October 2004
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Archive for October, 2004


Posted in Geekery on October 20th, 2004

Wouldn’t you know it, in the time since that last post, I’ve gotten about a hundred comment spams. Bastards.

The bastards are at it again

Posted in Life on October 19th, 2004

Massive Incorporated Launches World’s First Video Game Advertising Network

Ads will be served during the game – they say it won’t distract from gameplay, and allows marketers to pin down the elusive 18-34 demographic.

When will these fuckers figure out that we don’t want to be advertised to? I have always enjoyed the lack of real advertising in games – it was the only visual entertainment left that didn’t have ads. What’s next? Ads in my sci-fi novels?

A message to all marketing personnel the world over: LEAVE US THE FUCK ALONE!! If you want us to buy your products, release demo units to the press and get someone to review it on /. – that’s all you need to get a geek’s attention.

Big Brother is watching…

Posted in Geekery on October 18th, 2004

…and he’s worried about your TV habits.

CNN.com – Flat-screen TV emits international distress signal – Oct 18, 2004

An Oregon man discovered earlier this month that his year-old Toshiba Corporation flat-screen TV was emitting an international distress signal picked up by a satellite, leading a search and rescue operation to his apartment in Corvallis, Oregon, 70 miles south of Portland.

The signal from Chris van Rossmann’s TV was routed by satellite to the Air Force Rescue Center at Langley Air Base in Virginia.

I guess it didn’t like his porn collection :)

Color me shocked

Posted in Politics on October 18th, 2004

Computer problems reported at Broward early voting sites

Where else – it’s in Florida.


Theatrical Review: Pure gold Baby

Posted in Media, Reviews on October 16th, 2004

I went to see Pure Gold Baby Friday night, a delightfully seedy play set in a strip club “somewhere in the United States, NOT Portland”. I went mainly because one of the actresses is a friend of mine, but it is well worth watching on it’s own merits.

Welcome to Sasha’s Hotbox, the sexiest, most scintillating strip club in town! Get real and get off as stereotypes collide with reality in the netherworld of exotic dancing. Follow Melissa as she enters a world where power, money, poetry, and desire make the rules and no one emerges unchanged.

As you walk into the theater, you are immersed into “Sasha’s Hotbox”, a dive strip-club. The lights are dim everywhere but the stage, the music is loud, and there is a real live girl on stage taking it off. A sign on the wall next to the stage boldly proclaims “Dancers work for tips ONLY”, and you ARE expected to tip the dancers during the show. Bring lots of singles, or change is available at the door.

While you are at Sasha’s, you will meet the full gamut of the stripper world – the Scumbag Boss, the Bitch who runs the show, the Ingenue, her Devil-May-Care roomate, the Mother, the Dominatrix, the Junkie, the Pro, and the Poet. Oh, and don’t forget that guy that lives down on Gynecology Row.

In the play, we follow along as Melissa goes from being the girl-next-door to Persephone the Stripper, and we all learn a few things about how the world works along the way.

As a guy who has been to several strip clubs around the U.S., I can tell you that the actresses have studied well for their parts, and a couple of them could really be making some serious cash on stage in Las Vegas. It doesn’t stop there, though. The acting is very good, and all the girls are well-worth the tips you leave them.

I was particularly impressed with Ayanna Berkshire’s performance as Sophie, the poet of the troupe, who does an excellent scene that starts out as a cold poetry reading and ends in a very well-done strip. Greg Bigoni’s performance as Lexi, the scumbag boss is one of the better parts of the play – it has to be hard to portray that big of a jerk convincingly. Greg and Amelia Dalton (Summer) do a very funny bit while they are both on the phone – only Amelia is on stage and supposed to be stripping at the time. And let’s not forget Nancy Rene’ Harbick (Hattie) in her inverted pole routine.

For the rest, you’re just going to have to go see the show. Tickets are $25 advanced reservation, $30 at the door. And remember to tip your dancers!

Strangers and fiction

Posted in Life on October 12th, 2004

While Greyduck has been writing about fictional interviews I had one the other day.

Well, I guess you could call it an interview…

Greyduck’s boss realized a couple weeks ago that it would take about two months for Greyduck to deploy the 30 replacement computers they had on order, so he authorized hiring a contractor to come and help with the project. Greyduck, of course, knew just who to call. It pays to have an IT guy as a roomie when you’re contracting :)

The call from his boss never came, so I took some action myself and went down to the office to help Duck clear out some room for the inbound shipment, and made sure to be someplace looking useful when the boss came ’round the server room. the interview lasted about 30 seconds, but the net result is that I got the contract, and spent today happily swapping out comps. They only want me to work part-time, which means the project will take about two or three weeks.

