The History of Hacking

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on January 29, 2014 by KAHNSoft

So I’m watching The Fifth Estate and enjoying it immensely, but I wonder as I watch it how much of the technology people understand.  Over the years, there have been a number of tech centric movies put out into the general rotation and each has been peppered with some techno-babble.  Most of it has had some basis in reality and I wonder as I watch these how much people remember/know about.  As the characters in FE IRC chat back and forth and discuss bots that have been setup using anonymous mailing systems; I`m struck by how familiar (if somewhat antiquated) it all sounds.  That was the net before Google.  Before everyone and their dog was online.  Back when the term console cowboy was recognized and even respected.  It’s a good movie.  I’m enjoying it a great deal, and I really love watching Bennedict Comberbatch work.  He really is a fun actor to watch.

Heaven

Posted in Uncategorized on January 27, 2013 by KAHNSoft

In Heathrow airport, there is a place where pretty girls will walk up to you and just give you Scotch.  All while a very friendly guy in full regelia plays the bagpipes in the background. 

It was the perfect end to a very nice trip to London.  That trip also included seeing Spamalot and getting to sing Always Look On The Bright Side of Life with the cast in West End. 

The show was great.  The Whiskey was good.

What could be better?

Tragedy

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on December 14, 2012 by KAHNSoft

Today, a man went into a school in Connecticut and shot a lot of people. I don’t know why; I can’t imagine what would motivate someone to do that sort of thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I get why people kill other people sometimes, but this…

Anyway, we may never know what caused this man to feel the need to kill the most innocent of our society.  Sadly, he too was found dead, so not only can we not punish him for this horrible crime, but we cannot find out that most basic answer to the question on so many peoples minds… why?

I ache for the families who’s children or parents were so cruelly snatched away from them today.  I cannot begin to imagine what that is like.  I’ve been blessed with beautiful children but I cannot imagine something like this happening to them.

All of that said, there is something that happens in the aftermath of an event like this.  Many people, after assessing blame, will attempt to find preventative measures.  I understand that.  In a world that’s so out of control, the need to feel like you are doing something to control it can be a powerful one.

The problem is that you can’t control the world.  You can’t control people.  We keep trying but the best and worst of us always find ways to buck that control.  We cannot be “broken” and why would we want to be.  The moment the human animal is contained, we truly are dead as a species.

My daughters school has a rule against them taking their backpacks with them to class.  I can only assume that post Columbine, this seemed like a good way to keep weapons out of classrooms.  Except the kids with the guns weren’t carrying them to class in backpacks.   The entered the school with them.  Some schools use metal detectors to attempt to block kids from bringing weapons to school and while that’s certainly more effective than the back pack ban, it too can be circumvented (no, I’m not going to tell you how).

The answer is not to ban guns.

I’m not a gun nut.  I don’t own any.  That doesn’t mean that I object to them, it simply means that when I have money to spend, the first thing that comes to mind is something that will bring me joy, or at the very least a moments distraction.  The distraction gained from a gun is fleeting at best.  I go to a range, I fire off a few rounds… I get little satisfaction from doing it.  On the flip side, I’ll use the Kindle I got every day, the iPod too.

Now, some of you will say that neither the Kindle or the iPod will defend my family and yes, I cannot argue that in certain situations, if someone broke into my house, shooting them may be a good way to keep my family safe.  Unfortunately, I fear that I would be far more likely to shoot the the cat in a moment of frustration or more likely my self on a bad day.  A gun makes that sort of thing easier than just about any other tool available to me.

That said, if you want a gun, I feel like you have every right to have one.

Now, while I do believe it is every American’s right to own a gun, there are some people who should not have one.  I don’t think it’s the governments job to keep it from happening, I just think it’s a bad idea.  The scenario that people paint for me is the movie theater shooting that happened a while back.  If someone in the audience had been armed, they could have shot back.  The problem is that with my luck, the guy shooting back would be the nimrod behind me that can’t figure out how to keep his soda off the floor and when he took that shot, guess who’d be between him and Batman?

I’ll get off that soapbox.  Today something terrible happened.  A guy did something desperate and stupid.  I don’t know why.  Until we do, we cannot do anything about it.  Regulating book bags and tightening gun legislation is not the answer.  Neither would have prevented this.  The prevention is in looking at why the guy felt the need to take that action.  We may never know but it’s worth a look.

My thoughts, my prayers, my dearest hopes for peace go out to the families of those who’s lives have been shattered today.  Nothing can bring those souls back and there is no retribution that will ease the pain.  May whatever greater power you hold dear give you comfort in this time and if you have no faith, then my hope is that you will find comfort elsewhere.  Turn to your community or just rant on a blog.  Sometimes people suck, but sometimes they can be amazing too.

