-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
And so she woke up
Woke up from where she was
Said I gotta do something
About where we're going
Step on a steam train
Step out of the driving rain, maybe
Run from the darkness in the night
Singing ha, ah la la la de day
Ah la la la de day
Ah la la de day
Sweet the sin
Bitter taste in my mouth
I see seven towers
But I only see one way out
You got to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice
You know I took the poison
From the poison stream
Then I floated out of here
Singing...ha la la la de day
Ha la la la de day
Ha la la de day
She runs through the streets
With her eyes painted red
Under black belly of cloud in the rain
In through a doorway she brings me
White gold and pearls stolen from the sea
She is raging
She is raging
And the storm blows up in her eyes
Suffer the needle chill
She's running to stand...
Running to Stand Still, U2
Kyle, Harry and I met up at Factory after work to poke at the space a bit and get a box up for Kyle, then headed up to Nodding Head for some food and a couple beers. They had BIG SAMMICH there, but there's no way it could approach Gloria's, so I didn't bother and just got a burger. Disappointment-avoidance. I must be growing up.
After food, they had to get back to their respective women, so I stopped by Barnes & Noble and picked up a few books: Cell by Stephen King, which from the sample chapters I read somewhere didn't look to be very awesome. I'm all about King writing about zombies, even if it's cell phones turning people into zombies (indeed!), but the tone just got on my nerves. Hopefully it will be good.
Also got Max Barry's Company, which came out a couple weeks ago, and according to Herr Kirsch is supposed to be pretty awesome. Other reviews suggest as much as well, so I'm looking forward to it.
On a whim I picked up Hammerjacks, which appears to be Marc D. Giller's first book. It was just kind of hanging out looking lonely, and rather beat up, so I grabbed it. It appears to be about l33t hax0rs and someone who gets like pwnt by teh man to find other l33t hax0rs, so we'll see. Sometimes that pisses me off, sometimes it's pretty okay. The amazon reviews seem mostly positive, at least.
I'm almost finished with the third book of His Dark Materials, which is more a testament of how awesome the series has been than me actually having time to read lately. Because I haven't. Maybe that will change soon, but seems unlikely. I'm probably going to be spamming the box set at select humans, too. Gratz to mdxi for suggesting it.
* Add support for tunneling arbitrary network packets over a connection between an OpenSSH client and server via tun(4) virtual network interfaces. This allows the use of OpenSSH (4.3+) to create a true VPN between the client and server providing real network connectivity at layer 2 or 3. This feature is experimental and is currently supported on OpenBSD, Linux, NetBSD (IPv4 only) and FreeBSD. Other operating systems with tun/tap interface capability may be added in future portable OpenSSH releases. Please refer to the README.tun file in the source distribution for further details and usage examples.
It's weird dreaming about people you haven't thought of in years. This girl I grew up with, Heather, the first girl I ever kissed (we must have been four or five? My family was stationed in Okinawa when I was five, so it had to have been before that), for some reason she just floated to the surface from somewhere in my unconscious. Gods know why.
When I was fifteen or sixteen my family took a trip up to Utah, where her family had last been stationed and decided to stay, in Provo. We saw a giant open-air mining pit, and went hiking a bit. The area was probably the prettiest I'd ever seen. I remember sitting in the back of the car with Heather at some point, while everyone else had gotten out to look at something or other, and there being a connection between us. Or so I imagine now. I can't remember the words, but I remember the closeness of her, and which of us initiated that.
But it's hard to tell, looking back, if me, the awkward, nerdy, teenager, was actually getting hit on by the beautiful, socially-accomplished teenager, or if she was just being nice. And gods, you think I'm bad these days, you should have seen me ten years ago. It was pretty bad. Stupid baseball cap and stupid jean jacket and absolutely nothing going for me, in terms of graces or conversational ability. Not that I've come all that far, I'm afraid.
The girl was smart, too. Ended up valecdictorian, going off to medical school. I haven't heard anything about her in maybe five years, so really who knows what she's managed to make of herself. But at the time, both of us just kids, it would not be a lie to say I was overwhelmed by her attention. We exchanged a few letters, though it's probably safe to say I let that die out, for whatever dumbass teenage reason. I've no idea where those letters would be now, and that's sort of endemic of the problem, I think.
