Friday, December 29, 2006

This is a brilliant idea...

Tell a lie.

What a cool idea for a class like that.  I liked it a lot.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happiness is...

Holding the only bucket of popcorn at the movies with both kids - one on each side.  They were leaning on me to eat popcorn through the entire movie.  That was nice ;)

Megan's aunt took her out this weekend to get a pedicure, just what every 11 year old needs for Christmas:


I'm not a big fan of the whole nail polish thing - but she seems to like it.  You can tell Megs apart from her aunt in the picture - Megs is the one with the piggy PJ's on.

Important Update:

I have been informed that it was not Megan's aunt who initiated (and paid for) this nail travesty - it was her Grandma Joan!  Credit where credit is due :)

Anyway - Merry Christmas to all - have a good New Year.  I'll be traveling around so likely won't be posting too much if at all.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Self help...

There are some interesting articles I've recently and they center around "self help".  Nothing truly technical - but rather better ways to approach things.

The first one centers around the age old KISS principle.  Keeping it simple (silly).  It is so true - I've seen some truly complicated Rube Goldberg approaches to software.  Even when told of easier ways to accomplish things - many people persist with their complex implementations.  Probably because they thought of it and have already started down that path.  It is the old "sunk cost fallacy" - sure it is complicated, yes your simple approach would work and is easier, but we've already started down this road and have this investment.  Never mind that by trashing the investment and starting over - they would finish sooner with something more maintainable...

The next is on body language.  I agree with pretty much everything there.  Some of them are hard to do - like the "don't cross arms or legs".  I am more comfortable with legs crossed personally.  The "have eye contact, but don't stare" takes practice (it did for me).  But once you get it down - you start doing it without thinking.  I do sort of a clock motion.  Start in the middle of the group/audience up front and sweep to the left, up the left side across the back and around.  All in all - excellent points there.


Lastly - this one was really good.  Print it out and hang it on the wall good.  #5 resonated with me.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Wow, cannot believe it.  Ok - someone has a database - with all of the passwords for their application accounts stored in it - in clear text. And the database gets stolen.

First thing I had to do was see what password I used for reddit.  Just to make sure it was not my "top secret" password.  I have about 5 levels of passwords I use, depending on how I deem the level of protection I need.  My lowest level passwords are known by perhaps other people than myself - but the higher ones are not.  And the highest level password I use (eg: the one that locks my laptop - without it, many of the other passwords are not as useful), I use on only a few trusted systems and never give it to anyone and have made it as strong as I could.

Anytime we give our password to a web site - we have no clue what they might do to it.  When I heard about reddit - first thing I did was check what password I was using (the lowest level, I wasn't worried about a great threat, no credit cards or anything attached with that one).  Now I'll have to find a new low level one, but at least I feel a minimal level of intrusion.

I've written about this myself from time to time (to time....).  Let's face it developers - unless you are writing some sort of password vault - you do not need to store the password for an application.  And if you do, at least encrypt it - and when encrypting it do so with a key that is stored no where near the actual database (or use transparent data encryption in 10gR2) - to protect against theft like this.  Do not even consider storing the key in the database, that would be "not smart".

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Of Course it would be fun...

Went to visit a friend from college days last night.  We went to dinner in Baltimore and she got a claim tag for the coat check:

Coat check

We knew at that point, the rest of the evening was assured to be good :)  if you don't get why, read thisAnd indeed it was - after dinner, we spent the evening watching Monty Python's the Meaning of Life and drinking some wine (funny enough, somehow this link ended up in my inbox this morning as well).  Better than the beer we used to drink in college while watching this stuff.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Interesting thought...

Why you should not like your job.  That is right - you should not like it.  That is not to say you should "not like it" (as in hate it) either.  I agree, if you start to not love your job - time to start looking for a way to change it.  That doesn't mean you have to change jobs, but you might have to change your job.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The conversation continues...

