Sunday, May 29, 2005

Need Your Help

I haven't blogged in some time because I haven't felt the need to say anything worthwhile. There's stuff going on, but nothing that I could really make a decent sized post about.

The next 5 to 10 years, in regards to Iran and North Korea, may be the most important 5-10 years in the world's history.

I started to type this post shortly before I started working on that Memorial Day post. I suppose I did have something inside of me. Either way, tomorrow is a new day.

I have made this request in the past and haven't gotten the most desirable response. Hopefully, this time around the outcome will change. (Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, isn't it?) Nevertheless! If you have any suggestions for a topic or you have a question (haven't touched Life Issues in quite some time) and would like to know my opinion, I'd be more than happy to work on that for you. Also, you don't need to wait for me to ask for these things. Feel free to send them in at any time.


Memorial Day 2005

Today my church was able to honor veterans in a small way by hosting a short (modified) color guard ceremony. The guard consisted of two members. One who carried the national Colors and one who carried the state colors. We marched up the center isle, performed a counter-column and stood fast while a short video was shown with "America the Beautiful" playing in the background. From my perspective, it was a mediocre ceremony, if it was even that. I wished and still wish that we could have done more. Shortly after the ceremony had ended, they had asked that all veterans would please stand up in order to be recognized. Much to my surprise, about ten to fifteen men and women stood up. On one hand, I expected more; on the other, I was surprised there were so many.

Some time later, I was told by the wife of a Vietnam veteran that the ceremony had brought a tear to his eye. I thought she was joking when she first told me, but she wasn't. Her husband isn't the type to show that kind of emotion, at least in public (in the 12+ years I've known him).

As I have spend more time around veterans of all types, I've started to notice that they don't need much in order to feel appreciated, recognized and loved. Their service was and is so important to them that even the smallest act of kindness will make the longest lasting impact on them.

The more I thought about that particular Vietnam veteran throughout the day, the better I felt about having performed what was done. If it was enough for a veteran, it was enough for me.


P.S. - Blackfive has an excellent Memorial Day post entitled: "Opening the Gates of Heaven".

UPDATE: 30MAY2005 @ 1333:

Chaotic Synaptic Activity also has very good Memorial Day post, "Memorial Day, 2005: It's Not All About the Numbers".

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

US-CERT ST05-011 -- Effectively Erasing Files



Saturday, May 21, 2005

US-CERT TA05-136A -- Apple Mac OS X is affected by multiple vulnerabilities




Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Adventures of Crispy

This afternoon I went to a nearby gas station to pick up lunch for the guy I was working with and me. Park the truck, get out and make my way towards the front door. There was a man sitting on the sidewalk, leaning against the building, who said something to me. The only part that I caught was the "sir" that he put on the end of his sentence. So I stopped and listened for him to say more, but he didn't, so I continued on inside. As I was gathering the subs and filling our drinks, I figured that he'd said, "On your way back out, could you please help me with your change, sir." To me, this means, "I'm too lazy to get a job; I want your money."* I contemplated telling the employees at the gas station that they had some dude outside begging for money, but I decided against it. Since the thought of the man, what he'd said and what would probably happen once I went back outside preoccupied my mind, I took more time at getting things together than I would have normally (which only consisted of filling 2 cups, putting lids on them, and grabbing 2 wrapped subs plus 1 mustard & 1 manonaise packet). Since I had this extra thought time, I decided that the man would probably say something to me on my way out.

From that point, things would proceed in one of two directions. 1) Me, being the emotionally sensitive and emotionally guided person that I am (sarcasm), decided that I'd inform him of all of the employment opportunities that surrounded us (construction is booming in the area) and that all he had to do was get a job and he wouldn't need to ask other people for money. 2) He would attempt to rob me or take some type of hostile action and I would wind up pointing a gun at his head and be delayed in getting back to work because I had to file a police report.

So, I pay for my goods (which is a story in and of itself) and I make my way out. Yep, he's still sitting there. Due to noise from the traffic, I couldn't exactly make out what he was saying, so I just kept on going, trying to avoid a potential conflict. As I set the two cups on the truck (a bag would have been nice for the subs), so I could dig out the keys, I thought to myself, "I hope he isn't standing behind me when I turn around." I turn. Thankfully, he wasn't on top of me, but he was on his way towards me. Looks like Option #2 is the way we're going. I unlock the truck and toss the subs inside, preparing to show him the business end of a Glock (totally legal maneuver, liberals). He stops just on my side of the front of my truck and while holding up his hands (but below his waist) says he isn't going to do anything to me or the truck (if he only knew). I give him a shrug and say, "Okay." He slowly approaches and proceeds to tell me that he is hungry and presents the change that people have given him. It totaled about 85 cents**, just from a quick glance. I don't recall the exact path that our conversation took, but I definitely did not start out on the friendly foot. I asked him why he didn't just get a job and pointed to one of the six or seven tower cranes that were in the immediate area. Since I still wasn't sure of his intentions, I sat down in the truck, with the door open (shorter reach for defensive action). He proceeded to tell me some things about him and how he'd gotten to where he is today. As things went on, I had an Armageddon going on on the inside of me debating if I should give him anything or not. Earlier, shortly after he'd approached me, I noticed a wristband that he had. It was green (olive) and said "Support Our Troops". This scored a few brownie points. As we continued to talk, I found out he had been in the Navy for 8 years. This sealed the deal for me***. He wasn't even looking at me at this moment. I told him, "I'll tell you what, I like your wrist band," and I reached into my pocket and pulled out whatever I grabbed. It was a 5 dollar bill. I said, "Here's five dollars." We probably stood there and talked for at least another five minutes. As we went on, he once again told me that he was in the Navy for eight years. In quite some time, I haven't seen someone's face light up as much as his did when I told him that I was an Army guy. We stood and talked some more, with probably another three, four or five handshakes. Then, we went our separate ways.

