November 2004


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Archive for November, 2004

In sympathy

Posted in Life on November 12th, 2004

Since a friend over at Intellectual Orgy recently got a ticket, and it reminded me of a few past indiscretions involving my lead-lined sneakers.

About a year after I moved to ‘Vegas, my dutiful little motorcycle started giving me some grief and electrical issues, so I opted to buy a car to get me through the winter months. Since I was working a crummy job at the time, I had to get something cheap. ‘Cheap’ ended up being a 1974 Plymouth Grand Fury Brougham. This translates into a car 18 feet long, 8 feet wide, weighing in at 6,200 pounds. That’s right, three point one TONS of good ol’ American steel automobile – wearing classic 70’s Dodge Bronze paint, a vinyl top and opera windows.

When she rolled off the line, she was a classy ride – power steering, power brakes, AC, AM / FM 8-track cassette, the space to sleep 8 comfortably and ability to double as a landing strip. Oh, one more thing: a giganamous 400 cubic inch Mopar powerplant. It seems that in the year she was made, all the cops were driving Furys, so the ‘stock’ motor was a bit overpowered to begin with, even before the police mods that turned them into chase cars. The speedo stopped at 120mph, and I pegged the needle at least once.

Of course, it took me a full mile to get it up to that speed, and I didn’t stay there long because of the corner a couple miles down the road…

Anyway, one night the EMC and I are over at her parent’s house watching tv with her sister when we decide it’s time for me to make a burger run – during my favorite show, of course. Being a dutiful husband, I jump behind the wheel and plant a foot on the ‘GO’ pedal and tear-ass down to BK.

Ten seconds later, I realize I’m going the wrong way. Whoops! Pull a quick U-turn (well, quick for anything smaller than the Titanic, anyway…) and I’m headed North again. Two blocks down, the light turns yellow, and I have enough room to stop so I take my foot off the accelerator – when I notice the car next to me lunge forward to make the light.

“Well hell, if he can do it, so can I…” and I stomp the pedal same as he did. I sure loved to hear that motor roar and watch the front end lift from the massive torque that thing produced.

That’s when my mind rewinds, and I remember seeing the car next to me do the same thing. The car with the white hood. And black fender. With numbers on it…fuck, that was a cop.

Sure enough, he drops back and lights ’em up, so I meander on over to the curb. He saw me signal to pull over before he hit the lights, so he just let me off with a warning, but I think it was also in surprise that I beat him through the light :)

Who said you could leave?

Posted in Politics on November 11th, 2004

There’s been a lot of talk flying around lately about Americans wanting to emmigrate to other countries because Bush got another four years.

Who the fuck said you could quit? Where in the Constitution does it say “run away when things get tough”?

*For those who did not realize it, the Secession post I wrote earlier was sarcasm.*

Like it or not, this is still the only nation in the world where you truly have the right to an opinion and the right to voice it. For over TWO HUNDRED YEARS this nation has been a bastion of democracy and human rights, and you want to leave just because some nitwit managed to get control for eight years? Eight measly years? When people have been fleeing the likes of Castro and other REAL assholes for decades, you want to run away because you have to put up with Dubya until ’08.

Since the founding of this nation, millions of your fellow Americans have fought, bled and died for your rights, for your freedom, and you want to leave because you lost two elections, and the man who won will be gone in four years.


You don’t like the way the country is being run? Well, sit your ass back down, get informed, and for fuck’s sake DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT other than just voting on election day. Call or write your government and bitch-slap them for not doing their job. Run for an office you believe in. Get in touch with the leaders of whatever political party you follow and ask them what you can do to make this a better place.

Like the man said: “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you: Ask what you can do for your country!”

And do it quick, before JFK drills a hole to China by spinning in his grave.

McAfee Virus Update

Posted in Geekery on November 10th, 2004

McAfee warns us about this new MyDoom variant that is making the rounds. From the site:

This W32/Mydoom@MM variant makes use of a zero day attack targeting a Microsoft Internet Explorer IFRAME buffer overflow vulnerability . It is very similar to W32/ .

The virus spreads by sending email messages to addresses found on the local system, as well as addresses constructed by the virus.
Like other Mydoom variants, this virus harvests email addresses from the local system, creates addresses by combining common names carried within the virus body with harvested domain names, and spams those addresses with email messages. It also avoids addresses containing specific letters or words. Unlike earlier variants, the infectious messages do not contain an attachment, but rather a hyperlink directing people to an infected machine. Following the hyperlink results in an infection occurring on the target victim’s system, if they are running a vulnerable Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser.

Today is a good day to switch to Mozilla Firefox which went to version 1.0 today.

I Want One Of These!

Posted in Geekery on November 9th, 2004

I want one of those has found the ultimate in geek toys: The Room Defender

This marvelous toy fires a stream of soft foam projectiles at anything that trips it’s motion sensors and can be used to gaurd any small area or entryway, with several modes of fire including “warning shot”, “1/4 clip”, “1/2 clip” and “waste ’em” for continous fire. It also comes equiped with a remote control for manual fire, and cool ‘Robocop’ startup and shutdown noises.

Very cool on a toy level, but I’m thinking the control system could probably be adapted to something with som real firepower pretty easily – to hell with the soft foam darts, I’m thinking high-capacity Super Soaker.