He writes:

look followe my simple order,you are not surpose to be familiar  wiyh my hotel address , iam wacthing uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu now

I write:

dude, your order isn't simple, all I asked for was an account number.
tell me eddie - to where should this money go.
I am emailing uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu (more u's, more powerful!) now.
be simple.  be yourself.

He writes:

look followe my simple order,you are not surpose to be familiar  wiyh my hotel address , iam wacthing uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu now, dony yake me 4 a joke

I write:

i didn't ask uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu for your hotel address joker, I asked you for something different.  did you not read my email? I don't think you did, even though it was much shorter than uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu'rs.

He writes:

i pitty  uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu  you dont  know me yet

I write:

pity has one t.  don't needs an apostrophe.  You is spelled with three different letters, not by holding down the "u" key.
Need more help?  I ask because your email to me, besides being really rambling and disjointed was filled with spelling errors, grammatical errors and the like.

He writes:

time  will tell

I write:

tell what?  I tell time, clocks tell time.  What does time tell?  Over time we might learn things. 
All of this is helping your english, which will make you better able to send more reasonable "spam" sort of stuff.
Sigh, still no accounts to transfer money.  Bummer - you could be rich by now, oh well.

This is what happens when you get bored in a hotel room I guess ;)

Monday, December 04, 2006

I get some very very strange emails...

But hey, this one below - it frankly "takes the cake" as they say.  Let me digest this rambling diatribe down into its very essence:

I do the voodoo that you do so well, I have your picture, I will take your eyes.  Unless of course, you pay me $500 USD, then we'll sort of skip that whole eye taking stuff - ok?

I'm going to play with them, I wrote back:

Mr Edwin, Orobosa
Sorry, but I don't see any possible method to transmit you money of any sort.  I am not familiar with "behind stadium road" - and I doubt a letter addressed to:

mr edwin, oroboas
16 aiwerioba avenue (you know, go behind stadium road - look around, you'll probably see it)
would make it very far. Add to that the fact that I've never been to Nigeria and cannot really make it over - it'll be hard to get to you.  So - tell you what, send me something that is useful to transmit you money and we'll see what we can work out.  Something like a bank routing number, account numbers - stuff like that.  Set it up so I can do a synchronous bi-directional transfer of funds (I'll of course need to take a bit out to make it look normal) and let's see what happens.

Here is the original, hilarious, email in its entirety.  100% verbatim:


From - Mon Dec 04 21:36:28 2006
X-Mozilla-Status: 0001
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Return-Path: <>
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws;
X-YMail-OSG: yVN1P7QVM1lKgcMqDRugx4TeSwBA5A4Xuage5VRFKItecUUvRHBppDDSJpV3K.qH6LxhGfTh6kvJA40t7QRDB.rjXJW0ryjGKfLONnVktbdDlFj7Cl0u9Q--
Received: from [] by via HTTP; Mon, 04 Dec 2006 16:26:09 PST
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2006 16:26:09 -0800 (PST)
From: orobosa edwin <>
Subject: i have printed out your pic from your orocle magazine 2006 edition)tomkyte
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="0-1121066447-1165278369=:44639"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Message-ID: <>
X-Brightmail-Tracker: AAAAAQAAAAI=
X-Whitelist: TRUE

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

mr edwin,orobosa(16,aiwerioba avenue behind stadium road,benin city ,edo state,nigeria..

