Monthly Archives: March 2006

Smile, you’re on Uncle Sam’s Candid Camera

I read an article today on Slashdot commenting on how the U.S. Government and other agencies want to start using unmanned reconnaissance aircraft over American soil. Apparently the drones will be used to augment existing human observation of vital structures, ports, and borders, but it still makes me very nervous. Perhaps Phil has succeded in seeding my mind with his tendency to find conspiracy within the majority of government acts, but this one just seems over the top even to me. I can see this being perverted quite easily into something that weakens our civil liberties even further while removing more of the privacy most Americans think they have, but really don’t. PATRIOT Act, anyone?

Sources cited in the article claim a need for more surveillance capacity in order to ensure security within our borders from terrorists. I have an idea about that too… Maybe if our country didn’t impose its will upon the rest of the world, bomb/invade/conquer soverign nations, or aid nations actively causing regional unrest, we wouldn’t have the terrorist problem. Yes, I know it’s more complicated than that, but it doesn’t change the fact that the rest of the world hates us. Somehow I don’t think our global policy is going to change anytime soon though – not with George Dubya in office. In fact, it will most likely get worse.

I guess I’ll just have to get used to the idea of wearing a tinfoil hat – fitted of course. Size 7 1/2.

Shorn

Ooops, I've done it again. In a decision that I'm 100% certain my mom and sister will hate, but one that I'm quite fine with, I buzzed off a full head of hair yesterday. I had the “man of the mountain” look going on again, and I was tired of wearing a hat everyday, so I got out the clippers and trimmed everything down to 1/4″. Nice easy maintenance there. Since I have no idea how much I'll be spending on eye procedures and medications this year and finances are kind of tight, I see this as a smart financial decision. Cutting my own hair saves cash. Save all the money you can, right? Time to start buying ramen noodles by the truckload, too.

Also, in completely unrelated news, getting a solid IPSec configuration working in Windows is a total pain in the ass. I've been using IPSec in Linux both at home and at work for almost two years now, and it's rock solid and easy to configure. In my experience, on the other hand, Windows only works properly for a matter of hours, and then requires intervention. If anyone out there knows why the Windows IPSec implementation likes to crap out for 5 minutes once the ISAKMP lifetime has been reached, and more importantly, knows how to fix it, please let me know. I suppose Windows could just be taking a break for a cigarette, but Windows should know better than that. Smoking stinks.

I’m speechless

This story is disturbing. Seriously. WTF? What kind of sick asshole does stuff like this?

Smoke and Mirrors

This weekend I worked on my site a bit too much. I worked on three things primarily. First off, I changed the way the nested comments look in each of the content detail pages. I nixed the plain unordered lists, and made a nifty effect with nested DIVs. I think it looks pretty neat, and it doesn’t use up as much real estate either.

Secondly, I updated the links page so that it includes RSS data for any sites I’ve configured to do so. It’s somewhat similar to what I’ve got going on in the menu bar of the site, but there are many more sites in the links page.

Thirdly, I changed around the link structure of the site to look a little more friendly. Before there were many pages abound in the form of “/weblog.php?CategoryID=1” or “/contentdetail.php?ContentID=450”, and so on. Now they’re cleaned up in the form of “/weblog/ramblings” or “/weblog/450”, to use the previous examples. It doesn’t really affect all that much, but it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

HA!

So Shelby, you want me to install WordPress? What do you have to say now? 🙂

(16:30:26) Shelby: when are you going to rewrite the blog software ;)
(16:30:35) Mike Neir: I dunno
(16:30:48) Mike Neir: you just ask because you'll want to install it
(16:30:50) Mike Neir: haha
(16:31:30) Shelby: hah if it has enough cool features heh
(16:31:42) Shelby: i was thinking of trying to write my own
(16:31:44) Mike Neir: I'm all cool features man
(16:31:46) Mike Neir: DO IT
(16:31:51) Shelby: and then converting from wordpress to it

No helmet required

I just stumbled across another concert I’ll want to see this year. It’s quite a while off, but I’ll still putting it on the calendar. Queensryche is going on tour this summer/fall in support of Operation Mindcrime II, which comes out in a few weeks. Geoff Tate and the fellas were awesome the last time I saw them, so a return engagement is definitely something I’m interested in. What I’ve read about the show says that they’re taking a full production on the road to act out the storyline of OM II. Should be very cool.

This show takes place on September 17th at the Emerald Theater in Mt. Clemens. The Emerald is a good place to see a show. I saw Anthrax there a few years back, and I was about 20 feet from the stage. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Serving Time

I should really consider not working so much. In my last three workdays I've worked a combined total of 36 hours. There's not much room for much of anything with a schedule like that. In accordance with my previous statement, I'm going to have a beer and hit the sack.

Fin.

Never!

Shelby thinks that it would be cool if I just threw away my site and installed something lesser in its place…

(01:32:31) shelby: I think it would be best for you to just install WordPress and be like everyone else ;)
(01:32:53) Mike Neir: NO
(01:33:54) shelby: haha or be like joe and install typo heh
(01:33:57) shelby: do it
(01:33:59) shelby: give in!!
(01:34:14) Mike Neir: I will not give in
(01:35:00) shelby: If you play the Chimaira CD backwards it says to install WordPress
(01:35:05) Mike Neir: rofl

And so does Chimaira, apparently.

Progress

Today was a good day, dispite the fact it’s still cold outside. It’s the first full day of spring, and that makes me happy. I received good news about my eye, and that also makes me happy. Well, I guess that’s all that made me happy today.

About my eye though… I had another appointment with Dr. Saxe today for an angiogram and a checkup. The angiogram showed that my retina is not showing the signs of swelling and fluid leakage that have plagued it over the past year. It’s impossible to know whether this is something permanent or whether it’s just the steroid doing its job, but it’s still good news. I’ll be pretty happy if/when I can finally close the door on this eye saga, but I don’t consider myself out of the woods yet. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve got a ways to go before either myself or Dr. Saxe would say that my eye has been bested.

You’d better find your helmet

I was just looking through my cached posts from the Metal Underground RSS feed and put together a list of concerts I want to see in the coming months. The list is pretty good so far, and this is a good thing.

4/22/2006 – Chimaira and Arch Enemy @ Harpos, Detroit. I’ve been wanting to see Chimaira for a while now, and now I’ll have the opportunity. Nevermore is on this tour up until 4/14, which kind of chaps my ass. I’ll miss them by 8 days. Not such a bad thing though… keep reading.

5/13/2006 – In Flames, Evergrey, and Nevermore @ The Orbit Room, Grand Rapids. This show has awesome written all over it. I’ll finally get to see Nevermore after the near miss at last year’s Gigantour. Evergrey and In Flames are also top notch. I’ve seen Evergrey once, and their show was a lot of fun. I can only expect that this will be great as well. I might have to put together a pilgrimage for this one given its saturday night timeslot.

7/6/2006 – Slayer, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Children of Bodom @ Cobo Hall, Detroit. This concert is going to be like a ten ton wrecking ball with guitars. I saw Slayer and Mastodon last year, and barely escaped with my life. This one should be even better. I’m a huge fan of all four bands mentioned, so this concert will be something to remember.