Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do They Really Have Room to Gloat

I wonder why it is the people most likely to teabag in multiplayer, first person shooter games also tend to be the ones with the lowest scores? I mean, any time I've seen some tool do the lame videogame version of teabagging, it's usually someone who's score is in the bottom third of the current match. I guess they have to celebrate the few victories they get, somehow.

Tastes Like Box

The problem with most food out of boxes is that they taste like they came out of boxes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Les Habs vs. The Killer Bs

I love good game of "old time" hockey. Tonight, I watched the spectacle that was the Boston Bruins vs the Montreal Canadiens.

For starters, I don't care for either team. I'm a Flyers fan and the Flyers have a bit of a history against both teams. It's a history that makes it difficult to root for one team or the other. About the best one can hope for is that the building they're playing against each other in implodes during the game, wiping out both teams.

That said, while I loathe the Canadiens, I at least have a measure of respect for the Broons. So, when the two play, I'd rather see the Canadiens lose. Given the NHL's current points-award system, I'd rather see the Canadiens lose in regulation time than the game go to a tie (if one team has to get two points for an OT win, there's no point in rewarding the other team for just having gotten to OT).

At any rate, as much as I dislike both teams, tonights game was rather fun to watch. It was high-scoring and both teams were in a pissy mood. It was nice to see them going after each other, physically. Still, for all the hits and fighting, it wasn't as penalty-filled as some past Flyers classics. It's likely to be a long time before anyone matches the 419 minutes of penalties of the Flyers/Senators game on 3/25/2004.

Even though this game paled in comparison, penaty-wise, I did take away some nuggets of knowledge:

  • PK Subban's pretty much the Mike Green of the Montreal Canadiens: he's a far better shooter than a defenseman. He's also kind of stupid in his on-ice conduct. Here's hoping for a case of PK jelly-brain!
  • Apparently, six is at least one player over-capacity for the penalty box at the Boston Garden...
  • I'm gonna have to set the DVR to record the next Habs/Bs game...

Lottery Fantasies

Ok, I admit it: I'm one of those people that buys lottery tickets. And, yes, I am fully cognizant of the odds of winning and that I'm, essentially, throwing money away. While my odds of winning without having bought a ticket are only slightly less than having bought one, there's still that small chance. Yet, for the price of just $1, I have a brief "hit" of hope. I've got something I can build fantasies about.

Now, my fantasies range from the mundane to the ridiculous. Like many people, I'd:

  • pay off all my bills
  • take care of family
  • help out some close friends
  • give to charities
  • quit or reduce working
  • buy property
  • invest

However, I'd consider doing some things that others might not. For instance, were I to win a large lottery (say, a take-home of $100Mn+) I'd hire a posse of angry midgets to follow me around. I mean "why not". It's not something you see every day. Hell... Maybe when I buy that big estate on a defensible hill with enough natural resources to go "off the grid", I could put a moat around it ...and have those angry midgets patrol the moat (instead of stocking it with alligators).

Password Security

To start with, I'm one of those people that tends to be more security conscious than your average Internet user. That I write as much here (and elsewhere) in a public fashion was a conscious choice done after weighing out the likely risks of doing so.

I've long used complex passwords. Typically, I've used ones that were more complex than required of the systems I use. Hell, where possible, I make it so that I either need two-factor authentication or some kind of difficult to reproduce token rather than a brute-forceable password string.

Still, most web sites, applications, etc., rely on passwords. Most sites are less security conscious than I am allowing short, non-complex passwords that never expire. Of the few sites that show any level of security consciousness, it seems half-assed at best. Some sites only enforce, say, six-character passwords or, worse, only allow 6-10 character passwords. Some sites want you to have "complex" passwords, but then limit the choice of characters you can use to create that complexity.

At least one of the financial institutions I do business with falls into this limited-complex camp.

How freaking secure are your "complex" passwords when you don't allow any of ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ , or . in your passwords???

What's even more annoying about one, particular, financial institution is that they expire their passwords every 45 days. Now, this isn't an institution I deal with on a regular basis. My day-to-day bank allows me to pay all my bills from their portal. This other institution, I only log into when I need some information. So, every time I log in, I have to change my damned password and deal with the fact that they don't allow me to make my passwords as complex as I'd like. Even more fun, they don't allow me to re-use any of the last dozen passwords.While this is good, in theory, given my access frequency, that means it's going to take nearly two years before I can recycle. Now, given that they hamstring me on the passwords I can/would set, it makes memorization of the password even harder. So, pretty much every time I do log in, I have to go through the "I forgot my password" hassle. If they let me set the passwords I wanted, they'd be good against a brute-force attack for a number of years (basically, a cracking tool would have to work through several hundred quadrillion combinations to stumble on my particular combinations). But, no. I'm stuck with passwords that are several orders of magnitude less complex.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hum a Jaunty Tune

Much as I don't understand how it is that every morning I wake up, I have some random music rattling about my head, I don't understand how new ones end up getting featured throughout the day. I mean, in some cases, it's because I accidentally heard an earwig. But, in most cases, it's completely random. With wakeups, it's generally a song I've not heard in ages (and didn't even ever particularly like). Even more bizarrely, it's rarely associated with whatever it was I was dreaming just before waking up. In the rare cases that I was dreaming it, the music is usually what wakes me up.

At any rate, I've got another random tune stuck in my head and it got there unprompted and in the middle of the day. All I can do, at this point, is think, "Argh: how did I get Symphony of Destruction stuck in my head??"