Now you listen very carefully for your own good I am an African from Kenya take me by name (as mr edwin orobosa) and you don’t know me I am the sole spiritual leader of the Harica Witchcraft and Wizard society of Kenya and the grand master of the Zone B & D. Kenya Occult and Mystic order since 1987- up till date – 2006 also presently the ritual leader of the West and East African – Voodo confraternity presently I am out of Kenya on an assignment of initiation of new members in Nigeria and also to part take some Voodo rituals which will last for 3weeks, the ritual date is the subject of this letter to you, now you are to take my orders and simple instruction or else you will have yourself to blame. As the ritual leader of the Africa Voodo I have been asked by the head man to get 6 fresh eyes and 4 bleeding hearts for a ritual purpose and presently I have 13- pictures numbered 1 – 13 and I am suppose to use 10. So you are the 5th person on the list numbered 1 -13- so in
other for me to ignore you, you are going to pay $500 U.S. dollars failure to pay this money I am going to chose you. Your eyes for our ritual purpose – the purpose of this eyes ritual is to increase the powers of our members in Governmental positions and the hearts is for the new intake to process their initiation water which they will drink as part of their oath for the new members during their initiation ceremony this is our normal tradition. You are going to pay the $500 U.S. dollars or else I get blind this is sure OK in me I have 160 demons and this demons have others branches along with my Voodo power which I will display to make you feel me, you can not run or hide remember it is impossible to hide from your shadow, close your for 30 minutes and try and find your way to the bathroom and see if its so easy when I get you blind ,before I get you blind I am going to show to you that I can to convince you by showing to you different terrible strange signs to you and
your loved ones in your family at large only 3 weeks will prove all these. Strange things will happen in 3 weeks before your deadline to you and your family even relations they might not tell you and they might tell you but when they do your mind will surely reflect that I am on action, in Voodo power names are not too important in my mission to make you blind and uncomfortable I am OK with your photo spiritually the fastest means of transport is the mind no matter where you are or the distance where you are I can always reach you, I am not going to remind you of your dead line, when you dead line expires I am going to blind you it maybe when you are sleeping at night and when you wake-up from sleep. Your dead line is the very day the ritual will take place immediately I blind you, you will discover your self blind, it may be when you are eating – talking with people –infact doing any thing suddenly you see your self blind this will happen if you refuse to pay don’t take
me for a joke you will only put yourself in deep pains it will be an unforgettable experience you will only regret and say to your self had I know that you would have paid. When I start with you no one, no body will advice you to pay the $500U.S. dollars now let me tell you how I am going to blind you presently your picture is in he spiritual room waiting for your response immediately you fail to pay the money the $500 U.S. dollars I normally use a living cat. I will get a matured male or female black cat which is available will represent you here. I will get an image candle and a long pointed needle. I will invoke you through my spiritual mirror while the cat is with me on my left hand representing you then invoke your spirit through your picture by Voodo chanting immediately you appear I will piece the needle into the 2 eyes of the cat with serious anger then any where you are you will be blind and lose your 2 eyes no more vision totally blind no doctor can cure you
till death. You are going to pay this money before your dead line and means of payment failure to do this I will blind you.
You might take my letter to be a junk mail but I will only surprise you failure to pay me the $500 U.S. dollars I have nothing to lose just noting you will only blame yourself about your misfortune time will tell if you value $500 U.S. dollars more than your 2 eyes or may be after I make you blind you will get another 2 eyes in the supermarket near you. You can’t stop me no one, just your dreams too will tell you I have started – different terrible signs that you will know its from me before I blind you if you refuse to pay just immediately you pay your picture will be throne off and you will be free but if you chose not to pay me the money then consider your self blind. I am not married and I don’t have a wife or have children, I don’t sleep with woman, I enjoy seeing people in pains – people like you who will like to prove stubborn immediately I blind you. You will remain blind no doctor no drugs can cure you mighty take it funny, you will have no vision to see your
loved ones or see the colour of your clothes you are wearing some one has to lead you to where ever you are going, next time you will advice people not to take people like me for granted a big lesson to learn only 3weeks will make you feel me I chose who ever to use no other members can chose for me I have every right as the ritual leader to ignore any one when I make you blind your eyes will remain open wide open but can not see the smallest thing in life I promise you this when you refuse to pay. I have no time to check for your email reply I have given you an order to follow. I repeat .
I am going to give you the biggest surprise of your life that will surely lead to your misfortune and it is your greediness that will lead to your misfortune and when I get you blind you can’t do any thing about it and you will regret ever not to take people for granted you will blame yourself if you had know you would have paid me the money, immediately your dead line expire I will not wait for a second because your deadline date is the ritual date if your dead line expire and you pay its a total waste of your money because I might choose you by then, your dead line date is your dead line date and your dead line date is what is important and what matters to you now any where you are – any thing you are doing have it in mind that you are not a free man I am going to surprise you if you don’t take my simple order failure to pay me the $500 U.S. dollars presently you might be doubting me but I will surprise you just watch and see how I am going to deal with you, 3weeks
