update

tuesday i was going to shoot a video with hobbit, but it didn’t happen. i also went to a sousa band rehearsal. while at the sousa band rehearsal i picked up a clarinet that needs repair from a fellow band member.

wednesday i went to see doctor wackaloon and found out that i’m probably “hypertensive” which means that i have to take my blood pressure for two weeks and then call for another appointment where he will probably prescribe medication that will give me nausea and a headache and make me more tired than i already am. whee.

thursday i fixed the clarinet and took the jeep that has been living in my front yard for the past year for it’s weekly drive (to make sure that it still works) to costco, and discovered that the thermostat is “intermittent”. joy.

friday i took the jeep in to get the thermostat changed out, because it has to be ready to go to the person who actually owns it on the first of june. i also got a business-card order from the new owner of the repair shop (who is the old owner‘s son), who wanted to change the email address on his card. i walked home, and when i got home i made the change and sent the business card to the printer, whereupon i discovered that i couldn’t find my wallet. i searched the house and the workshop, and called costco (the last place i remember having it), but it wasn’t in any of those places. i called the car-repair shop and the guy said that he couldn’t find it in the jeep.

if i wasn’t hypertensive before this, i sure am now… 😐

i had to go out, and i wasn’t completely sure that the guy had known what i was talking about, so i drove up to the car-repair shop, where i found my wallet, after a thorough search of the jeep. <deep breath> then took the clarinet back to its owner, and picked up a piccolo which needs repair, from another sousa band member. when i got home, the jeep was ready, so i walked up to the shop and picked it up.

today i straightened up the workshop and fixed the piccolo.

considering how “easy” my life is these days, how i come up with high blood pressure is beyond me. it’s probably genetic… i sent a vial full of my spit to some people who claim that they will test my DNA and tell me where i came from a few weeks ago. they haven’t produced a result yet, but it’s my understanding that “these things take time”… maybe they can tell me why i have high blood pressure while they’re at it.

W. T. F.?!?

USB Typewriter – i keep looking at it and… i can’t imagine how much “free time” someone must have had to actually work out how to do this, and then make it happen… and, further, i can’t imagine why anyone would want something like this… and why they would pay $800 to $1000 for one… especially since you can buy a perfectly good, non-usb typewriter for as little as $18, and one like the usb typewriters for $400… 😮

okay, this is just stupid…

i’ve seen these billboards around saying that "judgement day" is going to be may 21st, 2011. this comes from the mouth of “genuine prophet” Howard Camping, who has been an intenerant radio preacher for at least 30 years – i remember listening to him in the 1980s, when i was a cab driver – but here’s the important part:

HE ORIGINALLY PREDICTED THE WORLD WOULD END IN 1994!!

i’m as willing to let the other guy believe what he wants as the next guy, but this is ridiculous. if he wasn’t right in 1994, what on earth makes people think he would be right ABOUT ANYTHING this time? either we are all ghosts, living an imaginary life and completely unaware of the fact that the world ended 17 years ago, or this guy is demonstrably off his rocker… and that goes for the people who would put up billboards announcing it, as well…

i’m willing to let people believe what they want most times, up to and including the first time they predict the end of the world… but after that, if the world doesn’t actually end, they and their beliefs are to be laughed at.

another week closer to the eschaton…

A Teabagger fails miserably in refuting racism charge – dude… where’s my country!?

you know you’re doing it wrong when the ku klux klan posts a news release distancing themselves from you and yours… – Ku Klux Klan Distances Selves From Westboro Baptist Church, Tea Party

10 Examples That Should Convince Anyone That We No Longer Live In The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave – it’s too bad the republicans (and, to a certain extent, the democrats as well) would make things worse, in the name of the “land of the free and the home of the brave”…

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter Signs Executive Order That Will End Medicaid In His State – it’s what the people of idaho should have expected when they elected someone named “butch otter”…

When Will It Be “Enough”? – the police, regardless of how good they seem, and how helpful they are in certain circumstances, are very definitely NOT your friends, even under the best of circumstances.