As I get older, I look back on a lot of things I've done in my life, or more often not done, and feel a profound sense of regret. And looking around me now, at the things I'm not doing, or things simply still undone, I feel time just slipping away: sand through splayed fingers. I'm twenty-six, and every day is almost exactly the same. Same, to switch musical artists rather grossly, as it ever was.
When I woke up this morning, I was confused by the dream; why I would be thinking of someone who I haven't talked to in the better part of a decade, who I probably haven't even thought of in years? But Sarah was around the other night, and drunk, and upset. And of course the only time she ever talks to me anymore is when she's drunk, and upset, and it's sort of my job to fix the latter. I guess I'm good at it, at least. Maybe just stirred up old things I consider unfinished, or more likely still-born.
Or maybe it was just synapses firing blindly into the dark.
I've been watching all the time
And I still can't find the tack
And I wanna know is it okay
Is it just fine
Was it my fault
Is it my lack
I don't understand about
The weather outside
The harbinger to the words
There's solace a bit in submitting
To the fitfully cryptically true
What's happened has happened
What's coming is already on its way
With a role for me to play
I don't understand
I'll never understand
But I'm trying to understand
There's nothing else I can do
Fiona Apple, Red, Red, Red
Went to go see Cache with Nick and Evan last night. We hit up SFBC for some tasty burritos, then played some Shadow of the Colossus at my place.
If nothing else should have tipped us off that Cache was going to be a really French French movie, the three minutes of watching the character's house at the beginning would have. Well. Watching the character's TV as they watch their house on their TV.
The plot isn't incredibly intricate: A family starts receiving some tapes of someone filming their house for hours on end, some weird phone calls, some disturbing pictures (stick-figure people bleeding from their noses and mouths, a chicken with a huge cut in its neck). As it unfolds, everything seems to become more and more sinister and confusing, and nothing is ever made clear to the viewer. You're given the same information as the protagonist and left to figure it out yourself. There's no "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky kids and their dog!" moment. Where it works, it works well. Where it doesn't, you're just watching some guy's house.
There are moments in the movie where you're completely drawn in and you give a damn what happens... and then you spend another two or three minutes watching someone's house, and it kills the build-up, the little pieces of conflict, completely.
As a character study, I guess it worked well. The acting was decent to awesome, and the dialogue, when it was good, was really good. When it wasn't so good, it was just staring at fucking houses, if you take my meaning. As a picture of a breaking marriage, a guy who isn't really that good a guy or a father, and something awful he did as a child coming back to haunt him... those things all work rather well.
There was a pivotal scene where everyone, everyone, in the theater gasped and went "Oh shit!", and it was totally amazing. If you watch the movie, you'll be able to guess which scene I'm talking about, because it's the sort of shit we Americans are used to, more or less, only this film makes you believe that something like that just can't happen within the context of itself. And that, to me, is probably the best thing about it: It lulls you into this sense of complacency even while all this weird and disturbing shit is happening to this family, and then rips it away for a brief second and you are awed by it.
Then it's back to watching houses.
And then after another two little conflicts, the movie just ends, with no resolution. It was obvious, after a few minutes of thought, what had happened, and why, and even a little pointless sub-plot was resolved well enough (all through excellent acting, even), but... I found it hard to care. With some editing it would have been much better... but the director obviously had a vision (of watching houses) and wouldn't deviate from it because he was making art (and watching houses), so.
It was just really French, and I'm really American, or something.
(Oh, and while walking down South St., some girl in called to us out of her car and asked Nick where she could buy a bong. Nice.)
(Alternatively: "You hack on that thing? You're braver than I thought.")
Know what I hate more than writing code?
Fixing my own broken-ass code.
Know what I hate more than fixing my broken-ass code?
Fixing someone else's.
I like when you pull a tab-delimited file from a vendor, and when you parse it, a good majority of the fields don't match up between entries. That fills me with confidence and makes me want to continue paying for their services.
I also really like when people use non-portable functions, because obviously your software is always going to run on Linux.
And my most favoritest thing: When people glob
rm, using relative paths from
$PWD. Good jobs, guys, I didn't want to keep
../ around, whatever the hell
../ is anyway!
