Saturday, February 28, 2009

think with your dipstick!

shaph just showed me this ad, and now i have an unnatural urge to start whipping people with a dipstick:

i love it. i love it. i love it.

Friday, February 27, 2009


dollhouse is on in the background. my friends are watching it. i'm not paying that much attention, but every time my attention phases in there seems to be nothing but thinly veiled lesbian tension.

all the girls need to rip off their clothes, get it over with, and go home. if there's a story, i can't seem to discern one.

sudo make me a sandwich

one of xkcd's most amusing comics is this one:


Bre Pettis and Adam Cecchetti took this one step further by actually making a sudo make me a sandwich robot this weekend:

it's amazingly shiny. if you just tell it to make a sandwich, it tells you to make it yourself. if you have superuser privileges, then very soon you will have a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. it's brilliant!

we need something like this at pumping station: one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Google Searches Crack Smokers Have Used

my dear googlers, you have outdone yourselves yet again.
  • smart places to hide your crack cocaine: i'm glad you are thinking ahead, my grasshopper, and i shall give you a few starter tips. keeping your crack at home is always a good plan. if you have to have your crack outside of the house, like when you are taking it home from your crack dealer, it's probably best to hide it in a bag, like a backpack or a purse, preferably under a layer or two of legal things. whatever you do, don't leave it in plain sight when you're taking it home. then, keep it in a safe place. the false-bottomed cans aren't much good, since cops know all about them. try a fireproof box, like people normally keep important papers in. or, put it inside some kind of box of keepsakes or other things in a drawer or closet of yours. the most important thing is to put it somewhere private, and have it hidden inside a container, amidst other legal things. that way, it doesn't look like you're hiding just looks like you're squirreling a few things away, like any normal person would. in addition, keep in mind that, for the successful crack smoker, hiding your crack isn't just something you is truly a way of life. all of the good hiding in the world is no good if someone sees you smoking crack. in other words, shut the windows, draw the blinds, and smoke your crack in private. don't smoke crack outside, and don't smoke crack where a cop, a snitch, or anyone else who could get you busted for crack smoking might see. be discreet.
  • how much can you sell crack for: a standard rock weighs between 1/8 and 1/10 gram, and it will get you high once; these rocks sell for between $10 and $20 depending on the market. bigger (~1/4 gram) crack rocks go for about $40. transactions of any more crack than that depend on the crack dealer. you may want to give volume discounts when you're starting out so the local crack smokers have reason to buy their crack from you, although the fact that they're addicted to crack and you're selling crack may get you a good book of business without sacrificing your bottom line with those pesky discounts.
  • i smoked so much crack: good for you. would you like a cookie?
  • i made fake crack now what can i put into it so u can get high: cocaine. that's it. people smoke crack to get high on cocaine. if you put some other drug in the crack, a crack smoker will know, and will stop buying crack from you. so, if you are that intent on selling crack, and you want to avoid incurring the wrath of angry crack smokers who don't get their accustomed high from your crack, you should discard all of your fake crack and cook a new batch with real cocaine. it's more expensive than fake crack, but if you're smart and covert, you'll reap the rewards from repeat customers.
  • rectal crack smoking: i thought we covered this last week: crack belongs nowhere near your bum. you can't shove crack up your ass to get high. and, unless you've had some sort of strange operation that connects your lungs to your bunghole, you can't use your rectum to smoke crack. you already have an orifice that's perfectly good for smoking crack. it's called your mouth. use it.
  • should i stay away from crack: yes.
and, finally...
  • hate moot court: no, it's not crack. but, if you've ever been to law school, i'm sure you can't deny that moot court made you want to smoke crack sometimes. i am so glad to never have to do moot court again.

vampyre nation? *facepalm*

jonathon sharkey is crazy. in his complaint for sovereignty of the vampyre nation he sometimes sounds hilariously kooky. sometimes, though, he sounds dangerously nuts--like when he threatens to execute his wife under vampyre law for being a traitor. for all his complaining, it's people like him that help set back acceptance of vampires, witches, and any other group for whom he purports to speak.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

yet another reason i love my boyfriend.

Rob: if your iPod doesn't sync, you know what you could use it as?
me: what?
Rob: a boat.


i just discovered courtoons today, thanks to atl. it's loaded with silly legal puns, jokes, and wordplay...i love it!

it's hard to choose favourites, but here's one of them that i found utterly brilliant, since ridiculous contracts doctrines always drove me nuts:

and here's one that contains a very shiny nineties reference, in addition to suggesting something that i wish had been in my moot court toolbox during law school:

needless to say, i'll be following this webcomic.

facebook addiction gone overboard.

facebook is addictive. i know that better than most...i've been on the site for almost five years now, and spent more time on it than i would like to admit. however, if you are so addicted to facebook that you are going to starbucks and snatching someone else's laptop in order to check your facebook page, you should probably delete your account and contact a psychiatric professional. it'll save you some embarrassment, not to mention save you from incurring a felony charge.

Monday, February 23, 2009

News Crack Smokers Can Use: February 23, 2009

based on what i have found while scouring the seedy depths of the interwebstubes...there are still people smoking and dealing crack. thus, the News is back. if you're not a crackhead, take pleasure in the fact that you're not as stupid as these people. if you are a can add these things to the list of what not to do if you don't want to get busted for being a crack smoker.

