December 12, 2009

It's been awhile

It's been quite some time since i posted anything here. It's not like i forgot to, it's been a lot of stress, real life and just being lazy. So much has happened since my last post, some of it con-drum, some of it useless and some of it enough to piss me off enough to want to bitch slap people.

I'm still working at the same place, though the company was "merged" with another, it's rolling down hill to the little guy. I'm still dealing with the " i have no common sense" crowd of people. But not as much. And like always work politics suck moose eggs!

Spend a lot of time on the Xbox til wee hours in the morning. But then again, i'm normally home from work between 12:30am and 2am. So a normal bed time of 4-5am isn't unheard of. But i am getting better at Call of Duty's Modern Warfare 2!!

Still suffer from the daily headaches, and lower back pain. But that's life i guess. Lost a few friends along the way this year. Some very young and some a little older then myself.

Now the holidays are here. So whats that mean? Well, more bitching and complaining for one. People just to tied up in themselves over the holidays that it actually makes me sick. The further lack of common sense and courtesy. What, you expected there to be some anyway? More assholes on the road trying to kill others. People just don't pay attention while driving any more anyway. And come the holidays they get worse. It's kind of like dumb and dumber meets the Griswold's.

So i'm hoping to start posting more often and get this thing rolling like i had originally intended.


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June 16, 2009

What Happened?

What happened to the 80's when we were kids? All we had to worry about was getting our allowance on the weekend and not catching cooties from the girls. Now it's, am i gonna make the bills, will i have a job, death everywhere you turn, more daily ignorance and worse corporate America. Does it only end after we're gone?
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June 12, 2009

Date With Death

well, cassey's CDS has gotten worse even with the medications. Now all he does is lay around on the floor and barely gets up. He'll wine to go out or to get a drink so we have to pick him and carry him outside or to the water bowl.

i don't mind. He's my buddy. But i know i dont want to live like that myself. When he started taking the meds, he was able to get a count on where he could go before he ran into something. But now he can't even do that.

So tomorrow we take him to the vet to say goodbye. what's odd, is, we had to make an appointment. like making a date with death. vicki is exhausted, distraught. she told me she dont know if she can go tomorrow. so i may have to do this alone.

already told the boss i wont be in tomorrow so i may be able to make some ime up on saturday. which will be good.
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June 3, 2009

You Know What...

it amazes me, the inability for most people to comprehend the most basic set of functions, words, symbols or common sense. In all reality, if you are that dense and dumb as you state you are, should you have really reproduced?
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May 18, 2009

I was hoping

Now i quit following a lot of professional sports years ago. Baseball back in the 80's after the big strike, basketball back int he 90's because i moved on. Only two sports i still follow are football and hockey.

Just because i don't follow the sports don't mean i don't have a favorite team. And my team made it to the playoffs in the NBA. The Celtics lost last night to the Orlando Magic. I was so hoping they would have advanced, not only because they're my team. But also it would have pissed off a lot of my co-workers.

Boston didn't play like they really wanted it last night. They forced game 7, then just stood around like a bunch a kids.


Well, at least i still have the Penguins in the run for the Stanley Cup. They start then next round tonight against Carolina tonight. I would really like to see a rematch of last years Cup finals of Detroit and Pittsburgh. But this year Pittsburgh takes it.

Let's hope.
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May 14, 2009

Fireman Fail

Looks like the fireman that used to run the fire house back home...




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Added To The Playlist

Work, work, work. Keeps me stressed. And the FL heat keeps me indoors. So i have been playing with my iPod again, adding more too it. Waiting for the one off cool night after work where i can get the bike out and enjoy the evening.

Anyway, Here are two new play lists just added.

80's Arcade:
Bad Case of Loving You : Robert Palmer
Danger Zone : Kenny Loggins
Funky Cold Medina : Tone Loc
I Want a New Drug : Huey Lewis and The News
In The Air Tonight : Phil Collins
Jam On It : Newcleus
The Look : Roxette
Miami Vice Theme : Jan Hammer
New Sensation : INXS
Rock Box : Run DMC
Shout : Tears For Fears
Somebody's Watching Me : Rockwell
Walk Like An Egyptian : Bengals
Walk The Dinosaur : Was Not Was
We Got The Beat : Go Go's
What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) : Information Society
What I Am : Eddie Brickell
Wild Thing : Tone Loc
Wild, Wild West : Escape Club
99 Red Balloons :Nena



Misc Tunes:
Desperado : Alice Cooper
Devil Inside : INXS
Finish What Ya Started : Van Halen
Flirtin' With Disaster : Molly Hatchet
Goddamn Devil : Ugly Kid Joe
I Can't Dance : Genesis
I Drink Alone : George Thorogood
Janie's Got A Gun : Aerosmith
Life Is A Lemon : Meatloaf
Living Dead Girl : Rob Zombie
Move It On Over : George Thorogood
On The Darkside : John Cafferty
Panama : Van Halen
Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution : AC/DC
Sir Sexy Psycho : Red Hot Chili Peppers
Throwing It All Away : Genesis
Thunderstruck : AC/DC
Tonight, Tonight,Tonight : Genesis
Wild Summer Nights : John Cafferty
Working Man : Rush
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April 30, 2009

The Underground of the Cyber Age, PT II

Following the post below, I found a post on one of the sites i found. I found it very interesting. I'm not going to go into the entire story of what it's about, but i will give you one in particular post. It just makes you think twice about what is really happening in the world of the underground.

The post was original made December 22, 2008. Shortly after the Conficker worm was detected. I've also included related links in the posted text.




