Peeter Joot's (OLD) Blog.

Math, physics, perl, and programming obscurity.

Archive for August, 2013

CAA telemarketers are really hard to scare away

Posted by peeterjoot on August 31, 2013

I’m sorry in advance to any homosexual (or heterosexual) individuals that are offended by the following dialogue.

My attempt to engage a CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) telemarketer in an anthrax for weapons deal bombed badly, but I thought that I’d have at least been blacklisted from sales calls after that.  This morning, I found that this wasn’t the case, and it provided the opportunity for more play.

This morning David (who sounds like a friendly older man), calling on behalf of the CAA, called me for the next round of the game.  I recognized his voice from the last CAA sales call, but he may not have recognized mine, since I was attempting flagrant over the top Hollywood style male homosexual voice affectations. 

 

Our conversation went something like this (although I think I’ve forgotten part of it) :

 

CAA: “Hello, this is David, calling from the CAA”

“Oh, hello David.  You sound like a strapping young man!”

CAA: “I’m calling from the Canadian Automobile association.”

“Mmm, would you like to come over to play?”

CAA: “We are offering a two for one deal.”

“Ohhh, a two for one?  I’d love to have a two for one with you”

CAA: “[Silent Pause].  For quality assurance purposes, can I confirm that your address is …”

“Oh, yes.  That’s my address.  Would you come over to play?”

CAA: “Okay.  Goodbye.”

 

I’d learned the voice affectations fairly well when I was a teenager since my mother played piano and sang in a few downtown gay bars.  She developed a number of friendships that extended outside of her work environment, so I was exposed enough voices to be able to do a decent imitation.  My girlfriend, who hadn’t heard me do this sort of impressionism, had listened in with horror and shock, stating after the call: “Who are you?  You did that too easily!  Do I even know you?”

I have deep respect for David, who in two separate scenarios has proved himself completely unflappable.  He is able to maintain a calm and businesslike manner, no matter what is said to him.

Next steps?

I’m once again out of ideas for the next telemarketing call, but they can be so much fun. 

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Voting with my wallet: no more shopping at Walmart

Posted by peeterjoot on August 27, 2013

Having just finished John Perkin’s “Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the Global Economy IMPLODED — and How to Fix It”, I’ve decided that my first step at implementing his conscientious purchasing suggestions is to not shop at Wal-Mart.  It is really hard to avoid hearing about the exploitive practices of this company, like their failure to back the most minimal safety standards in the Bangladesh factories that manufacture their goods, for refusing to pay for repairs of these factories, and the treatment of their domestic employees.  I recall hearing many such instance of their domestic misbehaviour documented on democracy now, for example their threatening store closures if local wages are allowed to increase.  This is also a company that very negatively impacts local economies, and is likely responsible for the deaths of many small community stores that cannot compete against policies based on exploitation.

So, I’m starting very small, and explicitly avoiding the convenience of this store, that is geographically very close: I’d seen footballs at rock bottom prices at Wal-Mart before, but opted not to get it there, waiting for an alternate place to purchase it.  I ended up buying at Canadian Tire.  While I have to admit that I currently don’t know about the business practises of Canadian Tire, at least this choice does not result in Wal-Mart, a company blatantly abusive domestically and around the world, from getting a cut.  Perhaps only Nike has a worse than Wal-Mart reputation for abusiveness, so I think this is a fair starting place at sustainable purchasing.

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Articles and documents associated with peeterjoot.wordpress search results: Aug/2013

Posted by peeterjoot on August 25, 2013

The wordpress admin screen provides some search statistics.  It’s occasionally interesting to take a peek at what gets hits, and I’ve categorized some of them, adding some links to some of the content that those searchers could have been looking for.  Because I aggregate many of my blog posts into larger book like pdfs, those are listed where available.

