One

Focusing on August. I’ve spent the past two days largely trying to sit through enthralling courses to earn credits to pay my fucking protection for the certification that lets me keep working.

It does make me want to give up. You spend hours upon hours watching people read fucking Power Point slides, then do virtual labs that don’t work more than half the time.

For this, I’ve paid hundreds of dollars.

Why?

There was a story on the news this morning about a deployed USAR officer who was buying a house in MDDR without ever visiting it.

My wife was completely opposed to this.

I kind of am, too, but I can understand the circumstances.

I’ve thought several times about what I might do when I finally decide to take my leave.

Back to Tidewater? But that doesn’t get me away from Governor Hoodor Blackface, and his supporters.

Somewhere else? Yeah, but where?

I’m oddly intrigued lately by the Texas Gulf Coast. I can remember when I was younger looking at maps, etc., and there was one county along the Gulf Coast that was basically one family’s ranch.

That’s kinda neat, but, my reservations were largely related to the lack of connectivity down there.

Now, however, I don’t know. Even though 5G might cause COVID-19, my attitude is kind of “whatever.” (I know, showing my Gen Xness there…) But I’m inside the swamp, now, and I really only leave when I need to go to the doctor.

The ride might be a bit longer, but my life wouldn’t be a lot different. So. Why not?

Other stuff….

Dave Rubin is taking the month of August off from news and social media.

I do have to admit that I have a tinge of jealousy with that, but I can’t ever see myself in a position where I’d be able to do with that.

Information coming in, and thoughts going out, have been part of my existence, really, my entire adult life. Financially, too, it’s never been an option.

I can’t imagine it, and I don’t know how I’d even try to do it.

March, maybe, I should try.

But do I even really want to?

No news check today. Some of my friends online dropped a link to a different news site, HNN.

One of the stories I saw yesterday was of interest. I’d seen something on Dark Tourist on Netflix where they were trying to get inside there not terribly long ago.

Cypress is a UN success story, if there ever was one….

Lookback time.


Blonde – 8/1/2001

I am. Or I’m getting there again. My hair is bleaching out. Maybe it’s going gray.

Nope. I shouldn’t get so lucky.


I had a lot more hair back then.

If I let it grow, it’d still not be gray. If there’s a natural hair color, it grows out of my head. Except gray. I figured that’d happen at some point.

But I also figured I’d be able to grow a beard by the time I was 40, too. My odd genetics don’t permit it. Let’s just say that I’m a lot more American Indian than Elizabeth Warren.

I can’t help myself sometimes.

My hair is pretty dark these days. That might be somewhat due to my pretty much constant indoor existence.

My mother found a picture recently while she was cleaning out her house of my dad, my brother, and I.

I probably would have been about five years old. Long, straight blonde hair. My little brother with very curly blonde hair.

And my dad looking very much like me as an adult.

Time to wrap it up for the day.

Again, Saturday

Seems like this is when I’m writing. There’s not a lot to do, really; what can you do?

The news cycle this week has been dizzying. I had Sarah watch one particular commentator’s take on the dismissal of the Flynn case. I don’t agree with the guy on many, nay most, things, but he laid out the disclosures in a pretty straightforward fashion.

It’d be amusing watching the respective approach to what government(s) are doing. Lots and lots of emphasis on what the President is or isn’t doing, and barely any attention to government messed up the testing.


Other stuff I was going to write about:

  1. In a bit of nostalgia, and I’m sure if you look, there’s many links here (which I’m too lazy to expunge), but I decided to see what’s going on over at a place where I used to try to help, AltDaily. Broken Tribune.co redirect. Seeing that does make me a little sad, but that does reinforce the tagline here. If I ventured into the sewer that is Facebook, I’d find more that a few friends who were involved with it.
  2. Speaking of social media sites, I’ve been playing a little with Locals. I also have an account on Minds, but I’m not sure what to do with it. But back to Locals, I’m following four channels at the moment — Dave Rubin, Bridget Phetsay, Andy Ngo, and Michael Malice. I pay varying attention to these four, but I was curious after hearing Bridget’s adoring review (probably with Rubin on her own show). Some of the content looks interesting, but you do have to pay for a lot of it. Same goes for one of Ngo’s efforts, Quilette, and The Fifth Column. My friends over at Mouthy Broadcast also do some things with one of the donation sites where you can see exclusive content. I’ve been avoiding that particular site for a while since they started making editorial decisions on folks’ content. (Sorry for going full RMS-information-needs-to-be-free, but…) On the site, you have to pony up to like/share/comment on posts. I definitely understand it, but I was totally broke for so long, and I’m accustomed to getting free-of-charge content free pretty much forever. Would I start paying for podcasts? I doubt it. Do I buy things from companies that advertise on the pods I listen to? As sure as my ass is in a pair of underwear I heard advertised on one of them.
  3. COVID-19 has delayed my infusion by a week, and I’m getting kind of crabby with as fatigued as I am.
  4. One of the other things I added to my already-full pod queue is Filmphoria. I heard him on with Robbie Bernstein on Run Your Mouth. I think I bought one of the host’s sweatshirts, too. So I had an odd craving for Jiffy Pop popcorn. The stuff that’s in the Smartfood bag has placated me. Sorta.

