Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Want an A? Break the law.

From the SANS ISC
    The "TASK"

    Student is to perform a remote security evaluation of one or more computer systems. The evaluation should be conducted over the Internet, using tools available in the public domain.

    You got it. This is verbatim. Professor Packetslinger wants the students to conduct illegal activity involving port scanning and vulnerability scanning. He wants them to write an evaluation of what they find: what ports are open and what service could be running on them, Host names and IP addresses, OS, version, last update, patch status, what shares are available, what kind of network traffic and what vulnerabilities they see.

Read the whole thing. I really wish they would release the name of the school. Professors like this need to be smacked.

Pizza Recipe

Chris, when not writing about guns, writes about food. His latest recipe for REAL men is Pizza. This one looks to be a keeper!

Monday, February 27, 2006

A new car!

Well - it's really a van. The wife and I spent a lot of time looking at cars online, comparing specs, prices, etc Friday evening. Then she decided that she really likes the higher seating position that a minivan offers. Ok - no problem. Minivan or psuedo SUV. No more looking at cars (bummer as I really like the HHR).

So we started looking at our auto show brochures. The Chevy van looks like a dolphin, Dodge minivans are forbidden, KIA - well - they don't hold up in a Illinois hailstorm, Toyota - too expensive, Honda - too expensive, Ford - hmmm - except for the recent problem we've been really happy with the two we've owned. Ok - Ford Windstar Freestar. I've got no problem with that. Checked the brochure that we had and the base model has everything we need. Now to find a dealer that has one...

Checked the paper on Saturday morning and there was an ad from a Ford dealer in Roselle with a new Freestar for 16,900. Seems ok. Called them up and it was a business model. No rear seats and the security cage. Bummer. The salesman stated that if we came in that he would make the trip worth our time on any Freestar on the lot. Ok - sounds like a interesting challenge. We drove over and found the salesman.

We did a bit of walking the aisle. Most of the Freestars were $30,000.00 and up. Way more than we can afford and more than we need. Came across 2 that were spec'd out pretty close to what we wanted and only (only? hard to believe I said that!) $25,000.00. Took one out for a drive. A little firmer than our current Windstar, the controls are slightly different, but otherwise it was basically the same. Back at the dealer the wife was agonizing over the color. It was a medium gray that doesn't hide dirt very well. Looked at the other one that was the same price - it's color is Spruce Green Clearcoat Metallic. Very subtle and it changes color depending on lighting conditions. I drove that one to make sure there were no obvious problems.

We got back and I handed over my Windstar key to get a trade-in value. I wasn't expecting much due to the problems that it had. I was wrong. We ended up with $4,200.00 in rebates and $6,500.00 in tradein/discount. And a free built in DVD player. We were both happy with the price. An hour and a half later we were on our way to lunch in the new van.

The wife is happy. And thats all that really matters.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Carnival of Cordite #49

Available for your reading!

Lars the Norwegian Lutheran

    Lars, a Norwegian from Cook County in northern Minnesota, was an older, single gentleman who was born and raised a Lutheran. Each Friday night after work, he would fire up his outdoor grill and cook a venison steak.

    Now, all of Lars's neighbors were Catholic, and since it was Lent, they were prohibited from eating meat on Fridays. The delicious aroma from the grilled venison steaks was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest.

    The priest came to visit Lars, and suggested that Lars convert to Catholicism. After several classes and much study, Lars attended Mass, and as the priest sprinkled holy water over Lars, he said, "You were born a Lutheran and raised a Lutheran, but now you are a Catholic."

    Lars's neighbors were greatly relieved. But when Friday night arrived, and the wonderful aroma of grilled venison filled the neighborhood, the priest was immediately called in and, as he rushed into Lars's yard, clutching a rosary and prepared to scold Lars, he stopped in amazement and watched.

    There stood Lars, clutching a small bottle of water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat, and chanted, "You were born a deer, and raised a deer, but now you are a walleye.

    Keep The Faith

As one baptised, confirmed, and married in the Lutheran Church - I love this one! I wish Lars was my neighbor.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Will it fit?

I wonder if the folks at Monster Garage could fit this in my Taurus? 505HP would be so fun!
    Update: I mentioned this to Thing1 - suggesting his car (98 Cavilier) or mine (2003 Taurus) as possible recipients for this wonderful motor. His response?

