Click for the Philips eXpanium info.
Here you will find a repository of useless information about my
daily personal life. Anything of general public interest would be
found on The main NextTime
I'm only writing this because I lack the time, inclination, and
probably the social grace to actually talk to people. I am really not
as much of loser as that makes me sound, but it's just easier to
write these things down when I have the chance instead of trying to
tell everyone I know.
- 01 Feb 01
- Well, I haven't sold the Eagle yet, but we're just about
ready to pick up the new car. It's a 1999 Subaru Impreza Outback
Sport. I guess it was the only logical choice after driving the
Eagle for years and years.
So what is it? It's an AWD compact wagon, 2.2L 4cyl boxer engine
(oooh), 5 spd manual, 4 wheel ABS disc, cruise, power windows,
locks, mirrors, and factory anti-theft. Last I saw it (about three
hours ago) it had the ski racks mounted, and the bike racks in a
box in the back.
I just handed the dealer the largest amount of money I've ever held
in my hands, so I guess it's mine. With any luck, I can go there
after work tomorrow and it will be waiting with fresh plates and
two sets of keys, ready to drive away...to a nearby inspection
station so I can keep my insurance from being cancelled.
- 26 Jan 01
hate to say it, but my car is for sale. I'm going to miss it
- 23 Jan 01
- My fate is to be announced late this afternoon. I finally got
the semi-official word yesterday that the assignment is to be
cancelled. It wasn't quite last minute, they still had nine days to
By this evening I shall know what is to become of me. It should be
interesting since I also hear the rumors that filter down from the
command chain. Appearantly someone is paranoid about my position of
relative power over the IT equipment in the offices. I don't know
if I should feel honored that my level of access is considered
critical enough to be a vulnerability, or be completely crushed by
the fact that someone important thinks I would be agressively
destructive against the people I work with.
Maybe I should be more worried about the fact that this implies
that something bad is about to happen. Maybe I will hear something
this afternoon that they expect to drive me to destructive
behavior. Hell, maybe they're planning and hoping for it.
Ok, now I'm being paranoid.
We'll see what happens. I doubt their ability to get that far under
my skin. What do they think would bring me to damage or destroy
that which I have worked so hard to build? I do have some pride in
my work, and respect for the people I work with.
- 16 Jan 01
- Well, here I am, mere weeks from my projected departure. With
half the base being sent to Korea I'm almost looking forward to
it. I still don't have orders, or flight reservations, or even a
solid departure date, so it's looking a little hazy at the
It's also looking hazy since I've been waiting almost three weeks
for an answer on whether I'm even eligible to move on. My last
weigh in didn't go well, in fact it was far worse than I
expected. With the holiday parties and the general running around,
I would have expected to put on a few pounds. As it was, I did put
on a FEW pounds, and also (accoring to the wonderful USAF system)
3% body fat. I would find that surprising in an ideal world, but
the simple truth is that I doubt the accuracy of any of the
No, I'm not saying that I didn't put any weight or fat on,
or that the most recent measurement was wrong. Instead I'm saying
that the measurements before that may have been too low, and I had
never actually lost as much as they thought.
That's unimportant right now. What's important right now is that
I'm looking at the lovely chart provided to me when this whole
ordeal began. It tells me that for each unsatisfactory progress
period, a progressively harsher action should be taken, and that at
the fourth and subsequent periods separation is considered.
I'm looking at this and wondering why I haven't heard a decision on
my fate yet. If this were the first, or even second unsat, I could
understand the deliberation. I could understand the desire of the
commanders involved to take the "best" course of action by making
a well planned decision. However, it's clear to me at least that
the AF has no desire to reassign or even retain people this far
along in the program.
