Comments Are Now Disabled

Well, thanks to the handywork of a bunch of miscreants, I’ve had to turn off the comments (writeback) system. The latest fad in spam is to unleash a robot that understands the comment systems of various blog publishing frameworks that will then post ‘comments’ for everything from pr0n to online casinos to prescription drug sellers. I’m tired of it. I just deleted a comment announcing vicodin but linking to some casino. So because of a few punks I’ve had to take the system offline until I can get a filter in place.

And to the little punks out there, thanks guys, thanks a lot….

Highland Games

This weekend was the annual Stone Mountain Highland Games and I was there both days. Yesterday Thomas went with me and we had a grand time. We watched lots of pipe band performances and heavy athletics competitions. Thomas was so moved watching large men throwing telephone poles for the Caber Toss that he wanted to partake in the children’s games. He got to heave a large rock, toss a mini-caber, and heave a heavy weight on a chain. He loved it!

Around 3:30 pm he decided he wanted to take the cable car to the top of the rock, but the parking lot around the lift was so full that they had cut off access. I said we’d try again another day, to which Thomas replied that he’d like to walk to the top. I said ‘ok’ and we headed for the trailhead. The trail is something less than a mile each direction, mostly up, of course, on the way up. I didn’t think he would make it, but he did!!! We made it up in a little over an hour. Of course we had lots of little rest stops along the way, both up and down, but we made it. We hung out at the top and watched the cable cars go up and down for a while and then headed back down. When we reached the bottom he looked up at me and said “Let’s go up again!!” We didn’t.

I went back out alone today so I could visit the shops and spend more time listening to the pipe bands. I ended up buying two new whistles, a Feadog brass D and an Oak in C. I have two other D whistles, but they each have their own quirks and problems. The C whistle I have, a Clark has never really sounded great and is way too breathy. These two new whistles sound really nice. But what sounded the best was the Sweetheart D, which is a wooden whistle. O my. This thing has one of the most clean, crisp, sublime tones I’ve ever heard. The $145 price tag prohibited me from getting it today, but perhaps I’ll snag it for Christmas…

VirtualPC Spanks The Monkey’s Hiney

Today I was working from home when my friend got peeved that I kept dropping off of IM to VPN in to the office, because the Nortel VPN client shuts down all non-VPN network routes on your computer while you are connected. It’s annoying, but what are you going to do? The answer is VirtualPC, formerly from Connectix, now from Microsoft. I installed the 45 day trial version, loaded Windows98 (blech!) on to it, then the VPN client, Microsoft LookOut and GAIM. Now I can fire up the virtual PC and stay connected to the office all day through the VPN with access to our Exchange server and the Jabber server that I maintain for the team. This is seriously cool since it leaves me free to get to the Internet while connected to the VPN, which I couldn’t do before. I don’t know how much Microsoft is going to charge for it, but whatever it is, I’m willing to pay it. This is going to make my life a whole lot easier.

But wait! There’s more! At this precise moment I am installing Red Hat Linux 9 on another virtual machine. This will save me from needing to buy another computer just for Linux testing of my JRuby work.

How Cool Is This?

Today my son, Thomas, turned five years old!!! I can’t believe it. He’s getting so big. And so incredibly cool. For his birthday, among other things, we got him (and me) two pre-constructed decks of

It’s Official: Dido is a Goddess

As I mentioned two days ago, I was enchanted with Dido‘s new song, White Flag. Well, I bought the whole record Thursday night and it’s amazing. It’s filled with melancholy, yearning, desires. Utterly tragic at times; there’s actually very little happiness on this record. The one real exception is the song Mary’s in India in which the singer tells Mary, who has abandoned her boyfriend Danny to go to India, that she is now “taking care” of Danny in her stead. The rest of the record is an examination of sad, dreary lives. Tragic and beautiful, all at the same time. I actually think this record is quite a bit better than her first record, and I adored that one!

You should buy it. Now!

Dido’s White Flag

I am enchanted with Dido. I’ve been in love with her music since she released her first record called No Angel in 1999. I’ve listened to it more times than I can count. Had it been an actual vinyl record instead of a CD, it would long since have stopped playing properly. Her new record called Life For Rent finally came out just the other day. The first single, White Flag, is gorgeous! It’s an amazingly sad song about a woman who refuses to stop loving someone, even though that person has moved on. The chorus is

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

The whole song is more of the same poignant lyrics. I have listened to it about 5 times so far this morning. I’ve got it on repeat in WinAmp. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the record.