Sunday, July 31

chicken bones

Spotted in the Journal of Industrial Ecology (an MIT publication):
Paul Hawken, the noted U.S. author, entrepreneur and social critic, has estimated that the sum of all substances required to support one American for a year, including water used that is no longer available for reuse, totals nearly a million pounds—or roughly 109 truckloads for a family of four. And do we recycle those million pounds of resources? Not likely—Americans discard 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour and enough steel and iron to continuously supply all of the country’s automakers.
Hmm .. this makes me wanna mosey over to KFC, buy a bucket .. and throw chicken bones out the window. That'll grow new chickens, right?

Friday, July 29

cellphone ICE

someone forwarded a hint about "cellphone ICE" this morning, and being a natural skeptic, I just had to check it out first. Indeed, I found an item on about it: "In Case of Emergency" which has lots of details.
The Executive Summary of "cellphone ICE" is simple:

add|edit one|more of your cellphone Address Book entries so that it begins with the letters ICE (In Case of Emergency). Then, when you're found dead/dying, a paramedic can search your cellphone's address book and will know who to call. I personally haven't carried one of those "Emergency Contact Number" forms in my wallet for eons, so this isn't a bad idea.
The Cellphone ICE idea is not foolproof, as the article points out: if your cellphone's separated from you, how will an EMT know which phone belongs to you? Also, what if you have a security code enabled (so others can't use it without your permission)?

Perhaps we should all print a custom label for our phones? "Property of Gene Bob. In Case of Emergency, call Beta the Wonder Dog at 555-1212"

Related: one of the A9 hits sent me to a video of an interview on CBS TV's "The Early Show" where Bob Brotchie - the idea's British originator - was interviewed by Julie Chen. Since I'm not a regular viewer, I don't know if she's normally that way, but several of her interview questions sounded like a total airhead. At least she didn't ask "If you could be a tree, what color would you be?" I felt sorry for Bob Brotchie, and would like to apologize (on behalf of all Americans) for subjecting him to that. We're not all mindless bimbos, Bob .. just certain TV Anchors.

Wednesday, July 27

cold, battery, crescent

What's with the cool weather - a high of only 74F? Isn't this supposed to be July in Dallas - home of the Poached Egg On A Sidewalk?

My UPS battery arrived via UPS today, and I am speechless with delight .. almost to the point of driving a $20 bill to Plano (yes, Trish-Bob .. that quip's for you). After installing the UPS battery (a task requiring about 30 seconds total) I took the old one to the BatteriesPlus store (Beltline @ Midway) and asked if they'd recycle the old one. Sure!, they said .. and asked how much I paid for the battery (curiosity). Turns out they stock UPS batteries, and even had my prehistoric one in stock .. their price with tax was more than buying via the web and paying shipping, but not by a huge sum.

This afternoon, I moseyed to downtown Dallas to locate the Crescent Office Complex - ha! This 18-story monster's hard to miss, once you've left the Woodall Rodgers Freeway (the mostly nameless thing that links 75-Central and I-35E).

Monday, July 25

Joe Barton's Witch Hunt

I doubt that Joe Barton's Witch Hunt will be covered by the local press; I'm happy that at least one newspaper (The Washington Post) in this country bothered. As I recall, The Washington Post is the same paper that broke the Watergate Scandal, many years ago, and is still villified by Regressives everywhere. Carry on, Garth.

At least Barton is following Karl Rove's manifesto: if you don't like the message that someone (anyone) delivers, the first thing to do is to attempt to discredit them. "If you're wrong, don't admit it. Next, get personal," says Herr Rove.

Unrelated: another item not covered by the Texas papers: Pastors For Peace Caravan to Cuba Stopped at U.S.-Mexican Border is something I noticed on the Democracy Now show (via LinkTV). This continues to confirm my suspicions that the Dallas Managed News is little more than a mouthpiece of the Radical Right.

Saturday, July 23

The mirror is often a good friend.