What impressed me about him was that, on my way out, he didn't just sit there and talk towards me. He got up. He made an effort. There was action on his part. I really don't know if everything he told me was true. Honestly, I don't really care because five bucks isn't going to make or break me. My last instruction to him was to spend it wisely. If he doesn't follow through, that's his problem. I just hope what I did say made an impact on him. The more I look back on it, the more I'm glad I did give him something. I guess I do still have a heart, afterall.


*In my area, there are people who ask for money and appear to be unemployed/homeless. A news channel did a story on one of them a few years back. He pulls in over $50,000 a year. He drives a Mercedes. These people are usually the ones that stand by main intersections with a cardboard sign that says, "Will work for food". If you take note, there is generally a fairly nice car parked less than 100 yards away on the side of the road. You put the pieces together.

**I was struck by how cheap people are. If you're going to "help" someone, help them.

***Several years ago, when I was doing gas piping, I went to a man's apartment, that was the size of a closet, to replace a water heater. As we were working, I noticed he had a lot of Vietnam era newspaper clippings collected in one area. As we eventually found out, he was a veteran. We also met the landlord who tried to tell his man that he had to pay for the water heater, which was by no means true. The landlord was some kind of sleeze-ball punk who I wanted to jack with my crescent wrench from the second I saw him. He was ripping off, to put it lightly, this veteran for this old, dirty "apartment", some would call it, that was less than ten feet wide and about twenty feet long. I would say that was the turning point for me when I truly started to care about veterans. It was a crime that his veteran had to live in that place.

Friday, May 13, 2005

You Never Know Who is Counting on You

No joke, there I was...

I had gone out looking for a new pair of sneakers earlier this evening (6 - 7PM). After an unsuccessful attempt there, I decide to head to the beach*. After spending about a half hour there (time is now 9PM), post sunset, I left to meet my dad for a late dinner at Perkins' restaurant. Just as I was about to make a left turn, turn signal on & in the turn lane, this kid in the right lane lays down his bike & goes skidding across the road (9:14PM). Now, he is in the right lane & his bike is in the middle of the road, just enough to keep traffic from passing in the left lane. I immediately move to the right lane with my emergency flashers on so that my truck will act as a roadblock to prevent oncoming traffic from hitting him. You want to talk about a thousand yard stare, this kid had it. After he sort of came back to the here and now, with traffic backing up, he and I move his bike to the side of the road. I have him sit back down & go move my truck out of the road & into a nearby parking lot. Mind you, none of the other drivers care to get out and help. While I'm going to park my truck, I give my dad a call & inform him of the situation and the fact that his medical skills may be needed. As a safety precaution, I also opened my pocket knife & put it in my dominant side pocket, just incase. I park & jog back over to him to find him sitting on the curb in a near complete daze (shock). I start talking to him and eventually get a conversation going. Best he could tell, he didn't have any broken bones, and I couldn't see anything that looked too out of place. Turns out, he laid the bike down two weeks ago, on the other side. His girlfriend nearly killed him for that because her brother died in a motorcycle accident two years ago. He was afraid to tell her about this incident too. He'd been on his way to meet some friends so he came them a call on his Nextel and told them where we were at so they could come pick him up because the bike wasn't starting. Since we were still close to the road, I advised that we move to the parking lot. We get the bike to the parking spot and I have him sit back down again. I head back to the side of the road to retrieve his helmet. In the mean time, his friends start to show up. Once I get back, he's taken his shoe & sock partially off to reveal a very swollen foot - probably dislocated or broken. Since his friends are there and there isn't much more that I can do, I decide to head over to Perkins' (just across the street).

As my dad & I were discussing the recent twist in my night, I realized that I probably saved the kid's life by parking my truck between him & oncoming traffic since it was on a bend in the road. That made for some interesting thoughts. I thought about how if I'd been driving just a little faster, I would have probably already made the turn & had never seen it happen. I thought about what might have happened had I gone straight home instead of going to the beach after I went looking for those shoes. It also reminded me that you never really know when you're going to be needed. You never know when you are the only thing that stands between a person and death. Someone is counting on you, counting on you to be there in that moment when they are helpless and all they can do is watch. Be ready for your time. You never know when you'll be needed.

*The beach is the place I go when I need to think, recharge, or relax. When I'm at the beach, I'm officially "home". The beach is a very important place, personally.