I left work around 1600 yesterday, feeling like crap. Got home, crawled into bed, and read Max Barry's Company. It's The Big U for business. I enjoyed it quite a bit, even if Barry does have a problem with re-using characters. Old Max seem to have a worrying hard-on for the ultra-ambitious super-bitches with a three letter name, though.
The Big Secret (which wasn't so much foreshadowed at as explained with monkeys -- yay, monkeys!) is handed out on page 100. You spend the next 200 pages watching the protagonist, Buy Mitsui-- err, Jones, deal with the fact and how he's going to set things right. It's hard to tell if Barry was trying to keep it all somewhat plausible (he certainly has the ability to make things very implausible while still working in the story) enough to be even more disturbing, or if he felt that the events in the book were all he really needed to get his point across.
Or perhaps this isn't actually a work of fiction at all.
Having worked for a few incompetently-managed organizations myself, I can attest that some of what happens certainly seems possible; when I started at Cisco, I sat around for three or four weeks with absolutely nothing to do. I had no real access, no machines to maintain, nothing. I spent two weeks "spec'ing machines". That is, when I could find a chair. Some days all the chairs would be taken, some days there would be a dozen extras. Either they migrated or there were pinhole cameras watching my reactions every morning.
Reviewers are suggesting that if you're currently reading a book on management, put it down and pick up Company. I would add the caveat that you have to have a decent sense of humor for that to do any good. And well, MBAs being MBAs and marketroids being, well, marketroids...
Finished Cell a few hours ago. Very quick read. I don't particulary feel one way or another about it... It's Stephen King writes about telepathic zombies. It could also be referred to, perhaps, as The Stand: Very Lite Edition (With Added Zombies).
Essentially, some sort of signal is transmitted through the cell phone network, turning everyone who hears it into a bunch of psychopaths. They start attacking people around them, each other, etc. Eventually they start displaying some rather odd behavior and talents. We follow the protagonists as they escape from Boston and make their way north, to where one of their families hopefully managed to avoid what everyone starts calling the Pulse.
My favorite part, because I'm a nerd, is when the geeky twelve-year-old boy is explaining why he thinks the Pulse wiped everyone's brains out like a computer and they're all "rebooting."
"You study this stuff?" Clay asked.
"It's a natural outgrowth of my interest in computers and cybernetics," Jordan said, shrugging. "Also, I read a lot of cyberpunk science fiction. William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, John Shirley --"
"Neal Stephenson?" Alice asked.
Jordan grinned radiantly. "Neal Stephenson's a god."
I thought that bit was fun, anyway.
Wait for the paperback, read it on the train.
Just realized I hadn't talked about Hammerjack. It's a very bad rip of Neuromancer, and a bad example of cyberpunk. Cyberpunk is not hard science fiction. Explaining (very badly, and showing you have no idea what you're talking about) what your hackers are using to hack into things is just going to create problems for your story. It's pointless, it won't hold up to time, and you come off sounding like a fool. Trying to describe networks in biological/ecological terms is laudable, but you sound all the worse when you can't pull it off.
I thought about enumerating all the plot points ripped from Neuromancer, but I'm having trouble caring enough to remember them. There were at least half a dozen major rips-offs. I don't mean ripped-off in the sense that Gibson's Neuromancer is the definitive work in the genre and thus everything that comes after is going to be derivative in some way. No, I mean he lifted actual plot points and devices, covered them in crap, and dumped them into his word processor.
The fact that the two authors on the blurb are Neal Asher (Gridlink) and Richard K. Morgan (the Takeshi Kovacs books, which are amazing in their mediocrity, yet I continue to read them for some reason, and Market Forces, which was Morgan trying really hard to write a Max Barry book or something) should have warned me, but eh. I would dump Morgan, Asher and now Giller into the unCyberpunk genre, but it brings to mind the whole 7-Up Un-Cola thing, and I happen to like 7-Up.
I'm not sure what annoys me more: The fact that this book got published, the fact that I read it, or the fact that there's going to be a sequel.
Probably that last bit, yeah.
Take pictures of crap people are throwing away, spam it to an email addr, and they use the Google Maps API to point it out, along with the picture.
I think this is the first time anyone has done this. The tech to do it quite this simply certainly wasn't there before now.