As any student of real Chinese food knows, fortune cookies are an American addition (abomination?) to the cuisine. But, there I was, feeding on dim sum at midnight Friday, and was presented with a fortune cookie at the end. Mine read "The mirror is often a good friend" (in bed). These originated from a factory in Houston, and included the obligatory sets of lottery numbers on the back.

As far as I know, Lucky House Restaurant (1301 Custer @ 15th Street in Plano) is the only area place that serves dim sum outside the 11am-3pm Window Of Opportunity. And yes, they serve it waaay outside the normal window. Granted, this place is small -- nothing like Kirin Court or Maxim's (Richardson) or Arc en Ciel (Garland) -- so the dim sum is ordered a la cart .. even if there aren't roving carts prowling the aisles with Chinese delicacies. Having a "dim sum menu" was odd, but it seemed to work.

Lucky House is near a 24-hour McDonalds and an Albertsons grocery, so maybe 15th & Custer in Plano is where the Late Night action happens up there. Outside (trendy) downtown Plano, natch.

Friday, July 22


Whoever is in charge of naming stuff at Microsoft could stand a flogging. The new spin of the OS (currently coded "Longhorn", due in 2006) is to be Microsoft Windows Vista with the disclaimer "Clear, Confident, Connected: Bringing clarity to your world". Why does this remind me of the mantra for a religious cult?

I suppose I'd better get in the queue at the nearest CompUSA, right?

Also, if you're in the mood for a Stroll Down Memory Lane, take a peek at Wikipedia's "History of Microsoft Windows". Riveting, indeed!

Thursday, July 21

a UPS from UPS

Having stable electrical power for my computers is a Very Good Thing. In my neighborhood (probably most of Texas), the quality of electricity could be better; my lights dim every few weeks whether there's an electrical storm nearby or not. Since the computers are all on UPS [Uninterruptable Power System] this doesn't make me flinch.

My first UPS - an APC Back-UPS Office 500 - lasted a long time, but last night the battery decided it could hold a charge no longer. After making sure I had the right size UPS (500 VA), I have some choices to make:

0) do nothing. listen to the one-minute beep every 4 hours;
1) disconnect the UPS. use a surge protector instead;
2) discard the UPS in the trash (BAD IDEA!) and buy a new UPS [APC Back-UPS ES 500] from MicroCenter ($64.93);
3) replace the (rechargeable) battery
($26.78 from or $50.29 from APC);
4) upgrade the UPS to a new model ($64.37)
(all prices include sales tax and shipping)

Upgrading to a new model will allow access to modern software (PowerChute plus was written for Windows 98); the old UPS communicated via RS232C (vs USB) and is relatively primitive. But, this PC doesn't get a lot of use, so that's not paramount. If I finally decide to cave in, I can use the prehistoric UPS [with a fresh battery] on my TiVo (secretly powered by Linux), right?

I opted for choice #3 - replace the battery .. but first I needed to know the RBC [Replacement Battery Cartridge] number. Naturally, my 3 UPS have different batteries:

APC Back-UPS Office 500 (aka BF500) - uses an RBC21
APC Back-UPS ES 500 (aka BE500U) - uses an RBC2
Belkin 375 VA (aka F6H375-USB) : no replacement!

Astute readers will note that one UPS is only 375 VA - that's because it's not powering a monitor - CPU only. I emailed Belkin's Tech Support, and got this reply: "The F6H375-USB model has a 3 year warranty and there are no replace [sic] batteries for this unit." That's interesting, because the owner's manual says that if I should ever have to replace the battery, I should remove the old one and look for the manufacturer's name. Yeah, right.

I could've moseyed over to the nearest Batteries+ retail site, but it doesn't open until 8am and I want Instant Gratification! So now, I'll sit by the door, waiting for the UPS [United Parcel Service] Ground delivery to arrive. That shouldn't take long, right?

