I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

A "Droste effect" picture, on the concept of "4.0 mega pixels"from Seb Przd's Flickr photo stream.

See it

I have always seen this cool photo manipulation technique, but never knew it had a name. I want to try to make one of these myself...

I don't really have time to write about it right now, but this evening I went out with Christopher and Dobie and:

Sat at the bar and had Dim Sum. They had alcy, I had diet coke and a glass with sprite and a spritz of coke so I wouldn't be odd man out
Went from the Chinese restaurant next door to the Japanese one for the meal
Had a Blizzard
Played PS3 for the first time
Wated the first ep of Aeon Flux animated series
Found out that Chris is making out with a girl I introduced him to


Fun night. Note to self: write details later. Sleep now.

I love my wife! She got my family together and they all pitched in on a NEW iPod for my birthday. And not just any NEW iPod: a NEW iPod CLASSIC 80 GB. I know, that's like a contradiction, but it really is a new iPod classic. See, here is what it looks like.

It really does look like that. It holds pictures and will show them on the right half of the screen but it also will show you the covers of albums you have on there and other neat things too.

I LOVE IT!!! So much space!

It's small and light and the screen is super bright and it plays videos and oooh!!!! It's great! They gave me an iTunes gift card and the FM Radio tuner to go with it.

I have used it a ton. The battery is very good. I listened and watched a lot this week and I only had to charge it yesterday for the first time. It's great. Thanks ya'll!

I plan to give my old one to Brendan loaded with some of his favorite songs and a few oddball things just to see what he says about that. :)

Well, I've bombed 4 times now on encoding my video file. The audio and video aren't in sync and that bugs me - not just a little either! There's a good 7 seconds difference. Grrrrrr. More work is in order.

I played around with my laptop's wireless card today too. I had to go to help my friend with a publishers doc she was trying to make work, and I figured I'd take my laptop with me. I hooked it up in the car and turned on the wireless just to see what I could see. Mind you, I didn't attempt to connect to any of these networks, but they did show up on my screen.

I couldn't believe that there were so many networks! In the 5 miles I drove, I saw all these pop up (in random order so you can't work backwards and find out where I live):

All those networks...very interesting! I wouldn't have thought there'd be so many.

Something I also learned about today is how to change the MAC address on your network card. The MAC address is the worldwide unique identifier for each an every network card produced. That number identifies you with 100% certainty if you use a card to log onto a network. Sometimes, network owners get a list of all the MAC addresses of their PCs and use address filtration instead of passwords (WEP/WPA). You could use this tool to play a prank on your wife by changing her MAC address so that she couldn't log on to the network. You shouldn't do that though, or you probably won't get any...well, nevermind. Suffice it to say, that this should be used for educational purposes only.

I learned a lot today!

So, I mentioned I was playing with Ophcrack. That has been fun. I've just been trying setting different passwords on my laptop to see what was crackable and how long it took. This was running on my Compaq 700 series, which is a relatively low-powered little machine. It is only an AMD Duron 1Ghz with 256 Meg of RAM, but it works for me. Thanks Dobie. I'm sure that this process would run considerably faster on a newer machine. Anyway, Ophcrack (from the Wikipedia) "...is an open source program that cracks Windows LM hashes using rainbow tables. It can crack 99.9% of alphanumeric passwords of up to 14 characters in usually a few seconds, and at most a few minutes." I didn't know that stuff, so I tried some longer passwords in my experiments. By the way, Rainbow tables are interesting but complex; read up on them if you're interested.

I have a nice table, and (for god only knows what reason) Blogger won't display it right, so here it is in a separate window.

To use this tool, you have to have a computer that boots off the CD that you have in hand. If the computer doesn't boot from the CD (you have to just try it and see if it does or not) then you have to change the CMOS setting for boot order. Smart techs set their computers not to boot from CDs and set a CMOS password, but I'd be interested in seeing how many unprotected computers I could boot in the real world and have success with this. If you have easy access to a machine and time, but not the CMOS password, you can pull the CMOS jumper to clear it. By clearing that password, you gain access to the CMOS settings and change the boot order. If it isn't password protected, you just have to know what F-key to press to get in. Anyway, if you can get the computer to boot the CD, you just sit back and wait. If the password is short and easy (and let's be honest: most people use their dog's name or something) you'll have it in no time without any traces. I guess if you were a smart Orenthal James Hacker you'd wear gloves so as not to leave fingerprints. hehe.

So, the long and short is that hacking passwords is easy if several circumstances go your way. If the machine is CMOS password protected and cabled to the desk and doesn't boot off CD, you're outta luck. Then you have to social engineer the password out of the user, but that's probably illegal, so it would be inadvisable.

