14 November, 2008

there are no stupid questions

if someone tells you that, they're full of shit. in fact, here's a stupid question i just got via e-mail:

James,

Can you explain some of the odd queries that the Google Search Appliance says people are making with some frequency. Here are a few and the number of times they were made since October 1:
[search terms redacted]


yes, allow me to completely explain all of human behaviour. ever. because this is something i can do.

really, the mere fact that this person has sent me an e-mail and asked this question only goes to answer it: people are inquisitive creatures by nature, and want their questions answered. they will seek out these answers anyway they can, including, but not limited to, search engines.

perhaps that should be my response to this person.

12 November, 2008

password stupidity

password criteria for my new contract overlords billing system:

  • must be 8 characters long. not 8 characters minimum. 8 characters total.

  • must have at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter and one number. it can not have any "special" characters.

  • the password is not case sensitive


seriously, i have a more restrictive (and safer) password policy on my laptop at home. couple that with the fact that my username is just 7 random characters (and not, say, my first initial followed by my last name, as is normal), and i can tell that i am really going to hate doing my hours.

04 November, 2008

voting is easy

let's just say that at 1:30PM, there's not much waiting. the entire process took about 20 minutes, most of that being the walk to and from the polling place.

i would like to thank everyone who voted ahead of time via absentee ballots, and also got out of the way by coming in early this morning. thanks for making my life a little bit easier.

27 October, 2008

old school

co-worker, wandering in: "hey, do you have a floppy disk i could borrow?"
me: "have i ever told you about my magical unicorn, which has the ability to deliver strange and fantastic items to me?"
co-worker: "so, you're saying you don't have a floppy disk?"
me: "yes. i am saying that is not 1998, and i do not have a floppy disk."
co-worker: "thanks, anyways."

weirdo.

21 October, 2008

whoa

the US government seems to think that i'm trust-worthy enough for a TS clearance.

although, by posting this, i'm sure i just invalidated that. oh well.

28 August, 2008

as i sit at my desk, a man walks by, heading to another office. this man, strangely enough, looks like abe vigoda. the following is the insanityconversation in my head:

"whoa. fish from barney miller just walked by. why would abe vigoda be in my office? you know what would be funny? this:"

the bats have left the bell tower
the victims have been bled
red velvet lines the black box
abe vigoda's dead


"wait...is abe vigoda dead? you'd think if he was dead, there would have been a lot more mention of it on teh internwebs. oh yeah, there's that site that tells you if he's dead!"

which, naturally, lead to a quick search on google and the abe vigoda status site. (you'll be relieved to know that, as of 8:42AM, he was still alive.)

but best of all, at the bottom of the page, is the parody i was hoping for.

thank you, internets. i know i sometimes rag on you, because you're full of idiots spouting of about stuff that makes no difference. but every so often, you redeem yourself.

20 August, 2008

give me give me give me...fried chicken

man, do i love me some fried chicken. i don't care how unhealthy it is for you, i love it. the skin? with all the oil and seasonings and crispiness? one of the greatest things ever.

of course, finding a good recipe is a pain. i have, over the last year or so, been attempting to get a decent flavor out of alton brown's recipe.

well, that's not quite right. his recipe is pretty damn tasty. hell, most everything he makes is pretty damn tasty. but the first time i made that fried chicken, the unanimous response was: GOD DAMN, THIS IS SALTY! to quote philip j. fry: "this is the saltiest thing i've ever eaten...and i once ate a big bowl of salt"

okay, not quite that bad. but damn, was it salty. so the next time i made it, i used half the salt called for in the recipe.

stilll, too salty.

okay, let's try it without salt. nope, not a good idea. you obviously must have some salt in it for flavor, but finding that magical amount is tricky.

until last night. and the answer is pretty simple: use one-quarter the salt. (okay, and i used white pepper and some old bay, and no cayenne pepper). but the results are delicious.

and i don't know what it is, but cold fried chicken, much like cold pizza, is just an amazing thing. kfc and popeye's are missing out on an easy revenue stream.

05 August, 2008

its ugly

but it works:

VPN client -> wi-fi on work computer -> wi-fi on new phone -> 3G connection on phone -> VPN server at work

so if i should find myself in need of rebooting a machine at work, and no immediate wi-fi connection available, at least i can still get in there.

(sadly, a direct tether of the laptop to my phone is out of the question. way to go, security profile administrator.)

19 July, 2008

Dancing Demon

Wow:


I can still remember watching this on my family's old TRS-80 Model I, absolutely entranced by the thing. I would've been what? Four? Five?

