Monday, May 31, 2004

Preparing for the heat

I am feeling better now, finally. I still have a bit of booger patrol to contend with, particularly at night. My physical activity is back up to regular now that I'm feeling better. So with all my blustering energy I've taken on some new projects.

The first was on Wednesday. I went over to MCE and FE's place to help move some firewood and bricks from the side of the house to make room for the contractors and their equipment. That was some back breaking shit right there. Load up a wheel barrel full of spider laden ( Black widows no less ) firewood and big ole footpath type cement blocks and haul em off to another part of the garden, that will HOPEFULLY be out of the way. Did I mention the spiders? Tons of em. Big, black, bulbous, goo-filled spiders by the fist load. There was a considerable amount of caterpillar cocoons there too, which is something I've never seen close up before. In this area most of the caterpillars are about 2 inches long and solid black and totally fuzzy. It kinda looks like Groucho Marks eyebrow moving along.

Saturday, with the rain-out on the Indy 500, I began to work on the stand for a new window mount air-conditioner. It's an LG brand, 1000 BTU, cold-only model with a remote and some automation features that make it pretty nice. It will be replacing a much smaller one, fitting in the same room and window where the old one is now. Unfortunately these things are made to be put into a up-down sliding window and not a left-right sliding window. Every window on the block is a left-right slider... So a stand and all sorts of window modifications need to be made to accommodate this beast.

Well to get the job done I had to scratch up some plans and run down to homers depot to get materials. That place was a fucking zoo on "feed the monkey day." I picked up a drill, got some lumber and had it cut. I made the mistake of getting brass wood screws, more on that later. I got some paint and some drill bits and more fasteners. Having the wood cut at home depot, was a huge time saver in the long run. It was $1.50 to have them cut it and considering I didn't have to measure it or cut it one by one with a skill saw.. damn well worth a buck and a half.

I got all my parts home and immediately commenced to assemble the design. At first I was a bit un-organized. It was a lot of head scratching and looking for things and not much work being done. As things moved along I got a better idea of what needed to be done in what order and things came together as I had planned. I would be patting my self on the back at bit more if I hadn't foolishly selected those FUCKING brass screws.

I drilled pilot holes, plenty deep mind you, and these were #8 3" wood screws. I must have stripped the head of 4 of them. Did I buy extra screws? Fuck no, I am WAY to stupid to consider the blasphemous possibility that I, the great carpenter, with almost no experience, could make a mistake. "Pfft, how many does the project need? Well, that's how many you buy, damnit!"

So now there are some nicely painted and stripped wood screws sticking out about a 1/4" to 1/2" or so from various parts of my stand. If it wasn't just an air-conditioner stand I probably would have fixed it. I just want to get the fucker done with.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Feeling Ill

I have been putting up with a cold for a week now. I have had it move from an ear ache to sneeze fits, to sore throat, runny nose, sinus infection, chest congestion. At this point it's not longer a bothersome condition that made me weak. My face and eyes hurt, from sinus pressure and I'm generally feeling pretty crummy. My bass guitar is fixed, thanks to the string pluckers over at Blue Guitar. I had to have the nut replaced after the E string grove cracked and part of the nut fell out. I had made a nifty 'fix-it- job using the cap of a ball point pen.

You know the little arm that sticks off of a pen cap that is used to hold it to you're pocket, if your a huge nerd? I jammed that under the E string to lift it off the first fret. The pen cap arm was triangular in shape and fit nicely into the nut groove, but that didn't raise the sting high enough to allow it to clear the fret without buzzing.

I monkeied with it a bit and got it playable but it just needed to be repaired.

Do ya suppose that it would just have been a better idea to not tip the thing over in the first place?

Bah - more spilt milk.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Addictive Flash Games

I've played a few flash games that are TRULY addictive, like Kick-Ups, and the Wrecking ball on the race track game, and I guess I just missed the boat on the Yeti Sports thing.

Head over to the QArcade, and type "seal bounce" into the search box on the top right of the page.

Every domain your computer has EVER accessed.

Check this shit out. I was shocked.

  1. Open up regedit
  2. Navigate to
    MyComputer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains\
  3. Have a look at the entries in there.

It's not picked up by any ad/spy programs or Norton. It is not removed when you clear cookies, temporary internet files, all offline content or history. I had to manually, one by one, press delete, and then enter to confirm. Over and over again... DEL ENTER DEL ENTER until they were all gone.

