blarg?

I’d like to talk about Ultimate, and how Coop’s team beat us the other night and how he’s a crafty player, but it’s been a bad few days, so I’m going to talk about that instead.

In light of Shaver’s Surprise Guest Administrator incident, I took a good hard look at the Nexus project, and, lo and behold, we’re hosed. Nexus, and four other machines on campus, have been compromised. So my days have recently looked a lot like I suspect his did, go buy new drives, do the reinstalls and then spend time I don’t really have doing forensic work on the old drive to figure out what else has gone wrong.

Boy, had things ever gone wrong. It’s not completely clear which way the plague spread, but a naive comparison of dates between bitchcake and nexus seems to show that nexus was compromised first. Either way, my account was the infection vector.

From what we can tell, the compromised machines had been set up to run IRC bots, presumably for a denial-of-service attack at some point in the future, or just as part of some script-kiddie-related penis-size contest. We haven’t got that far yet; I’ve been busy fighting on-campus fires and helping Shawn reinstall Debian on the afflicted machines. We’ve tracked the person responsible to, apparently, Romania, via some IRC-related sleuthing, and developed what appears to be a reasonably good protocol for preventing this from happening in the future.

The “Romania” thing really disappoints me, because I had really hoped that I’d be able to hold this person’s throat in my hands. Ever seen that bit in Pulp Fiction where Vincent Vega’s talking about how is car got keyed? It would have been worth it, if I could have just caught him doing it.

We also found an incredible list of other compromised machines in the logs.

I’ve contacted all the people on campus and on our subnet who were on the list. I’m really not sure what else I can do, aside from battening down the hatches and trying to keep it from happening again, but I have this list of maybe four hundred compromised machines here from all over the world and I’m not sure what to do with it. About half of them end in “undernet.org”, though, and I know exactly what I’m going to do about those.

God Dammit.

Update: As it stands, the evidence is that the spread of the infection went from Engsoc here at Carleton to Nexus, and from there to Bitchcake. And it gets better: apparently the people at Engsoc knew about a break-in back in the middle of January, and didn’t tell anyone.

Shaver was actually apologizing to me about this. I’m going to have to clear that up with him, and maybe beg forgiveness while I’m at it.

After I find somebody appropriate at Engsoc, bite their goddamned arm off and pound them down with it.

Great.


“Nader said that polls had shown that in 2000, 25 percent of his supporters were Republicans, and 38 percent were Democrats. In 2004, he predicted, far fewer Democrats would vote for him.”

Possibly because they’ve come to their fucking senses.

For my birthday, which I’m spending quietly in Picton in a warm fireplace-equipped house with my very-attractive girlfriend, I got what everyone wants for their birthday.

Stomach flu.

A particularly straining strain of stomach flu, whose motto is apparently “give ’til it hurts”.

Just fucking fabulous. So much for all those good intentions.

This is why you should never engage in misery-brinkmanship with Shaver. You got rooted? Well I’m vomiting profusely! So there!

I’m in Picton. Access to the inter-web is brought to you with the help of Bakelite plastic and cheaply-made copper filament, a sure sign that I’m the manning the ramparts at the cold fringes of civilization. Todays spattering of poorly-articulated bullet points are:

  1. The radio in Ottawa blows. I was recently made to listen to six straight hours of it recently, and whoever it was, those jokers played Outkast’s “Hey Ya” five times. Apparently, nobody else in the world has made any interesting music in the last few months.
  2. Those of you who aren’t MC Frontalot fans should get on that.
  3. MIPS processors have mutable endianness. Holy shit, who thought that would be a good idea? And, since I’m now trying to get some Linux4.BE equivalent running on this goddamned Cassiopeia, I don’t even know which toolchain to try.
  4. Whoever assembled this laptop is a dangerous incompetent. I finally got fed up with the faint rattle I could hear when I shifted it and pulled it apart to reveal a half-dozen loose and two completely detached screws, one of which doesn’t even belong to this machine. Whoever you are, I want you to know that I will find you. Sleep tight.
  5. The radio in Kingston also blows. Dear Radio Personalities, if your job description involves the word “wacky” you’re probably not worth your weight in classic-rock eight-tracks. Thank God for the CBC.
  6. John Henson, whose Project bears his name, is painfully unfunny. There’s not even enough there for irony to get a foothold; the man is a grey slate wall of anti-humor. If he ever shakes hands with Dave Chapelle, a violent explosion will occur.
  7. Ruby, specifically Ruby/Tk, rocks quite a bit.
  8. Mailman does not rock. Not even a little. If there’s ever a binary ballast problem at Nexus, Mailman is going to be the first body over the side.
  9. It’s impossible to describe how talented, innovative, how plain-old goddamned good Tom Waits is. Superlatives quiver and scurry for the shadows like roaches; I’ve got a bunch of live mp3s, and they kick me into my chair every time I listen to them.
  10. If your childhood was spent watching the same cartoons as mine, the Complete Catalog of ACME Products is not to be missed.

Peace, yo.

