Me and Kelsey went shopping at the mall yesterday evening.  She got strawberry sorbet and I got Mora.  Hers was better.  We also read a little from a book that she picked up at Borders in Coeur d’Elaine.  She’s finding out new things about herself.

Memorial Day in Montana

Guess I can do something about that. I’ll write something.

We went to Montana for Memorial Day weekend.

Friday I got home from work and Kelsey was stressing over some wedding photos that didn’t come out as well as she’d have liked. It was pretty much the first time she used her new digital camera, so I think that’s to be expected.

I didn’t want to add any additional stress but eventually told her what I’d done. On the drive, we sorted it out.

Snoqualmie pass was a snarl, took an hour or more to go the last couple miles, and I really had to go.

We stayed the night in a dive hotel in Spokane and picked up Amy and her boyfriend.

Saturday morning I did a little casting, later I took my snorkel into a hole and didn’t see any fish. Libby creek is still real cold. Ask me about my Sunday morning bath before Church sometime.

There were probably 100 people who showed up to the Luau. I got out of most of the work by playing with the kids. Cheri’s boys and Dana and Danell’s and Critter. I misplaced my snorkel and wallet, but eventually Kelsey found the latter right before leaving.

The pig was perfectly cooked, the turkeys good too. There was a big debate about whether it was done. My dad poked a finger in it, and we all started eating. I think I got the second bite. I feel sorry for the latecomers who didn’t get warm meat.

Lots of fun playing on the tractor and building fires and playing in the creek. Sam still loves to throw rocks more than anything. Especially into the water. Ever since he was 1 years old that’s been our thing.

Haven’t written in a while

Wonder if this blog will go by the wayside.

There really should be an easy way to post in WordPress without going to some “Admin” page.  If it can detect you are logged in and add “edit” links  to the page, it should be able to include “new post” link.  And I still don’t like the way categories are forced together unless you explicitly ask to filter.  And can you do complex filters?

Electoral Issues

Here’s a starter list of likely Electoral issues:

  1. Immigration (illegal aliens, amnesty, guest workers, H1-B visas, border security, etc.)
  2. War on terror (Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, etc.)
  3. Economy (Oil prices / housing bubble / inflation, etc.)
  4. Health care (free medical services or government funded insurance)
  5. Abortion/judicial appointments
  6. voting fraud (probably only after the election)
  7. global warming

Some of them won’t come up, some won’t be mentioned, and some will only become important after the election.

Global warming will only really be an issue if Al Gore jumps in. Everyone else (especially democrats) will tiptoe around it because they don’t want to draw him in.

Likewise, Hillary won’t mention Health Care, at least not after the primaries.

Expect Democrats to frame every issue through “protectionist” lenses.  Immigration will be about H1-Bs (see Boxer vs. Kennedy on the senate floor today about guest worker visas for Mexicans.)  The war wil be about withdrawing to our pre-1941 borders.  The economy will talk about H1-B visas more and mention an embargo on Taiwan.  Underhanded, they will attempt to turn anti-Arab attitudes to anti-Indian.  (Pakistani Muslims and Indian Hindus look alike.  And Sikhs just look scary.)

Republicans will frame everything from a security standpoint.  They’ll avoid immigration problems (knowing they’re against the electorate) and stress a border wall, which won’t stop anyone, but it will drive up the price of smuggling.  Health care will be an anti-immigration issue — illegal aliens receive free health care already and make it more expensive and make taxes higher for the rest of us.

The primary lodestone for Democrats will be anti-war, and for republicans, anti-abortion.

Voting fraud will be a big issue after. Predict more Gore/Rossi-like recountdowns. Republicans stood up in 2000 but have blinked and will back down to any challenges.  They’ll consider “saving the union” a priority over “winning the election.”  Though I’ll disagree with the Anti-Hamilton Hamiltonians that the union is more important than the constitution.

Plans for Greece

First evening in Athens. Then fly or fast catamaran to Santorini. When we get bored there, work our way back on the ferries. Ios, Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, Tinos. I’m thinking Naxos or Tinos.

I’ve already pre-judged Mykonos. It’s packed with drunks, gays, and cruise ships and decorated with “authentically restored” imitation windmills.

And Paros is the new Mykonos. I don’t think Ios has the cruise ships or the gay scene. I wouln’t mind stopping on Mykonos to see the ruins in Delos, but it’ll probably be a line like Disneyland. The best time to see archeology is the off season. Maybe you can get a ride from Tinos to Delos.

