FYI-Posting Craziness

Normally I post MWF.  Normally, I would be sound asleep right now.  Without giving enough detail to embarass anyone, there was a medical close call around here.  Everyone is fine.  My update schedule is the only casualty.

Here’s the deal.  I’m really enjoying my Short Stories From Quarroc.  I can’t seem to finish those on the old update schedule.  Adding other posts slows me down.  So, unless I have the powerful urge to share something, the new update schedule will be whenever the next short story installment is finished.  The new schedule shall reign until The Three Doors are done. Then it’s back to the old.  Given the erratic nature of the new schedule, I recommend signing up for email updates or following me on Facebook or Twitter.  All can be done off of the sidebar menu. –>

Psst!  Check out my friends at LootCrate!

Gassy Clown Car

I am easily amused when I get up at 2 am for my paper route.  Sometimes a random thought will pop into my head and stay there.

Lately, it has been gassy clowns.  Picture this for a moment.  A tiny car (like a Honda Fit or my old ’88 LeMans) is driving across a bridge.  Then PFFFT!  An explosion of brightly-colored fabric erupts from the vehicle.  Oversized shoes are flying.  The sound of rubber noses being pinched is like a flock of honking geese.  Greasepaint is peeling.  Squirting flowers are wilting.  Traffic grinds to a halt as the bridge is now overrun with clowns.  Then, slowly, one little clown sheepishly emerges from the abandoned vehicle with a look on his face that says, “Who, me?”

The Day’s Thoughts

A friend of mine commented on Facebook, lamenting the fact that more people weren’t posting about the significance of the date.  She said it seemed like no one cared about what happened just a few years ago.
Wrong on both counts.  I was actually glad to see fewer posts this year.  It’s healthy.  It’s a sign we’re moving on with our lives.  Truth is, it wasn’t just a few years ago.  Its been a decade plus three years.  I was in my high school study hall when the whole thing went down.  I’ve since gone to college, met the most important woman in my life, married her, had three kids, and celebrated seven years of marriage.  We’ve avenged our fallen by executing Bin Laden and built our monuments.
We’ve far from forgotten.  We remember that day the way previous generations remember Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy Assassination.  My oldest daughter has no idea what happened, but one day I’ll be telling my daughter where I was and how I felt as I answer her questions about history.
Up until last year, our daily loves would grind to halt as we marked the day.  That isn’t good.  That is living in fear.  And fear is the goal of the terrorist.  We face new threats.  We must move on to meet them.  We have not and will not forget.

Not Safe For Not Working On

Originally posted on Dan Kaminsky's Blog:

There’s an old Soviet saying:

If you think it, don’t say it.
If you say it, don’t write it.
If you write it, don’t be surprised.

It’s not a pleasant way to live.  The coiner of this quote was not celebrating his oppression.  The power of the Western brand has long been associated with its outright rejection of this sort of thought policing.

In the wake of a truly profound compromise of sensitive photographs of celebrities, those of us in Information Security find ourselves called upon to answer what this all means – to average citizens, to celebrities, to a global economy that has found itself transformed in ways not necessarily planned.  Let’s talk about some things we don’t normally discuss.

Victim Shaming Goes Exponential

Dumdum?  Really?

We shouldn’t entirely be surprised.  Victim shaming is par for the course in Infosec, and more than Infosec, for uncomfortably similar reasons. …

View original 2,324 more words

The Sexism of the Bar

Ok, ok.  The title is obvious clickbait.  Here’s the situation.  Short Stories From Quarroc: The First Door Part 2 got delayed due to a nice little Tornado Watch.  Thankfully, the tornado passed by without incident.  Rather than pull a non-post like I did Monday, I’m going to indulge my contrarian nature.

There is a common practice in bars that is very sexist.  Not only does it discriminate against people on the basis of gender, it objectifies women and exploits an entire gender.  The practice?  Ladies’ Night.