“Here, kitty-kitty-kitty…” :)

Reach out and sneer

Posted in Humor, Politics on November 8th, 2004

Ran across this post tonight over at The Register. Damn amusing read.

At one point, the author talks (tongue-in-cheekily) about the Blue States secceeding from the Red States, and that got me thinking: what if we did? How well would we do? For us, it would be California, Oregon Washington and Hawai’i, and we’re all pretty well set-up. Here’s my thoughts.

Trade: We’ve got that wrapped up. We border on Canada and Mexico, plus we’ve got the whole Pacific coast and all the ports therein. Trade should not be a problem.

Tourism: Duh. California and Hawai’i, Disneyland and Paradise. Heck, if we worked it right, we might even grab Reno and ‘Vegas in the initial swoop giving us a huge chunk of capital to work with.

Agriculture: We can grow anything, including some of the best canibis available anywhere in the world, which we would turn into an immediate cash crop. Vast tracks of sustainable forest for lumber products, and the ocean harvest.

Industry: We own the computing world. Most of the major chipmakers of the world already have manufacturing plants in Oregon and California, and Washington has Microsoft. Not to mention the whole Tinseltown deal. Heck, Scaled Composites is based in California, giving us space trade as well.

Military: We have a number of bases from all branches of the service, and there has to be a way we can press the L.A. gangs into service. (Hell, they’re already armed…) Not to mention the gun-toting survivalists camped out in the forest. Remember that Mexican border? We offer Mexican immigrants citizenship in exchange for two years of military service and put them to work fortifying the borders.

Science and Education: We’re covered with some of the best universities in the Nation already, plus the JPL.

So, whaddya say? Pacific States of America? Or maybe just Pacifica?

Review: The Incredibles

Posted in Media, Reviews on November 7th, 2004

Since Greyduck beat me to the short version, I’ll have to be windier to justify dragging you here.

In short, this is the best movie I have seen this year, and you bet your bunny I will be buying the DVD as soon as the widescreen version hits the shelves.

The animation on this film is absolutely spectacular. Pixar just keeps getting better. Every character is an individual, clothing has wrinkles, hair moves and gets mussed, and the characters actually move correctly across the background – a footstep travels the expected distance, something alot of animation studios miss.

Writing and Directing: There is simply not a bad line anywhere in this movie. The characters have depth and emotion, and the plot ticks right along without moving too quickly or glossing over chances to develop the characters. The jokes span all ages, and there’s a couple spots where you might be reaching for a tissue. These parts don’t drag on though, so your kids won’t get bored with it.

Spoilers ahead… Read the rest of this entry »

Universe Today – Venus and Jupiter’s Upcoming Conjunction

Posted in Life on November 4th, 2004

The article at Universe Today talks about the conjunction of these two planets early Friday morning. According to them, there was a similar conjunction in August of 3 BC, and some scientists theorize that this is possibly the event that the Zoroastrian Magi saw which led them to travel to Bethlehem.

It’s possible – it’s not like supremely accurate records were kept back then. No written records from the Magi exist, and we know the Church fudged the calendars in a number of ways. (You’ll notice that all the current Christian holidays fall on roughly the same days as popular pagan holidays. Simpler for the Church to convert people if they didn’t have to give up their favorite feasts.)

If that was the event the Magi saw, it means Jesus was a Leo. Kinda fits, when you think about it.

Hey B – get the camera out, eh?


Posted in Life on November 3rd, 2004

He conceded.

From a political standpoint, I can see why he did it: to forestall a possibly ugly bout of recounts and animosity from the sitting President.

It still irritates me though, since Ohio is STILL sitting out there, with 20 fat EVs up for grabs in a race that everyone was calling “too close to call”. So now we have to deal with another four years of Bush, another four years of tax cuts for the rich, tax breaks to companies who outsource jobs overseas, and a very real possibility of a reduction in women’s rights. And let’s not forget how American travellers overseas get spit on by complete strangers.

It seems that both the issues I felt strongest about this year have been defeated, and I’m pretty disappointed in my fellow Americans for not seeing what is to me amazingly logical.

I highly recommend that every American sit down and read what Thomas Jefferson had to say about the governing of a country. If we could all do that, maybe we could get some things straightened out.

Herr Gropenfuhrer did, and look how well he’s doing. Vetoed driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and passed stem cell research. Go Arnie!

Pardon me while I write a couple of rather pointed letters to the President and the head of the Democratic party.


Posted in Life on November 3rd, 2004

What the hell is up with Ohio? I swear it seems like the tabulators are dragging their feet so their state can be the deciding vote this year.

As of this writing, Kerry needs Ohio and Iowa to tie, Ohio and Wisconsin to win, or toss all four remaining states into the Kerry pile to wipe that smirk off of ol’ Beady-Eyed-Bush.

Crappity. One last check and then it’s bedtime…

Can’t sleep

Posted in Life on November 3rd, 2004

Almost 12:30 on Election night, and we’re down to 5 states. 4 states hold 27 electoral votes and then there’s fat, juicy Ohio with 20 whole votes.

I don’t think Kerry is going to win at this point. Sure, he could, but it looks to me like it’s either going to Bush or a tie, in which Bush still wins. (Or at least gets re-appointed; the House of Reps is a GOP majority).

If Kerry manages to get Ohio, it will be close either way. Fingers crossed…