July 25, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:35 pm

Craig at mtpolitics wrote rather extensively here about P2P (i.e. peer to peer) file sharing programs. The gist of his post is that the folks who download (i.e. swap) music files with other P2P software users may not just be swapping music. Apparently all sorts of things are out there for all the world to see, some of which is quite shocking and even dangerous. Craig wrote:

…Most people think that if they download and install Kazaa, Limewire, etc., all it does is download music. They don’t understand that the program scans their hard drive for files to share, and doesn’t care whether it’s music or not. The concepts of Spyware, Adware and file sharing just don’t resonate with them

Later, he pointed to a specific site called “See What You Share on P2P.” I too received a referral from that site (Thank you), and I checked it out. The author of the site has made it his mission to demonstrate just what kinds of things are out there for everyone to see. Like the fellow described in Craig’s post, who found sensitive material and notified various federal agencies, all to no avail, Glen Breakwater (an alias), the author of “See What You Share on P2P” found the same lack of governmental response. As he explains, this led to the creation of his site:

Technology often outruns legislation. So is the case with Peer 2 Peer networks. Many people obtain P2P software so they can download music or movies. A large number of those people do not have any idea what they are sharing.

A few months ago, I downloaded some military briefings from the Gnutella Network. The briefings were zipped and the file contained 21 documents with classifications ranging from For Official Use Only to Secret/NO FORN. Shocked at my discovery, I notified an agency on a nearby military installation. When nothing happened, I notified another agency. I continued this course because no action was taken and for a nation at war, I was concerned for the safety of our soldiers.

It may appear that I am picking on certain institutions [emphasis seems to be on things military ed.]. This is true. I want everyone to know that we can be our own worst enemies when we don’t understand the full power of our technology. I want every military and government agency to see first hand what is being shared with anyone who has a computer. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I can save myself some talking.

His latest post highlights what happens when P2P software resides on the same hard drive as people’s medical records.

I never got into music downloading, and, given the existence and scope of this problem, I am not about to start. I think I’ll continue to get my music by buying CDs, and I hope my doctor is doing the same.

July 24, 2004

Well, It’s Sorta Like Real Content.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:04 pm

It’s a rainy Saturday, and I don’t have much to say. I found this over at Rita’s blog, and she found it at Tony’s blog, etc. etc. I have never done one of these, and after I completed it I was going to nuke it, figuring that no one really gives much of a shit about my answers to these questions. However, I changed my mind, thinking that, since I took the time to answer the questions, you’re stuck with it, dammit.

Here goes:

1. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR BEDROOM WALLS? I am tempted to simply say “white,” but I know that the paint store sells about three-dozen kinds of “white.” I will, therefore, say “some kinda white.”

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? American Evita, a book about that awful woman who was once the co-president.

3. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? The logo of this blog, which was one of my Christmas gifts from TJ, who has been too busy with Life 101 to do much blogging.

4. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Trivial Pursuit and scrabble. I can be deadly with the former and very ho-hum with the latter.

5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? I have subscribed to Time for many years, even though it regularly pisses me off. Lately I get more excited about receiving the Cigar International catalog.


7. FAVORITE COLOR? Teal (I’m in touch with my feminine side.)


9. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE PICKS UP? I have the answering machine from hell. It picks up when it damned well pleases.

10. MOST IMPORTANT MATERIAL THING IN MY LIFE? My drums, my guitars, my CDs, and my bigass capitalist car.

11. FAVORITE FLAVOR OF ICE CREAM? I’m thinking butter almond.

12 DO YOU BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT DAILY? Technically, yes, but here you get a gimme for ten miles per hour over the limit on the highway I use every day. My friends say I drive too slowly. Like I give a shit.

13. DO YOU HAVE A STUFFED ANIMAL IN YOUR ROOM SOMEWHERE? Only on those occasions when I have eaten too much.

14. STORMS – COOL OR SCARY? Very cool. I even have a CD that plays the sounds of a thunderstorm. Great to read by.

15. FAVORITE DRINK? Oh my. I feel like Meryl (the asshole of late) Streep, in “Sohpie’s Choice.” I can’t just pick one. So, I’ll say vodka (several kinds), gin (Bombay Sapphire), bourbon (too many kinds to mention), rum (Myers Dark), merlot, sangiovese, and beer and ale of many descriptions. I also like Diet Dr. Pepper and orange juice, but not together.

16. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? I’m a Libran, which means that I am a very cool guy, and modest too.

17. FAVORITE VEGETABLES? Potatoes (an Irish thing, perhaps)

18. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Drummer with the Eagles (Let Henley stick to singing), or maybe with Eric Clapton’s band. I’d also like to have a radio show on which I could sit around and shoot the breeze with interesting or goofy folks. The Original Bill would be a regular, as would the authors of the blogs on the left side of this page.

19. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY COLOR HAIR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Did I ever mention that I have great farookin’ hair? I like it the way it is, although a bit more pepper and a little less salt might be nice.


