This has been one of those weeks. I feel like I have about a year’s worth of catching up to do, on work stuff, neglected interpersonal relationships*, technological wizardry on boards and blogs and phones, and 3e+08 other things.
Like the strangers that you’ve met, with eyes that watch the world and can’t forget
Yeah, so… after months of pretty much disavowing my existence, my ex starts contacting me again, all buddy-buddy. I think I’ve heard this song before (different ex, same story), but whatever. Turns out she’s got it in her head that she has “too many enemies” in Boston, and needs to move across the country ASAP. So, since we’re friends, we should hang out together for those last few days and stuff, right? Seemed logical to me at the time, so I agreed. Anyway, a fair amount of this week was spent helping her move, buying dinners (moving is expensive), relocating hamster, driving her around and basically trying to tie up all the loose ends that I could.
Why? Because I’m a dumbass, that’s why. I could tell myself it’s because I’m such a nice guy, or that I can’t let someone I care about (or did?) fend entirely for themselves in no condition to do so, or to live with my distant future conscience, but really, I think I’m probably just a dumbass.
Call me completely out of touch with reality, but I kind of thought after all that, she might have actually looked up from her laptop screen when I said goodbye, knowing that in all likelihood we would never see each other again**. To her credit, she had the decency not to explicitly ask me, after showing up to J.R.’s with one of the guys she cheated on me with, to go half an hour out of my way to drive him home at 1am after his lack of planning caused him to miss the last bus to anywhere near his house by about three hours.
(All right, I’ve ranted here far more than I probably should, because I’ve felt the need to rant lately. I guess personal blog xposting to Livejournal is the appropriate venue for that, though. (All I need now is some emo glasses and an acoustic guitar and I’ll be all set.))
Meet Meat Meet
Last Wednesday I attended my first “munch”. This was kind of interesting, but not entirely what I expected. I did expect it to be sort of a sausage fest, which it was, but I didn’t anticipate everyone seeming so…normal. I was kind of bracing myself for a cacophony of leather, spikes and less-than-subtly scene-attired people talking nasty, but it was really a more subdued thing of political issues and bad puns.
(And of many intended to elicit laughter, no pun in ten did.) Most of the group hit up the Cheesecake Factory after, where I tried (American, unfortunately) Kobe beef for the first time. I think I became an instant addict. *drool* *tender* *mouthwatering* *juicy* *drool*
In further effort to satisfy recently-mentioned BBQ cravings, it was planned to BBQ with LE and the gang this sunday. When I woke up though, it was kind of thundery-looking out, and then raining like a bitch by the time I got out of the shower. So we went out and got some food and Pictionary instead. LE got me a giant stickybun in retaliation for the Father’s Day cake, and we all had a fun evening of Pictionary, Mortal Kombat, Smash Bros and confusing their hamster. “Hmm, if I can’t solve it, I’ll try gnawing on something, that always works.” :) Also met their new housemate and her pet bunny, which is the cutest bunny ever. Apparently bunnies and hamsters don’t get along, though. (Especially if hamster thinks bunny’s trying to scavenge its food.)
r00tkit hunting for bits & giggles
The last few days have found me thinking in way more hex/binary/etc. at work than I’ve really wanted to. Today regrinding someone’s custom font format (Rockbox RB12 to C18 object module) and writing an LCD character generator, writing memory-efficient pulse generators for a chip that can only store a program 255 instructions long, and researching Windoze rootkits and their detection for an upcoming proposal. Looked more in-depth at one called Blue Pill, which would appear to foil most, if not all, software-based scanning implementations. In short: to get kernel access for your non-privileged code under Vista, just suck up tons of memory until Windows gets desperate enough to page a piece of a privileged driver out to the swapfile. Overwrite that piece of the swapfile with your malicious code, then do something (network / device access, etc.) that uses the driver. It gets paged back in and executed with kernel privileges. On a CPU that supports virtualization, your malicious code can consist of a ‘hypervisor’ taking advantage of the hardware virtualization features to exist completely outside of, and undetected by, the host OS. There are hardware methods that can be used to sniff for stuff like this, but it’s still nontrivial.
* this is just talking and writing to all the people I owe calls/emails to, and hanging out with all the people I promised I’d hang out with. There is definitely an inverse correlation between having friends and getting stuff done. OTOH, I guess this is a far preferable situation to those reclusive scientists and mathematicians who make a series of contributions in their fields, then kill themselves.
** there was some idle BS talk about visiting one another, etc., while the rides and shopping stuff were in-process. Now that I can be of no further service, however, I don’t expect to ever hear from her again. And as previously mentioned, I don’t exactly have any great desire to initiate contact myself.