The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

The more illucid corner of the web

Crank.net is a great way to kill time. A site with links to cranks, crackpots, kooks and loons on the net, and it even ranks them, from fringe to ILLUCID (“something so beyond understanding that it defies classification,” according to the description) and they don't get more illucid than Gene Ray:

Time Cube empowers wisdom above all gods and educators. I am the wisest human of all, for I have absolute proof of 4 simultaneous 24 hour days in a single rotation of the Earth. God is 1-day, Science is 1 day. My 4 days disproves 1 day god and evil lying 1-day educators. Students are dumb and stupid for ignorance of Time Cube. Cubeless word allows the evil to rule and the liars to teach. You've ignored the Time Cube and you shall suffer its curse, as did all the past civilizations. Prepare for a hell you created.

The rant goes on and on, repeating itself without really explaining much; it's only at the bottom of the page where there are some links that explain what Gene claims to have found, which seems to be four “days” per rotation of the Earth. Given one person standing on Greenwich, one person standing at 90°E, another at 90°W and one on the International Date Line (at 180°); each experiences a day (of 24 hours) apparantly separate from each other.

I can kind of see what he's getting at, but then according to that logic, why not 24 “days” per rotation (one per hour of the day)? Or 86,400 (number of seconds in a day)?

Wacked stuff there.

The Crank.net section on tax evasion is quite interesting. In reading up on the supposed theory of non-payment of income tax, I got curious as to what the actual laws stated, and a quick search for USC Title 26 revealed that the entire United States Code is online.

I just wish the USC online made more use of hypertext than it does, as that would make following (as in understanding) the law easier.

Monday, September 02, 2002

Why yes, it was laborious …

Twelve hours of babysitting.

Even with the help (of which I am eternally grateful), it wasn't pretty.

Excuse me while I pass out.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Find Another Airstrip

The meaning of the name Boca Raton has always aroused curiosity. Many people wrongly assume the name is simply Rat's Mouth. Boca (or mouth) often describes an inlet, while raton can mean a “cowardly thief” in old Spanish terms. Thus, a possible translation “thieves' inlet” could be explained by legends that describe Lake Boca Raton as a haven for pirates.

Boca Raton Historical Society—History

My friend Greg and I were trying to find the name of the airport that was later turned into FAU. It is well known that the airstrip was an important training ground for airmen during World War II but we couldn't find a name for the airport at all, although I did find out that Lyndon B. Johnson was at the dedication ceremony.


Wanted: Scientists for secret project; may be turned into Zombie

Mark, JeffK and I saw Resident Evil, a pretty standard zombie flick with not much going for it (except for Milla Jovovich in various forms of undress).

Large evil corporation is doing genetic experimentation in a secret underground lab when an act of sabotage releases a deadly virus and a corporate/millitary SWAT team, along with three amnesiacs (who are found at the entrance to the secret underground lab) go in to investigate.

What I would like to know is, where do they get all the scientists who work there? Do they put out classified ads?

WANTED: Scientist willing to work on top secret projects in an undisclosed location. Benefits include full medical, dental and hazzard pay. Applicants should be aware they might be killed, blasted into parallel universes, or turned into mindless zombies. Call 555-555-1212.

And I would also like to know is how are these large, secret underground labratories built? In the movie, the lab is situated underneath a town for crying out loud. NORAD took over five years to clear out Cheyenne Mountain and that was under orders to do it quickly. I can only imagine what building a secret underground labratory would take, both in time and money.


Living within your means? How quaint …

The fundamental problem here, see, is that I'm not a typical American. And by typical American, I mean, “Living beyond my means.” Well, maybe I'm taking that a bit far. But you get the point.

The fact that I've made a good salary for the last three years? Meaningless.

That I have cash saved in the bank? Eh, who cares.

That I have no debt, have never defaulted in anyway, etc. etc.? Not interesting.

peterme, Abnormal American

I can certainly relate to that. Back in '97, I found out the hard way that I was considered a “ghost,” one without a credit history. I also found out that being a “ghost” is worse than being a “debtor” and one step away from declaring bankruptcy (heck, it may be worse than actually having declared bankruptcy).

