January 30, 2004

The Swedish Chef

Seems that you can be too good at what you do, as Richard Norberg has found out. For the past 6 years Richard Norberg has run a company cafeteria for ABE, an engineering concern in Oernskoelsvik Sweden. He has built up a steady clientel of some 300 patrons (up from the regular 100 patrons). The increased patronage has resulted in long lines and waits for service. The company will not be renewing Mr. Norberg's contract. They run a business not a restaraunt. Mr. Norberg's specialties include traditional Swedish pancakes, pea soup, and pork chops. The price of fame the insight of mediocrity.

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January 29, 2004

Chaulk one up for our side!

These bastids scraped one of my email addresses some months ago. I have received more mail from African celebrities offering to share the bounty of their graft than I can count. They all get filed and sent to SpamCop. Thing is they spoof their return address and from lines so you really can't shut them down through normal channels. Perhaps now some peace Brothers in Christ.

Police Arrest 52 in Email Scam Raids

Jan 29, 11:17 AM (ET)

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Amsterdam police said on Thursday they had arrested 52 people in the Dutch capital in connection with an email scam designed to defraud the gullible with get-rich-quick schemes.
Police said the group was suspected of sending some 100,000 email messages to addresses in Japan and the United States.

The emails claim to be from a well-known individual or the individual's relative and promise the recipient a percentage payment from a sum of up to $20 million for help in transferring frozen funds to an accessible place.

In such scams -- made infamous by West African fraudsters -- once the victim is hooked, he or she is then is usually asked to put up hefty sums for air fares or other pretences.

"It is surprising that despite repeated reports about this people continue to be so naive as to take part in these proposals," the statement said.

A police spokesman declined to say whether those arrested were Dutch citizens or foreign nationals.

The suspects were seized in raids on 23 locations around Amsterdam, along with a number of personal computers, mobile phones, false documents and a total of 50,000 euros ($62,340) in cash.

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January 28, 2004

OK what is your favorite Super Bowl Urban Legend?

Snopes of Urban Legend fame has published a quick cheat sheet to the most common misunderstandings about Super Bowl legends. I don't know but with all the beer drinking and game watching I seem to remember lower water pressure during the commercials. Ah well just my imagination playing tricks on me.

What is not bull is my disappointment in CBS regarding their refusal to air the winning "Bush In 30 Seconds" ad. Apparently MoveOn sees the ad Child Pay as an issue ad and not a political ad so it should therefor be treated the same way as the Anti-Drug message that is sure to be aired as a public service announcement. I think that argument is hard to make, I think the ad is brilliant it might even play if it said "Who is going to pay off our trillion dollar deficit?" I mean it shouldn't be a mystery that the budget deficit was created under President Bush's watch as a result of his tax cuts and stampede to war, in the shadow of his Borrow and Spend Republican controlled congress. But the sad fact is we own that deficit not President Bush, we and our children will be paying it off for years to come. Who will we be giving the money plus interest to? Why the fat cats who can afford to buy T-Bills. I tell you there is very little downside for Mr. Bush. Borrow the money to finance his war and election and have his cronies reap the interest along with their tax cuts.

Posted by Philip at 03:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 27, 2004

Email Problems?

Update MydoomB is in the wild...

Could be... Mydoom or Novarg is running rampant these past few hours. This is a new Social-Engineering virus. It does not exploit any new security holes in the MS operating system it makes use of the recipient's natural curiosity, not about nude pics or love notes, nope this bug tells you there is something different with the email you just recieved:

"The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary attachment."

Whoa way cool, I'm a geek and I've heard of Unicode characters and I know they ain't no regular text so they must get handled special. I can see where the dumb software would store this email as an executable. OK lets see what was in the message, I'll open up the attachment... GOTCHA!!! You never open attachments on emails unless you know for SURE what they are. Never! NEVER NEVER! OK? So Joe in acounting sends you an email that has an executable file attached to it what do you do? Call Joe and ask what he just sent you? Nope you know Joe he is always sending you things. Open it at your own peril. Joe may not have sent you anything. The virus sends mail as if it was coming from the person who opens it. Joe may have opened up the executable virus and sent out a copy of the virus to everyone in his address book. Joe doesn't even know he did it. When in doubt call your friend or send a followup message asking what is supposed to be in the attachment. Never hurts to check. I mean if you did get it and spread it your name is attached to some number of the infected emails shooting around. You could be made to walk around with a sign I PRACTICE UNSAFE COMPUTING. I INFECTED MY COWORKERS FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

BTW most modern email clients handle Unicode without any problems at all no need to create an attachment for them.

Posted by Philip at 10:19 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 26, 2004

Boys will be Boys

The buzz is that Barbara Jenna Bush passed up a chance to join up with the Yale secret society of the Skull and Bones. Skull and Bones is a dry association not serving liquor at their social functions. I'm not sure if that was the reason one half of the First Twins failed to honor her family legacy. While on the subject of secret societies Boing Boing had an interesting link to a catalogue produced in 1930. This catalouge was selling a variety of props and stunts used in the hazing of potential recruits. Seems that the vast majority of gags were designed to humiliate the initiate with generous amounts of electricity. Kind of ruins my mental picture of our founding fathers steeped in Masonic symbols and lore only to find out that getting into the group had more to do with slapstick than philosophy. A trully frightening read. Behold the sacred mysteries of the ages. Kind of puts the Da Vinci Code in a whole new light.

Thanks Neva for fact checking me. I read the snark yesterday and mismembered it as usual.

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January 25, 2004


I did it again. Next year for sure!

Posted by Philip at 09:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Sum of all Fears?

This story isn't getting much coverage. The SuperBowl™ being the entertainment extraveganza it is, what kind of pressures are on law enforcement and civic leaders to keep any hint of problems away from the news? Of course this could be a Barney Fife trying to grab a little attention after managing to shoot himself in the shoulder while playing Starsky and Hutch in the wee hours of the morning. But you have to believe that Huston is a high profile target. America watches the SuperBowl™. Reality TV by Tom Clancy and Osama bin Laden. Of course according to the ATSNN Frist is scheduled to replace Cheney on the ticket. Do you think Cheney would take one for the team?

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January 23, 2004

Fun with zip codes

Some things need no explanation ! Who knew?

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From the I can't believe this department

Sometimes I just don't get it. According to Hoyle this is hillarious.

Posted by Philip at 07:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Helpless in Kentucky

Henry Earl has been arrested 830 times since January 1992. Henry likes to drink. Henry is a fixture in the Lexington Kentucky jail. I don't know Henry's story or why he is so popular. I'm guessing he doesn't have any family that cares anymore and only enough money to buy some cheap alcohol. I'm guessing Henry doesn't want to stop, I have to believe that Lexington Kentucky has some form of residential treatment plan that he could enter at some point if anything to save the city some money. He is an enigma, a web phenomena, been talked about on Jimmy Kimmel Live, written up in a London daily. He seems happy, most of his pictures show him happy. The jail in Kentucky doesn't like that Henry Earl is famous, every time he gets Fark'ed they get a bazillion hits making their server cranky. I'm betting Henry Earl is going to become another Mahir if it is still possible in this time of the Internet to become a net celebrity for being yourself. Henry Earl is a human story waiting to be told. He is homeless and it would seem helpless in Kentucky.

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January 21, 2004

You googled me...

Fake Italian Drivers License... I suppose that might be a common search in some parts of the world. I'm not sure why you would want a fake Italian drivers license, I mean the reason to use a fake license here in the US (to buy booze) really isn't an issue in Europe where they just expect you to act civilized and follow the rules. If someone wants to buy alcohol and they don't look like they are 12 they will usually get served. I don't know things might have changed. Then again it might be terrorists looking to cop some fake ID. Great to know my site shows up. Oh well I can throw in search terms like how to make a Google bomb, al Queda, and Palestinian. That ought to up my hits doncha think?

I know other big hitter was my coverage of celebrity deaths. I think I must have posted about Anita Mui, Bobby Hatfield, Keith Moon and Elvis. They always bring search hits. You know I have never used the word mysterious (spelled like this) in my blog. I'll fix that... posting

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If you can please support this worthy cause

I know there is an election coming up and your time and loyalties are divided but if you can here is a cause that is near and dear to my heart (at least since I found out about it). Who would have thought about such creatures existing in our own back yard.

Posted by Philip at 04:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Happy New Year!

FU-Luck.gifChinese (Lunar) New Year. Year of the Monkey, the year 4701 begins tomorrow January 22nd. Chinese New Year isn't just a one night get your ya ya's out kind of thing. If it is done right it is a fifteen day celebration culminating on the Full Moon with the Lantern Festival. This is THE big deal in many Asian cultures. It combines elements of our own New Years Celebration with Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is the party time of the year. So get yourself dressed in your finest red go out and get yourself some dim-sum for lunch write a bit of Chun Lian for your threshold. Do not sweep any dirt out your front door, wash your hair, or use a knife or scissors lest you sweep away good fortune or wash it out of your hair or cut yourself off from success for an entire year!

You may be a monkey person if you were born in 1939, 1952, 1965, 1978, 1991 that should cover most every body reading this.

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January 17, 2004


Damn! Do you think Bill Gates has one of these? If I were him I'd have one at least. Think of the home schooling potential probably tax deductible. The transuranics are a bit iffy if you ask me as there can't really be anything there. Incredible web site too. If you have the bandwidth use size 9 to examine each element.

Posted by Philip at 05:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wonderful World of Words

I don't remember when I lost track of Michael Quinion's WWW
but I rediscovered it this morning. Back in the "early days" of home pages (the forerunner of blogs) the pages that offered regular fresh content were not as wide spread as they are today. The modern content management systems have really helped out the old home page.

Anyway I used to check his page at least once a week even when I was subscribed to his news letter. Seems there was always a treat to be found there. The WWW is a seven plus year collection of essays on the English language. Michael is a fine writer and entertaining individual. If you don't know about this site you do now. Don't get lost there, it is a web fixture and you can visit anytime you like. I have added a link Suprise Me to his random article feed. He has xml and rdf feeds for those so inclined. Enjoy

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January 16, 2004

Blogging Blues

My hosting service who I have heartily recommended experienced a 36 hour outage this week. Part of the outage was their fault as they recompiled their kernel and did a reboot, normally this is not a real big deal perhaps 5 minutes of outage, however this time they compiled a bad kernel that refused to boot. When your computer is 6000 miles away and you have no connection to the root console that is not good.

This means my normally responsive tech support had towait for the techs working at the co-location facility to go to their computer and boot the computer back to their previous kernel (a boot option you can select from the root console). Their co-location provider is managed.com. Managed.com appears to be over extended. They have a real agressive pricing on servers and bandwidth and have been signing up more customers than they can service. They have backorders turning up new servers. Took the managed.com tech 12 hours to get to the digital-crocus server.

Unfortunately the tech out in the racks simply rebooted the bad kernel and went on his merry way without staying to see if the server was stable. Digital-Crocus crashed again perhaps 10 minutes after the reboot (or Digital-Crocus tried to rebuild a new kernel and tried to implement it without testing it again!).

To make it up to us Digital Crocus has commited to purchasing a standby hot swappable server. And they have promised to TEST their kernels on a test server before trying themout on the live server. These guys know the right way to do it, they deserve a spanking for having to go through the crap they put us through.

I will not be changing blog hosts however. I'm loyal that way. I will tweak them and expect them to do better. Besides I am getting such a deal ~$5 a month I doubt seriously I could do better at three times the price.

Oh did I mention John Robb has his web log there too? Now it is one thing for my 15 or so readers to miss my musings for a day or two. John Robb though draws a bunch of traffic. John had just posted some exclusive snaps of Saddam's arrest. There was a rumour that we had been taken down by the DOD/Justice for unauthorized pictures. It is illegal (violation of the Geneva Convention) to exploit prisoners of war. Pictures are considered to be explotive.

Usually the prisoners are filmed/photographs in such a way as to protect the identity of individuals.

So I'm back, I was back last night but I just couldn't blog. Too depressed. I'll get better.

Posted by Philip at 08:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 12, 2004

NBC Behind the times

NBC is taking a trick from cable. Their shows tonight are starting 10 minutes off the hour. I noticed it a few days ago looks like it may be a permanent thing.

Posted by Philip at 10:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

To go where no man has gone before

Martha Stewart you gotta love the Doyen of Domesticity. Her legal team has produced a brief that quotes Star Trek . Oh and her new web site is nice clean efficient and everything you would expect from well... Martha Stewart.

On another note what is up with the Caravan of Love MJ is a freak of nature, if not a very confused human being.

The ACLU is weighing in on the side of the chief head of the Dittoheads. Just goes to show how strange bedfellows get created. Think Rush will refuse the help of the ACLU?

Oh by the way... these are top national stories reported on the NBC Nightly news. Slow news day you think?

Posted by Philip at 06:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 10, 2004

The Unemployed

I have seen headlines that are trumpeting the new unemployed statistics. Unemployment stands at 5.9% officially. What does that mean? Well there is some magical number of people who are earning a paycheck and there is another number of those who are getting unemployment checks. If you don't get an unemployment check then you are not unemployed. Isn't that neat? Congress did not extend unemployment benefits soooo not so many people getting unemployment checks result less unemployed people. QED

Ok the real skinny on who is unemployed, it is done by a survey of 66,000 households based in 792 geographical areas of the United States. 72,000 households are contacted/selected but only about 60,000 actually provide data for various reasons. To be counted as unemployed you must not be working you must have actively sought work in the past 4 weeks, this means sent out a resume or filled out a job application. If there were no jobs in your area you were qualified to apply for well then you are not "unemployed" you have to be actively looking for work. If you are a discouraged worker you are lumped as "not in the work force" if we are generous we can add .7% to the unemployment figures to include the marginally attached. If you select more than 1 race you will not be counted So in our country there are currently around 8 Million unemployed persons (that are being counted) last month we had a net of 1000 new jobs created so for every new job we had aproximately 8000 job applicants. This is known as an economic recovery. Of all the people out of work and counted as unemployed a large number recieve no unemployment benefit. Our National Unemplyment rate is measured at 5.9% (6.6% if you add in the marginal workers, discouraged etc) of that number, the percentage recieving UI is 2.9 % something less than half of the Unemployed get unemployment insurance. This will be dropping quite a bit over the next weeks and months as the Federal UI extensions are running out.

Combine this with President Bush's assault on wages matching every job we cannot send to India with an economic migrant and you have a recipie for some powerful populist backlash. The economy may be better but orders for durable goods is down in November and December that doesn't bode well for American manufacturers. The tax cut fueled recovery just might be dying. Here come the interest rates folks! We have forgotten what double digit Prime Rates will do to consumenr debt which is at an all time high.

Posted by Philip at 07:41 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Star Trek TOS it never dies

Trekkies are legion ( if not a bit nuts ). It's a glorious madness though. A group of webcasters have bonded with some trekkies to produce some of the most elaborate fan fiction yet. The start of the fourth season begins January 17th on New Voyages trailers are available in wmv format. BTW this is a tax exempt corporation looking for donations for The Space Shuttle Children. If you feel like it shoot them a buck or two. Meanwhile the treksters are living the dream. Live long and prosper.

Posted by Philip at 11:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2004

Iowa Harkin Dean

Game over

Posted by Philip at 06:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 08, 2004

Petals on the rose

Here is a great game. See how long it takes you to "beat it". Some people get it rather quickly other people will play it for a long time and never figure it out. See how you do. Don't spoil it for others if you do figure it out. Link via Nicole by way of BlogSnob.

Posted by Philip at 11:03 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Long Live the King!

Happy Birthday Elvis. January 8th 1935. If you can, treat yourself to a fine alternate history at a Theatre near you (maybe soon) Bubba Ho-tep!

Posted by Philip at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 07, 2004

What would you do for $10,000

To bolster the re-enlistment numbers the US Army is offering a $10,000 bonus for a three year extension to your current commitment. So what would you do for $10 a day? That is what the bonus is worth actually a little less. Most of the regulars in Iraq don't think too much of the idea.

Posted by Philip at 09:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2004

Queen Anne's Hill Seattle

We are having a "Winter Storm" here in the PNW. Our last significant snowstorm was six years ago. So let's just say not a lot of work was accomplished here. In the spirit of joy people congregated at Queen Anne's hill to sled and have a bit o fun. In the hundreds or thousands. No way could you drive up or down this area. So people were sliding and partying untill the local constabulary closed the hill to sliding. The city brought in extra trucks to sand and gravel the hill that was the focal point of too much merriment. The hill did manage to claim multiple broken bones over the day there were several broken arms and twice as many broken legs. Still a good time was had by many!

Posted by Philip at 07:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Some Things are NOT on my wish list

Boing Boing calls this a game for morons. But what about the masochists amoung us? You could play two handed and take the chance out of it. Now if it was rigged so one of the slots never got the payout that would be funny! (Obviously I'm a sadist)

Posted by Philip at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 05, 2004

So you are a Blogging God... try 109 Million hits in 24 hours

Nasa has recorded 109 million hits on the first day of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. Using 1300 servers worldwide to accomadate the traffic this is a great example of being ready when the web was. No Victoria's Secret blowouts here. Some sites are slow just by the nature of their design but by and large there have been few problems in accessing the MER site. The prevoius record had been 47 million hits in 24 hours for the Pathfinder mission. Seems to me the cable networks blew this one. I saw Fox carried a little of the actual landing but that was the only channel I saw coverage on. CNN wasn't showing it when I tuned in (The first press conference) although I hear they were covering the actual landing, I was watching Nasa TV as our cable no longer broadcasts the Nasa channel.

Congrats to Nasa and the JPL for a spectacular success so far.

Posted by Philip at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 04, 2004

Spirit and Little Brother

If you think back there was another Mars probe that landed much the same way on the 4th of July 1997, it was known as Pathfinder. What you may not have known was just how small that rover was. Spirit meet your predecessor Pathfinder.
Spirit and Pathfinder
That would be Pathfinder on the right looking puny.

Posted by Philip at 01:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

First images in!

The first images from Spirit are being posted on Nasa TV and at the JPL Site Check them out.
Image from Spirit
Click the picture for a hirer res shot.

Posted by Philip at 12:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 03, 2004

Spirit has landed!

Right Side up. Strong radio signal. Air bags are being retacted. JPL Briefing at 21:30 PDT.

Next up opening of the "petals", deployment of the solar arrays, extending the central camera mast. Perhaps some pictures tonight.

Textbook landing. Spirit bounced for some 10 minutes after landing causing a bit of concern but it was within the envelope. Pretty exciting stuff. (Well for some of us). I imagine the press conference will be coverd on CNN or MSNBC seeing as how Saturday night is a slow night. If not you can try and latch on to the webcast (see below) it was maxed out a while ago.

The EDL animation is here.
An Exploration animation is here.

A Martian Blog can be seen here.

Good ol American know how comes through (it's really a crap shoot but we can feel good about it)

Posted by Philip at 09:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Spirit is entering into the Martian Atmosphere as of 20:30 PST

You can check out Nasa TV for the descent and landing. Everything is "perfect" so far.

Posted by Philip at 08:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Flash Cuteness

This is nice and quiet. Flash combined with Java in a nice bit of synchronization. Via Aces Full of Links

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January 02, 2004

An E-BAY Adventure

Follow Philip F. Gura as he purchases the 2nd known photograph of Emily Dickinson on e-Bay. Modern treasure hunting at it's best.

Posted by Philip at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 01, 2004

Legal proof?

Phillip (hey that is the way he spells it) Torrone moblogs his evening. .08 is the limit in Washington state.

Posted by Philip at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Earth on time (again)

Seems that since the invention of the atomic clock the earth has been slacking. So much so that scientists have scheduled a leap second to be added to each year (since 1955) to keep astronomers happy not to mention navigators, GPS afficianados, and others who absolutely positively must be where they think they are. For some strange reason the leap second has been scrapped for the fifth straight year in a row. Scientists are scratchin their ass trying to figure out how the earth is speeding up in it's orbit. Read more...

