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Journal: By this time tomorrow... 15

Journal by Nidhogg

... is when the depression should set in.

Why you ask? Ah, gentle reader, you see it's like this.

I TURN FORTY TOMORROW!

Shit. This isn't happening.

And I'm drinking tomorrow night too. Well I'm going to try to. I told our bartender last week that I'll probably only be able to drink half as much as I normally would since my mug will probably be filling up with tears all night.

Argh.

Two things make it worthwhile.

One, my wife turns the same age 12 days after thereby limiting my own personal Hell of being older than her to less than two weeks.

Two, it will eventually happen to all of YOU young whipper-snappers as well.

And oh how I will laugh...

The Internet

Journal: Sports: ESPN does math! 10

Journal by Nidhogg

I found this interesting.

Degree of Difficulty

Looking over the list the one I have a problem with is the one apparently most other people do. Basketball at #4. Over rugby? You're shitting me. Have you seen those guys? They try to fukkin' KILL each other worse than the hockey nuts do.

Anyways. Discuss if the mood strikes you.

And thank you for playing.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: Brilliant! 3

Journal by Nidhogg

Ladies and germs I give you the brilliance of comedian Drew Hastings witnessed yesterday morning by yours truly while driving to work and listening to The Bob and Tom Show.

Kristy (the news chickie) had read a story about Mel Gibson taking The Passion to all the broadcast networks seeing if he could get it played by them at some future date. They, of course, turned him down. The following conversation then took place.

  1. Tom: Which networks did he go to?

    Bob: Pretty much all of them.

    Tom: That'll never work. He'll need to go to a lesser cable network.

    Drew: Spike?

And NOBODY, not even me, GOT it for a few seconds.

Then it hit me and I damn near wrecked the car.

Alright it's possibly offensive but I thought it was funny.

United States

Journal: I'm a war criminal? Please. 14

Journal by Nidhogg

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this here before but I work for a Caterpillar dealer. Not Caterpillar. A Cat dealer. There's an important significance there. Well important to me anyways.

So yesterday I was helping the CEO archive his email up to the network. The guy had 19,000 messages in his deleted items (!!!) and his mailbox was killing my beloved server. So I decided to fix it.

While working on his machine in Outlook I just happened to notice a sudden flood of incoming email from various addresses. Normally I don't read my users' email without a damned good reason but the subject lines were all fairly similar and piqued my interest. There were around ten different variations that I saw but here's one of them.

Subj: Resolution re misuse of Caterpillar equipment
 
    I write you today in the memory of Rachel Corrie. Rachel was killed on Mar. 16, 2004 by a Caterpillar bulldozer as she tried to stop the Israeli army from bulldozing a Palestinian doctor's home in the Gaza strip.
    The Israel Defense Forces' abuse of Cat equipment to destroy Palestinian orchards and houses is widespread, systematic, and thoroughly documented. The human rights watchdog group Amnesty International has criticized the Israeli pattern of razing of Palestinians' houses as an "act of collective punishment and a grave breach of international humanitarian law."
    The fact that Caterpillar's equipment is being utilized in such a destructive fashion has to worry you in your capacity as a Caterpillar dealer.
    With the use of Caterpillar's equipment, the Israeli military has demolished 12,000 Palestinian families' dwellings since the l967 Six Day War -- the vast majority being unrelated to security concerns -- as documented in Israel's press. Israeli Committee against House Demolitions reports that this destruction has resulted in 50,000 Palestinian civilians becoming homeless. According to the United Nations, in one month in 2002 alone, Cat's equipment razed 300 multi-family apartment buildings in Jenin, making 800 families homeless, many becoming refugees for the second time.
    Further, undercutting the base of the Palestinian agricultural economy, Israel employed Caterpillar equipment to destroy about several hundred thousand olive and other orchard trees, in 2000-2001.
    The Sisters of Loretto and the Sisters of Mercy are offering a resolution for approval at the annual Caterpillar meeting April 14th, 2004, responding to Israel's attacks on civilians with the use of Caterpillar's equipment in the ways I've described in this letter. The resolution asks the company to scrutinize the Israeli military's deployment of Cat machinery. I encourage you to promote this critical resolution.
    As a member of A Jewish Voice for Peace I urge you to share with the Board of Directors your understanding that continuing to sell to Israel injures the image of Caterpillar by association with Israel's tactics. Moreover, the Caterpillar corporation's ongoing delivery of equipment to the Israeli military while aware that Israel will most probably utilize the products in the cause of terrible destruction is a violation of the Caterpillar Corporation's Code of Worldwide Business Conduct. It's bad business to keep supplying Caterpillar's machinery to the Israeli army.
    And last, I hope that you will announce a public statement of concern on Israel's hostile use of Caterpillar equipment.
 