Quote:
Originally Posted by XXXXXXXXXX View Post
What are you smoking?

Zeus have never been open source and it isn't a phishing botnet too. It is professional form grabber, used for banking and similar things. Webpart have not been encrypted, but that doesn't mean that it is opensource!


My, didn't YOU get out of the wrong side of the bed, XXXXXXXXXXX! A water pump in a car does not make a motor car what it is. It just pumps water around the engine serving a basic purpose. It is the sum total of all the other parts that make the car what it is. Change the water pump for any other type that has the same specs, and the car is still the same car it always was.

Zeus, in the context of this thread, IS a phishing botnet!

And looking at the version 1.0.6.18 I got from meta-human (see his post), I am looking at 62/63 totally open source files of html, PHP and config related text files. Oh, and one little exe (aka the water pump).

Zeus (the phishing botnet) was first developed by a very smart Russian programmer who calls himself A-Z, and is said to be about 24 yars old. He cut his teeth by infecting the world with worms for fun, but then decided to monetize his efforts when he became a hired/contract gun for the Russian Business Network (though it wasn't called that then).

He started by selling his phishing botnet for $3,000, but then found market prices crashed when many others rebranded his open scripts, control panel etc, and so he took a different tack.

Last summer he helped a German cybercrime gang empty $6,000,000 from the commercial customers of 20 European banks by customizing his Zeus phishing botnet.

How it worked was that from the HUGE number of phished bank account data collected, they combed it to find those accounts which were commercial accounts. The reason being was that the banks had limited Internet transfers to commercial customers with special certifcates.

The A-Z/Zeus/German gang then used a "spear phishing" campaign against these commercial customers with a "man in the middle technique".

Spear phishing is basically a targeted phishing attack, and man-in-the-middle is where the real customer logs into his real account, and the botnet sneeks through a cash transfer of $5,000-$10,000 while he is not looking.

All very clever, all well coordinated, all undertaken by use of the Zeus phishing botnet by its author, A-Z.





Here are a few interesting links of reading, that delve a little deeper into what is happening out there.

Interview with originator of MPack.
There's a Cyber War Looming
RBNExploit Blog
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The Underground of the Cyber Age, PT I

Since i got my first PC back in 1999, i tore the thing apart to see how it works. I played with this and that, i was curious. In the true sense of the word, i was a hacker. Even long before i knew what a PC was, when it came to anything mechanical or electronic. I wanted to see how it worked, to see if i could make it work better and even make it do things it wasn't meant to do.

This whole new Cyber World was interesting. I could talk to people from long distances without running up a phone bill. I could put my art out there for everyone to see and i i could run into more assholes then i wanted to. But when the time came and i lost my bank card to someone on the net, i learned of a whole new genre or sub-sect of this Cyber World.

Call them hackers, phreakers or script kiddies, these groups of people have a whole other way of living in their off time and some full time. So back in the year 2000, i started to teach myself computer security. I didn't want this to happen again. So i read everything i could. Learned what a virus was, how worms worked, what a trojan was. Even taught myself how to code some of these things. I created a few small simple virus that did nothing but replicate a text file up to 1,000 times before it deleted itself. But i never released it to the public or in the "wild".

I even used the popular trojans of the day like Sub7, Back Orrifice and Hack a 'Tack. And out of the countless systems that were ever compromised, i learnt how to subvert firewalls and security software. And out of all those systems, only once and once ever did i damage a system. Some guy in Italy looking at child porn. I played with him a few minutes then i uploaded a program called Hard Drive Killer and set it to look like his security software. Gave him an error message that his software errored and he needed to update it. He ran my software and boom, no more hard drive.

Shortly after that, i got bored with all of that. I got good at removing the infections that the others were releasing. It even landed me some jobs and cash helping protect PC's. And i have stuck with that path for a long time now. And in my current job, i am doing just that plus a lot of other PC related business. But in the last 6-8 months, i have been looking into a career change. That along the lines of computer forensics. So i started looking into it as i went about my daily business. And during this time, including today, i have dealt with all of the new virus, infections, malware, etc. And i have seen how much more sophisticated it has become and how much harder it is for the security vendors to keep up with it. A perfect example is with the new Conficker worm. For the longest time, no one knew what was going to happen went it went off.

Anyways, i read on a daily basis of all the lawsuits for copyright this, trademark this, RIAA, MPAA, etc. And then i read my security blogs and other news. And the amount of people i talk to on a daily basis that really have no clue on what the PC really is other then a toy to get music and watch movies. How much we have become dependent on a piece of machinery to run our lives. And yet i just found out, no matter how much i have read, i'm the one that really doesn't understand. Just the other night, i got that wake up call.

I was Googling for something, which i have forgotten what it was, i came across a link. Opening the link to the site, i discovered a tool that i had heard about only month before all over the different sites i read. A new virus maker. Cool i thought, a new toy i can play with and look at. So i downloaded it, loaded up my virtual pc and had a look. Nothing special. it could create a small virus that does a lot from blocking certain aspects of the PC to formatting the hard drive. I've seen these programs in the past. So as i was ready to call it a night, i opened the Read Me file that was with it. In the file, it included the site of the maker. So i opened it. Total foreign language. But there was something in English so i had a look. One thing led to another and i found other sites, and more sites and more sites.

I Googled a few of these sites and nothing came in return. I tried a few more and got a few lucky results. But the ones that really have the goods, weren't coming up in any search. So i bookmarked them for later viewing and went to bed. Just the other night, i started looking through these sites on my virtual PC. I came across one i had booked marked and started reading through the forums. Some of it in English, some of it in Russian. next thing i knew, after downloading and looking at some things, and done reading for the night, it was 5am.

