Okay, back online more or less fully. My tiny-LAN is up (one printer, one notebook, one desktop, one hub) and things have been restored enough to e-mail, browse, print, and generally get work done. Unfortunately, it’s all set me way back on my homework. I’m supposed to be reading Faulkner and memorizing lines in a play yesterday and today. *shrug* Oh well.
Right now, it’s 2:30 AM and I’m trying to pick up the acoustic riffs in Zeppelin’s Ramble On while I drink a Crystal Geyser and just sort of zone out. J— e-mailed me and said she’s going to the rainforest for summer, and asked me what I think. *shrug* What the hell do I think? I haven’t got a clue. I think I need to go buy pants. I think I need to finish doing my taxes. I think I need to go to bed so that I can get up early and do a little homework!
Life! Who knew?
Good grief, my personal computer got rooted at 6:17 PM, or “hacked” for those of you who don’t know the technical term. I had pretty much left it open — lots services running, an exploitable automounter running… I had thought that the chances of a personal machine connected to a dynamic IP getting compromised were farily small, just because it’s so useless, and especially since I don’t post to newsgroups, don’t chat, and so forth, but it happened. Looks like they got a kit in as well.
Anyway, the idiot got in with a simple buffer overrun to the automount requester, a well-known exploit. Hilarious. Annoying, maybe, as well. Nothing on my machine, though, that they could have stolen — no credit card numbers, no banking information, none of that, and no real way to use me as a relay, at least not for long, and only at 56k (i.e. dialup speeds) for an hour or two. Anyway, used the opportunity to upgrade the OS version, then pulled out the tapes and restored my home directory and account stuff, and the /usr/local stuff, and I’m more or less back in business, a little embarrased at my laziness, but otherwise okay.
This time, I’ve closed the holes, since I now know that somebody will take the time to hit a personal box in a dynamic pool on a slow modem line.
Hey, hey. I’ve registered a domain name. We’ll see if I can turn a hobby into a business and have some dot-com fun while I’m at it. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I’ll put the information here and everybody can find out what dot-com I own.
Going to class is getting to be a real drag. Thankfully, the semster is almost over (only four weeks to go), but I’m still not happy about school in general. I’ve got an entire year still to go after this semester before I finally graduate with an English degree. That though makes me spew four letter words like nobody’s business — a bad sign. One ought to enjoy what one studies. Trouble is, I don’t think I’m a white collar guy. All of the careers that sound interesting to me — things like hauling nets on a fishing boat or washing windows against tall buildings — are considered blue collar work and don’t have anything to do with college. Chances are, once I get my degree, I’ll just go and work some union job anyway. It’s just more me.
What I really need to do is get a life. Do something really interesting. That will probably take the form of volunteerism or internship somewhere or in some way. Right now, I’m thinking about the peace corps, too, though I’d have to graduate first *grr* and all. I still don’t want to be just a “normal guy” with a “normal job” or whatever. Life is very, very short… Why be average for most of it unless you absolutely have to?
Okay, things are going strangely right now. After coming back from the trip, my classes keep disappearing on me. I don’t know why — I show up and nobody’s there. And, television seems different somehow, though I can’t put my finger on it. Am I going crazy?
Worse, on Friday, my desktop machine went completely nuts. Drives were spinning down, CPUs on the SMP board were stopping, and CD-ROMs were generating errors. After working all weekend and replacing things left and right, here’s what I learned: first, my old 250 watt power supply was dying; second, my SCSI cabling was aging; third, my SCSI controller had some firmware problems talking to my new SCSI drive. In the process of trying to figure out what was wrong, I ended up with a new Athlon board with a 700MHz CPU, a new case and 300 watt power supply, a new SCSI controller, and some new debt.
It was a rough weekend emotionally, though I don’t know why. I just had a tendency to be a little depressive. Maybe it’s all that money going away. Maybe it’s remembering J— a little bit for the first time in a while.
There’s going to be a fire sale soon — all the tech stuff I own that I don’t need and that is sitting here depreciating. Also, I’ll be changing the home page around a little bit sometime soon. There are some things I want to add.
