Forums = Hacked

June 7th, 2005

As to the issue some of you have addressed yesterday, here is your update. Yesterday morning shortly after 11am the Forums were hacked. To the best of my knowledge there was nothing personal involved, but it was also not necessarily a random attack. I fit the profile that excited this guy. My forum software was the right version and was configured the right way to allow him to do what he needed. I am not the only one to suffer a loss at his hand, but maybe I will be one of the last. That would be only if he gets bored, however. Bored with senselessly depriving people of the conversations they have had over time and comfort they find during the course of the day.

My efforts since the "incident" have not yielded any results to restore what was lost. If a few last resort attempts fail as well, as I expect them to, then I will move on.

When I get a little free time (hopefully this weekend) I will begin to explore the idea of Forums 2.0. There will be formatting to work on, but it will not necessarily be done before the Forums go live.

There are no less topics to discuss, right now there is only one less place to discuss them. I want to bring back a place where everyone knows your name...that is unless you choose to remain anonymous.

Here we have a chance to rebuild. It is also an opportunity to start fresh. Everyone will have a clean slate and zero posts. I will ask that you re-register and help me rebuild what we had. I invite you to come back, but it is entirely at will. Maybe even one or two of the members who has gone inactive will view this as a chance to get back into the routine.

Hacked by CyberTo reiterate, the Forums as we have known them are gone. They have been hacked. I do not expect to be able to recover what was taken. I am dedicated to replacing to the best of my ability what was once available. Please check back for the new release of the Forums. It will never be the same, but different does not mean worse.

R.I.P Forums (v1.0) 8/31/03-6/6/05

The Q.

June 7th, 2005

That's right. "Good luck <3 Qdoba."

Where do you get your motivation?

I have mid-terms this week for my first semester of law school. Last night Wil and Katie offered to bring me some Qdoba for dinner so I wouldn't have to fend for myself; I could focus on my homework...and the Pistons game. Wil has become quite well known at the Q, much more than I. So he orders me my queso chicken burrito to go. He happens to mention that "that guy that comes in with him" all the time (me) is at home studying for some crazy law school thing and that is the fate of this burrito. It is nice to know that she knew who he was referring to and wrote the note on the burrito. Yes, it says "Good luck <3 Qdoba".

Does it get any better than that? I will go on the record to say it does not.

Sure I didn't get much work done last night, but that is no fault of the employees at Qdoba nor is it of Wil and/or Katie. Thanks guys.

(Go Pistons!)

Happy Birthday Broski

June 5th, 2005

Took a few pics in the park a few weeks ago that I thought I would have to wait forever to show you. Then I realized your bday was right around the corner.

And no, I did not write that in sidewalk chalk. It was there. Hence the picture. There was a bridge right by the sidewalk pic that had the year on it. Seemed appropriate.

Have a great day bud.

Jarrod & Becca

June 2nd, 2005

I was not in Texas for very long this past weekend, but the time I was there was more than worth it. Based on the fact that I knew I would not be able to spend much time there, I was actually contemplating not attending this wedding to which I was invited.

Becca and Jarrod are my brother's friends from Wake Forest whom I have had the pleasure of knowing now for many years. Honored is a great way to describe how I felt when I opened my invitation.

Jarrod & Becca

I landed in Houston at 11am on Saturday and flew out from same at 4pm on Sunday. Like I said, it was not a long trip, but how could I pass this up? The answer is simple, I could not; so I did not. It was great to see such a beautiful wedding (complete with commentary that will remain an inside joke probably until eternity) and so many friends.

I want to thank Jarrod and Becca first and foremost for allowing me to be a part of this special weekend. The ceremony and the reception were great. It was one of those weddings where details you would never consider as details to cover in a wedding were taken care of twice over...and now you realize they were important details and that everyone else should pay more attention to them (that make any sense? I didn't think so). There was a lot of time and love put into the entire weekend and I just wish I could have flown in earlier.