Wednesday, July 20

Tomlinson, Roberts and other incompetents

I was channel-hopping a few nights ago (C-SPAN?), and got to see Ken Tomlinson testifying before Congress: what an idiot. He's the one with a crusade to turn PBS into a 24x7 version of The Rush Limbaugh Report. Now I understand why the CPB's out to turn Sesame Street into a bastion of the Radical Right. I'll bet the first thing they do is Put Clothes on Big Bird, then turn Ernie into a Fristian Minister, followed by Cookie Monster's renaming (Mister Goodness?).

Tomlinson strikes me as Yet Another Rightwing Puppet who couldn't have an original thought if his life depended on it. Yeah, that's who we want in charge of Public Broadcasting. I'll bet he "reports" directly to Karl Rove.

See Bill Moyers Responds to CPB's Tomlinson Charges of Liberal Bias: "We Were Getting it Right, But Not Right Wing"
Unrelated: even I can be impressed by how fast the web can react. Witness the detailed Wikipedia entry for President Quagmire's Supreme Court nominee John Glover Roberts, Jr. (who was nominated early, primarily to take the heat off Karl Rove)

Monday, July 18

hit and run in Richardson

After a mid-afternoon of dim sum sampling, Judy Bob and I were en route Target when I noticed an old blue Land Yacht (1970s-era Buick|Oldsmobile) with a distinctive yellow hood .. and a companion yellow airscoop the size of Des Moines .. driving north on the 75-Central frontage road. I didn't think much of it at the time, other than it looking peculiar.

We turned west on Campbell and proceeded a half mile or so, before watching the "Yacht Owner" (in another lane) ram a Toyota (Cressida?) from behind at about 38 mph, in what appeared to be an unprovoked act (other than the fact the car was in front of him). We could see the driver, who wasn't fist-pounding angry .. it was just bizarre.

Fortunately, the Toyota's driver wasn't hurt and his car didn't appear to be damaged (good thing for plastic fenders). I called this into Richardson 911 who began searching for the Land Yacht. I wonder if the gent was impaired (drunk/drugged) at the time? After the ramming, he proceeded west on Campbell at a high rate of speed, and we didn't see him again.

This car is unique - and it shouldn't be hard for the police to find it. Lesson learned: if you plan to ram someone from behind, make sure you don't do it in the middle of a clear Sunday afternoon in a distinctive Land Yacht. Yeh, that's the lesson.

Sunday, July 17


I spent most of the day Saturday catching up on some old episodes of The Amazing Race [TAR]. Well, okay .. these episodes are about five years old and are airing on the Game Show Network for an indefinite time.

It's odd watching TAR this way (thank you, TiVo) but good that I can pack five episodes into an afternoon. It's also Amazing how far they've evolved: the host (Phil Keoghan) isn't nearly as visible, and he looks oddly youthful. The only time you see him "on the mat" is when the last-place team is being dismissed. Also, the editing's not nearly as clean; at times, it's even confusing as to what's happening.

I've also watched episodes of (late 1950s/early 1960s) The Twilight Zone evolve; the quality of the black and white images sharpens dramatically at one point, and even a casual glimpse can tell you if the show aired after 1961. It's Amazing how things like Rod Serling's omnipresent cigarette jumps out, when it probably didn't attract much attention when the show aired. I read somewhere that cigarette advertising accounted for 15% of network revenue in those days. Serling died of a heart attack when he was 50.

The Twilight Zone's special effects (how much was their budget? $50 an episode?) are laughable at times; the encounters with Space Aliens is frequently worth a guffaw, compared to recent episodes of Star Trek:Enterprise. The early episodes of Star Trek (the original series) and ST:NG (Next Generation) often reeked of comedic attempts at alien makeup, too (I pity Michael Dorn -- the actor who played Worf -- as his makeup evolved over the years).

Another show that I've become addicted to over the past few weeks is LinkTV's Mosaic, which is a daily 30-minute collection of stories being aired on TV stations in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi; Beirut; Damascus; Amman; Tehran; Jerusalem; Cairo). In many of the broadcasts, the women announcers don't look much different than an anchor here in Dallas, although this changes dramatically when the Tehran channel is shown. At least she's not in a burqa!

