This world is such an obscenely fucked up place it hurts to even start thinking about it...
This world is such an obscenely fucked up place it hurts to even start thinking about it...
"Yet year after year, it's the same routine
And I grow so weary of the sound of screams"
To say it with Jack's words:
"That's all right. I have a special present for you anyway. There you go sonny. Hohohohehehe!"
...as it is nice outside right now (32°C, water temp about 23°),
but a bit too windy from the NW.
click here for the rest of the story...
I'm in a bad mood, therefore I think I'll make the non-accessible logo image you like so much into a redirect to a big tubgirl image, it'll make your site look much better. (Now my friends know what kind of mood I'm in.)
You may find it TMI that bloody Google spits out tubgirls galore without even disabling the evil "SafeSearch" crap.
...10 minutes later...
Done. Enjoy! <sfx: evil laugh>
Looks like she didn't like the 1278x956 tubgirl image, but I really can't understand why... Now she has even put an email address on her website, so the Big Hammer treatment must have helped a bit. 10 brownie points for me! (I really do enjoy being evil, sometimes.)
I'm over two weeks late with that posting but I wanted to mention that The Quiet Room is a very interesting movie. I watched it two weeks ago on SBS, from 0030 to 0230 or so...any paid for staying up late on the next day.
Liked it a lot: not silly saccharine-sweet but low-key, touching, funny at times and quite profound: Rolf de Heer must have been listening to his kids very very well. An adult kids movie, maybe. My recommendation.
It's not an Aussie politician saying that - it needs to be said here as well - it's Russ Feingold whose fellows in the US senate have voted not to extend the Patriot Act. Good on them, I say!
Mr. Feingold seems to have an unexpected amount of real spine for a politician, and his statement reads very nicely:
"Trust of government cannot be demanded, or asserted, or assumed, it must be earned," the senator said. "And this government has not earned our trust. It has fought reasonable safeguards for constitutional freedoms every step of the way. It has resisted congressional oversight and often misled the public about its use of the Patriot Act. And now the Attorney General is arguing that the conference report is adequate 'protection for civil liberties for all Americans.' It isn't."
Somewhere I've heard the quip that these are signs of "sanity breaking out" - if only that was true!
These folks make an instant translator for English to Arabic, Darpa-sponsored, for the military. I'm so waiting for the news of what happens when the first of the gadgets goes to la-la land and hands out something Pythonesque...
@pantheon, this whole "my life"-thing sucks at the moment.
At work the cluons are leaching away even faster than usual, the "Management by Magazine" (aka "if it's written in CIO, it must be good/true") gets worse and worse and the climate sucks. One of the head dimbulbs saw need to remind everybody in one of those all-staff spams that one of the last new rule-inventions was to be Followed By Rote...never mind that it makes no sense, is counterproductive and as stupid as the idiots behind it.
Writing up the PhD thesis sucks and consequently I'm having a hard time motivating myself. Got a paper in for a conference in Vienna in early 2006, mebbe for once I've produced bullshit shiny enough for academentia. But I doubt it: too honest and inept at waffling.
The Jolly Season is upon us yet again, and I hate it. Also, the weather currently sucks, it's very stormy with thunder and downpours every 2-3 days and lots of humid heat inbetween.
Drank too much yesterday, didn't go to bed until 0300 because White Squall ran as late night film and I liked it; didn't get up until late, weather looked stormy (but it hasn't rained yet) and I didn't drive up into the hills for flying. Felt sufficiently anti-social to not attend the chgc's christmas party (didn't even pick up the phone for the same reasons). Ah, Fuck It, I would only have hung around depressed anyway.
But there is nothing new about that, so I guess I should shut up now....
A few weeks after doing the first part of the ceiling fixes, I've finally
added the lighting I was looking for. The room height is only 242cm, so my
big rice paper lampions were cluttering up the ceiling badly and I wanted
to replace them with some indirect lighting.
click here for the rest of the story...
I'm sure &rw has been thinking about holding me over open flames in the last few weeks. My current/old colo at the company-that-was-cool-once is to be scrapped: the last oldschool techie has recently thrown the towel and the people running the show do not deserve any nostalgia or loyalty anymore.
The plan was that I'd get a cast-off ultra1 when he exchanges that for an ultra2 when my box joins his at the colo facility in Austria, and he'd be doing the actual installation as I'm geographically challenged.
Trouble is that his colo box is in a doomed building and mine will have to go somewhere else, and moving his to the new building means a new address: migrating his current ip address is a nogo. Fun! as his is a nameserver for lots of domains. So the decision was that the ultra2 goes in there first as my box, takes over dns duties with his new ip address in order to migrate his system, then his u1 is moved and the hardware gets swapped, done.