Last night however, really opened my eyes. It made me realize that what i thought was the underground of the Cyber World is more a facade of kids and automated programs. On one of these sites, there was talks from a hacker about a new botnet he was working on. For those of you who don't know what a botnet is, read this.

So i'm reading through this post. The hacker is from Russia. Along with a few of his counterparts on this site. He goes on to talk about what this new botnet is. He even put a beta version of it out for other people to take a look at. This post and some of the others i have read, is where it all kind of comes together.

Basically, the hacker creates the worms, virus's or botnet's and then sells them to the highest bidder. The things these people create are not your everyday mill of the run things you might see. But the complicated and sophisticated stuff that can really do a number. This hacker said that once it's done, he will have a public release for anyone to use, then a private release which is for sale that has more controls in it as well as support for it. His asking price, currently around $3,000. That's a hell of a lot of money for a piece of programing, but then so is the price of some of the software i have bought over the years.

Apparently that's how this underground works. And the price varies depending on the product. So i continued reading and even downloaded his trial version. Now, i'm a mediocre web designer. I can code in HTML, XHTML, CSS and some PHP. But what i saw was speechless. What i had in my hand, was the newest, undetectable banking botnet. Meaning, it was designed to steal any and all banking, Ebay, Paypal information from ones PC once it was infected. This is accomplished by whats called a drive by download. Same thing as a drive by shooting, only instead of a human life, it's your financial life.

So i started going through the code. Some of it i understood. Most of it, was a little over my head, but i'm sure i can figure it all out. But even then, it wasn't the code that got me. It was what was in the included files that struck a nerve. So what was it? I'll paste only a few parts of it, with modified code show it shows up.



set_url https://www.us.hsbc.com/* GL
data_before
< cellspacing="0" summary="page layout">
data_end
data_inject
data_end
data_after
< /table>
data_end


set_url https://online.wellsfargo.com/login* GP
data_before
< input type="password" name="password"*
data_end
data_inject
< width="225">< for="password" class="formlabel">3. ATM PIN< /label><>
< type="password" name="USpass" id="atmpin" size="20" maxlength="14" title="Enter ATM PIN" tabindex="11" accesskey="A">
<> < /td>
data_end
data_after
data_end
data_before
< for="account" class="formlabel">
data_end
data_inject
4. Sign on to
data_end
data_after
< /label>
data_end


set_url https://online.wamu.com/Servicing/Servicing.aspx?targetPage=AccountSummary GL
data_before
_accountSummaryContainer"*< /tr>
data_end
data_inject
data_end
data_after
< /table>
data_end




And the list went on and on and on. Then after the listing of the financial business, was all of the extra injection code. All of this is designed to get your username and passwords to your banks, PayPal, etc and email it in a text file back to whom ever controls it. And on the other side, is someone looking to make a few extra (thousands) dollars. All for buying a program someone created. So what does this mean to you and I? When your browsing the internet, be careful. Any site on the net can be infected with one of these drive by downloads.

The fact that someone has taken this "toy" that we use on a daily basis and use it in away that makes the mob of the days gone by look like children is in fact scary. Most people only hear about it on the news or in the paper. Very few understand it, much more could care less. but when you have an understanding of a few aspects of what's happening, and to finally see this in full black and white, it gives you a whole new outlook on the entire Cyber World thing.

Will this ever stop? 90% no. Only because these people have the knowledge and the know how to craft their skills to stay ahead of the norm. Though a few get picked off here and there, the underground is so large, we would have to cull the planet of PC's and the govt's of the world would have to outlaw them. And even then, i don't think it would be 100% gone.
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April 16, 2009

KISS MY ASS

Literally, the whole world can kiss my ass. Pucker up, plant a big one and say thank you may i have another.
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Vitamin B-6 Declared a “Drug” by FDA

Taken from another blog...



God help us, because the FDA has now opened the gateway for all vitamins to be declared “drugs” and removed from sale by the nutritional supplement industry.

What they have done is declared that pyridoxamine (one of the three primary forms of vitamin B-6) is in reality a “new drug,” thus clearing the way for it to be banned from sale as a nutritional supplement. (See the news article below this commentary for more details.)

Here’s what happened:

Some years back a North Carolina-based firm called Biostratum began research and testing on a pyridoxamine-based drug, which they called Pyridorin. It is designed to prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease). The company then petitioned the FDA to declare pyridoxamine a “new drug,” clearing the way for them to hold an iron-clad monopoly on its sale.

Today, the FDA agreed with Biostratum, and declared this form of vitamin B-6 to indeed be a “new drug,” using the argument that its medical qualities had been under investigation for years before it was ever used as a nutritional supplement under the DSHEA, which ironically was enacted in 1994 in order to protect nutritional supplements from excessive FDA regulation.

Not to worry, said many observers in the nutritional supplement industry. After all, there are other forms of vitamin B-6 that can still be used in multi-vitamin formulations. The problem is, another drug company has already petitioned the FDA to declare the second most popular form of B-6, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, which is also called P5P, a “new drug,” apparently for the very same reason pyridoxamine has been declared a drug, i.e., it’s purely medical qualities have been investigated long before it was ever used as a nutritional supplement.

How much longer other forms of B-6 will be declared a “drug”? You can bet your boots the pharmaceutical companies are racing to get in on the FDA’s new fast-track for turning B-vitamins into drugs.

Will All Vitamins Eventually Be Declared Drugs?