I'll go along with whatever happens, but I wish it would happen
soon. At this point I don't know If I should be packing my stuff,
packing up the whole house, or buying new chevrons with a couple
What? Cutting someone's pay because they're overweight? Even if
they can do any task assigned to them? Isn't that
- 18 Dec 00
- Whee! Another night of drunken foolishness. That seems to be
about every night I spend at the neighbor's house. At least this
time we had an excuse. She is also tagged for a transfer to Korea,
so we just HAD to have a going away party. I just have to wonder
how much of the 40 gallons of beer is left.
This of course, led to a generally unproductive weekend. The down
side is that I have now strengthened my theory that procrastination
is the best way to get things done. With almost half a semester of
projects and a take home final to finish before Monday at 1100, I
should NOT have been abusing my liver until 0400 Sunday
morning. Somehow though, I've just managed to turn in the final,
and my somewhat muddled rendition of the projects, and squeak by
with an A. Damn I'm good.
Two down, one to go. A five page PERL final by Saturday night? Why not?
- 05 Dec 00 (Just Barely)
- And what am I going to complain about now?
A quick check has confirmed that the domain 'bitchandmoan.com' is
already taken. Damn. That seemed like a perfect place to move this
waste dump to.
Why are you reading this, and better yet, why am I writing it?
Right now I'm escaping from doing an assignment that's due in
approximately 23.5 hours. It's going to be really easy, I just have
to actually start it.
I'm considering calling it a night (morning?) and actually waking
up at a reasonable time. With all of the ranting I've been doing I
can't really concentrate any more. I feel the need to spit 'n'
polish my resumé, but the crushing uncertainty of what will
happen to me in the next few months is preventing me from
justifying the time to do it. Maybe if I knew that some powerful
company would sweep in and say, "We want him, and we're taking
him." to the AF, I'd go ahead and finish it. Unfortunately
so-called 'hardship' separations (where the service lets you go
simply because you've found more money) don't really happen any
more. I wish they did, since it would be trivial to show that I
could be making easily twice what I do now, and possibly more. It's
not that I think I'm that good, I'm just that underpaid right
Maybe someone knows a secret that I don't? Please,
- 04 Dec 00 (Barely)
- Yes, I DO have better things to do. Don't you?
Now comes the time when I bitch about the state my life is in. You
can tell it's really started to suck since I haven't written
anything in quite a while. Sometime on or about 19 Oct I got the
honor of signing another assignment notice. Oddly enough this one
looked a lot like the last one. 51st Communications Sq., Osan AB,
S. Korea. Reporting No Later Than 10 Feb 2001, projected departure
01 Feb 2001. Yippie.
I didn't honestly expect this one to last. With my progress (or
lack thereof) in the Weight Management Program I expected to be
working for a completely different employer by now. Instead, I've
been gathering some interesting research data on the Gulick BFM
system and I'm considering writing a paper about it.
It would seem at this point that strength building exercise is the
absoloute worst thing one can do when on a monthly monitoring
system based on circumference differential. The best course of
action, and the one that has led me back to "Air Force standards
for men my age" is to eat anything that is available, but no more
than is necessary to remain alive and let stress be your only
These conclusions are based on the facts that:
Now, remembering that this is speculation, I have a theory. A great
deal of my weight training involves strengthening of the lower
torso. I work my abs and lumbar area hard in order to move heavy
equipment safely and partcipate in Tae Kwon Do. I do not
specifically work my neck muscles. I used to, but I feel that it
causes more problems than it solves. This leads to a situation
where body fat is burned off, making the overall fat pad thinner,
even on the neck. This will reduce the neck measurement for the
BFM. The torso strengthening will, in some cases, make up for the
difference through enlargement of the muscles at the waist
line. The end result is that the difference between the
circumferences, which is a linear translation to a body fat level,
will stay the same or increase for some time during this type of
- From about March to July of 2000 I attempted to maintain a
healty diet and regular exercise program. I consumed a balance of
food and quantity of calories to sustain body weight, or lose
gradually. At the same time I trained with weights for strength
building, and performed various cardiovascular exercises.