The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention – my theory is that they’re going to hold him in isolation until he breaks, and then they’re going to “rehabilitate” him so that he “doesn’t remember” ever giving anything to wikileaks… it’s hypocritical of obama to condemn regiems which torture, while complicitly agreeing to torture his own, innocent countryman. 😐 President Obama speaks on Manning and the rule of law and Obama on Manning: "He Broke the Law." So Much for that Trial… – obama speaks with forked tongue. 😛

Medical marijuana seminar canceled in Highland Township and Should Cops Be Allowed to Scan Your Phone During a Traffic Stop? – once again, this seems to be appropriate…

When they took the fourth amendment,
     I was quiet because I didn’t deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment,
     I was quiet because I was innocent.
When they took the second amendment,
     I was quiet because I didn’t own a gun.
Now they’ve taken the first amendment,
     and I can say nothing about it.

One Year After BP Oil Spill: Communities Lead While Congress Fails, 3,200 Gulf Wells Unplugged, Unprotected and A Year After Spill, BP Gives Big Bucks To GOP Leadership – notably, only one republican has said that he won’t accept the donation. i will NEVER buy gas from BP again… among other things… 😐

Umbrella, not gun, caused mall evacuation – so, instead of going after real terrorists, they’re evacuating a mall and terrorising an innocent guy taking a walk with his umbrella… the terrorists have won, and we don’t even realise it… 😐

Obama Pushes Chinese-Style Internet ID System – “too draconian” for china, but just fine for the united states… here’s a hint, obama… it’s OUR internet, not YOUR internet…

iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go – one of the primary reasons why i don’t have an iphone…

another big reason to resist the cloud – Greenpeace spies soot lining in cloud data centers

‘Piss Christ’ Destroyed by Catholic Vandals – catholics claim to be tolerant, but when someone does something blasphemous they lose it and start destroying things… sucks to be them, i guess…

growl…

i’ve used a URI-shortening service – snurl.com – for several years, so that i can put a short URI into my “shipped out” emails, rather than having my customers have to figure out how to click a URI that is so long that it breaks when i send it in email. i’ve done this for at least five years, and i’ve even made a “custom” short-URI to help people remember what it’s for.

i shipped out an order today, and, as i usually do, i check to make sure my custom-shortened URI still works, and… it doesn’t! instead of going to the correct place, it now comes up with this annoying little error message that says “we delete snips used in spam.”

they’re accusing me of sending spam!

so, after investigating how to do URI-shortening on my own, and deciding that, at least for the moment, it’s more complex than i want to get into, i bought a new domain and redirected it to the long URI that used to be a snurl.com address. it’s kind of round-about, and definitely not the way i want to do things, but for the moment it works exactly the way i want it to.

however i’m still pissed off at snurl.com for accusing me of spamming.

I HATE SPAM!!!!

okay, so i got up this morning and switched on my computer, and the first email that i downloaded said this:

Dear member,<br><br>
Your payment for $149.95 USD to [email protected] has been initiated.
<br>This payment will be completed once the recipient has accepted the payment.
<br><br>It may take a few moments for this transaction to appear in the Recent
Activity <br>list on your Account Overview.
<br><br>-----------------------------------
<br>Payment Details
<br>-----------------------------------
<br><br>Amount: $149.95 USD
<br><br>Transaction ID: 7DK2739102238103H
<br>Subject: Payment for Samsung U740 Cellular Phone. Thank you!
<p class="subHeading">Do you confirm this transaction? </p>
<p>If this transaction was not made by you please, take the following steps:</p>
<ul>
<li>Login to your account by clicking on the link below </li>
<li>Provide requested information to ensure you are the owner of the account </li>
<li>Follow the steps to &apsCancel Transaction&aps</li>
</ul>
<br/><table bgcolor="#CCCC33" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td><table align="center" bgcolor="#FFFFCC" border="0" cellpadding="8" cellspacing="0"><tr><td class="large"><img alt="" border="0" src="https://images.paypal.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" /=>
<a href="http://onlinepprefund.altervista.org/" target=_blank><span class="emphasis">CANCEL TRANSACTION!</span></a><img alt="" border="0" src="https://images.paypal.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif" width="1" height="1" /=></td></tr></table></td></tr></table>
<br/>
<br>Thank you for using PayPal!
<br>The PayPal Team