Posted by Philip at 09:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Years Eve Times Square

Ya should see daudderguy If you haven't seen the QTVR by Jook Leung do so. A great experience. See if you can find Waldo here who looks as if he was having fun earlier in the day.
Posted by Philip at 04:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Snowball Fight!

Don't think I've ever had a snowball fight on New Years Day... before today that is. A most auspicious way to start the new year. Snow is not all that unusual here on the valley floor but rare enough to foul traffic and be treated as a novelty, even a news event preempting soap operas. The snow is at that in between state too dry to build a snowman but wet enough to turn into snowballs! Will try the snowman later if the snow doesn't turn to rain as predicted.

Posted by Philip at 02:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Winter Wonderland

out the back door
Let it Snow

Everything is covered,
the ordinary dressed in white finery
sounds muffled by air thickend with crystalized water.
Untracked virgin powder awakening the inner child
waiting to be visited by boots and sledge.
Posted by Philip at 11:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 31, 2003

Mui Yim Fong dead at 40

Anita Mui

Anita Mui was a superstar. You may know her from her appearance in Jackie Chan movies. She died of cervical cancer Tuesday morning in Hong Kong. While we know her from her movies she was perhaps better known as a singer. She had released 46 albums during her career often called the 'Madonna of Hong Kong'. She had been a staple of Hong Kong entertainment for 20 years. She played Elaine in Jackie Chan's Rumble in the Bronx. She was also a founder of the Oriental Star restaurant chain (Asian Planet Hollywood). Her filmography can be found here. Some of her awards are listed here.

Posted by Philip at 08:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I want to go tubing!

Too much snow delays opening of Bear Paw Ski area

Associated Press

HAVRE - The Bear Paw Ski Bowl south of here has too much snow to open this weekend as scheduled. Hill manager Dave Martens said the facility isn't ready.

"We can't even get out there. With that much snow, it's going to take us three days to pack it."

The 40 inches of snow that fell last weekend was the biggest snowfall in more than 20 years. Martens said the area should be able to open the weekend of Jan. 10-11.

At the Pah-Nah-To Recreational Park, the Screaming Beaver Tubing Slide may open on Thursday, but it also may be closed until the second weekend in January, said Jason Belcourt.

He's the project coordinator for the Rocky Boy Recreation Tourism Project, which oversees the park.
Posted by Philip at 09:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 30, 2003

Bam Picture After the Quake

Bam quake 12/27/03Space Imaging has provided a remarkable shot of BAM, IRAN one day after the quake. This is a 1 meter resolution shot. Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

Posted by Philip at 02:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

And in other news...

Guess what? A firm which specializes in electronic voting was HACKED! May be POLITICAL! (duh...) Here is your future folks electronic voting ripe for the picking. I am all for electronic ballots. I think punch cards are a terrible thing. Hanging chads are the devils work. However before I step in to a booth I want a paper receipt for my vote. I want to be sure that who I voted for is who is counted. Of course even with a receipt in my hand I can only be sure that I voted for the correct person I can't be sure of the count, because what is there to count? Events in an audit log which is an electronic text file ripe for editing? Vote tampering has never been so easy. A few quick keystrokes and voila! Now there is the nasty matter of flash memory contained in each voting machine. These are the "audit" trails, the fall backs. They are also programmable. Rather than WORM products which are write once read many devices where once written they cannot be erased or written to again, these devices can be read wiped and reused as often as you like. Even between the ballot box and headquarters. They fit inside digital cameras! Do you think they could have used SDDR cards? No they went with Compact Flash devices. SDDR are marginally safer technology admittedly newer technology, but still. Fudging digital records is a lot easier than creating 1000's of paper ballots.

I suppose I eventually will need to trust the system. That the elections officials in these United States are above politics (why are so many political positions?) and are immune to being duped or duping us. These are the same people who rushed out to embrace electronic voting as new and good without thinking about how it could be compromised. At least that is what I am hoping. What if they knew it could be compromised and chose it on purpose? Paranoia strikes deep in the Heartland...

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Chris Prillo vs The "Horny" Guy

While watching this video(Windows Media format only sorry) I noticed the family resemblance. What do you think? via the Meme List.

Posted by Philip at 07:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 29, 2003

Commercials you won't see at the SuperBowl

I like commercials, well some of them. I don't like what they represent per se but I do appreciate the creativity and sheer hucksterism some embody. Yesterday I blogged about the Honda UK commercial it made this list. Truth be told I only watch the Super Bowl to see the ads. Last year was dismal, the only high point being the Trunk Monkey&8482;, put out by Suburban Auto a local GMC dealer. Out of the ten I am particularly impressed by the previously mentioned Honda UK commercial and the Anti-Drug mutilation video (now you are going to go watch that one aren't you? Sick f*cks) Cute is the cockroach commercial for light bulbs and honorable mention goes for the G-Spot Gucci ad, just because sex sells. Commercials tell a story. Depending on what is being pushed they employ humour and pathos. I like the 15/30/60 format. You can tell a lifes' story in 30 seconds if you are good. Two generations in a minute.

Speaking of 30 seconds, I have been wading through way too many Anti-Bush ads over at MoveOn's Bush in 30 seconds. While I keep looking for the killer ad I have noticed that the ones I rate highly are not necessarily well received by the masses. Seems ads that feature children are pretty popular. Some of the ads are in poor taste others are pretty lame in trying to make insignificant points. Most make the ad look like a nut has written and sponsored it, too damned negative. I think some of this feeling occurs when "forced" to watch a half hour of these 30 second propaganda films. If I was a Bush supporter I would purchase 10 or 20 of the worst of these ads and run them as a pro-Bush infomercial. Thing is there are 1000 of these things to wade through. I know the whole idea of this is to distil the "wrongness" of the Bush presidency but prolonged viewing of these ads is enough to drive you to the dark side. Christopher and Marijo have highlighted some of their favorites. Me I'm voting but really who cares what I think? If I find the ONE. I'll let you know. Right now I feel jaded and in need of a shower. I am sure though that the people who are making these feel a whole lot better getting this crap out of their system. Hating George Bush just feels right, but there is only so much hate in my system. After a while these ads grate on the nerves, even if they are about subjects near and dear to my heart.

Posted by Philip at 10:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

IE Browser Exploit Bogus Pay Pal E-Mail

There is an IE browser spoof vulnerability that has not yet been patched. This allows mal-formed HTML links to appear to send you to one location when in fact they are going someplace else. This link can be hidden in a web page or in an HTML enabled email. The link can be a text screen or a Pay Pal button. There is currently circulating, a very official looking email that appears to link back to Pay Pal. Once at the fake Pay Pal site you will see that Pay Pal is moving and that you are asked to re-register to continue using your Pay Pal account. When you re-register you are asked to enter the keys to your financial kingdom. This information is then loaded into hacker/criminal databases where it can be used to raid your bank account steal your credit cards and in general ruin your day.

What can you do to protect yourself? Follow the rule that NO financial organization worthy of being in business will solicit your account access information via email. It just isn't done. Even if your electronic statement notification email contains a link to your account it will only link directly to a login/password screen. When going to a web location via an email link if your are asked for your password type in nonsense with a fake name. You may be asked to confirm this information. Once confirmed fake sites will "log you in" and begin to ask you questions regarding your name address social security number depending on the type of account they may require your email address, bank account number and routing information, shipping address if different, credit card info etc all while looking very professional and the address bar looking as if you are doing business with Pay Pal. Trouble is they don't check your user name and password they store it along with any other information you care to provide. You may also notice that the site you are "logged" into is not using HTTPS, another tip that this is not a real Pay Pal site.

I expect now that there is a real exploit for this browser weakness in the wild Microsoft will be patching IE directly. Meanwhile be aware of this scam, turn off HTML support in your mailer software. Never ever give out your credit card or banking information online unless you are SURE of where you are. In the case of IE check the actual http:// link via page source code and or email headers and raw content. Pay Pal sends confirmations on payment and receipts it will send out activity reports if enabled. They generally do not send anything else to clients.

So SOME bogus sites have URL's with non printing characters in them like this:


(removed proper html code so it doesn't render as a link) you see the real address is pp.youlikeshe.com hidden out of sight. This address is registered in Switzerland and is currently being served out of Krakow Poland.

Be careful out there!

Updated: Test your browser/antivirus software use this link you will see your browser address bar pointing at Microsoft.com but you will not be there. What if the page at the place you were sent to looked a lot like microsoft.com? What if it were your bank site with a login screen? Would you know enough to NOT log in? That is the crux of the problem. Note some Anti-Virus software might get tripped by the link above. If that is the case GOOD. THe link is safe no virus or malicious code is eexecuted (regardless of what your AV software is telling you. Happy surfing!

Posted by Philip at 12:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 28, 2003

Attn Mark Michaels!

If you are ever lonely don't despair salvation is just a mouse click or two away. Sign up for instant friendship today!

Posted by Philip at 10:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Cog

 Honda Europe produced an interesting ad. Purportedly it took over 600 takes to get it to work, no CGI was used in the making of the ad however I can't figure out how they got the tires to roll uphill there just doesn't seem to be enough kinetic energy in the initial tire roll. You can download the mpg file here (3.9 MB). You can Flash the making of here. From the flash site you can stream 3 qualities of video. It's a 120 second commercial which may explain why it isn't shown in US Markets. Anyway my vote for the best use of the commercial this year.
Posted by Philip at 08:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas

We all know the story. May you have the wisdom of the Magi and the love of Della and Jim.

Posted by Philip at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 22, 2003

Unfortunate Christmas Cards...

In the tradition of Bad Santa the grinch at Capnwacky.com has some Holiday snark to pass on. Enjoy or not

Posted by Philip at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Have you heard of HR2239?

Well you should have and now that you have you should know the title is "The Voter Confidence Act" this bill is intended to put controls on electronic voting so that you have some assurances that the vote you cast will be a vote that is counted, and only votes cast by registered voters are actually counted. Seems this bill is tied up in committee by a GOP hack from guess where? Ohio home of Diebold Corp. whose president is commited to delivering Ohio's vote to George W. Bush in 2004. If you are outraged and want to express your outrage the folks at Verified Voting dot ORG are making it easy for you. Why not go there and send a letter to your congressman.

Have to act now in time for the 2004 general election. This may be your very last chance to vote!

Posted by Philip at 01:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ever wonder who owns what?

For your activism pleasure find out which Multimedia Giant owns your Newspaper, Cable, Radio Stations, Television Stations, Sports Arenas, Major Leauge Team, Minor League Team etc...

Media is owned more and more by fewer and fewer MegaCorporations. What are the chances of these MegaCorps being "liberal"? You can search by Call sign or Newspaper name or just pick from a list of conglomerates to see what they own. Enjoy! Oh and don't forget to look up which politicos your Boss gave money to this year (or last).

Posted by Philip at 09:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 21, 2003

Welcome John Perry Barlow

The Greatful Dead lyracist, EFF co-founder, free spirit, has joined the ranks of blogdom. (far superior to Mailing Lists). I've blog rolled his blog Barlowfriendz and invite you to link to him as well.

Posted by Philip at 06:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Remember when?

You worked for a company like this? Merry Christmas! Now why should this be news? I've been on the end of some pretty nice bonuses. Not recently now that I think of it, but I used to be employed at companies spread a little cheer. Not every Christmas mind you lest you plan on that bonus like Chevy Chase. Nope for many of us we have the feeling we are lucky we are working period. Our paychecks are our "present".

Posted by Philip at 10:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2003

Givers and Takers

Ever wonder who is giving money to whom? You can get all that information here. I am happy to report I don't know any one personally in Oregon that gave over $1000 to Bush. I mean I've been in the same room as a few but I haven't bought em drinks. You get some interesting information. Jean Auel writer is a Democrat... Use this form to check up on your neighbors, celebrities. Hell anyone you want to. Emily of Strangechord suggests you can use this to check-up and see what businesses are supporting what candidates. This way you can decide whether or not they are worthy of your patronage

Posted by Philip at 06:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Art Rocks!

Happy Together

Take 100 of the world's best artists ask them who their favorite rockers are, then ask them to design an album cover. I may not miss vinyl but lord I miss the album cover. My album covers are worth more than the music they contain. Frank Zappa's cover by Eric White is fairly mind blowing. Too many good efforts to list. Why am I not surprised Vonnegut is a Phish phan. While you are at it check out their great "Sixties" tee-shirt. I want one but these guys are mail-order... I don't do mail order even for cool tee-shirts.

Posted by Philip at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 19, 2003

Homer, Homer Simpson

Ever notice how lego's make for great digital representations? If you have to get that last minute gift for your Simpson-o-phile, Homer pictured above can be purchased from Sean McKinney for $4500 or so. I wonder what Matt Groening has to say about this? Seems a bit beyond fair use or parody.

Posted by Philip at 07:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 17, 2003

On Civil Disobedience

Dave Pollard of How to Save the World writes about the FTAA protests in Miami in response to an article in Salon Magazine. Dave sort of asks the question where are the "antidemocratic" forces going to rear their ugly head next time?

I suppose the Republican Convention next year in New York will be a real corker. All America really needs to see is some panic in the streets ala Chicago to get Bush his second term.

I read the Salon article with interest. I have no doubt that all the things written were true from the vantage point of the author. It is an analysis of what happened in Miami and how it happened. It does not mean the article is the whole truth, it means that this is how the author has chosen to relate the tale. We agree with it because of our own political beliefs and we give her authority.

We had protests here in Portland before this war started, one with upwards of 50,000 people showing up. That is five times the size of the FTAA shindig in Miami. Our protests were remarkably free of violence on either side. The worst that happened IIRC was some people tied up traffic by leaving the march route, they were arrested without requiring any trips to the hospital. Not all of America is like Miami. Police in Portland may have used tear gas to disperse some of the hard core who were still protesting after midnight (the march/rally ended at 3 PM or so). It was a game of cat and mouse waged on empty streets. With protestors (about 50) scattering when a police car would pull up and forming up a few blocks away (cell phones are cool for organizing). These were young men whooping it up playing with the police, I doubt any of them had a real concern about the war that was about to happen in Iraq at that point they were in the "zone".

Seattle was a disaster, if that is your model of what should be done I don't want it. Protestors there were allowed to run rampant and "voice" their displeasure with what ever symbol they were offended by, in the chaos that resulted throw in some looting. That is what happens when you don't have enough police presence. The police did not "start" anything in Seattle and didn't react to save property from being destroyed. Eventually they tried to take control and establish order and people got hurt (there was already some crowd on crowd violence before the police acted).

So how about we all gather in "your" neighborhood and vent our collective spleens on your house/property or the local Starbucks or Dry Cleaners the ones your neighbors/ relatives manage/own?

Just where and when is it acceptable to throw bricks through windows? Burn down establishments for having a tie to some ecological cause celeb?

I happen to agree the world is better off without Starbucks or McDonalds or WalMart but wouldn't the sensible thing to do be to quit spending our money in such establishments? Isn't that democracy and freedom? That is responsible protest, you don't like something then don't back it with your money. You have a political agenda then you pursue it with the ballot.

If you wish to gather together to show solidarity and support for an idea, you can, so long as you obey the existing laws. What happened in Miami might be bad but what happened in Seattle I wouldn't wish on anyone's town. I am quite pleased that nothing like Seattle or Miami happened in Portland and you know what, there were hundreds of protests like Portland before the war all over this country. By and large there were no big dust ups between police and protestors. Why is that? The antiwar protests were remarkably free of violence.

The protests regarding Economics are invariably bloody. Do you think there is an agenda being pursued here? Thing is there is a group of provocateurs who travel to these things and promote the confrontations. If they can get a gestapo reaction all the better because it shows the state to be a big bad thing. It isn't the professional provocateurs who get busted but usually locals who don't know what is happening or coming. People who are junked up on adrenaline and politics are easily turned into a mob. Dave be honest it is damned frightening to be in one of these things (or exhilarating depends on what side of the line you are standing on).

I abhor police violence and mobism both. But the violence doesn't happen in a vacuum because of "nothing". The police may have been ramped up and hyped but so is the crowd. It doesn't take much to get what happened in Miami or Seattle.

You can speak eloquently for free speech and democracy but it comes with responsibility. Nothing is truly free. If we want the right of freedom of assembly then we have a responsibility to remain lawful and to cooperate with authorities when someone breaks the law. We must police ourselves. If you have the courage to protest then you should have the courage to censor those that would hurt the cause. People who incite violence have no place in protest. I am not saying that violence has no place it does, but that is revolution not protest.

Posted by Philip at 01:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's Most expensive Phone Call?

Somebody call Guiness! Joe Horn should get something out of this besides a fine.. He isn't going to get an Oscar that's for sure. You know I see the NFL as a freaking circus what is with this "no taunting", "unsportsmanlike" conduct BS? I mean these guys get paid big money to go out and seperate someone from a ball and their senses. THE NFL's Greatest Hits is a training manual for new linebackers. I'd call these showboats for delay of game, taking money from them is plain ridiculaous as they will just jack their salary to cover the fines. Fans love to see the strut, they love the vicarious thrill of someone doing the "In Your Face" . The league pretending this is a Gentlemans game with no grandstanding is operating in the long ago. There is no team in Football, it is all about the stars the individual who goes out there and risks his career if not his life (no NFL player has ever died during a game, there has been a fatality in Arena Football). There are no Team Touchdowns. If some clown wants to call his mom after he scores let him. What is the difference if he does that or jumps up into the end zone seats to commune with the fans? Every touchdown is a chance for end zone theatre. Some of them go down on one knee to acknowlege help from the big guy, others put the ball over the cross bar, some spin the ball and do a little dance. If you allow anything you allow everything besides who the hell got hurt or offended by a freaking piss poorly acted out cell phone call? Thus endedth today's rant.

Posted by Philip at 12:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 16, 2003

char msg[] = {78,111,119,32,72,105,114,105,110,103,0}; - EA Canada

Got jobs.... Electron Arts the Video Game giant is hiring if you know what the code says. Advertisements only a geek could love.

Posted by Philip at 03:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 15, 2003

More Blog Tool experimenting

Testing a new WYSIWYG editor for MT. HTMLArea by InteractiveTools. Using the Beta release I find it works under Mozilla/Firebird but not under IE.... Great Idea just wish it worked under the browser of my choice. Has some nice features including an integrated spel check (it caught spel and the other nonstandard English text) It uses Aspell for Perl.
Posted by Philip at 10:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 14, 2003

Smile you're on Candid Camera

Backscatter X-Rays. I'm all for airline safety however I'm not sure I want pictures of my Johnson being circulated. American Science & Engineering makes the BodySearchtm X-ray machine. Don't worry it only uses as much radiation as someone would experience in a 2 hour flight at 40,000 feet.

Oh and this technology is for sale. If your employer deems it necessary it is all they have to say to get one. Worried about shoplifting? Not any more, and by the way I'm glad to see there is nothing in your bra that shouldn't be there! There is no law requiring any party using the device to disclose it 's use.

Posted by Philip at 12:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 13, 2003

Living 'La Cosa Nostra'

Check it out...

Posted by Philip at 09:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wheatfields of Manhattan

Agnes Denes Battery Park, NY 1982

If you are following Dave at How to Save the World the GreenMuseum.org is for you.
Posted by Philip at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A local celebrity dies

Keiko the star of the "Free Willy" franchise has died at the age of 26. Keiko spent a couple of years here at the Oregon Coast Aquarium getting ready to be returned to the wild. From Oregon he was airlifted to Iceland and from Iceland he was introduced to his natal pod in Norway. Keiko never went back to the wild he was aclimated to people, they were his pod. He was so popular the Norwegian government had to create an exclusion zone around him. It wasn't often observed.

Posted by Philip at 10:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hosted in the US of A

The net is a funny place... My hosting company is based in England as were their servers. Then they had an unscheduled outage that they traced to their hardware, no worries they purchased a new server. Then they had another unscheduled outage this one traced to their leased data center... bummer two outages in as many months.