That, for the most part sucked a MAJOR ass because there were like 300 domains listed.
Thank you Microsoft!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Snorting packets - Network Security

I have been using my Linksys BEFSX41 Router/Firewall for a few weeks now. I'd had to rethink how I do things a bit on the networking side of things. Some programs have to be told to use passive mode and some programs ( games mostly ) had to have ports opened to allow them to access the internet.

I am considering running a windows version of a Intrusion Detection System (IDS) called Snort. It's an open source project that has come recommended on a few of the network security sites I visit. You can get snort and use it but apparently its pretty hard to use, so people have made other programs that help you setup and manage snort.

First you need to install a windows packet capture tool named WinPcap - Available here
Then Snort itself
And then the manager for it IDS Center available here

Mother Nature strikes back

It all started as a bothersome itch in my ear, that turned into a sneeze fit, that became a runny nose, and then a sore throat and now it's trying really hard to get into my chest and keep me buckled down even longer.

Congrats all around from friends and family on my weight loss success. I have been loosing so much that the usual amount of physical activity no longer burns the amount of calories that I would like to. Not that I'm complaining about the development, but I'll just add in the fact that I get exercise because I have to, and no so much because I think it's loads of fun to do.

I sure did like sports when I was younger. I'll have to find something I can get into when I loose some more weight. Perhaps Judo, or Kempo Karate. It's something that I've been into before. I had a few months of Tae-Kwon-Do when I was in Hawaii for the summer. It can be an expensive sport to play, but just about all the really fun ones are. I might also look into some of the Frisbee sports. I'm not to shabby with a Frisbee or aeroring.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Breaking the 100lbs. barrier!

Yesterday I went back to class to weigh in. It's finally happened. So far I've lost 101.5 lbs. in 12 weeks. Pretty cool. I have to thank my friends and family that have supported me in my weight loss efforts. While some of them have slipped, and sometimes still do and say unsupportive things, I know that none of them are against me.

As Americans we are conditioned to become overweight. TV, is loaded with ads for food that is just plain ol' bad for you. Companies lie about the 'healthliness' of their products, and restaurants are MOST concerned with serving what tastes best over what you should really eat. Even the portion sizes and pricing of food available in America promote over eating, with deals to be had for increasing the amount of food, particularly the least healthful parts.

I'm getting to be as bad as an ex-smoker. Ex-smokers can't fucking stand it when someone else smokes and likes doing it. I see people make horrible food choices and think to myself, "damn fool!" Sometimes I say a word or two about what they're doing and I feel like a shithead but come on. Here I am, MORBIDLY obese and unable to eat anything on the menu you're choosing from. And when your food arrives with it's absurdly portioned servings of very high calorie foods, sometimes I can't help myself from saying things like. "On your plate right now.. is like 4400 calories. That's more than a person like you should eat all day. And this is just one meal!"

And it's getting worse... I foresee myself becoming a 'Fast-Food Nazi.' If you super size that order, I'll bust your knee-caps. Guess I better be more careful.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

25 balls donated to east county wildlife

This weekend CLP, CMP, EP, TAP, and myself all went east to the local indian casino. They have a really nice golf course that CLP and I toured, $60.00 to play and $20.00 for me to ride along. We were stuck behind a foursome of tourists from a well known island nation, and they played every hole like it was the PGA tour. Just hit the fucking ball, damnit! Behind them was a friendly group of three well-off guys. While all 6 of us waited for the tourists to get to the next hole we would have some pleasant small talk and they seemed to be having fun. CLP however had an exercise in anger management. I think I heard some new ways to use the F word.

I'm pretty sure I we can blame the course. The VERY tall grass in the ruff out there, means that when you hook one, it's gone forever. Neither one of us is even slightly diluted into thinking we're good golfers. We know our distinct limitations but it was an opportunity to get out and get some physical activity.

We started off just before 3pm and didn't ever get around to the last holes. The reason being that we just ran out of balls. CLP lost all that he had in his golf bag, the 2 sleeves he purchased at the pro shop and the 8 or so we 'liberated' from the driving range. It was ugly.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Linksys BEFSX41 Router/Hub/Firewall

I just purchased this unit from for $72.73, after shipping and taxes. I was a little bothered that my extensive research over at Price Watch yielded some misdirection on the actual price of the part. Seems that Price Watch has some old data or New Egg has raised prices a few dollars.

