Monthly Archives: July 2008

Port Scan Attack!

So I’m sitting here minding my own business, writing a post about recorded telemarketing calls, when suddenly my firewall detects a possible intruder. Yikes! The notification that popped up on my monitors said:

A port scan attack has been attempted from IP address xx.xx.xx.xx.xx

I thought, “Well, that’s weird. What’s a port scan attack?”

I knew it couldn’t be good if my firewall was alerting me. My firewall had never even spoken to me before. I suddenly started to feel all important and stuff.

Anyway, as I was sitting here staring at it, trying to think about what I should do, if anything, a second attack was launched from the same IP address. Man! Somebody really wants to… scan my port! But why my port with so many other cute little ports around?

Oh well, I blacklisted the offender. If I have to write about this again, I’ll include the actual IP address from which the attempted violation is launched.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

Recorded Telemarketing

If I get one more recorded telemarketing call saying that it’s time to renew my automobile warranty, I think I’m going to scream! I do not own a car!

It doesn’t matter that I listen to the recorded spiel and then dial nine (or whatever it is this time) to be removed from the calling list. They keep calling. Every goddamn day!

I also get calls about my Medicare supplemental health insurance. I’m forty-one years old! I’ve jumped through all the hoops to be taken off this list too. But they keep calling!

And I do not want a satellite dish! If a live person would actually make the call, I could tell them that. This one doesn’t even offer the option of being removed.

Then there are the newspaper subscriptions that I don’t want. Why on earth do I want a subscription to a weekly paper from BFE Idaho (I’m in Texas) or wherever? Not exactly brilliant marketing there.

The ones I hate the most are the ones that have a recorded message saying, “This is a very important call for [Lottie]. Please remain on the line for the next available agent.”

Fuck that! If it’s so important have an actual person call and ask for me. I have shit to do. It’s completely obnoxious to call my home and then expect me to wait on hold to speak to them.

And if one more Jehovah’s Witness knocks on my door while I’m trying to work (or eat, or shove bamboo shoots under my fingernails) I’m going to take the Watchtower magazine with a smile, invite them in for a cold drink and then set the damn thing on fire right before their eyes.

OK, so that wasn’t about telemarketing, but it gets on my nerves so I thought I’d toss it in there for fun.


A Father’s Rights

I just watched a movie trailer at Feministe for a film called A Father’s Rights. More disturbing than the video were the comments under it. These people seem so blinded by hatred of everything male that they seem to think there’s a misogynist behind every bush.

This appears to be a story about a man fighting to be in his daughter’s life and wanting to protect her from what seems to be an abusive mother. Only he can’t – he has no legal rights to the child because he wasn’t married to her mother when the child was born. Despite the adamant denial that this could ever happen, I know for a fact that it can and does. These kinds of cases are not all the same across the board. Insisting that one’s own experience represents every other case is not only ignorant, it’s also rather immature.

I would like to take a quick detour, just to mention for the benefit of those currently studying law, that I think they will find, as they grow up in their careers, that what they have learned in the classroom about how the legal system is supposed to work isn’t always how it actually does work. It’s more than a little irritating to have some arrogant law student telling people that their experiences aren’t real just because they don’t line up with what the textbooks and law journals have to say on the subject. I’m afraid someone is in for a very rude awakening.

Now, back to the topic at hand:

Continue reading

Lazy Sunday Round-up

Sundays are my lazy days, and I tend more to browse other people’s blogs than to write anything for my own. I find all kinds of interesting (and occasionally disturbing) things along the way, and have decided to start sharing some of them here. I will call these entries my Lazy Sunday Round-ups, as Sundays find me too lazy to even come up with a different title once a week.

So here is what I do while drinking too much coffee and eating breakfast tacos on Sunday mornings:

My friend, Gary Murning, has posted an excellent short story he wrote a few years ago. He also posted a very thought-provoking piece about consciousness. You really must check out both of these.

Ed Darrell, author of Millard Filmore’s Bathtub, has written a post about bloggers’ rights. Anyone who owns a blog or simply enjoys reading other people’s blogs should be interested in this particular post. Millard Filmore’s Bathtub focuses on “striving for accuracy in history, economics, geography, education, and a little science”. Great blog!

Mike, author of The Odd Blog and darling husband of Yours Truly, wrote a very heart-warming post last week. This morning he wrote about how his wife is trying to killing him. It’s actually a right fine fisking entitled Fools, damned fools and Christians. Very entertaining!

Was the US founded on Christian principles? Soulbiscuit, author of Allusions of Grandeur provides a succinct, yet thorough response to this question. You should also check out this comic while you’re there.

Truthwalker wrote a very nice post about the Christian doctrine: Love the sinner; hate the sin. He explains quite well, in my opinion, how hating what some call sin can create real barriers to actually loving the “sinner”. While you’re there, you’ll definitely want to read Gothic (Goth) Manifesto, where Truthwalker describes the experience of having his “arms and legs sawn off to fit the [Christian] suit”. Excellent piece that I can personally relate to.

That’s all I have time for if I’m going to catch the next bus to McDonald’s.

Dr. Zhivago’s Strawman Atheist

I would have posted a comment on Dr. Zhivago’s blog, but for some reason comments have been disabled for the post I most wanted to comment on. People who deny existence of God is the title of the post, and it struck a chord with me because Dr. Zhivago paints a grossly inaccurate picture of atheists and atheism – the same strawman frequently presented by Christians. And it irritates me tremendously.

So, it is with great pleasure that I share with you the disassembling of Dr. Zhivago’s strawman atheist:

Continue reading

Bed Of Rose’s

This old Statler Brothers song tells a very touching story. I started to comment on the many layers of meaning I believe are in it, but then I realized that doing so would probably only do the song a huge injustice. I will say that, although I’ve heard the song uncountable times throughout my life, to this day it stirs my emotions and often my tears.

The video is just one still shot, so you won’t be missing anything if you want to play it and then scroll back up to the lyrics and read along.

Now I’ll let the song speak for itself:

Continue reading

A Few Clarifications

There appears to be some confusion about the intent of my recent post, Victims Wanted, and I would like to try and clarify a few things.

First I would like to call your attention to the opening paragraph:

[…] in pondering the unrelenting claim by Feministe bloggers and readers that asking why victims and survivors of domestic violence stay is always victim-blaming, a few other why? questions occurred to me and I had to get them out of my head and on the page:

You see, Victims Wanted is really just a brainstorm that I wrote in a state of bewilderment over the unwillingness of certain feminists to even consider a perspective that doesn’t line up with most everyone else’s. But it seems the questions that were spinning around in my head that day have been mistaken for assertions and/or conclusions. So I would like to try and make a few clarifications:

Continue reading

Thanks Nick @ WordPress!

When I have a complaint, I don’t mind voicing it. But I also think it’s important to recognize people for a job well done.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much support in response to my complaint which I outlined in Tags Gone Wild. But come to think of it, the reason I didn’t know what to expect is because I’ve never had to send in a complaint before. Seven months with WordPress and not a single issue. That says a lot for these guys, in my opinion.

Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know that Nick @ WordPress has been just great about helping with this problem. He’s followed up periodically throughout the day and I just received another email from him. He wanted to let me know which of my posts he could still see in the public listings and to ask if I was having trouble with any others. That was very cool!

I appreciate the prompt attention that was given to this matter. They could have easily ignored me, but they took my concern seriously and treated me respectfully. I get the feeling we have a really nice bunch of people behind the scenes here at WordPress!

Tags Gone Wild

I am starting to get really pissed off about the crazy shit happening in the tag listings here at WordPress.

I like to check the listings for tags I use to try and find other blog posts on the subjects I’ve written about. In doing so last week, I discovered that several of my posts had never been listed at all.

I did a little poking around and found out that if you use “too many” tags, your post might not get listed. Trouble is, no-one (and this includes staff) seems to know the magic number that will boot you from the listings. They say you shouldn’t use more than twelve or so (that includes tags and categories combined) but that’s not a hard and fast rule. We’re supposed to just keep in mind that the more tags we use in a post, the less likely that post will be listed.

Vague enough for ya?

So I go back and remove some of the tags from the posts that hadn’t been listed and, voila! The posts are listed. Problem solved, right? Hell no!

Continue reading

Do You Remember These?

After watching a video that my friend, Gary, posted yesterday, I started feeling a little nostalgic and went hunting for some more good, old stuff to listen to. I stumbled across a few Statler Brothers YouTube videos and, boy did they take me back.

I listened to Statler Brothers a lot when I was growing up. This song was one of my favorites, even though it’s about stuff that was a little before my time. Still, it made me happy then, and it lifted my spirits today, so I wanted to share it with you.

Hope you enjoy it!

Continue reading