I’m spent

I'm tired.  I mean really tired.  I've been working so much lately and am stressed, fatigued and just plain spent.  Jenny and I were saying yesterday evening that we hadn't seen each other since I moved in mid-September.  That's very unusual for she and I and certainly is indicative of how the rest of my life has been lately.

I've not had as much quality time with The Kids as I feel is necessary (for them as well as for me).  I've been trying to go visit xocobra and crew for the last five weeks and have had to cancel each week due to work.  I normally see Rick every day yet, over the last four weeks, have rarely seen him more than a few times in any seven-day period.  I've been trying to visit my family more frequently but have failed miserably at the attempt.  The list goes on, of course.   I've been virtually incommunicado with everyone in my life because I've not had a life.

We have all sorts of projects going on — all of which seem to have very aggressive schedules.

I miss my friends.  I miss my family.  I miss spending loads of time with The Kids.

I wish I could see light at the end of the tunnel, but I don't.  We simply have too much going on and will be overwhelmed right through the first of the year.  With the new year will come more work, me thinks, but I can certainly hope it will calm down enough that my life can return to something a bit closer to normal.

Here are the female boobs, you boob

A new member signed up on the site a little more than a month ago.  I'm always happy to see new members, although I can't for the life of me determine why they'd visit here.

Anyway, this new member, xocobra, has been harassing me since he signed up.  OK, so xocobra is one of my three best and closest friends, but still…

So I get this e-mail from him on November 12 regarding the absence of female boobs on the site.  In fact, the e-mail was a virtual tirade about the absence of a great many things here at xenogere / strange behavior /.

Calling himself "soccer boy butt," a nickname I myself gave him (it's up to you to determine precisely why), he sent me the following message.

Where are the female BOOBS on this site. Where is the lexus dream. what about mustangs. o yea, and BOOBS!!!!

Because xocobra is someone I love dearly and would do anything for, I felt it imperative to respond to his inquiry immediately (even if he won't drop his heterosexual ways and marry me instead of that shameless blonde hussy he calls a fiancée [meant in jest, of course, as I'm quite fond of her as well]).

On the issue of the Lexus dream, you can see my version of that here.  I'm hoping to take some new photos soon as I've removed the mask (bra) from the car — and it makes a world of difference.

Mustangs?  I don't think an American car (let alone a Ford product) will be making the list of things to be posted here — unless you want to put your fine "soccer boy butt" in one again and let me snap some photos (how's naked work for you?).

As for boobs, I'm proud to announce the immediate availability of female boobs on xenogere / strange behavior /.

Since the dawn of man's ability to differentiate between the genders, the pursuit of female boobs has been the purview of heterosexual men everywhere.  This apparent obsession with the bustiest members of the opposite sex appears to be a genetic defect in heterosexual men (we gay men do not suffer from such a malady).  Despite his apparent affliction with what can only be described as a straight man's disease, I think xocobra deserves to see some boobs.

In the spirit of engendering good relationships between straight and gay men everywhere, I happily present to you my pick of the most infamous female boobs in America.

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Van Helsing

After a long day at work (too long, actually), I finally got home last night and was simply too tired to do anything more than eat something for dinner and sit mindlessly in front of the boob tube.  With all four of The Kids lying with me on the love seat, I decided to watch Van Helsing on pay-per-view.  As a consummate monster movie fan I had wanted to see this when it was in the theaters despite how bad it looked.  I’m glad I waited.

This is a horrifically cheesy movie.  It’s predictable.  It has terrible special effects.  The bad writing makes suspension of disbelief near impossible (meaning you spend quite a bit of time poking holes in the movie because you can’t get beyond how bad it is).  It’s incoherent.  It’s wholly yawn-inducing.

For someone like me who grew up with such masters of horror as Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, Hugh Jackman simply doesn’t compare (especially when thrown together with such a badly written story and such a poorly produced movie).  I’ll watch anything with Hugh Jackman in it (at least once anyway) because I find the man to be so very worth watching (hey, I think the guy is excruciatingly sexy; what can I say?)  In the case of this particular movie, that was the first and last time I’ll ever watch it regardless of who’s in it.

Let’s put it this way…  When the end credits began to roll, the first thing out of my mouth was “What a terrible movie!”  My best one-word review of this little piece of trash worth forgetting would be “bah.”

I grow weary of SBC’s games

Once again I find myself with reason to despise SBC for the lack of service and support they provide for my DSL.  "Infinite service" is a laughable sexual innuendo which translates loosely to mean "bend over and take it."

You may remember in March 2003 that my DSL was down due to a hardware failure at the DSLAM.  In April 2003 it was down because I was moving (understandable), but SBC royally screwed that up and kept it down until May 6.  When I moved a few months ago, SBC once again proved that they shouldn't be trusted with managing technology services (or anything else for that matter), although I will admit they did appear to take the situation seriously and were able to get it hooked up earlier than anticipated (only after I made some not-so-pleasant phone calls to them about it).

So what happened this time?

Because I've been working so much lately, I've not been as active on the internet from home.  I sent some e-mails on November 30 and didn't return to my e-mail until December 2.  When I did, I was able to receive e-mail with no problems but was unable to send e-mail via any source other than the SBC servers.

Since I have my own web and e-mail servers, I rarely use the SBC servers.  I saw this as a significant problem.