The results were, to the AF, unsatisfactory. I tended to maintain
the same average body weight with a net loss of only a few pounds
over several months. The BF numbers were also unfavorable, despite
obvious positive trends in body composition.
- In the first weeks of August, I was ill and could neither
exercise, nor eat other than soft foods. That month's progress
check was the first where I made improvements based on weight
- From there on, my self-care trends went down hill. I stopped
eating regular meals. The colder weather caused me to drive where
I might have previously biked or walked. For one reason or another
I found myself not making it to the gym as often as before.
I have been consistently passing weigh-ins.
- Most recently, in the period between 20 Oct and 20 Nov, I
probably visited the gym four times and rode a bike a total fo 20
miles. My diet consisted mainly of cereal, instant soup, and
leftover Halloween candy (lots of it, too).
The 20 Nov BFM put me back within AF standards
If the training is suddenly discontinued, the body will begin to
redeposit fat as the muscles break down to a less active
level. Since the muscles in the neck probably hadn't gained much,
they would stay about the same. The abdominal muscles, on the other
hand, would likely shrink rapidly upon return to a sedentary
lifestyle. The end result is that the neck will become larger,
while in the short term the waist will maintain size, at least
until the muscles reach a state of equilibrium. This will cause a
decrease in the circumference differential, and therefore in
measured body fat.
So that's where I stand. I have now backed myself into an even more
uncomfortable corner since it's a lose-lose proposition. If I don't
resume my exercise routines, my fat gains will eventually catch up
to my muscle loss and the measurements will rightfully increase. If
I DO begin weight training again, I'll be back where I was this
summer with a shrinking neck and growing waist.
However, sense has prevailed and I've realized there is only one
option. I'm working out for my own benefit and that's the
way it is. I will almost definately fail the next weigh-in, but
what will be the response of my superiors? "Stop exercising!" I
don't think so. Screw 'em. This is the way I am, and I'm prepared
to deal with whatever that gets me.
And that brings us (or me, at least) back to Korea. Shortly after
the assignment was handed to me, it was changed ever so
slightly. Now it appears that I'm expected to serve in the 607th
Combat Communications Sq at an Army installation just outside of
Seoul. It's somewhat ironic that my physical conditioning may cause
me to be disqualified from this assignment based on my physical
Have I mentioned that I think it's time for the AF to look for a
different BFM system?
- 04 Dec 00
- It's not that nothing's going on in my life, I'm just really
Right now I'm taking a bit of a break from not doing the latest
PERL assignment, or not working on the Shell Scripting final, to
once again spout useless info in the direction of anyone who might
care to hear.
First, while cursing my own laziness for not having a log analyzer
installed, I'm going to see if ANYONE reads this drivel...
Hmmm, working backwards I see:
Since my eyes are starting to hurt, I'll stop there. It would seem
that my most common hit is on the eXpanium, followed distantly by
idle curiosity. I'll throw some more useful eXpanium content at the
top for those who are searching for it.
- One hit from the Caribbean after performing a Google search
for 'expanium'. Wow, keywords do work. I guess that also means
I'll see hits from Google's spider.
- Here's another Google/eXpanium hit from snet.
- Neat! Someone came here from a Google search for "life is
pointless". That may or may not be true, but that just made my
day. That's worth something, isn't it?
- A hit from an AltaVista machine with no refURL and an agent id
of "TV35_Mercator_7-1.0". Must be a spider.
- Someone from Japan is looking to buy an eXpanium, and he/she
is using Google as well.
- Another one from Japan. No refURL on this one. Did someone
visit earlier and actually BOOKMARK this page?!
- A visitor from U. Calgary dropped in from my main page.
- Ah, it was most recently on 23 Nov that Googlebot stopped
- Webtop? That's one I
hadn't heard of.
- Another eXpanium search. Maybe I should write a full review
and put up some ad banners or something. I'm getting like, one or
two hits a week on that thing.