    Mine - Sorry, I fell off my chair laughing

    Yours - My stomach hurts from laughing

    Crushed again

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Broadband is nice

Took half a day off so I could wait for the cable guy. Cleaned up my office a bit and pulled the modem out where the tech could get to it. Managed to pull the power plug out so it was reset. And the link light went on! Rebooted the modem several times and each time it was fine. Started doing some testing and everything worked. Hmmmm.

Cable guy showed up and did some level checks. Replaced a splitter with a line tap and tested some more. 4Mb/sec down and 400Kb up - just like it's supposed to be. Very strange that it just started working...

Thing2 was happy when she got home. Had to read email. The wife spent the evening looking at cars online. She seemed happy.

For now.

Banned XBOX 360 Commercial?

So the page claims...

I'm not much of a game player but if you ignore the lousy 'gun' handling the ad is pretty funny!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Giving Blood

This is something I do at least 4 times a year. Yesterday was the first blood drive of the year at work. The usual crowd of people was there at 8:00 am. My vitals were normal and everything went well. Till one of the pieces of tape came loose when I was squeezing the bike grip. The needle must have moved around a bit as I have a bruise about 1.5 inches around today. A little sore but it's worth it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sasha Cohen

Beautiful, talented, and she's an Angel.

A little red light

The check engine light came on in the wifes Windstar. Usually it meant bad gas. Run the tank near empty and refill and the light goes out. This time it stayed on. We took the van in on Saturday to get this looked at, the brakes checked, a low speed turning noise, and a oil change. We figured the engine light was the O2 sensor. That was a ~$200.00 fix.

Went back home and started removing wallpaper. The wife took my car and went out shopping. The deal called back in a couple of hours. The check engine light was caused by the engine computer complaining about the EGR valve and a intake manifold leak. It would cost about $1,100.00 to fix. The low speed noise was a power steering pump and tie rod. Only $1,000.00. At least the oil change was only $20.00. And the brakes were fine.

Called up Thing1 and had him check the van value on the Kelly Blue Book site (since my broadband is out). Putting ~$2,000.00 in the van would be 40% of it's worth. We both decided it wasn't worth it.

So after I was done removing the wallpaper we headed off to pick up the van. Stopped at a Chevy dealership to look at the HHR. The wife really liked it at the auto show. It's a pretty impressive little car. It was a bit cold so we heading back next weekend to drive one and see if we can make a deal. Picked up the van (no more check engine light!) and went home. Long day. Hadn't really planned on a new car this year but but stuff happens.


Bin Laden Vows Never to Be Captured Alive

Am I the only one to think this is a good way to end things?

A bad start

Get home on Friday and Thing2 says that her email isn't working. Hmmm - the wife had mentioned that the web was a little flakey on Thursday. Fired up a computer and I couldn't get anywhere. nslookups were failing 95% of the time. Not good. Took the router out of the path and hooked my computer directly to the cable modem. Rebooted the cable modem and the link light didn't come on as it usually does after a minute or so.

Called the cable company (Wide Open West) and, after waiting for a while, talked to a customer service rep (and rebooting my computer twice - why I don't know when the modem isn't working!) she decided that a service call was necessary. The tech will be out tomorrow. Four days later.

The wife and daughter are going through email withdrawal. Me - I didn't miss it much. Had too many other things going on to keep me busy.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Cheney's Fury

Via Instapundit. Looks interesting.

Oh Canada

Thats about as much of the Canadian National Anthem that I know. It's worth singing it in this case!

What a waste of money.

Carnival of Cordite #48

At a new site!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My next computer

I think I've found the motherboard.

That should make encoding video a breeze!

Byrant Gumbel

    So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.

That's Mr Gumbel on HBO's Real Sports. The uproar from the MSM is deafening.

Imagine if a white tv personality said something similar about blacks. Oh wait - they have and were fired. Somehow I don't expect HBO to do anything...

Abu Ghraib Pictures

Images that you won't see in the main stream media.

Way to go Blackfive!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tux is everywhere

Even the Olympics!

Milla's back

Guity pleasure - Milla Jovovich in the Resident Evil movies. Now she has Ultraviolet.

A butt kicking babe!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Never done this

Ten Best Things to Say if You Get Caught Sleeping at Your Desk

  1. They told me at the blood bank this might happen.

  2. This is just a 15 minute power-nap they raved about in the time management course you sent me to.

  3. Whew! Guess I left the top off the whiteout - you probably got here just in time.

  4. I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new business strategy.

  5. I was conducting a drool resistance test on my keyboard.

  6. I was doing a Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Do you discriminate against Yoga practitioners?

  7. Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out how to solve that big accounting problem.