Cronin was asking about Xserves and video cards earlier, so I went digging through my closet looking for the Mac Radeon I used in DCI's a couple years ago. While looking for the box of PCI crap, I came across my letter box. Which isn't actually a letter box at all, but the leather Celtic-style cover from a journal I bought years ago and never used.
Nothing from the long-term Lauras (long-term by comparison, I guess. Long-term for me) is in here. If there was anything worth keeping, it got thrown away somewhere along I-40 or I-85. In fact, the things in here are all from girls that were whirlwind or make me hum Counting Crow's Raining in Baltimore.
Needless to say, reading letters from ex-girlfriends (or whatever they were) is never a good idea. The first few are from Sarah. We'll... skip those.
Ry made these. She was mad into the crafts, and just dropping little notes in the mail. Smart, gorgeous, empathic... And of course from Virginia and just visiting her boyfriend (well, ex-boyfriend almost immediately after she got into town) for a week. I had never met her before. Never talked to her, I don't think. Whirlwind, random, whatever you want to call it.
Years later, I'd go to my friend Steve's wedding and meet his soon-to-be sister-in-law and that part of it was the same. Everything after, including the part where Nancy was a lying bitch and I got punched out by her "ex-boyfriend" outside a bar in Wichita, well. That was obviously a bit different.
These are pretty damn neat, though. I don't think anyone else has ever made me anything remotely similar.
Heh. This one is because the first night she was in Tempe, for some unknown reason she insisted (as I remember it) on watching some anime. All we had (?!) was Wicked City, which is essentially hentai. I think there's even some tentacle sex in it. Definitely a spider-woman with a giant toothed vagina though. I believe she deemed it "interesting."
Her letters are hard to read. Constantly telling me what I mean to her. How amazing I am. If I was, I don't remember it. I remember wondering what the hell I'd done to deserve her attention. I remember sitting in bed and bitching about Ryan's girlfriend, Tori, for at least an hour. I remember sitting on the couch in the dark. Taking her to the steakhouse in the converted firehouse. Sitting in the airport after her plane left, and how incredibly not like a movie it was, though there were plenty of tears from her (and later, a list of things she wish she had said, five or six pages long. It's in here, too).
Of course, I remember the rest of it, later, after I moved to the east coast; me fucking it all up. So perhaps I'm shading it.
But if anything any of these letters have any truth, I wonder where that guy went. I wonder why he left me his things to find, years on. I'm not him anymore, but it certainly seems like he was a better guy than I am.
And then there's this, in among the photos and little drawings and words from Sarah...
Can't read anything she wrote. My brain knows better than that, at the very least.
I need some gin.
Something in my room just made the most godawful noise, and I have no idea what.
It sounded like someone stepped on a duck.
Fell asleep with the light on. Typically means I have very vivid, very odd dreams. And so it goes.
Woke up with Johnny and June singing "Jackson" at Folsom Prison going through my head.
<@dragorn> quiet evening
<@bda> dragorn: It's Valentine's Day.
<@bda> Anyone worth a damn is out building up credits for sex.
<@dragorn> bda: oh, right
< jbs> Sex credits?
<@bda> Yeah, you didn't know?
< jbs> Clearly, no.
< jbs> ;)
<@bda> If you spend money on movie, dinner, balet, a play, etc, you get chits.
<@bda> These chits can be traded in for various sexual acts.
<@bda> They can also be combined to form upgrades.
< jbs> How many for a Charleston Steamer?
<@bda> You have to go to a sex exchange to get the chits converted.
<@bda> Ditto any of the other vaporware sex acts.
<@bda> nrmlgrl: Three handjobs = one blowjob.
<@bda> etc, etc.
<@bda> These haven't hit San Francisco yet? I am shocked and dismayed.
<@javaman> bryan is 3/4s of a way to a full cockpunch
<@bda> What'd I do?
<@bda> I am explaining sexonomics.
<@bda> If you don't wish to be educated, you can go fuck yourself!
<@bda> (Cost: 0.5 rimjob)
So this morning I moved the Toolbox trac to the newly installed public Drexel Toolbox machine, and double-checked to make sure that I hadn't left any real authentication credentials in any of the config or Model files. Sure enough, I had one, in revision 166 or so.
