The Cleanup Approaches!

I've been re-doing all the firewall configs here in my office. It's one of those tasks that I was hoping to put off for about trillion years or so. This is due to many factors, but I can boil it down to a handful.

First off the original setup was contrived by an ex-CIA director who was being overpaid to come up with security, for the Pentagon, when security for the Mini Mart would have sufficed.

"Okay, so we'll bounce the incoming requests off seven satellite relays, then filter them through a TCP port scrubbing utility..."
"Why don't we just allow the ports we want though and drop the rest?"
"Fool! They'll be expecting that!"

Secondly, staring at five-hundred plus lines of firewall configs makes my brain swell, I have zero trouble admitting that it's darn hard to keep it all straight in my head. So in an effort to combat my own failings, I yell at random people who come to me seeking help. I've been a real joy these last few weeks.

"Peter...We need.."
"Ah... so maybe we can come back later?"

Thirdly it's been tweaked, poked and prodded by so many for so long it hardly resembles anything like a firewall and more like a booby-trapped Pharaohs tomb.

"Don't touch that."
"Why not?"
"The floor will fall out, and you won't be able to FTP anywhere outside of finance"
"Ah... What about this?"
"No's always been like that..."
"Well shouldn't we move-"
"Don't TOUCH ANYTHING! You've got some sort of a death wish?!"
"Aren't we suppose to fix this mess!?"
"You start changing this around and you're going to be flooded with calls from irate users."
"Well, to hell with that! Lets get out of here!"

If I could compare it to something, I would say it's a lot like cleaning out your garage. Things that have been left alone forever finally have to be looked at.

"What is this for?"
"I think that goes with the kitchen table... Or maybe it belongs to one of the kids."
"Do you need it?"
"Only if I throw it away, then yes. Otherwise, I'll never use it."
"Better to just stack it precariously on top of the fish tank parts. Yeah, that looks good."

You really want to clean up stuff, but it's been so long since it's been used. You might be throwing out the thing that is used once every year that has no replacement or that valuable family heirloom that crazy uncle Keith laid down his life to preserve for future generations.

"Is that real gold?!"
"That old thing? I doubt it. Just toss it."

Anyway. That's what I'm up to. It's a hoot.

The real fun will come after I'm done. I'll swap out the current system with this new one, and then we get to see how well I really did. Everything will work Sunday night, while I'm here by myself...but any network tech knows that this test means nothing. Monday is when the rubber meets the road.

"Hey... I can't get to craigslist today. I'm going to give that pompous geek what for! Right after I email his manager!"

Don't Ask Don't Tell

Starcraft II... No really, we are making it. Seriously. Just wait longer...


Yes, there are pictures. No...never. Honestly. Not ever.

The Idea Spark

It's amazing to me sometimes what can spark an idea. Creativity will sometimes come from the most obscure places. The reality is that many of my best ideas come to me while I think about something else entirely. I'm sure many of you are the same.

Example. I'm driving down the road the other day, stuck in an unbelievable traffic jam. This traffic jam was caused by one hundred and twenty four thousand of my neighbors. Why were we stopped on the southbound freeway for four miles with zero off ramps? Corn. That's right. The FREAKING CORN WATCHERS!

We have a corn maze that gets planted every year around the end of July. It's quite popular, and I will admit, enjoyable to try and navigate through. I have put my wits to the corn maze several times and I can say that I always find my way out without cheating. My best time is somewhere around twenty-five minutes. That being said, I have zero desire to slow down traffic to a stand still to look at the corn! IT'S JUST CORN! I have put this to many people in my area and they all agree with me.

"What's up with that!"
"I hate that."
"Can you believe it!"

This is where my real trouble begins. I mean, if there were say seven hundred cars passing by in an hour, many of them had to feel the same way as my friends claim to. If that's true, why did the jam continue? Why didn't it clear up once those who waited finally got to the corn field? I mean, if 10 out of 10 people that I talked to hate it... shouldn't that statistic carry through with others in my community?

The truth is simple. No one admits to being a corn watcher, but someone I know, in fact many someones I know must be. There is no way that the freeway can grind to a halt if everyone hates it and no one slows to look at corn. The test is simple enough, DON'T SLOW FOR THE FREAKING CORN!

When it's my turn, I always do the same thing. I ride the bumper of the car in front of me, and then simply look in my rear view after passing the corn. There are like SEVEN car lengths behind me! SEVEN! This idiot is staring at a field off three foot high CORN!! The worst part is HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW IT! He will later complain to his pals that he was stuck in traffic for twenty five minutes because people were slowing down to look at the corn. WHEN HE WAS DOING THE EXACT SAME THING!

(deep breath)
(deeper breath)
(holds breath till brain gives in an relaxes)

Anyway. Shortly after the ire wore off and I got my truck up to a roaring forty-seven miles per hour speed. I had an idea. A really awesome idea.

Laser corn stalks. Sight activated deadly force laser corn stalks. If you look you die. Simple and effective, no?

And not just the driver either. That wouldn't do. We would just have a bunch of cars clogging up the interstate. No.. I was thinking complete car vaporization. This would accomplish two things. First it would slake my burning blood lust directed at the CORN WATCHERS, and it would allow us to put up cool warning signs:
In addition the seven of us left would be able to get to Petaluma Ca. in a semi reasonable time frame. All in all a darn good idea!

So Tired

I'm so tired. I'd thought I'd try and do a quick random typing post in a effort to wake up my brain. Basically the formula is such: I type whatever pops into my head. I make no edits or apologies. You can then read it or not. So from this point on, spell check only.

So I had a hot food night last week. The point was simple. People came over, said "happy birthday" and ate hot food. My wife and her sister decided to have a challenge. Habanero hot wings. Whomever ate the most, got bragging rights and garish pepper necklace. Needless to say I'm not backing down from that.

They actually weren't that hot and I tied the brother-in-law at eight. Eight was the magic number, because we ran out. The next day, I got the worst heartburn I've ever experienced. Seriously I would have shot my brains out if I could have stopped drinking milk (yes, right from the container!! This wasn't a civilized affair here!) and eating bread long enough to work out the particulars. I was on fire! Still...they didn't seem that hot going down.

Oh! So the news was like "blah blah blah, press secretary, blah blah blah Barney Frank, blah blah blah consumer spending down..." for like twenty minutes then two seconds before cutting back they laid this one on me. "Woman who set herself on fire died today. Now for traffic."

First off... Yeah, duh! I could have told you that! "Man who ate eight habanero hot wings hung himself." But come on! don't we deserve some particulars here!!

Binder clips are like so useful! I love them.

I was looking online today for paper folding games for kids. It's surprising how few hits that acually generated. I mean, its the Internet. Doesn't a search like that just sum up everything the Internet is about.

"How to waste countless hours of your life" [Search]

The Internet has let me down again... Now what? Oh look a new video with a crane, 40 tons of water and compact car. Nevermind. I'm happy again!

Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!

Trust me. Robots aren't your friends...

Contest Results!

So we officially have a winner for the Satchel! But first I would like to thank everyone who played! I'm sure that with all the Internet scams more than a few came, and left. Oh well. They simply helped your chances!

So first off we had two runners up to the big prize that was awarded. Those two were:

The names where drawn at random by my wife and three year old daughter from a Greek sailors cap. Can there be a more secure drawing environment? They both win $5 worth of merchandise from one of my following Cafepress shops!

Allergy to Nature
Battle of Wits
Beg for Bacon
Extra Spicy
Flees from Bees
Fueled by Caffeine
Geek Love
I Heart
Not Albino
Over Caffeinated
Power Corrputs
Road Game
Running Tool
Sleepy Work
Sushi Girl
Syadmin Magic
Wood Mangler
Congratulations, and I hope that you both enjoy the wares!

The paper with the name of the top prize was then drawn from the same cap. Shortly after drawing it my wife uttered, "Andy." She then added with disgust, "Andy wins everything!" Just to appease her, I returned the papers, mixed it up with the rest and let my 3 year old draw a name. It too read, Andy. Patricia left the room and Andy was declared, the winner.

Andy- Enjoy the bag, and let us know when it arrives! To those that didn't win, I'm sorry. Thanks for playing and look for another possible giveaway sometime in the future!