- A MindSpring dialup. I think I KNOW who that was. I won't
- Here's an AOLer browsing in from the main site.
- Someone on ResNet at GA Tech is looking for an eXpanium.
- Yet another eXpanium hit. This one through Metacrawler from
- Heh. A search FOR pointless crap, and it found me.
- Northern Light spidered me.
- Two more Google searches for the eXpanium.
- 20 Sep 00
- Rant, rant, rant. Maybe some day I'll say something nice.
This one just pissed me off. I was headed home for lunch and ended
up behind someone who just couldn't interrupt his phone call to
drive the five minutes or less from his office to his house. That's
kind of a pet peeve for me. I try to avoid using the phone while
driving, and when I do I use a headset. People around here are
crazy enough as it is without further distractions. Besides, it's
illegal to use a cell phone while driving on base.
That's not the point, though. As we approached housing, I noticed
some kids crossing the street right behind me. Judging by the nasty
look from the guy waiting in the other lane, I had driven right by
them while they were waiting at the crosswalk. The base is the kind
of place where pedestrians rule and you generally let someone cross
unless you're driving an ambulance or fire truck. Besides, again,
it's the law around here. I truly felt bad about it.
It occured to me that the car in front of me (Mr. I'm an officer
and my business it too important to end this phone call and keep my
eyes on the road) must have done the same thing. That fact was
confirmed at the next intersection. At that point we're in the
housing area with a 15 MPH speed limit and kids all over the
place. I'm the third car at a stop sign and I can see a small group
starting to cross on the other side of the intersection. Then I
hear a horn from the car in front of me. With my window open I
could also hear the guy yell something. The best part was this
shithead leaning out of his window to yell and gesture at the car
in front of him. At that point it all made sense. By getting half
of his upper body out of the window everyone could see the shiny
silver eagle on his shoulder.
Yup, this was one of Hanscom's finest, a Colonel. This is someone
who might be in charge of a high profile program or in command of
an entire unit. This bonehead is one step away from General. This
is someone who obviously is too important to spare 30 seconds to
let some kids cross a street safely, yet probably has several
children of his own. This is a leader, a mentor, and a role
model. This is the reason I want so much to have nothing more to do
with these people.
- 14 Sep 00
- Customer service?
That's three times today that I've been simply astonished by the
level of service one can get these days. The first one was a
friendly call to New England Telephone/Nynex/Bell
Atlantic/Verizon. More than a month ago I requested to have the
primary number on a two line account disconnected and the second
number billed separately. The reason is a long story, but that's
the way it had to be. Well, last month I got not one, but TWO bills
from BA. One was for the old primary, with the second number having
been pulled off a day after I called. The other was for the old
second line as a "new" account. That was fine, and I figured that
the bill for the old number would be the last I saw, and I'd just
continue getting the bills for the remaining line. WRONG. I got
another pair of bills this month, charging me for BOTH lines.
So I call and explain to the semi-automated attendant (sometimes
it's hard to tell) that I wanted the primary number DISCONNECTED,
not just split back onto a separate bill. His response was to tell
me that there was no note about that in the account, and that they
can't have gone into the account without leaving a note. He would
be happy to disconnect the line now and stop the billing as of the
last statement. Well, since I had already PAID for a month of
unused service (and unusable, seeing as I pulled the jack for that
line out a month ago), that wouldn't cut it. After going over my
entire account history and convincing him that at least I
thought I said disconnected the first time, he got me a refund for
the previous month also. Yet, even as he was thanking me for being
a Verizon customer (like I have a REAL choice) I could hear the
tone in his voice that said, "Liar, liar!"
Shortly after, that is after stepping out of my office for about
twenty minutes, I found that our bottled water had been
delivered. That's good, since the empties had been piling pretty
deep. However, one might assume that with two coolers in separate
rooms, each with its own stock of full bottles and herd of spend
ones, that one would replace the empties in each room with an equal
number of full ones. One MIGHT assume that. Or one might assume
that you'd take all but one of the empty bottles and leave
an equal number of full ones in the room closest the door.