Worst of all, the very same argument being used to declare vitamin B6 a “drug” can essentially be made for any vitamin. After all, every known vitamin on the face of the earth has been studied for their medicinal qualities even since the discovery of the existence of vitamins in food back in 1905, when a scientist named William Fletcher realized that foods contained special nutrients that actually prevented disease.

It is easy to see that the day is soon-coming in which all vitamins will be offered solely as “drugs,” by prescription only.

One of the most galling aspects of the whole thing is that the FDA flatly refuses to allow nutritional supplement manufacturers to even mention the incredible medicinal values of the vitamins, minerals and other supplements they sell. Indeed, the FDA routinely claims vitamin and mineral supplements are “useless” and “inert.”Yet when a drug company develops the same natural molecule as a “drug,” suddenly its medical benefits can be touted from the rooftops. The only problem is, the drug company is given a monopoly to produce the “drug,” and what was once a natural product available inexpensively in any health food store in America is now an expensive drug you have to get a prescription for.

Drug-Induced B-6 Deficiency a Growing Phenomena

Another serious issue regarding B-6 is that a growing number of medications actually deplete the body of this vital nutrient that is absolutely essential to life. The syndrome is called Drug Induced Pyridoxine Deficiency, and several drugs, including drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis, Parkinson’s Disease and for cancer are known to cause this syndrome, which essentially turns you into a mental vegetable by depleting your body of its needed stores of vitamin B-6.

Foods that Contain Vitamin B-6 Naturally

Under the circumstances it is important to note that certain foods contain vitamin B-6 naturally. They are, in order of their content percentage of the recommended daily value of the vitamin:

Baked potato, flesh and skin, 1 medium: 0.7 mg ~ 35% DV
Banana, raw, 1 medium: 0.68 mg ~ 34% DV
Garbanzo beans, canned, 1/2 c: 0.57 mg ~ 30% DV
Chicken breast, meat only, cooked, 1/2 breast: 0.52 mg ~ 25% DV
Pork loin, lean only, cooked, 3 oz: 0.42 mg ~20% DV
Roast beef, eye of round, lean only, cooked, 3 oz: 0.32 mg ~ 15% DV
Trout, rainbow, cooked, 3 oz: 0.29 mg ~ 15% DV
Sunflower seeds, kernels, dry roasted, 1 oz: 0.23 mg ~ 10% DV
Avocado, raw, sliced, 1/2 cup: 0.2 mg ~ 10% DV
Salmon, Sockeye, cooked, 3 oz: 0.19 mg ~ 10% DV
Tuna, canned in water, drained solids, 3 oz: 0.18 mg ~ 10% DV
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 Tbs: 0.15 mg ~ 8% DV

More importantly, safe, simple Brewer’s Yeast contains relatively high levels of B-vitamins, including B-6. Capsulated Brewer’s Yeast can be purchased in just about any health food store in the country, or is available through many online sources.

What to Do Now

Legally speaking, as of today, anyone wanting to purchase the pyridoxamine form of B-6, and probably soon the P5P form, will have to have a doctor's prescription to do so.

One thing you can do is go to the web site of the American Association for Health Freedom and sign their petition to stop the FDA from turning any more vitamins into drugs.

You should also write and call your Congressmen and Senators immediately, and tell them you don’t want the FDA banning any more vitamins by turning them into “drugs.”
It is high time we all start expressing our outrage at this outlandish behavior by the FDA and other bureaucracies in regards to their disdain for nutritional supplements. We now have the EPA trying to re-classify colloidal silver as a "pesticide" so they can ban its sale in health food stores. And we have the FDA actually re-classifying common vitamins as drugs. And it is all at the behest of the major pharmaceutical companies.


The handwriting is on the wall. And frankly, it is up to "we the people" to put a stop to this egregious breach of our health freedoms.

-- S. Spencer Jones

FDA Declares Form of Vitamin B6 a Drug, Effectively Banning Pyridoxamine from Dietary Supplements
http://www.naturalnews.com/025606.html

Thursday, February 12, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) The FDA has effectively banned a naturally-occurring form of vitamin B6 called pyridoxamine by declaring it to be a drug, reports the American Association for Health Freedom.
Responding to a petition filed by a drug company, the FDA declared pyridoxamine to be "a new drug."

Now, any nutritional supplements containing pyridoxamine will be considered adulterated and illegal by the FDA, which may raid vitamin companies and seize such products. See the history of FDA raids on vitamin companies here: http://www.naturalnews.com/021791.html

Pyridoxamine occurs naturally in fish, chicken and other foods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B6), putting the FDA in the strange position of banning a substance from dietary supplements even though it is already present in the food supply.

The FDA's war on Mother Nature

It's not the first time the FDA has declared a natural molecule to be a "drug" while attacking nutritional supplements that contain the same molecule. A similar story unfolded with red yeast rice and the lovastatin molecules it contains that lower high cholesterol. The drug companies engaged in biopiracy, ripping off the molecule from red yeast rice to make their now-famous "statin drugs."

Once the statin drugs were patented, Big Pharma and the FDA went after red yeast rice, claiming the supplement was "adulterated with pharmaceuticals." It wasn't really adulterated, of course. It just contained a natural statin-drug-like molecule that the drug companies copied and patented.

It would be like Big Pharma patenting vitamin C, then the FDA claiming that all oranges and lemons were adulterated with drugs because they naturally contain their own vitamin C.

This is the insanity of the FDA as it operates today. You can read more about the FDA on our channel webiste www.FDAreform.org which is updated every few days.

