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Monday, September 24, 2007

The Centipede's dilemma

There's a very old story, possibly covered by the Brothers Grimm.

A little girl comes across a Centipede in the garden. Might have been a
millipede, depends on who you ask.

So the little girl watches the Centipede (or whatever) for a while, then
says, "Excuse me, but that's really remarkable. How do you manage to walk
with so many legs?"

So the Centipede looks up at her, looks down at his legs, up at her, down
at his legs, takes a step -- and falls flat on his face. When he really
thought about it, he couldn't figure out how he did it. So he couldn't do
it anymore.

I've spent far too much time thinking about how I do podcasts. I never
really thought about it. I cranked up the computer, grabbed the mike, and
started talking.

Now I think about it, and I don't even pick up the mike.

I feel self-conscious.

So I don't podcast.

To paraphrase Mur Lafferty, "I Should Be Podcasting."

It's not really a writer's block, because I don't have any trouble coming
up with more of the crap I used to talk about back when. I just get into
this loop when I start thinking, "But what will people actually think when
I say that, or talk about that? What if I look stupid, what if I make a
fool of myself?"

And I don't podcast. I talk -about- podcasting, I look at my stats -for-
the podcast I used to do up till last month. But I think about it, blush,
wrap my arms about myself and walk away for another week or three.

I did do one little thing to say I wasn't podfaded, that I was just
working on ideas. And I suppose I'm not really podfaded, I'm still
blogging, ain't I? I'm not entirely shut down. But I don't carry my
microphone around with me anymore, just the laptop. I still email, I
still blog (and am frequently and asshole about that, but that's another
post), but I don't podcast.

Because I don't want to make a fool of myself.

Probably, if I was going to make a fool of myself podcasting, I've already
done that. But a handful of people have liked some of what I've done
previously, and I have no idea what That is.

And I dunno if I have any more of That left, whatever it was.

And I certainly don't want to be an internationally syndicated, really bad
podcaster. I want to be good at it. And I don't know if I am, ever was,
or ever could be.

Too many legs, and when I think about it, I can't take that first step
without falling on my face. Or can I? Film at 11.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Friday, September 21, 2007

How long is too long?

An interesting topic has come up in one of the email lists I follow, and
in which I occasionally participate. I run my own mailserver and a couple
other web-based outlets (like this one), and spent several years as a BBS
Sysop, so I figured I earned it. I thought I knew the answer to this one,
and then I thought, "Waitaminute, is this really that obvious?"

Anyway, let's suppose you're an ISP. Let's suppose that someone is
alleged to have a "Phishing" website hosted on some of your hardware, say
on a piece contracted out to one of your clients (perhaps a client of a
client, even).

How long is a reasonable time to expect you to at least block access to
that phishing site?

Phishing is a way of defrauding clients of various banks and credit card
companies and such, by fooling them into giving you their usernames and
passwords and whatnot, possibly credit card numbers, expiration dates and
Mother's Maiden Names and such.

Often I receive emails, for example, telling me my account at US Bank or
Citibank has been compromised, and I need to click on a link and enter my
identification info to revalidate. (Since I have accounts at neither
bank, and I know how this stuff works, I don't respond, and send the email
off to the appropriate complaint address.)

The links need to connect to a particular website hosted somewhere.
Sometimes, these websites are subversively injected into pw0ned sites.
Sometimes they just buy space and put it up. Somebody owns and is
responsible for the hardware hosting those phishing sites.

If it were on your hardware, how long should it take you to take it
offline from the time you're notified it's there? How about if it's on
equipment you're providing to a client? Or a client of a client? Or a
client of a client of...? How authoritative does the source of a
complaint have to be?

My initial take was, well, phishing is a crime. If you're a landlord and
you know somebody's committing a crime, say selling crack from their
apartment, you call the cops, the SWAT team shows up, you wash your hands
and get to work cleaning up the apartment for the next tenant.