21. TOP THREE FAVORITE MOVIES (IN ORDER)? Godfather II, Godfather I, and Fail Safe.

22. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? You betcha. I can blaze away at warp speed. Remember, I was a wannabe “Remington Raider.”

23. WHAT’S UNDER YOUR BED? My Paul Reed Smith electric guitar.

24. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NUMBER? 911. Don’t leave home without it.

25. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH ON TV & IN PERSON? On TV, synchronized swimming. Live, quoits.

26. WHAT IS YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST FEAR? Alligators, crabs and the reinstitution of prohibition.

27. FAVORITE CD OF ALL TIME & RIGHT NOW? This is way too hard. If I think about this question for too long, my hair will ache.

28. FAVORITE TV SHOW OF ALL TIME & RIGHT NOW? The Honeymooners and The Sopranos.

29. HAMBURGERS OR HOT DOGS? Burgers. I will gladly pay you Tuesday.

30. THE COOLEST PLACES YOU’VE EVER BEEN? Switzerland, Hawaii, and saloons that have 100 kinds of beer.

31. WHAT WALLPAPER AND/OR SCREENSAVER IS ON YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW? Desktop: The one that looks like the inside of a computer (as if I would know how the inside of this thing looks).

32. DOES MCDONALD’S SKIMP ON YOUR FRIES & DO YOU CARE? Not that I know of, and not really.

33. FAVORITE CHAIN RESTAURANT(s)? They are all kinda the same. Fortunately, we still have restaurants here with names like “Tony’s,” and they are owned by “Tony.”

34. IF YOU HAVE A BOY (OR HAVE ANOTHER BOY) WHAT WOULD YOU NAME HIM? Not applicable, but “Zorro” would be nice.

35. IF YOU COULD LEARN TO PLAY ONE INSTRUMENT OVERNIGHT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? If you mean play it well, the answer would be the piano. I’d also like to play pedal steel guitar. That might make me the only pedal steel guitar player in Jersey.

So, now that you know me better, does anyone want to pick out furniture together?

Comment Spammers.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:55 am

This is sad.

July 23, 2004

Wanna Go Down-a-Shore?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:05 pm

Seaside.jpgWe have had monsoon-like rain in Jersey today, and the weekend promises to be just as bad. That’s no reason why you can’t take a flash-photo trip to the Jersey Shore, courtesy of National Geographic. Amy Toensing, a professional photographer, took her camera Down the Shore and created a photo essay, complete with narration. It is called, “Sights and Sounds – Greetings from the Jersey Shore.”

Ms. Toensing (who’s photos are excellent, at least to my untrained eye) places a bit too much emphasis on the gritty spots (e.g. the Seaside Heights Boardwalk), which make up a small part of the 120+ miles of beach in the state. However, having said that, “Seaside” is a place well known to virtually every Garden Stater. In addition, it is colorful as hell and, therefore, it makes for good photos. When I was a boy, it was the place to go for vacation. And, I might add that there is nothing quite like eating an Italian sausage sandwich (with peppers and onions) with a cold beer on the Seaside Heights Boardwalk.

She also has a segment on the “Surf Club,” a well-known beachfront saloon that has been there forever. Suffice it to say that I misspent a good deal of my “yoot” there, getting bleary-eyed. although I never qualified as a “Guido.”. Hell, my band even got to play there a couple times.

Take a look.

Thanks to Roberto, a Jersey Blogger, of DynamoBuzz, for the link.

July 22, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:21 pm

Way back in 2002 I wrote a little something about the way we talk here in Northern Jersey, reluctantly conceding that, yes, we may have a little bit of an accent. I also provided some of the rudiments of Jerseyspeak. I believe that it is time for another lesson.

In that regard, I think it is instructive to compare the “proper” way of speaking in certain situations with the way the folks here speak in those same situations.

Let’s begin, shall we?

When trying to get someone’s attention…
Proper: “Excuse me.”
Jersey: “Yo!”

When trying to get the attention of a gentleman…
Proper: “Excuse me, sir.”
Jersey: “Yo, buddy!”

When trying to get a gentleman’s attention, and he appears to be ignoring you…
Proper: “SIR, Excuse me, sir.”
Jersey: “Yo, Asshole! Over here!”

When trying to get a gentleman’s attention and he continues to ignore you.
Proper: “Sir, Excuse me. I am trying mightily to get your attention.”
Jersey: “Yo, Asshole! Get the shit outta yer ears!”

When greeting a friend on the street…
Proper: “Hello.”
Jersey: “Haya Doo’n?”

When greeting a friend whom you have not seen in a while…
Proper: “Hello there. It certainly has been a while.”
Jersey: “YO! Haya Doo’n? Long time no see. Where yoo bin?”

When inquiring as to your friend’s whereabouts…
Proper: “Hello there. It certainly has been a while. Have you relocated?”
Jersey: “YO! Haya Doo’n? Long time no see. Where yoo bin? You bin locked up or some shit?”

