Cruz early in the season. When asked what was the biggest turnaround moment in his return to the NBA, he name-checked Santa Cruz. He was challenged and supported by the players and coaches of the Sea Dubs while recovering from devastating injuries. It’s likely the laid-back Santa Cruz vibe helped, too.

    And we know Klay loves the water, to the point of sounding like an old-school California coastal hippie. So maybe we’re the perfect place for him. Welcome back any time, Klay! And Cruzio is proud to be the Sea Dubs’ ISP.

    9. Progress on Equal Access

    It’s not controversial to want everyone in our community, rich or poor, urban or rural, to be able to get online information about threatening fires.

    It’s not weird to think that families should be able to easily schedule their vaccinations and other health services on medical websites.

    It’s not crazy to want all kids to have access to the parts of their education that are on the internet.

    It’s not even silly to want everyone to have the ability to watch movies or reruns or even TikTok videos on the internet. Or to save money by putting their phones on wifi instead of cell service while they’re at home.

    That’s why we started up Equal Access and why we’re so grateful all the folks who’ve helped us. Every new customer who signs up with Cruzio allows us to get a person in need hooked up to the internet. Every current Cruzio customer can easily donate a few bucks every month to help a family who’s struggling to pay for internet.

    And we’re just finishing construction of a new network in San Jerardo, the inspiring farmworker cooperative near Salinas. We’ll celebrate that in September.

    More news to come! We’ve been working fast and getting lots of folks connected.

    10. Help Us Expand, Get Free Internet

    tall building in shape of elephant

    If you lived in this tall elephant building, you could get great internet for free

    Want free Internet? Have a tall building or sweeping view?
    Cruzio is always looking for well-situated buildings to join our broadband network. If we use your location we’ll give you free high-speed service.

    We’ve had some great success lately, not only with taller buildings like offices and apartments, but with houses that just happen to see lots of other houses and buildings.

    Not only will you save on great internet — you’ll also help other people in the community who need a better connection. If you wish your neighborhood had better internet, and your house doesn’t fit the “sweeping view” description, bug your neighbor up on the ridge!

    Interested? Contact us.

    11. Handy Cruzio Information

    If you’re moving, Cruzio can save you from an interruption in Internet service and prevent costly fees. Call us at 459-6301 or contact us online (several weeks ahead, if possible!).

    Feed the Hungry
    If you’re late on a payment to Cruzio, bring 3 cans of food into our office and we will waive late fees up to $5. Donations go to Second Harvest Food Bank.

    Chris, Peggy, Mark, James, Frost, Sandi, Colin, Adia, Jesus, Alison, Justin, Andrew, David, Alex, Ani, Max, Iasha, Alana, Jay, Jason, another David, Sonya, Tony, Carlos, Evan, Ean, Robert, Pily, Dizaree, Ben, Kian, Bishop, Rob, Steve, another Mark, Justise, Eric, and yet another Robert;

    Jake, Annika & Carly (the grown “kids”)

    Carly, age 6: “Did you ever have a tuna and peanut butter sandwich?”
    Mom: “No, I never have.”
    Carly: “Well a boy in my class had one and HE DIED.”

    Fortunately, upon investigation this alarming news was not borne out by evidence.