But how sure do you have to be they -are- committing a crime? What if
somebody just told you they were, but you never saw that? What if you own
a dozen buildings on a block, lease each building to a different landlord,
and that landlord rents out to various tenants, and someone you've never
heard of, and who you can't be sure is actually who they say they are,
claims that one tenant of one of the landlords is committing a crime? Do
you close down the block (given metaphorically you could)? Close down
that landlord? Figure out how to get that particular tenant isolated?

What if someone wearing a cheap suit showed what claimed to be FBI I.D.,
and made the same claim? (Do FBI agents have more expensive suits these
days? Agent Starling in "Silence of the Lambs" dressed rather well.)

So the answer isn't quite as obvious as I thought it was initially. How
do you set a "burden of proof" for such a complaint? How much action do
you take IMMEDIATELY to block the alleged criminal activity?

And even if it's the Gubmint claiming the crime, how responsive ought you
to be in terms of freedom-of-speech issues? Even if it is the FBI
(phishing seems like it'd more likely a Secret Service issue), are they
complaining about phishing or making such claims to stop someone who, say,
is blogging negatively about administration policies, or Committee for
State Security -- excuse me, Department of Homeland Sekurity --

Is it a crime to shout "Komitet!" in a crowded political meeting?

What's a reasonable expectation for prompt response, based on what are
after all apparently unsupported allegations?

Not so sure I know the answer anymore. <sigh> This InterWeb stuff sure
gets complicated, don't it?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Oh, yes you can

One of the many podcasts I listen to is CNN's "You Can't Make This Stuff
Up." Fairly clever, fairly funny. Can't beat the price.

So, they did one story which had me scratching my head. The police pulled
this fellow over because he was weaving, and they thought he was driving
drunk. Turns out, he wasn't drunk, he was blind, and was getting
directions from his much younger passenger. "You Can't Make This Stuff

Well, um, seems to me, they -did- make this stuff up. This same incident
happened in "The Scent of a Woman." Remember, Al Pacino, "WHOO-haw!" and
so on.

Sure, I suppose it happened in real life -- though sometimes stories show
up in the news that never actually happened, what they call Urban
Legends. But suppose it did.

You still can't say you -can't- make this stuff up, because somebody -did-
make this stuff up, now didn't they?

So does that still count?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


CNN Marketplace says now that Arizona has the fastest Houset Markingplace
in the whatchamacallit! WTF? Markingplace? Haven't they banned mind-
altering drugs at CNN yet?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

... But Not Mine!

I follow the Dawn & Drew podcast, and no, I don't mention this to glorify
myself or my own show. I'm just "noodling," thinking about what I'd have
to say about that stuff.

A short while back, some nasty critter from The Wild came into the coop
and killed off their miniature chickens -- not the fullsized kind, just
the teensy little ones that still look like chickens...

And I was gonna get all sentimental about the dead little ones, and then
just after listening to Dawn weeping about their lost children, I get THIS
and so on.

Apparently, the best and the brightest aren't involved in their

Dawn, I feel your pain, and I expressed some of that in my phone message.
grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Stick-on barcode on Paypal fobs?

I have one of those new Paypal security fobs. Like the idea, worry about
losing the thing, or Something Going Horribly Wrong.

Thing is, it's got a stick-on label with a barcode on the back. On the
one hand, I'd think to remove it, the same way I'd remove the sticker on a
combination padlock. On the other hand, I'd think there might be some
moment in the future -- this is a whole new gadget, and it's all future --
where I need that barcode. On the gripping hand, even if it is necessary,
it seems like it'd be a security hole while I'm carrying the thing around.


grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast: <>
Promo: <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Answers

Periodically, like tonight, I see women with other guys. I especially see
women who I find attractive for myself -- Guy Thing.

And when I'm most intimidated is when I see them with guys who have their
Answers. The Answers are what you find when you know who you are going to
be and what you're going to do. They have them.

Women are attracted to the Answers. They want confidence and security,
and I don't blame them a bit. Wish I had them to offer.