  • Reported TOTAL price: $63.00
  • Actual price paid: $72.73
  • Difference of : $9.73

I still bought it, but I still feel like I've shelled out about 10 bucks that I didn't need to.

Home improvement

Well, today I took delivery of a new refrigerator. 18.2 cubic ft. It's something we've needed around here for some time. My brother purchased a small one for me to use when our large one broke about a year ago. Sometime after my brothers actions (if I remember correctly), CMP bought another one that was slightly larger than mine. Even the two combined was no where near the capacity of a regular refrigerator. And with two refrigerators and no freezers, things like ice cream, or even ice were pretty hard to keep around. Make them cold enough to keep ice a few days = frozen lettuce and apples. BTW, apples and cans of diet coke, don't handle freezing too well.

Saturday, May 08, 2004


I have now been bestowed with the ever mighty broadband connection of my local cable provider! Feel the joy while basking in the flickering glow of my activity lights. Muahaha, my foes beware.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Some things never change     ~fums~

Microsoft has about caused me to reload my computer. I run XP Pro, and was having a real problem getting online with my 56k connection. Dial in... computer hangs for about 5 minutes and then everything's fine. There were work arounds for different webpages, but most applications would not start... the computer would not shut down and the only way out was to hit reset.

Here I sit today, getting ready to frag some commies in BF Vietnam ( an excellent game BTW ) and so I run the DUN link for my ISP... the usual "do de do beep do de doot" escapes the modem and the unmistakable series of beeps and hisses means the modem is connecting... alas the bubble notification of my connection to the internet.

But what's this? No programs will run, nary an error code, not even the venerable three-finger-salute finds way to free my computer. No my friends, but fear not, for I have discovered Windows+E opens Windows explorer, and THAT can be used to access webpages. ( bet ya didn't know that! ) Well that's nice but considering that I have clicked on Internet Exploder like 37 times ( just out of frustration ) I know that eventually my IE will load... 37 times.

Well this little sinario has been going on for about 2 weeks. I have been seriously considering re-loading my computer to get rid of the damn problem. But give me a break, this is like hitting the EMP, throwing in the towel, admitting your woman is right... again, or buying feminine hygiene products. These things need to be reserved for EMERGENCY SITUATIONS ONLY!

I have tried updating several of my AAP's, asshole assistance programs. What is an AAP? You know them separately as Anti-virus, Anti-spyware, and although not really party to assisting anyone to do anything, for this situation I include windows update service. All of them are up to date, and despite having no known symptoms of infection, I ran the MS sasser worm detection and removal tool, just to be sure. I then installed Zone Alarm on a hunch and something interesting happened.

Apparently the IPv6 support released tries to connect to the internet, and zone alarm caught it. So when given the option to allow/block access I selected block and immediately ran internet exploder. Worked fine.

HA! And a quick search for "IPv6 XP" on the MS support site revealed a nice article that quaintly described my problem and gave instructions on how to remove the offending protocols.

Disaster averted, Neo reached the machine city, I get to keep my towel, she's never right anyway, and I found a rogue tampon in the glove box before leaving the driveway! Whew.

My suggestion to you is... never trust those freaks at amusement parks dressed in animal costumes, and to Microsoft... how about a warning eh? Rewrite the protocol description to read: -Click here to install IPv6 so you're computer won't work.-

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Weighing my thoughts

Check in today went well, lost 9.5 lbs. For a 10 week total of 89 lbs. I don't think I ever want to get 18,000+ calories of physical activity again for any reason. I could not have done this without the support of my family and friends. Most of the time they are supportive of my efforts and try to adapt their "gap" behaviors to reduce the chance that I will slip off the prescribed menu.

Check in - Check her out.

I am on a drastic weight loss program through the local hospital and things have been going very well for me. I have lost 79 lbs in 9 weeks. It's not been easy by any means, and I can't hardly wait for it to be over. I have to check in with the counselor and the doctor today and they tell me that this week I'm scheduled for another EKG.

I expect a significant loss this week as I have record PA ( Physical Activity ) from the secret operation we pulled off last week.

Last night and this morning, I saw CMP cleaning around here, for the first time in many many years. Great to see it, even if it was short, and difficult for her. It appears as though the microwave computer freaked out and refused to work, so I unplugged it and reset it, works fine. Some discussion of getting a dedicated freezer to help keep things like ice around longer than a few days. We'll have to see what happens.