17 July, 2008

Oreo Cakesters

Needing a sugar buzz and inevitable sugar crash that helps me get my day started, I stopped by the vending machine at work. Only to find that it had been picked clean of all the good stuff. But, not be dissuaded, I picked one of the last sugary items available (forget you, fruit snacks): Oreo Cakesters.

The verdict: Well, I guess they're Oreo in as much as they are two brown discs sandwiching a creamy white filling. The flavor is similar to a standard Oreo, but more like it had been created from an Oreo that came from a parallel universe that is similar to, but not quite like, our own. Perhaps a universe where dogs are called cats, and cats are called dogs. Or maybe one where they don't quite know how to make an Oreo.

My biggest concern about the whole deal is the nutritional labeling. The package comes with three Cakesters, and if you look at the calorie count, you find that one snack treat has 120 calories. However, the whole package (all three), has 370 calories. Is there are thing where the FDA allows for the rounding to the nearest ten when listing calories? Or does the consumption of the entire package literally mean that? Three Oreo Cakesters, cardboard sling and foil packaging included? If so, can we not find a lower calorie packaging material?

15 June, 2008

I made this for you

I went to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens to kill the afternoon, and take some pictures. Mostly this was to try out my new lens, a Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye. Definitely a lot of fun to use, although it takes some time getting accustomed to a 180º field of vision. Very easy to forget and leave your hand (or foot) in the frame.

Also trying out Picasa web albums from Google. Haven't decided if I want to start using it exclusively, and/or move my current photos over to it.

21 May, 2008

curly

seriously, is my hair just getting curlier as i get older? is this normal?

i got a haircut yesterday, and my hair is just wicked curly right now. i do not recall it being this bad when i was younger. maybe more wavy, at that point. now? its like dr. cox from scrubs (somewhere around season 4 or 5...if you watch the show with any regularity, you know what i'm talking about).

at this rate, its going to be like later-episodes mike brady by the time i'm forty.

and why do all of my similes involve television characters?


i have no idea why i used "wicked curly" up there

29 April, 2008

Hey pig

Roadie: Oh, boy. There goes Peter Frampton's big finale. He's gonna be pissed off.
Peter Frampton: You're damn right I'm gonna be pissed off! I bought that pig at Pink Floyd's yard sale!

08 April, 2008

Son of bitch. Shit.

I today I learned how it feels to do an rm -rf / on my system.

This happened and work, and luckily, it was my computer, and not one of the servers. And I wasn't running as root.

But still.

Somehow...and believe, I'd love to know about that how...but somehow, my root folder (/) go into my Trash folder. (I'm using Gnome, BTW, so hence why I even have a Trash folder.) And I decided to empty my trash before shutting down the machine (today is the day we move back into our permanent offices).

Which suddenly caused a lot more items to go flying by than I would have suspected. After cancelling the process, I realize that my Desktop is now clear of anything useful, such as my files and links. And my shortcuts are gone. And then I find that quite a lot of my dot-files are gone.

*sigh*

So now I'm trying to recover from all of that. Luckily, few (if any) binaries were affected. So its more a matter of getting things set up the way I had them before. Sadly, I've lost my archived e-mails for last year. And the bulk of the work I had done on our password changing mechanism.

But hey, at least I've got my window again, so no more going crazy without natural light.

22 February, 2008

Porn on the proxies

Got a message from tech support saying that one of our proxies was running low on disk space. Usually this is a problem that sorts itself out on its own, but I decided to check it out, anyways.

Log in to the machine and check out the directory that holds all of the files that are being virus scanned on the way to the end-user, and find a large (1.8GB) ISO file. "Ah, that would be it". Looking through the file, I see a bunch of stuff about Microsoft. So, someone is downloading a Windows DVD image. Nothing wrong with that (assuming it was from a legal source). Since it was almost two hours old, I cleared out the disk space, solving the tech support issue.

And then I noticed something else of interest. A file with a .php extension. And it was just over 200MB. Looked through the file, and realized it was a Windows Media file.

"Very, very interesting", says I.

I watch the file for a bit, and once I'm sure its done downloading, I copy it over to a temp drive. Then I tell my coworker about it, and we proceed to copy it to each of our machines: his a Windows box, mine Linux.

For whatever reason, it doesn't come up on his. But I send the file to VLC and start playback:

"Oh yeah...its porn."

Bad porn, but porn none-the-less.

Sometimes, I really do enjoy my job.

24 January, 2008