I am begining to think that the old notions of saving money isn't as important as it once was; the economically powerful aren't those that have tons of money at their disposal, but rather the ability to move money through the economy. It's less about what you have and more about what you control and the two aren't necessarily synonymous. Building credit is a way of showing you can control the flow of money, which (from what I've read) seems to be the current theory behind the economy these days.

Hoarding is so 19th century …

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Yea, like you can really trust them

Early last month I received some mail from Verisign that my domain, conman.org was about to expire.

Yea. It expires in October, you idiots.

I've been meaning to transfer my domain over to Dotster, where the rest of my domains are registered. About two weeks ago I figure it was time. So I put in the transfer request and the credit card information to pay for it.

Only a day or so later, I lost the credit card. I cancelled that one and had a new one issued, but it took quite a while before I got the new card (partly because the mailing address is separate from where I currently live and that mail box is checked about once a week). So during that time, Dotster kept attempting to charge the cancelled card.

Every single day.

Gee, you'd think that after three or so attempts they would just cancel the transfer but I guess not.

But once I cleared up that snafu the transfer completed without problem and I no longer have to deal with Verisign or Network Pollutions.

Woo hoo!


Traffic

Since 1970, the population of the United States has grown by forty per cent, while the number of registered vehicles has increased by nearly a hundred per cent—in other words, cars have proliferated more than twice as fast as people have. During this same period, road capacity increased by six per cent.

The New Yorker: The Slow Lane

A long but interesting article about traffic trends in the United States (and New York City in particular) and it sounds like thing will get worse before they get better (if they get better at all).

I also believe that zoning laws also contribute to the traffic problem. Strict zoning (like the zoning down here in Lower Sheol) creates traffic problems since to get anywhere you have to drive. There are no closeby commercial areas to The Facility in the Middle of Nowhere (which is why I gave it that name); the closest is about two miles away whereas back in Condo Conner, there was a small shopping center just around the corner, and a major one about a mile down the road. Heck, the closest park is over two miles away, whereas my paternal grandparents lived right next to a park.

Don't get me wrong—I love my car and I certainly don't want to get rid of it. I just wish there were more places close by that I could walk to (then again, I would certainly settle for about a 60% reduction in the number of cars down here).


A day at the park

Spring and I took the boys to a local park in the hopes that they would wear themselves out playing. The park had this huge, nearly three story tall Escheresque wooden building with all forms of stairs, bars, slides, cubby holes and what not to let kids play on, but unfortunately, it was closed that day so we ended up walking around some nature trails.

I did, however, get to test the digital camera, having gotten batteries the other day. Regular batteries. They lasted long enough to get over 40 pictures.

Other than the power consumption, I have no other complaints about the camera.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

A bit dazed, a bit confused, and a whole lotta South Park

So Spring found the South Park Character Creator and had some fun with it.

And my South Park characterization looks pretty much how I feel these days.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1

§ 1—Flag; stripes and stars on

The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight stars, white in a blue field.

§ 2—Same;additional stars

On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag; and such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission.

§ 3—Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag

Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign, to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court. The words “flag, standard, colors, or ensign”, as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

§ 4—Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”, should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.

§ 5—Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition

The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America is established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to sections 1 and 2 of this title and Executive Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto.

§ 6—Time and occasions for display

(a)

It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

(b)

The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

(c)

The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all weather flag is displayed.

(d)

The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on New Year's Day, January 1; Inauguration Day, January 20; Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, third Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, February 12; Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February; Easter Sunday (variable); Mother's Day, second Sunday in May; Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May; Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May; Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, first Monday in September; Constitution Day, September 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in October; Navy Day, October 27; Veterans Day, November 11; Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November; Christmas Day, December 25; and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays.

(e)

The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.

(f)

The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.

(g)

The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.

§ 7—Position and manner of display

The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

(a)

The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section.

(b)

The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

(c)

No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.

(d)

The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.

(e)

The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.

(f)

When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag's right.

(g)

When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

(h)

When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.

(i)

When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

(j)

When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.

(k)

When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.

(l)

The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.