I noticed that PBS' 500 Nations has started to appear in reruns (maybe I hadn't yet instructed TiVo to seek out new episodes then). The DVD set is available via PBS for $60, or less if you're handy with eBay. I'm amazed at how many native American tribes just vanished over the years, at the hands of the European (Spanish, French, English) settlers.
Deep Thought #70: I have to wonder if our government's ability to adhere to a treaty has evolved over the decades? Best I can tell, it has not. We'll sign something, then violate it when our mood strikes. Pretty disgusting, actually.
Finally, I'm impressed by Morgan Spurlock's series [30 Days] which is on the FX network. His ability to test new scenarios is working (for me, anyway). I give it a Gene Bob Tip o' the Ballcap.

Friday, July 15

blood, shrimp, and the English language

It's been 8 weeks since my last blood donation, so today was the day. Mostly uneventful, excepting a peculiar light sensitivity afterwards (either it'll go away, or I'll become blind, I reckon).
Thank you for scheduling your blood donation appointment through our website. Prior to your donation, as mandated by FDA, the staff will perform a health history interview and a mini-physical exam to make sure you qualify as a blood donor. These screening procedures are performed with every donation to ensure a safe quality blood supply.
Then, it was off to lunch with Jacquie-Bob at Shanghai Restaurant (Preston @ 635-LBJ): the sesame shrimp was fine, and the Diet Coke from a can was most amusing.

In the There Oughta Be A Law category, I was chagrined to find that [bimonthly] has two legitimate meanings. Argh! Who wrote this English language, anyway? See The Prefixes "Bi" and "Semi".
16/7 update: I noticed a Foley's ad in the Managed News, where they're promoting their "HALF-YEARLY SALE" (not SEMI-ANNUAL) (whimper)
Finally, it appears that weather predicting is becoming increasingly precise. I checked the forecast on Weather Underground and noted (quote) "Chance of T-storms - 36% chance". Not 25% .. not 50% .. but 36%. Amazing!

Thursday, July 14

of FantasyLand and TomorrowLand

All these demands about President Quagmire firing Karl Rove are an exercise in futility. Anyone who has followed this duo knows that President Quagmire cannot fire Rove, regardless of what He publicly says about doing the right thing. To fire Rove would deprive Bush of his brain and He'd be left exposed to the world, without so much as a ball of yarn with which to play.

Recently, I watched a group of local Air America listeners hold a meeting, and it was obvious that they couldn't organize their way out of a wet paper bag; they are no threat to the highly efficient CFRP*, and to suggest otherwise is to live in FantasyLand (no disrespect to Disneyland's section bearing the same name).
* Christian Fascist Republican Party
One of the people attending the meeting was backing a Democrat for a statewide office, and wanted me to sign her petition. Since I didn't know anything about the candidate, I declined, but did say I'd nose around his website and start watching his campaign. That appeared to shock the petitioneer; after all, this was an AirAmerica meeting, and we should be expected to latch onto anything that doesn't have a CFRP Label, right? Uh, wrong. That kind of attitude is what got us in the mess we're in now. I've said it before, but
when Gene-Bob becomes King, the first thing he'll do is ban all political parties. Those (very few) voters who remain will be forced to listen to what a candidate says, versus what party label is attached at the moment.

This should have the effect of giving us better representation, since the people who vote will have had to investigate the issues (well, at least more than they do now).
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, since the Bell curve shows that 49% of the population is below average in intelligence. (insert 15 second delay here, so the gravity of that statistic has a chance to seep in). If the country continues on this Radical Right Death Spiral, we should ask Disneyland to rebuild TomorrowLand into a place where only straight white Fristians exist. All others should just Leave Now.

Wednesday, July 13

the future of news?