So will this ruling on pyridoxamine affect nutritional supplements? Yes, any supplements containing this form of vitamin B6 can now be declared "adulterated" by the FDA. Manufacturers of such supplements can be arrested and shut down for engaging in "illegal drug trafficking." Such is the nature of the FDA's agenda to criminalize nutritional supplement companies and limit consumers' access to Mother Nature's remedies.

The pyridoxamine "drug," by the way (which is just pyridoxamine), is designed to prevent the progression of diabetic nephrothapy (kidney disease). Most likely, the FDA will eventually approve the "drug" for that condition, even while claiming vitamin B6 supplements containing the very same chemical are useless and inert.

This is another classic oppression tactic of the FDA: Ban the herb, but promote the drug using the same chemicals. The same thing happened with ephedra, a Traditional Chinese Medicine herb known as ma huang. The FDA banned the herb, saying it was "dangerous at any dose," but pharmaceuticals containing the very same molecules (ephedrine) are still being sold over-the-counter as cold medicines, meaning they're available to any child without a prescription.

The bottom line is this: FDA approvals and bans have nothing to do with science and everything to do with protecting drug companies profits. If a drug company can make money selling a vitamin as a drug, the FDA will gladly ban the vitamin and protect the drug. If a drug company can rip off molecules from Mother Nature and patent them, the FDA will ban those same molecules found in nature.

All of this points to the urgent need to reform the FDA. A new petition demanding real FDA reform will be announced here on NaturalNews in the coming days.
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A Modern Parable to the Auto Bailout

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (CHRYSLER) decided to have a canoe race on the River. Both teams practiced long and hardto reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.


They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India.

the End.



Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results:


TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses...
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April 4, 2009

Car's, cars and more cars

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March 17, 2009

Spring Fling

This past Sunday an on-line community i belong to, BMXmuseum, had a big get together in St. Petersburg, FL. We had people from as far away as Alaska come down for this. Though myself and a few others arrived a little later then most others, it was an excellent day. Sun, warm weather, some awesome bikes, excellent people and just an awesome vibe in general.

There were some bikes there that were amazing. Some that were one of a kind and others that are on my wish list.

But in all, this whole thing was about meeting fellow BMXer's that share a passion of a hobby like car collectors do.

Here are just a few pics of what went down.

Group Photo

Photobucket

Bike Shots

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

My favorite bike of the show:

Photobucket

And of course i took my 86' Green and White Pro Performer.

Photobucket




If you want to see more pictures, stop over to the BMXMuseum and check them out.
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March 5, 2009

New Design

So i've finally gotten around to re-designing the blog. Same style of layout, just new colors and new graphics. It's about 75% done. Just a lot of fine tweaking here and there to go.

After a week of vacation, sick in NY, and another week of getting over it all back home, i've finally got some gumption up to work on some things. A lot is going on right now, especially with work. The time of the big merger is coming and things are changing. Time to put on my life vest and hang on for the ride.

I'm hoping shortly, i will be able to post to this on a regular basis. Most of my nights are spent play Call of Duty 4 while waiting to get tired enough to fall asleep. But im tired enough i keep getting my ass handed to be by 10 year olds. Put me on a PC with a first person shooter and it WON'T HAPPEN!!!
Learning to play these types of games on a console is a little tricky. But i'm getting the hang of it. So for now, enjoy the new design.
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Wild Blu Yonder

Just a short time a go, i found out that a friend of mine had passed away. I've known this man for the better part of the last 9 years. He was an avid Flight Simulator player. He was an excellent communicator and a dear friend. He was loved by everyone that knew him and cared for those equal as much.

It's hard when you loose someone. There is a void that never gets re-filled. I spent many a night with him in our on-line community talking. He always offered advice to me, whether i used it or not and he was always there to share his knowledge. We had discussions about everything over 9 years of friendship. But 9 years is too small for the amount of caring i have for this man. It's more like a life time.


May God grant you blue skies aloft,
With winds of calm by land,
As you play on the outskirts of heaven,
On the fragile wings of man.


May you have all the peace you need to carry on your dreams. Rest in Peace bro. Going to miss you.




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February 18, 2009

I'm Suing You

Well i might as well. It seems everyone including their great grandmother is suing everyone for anything these days. It's getting ridiculous. The latest, and i find this absolutely absurd, a woman named Beverly Stayart is suing Yahoo because when she did a search on her name, it led to porn sites and malicious websites. Well shit, i should sue Yahoo, Google, MSN, Dog Pile, Ask and every other search engine because when i search my name, i don't get accurate results on who i am.

So i did, search that is. What a schmuck i am.

The first result states i'm an artist, which is true. But it also stated i DIED in 2008!!! WTF! Last time i checked i'm alive and well. Total lies. That's worth suing right there.

The second result is for a blog that I've never seen before, and i have nothing to do with it. False advertising. Last time i knew, that was illegal.

Third result has me as a State Rep for MA. Hold the damn chuck wagon pa. I'm in no way shape, form or any other adjective you can think of a politician. I aught to sue just for that alone, associating me with politics. Who thought that was funny?

And apparently i am the Director, Owner and President of Spurwink Cordage, Inc since 1998. And this guy has the same first, middle and last name. Talk about stolen identity. Damn!!

And these were Google search results. God only knows what i would find on all the other search engines.
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Frontiernet.net Needs To Learn

Okay, so the ISP that services my moms area in Western NY has this "bright" idea. They want to cap users at 5g per month of broadband. And then the consumer would have to either pay for their overage or get shut off. Not to mention their prices are already steep for what service you get with them.

But let's break this down a bit.

Let's say there is a family of 3, two PC's and a gaming console such as a PS3 or Xbox 360.

