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Showing posts from April, 2014

#168 - The Wedding at the End of the Tunnel

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Motto: Details Details Details
I sometimes have a tendency to get excited about something, then forget that anything exists beyond that thing. I was excited for my bachelor party on Saturday, then it came and went. I woke up the next day, Sunday, and realized I didn't have to work and I didn't have plans. I had completely forgotten that Sunday was something that existed until I was there. It's weird. I think it's a side effect of my superpowered focus. I can and have on multiple occasions completely zoned in on something for an entire day without stopping to realize I was hungry or I had to pee. Melissa can verify I will forget to eat food if I'm working on a project that really holds my interest. That same situation is applying to the upcoming wedding, I fear. See the Top 5 for the remedy I've put together. We are 11 days out, as of the day I wrote this sentence. I had my bachelor party this weekend. It is one of those things that I thought some about when …

#167 - Feature: Password Security

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Motto: My Heartbleed's for You

The motto is not grammatically incorrect. I used "Heartbleed" as a possessive noun. Now that we've got that out of the way - welcome to the passwords best practices feature. You're about to hear about computer passwords from me, a non-expert who has done a possibly passable amount of research. Let me start with the heart: Heartbleed is a bug in OpenSSL that was recently found and immediately exploited. In a nutshell, it works like this (thanks to Randall Munroe and his site - XKCD): The information the hacker gets in this exploit is whatever just so happens to be stored in memory after the bugged ping was sent. This could be your username, password, credit card information, security question and response, or, more likely, worthless network gibberish and/or somebody else's personal info. There are two particularly scary things going on here: 1. You have absolutely know what of knowing if your data was successfully mined …

#166 - Attack Mode

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Motto: So Much to Do and so Little Time

Writing Columns is something I do for fun. Unfortunately, there isn't much time left for fun in my days lately. Dear reader(s) please forgive me for what will be a relatively quiet month here on this blog... for I have entered attack mode.

I am calling it "attack mode" because framing it that way is better for morale than framing it as "Wake up. Prepare for work. Work on work stuff. Lunch (during which I usually work). Work on work stuff. Go home. Cook. Work on administrative stuff. Eat. Work on wedding stuff. Sleep. Repeat... sometimes adding in a trip to the gym." Attack Mode sounds much better. As a policy, I don't talk about work on the Column. For the purposes of this post it will suffice just to say that I come home at the end of the day stressed out, which is new. Wedding work is killer, but at least I'm motivated. I'm still angry that there isn't a platform that truly fits my notetaking & p…

#165 - Multimedia Solution

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Motto: I Just Want to Play What I Have on What I Have

There was a time when your movie collection and your music collection were both stored on magnetic strips inside of little tape cartridges.Then, sometime in the late 90's/early 2000's people started transitioning their music collection over to some weird circular mirror discs with finger-sized holes in the middle of them. A few years later, your movie collection started to make that transition too. Right around the same time that you started keeping your movie collection on weird circular mirror discs, you started transitioning your music collection to digital "MP3" files. These weren't physical objects at all. Your entire music collection could then be stored on one computer instead of in a bunch of racks & shelves. Then, the movies never really followed. What gives? Why don't all of my DVDs get stored at Mom & Dad's place in the basement with my CDs? Why are the DVDs so special? It's…

#164 - 30 Day Challenges, Other Goals, and One Year Ago

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Motto: T Minus 23 Days

I swear I'm taking these 30 Day Challenges seriously. But, once again, I'm going to have to change (or amend, maybe) this month's goal. This month's goal was: "I, Aaron Gillespie, will run 50 miles in the month of April". We have reached the 10th day of April, and I, Aaron Gillespie, have only ran 10 miles. That's not bad, right? But it's not on track to reach 50, and it's brought to my attention a big problem. If I run much over much over a mile, I wind up being in pain for the rest of the evening. The pain goes right through my SI joint. My hip feels exactly like it used to before I got on antiinflamitories. My rheumatologist (joint doctor) said that running is awful and would probably aggravate my autoimmune condition. Turns out she was right. So I'm amending my goal. I, Aaron Gillespie, will run, walk, ellipt, row, swim, and/or bike the combined effective total of 50 miles in April. Biking, rowing, and swimming wi…

#163 - The Buzz Heard Around the World

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Motto: I Hate Getting My Hair Cut.

Yesterday was the worst day I've had since Thor died. Let me tell you the story. Let me tell you the story of my haircut. I hate getting my hair cut. I always have. This is for several reasons:
I have to slouch really low in the chair and it hurts my back.I have to small talk for 15 minutes with someone whose usual barrage of smalltalk questions never apply to me (sports this and cars that, seriously).I never know what to tell the barber.I have to hear a sales pitch for how I should do my hair differently, usually involving expensive hair goo that they would be glad to sell me.And, to top it all off, I have to pay for all of my troubles.Usually I bring along a partner to dull some of the displeasures. Melissa can tell them what I want and can talk to them while I sit there in slightly less uncomfortable silence. Yesterday I tried to get a preliminary haircut to set the stage for a real, professional one that I'd get one week before the weddin…

#162 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Spoilers)

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Motto: The Star-Spangled Man with a Plan

On Thursday, April 3rd Melissa and I watched a double-feature: Captain America: The First Avenger & Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It was the first time I've ever watched a double feature like that, it was basically 5 straight hours of awesomeness. This was us the entire time:
I don't know how exactly we watched the movie on the evening of the 3rd when it was scheduled to open on the 4th... but I don't care. I SAW IT. Now, before I go on - I want to give you this: FAIR WARNING: I AM WRITING THIS COLUMN ASSUMING THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS OUT THE WAZOO. So, don't read this if you haven't already seen Captain America.
SECOND FAIR WARNING: I AM WRITING A POST ABOUT A COMIC BOOK MOVIE ABOUT A 95 YEAR OLD MAN WHO THROWS A SHIELD AROUND LIKE A BOOMERANG WHILE WEARING THE LEATHER EQUIVALENT OF A UNITED STATES FLAG UNITARD. So, you might not care …

#161 - Writing Wrapup

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Motto: Give it a Break Already

My Feature on constrained writing was the last post of a very busy month for the Column. To me it felt kind of like I went out with a bang. It was difficult to write, but full of fanciness. It was the feather in the cap of my "write every day in March" challenge. I write a lot, so March's challenge wasn't too challenging. I did that on purpose, though. I started my new job this month and have since been under an usual amount of stress. Add to that the wedding planning and it's pretty obvious I needed a light month (albeit most of the heavy planning is being done by Melissa - my efforts go toward supporting her efforts). Writing every day was easy enough. I'd write about how it was, the process, and my thoughts and feelings on the challenge - but I've written enough over the past 30 days. I'll just say that it didn't feel difficult. I wrote every day but one or two when I was preoccupied. I posted 16 Columns. That…