June 2005
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I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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Archive for June, 2005

Nurse! Get me more bandwidth, STAT!!

Posted in Geekery, Work on June 30th, 2005

So there I am out at one of our corporate client’s locations today when one of the SalesFeebs walks up to me, asking why his computer is so slow.

“Slow?” Sez I, “I just doubled your RAM a week ago – it should be screaming.”

Some few minutes of investigation later reveals that the network is being dragged to it’s knees by something. This is pretty bad, since the most important software they run is network-enabled. Time to do some packet-sniffing…

Packet-sniffing leads to crawling behind the racks to trace a patch cable, which leads to their security cameras. Cameras? WTF are they doing on the network? Call to the boss:

ME: Why are your security cameras connected to the internet?
BOSS: Mr. C likes to check them from his house, why?
ME: It’s killing the sales network, and that new software you just spent so much money on needs the bandwidth.
BOSS: What can we do about it?
ME: You can bring in a third DSL line for the cameras. That will take about three weeks and cost you another $50 a month, plus some additional hardware.
BOSS: Hmm….can’t we do anything else to speed things up?
ME: Well, I can always disconnect the camera system’s internet, but that might irritate Mr. C.
BOSS: To hell with him! He can watch Baywatch reruns instead. Kill it.
ME: *poik*
SalesFeeb: Hey, the network’s back!

Don’t look now, there may be content

Posted in Miscelleny on June 29th, 2005

As I’ve said before, I occasionaly write fiction. I was originally posting it under the main site, but that means I have to edit html, where if I post it here it’s simpler.

What, me lazy?

So, off to the left you will see the heading ‘Fiction’ under the pages listing – that’s where I will be putting it from now on.

You may have already seen what I put there tonight; I could have sworn I posted it before, but somehow I have lost the first 54 posts to this blog, plus the posts I transferred from when I was using MovableType. Not a big deal – I doubt I wrote anything important. In any case, here it is again.

You were warned.

Go ahead – be a statistic

Posted in Geekery on June 27th, 2005

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Heroes for all of us

Posted in Humor on June 19th, 2005

After having seen the new Batman movie, I have a question that should be telling about you: Who is your favorite super hero, and why?

For me, it tends to be a bit mainstream, and a close tie (I am a Gemini, after all)

The first is Bats himself, and not just because he’s the most recent in my head. Batman is the only DC title I have ever read with any sort of relish. Firstly, his only real super-power would have to be called Phenomenal Wealth – he has all the best toys that he and like-minded geeky types can invent. He relies on his own wits and training to do a job normally left to the truly super.

Secondly, it’s his use of fear as a primary weapon. Many criminals live the way they do because they have no fear of retribution from the system. Batman is there to remind them of the consequences of their actions, and to bring them to justice – whether it be a trip to jail, or just a midnight call to scare the bejeezus out of them. One of my favorite quotes is from a scene in which an armed robber has taken a woman hostage, and Bats is trying to convince him of the error in his judgement. He promises that wherever he goes, no matter what he does, Batman will be there, waiting for him. “I am Vengeance! I am the Night!” Indeed.

My second favorite would have to be Wolverine, for similar reasons. He describes himself as “I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn’t very nice.” Yes, he’s a killer which goes against most comic-book rules, but there comes a time when it is necessary. Anyone who does not believe this is deluding themselves.

There’s also Logan’s quest to balance his animal berserker self against his own personal code of honor. I was already reading alot about the code of the samurai when the X-Men comics started spending time on Wolverine’s ties to Japan, so this tied me more to the character.

There you have it – two of the darkest characters in the two mainstream line-ups, and they’re the guys I like best. Luckily for me, I have responsibilities that prevent me from becoming a vigilante.

Review: Batman Begins

Posted in Media, Reviews on June 16th, 2005

Lucky bastard that I am, the Girlfriend took me out to see the new Batman movie last night, and we had a very good time (aside from spending $10 on a soda and popcorn. Sheesh!)

The first thing I thought about the movie was “where are the opening credits?” The movie has none – it simply begins, with a young Bruce Wayne (about 9 or so) chasing his friend Rachel around the greenhouse a few minutes before he falls into the old well.

Like any remake of an old idea, this movie puts Bats into a more modern world than what he originally came into. Gotham is, as always, Gotham, in the way that it should be. (I was pretty disappointed with the portrayal of the city in the earlier films.) The writers do an excellent job of telling us why Gotham is Gotham while the cinematographer is showing us what it is – and it is a truly polarized city, with the rich on one side and the poor on the other. A glittering monorail plies the skies forty feet above the ground – because at ground level is where all the streetscum live, and nobody wants to see that.

Spoiler Alert Read the rest of this entry »

Foggy head ramblings – you’ve been warned.

Posted in Life on June 12th, 2005

The Good: Loratadine (the active ingredient in Claritin which makes it non-drowsy) is available generically for $0.40 a dose for the 24-hour size.

The Bad: It’s a bad year for allergies.

