asheris: (Default)
- Aries pushes the others aside to get to the door first.
- Taurus will only eat the finest of Swiss chocolates.
- Gemini goes around the neighbourhood once, changes costumes and goes around again.
- Cancer stays at home and gives candy to the other trick-or-treaters.
- Leos plan their costume for months, then won't go out because someone else had the same idea.
- Virgo wears a neatly-pressed suit and tells everyone they're a bookkeeper.
- Libra is still standing in front of the closet trying to decide on a costume.
- Scorpio isn't in it for the candy.
- Sagittarius will manage to wander to the next town.
- Capricorn makes a list of all the houses that give good candy and the optimal route to take.
- Aquarius builds the costume out of spare flashlights and spends all night tinkering when it shorts.
- Pisces skips the whole thing to compose poetry to the Moon.
asheris: (smile)
Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] rothko!
asheris: (Default)

NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool High Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!


Oh, this is just sad...
asheris: (Default)
I only have pictures from Rochester, where we got between 10-11" of rain from Saturday morning through Sunday morning.

Thankfully the flood abatement projects, built after the 1978 flood, mostly held, so Rochester was spared the worst.

I do have a small gallery of photos from the Zumbro River. They show Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon/evening comparisons. I didn't have the first set with me when I was taking the second set, but I tried to take them from about the same spots to it would be easy to compare them.
asheris: (Default)
The Manly Man Candle Company: candles for men
Yardwork:

Hayfever and allergy victims beware- This scent will drive you crazy. One of our company's founders starts sneezing whenever he smells this candle. No, I'm not kidding!

This one smells like fresh cut grass, so all of you apartment dwellers and city boys can bring the smell of a day working out in the yard right inside your house.

Bah... it's not the real smell of yardwork unless you include the smell of the mower exhaust and lots of sweat. And maybe a dash of dog poo wafting over from the neighbor's yard. That's "yardwork". Buncha wussies just going for the "pretty" smells, I tells ya...
asheris: (Default)
"The advent of time warp technology offered to Knights of the British Empire has allowed this uniquely satisfying look at Sirs Gilbert and Sullivan's re-envisioning of fellow Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back. O! What a joy it is for us to hear these three titans working in concert for the first time, and hopefully not the last."
- Michael Hightower

Video link, since the embed isn't behaving
asheris: (smile)
Our family is starting to plan a trip to SF, and we've got some questions:

1. When's the "best" time of the year to go?
1a. Since we have a couple teachers in the mix, we might need to plan for summer; if it's not part of the previous answer, when's the best time in summer to go?

2. Where do we Absolutely Have To Visit While We Are There?

3. Are there any particular eateries we should make sure to visit for a certain meal/dish/drink?

4. What other questions should I be asking?


Oh - and, um, what exactly DO you do if there is an earthquake?

misc

Feb. 1st, 2007 11:52 am
asheris: (Default)
Aqua Teen Hunger Force terrorizes Boston! Oh, wait... more like Boston Mayor Terrorizes Boston over ATHF.


It's not an oversight, when you have a long history of purposely using the wrong words.
Bush plans to speak to the House Democratic Caucus at its conference this weekend in Virginia.

On the president's schedule, that event is referred to as the "House Democrat Conference."




Bush gets dissed at a diner - guess people aren't as impressed wth him as he thinks they should be.
But on Tuesday, the surprise was on Bush. In town to deliver remarks on the economy, the president walked into the diner, where he was greeted with what can only be described as a sedate reception. No one rushed to shake his hand. There were no audible gasps or yelps of excitement that usually accompany visits like this. ... In Peoria this week, many patrons found their pancakes more interesting. Except for the click of news cameras and the clang of a dish from the kitchen, the quiet was deafening.

"Sorry to interrupt you," Bush said to a group of women, who were sitting in a booth with their young kids. "How’s the service?" As Bush signed a few autographs and shook hands, a man sitting at the counter lit a cigarette and asked for more coffee. Another woman, eyeing Bush and his entourage, sighed heavily and went back to her paper. She was reading the obituaries. "Sorry to interrupt your breakfast," a White House aide told her. "No problem," she huffed, in a not-so-friendly way. "Life goes on, I guess."