Voices in my head

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff, Uncategorized on October 28, 2012 by KAHNSoft

“I often have these little conversations with myself.  I do so love good conversation.” – George Carlin

“They are voices in my head, saying things that shouldn’t be said; I just hope that they will… go away.” – Stephen Lynch

I just wish they’d leave me the fuck alone.  I often feel like one of the guys in those movies where they’ve got the little angel on one shoulder and then a little devil on the other.  The difference is in my head, there’s a second couple having sex while the other two do sports commentary and make the occasional bet.

Certainly there are ways to quiet the voices but usually they are fleeting at best and rarely as thorough as one would like.  I’m told there are various chemical solutions to the problem but I’ve also been told that I’m not really in need of any of those.

Ah, well.  Here’s to the voices then.  I hope they enjoy scotch.

Happy Haunting

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff, Uncategorized on October 28, 2012 by KAHNSoft

So our haunt finally came together and is something I’m proud of.  We have created better, more stable room structures and *my* room turned out very cool. 

I am the Hatter from Alice in Wonderland (Malice in Wonderland is the theme the girls chose this year).  I have a coffin for my table and I’ve set it for tea (lots of random sized tea cups).  I’ve also got several hats either on manaquins or on “heads”.  Part of my schpiel is that I ran out of manaquins so I’ve been using the guests and I will ask passersby if they’d donate their heads.

The character ended up being more absent minded professor than Hannibal Lector as I’d hoped, but I did find an amazing top coat at the Savers and its working out nicely.

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Sadly, all of the Pics with the coat turned out pretty blurry but you get the idea.

Anyway, its been fun and the girls are loving it.  My oldest choreographed a dance number for the end of the haunt and when they do it together, its really very cool.  All in all, its turning out to be a good run despite having the wind blowing everything down earlier in the week and my not getting out to get my costume together the way I wanted to.  Hopefully Monday brings more people out.

25 Years – The Phantom

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on October 18, 2012 by KAHNSoft

Wow!  As I sit here in my office, I open the door again and wipe away my tears, carefully making sure my mask is back in place so that I can face my day and the people I work with, with a small sense of regret.  I know it’s necessary in order to function but the man behind that mask get’s lonely.  That truly sounds very melodramatic, but forgive me, I just finished watching the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Phantom of the Opera. 

I don’t remember where I was first introduced to that music but I remember falling in love with it immediately.  It became one of the most played cds in my library and later would become my main source of escape when I was in high school (and beyond).
I had secured a place in the stage crew running the sound system in the theater/auditorium and I would sneak in there during the day to put on Phantom and sit by myself in the sound booth and draw.
I don’t know why exactly I identified with the lead character so much.  I certainly don’t believe myself to be hideous, but I have spent a fair amount of time alone.  Especially during my teenage years.  Add to that my affection for music and theatre, and my place behind the scenes for both and it almost seems obvious.
Music has always been my escape and there are certain pieces that will always kill me.  This particular version of the Phantom was especially dramatic as the original creator and cast of the Phantom came out to celebrate the anniversary of the show and Sarah Brightman, the original Christine came out to sing Music of the Night.  It was amazing as the cast past and current joined in to celebrate with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Michael Crawford (the original Phantom). 
I know that this show get’s a lot of crap about being cliche and stealing themes but it’s important to me.  This music was an important piece of my puzzle and it helped me to build the mask that allowed me to deal with people.  Again, it sounds very melodramatic, but fuck it, this is my narrative.
Theater has also been very important to me, in that it gave me one of my first chances to excel.  I was never very good at sports.  My mother will tell you that I played as a kid and it’s true, but I was never going to be a star there.  I was good with computers but at that point in my life, it only amounted to what I could do for other people.  On the stage (at least for competitions) I could shine and it seemed I was reasonably good at getting the most out of our sound system during shows as well.
It was on a stage where I was working in the wings that I met one of my best friends; and one of the biggest contributors to the program that is now Jon.
Add all of this history together and as I sit in my office enjoying the end of The 25th Anniversary Celebration of Phantom of the Opera, I find myself crying uncontrollably.  There’s a lot of history for me in that music and they created an amazing production to showcase the show that has meant so much to me over the years.  That said, I leave you with part of the final refrain from Erik; the man in the mask, destined by fate to die alone in large part because of his love for his angel of music.  I have been blessed to not share that fate, but at times, I very much understand that loneliness.
“Masquerade..Paper faces on parade; Masquerade.  Hide your face so the world will never find you.  Christine, I love you.” -O.G. (Andrew Lloyd Webber 1986). Thank you.

Wedding pumpkins

Posted in Just Day to Day Schtuff on October 12, 2012 by KAHNSoft

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I did these for my little brothers wedding.