I'm not sure I buy what "Robin Good" (a probable pseudonym) is selling, via his Master New Media website. There, I spotted an article The Future of News Is ... which included a prediction about "The Future of Newspapers":
* Smaller in staff, format, influence, attention, profits and margins
* Specific or niche, no longer mass
* Downstream from the Internet
* Inexorably linked to other media
* Explanatory, investigative and narrative
This list strikes me as terribly self-serving; it reminds me of the early 1990's predictions that The Web would (in short order?) bankrupt all the traditional retail outlets (assuming that everyone would lock themselves inside their homes, attach themselves to their PC, never to venture outside and shop alongside other humans, ever again).

While the trend of huge "McMansion" homes continues (each with an opulent home theatre and nearby game room - both eventual dust gatherers), there's something to be said for Getting Out Of The House and interacting with others (if only to be ticked off by their rudeness).
Deep Thought #69: Maybe the idea of The Home Theatre is to rent DVDs from Blockbuster and show them to your friends? But wouldn't it be a LOT cheaper to just take them to dinner-and-a-movie once a month, For Life? Let's see: a Home Theatre adds (say) $40,000 to a house, OR I could wine and dine my friends at a REAL theatre for a couple hundred dollars each time, so .. doing the math ...
I suspect that there will - for a long time - be a market for mass media. Sure, during my lifetime all the formats - radio, television, magazines, newspapers - have become increasingly diversified (witness the availability of the niche Redneck World magazine, linked via my Sundry on Thursday blog). Yes, there are surely better examples of this compartmentalization, but you get the idea. Each of those survives by advertising, and a smaller niche market means that each advertiser must pay more per eyeball and hope their target market actually reads (or even knows about) that target publication. It's an uphill battle, fer sher. I suspect the USA Today; Time Magazine; and National Enquirer's of the world have little to fear.

Monday, July 11

swigging the kraut (by accident)

Yesterday afternoon, I attended a meeting at the BIG Half Price Books location (Northwest Highway, a few hundred yards east of 75-Central). Since I was going to the meeting room (and it was the middle of the afternoon), I parked behind the building and strolled through the rear "SELL YOUR BOOKS HERE" entrance.

After the meeting, I briefly nosed through the shelves, didn't see anything of immediate interest, then moseyed out the back door. I happened to glance across the street, and saw a Mexican restaurant (Casita Dominguez, proclaiming "Tacos al Carbon: Our Speciality") next to <squinting> something else.

The signpost says "Black Forest Bakery Restaurant and Delicatessen" and (if you bother to look on the roof) "Henk's European Deli & Black Forest Bakery". I've been meaning to investigate this place for years, but didn't know where 5811 Blackwell Street was located. You see, Blackwell street intersects Greenville Avenue, but it's not at all obvious (and nearly impossible to navigate from the Northwest Highway exit of 75-Central). I briefly nosed around and noted that the (Dutch) owner of Henk's was a partner with Kuby's (of Snider Plaza fame) since 1961. I've no clue if that business relationship continues. I do know there's no relation to Erykah Badu's renovated "Black Forest Theatre" (formerly the Forest Theater) at 1920 MLK Boulevard (under I-45).

Henk's is a perfect "Jill-Bob" spot: hidden, with virtually no business, save their Black Forest Coffee Shop -- inside the (mammoth) Half-Price Books megastore. Location, location, location.

Unrelated #0: it's time again .. it's been 8 weeks since my last blood donation. I happened to find "Eligibility to donate blood - the checklist" on their website.

Unrelated #1: on another blog, I noticed a pointer to the EFF's Legal Guide for Bloggers. I'll have to take some time to read that. Maybe while I'm swigging some sauerkraut at Henk's Deli?

Saturday, July 9

hey, I didn't vote for the chump

I wonder how many apartment owners vote Regressive for the CFRP?