Secondly I want to thank the entire group, primarily the Luter Basement crew. I have been able to hang out with you all for 7-8 years now. Never once have I felt like an outsider. You have all been so welcoming of me and I hope you all see how appreciative I am of that. I cannot thank you enough.

But enough about those guys, this is Jarrod and Becca's post, so back to them. You compliment each other so well and are so much fun to be around. I guess it is only a matter of time before the pitter patter of little uber-intelligent feet...

Congratulations to you!

(Pictures available HERE)

Finding that elusive cell phone signal.

May 31st, 2005 people may be my favorite people in the world. I want to say that people like this exist in every country that has a cellular network, but I think I am giving my fellow Americans too much credit if I insist we are not alone in our gestures.

You're in someone's basement. You're in a movie theater. You're out in a field in the country. You're in a parking garage or structure. You could be anywhere and where you are at that moment, your cellular telephone does not receive a signal from the closest tower. You are without service. What do you do?

There are two schools of thought on this matter; even with a population that meets in the middle. School the first holds their cell phones out like a water stick in the desert leading them to drink. They follow the cell phone slower at first then gradually they pick up the pace as if they are hot on the trail to a reception.

The second group is more creative....right? How could you be wrong to figure by holding your cell phone a full arm's extension towards the sky your signal has to improve? Again, walk around the room with your phone over your head, perhaps stand on a chair; any means necessary. My only question for you, oh cell phone signal sleuth, is what are you going to do with your phone when you find service near the ceiling? How will you then get your head to the phone? I have never quite understood that part.

How am I affected? I thought you would never ask. My dilemma is do I point out the common sense of the situation where these people will not be able to get a signal and if they do will not be able to reach the single pocket of service without aid of a stool? Or do I just watch and let them amuse me? Call me crazy, but for right now I think I will opt for the latter.

May 30th, 2005
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
- Harry S. Truman

Poodles. I don't get it.

May 27th, 2005

On my drive to work this morning I saw a woman out walking her poodle. My first thought was, "My that is an ugly little creature." This was not as much about her poodle specifically, but more about the breed in general. There is nothing cute about these dogs.

Let's go ahead and clear up a point you will all find important. I am admittedly not much of a dog person. There are those who are and those who are not; I fall as much in the middle as possible, but closer to the "not" side. My overall perspective is that other peoples' dogs are cool. Having a dog is just not for me. I very much respect your right to have and enjoy dogs and it makes perfect sense to me up until the point where you say you want a poodle.

Why would you want a dog that looks like this? Is it a joke? Is it the scenario where you ran with the "ugly crowd" in high school to boost your self-esteem? Do poodle owners have some inflated sense of self worth because, "Hey, at least I'm better looking than my poodle"?

Or is it some deranged control issue? Because poodle owners do things that to my knowledge most other dog owners do not do. Were you brought up in a strict household and so you have repressed feelings of contempt for others? Maybe your boss is a jerk, how will you let your anger manifest itself? Why not shave stupid patterns into the dog. That'll show 'em!

And from what I hear, poodles are quite nasty. I guess we could speculate until we're blue in the face as to why these animals have a reputation for being mean. But then again maybe it isn't such a hard thing to figure out after all...

I think there should be a screening process implemented to weed out people with the potential to humiliate themselves and their animal. Or as a society do we promote this and encourage poodle owners to manipulate the animal for the enjoyment of others? Some may refer to this as cruel and unusual, but I guess that only applies to people. Screw with your ugly dog all you like!

Analogies are fun.

May 26th, 2005

Cell phones are to law school as oil is to water.

Does that take you back to the SATs? Anyway, in class last night a cell phone rang in the middle of discussion. The mobile device in question belongs to the person who sits to my left. He quickly fumbled around to pull it from his bag and cease its siren. His "fun" downloaded ring tone only sounds once, but that was more than enough; the damage was done.

Some law schools have different methods by which they call on their students, but many use their right to call on the students at random. Typically you will not be called on more than once in a particular class period, though the possibility exists under the system, or as we'll see here, or when your phone rings.