just\s*energy|ontario energy: 6381
    just energy canada    2465
    just energy ontario    542
    just energy scam    420
    justenergy    280
    just energy canada complaints    167
    just energy complaints    163
    just energy cancellation    158
    just energy scam canada    151
    just energy reviews    117
    just energy ontario complaints    106
    bond street collections just energy    100
    how to cancel just energy    84
    just energy canada scam    83
    how to get out of just energy contract    81
    cancel just energy    73
    just energy scam 2012    61
    just energy complaints ontario    60
    just energy contract    57
    justenergy.com    48
    what is just energy in ontario    45
    just energy scams ontario    45
    just energy in canada    43
    working for just energy    42
    what is just energy    41
    just energy cancellation fee    37
    just energy blog    32
    http://www.justenergy.com    30
    "just energy"    30
    just energy canada reviews    30
    problems with just energy    29
    just energy collections    24
    just energy contract cancellation    24
    working for just energy canada    24
    who is just energy ontario    24
    how to get out of a just energy contract    23
    who is just energy    21
    just energy ontario 2011    21
    just energy 2011    21
    cancelling just energy contract    20
    just energy cancellation of contract    20
    how to cancel just energy contract    20
    just energy rates ontario    19
    just energy exit fee    19
    just energy cancel    19
    just energy sales pitch    19
    just energy canada scams    18
    enbridge vs just energy    18
    what is just energy in canada    18
    ontario energy board complaints just energy    18
    cancel just energy contract    17
    just energy contract renewal    17
    ontario energy board    16
    just energy reviews ontario canada    16
    just energy vs enbridge    15
    just energy complaints canada    15
    just energy ontario exit fees    15
    just energy ontario contract    15
    just energy contracts ontario    15
    just energy contracts    14
    justenergy canada    14
    just energy reviews ontario    13
    ontario energy board just energy    13
    just energy enron    13
    just energy collection agency    13
    how to cancel just energy account    13
    just energy reviews canada    12
    just energy scam ontario    12
    getting out of just energy contract    12
    issues with just energy    12
    how do i cancel just energy    12
    "just energy" ontario    11
    cancelling just energy    11
    just energy cancel contract    11
    enbridge and just energy    11
    ontario just energy    11
    just energy ontario reviews    11
    just energy, canada    11
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/tag/just-energy-canada

fence|sync|barrier|atomic|lwarx|stwcx: 1734
    lwsync    154
    performance atomic fetch and add lock memory bus    119
    memory barrier example    115
    lfence mfence    109
    lfence    87
    sfence instruction    86
    mfence instruction    82
    memory barriers sample program    71
    intel mfence    63
    lwarx    47
    gcc memory barrier    44
    sfence    43
    sfence mfence    37
    mfence lfence sfence    34
    intel sfence    32
    lfence instruction    30
    __sync_lock_test_and_set sample    27
    sfence lfence    25
    powerpc lwsync    22
    mfence sfence lfence    22
    memory barrier    21
    mfence sfence    21
    intel memory barrier    20
    lwsync instruction    20
    lfence sfence    20
    mfence intel    19
    __sync_lock_test_and_set example    19
    lfence sfence mfence    17
    ppc isync instruction for x86 assembly    17
    intel atomic instructions    17
    sfence lfence mfence    17
    lfence intel    16
    intel atomic operations    16
    mfence    16
    intel memory fence    16
    intel fence instruction    15
    windows memory fence    15
    intel lfence    15
    memorybarrier example    14
    mfence lfence    14
    stwcx    14
    aix lwsync    14
    gcc compiler barrier    14
    intel sfence instruction    14
    __lwsync    13
    isync instruction    12
    lwsync powerpc    12
    intel mfence instruction    12
    critical section memory barrier    12
    intel memory barrier lfence    12
    lfence mfence sfence    11
http://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot/math2009/atomic.pdf
https://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot/math2010/atomicSimple.pdf
http://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot/math2010/mutexRelease.pdf