Now, this room is big, but it's also FULL of equipment, and is set
up to nicely store about five water bottles, total, along the side
of the cooler. I was not happy to ONCE AGAIN find eight full
bottles in the middle of the floor, in addition the the two still
in their proper spots. Especially since they weigh about forty
pounds each, and can only be carried one at a time through our
wonderful doorways. Oh well, it's not a gym day for me, so I've got
to get the exercise somehow.
And then, (I said three times, remember?) there was the little trip
to a well known coffee chain. Let's call them...Dunkin' Nasty
Grease Bombs, just to avoid pointing fingers. I had that craving,
so I decided to treat myself, badly. I wait for my turn, step to
the counter, and say, like a mantra, "Large iced hazelnut. Cream
and sugar." The giggle factory behind the counter sets to locating
a large cup, while chatting to a coworker in a language that I
might have understood had I not dropped out of my fifth year of
high school spanish. She then turns to me with, "Cream and sugar?"
My answer was appropriately something affirmative as she began the
process of filling the bottom quarter of the cup with a nice
cream/sugar paste, again while going on about what I'm sure was
anything but the item in her hand. The next question was just as
predictable. "What flavor?" I controlled myself and simply restated
my preference. At least it came out well, and I can honestly
believe that she had no IDEA why I might have been upset. Maybe
NextTime I'll just go in, grunt in the direction of the iced coffee
dispenser, and wait for the cheerful voice prompts to make my
- 12 Sep 00
- And another thing... (I'm just being prolific today, aren't
I'm now one week away from another poking and prodding to see if
I'm conforming nicely to the mold the AF wants me in. If I fail
this one, chances are I get to find a new job AND a new home in the
generous time span of two weeks. Now that's two weeks of work, mind
you. It's not like I get any time off to try to find an apartment
for under $1500/mo AND a job to pay for it.
I think in the long run I'd be better off getting the hell out. As
it is I'm coming home every day to do not a whole lot of
anything. If this keeps up I'll be comatose by mid-fall. It would
seem strange to call it job related, but I'm ususally cheerful and
productive when work is going well. Maybe I need to find a job
where there's actually a separation between work and
home. Something where I'm NOT more likely to run into my supervisor
in my front yard than at work.
- 12 Sep 00
- Bored, bored, bored. Actually, I don't know if it's boredom or
depression. It's such a fine line. I'm just having one of those
months where I wouldn't even bother going to work if the penalty
wasn't swift arrest and incarceration. That's sad. Some people
actually get to enjoy their jobs.
As if the uncertainty of not knowing whether I'll be around in a
month isn't bad enough, I just don't have any direction right
now. Sure, there's work to be done. There's LOTS of work to be
done. I just don't know who to work for at the moment. I've got my
original job of maintaining the Sun systems, but that's gotten
pretty pointless since all but three people stopped using them. I
mean, there's plenty I can do on that front, but to what end? I
could work one of the projects in the Intrusion Detection lab, but
these people were never in charge of me, so I can't count on
getting credit for working there. I'm not too sure what the point
is of doing any work here is anyway. I can't even tell if we're
doing any work with the test network any more.
Then there's my "official" job. Offically I should be sitting in
the same building as my assigned supervisor. That's great, except
that the computer they provided me there is just about fast enough
to read a single e-mail every 2-3 minutes. I'm simply amazed at how
the boneheaded mandates from above can take something as simple as
reading mail and make it require more processing power than my
server at home has.
It's not just the computer though. It's also the fact that most of
that job is sitting around waiting for "permission" to go to my
REAL office and do the work I've been doing all along. So my
dilemma is whether I should kill a couple of hours each day making
my superiors happy, spend the extra few hours working to make my
coworkers happy, or just spend a few extra hours in bed since it's
all wasted effort anyway.
