A tale of two holidays

Quoting Roger Kimball:

To My Democrat Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.

To My Republican Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

Monkeys Attack Indian Politician

They killed him, which is tragic, and it was apparently over peanuts, which seems senseless.  But this is just unbelievable:

Quoting the BBC:

The city has long struggled to counter its plague of monkeys, which invade government complexes and temples, snatch food and scare passers-by.
One approach has been to train bands of larger, more ferocious langur monkeys to go after the smaller groups of Rhesus macaques.

Posted by Anthony on reply

Fun From The Visitor Log

posted image

I’m #9 for the first one and #12 for the second, just behind a page titled "Cameron Diaz Sweaty Armpit."

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

Tomato Conspiracy

When you go to Italian restaurants like the Olive Garden or Maggiano’s, they serve you these huge salads with literally two or three tiny tomato slices.  Not two or three tomatoes, two or three slices, for the entire salad.

How is it that Italian restaurants, establishments that owe their very existence to the power of the tomato (in sauce form), are so consistently skimpy when it comes to tomatoes in salad?

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

The Downfall of Western Civilization

What do you get when you take a person with no patience, cross him with someone with no manners, throw in a dash of probably-didn’t-graduate-high-school, and top it off with having eaten mostly Twinkies for about 30 years?

You get this:

On Monday night I’m driving home, it’s about midnight, and I stop for gas.  The BP that I frequent isn’t open at this hour, so I have to go to 7-11 where there are only 4 pumps, one of which is diesel.  I have to wait a few minutes while the person currently at the pump finishes up.

As I pull up and begin fueling, a little sea-green Geo Metro (or equivalent) comes up behind me, waiting for me to finish.  When I do, I get into my car and then write my mileage down on the receipt, as I always do.  This takes 30 seconds tops; the pen is in my center console, the receipt is already in my hand, and the light from the gas station is enough that I don’t have to turn on my lights or anything like that.

I put the receipt into my wallet, and as I’m putting my wallet into my pocket, I see the little Metro is now approaching me from the front, and it comes up right next to my door, so the driver is right next to me.  He seems to want to say something to me so I roll down my window.

Me: (rolling down window, about 25% complete)

The jerk: what the f--- is your problem?  You see I’m f---in’ waiting for you!

Me: I was... (here the jerk instantly cuts me off; my statement was going to be "I was writing down my mileage on my receipt")

The jerk: you want to go?  (from the jerk’s tone it’s clear that this means, "do you want to fight?")

Me: (flabbergasted and trying to stifle a laugh along with my disbelief) No.

The jerk: you want to go right now?

Me: No?  (I begin to drive away)

The jerk: yeah, mother f---er, you’re a f---in’ a--hole.

This guy was seriously angry.  He was yelling, and he cut me off literally every time I tried to respond to his idiotic statements, including my two terse "no" responses.  The first time he asked me if I wanted "to go," he seemed to be starting to open his car door, but he had pulled up in the tiny space between my car and the street so there was maybe 18" between our cars -- not nearly enough for a normal person to open a car door and fit through, let alone this beastly lunatic.

In retrospect the whole episode was pretty funny, but at the time, he was making me really angry.  That anyone could be so freaking stupid and impatient and rude made me mad, but the fact that he kept cutting me off REALLY frustrated me.  I didn’t have 3 seconds to even attempt to say anything.

Posted by Anthony on 11 replies

Paper Towels

On the side of a package of paper towels:

posted image

OK, they’re PAPER TOWELS, how can there possibly be 50 patents on them??

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

Da Bomb

Those of you who know my dad and/or my neighbor Dan Watkins will appreciate this little exchange that happened in a dream I just had:

Quoting a strange dream:

Dad: Where’s Nick?
Dan: They’re caving, in Holland.
Dad: Where?
Dan: It’s the bomb.

I was up in my room and they were in the kitchen, and Dan had just come up from the basement, where he had been playing my drums -- he was playing a song from Rage Against The Machine’s "Evil Empire" album, and he totally nailed it.  I was in my room banging my head and waving my arm as he played  ( :

OK, back to sleep.

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

The Terri Schiavo Circus

I really hope they don’t re-insert Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube for the third time.  I’m against that on two levels, legally and logically.