Well the boys at digital-crocus.com wasn't about to be burned again. They moved their operation across the ocean/continent to San Jose's Managed.com.

So I have a new blog location back in the US. This has some implications regarding the freedom I have with my data. I liked being hosted "off-shore", knowing my bits were stored some place John Ashcroft couldn't get his grimy little hands on appealed to me. Not that I really have any thing to interest John Ashcroft but if I did... I want it safe from search warrants.

So in the interest of customer service my hosting company put my bits under the watchful eye of big brother.

Posted by Philip at 08:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 12, 2003


Who would have guessed? Thing is when you are raking in billions you can afford a $100 million on fines, hell I would write a check for $200 million just to proove how sorry I was.

Posted by Philip at 06:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2003

The Internet 1969 - 2006 RIP

How would you like an Internet with no spam, no viruses, no pornography? If you believe the prognosticators it is coming, perhaps as soon as 2006. Wintel et. al. is architechting the net of the future and there is no room for anonimity. Every platform, every piece of code that attaches to or flows over the net will have markers embedded to enable systems to trace the origin and control the distribution of the bits. You can read more about the shape of things to come here. It is the old adage made flesh, "be careful what you wish for you just might get it". All this takes is a flip of the switch to implement (well actually the routers at your ISP would most likely need to be upgraded but that is virtually the same thing). Your ISP would provide a software interface required for you to connect to the web no interface no web access, all hardware manufactured after a certain date would no longer execute code not digitally signed by the registered author (this is an optional thing today but digitally signed code is nothing new). The high speed world we know and love would still exist (well minus more than a few sites that I don't visit anyway) but the cost of admission is now your identity. Of course that identity could still be "badboy7734" but to use that handle you will have to leave your real one on file with your ISP. Lawrence Lessig has a number of articles regarding the Internet and freedom on his blog/web-site.

Return of the BBS? All you freedom loving phreaks may want to dust off ye old modem, looks like the return of the underground network is upon us.

Posted by Philip at 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2003

Africa the next best investment

Just in case you didn't get this investment opportunity (does there exist anyone able to operate a computer who is so greedy as to believe this crap?)

From: Mrs.Susan Martins
101 Jan Smuts Avenue Craighall
South Africa

With due respect trust and humility, I write you this proposal, which I believe will be a great interest to you. I found your contact while I was doing a private research on the Internet for a reliable and capable foreign partner that will assist my family and I. That's why I contacted you.I am Mrs. Susan Martins the wife of Mr. John Martins of Zimbabwe.During the current war against famers in Zimbabwe and from the support of our President Robert Mugabe to claim all the white owned farms in our country, all the white and black farmers were ordered to surrender their farms to his party members and his followers. My husband who was one of the best farmers in our country and treasurer of the farmer's Co-operation did not support his idea and so the party members invaded my husband's farms and burnt everything in the farm, killed my husband and made away with a lot of items in my husband's farm.

After the death of my husband, my children and I decided to move out of Zimbabwe because our lives were in danger with the fund that my husband kept in his hidden safe in my house. The amount contained in the safe is US$30,5 Million (Thirty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) and we decided to move this money to the Republic of South Africa, where we deposited it with a private Security Company as a valuables in a box/consignment. This I did for security reasons and to keep from public eyes.I have two options, firstly you can choose to have certain percentage of the money for nominating your account for this transaction, or you can go into partnership with me for proper profitable investment of the money in your country.Whichever the option you want, feel free to notify me. I have also mapped out 5% of this money for all kinds of expenses that might be incured in the process of this transaction.

If you do not prefer a partnership, I am willing to give you 20% of the total money, while 75% will be for my family. If you are really capable and willing to assist me as soon as you get this message please contact my son Wodi Martins immediately with the above telephone number (+27-732250444) or by email he knows also about this transaction. for details on how to execute this transaction to the satisfaction of everybody.

Finally I want you to know that your ability to keep confidential
information about this transaction is very important as all our hope
for a better life depends on this money.

Best Regard,

Mrs.Susan Martins
(For The Family)

Posted by Philip at 11:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Whoops they did it again

Buck a hit day if it has been a while since you clicked here go ahead and give a click. Jack Blogdanski is giving away his money! Oh and come back and read my rant....

I was listening to NPR as I came in to work today and cliches kept popping up in my head "To the victor goes the spoils". I guess it is obvious and in the reasoning of the administration that only members of the Coalition of the Willing are allowed to bid on the 18 billion in reconstruction contracts the Pentagon is issuing for Iraq.

And the next little bit of collateral damage which inspired the flippant title above. Seems we are getting real good at killing children while going after Taliban baddies who aren't even there when we drop big bombs. Isn't this what the Rangers and CIA mercenaries are for? I mean how hard is it to get someone on the ground to call in the airstrikes when you have a confirmed sighting of the bad actor? It would save money and save the lives of innocents. I mean if you think about it the dead children are not collateral damage if you don't hit your main objective. They are dead for no good reason, wasted lives, undying hatred in at least several families as a result. Hearts and Minds folks Hearts and Minds. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

We have been having Congress critters and wannabes' coming in to work to stump lately. Yesterday we had a particularily obnoxious Republocrat come in to pitch his "vision". Tim Phillips was an unimpressive physical specimen definitely not going for the telegenic award. His stump speech consisted of listing all the pork (non local) our current Congress critter voted for. Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Trans gender American Indian research and equally obscure things... He called them "bills". Actually they are riders attached to bills designed to keep the government in business... thing is David Wu (our 1st District representative) did vote to keep the government running as did Darlene Hooly another Democratic congress person and our Republican Congress critter from over in the high lonesome. 2 other Democratic congress critters voted against the omnibus spending bill. I'm sure the idea was to ridicule Wu. He also took it in the shorts (Wu that is) over his anti-China trade stance. David Wu has ties to Taiwan and feels like normalized trade relations with China is not necessarily a good idea. I can't say that I really feel strongly one way or another but China is the biggest threat to American hegemony in the world. It's the 800 pound gorilla we ignore at our peril. I am happy it is changing into a nation of robot consumers perhaps they will be preoccupied with their new color TV's and Baywatch to notice they are a super power. Meanwhile be brushing up on your Mandarin and Cantonese.

Mr. Tim also wanted to support education fix our roads fix medicare (increase pay outs) bring services to our rural areas in general spend money like a drunken sailor while cutting our draconian taxes. Money should be in local hands. Essentially he was talking out both sides of his mouth and his ass all at the same time pretty cute trick. I bit my tounge until he got to Iraq and tried to sell the Terrorism angle. I had to ask him what Iraq had to do with Terrorism? He stumbled around trying to place State support for terrorists in Iraq essentially parroting the current administration's Party Line. Didn't fly with me. I simply looked at him like he had three heads and was absolutely freakin wacko (I do the ol' "I can't believe you just said that," look real well). Politics at work do not mix. I know why he was there besides the fact the upper management want in good with him, he sits on the board of one of the hospitals we are pursuing as a client... Bringing high school debating skills to the stump is piss poor in my book. I wanted to wring his slimy little neck (figuratively). Where do these people get the idea they are fit to govern?

Posted by Philip at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OK I've got to know

Is Xian pronounced like 'Christian' or 'Zi-an' or 'ex-tsin'. I don't know why I always assumed it was Zi-an even if it was Christian Crumlish's blog.

Oh by the way click here. Have a nice day!

Posted by Philip at 06:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 09, 2003

Tis the Season!

OK me bucko's, you who are all gainfully employed anyway, and even if you are not gainfully employed you might want to think about giving a double sawbuck to Move On.   If you have never given before, now is the time to do it. Move On is operating in challenge grant mode right now. For every $20 they take in from first time givers they receive another $20 from their deep pocket contributor(s) (I know about George Sorros I think someone else is putting up big bucks too).

Anyway if you haven't made up your mind about which of the nine you are going to send into the election against Bush and you have the double sawbuck here is the place to put it down. It is really cool how we are raising funds this way. If you don't have $20 then give $10. You can use your debit card or credit cards. It is easy and it is safe. Bushco has raised $85 million for his primary so far and he is running unopposed. Why?

I wish it wasn't this way but it is. Money rules politics. Getting the message out costs. If you don't then who will? I haven't contributed to any candidate yet but I am contributing to MoveOn.org. I think they have a good message. Try it I know you will feel better after you have donated. I certainly did.

And if you can't give to MoveOn can you click? That's right click on a link and $1.00 is sent to Portland area Foodbanks. So even if you are tapped out you can go here. Jack will be donating $1.00 of his discretionary income (up to $1000) every time he gets clicked on on Wed. December 10th... I know I know there's a catch. You have to click Wednesday. Today will not cut it and Thursday will be too late. I'll post a reminder tomorrow perhaps even redirect your browsers over to Jack Bog's Blog.

So if you can't give $20 to MoveOn at least give Jack a click. No excuses time to give!

Posted by Philip at 01:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 08, 2003

How would you like to be known as a miserable failure?

If you are feeling lucky you can ask Google. Of course you can just go here because this is where Google will send you. This is a result of Google-bombing the subversion of the Google search engine. Power to the linkers!

Posted by Philip at 11:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

23 years ago today

John Winston Ono Lennon
Oct 9 1940 - Dec 8 1980

There are a lot of Lennon tribute pages out there. You can find them if you try. If you don't understand what he meant to many of my generation it's OK. I'm sure the whole "Beatle" thing is weird to many people in the world today. A nice page to help you get acquainted would be here. If you didn't know who John Lennon was perhaps you will recognize some of the performers who give it up to him.
Posted by Philip at 10:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 06, 2003

So how would you do?

Are you a believer? Agnostic? Atheist? How consistent is your belief? I took this online quiz. I had to bite a single bullet and took no hits. That earned a TPM Medal of Distinction. I started out Agnostic and answered questions from there. I'm not sure how allowing God to do "anything" is biting a bullet, but it seems that is how the great minds judged my answer. Actually the worst they could say is my religious views are irrational which fits quite nicely with my own understanding of religion (it isn't rational) and that it was not possible to logically deduce (reduce) my viewpoint. God is not constrained therefore exceeds the humans ability to understand or judge. No worries. According to the web site 8% of the people who take this test have come through without a scratch.

Good luck!

Posted by Philip at 02:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2003

So you are not an artist?

Become one. This is showing up all over forgive me for spreading it. Ruder Finn is an ad shop (from what I can tell a very good one) thing is I want to buy my own creation say in a nice framed 11x17 acid free paper and they aren't selling them. Try to create a bad picture with this application. Browse the gallery and be amazed how good your fellow netizens are. I never realized before how Picasso created archetypes. A great time waster if nothing else. Go be artisitic!

Posted by Philip at 08:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Virginia is for Grinches

You know last year there was a town in Virginia that decided there was just too much Christmas cheer going on at the local watering holes this year it's the Tannenbaum

Posted by Philip at 03:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More Shopping Goodness

I'm just full of ideas.... now if I just had some money. You know how some blogs have an Amazon Wish list on the side bar? Huh I would not ask you to shop for gewgaws on Amazon when you could buy me this. Seriously check out the ultimate Christmas catalog.

Posted by Philip at 02:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Despair.com just might have that special gift you are looking for this year. Check em out!

Posted by Philip at 01:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 04, 2003

In case you haven't seen this: Thanksgiving 2003


Posted by Philip at 02:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

OK We have the Men's point of view

What would women chose?

Posted by Philip at 10:32 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 02, 2003

Is this cool? Or what

Accomplished with CSS and JavaScript... via Boing-Boing Mouse over the Poem below

Tiger, tiger, burning bright,
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
When thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand forged thy dread feet?
What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dared its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did He smile his work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, tiger, on the mat,
You're nothing but a pussy cat,
But damn your eyes and rue the day!
I have to clean your litter tray.
Posted by Philip at 12:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 01, 2003

News for MT Users More Spam Woes...

It seems the spammers have found a hole in a Moveable Type supplied script that allows them to send email from your blog. We had Comment spam and to a lesser degree Trackback spam, not the spammers have discovered a hole in the MT implementation of the "send this to a friend" script included in the default installation of MT. So far the spambot requires you to have a "standard" installation of MT where you put your cgi executables in the MT directory on your base blog domain but I wouldn't be surprised to see this looking farther in the near future. An indication that the spammers have found you is a large number of bounced emails showing up in your blog admin mail box. They will appear to be sent from random_name@yourblog.xxx. Spammers use the MT script mt-send-entry.cgi to send their spam through your email host. Quick fix if you don't use this is to delete the cgi script entirely, at least rename it and remove execution priviliges. If you wish you can read more about this at movabletype.org.
There are no links to this script in the standard installation of MT. If you haven't specifically made use of the script then there is no problem deleting it.

If you do use the feature, Ben has posted a new release with a corrected mt-send-entry.cgi.

Posted by Philip at 09:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 27, 2003

OH My Gawd

I'm linking to the National Review... I guess conservatives can be funny when they are not being scary. Hazzards of Vegan living. I like the part about superheated gases.

Posted by Philip at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Some time Friday...

Looks like my hosting company is moving on up so there is a scheduled outage. Moving a data center is cool usually an exercise in planned chaos. I can see a ninety minute outage if they don't try and move everything all together that way the outage is limited to a subset of servers at any given point a rolling outage as it were. I think that is how it will be done if I read the letter correctly. Anyway if you try and get through and can't you can assume this is the reason why.

This is a broadcast message to all Digital Crocus users.

We've got some scheduled downtime coming up tomorrow (Friday) evening. Our co-location company, ASUK, are moving premises to a much larger and better-connected data centre, improving our connectivity from 12mbit to over 200mbit, and peering with the US will improve.

Here's an extract from an email they sent us:

>We are also taking this opportunity to upgrade our fibre connections. We
>will be installing a new 100mbit line from Mistral, and a 100mbit line
>from Level3. This will expand our connectivity from 22mbit to an
>amazing 200mbit! This will allow faster speeds for all customers, as
>well as improve the stability of the network as a whole.
>The move is scheduled to start on the evening of Friday 28th November,
>and will continue on the 29th and 30th November. Downtime will be at a
>minimum whilst we move the servers from our current datacentre to our
>new one. We are estimating 60-90 minutes of downtime whilst the servers
>are moved.

We don't quite believe them on the 60-90 minutes front; it'll be nice if it only takes them an hour to move 200 servers from one location to another and boot them all up again, but hopefully it shouldn't be too much longer than that.

We're very sorry for the inconvenience, but hope it'll be worth it as everyone's sites should be faster and the network will be more stable in future.

Many thanks for everyone's continued support, we appreciate having such a great user base.

Best Regards,
Luke Marsden

Digital Crocus

Posted by Philip at 08:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 26, 2003

Merry Christmas!

I don't know where I got the idea that working in the AIr Line industry was glamorous, most likely my mispent youth watching too much TV and reading those terrible books like "Coffee, Tea, or Me?". Here is the reality of being a flight attendant. The bright side is they can travel cheap, dark side is they can't afford to eat when they get there.

Posted by Philip at 10:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Useful Bookmark

I didn't know that http://www.fas.org/sgp/index.html was such a treasure trove of information. Steven Aftergood runs a one man show keeping as much of the government under glass as possible. Sometimes you can tell what the secrets are by what is missing.

Posted by Philip at 08:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 25, 2003

Calling Pesky the Rat

Have you had enough Badger today? Sound so turn down your speakers or put on your head phones. Hey I liked it. Kind of trance inducing....

Posted by Philip at 04:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Help feed starving people in Portland

Buck-a-Hit Day Dec. 10

OK maybe not starving but down on their luck and looking for a meal people. Portland blogger Jack Bogdanski is going to pony up for hits delivered to his web site at a dollar a shot, two weeks from tomorrow (Wed Dec 10). I know I can't drive much traffic to his site but if any of my readers can pick this up and send him mega hits the hungry in Portland will appreciate it. Oregon just recently fell off the #1 spot in the US for Food Uncertainty. We still have a national leading unemployment rate for a state although there are cities counties and towns where unemployment runs higher than our state average. So brother can you spare a mouse click?

Posted by Philip at 03:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Soundbites... sometimes they work!

"One of my favorite green bond proposals [in the energy bill] is a $150 million riverfront area in Shreveport, LA. This Riverwalk has about 50 stores, a movie theater and a bowling alley. One of the new tenants in this Louisiana Riverwalk is a Hooters restaurant. Yes, my friends. Here we have an energy bill subsidizing both hooters and polluters." -- Sen. John McCain

And the Administration energy bill is toast.

Posted by Philip at 03:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wanna be a Rove Ho?

Here is a young woman who either takes Karl Rove to task or is taken to task by Karl Rove. Snarky goodness.

Posted by Philip at 10:08 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Political Rage

Rayne is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. She and hubby had a political difference of opinion. Actually I'm not sure it was about politics or the appropriate way to express your indignation at the BS that passes for explanation of current administration policy. I feel that anger is best sublimated in the presence of children. Rayne sees it as a means of training up good citizens, into every life some Rayne must fall. I started to defend my position over in the comments I decided to post it here.

Speaking ones mind can be done rationally with passion and force of argument. It doesn't need to be done while in the cups of "righteous" anger. When in that frame of mind there are no arguments other than "Let God sort em out", for no one who makes up the other side deserves to live, They are the despised enemy. Woe be unto anyone who looks like the enemy.

To each his own. I believe values can be passed on through example. Children can understand different things at different stages of development. They can understand fairness and equality at a pretty young age. Righteous political anger built up from a lifetime of injustice and struggle I'm not sure they understand, only that mom and or dad sure is angry. Most children when faced with that anger are confused they want to make things better. If you can take time out of your rant to assure them they are safe and they are not responsible for the anger then well and good.

American politics is getting to be pretty ugly we are growing closer and closer to class warfare where there is very little common ground left to occupy. Perhaps it is time to man the barricades and bring out the guillotine. For that is the passion that I am talking about.

Screaming at the TV is "funny" (not that I would laugh) to me. You know that the object of your frustration is not influenced by your outburst. It is for local consumption. A howl of impotence.

I hope you feel better, now go apologize to the children and explain what makes you angry and irrational to the point that you would loose it and bring that energy into the home. Better the anger is spent knocking on doors supporting your candidates. Of course all of you can stand and scream at the TV all you want. Rage against the machine. Me? I turn off the TV. I don't need to fuel my anger, I know the outrage.

I understand completely the feeling. Do I think calling bullshit on something that is bullshit a fair response? Sure among friends who understand my frustration. Do I feel the need to get in President Bush's face and say bullshit to him? Not especially, it certainly isn't going to change his mind. No I am going to work long and hard to unseat him what I cannot give in money I will give in time.

While I understand how crazy BushCo can make you how do you deal with those political urges?

Posted by Philip at 07:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 24, 2003

On being an "Independant"

I am begining to think that many folks registering as an Independant these days are people who are fiscally conservative and socially permissive in other words old school Republicans who are ashamed to own up to membership in the co-opted party. If you want to be a compassionate conservative vote for Bush, who has run up record deficits in three short years where is the fiscal responsibility? Bush who pays lip service to compassion while failing to provide for the least among us. He has the name just doesn't have game.

Posted by Philip at 08:09 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 23, 2003

Guys are you having trouble getting a date?

Do you ever wish you could be sure what she is thinking? Have no fear now you too can have a captive audience. There seems to be a limited number of profiles if not pictures.

Posted by Philip at 04:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Well now Dell may have blinked....

HoustonChronicle.com - Dell to bring some jobs back home

I have several "clients" who I serve in a computer/software support role. One of the chief complaints is they cannot understand the Indian accent. Having spent some time in India I don't really have a problem with the accents but the natural speech rythmns are a bit fast for many American English speakers especially those in the south of our country things...just...move...a bit...slower... there. Interesting to note that individuals will still be routed to calls centers in India where corporate customers will talk to a friendly Texans. It's a start, most likely not a trend. We can hope.

