Patrick's Rants



12/22/2006

Congressional aide admits trying to hire hackers — to boost his college GPA

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff,It's funny — site admin @ 3:49 pm

This had me rolling. The first exchange is on attrition.org
with the follow up news story:
Congressional aide admits trying to hire hackers — to boost his college GPA

And then he gets fired.

12/21/2006

Hey Nancy!

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 8:19 am

All right. I’ve let this slide without comment long enough. If a third-rate burglary and a blow job are enough to start impeachment hearings then lying to the country about the involvment of Iraq in 9/11, the existance of WMDs and being an accessory to murder (’cause that’s what it is… grow a fuggin pair OK?) to thousands of US troops in a country that you destabilized into a civil war – and that’s what it is too – listening in on all of our phone conversations without warrants, condoning torture of innocent (or even not so innocent) Iraqi’s and others, (no reliable information is ever gained through torture, didn’t we learn that from the Salem Witch Trials?) and no-bid contracts for Bush and Co. and his cronies are all certainly worthy of impeachment hearings.

Nancy Pelosi is pulling a Rodney King on us. Can’t we all just get along? Hell no! We didn’t do anything wrong. We weren’t even “running from the cops” – except the ones who are reading your library lists. If you get beat down for no reason and it’s the government doing it you call the most expensive lawyer around. Instead of a “burning bed”, she’s like the battered woman saying, “he really does love me.” No he doesn’t. Wake up. Bush is a war criminal. Except most of the crimes he’s committed are against his own citizens. It’s time that we set aside our oily gin look into the eyes of Big Brother, and take him down.

12/8/2006

The Bathroom Imbalance

Filed under: General — site admin @ 12:28 pm

I’ve been in so many men’s rooms lately that I think it’s time to make some observations.

I like the automatic sinks. You know, the ones you stick your hands under and the water turns on because a sensor “sees” your hands? I also like the auto dryers and the auto towel dispensers, and heck even the auto flush urinals aren’t bad. They aren’t always done right though. The Outlet Shops at Anthem, for instance failed to get it right. The faucets are too short; the sensors only detect your hands once they are right up against the end of the spout and the pressure of the water causes it to deflect from your hands onto the sink and the mirror. There is always water on the counter there. Sometimes it even gets on the floor and your clothes. The Grand Canyon National Park got it right. The faucets are longer and the water cascades more onto your hands there. The sensor is down around counter top level while the water flows from about four inches higher. They also have those waterless urinals. There’s no flushing involved, saving 1.5 gallons (or thereabouts) per “non-flush”.

The public schools also seem to have an array of different bathroom styles. Up here in Flagstaff, where things are green (and we have water restrictions, odd-even watering, etc.) most of the urinals are the waterless type. In the greater Phoenix area, though all the urinals are flush… at least the ones I have visited. There was warm water in the locker room style sink in one school, something I’ve only found the one time. Living in Flagstaff creates other spoiled-ness that one might not realize right away, we have porta potties everywhere. At every school that I have visited there seems to be at least one porta potty. Most of our parks have traditional and port potties and even the NAU campus has them scattered around. No need being full of piss around here. But leave our mountain top and it’s as if port potties are a high altitude plant. They just don’t grow well anywhere else. I’m guessing it’s not due to lack of “fertilizer”.

Road Trip

Filed under: General — site admin @ 12:10 pm

I’m flying out tomorrow to help mom move. I’ll be gone for about a week or so, have to get a couple of blog things out of the system before I go.
I think I’m just about ready. I have my one quart bag with all my liquid stuff ready to set aside at security. I’m planning on wearing sandals that I can just flop into the x-ray bus tub and bare foot it through the metal detector.. just hoping the metal plate in my head is not enough to set off the machines. Oh, and nobody better be calling the airline encouraging full searches on men in their 30s travelling on a one-way ticket 😉

No Animal Testing

Filed under: General,Politics — site admin @ 12:06 pm

This comes from the overheard conversations department (note, no catagory as of yet).

In a discussion that started out with a critique of the fast food industry with liberal mentions of the book Fast Food Nation (which I have not read, and I’m not sure that I will read) and then went on to why one of the individuals didn’t eat fish*. Well eventually it swung around to one person saying she didn’t use shampoo or whatever that was tested on animals. I’m assuming that this would include medical testing as well – she just seemed like that kind of person. I mean nothing good comes from animal testing and research. I just hope this young (vegetarian) lady never gets diabetes or anything like that.

Back to testing shampoo. I know that sometimes the testing for shampoo can get a little carried away… at least that’s what I’m told. I’m proposing that those baby shampoos never be tested on animals again, I mean aren’t there already enough babies to use for testing?

*In case you were wondering it’s because of the “ghost fishing nets” NPR
Bellona.org

How Intelligent Are You?

Filed under: General — site admin @ 11:47 am

I overhead the man say to another man, “I don’t like profane language. It shows your ignorance and the inability to communicate intelligently.” Or something like that, I’m paraphrasing, of course.