The disk I had sent him didn't boot on the ultra2, lots of tinkering later things work for a while only to have the PSU go boom. Next Friday the box needs to be installed, and I'm not going to be around between Sunday and Thursday (going to MEL) so anything that needs a console must happen before or 4-6 weeks later when the machines join each other finally.
But good friend that he is, he managed yesterday to scrounge up another complete ultra2 for me and set up remote access for me (console and net). Whoopee and Thank You! Lots of Beers I solemnly promise for the next time I'm visiting Austria...
(Anybody got a 170MHz ultrasparc CPU and 4x64-or-more Sun memory for cheap/sale?)
Recently I found this FM4 stream relayer which also translates the crap format FM4 uses into a nice working ogg stream. The song metadata works, too: they use the FM4 track service. Sweet! A big Thank You to the admin!
So now I'm sitting in the sunny Australian outdoors (because the office aircon is set up for superconducters and responsible for my recurring cold), with lapdog on the lap & trying to get urgent work done - and listening to Austrian late night / early morning radio. (The commercials suck. The weather over there is horrible. Politics and the general news suck in both places.)
analog has shown a curiously large amount of accesses to the killarney site with myspace.com Referer headers. Looked at the actual logs, and found out that a stupid girl had simply included my logo on her (hideous! eye-cancer alert!) page. Sweet. No clickable link, not a private copy, nope: just sourced in my image from my server. Without asking, of course (which would have been courteous and she'd have gotten permission easily).
I can't contact the silly fool since she has no email address on her site and I'm definitely not going to sign up to myspace (not even using an ephemeral throw-away address from Trash Mail).
mod_setenvif and mod_access to the rescue! Dear sweetblonde247: Your accesses to logo.png are now denied. Learn some manners (and web design, too). HTH, HAND.
The occasional spam titled thus always cracks me up so badly. (Sometimes I'm easily amused.) A replica of what? (And what woman, anyway?)
But the content...my, these spammers apparently believe in Truth In Advertising more than normal marketing assholes! (how that works out when selling fake Rolexes I don't know, but extrapolating from election results I infer that there are gazillions of sufficiently stupid fools)
The spam goes on like this:
Get the Finest Rolex Watch Replica
...in a combo with the "Yes, I'm that stupid!" T-shirt.
"We only sell premium watches. There's no battery in these replicas just like the real ones since they charge themselves as you move. The second hand moves JUST like the real ones, too. These original watches sell in stores for thousands of dollars. We sell them for much less."
Amazing! A watch with a second hand that ACTUALLY MOVES!
"- Replicated to the Smallest Detail
- 98% Perfectly Accurate Markings
- Signature Green Sticker w/ Serial Number on Watch Back
- Magnified Quickset Date
- Includes all Proper Markings"
I love the part about the 98% and the Signature Green Sticker...suppose without that it wouldn't be a Genuine Fake Rolex Replica Premium Watch my nonexistent woman should drool over.
First I slept like a stone, couldn't get out of bed. Then it became obvious that the living room ceiling needs another coat of paint. Bah. Then the weather was good, but westerly - with the forecast being as usual totally wrong, saying nice easterlies.
So I drive up to Tambo, and have a shocker of a lousy flight: rough, got tossed around and shouted at by a hangie (something about getting out of the way - buddy, you can fly circles around me if you need! at that time I was happy to keep my glider roughly above my head and you don't want me put that thing anywhere close to you when things are as roller-coaster as I felt it...). After ending in the bombout, cursing myself for being a bit unstable today and chicken, Phil gets on the radio how ecstatically beautiful conditions he's having up over there where he is. Waaaaaah!
I get back up top with Geoff and another few ground grovelers but don't like the looks of the air: still looks rough. Quite a few people launch eventually, and I still don't like the looks (but start to get pissed at myself for being undecisive). Eventually most of us give up and drive down to Canungra for a cold drink; I'm pretty annoyed at myself and everything. The wind changes to the NE (but a bit strong according to the windtalker).
So I decide to give Beechmont another quick try, Richard and Jessica do so too. Get there, almost no wind. Stupid windtalker has been enthusiastically exaggerating the wind strenght as so often. But it looks just about doable... So I set up, launch in a bit of a puff and somewhat laboriously work myself up to about 75m above launch in light lift. Quite nice! Jessica was still sweating at launch with not a breeze there, but after she did finally launch she joined me superquickly at altitude (doing her usual feather-flying imitation). After half an hour the lift gets a bit lighter and we do perfect facelandings, with Richard taking pictures. I'm a lot happier now!
