Decommissioning the Sundew

The Coast Guard will be decommissioning the Coast Guard Cutter SUNDEW on May 27th. I live just a block away from the Coast Guard docks. I can hear the PA system whenever they page for someone outside. The main duties that the Sundew had was tending to buoys and for cutting ice for shipping traffic. The main buoys I am interested in are the weather buoys. The Sundew would set the weather buoys in the spring after the ice is gone on Lake Superior, and then take them back in by late fall, before they got smashed by the growing ice coverage. The data from these buoys are available on the web… this one is for the western most buoy (closest to Duluth Harbor).

The Sundew will be replaced with the Alder (click then page down). The article just linked to has a blurb on the Slattery’s. The Slattery family used to own the house I currently live in. Jim Slattery still lives near by, just 3 houses down from me. A convenient location for keeping track of the Sundew and other Coast Guard happenings.

Missing Music

Through the 80s and 90s, I would have a blank cassette at the ready so I could tape a song that I liked from the radio. Recently, I popped in a few tapes that I made from the 80s and they are fading fast. They are now sounding muffled.

A few of these songs that I taped, I didn’t know who did them or the name of the song. I was doing a lot of recording from college radio stations, and in general, the DJs at these stations didn’t do the greatest job of telling you what you are listening to. The Internet has darn near every lyric to every song known to man. So I took a couple of songs that I couldn’t identify and went hunting. I just took a snippet of lyric that I could understand and googled it. The technique works. The songs that I chose to try and identify were Stereolab’s – “Ping Pong” and Skinny Puppy’s – “Fascist Jock Itch”. Now that I knew the name of the song, I could proceed to download a fresh copy from one of those P2P networks.

The StereoLab song seems especially timely, considering the times we live in currently. Actually the more I read through the lyrics, the more it seems like this song will be timeless.

Dumb Night

I hear of a lan party from the site, The Gamelan. The problem, I don’t hear about this party until 2 hours before it starts. I am also not impressed that they only have 5 hours allotted for the party. Well I go check it out. It is being held in the basement of a church. I have a problem with Jesus staring at me while I drop F-bombs playing Desert Combat. I get there with the laptop at 710 PM (10 minutes after start time) and I am the first one there. They are still setting up also. I estimated that it would take 2 hours for anything to get going, which would leave 3 hours for gaming.

I move on.

I go to Northlan Gaming and don’t recognize anyone. I consider staying there because they have the Wolves/Lakers game going on their big screen TV, but decide I would prefer my own TV. I go home and watch the remainder of the game… Wolves lose. I play some UT2004 for about an hour for my gaming fix. Now I am writing this.

To top it off, no exercise this evening. I will have to do an extra long run tomorrow morning to make up for it. At least no one got hurt.

I Shot Andy Warhol

I got involved in a forum thread that got into talking about gay marriages, transsexuals competing in the olypmics, yada, yada, yada… you know the drill. So all this jibber-jabber inspired me to rewatch the movie, “I Shot Andy Warhol“. An excellent movie on the level that it contains a piece of Americana from the late 60s. The first time I saw it was when I lived in Marquette, MI. I saw it with a young naive local “Yooper” girl.

Fun paragraph, I changed direction three times. Andy would be so proud.

Let us flashback shall we… So I have this new neighbor, probably fresh out of high school going out on her own for the first time. Being the good neighbor (33 years old at the time), I ask if she wants to rent a movie and watch it with me. We live in a converted “mansion”. I am lucky to live in a one bedroom apartment and she is living in one of the lofts. She agrees, and we walk to the movie rental place only a couple blocks away. She is very non-committal on what movie to watch. So I ask her if she wants to watch something “artsy fartsy”. She agrees (fool). I pick out “I Shot Andy Warhol”, not knowing fully what the movie is all about. But Andy Warhol is definitely an “artsy fartsy” kind of guy, so off we go.

So we go back to my place and we watch this movie in my living room. As I mentioned above, I liked the movie. But for those of you with at least some scruples, a movie about a militant lesbian is not (a) a first date movie, (b) a chick flick. She just stared wide eyed, dumbfounded, and well, politely through the entire movie. She did not speak a word during the showing. The instant the movie was over, she stood up and said, “I have to go and work out, it’s something I have to do.” I say OK. We politely say our good byes and she leaves. She did seem shaken.

I am thinking it was 3 or so days later, her family was helping her move out. Later, talking with my landlord, apparently she moved to Florida to live with a relative there. She skipped out on rent, payments on some antiques she purchased, and she left with the lamp I loaned her.

She certainly has an anecdote about me, and I certainly have an anecdote about her. Ah, my naive Yooper lass.

Just for my own logging, I biked 18 miles today… while biking, I saw a guy playing/raping bagpipes on the rocky shores of Lake Superior. I think I heard the Star Wars theme in there somewhere. What?