Back I am. Wow! Three thousand miles in slightly less than a week — no joke. Portland is smaller than I thought, Seattle is dirtier than I thought, and Vancouver, British Columbia is like visiting the future. Overall, I enjoyed Vancouver the most — and think it wouldn’t be half bad to actually live and work there. It’s the most amazing place; it’s very cosmopolitan, very clean, and everything (drinking fountains, street lights, door knobs and so on) works, something you don’t really think of as being possible when you live in a U.S. city. What’s more, the exchange rate was favorable enough to give a good shopping experience… The other thing I learned as I hit and drove through the Ogden/SLC/Provo metro area along I-15 on the way back — the Salt Lake City metropolitan area is really bigger than I tend to remember.
I already miss the ocean.
My love affair with The Jesus and Mary Chain is back! I bought Munki along the way and started to want Automatic but couldn’t find it easily in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, or Boise. So, I just listened to Munki all trip and then when I got back, I stepped in to Modified to find… Automatic! I forgot just how cool 1989 was, and just how great Automatic is, and just how heavily my Jesus and Mary Chain discs used to get spun. Straight ahead guitar and hooks, hooks, hooks, baby! *laugh* I’m going to go listen to it right now while I dream of a life on waterfront…
Never mind, I’m going after all. Picked up a 32M CompactFlash unit for my new TriPad, which gives me enough memory for about 400 1280×960 digial photos during the trip. Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver (British Columbia), here I come! If all goes well, I will be back for class on Tuesday, 21 March, filled with Canadian hot air instead of my usual American hot air.
Heading into what will be a long spring break. Decided not to go to Seattle after all, so I’m here alone for a week. I wish I could figure out what I wanted out of life — and then go for it. But you can’t go after a goal that you don’t have, so I’m just pretending to be awake for now. If this continues until I die, I will have lived a meaningless life!
Somewhere along the way today, I took a big step toward making peace with my own history. Perhaps sometime soon, I will be able to have fond memories of my days with J—. I’m not sure how it happened, but it did. Maybe I’ll make it in the long run. We’ll see.
Got a new disc today: “Hours…” from David Bowie. My God, this is a good CD. I can’t get over “Survive”, “Seven”, and “New Angels of Promise” — these trakcs are incredible. David Bowie is back — not since “Scary Monsters…” has there been a Bowie CD like this. The man is 50+ and still a genius. It gives me hope, since I’m only halfway to that age (so far) but approaching it quickly.
I may be loosing my mind… Or at least, myself. I am suffering from a distinct lack of home in my world — I don’t know right now where I belong or where I am going. I refuse to accept the assertion that the career that I already have is what I will continue with, because it’s not what I want. Unfortunately, I don’t know what alternative will be my choice, or if any of them will.
Today was a beautiful day in Salt Lake City — the sort of day that reminds me of my reasons for staying. It was cool but not cold, and a strong breeze blew toward the north. The sky was grey with subtle patches of white where clouds might have been. The trees and their branches were black and leafless, blowing silently in air that smelled of rain and maybe even childhood yesterdays — the ones you can’t quite remember, but never forget. And in the distance, the mountains were tall and snow-covered. Beautiful. A fragment from a more pure world. Maybe even anachronistic. I spent nearly three hours driving alone through the city with the roof open.
Once, I had a home. I suppose that now, I need to find a way to make the world my home — a subtle task, and yet, I have never been a subtle person. Right now, the sidewalks and pavement of the city are as close as I come — I feel like if I belong anywhere, I belong on the sidewalks, underneath the street lights, and perhaps in the bus terminals and train stations as well. Maybe I am a ghost — and will haunt these places for the rest of my life. My face will be seen and forgotten by people with somewhere to go, but I’ll still be there when they pass by again — and they’ll get that sense of deja vu, and look and walk away quickly.
Two papers submitted, two tests taken, one car washed. That’s my weekend so far, starting with Friday. Tuesday, I deliver a monologue again. *pffffft* Spent all day today doing my taxes, only to find (shudder) that I owe the lovely old I.R.S. about $5,500 this year, the lion’s share being the lovely “self employment” taxes that the federal government levies. I haven’t calculated my Utah state tax responsibility yet. Well… I suddenly feel a lot more broke. Combine that with tuition, books, and the tranny rebuild from my Los Angeles trip, and I’ll have written checks for at least $11,000 in the first quarter of this year, and I still don’t have a house, an apartment, or even a PlayStation. Yow! I definitely don’t feel like I have this much money. I guess (laugh) that now I don’t. *sigh* Anybody wanna buy a used Aron?