A small chat shows that the undecisiveness and annoyance aimed at yourself that plagues me a lot is common for the Cancer starsign. I'm still happy about having had a good flight.
Back at home, I find out that I forgot the sunscreen today and look like a silly owl in the face and like a jackass elsewhere (white torso, dark lower legs and arms). I then destroyed two screws while fitting new door locks and knobs in both my external doors (don't ask - all I can say is "cheap construction") but eventually manage to fix the problem (hammers, brute force, swearing, repeat). One key only everywhere now! (Never mind the cheap locks. Nothing hereabouts is crowbar-safe, so any intruder diddling with the locks is an absolute idiot.)
Finally I topped the day off with hitting myself hard in the face while closing a cupboard door. How clumsy can you get...
I've been spending all of today fixing the ceiling plasterboard in my house to stick to the ceiling trusses again. The boards in the living room were bulging down by about 7-8cm... About 300 screws later I've got two (small and unproblematic) rooms left completely undone, and the rest waiting for one more run with spatula and sanding block and, of course, loads of fun painting all over those spots. Bah.
More on this when I'm finished and when I can lift my arms again.
Melbourne is nice to visit, going to interesting conferences is cool, too. But that's about it. If you ever consider submitting anything to an event that uses CG Publisher - don't! or you will be trapped in its maze of annoying disfunctional crap, missing announcements, illogical user interface and so on.
Now if you had read this in a call for papers,
"Submissions are limited to 5 A4 pages of 11-point type with reasonable margins excluding bibliography (if any) and appendices. Appropriate file formats include PDF, plain text, or any file that can be read with Open Office."
and that in an email from the organisers after (an odyssey of a) final submission
"Could you please submit your final paper in something other than a PDF please? Original file, HTML or Open Office are acceptable. Unfortunately, a PDF is not, as we can't integrate it into the rest of the proceedings document."
and if you know me then you will not be overly surprised that my response ran along the lines of
"You can have LaTeX, Postscript or PDF. I won't use Openoffice and I won't write papers in HTML - the same as you won't write real software in GW-BASIC."
In other news it becomes not just likely but absolutely certain that I
suck at using a caulking gun. Even with latex-based sealant (which is heaps
easier to use than silicon) I can't get a straight-lined wedge of goo
Tried it for the third time tonight but ended up wiping all the crap off again and throwing the cartridge across the room in disgust.
Applied to computers this kiddo-truism would be like: "Lapdogs are obsolete the moment they leave the factory, and extinct by the time you buy it. You want software to work on it? Here's your two rocks, bang them together and see how you go..."
I've been Having Fun with kernel 2.6.14 and my machines. Lots of Bloody Fun. It takes heaps longer to configure things. The documentation has not exactly gotten better. The (feature-)stability of the 2.6 series is a joke. Some things still don't work. Lots of new things have stopped working. WAAAAAAAH.
The lucky list: ide-cd and ide-scsi still conflict. The latter ist needed for reasonable cd burning. The module documentation blithely says "There is usually no reason to remove modules, but some buggy modules require it". Idiots. The xserver will make your box hiccup badly and fuck up playing of sound if you run it with the previously required niceness. Vmware modules don't build on 2.6 at all, but somebody has cooked up a (really ugly but working) patch. The devmapper maintainer is a clue-resistant idiot who repeatedly refused a one-liner fix for a problem that breaks the use of the disk group so I rolled my own packages. The maestro3 sound support has gotten worse, the chip gets confused every now and then now (and I'm not going with the ALSA suggestion: You can install that bloated crap when you pry the keyboard from my cold, dead fingers.)
Loopback (ahem, devmapper) encryption is still not possible for non-root users. Wavemon does no longer work. The netfilter code is fucked up, IP_NF_NAT_LOCAL is gone since around 2.6.11 which means that natting local conns doesn't work anymore. My nice location-independent setup for the proxy (everything configured to use localhost:3128, then NAT that to the real proxy if needed) is now officially unsupported. Thank you, bastards!
And, of course, direct rendering for mach64-derivates is once again absolutely utterly fucked up (uncompilable, incompatible, non-working code). Might be a good thing that with trying to find out and fix all those niggling problems I've got no time to play any games anyway...
On the plus side, however, are things like the kernel key storage api: goodbye quintuple-agent, hello kernel! I'm currently experimenting with code to make that stuff easier to use; Debian packages to follow as soon as things stabilise...
This fellow was growing last week in my back yard. I'm not tempted to sample it, though: 'the edibility of most Australian species of fungi is untested'.