Random Thoughts for Today

-I was reading a newsgroup post from a friend of mine when I noticed this sig that I like: "Outhouse (Outlook) Express is NOT a newsreader. It is a GUI frontend for worms and viruses."

-Anyone else notice the internet is incredibly slow right now, esp Blogger (imagine that)?

-I'm going to the beach tomorrow.

-It is good to receive messages and calls from friends that you haven't seen in days & months alike.

-I don't think I've said this before, but I like Florida.

-Funny how Blogger is "Temporarily down for maintenance" 3 minutes early & right when you want to post something.

-It is also good to be home & finally able to spend time with my family again.

-I dislike people who are not involved in a project but attempt to "advise" (read: boss around) those who are involved in how they should execute the task at hand.

-It doesn't feel like a Friday.

-When the sun is still up & its 8PM is just bazaar to me.

-Ever wonder why some people haven't blogged for a long time, like February 10th, for example?

-Ever wonder why some people blog, period?

-After reviewing the DoD's base closing list, I was surprised to see NAS Atlanta & Ft. Gillem on there.

-I wanted to strike the local radio announcer that seemed surprise that MacDill AFB was going to remain open (CENTCOM & SOCOM, anyone?).

-Ever wonder why certain people email you the things they email you?

-My dog acts like an idiot savant at times.

-I thought up the online movie rental idea before Blockbuster & all those other people started doing it.

-I wish the town where my college is had a Checkers, Burger King, Applebee's, Perkins' & Denny's.

-Funny how Blogger is back up 20 minutes early on a project that they started three minutes early - which entirely negates the need of starting the project 3 minutes early.

That's enough for now. Also, I've added Satan's Laundromat, a photo blog, to my links list.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

US-CERT ST05-010 -- Understanding Web Site Certificates



Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Vox, Get Out of my Head

On more than one occasion I have gotten into a discussion as to whether or not President Bush is a true Christian or conservative. I do not believe he is either. The simple fact that the federal government has expanded over 33% while under his rule is the most obvious sign that he isn't a conservative. I'm not presently interested in explaining my case in regards to his spirituality. In his most recent column, Vox Day voiced some of his concerns about President Bush's true loyalty or beliefs. The topics he discusses are some of the exact things which unsettle me in regards to "W, The President". It is a good read. "God-forbid the people think!" said the State.


Monday, May 09, 2005


I just got back from running a few errands around town, wearing my favorite t-shirt - my black Airborne one. My last stop of the trip was at WalMart. When I was finished at the store, I had nine items in my basket and decided to go to the Express (20 items or less) Lane. The woman in front of me was finishing up her purchase and I started putting my items on the table top. Once I had my stuff waiting to go, I started looking around for a place to put the hand basket. The customer ahead of me was just receiving her change back, so I didn't want to walk over toward the doors and put my basket in the stack with the others. Just then, I hear "I'll take it for ya, big boy." I turn around to find an elderly gentleman (with a shopping cart), wearing a white tank top and shorts, standing in line behind me. I thank him, put my basket in his cart & proceed to turn back towards the cashier. As I'm turning, I notice a tattoo on his left arm which catches my eye, causing me to do a "double-take". In somewhat faded ink I see about a four inch tall set of wings with "U.S. Paratrooper" written underneath.

Now, I've been around paratroopers plenty of other times, but this was the first time I'd knowingly encountered one outside of a military atmosphere.

As a smile crossed my face, I turned back toward the cashier and paid for my goods and left.

On the way back to my truck, I thought about a monument I'd seen near the Airborne Walk at Ft. Benning. It was dedicated to all paratroopers - past, present and future. I thought about some of the things we were told about "becoming a part of the Airborne Community" at our graduation. I thought about the SF operator in "Black Hawk Down" who said that people will never understand. As I sit here now, I'm thinking about how many people will not even understand why I blogged about this event. I'm thinking about how good it feels to be a part of a true brotherhood... A brotherhood that goes much deeper than Greek letters or alcohol will ever go.

Airborne All the Way!

Related Post:
The Paratrooper that Isn't and Never Was

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

It is Finished

It is terrific to be back in the beautiful state of Florida, ladies and gentlemen. Finals are over and done with, for yet another semester.

I spent a few hours tonight catching up on some missed episodes of 24 (9PM through 12AM). It is a fun challenge to attempt to predict what'll happen next, which sometimes results in coming up with a story line that is more twisted than what the writers come up with. Audrey is a spy/traitor. Jack, one reason or another, is going to come into open conflict with her (HK USP to the face anyone?). I love that show...

Onto other things... The five-year-old terrorist, I mean, "girl" that was put in handcuffs deserves it. There is no way the law enforcement officers were wrong in how they handled the situation. "In My World", she should have been tasered, hog tied, then put in the back of the cruiser for a while with the radio blasting some white noise. To the Void of Intelligence that said she shouldn't have been put into the juvenile penal system: Do you think it would be a better idea if she deal with her once she's 13 and robbing 7-11's and shooting police officers? Bah! We might as well sit her down for a ride in Old Sparky now.

With the dolts & cretins aside, I still love Florida anyway. Have I ever said that? It is great to be home.