back I just be headed a 7 weeks old baby to our shrine as a sacrifice to increase the strength of the gods I am a complete wizard and you don’t know me if you do I don’t believe you will take me for a joke, I will make sure I blind you if you refuse to pay me the $500 U.S. dollars any thing you are doing even while eating, sleeping talking with people have it in mind that immediately your dead line expires any thing can happen to you and your loved ones, last year I told Mr. Paul a Canadian who lives in Canada to pay me $5,000 U.S. dollars he refused and thought I was joking, I told him about my strange signs and he never believed me. So I gave him some signs through his wife Mr. Paul was a very rich man but he was greedy I gave him signs through his young beautiful wife through an accident which his wife lost her 2 legs presently she can not walk her expensive car got destroyed no body advised Mr. Paul to pay me the money and take note. Immediately after the ritual
ceremony I am going back to my country - Kenya
Even if you pretend as if you didn’t receive this mail its all left for you, but have it in mind that failure to pay I am going to chose you, count yourself lucky that I demand for $500 U.S. dollars if I have demanded for more than this so you would have paid. Failure to pay this money happiness will be far from you. Your deadline date is the ritual date and that is what is important to you and me. Nothing just nothing can stop me from getting you blind, you might doubt me for now but I will only surprise you and get you blind it will ever be the biggest mistake you have made in your life, don’t expect me to check for your email reply all I am waiting for is the money I will not come back to the net to check for your reply, Certainly if you fail to pay I will blind you I will prove my witchcraft power and my voodoo power to you. It’s a must. Take note I am going to start my terrible signs any time from now even with you don’t expect my signs and listen any body you tell
about this will share from your terrible signs but will note get blind the I will blind you. Take not Edwin Orobosa is not my real name is just the name I have given you to collect the money, you will pity yourself if I don’t receive the money on time take note I enjoy seeing people in pains, such things happened to be 6 people last year men at U.K they never believed they thought I was joking but today they are regretting and going through pains of their misfortune, for you 3 weeks time will tell if you value 500 U.S. Dollars more than your eyes you and know the biggest problem you are about to put yourself failure to pay this money I will never let you go free it’s a must, If I make you blind, there is no where on earth you can buy another eyes it’s a life time blindness, relax and watch what I will do to eyes next keep doubting ok. But I have your name, your doubting me is at your own risk it will never stop from making you go blind, you doubt realize the big lesson
you are about to learn is experience it will surely be a life time lesson, you don’t have know me and I don’t think you have hard of Voodo or Harica withcraft.
I have a controlling force at my disposal when I am through with you, you will understand how serious I was, you don’t know whats Voodo. In 3weeks failure to pay the $500 U.S Dollars you will share your experience about Voodo power. Your dead line is your dead line nothing changes it and it counts from now this moment that your eyes have read this letter, till I run out of patient and get your two eyes blind, now that you are reading this letter, I am watching you through my spiritual mirror, there been watching you through my spiritual mirror for some days now before sending you this mail so you know who I am and what I am about to do to you if you refuse to pay me the $500.U.S dollars, I see you when ever I wish to see you, I am too spiritual to joke with, I can see you through my spiritual mirror or my 3rd eyes when I wish to see you, I can still remember all You do mostly at home and at work, take note you can’t run away or hide from your shadow, so I am suppose to
receive the $500 U.S. dollars I ask you to pay before I go back to my country, I am not from Nigeria I am only here on a mission I repeat I am from Kenya the earlier the better for your own good, when I am through with you, you will always live not to forget me and continue to remember your mistake, you misfortune, you will always live to regret and say to you self (hard I known) remember no one can turn back the hand of the clock. (Time) I will surely prove about your ignorance towards my spiritual power, I have a spiritual controlling force no matter where, You are I can always reach you spiritually to manifest in the physical you will experience the greatest force of my voodoo power.
I have done it before and now I can still do it again and again, if you co-operate and pay the money $ 500 U.S. dollars then you are free, I can always reach you spiritually it’s a matter of invoking your spirit or use my mirror. Don’t forget I have yourself photo, and always remember that immediately you are sending the money placed in a magazine do this at home and send it at the post office. I will be watching you then you will be free, but failure not to pay then consider yourself blind. Immediately I run out of patient, it must cost you your 2 eyes, it’s a must nothing can stop me I repeat the only way to keep your eyes safe is to pay the $500 US dollars the earlier the better I don’t start what I can’t finish, failure not pay the $500 US to me, you will tell people your friends and family how you lost your sight out of ignorance as your life time experience so next time people you won’t take me for a joke or for a play, now that you can see with your eyes I don’t
you cherish it, till you lose your sight for the sake of $500 US out of total ignorance, stubbornness, it’s a matter of time you are free to pretend you didn’t receive this mail, its your choice, this your greatest opportunity not to lose your eyes cause I have informed about the price to pay - I make things happen.
