On Deck Circle
An Entirely Other Day
It's my office, my computer room, my smoking lounge, where I sleep, read, watch TV; basically it's "my room." Lynn attacked it today like Hannibal coming over the Alps. "Drop whatever you're doing. We're going to move everything out of here and paint." And so we did. Even the dogs were displaced. One thing I will never accuse my wife of is being a procrastinator. When she gets her mind set to do something, anything; it's piss fire and hold the matches. So now I have a new room (minus three garbage bags of my treasures). Amazingly, I even got the computer hooked back up right. Hopefully this won't happen again for at least five years. Whew!
By the way, we need a couple more pink faces on the rogues gallery.
Busy week for the Internet Brothers Community. Confession of a Pixel Mechanic, found in the Storytelling section, comes from Alan Herrell a.k.a. The Head Lemur. Alan and I have quite a lot in common. We're the same age; we both have a terminal illness that is in remission as long as we don't listen to the disease; and we have wives who saved our lives and gave us a second chance. Oh, one other thing. We are both members of the same club.
Jeffrey Zeldman is a survivor. An unassuming leader in the web design community; champion for the rights of web developers and users alike; articulate and humble; friend to everyone and everyone's friend. He's taken a lot a flak in recent months for his opinions about web standards and community building. He isn't a different man because of his opinions. His heart is still as golden as ever, but envy of his stature by others has placed a burden on his soul. He's getting tired of other people gazing at his navel for him. Give The Man a break. He deserves it.
The SANS Institute has reported the largest criminal Internet attack to date. Over the past several months, the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) has been coordinating investigations into a series of organized hacker activities specifically targeting U.S. computer systems associated with e-commerce or e-banking. More than 40 victims located in 20 states have been identified and notified in ongoing investigations in 14 Federal Bureau of Investigation Field Offices and 7 United States Secret Service Field Offices. The investigations have disclosed several organized hacker groups from Eastern Europe, specifically Russia and the Ukraine, that have penetrated U.S. e-commerce computer systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in unpatched Microsoft Windows NT operating systems. To date, more than one million credit card numbers have been stolen.
You would cry too if it happened to you. Tears of joy and freedom.
My daughter said today I am a "stable influence" who goes out of his way to "boost the self-esteem of others." If you only knew what she said about me a mere ten years ago when she was 18. It was all deserved too. I was a raving drunk. Apparently I've come a long way since the day in March 1993 when I took my last drink of alcohol. It's especially gratifying to have it noticed by those you love the most, and hurt the most. The tolerance, understanding and forgiveness exhibited by my family since recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. They have every right to hold a supreme grudge. Their willingness to put the past behind and focus on the now has been one of the largest rewards of continued sobriety. Talk about boosting self-esteem Thank you Anna.
Referred to as "audacious uselessness" and billed as the second oldest webcam, the Fish Cam has become a folk legend of sorts. Here's the scoop: There's a large aquarium at the offices of Netscape, and someone decided early on to point a camera at it. Thus was born the Fish Cam. In Netscape Communicator just press Ctrl+Alt+F and the Fish Cam page is displayed. There are several links for selecting any of a number of cameras pointed at the tank. What's the oldest webcam, you ask? Find out about it here, but you better do it fast.
There is a new story up in the IB Community. This one comes all the way from Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Written by Amir Saleem, you'll find My Clouds; My Dreams in the Storytelling section. What is your vision of The American Dream? You may want a fresh box of tissues.
The internetbrothers.com domain is renewed for another two years. I guess you're just stuck with me for awhile. Still need to figure out what to do with my .org and .net extensions though VeriSign may fix that. I've thought about moving Lucid Confusion to internetbrothers.org, but I can't see paying another hosting fee for this silliness.
NakedWife is a new VBS worm that is spreading rapidly via e-mail. NakedWife (alias JibJab) also deletes important files from your Windows and System folders. Antivirus software vendors are receiving reports from within the United States. It is reportedly a "nasty" for Wintel users. (courtesy Míc Miller who adds, bee well and adequately backed up'd.)
Hanging wallpaper. Bluh. Is there anything more annoying?
The clash of ideas brings forth the spark of truth. *spark-online is exploring the space between Utopia and Chaos. Searching for the real truth between and behind the rhetoric. Issue 18 out now.
All of your peripherals need the right drivers to work properly. Find out how to identify which versions you currently have and how to update them.
The End for Search Engines? The closure of Go only underscores the dramatic changes that have been taking place among the major search engines over the past few months. Money is tight; new revenue is being sought anywhere, and no one seems guaranteed a future. Will your favorite search engine be around tomorrow?