From that same article I just mentioned: "51% of adult men smoke in Japan, which is down from the number of male smokers in the 1980s. Japan has some of the weakest anti-tobacco laws. There are very few public areas that are smoke-free."

Fucking disgusting. I can't imagine if half the men I knew smoked. I would definitely have trouble making friends.

(Huh...this is post 1,111. Kinda cool.)

Did you know that Japan has laws mandating recycling? I didn't!

I was reading this article about the cool vending machines there, and saw mention of "...the recycling laws, which are enforced in Japan." That piqued my curiosity, and I ended up reading this. I wasn't able to find a lot of info on their laws, but I'm at least interested. I want to increase recycling at work as much as I can. I already do as much as I can at home, but so many offices at work don't even recycle paper yet...

I'm multitasking today.

1) Cleaning a little
2) Learning about an encoding program to encode some of my home videos to iPod format
3) Playing with a password hacking program on my laptop
4) Tinkering with iTunes on Bren's computer. Giving him my iPod, because I got a new one for my B'day. Have to write about that.

Details and results of password experiments later.

I've really been enjoying the videos from KipKay on Metacafe today. Lots of good things. Smart dude.

Digital Blasphemy, that is. I love this site. I have to make note of it here so that I don't forget it. I have already forgotten it several times and remembered it again, so maybe now I can continue to remember it! Hehe.

We've been watching Negima! at anime club lately. I like it. I didn't at first, mainly due to the annoying voice of Negi, but now I do. My favorite characters are Yue and Nodoka.

Been entering bills in WheresGeorge today. That's fun!

I still think a lot about the ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I saw the name listed on a bulletin board at work as "Deadly Hallows" - either not a fan or an accepter of any changes suggested by spell check. Hehe.

I was reading today something that I had been thinking I wished I had compiled myself: A list of all the spells in the Harry Potter series. It's a good article. If I'm ever rich, I'm going to give a lot of money to wikipedia.

Instant baby soothe, quick-peel an egg, speed-remove your shirt, turbo parking, and more!

It may be an ad for Sprint, but I'm ok with that. This is the best kind of ad! The shirt thing works! Try it!

Link to Waitless.org

(At the bottom left, there's a link called "Calculate your time" - I tried it first with "driving to work" and then descended into dirty words/phrases. It was damn funny.)

Gee, I haven't written in a long time. It isn't that I don't want to, but I have two reasons: 1) I have been so freaking busy with work and consulting and stuff and 2) I have been using all my free time with Jen and the kids. But, for now I'm on my own. Jen and the boys are visiting my parents. I'm going to try to write more this weekend.

I'm listening to the Splendid Table right now. They are talking about Apples and I was so surprised that the time from first hybridization to market is 30 years. Case in point: the new HoneyCrisp Apple. It has been 30 years in development! It is very good, in this apple lover's opinion. It's also very expensive at $2.99 per pound, at least here in South Texas. It must be cheaper near where it is grown, but it is pricey here. Anyway Lynne had Dr. David Bedford from the University of Minnesota, one of the creators of the HoneyCrisp, on the show.

I also heard and ad for Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, which I may have to take Jen to. I didn't know you could grow olives in Texas, but apparently you can. I think she'd love to have an olive tree.

I also picked a ton of our red Jalapenos this morning. We have the non-hot jalapenos, and I really like them. Unfortunately, I found we have lots of Orange Bugs on our tomatoes. Their days are numbered.

Back later...

Goodbye, Yahoo Photos...I never used ye, tho' ye thunk I did.

Dear Yahoo! Photos user,

For some time now, we've supported two great photo sharing services: Yahoo! Photos and Flickr. But even good things come to an end, and we've decided to close Yahoo! Photos to focus all our efforts on Flickr — the award-winning photo sharing community that TIME Magazine has called "completely addictive."

We will officially close Yahoo! Photos on Thursday, September 20, 2007, at 9 p.m. PDT. Until then, we are offering you the opportunity to move to another photo sharing service (Flickr, KODAK Gallery, Shutterfly, Snapfish, or Photobucket). We’re making the transfer real simple, and with a couple clicks we’ll automatically move your photos to Flickr or wherever you want them. You can also download your original-resolution photos back to your computer, or buy an archive CD from our featured partner (for users of the New Yahoo! Photos only). All you need to do is tell us what to do with your photos before we close, after which any photos remaining on Yahoo! Photos will be deleted and no longer accessible.

I like getting birthday greetings!

Well, it looks like my pic a day week failed. I tried, but I was too busy. I'll try again. Jen did great, though. Thanks, babe. You're wonderful!

FO, this one's for you!

Motion Activated Sprinkler Vs Pigeons - Watch more free videos

Well, it seems to have been a terrible week at least in terms of me posting more than one picture and one poor excuse for a picture. I may or may not complete that project. I want to, but I don't know if I will.