Posted by Philip at 02:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Couple of Local Guys Organize the world of Travellers

BootsnAll.com - The Ultimate Resource for the Independent Traveller Just found this gem. Seems they threw a party last night and I didn't know I was invited. They are organizing a grass roots travellers association based on the idea that the best travel advice is from other travelers. They have been working on this for several years. They come to Portland via Chicago/Eugene. Check it out travel blogs, Party Blog, Hostel resources local reviews of where to stay, what to see, and who to party with. Be sure and check out the resources for Antartica.

Posted by Philip at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2003

Flash Goodness "The Elements"

I don't know if you remember Tom Leher a mathematics professor who taught at Harvard and MIT. He was a master of parody and just plain silliness. This is his tribute to the Periodic Table. Enjoy!

Posted by Philip at 08:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Quick go play Twister On-Line

If you catch this link in time you can play tele-twister. Direct live players by voting and cajoling other players into picking positions to defeat the other players.

Posted by Philip at 12:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Security for Online Shopping/Banking/Bill Paying

As more of us go online with our shopping and banking we rely on the built in SSL of the HTTP protocol to keep our names and passwords out of the hands of promiscuous packet sniffers. With more and more sites requiring us to login and validate using a password we are at a loss to come up with 10 or more passwords and keep them straight as to which password goes with which site. You can turn on a browser helper to remember what you type at a certain site storing the password for later reference trouble is you can forget that password and you often need a password to change a password also if you are at work vs at home you just might not have the stored password available. So what do you do? You use the same password everywhere or at most two or three passwords usually variations of themselves that you find easy to remember. That way you forget a password and you can try one of the other two, bound to get you in. If you are writing down passwords well that is up to you but a written password requires physical security and we have people in our homes and offices all the time who we may not trust with our wallets. A password written down isn't real secure. I've seen them in the top left drawer or the top right drawer, under the blotter, taped to the screen, in wallets and I wasn't even looking (well sometimes you have to look but that is another story).

So with all the passwords and security on the web these days companies are helping you to remember your password. They offer "hints" that you can answer and if you answer the question correctly you find yourself granted access. That is nice for us aging baby boomer's with minds turning to concrete. So what kinds of hints are offered? It is usually a drop down list that you select from when you first sign up for the site. Mom's maiden name, favorite pet, birthday etc usually personal stuff that only you should know. So far that is all well and good. Some sites however took the questions a bit farther and included public information that could be used as hints. Unaware consumers who selected these hints were exposing themselves to a pretty big security breach. By guessing a user name and selecting the forgot password option the unscrupulous among us could check out the secret question if the question was a matter of public knowledge and an answer presented then the user found themselves in the account rather than in a secondary level of security where the password is sent via email to the address of record. Bad design pure and simple.

Another well known site had you sign in give a password to enter the site. All was well and good right? Wrong the password query was not created correctly so that any password got you in to the site, of course you wouldn't know this unless you deliberately tested a "wrong" password.
Thing is many of us assume that a company doing business on the net does this type of quality control without thinking, I mean come on you are asking people to trust you shouldn't you make sure they can? In the case sited it was a trivial fix to correct the database query that was messed up but the site had operated for some time with this hole. Pretty scary huh? This wasn't a fly by night operation but a leading retailer. Something to think about. The fact that NO one was robbed or taken advantage of should be a lesson in human nature being relatively benign or a case of incredible good luck. You can decide which ever way you want

I'm not trying to scare people, I haven't written a paper check in several years, I pay all my bills electronically use my debit card more than cash. I probably purchase more things online than most everybody I know. But it does pay to be conscious about your online security.

Some tips:

When doing business or filling out online forms look at the browser address bar for the site/form in question. If the site does NOT begin with HTTPS:// then do not fill out the form or do business with that site. Some low budget retailers have not implemented this first level of security for their customers. They ask you to type your credit information in the CLEAR. Thing is depending on where my packet sniffer is it can access every bit of data on that segment of the Ethernet, normally a computer only looks at information destined for itself ignoring packets not addressed to itself but that doesn't mean you can't turn off that feature and look at everything. I was filling out online employment applications when I came across a company that wanted my SSN on an unsecure site. I might want a job, but not that badly.

Passwords... more and more sites are forcing some type of rigor in passwords it will accept, while a pain for you it is a good indication that security is taken seriously at that site. Dictionary words are a no no when it comes to password security. If you are using a word found in Funk & Wagnells or even the Unabridged Oxford dictionary you are asking for trouble. Computers are really good at repetitive tasks like trying every dictionary word in a password field. Passwords should be a mixture of alpha-numeric characters, better yet if allowed throw in some punctuation or other special characters like $ or # or &. Sometimes these are not allowed but you can always try. Passwords that include numbers and special characters make it harder for the bad guys to guess or use a brute force attack against your accounts. If you are going to use numbers the numbers should mean something to you but they should not be about you. Do not use your birth date for example do not use parts of your social security number. You might use say your parents anniversary date or you child's birthday. Something I can't figure out by looking at your drivers license or the phone book. So no current address information or telephone numbers...

The length of the password is up to you many times usually a site will force you to use six characters. The human mind seems to remember phone numbers without too many problems so 7 to 10 characters may be the right amount. For every character you add to your password the level of difficulty in cracking it goes up. Microsoft uses 25 alphanumeric characters for its keys/passwords.

One vs many passwords. What can I say? Ideally you should have a different password for every site you need to have secure access to. If you are like me well that just isn't practical. I do however recommend having more than one. How many keys on your keyring? Some sites will let you guess three times with a wrong password and then lock the login process out for a number of minutes, this is done to prevent the dictionary attacks mentioned above. So if you have three passwords then you can be reasonably sure to get in before being locked out if you can't remember which password goes with which site. Just a suggestion, I myself have more than three passwords but that is me, whatever works for you. If you are going to use one password for everything it better be a good one and it better not be written down <smile>

Password managers can be helpful and useful. Microsoft is trying to create an online repository of your important information available for you to share with whoever you want where ever you are at. It goes by the name of "Passport" and you pretty much have a "passport" if you have a Hotmail account or use the Microsoft Messenger product. How much information you put in this electronic wallet is up to you. I am a fan of Microsoft products I happen to think they mostly do the job for most people. This one I am a little more leery about. I do not store my information online. I do not one click eBay or Amazon. I do not store profiles online. It may take a bit longer to get things done but I keep my financial information under my control for the most part. Sure once I enter the information it is in the system but that is a transaction once over and done with except for an audit trail the information isn' t kept to be used again. Most online retailers give you the option to be "remembered" to save time and keystrokes at some later date. If you have carpal tunnel this may be an excuse. It's up to you. Would you leave your credit card at the store in between purchases? Trusting the store to keep it secure for you? I mean sure you can trust the store but what about the people who work there? Your level of paranoia may differ.

Gator eWallet is spyware supported by annoying nag ads popping under and over your surfing. If you have it, get rid of it, there are other options available.

Your online identity is an extension of yourself, you take steps to protect your person and possesions, make sure your online identity is protected too.

You have heard it before and I'll say it again. Be careful out there.

Posted by Philip at 10:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 20, 2003

Talking Heads

If you are like me and a casual consumer of TV news, you just don't know all the personalities involved on sight. If you can't wait for the dramatic donouement that follws many news stories and you happen to have your wifi'd laptop handy (never watch TV without your fact checker in reach) there is a site on the web that identifies who is zooming who. Check it out. While you are at it you can vote for your favorite talking head. We all know how the most popular are the most credible people, right?

Posted by Philip at 11:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 19, 2003

Jackson Denies Child Molestation Charge

Oh yeah? What was the headline writer thinking... If it was Jackson Affirms Child Molestation Charge that would be a headline because it expresses the unexpected.
"Jackson Plans Surrender" is an informative headline that could be used to introduce the article cited above. Watching talented people self destruct is no fun. He may look weird and have questionable sexual proclivities but Thriller was a great album arguably the greatest commercial music success to date.

Other headlines you might not have seen Jonathan Brandis found Dead seems the teen heart throb is a victim of success. When I first heard the news I said who? Guess I am getting long in the tooth. Thing is I don't remember seeing a story about him dying anywhere. Speculation is suicide at this point, the coroner has been hanging on to the body for almost a week.

Fame who needs it?

Posted by Philip at 02:52 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 18, 2003


I was wondering how non Salon hosted blogs were showing up in the Radio Statistics Page... Looks like I have found out. Involves a bit of Javascript and an invisible graphic served off the Salon statistics server. tricky some people have two images being served up off their blog for twice the hits both credited to different blogs of the same name. And yet it does not appear as if all of the Non Salon hosted blogs use this method even though they are appearing in the Salon Rankings. Looks like I have more detective work to do.

Posted by Philip at 04:50 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Anamorphism, Baroque to the Future

I don't know if you have seen this yet but check the whole online collection of Kurt Wenner's work. As beautiful as it is, it is more a performance than a painting, done in pastels the pieces do not survive long. Like a Tibetan mandela done in sand or a Navaho prayer painting. It is ephemeral. I don't see any calendar of events or bookings. He is available for commisions and works all over the world. If you ever hear his name or see he is going to be somewhere you need to get down and see his stuff. I'd like to post a picture of some of his stuff but better you should just see for yourself on the artist's own site.

Posted by Philip at 03:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sign o' the times?

Purdue University is sponsoring a new bit of learning, preparing it's graduates for the future. If only I had this experience in college, oh wait I did... The Palace was raided and trashed by the Broward County Sherrif's department way back then seems they had the idea that we were all doing drugs and things. I decided that communal living though cheap had it's downside. Being homeless in Florida means sleeping with the skeeters, another thing that drove me to seek a climate more suited to my temperment and less hospitable to the blood sucking, disease carrying vermin that inhabit tropical climes.

But it will never happen to you. I mean if things got bad you would just downsize your life, and that is what homeless people have done. Downsized til all their possesions fit on their back. If you see a shopping cart homeless person well they have a "camper" upscale bums who are limiting their opportunities keeping to the developed camp grounds.

Posted by Philip at 02:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 17, 2003

Ever play 20 questions?

Over at Common Dreams, Glenn Scherer wants to play the game with President Bust er Bush (sorry about that the h and t are really close together on my keyboard. Trouble is no one can bring Bush to task. I'd certainly like some answers to the twenty questions posed in this essay. In another essay on Common Dreams (a good web site for liberal opinion) Robert Freeman who writes sometimes for Salon as well as the Wall Street Journal , tells us how we might be able to answer our questions with examples from recent history. The gist is what ever the official line is spin it 180 degrees and you will have a good picture of reality. Orwellian "doublespeak" made real.

Repeat the lie until everyone believes it. I am so tired of this.

Posted by Philip at 05:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 16, 2003

Rest easy Dolphans!

The glorious 1972 Team of the Perfect Season can rest easy. The Bengals ate the Chiefs lunch today and puked up a win. I'm not a big football fan but when I was a kid I lived in the shadow of the Orange Bowl and the Dolphins was the shnits. In 1972 they went all they way and remain today to be the only undefeated NFL team in history. One of the advantages of growing older is being able to take refugein the past.

Posted by Philip at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 15, 2003

OK What is it?

I know do you?

No fair peeking!

Posted by Philip at 05:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Scott Simon does Blogging

'While the unexamined life may not be worth living the overexamined life is not worth reading'. Weekend Edition host Scott Simon takes on kvetching bloggers in an essay delivered today. There doesn't seem to be a direct link (yet) to the essay on line it comes about 20 minutes after the 2nd hour of the show. Bitching blogs are boring seems to be the skinny.

Continue on folks... nothing to see here... move along now boring blog move along

Posted by Philip at 06:36 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 13, 2003

Spam it's not just for dinner and e-Mail any more

RadioUserland Blogs have become the target of comment spammers something the MT bloggers have had to deal with for some time. It turns out in Europe and Asia SMS text messaging is being used for spam as well. Here is an article I ran across today. MT Bloggers have a community blacklist that we contribute to, it in turn is incorporated into a despamming spam blocking plugin more and more MT users are installing. In addition to the Blacklist we can also rename our mt-comments.cgi file and avoid most of the spambots running. As a matter of fact I haven't seen any comment spam since I renamed my comment module. RadioUserland bloggers are forced to turn off their comments or serve as unwilling hosts to the pornmeisters. I expect the situation to change it smells like something Dave W will want to engineer a solution for, perhaps there will be a new standard for all bloggers to implement at least something to publish and aggregate their blacklists.

Posted by Philip at 04:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Sometimes we get it right


Consider how our tax dollars are spent. NASA has a budget of 15 Billion dollars for the year. The Iraq/Afghanistan war is coming in at around 100 Billion a year give or take 10%. Where would you rather see the money go? High Tech High Wage American jobs? Bombs and Bullets for Iraqis and Afghanis. Coffins for our kids.

Posted by Philip at 02:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In case you missed Jimmy Breslin's Veteran's Day Essay

Published on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 by the Long Island, NY Newsday
The Names They Still Won't Mention
by Jimmy Breslin

The baby had gone into a deep sleep in the warm funeral home and she was flat on her back in the mother's arms as the mother brought her out into the chill night. The baby did not move. Warm air, cold air, it made no difference.

Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc

The mother was carrying her out from the wake of Sgt. Joel Perez, dead at 25 when he went down in a Chinook helicopter near Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 2. The wake was in a funeral home with a neon sign saying, "Funerarias Las Americas."

"I'm the cousin," the woman said.

"His mother called my mother and then my mother told me," she said. "That is how you find out."

She shook her head and said she didn't want to talk anymore and she left.

On the funeral parlor steps were Omar Valentine, 22, and a friend.

"Did you know the guy well?" Omar was asked.

"The wife."

"From school," the friend said.

"We graduated high school together. Essex County Vocational."

"He was coming home to surprise them," the friend said.

That is all they had to say. Nobody else wanted to talk, either. What was there to say?

There is no public display over the death and all these others on the list accompanying this column. Bush and his people sent them out to get killed and now you can't get one of them in Washington to mention these dead. Your government would prefer that night falls and the dead are buried in darkness.

The other Sunday, in high excitement, Sgt. Perez got on a helicopter that was going to start him home to his wife, Milagros, and 15-month-old daughter in time for the wedding anniversary, which was yesterday, the day they put him into the ground in Newark.

He had not told his wife that he was coming home and the others in the family kept it secret. He got on that helicopter because he had a Bronze Star and Purple Heart from the fighting.

Now, yesterday, he was a name on a list of the dead. If I had not been typing out this list, I wouldn't have known that Perez was the short ride away at Newark.

There is no public display over the death and all these others on the list accompanying this column. Bush and his people sent them out to get killed and now you can't get one of them in Washington to mention these dead.

Your government would prefer that night falls and the dead are buried in darkness. We must keep them remote, names on a list, and concentrate on things like patriotism, exporting democracy and shipping freedom - all those big words that Joyce said make us so unhappy.

On this list of our dead is a name that shakes the insides. It is Staff Sgt. Morgan D. Kennon, age 23. He is from Memphis, Tenn. "Kennon was guarding a bank in Mosul, Iraq, when his position came under rocket-propelled grenade attack."

He was from the 101st Airborne in Fort Campbell, Ky. He never had a job. He went from Central High in Memphis to the Airborne. He picked a spot as rough as he could find. Then they sent him to war, proud and strong, and put him in front of a bank like a retired broken-down cop.

This is called nation building in Iraq. Repairing the infrastructure. Putting freedom into the country. Fighting terrorism.

Stand in front of a bank and get shot like he's guarding an ATM in Brooklyn.

Kennon's mother talks to nobody. She is separated from her husband, who is an over-the-road truck driver. His brother, Isaac, was killed when a burglar broke into his home in 1975. Kennon's oldest son, Marcus Kennon, was murdered and his body thrown onto the street in Birmingham in 2000. His girlfriend Sharron White disappeared in 1986 and hasn't been found.

And the other Friday he arrived home from work at 4 p.m. and he was taking off his shoes when there was a knock on the door. Two Army officers were at his front door. Right away, they told him that his son had died but he had not suffered.

They did not tell him that the best thing in his life was put out in front of a bank with all that bravery. And he was shot as if in a common robbery.

He was guarding God. The money that is the true religion of Bush and Cheney and the others who hide in offices while young men in the Army die.

Here is your war so far this week:

Staff Sgt. Paul J. Johnson, 29, of Calumet, Mich. Killed Oct. 20 in Fallujah, Iraq.

Spc. Paul J. Bueche, 19, 131st Aviation Regiment, Army National Guard, killed Oct. 21 when the tire he was changing on Black Hawk helicopter exploded. Home, Daphne, Ala.

Pvt. Jason M. Ward, 25, 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, lst Armored Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died in Baghdad on Oct. 22 of non-combat related injuries. Home, Tulsa, Okla.

Spc. John P. Johnson, 24, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, lst Armored Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died in Baghdad of non-combat related injuries on Oct. 22. Home, Houston.

Capt. John R. Teal, 31, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed on Oct. 24 when an improvised explosive device struck his convoy in Baghdad. Home, Mechanicsville, Va.

Spc. Jose L. Mora, 26, C Company, lst Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. Died of wounds received from an enemy mortar attack Oct. 24 in Samaria, Iraq. Home, Bell Gardens, Calif.

Sgt. Michael S. Hancock, 29, lst Battalion, 320 Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Campbell, Ky. Killed on Oct. 24 when shot while on guard duty in Mosul, Iraq. Home, Yreka, Calif.

Spc. Artimus D. Brassfield, 22, B Company, lst Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died of wounds received from an enemy mortar attack on Oct. 24 in Samaria, Iraq. Home, Home, Flint, Mich.

Staff Sgt. Jamie L. Huggins, 26, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed on Oct. 26 on patrol when his vehicle was hit by improvised explosive device. Home, Hume, Mo.

Pvt. Joseph R. Guerrera, 20, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed when his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device while he was on Patrol on Oct. 26 in Baghdad. Home, Dunn, N.C.

Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring, 40, Army Central Command Headquarters (Forward) Fort McPherson, Ga. Fatally injured during a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the El Rashid Hotel in Baghdad on Oct. 26. Home, Fayetteville, N.C.

Pfc. Rachel K. Bosveld, 19, 537th Military Police Company, V Corps, Giesen, Germany. Killed Oct. 26 during mortar attack on the Abu Ghraib Police Station. Home, Waupun, Wis.

Pfc. Steve Acosta, 19, C Company, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on Oct. 26 from a non-combat gunshot wound. Home, Calexico, Calif.

Pvt. Jonathon L. Falaniko, 20, A Company, 70th Engineer Battalion, lst Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed on Oct. 27 while on duty near the police station in downtown Baghdad when a vehicle containing an improvised explosive device detonated. Home, Pago-Pago, American Samoa.

Sgt. Aubrey D. Bell, 33, 214th Military Police Company, Alabama National Guard. Killed in Baghdad on Oct. 27, when an improvised explosive device detonated at his location at the Al Barra Police Station. Home, Tuskegee, Ala.

Spc. Isaac Campoy, 21, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed on Oct. 28 in Baghdad, Iraq, when his tank was hit with an improvised explosive device. Home, Douglas, Ariz.

Sgt. Algernon Adams, 36, 122nd Engineer Battalion, Army National Guard. Died on Oct. 28 of non-combat related injuries at Foreward Operating Base, St. Mere, Iraq. Home, Aiken, S.C.

2nd Lt. Todd J. Bryant, 23, lst Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, lst Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Died on Oct. 31 when an improvised explosive device blew up while he was on patrol at Fallujah. Home, Riverside, Calif.

Spc. Maurice Johnson, 21, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Fort Captvell, Ky. Killed in Mosul, Iraq, on Nov. 1 when when the high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle he was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device. Home, Levittown, Pa.

1st Lt. Joshua Hurley, 24, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. Killed when vehicle he was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device. Home, Virgina.