Ow.

Jan. 30th, 2007 12:36 pm
asheris: (sword princess)
Apparently I sustained an "avulsion fracture of the navicular" several weeks ago after dodging a kitty on the stairs (landing on the edge of the carpet runner and rolling my foot). Bugger didn't hurt at the time, but yesterday I went from twingy, to limping, to ohfuckinggawdthatHURTS in a matter of hours, resulting in a trip to Urgent Care for x-rays and pain control.

Looks like there will be a cast of some sort in my immediate future. Waiting on a call from Podiatry now for an appointment and further information.

Hurray for Vicodin. Doesn't make the pain go away; just wraps it up in heavy cotton batting and puts it in the next room. Which is enough. You know it's there, you can still feel if something's "hurting", but it doesn't quite hurt in a pain way. Mostly. Kinda just makes me sleepy.


Sent a message to work, and people are being great about it. Which is good.

And Peter - he's an angel.

Ah, shit.

Jan. 29th, 2007 11:53 am
asheris: (Default)
RIP, Barbaro.


He fought so hard, but a series of cascading complacations over the weekend led to the decision to put him down this morning.

I'm impressed by his owners, who let Barbaro's comfort guide them through all of this. As long as he was happy and comfortable, they kept trying. When it got to the point where he could no longer be comfortable, when it would be just pain, they had the love and care to let go.

Barbaro saga ends sadly

Barbaro euthanized

www.vet.upenn.edu (Their server is currently overloaded and difficult to reach.)
asheris: (Default)
U. S. Attorneys Forced to Resign - UNPRECEDENTED
What's the White House Doing to Prosecutors? Feinstein Speaks out on U.S. Atty Firings


Among the U.S. Attorneys forced or "encouraged" to resign in the last 2-3 months (emphasis in the quotes is mine):
  • Arizona - 12/19/06 - Paul K. Charlton

  • Little Rock (Ark.) - 12/15/06 - Bud Cummins (more)
    Senator Feinstein:
    "Now the most well-known case involves a U. S. Attorney in Arkansas. Senators Pryor and Lincoln have raised significant concerns about how Bud Cummins was asked to resign, and in his place the administration appointed their top lawyer in charge of political opposition research, Tim Griffin."

  • San Diego - 1/12/07 - Carole Lam (heading up the Randy "Duke" Cunningham investigation)
    Senator Feinstein:
    "Now to my knowledge, there are no allegations of misconduct having to do with Carol Lam. She is a distinguished former judge. Rather, the only explanation I've seen are concerns that were expressed about prioritizing public corruption cases over smuggling and gun cases."

  • San Francisco - 1/16/07 - Kevin V. Ryan

  • Nevada - 1/15/07 - Daniel Bogden

  • New Mexico - 12/19/06 - David Igleslias

  • Seattle - 12/15/06 - John McKay


As one poster on Daily Kos sums it up:
What it gains the White House
is the ability to use the power of the US attorney's office, and the Department of Justice, to investigate any possible lead - no matter how insubstantial - that affects a Democratic candidate.

The Republican Party is trying to defend 22 senate seats in 2008, compared to our 12. ...

So what tools do they have? Force out the US attorney in Nevada and install a political hack so that they can go after Harry Reid ... Undermine investigations of the whole massive California GOP congressional delegation - Jerry Lewis, Duncan Hunter, Cunningham, etc. Hence you have to get rid of the apolitical US Attnys in San Diego and San Francisco. [Asheris: Or you need someone new to start some bogus investigations into Pelosi, Feinstein, etc.]

Hillary? Well, you had better put the RNC head of opposition research in charge of the US Attorney's office in Little Rock.

What we are seeing, without exaggeration and without hyperbole, is a sustained effort to use the infrastructure of the Department of Justice for deliberate political ends.