phy354|noether|lagrangian|hamiltonian|action|conjugate momenta|routh|classical mechanics|pendulum|canonical: 1359
    spherical pendulum hamiltonian    160
    spherical pendulum    160
    maxwell action    82
    noether current    74
    canonical energy momentum tensor    67
    pendulum hamiltonian    62
    hamiltonian pendulum    58
    lagrangian density    56
    multiple pendulum    47
    conjugate momenta    45
    routh procedure    40
    routh’s procedure    40
    routhian    37
    double pendulum hamiltonian    36
    hamiltonian spherical pendulum    33
    spherical pendulum lagrangian    30
    hamiltonian of a pendulum    29
    center of mass hamiltonian    28
    phy354    27
    double pendulum matrix    21
    advanced classical mechanics    19
    euler classical mechanics    18
    hamiltonian double pendulum    18
    hamiltonian for pendulum    16
    canonical momentum    16
    hamiltonian center of mass    14
    connected pendulums    14
    2 particle hamiltonian    14
    routhian example    14
    extern c sigaction    13
    traction vector    13
    hamiltonian of a spherical pendulum    13
    hamiltonian of pendulum    12
    double spherical pendulum    12
    two particle hamiltonian    11
    hamiltonian for spherical pendulum    10
https://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot2/math2013/classicalmechanics.pdf

gdb|scheduler-locking|dbx: 1102
    gdb pager    287
    gdb paging    139
    gdb scheduler-locking    108
    gdb pause    76
    scheduler-locking    57
    set scheduler-locking on    57
    gdb sigcont    46
    gdb no paging    43
    gdb scheduler    35
    gdb signal    30
    gdb scheduler locking    27
    gdb pagging    21
    gdb set scheduler-locking    20
    set scheduler-locking    18
    gdb lock thread    18
    gdb scheduler lock    18
    gdb sigusr1    15
    aix dbx calling    13
    scheduler-locking on    13
    gdb program received signal sigusr1    13
    gdb thread lock    12
    gdb find thread    12
    gdb pager off    12
    scheduler-locking gdb    12
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/category/debugging/

ud2a: 1066
    ud2a    635
    ud2a instruction    213
    ud2a assembly    36
    assembly ud2a    29
    intel ud2a    25
    instruction ud2a    23
    gcc ud2a    22
    intel ud2a instruction    18
    ud2a assembly instruction    14
    ud2a gcc    13
    ud2a sigill    13
    ud2a x86    13
    intel instruction ud2a    12
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/a-fun-and-curious-dig-gcc-generation-of-a-ud2a-instruction-sigill/

phy450|relativistic|poppitz|electrodynamics|four velocity|boost|lorentz force|retarded time|lorentz|lienard.*wiechert: 1018
    relativistic electrodynamics    103
    relativistic electrodynamics lecture notes    98
    "erich poppitz"    63
    electrodynamics green function assignment    52
    peeter joot relativistic electrodynamics    51
    lecture note on relativistic electrodynamics    47
    lorentz force lagrangian    42
    notes on electrodynamics    36
    lorentz force equation    35
    four velocity    34
    lorentz transformation tensor    28
    relativistic lorentz force    26
    phy450h1s    26
    lienard wiechert potential    24
    erich poppitz    24
    lorentz boost    22
    noether current lorentz transformation    21
    lagrangian lorentz force    20
    lienard wiechert    20
    lorentz scalar    18
    lorentz lagrangian    17
    lecture notes on relativistic electrodynamics    17
    lienard wiechert potentials    16
    lorentz force from lagrangian    14
    relativistic momentum conservation    14
    lorentz transformation antisymmetric tensor    13
    metric tensor lorentz transformation    13
    lorentz force hamiltonian    12
    relativistic electromagnetism lecture notes    12
    lorentz boost tensor    12
    electrodynamics lecture    11
    lorentz transformation metric tensor    11
    hamiltonian lorentz force    11
    lorentz metric tensor    11
    relativistic electrodynamics problems    11
    lienard-wiechert potentials    11
    lectures on quaternion electrodynamics    11
    invariant relativistic electrodynamics clifford algebra approach    11
https://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot/math2011/phy450.pdf
https://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot2/math2013/classicalmechanics.pdf

align|padding: 911
    c struct alignment    208
    structure alignment in c    127
    c structure alignment    116
    structure padding in c pdf    54
    structure alignment c    49
    structure padding and alignment    36
    padding struct to align    35
    structure padding pdf    33
    c structure alignment rules    32
    struct alignment padding    27
    c struct padding and alignment    24
    c struct alignment rules    23
    struct alignment in c    22
    c struct padding    19
    struct padding alignment    18
    struct alignment c    17
    structure alignment and padding    13
    c struct align    13
    c structure alignment padding    12
    structure padding alignment    11
    alignment padding    11
    padding inserted in struct    11
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/c-structure-alignment-padding/

