Follow Along

That’s kinda what I’m up to this weekend.

  1. Paying a little attention to some of the internal LP things happening with what went on in New Hampshire. Obviously, I’m not a party member, but what happened is fascinating. And wrong. It was resolved last night, I think, but I’m having trouble following the proceedings. I didn’t watch the livestream of the meeting; I was watching the HR Geeks weekly Jitsi get-together.
  2. Speaking of that, I upgraded the software on the VM where all of this runs. I broke the mailing lists. Again. So on my to-do list for the next few days is figuring out how to restore the lists. The list I’d set up for ^H (Sup, dawg?) really didn’t have any subscribers, but there were more on the HR Geeks list. GNU Mailman 2 is gone in the latest Linux distro I’m using, so I need to figure out what’s up in version 3. It appears that they’ve moved past the weird Python database. What I don’t know is whether it stores all of the messages inside the DB backend. If so, that’d actually probably not be a bad thing. When I was younger, I was very opposed to having anything stored in a database. I guess I didn’t really understand the benefits then. Maybe too much reading DJB‘s evangelism about the technical correctness of UFS
  3. I’m headed back to Tidewater sometime soon. Primarily to do family stuff with my Mom. But it’s largely to get away from work for awhile. I’m not taking my work laptop. I’m going to be off. I’ve really not done that at all since probably 2012. So, spend some time with my mom and her mean little dog, maybe go to Waffle House.
  4. Seeing some of the stuff out of the NFL minicamps last couple of weeks has been interesting. I’m wondering if with some of the connections I’ve made over the past few years I can actually fill it with people who actually want to play. I do need to tweak some of the settings again, but I am still committed to points-per-reception, and points-per-completion. Last year I was running something like four teams in the league to make sure we had enough people playing to sorta make the league work. Maybe I won’t need to do that this year.
  5. Summer writing. I’m kind of inclined to do it this year, though it is feeding one of my obsessions. Maybe it’d be better to just do it in July instead of doing the strange month-landing-to-my-birthday thing. Dunno. Writing is an obsession for me, part of OCD, so I’m supposed to try to avoid it. But…
  6. The telemedicine stuff that’s really given me a lot of flexibility over the pandemic isn’t working properly. I can do telemedicine to the doctors I see in DC, but I can’t do the same for my psychologist in Maryland. What the actual fuck? I could ride the WMATA short bus around the Beltway to see her, but that’d be very inconvenient while I’m still working. I hope that, despite that, the days of what I saw going on years ago. Maybe the idea is that you’ll have to join a union, and your health insurance will come through the union pre-tax. We’ll see.

But that’s enough for the day. My mug filled with Lorenzotti Coffee is empty, the podcast I’m listening to is about finished, so I should stop.

Theme Of The Week

Theme of the Week 89 – Where is the most inspiring place you have ever been? Why was it inspiring?

I’ve been mulling this one for a while today as I burn PTO to deal with the new Federal Juneteenth holiday.

I think the only place that’s ever really inspired me lately is inspiration to leave.

I think my wayfaring childhood plays a big role in that. Maybe there’s certain keys that remind me of unpleasant places I’ve landed, but I’m trying to think of somewhere

I really don’t think anything would give me positive inspiration now due to my limited eyesight. Inspiration triggered by something aside from visual stimuli seems tough. The auditory stimulations, maybe, is a route, maybe.

But the visual things I saw before I could really appreciate them might have desensitized me to things I really should appreciate.now.

Similarly, I remember as a kid marveling at the USS Alabama on a car trip over Mobile Bay. After living for several years near the USS Wisconsin, when I saw it again, the awe was missing.

Now with my vision basically gone, I don’t know that there’s anything that’s really taken me in more than a decade.

So I don’t know.

Part of the reason I’m under professional psychological care is that I think about doing risky things, knowing that there won’t be anything enthralling that comes out of it.

Most of what I think about doing is generally harmless. The things that I think about doing could be dangerous. But I don’t do any of them.

Normal people don’t have those sorts of thoughts.

Dunno.

Make The Magic Smoke Come Out

As a fledgling programmer, there was a bit of sick satisfaction when some of my shitty code would actually destroy a piece of hardware by something it did.

Obviously, I was not trying to destroy that video controller worth a few hundred bucks, but what I was trying to do shouldn’t have caused it to almost catch fire. Or not. It’s all DC, so the caps did exactly what they’re there to do when fed too much juice. (I looked to see if I could find this now-obsolete item, but couldn’t. I can’t even remember the name of the vendor. I bet if I dug back through my archives, I could find it, but…..I shouldn’t have been doing RS-232 programming. Yes, I have a science degree, but it’s in a non-technical science. The same thing would have probably wouldn’t have happened had I sort of gotten commands to come out of the port using the hot-language-du-jour, and not the correct language for the job, C.)

Seriously, I just sent too many commands to this thing too quickly, and it started smoking. If I’d been connected with a RS-232 cable, and could type about fifteen times faster than I do, the same thing would have happened.

Writing about this was inspired by some of the topics I’ve been tracking. Probably there was some discussion of things that happened with cyber attacks against the Colonial Pipeline, and Iran in this episode of The Fifth Column. There was also something that Amélie linked on Twitter, and led me down a rabbit hole.

I was in the midst of the ^H VM migration (a bit of recursion, likely, if you click that link), and playing with the various mess that is the IPTables replacement on Linux.

As I’ve gotten constant probes from certain bad areas, I’ve sort of taken the approach of temporary DROP operations with Fail2Ban. Repeated abuses come, and I start restricting entire countries.

rule family="ipv4" source address="222.160.0.0/11" drop
rule family="ipv4" source address="180.96.0.0/19" drop

I can remember when you’d use things like reject –reject-with-tcp-reset to try to really overload attackers’ network gear. I don’t do it anymore, because it’s just easier to let attackers’ attempts fall into the ether.

You’d be justified, even, in affirmative responses. No NAP violation, because you’d first been attached.

Probably.

And that I can’t be sure is part of why I’m just dropping shit.

But if I did know, for sure, that the attacks were actually originating from where it appears they are, immediate defensive response is justified.

There’s a reason nobody dares attack the Norks (see #4 there). They’ve got lots of big fucking guns. Even if half of them cook off on the first fire, they’ve killed millions of people in South Korea before those guns could all be taken out. No nukes needed.

Would covert action to eliminate some of those assets early be immoral?

The Colonial Pipeline and JBS attacks happened. Would retaliation for those attacks be justifiable? I think so. What about retaliatory attacks against other things in the area from whence the attacks came? I don’t know.

I can’t remember where I saw a discussion of this, and the question of transition from cyberwar to kinetic war.

The sorts of things that float around my scarred brain.

Another Week

This was interesting.

The corporate press just ignored the FOIA releases of Dr. Fauci’s emails.

To quote President Biden, this is a big !@#&ing deal. But the press your relatives might be watching say it’s all good.

No. It’s not. It’s probably even worse than what Clapper did in 2013.

Obviously, Senator Paul is doing a lot of fundraising off of it, but who’s seeing it?

If you look at the numbers, it’s basically nobody.

You can leave. But does that do any good? Who knows.

I could write more about what I’m doing, personally, but it’s a curiosity only for a few.

So. What’s on tap for this week?

Well, I have an appointment with my neurologist on Monday. On Tuesday, I’ll vote in the party of Jim Crow’s primary for Virginia governor, and vote against some of the worst candidates.

The rest of the week, I have no idea. I should see if my wife will cut my hair; it’s getting hot outside.