I don't have the Answers. I've found the Questions a few times, and they
always led to more Questions, and no answers.

On occasion I find women who aren't looking for the Answers. Because when
you find the Answers you're done. Then you finish your business in the
world, and then you're done, and you die.

Some very few women find the Questions far more interesting than the
answers. Not often, not many, but some do. Those are my moments of

Gotta get me more of those.

Because Answers have I none.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Blog: <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I hate forums!!!

I really, truly, deeply and profoundly hate web-based forums.

There are already technologies for messaging that have been part of the
Internet for decades now -- email, newsgroups, even the IM technologies
that are relatively new, though there were IMing technologies decades ago.

I don't care to use a webbrowser for stuff other than browsing the web.
And I gather that's a crazy idea. Oh, well, I'm crazy, and that's a bad
thing. Huh, go figure.

Not doing it. It's annoying, and I have to message while looking at 3-d
full-motion video advertisements, and that's Better, because... well,
because who ever runs the website wants to sell adspace. And I interfere
with that.

I'm not gonna buy it, why scream at me about it?

Discussion forums use discussion-oriented media. If you wanna discuss
stuff with me, use a discussion media. If you wanna use something that
works well on the Web, put it in the web. Don't waste my time, otherwise,
I wont' be listening.

There are some vague middle grounds, like the flash-based or javascript-
based live chat support links. Since such tech support usually sucks,
using the links usually sucks, too.

Otherwise, use the appropriate technology, or don't expect me to be

What I really want for Christmas (even though I do kinda need underwear)

BTW, I found this really cool gadget that'd be ideal for my podcasting --
I know somebody (Michael W Dean) who's already using it for that. Only $199 on this particular site, which I like because it also takes Paypal. Gotta get one
of these some day soon.

ZOOM H2 Portable 2 Track Digital Recorder w/FREE headphones

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Heard about Google's Blog Search thingie, so I thought I'd check to see if
mine showed up. Well, the podcast shows up, but the blog didn't, that I
noticed. What did show up was a blog called "Grizzly Growls," also on
Blogspot, at a nearly identical URL, .
Seemed like a very nice blog, but she seems to have given up on it after a
month or so. Kind of a shame, really; hope she didn't drop it because of

Maybe I should drop her a comment?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"There is no known firewall that is invulnerable..."

Listening to the Security Now podcast from

Steve Gibson
and Leo LaPorte list a whole slew of vulnerabilities that no firewall
actually blocks. Every single one has vulnerabilities, there a dozen or
two vulnerabilities everyone knows about, and no firewall on the market
blocks all of them.

Steve wrote one of the first Leaktest utilities, which worked fine, and
alla the folks who create firewalls that fixed the problems he pointed
out. Dozens (at least) of other vulnerabilites are out there now, that no
firewall will catch.

And essentially nobody fixed them.

And essentially everybody sells their firewall as completely secure.

Firewalls are good. Firewalls that don't really protect you, and then lie
about it, are bad. And that essentially means all of them.

WTF? If you can fix it, and claim you -have- fixed it, it might be kinda
nice if you, oh, say, actually fixed it.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Fix it, damn it!

Look at for more info. Me, I'm screwed.

Nice how the Interweb made all that computer stuff eversomuch more
pleasant and enjoyable ain't it?

Sony Vs Sony?

I was listening to CNet's news podcast, and caught a brief bit that makes
me scratch my head.

Sony created BlueRay, fine, got that. According to the show, HDDVD is
also backed by Sony. Wassup with that? Sony is backing -both- formats?
Does this fail the WTF test? And if not, why not?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Nothing from Nothing Leaves Nothing

So, lessee...

I've done a great number -- well, for me, a great number of posts -- about
various stuff I felt really strongly about. Got up to a whole 3 people
who actually cared what I thought.

Then I did one post about somebody elses post that was about yet another
person post about some topic that... well, I have no idea what they posted

The number of people (technically) listening increased by 400 percent or

For a post about nothing. An event that was essentially an administrative
anomaly in the vast mound of automated paperwork that is the Internet.

