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User Journal

Journal Journal: The Governator.

Who would have thought?

Hey, CA could certainly do a lot worse; Arnold is a competent businessman, very adept at managing public image and dealing with the press.

Does that mean he's going to be a good "governator"? Maybe, maybe not. Politicians rarely get to pick and choose what happens in real life during their term of office.

I wish him luck. California has felt a lot of pain in the last couple of years, and a little good fortune seems overdue there.


Journal Journal: Thank you for calling Citibank...

... Your privacy is very important to us. It's so important, MISTER JOHN A SMITH, that we have spent large sums on things like SSL for web transactions.

Enclosed are several blank checks, MISTER JOHN A SMITH, which you could use for things like balance transfers, or to peform HOME IMPROVEMENTS on your HOUSE which is located at 123 MAIN STREET!

And if you call our customer service line, all you need to do is provide your first and last names, and your zip code - and don't worry if you can't remember your name exactly, we'll remind you what it is, as well as providing you with other personal account details, without even having to ask!

Remember, at Citibank, security is very important to us. God forbid anyone ever found out what a LYING SACK OF WEASELS we have for executives, or how we do things like use your retirement fund for the personal benefit of our management. (You don't expect them do send their kids to the same schools that your kids go to, do you? We're sure you're nice and all... but you're just not the "Citibank Type", if you know what we mean)

Note: This is satire, and is not intended as factual (well, at least some parts aren't factual), and it would be entirely wrong of me to speak disparagingly of Citibank's executives, though I admit I don't get a nice monthly kicker like 'ol Sandy does.

Yes, I think you're a bunch of lying rat-shit bastards, the lowest form of pond scum on earth. From the sniveling telemarketer who tries to sleaze me into using my citibank account to buy useless insurance (Thanks for waking me up for that special offer, BTW) to the felonious exploits of your astonishingly corrupt, penny-ante management.


Journal Journal: A message from "abuse@...."

As part of the engineering group at a wholesale bandwidth provider, I get the joyful task of receiving, a few times a week, complaints about spam.

The ironic part is, I have nothing to do with them. A user sees one of my routers in a traceroute, and fires off a rude message.

The rude ones, I delete. Just part of the job; much like working in a restaurant and having to clean up after a drunk now and then.

But a couple of times a month, some idiot either fires off a threatening, or truly abusive message. Stupid. Very.

The abusive ones, just get forwarded to their ISP with a polite introduction.

The threatening ones go to the cops. Only two have required this action so far, and in both cases it was some teenager blowing off steam.

One of them was arrested when he mouthed off to the cops. (cop called me on his cellphone while the genius was sitting in his back seat, crying about how he didn't want to go to jail after all). The other, the cops said they didn't arrest him, but they were going to keep an eye on the house because it looked like his father was not entirely thrilled about having the police interrupt their dinner and frisk the entire family.

So, before you fire off that "stop your spammer..." missive, please make sure you are sending it to the right people. And be polite; a user with a little sense of humor and empathy gets a lot more response than an angry, misdirected rabid screamer.

Oh. And yes, we do pass around the more amusing complaints and have a good laugh at them. ("Good lord! Someone pinged Bobby's router! Let's have the perpetrator arrested and pummeled immediately!")


Journal Journal: Do you read on your computer?

I've occasionally downloaded large-ish documents on computer -- typically large PDF's, technical reports, and the like, but also occasional works of fiction or reference.

But it's hard to read 'em. It's not my monitor, I have an uber-leet 20" LCD panel. Um, two, actually. It's just that I don't normally sit and stare at a computer screen without interacting with something. Actually sitting back and reading a novel on your computer? Does anyone do it?


Journal Journal: Lego Mindstorms?

I'm thinking about getting the mindstorm thing for my son. Really, it's not for me. Not completely, anyway.

He's a very bright eight-year-old, but I'm not quite sure he's ready for that level of complexity. Anyone have comments on how well kids catch on to those?

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In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.