The last few weeks were pretty wet and occasionally miserable. A week-and-a-bit ago we had some big storms and the gutter on the northern end of my house ripped loose. I heard a bang, thought some tree branch must have fallen onto my roof but it was the trough hanging down crookedly. Turns out the bastards building this house had only put in a single small pop-rivet per bracket. No surprise the thing came down eventually.
Note the safety footwear :-) But he did a good job, put in enough rivets to be certain that the gutter will hold up.
This weekend Rob and I and possible a few others wanted to drive out to Killarney, for a fly+work weekend. Guess it's not to be; the forecast for the area in question has this to say: "Saturday: A few showers or drizzle in the east overnight and morning. Isolated showers and thunderstorms developing throughout Saturday afternoon and evening. Light to moderate E to NE winds. Moderate to high fire danger. Outlook for Sunday ... Isolated showers and thunderstorms."
Bugger. While, as most of the time, the farmers are grateful for every drop, my mood doesn't take gloomy non-flying weather too well.
Melbourne Cup Day really makes this place slow down a lot; here at the office not two in ten were working these last two hours. Instead everybody was clustered around the telly. I wasn't; feeling rabidly antisocial today.
I'm so waiting for a plague to take care of all the useless, overpriced, spook-prone stupid creatures (and maybe their rich bastard owners on the way as well). Pferde Fleischkäs! or foal goulash, mmmmm...
Yesterday one of my friends crashed badly and will spend quite some time in hospital getting some crushed vertebrae repaired. Three weeks ago another local pilot crashed at the same site; he's had a number of surgeries fixing a broken pelvis, arm and so on. A few days earlier, a hotshot pilot crashed a few hundred kilometers north of here; he will also spend a long time hospitalised.
And despite that, we keep flying. Even the ones in hospital come back more often than not.
If you look at this impassionately, you can only conclude that we're all suicidal idiots: we know it's dangerous, we see friends getting hurt and still we can't keep from doing it.
Why? I don't really know. I think it is a mixture of addiction and avoidance. The addiction pulls us back into the air, while avoiding to dwell on the dangers allows us to not freeze up shit-scared when flying (which is a good thing as freezing up will surely compound most minor incidents).
It must be a bit similar to how other people in dangerous occupations cope. I've read that fighter pilots among others have this ego thing down pat: while knowing a lot of dangerous stuff happens, one just doesn't believe that it'll be him having a problem. It feels similar with free flyers, motorbike riders etc.
Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, Paul is back home and walking - after one operation on his spine and only 6 days in hospital and. A speedy full recovery is what I wish him!
Enrico Zini notes under a heading of "Spam is useful":
Really. I just realized that. In the past, if you wanted to test mail delivery on your mail server, you had to bother logging to a remote server and sending yourself a mail. Now that's not needed anymore: as soon as the server works, spam messages start coming in. So it's not spam, it's PING mails.
He's got a point there. I've been doing the same with my recent spam/virus reduction setup changes (switched to mimedefang and love it; more on that in another post).
Scientists have engineered a molecule that "walks in a straight line" when fed (thermal) energy. They call it a nano-walker.
Now why am I so reminded of the "imp" of the immortal core war game? Molecule Wars, anyone?
The chipboard industry is collapsing! Particleboard prices soar! Widespread disruptions affect building industries, housing and interest rates! The End of the World is near! Save Your Homes!
That's how I felt on Tuesday, after having read &rw's note of two weeks ago: Ikea Brisbane was out of The One Billy bookshelf (White, 202x60). "They've arrived at the port, will be on the shelves in a day or two". sigh They need an public stock inventory. I very much dislike driving 60km one way to see only brown, black, ugly Billys.
sextractor -- Source extractor for astronomical images.
Thought so. The author is proudly getting his rocks off with those super asstronomical pictures.
Sage advice. To enjoy crap rainy weather: come to sunny Queensland.
click here for the rest of the story...
This week we had the Canungra Cup comp on, but the weather sucked big time. Saturday and Sunday were sunny but blown out. Monday we flew the first task, but I didn't do too well in that: only got into the next valley (Flying Fox), 6km. Tuesday we started a task at Tambo, but it got a bit very windy; so the comp director canned the day. Wednesday was interesting: thunderstorms were developing but we flew from Tambo. I got to Gleneagle, north of Beaudesert, 19km. Shortly after I landed the wind started howling though and the task got stopped; Shane threw his reserve (it worked) and a few pilots landed going backwards at 20+ km/h. Marble-sized hail in Canungra. Thursday we flew off Beechmont again, but I bombed (together with almost a third of the field). Friday it was raining but with the top guns desperate for a fourth task (to make the comp count towards world ranking points) we sat around, and even drove up to Tambo later:
This is how a AAA-grade competition field rarely looks like. The weather was crap, windy and drizzling; behind the stands it was more comfy.
