log (2006/06/23 to 2006/06/29)

I heard this ad on the radio the other day where the ad-person said:

"Women who eat breakfast like the Special K breakfast way less."

Which I thought was kind of odd.

Machinima o' the Day: The Internet is for Porn, done in World of Warcraft. (I know, there are starting to be millions of these things out there, but this one appealed to me somehow. I love the Avenue Q soundtrack. And for that matter being wistfully reminded of when I was younger and had vast amounts of free time to mess around!)

You probably heard that they found (somewhere) that stolen laptop with the tons of veterans' personal data on it. Here's a former computer forensics guy writing about what kind of evidence might have led them to the happy conclusion that the personal data hadn't been accessed. And why the evidence is probably not really all that strong.

her silly 's money examined JESSIE of HENRY
in her cash her dollar consulted JARED
will ALLEN consider the birds
in the return the sheets reviewed VINCENT
in a cheer her pennies updated ROLAND
of RICKY 's penny a silly profiled FLOYD 's news
in RON 's dollars a ROI lived a cheer 's dollar
with her ball 's news 's tree GERALD reviewed DARREN
LEROY 's ground reviewed the return of the silly
of WILLIE MELVIN consulted her bread
Undeliverable: petroleum

That (except for the petroleum) is a rather odd little generator. Bit of an obsession with cash! (I do like "the return of the silly".)

Your laptop can be taken over wirelessly! Mine, too, probably. Oh, well!

("Fuzzing" tests, where you just throw lots and lots and lots of random and/or ill-formed input at a computing system until a security hole shows up, are really unfair. I mean, everyone knows code can't stand that kind of thing!)

Statistically considered, the Zeitgeist described by the intellectual historians is not the default position of the educated people of an Age but some sort of measure of the typical forms of dissent to the mysterious dark matter of the real consensus.

I love that both because it has lots of big words, and because it uses them to say something that really rather flippin' profound.

- 4 for "mia"
- 2 for "hack yahoo"
- 2 for "helen naked pictures"
- 2 for "naked helen pictures"
- 1 for "clitoris"
- 1 for "humber"
- 1 for "naked pictures of helen"
- 1 for "password hack"
- 1 for "woohoo"
- 1 for "yahoo passwords"

- 2 for "helen naked pictures"
- 2 for "mia"
- 2 for "naked helen pictures"
- 1 for "halle barry naked"
- 1 for "naked pictures of helen"
- 1 for "viewing yahoo webcams without permission"

I don't know why I continue posting this kind of thing! Not exactly novel. *8) Maybe it's exactly that it's familiar and easy and comforting. I like things as they are.

More Anthology

These extracts from the Ajax Toy were contributed by person or persons unknown. No consistency or identity of narrative universe is implied. Read at your own risk. Characters may or may not be Mia. You might want to read them one at a time over a long period, or alternately greedily gobble them all at once.