When you question whether another person might be angry with you…
Proper: “Sir, I sense that you might be angry with me.”
Jersey: “Yo, Asshole. You got some kinda freakin’ problem?”

When describing a person whom you believe to be incorrect about a matter…
Proper: “That gentleman appears to be ill-informed.”
Jersey: “He don’t know shit.”

When questioning whether something you have heard from a stupid person is correct…
Proper: “What you just told me seems a bit fanciful, sir.”
Jersey: “Horseshit!”

When questioning whether something you have heard from a person was intended to deceive you…
Proper: “I am having difficulty believing that you are being truthful with me.”
Jersey: “Bullshit!”

When someone describes things that seem petty, over complicated, and unnecessary…
Proper: “I question the necessity of all these useless and annoying formalities.”
Jersey: “Chickenshit!”

[Note our facility with scatological nuance.]

…and finally,

When you are asked by a friend to help him make a difficult decision about an interpersonal matter…
Proper: “You must carefully weigh the pros and cons of your intended action, which may include a thoughtful balancing of the benefits of your intended actions against the risk of an taking an alternative approach. You should also consider the pros, cons, risks and benefits of taking no action at all.”
Jersey: “Yo, Do da right ting.”


July 21, 2004

A Case of the Blahs.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:17 pm

Earlier today I had thought of a couple things that might be fun to write about. However, as I sit here, I realize that I just don’t feel very creative or interested in the least in trying to be creative. It seems that the news has overpowered my muse.

We have the story about the discovery of the head of fellow Garden Stater, Paul Johnson, in a terrorist’s freezer in Saudi Arabia.

Then there is the story about the insurgents murdering Islamic pigs taking six more hostages and threatening to behead them unless their employer ceases doing business with Americans in Iraq.

Finally, a person whom I consider to be very bright (and who is a liberal) said to me today, “The Sandy Berger thing is overblown. Besides, there was no harm done, as he only took copies of documents.” I farookin’ give up! If a Republican had done what Sandy Berger did, the press would be absolutely apoplectic. Maureen Dowd would be positively orgasmic. It would have been Abu Ghraib times ten.

My exhausted muse and I are headed for Mr. Recliner.

P.S. If someone is inclined to write a comment containing the Democrat Talking Points on the Sandy Berger story (i.e. It was inadvertent! It is Republican smear! Look at the timing!), please peddle your shit elsewhere. I’m not buying it.

July 20, 2004

News and One-Word Commentary.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 5:35 pm

Sandy Berger stuffing documents in trou. – Bad

The Aladdin Hotel in Vegas – Excellent.

Jersey political slime now involves a cop and a private detective – Blecch.

Jersey guy who sued his 7th grade daughter’s school for requiring her to sit in an assigned seat in the cafeteria, claiming that assigned seating infringed his daughter’s rights of free speech. – Asshole.

Explosion in New York Times Square subway station may have been a pipe bomb. Frightening.

Federal Judge rules that police cannot inspect bulky bags and backpacks of demonstrators outside the Republican Convention, absent “specific threat.” PIPE BOMB! (I know. That’s two words.)

Michael Jackson may be the expectant father of quadruplets. Criminal.

July 19, 2004

More Jersey Stuff.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:53 pm

Check out “Six Things You Don’t Know About New Jersey.”

Actually, if you’ve been coming around here for a while, the article could be called “Four Things You Don’t Know About New Jersey.” because I’ve previously gone on about not having to pump our own gas and the seeingly eternal “What Exit?” joke.

Via Angelleyeze. Oh, and please take a moment to fill out her questionnaire that will form the basis of her Master’s Degree thesis.

Law, “Down Neck” Style, in Iraq.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:40 pm

I came across an article about Paul Bergrin, a Brooklyn-born lawyer who practices in the Ironbound section of Newark (called, “Down Neck”** by folks from around here) who is representing Javal Davis, one of the six soldiers charged in the Abu Ghraib Prison “scandal.” No stranger to the military, Mr. Bergrin holds the rank of Major in the Army Reserves. Mr. Bergrin’s particulars are here and those of his firm are here.

This could be interesting. Stay tuned.

**A colorful and still-vibrant section of Newark in which I was born and spent my earliest years, as well as a good deal of my time through my adulthood, because my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins (including Cousin Jack) lived there through the sixties. The referenced site was maintained by Doris Campbell Hector, who passed away on June 2, 2002 at age 81.

July 18, 2004

A Spammer’s Scheisse.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 2:56 pm

I just received the following comment from “Jade Bilder,” a comment spammer in Germany, who uses the “say nice things” tactic in hopes that the site owner will leave his comment up and someone will click on the link, which I’ll bet, contains pictures (Bilder) of someone named “Jade.” He writes:

Schöne Seite mit guten Informationen.

Yo, “Jade,” du kannst mich am Arsch lecken.

You’ve just been MT Blacklisted, Arschloch.

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