It's nothing new. Tom deLay did it when he used the feds to track Democratic state senators in Texas. Gonzales is doing it now by bombing the House Ethics Committee with meaningless FOIAs in order to gum up their investigations.
...
asheris: (Default)
The Edjecater in Cheef gets a teaching review.
asheris: (Default)
Some idiot in Washington state has convinced the local school board to put a moratorium on showing An Inconvenient Truth in their schools, unless a "credible opposing viewpoint" is given equal time. (Which pretty much comes out as a ban, since there IS no credible opposing viewpoint.)

Why? Because according to the parent (emphasis mine):
"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."
  1. Where did he come up with 14,000 years, anyway? Creationists say 6-8,000 years; scientists say billions of years. 14,000 is a new one to me.

  2. What is with this push to force the use of "opposing viewpoints" to FACTS? First they wanted Creationism taught alongside evolution-based science, now they want to claim scientifically documented changes aren't happening. Are we going to start seeing math teachers forced to offer "opposing viewpoints" to 2+2=4?

  3. "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has given us sense, reason, and intellect has intended for us to forego their use." - Galileo


I'm stealing this from someone I'm sure, but take your freakin' hat off and SHUT UP, Frosty!


References:
asheris: (Default)
R.I.P. Jean Gordon Elementary

A photoblog about the aftermath of Katrina for one acclaimed elementary school in New Orleans.
asheris: (sword princess)
As seen on The Daily Kos, crossposted from The Philosopher's playground:
The attack:
'Twas the month before Christmas when all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying nor taking a stand.
Why the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a "Holiday".
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream Tree"
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Not Happy Holiday.............................


The reply:
'Twas the month before Christmas and all through the malls
everything was ‘bout Christmas, no escaping at all.
The songs all about yuletide, and then on FOX news,
all the nut-jobs pretending there ain’t any Jews.

This country we know it’s a really big stew
of Muslims, and pagans, and atheists too.
But O’Reilly and Rush, not to mention Sir Hannity
are all trying to deny these good folks their humanity.

If you eat latkes, and liver, and kosher dill gherkins,
You are second class citizens, not real "Amurkans."
We’re told "shut your hole," if your season’s not elfish,
as these kinds of "Christians" are really quite selfish.

Don’t say "Happy Holidays" if you work in a store,
it’s "Merry Christmas" alone or they’ll declare war.
"We’re under siege!" they cry through their crocodile tears
"They’re trying to outlaw our holiday cheer!"

You can spot real Christians from those in wolves’ clothing
They’re the ones preaching love, not hatred and loathing.
But the Pharisees think it's only they who should count,
Truth be told, they should read what was said on the mount.

So Buddhists and Hindus and Hopi and Sioux,
the message is clear that is sent unto you.
When the tips of the branches get covered in frost
This country is theirs, time for you to get lost.

Those who believe that to keep of our brother
means to actually love and respect one another.
So when you are asked, "What would Jesus do?"
Answer them, "Welcome ones different from you."

In conclusion, oh gasp, we guess we should say,
that Comet and Cupid are openly gay.
In this season of peace with the ground covered white,
Happy Holidays to ALL and to ALL a good night.

asheris: (Default)
Heavens. Me, a liberal? Why, I never would have guessed.

apologies for any sarcasm that may have dripped on you during the reading of this post.

political meme )
asheris: (sword princess)
My Interests Collage! )
Create your own! Originally Written By [livejournal.com profile] ga_woo, Hosted and ReWritten by [livejournal.com profile] darkman424

silliness

Dec. 14th, 2006 02:37 pm
asheris: (Default)
On the twelfth day of Christmas, asheris sent to me...
Twelve kiias drumming
Eleven lolliejeans piping
Ten mysteries a-leaping
Nine cats dancing
Eight herbals a-reading
Seven witches a-writing
Six dreams a-baking
Five he-e-e-erbs
Four x-files
Three glomerulonephritis
Two connie willis
...and a witch in a self-sufficiency.
Get your own Twelve Days:


Nine cats dancing... sounds about right.
asheris: (Default)
several months later, she reappears...