She bore her silent sadness as easily as a prayer rug: hide in plain sight; don't look back unless you like salt in your tears.
"Can't we do something on a smaller scale?" she replied. "NaNoWriMo already broke up one of my marriages, and I don't think the others can take another hit so soon."
It was in her nature that she could see those million sparkling flashes of brilliance and thought and spectacular love and spontaneity, see them all at once as they happened, comprehend the complex, interwoven fabric that they made up. She smiled, or what would have manifested itself as a smile, as she focused on one such tiny spark in a Nebraskan wind farm.
Theta &Theta; <a href=>Theta</a> Theta?! Theta@spam.la%20Theta
She / asked me how I knew / that her brassiere was blue
Aristotelian logic wasn't her thing. Cartesian geometry wasn't her thing either. But she loved the language. The differential poetry of terminology.
She got stuck in the warmth. Post-hoc industrialism permeated her exposed perdellum, and she fainted.
She turned away and picked through the brush and boulders to where her cycle was hidden. She figured it would take the woman a few seconds to realize what had happened, if not how. Then, she figured, the woman would be screaming.
Already she can hear toward the terraces and the mansion. The old monster's flesh is not going to lose the last four years. She finds herself, as if she'll find some kind of answer there, without fear. He has aged, she thinks bemusedly; it isn't fair that such a man can look down at the the trigger.
Already he can hear the loaves, and the fishes. The old rabbis were not going to lose the last four years. He finds himself, as if he'll find some kind of answer there, without fear. They have aged, he thinks bemusedly; it isn't fair that such a man can look down at the trigger.
He pulled aside the gnarled juniper to reveal a small opening in the rock face. Ah, just as he remembered it. "After you, darling", he gestured gallantly as she stooped and made her way through the natural fissure. Their eyes adjusted to the low light to reveal a small flat-bottomed rock cave, surprisingly dry and more surprisingly, outfitted still with a full war-time listening station!
Sir, I soon saw I was no Osiris.
She hungered for touch, any kind of touch. Her skin was so thirsty that the prickles of the mohair sweater that she hardly ever wore because it was itchy felt like the salt on the rim of a marquarita. But there would be no tequila lover tonight, not tonight, likely not tomorrow night or any other tomorrow night. Better to use the limes on a dead man's eyes.
She hungered for touch, any kind of touch. Her skin was so thirsty that the prickles of the mohair sweater that she hardly ever wore because it was itchy felt like the salt on the rim of a marquarita. But there would be no tequila lover tonight, not tonight, likely not tomorrow night or any other tomorrow night. Better to use the limes on a dead land's eyes.
She reached for the headset, the leather cuffs now cracked and nibbled, and slipped it on, the cobwebs sitting lightly in her hair. Out of habit, he cranked the generator. As he looked over at her in the soft light he saw her eyes widen. "Have a listen darling". She handed him the headset. He put the cuff to his ear and his face blanched. "Dear god, please tell me they're not using that channel?"
He put the headset aside and took both of her hands in his. "Darling, there is something I have to tell you."
His underwear is hanging on the lamp And yet, were he asked to describe the poor, they were symmetrical without having a shape.
A-word, b-word, c-word, d-word, e-word, f-word, d-word. Listen children, listen well. This is how we learn to spell. Magnetite, hematite, appetite, sheath blight. Rhodolite, theodolite, apatite, kernel blight...This is the type of nursery rhyme she would write if she were given to writing nursery rhymes.
She reached inside her amounti for the pouch of leaves and threw a few in the boiling water; labrador tea, rather insipid on its own but a good vehicle to carry a shot of whiskey. Too bad she didn't have any. She'd traded the last bottle to Elijah for some long range shells. He never touched a drop himself but he liked to have it at the ready for emergencies. She scanned the horizon again.
"Frailty, thy name is woman." She went to get dressed but found that the cat had chewed all the pearl buttons off her good sweater. This was becoming the story of her middle age. When the doorbell rang she pretended she wasn't home.
She'd hitchhiked into the city in the back of a pickup truck. There was no need for it, she could as easily have taken the Volvo, but she liked the diesel smell of her exhaust-whipped hair, and how lying face down on the flat steel made her aware of how she'd lost weight around her hips. And how she could slip over the side at an intersection, bang on the fender and disappear.
Life on the fringes of every age is well recorded; the brilliance of discovery, the depths of misery, but the vast mid-range is largely lost to posterity for its sheer dullness. No one wants to read epic poems about letting the cat out at the same time every day, about the sound oatmeal makes as it plops to a boil at the same time every day. But she found her poetry in falling-down downspouts.
"You must have courage if you're going to start a rubber plantation." These were the last words his father had spoken to him before he died and he had reflected on them many times in the ensuing years, trying to plumb the arcane significance of that strange utterance. Neither he nor his father had ever been anywhere more exotic than Brighton, once, on a busman's holiday.
He could write rings around her. Every word shiny and smooth and cool to the touch. Slipping and sliding like a linking illusion.
The snow was pushing down on her and she could not breathe; pushing down like a drunken lover who had fallen asleep and become dead weight. How did she get herself into these messes? Every time she said never again, til the next time, then the phone rang and she was packing her kit, then avalanches were falling on her, or drunken lovers, or both. She reached for the hollow fiberglass spring rod in
