Monday, January 28, 2008

Name and Claim the Presidency, Huck

Sorry, but I'd rather have a mormon as president than somebody who rubs elbows with one of the kings of the blab-it-and-grab-it gospel. And that's before I consider his political stances.

I have, however, found the guy I'm going to write in for the presidency when I vote this upcoming November.

Friday, January 25, 2008

From Rebel Commander to Christian Preacher

Perhaps you've heard of this guy: General Butt Naked. It's not the first of April, and the story is not on The Onion:

The feared rebel commander earned his nom de guerre for charging into battle dressed only in his boots, at the head of a gang of fighters known as the Butt Naked Battalion.

The nude gunmen became known for terrorising villagers and sacrificing children whose hearts they would eat before going into battle during Liberia's 14-year on-off civil war which ended in 2003.

"I have been looking for an opportunity to tell the true story about my life and every time I tell people my story, I feel relieved," General Butt Naked, whose real name is Milton Blayee, told The Associated Press.

Mr Blayee returned from exile in Ghana, where he is now an evangelical Christian preacher, to face Liberia's truth and reconciliation commission last week.

Via: The Riddleblog

What's Running In SVCHOST.exe?

Just when I think I know all the DOS-based tricks there are to know, I find another one. Check out this insanely useful article on finding out what services/processes are running via svchost.exe by using the tasklist command or process explorer.

A Good Reason To Not Be a TV News Reporter

Baby Do's and Don'ts


I chortled muchly.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The 11 Mile Wide Web Page

A gentleman wanted to illustrate the scale difference in size between an electron and proton inside a hydrogen atom, as well as the scale distance between the two. Scaling the electron to one pixel in size, the result is a proton 1000 pixels wide and a web page 11 miles wide (on 72 dpi monitors). And that is only covering the diameter of the electron's path.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Scourge of Arial

An interesting article on why us Windows users were so lucky to end up with the Arial font pre-installed on our systems rather than Helvetica.

Short answer: Microsoft were cheapskates:

When Microsoft made TrueType the standard font format for Windows 3.1, they opted to go with Arial rather than Helvetica, probably because it was cheaper and they knew most people wouldn't know (or even care about) the difference. Apple also standardized on TrueType at the same time, but went with Helvetica, not Arial, and paid Linotype's license fee. Of course, Windows 3.1 was a big hit. Thus, Arial is now everywhere, a side effect of Windows' success, born out of the desire to avoid paying license fees.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Car Darts

A little testosterone fun for your Monday morning.

Lightning Strikes Twice

Lightning Strikes

My suicide watch extends another week. The Chargers are delivering on the predictions made on them in the preseason, taking down the defending Super Bowl champs on their way to a showdown with New England.

I can't recall a single talking head in the national media giving the Chargers a chance to win this game. And how even more miraculous the win seems to be with their top three offensive stars (Tomlinson, Gates, Rivers) on the sidelines for a good chunk of the game and the entire fourth quarter. At the end of the game the four guys running the CBS post-game show (James Brown, Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason) appeared as if they were presiding over a funeral. Either that or they just lost some serious money on the game.

Some things that I lived from the game:

  • Philip Rivers is growing up as a player. Maybe not so much as a person as the jawing with the fans indicated, but it's now two weeks in a row that the opposing team has shut down the run, forcing Rivers to make plays and he has delivered.
  • The Jackson and Chambers on the wideouts. Again.
  • Winning with the scrubs. The game winning drive was won by these three last names -- Volek, Sproles, Nanee. Heard of them?

Two things I didn't like:

  • We got beat up. LT went out early in the game with a bruised knee. Rivers injured his other knee (his left one being beat up already) and sat out the entire fourth quarter. Hopefully through the miracles of the best available health care on earth (and chemicals) they will be back on the field next week at full strength.
  • Officiating. It always seems to happen against your team but, c'mon. A defensive holding play on a critical play when the defensive back barely touched the receiver, and another holding play when it probably should have been called on the other player -- also happening on a critical play, where Cromartie intercepts the Manning pass near the goal line at the end of the first half and returns it for a touchdown.

They've taken down the defending NFL champs, now they just need to take down NFL history to make it back to the big game.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Can You Live In Two Kingdoms?

My friend Loren Sanders is pretty jazzed up about Mike Huckabee (this link is only his latest... there have been quite a few lately from him on Huckabee). I don't know enough about him politically or theologically to have an opinion. Hmm, perhaps I should just leave it at that.