My first thought was that I was having a problem with the server in question.  I immediately began troubleshooting the issue.  I checked all of the logs and services on the server, I restarted the e-mail services to be sure they hadn't suffered from temporary insanity, and I even went through all of my e-mail client settings to be sure I hadn't done something stupid (I didn't remember making any changes in the last several months, but maybe I had gone crazy).

All of that yielded nothing.  There was no indication from the server or my computer that the problem was in either of those two places.

Just to be certain I wasn't missing something, I decided to test it from a different internet connection — in this case, the one at work.

Voilà!  It worked just fine.

This made me suspicious of a possible DSL problem, so I turned off my DSL modem and router and walked away from it.  After letting it sit powered off for 10 minutes or so, I turned everything back on and let the network come up normally.

Still no ability to send SMTP mail through my own servers.

Since it obviously wasn't a problem with my network equipment, I went to the SBC help pages to see if perhaps there was a known issue.

As you can no doubt guess, there was definitely a known issue.  It would appear that SBC had decided arbitrarily and without notice to its customers to block all outbound SMTP traffic.

I was infuriated by this.  I pay for internet access, not a scaled-down version of it.  I pay to have access to all protocols and all ports on a wide-open DSL connection.  Who in the hell did they think they were by reducing the service provided without notifying me and without reducing my monthly DSL costs?  I was, after all, no longer getting what I was paying for.

While I understand their desire to help reduce spam, phishing and other e-mail problems, do you kill the patient to cure the disease?  SBC does, and they do it with such a wide brush that they negatively impact all customers.  Oh, and they do it unannounced.

SBC's recommendation was that I use their servers.  Duh!  I kindly (not really kindly) explained that I had my own servers and needed to be able to send through them as I had been able to do for the last several years (not just via their DSL connection, either).  I told them I would not be paying my bill until I got the service I was paying for.

SBC finally responded that they had removed the restriction from my account.  How nice of them, don't you think?  Considering I was paying for full internet access, it seemed only logical that they should provide me with full internet access.

SBC's response also included mention that the restriction wouldn't interfere with my ability to send e-mail via their servers.  I didn't respond to that one, but it's worth noting that I had specifically mentioned — twice — that I was talking about my own e-mail servers and not theirs.  The hope that they had mastered reading and comprehension was quickly dashed.

Ultimately this is yet another example of why SBC is such a bad company.  They do not listen.  They do not read.  They do not care.  They make arbitrary decisions and do not notify their customers of changes in service.  They steal from their customers because they reduce the services rendered without reducing the prices charged.  They think themselves above reproach in these matters.

To Edward E. Whitacre Jr., Chairman and CEO of SBC, I say this: Get your head out of the sand and get a grip on your company; stop treating your customers like idiots; quit stealing services from your customers without reimbursing them for the monetary losses they suffer due to paying for services they are not receiving; finally, realize that your customers are the reason you're in business: they pay your bills, your salary, your expenses, your bonuses and your fringe benefits.

Stop screwing us!

Someone was bored last night

More and more lately I've watched boneheads on the internet try to break into my web servers.  On some days there are no attempted hacks and on other days there are literally hundreds by the same person (based on IP address).  To give you a little idea of how dumb some of these would-be hackers really are, I thought I'd post a portion of the security log to quantify the lack of intelligence at play here.

The humor in this particular set of log entries can be found in some of the names used.

For instance, you'll notice they tried to login as "sybase."  Sybase is a database software and it's shown clearly at the bottom of my web pages that I use MySQL for my database services, so that had to have been a typo, right?  They did also try the "mysql" user ID, so perhaps they were just being thorough.

There's also a whole list of proper names (like Adam, Alan, Frank, George, Pam and Patrick), but none of those are valid either.  The funny thing with this is that the sites and servers are registered to me — and my name is Jason — yet at no time did they try that user ID.  It wouldn't have helped since there is no user named "jason" on the servers, but they didn't know that.

This time they tried 856 times to get logged in.  As I said, someone was apparently bored.

I just thought it was interesting enough to post.  Perhaps my little friend from Italy (that's where this hacker was coming from) will come see that I was so impressed by his efforts that I decided to save it for posterity's sake.


account/password from 8 Time(s)
adam/password from 8 Time(s)
adm/password from 16 Time(s)
alan/password from 8 Time(s)
apache/password from 8 Time(s)
backup/password from 8 Time(s)
cip51/password from 8 Time(s)
cip52/password from 8 Time(s)
cosmin/password from 8 Time(s)
cyrus/password from 8 Time(s)
data/password from 8 Time(s)
frank/password from 8 Time(s)
george/password from 8 Time(s)
henry/password from 8 Time(s)
horde/password from 8 Time(s)
iceuser/password from 8 Time(s)
irc/password from 16 Time(s)
jane/password from 8 Time(s)
john/password from 8 Time(s)
master/password from 8 Time(s)
matt/password from 8 Time(s)
mysql/password from 8 Time(s)
nobody/password from 8 Time(s)
noc/password from 8 Time(s)
operator/password from 8 Time(s)
oracle/password from 8 Time(s)
pamela/password from 8 Time(s)
patrick/password from 16 Time(s)
rolo/password from 8 Time(s)
root/password from 472 Time(s)
server/password from 8 Time(s)
sybase/password from 8 Time(s)
test/password from 40 Time(s)
user/password from 24 Time(s)
web/password from 16 Time(s)
webmaster/password from 8 Time(s)
www-data/password from 8 Time(s)
www/password from 8 Time(s)
wwwrun/password from 8 Time(s)