so, without further ado, i present this week's News Crack Smokers Can Use:
  • i've never smoked crack. as far as i know, blocking a public street with your truck may sound like a good idea after smoking a rock or two. i don't know. either way, it is not actually a good idea, and the local constabulary might get a little annoyed. they will ask you to move your car, and then they will probably ask to search you to find out why you were stupid enough to block the street with your truck. if, during that search, some crack rocks fall out of your hat when you take it off, you're screwed. let it go. Officer Friendly is not going to believe you if you say the crack rocks are not yours. think about it for a second: is anyone else really going to want to smoke those crack rocks that have been sitting between your smelly, sweaty baseball cap and your smelly, sweaty head?
  • if you're a crack dealer, you need to make sure that your crack dealing nickname is something that sounds cool. newspapers these days are very frequently printing street names in addition to legal names when people are arrested. therefore, if your name is something that's really silly, and you get caught, everyone's going to know about it. this being said, i really want to know the story behind why a male crack dealer got the name "boobie." would anyone take a crack dealer with a name like that seriously? with a name like boobie, he must have been the butt of all the crackheads' jokes. maybe in prison he'll learn a lesson or two about choosing a more bad-ass nickname, in case he is still itching for some crack dealing adventures when he gets back on the outside.
  • if you dropped your crack-laden coat into a garden while you were running from the police, it's a reasonable expectation that the police picked up the coat. just let it slide. do your best to get out of town or at least stay under the radar until the police forget about you and your jacket. that way, you can smoke your crack in peace. whatever you do, try not to send a ton of text messages to the phone you left in your coat, demanding your crack back and threatening to burn down the house where you left your coat. that's just asking to be busted. furthermore, if you are arrested for crack dealing and sending threatening text messages and then let out on bail, you should probably behave. you should stay away from crack, or at least confine your crack involvement to the private walls of your own home. whatever you do, do not sell crack at a private bus stop. that's a sure way to get slapped with a few more crack dealing charges, and be sent away to prison (and away from your beloved crack) for a very long time.
  • there is no such thing as free crack. if you hear from your local community of crackheads that someone is giving out free crack, let it go. it's a trap. at best, they are going to charge you for crack. at worst, it's a cop, or a vengeful crack dealer with a gun. however, if you are taken in by a free crack scam, and your friend points out that you really can't complain about not getting free crack, let it slide. chalk it up as a lesson in getting what you pay for, and be glad that you are still free to smoke crack. don't go home, get a gun, and shoot the friend who tried to help make your expectations a little more realistic. that's one sure way to bring your crack smoking career to a grinding halt.
  • it's time for Basic Math For Crack Smokers. 1 man + 3 crack rocks + 4 crack pipes = not efficient. why in the world would one person need four crack pipes? you only had three crack rocks, and you only have one mouth. unless you do some kind of act in the Crack Smoker Circus where you smoke four crackpipes at once, you really only need one good crack pipe.
that's it for this week's News Crack Smokers Can Use! as always, if you have any strange or stupid tales of the lengths to which people will go to smoke or sell crack, send me an email, drop me a comment, or spell out your tip with plastic cups along the highway.

notacon isacon

i just made my hotel reservation for notacon!

i'll be at the Wyndham in downtown Cleveland, which is the hotel where the con is going on. i'm checking in on Thursday, April 16, and checking out on Monday, April 20.


sometimes, work doesn't suck

i think they changed the office coffee this week. whatever the new stuff is, it's absolutely fantastic.

also, i already have a replacement for the crackberry that i so boneheadedly lost in st. louis this weekend. i feel whole again.

despite the yahoo radio fail, it's a great morning in the office so far.


dear yahoo radio,

it made me so happy to log onto you this morning and see that you work on firefox. my biggest gripe about you was that you only worked on internet exploder, and i was so excited to see that i could listen to the custom radio station that i had been crafting for almost two years now on a browser that doesn't suck.

clearly, "working on a browser that doesn't suck" is too good to be true, and my excitement was short-lived. it turns out that they've got a new radio affiliate, and they don't have custom radio station capabilities. it didn't eat up all the ratings, and you can play your top-rated songs: for a price, after the first 25 songs.

you suck, yahoo.

no love,
the persecuted crack smoker

Friday, February 20, 2009

on hackerspaces...

i know i talk about hackerspaces pretty frequently nowadays since i'm involved with pumping station: one, the chicago hackerspace. one of the most common questions i get is what a hackerspace actually is.

if you're curious, and you want a really good explanation of what a hackerspace is, what a hackerspace does, and some of the ideas and ethics behind the hackerspace movement, listen to this interview with Eric Michaud, a friend of mine and the president of pumping station: one.

this is the first in a series of videos called hello, a project of dave makes in which he interviews interesting people. i'll say he picked a very interesting one to start with.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

some people are special.

Legal Geekery has a fantastic post about a guy who is trolling dating websites for lawyers who will litigate his patent for free. that's right...he sent the writer of Legal Geekery an OK Cupid message complaining that patent lawyers charge money, and that there's nowhere but dating sites where he can turn to find "honest, constitutional types regarding article 1, section 8 of the u.s. constitution."

the entry is hysterical, as is the text of that weirdo's profile. it has rants about patents, [not] getting laid, and everything in between. seriously, the man is never going to get a date until he learns some social skills. after reading that, it seems like he's almost as locked in his own head as the underground man...and most people can't bear to spend much time around anyone so steadfast in their own sourness.

another letter to my faithful googlers

dear googlers,

you've outdone yourselves this week. i'm still getting plenty of you who ask if you can eat crack, and i believe that i have done the most thorough job of any site on the web of making the point that eating crack is a terrible idea. i can't fault you for being curious. i'm glad that you find this place when you make that popular search, and i hope you find the answer that you need: specifically, that crack is for smoking and not eating.