Legally, the husband is the guardian, so the decision is his.  Period.  That’s all there is to it.  It’s not President Bush’s decision or Congress’ decision or her parents’ decision.  She is incapacitated (far beyond that, in fact) to the point where she cannot think or make decisions on her own, so her legal guardian -- her husband -- gets to make the decision.

Logically, it isn’t a question of "life" or of Terry Schiavo "dying" because she is no longer alive, according to the doctors, who unlike Bush or her parents or Congress, are actually qualified speak on the matter:

At this point, much of her cerebral cortex is simply gone and has been replaced by cerebral spinal fluid.  Medicine cannot cure this condition ... Theresa will always remain in an unconscious, reflexive state...

Terri Schiavo is no longer a conscious human being.  Reflexive means that whenever she moves, her body is responding automatically to external stimuli without any mental processing of the stimuli nor of her response to it.  The only "life" present in Terri Schiavo’s body is the same kind of simple cellular life present in plants -- they grow towards sunlight automatically, not because they think "hm, sunlight looks good, let me slowly grow in that direction from now on."  It is merely a reflex; it isn’t supported by any conscious decision-making process, because plants contain no such facility, and neither does Terri Schiavo.

It is not morally wrong to "kill" Terri any more than it’s wrong to "kill" a plant, because neither is alive in the Biblical sense.  And this is not the same as killing an unborn baby, because babies are not in a permanent "unconscious, reflexive state" as are plants and Terri Schiavo.

I’m all for "favoring a presumption of life" in unclear cases, and for the first few months, or a year, maybe even a couple years, I would say this MIGHT have been an unclear case.  But now, 15 years later, this case is no longer unclear: "Theresa will always remain in an unconscious, reflexive state."

Posted by Anthony on 32 replies

Belkin Technical Support is Neither

[Note: this is the record of my attempts to get Belkin to fix a massive flaw in the design of their "routers."  The bottom line is that they refused to even acknowledge the flaw, and the result is that computers on the LAN side of a Belkin router can’t access servers on the LAN using the router’s public IP address or hostname.  Because of this, and Belkin’s refusal to acknowledge, let alone fix, the problem, I must strongly discourage anyone from purchasing a Belkin router.]

I can’t stand tech support.  It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t all thoroughly clueless, but they are.



I just bought an F5D72304 router, and I’m having a problem with it.

I’ve got a few computers on the LAN-side of the router that are running services (http, ssh, etc).  From any computer on the internet outside of my LAN, I can access those services without problems.  But any computer inside my F5D72304’s LAN cannot access those services, whether on other systems in the LAN or on itself, through my public IP address.  If I use the computers’ LAN IPs then it works OK, but not if I use the public IP.

Let me use some numbers to make it more clear:

My public IP is x.y.1.194
Belkin router’s private LAN IP is
Computer lanbox-1 is IP
Computer lanbox-2 is IP
Computer lanbox-2 is running http on port 89
Computer remotebox is elsewhere on the internet

These connections work OK:

  remotebox -> x.y.1.194:89 (http over external IP)
  lanbox-1 -> (http over internal IP)
  lanbox-2 -> (http over internal IP)

But these connections do NOT work:

  lanbox-1 -> x.y.1.194:89 (http over external IP)
  lanbox-2 -> x.y.1.194:89 (http over external IP)

I’ve tried putting lanbox-2 (my http server) in the DMZ, but that didn’t change anything.  I’ve tried different ports than 89, still no success. I’ve looked around the router config but didn’t see anything that would fix this.  I have another router (an older D-Link model) configured exactly the same as the new Belkin (i.e. LAN is 172.19.5.* and forwarding port 89 to and it doesn’t have this problem.

Please help!

Anthony DiSante


Hi Anthony,

Thank you for contacting Belkin Technical Support.

We understand that you are not able to access the services with the Wan IP from your network.

Anthony, There is a feature called NAT is present in the router. If you are trying to acess the router setup page from the external computer.  When the router see the WAN IP from the external network then it can perform natting that is it will change the public IP address of the external network computer in to  the prvate IP address range, which helps you to view the services. But with in the intenal network natting is not possible since the internal network already has the private IP address. That is why you are not able to use the wan IP to view the services in internal network.

Hope this information helps.


[some person]
Belkin Technical Support.



Thanks for your reply.

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the behavior I am experiencing is the correct behavior?  You are saying that it’s correct that I cannot access services on my LAN from a system on my LAN using the public IP address?

