Watched this, and ended up being the one one to ask a question.

(HTF does the non-coder guy with the scarred brain end up being the only one who asks a question…?)

I understand what he was doing, but I’m not understanding how you could gather any real useful information from the tool unless you have access to the running binary’s source.

The bit he’s using relies on use of the fork() function.

Maybe that’s still widely in use. Perhaps it’s one of the lazy programming techniques facilitated by fast machines, and virtualization. I don’t know. I haven’t written a line of code in probably a decade.

But even for sloppily-written kludges, you can really restrict what binaries can do, with things like setting maximums on processes that can be forked. Hell, one of the old ways to crash a system was a fork bomb; any admin worth a shit would easily be able to prevent that from working these days.

From the coding side, look at this.

The thing to do if running a problematic program, though, is be really stingy with things that could be exploited. This relies on child processes; prevent them by tracking the number of processes created with a clean binary.

Add to that things like cryptographic hashes on the binaries, and irrelevant.

Now this stuff might be useful if you can test binaries in a lab prior to deployment, but I don’t think that’s what the speaker was really getting at.

Ready for Shmoo

Another year, another con.

I almost quipped something along the lines of, “will the delusion continue?”

That’s the wrong attitude to have, of course.

The talks this year appear interesting, so time to go have a nice time.

My attitude, though, has changed quite a bit, when it comes to dealing with the ever-present effort to force people to do things in your prescribed way.

I have a sense that that won’t be well-appreciated, but whatever. Maybe there’s someone there who’ll appreciate my sentiments. Maybe there’ll be someone who actually wants to hear them.

If not, a relaxing weekend of listening, writing, eating.

How About No?

Recruiter called and didn’t leave a message. Called the number back, and, naturally, it’s a huge staffing firm. The person who answered finally figured out who called me, and put him on the phone.

We have an opportunity in (somewhere I don’t live) with (some company who’ll remain nameless).

Uh, no. I’m not in that area, nor will I ever work for (nameless company).

This confused the hell out of him.

Wh-why won’t you work for them?

Because they’re dishonest, and I’m not at all interested in something if I”m not hired as a regular full-time employee.

He still didn’t understand.

Maybe I should have told him just to go fuck himself; perhaps he’d have understood that.

Happy New Year

Christmas was okay. Same for the New Year.

Not a lot going on, other than archiving a ton of email off GMail.

Yay for a day to recover, even if I only had one drink to celebrate yesterday.



The Saints lost to the Cowboys last night.  I don’t know if anyone could have, to be honest.  For the game, I’d give the Cowboys a D+, the Saints an D-, and the officials an F.  In the disgusting hypothetical of being a Cowboys’ fan, a win’s a win.

Somehow I’ve misplaced some of my entries.  More.  Again.  It’s as if I really suck at managing things.  But two wrap-ups — 2012, and 2013.

I don’t really know if the separation between the mood of the two entries is evident.  Though I was a bit discontented in 2012, things really sucked in 2013.  In 2012, my future was really uncertain after there’d been a big change to the contract I was working on had been substantially modified.  In 2013, I was fully suffering the effects of that.  I got laid off towards the end of January 2013, and signed on with the four-letter company for roughly 80% of what I’d been earning previously.  Since I wasn’t able to travel, either, my salary had really been flat since 2010.  2009 was the year I earned the most money, but I spent probably eight of those twelve months working 60-hour weeks.

In no time at all, that was all gone.  I didn’t help matters by drinking away my discomfort.

I haven’t, and there’s a good chance never will, recovered.

What’s weird, though, is despite my conversion to cleaner living, I still lack time and energy to do things really enjoyable.

Or maybe I don’t care about that because I am actually busy doing things I find interesting.

But I do need a break.  And a shave.  And a haircut.


What are your holiday plans for Christmas?

To quote Jeff Spicoli, “I don’t know.”

I’m kind of bound where I am, and there’s nowhere I really want to go.  We’re supposed to go to some friends’ place for a short celebration for St. Nicholas’s Day.

I do still have friends I want to see.  Family, *shrug.*  There’s a variety of reasons for that.  Instead of making an issue with disagreements, I just go away.  It’s how I operate.

I think we’ll probably head in to the District one night to see the National Christmas Tree.  Maybe have dinner somewhere nice.  Day of?  I don’t know.  I’d be okay just spending time with my wife.  We actually had a good time doing that last night, keeping each other warm.  Maybe that’s the way things are supposed to work.

I will say that watching the Christmas special she’d chosen was a bit strange with the emphasis on kids.  We’re not having any.  The make-believe world has one Butters Stotch;  a real world incarnation isn’t needed.

Somewhat-unrelated, though, I do need to rap a bit about work.  It’s been an endless stream of job inquiries lately.  At first, I attributed it to lag from my unemployment in Norfolk in 2017.  Now, though, I’m seeing it as mainly laziness from the recruiting assemblage.