The Ugly: I tend to build up a tolerance for Loratidine pretty quickly, and I think I’ve already hit it. The only other medication that clears up my allergies (Benadryl) does so by putting me almost to sleep – to the point where I probably shouldn’t be driving. (Those of you that know my driving skills can attest to how bad this is. I can drive anything, anywhere, under any conditions – except when using Benadryl.)

I just have a wierd body chemistry in general. I am immune to the effects of Codeine, which is a pain in the ass when I have to go to the dentist. The novacaine works fine, but Codeine is the preferred after-care prescription for tooth pain. This means I either take a lot of Ibuprofin, or step up to Vicadin. This again almost knocks me out. Handy at bedtime, but only if I get to bed before 10pm, something that hasn’t happened since I got out of high school.

More Good: I will be getting a raise soon.

More Bad: It won’t take effect until the paycheck after next.

Uglier: I still have to make $39 stretch until next payday. Ok, this isn’t so bad, since that $39 is for gas, milk and bread, but rent comes out of the next paycheck, leaving me only a paltry sum as buffer until the following paycheck. All is not bleak since I budget in all my usual suspects just fine, I just hate having less than $100 as buffer – it means I have to pack a lunch every day, which means I occasionaly eat a lunch that is either warm when it should be cold or vise-versa.

Administrivia

Posted in Geekery on June 11th, 2005

Due to a slew of trackback spam in the past couple days, I have disabled trackbacks for the next week or so. Hopefully they will get bored by then and stop.

Another stupid meme! Blame Graumagus

Posted in Proof! on June 9th, 2005

From Frizzen Sparks:

What’s the most interesting thing you set fire to when you were a kid?

Well, what we set fire to isn’t interesting, but the fire was. It was getting on toward the 4th the year I turned 11 I think, when my stepbrother Josh pulled a boner and took one of those “Dancing Flame” fireworks (the ones that spin really fast and burn different colors) and threw it up into the air after he lit the fuse.

Sure enough, the thing took off and flew into the field across the street, landing at the base of a pine tree, immediately setting the wonderfuly dry grass alight. We managed to get a hose on it before it got out of control, but it left a ring of singed grass in a perfect 20-foor diameter circle centered on that tree (which survived).

It looked like a UFO had tried to use the tree as a landing stanchion.

Later that same summer, though, we discovered the joys of lighting those little green army men on fire. If you get them burning on a board and then lift the board, little flaming droplets of plastic drip off and make a really neat noise as they fall.

Yes, this is what kids do for fun when you raise them in the sticks.

Book Review: Anywhere But Here – Jerry Oltion

Posted in Reviews on June 8th, 2005

Here’s an interesting concept: what if someone invented a Hyperdrive? What if they put the plans out on the internet?

What if you could build one yourself for a few hundred dollars out of commonly available parts, get control software off the ‘net, and turn your pickup into a space-faring camper?

In Jerry Oltion’s Anywhere But Here, lead characters Trent and Donna Stinson do just that, and take off for a little vacation around the galaxy.

Now, the Stinsons have ample reason for wanting to take this little jaunt. We come into their story some time after the invention of the Hyperdrive, and things aren’t going so well in their small Colorado town. The American government and economy are in the shitter, the Stinsons are both out of work, and things are just generally lousy. Those with the brains and wherewithal have been building personal spacecraft and leaving the country at the least, if not the planet. Off-world colonies are recruiting, and the U.S. has banned personal ownership of hyperdrives, going so far as to shoot down anyone attempting a landing over U.S. soil.

For the second time this year, I have read a really good Sci-Fi novel packed with political dissent. The first one was a cop-out in that the main characters pulled up and left. Here, the characters eventually come home to fight for what they believe in – but only after their government tries to kill them three times.

Cowboys are apparently a stubborn sort.

While being well-written and a fun read, Oltion takes a little artistic license with science in a few places other than the hyperdrive. While having a decent grasp on orbital mechanics, I don’t really think he understands the concept of air pressure very well, unless I have entirely misjudged the difference in volume between a big off-ride tire and the cab of a pickup. Or how quickly heat bleeds off in space.

Still, it’s a damn good book that I had a hard time putting down. Go see for yourself.

Here’s some funny

Posted in Geekery, Humor on June 8th, 2005

I’m closing down the shop today when I get a text message on my cell from a number not in my address book:

“Can i see ur boobs”

Oooookkaayyy….on a whim, I call the number up and get voicemail. Shrugging, I leave a message:

“I received a text from this number a few minutes ago, and I think you’ve got the wrong number. But if you’re really into the Man-Boob thing, I don’t see why not…”

Later on, I get home to find an email from Thecyberwolfe Security Assistant, asking me to click on a link to my own domain to verify my account details.

Blink

Yup, that’s right folks, some idjit tried to phish me from my own domain. Here’s the really funny bit: whois tells me the originating IP is leased from a French ISP.

I’ve been p(h)oissoned. :)