If so, then that is a flaw in the design of your router.  I have used a half-dozen routers from various manufacturers and none of them exhibit this behavior.  When I use the router’s firewall to forward port X to box-2 on the LAN, that means "when a packet arrives at the WAN interface for port X, pass it through to box-2 on the LAN interface."  The source of the packet is irrelevant; all the router needs to know is that it arrived at the external interface, and that I’ve configured a firewall rule that explains how to handle that situation.

This is definitely worthy of a firmware upgrade, but in the meantime I’ll have to remove the F5D72304 from my network and put my old D-Link router in its place.

-Anthony DiSante


Hi Anthony,

Thank you for contacting Belkin Technical Support.

Anthony, we understand that you are not able to access services in your LAN using WAN IP address.

Belkin routers are enabled with NAT feature. This will not allow you to access the services locally by using the WAN IP address.

When you are trying to access the services from your LAN using the WAN IP address, the request goes upto the router then redirect the request internally in your LAN. The resolution happens in the router itself, hence the request doesnot go the internet and redirect to the router since it is a NAT enabled router.

The same thing happens with all the routers with NAT feature.

We hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you require any further assistance. We’ll be glad to help you.


[a different person]
Belkin Technical Support



> Belkin routers are enabled with NAT feature.

So is every router I’ve ever used.  NAT is the whole point of using a router in a home network, since it allows you to have multiple computers on a private network connected to the public internet, with the router translating the addresses.  This feature is not unique to Belkin routers.

> This will not allow you to access the
> services locally by using the WAN IP
> address. ... The same thing happens with
> all the routers with NAT feature.

That is simply not true.  Every router I’ve ever used has allowed me to access services on my LAN via the WAN IP.  I have two other routers right next to me that I’ve been testing to make sure of it -- the Belkin is the only one that exhibits this error.

-Anthony DiSante

Me, again:


> the request goes upto the router then
> redirect the request internally in your
> LAN.  The resolution happens in the router
> itself, hence the request doesnot go the
> internet and redirect to the router

That’s exactly the problem.  When a packet arrives at the WAN interface, it DOES "go [to] the internet" because the WAN IP is an internet IP.  So the router should treat it like any other packet arriving at the WAN interface; it doesn’t matter where the packet came from (LAN or remote system), what matters is that I sent it to the WAN interface.

-Anthony DiSante

ARGH.  How can you work tech support for a company’s router products and NOT KNOW WHAT A ROUTER IS SUPPOSED TO DO?

And it REALLY bugs me how a different person replies to the email every time when you email a company’s tech support.  Each successive person ostensibly reads the earlier conversation, but then just says the exact same thing.  That makes me so mad.  I emailed Dell a couple months ago, asking if I could get a laptop without Windows installed, and therefore without having to pay the $200 Microsoft tax. There were about ten -- TEN -- exchanges where I said "why is it Dell’s policy to force a particular operating system on the customer?" and the Dell rep said "it is Dell’s policy to force Windows XP on the customer" (essentially).  Each time it was a different person, each time I asked "WHY??!?", and each time the response just restated the fact that it IS the case without addressing WHY.

And as if ALL THAT weren’t enough, the tech support responses are always replete with typos and misspellings.

Posted by Anthony on 13 replies


wat r u up 2? les meet up. by tyhe way are all volcanoes bad? i need to know ergent!

Posted by jay on 3 replies

Those Darn Americans

The fanatical Muslims despise America because it’s all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it’s all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it’s controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it’s too imperialist.
- Mark Steyn

Posted by Anthony on reply


During our hike last weekend, we were talking about the religion of Scientology.  I decided to look it up and see just what it’s about.  Here’s a statement from the official website:

Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and of one’s relationship with self, family, groups, mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being, or infinity.

Scientology addresses the spirit — not simply the body or mind — and believes that man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes.

Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these are:

Man is an immortal spiritual being.

His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.

His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.

Scientology further holds man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself and his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.

Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to believe anything on faith. An individual discovers for himself that Scientology works by applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results.

The ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for the individual.

Sounds somewhat like a western version of Buddhism.  The fundamental flaw (aside from just being one of those touchy-feely happy religions) as I see it is their belief that man is basically good.  Not only is this the polar opposite of what I believe, but where I live (Earth) it’s abundantly clear that man is not basically good.

Posted by Anthony on 7 replies
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