2nd Lt. Benjamin J. Colgan, 30, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, lst Armored Division, Giessen, Germany. Killed when he was struck with an improvised explosive device while responding to a rocket-propelled grenade attack. Home, Kent, Wash.

The following were killed in the crash of the Chinook helicopter at Al Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 2:

Sgt. Daniel M. Bader, 28, Air Defense Artillery Battery, 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo. Home, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Sgt. Ernest G. Bucklew, 33, Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo. Home, Enon Valley, Pa.

Spc. Steven D. Conover, 21, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Wilmington, Ohio.

Sgt. Anthony Dagostino, 20, 16th Signal Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas. Home, Waterbury, Conn.

Spc. Darius T. Jennings, 22, of 16th Signal Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas. Home, Cordova, S.C.

Pfc. Karina S. Lau, 20, of 16th Signal Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas. Home, Livingston, Calif.

Sgt. Keelan L. Moss, 23, of 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Houston, Texas.

Spc. Brian H. Penisten, 28, Air Defense Artillery Battery, lst Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo. Home, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Sgt. Ross A. Pennanon, 36, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Oklahoma.

Sgt. Joel Perez, 25, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

lst Lt. Brian D. Slavenas, 30, F Company, 106th Aviation Battalion, Army National Guard, Peoria, Ill. Home, Genoa, Ill.

Chief Warrant Officer Bruce A. Smith, 41, Detachment I, Company F, 106th Aviation Battalion, Army National Guard, Davenport, Iowa. Home, West Liberty, Iowa.

Spc. Francis M. Vega, 20, 151st Adjustant General Postal Detachment, Fort Hood, Texas. Home, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.

Staff Sgt. Paul A. Velazquez, 29, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, III Corps Artillery, Fort Sill, Okla.

Staff Sgt. Joe N. Wilson, 30, of 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Sill, Okla. Home, Mississippi.

Sgt. Paul F. Fisher, 39, Detachment I, Company F, 106th Aviation Battalion, Army National Guard, Davenport, Iowa. Home, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Sgt. Francisco Martinez, 28, of B Detachment, 82nd Soldier Support Battalion (Airborne) Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed on Nov. 4 in convoy when improvised explosive device exploded. Home, Humacao, Puerto Rico.

Sgt. lst Class Jose A. Rivera, 34, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C. Killed on Nov. 5 while part of a patrol at Mumulktdyah, Iraq, that came under rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. Home, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Spc. Robert T. Bensonm, 20, of Company A, lst Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, lst Armored Division, Smith Barracks, Germany. Died from a non-hostile gunshot wound. Home, Spokane, Wash.

The following were killed when a Black Hawk helicopter was shot down by unknown enemy ordinance Nov. 7 in Tikrit, Iraq:

Chief Chief Warrant Officer (CW5) Sharon T. Swartworth, 43, (identified by Pentagon as "female"), regimental warrant officer for the Judge Advocate General Office, Headquarters Department of the Army, Pentagon. Home, Virginia.

Chief Warrant Officer (CW3) Kyran E. Kennedy, 43, of Boston, Mass.

Staff Sgt. Paul M. Neil II, 30, of S.C.

Sgt. Scott C. Rose, 30, Fayettville, N.C.

Kennedy, Neil and Rose were assigned to 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 10th Airborne Division, (Air Assault) Fort Campbell, Ky.

Spc. James A. Chance III, 25, of C Company, 890th Engineer Battalion, Army National Guard, Columbia, Miss. Killed Nov. 6 when his vehicle struck a landmine in Husaybah, Iraq. Home, Kokomo, Miss.

Staff Sgt. Morgan D. Kennon, 23, of 3rd Batallion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, (Air Assault) Fort Campbell, Ky. Killed on Nov. 7 in Mosul, Iraq, while guarding a bank in downtown when he came under rocket propelled grenade attack. Home, Memphis, Tenn.

Staff Sgt. Mark D. Vasquez, 35, of lst Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, lst Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Killed on Nov. 8 in Fallujah, Iraq, when a Bradley Fighting Vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. Home, Port Huron, Mich.

Spc. James R. Wolfe, 21, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 52nd Engineer Battalion, Fort Carson, Colo. Killed on Nov. 6 in Mosul, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device was detonated in his convoy. Home, Scottsbluff, Neb.

Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc

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November 12, 2003

Another New Blogger meet Jill Blevins

Jill Blevins writes at Big Time Food Issues Road Trip and joins the ranks of premier Salon Bloggers. Jill has/had an eating disorder. I don't understand it but then there are a lot of mysteries in my life. What I do get is good writing. Jill has an edge you can sense her own discomfort. I get a sense of what it is like not to be comfortable in your own skin. I don't understand how someone who isn't comfortable in their own skin can write so well. Maybe that is why I am not a writer I am too damned comfortable being me.

Jill and hubby Charly are residents of the Rose City environs, as she puts it the most over priced real estate between the Bay Area and Seattle. Now Lake Oswego is a tony address but most of the 7 figure properties are scattered throughout the metro area these days hidden along the river or settled back into the hills. Where farms used to dominate, now vinyards and golf course prevail, here you find the temples of Mammon.

So stop in and welcome Jill, follow her across country on the back of a Harley. Watch her battle bulimia and her own fun show mirror view of herself. We are our own worst enemy, Jill lets you in and shows you how to be your own best friend.

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November 11, 2003

The guy should get a prize anyway

Faked chili lands joker in hot water


Washington Post

A Texas chili cook-off got heated when one of the contestants turned out to be a crook.

It started as a prank, said Don Eastep, an Illinois retiree. When his brother Larry couldn't attend the Terlingua, Texas, cook-off, Eastep went under his brother's name. But he had no chili. So on cook-off day, he scooped up spoonfuls of chili from some of the 80 or so contestants' pots and entered the mishmash in his brother's cup. He figured he had no chance, but the judges loved it. And when he was declared the winner, Eastep was speechless. "Maybe I was afraid if I would have said something at the time, a Texas lynch mob would have come after me," he said.

Suspicious contestants told the judges that no one had seen Eastep cooking chili. When confronted, Eastep fessed up and turned over his winnings -- trophy, engraved necklace and hand-painted stove -- to the runner-up, a Dallas dentist. In the future, said judge Tom Nall, cook-off participants will be required to show photo identification. And Eastep will be banned from the competition.

They let a murderer go scott free and banish this guy for life from competing in Chili cookoffs. Ah Texas...

Posted by Philip at 01:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

How to get away with murder

Be rich. All or nothing. The guy walks free. Now how many poor white, black and or Hispanic folks get the same deal in Texas? Only in America folks the land of the free.

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November 10, 2003

Browser wars

Christopher at Filchy was showing us IE users what his blog should look like when he created some neat self referential art. Don't you think?
The main differences I can see are how the lines render as broken/dashed lines under Safari these are faded gray lines and there seems to be a missing link to contribute cash.

IE 6.0 is getting long in the tooth... At one time it was the best browser available
now we need a new rev to catch up to the web. Trouble is no one is pushing and if they change it they will probably break it (introduce new security holes).

Posted by Philip at 10:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Smearing Jessica

She didn't remember being raped as reported by military doctors, she will remember this NY Daily News will report pre-war topless photos are in the hands of Hustler. I don't think Flint will publish but the NY Daily News takes great pride in reporting the existence of the photos. Seems pretty slimy to me. Depart from the script and look what happens.


It is being reported that Pornmiester Larry Flint has ridden to the rescue of Miss Lynch purchasing the prints to save her from embarassment. I guess this isn't blackmail anymore. It's good old fashioned capitalism. Turning a buck on your buddies tits, esprit d'corps lives as exemplified by the army regulars who sold their sister in arms to a porn merchant thinking she would be exposed.
Posted by Philip at 09:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 09, 2003

This American Life

This week one of my favorite public radio shows looks at The Annoying Gap Between Theory and Practice one of the sections takes on electronic voting. It airs different times at different places but there will be a link next week to this weeks show. Check out their archives for older shows hard to find a bad one.

Posted by Philip at 10:21 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Totally Lunar

The picture I would have taken if the weather co-operated oh and I had the right lens . We caught most of the partial, moon rise occured at sunset here in the rainy, cloudy Portland area, the eclipse already underway. Enjoy if you didn't see it, remember if you did. Photo was found on the weather underground by kenandpaula...

Posted by Philip at 05:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 07, 2003

New Electronic Voting Machine Simulator

Guarenteed to give you the exact same feeling as voting for a Democratic candidate on a Diebold Touch Screen device.

Posted by Philip at 01:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dymaxion World View

Buckminster Fuller One Island One Ocean

Link-Fu was run yesterday at Boing Boing. My favorite and soon to be yours Ordo mag... Very nice set of links.

Posted by Philip at 12:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 06, 2003

Parkour aka The Spiderman Club

Oh yeah! Damn I wish I was 30 years younger. This is an elaboration of the follow the leader type of stuff we use to do. Rock climbing meets gymnastics meets the urban landscape. David Belle seems to be the leader in this endeavor. This is a Real Audio link with music so wear your headphones at work. Something about moving with utter confidence through your environment it is a total rush, watching it transported me back in time and brought a smile to me. via Boing Boing

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The WingNut Debate Dictionary

If you like word play and follow Atrios et al then check out the WingNut Debate Dictionary complied by Ethel the Blog from articles and comment stream contained on Eschaton.

My favorite? hard to pick one but the new meaning of the word slate as a verb is fun.

slate (v) -- to take a smugly contrarian position in print in a bid to be the koolest kid in the room; to snark for snark's sake.

I think Dennis Miller has slated himself into the wingnut camp. Biting sarchasm replaced by rabid rambling.

Posted by Philip at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 05, 2003

We've lost that loving feeling

Goodnight Bobby thanks for the memories. Blue Eyed Soul. Do you believe in Rock and Roll Heaven?

Posted by Philip at 11:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Harald would you like to comment?

Seems that when people can hide behind screen names their true feelings come out.. This is rather obvious but it does point out some problems.

Posted by Philip at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 04, 2003

New Server, New Bloggers

Digital Crocus my web host has purchased a new server in response to some unexpected outages last week. Hopefully everything will be zippier and more stable into the future. Can't say enough good about this company. For the money they are hard to beat. $30 US buys me 200 MB of web storage and 1GB a month of bandwidth for the year. They support Perl/MySQL based blogs like Moveable Type. They host a number of other bloggers most notably John Robb previously CEO of RadioUserland.

On another note I want to recognize some new Salon Bloggers who leave me in wonder these are a group of talented writers mostly female so who ever was wondering about the blogging gender gap I seem to be drawn to the strong writing I am finding at these places:

Jef Klein's Radio Weblog only a couple of days old but I can tell it is going to be a great one. Beautiful writing about life and relationships.

Katy is Eating Her Husband's Soul I have it on the best authority that this is good satire... unfortunately it spooks me a bit too much, I'm not sure I wasn't married to this self absorbed bitch... but really read it and enjoy and thank your stars that she isn't running your life. And Eric if you need some mushroom recipies drop me a line...

Marya Morevna's Battleground is hard to describe but I look forward to her entries. I know she has been a long term commenter on several Salon Blogs and her wisdom and insights are always welcome additions to your day. She speaks in allegory and fable, she is a Rus at heart if not in fact.

Just started today Thrilling Days of Yesteryear a weblog devoted to the Glory days of radio. The author seems very well informed and a passionate writer. Lot's of history to absorb here.

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November 03, 2003

Why War Press Release


Diebold Documents Spark International Campaign

Swarthmore, Pa. -- When American citizens step into the voting booth tomorrow,
will their votes be counted? Today, with Diebold Elections Systems operating
electronic voting in 37 states, the answer is a resounding "maybe." As a result
of widespread security flaws and the lack of any verifiable check on their
systems, Diebold cannot guarantee the accuracy of any election in which their
machines are present.

An electronic campaign initiated two weeks ago by Why War? has sparked students
from fifty universities nationwide to host copies of internal Diebold memoranda
which demonstrate the insecurity and unreliability of their voting machines.

Why War's website has been innundated with e-mails and visitors from individuals
worldwide pledging their support and offering to defy Diebold's attempts at
suppression by hosting mirrors of the provocative documents.

"We've been receiving more hits than ever before," said Why War? member Micah
White, who originally found and posted the memos in October. "Our goal when we
started this campaign was to provide public access to this information, and
we've been so successful that Why War? recently had to purchase higher bandwith
to accommodate the sheer number of people who wanted to read the memos."

Why War? has built a coalition of concerned citizens across the nation who will
soon be taking charge of the campaign against Diebold. "This is not a partisan
issue," said Ivan Boothe, another member. "The people who have taken the
initiative to host these documents come from all parts of the political spectrum."

In response to growing national interest, the coalition will soon be moving its
center of operations from Why War's website, why-war.com, to a new location
devoted specifically to voting issues and resisting Diebold's attempts to keep
this information a secret.

Why War? believes that the Diebold documents are akin to the Pentagon Papers in
their potential to reveal systemic corruption within the American election
process. The task now at hand is to analyze the content of these documents.

More information about the campaign:

List of municipalities that use Diebold machines:

Press contacts:
Ivan Boothe, Swarthmore College, media@why-war.com, 267.496.6819
Joseph Lorenzo Hall, University of California-Berkeley, joehall@pobox.com,
C. Scott Ananian, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, cscott@cscott.net,
Derek Slater, Harvard University, slater@fas.harvard.edu, 617.493.0039
Austin Heap, Bentley College, HEAP_AUST@bentley.edu, 614.477.6579
Marquis Eusung Hwang, University of Chicago, mhwang@midway.uchicago.edu,
Sechyi Laiu, Grinnell College, laiu@grinnell.edu, 641.269.3278
Matthew Hornyak, Carnegie Mellon University, matth@cmu.edu, 412.726.6968

Posted by Philip at 10:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 31, 2003

Pumpkin Magic

Happy Halloweenie!

Posted by Philip at 08:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 30, 2003

What is it with the Brits and Aussies and Dwarfs?

From time to time stories like this and this pop up. I don't get it. Why are little people intrinsically funny? I mean look what Terry Gilliam did for the sub culture (no pun intended).

Posted by Philip at 11:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Numbers I need Numbers!

The Center for Public Integrity is putting it all together in a nice easy to read package. Get your "How to get rich guide to the Bush War in the Middle East" information here. KBR sells gas to American troups in Iraq, Betchel designing the new Iraq, International American Products sells water to American Troups in Iraq, Perini Corporation makers of Casinos and other fine desert construction., Contrack International supplies construction and logistics software, Fluor well they are big enough to get a cut of everything and the list goes on and on. Go read it yourself and then... if you know someone in this administration or the one in power during the first Bush War in the Middle East then I'd say you got a fair chance at winning this new $87,000,000,000 lottery.

Posted by Philip at 10:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 29, 2003

Truth is stranger than Fiction department

I'm not sure how I feel about this but somehow it seems like the universe is working the way it should when things like this happen.

On the other hand injustice can rear it's ugly head.

This however is not news is it? I'm not surprised do you think Dick Cheney is surprised?

Posted by Philip at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Greedy Bastard

Eric Idle is touring.... He is halfway through his Around the States in 80 days "Greedy Bastard" Tour he is sorta mini-blogging as he goes. Go here and scroll down to find his online journal. I'm going to try and snag a VIP pass.

Posted by Philip at 01:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 28, 2003

God works his wonders

California Dreaming

A rather frightening look at a street in an upscale San Diego neighborhood. Hey the good side is the landscaping is already in! This is what happens when you vote for the guy who kicked the devils ass

From Yahoo! Check out the "Evacurate" that is too cute.

Hotels are reaching out to displaced residents to provide them with free or discounted accommodations during this terrible time of need. A few of the hotels that have pitched in to assist the evacuation rescue effort in providing comfortable lodging for residents, include:

* La Costa Resort and Spa provided 26 families free accommodations on
Sunday, October 26, and are offering a $100 rate for additional
nights. Additionally, resort employees have collected resort
toiletries to donate to the evacuation centers located throughout the
* Hilton San Diego Torrey Pines provided 220 free rooms, and
approximately 100 will stay at least one additional night at a $50
* Holiday Inn Carlsbad-by-the-Sea took in evacuees with pets offering a
special "evacurate" of $109 per night.
* La Jolla Cove Suites offers a minimum 50% discount to evacuated
residents and have implemented a pet friendly policy as well.
* San Diego Marriott Del Mar offers a 50% discounted rate through
November 2, 2003.
* Hampton Inn Del Mar offers reduced rates, and has provided several
complimentary rooms for the Red Cross.
* ResorTime.com properties throughout San Diego offer a fire rate of $99
per night at Carlsbad Inn, Seapointe, Prava Hotel and Hotel La Jolla.
* Hilton Del Mar is offering 25 complimentary rooms per night to the Red
Cross that provides the names of residents. Those not referred through
the Red Cross can receive a $50 rate.

Posted by Philip at 11:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sun EXPLODES! ...... News at eleven

The latest solar flare is a doozy. (note: no permalink you will get todays entry look at the Oct 28 archive). Click on the picture for the movie version. Perhaps Rayne will get to see her Aurora tomorrow or the next evening. We are having a change in the weather so expect to be clouded over. We are moving from the 70's to the 40's in the next couple of days. There is a freeze anticipated for Thursday evening just in time to frost the punkins for the pagan holiday Samhain. Now this is the end of summer. Now begins the fall of our discontent, not winter yet won't be until after Xmas. We will be skiing before Thanksgiving this year a good thing for the people who live and die with the mountain snows. Warren Miller's come and gone gettin everybody pumped by showing wild men and women coming down the mountain. Thing is they spend most of their time in the air, to me this is flying not skiing. Uh Oh Bush is about to speak always an entertaining event.

Posted by Philip at 08:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2003

I wonder...



Is Steven Tyler the love child of Mick and Sandra? hmmm.

Posted by Philip at 08:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Productivity Booster

Here is a bit o'Flash fun. Don't blame me....

Posted by Philip at 03:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

California on Fire

Rather dramatic view from space of the Southern California wild fires. Click the picture to see a bigger version.


For a map of where the fires are burning the LA Times makes this available

Posted by Philip at 08:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 26, 2003

Is Salon Alive?

Extra hour to blog!

Posted by Philip at 01:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Testing w.bloggar

w.bloggar is a blog editing tool with integrated spell check. Works with most blog software works online or offline. Really a sweet piece of software that is currently FREE. Unfortunately doesn't appear to support RadioUserland blogs...

Posted by Philip at 01:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2003

What do your tax dollars do

I funded this study

Posted by Philip at 07:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In Boston no less....

Wang ousts `Nutcracker' for next year

By Geoff Edgers, Globe Staff, 10/24/2003

You just knew this headline was begging for it.

Posted by Philip at 08:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 23, 2003

Volunteers had brain scan during sex for experiment

Those Wacky Dutch. I'm not sure I could have kept my head still for 7 minutes. Brings a whole new meaning to, "I like to watch".

Posted by Philip at 01:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 22, 2003

Just when you think the world is crap

You see a rainbow and you are reminded there is hope.

Posted by Philip at 06:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 20, 2003

Salon Blog server should be back up

RCS server quit working around 11:45 PDT should be back up as of 13:10 PDT

Posted by Philip at 01:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Doping Scandal Yes well maybe

Depends what you want to call a scandal.

It has been reported by Sky News Sports of Britain that 350 US Athletes have tested positive for a designer steroid. Sky News is part of the Rupurt Murdoch empire who also owns drum roll please..... Fox News.

Well that is just so much BS. Yes there are some positive samples in the 350 collected at the US Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in June but not all 350 samples tested were positive. The numbers are not given in the USADA report. Sources (unnamed) indicate several athletes tested positive. Read on for the facts as I understand them right now and a whole bunch of opinion. Hopefully you will know the difference.

The US Outdoor Track and Field Championships feature 20 disciplines for both men and women meaning there are 40 "winners" crowned during the championships. Each winner is required to give a sample of urine after they compete. In addition to these samples a random number of participants are required to provide a urine sample, in the case of the US Champinionships this was 310 plus 40 out of close to 850 participants in the "open" division some 40% of the athletes there.

