Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A little scenery
Originally uploaded by Juliepede.
Might as well start with a little New York State scenery. This one's from "Niagara Falls Lite" (one of the waterfalls at Letchworth State Park, about an hour away from Rochester on the Genesee River).

Excitement for the day: Persons unknown managed to remotely install malicious software on one of our lab's computers, and then use it to not only emit piles of coarsely shredded spam, but to launch a denial of service attack on a business in another state. We've had the information tech people in to solve the problem (and read us the riot act about our firewalls), but personally I think that if the perp is ever caught, he or she should get a few hours alone with us and maybe some wasps. Or maybe in the fly room, preferably with some rotting mushroom bait down his pants. (Actually, a sufficiently weird person might enjoy that experience, so just forget about it. Erase the image from your brain.)

Let's see ... what else?

Woke up Saturday with the vague recollection that it was the birthday of a friend I hadn't seen in a very long time. By the end of the day, we'd made phone contact with the birthday girl, who was the matron of honor at my wedding back in 1988. For readers who are not old enough to have lost contact with a good friend for over a decade: It really is an amazing experience to reconnect. I wouldn't recommend losing track of a friend simply for the sake of an amazing experience, but the point is that, in a case like this, finding your friend again is a great thing to do.

Interesting phenomenon of the week: Because Rick's allergies have required another elimination diet, he's taken up cooking, which makes our evenings a lot more social. His sensitivity to vinegar makes it difficult for him to tolerate many commercially available condiments, so today, he made mayonnaise from scratch. It had lemon juice in it, and it was very good. (I normally don't like mayonnaise except to hold my tuna salad together. Rick could teach me to like the stuff yet.)

Also realized today that it's been a very good thing for me to have taken up swimming in the apartment complex pool. I'm usually out there at least five days a week, and normally get anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes of moderate to hard exercise. For some reason, despite my general lack of athleticism, I've been a very strong swimmer for years; I lack both speed and form, but make up for it with both endurance and enthusiasm. And I'm now nearly 10 pounds lighter than I was when I first moved here. Yet another reason to eventually move to a place in a warm climate with some kind of swimming opportunity nearby.

And there was another ant in the bedroom today. She's been booted out the door with the rest, but I'm definitely going to be vigilant.


At 2:44 PM, Blogger Mark said...

It must be something about academic computing - at the wife's old job, they got hacked so that they served as a host for a porn site.

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Jason said...

- I saw a few interesting-looking bugs on my morning walk and I thought of you. :)

- Some remote persons unknown may know their way around firewalls; that may have happened anyway. If you find them, maybe you should take a page from Family Guy and sic canivorous earwigs on them.

- An indoor pool can be a temporary if-not-so-satisfying fix for being in Rochester.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Julie said...

The lab people had turned the firewall back on after the first attack (last fall, before I worked there), but I was the one responsible for turning it back off last month -- I was on the phone with the library people, trying to troubleshoot some problems with the interlibrary loan interface, and they suggested that the problem might be the Mac OS X software firewall (they also suggested not leaving it turned off permanently). Unfortunately, I had to move to a different computer in mid-task, and forgot to re-activate the software firewall on a computer that was already carrying some previously installed twitware. (The problem with the ILL system turned out to have nothing to do with security settings. The new interface was merely completely incompatible with Safari. At least UR's equal-opportunity that way. Their online webmail interface is completely incompatible with IE for Mac.)

As for the pool, it's an outdoor job. We've had wonderfully hot weather for the most part this summer, and I've been enjoying it. On the occasional cooler days, we've been bicycling instead. I would like to eventually move somewhere warmer, though.


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