  8. Did you ever notice the sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?

  9. Who put decaf in the wrong pot?

And the NUMBER ONE best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk !

  1. Raise your head very slowly and say, "in Jesus name, Amen".

Monday, February 13, 2006

A Joyful Noise

Psalm 98:4 - Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: Make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

The end of the PrimeTime weekend includes Praise and Worship at the host church led by Peder Eide. Peder, probably the most underexposed Christian artist out there, is a wonderful speaker, songwriter, and musician. He gets the kids (and young at heart) bouncing and singing and praising God. I truly enjoy Peder's music and have no problem getting up with the kids and bounce away. The wife, on the other hand, believes that a Lutheran service comes from the Green book and only the Green book. Me - I need the spirit that modern Christian music provides. When she complains about the service I simply quote the bible:

    Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: Make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Back to Thing2 and the rest of the PrimeTimers - they had a great time. Lots of tired looking but very happy faces Sunday morning. Same with the adults. One of the adults commented to us that she had lots of deep questions during small group Saturday night. That isn't like her. Well it used to be not like her.

On the way home Thing2 couldn't stop talking about the weekend. Fun, food, and God. Not necessarily in that order but all were enjoyed in large quantities.

God is good. All the time.

2006 Chicago Auto Show

Thing1 always likes to go and drool look at cars. Since Thing2 was at PrimeTime the wife and I got moving early Saturday (the one day each week I can sleep past 6:00am) and picked him up and went to the show. We were there about 30 minutes before the door opened. I had purchased my tickets online so we go in that line. It was longer than the line for tickets!

While we were waiting in line I started talking to the 2 guys in front of us. Turned out they are in the U.S. Coast Guard and stationed in Indiana. They get in for free with their military IDs. Very cool! And very nice guys to talk with.

We got in and headed for the Ford display. The wife wants a F-150 but they are just out of our price range. The Fusion seemed nice - about as roomy as my Taurus. The GT wasn't open to sit in :-(. Wandered over to Chevrolet and planted myself in a 2006 Z06 Corvette. Way out of my price range but I still want one. A lot of Chevrolet cars still have have wood grain trim on the dash. Bad looking wood grain. Not sure why they do that. On the other had the new Camaro looks sweet! Thing1 kept gravating over to trucks. He seems to want one for his first car. Not a bad choice - especially if he buys a house after graduation.

We kept wandering - mostly American cars. Had to look at Mini's, the wife wanted to walk through the MB and BMW displays (more to laugh at prices than anything else), and then into the aftermarket area. Lots of the usual crud - expensive rims, loud video, and clickers. Really annoying clickers.

The US Army display was next. A Stryker vehicle with remote control machinegun on top. Lots of recruiters wandering around. Lots of people coming up and saying hi. And thanks. They also had a booth where one could get replica dog tags. And a long line of kids waiting to get them.

The show was great. Seemed to get busy much sooner than unusual. It's a fun way to spend the day.

Dropped off Thing1 after dinner and went home. A 150 mile day...

No Kids!

At night anyways. Thing2 was attending the Jr. High PrimeTime retreat this past weekend. We had one of those rare things that parents have - a night alone. Yea us!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Simple Truth

Blackfive links to a simple story about Truth. Go and read.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Day by Day

Chris Muir must be reading my mind...

The complete lack of class and civility shown by some at the funeral of Correta Scott King was disgusting. Not unexpected but disgusting.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

24 - Hour 7

I was off in my guess for the body count. Maybe I'll stop being referred to as a mole...

Illinois Senators

We in Illinois are blessed with to extremely liberal senators. They are lucky enough to have the major newspapers covering their backs so they can do and say what they choose with zero chance of repercussions.

Obama, the great black hope, seen by many as the first black president (I thought that was Clinton?) was recently in private discussions with Senator McCain on bipartisan campaign finance reform till he (Obama) decided to be the partisan hack that we all thought he was. Both letters are available here. I'm not a fan of McCain but to me it looks like he has the upper hand.

Senator Durbin on the other hand (you may recall him referring to American soldiers as Nazis) recently was questioned by blogger Paul Mirengoff (from the excellent Powerline Blog) and Durbin managed to avoid answering the question by asking who Pajamas Media is. Pajamas Media has video.