The low sun shot red shafts of light, fanshaped, up from a cloud-tumbled horizon. And close at hand, in the white waste of shore-lashed waters, the sea-lions, bellowing their old primeval chant, hauled up out of the sea on the black rocks and fought and loved.
Say that five times fast. Then tell me what a new primeval chant is.
For all her sweatery softness, she was not an easy woman to love. That he'd figured out early on in the game. But he too, for all his manly strength and resilience had skipped a few passes through the fires of vulcanization; he too had his points of weakness. Ultimately though, their star-crossed recollections would prove compelling enough to keep them digging, at least until one of them caved.
She had loved him since first she'd heard, rather read, his wasp-honeyed words, astringent with the scent of cypress. It wasn't even a problem that he was married, only that he was married to someone else. Broken hearts look great on paper.
They had cycled down the gravel road toward the trout pond. The gates were always locked across the plant property; "Danger! Radioactive Material Stored on Premises", but they knew a place where the fence was bendy. It felt gorgeously wicked and bad to be surrounded by radioactive material when you were seven in the sixties.
Sighing, she dangled her fingers in the pool, the water rippling like strands of thought escaping her mind in a half-forgotten dream.
Peering through an ancient glass at symbols scratched in the flesh of dried fungi, the mysteries of worlds were unfolded only to obscure again in milliseconds.
Where, then, where? Where are the saviours, the wise, the ones who know what to do next? Where are they who discern The Way, or even A Way? Where are those who know the difference between words and lies, between spin and stability? Where are those who know the truth, or even that it matters?
"Darling, have you figured it out yet?" "Not yet love, I'm still working out the key. I think it might be a passage from Kipling. It would be just like him to use something like that; something so obvious. Do you remember that night in Jaipur when we stayed up all night to watch the moon turn and almost fell off the roof?" "Yes, darling. Fresh air can be so intoxicating."
The rings of Saturn bled like a fresh-cut orange; this is what she saw. And turquoise seas with diamantine shores littered the planet Venus. She had special eyes that were born to see with only the illumination of imagination, though the drugs helped. Actually, the drugs helped a lot.
"Nama rupa; name and form. Mind and matter not one over the other. Dance with me in the river of stars and we'll know love not yet known or yet unknown and senses not yet found nor unfound." She said these things with no guile believing every keystroke, taking nothing back.
"Please let the lemons out of your mouth," she said. He studied her face trying to divine what she could have meant by that, Italian not being her mothertongue. She was forever confounding him with her convoluted phrases and he was beginning to suspect that there might be some degree of artifice involved. What he wasn't firm on was her motivation; flirtation or something less innocent?
There was nothing particularily real about her fear as she heard the twig snap but she liked to imagine that she retained a small remnant of real perception. She knew she had to at least try to keep her edge. She missed reality, could remember it like it was yesterday. But as time seemed to be something other than linear here, yesterday was sometimes hard to find.
They lived in the same house. They slept in the same bed. They raised the same children. They called it love. They called it love.
"Darling, are you awake?" "Well I am now. Why do you ask?" "Well I was just wondering about the rings of Saturn." "What about them?" "Well how they got there and stuff." "You woke me up to ask me that?" "Well for that, and this too."
Just breathe. Then melt. Then reform. That's all there is to it.
The birds outside the window cawed and cackled and made noises that generally would be considered annoying but today they were good noises, all good. Everything was good. We just sat and breathed, sometimes in unison, sometimes not, feeling the breathing, feeling the breath.
Nevermind about the storm clouds, especially that odd horizontal tubular catching her peripheral vision. She had a vague unsettling notion about that particular cloud formation; it wasn't natural. Natural, ha, whatever "natural" was anymore. It was probably a rogue botswarm. Oh joy. She took another sip of the tasteless tea and sat back on her heels.
"Please call me, darling." "You know I can't. It's against the rules." She longed to know his voice not just the tap, tap, tap of the paddles and code. These were such strange days, turning back the hands of time. Some of their brilliant leaders thought the only way to prevent the world from turning to butter was to systematically regress to mitochondrial Eve and start over.
She leaned into the rough bark, liked how it felt against her skin too long under layers of winter survival gear. This is the life, she thought. Well this is a life anyway and on days like today, sweet sap-running days, it did indeed feel like the life of a princess; albeit a frostbitten, sunscorched, rainsoaked, ran hard putaway wet, wood chopping, snowshoe-wearing princess.
Come taste the sweet honey, the pungent saffron, the heady ilachi and feel the tamarind bite back at your tongue. Be careful where you kiss after eating the chilis. Auntie's kitchen leads to love.
Kommen Geschmack der süsse Honig, der scharfe Safran, das heady ilachi und glauben der Tamarinde, an Ihrer Zunge zurück zu beißen aber sehr achtzugeben, wo Sie küssen, nachdem Sie die heißen chilis gegessen haben.
He had always loved the feel of velvet; maybe his mother had worn velvet or maybe her skin had just felt like velvet. He couldn't remember fully. Like a dream that you try to reconjure, his memories of her were as delicate as the head of a distant dandelion puff that is already blown before you get there.

