Month: July 2011

Blocked IP Addresses

This is an ongoing post, in which I record the IP addresses I had to ban on this server because of serious abuse/spam. I am posting this mostly so that I have a backup in case I reboot the server – but I sense that more people will find this list useful.

The following is the output of iptables -L -n on this server. Updates as required. Each IP address in this list has submitted more than 1000 requests for comments in RSGallery within a single day. The IP addresses and the servers behind them may be perfectly innocent, but in each case, the ban resulted in a sudden drop of comments. Also note that the comment feature has been disabled on this blog.

Chain INPUT (policy ACCEPT)
target     prot opt source               destination        
DROP       all  --  77.93.2.81           0.0.0.0/0          
DROP       all  --  31.184.238.13        0.0.0.0/0          
DROP       all  --  91.207.4.190         0.0.0.0/0          
DROP       all  --  94.181.0.0/16        0.0.0.0/0          
DROP       all  --  188.143.232.125      0.0.0.0/0          
DROP       all  --  31.184.238.21        0.0.0.0/0

Stingray Sting

Stingray image[Image hotlinked from Wikimedia Commons]

So, last year, in my continuing quest not to be San Diego’s Worst Surfer, I took one step too far. In particular, the step led me onto a stingray, a lovely little creature that (understandably) is not too fond of being stepped on. Unfortunately, it decides to make its point by stinging (hence the name) and injecting a venom into your flesh.

It all happened very quickly, yet felt like a slow motion movie. I stepped into one of those sand cones that form in agitated waters. My foot moved into the center of the funnel, and there it felt something squishy, and then something that felt a lot like a bite. After a short period, another thing that felt like a bite. Then I fell backwards into the water and stumbled back to shore.

(more…)

New Digs

What do you know? I will have to move again. Sick of living near UCSD (mostly because students don’t typically make for good neighbors), I am moving with all the belongings to Pacific Beach, the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of San Diego right South of tony and zany La Jolla.digs

Why Pacific Beach? I hadn’t set my mind and was open to any neighborhood close to the ocean, and Pacific Beach just had the best combination of places for me. It wasn’t impossibly expensive, and a townhouse there can be pretty sizeable and yet “affordable” (as Southern California goes).

Move-in date is not set, but is probably going to be close to the end of the month. In the new place, I am going to be joined by my faithless roomie and the obnoxious cats, Mondo and Shasta. They are going to have to travel all the way from Minnesota.

Now that I think of it, “Faithless Roomie and the Obnoxious Cats” is a perfect name for a punk band!

P.S.: the Faithless Roomie objects strenuously to the moniker I chose for him, and he’s freaking out about the implications of the name. Isn’t he doing his chores? Is he being annoying? Is he hopeless? Or am I just ribbing him? Will we ever find out?

Turns out the cats have the best deal: they get the whole patio (covered and enclosed) to themselves….

The Most Overpriced Gadget (tMOG): Denon Ultra Premium Link Cable

Ah, what a pleasure! If I feel down one day because the weather is bad or because my novel didn’t sell as well as I thought, I just go to the nearest electronics store and laugh my behind off looking at the phony prices for accessories there. I mean, seriously, you expect me to pay $40 for the case to a phone that barely cost $100? That’s ludicrous!

Well, Slashdot had an article about HDMI cables and how even retailers are now starting to crack the scam barrier there. You must know that HDMI cables are digital cables and that quality is largely immaterial – as soon as you get a picture, you get a picture. There are some minor differences for very long cables, and some cables aren’t able to transfer a high-def picture, but they are cables: they should cost significantly less than $10. Anything you spend above that is like the $40 you pay for a faux-leather cell phone case: gravy for the manufacturer.

Well, there was a series of comments about technical merits and demerits, and one commenter posted a link to an incredible deal: The Denon Ultra Premium Link Cable. I would love to give you more than a link, quoting the description, but I’ll just have you go there and check for yourself.

(more…)

Hopefully I become the universe.

The last words on the note Seth Walsh left for his family before committing suicide. A very sad story, of a loving mother and a loving family, and a child that was so terrified by the bullying he experienced that he called his environment, “this s—hole.”

The mother accused the school district of not doing anything/enough to help her son, who was being bullied and harassed in his school in ultra-conservative Kern County. The school denies all wrongdoing, but the Department of Justice and Education just announced (7/1/11) that “the district is required to prevent and respond to gender-based harassment at its schools, and undertake district-wide efforts to eliminate the hostile environment resulting from the peer-on-peer harassment of any student.” [link]

The thought anyone would harass a 13-year-old child into committing suicide while nobody seems to be doing anything about it is simply horrifying.