phy356|liboff|lowering|square well|commutator|pauli|raising|generator: 908
    phy356    144
    infinite square well    80
    liboff 4.11    75
    rotation generator    55
    lowering operator    50
    commutator exponential    40
    operator exponential commutator    30
    exponential commutator    28
    phy356 utoronto    28
    infinite square well a/2    27
    exponential operator commutator    25
    pauli matrix    24
    vatche phy356    22
    double commutator    22
    raising and lowering operators    22
    generator of rotation    21
    commutator of exponentials    20
    phy356 toronto    20
    pauli matrices    17
    how to show that any hermitian traceless matrix can be written as sum of pauli matrices    16
    raising operator    16
    infinite square well wave function    15
    spin raising and lowering operators    15
    liboff chapter 4 solutions    14
    phy356f    14
    infinite square well boundaries    13
    phy356 u of t    11
    pauli equation    11
    commutator exponential operator    11
    phy356 uoft    11
    uoft phy356    11
https://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot/math2010/phy356.pdf

joot|peeter|peter: 784
    peeter joot    568
    peeter joot blog    54
    peter joot    36
    peeter joot’s blog    25
    joot    25
    peeter    24
    peeterjoot    22
    peter joot blog    16
    peeter joot wordpress    14

git: 483
    git for filesystem version control    203
    git filesystem    98
    git file system    74
    git distributed file system    34
    git as a filesystem    27
    git distributed filesystem    22
    git as filesystem    13
    fatal: could not open ‘.git/commit_editmsg’: permission denied    12
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/abusing-the-git-version-control-system-as-a-distributed-filesystem

xargs: 369
    xargs for loop    122
    xargs loop    89
    bash for loop xargs    40
    for loop xargs    36
    cleartool xargs    30
    xargs cleartool    18
    bash loop xargs    13
    xargs in for loop    11
    xargs and for loop    10
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/shell-tips-and-tricks-the-most-basic-stuff/

banister|bannister|newel: 354
    loose banister    147
    how to fix a loose banister    48
    fixing a loose banister    25
    loose banister repair    24
    fixing a banister    23
    how to fix loose banister    22
    loose bannister    17
    newel post    13
    fixing banister    12
    how to repair loose banister    12
    how to fix a banister    11
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/fixing-a-loose-banister
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/category/home-improvement

quantum|dirac: 346
    quantum virial theorem    87
    projection operator quantum mechanics    50
    rotation of angular momentum quantum mechanics    42
    quantum mechanics lecture notes    32
    lecture notes on application of quantum physics    25
    bound states in quantum mechanics    17
    quantum physics lecture notes    16
    virial theorem quantum    16
    mathematics for quantum mechanics lecture notes    15
    bound states quantum mechanics    13
    dirac non relativistic limit expand to 1/c    11
    forced quantum harmonic oscillator    11
    quantum mechanics lecture notes 2011    11
https://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot/math2011/phy356.pdf
https://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot/math2011/phy456.pdf

nm|bsymbolic: 308
    using nm    96
    nm undefined symbol    92
    nm undefined    27
    nm grep    23
    bsymbolic    16
    tmpdir environment variable    14
    nm undefined symbols    14
    feynman slash    13
    nm symbol undefined    13
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/using-nm-to-track-down-the-origin-of-an-undefined-symbol/

desai: 252
    desai quantum mechanics solutions    59
    peeter joot desai solutions    41
    peeter joot desai    34
    quantum mechanics desai solutions    24
    desai quantum mechanics    22
    solution for desai quantum mechanics    22
    desai quantum mechanics errata    14
    desai quantum    13
    quantum mechanics desai    12
    notes and problems for desai chapter vi    11
http://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot/math2010/desaiTypos.pdf

