Merry Christmas, everyone (a couple of days late, but still..)

The powers that be saw fit to give everyone at work an opportunity to go home four hours early on 24 December 2008, the better to go home and get ready for Christmas Eve. To that end, I sniffled and honked a bit and set course for home where Lyssa was still hard at work. I sat down to fill out my paperwork for the week (such is the life of a professional contractor), packed a duffel bag for the weekend, and slowly came to the conclusion that I'd somehow caught the beginnings of a cold earlier in the day …

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EDITED (20081101): Lyssa and I are now married.

To preface what I'm about to write, I never thought that I would have missed so many details pertaining to what happened a few days ago. Shortly before the wedding, Lyssa gave me a piece of advice from her friend Michael: stop every few minutes to take a mental snapshot of what's going on around you, so that you'll have more to remember from your wedding. I didn't really do that until after the ceremony was over, and thus much of what happened was lost to the peculiar entropy that steals moments of our lives from us as we grow …

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Triumph of the anti-vaccination movement: Measles outbreak.

In the past decade or so, a worrisome movement has cropped up that seems hell-bent on using bad science to try to protect their children: People who refuse to have their children vaccinated for various childhood diseases out of fear that their children will wind up brain damaged, or worse. It seems that they've triumphed: seven US states have reported an outbreak of measles to the Centers for Disease Control. Figures released by the CDC state that 64 cases of full-blown measles have been reported to doctors, with more expected to appear as the year continues. Slightly over one fifth …

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Another weekend in the nation's capital.

Aside from a few bouts of tenderness in the new dental work on Saturday, the pain and infection in that one particular molar are gone. Praise be to the gods of dental medicine. I go in on Friday morning to get fitted for the mounting post and temporary crown. Whether or not I'll be able to afford them is a different matter entirely. Time will tell, as it always does.

On Saturday, Lyssa and I meet up my mother and Judy, who happened to be in DC taking a bus tour of the nation's capital. Even though they were staying …

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Coming to you live from the high desert of the great American southwest, this is...

...not Art Bell.

It's me, the Doctor, checking in after an entire weekend on the road. At this moment I've found lodgings in a quaint little hotel about forty miles into the high desert of California, which is about a two hour drive from LAX when you factor in traffic. As my cow-orker T- says, "I love LA. There are ten-lane highways and everyone's still doing fifteen miles per hour." I'm running on about four hours of sleep right now, so I'm going to try to hit the high points before I fall over unconscious.

Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday …

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For the system administrator or parent that has everything, how about a RAT?

'Remote access tool', that is - a little beastie (usually considered malware, though there are legit incarnations of this sort of software) that hides itself inside a workstation and lets someone connect remotely at any time and go through the system and silently monitor what the user is doing. Crackers have been using them for years for recon before an infiltration attempt, but only recently are the white hats finding uses for them. Such as watching what your kids are up to. Presenting Snoopstick, an all in one package for infecting someone's box with a RAT that lets you keep an …

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