Friday, June 11, 2010

New T-shirt slogan or email sig line

From a friend on another mailing list:
 I need a T-shirt that reads:

Fight the Power!
Join Ohm's Resistance!
Yeah, I'd buy that shirt.

Personal Planning Fail

This is going to be a LOOOOOOOOOONG day.

Running late this morning, flew out of the house to catch the bus. Left my music player at home. "No worries", I think. I'll just fire up when I get to the office.

Um, yeah, sorry about that. They've decided to block all music sites. I can understand that. Streaming music chews up bandwidth in a hurry.

So now I'm stuck here without tunes, and some noisy cube-mates. I foresee a distinct lack of productivity today, unless I can happen to find some archived music from my old work PC.

*sets off on a mad hunt for tunes*

UPDATE: Search Failed. I apparently cleaned all my personal music off of my work PC before I moved. Good boy on my part, but now I'm wishing I hadn't.

I repeat: This is going to be a LOOOOOOOOOONG day.

Okay, this is funny

Hey, I'm not a petrochemical engineer.  I've never worked in an oil field or an oil rig.  I'm not professionally trained for disaster or spill response, so I don't feel I have much room to criticize BP in regards to Deepwater Horizon.  All that being said, this is a pretty hilarious video (language warning)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

AT&T Steps in it Big Time

A horrendously implemented AJAX web service exposed information on over 114k iPad subscribers.

The specific information exposed in the breach included subscribers' email addresses, coupled with an associated ID used to authenticate the subscriber on AT&T's network, known as the ICC-ID. ICC-ID stands for integrated circuit card identifier and is used to identify the SIM cards that associate a mobile device with a particular subscriber.

AT&T closed the security hole in recent days, but the victims have been unaware, until now. For a device that has been shipping for barely two months, and in its cellular configuration for barely one, the compromise is a rattling development. The slip up appears to be AT&T's fault at the moment, and it will complicate the company's already fraught relationship with Apple.
This is a huge black eye for both AT&T and Apple.  From a selfish perspective, this might actually drive Apple to finally drop their exclusive agreement with AT&T.  I'd love an iPhone or an iPad, but I don't want to switch carriers.

I feel a disturbance in the force

Some things are just not meant to be.

But, having said that, is it wrong that I want to get those for my girls?

Day 6, and all's (mostly) well

So it's been 6 days now since I quit smoking.  I'm still having moments of sheer terror where I just KNOW if someone offered me a smoke I'd rip it out of their hands, light it with a flamethrower, and inhale any smoke byproducts that might be generated by the process.  But, those moments are starting to be fewer and further in between.

The other thing that's helping is I've started working out again, using a trainer once a week.  I'm tired and sore this morning, but it's that good kind of sore that I vaguely remember from my high school athletics days.  I'll probably never get back into that level of conditioning but I'd settle for reasonably fit.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ah, it's California, home of the sanctuary city.

MSNBC reports:

The San Diego County coroner ruled Wednesday that the death of a Mexican migrant at the U.S. border was a homicide, five days after an American immigration officer shot him with a stun gun.
The cause of death was determined to be a heart attack, with methamphetamine abuse and hypertension listed as contributing factors.
(emphasis mine)

Let's look at the fact pattern, as presented in the story, shall we?  The deceased is an illegal immigrant.  He was caught and deported, and then re-entered the country illegally.  He was caught again and taken to the border to be returned to Mexico.  The cuffs were removed and he attacked the two officers escorting him, who radioed for help.  A responding officer then tased him, at which point he stopped breathing.

Please, someone tell me exactly how this is homicide?  What are they supposed to do?  If the coroner could attribute meth abuse as a contributing factor, what do you figure the odds are that he was hopped up when they arrested him?

Oh, and as for the Mexican government protesting the use of force, what exactly would be the response of the Federales if a foreign national assaulted one of them?  Do you think they'd turn the other cheek?  Would it have been better if the officers had given this guy an acute case of lead poisoning instead?

Now, there very well might be pertinent facts not mentioned in the story that could change my interpretation of the events.  To be honest, I don't put much stock in the assistant Homeland Security Secretary's comment that he's "concerned about the incident".  What else is he supposed to say, especially in this government?

As I sit here now, if I were on the grand jury with this fact pattern, I wouldn't return a bill.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Interesting times", indeed

It seems like incumbents aren't holding (as many) town halls during the current recess.  According to the New York Times:
With images of overheated, finger-waving crowds still seared into their minds from the discontent of last August, many Democrats heeded the advice of party leaders and tried to avoid unscripted question-and-answer sessions. The recommendations were clear: hold events in controlled settings — a bank or credit union, for example — or tour local businesses or participate in community service projects.
And what, pray tell, might they be doing at these invite-only, exclusive "meet and greet" sessions?
This time, a round of applause was followed by a glass of chilled wine, a plate of crackers and crudités as he mingled with an invitation-only audience at the Point Breeze Credit Union, a vastly different scene than last year’s wide-open televised free-for-alls.
With all the strife Obama has taken for his preference to arugula and other fare not considered "of the earth", I find it humorous that other incumbents would repeat that type of menu.  Of course, considering the donors they are courting, I guess a more plebeian menu would be out of the question.

Of course, I never did quite get the ridiculing of the menu.  First, I appreciate good food myself, and arugula is quite tasty.  Second, I understand that at some point, gestures and appearances are important, as much as us "common folk" might resent them.

As Borepatch is wont to say, "The Dinosaurs smell a change in the air, and roar their defiance."

Betrayal of my new home state

According to
Tobacco, in which Kentucky is second only to North Carolina among U.S. producers, has long been the state's chief crop, and it is also its chief farm product[...]
 I started smoking in college, somewhere around 1994 or 1995.  That makes it 15 or 16 years now that I've polluted my body, all the while lying to myself about its effects, or otherwise justifying my habit.

I've tried 4 or 5 times to quit, and man let me tell you, it's hard.  It's probably one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do.  The last time, I made it all the way through the 10-week cycle of transdermal patches, and eventually lasted 7 months until I wimped out again.  The reasons don't really matter.  The way I see it, I failed, and I've probably thought less of myself because of it.

It's an oft-quoted truism that if you get bucked off the horse, the best thing you can do is get right back on.  I didn't, at least not immediately.

I have now rectified that oversight.

I smoked my last cigarette the evening of Friday, 06/04/2010 and slapped on a transdermal patch.  I'm considering Saturday, 06/05/2010 as my official quit date.  It also seems that I unknowingly selected quite the auspicious day to begin a new chapter in my life (Happy Birthday Breda!!!).

I've also joined a gym (through an office discount), I'm working with a personal trainer once a week, and I've set some fitness goals for the next year.  The money I'll save not smoking is paying for the gym and trainer, and that will then pay for itself many times over in the long run.

The King is dead.  Long live the King!!!