And that's just about the point I'm at right now. Like I said, if I
didn't KNOW it would be ugly, I'd just skip it entirely. I work on
salary, which means I get paid with job satisfaction. Looks like
I'm not getting a bonus this year.
- 23 Aug 00
- Ooooh! Another toy!
It's here! It's here! I was poking around on a few websites
last night and came across the fact that the
Philips eXpanium is
finally in stores. I've been waiting for something like this for
almost two years now. Of course I ran out to the nearest Circuit
City that had them and bought one...at about nine last night.
In case you don't know and don't want to visit their site, the
eXpanium is a CD-based MP3 player. I never bought into those
cheezy flash memory portables since all of my music (and I mean
every disc I own plus about 1GB of downloaded stuff) is at
128kbps+. The 32MB that most of the RAM players have just doesn't
cut it compared to the 650MB+ that a CD holds. That, and I don't
have to resample stuff to play it on the eXpanium. I just dump as
much as I can on a CDRW and the unit understands it.
As opposed to the other MP3-CD players I've seen, this one will
read CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, multisession, unclosed discs. It
supports Joliet extensions for long file names, multiple directory
levels, and (I think) up to 1000 tracks per disc. It can deal with
VBR, which is good since that's what I've encoded my discs
Basically, I have one complaint. It doesn't read ID3 tags. The
EXP103 and 101 have just a basic portable CD player display
showing track and time. At least it separates MP3 tracks into
"Albums" based on the directory structure of the disc. A text
display with album and track titles would make it just about
perfect, but I haven't seen anyone get it all right yet.
- 20 Aug 00
- I made the monthly journey to Cambridge for the MIT SwapFest
today. There, as usualy, was all sorts of interesting stuff. I
managed to control myself and buy only a little more than I went
there for, which was another IBM TrackPoint keyboard. I just
couldn't pass up a pair of Sun Type 5 keyboards and mice that were
FAR cheaper than they should have been, so those came home as
On the way out I happened to glance into a free box at one of the
tables. That's when I heard probably the oddest thing I'll ever
hear. "You want a 486 for a dollar?" I looked at the thing, and
debated its utility, as it was a 486SLC, 25MHz, 200MB HD, and 8MB
RAM. Why would I want another boat anchor cluttering the
basement? Then I noticed that it's a standard AT style case and it
suddenly looked more promising.
So now, of course, I have another boat anchor cluttering the
basement. At least I can rip out the 486 board and drop in one of
the spare Socket7 sets I have. But now I need more memory for
it. It's a vicious cycle, it really is.
- 18 Aug 00
- Still going...
I passed this month's weigh in by about a quarter pound. That
doesn't mean that I'm back in standards, just that I'm losing the
weight/fat fast enough to make the AF happy. If I'd known I had a
chance of actually making the weight portion I probably would have
skipped breakfast and made it with room to spare.
Now this is a relief, but I don't like what it really implies. I
was sick for almost a week right before the weigh in. If I actually
did lose five pounds, I don't think it was body fat. A week of
doing nothing and eating soft foods can't be the ideal diet for
achieving ideal body mass.
- 16 Aug 00
- After five years I've finally made the leap and bought new
sunglasses. Anyone who knows me would second the fact that I'm
never outside in daylight without a pair of shades. For the last
half-decade it's been a pair of SunClouds. This was a relatively
popular and much imitated model with rose tint lenses and gradient
mirrors. The glass lenses were a bit heavy, but stood up to years
of abuse without a scratch...until a few months ago. I finally
ended up with a gouge in the middle of the lower left mirror that I
couldn't live with.
So, after much shopping and debating, I picked out a pair of
Maui Jim Rose Typhoons. It's
not a huge leap from the SC45's, which I probably would have simply
replaced if SunCloud was still in business. The Typhoon is a
somewhat sleeker design that sits closer to my eyes and has spring
temples. The rose tint isn't as strong as the SC's, but I'm
starting to like it that way. These things are polarized too, which
must be a good thing even if I really can't tell the difference.
