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Elwing’s Weblog

tags: friend, Elwing
elwing background image

I might get around to writing something here someday

url: http://weblog.elwing.org/elwing/

type: person, format: blog

Skiing in Canaan Valley and Timberline

Last weekend Elwing and i went skiing at Canaan Valley and Timberline. Overall we had a great time.

Elwing has an aunt who lives out in West Virginia. Lodging and a few meals where greatly appreciated. Their dog Hoss is afraid of strangers, but otherwise is a cute min-pin.

I brought my grandfather's old Rossignol skis. At 180cm they're a bit long for me, but they handled alright. They're straight skis so turning is harder than with shaped skis, but paralleling is easier. I bought boots last year, and i found this year that they are very uncomfortable and a real pain in the butt to get on.

We skied Canaan Valley on Saturday and Timberline on Sunday. Both mountains had several trails closed, which was a big let down. Timberline had a few double black diamonds. I skipped the ones going through trees, but did The Drop and Off the Wall. Both were exhilarating.

The condition of the snow was moderate. You could tell there was a solid layer of ice under a couple inches of snow.

On Saturday the weather was warm, but on Sunday we froze our butts off.

I was really disappointed at the lodges. Both were small and ugly. I like to see large open areas with giant fireplaces in the middle. The selection of food in Timberline was terrible — like a high school cafeteria — and you can't bring your own food.

I probably won't return to these mountains for a while.

How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

Aack, i caved. I found this questionairre on Elwing's blog. *Brian points at Elwing.* It's all her fault.

Of course it's not XHTML valid. So i'll have to fix that.

Your Political Profile

Overall: 30% Conservative, 70% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Ironic Driving Day

So yesterday (Sunday) i went into work because i like doing things the Right Way (tm). Unfortunately the long term savings usually comes at a heavy up front cost. Now here's the funny thing. I'm at work and i decide to upgrade the software on my computer at home. No big deal, except my computer locks up. Now this normally isn't a problem.

But sometimes the fans on my G5 will rev up to max, creating a tornado effect in my apartment. So... i take a break from work just to check on it. Sure enough it was loud as a vacuum when i got here. Fixing that i went back to work.

To be more specific, i was organizing a database schema into third normal form aka Boyce-Codd Normal Form.

Just after seeing that ultimate word COMMIT i flew (hehe) to the airport, to pick up Laura and her mom, who just got in from their European vacation. From there it was about a 1 hour trip to G-berg (Gaithersburg). They treated me to dinner. The grilled salmon was excellent. The mashpotatoes and carrots were.... mashpotatoes and carrots. OK the smashed potatoes were good.

Client Certificate Verification

So someone around here is to lazy to pick up his/her cookie before leaving a comment on my site. They clear their cookies monthly. I don't want to have just a form where you put your name, email address, and website, because that could allow someone to impersonate another person. And i'd like to avoid forcing readers to have another passwords. So.

The solution presented itself while discussing the issue with Laura. Take advantage of SSL. Normally when you visit a commercial web site to make a purchase, you verify that you are really talking to that company, because they provide a certificate, and this cert is signed by a well known certificate (like Verisign) and your browser already trusts that cert.

But SSL is a two way authentication system. What i propose is the converse. When a reader wants to leave a comment on my site, they may provide their cert. If it's signed by a well known cert, great; if not then i'll need to verify it (it's fingerprint at least) somehow. This is a one time event.

When they come to the site with a cert that i eventually trust, i'll just let them post the comment. There's no need for a password. I may not even need to ask for their username.

I think it's about time my so called "security conscious" friends and i deploy such a system. Hehe, but does their canned blogging software have this ability?

What if my to-be commentators don't have certificates? Well then it's back to tokens over email, passwords, or posting anonymously.

Wonderful Web

The web truly is wonderful. Come follow me on an amazing tour with a surprising end.

It's starts at

which i used to test my trackback ping accepter. Then i headed to the top of that site Dougal has given his to-be born baby a working name, Peppermint. That's awesome. He has a link Dunstan's blog a site i've visited often and a source of inspiration for TrickleUp. In fact it's due to him that i alter the background color on my site based on the day of year and time, like his banner. I read his second article where i find that the second comment is from Katie. I met Katie at Laura's party. Laura links to her. (nice snow angels) and she links to me Isn't that cool?

Which File Extension am I?

Why do i do these trite polls? (Thanks Laura.) Somehow i turned up .tmp.

I was thinking that i'd take the poll and only post the result if i was happy with it. Well being selective like that is rather unscientific. So i will post the results even if i'm not happy with them.

You are .tmp Your existence is fleeting. Here today, gone tomorrow. Sometimes you stay longer than necessary, and take up space.
Which File Extension are You?

Remote Articles

The latest feature for TrickleUp is RemoteArticles. There are a few blogs that i read daily. Occasionally there's a good article. I want to somehow link my blog to it. There's one way to do this. Create a new "article" on my blog that refers to that article. This may or may not leave a track back on their blog.

A new way is to grab the RSS feed of that "article" and put it on my blog. This is known as slurping.

My inspiration for this idea comes through Laura's web site on the LinuxChix Live site.

So far i can slurp RSS 1.0 (RDF) feeds, but it's easy to build handlers for all of them.

Renaissance Festival Part Deux

Laura, Michael, and i (sans Mark) went to the Renaissance Festival again. Instead of games and shopping this time we preferred sitting at shows. We went to three: Puke and Snot, Fight School, and The Free Lancers.

We went late enough in the season so it would be dark. There's just something about walking around with a candle that's fun. Also the air was filled with nice scents. Michael and i drank mead and beer. Laura drove us home.

Last Starfighter

Last night Laura picked up two movies: The Last Starfigher and Labyrinth. She let us vote and the concensus was The Last Starfighter. On the good side, it's science fiction (emphasis on fiction). On the bad side, it's sappy 80s bloated dramatics.

Laura says it was remastered. I think i was able to tell where. For example the "car-ship" in space was. Hard to say, i barely remember the original.

This movie reminded me of Space Camp, a science fiction movie with an emphasis on science.