Always remember that I am a wizard. You must be very careful and co-operate otherwise you must lose you sight failure not to send the money $500 US and always remember never to forget not doctor can cure you or treat your eyes no drugs could bring back your eyes if I make you go blind its going to be total darkness, your eyes will be very open but never could see the smallest thing on earth, after reading this letter find time to ask your friends and family the meaning of voodoo, I am too spiritual I have much spiritual powers to tolerate you, I know you might take my funny but always remember also that immediately you lose your sight I have nothing to lose. I am going to give you 4 different spiritual signs which 4 terrible things will happen to you just to make you understand that I can make you blind despite your distance of you and I its spiritual and remember that I will not wait for too long you have a dead line, I repeat when your dead line expires then I have run
out of patience because very soon I will go back to my country, you must go blind failure not to send the money is a promise, don’t forget I have your picture and is already on my black list, take not also that my name, only want you to send the money with it, and the name is different from the name I have on my international passport. I repeat you must co-operate or else you will have yourself to blame and regret.
I am giving you some weeks till I run out of patience, when sending the money I will be seeing you watching you from my spiritual mirror, you might take me to be funny but time will tell and prove my spiritual powers to you, so you could share you experience to others failure not to pay you will get the biggest surprise, you will learn from your mistake never not to take people like me for granted I am going to wait for the magazine a night before I board my flight back to my country (Kenya) that is when I am going to invoke your spirit through your picture and to make you go blind, I have 20 spiritual ways to make you go blind its not using the black cat or occult books and spiritual materials, or through spiritual sea water powers, or mystics - vahana controlling force or magna telepathy. Name it I have many ways. So behave yourself co-operate, the earlier the better, means of payment, get a magazine that has close to 200pages or more place the $500 US in between 2
pages of the magazine that has many pages, and do this at your house seal up the edges round with the name and motel address I gave to you on this letter I will be watching I will know when you are sending it. Failure to do this I will know if you value and cherish your eyes or not, you don’t know me neither do you know how I look like, I am an African wizard.
If you think you are stubborn I will surely surprise you and give you what you deserve. I am going to give you 4 different spiritual sighs - terrible strange signs I will start with your physical body and your loved ones and this signs will make you understand that I have started working on you and this will tell you also that no matter your distance I have the voodoo spiritual power to blind. You to reach you wherever you are on earth. Mrs. Carolyn Thomas in U.S. thought I was joking, I told her about my signs just like I told you she doubted me and when I gave her my terrible signs nobody advised her to send the $1500 U.S.A., I was watching her right in my spiritual mirror one of the 4 terrible signs was when her 3 kids started behaving funny at midnight suddenly her 3 kids mouths, legs got terribly swollen and she was shocked until when begged to send the money $500 U.S.Quickly - in your case relax and experience my voodoo power, if you refuse or waste my time not to
send the money $500 U.S. Time teach you a proper lesson. Why not try this close your eyes find your way to the bathroom-kitchen-toilet or walk on the street and ask yourself if you are ok and comfortable with your eyes not seeing anything, always have this in mind that failure not to pay this money somebody has to lead you to anywhere you are going (then how very happy you will be) I think it is your ignorance that will make you go blind. Many years now you have been using your eyes to see you friends - family- see you hair looking at the mirror-watching TV, see people you don’t even know, reading books, with your eyes you could find something at home, identify colors of your clothes and people, but time will tell if you will be comfortable when I make you go totally blind, take not I just made some people 2 persons go blind, they doubted me, so its not something I can’t do to you even now if I chose to you. You must take your time and be careful with me cause I am
dangerous if you don’t know.
Remember the address on this letter is a motel address it is not a residential address; so it is the address you are going to use to send me the magazine. Don’t keep me waiting; keeping me waiting will make me go angry very angry. So the earlier the better for you immediately, I am through with my mission here, Nigeria, I will definitely go back to my country to (Kenya) there is nothing just nothing, just nothing you can do when you go blind. You don’t know me or know how I look, you don’t know my real name I have on my international passport, the only way I feel you can go blind is when you do not co-operate and disobey my order. I have given you an order on what to do to be free and that is the payment of $500U.S the end shall tell. Take note I am writing you this letter in my motel room.
I am going to give you clear signs of spiritual powers I know you are doubting me now but when I make you go blind it will be your life time biggest surprise, so to be free don’t ever disobey me. It will be your biggest mistake if you wish or want others to learn from your misfortune ok. Sometimes I look at you through my spiritual mirror or my 3rd eye I laugh at you, I see all your daily activities I can tell you all you have been doing but I have no time for that now. You magazine must reach me before I leave the motel I staying take note also in 3 weeks time I will be going back to my country, Kenya. Making you go blind will not cost me anything and I have nothing to lose. If you disobey or do not send the money. I don’t care if you doubt me, time will surely tell when I run out of patient, all I know and that which I will do to you is to make you go blind, failure not to send the money, take note also that I enjoy seeing people in pains, people who chose to be
stubbornness -disobeying me.