More on Spyware

I thought I had this aforementioned computer (see last post) all cleaned up of spyware. On the contrary. After another day of messing with it, still not clean. The proggy I discovered today is, HiJackThis. This handy little program lets you look at all the the stuff that is run when you logon. One interesting line that this program found was…

O4 – HKLM\..\RunOnce: [*****] C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\******.exe

Where ****** is some arbitrary name. Whenever you delete that item using HiJackThis, this line pops back in with a different name for the .exe. If you delete the .exe from C:\Windows\SYSTEM32, it just makes a new executable and redoes the line above to match. This piece of spyware must be relatively new, because macafee, spybot and ad-aware are not spotting the core program or process behind this.

This program is basically a dropper. It is a process that sits in the background and downloads new spyware and installs it. So you delete the spyware on the infected computer, come back 5 to 10 minutes later, and you have fresh new spyware installed. How handy!

What I need to do is find out what the name of this core program or process is called. I need to research on how to find out what programs are loaded beyond what HiJackThis is finding. Or find out if this program has found a way to attach to what is normally a friendly program. Oh what fun.

If anyone else has had this type of battle and can point me to a handy resource, I would greatly appreciate it.

Sunny Day and Fighting with Spyware

For those with short attention spans, here’s my day in bullet format…

  • Fought with spyware on work computers
  • Forecasted possible severe weather for area tomorrow
  • Left work early to enjoy sun and 70 degrees
  • Cruised around Grand Lake to find a possible house to move into
  • Kayaked a couple miles on the bay side of Park Point
  • Barefoot jogged a couple miles on the beach on the Lake Superior side of Park Point.

    That would be my day. Now to elaborate…

    Concerning the spyware/malware on the work computers. We had a heck of time trying to get this shit off. We tried ad-aware first, then Macafee. After using both, the savvy spyware would rejuvenate and reappear. So we decide to move on to Spybot. Here’s where it got interesting. The spyware set up some type of firewall so we couldn’t get to the Spybot home page… this struck be as funny for some reason. We did find a copy of Spybot on, so we did get it eventually installed. Spybot version 1.3 did the trick. It was definitely more thorough in removing this stuff.

    Looks like an active day tomorrow, severe weather-wise. Fortunately for us, Iowa will probably steal most of northern Minnesota’s thunder (ha-ha get it). The most unstable air will be over Iowa, and there will be plenty of shear there. Later on in the evening, bow echoes will congeal and kick some fanny… mainly east of Iowa. Not good news if you are in the path.

    Yep, you heard right, it was 70 degrees and sunny today here in Duluth. We were parked right underneath the high, so hardly a breath of wind either. The only negative about this situation? Immense pressure! You MUST go outside NOW. Days like this are extremely rare around these parts so you have to take advantage. So that’s what I did.

    Went on a leisurely drive around Grand Lake, near Saginaw, MN. I would like to move off of Park Point and find some nice secluded lake front property. Some homes for sale looked inviting. This was the leading candidate.

    Went back to Park Point and did the Kayak thing behind my house. I only had a couple beers while I was out floating back there, but I definatlely felt them. Hauling the kayak back to the house was a bit more work compared to bringing it to the bayfront.

    So what do you do if you have a couple beers in you? You jog them off. First barefoot jog of the season… and it felt good…

  • Wrap-up

    I finally went out and measured the rain from last night…1.17 inches.

    Sun came out this evening, I put on the shades and went out for a 2 mile jog.

    The replacement front grill for my car was put into place this past afternoon, This concludes the repairs from my fender bender… in my driveway. I haven’t talked about that yet have I. About a month ago, my neighbor was trying to take a short cut to her back yard via my driveway. She ran into my car in this attempt. I wasn’t even in my car, I was down in my basement doing some spring cleaning. I have to drive through downtown Duluth to get anywhere, and this is how I get into an accident. Silly world.

    Hmmm, a web site outage. I wrote the above last evening around 9 pm central time. What has transpired since then? I did laundry, played some UT2004, then went to bed. You didn’t miss much. BobYates (morning talk show guy I listen to) seems to be have problems telling the difference between Glen Campbell and Earl Campbell this morning. Must of been a rough night.

    More on North Dakota

    Remember a few days back when I was posting about the Turtle “Mountains” over north-central North Dakota? I wasn’t the only one looking at them that day. Some other weather geekoid from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) was also looking at that part of the world. This visible image has the Turtle mountains smack dab in the middle of it. Now the quiz for you guys is, can you differentiate between the snow cover on the ground and the clouds floating over the snow cover. No you can’t. I said you can’t, now be quiet. This brings us to the 1.6 micrometer channel with color enhancement. Notice how oh so much easier it is to differentiate between snow cover and clouds. Coolies, eh!!

    By the way, in this picture, there was 6 inches of snow on the ground in northern North Dakota and 10 inches over parts of southern Manitoba. Not what you want in mid-May. Phooey.