All I needed to do was dump repo:
[toolbox@eli]:[/var/toolbox/svn]$ svnadmin dump -r 1:HEAD toolbox > /tmp/toolbox.dump
[toolbox@eli]:[/var/toolbox/svn]$ mv toolbox toolbox.bad
You can then edit the plaintext dump of the repository for all revisions, from 1 to HEAD (which is always the most current). You can either just remove the offending lines, or make them the same length as the current entry, and fix the MD5 sum check for the entry. If you remove the lines you'll need to edit the other relevant fields for the entry as well.
It's all very, very clear. If you're too lazy to figure out the MD5 of the entry yourself, it will complain when you try to load the repository and give you the actual/expected MD5 values then. Very convenient.
[toolbox@eli]:[/var/toolbox/svn]$ svnadmin create toolbox
[toolbox@eli]:[/var/toolbox/svn]$ svnadmin load toolbox < /tmp/toolbox.dump
Loading the repo will take a while (about five minutes for the 194 revisions for Toolbox.
But. Frankly. That is totally awesome.
My away msg until a few minutes ago:
I like companies who "live test" their BRAND NEW power backup system by pulling the mains on the customer racks. I'm in New Jersey right now, bringing up a couple machines that didn't take too fucking kindly to a hard reboot. Thanks, hostremote.net, for your awesome service! If you were answering your support line I'm sure you would have plenty of useful word-sounding noises to make at me!
How do I know they did the above? Well, the uptimes on all the machines I have there are the same! Hmm!
And it killed hastur as well, which was just hosting a couple small CVS/SVN repos. So hastur is now sitting on my floor getting hacked on instead of in Jersey hosting things. Now I get to figure out where to put the crap that was on this machine -- because it is not going back to them.
Had to go to New Jersey with a hangover and fix stuff. Rage.
Installed Solaris 10 on my Dell PowerEdge 1400SC the other day. Just got around to logging into it. Man, I don't remember anything about Solaris except
ps -ef. Pretty sad. It took a damn long time to get installed, and did not enjoy playing with my cheaper, far more generic, bitch system. Had to swap the PE out of being a fileserver so I could get Solaris installed.
Going to be playing with the Sun LDAP server, methinks. If Solaris Zones actually did virtualization, I would consider using them for some virtual server stuff I'm going to need to do, but pity, they aren't. Still, they're pretty awesome. I just don't know what I'd want to give someone a shell on a Solaris box for. ;-)
(Note: Image does not actually inspire confidence.)
A couple weeks ago I saw that Scott Westerfeld, who had written several ultra-violent scifi books back in the day, as well as Evolution's Darling (a book I enjoy quite a bit, but which has many scenes of what amounts of nano-tentacle AI-driven sex) and the Succession space opera series (one of which is called The Killing of Worlds), had started writing fiction for teenage girls.
Oh, I thought to myself, I gotta get me some of that.
Not too shocking, I suppose, but I really liked the first book in his latest trilogy, Uglies. It describes the typical dictato-utopia of the post-apocalypse, but he manages to pull it off so well not only do I not mind, I dig it. Even the annoying slang ("littlies", "uglies", "pretties") stopped being so annoying about a third of the way through.
The idea is that on everyone's 16th birthday they get made pretty: They have an operation which makes them absolutely perfect, physically. New pretties go live in New Pretty Town, across the water from Uglyville, and pretty much just party for a couple years. Eventually they become Middle Pretties and go live in the suburbs.
The world is cut up into various cities, as all the nation-states have long since collapsed (the citizens of the old U.S. are referred to as "Rusties", as all of their works are little more than rust), and each has its own particular philosophy.
The protagonist, a girl named Tally, is just a few weeks away from her own operation when she meets a girl named Shay. Tally is the typical ugly: She wants her operation; like most uglies being pretty is all she's ever wanted, even while mocking their happy-go-lucky lifestyle across the river. Shay is different: Some of her friends defected to go live in the wilderness, to a rumored place called the Smoke, and she wants to join them. She finally does, leaving a note for Tally (who definitively does not want to go) with instructions on how to find her.
Tally of course gets picked by the pretty cops and is coerced into going and finding Shay and bringing in the rest of the Smokies.