Don’t laugh.  I’m serious.  The discounts are only offered to women.  That’s just as sexist as giving a discount only to men.  Also, let us look at the core of the practice.  The idea of Ladies Night is that you offer a discount to women to entice them to go to your bar.  This of course assumes that women are not in the habit of going to your bar in the first place.  Why are bars trying to attract women?  To bring in hetero-normative single men of course.  This assumes that the men are the big spenders.  And what is the assumed reason that the women will attract the men to the bar?  To hit on the women in numerous pick-up attempts.  Thus, the women are objectified as sexual bait to lure men into the bar.  Also exploitative to both sexes.

Think about it.

Also, while I’m on the topic.  I’ve read countless posts on the effect of ‘pink toys’ on young girls.  ‘Pink toys’ referring to male-centered and/or gender neutral toys being reissued in pink to encourage young girls to buy them.  The Nerf Rebelle line of foam dart guns, for example.

Why isn’t anyone talking about the message that ‘pink toys’ send to young men?  There is one.  I heard it loud and clear growing up, and I’m afraid that my son will soon hear it too.  We live in an age where anything masculine is de facto gender-neutral.  Feminine items, on the other hand, are not.  It is more acceptable to have women-only things, but not men-only.  Therefore, in a society where it is more acceptable for a girl to play with a truck but a boy is derided for playing with dolls, boys get the following message from ‘pink toys’ : “It’s okay for girls to have thing that are just for them, but there is nothing that is yours.  Nothing at all.”

As we strive for gender equality, we must remember BOTH sides of the coin.  Responsibilities come with rights and vice versa.  To gain a new right or privilege, sometimes that requires sacrificing an old one that was originally meant as a compensation.  To be equal, both sides must balance.

Short Stories From Quarroc: The First Door Part One

Tok was a man of vile convictions.  Bound inextricably to the old ways, he had naught but contempt for the king and the changes he brought about.  Were it not for his present errand, he would be nowhere near the bazaar, let alone the palace.  Heretics all, committing sacrilege by wearing such bright colors.  At least the king still had enough sense to choose grey, black, and white for the uniforms of many public servants.  The decadent ways of the king may have ancient roots, but the old ways are best. 

His present mission was one of spiritual import to the old ways.  Before the king took over, there were no statutes granting women the fool notion of equality with men nor were any ages off limits.  It was hard for him to find a new wife among like-minded communities, they were tapped out.  He missed the days when he could grab any single girl who caught his fancy and take her home.

His contacts had found him a ten-year old virgin he could buy in the capitol.  She would be his twenty-fifth wife.  A golden harem.  He would be assured the ability to double that in the afterlife.  He had to be careful.  New laws prohibited the practice, but Tok would not be denied.  He walked to a row of houses.  It took him a few minutes to find one with the sign of K’haal etched on to the doorframe.  He entered without a knock.

He found the man he was looking for.  They bargained extensively over the price.  The man was shrewd, but Tok was the best negotiator in all of the Mozuul.  They came to an agreement.  Tok glared a cruel smile as he counted golden coins into the seller’s hand.  After testing a coin with a bite, the seller waved Tok to the back room.

Eagerly, Tok pulled back the curtain.  A small figure sat on the other side of the room, cloaked in the traditional grey garb of a female practitioner of the old ways.  He slowed his pace to savor the moment.  He would consummate the marriage here, then take her home.  As he passed over the patterned rug of the dimly lit chamber, his anticipation built.

Silently he reached for the back of her head covering.  As he removed it, she spun around with a gun to his face!  She turned out to be a grown woman of remarkably diminutive stature.  The sleeves of her garment slid back to reveal the bracers of law enforcement.  On the left one was a badge and ID.  Two more clicks behind him as two more officers came out of hiding, cocking their weapons.  From between them came the seller throug the curtains.  He smiled widely with rotten teeth as the parting motion raised his hands high enough to reveal his bracers.  He removed the rotten teeth to expose a perfectly healthy set underneath.

“You are under arrest for the attempted purchase and sexual exploitation of a minor.  Further charges may be pressed later.  You have the following rights…”  As the cursed head of this sting operation droned on, Tok begrudgingly allowed himself to be cuffed.  Curse this king and his minions.  Khaali would deal with them all in the judgement.

Tok was led off to a holding cell to stand trial.