Address was here but I removed it because I'm chicken.

I'd never heard of this. So I asked him if he got a lot of these. He said yes he received probably several hundred a day in two week waves. He said he'd talked to other dealer owners and they were getting them as well. Then he asked if I could filter them out for him.

Not a problem.

They were all originating from electricmembers.net which, while I have no idea what they do nor do I care, is probably just an email list server. They may be sending out other less-annoying email but they won't be delivered by my server. They've lost my trust and made it onto my blacklist.

Problem solved.

Now I am not the most political of people. In fact I tend to stay out of it not only here on /. (Hi Montag!) but even out in meatspace. It's not that I don't care I just don't think it's worth arguing about. People are going to have their opinions and beliefs and more than likely nothing I say is going to change them. Perhaps it's the jadedness that comes with being almost 40 but that's my experience.

Anyways after getting back to my desk I decided if I was going to find out where they got his email address from. Because this obviously wasn't something he went out and signed up for. He was being targeted specifically. They knew who he was and what he did.

I hate that.

Googling my little tail off I came up with the following sites.

Photostory: Israeli bulldozer driver murders American peace activist

Alright. I'm sorry the girl was killed. It's a shame. But maybe, just MAYBE, she should have had more sense than to stand in front of a nine-ton bulldozer when it's shoving dirt. We have a lot of those D-9's on the yard here and let me tell you they are some big sons of bitches. You are not going to win against them. Not trying to sound too callous here but I read this and thought "This would make a good Darwin Award."

Yeah yeah I'm going to Hell for that one. Whatever.

Then we have this one:

Caterpillar Executives "Arrested" For War Crimes

Now I'm pissed. There is no way in Hell the people working in that office deserved that kind of treatment. What addled mind can possibly make the connection that Cat is any way responsible for what the Israeli government is doing with the equipment? And if we follow their reasoning then by me doing my job and ensuring my users have the tools to conduct business then I'm guilty by association.

I'm a war criminal and didn't even know it. Outstanding.

For a long time now I've viewed militant activists of any sort as pests of the lowest order and this just reinforces that belief. I'm all for free speech but I also retain the right to be pissed about what you're saying. Especially if it reeks of smacktardedness.

But now we have the motherlode of related sites:

www.catdestroyshomes.org

Yeah baby! It's own domain! Oh and it's got Cat's trademarked logo on it too. I'm sure Cat's lawyers are just going to LOVE that.

And a Call to Action on April 23rd. They're going to march on Cat Headquarters in Peoria, IL. I may have to show up for that. With a stick.

But anyways... on this site there's a "Send Caterpillar a Letter" link that states it will go to Cat's Board of Directors. I can't prove it but I suspect this is how my boss is being targeted. Obviously it's not only the Board but dealer owners as well. Oh well. It's blocked now.

Blaming Cat for what the Israeli government does with the bulldozers it receives not from Cat but from the U.S. government as part of a foreign aid package is, for lack of a better word, retarded. Cat has a contract with the government to supply them. It CANNOT legally break this contract without suffering penalties and no amount of civil action is going to change this.

And why email my boss about it? We're a dealer. We have no influence whatsoever on Cat corporate policies or the business it conducts on its own. On top of that I can guarantee you that we have never supplied anything directly to Israel. Hell we don't even sell anything outside of our own state. That's how the dealer network operates. You stay in your own territory.