I think what I liked most about it that when Tally is fucking up, she knows she is: She has no delusions about it. When she's confronted with the (somewhat obvious to the reader) truth about the pretty operation, she doesn't shy away from it. She's a tough little nut, and hard women are the surest way of making sure I'll like a story.
It's a very quick read, and enjoyable in the same way that His Dark Materials was, though without the scope or, I think, the heart of HDM. Lyra was another tough little girl, but flawed in so many believable ways you couldn't help but love her. Watching Lyra grow up through the series was very literally awe-inspiring and I hated Pullman at the end of the books, even as I was staring at the last page for minutes after finishing it, hating more than it was over. I can't think of anything in the "young adult" genre that even remotely compares to His Dark Materials (or any other genre, frankly; HDM is just awesome), but this Westerfeld series isn't anything to scoff at.
The next book in the series is called, not surprisingly, Pretties, and I've already ordered it. The final volume, Specials, will be out in May, and it has been pre-ordered.
(I have a stack of about fifteen books on my shelf at work, waiting to be brought home. I have another ten or so stacked up here. I just don't seem to have much time to read anymore...)
Tuesday and yesterday I spent an inordinate amount of time making slides for an "intro to version control" talk I'm giving to the systems group on Friday.
I'm not sure how good it is; it's certainly very long. Adam made the comment that his dissertation was only 70 slides, for four years of work. Mine tops out around 160 and essentially cover the first four chapers of The Subversion Book, and is targeted at people who only have a very vague idea of what change management/version control is. Adam suggested that 160 slides means they should just read the fucking book themselves, and I find it hard to disagree.
Sunflare on SILCNet gave me an incredible amount of help in terms of copy editing (70 plus fixes!) and asked if he could use it (he also works as a .edu), so I suppose it means it can't be too bad.
Anywhere, here is the PDF. It's an export from Keynote, so it's freakin' huge (every page is a tiff, or something silly). The PPT export was 44MB. And the SWF was 180MB. That was funny...
As always, comments welcome. Hopefully the talk will go okay. :-)
A class at Bell Shoals Baptist Church embraces an alternate history that advocates the United States as a nation by Christians for Christians.
Each class starts with a prayer, for guidance. For wisdom.
He says that, through prayer, George Washington made himself bulletproof during the French and Indian War.
Studies show, he says, that 97 percent of Americans believe in God. Only 3 percent are atheists.
"We've been robbed," Barton says. "Robbed by the 3 percent. The 3 percent has taken away our heritage. We've got to get involved and take it back."
Engage bitching about homosexuals raising kids! About little kids in bed with gay men! About lesbians not being able to TEACH THEIR DAUGHTERS how to LOVE A MAN!
"Father," he begins as the students bow their heads, "We want to be clothed with grace. We want to be clothed with humility. . . . There is nothing in us that should be self-righteous, that should be judgmental."
"There has always been debate over whether the government is a secular institution or a divine institution," he said.
Separation! Church! State!
This gov't as a divine institution?!
< mdxi> if non-conservatives would do something besides whine into their blogrolls, things might change
< mdxi> venting righteous indignation onto the cybernets is not political process, people
<@Safari> what would I see if I had shockwave enabled?
<@bda> A map of Iraq with little red lights pinging every day where someone died.
<@bda> Broken down by country in the coalition.
<@bda> Note: Only coalition forces, not enemy or innocents.
<@Safari> I see, a flashy version of http://cryptome.org/mil-dead-iqw.htm?
<@bda> It's eery, though, because each little red light, and each click it makes, is someone dying.
<@bda> Lots of red lights, lots of clicking.
<@leguan> lots of dying
<@bda> Quite so.
Spent the day out in the western suburbs with Harry on a job, yesterday. Left for the el at 0845, got home around 2130. Just migrating servers at Bryce's work, nothing too major. Shari came and got us around 1930, I guess, and we stopped at some Mexican theme restaurant. The food was not all that awesome, and it had a very frat-boy sort of feel to it. It definitely wasn't Taqueria Veracruzana in South Philly. :-)
Now I kinda want to stop at the Diner and get some breakfast before heading to campus. Maybe some waffles. Mm. Waffles. What I'd really like to do is go to Sandy's up on 24th St., but it probably wouldn't be as good without Adam and Sophy. (teh emo!)