No time to waste.
Till amuse longafila - which means (blood for blood)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Reason 122,324,745...

Why server enforced integrity is relevant.

There are tons of reasons why placing integrity right next to the data (along with security and lots of other stuff) is important.  This article just tickled another one in my head.

Maybe, must maybe, someone will change your application.  It can be very easy - especially with "open standards" (common protocols).  This very simple article spells out at a very very high level things you need to think about.

Just go to and type in SQL Injection sometime.  Read some of the articles there - think about what might happen.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Two interesting articles...

The first one on a programming language that is really neat to look at source code wise - but would drive me NUTS in real life.  The language is called SNUSP and while I doubt it will add to your resume any - it looks like it might be fun to solve a problem or two in it and see what sort of interesting source code you can generate.  That it is sort of a two dimensional language is interesting as well (flow goes right and left as well as up and down).

The second one is about overclocking your brain.  I can relate to that article.  Some people do crossword puzzles or Sudoku to get their brain moving - I do asktom.  On days I don't do some questions in the morning - I am very much aware that I'm "sluggish" in my thinking.  When on travel - I would always get up early enough to spend an hour on it - not just to be nice and answer, but to get my brain woken up for the rest of the day.  It is a symbiotic relationship.


Main Entry: au·dac·i·ty
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
Etymology: Middle English audacite, from Latin audac-, audax
1 : the quality or state of being audacious : as a : intrepid boldness b : bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints <had the audacity to defy his boss>
2 : an audacious act -- usually used in plural <her worst audacities did not seem to surprise him -- Edith Wharton>

I cannot for the life of my figure out why some people would do this.  Make sure to read the bit right above that link too - it was homework.  And then there is this.  "Can I have your email so I can send you my queries through email". 

I like helping - in fact, it is something I really enjoy.  But sometimes - just sometimes, I question some peoples "thought process".