The Texas Legislature, now in yet-another Special Session, want to increase the sales tax (even a first year economics student understands that as a regressive tax) and lower the property tax. Since most (60%) of Dallas residents live in apartments and don't directly pay property tax, they won't notice when the apartment owners get a decrease. Raise your hand if you think the apartment owners will decrease rent when that happens.

Unrelated: Chase, Citi and MBNA BofA now control 70% of the credit card business. Can you say oligopoly? Good, I knew you could.

Friday, July 8

tracking cookies

I run several PCs and have slightly different configurations on each one, so I can test stuff. I've kept one of the machines mostly Microsoft-only, so I can Feel The Pain that most PC users feel when they're beholden to The Evil Menace.

That PC uses only the Internet Explorer [IE] user agent browser, where I installed the Yahoo Toolbar which includes an anti-spyware plugin called (drum roll, please) Yahoo Anti-Spy (catchy name, huh?). Yahoo Anti-Spy seldom finds anything considered spyware, while Spybot Search & Destroy is constantly finding things, so I decided to run a few tests while I was reading the morning paper.

1. run Yahoo Anti-Spy 1.4
- no spyware found

2. immediately run Spybot Search & Destroy 1.3
- 14 problems found (all of which were tracking cookies):
FastClick ; (2 cookies); Avenue A, Inc.; BFast; Core
Metrics; DoubleClick; HitBox (5 cookies); MediaPlex; WebTrends live

Spybot checked 25,039 items.

This is interesting, since I use that machine mostly for convenience: I check webmail and do some casual browsing, but it's no longer my workhorse machine, and mostly exists to run the United Devices Agent (seeking cancer cures, etc.). So .. why is it constantly finding spyware there?

3. I used a Windows XP feature called "System Restore Point" before erasing the tracking cookies (just in case the removal of one of them will render the system catatonic), then read some online news: ( before running Spybot again. It said: Congratulations! No immediate threats were found. So .. Yahoo News isn't the source of the cookies.

4. I accessed the Dallas Managed News website, and ran SpyBot. Result? After reading 2 stories, I had four (4) tracking cookies (from DoubleClick; (2 cookies); Avenue A, Inc.)

That explains some of it. The cookie control that ships with Windows is not fine-grained. The user can: (x) Delete All Cookies in the Temporary Internet Files folder or delete individual cookies, but there's no built-in utility which controls the cookies from a given website. On my primary PC, I run Kookaburra Software's Cookie Pal (shareware) which does allow that level of control, and I seldom have tracking cookie/spyware issues. Maybe MS-IE 7 will fix that oversight? Am I smoking crack, or what?
8pm update: on the "pure Windows PC" I installed Microsoft AntiSpyware v1.0.614
which is due to expire on 31/12/2005

Thursday, July 7

London bombed

I awoke at about 5:45 today and heard about the bombings in London soon thereafter (Google News). Information's still sketchy now, but it appears there were 4 explosions in the subways and one in a double-decker bus (above ground). So far, no claims of responsibility, but I naturally think of al-Qaida, rather than the IRA (due to the coordination). Still, this was timed to coincide with the first day of the G8 Summit in Edinburgh, Scotland. I suspect the US is on alert, including the local Dallas Area Rapid Transit [DART].

Yesterday, London was awarded the 2012 Olympics, and today the city of 7 million is paralyzed because of a coordinated terrorist attack. I just read that 3 million people a day use The London Underground.

I flipped on the telly and it was tuned to NWI - the Canadian News World International channel. Thinking I'd like to hear it from a closer source, I tuned to BBC America which was indeed live with news .. for about 12 minutes until some Rocket Scientist decided to revert to their regular programming (dancing hedgehogs or somesuch nonsense). Sadly, I flipped to CBS (weather report) then ABC (commercials) and finally CNN, which was live with information. I'll probably leave the channel there, rather than take the chance of another genius move by the BBC.

I would flip over to Fox "News", but (predictably) they're spinning this as a targeted attack against the Fundamentalist Christians of London, or Gay Marriage, or something else which it's not.

