Gray Flannel Dwarf


Geesh, I now officially feel

Geesh, I now officially feel old.

I think I’m getting a cold, or the flu, or something.

cswiii @ 11:59 pm

Yet another snow job

Already grumpy.

* There was about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of snow on the ground in the parking lot of the condo, when I went out to my truck. I wonder what band of usual suspects will call or email in, “working from home” today.

* I understand being careful when you’re driving in the snow, but such care usually concerns turning and braking. There is no need, with the dusting of snow that we have thus far, to be driving 15-20 miles an hour down this particular road — especially when, for the most part, the path cleared on the road is pretty much devoid of snow.

* People who try to make a quick buck by buying snow plow attachments, without knowing anything about how to use them crack me up. Yeah, the fact that you have the magnetic tape sign reading “$foo‘s Snow Clearance and Removal” attached to the side of your truck already leads you to lose a bit of credibility… but when I see you shove your plow directly into an existing snow dune, several days frozen and re-frozen by now… well, I just think you get what you deserve.

cswiii @ 8:24 am


Pssst! Your political roots are showing!

Yeah, so I work in tech, but my educational background is in Political Science and History. Part of this probably comes from growing up outside DC. In any case, I always find myself falling back into old, comfortable familiarities, and end up buying political and or religion (my minor) tomes.

Anyone who knows me probably knows this already, and the same circle are pretty familar (weary?) with my interest in Canada these days.

Well, after whetting my interest with A Short History of Canada, I got interested in the whole separatist movement. On Alibris I found two books that once again cover the crossroads of the two interests. I bought The Secession of Quebec and the Future of Canada, as well as a book on secession in general, Secession: The Morality of Political Divorce from Fort Sumter to Lithuania and Quebec.

Upon arrival, I flipped through them; both seemed fairly scholarly, and at least thus far, this has been the case. I am reading the former right now, and however ‘scholarly’ or dry the topic and writing style might seem to people, I’m finding it fairly fasicinating, if a little bit repetitive in the analysis style.

I sometimes wonder about going back to get a Masters in some part of polisci… but for now I’m satisfied being, in the words of Bad Religion, “a lazy, middle-class intellectual”.

cswiii @ 10:18 pm

getcher geek on…

Alternately, “It’s alright ma, I’m only shrinking”…

-rw-rw-r--    1 root     root      1044649 Oct 19  2001 vmlinuz-2.4.12
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root      1030147 Apr 18  2002 vmlinuz-2.4.18-3
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root      1108097 Apr 18  2002 vmlinuz-2.4.18-3smp
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root      1012422 Feb 25 15:06 vmlinuz-2.4.20smp
-rw-rw-r--    1 root     root      1052189 Oct 19  2001 vmlinuz-2.4.7

Note: I didn’t build the 2.4.18 kernels, those are stock RH 7.3

Wondering what else I can do to shrink the kernel…


-rw-r--r--    1 root     root       851650 Feb 25 16:47 /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.20smp

Everything seems to be in working order… we’ll see…

cswiii @ 3:25 pm

Entangling Alliances

So, the hawks are, and have been training a wide variety of Iraqi people for invasion and/or regime toppling. This includes Iraqi exiles, fringe military groups, and of course, Kurds. The Kurds probably have the most to gain from a regime change, and is no doubt one of the reasons Washington’s gone a-courtin’ them. Thus, assuming the result of this thing is as expected, there is no doubt that the Kurds will want some restitution. I’d say right now that the US has made assurances of such, but I can’t state this with certainty.

Now, let’s turn to Turkey.

According to a CNN article today,

Turkey also has sought assurances that Iraqi Kurds will not get more political or military power during and after any war.

Ankara fears any separatist ambitions by Iraqi Kurds in northern Iraq could spread to its own Kurdish minority concentrated around the border with that country.


Should these assurances be made — and somehow, I don’t doubt that they will, in a greasy, snake-oil sort of way, we’ve had a history of making contradictory promises to opposing factions — it’ll just be more fuel for the fire… all the more evidence to support the notion that Iraqi invasion and/or occupation will only open Pandora’s box.

cswiii @ 10:04 am


Death of an uptime

This was about the last time I saw it:

5:43pm  up 479 days,  5:31,  0 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.29

It lasted approximately another 10 hours and, after planned, prolonged (multiple?!) outages, it was history.

Good things will come out of it, I guess… I installed RH 7.3 on it (HEY SHUT UP YOU, KTNX) to replace the rotting copy of 6.2 contained therein. I’ll eventually upgrade the kernel, meaning I can once again have a custom kernel that, this time, has sound modules installed (don’t ask). I can finally get that squeaky, cricket-sounding power supply and/or fan replaced.

However, it seems that RH, in all its wisdom, has managed to screw up lpr, because I can’t get the thing to work, and after talking with a few others, it doesn’t seem to behave too elegantly, even on the machines of people who have managed to kludge it together.

In all, I can probably count on two hands — maybe two hands and a foot — the number of times this thing has been rebooted since I ended up with it, probably close to 3 years ago. A fair number of those were due to (!planned) power outtages as well, ending quite a number of decent uptimes.

But this was the longest.

4:58pm  up  6:46,  6 users,  load average: 0.03, 0.69, 0.96

Oh well…

cswiii @ 4:49 pm


Looks like they’re finally getting

Looks like they’re finally getting the DDOS under control.

After reading this article, I managed to find the t-shirt for sale.

I wonder what kinda commotion this would cause, either here at work, or in the greater DC area.

Update: More fun shirts can be found here… catch the trends before they happen! ;).

cswiii @ 1:06 pm



Hep is my hero.

Yes, that Subject line is intentionally hyperbolic.

cswiii @ 3:22 pm



chinchin surprised me with an afternoon of curling with some friends. Man, I’ll tell you what… it is fun! My crowning moment was in the second to last round (frame? inning?) when I knocked one of the opposing stones out of winning contention. Nevermind I didn’t do it the way I planned…

We followed this with dinner at a japanese steakhouse. Yum….

Good night.

cswiii @ 8:46 pm

i’m turning japanese, i think i’m turning japanese, I really think so

“Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Hotel California”, “Tears in Heaven”, and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. What do these songs have in common?

All of them were peformed, by yours truly, at my first ever karaoke performance. They were interspersed between the myriad of other, unknown (to me) Chinese songs.

Luckily, this was all in a private karaoke room, so it’s not like I made a fool of myself in front of a load of intoxicated patrons, instead doing so in front of chinchin and her friends and family.

Actually, I don’t think I did too bad. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was, surprisingly, my best performance, I think.

cswiii @ 1:18 am


So, it has been bitter

So, it has been bitter cold here in Toronto, the whole time I’ve been around. However, it seems all my fellow DC suburbanites are in for like a foot of snow over the next 36-48 hours.

Something is funny about that.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 12:25 pm

Chicago is one helluva movie.

Chicago is one helluva movie.

cswiii @ 1:07 am


Went to “La Bodega” for

Went to “La Bodega” for dinner tonight, here in Toronto. Herbed goat cheese, mushrooms and red wine pear for appetizer, bordeaux and filet mignon in cognac sauce for dinner, and coffee/creme brulee for dessert… and a big surprise “happy birthday” dinner out of it all.

One of the best meals of my life, I think. I mean, the quality compared to other great place I’ve visited before, but just the environment, the meal, everything… now I know what Anthony Bourdain was seeking.

I love this city.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 10:51 pm

The worst smell in the

The worst smell in the world is “burning house”.

I’m sure many of you have walked by a building before that is on fire, maybe smelled it, to some degree. But I assure you, until you have been in a house that is burning, this smell isn’t such an alarm…

I have experience with this…hence the shots of adrenaline that hit my head as I walked in my front door yesterday and smelled burning.

I ran around the house looking, looking…M’s space heater? No. The stove? No. The fireplace? No. I couldn’t find anything…. but I know I smelled it, especially in the entrance hallway.

For some reason, I went back out the front door, I guess to look around…and then I notice a huge pink sign on the front door of the neighbor directly across from me.



Throwing some garbage away later, I went down the back staircase, in hopes I could see a little more regarding what happened. It was dark out, but I look up and see a huge (about 10×4) piece of plywood covering a blackened piece of the condo, and on the ground, I see what appears to be the remains of a balcony, piled up in a blackened, ugly mess. After looking again this morning, i realised that it was only part of the balcony, mostly the rail that faced what must have been the site of the fire.

I wonder what happened. I think the damage must have been SEVERE.

I am heading to Toronto in a bit. Cheers!

cswiii @ 11:02 am


funky beats on demand

da, moy drook
ya obeyzana, da?

M found out last night that he’d achieved a fairly sizable milestone: he passed two parts of the CPA. This is notable, because in order to keep from having to take the whole thing over the next time, you have to pass two parts and get at least 50% on the remaining two. He did this.

For what it’s worth, only 10% of people, maybe less, pass the entire CPA on their first try. This was his second, but it kinda gives you perspective on the test’s difficulty.

But anyway. What it comes down to is that last night contained much celebration, against my better judgement. But who was I to rain on someone’s parade? It was indeed time to celebrate. Of course, we did so the Russian way, and the usual ingredient1 in Russian celebration was involved.

I am not hungover. I am surprised.

1In the generic sense – although I did have a vodka martini or two.

cswiii @ 9:33 am


Portion of an AIM conversation

Portion of an AIM conversation I had with a friend of mine. Alex is from, and living in Germany.

Alex: yep. in 200 minutes i’m going to blow all that out of my head … chili peppers in concert.
me: wooot!
Alex: thats goona be a cool eveneing
me: werd
Alex: werd?
me: word
me: I’m ghetto like dat, yo
me: rap star
Alex: yo brother, gimme that fat beat.

Also, re: the colour change — I got tired of looking at the old ones, which were on my journal since inception, and on my webpage to one degree or another, for the longest time. CSS rules… made it easy. It was harder to change on LJ, but it gave me an opportunity to tweak with the standard templates a bit, too.

cswiii @ 11:42 am


Wow, I guess my journal

Wow, I guess my journal is finally working.

They really bradfitzed that one.

cswiii @ 5:06 pm


Well, things are certainly a

Well, things are certainly a little more interesting, now.

cswiii @ 1:39 pm

“They are inspecting ammunition

“They are inspecting ammunition you have… for the possibility there are forbidden ammo,” said a voice Powell identified as an Iraqi official. “We sent you a message yesterday to clean out the areas, scrap areas, abandoned areas, make sure there is nothing there.”

Now maybe this snippet CNN gives us is missing some serious context, but thus far, this sounds both far less suspect and much less definitive than I had hoped for. I know they said there wouldn’t be any “smoking gun” presented, but I was certainly hoping for something that didn’t sound as ambiguous as the above quote. I’m not pro-war, but I was patiently waiting to see something that would change my mind regarding military action. Unfortunately, that quote doesn’t look so much like a “get those weapons hidden” message, as it does a “cover our asses, make absolute certain there’s nothing there” message.

Then again, maybe that in itself gives credence to the notion that they have weapons. If they’re not sure whether weapons are, aren’t, or might have been there… who knows.


There are just so many big names (Scowcroft, Zinni, Schwarzkopf, Ritter, Kissinger — who cares about Garofalo and Penn) that have expressed doubts regarding war and/or Iraqi WMD, it’s hard to look past that. Oh well. Maybe it will all fit together later on, after I can read more.

Ths is just one in a series of events today that has just kind put me into a funk.

Stupid LJ interest of the day: ignorance
No, I chose that one long before putting this entry together.

cswiii @ 11:19 am