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Visit Your Drive-IN

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Milford has a great drive-in theater, it's in the middle of a corn field and everything. It's perfect. But in the ten years we've lived here we've only gone twice, since most movies suck. I remember we saw the Johnny Depp Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, with Fantastic Four, and we saw Snakes on a Plane with Talladega Nights (which is terrible). Natalie got to see a Harry Potter movie with some of our friends while I was out of town. The problem is that most movies suck, and we have no interest in comic book movies or live action cartoon remakes, which are the only things coming out now which are worthy of a drive in. (I would go see a Spider Man or Batman movie there I guess. I'm mainly thinking of Transformers movies and Iron Man movies).

A few weeks ago we were driving by and I said to Natalie "You know what they ought to do? They ought to show movies from the '70s and '80s, those movies were awesome and people would come watch them. I'm going to write a letter dammit. We were home 6 minutes later, I forgot about the letter.

Somehow they got the message. Tonight we watched Back to the Future and Jaws! We just happened to be driving by like 1 hour before the sun was down and Natalie saw the sign and we scrambled all fighters and made the snap judgment that we had to go do this. It's always a great time, eating concession stand food and supporting a wonderful local business in an industry that needs it.

The best thing was actually all the kids watching BTTF and loving the shit out of that movie. It lacks all the modern indicators of a blockbuster. No anthropomorphic animals, no animation, no CGI, no Michael Bay. But those kids all went nuts when George McFly punched out Biff. After the movie a parent was explaining that Marty was Michael J Fox, and I felt old.

Milford Drive-In has already made the leap to digital projection which is proving to be a hurdle that threatens to put many drive ins out of business. I'm glad they've been able to make that move and will be here for years to come.

So yeah, go watch movies, they close next weekend, and because of the unique way in which their website is designed and managed, I can't tell you what those movies will be. I believe the most reliable way to find out is probably to drive by the sign and look at it. Go give 'em your money, it's always worth it.

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Cavalia Odysseo, Somerville MA

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We just got home from seeing Odysseo, and man that was one of the most beautiful looking shows I think we've ever gone to. I had heard nothing about it until I heard this WBUR story last week, and told Natalie that this was probably something we should look into. So beyond "It's horses, and acrobatics, and huge", I still knew nothing going in. The show was definitely all of those things.

As with Cirque du Soleil shows, there really are no bad places to see. Despite the size of the tent (Largest ever blah blah, biggest traveling yadda yadda ever), there are still only 2000 seats, so it still feels small and intimate. We were in theoretically the worst possible spot, 3rd row from the top, all the way to one side. You could see everything from up there, and it was all amazing and beautiful.

I could not believe the level of control they had over these horses just with voice commands, or even with no one in sight. They knew exactly where they needed to be and those horses Did Work. The "Horse People" in the audience cued us non-horse people as to what was really over-the-top cool and especially clap-worthy :-)

The integration of the ribbon performers was especially excellent and beautifully choreographed. I do maintain though, "White ribbons, Really? In a horse rink with dirt and mud and whatnot? They'll be filthy!"

Anyway, go. Go see this show, it's really pretty neat, huge, and choreographed. Get the cheapest un-obstructed view tickets you can and you'll be fine.

I know that if we'd put 10 minutes thought into it and brought my mom, she definitely would have been barking in my ear the whole time with "DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO MAKE A HORSE DO THAT!". A lot of that is lost on me as a Not Horse Person, but I knew when I should be amazed. I really feel kind of ashamed that we didn't think of it with her coming for a week like, tomorrow...everything just happened so fast.