We are so blessed...

Monday, February 06, 2006


Microsoft Windows Software Update Services. A simple, easy to use, easy to deploy, free, application that allows a system administrator to apply OS and select Microsoft application patches without visiting each machine. Install the software on the server, synchronize, and create a GPO (or more) to configure the clients. Very easy. Till you try and take users into the equation.

I decided to set the Automatic Update and BITS services to be Enabled and for Automatic Updates to auto start. I was attempting to keep the people out there that disable services in an attempt to keep the admins out.

After implementing the policy we noticed a problem. Windows 2000 Servers and Windows Server 2003 systems checked in just fine. Some Windows XP systems would check in but never talk to the WSUS server again. It was also noted that Windows Update didn't work. Further investigation showed that the Automatic Update service was stopped and attempts to start it gave an error that the permissions were incorrect. A check of the Microsoft knowledge base gave a command to reset the permissions. Using that command allowed the service to be started. Something didn't seem right.

After some more investigation I found that if one sets Automatic Updates to start via Group Policy the permissions on the service get changed. One little article written by a MVP. Nothing from Microsoft support.

Remove the service controls from the GPO and everything works. Who'd thunk that setting a service in a GPO would change the permissions on it?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Addicted to Lost

That was a great commercial!

A time to spar

Thing2 had a sparring seminar on Saturday. Since it was a bit of a drive I decided to stay and watch. The morning was spent working the kids pretty hard with stretching and then starting on sparing techniques. After 2 hours the kids were looking pretty tired. A quick break for lunch and they were back at it. They spent another hour and a half just working on technique. Finally it was time to spar.

The rules were simple - light contact, waist to shoulders, and sides. Everything else was off limits. It was strictly for scoring points.

Thing2 started ok. I walked away for awhile as she was starting to look at me rather than her opponent. When I came back she was sitting out. I didn't want to get involved as I didn't see what happened. Thing2's Sensi went over to her and the instructor and then came to me to let me know what happened. After sparring started, well, Thing2 started hitting a bit hard. Way too hard. The instructor reminded her of the rules. She started hitting too hard again. He talked to her again and she argued. Well she was sat down. Thats when I came back in.

My little girl was hitting too hard? Who'd thunk?

In retrospect it was probably my fault. I had bought a 35lb bag for Thing2 to practice on. We'd been working on hitting the bag and getting back to the ready position. Great practice for her. I'd been having her hit for impact. She apparently likes to make an impact. We need to talk about this...

Super Bowl Commercials

Always entertaining. Well sometimes... Score is based on 1-10 with 10 being the best.
Bud Lite - Office. 4
Burger King - Ballet. Started as a 1 with a recommendation to fire the ad agency. Ended up with a 5.

18 Blocks. Hey Bruce is in it. I'll watch it.

Bud Lite - Refrigerator. 5

Toyota Hybrid - Politically correctness. 2
FedEx - Cavemen. 9
Bud Lite - Bear. 5

V for Vendetta looks interesting.

diet Pepsi - Brown and Bubbly. 2. Glad I don't drink Pepsi products.

Alieve - Lenard NiMoy. 3. If one was a Trekkie - 8
Ameriquest - The Fly. 8
Bud Light - Roof. 7

diet Pepsi - Kung Fu Can. 7. Gotta love Jacke Chan.

Cars - should be fun for all of us.
ATT - Boring. 1

Bud - Streaker. That was funny. 8
Mobile ESPN. 2

carreerbuilder.com. Quiet Riot. Yea! My wife and I must have heard that song 500 times on our honeymoon. 6
Caddilac - Fashion Show. 2

MI-3. Blow stuff up - yea!
Dove - True Colors. Good Commercial. 7

The Shaggy Dog - fun on DVD.
Ford Escape Hybrid - Not easy being green. Great use of Kermit. 7
Michelob Amber Light - touch football. 6

GoDaddy. Just enough to tantalize the (male) viewers. 7

Poseiden. I'll wait for DVD.

Gillete Fusion - boring. 2

OverStock.Com. What a beautiful woman. I like the handicap accessible sign at the end. 3

Disney. Same old commercial. 1

Sprint - Phone competition. That was funny. 6
NFL - good one. 5
United Air Lines - Animated warrior. 4

Oh boy - the Rolling Stones. Please - no wardrobe malfunctions. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeese.

