Oops, caught again – VTA

Quickie. This morning on the VTA light rail train, the fare enforcement officer got on the train, and checked fares. The guy across the row from me had been nailed before. I think he is a security guard, and he uses an eco pass, but it is his girlfriend’s. The enforcement office scans it and it shows her name.

Oops.

The enforcement officer makes him get off and buy a ticket. One afternoon, the same guy got caught as well. I guess he plays the odds, and when caught, will pay the $2.

Another woman had an eco pass. But, part of the deal is that it needs to be in a holder with your employee ID badge. As it is assigned to a company. She had it in her wallet, and surprise no badge.

Two scofflaws.

I am waiting for the time I see an enforcement officer hand out a $287 ticket…

Douchebags – Transit Freeriders

One of the perks of my job is that I get an Ecopass, and thus free fare for riding the Lightrail. It is super convenient, and I get a little exercise in the walk to and from the train station. All good.

When I first began riding, I was wondering if they ever verify that riders have paid the fare or had used a Clipper card for the ride, as for the first 5 weeks, I saw not even one fare enforcement officer.

Since that long dry spell, I have begun to see them frequently. Usually at least once a week, or more often, they would get on the train and verify proof of purchase. Today, there were two, both on the way in and on the way home.

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Dumb things I do

I am sure I am not unique, that I am not the only one who does stupid things.

Sunday, I did a 6.4 mile hike/walk. I had a small blister on my right small toe. As usual, I “popped” it, and went on with life.

Then Monday, I felt like doing another hike/walk. Bad idea. Small blister became agonizing, and a huge portion of the skin on the bottom of that pinkie toe peeled off.

Now, I am in agony. Completely self inflicted wound.

Yes, I am dumb

Waking up in a Libertarian US

The Gadsden Flag

A dream sequence of waking up in a Libertarian USA

Joe Conservative wakes up in the morning and goes to the bathroom. He flushes his toilet and brushes his teeth, mindful that each flush & brush costs him about 43 cents to his privatized water provider. His wacky, liberal neighbor keeps badgering the company to disclose how clean and safe their water is, but no one ever finds out. Just to be safe, Joe Conservative boils his drinking water.

Joe steps outside and coughs–the pollution is especially bad today, but the smokiest cars are the cheapest ones, so everyone buys ‘em. Joe Conservative checks to make sure he has enough toll money for the 3 different private roads he must drive to work. There is no public transportation, so traffic is backed up and his 10 mile commute takes an hour.

On the way, he drops his 12 year old daughter off at the clothing factory she works at. Paying for kids to go to private school until they’re 18 is a luxury, and Joe needs the extra income coming in. Times are hard and there’re no social safety nets.

He gets to work 5 minutes late and misses the call for Christian prayer, and is immediately docked by his employer. He is not feeling well today, but has no health insurance, since neither his employer nor his government provide it, and paying for it himself is really expensive, since he has a precondition. He just hopes for the best.

Joe’s workday is 12 hours long, because there is no regulation over working hours, and Joe will lose his job if he complains or unionizes. Today is an especially bad day. Joe’s manager demands that he work until midnight, a 16 hour day. Joe does, knowing that he’ll lose his job if he does not.

Finally, after midnight, Joe gets to pick up his daughter and go home. His daughter shows him the deep cut she got on the industrial sewing machine today. Joe is outraged and asks why she doesn’t have metal mesh gloves or other protection. She says the company will not provide it and she’ll have to pay for it out of her own pocket. Joe looks at the wound and decides they’ll use an over the counter disinfectant and bandages until it heals. She’ll have a scar, but getting stitches at the emergency room is expensive.

His daughter also complains that the manager made suggestive overtures towards her. Joe counsels her to be a “good girl” and not rock the boat, or she’ll get fired and they’ll be out the income.

His daughter says she can’t wait until she’s 18 so she can vote for change or go to the Iraq War.

They get home and there’s a message from his elderly father who can’t afford to pay his medical or heating bills. Joe can hear him coughing and shivering.

Joe turns on the radio and the top story is a proposal in Congress to raise the voting age to 25. A rare liberal opinionator states that it’s an attempt to keep power out of the hands of working class Americans. The conservative host immediately quashes him, calling him “a utopian idealist,” and agreeing that people aren’t mature enough to make good choices until they’re at least 25.

Joe chuckles at the wine-swilling, cheese eating liberal egghead and thinks, “Thank God I live in America where I have freedom!”

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Fun and games – Cloudflare and SSH

As I mentioned in a recent post, one of my sites, a WordPress site to help a friend sell their house, got hammered with xml-rpc requests. It didn’t get hacked, but it did bring apache to a painful halt, and filled the memory.

To prevent that, I setup Cloudflare in front of it, to act as a CDN and a way to prevent it from being attacked. Thus, in the future, I should be able to regain control without too much pain and suffering.

However, I discovered one minor issue. Since I pretty much use ssh to login to the droplet almost daily, I quickly discovered that just didn’t work.

At first, I was scratching my head, thinking that I messed something up majorly. Then I recalled that I had switched to Cloudflare for my DNS and CDN, and it clicked. Alas, how they work is they hide your IP address, and then use the magic of their service to serve up your cracking good jams.

Unfortunately, the ssh request gets routed to the wrong ip address, and naturally, no response.

Not being able to ssh into my server is a really bad thing. But how to work around it?

First I tried to set a local hosts file to override the DNS, but that didn’t work. Bummer.

Second, I can ssh if I use the dotted quad IP address. It works, but, I am too old to remember that many dotted quads.

Third, and the one that I am using is to create a cname that points a prefix to the original address (in this case, I am using ssh so ssh.tralfaz.org will point to the TLD, and then I turn off the cloudflare redirect. Not optimal, but it works. It does leave me somewhat vulnerable, but alas, not many attack vectors happen to the subdomains.