<br>----------------------------------------------------------------
<br>Copyright . 1999-20010 PayPal. All rights reserved.
<br><br>PayPal Email ID PP359

this was slightly different than most of the spam messages i receive, because the “From:” address appeared to be somewhat more legitimate than other “spam pretending to be from paypal” messages that i have received in the past – “PayPal” <[email protected]> – so THE FIRST THING I DID was check my paypal account. when i discovered (rather as i expected, actually) that i didn’t actually make a payment to paypal for $149.95 for a Samsung U740 Cellular Phone, i went into my morning anti-spam routine of investigating, reporting and blacklisting, but this one was interesting:

the URI encoded as “CANCEL TRANSACTION!” was very definitely NOT paypal – which is why it’s ALWAYS a good idea to render messages in plain text, rather than HTML, if you have the choice to do so (most POP email clients will do that for you automatically, although most IMAP – i.e. webmail – clients will not do it without some nefarious hacking) because if it were rendered as HTML, i might have just clicked on it, not realising that it was sending me to the wrong place. but it was also very interesting because it was also a “spoofed” address – instead of being “altAvista.org” it was “altERvista.org”, which means that if i weren’t paying very close attention (or if i didn’t have automated assistance) i might have assumed that the report should go to a place that it wasn’t really supposed to go. it turned out that it was supposed to go to “[email protected]” which is probably either a person who is absolutely clueless about their server state, or (more likely) a hacker/spammer who is looking for new suckers on which to prey.

when i looked at the header information, it said that it’s insertion point was wlen.net.pl, in poland, and the IP address reflected that,

Received: from [83.16.154.90] (helo=wlen.net.pl)
by spam1.thewebhostserver.com with esmtp (Exim 4.72)
(envelope-from )
id 1QBnQb-0004Ob-N9
for [email protected]; Mon, 18 Apr 2011 13:20:01 +0100

but this bit of information jumped out at me:

X-HELO-Warning: Remote host 83.16.154.90 incorrectly presented itself as wlen.net.pl
X-Sender-Warning: wlen.net.pl has no MX records
X-Sender-Warning: Reverse DNS lookup failed for 83.16.154.90 (failed)

that is another indication that, very likely, the people who run wlen.net.pl have no clue that their server is being abused, so i sent a report to their host provider, and the place where the spam originated – [email protected] – and entered their IP address into my blacklist, which now means that if i EVER get another message that claims to be from 83.16.154.90, it will go directly into /dev/null without even alerting me to its presence.

much as i HATE spam, there are a few spam messages that i find a little more interesting than most, which is why i blog about them… in general, however, i feel that Rule #3 still applies, so i’ll shut up about the HATE now…

another week closer to the eschaton…

Look at that, you son of a bitch!

Texas GOP Rep. Introduces Sharia Ban Because He Heard Sharia Is A Threat On The Radio, Asks ‘Isn’t That True?’ and The Anti-Choice Movement: "Not Intended to Be Factual" – these people are your ELECTED representatives, and they are in charge of making our laws… and what they say is “not intended to be factual”?!?

Santorum To Beck: States Should Be Allowed To Criminalize Gay Sex – this fool wants to be president… he is only encouraging people to make fun of him. i say don’t disappoint him.

I Just Paid More Taxes Than Most of Corporate America – and america wonders why it’s in the middle of a financial catastrophe…

During Bush Presidency, Current GOP Leaders Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion – but now that we have a democratic president, all bets are off.

Nuclear Nightmare Getting Worse, Yet Propaganda Continues – 😮

TSA Says ‘You Might Be A Terrorist If… You Complain About The TSA’ – that way, when they bust you for complaining about them, they can claim that they’ve busted another terrorist and everybody will be impressed with their prowess… 😐

TSA lied about promise not to grope children – instead of catching real terrorists, the gummint is trying to justify feeling up little girls… do we really want these people in charge of where we travel?