(And that's not the half of them...)

Keeping a weblog is really hard! You have to think thoughts, and type stuff, and run little Perl scripts, and...

I did like the one from last week about the slime, though. Slime doesn't generally keep a weblog, but maybe that's part of the point.

Do you have any idea what's become of that copy of "Brokeback Mountain"? (The text one, not the video one.) We can't find it, and I'm afraid I might have it in some big pile of books somewhere that I've forgotten about.

It turns out that I have even more books than I think I do.

Big Tub of Water News: when I opened it up last weekend it turned out that a corner of the pool cover had at some point over the winter or spring slid down into the pool, so the water that's supposed to be clean had been freely mixing with the life-laden water from on top of the cover.


After extensive treatment with poisonous chemicals, though, the greeny-browny water has now turned sort of bluey-cloudy (where did all the green and brown go?), and supposedly we will in a few days (after applying other nasty chemicals) be able to vacuum up all the unsanctioned debris, and the water in the big tub will be all clear and sparkly and poisonous once again, as it ought to be.

Which is a great relief of course.

Subject: backend never makes it
Subject: shaman like skills
Subject: in BRENT her money examined her money
Subject: her ball analyzed a penny of GREG
Subject: with SHANE TOM reviewed a ground 's penny

And here was some notable spam content:


My Name is Felipe Garcia and I have a question for you: How serious is this notion of mass media advertising ? I was wondering if there was feedback to this extent that was seriously considering this possibility. I have an advertising medium concept that could launch this very campaign across the North American continent. I hope you can facilitate some feedback for me here. If so, we could discuss the possibility of compensation but, it must be in a form of a LARGELY well funded individual who has contacted you and wants to enact such a campaign.

If not please disregard this message.

Thank you

Felipe Garcia

So what do you think? Just how serious is this notion of mass media advertising? Sounds pretty serious to me!

Steve who used to have a weblog points us at a really interesting talk about the AI (or lack thereof) in Halo. Major insight here is that the opponents in computer games aren't supposed to defeat you, they're supposed to make you feel like the Governor of California. More or less.

People are always quoting Bill Gates as saying "Let's face it, the average computer user has the brain of a Spider Monkey". Which is pretty amusing, even after you discover that the quote is from this interview ("interview") which also includes this Q and A:

Q: Freedom, Mr. Gates, will not die easily. We will stop you.
Gates: You will stop nothing. You will bow down. Do you understand me? In fact, that's our new slogan. That "where do you want to go today" garbage is out the window. From now on, it's "Bow Down." The streets will flow with the blood of the resistance.

People don't quote that bit as often, for some reason.

Also Gates-related, Joel On Software's inneresting My First BillG Review. Makes ya wonder...