In addition to these samples there were a number of international events hosted in the US where some number of samples were collected (perhaps 400 more samples in total). Some of these samples are also positive. Anonymous sources (again) say that this includes some international athletes in addition to US athletes.

There is currently a grand jury investigation of BALCO industries of San Francisco in regards to the distribution of a designer steroid like substance. I say steroid like because it is a steroid in every sense of the word except it has been altered chemically so that it does not have the steroid fingerprint looked for in the doping tests used by the USADA. I might add that no one else in the world WAS looking for this particular steroid like substance.They are now. 40 athletes from the US and elsewhere have been asked to testify before the grand jury, most of these athletes have or had an association with BALCO industries. BALCO has been indicated as the source for this designer steroid by an unamed American coach. This coach also provided a sample of the substance for analysis which led to a test for the substance. Because 40 athletes are called to testify does not mean all these athletes were competitors in the US Outdoor Track and Field Championship, nor does it mean that these fourty athletes gave a dirty UA it is just the number reported to be giving testimony in front of a grand jury investigating the alleged source of the illicit chemical substance.

Performance enhancing chemicals are not allowed by the USOC USTFF IATF or any other body that oversees amateur sports. Most of these substances are also banned by the professional organizations and leauges where these athletes compete. Most human beings play by the rules, other human beings cheat. Some of those that cheat are caught.

In the general population there are some number of people who use illicit drugs. The demographic of users looks very much like the demographic of athletes in so far as age sex and race goes. Young people do stupid things. They most likely would stick to pot and booze if it wasn't for the gods and goddesses we make of the best of the breed.

Sport is entertainment for the masses it is no longer the pursuit of gentlemen where the idea of sportsmanship arose. Now it is win at all cost, for to the victor go the spoils. This is the Coliseum, the bread and Circus.

The scandal is how the media corporations who rely on the entertainment value of these pieces of beef can demonize them for trying to be the best they can be, sacrificing their health and sanity in pursuit of fame doled out by these same media entities.

How is this funded? Developing designer steroids isn't a cheap undertaking. It could be that BALCO has made enough money off of selling nutritional supplements that it can afford to fund the research and development of stealth steroids. This requires a good deal of money, there was only one lab in the country with the equipment and technology/expertise to reverse engineer this substance. Where was this substance created and who was funding it?
Who was paying for this substance? Track clubs? Coaches? Athletes? I don't know. A top athlete can make a living at their game as a pro but as an amateur there are limits to the prize money you can accept over and above your training/living costs.

Screw it amateur status provides the entertainment industry with cheap beef. By the time you make it to an international venue to compete you are a professional athlete. Dedicated amateurs may compete in Archery or bowling or some other sports but by and large if you are at the top of your game you are living your sport and being paid to train.

This is a sexy story. Nobody likes cheaters and cheaters who get caught deserve our ridicule. The cheaters who don't get caught well they get the big bucks and all our cheers.

Yes there are American athletes who cheat. Big whoop. It is a small percentage of athletes who fail as roll models. Trouble is I think when we look at the top we will find feet of clay. These are the monsters we created. These are the monsters we asked for.

Want to clean up amateur sports? Quit televising them. You make it big business and you corrupt it.

Posted by Philip at 10:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Borrowing to Cost more

Snow Rate Remarks Not Policy-White House

Snow says that intrest rates are going up and that will be the sign of a growing strong economy.. this is true for the most part. The thing is we are running a trillion dollar deficit. Government is borrowing all the money we need to grow the economy. Even with a growing economy, revenue is down thanks to lower capital gains and personal income tax.

The real reason intest rates are going up is because the US government is borrowing. Leading economic indicators were down last month.

This economy is still soft, while there may be hope in some sectors others are flat or declining. Rising intrest rates will affect the real estate boom which has been a high point for the sluggish economy. Jobless rates are reflecting the seasonal hiring done for the Christmas retail season, that is why they are at an 8 month low (duh).

So America look at your credit card debt and think about those nice adjustable rates you have been getting. Where you were paying 9% you will be looking at 19% or more. If you haven't already, get rid of that debt as fast as you can. Every dollar paid today is 3 dollars less than you will pay in the future.

Posted by Philip at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 15, 2003

Udink revisited

Seems Mr. Dennis Udink has become a media event as a result of the state of Utah denying his request to have a personalized license plate bearing his name. You can read his story here. Moral: Don't mess with a blogger. We're everywhere.

Posted by Philip at 07:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How would you like to be this fan?

Chicago's Most Wanted

At least Yahoo didn't print his name and address. The angst emanating from Boston and Chicago can be felt here in the PNW where it is gray and wet.

Of course just because Yahoo didn't out the fan doesn't mean someone in Chicago won't do it. The guy stayed home from work today so the press went to his house. Now who wants to bet if the Cubs do not advance to the World Series this person's house burns to the ground?

What about the double play ball dropped by Alex Gonzalez?

Posted by Philip at 11:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 14, 2003

Well now

Sox Cubs? I don't see it but there is still a chance. Go Fighting Fish!

Posted by Philip at 08:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

They are stunned

That would be the Cub fans.... now they have given an escort to the Cub fan who interfered with the catchable foul ball in the eighth inning..

7th Game tomorrow

Posted by Philip at 07:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More testing....

Still at it. Turned back on pings want to make sure it works.

Posted by Philip at 03:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sorry about the "blank updates"

I have been working with aspModules Inc. to see why the Adminimizer tool wouldn't work on this blog. Problem if your categories begin with anything but a letter. I found this out and renamed 26 in July to 'The 26 in July Project' oops that didn't work. Remove the single quote marks from the title. Much better, now I can select the category to post to.... nope still not working. The "Post" happens but it is blank and the category is not set and the process times out with an error. Oh well.....

Adminimizer uses xmlRPC to post to the blog. I am guessing something about the XML created and upstreamed to the blog parser is not getting through. Not sure what it could be because Zempt works well using the same interface.

I guess I need to poke around the MT support forums and see if anyone else is using Adminimizer successfully. I am guessing they are or it wouldn't be a product (even if it is in Beta).

Too bad because the WYSIWYG editor was kind of nice. Had a lot more features than Zempt 0.3 able to apply various styles from your CSS file to the post. Integrated spell check and more....

Hope we figure it out. I would like to be able to use the tool.

Turned Pings back on

Posted by Philip at 12:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 10, 2003

Nobody loves Raymond (Damadian)

Lost Content See Just Playing with new software entry.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine did NOT go to Raymond Damadian, and he is mad as hell. Mad enough to take out advertisements in the NY Times and the Washington Post. You see Raymond got the idea that NMR could be used to differentiate cancerous tissue from non cancerous tissue. NMR had been around for quite some time in the chemistry labs but no one had thought to apply it in medicine. Reason being because the equipment used to perform NMR really couldn't deal with people sized living objects, the study of excised cancerous tissue was better left to pathologists with microscopes (the way it is still done today). Raymond wasn't detoured he thinks outside the box. So he did some experimentation gathered up a set of data and published a nice bit of original work. He still didn't have a machine that we would call a modern MRI. The data his mahine produced was not a pretty picture, nor could his results and conclusions be verified. But he did publish that paper. It got others thinking and involved with MRI. Other people who actually produced practical working MRI devices. Our boy Ray couldn't get his machine to work very well, for years he couldn't. He did however get a patent. With that patent he spent years chasing GE Medical Systems through the courts. He and his lawyers got over $100 million dollars from them in the end. His company eventually did produce an MRI device that could be sold on the market.

My title is misleading there is a group of individuals who love Raymond. It is the Creation Science community.

Now the controversy is Was Raymond snubbed by Nobel Committee because he is beloved by God? Godless science shits on a saint.

I don't know. Perhaps Raymond deserves the prize. MRI was first attempted by him but his results were pretty much useless. His original paper has been discredited by follow up research. I personally see no conflict between science and spiritualism, but putting a Christian God as the head of the universe is tacky in my opinion. Teaching that there has been no evolution, that Genesis contains a literal cosmology, well that isn't science in any sense I understand.

I'll let God decide wether Raymond gets his Nobel or not...

Posted by Philip at 01:05 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

October 08, 2003

NYSE Site Hacked (probably not)

Lost Content See Just Playing with new software

I picked this up off Drudge serves me right. There was a cock-up publishing the Dow numbers on the NYSE site. I went there and got screen shots that showed a 1200 point drop in the DJIA. Other numbers were messed up too. But the site was not defaced, there was no other indication of the NYSE being 0w3N3d by haxorz. Probably a real simple explanation just can't find it on the web.....

Posted by Philip at 08:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Haven't seen this widely reported... Updated!

Lost Content See Just Playing with new software entry

This was a link to criticism of Gen. Clark's giving speeches for honoraria while being a candidate for president. That was a big no no. Clark a political neophyte was given a free pass on this and as soon as the issue was raised he returned the money.

I know all about newby mistakes. Clark is popular, well spoken, telegenic but off to a rocky start. I hope he does better.

Posted by Philip at 11:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dink .....vulgar or not?

Lost Content see Just Playing with new software entry

This story I picked up off NPR. Those wacky Mormons! Seems Mr. Udink can't personalize his license plate. Here you go Buddy


From Acme

Posted by Philip at 07:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 07, 2003

Bear expert no longer...

Lost Content see Just Playing with new software entry:

Here I had a snarky comment about a bear lover who went to play with his toy bears in Alaska. He and a friend got eaten. Grizzly way to go if you ask me... oooh that was snarky too. The attack was recorded (audio only). First he "played dead" when that didn't work he decided to fight back, I'm thinking that was how his friend got involved. Hope you didn't click that link hoping to hear the attack. That would be sick.

This on the heels of the Roy and the Tiger story. My normal concern for human beings was interrupted by anger at stupidity and animal exploitation. I really am sorry the bear expert and his friend lost their lives, and I wish Roy a speedy recovery.

And folks know your place on the food chain. You may love the majesty of large carnivores, the carnivores love you too. You taste a lot like pork.

Posted by Philip at 11:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 06, 2003

The Charity Drive that gives you a little something back!

Or not so little somethings. Cute idea. Give! Blogger Boobie Thon

Posted by Philip at 07:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

First Monday in October

Time for the Supremes to get busy. An NPR story today can be found here you will need to scroll down the page as there is no permalink... NPR needs to BLOG it's shows. A perfect marriage of form and function.

Anyway this session is jam packed. ADA, Religious Freedom, Money and Politics, Gerrymandering it will be instructive.

Posted by Philip at 06:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 03, 2003

Salon Blogs

Went down today at approximately 15:30 PDT today. This is just a marker. Server pings no HTTP response. RadioUserland notified by me via email at 17:30 PDT (the server also sends email if it is not working properly or so I am told). Trouble is if no one is checking email then well no one resets the server. The services are supposed to restart if the crump, but if a critical service "hangs" then it will not be restarted because as far as the service monitor knows the service is running.... This isn't really a Salon problem but the hosting company.

UPDATE 7:30 PDT OCT 4 still down Scott sent mail saying he knows about the outage has been traveling to BloggerCon or would have seen this earlier, he was trying to raise someone at Radio. Andrew is sitting next to Dave Winer at BloggerCon says he was going to mention the outage to him. Lots of grumpy people on the Salon Bloggers group and over on the Radio Userland discussion boards.

8:00 AM PDT Dave Winer 'I don't work there anymore' live from BloggerCon. You know Dave is a real big shit now being at Harvard and all. He has some academic creds now Hahvahd Law don't you know. He has got bloggers from all over the world comin in. Too busy to care and then again he does not work there (RadioUserland) any more. So why should he? His blog is hosted on ScriptingNews. Perhaps if he were a Salon blogger he would care. I hope Scott dishes him some shit when he takes the stage.

1:00 PM Salon came back up at 12:30 PM Saturday. No word on what the problem was. I have to think it was more than rebooting the server given the length of time it was down. Scott promised to let us know more when he knows more. Blog ON!

This from Lawrence Lee of Radio Userland:
" There was a problem on the static server that servers blogs.salon.com. It
was restarted, checking into why it didn't restart automatically."

Shows how much I know. All it needed was a good swift kick in the pants. Too bad we couldn't kick it as we had lots of volunteers.

Returning now to our regularly scheduled life.

Posted by Philip at 06:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just an observation

I just stepped out for a breath of fresh air (a PNW euphemism for having a smoke) and I noticed how a car horn intended to issue warnings is actually an instrument that can convey anger. Simple thing with one purpose that is often used for another. I mean I could actually feel the other person's displeasure as the horn sounded. It is joked that here in Portland you could sit through several changes of a traffic light and no one would honk at you people would simply change lanes and go around you or perhaps get out of their car and make sure you were OK.

Alas my world is changing.

Posted by Philip at 10:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 02, 2003

Does any body know what time it is?

As Zannah says World's Coolest Clock!

Posted by Philip at 10:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In case you were wondering.....

No Weapons Found Yet

ABC News - 15 minutes ago

Posted by Philip at 04:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 30, 2003

Cuisses de Grenouille?

The feeding frenzy has begun. Democrats dining on Frog Legs. Not that I am not secretly tickled pink to see the Bushies sweat and really really angry that a CIA agent was outed... I'm just not sure this is what we want to do, at least with the fervor that approaches the wing nuts that plagued the Clintons for 8 years. How about a little decorum fellow bloggers? Hell I've seen rampant speculation and theories popping up all over the liberal blogdom that would make Ken Starr blush. The facts we know are enough. The who dunnit is really immaterial unless of course the Whitehouse is stupid enough to circle the wagons and stonewall, then there is always the chance of this snowballing into obstruction of justice.

It's still the economy and the stampede to war. This is a chink in the armor but not the Holy Grail. I don't think Bush is going to get impeached over this. First off the Dems don't control Congress.

Democrats should keep the heat on and see this through but let's not focus on this alone. The story is out and there is a lot of pent up anger and frustration to fuel the fires, but keep the eyes on the prize.

You get rid of a couple of the Bushanistas and we get some clones to take their place. We are still up to our armpits in alligators in Iraq. We have lost more jobs than any time since the Great Depression and Herbert Hoover. More Americans are living in or near poverty than any time in history.

We have a bunch of issues not just one. Well maybe One and that is the G.W. Bush & Co. Circus. Get it out of your system and let the system do it's thing. We need a special prosecutor or an independent counsel to be sure. There are professionals in the FBI who are not party hacks and can be trusted to get the skinny and name the names (although damn few people have been prosecuted for leaks historically). Don't expect a 17 1/2 minute gap to push the NeoCons into handing the presidency to Dick Cheny. Cheny doesn't seem to be in the same world as the rest of the team anyway. He is still spouting the old party line as of a couple of weekends ago.

The best we can hope for is a couple of anonymous sources in the media to name the names of the two vindictive idiots who called the media to begin with.
Now wouldn't that be fun! Leak the Leakers there is a meme.

Take a deep breath, be angry. But don't get too excited. As Kriselda says there are still 399 days before the election. If you do have a contact in the Washington Media well see if you can get them to talk off the record. I'll buy the scotch.

Posted by Philip at 09:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2003

Foto Fakery Revisited

Kriselda dropped by from Different Strings to comment on the picture of Isabelle
that has popped up in different places on the net and has been making the rounds via email as well. Kriselda ran it by a local meteorologist who said it wasn't a hurricane but perhaps shelf clouds associated with severe thunderstorms. Fair enough I never doubted the "clouds" just their placement in the picture.

So I did some more looking and found About.com's urban legend page where the picture was said to be mislabled. It is alleged to be a picture of Tropical Cyclone Graham from Feb 2003.

I'm not buying this, the photo to me is an obvious fake. So I poke some more. The photo is "credited" to Steve Todd and appears in a photo gallery at the Portland NOAA office web pages, except that there is no "there" there. The gallery referenced no longer contains the picture.

Steve Todd is the Chief Meteorologist In Charge of the Portland Office (how much longer is anyone's guess). Want to bet he wasn't on a tanker off the west coast of Australia in Feb 2003 where he could have taken the "picture"?

UPDATE: The picture is said to be real by the Web Master of the Portland NOAA office Clinton Rocky. The picture was removed because of copyright concerns.... still not convinced. I'll try and track down the photographer.

Posted by Philip at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Casualty Reports

Over at Centcom the warriors would honor their dead by providing links to the casualty reports mixed in with the other headlines of the day, the casualties appeared "above the fold" so there was usually a mix of good news and bad news. No longer. The decision has been made US casualties no longer appear in the daily briefing. A nice little (little being the operative word) link has been added to the bottom of the main briefing page where you can find the information that doesn't belong on front page. I've added a link to the last 6 months of US casualties in the cost of war box on the right. You will note that the link above will let you search out a specific month and year or the last 99 days. The default returns the last 5 days (why not a full week?). via the New York Times. Not a permalink.

If the people at Centcom never changed the way they reported casualties this wouldn't be an issue, but the fact they have changed shows how the government wants to spin the war. Only natural I suppose, I guess I'm surprised that Centcom didn't see the error of their ways from the start. There are no civilian Iraqi body counts unless of course they are Iraqi's killed by other Iraqi's.

Posted by Philip at 06:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2003

Big Media/Little Media

You know how Colin Powell's son Michael is running the FCC and passing all these rules that are bringing us all together under a big tent in the name of consumer choice and diversity (Ministry of Doublespeak) well sometimes the local channels leave a bunch to be desired... read on or not it's just another piece of weirdness.

KATU is the local ABC affiliate. They pride themselves on local news coverage and having their finger on the pulse of Portland.

So Portland being the hot bed of soccer mania (Oregon has hosted World Cup games and is scheduled to host a quarter and semifinal game in this years WC).

The UP Pilots won the womens' NCAA championship last year. Clive Charles the beloved English soccer star and Portland fixture has recently died of cancer. The number one participation sport in Oregon (and the USA) is soccer.

KATU was scheduled to show USA vs Sweden on Sunday AM according to all the TV guides in my possession, I was up bright and early to watch Team USA!

What is on? KATU's local garden show for 30 minutes followed by an infomercial.

Whoa..I mean how off the mark can you be? Yes the show is a time slot leader 9:00 AM but it is a taped show and can be shown anytime vs a live event featuring a couple of local girls and a preview of things to come.

KATU is not returning phone calls. ABC had a lock on the games the only way to see it live was to travel to Seattle.

So Portland Oregon joins 3 other places on the planet where you can't see a World Cup game live. The other two places were WRIC Richmond VA. and KAIT Jonesboro AR.

While I don't want one company to own the newspapers radio and cable outlet in my city I do wish the local outfit would get a clue.

There is NO way they will live this down.

PS I am not a soccer fan, but I was hoping to catch one of those soccer babes whipping off her jersey (ok I blew it I'm a heterosexual blogger and a male chauvinist pig )

Posted by Philip at 08:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 20, 2003


I'm not the typical rabid football fan. I do eventually watch the "Super Bowl" and I went to my son's games when he played in high school. I even played in a varsity game or three way back a long time ago.

The game I watched today was a regional PAC-10 game with #22 Oregon playing #3 Michigan. The game was called by Dan Fouts and Keith Jackson. KJ is getting senile.

The Ducks upset the Wolverines, BS they beat them like a rented mule. The Ducks had their first TD taken away by a zebra. This set up Michigan's score on a blocked FG. They shanked the extra point. 6-0. Oregon reeled off the next 24 points. The Michigan offense were on the field for maybe 4 minutes of the half. KJ was sputtering (I am thinking he lost $50K on this game).

Michigan woke up late in the third quarter and moved the ball through the air. Oregon cannot defend 6'6'' tight ends this is no secret. UM scores 8 points on the same type of play Oregon was denied on the first drive. Balls stretched over the goal line except in watching the replays the runner is down before the stretch.