Promo video:

And also, this is a thing I saw this week, via JWZ:

(PSA: You might know me to take lots of photos from shows, but hey, assholes, if a venue or performer explicitly says "NO photos, NO video, NO phones", don't take photos. Just enjoy the experience, and maybe /write something down afterwards/. I wish they'd bounced some of the people in the stands taking photos during this thing. As much as I think my stuff would have come out great, there is a matter of safety and annoyance of other audience members. And I'm sure someone on a trapeze must love it when they get flashed in the face by some moron with a cellphone while hanging from one foot 30' off the ground and spinning at like 80rpm or whatever)

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Exercise

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IT Crowd Theme

Here's how we work out at the Curtiss household:

- Smoke

- 20 minutes of elliptical

- Smoke

- Crack beer, do lifting for 25 minutes or whenever show ends

- Steak bomb

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Honey Don't Be A Wild One

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Honey Don't

Due to the unique way my brain works and the size of my CD collection, whenever I hear a song by one artist that I know I have different versions of, I have to queue up all the other versions and get the whole shootin' match.

This morning, I heard versions of Wild One (Real Wild Child) from Jerry Lee Lewis, then Iggy Pop, Lou Reed (different song but I still had to) and Brian Setzer. Now I'm on Honey Don't, first by Carl Perkins, now (Memphis band we met at Sun Studios) The Gunslingers, and next Wanda Jackson.

Videos!

Jerry Lee:

Iggy:

Lou Reed:

Brian Setzer:

Honey Don't

Carl Perkins (But actually, Ringo!):

Gunslingers:

REDEX - But, I strongly suggest you take a trip into historical times and listen to this track on Myspace. This was a super fun bonus of having gone to Memphis, was grabbing this guy's CD at the end of the Sun Studio tour, they were good.

Wanda Jackson:

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Post Purchase Comparison Shopping

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The Ettes - Teeth

This is just what the world needs, another smug mac owner. Since people seemed not to believe I do my homework and continue to offer me platform advice, I went and priced up an HP with the same specs as my new Pro.

All said and done, including stupid $250 for AppleCare, my new machine was $3248, delivered. The HP equivalent, a Z420 Workstation, was $3,707 + $45 shipping. That's for 6 core Xeon, base 6GB of memory (CRUCIAL...), 1TB 7200RPM drive, 1GB ATI card.

So $500 more for a machine with an OS I hate dealing with, sounds like a pretty good bargain. Oh, and it says right on the page that the NIC won't work with Windows 8, so that's pretty swell.

Lenovo would sell me a similar config, with a 4-core 3.30Ghz CPU for only $100 more than my machine, I couldn't get exactly the same 6 core Xeon in the S30 workstations I was looking at.

I think I'll take the bargain Apple product, thanks :-)

Overall though I'm pretty happy. Moving the software-RAID1 set between machines was just "move the drives, they work", which I didn't really expect.

Now, here's a Stack of Macs:

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They Don't Make 'Em Like This Anymore

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Thu, 08/01/2013 - 7:33pm - It's the last of the big V8 Interceptors. cs20130801_193346

Last of the big V8 Interceptors. I had to grab a new Pro before they decided only to sell those insane coffee magnets with no internal drive bays. Last one lasted 7 good years, here's to another computer in 2020.

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Attack me? Attack you.

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The computer in the top of this security video is infected with malware and is currently attacking Natalie's site. Also it's in Vietnam. There were more exciting things happening earlier, but it never occurred to me to screen grab them. Since that one sucks and is boring, here's another one of the store front. Looks like medical supplies.

I have Mexican security cameras from infected machines too, but it's night there just like it is here, so those feeds are way more boring.

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Well that was funny

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I'm no longer forwarding cookie thieves to Natalie's site. I had been fussing around trying to make IPTables block all the botnet machines, and when that didn't work, I was just using deny rules in Apache, which sucked, because my include file of blocked hosts was 100,000 or so. That's in addition to the default "Block all of China, India, Eastern Europe" rules I apply. It also sucked because I'm still serving pages and so there were tons of ESTABLISHED, FIN_WAIT1/2, etc. connections, most of which were holding open Apache processes, which was crushing my machine.