Lets say the first of the month rolls around. You have 2 pc's that need SP3. That's roughly 316mb per PC. So that's just under 1g of broadband usage for updates. Now, after you install SP3, you will have at least 2 or 3 more updates to download and install. Lets say that rounds out at about 60mb for both PC's. So now your over 1g.

Now, of course you listen to iTunes and occasional download a movie or two to watch. Well, the last movie i downloaded was about 1.2g. So you download a movie for the weekend and your already over 2g of the 5g cap.

Ok, so now you see a new game you want to trial on your PS3. You download the trial game before buying, to see if you want to spend you money. The trial download is 1.3g. And right before you can play it, you have to download a 300mb patch for it. So there is yet another1.6g of broadband. So now were over 3g,pushing the 4g limit and this is just the beginning of the month.

So after a week or so of on-line gaming, emails, browsing, etc you decide you want to stream a movie from Netflix over your Xbox360. Guess what, you will go over your 5g monthly cap and face the consequences.

So whats the whole reasoning behind the 5g monthly cap? "It is important that customers that use less don't subsidize those that use the most," Maggie Wilderotter, the chairman and CEO of Frontier.

First off, Economics 101 tells you, YOUR WRONG! Obviously, this lady doesn't understand consumer line pricing. Secondly, HELLO McFLY!!!! Most users of today's Internet do more then play spider solitaire and stare gleefully at their background picture of their puppies.

Hell, with the 2 PC's i have on-line in my house, the amount of stuff i download from iTunes, the games the wife and i play on-line, the amount of art work i upload, not to mention the items i have bough on-line for my Xbox360 would have busted this cap and then some on the first of the month.

What it comes down to in the end is, Frontier refuses to expand their infrastructure to be more adequate for today's high demand for broadband. They want to punish you as a consumer of actually having a life outside of their network.

Hell, i told them some 6-7 years ago, when i had them, someone had hacked their servers and was using customers PC's. They told me i didn't know what i was talking about. But not more then a few days after that hour long phone call with a few supervisors, a large article mysteriously showed up on the main page of the local paper. And the gentleman from Texas was arrested for his crimes.


It's high time the ISP's of this country wake up and smell the roses. CEO's walk away with millions yet they don't know how to expand their infrastructure and do their jobs properly.
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February 2, 2009

Best Super Bowl Commercial

We've all been there... I watched them all, went to www.hulu.com and re-watched them. And in my opinion, this was the best. Cute, funny, what more can i say.


Bridgestone: Potato Heads
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Steelers Nation PT.2

“We’re unselfish. We’re very blue collar. We’re resilient.” Words spoken by safety Troy Polamalu. We’re a team that’s taken on the personality of our city,” he continued.


This is very true. I've been a Steelers fan since i was 7 or 8, back in the 70's. My favorite players were Franco Harris and Jack Lambert. Even though i had no idea what the Immaculate Reception was or meant. Every Sunday at grandma's house, we had diner and would watch football. And if the Steelers were playing, i would be found in front of the TV. Every Christmas, my grandmother got me a new Steelers jacket. And every year i wanted to go to Pittsburgh not only for a Steelers game but to live.

Some 12 years later i got that chance. I went to college in Pittsburgh. I lived there for 2 years before moving back home to NY. While i was there, i had met some amazing people. Most of them were life time residents of Pittsburgh. There was an aura in and around the city that seemed to welcome one with open arms.

Very seldom would you find a person who was selfish or one who would snub you for any reason. When it came to game day, all the fans of the Steelers, and for that matter the Penguins, would gather around the TV's, the Civic Arena or Three Rivers Stadium and have fun.

No matter what city you go to, you always have those few that want something for nothing. But what i have found in my travels during those years, no other city could match the warmth of Pittsburgh. Hard working people willing to extend a hand when needed. Stick together during good times and bad.

So as i watched my team, a team with a legion of fans across this country go for a record 6th Super Bowl victory, i could not help but wonder if the Steeler Nation isn't the true America's Team? A title that Dallas has had for a very long time. From NY to Mass, down to FL and as far west as AZ itself, i have met numerous amounts of Steeler fans. And to see the amount of black and gold jerseys and terrible towels in the stands in Tampa, one had to wonder where the red and white of Arizona was.

The Steelers had one of the, if not the hardest schedules this year. With the likes of Dallas, New England and the Ravens. However, tonight's game seemed to be the toughest. Tooth and nail from the start of the game down to the last play. The offense made the plays when needed, the defense stepped up when it counted. But I'm not going to count out the Cardinals either. They fought for every inch they got. The Steelers didn't give them anything. I think the Cardinals need to be very proud with themselves. I have not seen such a good game in many years. And they have earned my respect after tonight.

So what's next? Six Super Bowl titles, new records set and a trip to Disney. In a dynasty steeped in blue collar tradition, where does the Black & Gold go from here?
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February 1, 2009

The Steeler Nation

The Steeler Nation doesn't just reside in its home state like most teams do, with a few outside of the territory. The Steeler Nation is just that, a league of fans across this nation. With a defense that's on top of it's game, still ranked one of the best in the league and one that plays hard nosed football, Arizona will be hard pressed.

However, with Arizona's multi-offensive weapons, it will keep the Steelers defense on its toes.

Your putting a legacy against dysfunction. A team with a racked history against a team of a hard knock throw back style. How ever you match it up, in my book, it will be a good game. But in the end, it will be the Steelers commitment to excellence, that it's known for, that will shine.
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January 31, 2009

Crack Addiction

Now I've seen a lot in my 9 years working and playing in computers. Some of those are still on my top 10 list. However today, I just added a new item to that list.