Ohio funeral home can’t liquefy bodies – in spite of the fact it’s safer and more efficient than burial or cremation, and the fact that there is no law prohibiting it, the “health department” has directed local officials not to issue permits required for disposing of bodies or accept death certificates when it is apparent that the bodies are going to be liquified… people keep wondering why the environment is going down the tubes… here’s a hint, people: IT’S BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU!! 😐

Obama moves forward with Internet ID plan – oh boy, another way to “keep us safe” from predators on the internet…

US and Russia Fighting Destruction of Smallpox Virus Samples – it’s unethical and hypocritical for the united states to accuse other people of making weapons of mass destruction when the united states is behind the production of weapons of mass destruction. hasn’t anybody else noticed this?

Glenn Beck Suggests Only ‘Hookers’ Depend On Planned Parenthood – 😮

When Politicians Joke About Medical Cannabis, They’re Laughing at AIDS and Cancer Patients – ha, ha… 😐

Utah Republicretins Cut Unemployment Insurance As ‘Motivation For People To Get Back To Work’ – this “lazy, drug-addicted hobo” has something to say about your “motivation”…

The United States Has Mexico….and Sweden Has Us – WalMart is next…

Chicago school bans homemade lunches, the latest in national food fight – so instead of going after real terrorists, they have decided to crack down on home-made lunches illegal at chicago’s public schools… they’ve made exceptions for kids with food alergies, but what if the kid’s a vegetarian? or one of those freaky religions that doesn’t eat pork?

Is Sugar Toxic? – yes. next question?

Breathing More Profit into Chocolate Bars – as little as everyone else seems to care about this sort of thing, when they start messing with my chocolate, they’re pushing me over the line, and i’ve got to respond…

Hey Facebook: What’s SO wrong about a pic of two men kissing? – yet another reason why i am not a member of facebook… 😐

GE Returns Billions to Public… NOT – they took a big stock hit, before the hoax was revealed… i guess paying back doesn’t pay after all… 😐

this is not a joke: PETA Brand Steak Sauce

this is a joke… a big, fat, steaming pile of joke: Obama Orders Guantánamo Prisoners Transferred To Next President – now i feel like i ought to go wash my hands…

security for the paranoid

You have been poking around where you shouldn't have been, and are now BANNED from Hybrid Elephant!i’ve been reading all about the hacks that are common on wordpress and OSC software recently and getting paranoid again. a while ago – after i was hacked the first time – i did some basic things to help me deter hackers: i renamed the OSC administration folder to something less obvious, and i wholesale deleted my file manager (which i never used anyway), but that did little to asuage my raving paranoia, so, along with more standard and practical approaches, like .htaccess, i have also installed a number of things to dissuade unfettered poking around my server, including (but not limited to) exploit scanner, NoSpamNX, and Simple Trackback Validation on my wordpress installation, and IPTrap, OSCSec, SiteMonitor and SecurityPro on my OSC installation.

i’m particularly proud of the “Banned” page, which you can find if you go poking around my server looking for links that you probably shouldn’t have… 👿

but despite all of this experience-based prophylactic action, i’m still paranoid, and it doesn’t help that my more sophisticated clients are expressing their paranoia as well.

dayummm!

so i just found this software called Brain Explorer, which uses the Allen Human Brain Atlas and displays an interactive, 3-dimentional brain from two different donors, with the gene expression information for each brain…

probably essentially meaningless to most of you, but the fact that i experienced a burst AVM in my brain makes it especially interesting for me, because i can actually see, in 3 dimentions, exactly where my injury occured, and the approximate effects it had on my brain

brain

brain

“Native”? HTML5 support?

um… i think that someone at micro$lop should be told those words don’t mean what he thinks they do…

Microsoft breaks own world record for IE nonsense – quite apart from the fact that HTML is designed to run non-“native”ly, and is platform-agnostic – i.e. it DOESN’T MATTER which platform you “run” it on (actually, being an interpreted language, it would be more accurate to say that it “doesn’t matter which platform you render it on”, but the difference may be a bit too complex for the non-geek audience), the fact that they are making such a big thing about it means a possibility of a number of different things:HAH HAH!

1) they are relying on the fact that you don’t know what this means… in other words, they are assuming that the consumer is stupid and will buy any new, shiny toy that the marketers wave under their noses.

this is an almost certain fact, since their job is to know what this stuff means. from engineers to marketers, they all have intimate knowledge of exactly what “native HTML5” means, they ALL know the phrase is essentially meaningless, and they are doing this PRECISELY because they know it will boost micro$not stock prices.