Wednesday, July 6

The Bob Club

Trish Bob pointed this out: The Bob Club (no, I have nothing to do with this endeavor)

Unrelated #0: where in Dallas can I find a good quality [Ampelmännchen] shirt?

Ampelmännchen ("little lamp man") Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 5

no, it ain't Pepsi ...

Where in Dallas can I find a good quality [Afri Cola] shirt?

AfriCola Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 4

alarm clock malfunction

I found it hard to get motivated yesterday; not sure why. It wasn't until about 4pm that I went outside, and decided to see where NerdBooks was, in Plano. I sincerely doubt they have anything even resembling a retail operation, but I was surprised to see how large the facility is, following their move from TBA (The Bay Area). This is where the DFW Unix User Group's meeting, following several years at a JC Penney building near 75-Central and 635-LBJ (before that, they met at the [long gone] SGI building near LBJ-Preston).

After the brief road trip to Plano, I went to a friend's house to see if she was telling the truth about a family of ducks who've taken over her swimming pool. Well, it's true. The nest is in the middle of some iris plants (freshly opened eggshells still visible) and a morsel of 5-day old ducklings swimming from one end of the pool to another, over and over and over again. I don't know whether that was relaxing, or mirthful.
update: she called Dallas Animal Control about relocating the ducks, and was told they can't - because they're considered "protected fowl" under a Federal Law!!

Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 1998
Alas, I then found myself catching up on some multi-week old TiVo stuff, including a few Twilight Zone episodes (tomorrow is a Twilight Zone marathon on the SciFi channel, I think). How long will it take me to catch up? I didn't watch them while growing up (they were new in the late 50s/early 60s) so have several years of catching up to do.

Later today, I just must mosey to the grocery for some cherries.

Sunday, July 3


While reading this:
The 12-minute Windows heist says "(t)here is a 50 percent chance your unprotected Windows PC will be compromised within 12 minutes of going online ...
I was reminded me of the time I helped setup a network monitoring booth at a tradeshow. It was only a few minutes after we were online before we saw the probes starting, seeking weaknesses in our network. I seem to recall this being one of the SuperComm shows.

The moral? Anyone who connects to the Internet and isn't already behind a firewall or a properly configured router was probably compromised before they could even get the software configured! If it wouldn't be more trouble than it's worth, I'd like to bring a honeypot online and just watch, for old times' sake.

Finally, I'm not sure why Microsoft doesn't emphasize their Microsoft BS Analyzer (MBSA) more. I suspect they know something I don't ...

Saturday, July 2

no more dead liberals

I guess that Independence Day weekend was a good time for the announcement. President Karl Rove announced that (effective immediately) liberals will not be allowed to join the US Armed Forces.

I guess that's a good move, since that means that only CFRP members will be allowed to die in Afghanistan, Iraq and (coming soon!) Iran and North Korea. Yee haa - they're finally putting their mouths where their money is.

Ref: Daily Kos: Political Analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation.

Friday, July 1


Well, I finally found time to mosey down to Northwest Highway and Midway tonight, to sample one of Ball's Burgers. It's located in a new shopping center on the NE corner (near Albertsons) and was not a Hole In The Wall*, as I suspected.

Unlike most burger places, Ball's cooks them to order, so if you want yours Medium Rare or Medium Well, it's no problem. I also sampled an order of their onion rings (medium sized, nicely greasy), as well as a cherry milkshake (the counter guy had to ask a co-worker if that was really on the menu).

The ambiance of this place is amusing: as you step inside, you're presented with a collection of Balls On The Wall - everything from basketballs to squash balls. Once inside, the menu's on a blackboard above the counter. There's none of that pre-printed marquee so common elsewhere. You can dine indoors, or (if the weather's nice) a large patio-with-umbrellas if you're in the mood to dine outdoors.

Verdict: a GeBo Thumbs Up. I'll be back!
* not be be confused with Hole In The Wall Burgers on Harry Hines, barely south of LBJ-635