The last few months have been busy, and when it hasn't been busy I've been letting myself be a lazy bum.

To recap, we bought a house this summer, and moved in mid August. We're still unpacking- things are mostly in the right rooms now, at least! We love our house. (It's still odd and exciting to be able to say that!)

Of course, as with any place you live for a while, you start noticing little things that you'll change "one of these days"... like the "country" wallpaper in the upstairs bathroom...

The cats seem to like the new place. Kitty loves all the sun we get from the big south windows. (She'll be 19 in January!) Loki likes having all the space, though he's often grumpy about not being allowed outside unless he's wearing a harness & line.

We got a foot of heavy, wet snow the Friday two weeks before Thanksgiving, which was our inaugural shoveling event. (No joke - 12".) Since then absolutely nothing. At this rate, we'll be lucky if we get a hard frost for Christmas.

Work has taken up a lot of time, too. Major deadlines for both of us in November.

We had P's family here for Thanksgiving, and my family joined in later in the afternoon. As the old newspapers say, "A Good Time was had by All."

We were both sick with some kind of cold/flu thing the week after Thanksgiving, which was "fun". (Not what we meant by "bring something to share"... though a coworker pointed out that viruses can be considered "organic" and "free range".) I was out the first half of the week, and Peter was out the rest of it. Mine turned into a sinus infection (lucky me) which meant antibiotics for the next week.

Sure didn't help with getting anything done!

Right now, we're trying to get things ready for the winter holidays. Sunday we finally got some lights up on the front of the house, and last night the (now sadly old and scraggly) tree came out of the box and had lights draped over it. At this rate, we might have decorations up by New Year's...

adventures in older houses )

So, that's my exciting life the past few months. I've been trying to catch up on all the people on my friend's list, but this is going to take a while...
asheris: (Default)
"Hotel Minibar" Keys Open Diebold Voting Machines (emphasis mine):
The access panel door on a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine — the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes, and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus — can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the Internet.

On Wednesday we did a live demo for our Princeton Computer Science colleagues of the vote-stealing software described in our paper and video. Afterward, Chris Tengi, a technical staff member, asked to look at the key that came with the voting machine. He noticed an alphanumeric code printed on the key, and remarked that he had a key at home with the same code on it. The next day he brought in his key and sure enough it opened the voting machine.

This seemed like a freakish coincidence — until we learned how common these keys are.

Chris’s key was left over from a previous job, maybe fifteen years ago. He said the key had opened either a file cabinet or the access panel on an old VAX computer. A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes, and hotel minibars. It’s a standard part, and like most standard parts it’s easily purchased on the Internet. We bought several keys from an office furniture key shop — they open the voting machine too. We ordered another key on eBay from a jukebox supply shop. The keys can be purchased from many online merchants.


As one person commented, "At least the minibar has a paper record of what you’ve taken out."


Nothing like a "secure machine" that can be opened with spare office cabinet keys, and uses a flash drive instead of a hard disk to store information and programming.

These are the people who make most of the ATMs used in the US. Double-locked, paper trails for the machine owner and the user, programming on secured hard drives, etc. Yet their voting machines couldn't keep out a 4-year old who's playing with the keys from Mommy's filing cabinet, can be hacked (and completely reprogrammed) by someone wielding a USB drive with a couple lines of code on it, and can't manage to print out a single paper receipt?

Seriously, that's so fucked up... you have to work at it to screw up a project on that many levels!


EDIT/ADDITION: But wait, there's more... If you can't find an old filing cabinet, minibar, or computer case key lying around, just grab a phillips screwdriver. 12 screws later, you're in.

Check out the YouTube video to watch a few of the many ways a Diebold voting machine can be hacked; or check out Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine, the full paper from the Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Science Professor and grad students.

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