So now, I come up with what I think are clever things to say, and
waitaminute, a whole slew of people came over here just because I said
nothing of redeeming social value.

So what the hell was I thinking?

What should I be talking about?

Do I have anything else to say, that is of value by virtue of saying, and
meaning, nothing whatsoever?

"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound fury... signifying nothing."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Barak Obama does commercials?

Okay, so I'm sitting in Friendly Local Bar, reading email, listening to
podcasts, drinking beer, and I look up at the TV, Colts vs Saints, and I
see a brief snippet (as compared to a whole Snip) of a commercial. Didn't
see enough to know which sandwich chain it was, but there was a submarine
sandwich in there, so I have some preliminary assumptions.

Anyway, I'm seeing the guy on this program, and I think, "Waitaminute,
Barak Obama is doing sandwich commercials?"

Nobody else in the bar noticed. There was no indication on the
commercial. I couldn't prove it. But that guy sure -looked- like Barak

I mean, hey, the only bad publicity is when they don't spell your name
right. But Sandwich commercials?

Did anybody else see this commercial? Did I get this wrong?

I don't think it's a bad thing, we do have wassisname doing movies and L&A
and whatnot. (Very good in "Hunt for Red October," BTW.) Just saw it,
with nothing indicating who he was, or why he was there. Just kinda out
of the blue.

And hey, maybe he needs a commercial career to fall back on.

BTW, how did I know? It was all about the ears.

The more things change, the more they stay the subject of a new class-
action lawsuit.

What'd I Say?

I did, what, four new posts yesterday. Overnight I went from 3
subscribers to 13, and I'm in the midst of downloading not my usual 500-or-
so emails, but 6290 emails.

Six thousand, two hundred and ninety emails, in one day. Yikes!

Wonder what touched that off? The 24-inch iPod? Nominating the entire
country for President? Contending nobody likes Communists anymore?

Maybe something completely different?

This Internet stuff sure is confusing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The new 24-inch iPod!!!

I was just listening to CNET -- I do a lot of that -- and heard about
Apple's new 20-inch and 24-inch iProducts.

So I figured you'd all wanna know about the new, bigger iPods. Great, the
new video iPods they've been rumoring about. Granted, even the 20-inch
device will be difficult to carry in a pocket, but even so, that'd be a
kick-ass podcast catching platrorm. And hell, 24-inch? That's not only a
truly spectacular video podcast platform, you could do some serious gaming
on such a gadget. Just imagine, playing cutting-edge video games on a
device you can stick in your pocket.

Except, 24 inch, that seems kinda big for a pocket device.

I mean, heck 24 inch, isn't that kinda overkill for a podcast-catcher?
Nice, but it just seems kinda big.

Heck, 20-inch still seems to big. Decent size for a DVD viewer. Too big
for a handheld video device. What the hell were they thinking?

Oh. Wait. Just a second.

Just checked the source on this, and as it turns out, they were talking
about iMacs, not iPods.

That's completely different. Never mind.

Vote Me for City Council!

I've decided, now that I'm an internationally renowned celebrity, to run
for City Council.

Actually, the City Council seat in Ann Arbor's Fourth Ward.

That would be Ann Arbor, Michigan, of course.

Now the campaign won't be easy. For one thing, I no longer live in the
Fourth Ward. Or in Ann Arbor.

Actually, I haven't lived anywhere in the state of Michigan for the last
four years or so.

So it'll be an uphill struggle, and I'm sure my millions of fans are up to
the challenge.

I did actually run for City Council in Ann Arbor's Fourth Ward a while
back. I came in second. The only other candidate came in first.

So, the good news is, I'm an experienced City Council candidate. And
people did actually vote for me. A remarkable number of people, though
not enough to elect me. BTW, thanks, guys, I was amazed and humbled that
people supported me for City Council, even though I didn't do very well at

It seems that in the process of trusting the existing Democratic political
structure, and in particular the Ward Chair, Greg Hebert, I did what he
said I should do, which turned out to be the exactly wrong way to run a
City Council campaign -- or any political campaign on a planet that
supports human life -- so I'm thinking Greg is a really lousy source for
campaign advice.

