Archive for July, 2003

When it rains

July 31, 2003 - 6:27 pm 5 Comments

I would have posted about this last night but there would have been far too much profanity. As it is, this post is full of geekish talk, so if that makes your eyes glaze over, skip it.

We’ve got a home network with several computers using a linux machine for IP masquerading, which basically means that the linux box is our firewall. We’re completely dependent on that machine for internet access.

Yesterday someone let me know that reverse DNS lookup was broken, and it was causing the mud and the box to lag for 30 seconds when someone tried to log in. I got pissed since I had just set up the caching DNS server, so I went to try to fix it and couldn’t possibly see what was broken. I had changed nothing since I set it up. Things usually don’t just break like that. Totally flummoxed, I set the linux box just to use another nameserver and went back through the log files to see if I could pinpoint the problem.

The log files made a brief reference to “linsniffer”. Uhoh. A sniffer is a program that a hacker puts onto a computer in order to access information about traffic going in and out of the box. Anyone who logged onto the linux box from the internet (meaning all the mud coders) had their passwords logged into a file accessible by the script kiddie who hacked the box. Hub’s friend from the AR-15 boards and I got on the phone. He’s a linux developer and quite familiar with various security flaws and their consequences. An hour later he had found hacks dating back to 2000, plus several ports open and listening that shouldn’t be.

Well, it figures. We hadn’t updated the kernel since Jo was born. We just don’t have the time to administer a linux box properly. Right now I’m in the process of downloading the latest Debian linux distribution and am going to install it on a new, clean machine. We’re going to buy a hardware router/firewall and use that for our internet access, and put the mud box on the other IP.

Also lately I’ve been noticing that my face is doing really strange things. My skin’s gotten really dry and the face gets flushed with red bumps on it, especially after the shower. My nose has been consistently red for the last couple of weeks and I look quite a bit like the town drunk. I need to go to the doctor to see what the heck is going on. Sounds a lot like those commercials about rosacea. I found out that W.C. Fields had rosacea, which is what made his nose really lumpy. This woman has the same kind of thing I’m talking about. Oy.


July 30, 2003 - 10:47 pm Comments Off on Spa-bulous

My sister in law invited me to go to Canyon Ranch Spa in Tucson this October. It sounded like a great deal, but unfortunately they’re getting back the day before we’re leaving for Gunstock 2003, so I had to decline. Maybe I will be at goal, or close to it, when they go next year and that can be my reward for myself. For my 25 pound mark I bought a cookbook, but reading it I realized that the recipes wouldn’t work, so I bought some different ones.

Metallica concert this weekend – I gave hub the tickets for his birthday in May. I’m more of an 80s music girl myself, but the playlist for their recent concerts looks pretty good. Wonder if I can get a Napster shirt by this weekend.

Update – too late, but I sure would have liked to wear this shirt for the concert.


July 30, 2003 - 1:21 am 6 Comments

I’ve known a lot of cats in my life, but Max the Kitten is the first one I’ve met who likes to eat popcorn. He grabbed a piece, ran off into the fireplace to eat it, and is growling and snarling at the dogs who want to share.


July 28, 2003 - 11:44 pm 2 Comments

Greetings from 2003: the year that the United States takes huge leaps backwards.

“Parents: White Teacher Should Not Teach Black History” – guess this means we should keep black people from teaching European or early American history. Right? Right?

“New York to Open First U.S. Public School for Gays” – super, so now gays and straights will have even less of an idea what the other side is like and will begin to fear and hate each other even more. I guess this means it’s ok to open a school just for straights, too. Note this is a public school, not private.

Inquest into hanging death opens in Belle Glade – Then let’s insist that someone was lynched for dating the white sheriff’s daughter, then look surprised to find out that he was hung with his own sheet, there was cocaine in his system, and his blood alcohol level was .334. Way to be reactionary, folks!

On a lighter note – when Bob Hope’s daughter asked him, just before he died, where he wanted to be buried, he responded, Surprise me”.

And you may ask yourself: how did I get here?

July 28, 2003 - 8:35 pm 6 Comments

A brief flurry of comments and emails about MUDding made me decide I should come clean as to how this blog even started.

Back in 1994 was when I got net access for the first time. I think it was also around that time that I got my first CDROM drive and 14.4 modem. How times have changed. Anyway, there wasn’t really a web to speak of at that time. Main protocols were email, telnet, usenet, and gopher. Having cut my teeth on the Infocom games such as Zork, and being a devotee of Moria, I got excited when I found that there were online RPGs, also known as MUDs (Multi User Dimensions). I found a list of them somewhere and tried a few, then noticed that one was being hosted at UT, where I was sporadically attending school. It was called StrangeMUD.

So I logged on and created a character and the local Austin people (notably Questor saw that I was logging in locally and started chatting with me. A couple of weeks later I hit a death trap by typing “ea” for “eat”, which the parser took to mean “east” instead and I went off a cliff. I bitched loudly and heartily and Questor outfitted me with a set of equipment that was slightly better than the newbie stuff I had, but to my eyes it looked like pure gold and I told him I wanted to buy him a pack of smokes in thanks. He and Aeia used to hang out at one of the UT computer labs and he said to come on over anytime, and I did, and started hanging out there with a motley crew of characters and having a jolly old time. School? What school?

One day, Caila came for a visit and said she wanted to eat at Popeye’s, the closest one being east of the highway in what was considered a Very Bad Neighborhood Indeed, but we went anyway and I grew an extra pair of eyes to see who was sneaking up behind me. Caila and I got to be very friendly too, and she ended up moving to Austin, and we would have endless Spades and Hearts marathons with Questor and Wiilf and hang out constantly and have a lot of fun. School? What school?

The next spring, another person from the mud hosted a party in Houston and Caila convinced me to go, since she had met the hostess and said she was a hoot. We went, and had a fabulous time, and I met quite a few other mudders, including DrTongue (a.k.a. “Hub”).

Years later Caila told me she was starting a blog and I said that’s it, I will too since all the damned cool kids have them.

So you see, if it were not for StrangeMUD (and Caila!) I would not have this blog today. You may either thank the mud or curse it. It still exists, after having been through some plot twists that would put the soap opera “Passions” to shame. You should check it out sometime.

A name

July 26, 2003 - 9:52 pm 6 Comments

I think we finally have a kitten name:

Maximus Purrimus Alottus

a.k.a. Max

He just isn’t a Pyewackett.

I slay me

July 25, 2003 - 2:34 am 1 Comment

The other day I made some Crystal Light. Hub walked up and saw the pitcher and asked what it was. And noted there was a dog hair floating in it. Oh, that’s because it’s my hairbal tea, I said. BaHA! BaHAhaha!


July 25, 2003 - 12:36 am 6 Comments

Well, here he is. Pretty cute, huh? Poor guy has a cold so he’s feeling pretty miserable right now. He’s been in my lap for the past 4 hours or so, and every time I get up he follows me around until I sit down again and hops back up.