All of this once again raises the question I've asked for years now.

What is WRONG with people?

Wait. Don't answer that.

Music

Journal: Suggestions? 19

Journal by Nidhogg

The wedding fast approacheth.

Things are moving along nicely except for Kat's identity crisis. Her purse got stolen a few years back and she lost all her ID. It hasn't been a problem so far. Until now. We need to get a marriage license.

Can't get a marriage license without current photo ID. Can't get a state ID card without a birth certificate. Can't get a SS card without a photo ID.

Ah bureaucracy. How I love thee. No really.

We'll get it solved though.

Anyways the reason I asked you here. I've tried to come up with songs for the ceremony and so far I've pulled a big goose egg. We briefly considered closing the ceremony with ZZ Top's Pearl Necklace for the sheer bliss of seeing my brother lying in the aisle unable to breathe because of laughter. That and the look of horror on my father's face. But I guess that wouldn't be "appropriate". Whatever that is.

So... suggestions?

And the first one to suggest anything by Bette Midler will have Em sicced on them. And we don't want that now do we?

Role Playing (Games)

Journal: KoC: HAH! 4

Journal by Nidhogg

This is what I've been waiting for. After abandoning the "balanced" strategy I decided to go with FK's Extreme Defense.

Why? Because I earned that money fair and square sitting there doing... nothing. And I hate it when people steal my shit.

As a result I've completely ignored my offense for the last three days and have pumped everything into defense.

But that doesn't keep me from attacking. At this level it seems not a lot of people pay attention to their defense. Case in point:

  1. Your troops inflict 1,578 damage on the enemy!
    The enemy sustains 0 casualties!

    fastfours's forces counter-attack and inflict 142 damage on your army!
    Your army sustains 0 casualties!

Nothing spectacular. Actually it's probably somewhat less than spectacular. But I got 23k+ out of it.

It gets better though.

It seems Mr/Ms fastfour didn't like me stealing from them about as much as I don't like people stealing from me. So they decided to attack me and get their money back five hours later. Results:


  1. Your troops inflict 10,726 damage on the enemy!
    The enemy sustains 0 casualties!

    fastfours's forces attack and inflict 3,431 damage on your army!
    Your army sustains 0 casualties!

HAH! I don't THINK so Scooter. Get that weak shit outta here!

I'm beginning to like this game...

Role Playing (Games)

Journal: KoC: OW! 3

Journal by Nidhogg

Alright so maybe this wasn't the brightest move in the world. I decided to go after someone ranked higher but looked (at least to me) weaker. I mean c'mon. I had an army of 11 humans and he had 2.

I present the following transcript.


  1. Your soldiers march onto the battlefield

    Your generals report on your army's status:

    4 of your soldiers are trained attack specialists
    3 of your army consists of untrained soldiers
    All 4 of your trained soldiers receive weapons

    4 are given a Knife

    All 3 of your untrained soldiers receive weapons

    3 are given a Knife

    Your field scouts report on the status of the enemy:
    The enemy has all 2 trained soldiers with weapons
    None of the enemy's 0 untrained soldiers have weapons

    Both sides charge!
    Your army strikes!

    Your troops inflict 100 damage on the enemy!
    The enemy sustains 0 casualties!

    *'s forces counter-attack and inflict 130 damage on your army!
    Your army sustains 0 casualties!

    Your generals report on your weapon damage:
    Knife
    1 were not used
    None were found to be sabotaged
    Weapon strength went from 5 to 5

    *'s forces defeated your army!
    As your soldiers flee the battlefield you try to figure out what happened.
    Were you overwhelmed by superior force? Were your soldiers tired?
    Were your weapons in poor condition? Perhaps your soldiers were cowardly?
    If you continue to fight and lose word will spread throughout the land about your army's incompetence!

Wow. Nothing like having your ass handed to you.

Moral of the this story?

Believe the rankings even if they don't look like they make sense.