One of my theological heroes Kim Riddlebarger of The White Horse Inn opined yesterday that he should get both of his feet behind the presidential podium or the pulpit, but shouldn't try to have a stake in both at the same time. He's not saying that he shouldn't or can't be both Christian and the President, but that he shouldn't try to be both President and pastor.

Sounds like good advice to me.

Monday, January 07, 2008

So Glad I Don't Live in California Anymore

This really seemed like an April Fools joke when I came across it. A proposed change to the building code in California which would give the authorities the power to control your thermostat during power crisis events: the proposed revisions to Title 24 is the requirement for what is called a "programmable communicating thermostat" or PCT. Every new home and every change to existing homes' central heating and air conditioning systems will required to be fitted with a PCT beginning next year following the issuance of the revision.  Each PCT will be fitted with a "non-removable " FM receiver that will allow the power authorities to increase your air conditioning temperature setpoint or decrease your heater temperature setpoint to any value they chose.  During "price events" those changes are limited to +/- four degrees F and you would be able to manually override the changes.  During "emergency events" the new setpoints can be whatever the power authority desires and you would not be able to alter them.

Egad. Socialism Communism, alive and well in the golden state.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Could It Be?

Woo Hoo! Now here's something you like to see -- your favorite football team lining up in the victory formation (preferably with the lead) inside of the two minute mark.

After 13 years of frustration the Chargers have finally pulled off a playoff victory, allowing me to postpone the kvetching on their playoff sucktitude for at least a week.

Philip Rivers stepped up in this game with Tennessee stuffing the run game. He did some things that good quarterbacks do, finally -

  • Footwork with the rush on. One one occasion he steps through the rush and fires downfield. Classic standing tall in the pocket quarterbacking. On other occasions he side-stepped away from the rush to buy a little more time before getting rid of the ball.
  • Hard pass fakes before launching the ball in the other direction.
  • Mixing his cadence and/or putting a hard count in at the snap. This drew their big nose tackle Albert Haystack offsides a couple times.

Those are classic trademarks of a quality QB. His decision making is still suspect but I think he's all of 25 years old or something like that. Hopefully it will come in time.

His mechanics still bug the ever-loving stuffing out of me, but it's 20 years too late to fix that.

Another thing he can work on is his play fake to the RB. Don't even waste your time on that unless you're going to really do it right. A good play fake freezes defensive backs and opens up some deep routes for your receivers.

One last thing that impressed me -- the combination of Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson at the wideout positions. Both had over a hundred yards today, and I can't really remember the last time a couple WR's did that on a San Diego team. Chambers has been a godsend since they acquired him mid-season from Miami. The WR core looked like the keystone cops until he arrived. Not only has his play been solid since he arrived, but he's elevated the play of Jackson. This may be just-in-time as Antonio Gates look like he got hurt in the middle of game.

Nearing the end of the game I received phone calls from a former co-worker, my mom, my father-in-law, and a text message from my half-brother. It is true, I need to be talked down from the ledge this time of year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What a SQL Server Logon Attack Looks Like

That goes on for about eternity to the tune of about 11 or 12 times a second. Maybe putting that port 1433 pinhole in the firewall wasn't a hot idea. Duh.

And some info on my attacker:


Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     *        *        1 ms
  2    12 ms    11 ms    12 ms []
  3    10 ms    10 ms     9 ms []
  4     9 ms     9 ms    10 ms []
  5    13 ms    13 ms    13 ms []
  6    17 ms   209 ms   218 ms []
  7    14 ms    13 ms    12 ms
  8    13 ms    13 ms    13 ms []
  9    14 ms    13 ms    13 ms []
10    18 ms    18 ms    27 ms []
11    22 ms    22 ms    21 ms
12    41 ms    40 ms    40 ms []
13    68 ms    68 ms    67 ms []
14    68 ms    68 ms    68 ms []
15    68 ms    68 ms    68 ms []
16    70 ms    69 ms    69 ms []
17    70 ms    72 ms    70 ms []

Trace complete.


Pinging with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=74ms TTL=121
Reply from bytes=32 time=71ms TTL=121
Reply from bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=121
Reply from bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=121

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 70ms, Maximum = 74ms, Average = 71ms

In times past I may have aimed a few servers on different T1 connections to call down the thunder on these folks, but everybody has a broadband connection these days.