geometric|wedge|clifford|bivector: 192
    geometric algebra    42
    angular momentum operator geometric algebra    35
    "geometric algebra"    23
    wedge product    23
    faraday bivector    17
    bivector    16
    geometric algebra blog    13
    wedge product example    12
    "clifford algebra"    11
https://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot/math2009/gabook.pdf

phy454|continuum|lame: 125
    continuum mechanics notes    62
    lame parameters    24
    continuum mechanics course notes    17
    continuum mechanics lecture notes    11
    phy454 das    11
https://sites.google.com/site/peeterjoot2/math2012/phy454.pdf

perl: 114
    perl __line__    34
    __line__ in perl    23
    perl like awk    17
    perl grep range    15
    perl awk like    13
    perl one liner grep    12
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/category/perl-and-general-scripting-hackery/

alias: 83
    pointer aliasing optimization    18
    pointer aliasing example    17
    c pointer alias    13
    c_get_alias_set    13
    pointer aliasing c    11
    c pointer aliasing    11
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/use-of-unions-to-deal-with-aliasing-problems/
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/c-pointer-aliasing-violations-and-aggressive-compiler-optimizations/

root|8200: 36
    8200 warden    25
    peeter joot root shell    11
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/how-to-get-a-root-shell-if-you-can-modify-code-that-runs-setuid-root
https://peeterjoot.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/software-developer-spotted-on-8200-warden-property/

 

 

 

The rest (unsorted) : 2181

    kill segv    96
    partition different equation of entropy    62
    exponential rotation    60
    infinitesimal rotation    55
    bctrl powerpc    50
    the normalized wave functions for a particle confined to move on a circle    49
    antisymmetric tensor    46
    printf uint8    44
    area spanned by two vectors    38
    powerpc bctrl    37
    4d divergence theorem    34
    dumping examples    32
    magnetic field phasor    31
    convective derivative    31
    base address of array in c    30
    "stokes’ theorem" jacobian    30
    amd64 stack frame    28
    forced harmonic oscillator    27
    complex electric field    25
    itrade resp    25
    area of parallelogram spanned by two vectors    24
    completely antisymmetric tensor    23
    memory ordering    23
    forced wave equation    22
    area of a parallelogram spanned by two vectors    22
    free particle propagator    22
    divergence theorem in 4d    22
    hermite polynomials recurrence relation    21
    center of mass laplacian    21
    program received signal sigusr1, user defined signal 1.    21
    angular momentum operator    21
    derivation of stokes theorem    21
    program received signal sigusr1    21
    integral of sinc squared    21
    set-location : a positional parameter cannot be found that accepts argument    20
    time translation invariance    20
    strace attach sigcont tty    20
    stokes theorem tensor    20
    "kill -segv"    19
    spin probability    19
    forced harmonic oscillator solution    19
    hydrogen atom laguerre    19
    driven harmonic oscillator solution    18
    base address of an array in c    17
    newton’s method    17
    hermite polynomials recursion relation proof    17
    intellectualarchive    17
    position eigenstate    17
    hpux cpuinfo    17
    momentum operator harmonic oscillator    16
    hermite polynomial recurrence relation proof    16
    laguerre polynomials    16
    grep range    16
    dipole moment operator    16
    matrix exponential rotation    15
    toroidal segment    15
    antisymmetric tensor identities    15
    stokes theorem    15
    hermite polynomials recurrence relation proof    15
    intel instructions for mutual exclution    15
    newton’s method intersection    15
    area of parallelogram    15
    displacement operator    15
    program received signal sigusr1, user defined signal 1    15
    hp-ux cpu info    15
    intellectualarchive.com    15
    scheduler locking    14
    special orthogonal group    14
    scotia itrade resp    14
    spherical neumann function    14
    modulus of rigidity    14
    dependent loads reordered    14
    bctrl instruction    14
    scotia etrade    14
    divergence theorem 4d    14
    stokes theorem in 4d    13
    latex vector    13
    is stokes ill-conditioned    13
    strain tensor spherical coordinates    13
    hydrogen atom lecture notes    13
    bond street collections complaints    12
    examples of dumping    12
    amd64 stack layout    12
    derive stokes theorem    12
    anti symmetric tensor    12
    angular momentum opperator hermitian    12
    intel memory ordering    12
    hermite polynomial recurrence relation    12
    bianchi identity maxwell’s equations    12
    a const_cast can only adjust type qualifiers; it cannot change the underlying type    12
    sinc integral    12
    area of a parallelogram    11
    total spin angular momentum    11
    hermite polynomials recursion relation    11
    kill segv pid    11
    toroid segment    11
    aix bctrl    11
    sqlowaiteduwaitpost    11
    pause sigcont    11
    time independent degenerate perturbation theory    11
    cauchy tetrahedron    11
    neumann function    11
    antisymmetric product    11
    laguerre polynomials hydrogen atom    11
    rotation exponential    11
    dmitrevsky    11
    similarity variable    11
    hp ux cpu info    11