This student to my left, we'll call him "Stan", had arbitrarily been called upon to help us with the first case discussed last night. After his phone rang, he had the pleasure to brief about four more cases as well. Our Wednesday night professor is a lighthearted person. She has conducted class with authority, but while allowing us the ability to have fun while we learn. You could almost feel the room get colder after that cell phone went off; her entire demeanor had changed.

When a student is called upon to discuss a case, in the rare event that they are unable to answer a particular question, it then becomes open to the floor. Any student may raise their hand at that point and offer an attempt at the answer. It just so happened that the student who had the pleasure of the case in discussion as the phone rang was unable to recall a particular point about the case.

"Stan, you want to help her out?" asked the professor, without even surveying the room for volunteers.

It was at this precise moment that most of the air in the room was sucked out as each of the rest of us in our seats gasped then stared wide-eyed at our notes, hands in our laps. Stan, I would say, does not exactly have the best track record for having completed all of the assignments. This is not necessarily something that is brought to light in front of the professors, but you can often tell from pre-class discussion. Luckily last night he appeared more prepared than ever. He did well answering the questions posed to him and never wavered from being called upon. I think he expected it. To tell you the truth, I did not know what to expect.

Through orientation and even into each class, everyone tells you to be sure and turn off your cell phone or at least place your ringer on vibrate when you enter class. Professors all have horror stories of Judges who have imposed ridiculous penalties upon members of their audience who fail to observe the "turn it off" guideline. The atmosphere in law school is one where we have been fully warned.

That said, I feel Stan got off relatively easily. He escaped rather unscathed. I am not saying that he should have been punished to a greater extent, we are after all in this together are we not? It was not long before the professor's lighter side resurfaced and her smile returned.

Who knows, maybe this is now a cross he must bear for the duration of the term; stigmatized as the outcast, rogue student who disobeys the turn-off-your-cell-phone "advisement". Then again, maybe he has been punished to the full extent of his crime. Only time will tell.

Our Star Wars Nation

May 19th, 2005

Almost all of the credit for the success of Star Wars seems to go to George Lucas, and I do not challenge that. All I want to do is thank everyone, including Lucas, for the roles they played in bringing Star Wars into our lives. And yes, I do refer to the original three movies (now episodes 4-6). My complaints with the new ones? No, not here. That is a separate issue for some other time. Today is a post to celebrate the triumph under the Star Wars emblem.

In thinking about this post last night I planned to talk about Star Wars as a sub-culture. The problem with that is the bubble is too big. This is a full blown Star Wars culture. While there is nothing wrong with it, those who are not fans of Star Wars appear to be in the minority.

What else can bring together so many people under one common interest? For nearly 30 years now Star Wars has delighted fans and it may only be picking up steam. Many people make fun of those who take Star Wars seriously enough to show up at 12:01am dressed as their favorite characters; the costumes elaborate and the wearers proud and uninhibited. We often label these people as "nerds" for their outward manifestation of a fanatic interest in some Galaxy far far away, though we share in this fascination.

The fact is that as a society we do not harbor any ill will towards these people, in fact we celebrate it with sketches on comedy shows and exclusive reports for the news. We love Star Wars too.

Is it silly that we are a population of adults who embrace each other in all of our diverse glory as we come together united behind the plight of the Jedi? I think in the world we live in where often times we focus too closely on the negative it is everything but silly that we can unite under our common bond of Star Wars.

It may be the nerd in me, but I respect and salute the diehards who were in full regalia last night for the midnight showings across the country and those others around the globe. Sure, it is a little funny, but it is not often that they have an opportunity to dust off the Vader masks and Jedi robes. No, there was not proof of Big Foot's existence yesterday, those were pictures of people dressed as Wookies to celebrate Episode III.

I saw my first Storm Trooper up close and personal yesterday and I can say that it was a religious experience. I now consider myself one of the lucky ones. I was close enough to reach out and touch him. I did not, however, opt for a photo opportunity as did many others around him.

Thank you Star Wars.

May 11th, 2005
The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.
- George Bernard Shaw