March 18th, 2003

beartato phd

(no subject)

I ought to read one or two of these essays linked off of


No, nevermind. They're indistinguishable from near-vacuous whining.


Anyway, got some work done on databases foo.

Went to Kevin Mitnick thing. Now, I'm sure Steve Wozniak is a really important and amazingly cool guy in the history of computers and and all that, but, really, he isn't the best public speaker evar. This is the second time I've heard him talk, this time was just introducing mitnick, but it still was a bunch of spurious random pseudo-philosphical rambling.

The Mitnick talk itself had a bunch of funny anecdotes. One about a social engineering hack where a guy said that some files were disappearing weirdly, and convinced the mark to create a file named, oh, ".rhosts", with contents, oh just something simple, say "++" (a wildcard) and do an ls to see if it worked. Oh no! Where did it go? Oh, well, thanks for confirming the "problem", heh, heh! Sadly, the talk ran pretty long and got pretty tedious near the end, but any given part of it was pretty well-delivered ay least. Many tidbits of scary guvmint-civil-rights-denyin' stories, too.
beartato phd

Bus Guy

So I realize I've been in Pittsburgh for some time by noticing that I know names for so many of the "regulars" around Oakland and Squill. Many of them are not my own invention, but are instead just the names that everyone knows. Everyone knows Sombrero Guy, whether they haveaaany chanchange or not. There once was Dog Guy, but he seems to have vanished. There's Milk-Crate Blind Singing Guy. Violin Lady plays outside Geagle. The other day I think I again spotted freaky pro-life guy with his pamphlets and giant-foetus-poster down by Arby's.

But there's this weird guy I've been noticing lately on the 67F bus now and then. He is always mumbling to himself. Sometimes he has napkins, from McDonald's or somewhere, I suppose, and scribbles crazy things on them with a cheap-looking ball-point, staring alternately at the ceiling of the bus, and out the window. Once it wasn't napkins, but scraps of paper, torn into little rectangles, each about the size as old library card-catalog cards, maybe a little smaller. In any event, when he writes, his bits of napkin or paper or whatever get thrown all over the seats next to him. They are invariably empty because the, uh, smell. And, well, nobody wants to sit next to the guy talking to himself anyway.

It's strange how intensely purposeful he seems, though, moving his scraps and notes around, adding a thought here, striking this one out, putting these five in a pile.