however, a few of your searches over the last day or two have succeeded in confounding the persecuted crack smoker. that takes skill:
  • "people will sell everything for crack": it's not too weird, i guess, but i'm a little confused about why you're googling it. crack is extremely addictive, and if a crack smoker doesn't have cash lying around, they often will sell things in order to get just a little more of that wonderful crack. in other words, googling "people will sell everything for crack" is like googling "the sun rises in the east" or "entropy increases." it is a basic truism of life.
  • most crack ever smoked: did you want to know the most crack ever smoked in what period--an hour? a day? a lifetime? either way, i have no idea. you'll have to take this one up with guinness...although something tells me that they won't be too excited about recognising any records for crack smoking. still, you can always ask. furthermore, i don't really care what the most crack ever smoked was. you can do really stupid stuff after smoking only a little bit of crack. the point of the News is not to tempt crack smokers with records like's to warn people of the dumb things that people do when they're on crack, and give crack smokers a little bit of advice on what not to do.
  • shove crack up my ass to get high: in the ever-wise words of Rob: "ass crack: you're doing it wrong." i can only hope that this google search was not legitimate, and that it was the result of a bunch of people with a case of the sillies who were trying to out-do each other for the most ridiculous google search ever. however, somehow i doubt it--since this blog was not in the first six hundred results for that search. [finally, i got so sick of seeing nothing but bad porn site links that i stopped looking.] we've covered the fact plenty of times that hiding your crack between your butt-cheeks is a futile endeavour. however, the idea of putting crack in your ass to get high is the stupidest thing i have ever heard. first of all, the crack rock would poke at the senstive tissues in there, and that would hurt. second, i doubt it would be absorbed by your system to get you high before you had to go to the bathroom and get that foreign object out of your which point your crack rocks will be smelly and icky and not very smokable. please, my dear crackheads, for the sake of good taste...keep your crack rocks out of your bungholes. you'll be much happier if you just smoke your crack to get high.
the persecuted crack smoker


you got me...i'm a sucker for People Playing Cool Stuff On Theremins:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

one year, already?

it was a year ago today when i stumbled across phone losers of america.

the way i found it was random enough: i was bored one night, and clicking my way through wikipedia. one of the random articles i stumbled across had something to do with telecom, and one of the links on that article pointed to the wikipedia page on phone phreaking. i had no idea what phone phreaking was, but had been idly wondering ever since i read jonathan lee riches ©'s brilliant lawsuit against 50 cent. in that lawsuit, jlr© claims that old fitty stole his lyric, "a phone phreaker, comin out your home speakerz." so, i clicked the link, read about what a phone phreaker was, and saw the links at the end. one of them was to phone losers, i clicked on the link, and i was up until 4am the next morning listening to prank calls on the site. i blogged it the next morning, and then stayed up absurdly late the next night listening to even more of the calls and reading the content on the site.

at first, i was hesitant to do any more than just listen to the stuff. i knew it was hilarious, but this phone phreaking stuff sounded a little dangerous. i was a third-year law student at the time, about ready to go through the background check from hell, and the last thing i needed was the character and fitness examination finding out that i'm active on some hacker board and deciding that was good cause to deny me a law license. i kept reading the website and listening to the calls. i even started reading the forums, but i didn't dare make an account or post there.

this resolve lasted all of about four days. i decided i had enough junk on the internet about me. i had a blog called the last refuge of the persecuted crack smoker, and even though i was no longer a regular poster on xoxohth/autoadmit, i had been an extremely-not-anonymous regular there for most of my second year of law school and that summer between second and third year. there was enough junk on the internet that could sink me, what was one more site? i made myself an account on the forums, started posting, and then started hanging out in the irc chat room.

i had no idea at the time what a good call that was.

i knew that i was going to have some good times. the phone mobbing and skype conferencing was fun to get started with. i was never a big prank caller when i was a girl, so i made up for some lost time and much hilarity ensued. however, the effects it has had beyond prank calling have been more than i could have possibly hoped for.

the talks in irc are a lot of fun. despite the random trolls that come in and out of the chat room, i've met some really great people in #phonelosers. some of you, i've met in person through hacker cons or through proximity to chicago. some of you, i haven't, but hopefully will someday. either way, i love the conversations we have there, be they serious, silly, or a little of both.

another effect was the rebirth of my interest in computers. sparked by conversations i had on irc and aim with trevelyn i tried out that "linux" thing that he kept talking about. i had heard of it, but never quite had enough confidence to go through with wiping windows and putting a new operating system on a computer. i gave it a shot, and figured out pretty quickly that my aging laptop ran a lot better with linux on it than it did with windows on it. learning to configure and get stuff to work on linux, in turn, led me to an interest i had pursued fervently back in seventh and eighth grade, but not done much with since: computer programming. i started picking up bash scripting because i needed to learn it to understand how to configure my system. i also started learning python...well, i don't quite remember why i picked up python, but i wanted to pick up a language that was good for things other than linux systems administration, in case i got any interesting ideas for non-sysadminny things that i wanted my computer to do. i'm not a linux or programming guru yet by any means, but i sure am kicking myself for going from the age of fourteen to the age of twenty-five without programming.

it was also through the people on phone losers that i heard about 2600 meetings. i had heard vague bits and pieces about the magazine or the meetings in the past, but didn't quite know what they were. they kind of sounded like fun, though, so i started going to them when i moved back to chicago. it was a little weird going to one since it was my first irl hacker meeting or event. still, i had been chatting with a couple of people in the irc, and they knew i was coming, so i went. the first one was fun, but a little weird. i felt like everyone knew more than me, and i felt very self-conscious about being a noob. still, there were some friendly people, and the talk [a prototype of the agreement talk that jaku and zack gave at shmoocon] was fun, so i kept attending. the more i went, the more new people i met, and the more comfortable i got there. it was at a 2600 meeting that eric told me about pumping station: one, the hackerspace in the works. that's been such an exciting project so far...the space planning itself has kept me extremely busy, and hanging out regularly with such a creative, interesting, and adept group of people has inspired me to spend my free time working on ideas that are idly bouncing around my head instead of just letting them bounce for the rest of time. being able to do that has made me a lot more confident about my abilities to do just about everything, and it has done a lot to get me started on a new phase of adult life after school, instead of spending lots of my time lazing about and telling myself that i just moved back here, and i'll find something else to do in my spare time soon.