Oh and Click me to give Niddy a bigger army.

Announcements

Journal: Tired 8

Journal by Nidhogg

Just because I'm in the mood to bitch today here are the things that I am officially tired of.

Nipplegate. I don't care that she showed her floppy pasty-covered boob during the Super Bowl. I didn't see it happen but I have seen pictures. Both our kids DID see it and neither one seems to be the worse for wear. I think the boy enjoyed it and the girl had to ask "Was that her boob?" because she wasn't sure. It's just not that big of a deal. In fact I can't remember ever not caring this much about a popular issue in a long time.

Low-carb everything. I saw a commercial last night that Hardee's is now offering a low-carb Thickburger. Hardee's! A bazillion grams of fat but hey it's only got 5 carbs! And there is now an entire low-carb store opening near the house. For fuck's sake...

Democratic primaries. You know what? The behavior I've seen from all of them with the exception of MAYBE Clark has eliminated them in my book. Done. Kaput. Not gonna happen. Somebody make Powell run because I am seriously running out of people here.

Reality TV. Ever long for the days when TV didn't reflect "reality"? Man I do considering that's why I've always watched TV. Perhaps that's why I've stuck with cartoons all these years. And I will never understand how anyone with even the barest of musical training can't feel physical pain when watching the first few shows of American Idol. I cringed so hard my neck hurt. Seriously.

Alright done for now. Hey that felt good. I may have to do this more often. But not as much as Mr. G(SPAM)Montag. I promise.

GNU is Not Unix

Journal: Dilemma 17

Journal by Nidhogg

Alright gurus I have a little dilemma.

We need a server at each of our branches (I work for a Caterpillar dealer with 8 remote branches by the way) so we've decided after talking to another dealer to go with Dell servers with Red Hat Pro pre-installed.

The decision to go with Linux was based on a few things.

1. These are remote branches. I don't want to have to drive 120 miles just to reboot a forkin' box.
2. Stability. Enough said.
3. I don't want to have to give these things a great deal of attention like I have to do to the Windows farm. According to Cat all I need to do is install the application, set up a Samba share, make a DNS entry for each box according to the branch and I'm done. I'm willing to take their word on this but if it turns out to be true then it'll be the first time they've been right about pretty much... anything.

So anyways the dilemma.

I don't know a damned thing about RH. Nothing.

I've been a Slackware guy since the 3.x days. And I say a Slackware guy but really my experience with it has been to install it, configure it how I want, and then leave it alone with the exception of security patches that Volkerding releases. I'm not the kind of guy that sits and tweaks a box for weeks on end just to get some small percentage of performance increase out of it. My last Slackware box had an uptime of 19 months before some suicidal squirrel fried itself on a pole transformer.

And that's what I'm looking for. I know Slackware can do it but I don't know about RH never having tried it.

But I don't want to condemn RH Pro and remove it simply because I'm not familiar with it. There may be advantages to it that I'm not aware of and I'll lose those plus waste a lot of time changing distro's when I don't need to.

Opinions?

Games

Journal: Wedding 7

Journal by Nidhogg

I realize I don't write in this thing for almost all of you to have ANY idea who I am or what's going on in my life but hey...

Anyways.

Wedding plans are in full swing. The chapel has been booked for March 12th. It's a small hokey one out in Greenfield (east of Indy) that specializes in weddings. And when I say hokey I mean it. But that's alright. We're hokey people I guess. We'd found another one but they wanted us to go through two sessions of "pre-marital" counseling. As if. I'm 39 years old and have been through one marriage already. The last thing I need is some "wiseman" explaining to me about how much of a commitment I'm making.

Kat's dress has been purchased. Very good deal on it. Let's call it... 75% off. Yes she's wearing white. She found something online that said she was allowed to do it and that's good enough for her.

Got her daughter's dress. Got the tuxes rented. Got the invitations ordered. Got the reception planned.

By my tally that only leaves rings and bouqets.

Of course I'm probably wrong about that.