2) not only do they know what it means, they also know that even if it is explained to you, it won’t matter because, as i explained above, their interest is not in serving the customer, but how much money they can make. this is an extension of the “we don’t care, we don’t have to” attitude that micro$awft has developed over the past 20 years or so.

3) judging by the fact that, if you are currently running windows and IE, you HAVE code that renders this line of text as more than one line of text, in spite of the FACT that the HTML specification requires the escape sequence &nbsp; to render a “NON BREAKING space” (meaning that, instead of breaking a line, if you put &nbsp; in between words, they’ll all stay on one line, and cause “horizontal scrolling” instead) – a BUG which i reported IN 1997, and they still haven’t fixed it – the fact that they’ll eventually acknowledge that “native HTML5” means essentially nothing, is quite remote indeed.

(for those of you who are unfortunate enough to be running IE, the previous paragraph, from the number “3” to the phrase just before “a BUG…” should have rendered on one line, and you should see a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of your browser window, because of the “non-breaking spaces” i put between the words)

why should they? it doesn’t make any difference, and it raises the bottom line, which was the goal all along.

and people wonder why i won’t own a computer that runs windoesn’t any longer… pfui… 😛

another week closer to the eschaton…

An Open Letter to The Ruling Class
You control our world. You’ve poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You’ve liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants to your decadence. You’ve stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You’ve profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living. You’ve monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit… we are bleeding… but we ain’t got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution!

Sincerely,
The Serfs

The Human Right to Get High on DrugsRIGHT ON!! this is a silver-haired president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, who is an ADMITTED drug-user…

Obama: War is peaceObama’s Big Lie Meets Iraqi Resistance, Obama’s Key Vulnerability in 2012: He Hasn’t Delivered Change, Obama has taken a ‘profoundly troubling’ position on assassinations, 10 Reasons Obama is Just As Bad or Worse Than Bush and Cowardly, Stupid, and Tragically Wrong – this is ridiculous, and is a very good example of what happens when i end up having to vote for somebody i don’t want to get in, in order to prevent someone i don’t want to get in even more from winning. i’m going to vote for aleister crowley and frank zappa next year, no matter what happens. 😛

U.S. Predator teams and a special operations unit on the ground studying a suspicious convoy make a series of fateful missteps as they try to distinguish friend from foe. – i think one of the biggest errors was to name them a “predator team”. if they were called a “peacekeeping team” they could do essentially the same thing without being so stigamatised when they make mistakes. 😐

Government shutdown: How it will affect student jobs, home loans, unemployment data, and other economic activity. and Meet Mr. G: A Greedy, Grasping Schoolteacher – are we going to allow the mindless, tea-bagging republicretins to shut down the government and screw people out of our ability to continue to exist, or are we going to do something about it? 😐 my guess is that we’re going to sit around “with our teeth in our mouth” (as my grandfather used to say) until someone comes around and knocks them out for us… 😐

however, Despite deal, US budget woes far from over, ‘It’s Nonsense’ To Say GOP Willing To Shut Down Government Over Planned Parenthood – the fact that they didn’t shut down the government is not a sign that everything is “back to normal” again, and the republicretins are still out to destroy our society. examples? Montana: “Gays who recruit” to get a 10 year sentence and a $50k Fine, All Immigrants Must Convert To Christianity and Poor people with money should be outlaws – dude… WHERE’S MY COUNTRY?!? 😛

Um… no, it’s not – it’s people like this who are responsible for the country – or what’s left of it – being in the situation in which it is, currently… 😐

‘No Safe Levels’ of Radiation in Japan – 😮

Honeybees ‘entomb’ hives to protect against pesticides – somebody’s got to do something about it, and if the humans won’t, then the honeybees will…

Ai Weiwei probed over economic crimes – yeah, right… 😐

Scott Walker Pays $81.5K Gov’t Salary to Drunk-Driving Loser Son of Crony – koch suck and a reach-around…

Family Research Council accidentally admits truth about hate group charges – oops… 😉

I preached against homosexuality, but I was wrong – good for him. now if only the rest of “christianity” would follow his example. not likely.

Isle of Wight man dies trying to answer 3,000 spam emails a day – spam kills!