Now, since I know they have a Ward Chair that sucks at political
campaigns, I figure I can continue to run for Democratic candidate for 4th
Ward from way up here, and actually win. If Greg's still in charge, they
won't have a candidate who can win, anyway, so I'll be a shoe-in, at least
for the Democratic slot -- Greg won't properly support any existing

If my constituents, or future constituents, insist, I'll be more than
happy to move back to Ann Arbor. Always liked the town, just didn't like
being so far away from my family, who mostly live here in northern

FWIW, when I ran for city council, my team put together Ann Arbor's first
campaign video. I did the words, I did all the talking-head stuff myself,
my videographer (who's name I regretfully forget) chose the sites and did
the video stuff.

And I did get stopped once by a young couple, who asked me if I was me,
and excitedly said "We voted for you!" People were enthused by my
candidacy. And they voted-by-default for my opponent. So I was likely
the better candidate, but since Greg HEE-bert insisted on campaigning in
the areas where people didnt' support me, rather than making sure
Democrats knew there was somebody running for the job, the other guy won.
Thanks, Greg. I'm sure, by now, you've been put in the Ann Arbor
Democrats Hall of Fame for your fine work.

Test Message, please tell all your friends

This is a test message. It conveys no useful information whatsoever.

Please tell all your friends. If you know anybody in the media, make sure
they know about this. If you know any national leaders, tell them, too,
and make sure they forward a copy to other national leaders, especially to

Not that they'll (a) care, or (b) even mention they'd ever heard of it.
But, hey, the only bad publicity is when they don't spell your name right.

You for President!

I was suddenly struck by a wild idea, which of course means it must be
immediately implemented, reviled in the press, ridiculed in the tabloids,
and eventually banned.

The Time Magazine Person of the Year not so long ago, was You, since You
produced most of the cool new content on that Interweb thang what they
talk about on the Tee Vee alla time.

So, how about nominating the Time Magazine Person of the Year for
President? Preferably as a Republican. Maybe as a Libertarian, they need
a candidate practically everyone would vote for. Maybe for the
Communists, then folks might like them again.

I don't know if the Scientologists have a Presidential candidate. Some
might say they already have a President. But hey, Tom Cruise for
President, we need more psychos as candidates. (Meant in the nicest
possible way; wouldn't want to be stalked by a Hollywood celebrity, that'd
be much too weird.)

So, yeah, You for President! Oh, wait, Democracy, You already have
absolute power, don't We?

Yeah, right.

The Fake Clifford Irving?

Ya know, if Clifford Irving hadn't been born too early, he might never
been arrested, or sued, or whatever the heck happened to him. I really
don't remember. I'm old now, it happens.

Yours Sincerely,

The Fake Howard Hughes

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

The Fake Daniel Lyons

So, do you think there's an audience for the Fake Daniel Lyons blog? Or
are there already three of those?

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Vote for Ron Paul!

I wanted to recommend you vote for Ron Paul for Republican candidate for

No real reason. I'm a Democrat, so I'm not going to vote in their
primary. As far as you know...

Anyway, I just heard on CNET's podcast that Ron Paul, whoever the heck he
might be other than a Republican candidate for President, is the most
popular candidate of bloggers. I'm a blogger. You might have noticed
that. Therefore, I'm supposed to support him. So I do.

Of course, my support be a bit disingenuous. I'm a Democrat, and the more
support that goes to a Republican candidate who'll likely lose is all the
better for me (he said, chuckling evilly). But I don't NOT support him;
what little I know about his positions seem good. If I were a Republican,
I might well vote for him. But I wouldn't vote in the Republican primary,
because it would be wrong. As far as you know.