Saturday we spent hoping at Hinchcliffe's launch, but the low clouds didn't lift enough for a task. Some people then went for a free ridgesoar / galehanging flight but I was too lazy for that.
Nevertheless I made it into 3rd position in my class (DHV 1-2 gliders). Not too bad for my first AAA competition I'd say :-)
One of the reasons I bought this Siemens S55 is that it has infrared, the same power/comms connector as the elder models and that I have software for my palm pilot to sync address books and do SMS.
One out of these three proved to be correct: it talks via infrared. The connector is not entirely unlike the old one, just sufficiently different to prevent working. And the software? The software relies on the magics of ITU standards and Siemens' previously established+documented AT command set...which the German Bastards decided to not follow for this model.
So, what do you do if your trusty software barfs all the time with errors about "AT+CPBS=ME" failing, and the software of course hasn't been maintained since at least three years ago? Right: first you curse (doesn't help but relieves the anger). Then you look for alternatives (to no avail, they all suck worse). Finally, you take up the heavy duty tools and kludge together a bloody mess of a fix.
First I found out what exactly goes wrong. The software wants to look at both possible sources for addressbooks, the sim card and the phone. It can access the sim card but not the phone (that's the AT+CPBS=ME operation which Siemens decided not to support in this model anymore. Idiots.).
Then the messy fix. RsrcEdit is a very useful if ugly tool to edit palm objects on the fly; I didn't want to wade through the m68k machine code to yank out the references to the second storage location, so I decided to have it look at some working addressbook instead: of the few other accessible areas only ON (own numbers) is writable. So I simply replaced the strings in the data segment of the program suitably so that the ON addressbook is used instead of the ME addressbook. Works. Done.
Hehe. Two of this year's IgNobel prizes have been awarded to Australian academics: one team got the biology prize for figuring out that stressed frogs stink differently from normal frogs. (But hey, they also found an pigeon-be-gone smell that seems to work.)
What I found way more fun, was what the ABC news nicely headed "Watching paint dry": two guys from UQ in Brisbane devoted their entire life to an experiment as exciting as, drum roll, watching pitch drops drop. Which. doesn't. happen. very. often. The experiment started in 1927, and one of the fellows already died - of boredom, I assume. The IgNobel fellows thought this commitment worth the physics prize.
...something starts failing intermittently. Over the last few weeks my wireless access point has started acting up: the clients got more and more disconnections during the night and things like that. I suspected a dead client card at first or a bad antenna connection, but today that prove wrong.
The thing stopped working about every 25 seconds for 5-10 seconds, repeat a few times and then it would work again for the next hour or so. I tried everything on the logical level, even investigated if somebody was playing silly tricks with the thing remotely...nothing helped. Resync, connect, a few seconds of activity, bang. It looked like the thing reset itself continuously.
Eventually I ripped it apart to see if it had blown any capacitors, nope. Switching it on again, the LEDs looked weird...kind of spastic. Trying the AP on a different power supply: it works. The original one: nope. The multimeter told me that the wall-wart PSU would produce +5V unloaded but under load it had less than 3.2V to give. No surprise the AP fell flat on its face whenever there was a bit of activity. Ripping the (dinky) dead PSU apart I found a voltage regulator looking very much cooked on a circuit board that also looked quite fried. I didn't have a matching PSU around that would meet the old specs (+5V but up to 2A), so I took an old ATX PSU and soldered a connector. Ugly But Works.
What I also hate is hearing about flying accidents. We had one today at my favourite flying site. I know not a lot of the specifics, but it must have been very ugly. Truly confidence-inspiring for next week's competition. Not.
Smoke detectors are useful. Mine usually tells me that eating toast is unhealthy by scaring years off my life expectancy with a Big Bad Jolt just few minutes after I take the toast out of the toaster.
Today, however, it was useful. After coming home from flying I wanted some food - quickly. So I got the microwave to heat up a meat pie straight from the freezer. Mmmmm, Pie! But it incinerated the pie. Pie tastes of donkeypoop!
Picture dark clouds of smoke billowing from my microwave....and the resulting mess. The microwave is now white(outside) and dark yellow(inside). My google-fu tells me that acetone will help, but as I'm not a nail-polish freak and without girlfriend I have no acetone at home. Monday then.
I realised on Friday that this week I had spoken only about 50 words to people personally, maybe another 200 words on the phone. This can't be healthy! (I also sent 37 emails. Some of which the suckers on the other side totally ignored. I hate that.)