There was everything in this game. Blocked FG for a TD, Missed point after, fake punt, fake FG,punt return for a TD, sucessfull onside kick, blocked punt for a TD. Several interceptions, sacks, stuffs and runs up the middle for TDs. It was not as close as the final score would have you believe.

The last Wolverine drive that died had KJ calling for a 5th and 8. Dan had to remind him the game was over several times. 22 seconds and Duck ball. KJ was talking about a field goal and another onside kick. Kieth Jackson the "voice" has lost it. Maybe it was jet lag.

Michigan dosen't travel well. When they come out West to start they get beat.

Go Ducks....

Posted by Philip at 11:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Major Explosions

I just woke up to the sounds of some major explosions. I mean miles away. There was an airshow at the Hillsboro airport today at first I thought a fireworks show. I don't think this is what this was. Watching the local news to find out exactly what this is... stay tuned.

Fireworks were scheduled, but the 4th of July wasn't like this...

OK maybe the sky isn't falling... Local news station says every thing is cool. I mean to tell you I have seen some fireworks in my life but this one took the cake. No rythmn no skybursts just some major lighting of the distant sky and smoke rising. More like shock and awe on the TV via Bagdad.

That is what I get for napping. You do not want to wake up to this kind of thing.

Posted by Philip at 09:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 19, 2003

The Cost of War

I just wish I could change my templates and have them publish without having to push them up stream. Maybe I'm not doing something right.

This should add the Cost of War to my right hand bar......

Posted by Philip at 01:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Foto Fakery

With Isabel in the news it doesn't take anytime at all for the freepers (did I get that term right? Filchy Boy loves it I like it too) to get their share of the bandwidth. Below is an expanded cropped version of this "cool picture". Notice how the hurricane has been deposited off the port bow. Of course this guys account might blow out it's bandwidth so if the link doesn't work there is another copy here. Ham fisted editing it's enough to make Mark quit his Photoshop session. Seriously I think Mark is offline for a while. Seems the real Isabel dumped lots of water his way along with trees and power-lines and all the other detritus pushed by some healthy wind. Hope you are dry and pleasantly buzzed big guy and the missus and all you hold dear safe and sound.

Posted by Philip at 12:31 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 17, 2003

Drums of September

The local high school marching band is practising. I am a couple of miles away and the beat flows on the evening wind. Familiar sound as welcome as the freight train that comes through each morning. A distant sound you must listen for.

Have you heard your local band? Step outside and listen closely to the "silence"

Posted by Philip at 08:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Language Dies

Typical day, work ahead, bills to pay. NPR waking me up. Our local station has 12 minutes per hour (during the Morning Edition) to offer up local stories this one captured my attention. The loss of a language has many repercussions. Food for thought. I am not a linguist and late to the game, but many times a culture will come up with a single word that conveys a very significant understanding of life. Koyannisqatsi comes to mind.

What if you were charged as the sole repository of your language? We have Miss Neva Eggman on tape last native speaker of the Klammath tounge.

Posted by Philip at 07:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Update at 11

hmmm is my ping going to work?

Posted by Philip at 04:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fire Rumsfeld

Well I guess you got a letter from Eli and MoveOn too. I usually back MoveOn close to 100% of the time. And I would have backed the idea of going after Rumsfeld (I guess going after the idiot at the top is too ambitious). But I can't quite get behind blackmailing the President. Which is what it seems to me that MoveOn wants to do. Not that if I had pictures of GW with a coke spoon up his nose I wouldn't use them. Nope this money is destined to support our troops (well hopefully some of it). It should also go toward rebuilding Iraq.

My open letter is in the extended entry

To MoveOn.org an open letter regarding the fire Rumsfeld pettition hold up the President's bankroll:

I agree with you in principle but the troops in Iraq are my main concern. They need to be funded adequately in order to defend themselves. This nasty furball is a result of President George W. Bush's mismanagement, incompetence, and ultimately his own stupidity. Call for the impeachment of George W. Bush and I'll back that in a heartbeat.

Dumping the mess we created into the hands of the UN is nonsensical. The UN without the US is a farce, as is the US without the UN. We made the mess we should clean it up. Occupied countries are a problem throughout history.

Nation building is NOT a bad idea, a stable democratic Islamic state is something to aspire for. I believe the majority of Iraqis want to attempt such a social experiment. Yes this is costing American lives, yes the war was a mistake, but when you have already screwed the pooch you have to pay the price. Get a focused "exit strategy" be realistic admit we are nation building (when we finish in Iraq I think we should do Palestine).

Bailing out of Iraq will be a mistake as much as going to war was. America needs to finish what it started, if that means playing bad cop to Britain's good cop then that must be. If the UN want's to cooperate it can, unfortunately for the Iraqis there is a pissing match between France and the US no body wins that one, but Iraqis suffer.

I protested this war, I prayed it wouldn't happen, but now we are in it we need to fix it. Throw out Bush by all means but rebuild Iraq and leave them with a nation and a democracy they can love and defend. It is our responsibility and our duty as war mongers, we owe it to those who have already died. If this war was to have any meaning then the Iraqi people need the best chance they can have to organize themselves into a peaceful democratic society. There are essentially three seperate factions in Iraq, do you think they can organize into a republic on their own without redress of past grievances and other scores that need settling? This will take a generation or more to accomplish.

Respectfully disagree with MoveOn on this one, I think you need to take the pulse of America. I AM a LIBERAL Democrat at least in my own eyes. People hate this war but they should focus on how we got there. Getting out is going to be difficult and painful but to shrug our shoulders and blackmail our "fearless leader" is not an adult response to this mess. Fire Rumsfeld is a good idea I can get behind that. Make the administration accountable for the funds they request, a little bi-partisan BBQ with Rumsfeld as the main course is a great idea. But out and out blackmail? Our troops need some of that money, Iraqis need some of that money.

I don't suppose you can reconsider your position as you have publicaly taken your stand. But I cannot support your position on this.

Continue to do good work I do support most of your positions and believe in your organization.


Philip Vassar

Posted by Philip at 12:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 15, 2003

Thanks Bill (and Mark)

Got my autographed graphic Claude Funston novelette. Love those folks at the VO, btw if you haven't seen this issue #40 then you are really missing out on the best ever edition. I'm not in it and I think that it is why it might be the best ever... actually it is huge, diverse and chock full of great stuff. MY favorite? How to describe an Alien Culture by Dick Jones. It rings with me reminding me of my own childhood in Merry Olde not that we were Celtic Romanish but my mother's family were displaced Irish brought to England by WWII. Out of place out of time as they came from a 19th century existance in Thurles to 20th century London. But the Travellers were known to us often stopping on the family land. My Nanna had her tales and as a child I listened wide eyed and full of dreams. Thanks Dick.

Posted by Philip at 08:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mail from Microsoft NOT!

I got this one in the mail last week with an "empty" attachment this week I got it again from a different wing-nut but they got it right this time they put a worm on it. It included links to recent Microsoft patches, the attachment was named as if it was a MS "hotfix". It was an executable q370344.exe containing the W32/Gibe-B@mm worm. You could have all the patches in the world installed but if you execute the attachment they will not help one bit.

This worm is nasty if you get it like the spybot worm I wrote about recently. It disables regedit and task manager and launches multiple copies of itself renames itself and uses several methods to run the "hidden" versions.

Microsoft NEVER mails out patches to customers unless you have an open ticket and then they just send you a link where you have to go to a Microsoft site to download them. Microsoft technicians use their own names in the email address and they will direct the email to your address and not some spam list.
Of course some poor soul spooked by all the notoriety about worms and security holes in recent months that they will happily execute the attached worm don't you be one of them.

I've seen this has been sent to more than a few people most smart enough to not run the attachment.

It is an older virus and is detected by all the virus scanning engines. So keep your guard up. Read on to see the email content sans HTML table and links. Note how the mail is certified virus free . My what big eyes you have Grandma.....

Microsoft Customer

this is the latest version of security update, the
"September 2003, Cumulative Patch" update which eliminates
all known security vulnerabilities affecting Internet Explorer,
Outlook and Outlook Express as well as five newly
discovered vulnerabilities. Install now to protect your computer
from these vulnerabilities, the most serious of which could allow
an attacker to run executable on your system. This update includes
the functionality of all previously released patches.

System requirements Win 9x/Me/2000/NT/XP
This update applies to Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 4.01 and later
Microsoft Outlook, version 8.00 and later
Microsoft Outlook Express, version 4.01 and later
Recommendation Customers should install the patch at the earliest opportunity.
How to install Run attached file. Click Yes on displayed dialog box.
How to use You don't need to do anything after installing this item.

Microsoft Product Support Services and Knowledge Base articles
can be found on the Microsoft Technical Support web site.
For security-related information about Microsoft products, please
visit the Microsoft Security Advisor web site, or Contact us.

Please do not reply to this message. It was sent from an unmonitored
e-mail address and we are unable to respond to any replies.

Thank you for using Microsoft products.

With friendly greetings,
Microsoft Public Support

©2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. The names of the actual companies
and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by Kaspersky anti-virus system (http://www.kaspersky.com).
Release Date: 25.8.2003

Posted by Philip at 08:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2003

Big Brother

I have a confession I am watching the damned show.

I was hip I didn't watch Richard Hatch win Survivor. I made the mistake of watching a single show in the next season. Just to see what the buzz was about. It was TV Crack I got hooked. Shame on me. I was content to watch Survivor through the the next fw years a guilty pleasure for one who hates commercials.

Then this year because of where I am and who I am sharing space with I got exposed to Big Brother a watered down version of Survivor. I am lower than low I am actually enjoying this piece of low cost reality TV that is putting writers and TV stars out of work. I am so ashamed.

I don't watch fires or car wrecks (train wrecks are an exception), but it is like a mystery where the culprit is not discernable until the last few pages, there is an unpredictability factor.

I know this admission excludes me from the ranks of real serious bloggers but I have to own up. I want Jun to go up against Allison. Robert is a wimp... And the thing is I can be all wrong. Maybe that is the hook. How many movies or television shows actually surprise you? Most of us figure it out way before it is over who done it or what cliche the show is acting out.

Woe is me. I will kick this habit. I promise, not to blog about what is going on.

Posted by Philip at 10:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 07, 2003

25 Years ago Today

One of the Best Still Remembered


Posted by Philip at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 06, 2003

Drug War Rant

Attourney at Arms has some great stuff about how our Nation is conducting another war one that has been going on for at least 20 years has more victims than Viet Nam and touches us in the pocket book if not on a more personal level.

We see the problem we rant. What are the answers? That is a whole nother blog but here are a few of the things I know... This is a cut and paste of a comment thread the original inspiration comes from the link above.

Party on.... All drugs should be available to all people without government restrictions, let Darwin decide who lives and dies. Except when someone under the influence causes injury or death to themselves or other innocents then we can lock them up or bury them depending on what side of the line they fall.
Does that work? Will education prevent person abuse? Drugs are not abused people are...

You are right the drug war is useless fruitless and a huge waste of money.

What is the solution? Darwinism? Hard vs Soft? What is a hard drug what is a soft drug? Set setting and the amount ingested. How can we control this?

So I have a libertine leaning that says anyone can do anything any time they want. They screw up and cause loss of life, property damage etc then they pay to the full extent of the law.

Trouble is most of these poisons are subtle and take too long to weed out the stupid, puts a lot of innocents at risk meanwhile.

So while ranting against what isn't working tell us what does work. I believe in the premise I have no idea how to solve the problem and it is a problem.

This isn't a moral issue with me I've tried everything under the sun and would not lock up anyone for the crime of possession. Intoxicated or incapacitated a threat to public safety that is another issue.

But drugs that alter consciousness legal or not take a huge toll on the human race.

If we are not spending money policing we are spending money curing addictions or supporting those incapacitated by their addictions. I want to support a reasonable policy where is it?

Philip • 9/6/03; 4:17:52 PM

**** Content removed ***** comment was copyrighted by author It was of the nature that we shouldn't criminalize or demonize a large segment of our population. It was not my intent to use copyrighted material my apologies to Attourney at Arms.

Oy Vey! Shrug of the shoulders and a look to the sky. You are right.
Where does the moral stigma come from? Uncompassionate tight assed people who don't understand why someone would poison themselves and put themselves and their fellow human beings at risk?

In the United States every 12.5 minutes someone is injured as a result of the use of a legal drug. Some one dies every 30 minutes.

3000 people died on 9-1-1 and as a nation we were horrified outraged and wanting to go to war. Each year 9-1-1 happens 5 times over. A dripping faucet, a drip that is driving people fucking nuts.

This is every year coming down a bit but a steady 17K people for the past few years. These are constituents, pissed off voters lets suppose each victim had one sibling and two parents and 5 close friends that is over 100K new activists each YEAR.

That is one legal drug. What happens when we decriminalize all the rest? It is hypocrisy in the worst way to serve up alcohol and lock up the tokers, I mean pot smokers are not going to injure someone every 12.5 minutes.

Do you want to fund that experiment? Maybe it is only every thirty minutes or every hour. One innocent a lifetime is one too many for any family.

I'm not talking about you because you are ready willing and able to accept the consequence of your own decisions. I'm talking about the person coming home from work or going to school who is sharing the space with the person willing to gamble that the drug of their choice is not going to impair their judgment or ability to get from point a to point b without causing grievous harm to their fellow citizens.

I am not demonizing these people my heart goes out to everyone who alters their consciousness then proceeds to put themselves and others at risk.

They ARE criminals if they cause damage or worse as a result of their choices. Do we give them a break, you bet diminished capacity. If someone dies it is manslaughter not murder because the individual was not intending to kill someone it just happened.

So we legalize all consumption of all known compounds and live with the consequences when your spouse, child, sibling, parent or close friend is in the morgue how will you feel about those laws?

People with problems are not criminals people who fuck up as a result of those problems are. As a society how do we tackle the cost benefit analysis?

People who have an agenda against legalizing more drugs are not tight assed puritans who don't think you are entitled to get as fucked up as you want to.

Some of them have killed people as a result of their stupidity. Many more have lost loved ones. Some are just running the numbers. They are not for the most part making moral judgments they are simply living with the reality of the situation and cannot see how letting more people have access to more drugs is going to help anything.

Again I ask what is the solution? Whatever the answer is is not an answer. Rant away. There is injustice in this world, the drug war is stupid, but man you have millions of your fellow citizens living with the PROBLEM.

Find a better way lead us to the light.

Philip • 9/6/03; 9:07:15 PM

Posted by Philip at 09:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 05, 2003

Friday night bloging

Four entries in a single day another blog addict

This will not be an earth-shattering entry. I am home alone herding cats. There are oustide cats and indoor cats. Some get wet food others dry... I have written instructions on how to care for each, I am not a cat person or a dog person the whole idea of owning "pets" is not something I relate to at this stage of my life.

I can go through the motions and I have a genuine concern for their well being but the idea of owning a pet no longer makes sense. As time goes by many attachments fall away.

So why on a Friday night do you blog? Well because you have nothing better to do.

Friends are off on a weekend camping trip. I have commitments that are keeping me home.

So is SG1 the best sci-fi series of all times? I lean to Babylon-5 but SG-1 is still in production. I was never a McGyver fan but I do enjoy Richard Dean Anderson in SG-1. I am a long time Trekki loved the original, liked STNG and Voyager never really got into Deep Space Nine and have not watched the newest incarnation (name escapes me).

So home alone watching TV. Something is not right. Probably me.

OK I have reached my limit I was going to place links to all the Sci-Fi references but they would be redundant.

Sure am happy Mark didn't out the Preacher. Blogger mistake 1o3 Never believe what you see.

Happy trails (if you are tripping and reading this you have more problems than I)

Philip yet another blog addict (YABA)

Posted by Philip at 09:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Spam Please

Is this Meta-Spam? Considering I "opted in" to silicon.com's incessant emails this is all too funny. I should really see if they have an RSS feed and unsubscribe. But the story is good enough to share. Unfortunately it is an email and not linkable so I have to post it. Read on if you want to know just how hard it is to be a spammer.

Dear Philip

It's not easy being a spammer, you know.

You spend your days sending millions of emails to unsuspecting addresses offering a range of tantalising goodies: from little blue performance-enhancement pills that may or may not rhyme with 'Niagara' to chances of making a fortune from deceased Nigerian millionaires, and what do you get in return? Thanks? Ha! Hardly.

Thousands of abusive replies demanding to be unsubscribed and explaining where you can shove your vials of little blue pills. And the bouncebacks? Don't even mention the bouncebacks.

Imagine it: you get home in the evening after a hard day's spamming, and your wife asks you how your day at the office went. Could you admit: "Well Sugar Drawers, I sent millions of unsolicited emails to millions of addresses, many of them owned by children, telling them about frisky teenage girls who like to..." Well, you get the general idea.

What these poor people need is a place to unwind, a place where they can find a shoulder to cry on, a place where everybody knows your name (or at least your email address). In other words a spammers' support group - and hey presto, that's exactly what the poor little tykes have got.

Over 150 spammers have joined the Bulk Club, an online community that offers tips, tools and a comforting community for bulk emailers.

According to Wired magazine, a membership list accidentally left exposed at the Bulk Club's website, reads like a who's who of blacklisted spammers.

Illustrious names nestling in the hallowed ranks, include Damon Decrescenzo, sued by both Microsoft and Amazon in recent months and John Milton, also known as Davis Wolfgang Hawke, a 'former neo-Nazi' who turned to spamming millions of people offering to increase the size of the old chap (at least his career's going in the right direction).

For a measly $20 per month, Bulk Club members receive access to an archive of best-practice spamming tips, spamming software, spamming community forums where you can share your spamming stories and, wait for it: "300,000 FRESH emails per week." Mmm fresh emails...

The club's operator swears the members are dedicated to promoting "responsible" spam. (Which presumably is just vast quantities of unsolicited mail clogging up home and business inboxes, but without the rude words.)

Oh, and all the information detailing the 'misleading' tactics used by some bad apples are simply there to elucidate why they are so improper and not posted as best practice guides.

But there's no rest for the wicked. As soon as the Bulk Club and its members were exposed online the site was hacked and taken offline, anti-spam activists are the prime suspects. The impact to the Club's business was described as being "extreme".

With a recent survey by Yahoo! reporting that three-quarters of spam sufferers would rather clean a blocked toilet than wade through the oomskah festering in their inboxes, the Round-Up suspects readers will have little sympathy with the spammers' plight.

Posted by Philip at 10:10 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Just joking

Hopefully Joe Fontaine the pastor of the Myrtle Street Church of Christ will get it. I know he is from Dallas and not Austin but stranger things have happened. If this makes no sense you aren't a fan of Fried Green Al Quedas and or the RLP. Imagine how conflicted I was when I saw Mark's post.

From my own extensive research I knew the Preacher was actually from Nome Alaska living at 123 Catch Me Lane. I haven't called his 800 number I'm afraid it's a prayer line for Jimmy Swaggert and then my world would fall apart.

They should call him Coyote. Off to work. TGIF

Posted by Philip at 07:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

It's Funny

How this weeks VO is about advice and how my recent posts have been about giving and getting advice. For all I know (which is damned little) I could be the poster boy on how not to offer advice.

MT (Moveable Type) has an option that allows you to put on your editing page a ditty displayed to all authors. Since this particular Blog has a single author I decided on "here be dragons play nice". Advice to myself, a reminder of how after we hit the submit button what you say is written, published and for all to share. I started blogging offering comments on things. The first thing I picked on was the tool which caused a fake spreadsheet to be displayed if you happened to blog during work. A "boss button" I failed to get the joke and proceeded to write a polemic describing how stupid the idea was and dishonest and etc.. etc..

All the time sure of my position. Turns out the whole exercise in technology was a meta-joke. Written with full knowledge of how lame the idea of hiding work time blogging was. I was put in my place by the author of the tool asking his fans to put me in my place.