Sometimes the best word is the profane one. For instance, “I don’t give a fornication,” is not nearly as effective as the profane version. Short, sharp words can sometimes give the absolute best meaning to what you want to say.

I once let slip the word, “shit” in front of Maureen (who could tell stories that would have you rolling on the floor) and immediately apologized, “pardon my French.”

I was promptly corrected. Noted Maureen, “don’t apologize for that. But even more so, don’t give the French credit for such a fabulous word as ‘shit’. Merd doesn’t come anywhere near, shit. And we have the Anglo-Saxons to thank for such a good word.”

Of course, I’m paraphrasing Maureen too as it’s been several years since we had that exchange. Oh, and pardon my Anglo-Saxon. 😉

11/30/2006

Job Posting

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 3:32 pm

——-
The USGS Astrogeology Research Program in Flagstaff, Arizona has openings for a full-time, permanent IT Specialist (Customer Support) position at the GS-9 grade level. The salary range is $49,628 to $64,522.

This position is to provide quality customer support to professional and technical staff that process scientific and administrative data using desktop computers. The Specialist will install, maintain, and backup desktop computers and operating systems such as Unix (including Linux), Windows 2000 and Windows XP; install and maintain desktop applications such as word processors, email, spreadsheets, web browsers; write program modules for the administration of software for desktop computers; write and/or modify user guides, and provide other assistance as needed.
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When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

Filed under: Books,Reviews — site admin @ 1:52 pm


It has taken me over a year to finish reading, George Carlin’s, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?. This is the first book by Carlin that I have purchased and read.

As a boy, I had a collection of Carlin stand up tapes that I listened to and I couldn’t help but hear his voice in my head as I read the words on the page. This was part of the reason that it has taken me so long to finally get all the way through to the end. Reading Carlin is like watching a stand up routine, it jumps from one topic to the next, the disjointedness is a little jarring when it’s not performed – something that is nearly seemless in conversation is noticeably unattached in the written word.
(more…)

11/28/2006

Upgradin’ the Firewall

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 7:06 am

Over the weekend I decided that it was time to upgrade software on the office firewall. Not a big deal, I upgrade software on the firewall once every two weeks, sometimes every week. This time, the kernel was part of the upgrade and when entered the command to reboot it never came back up. Since I wasn’t at the office while attempting the upgrade, I could no longer log in. I was forced to drive to the office, plug in a monitor and a keyboard (this thing normally just runs) and see what was what. As it turns out, the machine didn’t like the new kernel for some reason and it was hung on the login screen.

No problem, I’ll just whip out my Knoppix CD and fix it. Dang! This machine doesn’t have an option to boot from CD. Ok, Tom’s Root Boot disk to the rescue! That’s when I learned that Tom’s doesn’t support Resiserfs and I couldn’t get the hard drive mounted so that it could be fixed. I tried various combinations, tried following the error messages on the screen to get into the system to no avail. I was thouroughly frustrated. (I never did get a boot disk to work properly with this machine)

I grabbed the firewall box and box that I had sitting there that was going to be the Asterix PBX server. I lugged both of those home and began (re)installing Slackware on the soon-to-be new firewall machine. I was reinstalling so that I could have a “regular” filesystem, one that can be read by Tom’s or any other really tiny floppy based recovery disk the next time I have a problem like this. So install the OS, copy some configuration files from the other hard drive (that I could now read from the new machine) and get ready to move the network cards to the new machine – so that I could boot from the CD Rom drive – and, oh shit! The newer machine only has PCI slots, the older machine only has ISA slots. Those NICs aren’t gonna move. So I removed the hard drive from the new machine to the old machine. Oh look, it boots up.

It’s a good thing I didn’t do what I wanted to do to that poor old box. I was going to “boot it” across the alley, probably a few times. And when I was done with that I was going to throw it into the dumpster from as far away as I could – and if I missed, I was going to try again. I know what you’re thinking, that poor hunk of encased-steel (yeah, it’s that old) IBM never did anything to you, and what about environmentally friendly disposal of the components? I realize that machine didn’t cause my problems, I did. But it’s just not as satisfying to take that old box over to the recycle center. Really.

11/24/2006

This is What Separation of Church and State was Supposed to Prevent

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 9:38 am

According to RichardDawkins.net – The Official Richard Dawkins Website, a teacher in New Jersey told his class that they belonged in hell for not believing in Jesus. A young man recorded these lunatic rantings and he and his attorney father approached the school to have the teacher apologize for teaching unprovable non-science.

The teacher lied in a meeting with the school principal, the student and his father, stating that his remarks were taken out of context which is when the existance of the recordings was revealed. So far, it does not seem that this teacher is backing down from his statements, the school is slow to respond and the next step is the school board. This really should skip to the courts, but the boy’s father is an attorney so he’s taking it down the path that he believes is right.

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