Oh well, we shall see.

In the meantime, here's a cool video that I liked. I love space.

Bubbles in Space

Seven Days, Seven Pictures. Day 2.

I was doing more Net Community Service today with Google Image Labeler. This was one of the more memorable images that I tagged. G.I.L. is kind of fun. It's almost like a game!

I need to get back to GalaxyZoo too, but I've just been very busy with my various different activities lately. Either I'm working, or consulting, or at home doing something. Anime Club just started back up, plus I need to work on Mom's website. Many things going on = dearth of blogging. Dearth, not death. I'll never stop blogging. This is my diary for when I'm old and feeble and can't remember stuff. Hopefully the kids will read it some day and appreciate it.

Seven Days, Seven Pictures. Day 1.


So, here's my first picture. There's a weird story behind this. I did a consulting job for a lady yesterday which was supposed to just consist of setting up her computer at her new house. She's just moved from her apartment into a newly built house. In fact, she's only the second person to move into this new development**. She's single again and very independent, with an adult daughter who has her own family. Anyway, I arrived as agreed at 10am. It turns out that the computer desk had not been delivered yet, so she said why didn't I just set the computer up on the floor and then we could move it when the desk got there. I didn't like that option very much so I said why couldn't I just go get the desk for her. I have a van, and I can take out both back seats for lots of cargo room. She was happy about that and I went off to get it. When I got to the store, her friend was there to pay for it, and we found that it was not assembled as they had thought, but it was flat-packed (you know like any furniture purchased at Wal-Mart - flat in a box, u-assemble). After a little fussing, the friend went ahead and paid and I loaded it up along with a shelf she bought. The friend left and I chatted with the two store guys for a minute. I ended up giving each of them a business card and answering some questions. Then I went to a second store called Tuesday Morning to pick up a little corner table for her. I like that store; we have to go there. So, I got back to her house and opened up the desk. It was sooo easy to put together, and it was very nice. Solid wood, not that particle board crap from Wally World that I have a lot of. Hehe. Anyway, it was solid and heavy and great. Better be for $350! So, I setup the computer on it and hid the cables as best I could. I didn't put the shelf together, but I did unbox the pieces for her and reassure her that she could do it (I bet she doesn't, though). So, finally after 4 hours, I was done and ready to go. She asked if I would mind taking the boxes and some other trash to the dumpster. I literally stuffed the van with cardboard boxes and good stuff, while piling 6 giant black trash bags on the roof. I'm a packrat, so my mouth was almost watering at the prospect of taking home all those great moving boxes, which I did do. I threw the bags away and dug out some fine pieces of stair railing for dad.

This was one of those giant red dumpsters and it had stairs on it, so I assumed I was meant to climb the stairs. Hey, they were put there for a reason! I assume the reason is that in case anyone "accidentally" threw away anything good, someone else could retrieve it. :) Anyway, I got the goodies, and brought the moving boxes home, and the box from her new HDTV, and this coffin picture is the box that the shelf parts I was talking about came in. Jen and I were talking about whether to keep it and we decided that it looked like a good burial unit.

It was a pretty good day; got neat junk and made a good chunk of change for my 4 hours work!

*Dang, they better not cremate me when I kick off, or I may burn down the place!
**I saw this cool mobile surveillence station on the way into the place.

I got this idea from the Jumping Monkeys podcast #12 and from Chookooloonks. For the next week (starting tomorrow), both Jen and I are going to do a picture a day with some kind of blog post or commentary on the picture. I don't have the stick-to-it-ive-ness of Karen Chookooloonks, so we're just trying it out for a week.

If any of you few readers want to do the same, just leave a comment so we can go look at yours too. I'm thinking of you, FO; you can do it. ^_^ How about a hospital picture to start?

Speaking of which, last weekend Jen and I and boys had a marvelous visit with Mr and Mrs FO, and baby bean FOlina who I look forward to meeting in January. We played Monkeys on the moon and Carcassonne. We love Carcassonne so much, we're planning to buy it. And by the way, isn't this just a monkey themed post? Hehe.

I have been enjoying Jumping Monkeys the podcast quite a bit lately. I particularly liked the one with Cat Schwartz, the hitechmommy, who I've been a fan of for a long time. It's a great podcast, like all Leo's are. I LOLd while driving at something Leo said in JM #12: He called Boston Proper "Slutty Clothes" - he was right. :)

Well, get ready for the first picture tomorrow. A hint: It'll kill ya! Har har har har!

Jen, you're busy at the moment, but read this.

Me, briefly

My photo
North Texas, Texas, United States

This is the story
of a man named Darrell
who was working
and bringing up a family.

This is the story
of his lovely family
with 3 kids and wife
all at home.

We're a happy family!
Yes, we're a happy family!


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