finally...Rob. out of all the things i thought would happen as a result of posting on a prank phone calling message board, i had no idea it would lead me to meeting a significant other, much less one as unspeakably awesome as Rob. i had a vague idea of who he was before i went to hope back in july. he was some guy who made some funny calls, wrote some zine articles, and had been around phone losers for a really long time. however, i didn't know him, since he really never hung out in irc or on the forums much. some guys from phone losers were giving a talk at hope, and as early as march some of the people on the forums decided there should be a phone losers meetup there. i had the bar exam coming up a week and a half after the con, and was considering not going. i finally decided i needed a break before the final bit of studying, and i booked my ticket. i was just as nervous as i was for my first 2600 meeting, since i figured that i'd be meeting up with all these proficient hackers, and i'd be the only noob there. still, i did it. what parts of the con i actually went to didn't live up to the scariness that had build up in my mind. i met lots of awesome people, both from the phone losers boards and not [i'm talking to you, c4bl3]! i had fun at the con, and i didn't feel like i was in way over my head. i had so much fun at it that i've been bitten by the con bug, and want to go to as many as possible despite my relative noobishness.

however...i spent most of that con hanging out with Rob and getting to know him, and i have spent most of the time since the con either hanging out with him or looking very forward to the next time i'd get to hang out with him. he's smart, he's fascinating, and our weird senses of humour match the extent that he gave me a spatula as a six-month-iversary present. Rob is awesome.

wow, that one-year retrospective got insanely long, so i will end it here. the long and short of it life's a lot cooler now that it was before i stumbled across phone losers a year ago. thanks.

chicago 2600 is moving, to where i do not know...i kind of saw this coming, but i still don't want to go.

does anyone know a good place for a bunch of geeks to hang out and chat, hack, give talks, and pick locks one friday night a month?

it looks as though chicago 2600 won't be able to meet at the boys and girls club anymore after our march meeting. i'm not quite sure about the entire story, although i've heard that the one interim director who really liked us was not given a permanent position, and another person associated with the boys and girls club wasn't interested in coordinating our meetings anymore. whatever the reason behind it, the point is the same...we need a new space.

this makes me sad...the boys and girls club is a great venue. there weren't any kids activities going on anymore by 7pm when our meetings started, and we could hang out there as late as we wanted. there were several rooms we could use, including a computer room with a wireless network. this made our meeting kind of an anomaly...most 2600 meetings meet in a public place around 5pm, and either hang out until they close, or run around from place to place after the rendezvous. the fact that we meet and stay in one place gives our meeting an interesting character, since we can bring our projects there with us and not have to carry them around from to different locations. the meeting always felt like a sort of late-night clubhouse for geeks.

i guess all good things must come to an end, and it's not productive for me to continue this eulogy. this is only the end of an era; it will not be the end of chicago 2600. we just need a new location.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

show a little creativity, emo kids

why am i not surprised that there's an emo band out there called Pencey Prep?


Monday, February 16, 2009

News Crack Smokers Can Use: February 16, 2009

it is monday. i have drank coffee, i have drank some more coffee, and now i am finally awake enough to scour the seedy depths of the interwebstubes in order to discover the stupidest things people did this week in the name of crack. if you're not a crackhead, take pleasure in the fact that you're not as stupid as these people. if you are a can add these things to the list of what not to do if you don't want to get busted for being a crack smoker.

so, without further ado, i present this week's News Crack Smokers Can Use:
  • i appreciate the fact that you're a clever crack smoker who will explain to anyone who will listen that you smoke crack out of a beer can when your friends come over. it's harder to smoke with than a real crackpipe, and means that your friends will smoke less of your crack when they visit. i can understand that--the economy sucks, and budget-minded crack smokers need to be careful with their supply. however, you can't be such a skinflint that you can delude yourself into thinking you'll ever get a refund if your crack turns out to be fake. i know they don't teach a lot of latin in crack smoking school, but if you smoke crack, there are two little latin words that you should know: caveat emptor. it means, let the buyer beware...your crack comes with no implied warranty of smokability, and if your crack dealer sells you fake crack, the best you can do is find a better crack dealer. now, if you're buying legal goods, you can call the authorities and get them to help enforce the consumer protection laws. you don't get to call the cops to complain about your fake crack. even if you are dim enough to do that, don't show the cops your beer-can crackpipe and your weed supply. you're taking a big enough risk giving the cops your "fake" crack...if it's not fake, you're in trouble. don't open yourself up to getting busted even worse by giving Officer Friendly a guided tour of your personal drug supply. they may not find the crack dealer who cheated you--but you paved a yellow brick road right to your contraband, and you'll be hauled off.
  • if the police have already noticed that you pulled a gun on them, you're sunk. fine, so you dropped the gun before you got out of the car. you're not off the hook, and the police are going to arrest you as soon as you get out of the car. it's too late to toss your bag of crack into a throng of onlookers and convince someone to grab it. sure, there's some possibility that someone in the crowd will be stupid enough to pick up a bag that you threw just before you're handcuffed, given that these people were stupid enough to be watching an armed scuffle between cops and crackheads. however, the police saw you throw it, they saw it land, and they will retrieve it. in fact, only someone with superhuman powers would be able to throw their crack so far that the cops won't be able to see it land. just because you are a delusional crack smoker does not mean that you are actually superhuman--your arm is not a cannon that can throw crack miles away.
  • how many times do i have to say that eating crack is a terrible, terrible idea? you should not eat it near or far. you should not eat it on a car. eating crack might make you puke, or open you to swift rebuke. there is a reason that this blog is called "the last refuge of the persecuted crack smoker" and not "the last refuge of the persecuted crack eater." if my previous admonitions have not been enough, then this should be: eating crack can kill you. keep in mind that being dead brings your crack smoking career to an end. if you are hauled off by the local constabulary you may have to spend a few years in prison, but you can always go back to smoking crack when you are released. however, if you eat all of your crack to avoid going to jail, and you die of a crack overdose, you are never going to be able to smoke crack again. it's not worth the risk.
  • 42 may be the answer to life, the universe, and everything, but there is at least one thing to which #42 is not the answer: specifically, the question of good Seattle Metrobus routes for selling crack. seriously: you are a bus driver. you should be paying attention to traffic, greeting customers, and driving the bus. nowhere in your job description does it tell you that one of your assigned tasks is selling crack while you drive the bus. if your bus driving salary doesn't pay enough, you have several choices. you can get a new job, or you can lobby the government to pay bus drivers more. supplementing your income by crack dealing is generally not a good idea. however, if you really, really need to sell crack, do it in a slightly more shielded environment than the public bus.
that's it for this week's News Crack Smokers Can Use! as always, if you have any strange or stupid tales of the lengths to which people will go to smoke or sell crack, send me an email, drop me a comment, or message me on what can only be described as internet crack.

that holiday on saturday...

[my phone rings]

me: hi, sweetie!
Rob: i was just calling because today's a very special day...i wanted to wish you a happy P.G. Wodehouse's birthday!1
me: thank you! i was just about to call you and wish you a happy Arizona Statehood Day!

[conversation goes on as "normal"...or, well, at least as "normal" as a conversation between Rob and i can go.]

...and that was the nerdy, sarcastic extent to which we observed any holiday on saturday. this is yet another reason why Rob is awesome. ♥

1 well, it's actually his death-day, not his birthday. but, i didn't know it at the time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

snuggie pub crawl fail

sigh. they released a date for the snuggie pub crawl i mentioned a few days ago. it's on april 18th...right smack in the middle of notacon.

i wish it could have been any other weekend than that...but hacker cons happen to fall on the short list of things that are cooler than running around town in a stupid looking blanket and drinking in public.

maybe i'll have to just procure a snuggie and wear it in public another day. sure, there won't be the throngs of snuggie-clad people like there will be in the pub crawl, but i'll probably confuse more people doing it on my own. :D

Saturday, February 14, 2009

lessons learned the Hard way...or, even the Expert way.

lesson learned last night: when inebriated, stick to singing Rock Band on Hard. yes, Expert is easy enough when i have full control of all of my faculties. but, when i don't, i just end up failing out of anything i try. on Hard, there's enough wiggle room with the pitch that i can easily not fail out.

or, better yet, it might be better to stay away from singing Rock Band when inebriated, because i sound like crap when i sing. :P

Friday, February 13, 2009




who is going to go on the snuggie pub crawl with me?????

Pirates Hyjacked Robbed and Stole Everything...and still managed to go bankrupt.

i encountered the greatest case name ever yesterday:

Pirates Hyjacked Robbed and Stole Everything, Inc. v.
State Fair Park Exposition Center
, 318 B.R. 502 (Bankr. W.D.Wis. 2004).

now, when you read that, what do you think is going on? i don't know about you, but after reading the caption i immediately assumed that the contract with the convention center was for some kind of geeky convention, maybe cosplay or LARPing. seriously, what other kinds of events would a company called Pirates Hyjacked Robbed and Stole Everything run?

well, i was completely wrong. the company was in the business of running trade shows. that's right, trade shows! sadly, they were not even trade shows for cool things like cannons, peg legs, rum, and pirate hats. they ran things like the "milwaukee home and garden show" and the "great midwest log home and timber frame show". this, of course, leaves me rather unsurprised that the company declared bankruptcy. who would hire a company called Pirates Hyjacked Robbed and Stole Everything, Inc. to run a SRS BSNS >:-[ trade show? on the other hand, it's equally hard to understand someone who wanted to name their business something as whimisical as Pirates Hyjacked Robbed and Stole Everything, Inc. running something as boring and mundane as trade shows.

however...if this law thing doesn't work out, maybe i'll buy the rights to that name from the bankrupt entity and use it for my company. i don't yet know what my company would do, but it would definitely involve cooler stuff than home, garden, and timber frame shows.

i'm shooting out your lights

dear office lights,

we've established that you are far too bright. i get a lot of sunlight in through my window, so i don't like to have you any more than halfway on. even if i am at work after dark, i almost never turn you all the way on, since your harsh fluorescence is a little overbearing to my light-sensitive eyes.

however, i need you to function if i am in the office after dark. it was really annoying last night around 8:30 when you decided to stop working. i waved my hand in front of the motion sensor to no avail. i pushed the manual light buttons, which didn't turn you back on either. finally, since i still had many hours of work to do, i grabbed my laptop and my papers, relocated to a conference room, and went back to work. once or twice i went back to my office to get things, and you didn't light up no matter how hard i tried. i thought of putting in a service request to get you fixed, but since i did not leave the office until 2 o'clock in the morning, i decided i would put the service request off for a few hours while i went home and slept.

then, the most remarkable thing happened. i arrived at work this morning around 8:30, and you decided to start working again. you weren't even subtle about it, flipped all the way on as soon as i walked into the office. i had to manually dim you back to half strength.

this leads me to wonder, office lights, if you smoke crack in your spare time. i can't think of any other reason why you would decide to stop working when it was i needed you, and decide to work like a charm when you are redundant.

no love,
the persecuted crack smoker

Thursday, February 12, 2009

midnight sweet midnight

...and thus is taking place my first midnight sweet midnight at the office.

yeah, it sucks.

downs and ups

after choir last night, i went to a bar to hang out, unwind, and watch the duke/carolina game. the game itself was a debacle...even though duke was winning when i got there, we ended up getting our asses handed to us on silver platters right there in cameron indoor. *seethe*

when i could distract myself from the game, though, the night was good. i swear, Justin's [the bar i went to, on the corner of southport and roscoe] is a great, great bar. it's right off the brown line stop by my apartment, and it has really tasty food. but, the real reason it wins at life? it plays by far the best music of any bar in town. every time i have ever been in there, they've had lithium on. lithium is simply the best satellite radio station ever: it plays all 1990s rock, all the time. if i ever bought a satellite radio, i'd never turn it off of that channel. i know all the words to almost everything they play on that station, and i just feel like i'm home when i'm listening to it. it's cozy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


shmoocon was this past weekend, and it was full of awesome. i spent most of the time playing around and socialising...i didn't go to all that many talks. the ones i went to were good, though: i went to Jaku and Zack's talk on the agreement [a.k.a. hacking your friends for fun and increased security...], Chris Paget's talk on cloning the enhanced driver's license, and a workshop on basic hold-breaking and attacker-disabling techniques in Cuong Nhu, a Vietnamese martial art.

i also participated in a few of the contests: barcode shmarcode, hack or halo, and gringo warrior:
  • everyone who buys a ticket gets a barcode to get themselves into the con, and the point of barcode shmarcode was to do something cool-looking with your barcode. i still need to take a picture of my own barcode hack, which was to put a design inside the barcode and then put the design on a laptop bag. Rob, however, actually won a prize for his awesomely dorky entry--a multipass from the movie The Fifth Element:
  • hack or halo was really two contests going on at the same time: a computer hacking competition and a halo 3 competition. i participated in both...which was nice, since the halo rounds gave me some nice brain breaks during the hour and fifty minutes of intense hacking action. i was terrible at halo--i had never played before, and i lack any aptitude at video games. however, i did manage to make it to the second round, since there were five people in my prelim heat, the top four made the second round, and i did not kill myself--unlike Rob, who killed himself twice. ;-) i fared far better at the hacking. i solved 6 out of the 17 objectives in the allotted time, which was not bad for a complete noob like me. i was expecting to look at the problem, be completely confused, and throw in the towel early. instead, i realised that i knew enough to actually know where to go on some of the problems and stay entertained the entire two hours. i also have something to beat next year. :-)
  • gringo warrior is a lockpicking competition. the premise is that you went to a con in mexico and somehow ended up locked up in jail, with only your trusty lockpick set. you have five minutes to get out of the handcuffs [pick the cuffs open], get out of the jail cell [pick a doorknob lock], incapacitate the guard [represented by a blow-up doll in a guard suit], get your passport [pick a file cabinet lock], get out of the jail building [pick a deadbolt], and steal a car to get out of there [pick a car lock]. points were awarded for speed and difficulty, since there were easy, medium, and hard options for each lock. i wasn't expecting to do very well, since i have only been picking locks for about two months and i had never picked any of those kinds of locks before, except for a deadbolt cylinder. however, i picked the handcuffs [from behind me, no less!], the hard door lock, the medium file cabinet lock, the medium deadbolt lock, and the easy car lock. [i also beat the guard up pretty nicely and threw him across the room. i wish there was video.] i was so pleased to get all of those locks open--and that ended up being good enough to place me second in the competition, for which i was recognized at closing ceremonies. :D that was pretty cool.

there were parties both friday and saturday night...the friday night party my favourite. saturday was fun because of the people, but the venue wasn't my thing. it was at a club in adams-morgan. friday night, however, was a dance party in a church sanctuary. that was so cool...HacDC, the hackerspace in DC, rents out part of a church, and so they got permission to throw this party in the sanctuary. the music was awesome...and included some sweet DJing by Josh, as well as some awesomely nerdy rap from dual core.

other than the actual con-like stuff, i had a lot of fun hanging out with everyone...old friends and new, locals and people from far away, phone losers and...people who can somehow manage to hang on to their phones. :-) the socializing is probably my favourite part of the con...i love seeing all of my friends who i don't get to see often enough, love meeting people who i have only previously seen on the internet, and love meeting new, interesting people with whom i have things in common, who i would never otherwise meet if not for the con.

alright...enough talking for now. it's picture time!

happy Rob is happy.

behold, the hacker wine glass:

at first i thought this guy in the hotel bar was a congoer dressed as Matthew Lesko. nope...turns out the guy was actually Matthew Lesko.

check out my sexy outfit for the HacDC party:

this is not a real shmoobadge. this is just what altalp used to convince everyone she had a real shmoobadge...and it worked like a charm.

the united phone losers have declared shmoocon a pants-free zone.

one of my prizes for gringo warrior was a large universal remote. i took it apart at the first chance i got:'s not a visit with Rob until there are train snuggles. here, we take the red line by snuggly, snuggly storm:

me and vixen at dupont circle:

surfing in the fountain:

Rob and c4bl3fl4m3 at dupont circle:

of course, these are not all of the pictures i took at shmoocon. the rest of them are on my picasa page.


i was at the breakfast place around the corner from my office, waiting for them to finish toasting my bagel. while digging around for my office key card, i saw the little red light on my crackberry start blinking. like an appropriately pavlovian first-year associate, i immediately grab my crackberry and check to see what it is.

i recognised the from name as the subject of a rather entertaining bush administration snafu. at first i was confused about why i was getting republican party spam on my work email address. i get plenty of political spam, but it's all left-wing, and it's all on my personal address. if someone had done that to me on my work address, it would be time for some serious sleuthing.

then i remembered something that i had specifically tried to put out of my mind: this particular figure is, in fact, a partner in one of my firm's other offices.

sure enough, it was just an innocuous response to another innocuous office-wide email that had been circulated earlier in the morning. it was not A Curious Case Of Being Signed Up For Republican Spam By Someone Who Really Hates Me--less entertaining, sure, but kind of a relief.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

...we <3 ccckc!

would you like a darn good shot at winning a macbook air? is that a yes i hear?

you're in luck. cowtown computer congress, the new hackerspace in kansas city, is doing a raffle to raise money to pay rent on their superkickassawesome cave. raffle tickets are only $25, and there will be a maximum of 200 sold. as long as they sell at least 100 tickets, the prize will be a shiny macbook air, which they'll ship free anywhere in the world.

does that sound awesome? if so, buy a ticket...or two...or ten! the raffle ends on March 1, or at the moment 200 tickets are sold, whichever comes first. so, what are you waiting for? you'll be supporting a fabulous cause, and you might just get a shiny new computer as well.

did somebody say theremin?

there's cool.

there's really cool.

then, there's what could quite possibly be the epitome of cool: covering gnarls barkley on a theremin.

News Crack Smokers Can Use: February 10, 2009

thanks to certain non-crack-related entertainments, i was a little late in getting this week's News up. however, while i was busy hacking, lockpicking, and hanging out with Firefly and friends, crack smokers were busy smoking crack and doing colossally silly things as a result. i am a day late, but still i have scoured the depths of the interwebstubes to bring those things to light. if you're not a crackhead, take pleasure in the fact that you're not as stupid as these people. if you are a can add these things to the list of what not to do if you don't want to get busted for being a crack smoker.

so, without further ado, i present this week's News Crack Smokers Can Use:
  • hits on a crackpipe do not qualify as aromatherapy, no matter how many people love the sweet, burning-plastic smell of warm crack rocks in the evening. you should probably stick to selling legal aromatherapeutic implements like candles...but, please remember to call it "candles" and not "crack".
  • we have covered many, many times here on the News that eating crack is a terrible idea. if the police are approaching you, and you neglected to leave your crack at home like a smart crack smoker, it's probably sneakier to either drop your crack rock somewhere thickly hidden or hope you get off with a ticket or warning without getting searched. if the police have patted you down and confiscated your crack, the damage has been done. it is not going to help your case if you pluck your crack rock off the hood of the police cruiser and eat it. sure, you may get one last hit if you don't throw up before the crack kicks in, but you'll also be tossed into the metal clink--locked away from your precious crack--for longer than you would be had you not eaten the state's evidence.
  • if some guys with guns are watching you, it is probably a good idea to call 911. they're more likely to pick your stalkers up and carry them away than most other people you can call. however, you're best advised to refrain from doing illegal things until you are done dealing with the emergency services personnel. in this spirit, if you are a crack smoker who deals a little heroin in his spare time, it's better to wait to make that drug deal until after you're off the phone with 911. if you're really desperate to sell heroin while you're on the phone with 911, at least use the hold button on the phone. if all you do is cover the microphone, they can still hear you talking about heroin--and they'll still send the local constabulary to scoop you up. even though being behind bars solves the problem of the guys with guns who were watching you, it makes it a lot harder for you to go home and smoke that crack rock in your pocket.
  • there's no such thing as a good excuse for selling crack. however, if you are going to try, you should really come up with something better than noting that you sell crack, but not heroin. i'm glad you know that heroin is illegal. that's a step in the right direction. however, crack is no less illegal, and saying you sell crack but not heroin is kind of like saying that you robbed a bank, took the $100 bills, but left the $50 bills with the teller. you're still in big trouble.
that's it for this week's News Crack Smokers Can Use! as always, if you have any strange or stupid tales of the lengths to which people will go to smoke or sell crack, send me an email, drop me a comment, or go rappelling down from the top of my office building and knock on my window.

i loved this song in high school, but didn't understand it yet.

"work song"
by caroline's spine

it's another early morning
sun came up without a warning
i never do nothing til i'm showered and clean
got my pager
got my cuffs
a matching tie should be enough
i never leave the house without something to eat

an early riser by genetic
take the stairs cause i'm athletic
always at the office before anyone else
i take my faxes to be copied
grab a doughnut
grab some coffee
picture a diploma sitting on my shelf

the monotony is killing me
and i try to deny this corporate lobotomy

i need a suit of armor for a meeting
know i'm gonna take a beating
understaffed and my department's in a crunch
budget has become a hassle
boss is ripping me a new asshole
says he wants an answer on his desk before lunch
afternoon things don't look better
phone machine is breaking records
five hundred messages from who knows where
staying late 'cause i'm a beginner
call my girlfriend cancel dinner
says she thinks i'm having an office affair

the end of day there's no solution
face the traffic air pollution
put a smile on my face i didn't get fired
back at home to clear my head
i grab a drink
fall into bed
forty more years until i get to retire

the monotony is killing me
and i try to deny this corporate lobotomy

i'm not dead!

i am back from shmoocon. it was amazing. i'll talk about it more later, when i'm not half-asleep.

there should be News Crack Smokers Can Use today. i have been delayed in writing it...unlike the crack smokers, who have not delayed in smoking crack and doing stupid crack-related things. i started it yesterday on my way home from the con, but haven't finished yet. that should be out by tonight. :)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

*cracks up*

Rob: "mad pimpin' is relevant to my interests."

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

clay! and beer! clay and beer!

anyone in Chicago want to go to Cocktails and Clay on February 13? it's at the hyde park art center...and you can drink beer and play with clay! i think i've played with clay once since middle school, so this sounds absurdly exciting to me.

there's also a dance party and some art exhibitions...although, i'm not going to lie. i am far more excited about playing with clay.


math: it works, bitches.


i think i have a new phrase for my lexicon.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

musings on kirk cameron

more proof that i have weird friends:

shaph: do trivia tonight

me: i can't. i have a hackerspace meeting.

shaph: bah
!k nicolle

me: sorry, this isn't irc ;-)
you don't have ops here
i'd probably get a nice swift !k in the ass if i missed the meeting tonight, though

shaph: you're getting a !k in the ass when you get home then
i learned that improves relationships from "Fireproof"

me: who died and made you Kirk Cameron?

shaph: ... kirk cameron

[for all of you who do not spend entirely too much time on internet relay chat, !k is the command (on some irc clients) that a room operator can use to kick someone out of a chat room.]

stepping into bubble gum. worse.

christoph niemann's lego renditions of various new york-y things are whimsical and brilliant.

it's not news, it's

i saw this on the front page of today:

WHY IS THIS NEWS????? this is a large public statue in a large public place. large public statues in large public places get vandalized. it doesn't matter how many cops the city schedules to walk around that pointless eyesore instead of to address real crime. things to which the public has access will be vandalized from time to time. it's not front page news--it's something for parks and recreation to deal with in the normal course of business.

there's even seamen hanging from the chandelier!