I’m sure there’s a real windmill in Greece somewhere, but probably even the locals don’t remember where it is. Silly British tourists, Cervantes never lived in Greece.

It’s easy to confuse it with Spain if you think “it’s that place where they have sunshine.” Seattleites are probably just as susceptible if less literary.

I’m going to open up a whitewash store in Greece.

More on Covenant Eyes

It’s a great idea.  It is intrusive, but not restrictive.  I read that they are coming out with a blocker, which is probably good for some.

 I would like to help out in this arena.  Maybe come up with a product of my own that works with Covenant Eyes or some other tool that helps to combat pornography and other troubles on the internet.

I see 3 main features:

1 – a scanner that logs traffic
2 – a filter that rates content
3 – a blocker that prevents inappropriate actions

I see immediately that it has commonality with other tools, both legitimate and nefarious.  Obviously it has similar features to anti-spam and anti-virus tools.  Just as obviously it has great similarity to the spyware tools that the spammers and hackers use.  But just as packet sniffers (another commonality) have good as well as bad uses, so can this.  Tools for corporate governance and enforcing traceability compliance policies also use these features.

What I want is to be able to use Covenant Eyes on Linux.  Or an iPod.  Or anything else unsupported.  And it’d be even nicer if I didn’t have to install it.  Or worry about circumvention.  Anti-circumvention is another, somewhat less obvious feature that a tool like Covenant Eyes has.  And it’s also one that corporate policies spend a great deal of time on.  The difficulty of anti-circumvention is a great value add.  

The other big one I see is the accuracy of the filter list, but I don’t have the resources for that.  Utilizing the manpower of the internet is one way to do that, but I’d rather leave that task to someone else.  There’s too much incentive to be proactive, and while those who are still struggling, or who are honest but do not see it as a personal moral problem could help, I could not have it on my head to ask them for it.

Non-intrusiveness or avoiding draconian restrictions is a nice to have as well.  Corporations and other large organizations do this by externalizing their monitors.  Place them at the network edges by your routers. 

Or on them! 

A lot of homes have dedicated routers nowadays.  They connect to the cable box or are used for local Wi-fi networks.  What if I put a linux image on a router (like a Linksys WRT-54GL) and installed a reverse proxy server, a packet sniffer, etc.  and set it to ping a server.  That’s pretty good anti-circumvention.  And I could even include anti-virus and anti-spyware/rootkit controls.  Regular security features. 

I think I could recreate this using mostly open source, some glue and reporting, and a central server.  If I could work out a deal with Covenant Eyes to use their filter for bulk, or license my software for them to distribute (I’d prefer the former),  I’d have a pretty useful product.  An always-on router is even easier to ensure is tamper proof and it takes a higher level of tech savvy to circumvent.

This isn’t a new idea.  I’ve been tossing it around for months as a project I’d like to implement. 

 The problem is getting the time.  I’m sure I could overcome most of the technical hurdles in a few months, and it’d probably be best to find others with more knowledge of particular products and security to help.  I don’t know how much I could afford to pay them, though.

Another added benefit of externalizing the scanner is you don’t have to worry about trusting the software installed on your PC.  If you don’t trust it, unplug the router, re-image it, replace it or whatever.   You don’t lose anything on your PC.  Even if you find out I’ve been sniffing your credit cards when you buy from Amazon, and spamming your grandma and everyone else you email, it’s a non-catastrophic operation to root me out.   Antivirus programs on your computer should be able to detect trojans I wrap around your downloads. 

Not having to trust your accountability / big-brother app is a huge plus.

Kelsey’s nervous

She got a covenant eyes report that looks very incriminating.  But it’s not.  I think she’s okay now. 

Covenant Eyes is an accountability report of what I browse on the internet.  It basically logs every site I went to and sends her an email with ratings of questionable URLs.   Things like mormon-sex.jpg (a scan of a purported letter to church leaders about the subject) and yoursextoybox-16.jpg (apparently an icon of some other blogger on wordpress with a racy name.)

I was worried I’d lost her, but was not willing to take any flak over something I didn’t do.  But then I saw how bad it looked.   Regardless, I hope we can both keep cooler heads.  

I realize she has justifiable trust issues and that’s part of what I’ll have to pay, but I hope she realizes that I love her and remembers that I’m only human.