So, stopping again. Too much rambling. Whatever. It’s what I do.

Saturday Morning

So what’s up?

I’m trying to collect the motivation to watch the Thunderbirds/Blue Angels flyover later this morning.

Because I’m a nerd like that, I did scout out what ways we would need to look out our garage door to see the approach and departure.

Funny how neither the Air Force or the Navy has replaced its aerobatic team’s aircraft with the F-35.

What else….

Stay-at-home.

I’m avoiding Facebook, again, as I’ve written. I have wandered on a few times, mainly to get the URL for the HR Geeks Friday night Jitsi things, but I find myself very much at odds with friends who want to hold people captivehave the lockdowns continue.

I guess my question, after hearing all the arguments, is pretty simple — are you forcing people to stay in because you care about their health, or because you want to control them?

Based on the initial information, I was worried that I’d be at one of the people most at risk from the virus because of my chemically-compromised immune system. I’ve chosen to stay in, away from other people.

But that’s my choice. Yes, Sarah doesn’t want me to go out, or order delivery. I take that guidance because I love her, and respect her opinion. (I know that I’ve put her through all sorts of hell, and she deserves better.) But I really think I should be free to make the wrong choice.

If thinking that I should be free to have that choice makes me a bad person, oh well. I only ask that when your thugs shoot me, please record video of it. I understand that The totes-didn’t-used-to-be-evil streaming company wouldn’t let it be shown, but it’s impossible to erase everything. If somebody wants it, it can be found.

So much for my tagline, I know, but that’s the truth.

Sunday Night

Up late doing work. It happens. I did get a little teed-off about one of these tell-everybody-you-can-think-of emails from one of the other techs.

He said I was ignoring text messages.

Were you sending them to my old number?

Oh.

But an officious email to everybody will cover up for the problem existing between the keyboard and chair, no? PEBKAC.

Otherwise, I’ve been abusing myself by watching Chuck Todd, and, on one of his gusts’ recommendations, NextDoor.

MSNBC might well be a bigger danger to society than a politician who decries “fake news,” Upchuck.

This is somebody who’s been saying that people who don’t trust people like him are dangerous. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Because I’m a bit of a masochist, I have been trying to watch his show lately. One of his guests, the just-as-Republican-as-Bill-Weld David Brooks, mentioned Nextdoor.

Later in the afternoon, I got an email message talking about how MSNBC and change.org were working on a petition to get everyone a COVID-19 test.

Really? Seriously?

Then these old, rich, white folks were telling me exactly how I should handle the situation. No, that’s okay. I’ll let my docs at Georgetown to dictate.

Sorry if that makes me dangerous, Upchuck.

Turn Your Head and Cough

But make sure it’s into your shoulder.

I’ve been listening to podcasts about CoronavirusCOVID-19.

Obviously, this is of particular concern to me as someone with a chemically-suppressed immune system.

But at the same time, I can’t get too wound up about it, really.

I was happy to see that Wall Street had pretty much the same reaction I had to President Trump’s news conference yesterday.

I guess my question is whether the sort of cooperation among private companies would happen under a government-run system.

I’m more than a little skeptical.

One of the things I did notice about the news conference, however, was the push to do things like provide paid leave to people who really now get no benefits from their jobs.

For a long stretch, there, I had no PTO. None. Not even paid Federal holidays. Nothing.

But that’s what people had voted for.

Registering Dissent

Much as I appreciate Katherine Mangu-Ward’s argument against voting, I did go vote in the Virginia Democratic Primary this afternoon.

Why?

Because some of the candidates, two in particular, were so terribly awful I felt the need to try to contribute to their early departure.