Addicted to Lost - great! 9

Well the Stones didn't suck.

U.S Cellular. Same old boring commercial. 1
Lexus. Same old boring commercial. 1
American. Same old boring commercial. 1

Disney - I'm going to Disney World. 5

Ameriquest - Airplane. Another great one. 7
Motorola Pebl. Whatever. 3
Sharpie retractable. 1

Budweiser - young Clydesdale. Very sweet. 5
Nationwide - Fabio. Funny! 4

Hummer H3 - Little Monster. Didn't see that coming. 5
PS Bacteria Cleaner. 2

Football comment - what a terrible pass by Ben. Had an easy touchdown. From 21-3 to 14-10 with one play.

careerBuilder. Monkeys and Asses. 5
Taco Bell. Silly. 2
Slim Fast. 1

Schick Fusion. Still boring. 2
Worlds Fastest Indian. Gotta love Anthony Hopkins.
Toyota Tacoma - Invinceable. Till some idiot trys it and sues. 1

Sprint - A phone for everything. Never did like Benny Hill. 1
AirTran - fired by phone. That was good. 6
Hyundai - boring. 1

Degree - Stunt city. 2
Emerald Nuts. Druids. Dumb. 1

Budweiser - Stadium beer. Cool. 6
Pirates of the Caribean 2. Looks like fun.
Mastercard - McGyver. 3

ESPN Mobile - Dreams. Still stupid. 1
Honda Ridgeline - Yosemtime Sam. 2
Heres to Beer. 1

GoDaddy.com.com repeat. Still a 7.

Outback. Stupid. 1

Steelers Win!!!!!!

My pick - MVP - Ben Rothsiberger. 0:03 seconds left

Well - the commercials were pretty bad. My favorites were from Bud and Ameriquest. The AirTran entry was pretty funny. Most of the rest were pretty lame.

Super Bowl 40

Steelers 31, Seahawks 21

Update I wasn't too far off. I had the points spread just about right but not the number of points. I had picked Rothsiberger for MVP so we'll see what happens.

Update #2 Looks like I was wrong (surprise!). Hines Ward. Pretty good choice as well.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Carnival of Cordite #46

Ready to read!

Something I'd like to see

From topfive

The Top 5 Super Bowl Ads We'd Like to See

    Campbell's Chunky Soup: For a solid minute, Donovan McNabb's mom slaps the holy sh*t out of Terrell Owens.

In anyone ever deserved a slapping - it's T.O.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Strange place to find a Marine

Thing2 had a service project at Church last night with her confirmation small group so I dropped her off and headed off to the Home Depot/Menards for paint and to look at light fixtures for the kitchen. Came back a couple of hours later to pick her up and couldn't find her where they were working. Hmmm.

Wandered down to the Sanctuary and found Thing2 and her small group watching a slide show and listening to a Marine Staff Sergeant who was talking about his time in Iraq. The girls were quiet (a first for this group) and didn't take their eyes off of him.

He took questions when he was done. The first was about his uniform. He explained his Rifle and Handgun medals (both Expert) and all the service ribbons. When he said the the stripes on his lower sleeve represented his time in the Marines I think the girls were a little stunned. He had 3 which meant 12 years. Most of these girls are only 13. The Staff Sargeant looked very sharp in his dress blues.

After a few more questions we had to go. The girls thanked him for his time and Thing2 and I went home. We started talking about my dad who was a Marine in World War II. Thing2 never met him as he died 4 years before she was born. We talked about Dad and the Marines most of the way home.

Sempr Gratis Marines

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I didn't think it was this bad

I am nerdier than 86% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Truly scary. Or I guessed well...

Radical Islam

W talked about how some are perverting a noble faith. Cox and Forkum have something to say

State of the Union - the day after

A couple of interesting things.

  1. Watching TV this morning (repeat of Hannity and Colmes from last night) while on the treadmill Charlie Rangel, once again, advocated bringing back the draft
  2. Democrats gave a standing ovation to the fact that social security reform FAILED
  3. Senator 'Dick' Durbin was on tv saying that Republicans need to reach out to Democrats to get things done. Seems to be that if the R's can get their act together the D's can pound sand

Do the D's realize that the way they are acting just makes them look like asses?

Day by Day has an interesting opinion on the D's as well.