ICANN and VeriSign are seeking permission to cease registration of and prevent current, legitimate .org domain owners from keeping their addresses unless they meet the hazy definition of "non-profit organization." By placing one of the HandsOffMy.org buttons on your web site you help raise awareness of the impending changes that are proposed and increase feedback to ICANN of the unacceptability of this proposal. (via loony.org)
From Norma Toraya: "So I found myself at this panel of hypertext theory people a week ago to show them this new project crankbunny had completed. It was a small group, 25 - 30 people from around the world all together to discuss the meaning of storytelling and flash and hypertext. Multiple storylines, ... random events, ... blah blah, ... user driven relationship over long extended periods of time, ... yadda yadda yadda, ... nonlinear, mouse clicks... scooby dooby dooo..."
"Now I am emailing you, so you may know about it.
It is long, includes alot of black (3 minutes in total at one point...hoo hoo!), and
a long soundtrack. So, if you can set maybe 14 minutes aside from your neurotic
"click-click" relationship with your web-browser, put some headphones on or turn up
that subwoofer you never use that sits under your desk, and sit back; you will enjoy
the new project." Future Installment
Where do you draw the line? I'm with Teresa.
Perhaps some relief in sight. Now that's good news.
An Art Night collage. At least one person missing though ;-)
Sunday means Bluzz of the Week. Through this feature, I'm searching for the brightest, funniest, most controversial or otherwise intriguing comments from the previous week's forums, journals and blogs. Encapsulate the moment. That's what the best writers do. Exposing emotional distress is both painful and relieving. Can you pour your heart and soul into letters and pixels? If you find a true treasure you'd like to nominate for future Bluzz of the Week, even if you wrote it yourself, please let me know.
Patti McEwin titles her weblog I Really Must Insist You Leave. How ironic that her prose enthralls even the casual observer and makes leaving the last reaction to consider. The other day, Patti learned almost by accident of her dad's eminent open heart surgery. She explained her gut-wrenching turmoil to us with Big Girls Don't Cry. As if that wasn't enough, later in the week she spent the day with her dad, discerning how he felt about the operation. The resulting dialog produced Write Something Girl. This is the personal journal at its best. The reason behind it is tough, but the exposure of emotion is cathartic. Here is but a sample:
"We were at Hammot Medical Center. For your Dad. He was having tests. Tests on his heart. A stress test. An angi-o-something. Surgery. They have to crack his chest open and fix something..."
"Why can't I breathe? Make my heart start beating again, fast. I felt the blood rush to my head. Daddy Daddy Daddy! NO! I screamed inside myself. I bit my lip. I controlled my breathing. I was under control. Calm. Remain calm..."
"I hung up the phone and stared at the TV. I thought I might call someone, but who? Tom was in Ohio. Working. Call my sister? No. She'd be all upset and crying. I'm not crying. I won't cry. Big girls don't cry. Big girls get the facts, then they analyze them. Big girls don't cry. How many times had he said that to me? How many times did it take before I'd listen?"
"Dad, I'm being a big girl right now. And no, I'm not crying. Because everybody knows, big girls don't cry. You taught me that. You taught me to reach way down inside and find my strength. You prepared me for all that life would hand me...Patti Ann, big girls don't cry. Now be a big girl and get on with it. You know what you need to do."
"When he walked in the house, my knees started to shake. I fought the urge to release a down pour of tears. Fought hard. "Hey old man." I planted a big sloppy kiss on my Dad's cheek and then scooted past him to turn on the water for tea. I dropped the cigarette I had forgetten I had in the sink before he had a chance to tell me to put it out or make that "tck, tck, tck" sound at me. He never said a word about it..."
"What have you written lately? Have you written anything?" That caught me totally off guard. Came out of left field and whacked me on the head. My father is my biggest fan, you see. My father was the first person I ever let read the culmination of my life's experience as a writer. My father, in spite of his sandpaper way of giving praise and compliments, gently praised me on the first "big" thing I ever wrote. He loved it..."
"And so, I'm standing in my kitchen, faced with a pointed question from my father, and I have no answer for him. Do I tell him, Yes Dad, I've written something everyday for nearly a year now, but it's all online and it's all about my personal life, and I share it with millions of people, just not you..."
"I think to myself, Dad, don't ever leave me. Please. I feel the panic rise in my gut. I fight the tears in my eyes. I look away. I don't want him to see this in me. I don't want him to see my fear or pain or sadness, so I look away. I swallow it all. I'll paint a happy face with my words, and I'll go on. I'll do this for you Dad, only for you." Patti McEwin
Go now. Read the whole thing. I really must insist you leave.
Copyright © 1997-2004 Internet Brothers. Not that you'd want any of it.