(m)

The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection—

(1)

the term “half-staff” means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;

(2)

the term “executive or military department” means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and

(3)

the term “Member of Congress” means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

(n)

When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

(o)

When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with only one main entrance, it should be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the observer's left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north, when entrances are to the east and west or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east

§ 8—Respect for flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(a)

The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

(b)

The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

(c)

The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

(d)

The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

(e)

The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(f)

The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

(g)

The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(h)

The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

(i)

The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j)

No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

(k)

The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning

§ 9—Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

§ 10—Modification of rules and customs by President

Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set forth in a proclamation.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

They may look crude, but they sure were fun

While perusing Slashdot I noticed this article about a new Quake 3 map based upon the old Atari 2600 VCS game Adventure, which brought back a ton of memories, spending hours playing games—the most hilarious being Football (well, at least I found it hilarious to play; the Intellivision Football game rocked though).

Not wanting to wake The Boys up, I found an Atari 2600 VCS emulator I could use to play the games I remember from childhood. So I spent a few hours (okay, way too many hours) playing a ton of games, including one made in 1990! (who knew Atari even made cartridges for the 2600 that late?)

I even found a game that Rob might like.

Friday, September 13, 2002

It's not even the end of September yet …

We were out and about today and The Younger kept insisting upon going to Wal★Mart; I suppose he wanted to buy the toy department (or rather, us to buy him the toy department, it being so close to his birthday and all) so we capitulated and the lot of us (Spring, her father (who came in late yesterday), The Older, The Younger and I) ended up walking into the local Wal★Mart SuperCenter (clearing customs took forever!) only to find the melodious strains of Christmas carols being piped in over the loud speakers and shelves filled with festive Yule-tide decorations.

Words fail me …

It's not even the middle of September and already the Christmas season is upon us …

I guess that's what happens when you enter a Wal★Mart SuperCenter on a Friday the 13th.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Holy homoerotica, Batman!

My favorite super hero has to be The Batman. Not the campy goof from the 50s and 60s but more of the brooding anti-hero from the 70s (and definitely the version Frank Miller did in The Dark Knight Returns).

But there always has been this undercurrent of homoeroticism lurking just beneath the surface. I mean, come on, a younger sidekick named Robin? Big controversy about this in the 50s but still, it just keeps coming up.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

“Just sign on the dotted line … ”

1. Name. Likeness, etc., Promotional Activities. I hereby consent to Producer's filming, taping and/or recording of me for use in and in connection with the Series (including, without limitation, whether I am aware or unaware of the photographing, videotaping, filming or recording of same, and by requiring me to wear a microphone at all reasonable times, at Producer's discretion) and agree to cooperate fully with Producer in such activities. I acknowledge and agree that Producer will be the sole and exclusive owner of all rights and material filmed, taped, and/or recorded pursuant to this Agreement. In addition. I hereby grant to Producer the unconditional right throughout the universe in perpetuity to use, simulate or portray (and to authorize others to do so) or to refrain from using, simulating or portraying, my name, likeness (whether photographic or otherwise), voice, singing voice, personality, personal identification or personal experiences, my life story, biographical data, incidents, situations and events which heretofore occurred or hereafter occur, including without limitation the right to use, or to authorize others to use any of the foregoing in or in connection with the Series (or any episode or portion thereof) and the advertising, promoting or publicizing of the Series or any Series episode by Producer, the Network, its operations, activities or programming services and with any merchandise, tie-in, sponsor, product, or service of any kind by Producer, the Network, or any of its programming services, and in any other manner whatsoever as Producer may elect in its sole discretion. I understand that, in and in connection with the Series, I may reveal and/or relate, and other parties (including, without limitation, other contestants, the judges, Producer and the host and/or co-host of the Series) may reveal and/or relate information about me of a personal, private, intimate. surprising, defamatory, disparaging, embarrassing or unfavorable nature, that may be factual and/or fictional. I further understand that my appearance, depiction and/or portrayal in the Series and my actions and the actions of others displayed in the Series, may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature and may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation. I acknowledge and agree that Producer shall have the right to (a) include any such information and any such appearance, depiction, portrayal, actions, and statements in the Series as edited by Producer in its sole discretion, (b) broadcast and otherwise exploit the Series containing any such information and any such appearance, depiction, portrayal or actions, and (c) use such information, appearance, depiction, portrayal, actions and/or statements in any manner whatsoever, in Producer's sole discretion. The waivers, release and indemnities in this Agreement expressly apply to any such inclusion and exploitation.

Via randomly ever after, Kelly Wins Idol—Now What? (emphasis in text added)

It's hard to be satirical when reality beats you to it.