But I'll be so glad when this is over and she comes out of wedding-planning-frenzy mode.

Games

Journal: Why 2

Journal by Nidhogg

Why do you torture me Peyton Manning of 7001 West 56th Street?

You know... I knew better.

I knew better than to root for the forkin' Colts even though I live here.

Mainly I'm a Vikings fan. Have been since I was 10 years old and Indianapolis didn't have a pro team. At that time we all just sort of picked a team to root for.

I just happened to be stupid enough to let it carry over into my adult life. And no I don't wanna discuss what happened during the end of that Cardinals game. I still haven't dealt with that particular trauma.

But the Colts... man.

I watched tham all season. And I was impressed. Well except for that first Denver game but hey they all have off days right? Right?

I watched them dismantle and dominate that same Denver team in the playoffs. VERY impressive performance. Then I watched them deal with KC on the road in Arrowhead, a game I really didn't think they'd win, and then I had this... inkling of belief set in.

"You know.. maybe, just MAYBE, they have a chance at this. Perhaps I can pull for them and they won't disappoint me."

Four, count 'em FOUR interceptions. Three to the same guy. I hate to Monday Morning Quarterback but I think after throwing two to that guy maybe I SHOULDN'T THROW IT OVER THERE ANYMORE.

Sure you can blame the weather, the pressure to win, give credit to New England's defense, etc. Whatever. The Colts didn't show up to play yesterday.

Nidhogg == dumbass

Never again.

The Internet

Journal: Woohoo!

Journal by Nidhogg

Wow what a day so far.

One of the yard monkies here at work was moving a machine, left the boom too high, and knocked down a power line, taking out one phase.

And taking it out pretty damned good too.

The UPS's in that building tried to cope but I knew it was inevitable.

There's nothing like pulling up the Nagios page for your network and watching half of it die.

Made me wanna cry.

User Journal

Journal: Engaged 2

Journal by Nidhogg

After some serious thought about whether it should be a Christmas event or not...

I bought Kat an engagement ring.

Nothing outlandish since we just bought a six-figure house but nice enough to make her cry on Christmas morning.

I even wrapped it and put it under the tree so she had to stare it for four days wondering what it was.

Then when she opened it I was on one knee and proprosed to her right in front of the kids.

Hah. That'll larn her.

Tentative date for March 12th.

User Journal

Journal: Somebody hit me REAL hard 2

Journal by Nidhogg

So Kat and I decided to buy a house.

Christ. What were we thinking?

We call the guy on Wednesday around 5 o'clock. That night we looked at 4 houses and decided on one that we liked. So we put a bid in on it.

Needless to say we got it.

Now... this is a HUD home. A foreclosure.

Now I am certainly no expert on real estate so I couldn't tell you what's a good HUD home and what's a bad one. But the broker we went through said if we didn't buy it then he 'By God' was going to.

I believed him. And I still do. There are very few things wrong with this house. All the carpet is in extremely good shape as are the floors and the walls. The only weird thing about is... they took all the faucets and the toilet paper spindles with them. The faucets I can almost see if they were nice ones... but the TP spindles? I don't think I wanna know.

This house though... wow. It's a 4 bedroom 2400 square foot behemoth. Two stories. Two car garage. Two and a half bath (with the master bedroom having a garden tub big enough for two. woohoo!) and more closet space than we have living space at the moment. Maybe I exaggerate on that but when I looked through the master bath into the master closet I thought it was an adjoining bedroom. Imagine my shock when I yelled "Holy shit this is a fucking closet!"

The problem here though is that I have my VA Loan benefits. And I'm gonna use them. But I obviously didn't think this through. Right now we're dealing with not one but two government agencies. Talk about your Recipe for Disaster(tm). I won't try to guess which one will piss me off first. I'm giving even odds on either one.

So right now we're in a holding pattern. I'm almost positive we'll get the house and I'm trying to convince Ms. "I just know something will go wrong and we won't get the house that I absolutely love Mr. and it'll somehow be your fault." of the same but... well you know how that goes.

Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"

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