“Almost everybody does it, thinking that shaking accelerates the development process, but if you shake it too vigorously you could distort the image. A casual shake typically doesn’t affect it.”
Polaroid Spokesman.

What with it being Valentine’s day recently, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make a relationship that Arlene describes as “cozy” a little more romantic, whatever that means. I’m not sure how to go about it; even though I’m not exactly sure what romance is, I know for damn sure that it’s a high-wire act on a gusty day. It might go well, but there’s so many ways that it could go horribly, skull-on-pavement wrong that I’m reluctant to take those first steps out on the rope. The line between romantic and tacky is a fine one, and I can’t see it in this dim lighting. And, boy, that’s a long way to fall without a net.

I’ve been doing some cooking for her, I’ve got candles going and I’m behaving in a reasonably civilized manner, but these things aren’t atypical: my guidelines are simple – around Arlene, my behaviour is the exact, polar opposite of how I would act at any other time.

You’d be astonished at how good a guideline that is. Or, hey, if you’ve met me you might not.

So I’m not sure what I could do to improve the mood around here: I’ve made every effort to make every weekend we get together a good one, and as a result I’m not sure what to do to make one weekend stand out.

I suppose I could put a bag over my head. That might help.

Sean has written up an embarassing entry about his musical guilty pleasures, as saccharine a fluff-pop train wreck as you’re likely to find.

So, team, let’s not leave the man hanging.

My short list of Songs I Am Ashamed To Admit That I Enjoy are:

  • “Rhythm Of Love” by DJ Company. I’m especially fond of the “Euromix” version of this song, quell horreur.
  • “Rhymin’ And Stealin'” by the Beastie Boys. I’ve got that feeling.
  • The Pet Shop Boys, “Being Boring”. I am not proud.
  • “You Spin Me ‘Round” by Dead Or Alive. Genius. 80’s genius, admittedly, but genius nevertheless.
  • All 4 One, “She’s Got Skillz”. Sampled in approximately a zillion commercials, you say? Yes, yes it was.
  • Baby Got Back by Sir Mix A Lot. Yes, I do indeed like the aforementioned big butts. I cannot lie.
  • Kelis, “Milkshake”. Just terrible, but I cannot turn it off. Send help.
  • Nickelback’s cover of Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting. Just entertaining the idea of enjoying a Nickelback tune makes me feel vaguely dirty. Strange that the only song of theirs that rocks in anything more than a subatomic measure is an Elton John cover.

That’s a short list of what I’ve got in the player right now. I’ll add more as they come to me, if I feel like admitting to them.

One of the reasons that I love/hate Linux so much is that it makes a lot more interesting things possible, but it also makes a lot of pretty straightforward things a pain in the ass.

I’m not sure which category this one falls into. Information wants to be free, I’m told, but the other side of that is that sometimes information dies in the wild, of age, starvation or neglect. Most of the information I can find about this little project is either crippled or gone, and it’s frustrating.


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Today, double happiness.

Longstanding good friend Melanie sent me this simple page, and she and Michael could not have wound up with better each-others. No date yet, but I am expecting to hear about that soon enough.

Further, I finally got a chance to meet Catherine this weekend. “Darcy!” I shouted. “Bring me the infant!”

Well, not really. But I did get over to their place, and got to take some passable pictures of Catherine, which I have put up on Snapshot for your viewing pleasure.

I was allowed to hold Catherine for a few moments, which made me feel very small.

The President of the United States is planning on endorse a constitutional amendment defining marriage to be between a man and a woman. This is clearly because Leviticus 18:22 tells us that man shall not lie with man as he does with woman, for that is an Abomination.

As an upstanding Canadian and staunch ally of our neighbors to the south, I have decided to do my part by streamlining the admendment-drafting process. For the sake of completeness, below is a compiled list of all those things which are likewise declared in Leviticus to be abominations, and which should be included in that amendment:


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We won last night, which was good. I got to see how badly Coop got screwed by the league team-balancing reshuffling, which was not so good. He was moved from a strongish team to, well, whatever a gaggle of people in yellow shirts is; if you were willing to overlook the fact that they were all wearing the same colour shirts, it would be easy to believe that none of his team had ever spoken to each other before the first pull.

It’s painfully easy to see this from the sideline, but you can really, really tell the difference between a team that has a plan and a bunch of people who don’t.

My plan didn’t involve laying out on the astroturf as much as I did, which I’m why I’m currently having a difficult discussion with a very angry, intractable left leg about our long-term relationship. It goes something like this:

“I hate you.”

“Shut up.”

“I hate you. I want advil.”

“Shut Up.”

“I hate you. I need a bandage. I need a god-damned skin graft, I hate you!”

“Just shut up!”

“C’mon, Advil? Pretty-please?”

“Ok, here’s some Advil. Now willl you quiet down and stop leaking skin fluid all over my pants?”

“No. By the way, I hate you.”

So temperamental, so petty. I’ve known my left leg for decades. What’s eight inches of bleeding rug-burn between friends?