I also broached the subject of switching to cable modem service for internet access and it may yet happen.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Feeling the HEAT

There is no real good solution to heat that comes and goes. If it was there all the time, you could better justify the costs of central air. If hot weather is rare, you find it a nice relief to have some warmer weather.

Now don't get the wrong idea, we have unmistakably awesome weather here, I wouldn't trade it for anywhere else, but it does get and stay hot from time to time and occasionally extreme. The cold never really reaches us here and even hail is a "once every few years" type of thing. I wonder if the amount of great weather makes days that are... less than perfect, seem more intense. Hmm then again, I'd rather have 3 days of 93° than 3 months.

I've said it before. I can much better take the rare cold snaps than the rare heat waves. If it's cold, you cover up, go inside, light a fire in the fire place, get out of the wind, whatever. If it's hot. There's not much you can do but get naked ( WOO ) and stick near a fan.

It was 80° at 11:30pm in my house last night. It's warm again today and I've been fielding phone calls from the 9 secret holders. Everyone is pleased and relieved that things have gone well. Most are commending me on my efforts, and well, I have a problem with that. I didn't make this happen and true credit should be saved for those that deserve it. I didn't work harder than anyone else did. My sweat isn't more valuable or my physical pain any more overwhelming. I did work hard and so did everyone else. The motivation in love and the willingness to work are marks everyone of us can secretly wear with pride. [ what? ]

Booh Bah

A show just caught my attention on the idiot box... I'm not sure exactly what this show is... Eh it has to be seen to be understood. Perhaps that's the wrong word, because I've seen it and I do not understand it at all.

I guess it must be like a Teletubbies thing, with super saturated colors and odd pear-shaped, saucer-eyed dancing creatures. I wonder if they have a formula for this sort of thing or if the producers have a history of frequent abuse of acid. Over all the theme of the show is hard to miss. These... Eh, things are pretty much like a cross between the lowest levels of Sesame Street and Teletubbies mashed into one and then throw in some Asiatic names and what appears to be Christmas lights... Oh yea.. the obligatory goof music dance sequence. Anyway find it on PBS.

Post Mortem

Things could not have gone any better than this. A lot of tears, basic questions and I think the best part is some healthy discussion about how and when to continue the effort. I wanted to let control of the conversation rest in CMP's hands, and I think it was some sage advice from FE that strongly influenced my choice in doing so.

Where did some of the items come from... the truth in the matter was good enough and my awareness of some of the finer details has made for a convincing tale.

I hope to be able to have some of my friends over soon. Perhaps a LAN PARTY, that would be nice.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

...And the dust settles

I have never worked so hard in my life. I have put in long hours with poor sleep and at long last it's over. Now let's see if it was all in vain. There does exist the chance that a favorable outcome is not on the horizon. I stand to lose a lot including my home, car, health/dental/auto insurance, my dog, and risk forever damaging the already strained relationship I have with my mother. And yet, no one can say that I was a fool to have made the effort.

I did not accomplish this task alone. I would have no problem laying most of the credit due,first and foremost to JCOL, MCE, FE,a man I only know as Mr. Dave, CLP, GH, AH, Joe and his associates. They all have had a significant roll lending their backs and toiling away, in, around, and amongst some things of legendary foulness. All of whom must have better control of their gag reflex that I do.

I spoke earlier of my extraordinary debt due these unnamed and I am reminded of it now. I haven't means to properly thank them at the level I think they deserve. I'm not even sure that there is a way. I love and appreciate you all, and thank you from the very bottom of my heart for the work you did, for me and my family. Your work and suffering have turned what has been hellish and very unhealthy into something respectable and presentable. We aren't going to get on the cover of a magazine or anything but I would not be ashamed to present it to anyone. I know how it was, and what it took to make it the way it is now.

So now that it's all done, we've retreated to let CMP find our efforts and settle it out for herself. A reaction that has so much in the balance that we've taken extreme precautions to help get the best possible result. Some of our tactics are unsavory and I'm sure that JCOL would probably not approve. Well, really I guess there is no doubt. He really doesn't like what we've done. And for that I am sorry. It's a matter of honesty, and we have felt the need to be less than honest and in some situations collaborated to establish elaborate lies, webs of deceit. Our human faults, the same ones that allow us to lie in the first place, just about assures that we have not covered all the bases. We are telling some rather large whoppers here and asking an intelligent person to believe them, because they want to.

I can see a lot of pain resulting from this particularly for myself and CMP but it will all have been worth it once the dust has settled.