I won’t name specifics, but I will say, “New England.”

It does, however, feed into my still-alive idea of “You Can Leave.

Two of the leading candidates, again, “New England,’ want to stop that.

Don’t like the things Google is doing with its search algorhythms?

You can leave.

But the politicians have a problem with that.

That freedom is the thing that candidates are trying to end.

I’m not.

That might well make me a bad person.

But I don’t care.

Shmoo Open

I’m watching the livestream from home because I’m not feeling well, and don’t have a bed tonight.

Of course, a lot of the standard administrivia, but Bruce did hit on some of the sorts of things I’ve been thinking and writing about for a long time.

For the vast, vast, vast majority of organizations, Infosec is a parasitic function on another parasitic function.

McDonalds doesn’t exist to do Infosec; don’t treat the folks behind the counter like morons because they don’t do Infosec.

I sure as hell couldn’t make the pink goo be very edible; why would I presume the guy who can is an idiot because he has to write down his 95-character password?

It is a tool that lets people do what they’re hired to do more effectively. If it gets to the point where we’re keeping them from operating at all, why the hell are they paying us?

And the next talk is starting, so I’m gonna go.

Bad News Repruhshent

I am back in Tidewater, visiting my recuperating mother, and my grandfather who came up to visit.

It is strange being here, certainly.

I’m also prepping for Shmoocon next weekend, and tying up loose ends from yet another rebuild on this server.

I can’t find a lot of what I wrote between 2015 and 2o18.

I have SQL dumps that I can pick through, but I really haven’t had the energy or patience to do it.

I am still trying, too, to really pull out everything I’d put in for a job search during my periods of unemployment.

I really do love where I work, now. I wish I was healthier so I could move off on to something they’re doing that’s different than what I’ve done since 2005.

I got distracted just now by a friend on Facebook appealing to the usual sources for fact-checking before posting of stories.

Um. Okay. So only check facts from sites that are biased as hell before you share something. Perhaps SPLC should have been on that list.

It did distract me from something else I wanted to talk about the Apple backup story.

At first, I was disturbed by this, what with AG Barr’s misguided attempts to have backdoors engineered into encryption.

That, of course, was a bit of a knee-jerk response. I’d missed the part about these backup sets being store on an iCloud Drive.

Wanna keep shit suparsekret? Encrypt it yourself, and store it on physical media under your control.

Yes, that Apple made the decision after FBI pressure bothers me, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is technically-possible to keep whatever it is you have from prying eyes, government or otherwise.

Fall Into Fall

I started writing this a few weeks ago, but never got around to completing it.


The last time I wrote, I was complaining about recruiters.

They’ve not stopped. Friday afternoon, after a morning with my counselor (is that what I should call her?), I swa my Tysabri infusion delayed again.

Following that infusion, I was supposed to stop by a former company for a chat. I’d not received a calendar invite, and I was going to have to miss time at work on Monday, so I didn’t dig terribly deep.

That’s rescheduled for later.


Given that I have my next infusion Tuesday, and the reschedule was for five weeks later, I guess I started writing this probably the week after Labor Day. (For anyone reading overseas, Labor Day is the US version of May Day; we don’t really like Socialism, despite what you might hear on the Democratic presidential debates. Heya, hipster Socialists, the state is cancelled.)

Otherwise, November is close at hand, so today I’m starting to gather writing prompts for next month

Yes, I’m going to do that for the tenth year, despite my psychologist’s identification of it as a compulsion.

So much in my life these days revolves around identification of the various “problems” I have. See the bit about the writing compulsion. Oh well.

We are getting very close to moving. I’m excited to be closer in to a city. It’s been too long. I should also respond to a personal email that’s been languishing.

Arts Majors

I’ve long maintained that many of the people working as corporate recruiters are Arts Majors who spell too well to work at Starbucks.

This morning’s bit was a call from a 703 number with no name displayed in the caller ID.

Are you in the market?

Not really, but I’m always willing to listen. What do you have?

You need to answer a few questions before I tell you.

((Technical questions from someone who clearly doesn’t know WTF she’s asking))

What is your current salary?

I’m not at liberty to say.

Okay, then, well, we’ll keep your resume on file.

Nono, wait a minute, you haven’t let me ask my questions.

You wouldn’t answer mine.

Please don’t keep my information on file.

My initial inclination was to release this disreputable company’s information. Then it was to call and complain about this cheery employee.

But I’m not going to do that.

I just want people to stop doing that shit.