Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reluctant new shooter

I took a new shooter to the range Sunday, and nobody got hurt. This is pretty much despite her efforts... I've never had such a hard time getting someone to understand the concept of keeping a gun--A loaded gun even--Pointed in a safe direction. I told her "watch your muzzle" at least 6 different times in an hour or so, and she wasn't the only one shooting.

I won't be so patient next time (with someone else--I don't foresee a next time with her)-I'll tell whoever I take about this trip, and that if similar happens, I'll pack up and go right away. Once or twice from a new shooter I can understand and accept, since I was able to stop her before she pointed at someone. Much more than that is either unwillingness or inability to learn.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

A considerably different version of one of my favorite songs:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Loooovely day.

We went to a community garage sale today. Lots of sales, but I didn't find a single thing to buy. After that, we went to the friends of the library sale--They had about as many books as we do...We wound up with about 10 books, a record low, and an order of magnitude less than usual.

When we came home, I heard water running in the basement. The washer had been filling for 5+ hours...Not only that, but the floor drain was clogged. There was about 3 inches of water in about half the basement.

It could have been a lot worse--Very little is stored on the basement floor itself--there was one box of Xmas lights and ornaments that got wet. I found the problem with the washer--The hose that controls the water level had popped free, so I put it back and added a cable tie to try to hold it a little better.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Security, Part 2

Today was the day there was someone on my shift who can do a property pass. Except according to his list, the manager who signed isn't authorized to sign. On further examination, NOBODY is authorized to sign, not even the plant manager. He even showed me the list.

Luckily, he was a reasonable person, and since I already had a pass in the system and was just switching to a different computer, he went ahead and printed the new one for me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Helpful security

I am supposed to* have a property pass to take my laptop out of the building at work. Security handles these during certain specific hours. I went the other day to check the hours, then came back at the appropriate time.

"Can I get a property pass made?"


"I can never get a pass, you don't do that anymore or something?"

"No, I'm a part-time supervisor, I don't have access to the badge machine"

"So there are no options to come back later, when there is someone who can make badges?"

"Um...You can come back at 10, to see if the third shift supervisor can make badges"

"I'm not in a particular hurry, can I do it tomorrow on this shift?"

"No, I'll be working tomorrow"

"When will the next time someone who can make badges be on this shift"

"Day after tomorrow".

Geez. Is there something preventing you from volunteering any useful information?

*I say supposed to because security rarely checks packages, and when they do, it is totally ineffective. If you carry your lunchbox out, they will make you open your lunchbox. If you carry a duffel bag with a lunchbox inside, they will make you open the duffel bag, but won't check the lunchbox. My backpack has a silly number of zippers and pockets. I can open the front pocket for them to look, they won't check the main pocket.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bruce Schneier writes a very interesting blog on security issues. His focus is most often computer security, but he also covers physical security.

He talks a lot about the difference between feeling secure and being secure. He introduced me to the term "security theater", where the security measures are very visible, but not very secure. He also talks about using security as an excuse to reduce privacy.

His latest entry is one of those--A recent government regulation requires Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems on all new vehicles. These are sensors in the wheels that measure and broadcast a short-range signal intended to let the driver know if his pressure is OK. However, there is nothing that keeps the signal from being picked up outside the vehicle--That means it would be relatively simple to see when any vehicle equipped with these sensors has passed a particular point. Existing highway speed sensors could be modified for this.

If you are at all interested in privacy and security, he's almost always a good read.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The good news: I can now play movies on my PDA.

The bad news: The only movies we have ready to transfer are my wife's favorites. To say we have different tastes is an understatement--Until I prepare some of our other DVD's, my choices are "Godzilla vs. Something" or "Steven Seagal kicks ass and moralizes".

Thursday, April 03, 2008

PDA Alarms

I've relied heavily on a PDA for probably 10 years, starting with a Palm Pro. About a year ago, I upgraded from a battered Sony Clie to a Palm TX. In most ways, the TX is better than the Clie, but there was one minor difference with surprising impact-The Clie had a custom alarm sound that went on and on--Long enough that I'd be forced to open it and look at it to shut it off. This kept me from mistaking one of my daily alarms with something else "I can ignore that, it's just my 'go to work' alarm".

This is one of those things I meant to Google, but only remember when I'm in the car. I finally downloaded Emerald Sounds. I now have 140 alarm tones to pick, and some of them are quite long and annoying-Just what I wanted.