I certainly hope that Kelly's career is worth the price she paid. And the sad thing is, if she didn't sign it, there were 9,999 other people willing to sign that contract for a shot to stardom.

Just one more reason not to trust your life's work to a corporation.


Captain Napalm vs. Airport Security

With a flurry of last minute panicing and packing and Lake Lumina (the car) nearly empty of gasoline, Spring, her kids and I drove to the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.

Spring was freaking out due to the late start and having to navigate both the ticket counter (for her two boys were flying alone back to Colorado) and the security checkpoints. I was freaking out because the gas guage was hovering on the red line marked “E” the entire way with no time left to refill the car.

The car managed to make it there, and to a gas station.

Spring was able to navigate the ticket counter and with the help of the ticket agent was able to avert a crisis at the last minute (that would have prevented the kids from flying today). So, with tickets and special badges (so we adults could accompany the kids to the gate) in hand, we started the long arduous process of clearing the security checkpoint.

At one end of this corridor is a security guard who sits there, making sure everyone that passes has either a ticket, or a special badge. Then you walk down this byzantine maze of ropes that snakes its way to the other end of the corridor where the security checkpoint lies. There, another security guard will direct you to a particular x-ray station.

Spring, with bright green hair and two small boys, went through without a problem; they were through in minutes.

Me, white Anglo-Saxon Protestent who on a good day, looks like a Cuban refugee, had a slight issue walking through the scanner, with hand in pocket, which I learned is a real big no-no around airport security.

Whisked to one side I was scanned. Shoes … beep. Take them off to be x-rayed. Pants … beep. Remove keys to have them x-rayed, pants tried again … beep. Remove wallet to have that x-rayed, pants attempted yet again … beep. Pants removed to have that x-rayed. Shirt … clean. Head … beep. Glasses removed to have that x-rayed. Second attempt on head … clean. By this time the shoes come back clean (“Must have been the eyelets for the laces that trigger the sensor”), then the keys (“Just ordinary keys, thank you very much”). Followed by the wallet (“Spare house key I see, and on, by the way, the magnetic strip on your bank card is now wiped out, just for your protection”), then glasses (“Clean from a security standpoint, but could use a cleaning themselves, and they're somewhat beat up”) and finally the pants (“It's the zipper. Sorry about that”).

By the time I got through, the boys were already boarding the plane.

Spring and I had to stick around until the plane took off. While there, we watched as a few late stragglers where searched at the gate, even more intrusively than I was. It took something like six security guards to scan the three late passengers. One poor passenger had everything removed from her carry-on luggage, unwrapped, scanned and x-rayed.

Even with all that, the plane left the gate within 10 minutes of its scheduled departure time. Amazing.

After some twenty minutes or so hanging around, we assumed the plane took off without incident, since we didn't have a good view of the main runway.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

The alien flutterby

I met Mark, JeffK, Kelly (who took some convincing to come over) and ChrisS at Miserak's, a local pool hall I've been going to for several years now.

While there, Chris gave me a present—a chrysalis. A live (I hope) chrysalis. It's not a Monarch though—I think he said it was a native Florida species.

Not wanting to keep this to myself, I put the chrysalis on Spring's desk when I got home.

When she got home she freaked out at finding this alien looking thing on her desk. Skeeved is the term I think she used.

Heh.

So I put the chrysalis on a plant in the court yard where it will hopefully remain undisturbed until it … well … until the butterfly comes out (it's not exactly hatching and I don't recall what the term is when a butterfly comes out of a chrysalis).

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Armkreuznacht

Very bizarre day today.

It started just as I was falling asleep.

Noise, and lots of it, coming from above.

Which is odd, considering that the master bedroom is on the second floor of a two story building, there shouldn't be noise coming from above.

But there was, and as I found out from Spring a work crew were up on the roof doing roof-like work.

All day.

Sigh.

Also, through the day we both noticed some rather odd behavior from Rob, which culminated at around 9:30 pm when we took him to the emergency room; he had a bad reaction to something earlier in the day and our attempts to help him weren't working.

The hospital is keeping him overnight for observation but everything seems to be under control, thankfully.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

A Life Less Interesting

It seems that wierd things are happening all around.