Posted in Incoherent ramblings | Leave a Comment »

Having fun with empty cubicles: security check fail(s)

Posted by peeterjoot on August 6, 2013

I ended up at work today, not realizing that it was a day off.  The lab was pretty much deserted, which was the perfect opportunity for a couple of pranks.  I left a variation of the “security check fail” notifications that we get for leaving blank white paper, or other similar dangerous security threats.  In my opinion the only real security threats that we have are those of malicious insiders, and everything that we do to avoid other “threats” are basically useless.  Here’s my version of the security check form, as left on the desk of a coworker

 

IMG_0942_cropped

 

The checkbox list on the real form is a little different than this one;)

Posted in Incoherent ramblings | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

On the uselessness of airport search procedures.

Posted by peeterjoot on August 6, 2013

I blundered across this video of a “Miss USA”‘s upset at having been groped by TSA.  Choice quotes include “she touched my vagina, four times” and “are we going to get rectal exams at the airport?  Is that what’s next?”

It is darkly amusing that there is even a “choice” to opt out of the scanner.  You can “choose” to not be radiated, and go through a pat down instead.  To me, this seems like a very cleverly engineered distraction.  It doesn’t change the fact that pretty much all airport security is completely meaningless.  This choice lends validity to the whole procedure.  Very much like a “choice” between two political parties that will invariably behave exactly the same in most respects.

It’s very ironic that this bureaucratic search procedure is portrayed as something  that will help protect us from terrorists.  Sure, they will stop my ~70 year old mother from bringing her dangerous fingernail clippers on the plane, and ensures that I can’t bring dangerous “large” drinks onto the plane, but in reality, I’m confident that they are completely useless.

In any security situation, what is the biggest risk?  It’s the insider.   Here at IBM I could walk out of the lab with a USB key with all of the DB2 source code.  So could any student.  It’s only integrity of the insider that keeps any operation safe.  This has to be true for border and transport issues too.  If you wanted to get something illegal (or dangerous) onto a plane, you’d pay somebody off.  Would it really be that hard to find one an airport staffer, probably paid close to minimum wage, to help you get that material moved where you wanted in the airport.  I doubt it.  One of the reasons for that doubt is a story of friend I once had.

Eons ago when I was in high school, an old neighbor and childhood friend that I hadn’t seen in a number of years showed up at my house.  He’d had the bad luck to meet the daughter of a Toronto Chinese mafia kingpin at a dance club.  Once they started dating, he told me that he had no choice, he had to join, or he’d have been dead.  He desperately wanted to talk to somebody that was outside of his new mafia circles.  His new life was dangerous to say the least, and he told me about the Porsche chop shop that this mafia ran, how he’d been part of an armed robbery of a different mafia where they stole a few hundred thousand dollars of their counterfeit money, how condoms were used to smuggle just about anything in and out of jail in the anus, and more.   Relevant to airport searches, however, was one last story.  He told me how they could get whatever they wanted through the airports or international shipping ports.  This included weapons and counterfeit money.  How this was done was simple.  They just pay off the border and airport personnel.  They know exactly who to go to, because they’ve installed their people in the jobs, or know from other contacts who has been installed, bought, or threatened enough that they are a viable go-to-person for insider activity.  I haven’t seen my old neighbor since that day, and heard a rumor that he ended up in jail (again).  I hope he is still alive and hope he managed to extricate himself from the life of crime that he felt he’d been coerced into.