I talked to a person who was having email issues. It seemed,that they were getting what looked like a regular SMTP error when trying to send an email. So i asked this person to read to me the error number and anything else the error stated. So i took this number and attempted a Google search because this number was not one i was familar with, nor was it one that normally comes up with your normal SMTP error. And one word the person read to me stuck in my mind as odd, ice.

So i asked this person who they were trying to email, and they really hesitated in saying. So after a few minutes of asking questions, i got to the bottom of the persons issue. They were clicking on a contact link on a web page, which in turn, was launching the persons Outlook Express, which they didn't even have set up. The person was trying to email through this instead of their normal web mail.

The error popped up again, but this time it was worded differently. I cannot remember the exact wording, but it went something like this...

"The contact your trying to email is being held in custody by Immigration, Customs and ICE. The email cannot go forward."

What the hell???

After a few moments silence, the person, joking i hope, blurted out..."so much for my coke runs. Guess i will have to fly south to pick it up then."

I was floored. Speechless and yet laughing my ass off inside. I turned to this person as said, you know this conversationis being recorded don't you. They said, really?, and hung up.

Now, i have never seen this error before, and yes it could be some form of new virus. But i haven't seen it so i doubt it. But what really gets me is the fact the person hung up when they were told the conversation was being recorded. maybe the person is a drug runner. Who knows. But if they are, they must be using their own product.
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January 24, 2009

IOU

Ok, so once since the great depression, has the state of California handed out IOU's for state tax refunds. Guess what... Looks like there are going to do it again.

*****
State Controller John Chiang has said that as early as Feb. 1, his office may begin issuing promissory notes if lawmakers have not resolved the budget crisis. The state has done this only once before since the Great Depression -- in 1992.

"We have not made any decision about deferring payments or using IOUs, but they are possibilities if the governor and Legislature don't come to some agreement soon," Chiang spokeswoman Hallye Jordan said Tuesday.

Under the state Constitution, schools and bondholders get first rights to any cash in the state's coffers.

Among the first to get IOUs instead of payments would be business and individual taxpayers who are expecting refunds, local governments and recipients of grants from the California Student Aid Commission. Last year, more than 10 million taxpayers received state refunds totaling $8 billion.

Court-appointed lawyers, 1,700 judges, legislators and their staffs would also go unpaid. And officials are preparing to delay a popular program that helps elderly and disabled Californians by paying their property taxes.

*****

FULL STORY HERE

I wonder if the govt would take an IOU from the tax payer when the tax payer doesn't have the money to pay in on the owed taxes? I highly doubt it. They would sick the IRS all over you like bee's to honey.

I know the govt states i owe them money. But yet they have failed to prove it to me onmany occasion when i have simple asked for proof. But they insist that i pay. I wonder if i would get away with an IOU on the next payment.

What have the states done in the last 10 years that they are so far in debt? How many law makers, senators, congressman have gotten raises and pet projects paid for while everything else has gone to hell? I think it's high time any govt official take at least a 15% pay cut and all that money gets put back into the state. All pet projects that lawmakers and state officials want get paid out of their own pockets.

Raises can only be voted on the the residents of the states. Pet projects can only be voted on by the residents of the states.
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When I Grow Up...

Why parents should always check their children's homework before they hand it in: A first grade girl handed in the drawing below for a homework assignment.






After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:


Dear Ms. Davis,
I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This photo is of me selling a shovel.
Mrs. Harrington
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January 18, 2009

AFC CHAMPIONS!!!!!

Again, the Steelers are the AFC CHAMPIONS!!!

Here we come Arizona!


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January 17, 2009

Retro Print

Working on some retro 80's designs for shirts. This is the newest design for BMX.

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January 16, 2009

I know your Problem

Two Christmases ago, the mother in law bought me a t-shirt. On this t-shirt was an image of a warning sign, and a stick figure sticking a fork into a AC outlet with the words, "I know your problem, your stupid."

Today a friend linked me a video from failblog.org. And as i watched the video, the t-shirt popped into my mind. Judge for yourself...







EPIC FAIL!
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January 14, 2009

Feel It

Illustration done in Photoshop



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January 11, 2009

AFC Championship Here we come!!


After a very well played game, something i haven't seen the offense do in god knows when, the Steelers are moving on to the AFC Championship game against the Ravens. With the offense playing so well, that gives the defense which is the leagues #1 rated defense a lot of rest for the upcoming game. In his 2nd year as head coach, can Tomlin take the Black and Gold to yet another Super Bowl victory? Making this their 6th over all?
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Frustration

All my life i had done minor work on my bikes. the basic. however, when ever it came to the fine tuning or brake installations, i would take it to the local bike shop. I've finally gotten my brakes back from the painters and together. However, installing them is a whole new ball game. The lower brake cables for the gyro don't seem to fit right. Guess i get to take it to the bike shop to have them finish it up.
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January 9, 2009

Coloring with Photoshop


























I've uploaded a tutorial to my site, showing you how to color a picture or line art with Photoshop. Though i use Photoshop, programs like Paint Shop Pro and others can be used. All in all, the entire image took about 6 hours to complete.

Stop over to the main site and check it out. It's located under the Downloads section.
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The Mask

As the night makes it way
across the sky,
No one knows they're gonna die.
The blame cannot be put,
anywhere other than it should.
Silent and unspoken,
figures dance the dance.
History says it pays to take the chance.
But no one seem's to learn,
that ignorance is nothing yearned.
When the smoke clears and all is seen,
nothing looks as it seems.
Fingers pointing this way and that,
but who wants to wear the hat?
For i have seen alot,
murders,muggings, shooting's and rape.
People turn their heads for escape.
But when will we realize,
that what we do is scrutinize.
That we must start in the beginning,
to make this world a safe place for
a child to live in.
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The Candle

Lightning crashes as the rain blows,
shadows appear from nowhere.
To dance like ghosts.
You awake to the cries of a child,
to light a candle and go see.
Everyone's sleeping,
and you smile down upon thee.
Smoke from the candle rises up to follow,
slowly behind.
Lightning crashes, the wind howls loud,
temporarily your blind.
Candle light flickers,
streams of flowing wax.
As you lay your head to rest,
you just know.
Happy to see the candle lit your way,
tommorrow brings another day.
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The Passing

the shallow halls are silent,
memories of distant past come forth.
screams of laughter and hate invade the mind,
but what once was a terrible accident.
shall soon come to rest for on this spot.
he did say the chosen words,
that made him what he is today .
the invisible guest, the poet, the martyr
but his spirit lives on for in these
halls he once spoke,
words from the heart now that heart
is divided no more shall it be one

as the visions of the past arise,
may he rest in peace,
with closed eye's he was a poet,
of all sorts romance, laughter and horror
but in the end, he was a man, with clouded vision
his feelings were spilled in blood
on the parchment of space everyone
read what he wrote, letting him slide on a high note as time went on,
he sat there and watched people wanted more,
they drained him dry he left for a crusade
the personal kind and when he came back,
all his friends were few to find...
so he laid his head to rest,
one cold and lonely night when his eye's closed,
they closed for the last time.
now all i said is true i say
ghost writer walks his way,
he may come in from time to time,
but then again, i may be lying.
who know's what this man will do,
not even i, his other you.
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Testamony of The Beast

And another...


The wolves carry my name,
in their midnight speaches.
A voice much closer to home,
shouts into my heart with unholy impatience.
One thousand and one moons,
hung overhead.
I'm growing old,
soon i shall be dead.
I have found the gates,
that lead to the otherside.
Standing atop temples,
built to the gods.
The testimony i preach,
shall be learned.
All i have seen,
shall be heard.
For the chaledon's roam free.
I have found fear,
i have raised the dead.
Things subjected,
only unto me.
The book of the Black Earth,
is now my home.
Waiting and dreaming,
for my departure.
The ancient ones,
tell of tales.
Of the beginning,
for which i have seen.
Close all gates,
as the vapor of death,
shall toll my bell.
The chaledon's roam free.
The chaledon's roam free
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Blackend

Writing the post below, i looked up an old website of mine and found some of my writings from back then. Here is one of them.

Life is but an illusion,
hanging from a wall.
What once was, will never be,
what is, will never become.
As i sit in my mental isolation,
i can't help think of my anihalation.
Alone i sit, behind a wall,
a wall of thought, misunderstood by all.
My world is blackend, nothing more to see,
blackend, looks whats left of me.
Come a little closer, look into my eyes,
do you see the fire, in my skies?
The light is shinning through,
nightmares about you.
Dreams are my compainionship,
why don't you get ahold of it.
My world is blackend, nothing more tosee.
blackend, looks whats left of me.
Your minds are inraged,
to you, life and death are not the same.
come to me, and you will see,
never more, not tonight,
it's not the same, everythings alright.
Blackend, blackend.
Look whats left of me.
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Flash Dance

I read a story today on the net. While reading that story, i felt sad and angry. It was a personal story of someone who had a very hard and rough point in life, but seems to have been able to pull their life through and seems to be doing okay. At one point in time, like many young boys during the 80's, i had a crush on this person and badly wanted to be with this person, who is roughly a few years older then myself. Then as time went on, and i moved on, that part of my life changed. Even my life started to turn dark at times.

Reading this story, and knowing where it seemed to have start, i could relate to. Because i too, at that time in my life was at a very similar place in life. But i think the big difference between me and this person was, i wanted the attention. Since i was an outcast in all social circles in school and the community, i wanted the attention for what i did. But it never came. Their were many reasons for that.

But i look back and i have to wonder some 15+ years later, would it have been a good idea? Would it have been like all other young kids who have had their 15 minutes? Would i be here today and if so, what would i be like?

Both this person and i had a dark period in our lives. But from what i read, this person's was so much more then mine. Every teen has difficulties in life, that's a given. But when these difficulties lead one to hit bottom, something is wrong. Mine was when i started to give up and started to get violent. I was hurt too many times and one day snapped. But it also led to other things, in which thoughts of ending it all were becoming more and more a daily thought. I don't know who or what woke me, but i started to change.

I used to write a lot during those times. I did drugs and drank a lot. But i'm happy to say that all of that is behind me. Has been for about 1o years+. Sad but true, so is the writing. Because that is one thing that i enjoyed doing. And now, the blog is really the only writing i do.

But as i read this persons story, i couldn't help but feel connected. I've read a lot of personal stories over the years, talked to a lot of people with personal issues. But there was something about this, that just felt like i lived it. I think some of it has to do with the loss of friends during my dark times. Rejection of people and of myself. Maybe something else. I don't know.

I doubt the person who i speak of will ever read this. But i just want to say congratulations. And maybe one day, i will be able to meet this person. What we would talk about, no idea really. Life in general i guess, art, bikes, music, what ever there is to talk about. One thing i know, is that if you really, really want something bad enough, you can get it. And this persons fight has shown me just that. I know there's probably more to the story itself then what was put on-line, but what is there, is enough to make you realize. Thank you.
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