So, Vote Ron Paul for President! It's the Right Thing to do in the
Republican primary. Heck, the Libertarian primary, the Communist primary,

Just don't vote for him in the Democratic primary. We have enough

Oh, the General election? If he's in the game at that point, we'll really
have to talk about that, won't we? I might have to take credit for the
success of his candidacy in the primaries.

But I wouldn't do that, it'd be wrong.

As far as you know.

Gee, if he gets elected President, maybe he'd make me Secretary of the
Interior or Ambassador to the Court of Saint James?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

An even dirtier job

Was watching an episode of that cable show, "Dirty Jobs." Love the show,

So, there Our Hero was, crawling his way through this teensy little hole
in whatever he was crawling into -- I dunno, didn't say I was paying
attention, just said I saw it on the TV -- and said to myself,

There's a worse job.

Cameraperson on the show. I was about to say "cameraman," but I'm old
now, and us old people recall when alla them technical jobs were done by
Real Men, so Cameraman was a real title. So, this Cameraperson, who ever
he is -- yeah, right, like some girls gonna wanna get all filthy crawling
through little holes in factories and whatnot -- though, actually, that's
kinda hot...

Back now, I'm done. Oh, waitaminute, what was I talking about?

Crawling through the same teensy little hole, in the same overheated
HAZMAT suit... with a TV camera and various attached cables.

They were showing a shot of the top of the star's head, as he crawled in.

And the hell of it is, nobody ever notices the cameraman - person -
technician - whateverthehell. Big deal, your job is being on cable, doing
filthy jobs, for a cut of the revenues of the ads. And that's -worse-
than doing the same stuff, doing it first, and getting paid Union scale?

Thanks for your concern for the working folks. Studs Terkel you ain't,
buddy. Don't even recall your name.

Come to think of it, you did that show about the tremendously dangerous
job of fishing for King Crab off the coast of Alaska. Your dangerous job
was narrating in the studio. Gee, wonder who did the video recording on
the actual boat, Up Close And Personal with the dangerous stuff the
actuall working people were doing, oh, say, the almost-dying stuff, for

Showbiz is tough, huh?

But, really, I'm kidding. Probably. As Far As You Know.

Anyway, you want a real Dirty Job, be a cameraperson. It's been a Dirty
Job since George Eastman came up with that whole rolled film idea. BTW,
it turns out I was right. It was just a passing trend.

It's been a dirty job since folks used to be unfortunate enough to be at
the front lines of an historically important battle (involving spears and
wooden machines throwing large rocks), so that you get the privilege of
running 26.6 miles, from Marathon to Athens, reporting the results of the
big battle, and then collapsing and dying.

That was that Achilles fellow, wasn't it? The star, not the guy(s) who
did the actual work.

Dirty Job. Star on an internationally-syndicated broadcast show.

I feel your pain. But you can't know how much, since you can't just see
me, just feel me, touch me, heal me...

No cameras, just folks.

Anyway, glad I can make my own contribution to history. I dunno if I will
ever run 26.6 miles anytime in my life.

Dirty Jobs. Or, you could be on the TV!

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Oh, wait a minute...

I was suddenly struck by the fact that, in a recent episode, I named a
whole lot of names I'd use for sons I'd have, if I had any children of any
flavor, male or otherwise.

I missed one. John Smith.

Gotta have a John. Don't actually -like- the name, but I figure if your
name is John, you gotta do something of the sort.

grizzly at grizzly dot podzone dot org
Podcast <>
Promo <>
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity

Blog post about a blog post about a blog post

Ya know, after I got three links deep or so, I decided to flat give up,
life is too short, and I spend way too much time tinkering with the
InterWeb, when I could be playing decade-old video games.

It was 31 Aug 2007, when Michael W. Dean commented:

> about a book.
> Maybe I'll podcast about it and then blog that.
> (p/s if anyone blogs this, send me a link and I'll probably blog about it.)

Episode Zero -- A Minor Local Celebrity

With "Meditation Impromptu" by Kevin MacLeod Originally posted to Libsyn under my original setup around 02/2007.  When I ran out ...