Are border officials still paid low incomes?  Can they still be blackmailed and threatened?  I doubt that’s changed much.

When it comes down to it, it’s my opinion that airport searches are a total scam.  They don’t improve safety, because they will only impede people that play by the rules.  I think that the actual desired effect of these searches is just to install fear in the population.  That fear makes us more compliant and more easily controllable.

Posted in Incoherent ramblings | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

McGyvering a BBQ drip tray from a microwave

Posted by peeterjoot on August 4, 2013

When I attempted to clean my BBQ drip tray today, it basically disintegrated when I removed it:

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It was being held together by not much except luck.  My search for sheet metal in the garage wasn’t successful, but I found and scavenged the casing from the microwave that conveniently died this week.  After my attack, this is what was left

 

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I was careful to short the big giant capacitor, before leaving it exposed, but didn’t get any cool sparks.  From the casing, I needed a little bit more width than the top of the microwave’s width.  I cut a little lower than the bends at the corner, straightened my stock into a rectangle, and then, lacking a brake, bent things into the final configuration with an adjustable crescent wrench

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This worked out well, and slides into place nicely

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Inserted fully it looks like

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Creative ways to scare off telephone salespeople: the outraged husband, and the attempted terrorist negotiation

Posted by peeterjoot on August 2, 2013

There’s a telemarker “no-call-list” mechanism now in Ontario, but it’s no longer worthwhile to sign up for it.  After it was implemented, all the companies worked around it by outsourcing their cold calling to unfortunate telemarkers in India.  You can almost always recognize these, since there’s a long pause of silence when you pick up the phone, and eventually somebody with a heavy accent picks up.  Once they do, it’s time to play.

 

Air duct cleaners: the outraged husband response

By far the most common autodialer we used to get was from air duct cleaning companies.  Perhaps as much as once a day.  My response the last time that one called to sell me air duct cleaning was to pretend to be an outraged husband, who had just caught my wife in bed with the air duct cleaning man.  I told them after this that “I never wanted to see that truck again, and if I did I don’t know what I’ll do … don’t ever call back!”

My performance was actually really really bad, but I haven’t received a call for air duct cleaning since then.  I think I’ve been blacklisted.  Since then, I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for another chance to play, but nobody has been trying to sell me anything.  I’ll I’ve been getting is pre-recorded “You’ve won a cruise” calls.

 

CAA: attempting a terrorist negotiation

After a long long wait, I finally got another sales call today.  This was from CAA, “Canadian Automobile Association”, who sell roadside assistance insurance.  They usually only pester by snail mail, and send me temporary CAA membership cards with a ten day expiry every month or two.

Once I heard the long pause of the autodialer, I waited patiently for the salesperson to pick up.  I expected somebody from India, but the salesman sounded like a North American.  Our conversation went something like this:

CAA: Hello, I’m calling from CAA, the Canadian Automobile Association.

Me: I’ve been waiting for your call.  Have you got my weapons?  I’ve got your anthrax.

CAA: <Confused pause>.  I’m calling from the CAA.

Me: Yes, CAA, the Counterinsurgency Association of the Americas?  I’ve got your anthrax.  Do you have my weapons?

CAA: I don’t understand, we sell roadside insurance policies.

Me: I’m not interested in roadside assistance.  I’m expecting a load of AK-47s.

 

This went on for a bit, and eventually he gave up.  I was actually very surprised about how cool and collected the salesman was.  I wonder if many people like playing similar games with them?

I’d rate my performance as spectacularly horrible.  The only part of the performance that I liked was how I was able to manufacture an alternate meaning for CAA on the spot without any hesitation.   While, I’m certainly not going to win any Oscar awards in my lifetime, if this doesn’t work to get myself blacklisted as a sales target for the CAA after this, I’m not sure what will.

What next?

I’m out of cool ideas for the next sales call.  One possibility is to sexually proposition the caller (regardless of sex), and provide a fake location where we could “get together”.

Posted in Incoherent ramblings | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »