Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Security Threats

My average phone calls go something like this:

Call Number one:
G: Hello
P: Hey, wanna go get some lunch?
G: Sure.
P: I was thinking about Roys.
G: Roy's is always good.
P: I'll call you when I'm backing out.
G: OK, bye
P: bye

Greg lives three blocks away. If I call him when I'm backing out he's out the door just as I pull into his drive way. Remember that use of the cell phone network the next time you get an "all circuits busy" signal.

Call Number two a few minutes later:
G: Hello
P: I'm on my way
P: Bye
G: Bye

I feel safer knowing the government wants to listen in on that. I nearly fell asleep writing it down. I can't imagine how the poor sap who has to listen in on it feels. And you thought your boss was wasting your talent. Of course, they don't have to actually listen, wire tapping - which really isn't wire tapping in the technical sense - is far easier these days - practically automated.

My phone calls are pretty damned bland most of the time. Pretty utilitarian. Pretty ordinary. There's no plotting, no planning, no phone sex, nothing of note. But I still just don't like the idea of the government listening in just because they can. Why? Gosh, I think it's because I was raised in the US - and made to study civics, where we learned about things like "freedom." Remember civics? Yeah, I know, you gotta be a "certain age," back when things like that were deemed important and actually taught. Now of course, the government has seen the light of what happens when the populace understands their rights. They start to expect them, dammit. So, Step One: Stop telling them they have any rights.

Do you think we're now the country the rest of the world is looking at thinking, "Geez, why is there not rioting in the streets? Why do they not rise up as a people and take back their country?"

Twas the Blog Before Christmas

Someone sent me a link to this at FeedBlitz and I thought it was just too good to not share.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
'Twas the blog before Christmas

'Twas the blog before Christmas, when all through the house
No blogger was stirring, no hand moved the mouse.
The postings were stacked by the tag cloud with care,
In hopes that more readers soon would be there;

The users were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of updates danced in their heads;
And me with my podcast, downloaded like that,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out from my laptop there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the portal I flew like a flash,
Tore open the reader and refreshed the cache.

The enclosure attached soon gave me to know
That new entries were here, more news I should know.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a raft of new updates, eight headlines so clear,

With a quick Wiki update, who could it be?
Our investor, of course, a leading VC.
More rapid than eagles his portfolio came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Blogspot! Now Feedster! now, Movable Type!
On, FeedBurner, FeedBlitz! (On Marketing Hype!)
To the top of the feed! To the top of them all!
Now blog away! blog away! blog away all!"

As valuations that before the wild bubble do fly,
When they meet with a fund, mount up to the sky,
So up to the top of the investments they flew,
With RSS data, and named it Web 2.

And then, with a twinkling, I read in my news
Each notable posting, contrary views.
As I drew back my hand, and was turning around,
Down to my trackback he came with a bound.

His comments were brief, what was ado?
Were adwords OK? Did users click through?
A bundle of mashups he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

Our AJAX - how it twinkled! Our tagging - how merry!
We socially networked to his brand new BlackBerry!
Our RSS valid, we were well syndicated,
We subscribed to the feeds that we loved (and we hated);

The stump of our web site held tight in our teeth,
The hyperbole encircled his head like a wreath;
We tagged Technorati, we blogged with the best,
On Feedster we surged and made the A-list.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And marked us on Frappr, and Flickr he searched.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
Updated his blog, up our OPML rose;

He sprang to his feed, gave his investments a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,


With best wishes from FeedBlitz to everyone this holiday season!

(c) 2005
Full reproduction permitted only with full attribution and links intact.
Technorati: FeedBlitz RSS Bloglet

Two Surprises in Two Days

It has been a busy couple of days and I've had two surprises in two days - and both of them were firsts.

Last night was our Red Hat group and we had decided to do it at my house as a potluck. What I didn't know was that they were having a surprise birthday party for me last night, which was so sweet.

Teresa, Diana, Julie, Debbie and Susan N. all brought me gifts - Diana made cupcakes - Debbie took pix - they sang. It was really nice. And, it was a first for me. I've never had a birthday party as an adult. Actually, I've never had a birthday party at all that involved friends. When your birthday is two days before Christmas, it's a little tough to pull that off - for the obvious reasons.

Even without all of that, it was a nice evening all the way around, with special gifts shared and some wonderful memories made. I had gotten ornaments for everyone.

I was touched by the generous spirit of these friends. Debbie posted a photo of me blowing out candles on the cupcake on her blog at

Tonight I had my board over for dinner at my house - nothing fancy - just soup. We've done this every year that I've been the Executive Director and it is always fun. They surprised me with a very nice gift, and it was completely unexpected, but very generous of them.

This year we invited spouses too, and that was even neater. It was good to see everyone socialize. I didn't have time to take photos as I was busy replenishing the table and such, but it was a fun night.

I'm blessed to have a wonderful board of directors - exceptional people who are committed to our mission. I'm grateful for each of them.

I served chili and veggie soup. I had planned to also make potato soup but had a little something extra put into my day and ran out of time to get that done. I reached down to put something in the garbage disposal this afternoon and got shocked. Yes - shocked! When I hit the switchplate I got shocked again. So, I called Zenor electric and - thank heavens - Dennis was just leaving another job so could come right over. He eventually found the problem and took care of it, but it took awhile. I was just glad he could come right away and glad that I'm on longer afraid of my kitchen.

I've almost got everything cleaned up already from tonight - maybe one more load through the dishwasher. This was my last party of the season, but instead of feeling relieved, I'm a little sad that it's over for this year. I've had six gatherings in 11 days and I could do another six, but Christmas will be here quickly.

I love to entertain. It makes a house warm and inviting to have the energy of lots of people passing through the doors.