Blogger mistake 101. Did I learn, no-siree, I went on expressing my opinions as a newbie full of myself and trying to add my witty remarks with the big boys and girls of blogdom. I have commented on most of the big spots and more of the new blogs. Fearless or stupid you decide.

Giving advice on line is an exercise in futility at best, an act of megalomania at worst. If you must comment argue a point or agree with the author do NOT sit on the mountaintop and dispense your pearls of wisdom. They are rarely well accepted nor will they change anyone's opinion of themselves.

The upside is the irate blogger will come to your site and castigate you thus creating more traffic and comments. He with the most hits wins.

I witnessed something tonight in blogdom that is causing me a real problem hopefully my questions will be answered via email. Has to do with anonymous blogging. Stay tuned because once I understand what is going on I'll have more to say.

See I'm learning

Posted by Philip at 12:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 03, 2003


As I am a commenter rather than a blogger sometimes the comments come home to roost.

There is a new blog in the Salon Community where an individual has offered up her soul. The writing is so compelling that I questioned is this real or a trial ballon? Of course I jumped in with both feet in my mouth. I described her life as a train wreck needing to be filmed. This was harsh. I am not a judgemental person. When I wrote my comment I was being playfull, but no matter what my intention the post was hurtfull, at least perceived so.

This blog deserves to flourish I know it has taken some hard knocks. I need to remember that comments can encourage and discourage. You go girl was not my first impression, I tried to craft a witty remark. My bad it was not taken that way.

When you give advice take care for the intuitive response you have is only understood by you. Your reader may have a different opinion.

Perils of blogging 1o2.

Posted by Philip at 11:50 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 02, 2003


this blog was never about content. It is a place for me to play with blogging software. Then life throws you a curve ball and you put it on the web.

The company president has found my blog. As busy as he is I am honored he would take time to read it. It does bring up the question of updating the blog on company time. Note to self don't do it...

My son Sean is going to move. Across the country to the place I left 27 years ago. No worries I encourage him to grow and explore. He has family there and if he can put up with the heat and humidity more power to him, it didn't bother me at his age. I'll miss him being close and seeing him when he can spare the time.

His mother, my ex, is going to save the peasants in Peru. Forget there is a civil war going on and getting in the middle of a fight leaves you open to punches from both sides. There is a new form of tourism (OK not new, new to me) tax deductable visits to third world countries where you volunteer from 9-5 running day care centers or teaching conversational English to high school students. You get to live high in the Andes watching for Shirley McClaine UFO's nights and weekends off. $5K plus air fare for three months. I am not a cynic I beleive in the work, I just am concerned for her safety. You see this woman has fierce opinions. I have asked her to keep her mouth shut. Macho men don't like women with fierce opinions.

I applaud her courage and sincerity. Seems to me there are a lot of places closer to home for her to use her talents and desires to make this a better world.

Think globally act locally. She want's an adventure and wraps it in spiritual clothing. If she was going trekking and visiting Machu Pichu I wouldn't care.

She is convinced there is no danger and if there is it only adds spice to the choice.

I hope I am a know nothing worry wart on this. You see I lost some friends in Africa a couple of years back. Hacked to death by machete while on safari.

Shit happens. I suppose there are worse ways to spend your retirement.

Be carefull.

Posted by Philip at 11:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 01, 2003

Third Place

The new VO is out and lo and behold I got a prize.

I am not a blogger. OK I have a blog but I am not called or driven to post. I am more like Chauncey Gardener. I read and comment at other blogs but I rarely feel the need to post something to my own web space.

The whole spam thing is foreign to me for what ever reason I just don't get it OK my email filters are set to receive only from the people in my contact list. If I don't know you your email ends up in a folder that I delete on a regular basis usually sight unseen.

When Mark called for submissions I sent off an email that said I don't get spam.
Then I went to the possible spam folder and found the Live Web Cams for Free email.

You've got spam! Something to work with.. Cams became Clams in a hurry. It turns out that Clam pictures are pretty damned suggestive. So I googled clam pictures and selected a few, found a javascript slide show and created some links. Next thing I know I have some deconstructed spam with GRAPHICS.

I read the rulzs I did my best and I got third place. Y0 BILL the execution may have been lame but the idea was top shelf.

Never been third place before. I have some first places and second places and honorable mentions but no actual third place.

Hell I am going to get an autographed piece of work from the creator of Zippy the Pinhead how cool is that? Thanxs Mark.... As an engineer I am challenged I tend to follow instructions.

Not to say I can't think outside the box. Bingo!

Posted by Philip at 06:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 30, 2003

Harry meets Neo

It was only a matter of time (and talent) get your wallpaper here via Zahnna

Posted by Philip at 01:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2003

SoBig seems to be SoMuch more


People need to be aware of the "So-Big" Internet virus/worm that is circulating now. It appears to be part of an organized set of experiments in how to effectively spread a virus that drops a "Trojan horse" or "back door" into a computer. This back door in turn may give a remote user access to your computer and any information stored on it.

What makes this virus special is it usually appears to come from someone you know or may have sent mail to (like a prospective employer). It places random subject lineson the messages it sends. On some it sends the socially engineered subject "Your Resume" or "Re: Resume".

Note: other Subject lines are generated as well. See the Silicon.com article above.

Now most people do not send emails with the subject line Resume but they might. People looking for jobs are usually thrilled to get a response (or what appears to be a response) to anything they send out and will eagerly open mail and attachments. That is social engineering like the I Love You virus that went around a while ago.

This virus needs your ACTIVE co-operation to actually work. The email will arrive with attachments in the form of a .pif file with different names. Trying to open the .pif attachment will execute the worm/Trojan horse.
Please note the program may say it is a picture attachment something like "coolpic.jpg.pif" or a word document like "resume.doc.pif". Many people will see the .jpg or .doc extension and not see/notice or understand the .pif appended to it. Examine attachment names thoroughly. No one should ever send you an attachment with a .pif or .exe file extension (there are several others but let's keep it as simple as possible).

This worm is very sophisticated and has it's own email engine. It will use your address book to construct emails that appear to be sent by some of your contacts to other of your contacts with a copy of itself attached.

The worm itself does no damage other than trying to spread itself. The backdoor installed however will run as a service and want access to the internet. This access will be blocked by the default installation of your firewall software, however many of us just click "allow access" to most applications without thinking about it. Once the Trojan has access to the net it notifies the "bad guys" that it is ready for instructions and sits and waits.

How to protect yourself:

You can set your email options to "quarantine" or block the opening of email attachments. This isn't practical for most of us but it SHOULD make us think before we click if we have to go change our email security policy to open an enclosed file. Opening an Email does NOT as a rule execute any programs so you can open emails. It is the attachments you need to look out for.

If you exchange attachments with people on a regular basis (you know who you are) you might want to place a "keyword" in the subject or body of the message that will let your friends know that you have really sent this message and can guarantee that it does not contain a virus. Worms will not know about this "keyword"... So people will always know if the mail is from you and not a virus posing as you.

Subscribe to an Antivirus service and set it to auto-update every night and then run a virus scan each day on all folders and compressed files. If it has an e-Mail scanning mode enable it. New variants of SoBig and other viruses are detected every day.

Install a firewall program. "ZoneAlarm" is free and easy to use, if you have Windows XP you can enable the built in IP Security Firewall service (IFS). When a "new" program wants access to the Internet as indicated by your firewall software ask yourself what is this program and why does it need access to the Internet? If you don't know ask Google about the program that wants access. This is a case where Just Say NO can be a good thing.

Often the Trojan horse software is named after a legitimate service that has been running on your machine. It installs itself in place of the legitimate service and changes your computer so the program is run every time you startup your machine. In most cases the name is a variant of the original service causing the firewall program to issue a warning that a new program needs internet access. The Trojan is designed to replace the service doing everything the service did before in addition to listening for instructions.

If you have had a firewall installed for several months chances are you rarely get prompted to allow a program internet access unless of course you installed a new program that needs to access the Internet. This usually sorts itself out after a few days of installing the firewall software. If you install a new program it may want access to the net to register itself or to look for updates, this is normal and expected behavior, if you haven't added anything recently you firewall software should be quiet and not inform you of new program needing access to the Internet

If you are using IRC/ICQ or P2P software you are increasing your exposure to viral threats. Sharing music files can be like sharing a dirty needle. IRC/ICQ is like having unprotected sex with multiple partners. A virus/worm does not just spread via email software.

Knowing the right thing to do is becoming more and more difficult. It is an unfortunate fact of Internet life. Practice safe computing. Keep your doors locked with a firewall and or router. A Virus scan is like getting a blood test to see if you have infections. e-mail scanners act like a prophylactic to prevent infections. Not opening attachments unless you know where they came from and what they are is just being responsible.

If you do online banking or taxes, if you have purchased something via the Internet or participated in an online auction, if you have disclosed personal information in an email to friends and family, this information is at risk. Take care of it.

And MAC and Linux users... don't be smug there are worms and Trojans that affect you too. They don't make the news because there are so few of you but you too can be hacked cracked and whacked

Posted by Philip at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2003

A day of rest

Since joining the ranks of the employed (however temporary it may be) I actually look forward to weekends again, where you can do laundry and shopping and yard work and every thing else you couldn't get done while you were chained to a desk. What follows is kind of geeky but if you are interested read on and laugh at hubris... and if you don't read on have fun with customer support.

I'm the fix-it guy. Somethings I can fix no sweat others I am not so good at (personal relationships seem to be difficult) but it doesn't stop me from wanting to fix things or trying to fix things. I get a problem and I get obsessed. FOAF brings over a nice new laptop running XP, seems when he gets on-line (dialup lowlife...) wierd stuff happens (like the computer shuts down)... I smile and shake my head you been infested with lovsan I say.

Sure enough there it is. I find the dropper and infections with a cursory search. First thing to do is kill the process running that keeps you from deleting the file you need to. So the three fingure salute is issued to bring up the task manager.

Task manager appears and disappears WTF!!??!! Whoa this is unexpected. OK so I can't shut down the dirty bastid that is running I get rid of everything else. I know that the way this thing starts is, the registry has an entry in it that will start it up before you even get a chance to log in. So off to regedit to remove the offending entry, once I reboot everything will be OK and I can delete the persistant file. Run.... regedit, launches and shuts down just like task manager what the hell?

OK this isn't LovSan something else is going on. FOAF has Norton Anti-Virus on his computer but it isn't running, OK launch that puppy and do a scan... no virus is found. Hmmmm

The Virus definition file is a year old.

OK this laptop can't dial out but I can plug it in to my home network... Don't worry I plug it into the DMZ in front of my router/firewall. Plug it in behind and the virus will spread itself to all the machines that are not running ZoneAlarm or other firewall software.

Once on the net I get to the MS update site and download all the critical updates that can be installed (note XP Expess SP1 download is NOT express it takes for fucking ever to apply). Update the Norton anti virus and run the scan again.

This time bingo I find lovsan no problem I already know it is there. It also finds the Welchia worm.

Now the Welchia worm was some kind hearted individual's attempt to stop lovsan. This virus installs as a service using the same security hole as lovsan. It then tries to download the Microsoft patches that closes the hole and thus prevents you from getting lovsan. Cool except that it doesn't work. It just gunks up the net with useless traffic. It's a virus/worm and doesn't help the situation, as easy as lovsan to remove if you can get a handle on it (task manager and regedit) which I don't have.

As the scan continues spybot is located. So here I am with a real dirty machine. Spybot is the virus that doesn't play nice. It infests a critical system service.. actually it replaces a critical system service that needs to be loaded when the computer boots. Can't shut it down can't change the system registry can't clean or quarentine the infected files.

Shit. On to the net where I learn spybot is reported as rare and easy to remove. So easy to remove there is no tool to download to help you remove it.

Search some more and you find this bugger has caused untold grief to lotsa people. Fortunately there are instructions on how to remove this obnoxious POS.

You can download tools that do the job of regedit and taskmanager, the virus doesn't know about these (dialup users are out of luck as dialup connections are dropped by lovsan)

So I do it the hard way (I could have downloaded the tools but it isn't my computer). Disable the restore point software. Boot to safe mode delete the POS worm run the virus scan again and quarentine the other bad boys.

Reboot and all is well. Nope... turns out the system is full of spyware as well. So clean that crap out too.

Whew... I'm thinking I am glad I didn't have to do this on all my computers.

Moral of the story.... Charge FOAF beaucou bucks to clean out and update this computer, except I can't because I'm obsessed.

Don't use IRC don't use Kazaa or other P2P software unless you know what you are doing, and if you do then you deserve all the crap that will flow your way.

I charge $250 an hour plus expenses.

Posted by Philip at 02:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 22, 2003

Deconstructing Spam

Well this is what it looks like when it arrives in your mailbox (not mine!) obnoxious full of links to web sites that download crap you don't want and will spend months tracking down and removing unless you have a nice spyware watcher that stops the ad watchers cold. Insert shameless plug for Ad-Aware.

This one's for you Mark. And the VO. I want that Bill Giffith stuff.

Here is what I turned it in to. Links work have fun. There is no way back to me via the links, but you will like where you go.

Posted by Philip at 12:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2003

Welcome to Portland Mr. President

We got a visit from George the II today, just my luck I am working and couldn't go down and welcome him Portland style. We only worked up a few thousand demonstrators who had to get to North Portland to a private college with no parking (for protesters) not quite the 50K that showed up in the Park Blocks a few weeks before the war was Fait Acompli, but still a respectable showing for a midweek mid morning visit.

It amazes me how we can turn out 2000 people for a $500 a plate rubber chicken (this just in it was 500 @ $2000 a plate my bad) but can't get a small tax raise to help out the state school system. The raise barely passed this year raises the tax bill of couples making more than $70,000 a whopping $130, geeze do you think they can afford $11.50 a month, specially when Bushy is giving them back more than that in tax cuts and deficits...

Posted by Philip at 02:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 19, 2003

New Tool for MT Bloggers Zempt 0.3

Since I can't read Salon Blogs tonight I am playing with a new (to me) tool for creating entries for the blog.

Theoretically this is a "better way" to post to MT Blogs like Just Playing Fair with Balance

I should be able to format paragraphs this one centered.
This paragraph should be aligned to the right.
This to the left.
Stand up Sit Down Fight Fight Fight

Oh and I turned off the comments for this post so there!

OK OK I turned them back on and added a link to Zempt in the title. Nice little tool so I sent them a fiver they were only asking for a buck.

Spell check should werk as well

Posted by Philip at 09:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 18, 2003


The Salon Blog community seems to be a little slow today so this is just a tickle to see what happens.... ah the blogging life, if you can't get your fix what do you do?

Posted by Philip at 10:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 14, 2003

End of Summer

Not sure what I would do with out Mark keeping track of time for me. He is publishing his Virtual Occoquan the best of Salon Blogs on Sunday with his guest editor Rayne. This issues theme "End of Summer".

Picture via the web no attribution available. Used under doctrine of fair use.

dew on parched grass
A skein of geese flying south
All summers must end

Now the rant.....

Hey wait a damned minute what is with this "End of Summer" stuff? As I write this it is only August 14th we still have more than a whole month of summer left officially. The End of Summer my ass! Have you been reading the papers? The Alps are melting for christ's sake. 3000 dead in France, British Breweries running dry, Germans working OVERTIME to meet the thirsty drinkers demands.

I think this may be some wishful thinking on someone's part. Don't get me wrong I love the Fall, especially in these here parts, but that will not happen by the calendar or the clock it will be when the rain starts and stays for days on end. This is life in the rain forest of the Pacific Northwest.

Sure the days are growing shorter but there is still more light than dark.
Mornings are cooler and there is often dew on the grass a sure sign that our dry season is winding down, but we are pushing 90 today with real heat predicted for later in the week. Maybe even an honest to goodness thunderstorm or two for us people living in a place where lightning bolts truly are scarce. Never know you miss them until you don't have them. In a quarter century of living up here there are very few memorable thunderstorms and all of them are usually memorable.

Back to School sales are in full swing or will be shortly. Monday Night Football has started up, so all the economic indicators are pointing to the imminent demise of summer but I am not ready to let go just yet. I like to squeeze every last drop of sunshine out of the season build up those endorphins and brain chemicals that sustain me through our long dark rainy season. Refuse to call it winter unless it snows, not that it has snowed down in the valley recently, not even an ice storm is grounds to declare winter.

And the kicker is for many of our citizens it is the End of Winter that approaches
We tend to have this Northern Hemispherical arrogance. My friends in Oz are gearing up for Summer mate. They are getting ready to put their shrimp on the barbie and drink copious amounts of Fosters or Tooheys or Piss Weak. The South Pole emerges from it's long night and life returns to the men and women who wintered over in that cold place. South Africans are celebrating the end of a long winter, In India the monsoons will be coming to an end, and a return of the sweltering heat that oppresses that country is not looked forward to.

The End of Summer is relative. And it ain't one of my favorite relatives. Long live Summer! Our time is measured my friends, one summer gone is one less to live and play in.

Posted by Philip at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2003

Day 2

I guess working is like riding a bicycle you don't forget how.

New names and faces to remember, although there are a few familiar ones. I'm on double secret probation to see if I have what it takes to contribute.

I understand completely the need to husband your cash in a start-up. The last one I was with didn't do all that poorly, they were actually purchased by a public firm when IPO's just were NOT going to happen so the sweat equity turned into a nice little bonus; little being the operative word. For you see Unca Sam gets his fair share of the profits as soon as you turn those options into shares (you haven't sold a thing you bought cheap and that is taxable FMV - Strike Price = profit even though you haven't sold a thing it's a paper chase) So to keep Unca happy you have to sell some of those new shares as short term capital gains which are taxed higher than if you held the stock for a year to pay for the realized rather than actual profit. If you are lucky the remaining stock will still be worth something after this bear market and you can sell more stock to pay off your capital gains bill and of course selling adds downward pressure to the price.... What a furball. ackkkkk. Give me computers any day, the neighbour got bit by the love-san worm. It had a cute trick where his auto-connect would dial out, msblast would try an RPC call and the RCP service would fail forcing a reboot of his PC. Wheels within wheels.

So back to cubicle land, the commute's a dream nice flat farm land with a slight downhill run into town. Almost a bike lane that you get to share with assorted debris and road kill. Then the wonder of MAX our Potlandia Burb connection, light rail all new and shiny, bike friendly and given the distance covered only slightly more expensive than a car to use, about 45 cents a mile in my case. Of course the intangibles of actually getting my heart rate above 60 beats per minute for 30 minutes or so twice a day has got to be worth something, unless we have a finite number of heart beats in our destiny, in that case I am rushing toward the end.. He died with his Lycra on. I've added a link to the PNW Blogger ring check out some of my fellow web-foots, blogging gives new meaning to the term web foot.

Enjoy, but be careful out there cause when you least expect it.... Wham!

I am not running for Governor of California. That makes me special! Out to do a little shooting star gazing.

Posted by Philip at 12:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2003


Looks like I am going to land back in high tech. It feels good to know you have somewhere to be on Monday.

I have been invited to a tryout at Kryptiq a startup which develops and integrates HIPPA compliant applications for the Medical industry. My career has been varied I have to say that. Scientific Computing, high speed I/O and RTOS, Telecommunications, VOIP, eCommerce, and now Medical software. One of the good things is Medicine is an established business model funded as needed. Now it is up to me to perform and earn a spot on the team. No doubt in the need for the product. Not a .com outfit.

Posted by Philip at 07:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2003

Lots to learn

about installing and using MoveableType

Like don't install MoveableType in your blog domain... Shouldn't that be in the instructions (or didn't I read the instructions)

Posted by Philip at 04:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well there is a lot to learn

about movable type installation

Such as do not install moveable type in the same domain as your blog.... Shouldn't this be in the instructions?

Posted by Philip at 03:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

@nd @way we go!

Digital Crocus

Best deal on web hosting I've found on the planet maybe.

Posted by Philip at 11:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2003

First Entry

Well here it is

and then again maybe not. Wierdness with the archives

Posted by Philip at 03:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack