Thursday, January 20, 2011

no, "i want a hooker" is NOT an emergency.

dumb: calling 911 once to ask for an escort.

dumber: calling 911 twice to ask for an escort.

even dumber: calling 911 three times to ask for an escort.

of course, "drugs or alcohol" were involved. the record is incomplete about which drugs...although if it wasn't crack, i'd be frightened to see the depths of stupid to which this guy would plunge if he were on crack.

Christmas Cantata

...in case you weren't able to make the CBA Chorus's performance of Daniel Pinkham's Christmas Cantata last month, it's on youtube. :) you can't really see me in the video because i'm in the back left corner, hidden behind certain architectural features of the church in which we were performing. however...it sounds good -- and wow, was this a fun piece to sing!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

epistles for crackheads

the persecuted crack smoker,

to all citizens of McCracken County who consume or do commerce in crack cocaine, or are considering the same,

may i take the liberty of advising you that just because you reside in a land called McCracken County, it still may not be legal to sell crack out of the home you share with your family? it is rather unclear what you did to suggest to the constabulary that there may have been crack rocks in your humble abode, but it remains clear that your life's vocation should have been a somewhat less statutorily offensive endeavour if you desired to continue deriving pleasure from setting crack rocks aflame and inhaling their heady smoke.

*****

the persecuted crack smoker,

to all people considering a career in entertainment, which may run either consecutively to or concurrently with a career in crack cocaine peddling,

your most successful option is to cease all pursuits of your ambitions along the crack-dealing front. performing music onstage, be it mellifluous or cacophonous, will be far less likely to land you behind iron bars than anything requiring you to apprach near a crack rock. however, if you insist on acting as not only a performer but also a high-level operative in a crack cocaine commerce cabal, let me advise you that choosing a stage name such as Gambino may not be the wisest among decisions. performing under the moniker of a renowned syndicate of scofflaws will not deflect the attention of the authorities, but rather encourage them to investigate why you admire these "Gambino" racketeers so much as to adopt their name.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

take a Peep at this fail.

earlier this month, some sketchy start-up showed up at CES. their website is full of all kinds of vagueness and puffery. i'm doubtful their magical voice and data mesh will ever pan out, and the fact that Scott Redmond (the mastermind behind plenty of other tech-related epic fail) is behind this does not do anything to help the case.

however, one of the pictures in Rafe Needleman's CNet article is enough to make me want to travel back in time and laugh these fools right out of CES.

take a look at this picture:



according to Peep, the depicted object is the "Peep Pod walkie talkie", a $20 gadget that will allegedly sync with a bluetooth headset and transmit voice up to thirty-six miles. however, if you've ever logged into any somewhat sensitive computer systems, you're probably already thinking what i'm thinking. if you haven't, take a look at this:



this is not a Peep Wireless device. this is an RSA SecurID fob, a hardware token used in two-factor authentication.

compare it to the "Peep Pod" above. the shapes are identical. the recessed areas where it looks like something was removed are identical to the locations of the stickers on the RSA SecurID fob -- up to and including the little dent in the circle on the left. the layout of the number on the screen, as well as the dots down the side, are identical to an RSA SecurID fob.

from the looks of this, there's no such thing as a "Peep Pod" at all. it's a defaced SecurID, being used to try and dupe people at CES into thinking that they actually have prototyped hardware.

Friday, January 14, 2011

a lack of religious tolerance

this is just...disrespectful and disgusting.



the video doesn't show who was screaming: if it was senators, spectators, staffers, or whoever. i don't care. anyone present for that session should know better than to disrupt the session: be it the beginning prayer, senate debate, or anything else. furthermore, it's not going to speak well of the religion that you're screaming about to interrupt or insult a blessing by a cleric of another faith. even if you don't see religion the same way as the cleric who is speaking, it's no reason to be disrespectful of him.

besides, there's nothing saying that the Senate is a Christian organization...we've still got this little thing called the Establishment Clause, and there's no set state religion. it's perfectly appropriate for anyone of any belief system -- monotheist, polytheist, pantheist, atheist -- to be able to give an invocation before a lawmaking session in this country. allowing a cleric to say an invocation before session isn't tantamount to framing theirs as the one true faith; rather, it's tantamount to saying "we are a nation of religious freedom, and people of your faith are welcome here, just like everyone else."

he deserved basic human respect, and i'm embarrassed that not everyone in that Senate session showed it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

i'll keep on dying a little each day...which should suit you just fine...'cause you can't stand to see me alive

this song is still one of my favourites ever, and has been stuck in my head for weeks. all i want to do is listen to it...but unfortunately, i lost my only copies of this song (which i downloaded off the band's website back when it still existed...circa my fourth year of college) in a hard drive death and a minidisc death, respectively.

it would make my life to hear this song again.

texas hold 'em
by no particular night...or mourning

with one false step you could cut me in two
and i'm breathing backwards just to make do
but your sinister stare has caught me off guard
so i'll throw up my hands and ask why

and i'm waiting for whatever you're giving
forevermore
a sacrifice now for my sorrows
and i'll stuff it in sacks
and rain down on you like july

you say i'm no good at lying
but i never acquired your taste for the trade
so i'll keep on dying a little each day
which should suit you just fine
'cause you can't stand to see me alive

and i'm waiting for whatever you're giving
forevermore
a sacrifice now for my sorrows
and i'll stuff it in sacks
and rain down on you like july

you've got just one more chance
to make me feel better
you're building the fence
to ride out the weather
in that self-pity cellar you built there for me
forget it
it's over
goodbye

and i'm waiting
for whatever you're needing
i can't stop the pain
if you can't stop the bleeding
with your shit-eating grin
you're pissing apologies
but i'll sit and smile while you cry
i'll sit and smile while you cry
i'll sit and smile while you cry
forget it
it's over
goodbye

Friday, January 07, 2011

...

deaf dumb and thirty
starting to deserve this
leaning on my conscience wall
blood is like wine
unconscious all the time
if i had it all again
i'd change it all

(...the second verse of "machinehead" by bush. it was good when i was a teenager. it only becomes more applicable as i get older.)

Monday, January 03, 2011

fast forward?

is it January 27th yet?

no?

darn. i could seriously go for some Shmoocon goodness right about now.

blatant memery.

...and now, for an end-of-year meme (a couple days late, ha.) stolen from windofderange.

[1.] What did you do in 2010 that you have never done before?
convinced a company to pay me to play with computers. ring in the new year in another country.

[2.] Did you keep all of last year's resolutions?
i gave up on making new year's resolutions long ago. they're a total joke, and i find it so contrived to decide to change anything because it's a new year. the only good reason i see for deciding to change anything is if something is making you deeply, bitterly unhappy or unfulfilled.

[3.] Have you any resolutions for next year?
of course not.

[4.] What countries did you visit?
Germany (well, that trip started in 2009, but carried into 2010...i spent the first six days of 2010 in Berlin) and Canada (for B-Sides Ottawa).

[5.] What would you like to have in 2011 that you didn't have in 2010?
unrealistically? a big lottery windfall, so i don't have to worry about the fact that i'm going to be paying off that stupid decision to go to law school for the rest of my stupid life. realistically? maybe a new computer, because the one i have isn't working all that well, and will turn six years old in August of 2011.

[6.] What date in 2010 will remain etched in your memory?
June 2, the day i started my job.

[7.] What was your biggest achievement of the year?
i'm really proud of the talks i gave at Notacon, Penguicon, and HOPE.

[8.] What was your biggest failure?
i got so little done...i still have that stupid, academic tendency to bury my nose in a book instead of just going out, writing code, and breaking stuff. my biggest failure is still the fact that i'm absolutely petrified of failing, and want to somehow get perfect information before ever actually trying anything.

[9.] Did you suffer any illness or injury?
nothing bigger than a couple of sprained ankles (which i always get, because my left ankle has been terribly weak since a roller skating fall when i was eleven) and a couple of colds.

[10.] What was the best thing you bought?
bus tickets to Detroit. lots of them. :)

[11.] Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
my own, as usual. i keep doing stupid things that i can't undo, then i keep beating myself up about doing stupid things that i can't undo, and i focus far more on that than on doing anything new.

[12.] Where did most of your money go?
law school. always, always, law school. fuck my life.

[13.] What did you get really really really excited about?
spending time with Mark. attending and speaking at hacker cons. finally understanding the point of assembly language well enough to start coding in it.

[14.] What songs will always remind you of 2010?
"Better Sorry Than Safe" by Halestorm. "What A Shame" by Shinedown. "I Don't Care" by Apocalyptica featuring Adam Gontier. "Reclusion" by Anberlin. "What Have You Done" by Within Temptation.

[15.] Compared to this time last year are you:
[A] Fatter or thinner? about the same...i was definitely fatter come midyear, but with my new job (and starting to lug stuff around the data centre) came having to buy new jeans because my fat jeans were literally falling off of me as i walked.
[B] Happier or sadder? neither, really.
[C] Richer or poorer? poorer, definitely.

[16.] What do you wish you'd done more of?
writing code.

[17.] What do you wish you'd done less of?
sleeping. my god, did i spend a lot of 2010 asleep.

[18.] How will you be spending Christmas?
christmas 2011? no idea...hopefully similarly to how i spent it in 2009, either on a flight to Berlin, preparing for a flight to Berlin, or hanging out in Berlin. missing the Congress in 2010 tore me apart, and i can't miss it in 2011.

[19.] Which LJ users did you meet for the first time?
IRL? i'm pretty sure i met all my LJ readers who know me IRL before this year.

[20.] Did you fall in love in 2010?
Hacking: The Art of Exploitation is an amazing, amazing book.

[21.] How many one night stands?
oh, i know better than to answer that question honestly on a public forum such as this one. :)

[22] What was your favourite TV show?
new shows? i got so hooked on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom this year. stuff i've watched before but still watched more than anything else this year? Beavis and Butt-Head, of course.

[23.] Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
no...i really only reserve true hatred for one person at this point, same as last year.

[24.] What was/were the best books you read?
Hacking: The Art of Exploitation. Snow Crash.

[25.] What was your greatest musical discovery?
i don't think i discovered a lot of new music this year...there were some random songs that popped up on my Pandora that i had never heard before, but no particular artist or album that changed my life. i think the two songs that grabbed me hardest the first time i heard them this year were "Reclusion" by Anberlin and "Hobo's Lullaby" by Arlo Guthrie.

[26.] What did you want and get?
a job playing with computers. an apartment with Christina. to go to Shmoocon, Notacon, HOPE, and B-Sides Ottawa.

[27.] What did you want and not get?
to be able to go to Defcon or 27c3. to forget that i ever went to law school.

[28.] What was your favourite film this year?
the only movie i actually went to go see this year was Hubble 3D, and that was really cool. the visuals were awesome. the narration, however, was rubbish...Leonardo DiCaprio should not be narrating science flicks. fortunately, i was there with Mark, and his commentary was far more edifying. also, he was much better at pronouncing astronomy terms.

[29.] What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
i turned 28 in 2010. i had to work the night before, so i got off at 7 in the morning. i met up with Mark around noon; he was in Chicago at the time. that afternoon we drove up to Detroit, and stopped for dinner at Schuler's (in downtown Marshall, MI -- right around the corner from the Museum of Magic that we visited for Scavhunt this year!) on the way over there. we got into Detroit fairly late, and i hadn't slept that night, so we spent the rest of the night in, and decompressing. it was my best birthday in years, possibly ever.

[30.] What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
feeling like i know the least bit about anything that matters to me.

[31.] How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
same as it has been since i was a teenager -- black t-shirts and jeans. jackets made with a certain pattern of italian camouflage started making a pretty frequent appearance, though.

[32.] What kept you sane?
sanity is overrated.

[33.] Which celebrity did you fancy the most?
i don't tend to fancy celebrities...seriously, i'm racking my brain to see if i can think of anyone famous that i really fancied this year, and am coming up empty.

[34.] Which political issue stirred you the most?
ugh. i find politics disgusting, and i only got more disgusted about them over the course of 2010. my general response is to just disengage, because i don't actually feel like there's a damn thing i can do to make t any better. it's a problem bigger than i am, and bigger than i can ever be.

however, i did get pretty pissed off when Iowa voters threw those justices that ruled in favour of gay marriage off the bench. i abstain from judicial elections on principle, because the judicial branch is supposed to be the check against the fickle passions of the populace. that put that problem in clear relief.

[35.] Who did you miss?
the problem with meeting so many friends at cons is that these friends live all over the place...i'm always missing them, and only ever getting to see them one weekend a year, or maybe a few weekends a year.

[36.] Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year?
no matter how beholden you feel to something, or how much it meant to you at one point...if it becomes toxic, getting paralysed by feeling bad that it has soured will do no good. the best thing to do is cut and run, and find some more productive outlet for that energy.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

calendar numbers and stuff

2010. what to say, what to say?

considered as a whole, i wouldn't call it one of the best years of my life, but i wouldn't call it one of the worst years of my life. however, looking at it from 30,000 feet gives the year short shrift, and implies that it may have been either easy or insignificant. i'd call it neither. considered in parts, i had some really awesome things happen to me this year, and some things that utterly and completely sucked.

hopefully 2011 (which i keep typing as 2001; i really don't want to know what, if anything, that implies...) will be a better year. if anything, i hope it is less tumultuous than 2010 was, and manages to maintain or build on the good parts of 2010.

i stop here, because i get the feeling that going into any more detail than that here would be schmaltzy at best, and revealing far too much in a public forum at worst.