- 17 Jul 00
- I am now still beyond the standards of weight and body fat for
"men my age," according to the Air Force. I can't believe this
shit. I mean, I can understand that I'm outside of the neat little
box they want me in, but now I'm not getting back into that box
fast enough. I hate second-guessing other people's jobs (it just
makes more work for me, really), but in the period between 19 Jun
and 10 Jul my waist and neck measurements stayed exactly the same to
the nearest quarter inch, at least by the official tape. That's
just plain bizzare. In that time I was just starting back into a
serious weight training program. I don't see how it's physically
possible the measurements wouldn't change AT ALL after a month of
heavy lifting, mountain biking, and martial arts.
So, it's more administrative dicipline for me. What really sucks is
that if this keeps up it could affect not only my job, but also my
home. If I get booted from the service over this, I'll have about
two weeks to find not only a new job, but housing suitable for my
wife and I based on a salary which I won't even have started
My options? I could keep up what I've been doing. That is, eating
sensibly while still taking in enough calories to function at work
all day, and working out more than probably 90% of the people
stationed here do. I could eat less and work out more, but that
would involve sacrificing sleeping, working, and probably require
finding a source of methamphetamines within a week. I could also
stop working out and go on a starvation diet. That way I'd lose
enough weight just from muscle atrophy to get within standards.
I like the first option. It just doesn't appear to be working, or
at least not on the AF's quantitative scales. Every day when I look
in the mirror I see it working, but that doesn't matter. The
second option would work, I'm sure, but between the damage I'd do
to my body, and the fact that illicit drugs are just a little
beyond what I'm willing to do, I'll pass on that one. The third
option would be my best bet at this point. I mean, they only test
fitness once a year, but weight and body fat are monthly. I'm sure
I could get back into shape in time for next year's test. ...But
wait, I actually enjoy working out and being able to move heavy
objects around. I guess option three is out.
So it's back to what I'm already doing. I guess it's my way of
saying, "This is how I've been for years. This is how I am. This is
how I'm going to be. Take it or leave it since I've tried
- 19 Jun 00
- Well, that bird is finally gone. We had a bit of a scare when I
DID need something from that shelf, but she came back and took care
of the kids. They did their necessary growing up and fled the nest
like any normal children. I almost miss the company when I'm in the
garage now. I just wish I had taken pictures.
- 31 May 00
"Did you hear that? That was the sound of your head extracting
itself from your ass."
--Robert Merkle, The Ultimate Internet Terrorist
This is the sort of thing we are encouraged, nay, required
to read as part of a Computer Security class at a well known nearby
college. The class is decent, but this book is a joke. It's kind of
funny, really. I recommend it if you're into computer security and
want to see how much more than you this guy thinks he knows.
But that's not my point. My point relates to this same nameless
school that offers web-based courses. They have mailing lists for
each course, and a general one for announcements and discussions about
the lists and the chat rooms. This list is the past day has been
innundated with induhviduals who just realized that, "Hey, that
last message didn't interest me. I don't want this list." This has
prompted a barrage of "Remove me from your list" and "I don't want
this mail" and "Me too!!!!!!!!!" messages. These people seem to
have forgotten two things:
The offending posts consisted of a, "Does this feature work this
way?" followed by a, "Yes, use it like this: (two lines of example
code)" I'd unsubscribe myself, but I think I can handle the one or
two messages a week of normal traffic on the list.
- Everything they send goes to the whole list, not just the
- Their misplaced requests, including quoting the original
offending message and EVERY removal request up to that point, has
generated approximately 200 times the traffic of the original
posts, in everyone's mailboxes.