The reason IPTables wasn't working turned out to be because of the VPS solution used by 1and1. There is a hard limit of 400 rules on the host, and I can't work around that, so I can't use IPTables with huge blacklists, at least, not that I've figured out.

What I'm doing now though is to use the LimitExcept directive to only allow GET requests in the virtual host which does the rewrites for nataliecurtiss.com. So now those fuckers are all just getting 403's or, in some cases, 500's (don't know why that is).

So yeah that was fun. A case has been opened with SquareSpace, since this attack traffic was all really directed at them. And the only logical thing I can think of is that the attackers are trying to guess session cookies of site admins who aren't explicitly logged out of their site admin tools. This would let the attackers exploit any XSS inherent in code generated by SquareSpace, or use the targeted site to infect more end user machines for this botnet.

Still, it's an awful lot of trouble to go to just to get your hands on Natalie's what, 12 legitimate users per month?

Now I just have a zillion connections in TIME_WAIT, but at least my site seems quick, all my services seem to be working at full speed ahead, and I'm going to stop thinking about this shit for a while. I'm not going to bother figuring out why I can't set tcp_tw_reuse to clean up all those TIME_WAITs.

Update:
The 500's are because I didn't set an auth-type for the user to be able to POST. Well, fuck 'em, they get 500's, since I never want anyone to ever do anything but GET, everything else can DIAF.

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It's Statistical Outlier Saturday

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This is an odd Saturday. I got up at 7:15. That's not right. I'm still not supposed to be awake yet.

My site has been having problems this morning, serving pages, running cron, delivering mail... turns out that even though I don't host Natalie's site, I do redirect "nataliecurtiss.com" to "www.nataliecurtiss.com". So far today I've served 252,974 (presumably malicious POST request) redirects to her site. She has had 975,000 page views so far this month. That's also not right.

While looking that over, I checked my flickr stats. 900 flickr views so far today on really odd referrers, like "http://www.flickr.com/photos/xrayspx/with/9093592988/", usually I do around 50-100/day, not that busy.

Right now I'm flipping a quarter until it lands on its edge. Later I'm gonna go buy some lottery tickets.

Update:

Mmmmmm, cookies, hundreds of thousands of cookies:

POST / HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Accept-Language: en-us
Content-Type: application/octet-stream
Content-Length: 500
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Host: nataliecurtiss.com
Connection: Keep-Alive
Cache-Control: no-cache
Cookie: SS_MID=162751ed-f2cf-4fdd-8b7c-814881282033hiwadjls

3No6hNrnQwi3zWrY/ZWMWh2SJnHKBItrrv+v3wpU3Jd1+I0hy9KM995Po4TM8f+m
4rMZ+hJt9O4MWe5VdHOzMfFmLZsISqrff6cdnnWEIzGWS8szILditQVvkUGdB2kH
B15aLXiROS4ZZ6RZpeMgfUJbzXCwwGL5RBQcaZDKF2VnMtY8A/VnXsTo0OiT9oQ8
Prnijbzg6O9GMr2gT6sNsNCikOjqy073b8z2NbCGUaYog+1qVHgoLOgTNtRM1PFD
8Zxv4qxjHIImJDBUZPbzceycZ1qP79xVkIemkBWTLt1mu8KvuzMty9AzWyhQDi7X
3wa6vfTr4bwcZNq3zm4U8G1CxtyAJiIMVMLhVSUK/6dGELU5o8YIWiDsq6faey7G
blZlukaXQjr5OKNzklqsuL5Pcor2pAOJ7zyB/LP+z/8SttCi+XGemUo3mxdgVPjn
XKj0ArRJCIy0RvngpOabPewOdEtgSFO8Gjs=

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Thanks Facebook

Music: 

The Specials - Ghost Town

If I'm glad for one thing that Facebook has given me, it's that it has shown me which people who count me as their friend are consistently racist, homophobic and sexist.

Thanks Facebook!

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by Dr. Radut