Unless, of course, I can talk him into that maintenance contract…

Quiz quickie

Posted in Humor on October 11th, 2004

Greatest gun ever! Feel special. Beautiful and reliable, but can still scare the living bejesus outta anyone.
Sig Sauer P226. Greatest gun ever! Feel special.
Beautiful and reliable, but can still scare the
living bejesus outta anyone.

What handgun are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

You know it, baby!

For those of you that aren’t gun nuts, the P226 comes chambered in 9mm with a 15-round clip (For Police and Military, anyway – us civvies only get 10.), .357 SIG or .40 S&W. Other features include internal safeties and a nice decocking lever that rests the hammer at the halfway point. I actually prefer the original blued version:

Back in 1983, the P226 was barely beat by the Beretta 92 for U.S. Military use. Actually, it came down to price, as the P226 and the 92 were the only entrants to meet spec, and Beretta gave them the better deal. Still, the P226 was later chosen as the superior weapon by the Navy SEALs. Who am I to argue with them?

Just how old am I?

Posted in Life on October 11th, 2004

You ever get that feeling that the group of adults you’re in, even though they’re technically your ‘peers’, is older than you?

I took Pookie to the second of the birthday parties this weekend, and this one was much easier on me. The hosts of the party were very good about making sure it wasn’t completely centered on the kids by keeping adult munchies in the kitchen and basically letting the kids play on their own. It was at their house, too, which was a big help.

Anyway, after standing around and chatting with the other parents for a while, I realized that they’re all several years older than me, most of them somewhere in the middle of their 40’s, and what a difference those extra years make. I suddenly felt that I didn’t really fit. It’s not like I was labeled ‘outsider’ or anything, I just knew that no matter what, the only time I would ever willingly spend time with these folks was for my daughter’s sake.

Of course, it didn’t help any that the other fathers were almost all your basic beer-swilling sports fan stereotype. I get along ok with them, but find I get along slightly better with the mothers. One in particular seems to come from my side of the world, as we have similar tastes in music and even know a couple of the same drag queens. (That’s a scary thought.)

Another interesting tidbit of gleaned info:
There is a company here in Oregon that is developing what is known in Sci-Fi dom as a “Bones McCoy” – an injection device that doesn’t use needles to penetrate the skin. (Also called an air hypo.)

This goes to show you that there are alot of inventive people here in the Beaver State – other Oregonian inventions include cable television, the Phillips-head screwdriver, the hacky sack, the computer mouse(!), the Fosbury Flop high-jump technique and the Erector Set building toy.

Maybe the Oregon motto of “She flies with her own wings” should include the number to the Patent Office.

A day in Hell

Posted in Life on October 10th, 2004

What kind of Hell, do you ask? The worst kind. The birthday party of one of Pookie’s classmates. 20-some-odd 5 year olds in a small restaurant, for two solid hours.

Pookie had a great time, until the last 15 minutes. That’s how long it took me to get her out to the car, kicking and screaming at me the whole time. Full-blown hysteria, including hyperventilation on her part. I’m sure some of the folks who weren’t at the party thought I was ripping her hair out, when I was really doing my damndest to get her to just stop screaming and breathe long enough to cool off.

Those of you who know me well know that I tend to stay away from places where there is going to be continuous loud noise – my hearing is such that I cannot tune things out, and the greater the noise, the worse my concentration gets. Well, when I have an armful of shrieking daughter, I simply cannot think.

Now, in her defense, Pookie is normally a very sweet little girl, and when she’s on her best behavior she can charm a roomful of child-haters. Every now and again, though, her inner demon comes forth and lays waste to the neighborhood in a manner that must be seen to be believed.

Dealing with these fits has been truly difficult for me, as all of the children I have had to deal with in the past (my son included) could be cowed by my voice. I always started out calm an reasonable, but when I started to raise my voice, they would knock off the nonsense and pay attention. (Hell, I have stopped people bent on violence mid-swing with my voice before.) Not so with Pookie – she seems extrordinarily immune to the ‘Voice of Doom’.

Maybe she’s immune because she is my child, but whatever the reason, it’s beginning to worry me. Maybe I can get her to start doing centering exercises to deal with her anger…

Die, spammer, die!

Posted in Life on October 8th, 2004

After waking up this morning to 36 comment moderation requests, all due to comment spamming, I decided it was time to roll out the big guns to prevent further work. Knowing that WordPress here uses plugins to make changes to the basic idea, I went looking and came up with The Three-Strikes comment spam filter.

What it does is analyze a comment for spam keywords, and uses a weighted point system to grade it. The more keyword hits, the higher the score. Score high enough, and your comment gets deleted without ever being posted, and you get redirected to the FBI website.

At least, that’s the theory. Let me know if it gives you problems.