- 30 May 00
- We now have a mourning dove nesting in our garage. I was taking
my bike out to go to class and looked up on a shelf for the
lock. Up there, nestled in with the zip ties, wire loom, and shrink
tubing, was a bird sitting completely still in a nice cozy
nest. I'd get it out of there, but I can only assume that she's
sitting on a bunch of eggs right now. I guess I'll have to wait
until they're ready to leave on their own, or I'd be a really mean
person. I just hope I don't need anything from that shelf for a while.
- 12 May 00
- Why is it that people completely forget rules of punctuation
and grammar when writing e-mail? Why do people feel that things
like spelling and capitalization are unimportant in a medium
composed solely of the written word? Maybe it's just the abundant
overuse and misuse of the exclamation point that gets me. A mass message
I recently received from someone important enough to remain
nameless was titled something like, "Volunteers Needed !!!!!" and
contained the gibberish:
"What about buying tickets...has anyone bought their tickets
Ugh. It's odd, when talking to this person IN person, they don't
end every question by yelling at me. They also don't, as I'm about
to leave, scream:
"Call me if you want to know more about it!!"
Nitpicking? Probably. Maybe I'm just never THAT excited!!!!!!!!!
- 7 May 2000
- With the power outage this evening came and interesting
discovery. While I was in the basement unplugging things (having
eight computers turn on at once is not good for the wiring) I saw
something move just outside the basement window. This is a little
odd since the windows are below ground and have those steel wells
with the plastic covers around them. I thought maybe a mouse or a
bird or something when I saw one of the local baby rabbits trying
to hop up the side of the well.
The the power out and nothing else to do I decided to give nature a
hand and get the little guy out of there. Heather and I grabbed a
flashlight, a bucket, the cordless drill, and some gloves and
headed out. We got the cover off and found the hole in it that was
just about the size of a small bunny. Looking into the well found
us the culprit looking bewildered and trying to hide from us.
Heather's quick work with the bucket got him out and redeposited
in the yard near their nest. At the same time I borrowed a new
plastic cover from the neighbors and closed the well back up.
It's interesting though, that I wouldn't have been in the basement
that night were it not for the power going out, and I doubt baby
rabbits stuck in window wells is something that happens all of the
- 6 May 2000
- We've been robbed!
It's petty and rediculous, but someone has stolen parts of our
garden hose assembly. They came, took the sprayer nozzle, the
splitter, the quick-connect, and the hose hanger. The strange thing
is that they left the hose itself, and the screws the held the
hanger to the front of the house.
Normally I'd write this off as "One of those things," but this IS a
military base, and that quick-connect was brand new and had NEVER
been used. So, a police report has been filed. I don't expect any
real action when the investigator sees that the total value of
everything missing is about $25, but I feel better for having "done
the right thing."
- 2 May 2000
- Yet another two hours of our lives wasted in a pointless
meeting. That's right, another "Workforce Call" at the lab. I'm
sure this information was important and useful to someone, but not
the majority who were there in mandatory attendence. I can see
gathering everyone up for the awards and the "What we're doing is
useful and important" stuff, but let us out before you go into
budget projections and quality indicators. Let the lowly techs get
some work done and free up seats for the management types that care
about that stuff.
So the morning was a waste, but now I'm back into my comfy battle
pajamas and ready for the heavy lifting and crawling around that's
part of every real network administrator's job. A little real
accomplishment should make me feel better.
And the NIN concert will make me feel FAR worse tomorrow morning.
- 1 May 2000
- Yay! I'm still physically fit enough to be in the Air Force!
I'm so excited. My activity level lately had led me to believe that
I might not make it. Either the test scale is very small, or I've
never been in very good shape. I think I scored two points lower
than last year when I was actually working out about 15 hours a week.
- 24 Apr 2000
- I started my new job today. In actuality I started working in a
different office, for a different person, with a different office
symbol (mail stop), but doing really the same job I've been doing
for years. Goodbye flexible hours and contribution to a
product. Hello rigid schedules, paperwork, and classification as a
"support" person. This should be fun.