First thing — recruiters really don’t know what to say when you refuse a lucrative contract offer.  If it is contract-to-hire, I counter with something along the lines of, “you will make a full time offer during the first six months, or the contract terminates, and you owe me another six months’ contract pay.”  When unemployment was 8%, maybe you could have gotten away with that shit, but it doesn’t work these days.

Second.  Because of the way your clients are operating, I am no longer adhering to whatever you learned in your point-and-click recruiting seminar.  No, my resume isn’t going to be two pages.  It’s going to be as long as it needs to be to cover my twenty years’ experience.  It’s also putting my few remaining full-time jobs up top, and my contract positions in a subsequent section. Not that I think that matters, as you’re using a fucking automated tool to search for keywords, but when you actually do look at it, you might notice that I do direct to the applicable sections.

At some point you have to be firm on these things.

Maybe one of those contract positions would be more interesting than what I have now, but I doubt it.

But it’s time to stop for the evening.  Go take pills, and grab a nap before the Saints’ game.

One more day of the eighth year of this.  I have a problem, no?


Once again I had a misplaced prompt here as a draft.  The published prompts schedule, however, says that today’s a free-write.

So, what’s up?

Not a lot, really.  One day after another, and make it through.  I know at some point in time I will have a break.  But that won’t be this weekend, where I’m now supposed to work both days, instead of just Saturday.

Perhaps I should be more reflective about what I’ve done so far, but don’t have the energy.

Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment, but at least these time-consuming, frustrating efforts are finished for the week, too.

Saints-Cowboys tomorrow night.  I imagine it’ll be a good game.

Will I have enough spoons to watch it?

We shall see.


What places hold particular allure for you; where might you like to live?

I’ve written a bit before about the allure of NYC.  Is that still there?  Yes.

At the same time, I think I could be interested in just about any city.

Suburbia is so…..sterile isn’t the word.  Uniform, maybe?  Things aren’t as bad as they once were, but I hate that I have to spend 20+ minutes in a car to do just about anything.

If I could still drive, it might not be such an issue.  The ridesharing apps do afford me a bit of freedom (especially since there’s really no paratransit service here), but I like to have, at least, the option to go do what I want to do when I want to do it.

I still might not with my current employment situation, but things like getting to the doctor would certainly be easier.

Would I do more?  Perhaps.

But back to the topic, and New York, I think I could be happy in almost any city that has some of the things that come along with being in a city.

I don’t care about having a yard for kids to play in.  (Though, maybe, there is some temptation in having one to tell kids to get off of….)  I can’t mow one, anyway.

The much-maligned tax bill from 2017 actually eliminates the incentive to rent a house from a bank for the tax benefits, so the push is gone.

It’s difficult to write this without a Budweiser radio commercial running through my scarred brain;  something along the lines of the local deli owner who gets morning coffee.

But, so, while the intrigue is NYC, I think my desires would be fulfilled anywhere where I could find a place to be comfortable.

Even if I don’t have the energy to fully-partake at this point, I’d like to be somewhere that I can participate when it does come.

The goal at this point is DC.  Maybe somewhere else will happen someday.


Thanksgiving leftovers — what do you have, and what are you doing with them?

I had a random thought.  It’s not like there’s turkeys in India, but leftover turkey might lend itself to an Indian arrangement.  I mentioned this to my wife, who also cooked the turkey, and she started looking through the Intertubes.

Turkey Tikka Masala it is.

I think I’m about to go downstairs to get some.  The scent has been wafting up the stairs, now, for about an hour.  Considering I’ve been sitting at this keyboard, pretty much since 8:00 this morning, I’m ready for the break.

Problems with some work stuff.  Ugh.

I stayed up waaaay too late last night, and have been feeling it today.  I actually doubled my typical coffee consumption.  But I’m fading.  So food, and sleep.


I think I was getting tired when I started copping up this month’s prompts into drafts, because today’s showed the following:  Small Business Saturday. Write about small businesses you frequent.

Since I rarely go anywhere these day, and Sarah wasn’t feeling well, we only ordered delivery from a local restaurant.

I have almost a reflexive, at this point, resistance to chain restaurants.  There are some exceptions, sure, but it is a bit of bigotry that I have.  Yes, this is influenced by the podcast to which I am listening right now.


The Saints are the best team in the league.  It’s been awhile since I could say that.

But they’re playing the sort of football I learned when I played in high school in the early-90s.  It is fascinating to see teams that are having linebackers line up in the backfield because they don’t have a fullback on the roster.

The Saints, Patriots, Eagles, and Cowboys are all doing the same sort of thing.  The question is whether one of them can beat the fast-strike offenses and 3-4 teams that are so abundant in the league today.

That Monday night game with the Rams and Chiefs was entertaining, certainly.  But a team that can hold on to the ball for more than two minutes at-a-time can beat either of them.

In other not-so-interesting news, I found a place I really want to look at to live.  The big question is whether parking, or lack thereof, might be a deal-killer.

We shall see.