Earlier last week Mark was attacked by a feral cat. Mark's bathroom opens up to the back porch in his house, and he heard some noise at the door. When he opened it this cat latched itself to Mark, scratching and biting him, then it flew around the bathroom, breaking anything and everything that could be broken.

Mark was able to remove the cat from his house before more damage could be done. He then called Animal Control who came out to set traps for the animal (since Mark's house is on the edge of a nature preserve). They also told him to get rabies shots.

The first hospital he went to (in east Boca Raton) told him he did not need the shots and that a case of rabies had not been seen in Boca Raton for years. The next day when Animal Control came back out to check the traps, they were horrified to hear that Mark was blown off by that hospital.

So, Mark went to the West Boca Medical Center (which is where we took Rob) and they set him up on a rabies shot schedule.

I also heard some news about John, the paper millionaire of a dot-com. I haven't heard from him in almost two years (I think the last time I saw him was Thanksgiving of 2000). I occasionally wondered about him, his wife and how they could afford to live in that house of theirs after the DotCom Bubble burst.

Well, it seems that John lost most (if not all) of his money when it burst, since most of his money was in stock to begin with, and sometime last year he apparently split without telling anyone, including his wife where he went.

She, however, is still in the house and how she can afford it, I don't know. Perhaps John, the paper millionaire of a dotcom didn't loose all his money and just decided to leave everything behind.

Perhaps.

But I'm not even to the wierd part in this story.

John, the paper millionaire of a dotcom, had wired up a computer to control the house. Lights, music, air conditioning, you name it, it was controlled by a computer. He was, after all, a paper millionaire of a dotcom, and with that much (paper) money you can buy some pretty fancy toys, like a computer controlled home.

And even though John, the paper millionaire of a dotcom, no longer lives there, he still, however, has control over that computer. And he's been using that control to control the house, remotely.

And his (ex?) wife has no idea how to prevent him from logging into that computer remotely. Even after she cut the Internet access, John, the paper millionaire of a dotcom, apparently still has a way in.

Me, I find that terribly amusing.


The roof! The roof! The roof is under construction!

Work continues on the roof.

WHAM WHAM WHAM WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRR WHIRRRRRRRRRRRR WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRRR WHAM WHAM WHAM

All

day

long.

Scream.


The bureaucratic shuffle

“What do you mean he's not on record?” asked Spring. It was four in the afternoon and we hadn't heard back from the hospital about Rob, so Spring called them up. “We brought him in last night! … No record … okay.” She hung up.

“I guess we better go there and ask them in person,” I said.

“Yes,” she said.

Half an hour later, we arrive to the emergency room and start asking. Oh, Rob was moved to another medical facility. Why weren't we notified? Don't know he was just moved. Oh.

Fourty-five minutes later we arrive at the other medical facility, where were weren't allowed to see Rob. We got no information about Rob at all, since we were not on a list to have information. We don't even know how bad off he is. We have to come back tomorrow during visiting hours (and there's only four (4) hours per week anyone can visit at this particular facility).

Sigh.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

The Wireless Net

Last week I again borrowed Rob's Cisco Airo 340 wireless PCMCIA card to use. I've been trying to get it to work for the past two days (it isn't working because Rob shut down the WAP as he started rearranging his room and hasn't gotten back to it yet) so I tried yet again.

This time, I brought up the interface, which seems to be fine, and ran a network sniffer on it and found, to my surprise, not one, but two WAPs nearby, given the ARP traffic I'm seeing. Given the signal strength, I'm inclined to say that the two WAPs are in the same building we're in, but I'm not 100% sure about that.


Still under construction

Given the noise I'm hearing above me, I suspect they're still working on the roof.

Visiting hours

Spring and I went to visit Rob and see how he's doing. He's doing fine although quite groggy from the drugs the hospital is administering to him. He's still under observation and does not have any indication as to when he'll be out, but hopefully it will be Real Soon Now.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Some months, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed

Updates.

The roofers finally finished whatever they were doing to the roof on Thursday. Rob got out of the hospital on Saturday. The chrysalis is empty, so I suppose the flutterby popped out (or eaten, who knows). Just then you think things return to normal I find a flat tire on my car.

And the spare is flat.

Wake me up in 2003 please …

Obligatory Picture

[Here I am, enjoying my vacaton in a rain forest.]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

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