Paul and Storm and Jonathan Coulton are playing in Chicago on Saturday, February 28, at the Park West.

i am going. does anyone else want to go with me and enjoy a geeky night of music and...geekiness?

Monday, February 02, 2009

dear lord, i pray to get the port right on my ssh tunnel...

i saw this video linked off of hack a day today, and it was so WTF that i had to post it here:

i went to the website, hoping that it was some kind of elaborate joke. the best part is that it is not: is, in fact, a church website.

News Crack Smokers Can Use: February 2, 2009

every week, as i scour the seedy depths of the intertubes to bring you the week's stupidest crack smokers, i think i've seen it all. every week, i am proven wrong. if you're not a crackhead, take pleasure in the fact that you're not as stupid as these people. if you are a can add these things to the list of what not to do if you don't want to get busted for being a crack smoker.

so, without further ado, i present this week's News Crack Smokers Can Use:

  • remember when i warned you on monday, january 26 that hiding your crack in your butt-crack is a bad idea? clearly, one crack smoker in pennyslvania didn't log on and read the News last week, since he was arrested on thursday, january 29 with...a bag of crack between his buttocks. seriously, my dearest crack smokers. i don't call this News Crack Smokers Can Use because it's a catchy little rhyme. i call this News Crack Smokers Can Use because it points out news relevant to you crack smokers out there. i point out stupid mistakes that other crack smokers and crack dealers make, so you don't do the same thing and get busted. of course, the best lesson to take out of this is to stay away from crack, but if you can't stay away from that wonderful crack, reading the News will at least help you stay out of the ever-watchful eyes of law enforcement. as such, it makes me sad when i spend all this time trying to provide useful information, and you crack smokers keep repeating the same old mistakes.
  • speaking of paying attention to the news, it is a good idea for a crack smoker to read the local police blotter, and keep an ear out for any gossip among the other local crack smokers about which crack dealers have been hauled off to jail. it may seem like a lot of work now, but it's minuscule compared to the jail time that you might be serving after you call your dealer's phone number after he has been arrested, and show up at the crackhouse only to face Officer Friendly instead of your friendly crack peddler.
  • we all understand: whacking off is a lot of fun. everyone needs to do it every so often, even crack smokers. it's probably best to touch yourself in the privacy of your own home, or the privacy of someone else's home who either enjoys seeing you play with yourself or at least doesn't care that you're doing it under their roof. however, if you really need to get your jollies in your car, you need to make sure that you're doing your best to expose yourself to as few criminal charges as possible. it's inevitable that you're taking a risk of being busted for indecent exposure and lewd conduct, but don't open yourself up to get busted for anything else. specifically, leave your crack at home if you think you are going to be masturbating in your car.
  • actually, that last article contains a good tip, whether you are a crack smoker or not: some excuses are so half-baked that nobody will believe them. for example, the police will never believe that you were "just trying to get a little sun" if your pants were around your buttocks and your shirt is off your back and covering your private parts. for another example, if you are on trial for dealing crack, no one is going to believe that the police officer who is buying drugs from you in a drug sting is in your phone because he had seen you and your girlfriend kissing at the bar and wanted to contact you for a three-way. i'm sure plenty of police officers are into threesomes, but i doubt they would be looking for partners at the same bar where they were doing a undercover drug the same time they were doing the sting...and looking to hook up with the same people from whom they were buying crack in the sting. if this is the best excuse that you and your crack-addled brain can come up with, you are probably best advised not to take the stand in your own defense. it will only lead to you being laughed out of the courtroom and into jail for a long sentence for crack dealing.
  • if you are a crack dealer, and you're a little down on your luck, you may have to cut corners sometimes. it's not a happy thing, but sometimes it's necessary. however, the normal way to cut corners is to put a little more baking soda than usual in your mixture when you're cooking the crack. sure, it still requires the capital outlay of buying some cocaine, but it means your crack will still get your buyers high, and you'll be able to stay in business. this is a far more feasible plan than, to choose a cost-cutting measure at random, trying to pass flour tortillas off as crack cookies. remember your clientele: you are selling crack to crack smokers. the one thing most crack smokers care about is crack. they know the difference between their beloved cocaine concoction and...a thing you'd use to make a taco. this will not get you repeat customers. this will not stop you from getting busted by the local constabulary. this will, however, win you a place on the hallowed roll call of crack smokers too stupid to take refuge at the last refuge of the persecuted crack smoker.
that's it for this week's News Crack Smokers Can Use! as always, if you have any strange or stupid tales of the lengths to which people will go to smoke or sell crack, send me an email, drop me a comment, or plunk your message in a bottle into lake michigan.

back to the STL...

i am going to st. louis later this month. i haven't been back there since i moved to chicago last may, and it has been way too long since i've seen everyone down there.

i'm going to fly down there friday evening, february 20, and leave sunday evening, february 22. if you want to hang out, comment or send me an email! :D

super bowl ad goodness

i don't care all that much about the super bowl. however, i always like seeing the ads. insertnamehere2 suggested that we post our favourite super bowl ads, so here go the two that i saw that made me crack up:

first, we've got ed mcmahon and mc hammer's spot. this ad is terrible, horrible, very bad--and hysterical. first of all, the mere concept that the economy has gone so far down the [ed mcmahon's golden?] toilet that is running super bowl ads is bizarre enough. second of all, ed mcmahon and mc hammer waving around all their stupid gold tchotchkes is hilarious.

i'd also like to think that mc hammer's gold medallion with him wearing a gold medallion on it was an intentional implementation of the yo dawg meme.

i also loved the moose butt ad...because, seriously! moose butt! do i need a better reason?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

another reason Rob kicks ass

me: i'm printing another proof to see which ones i like better: the black bars, or the grey bars.
Rob: [in his best Electric Six voice] i wanna take you to a grey bar!