EFF Fundraiser 2009

What is this about?

LOOK AT THOSE SEXY PICS!!!

Most of you don’t know my personal life, but I have been going through a rough year. You can look back through my blawg for some of the boring details. During this time, I have not gotten a haircut. I had grown a little mohawk/fauxhawk the last time I got it cut which was back in mid-June so even when I had it cut then, it was still pretty long on the top. Now, I have a full on “wh4fro” (White Afro…for hackers). So after a bad breakup, I pretty much decided to let my hair keep growing just for the fun of it and to “bring it back”. I am rocking the visor and the old 70s white basketball player look and I can pull it off…well, I keep telling myself that anyway. I am ready to move on with my life and put 2009 behind me and move on to 2010 and start anew. I decided to rock this out until the end of the year and then start the new year with a haircut as a sort of “cleansing” act for my life.

So…I figured that since I will be cutting my hair anyway…why not dramatard it up with a full buzzcutt! I decided that I can use my pathetic whiny life to the benefit of someone else. One of my philosophies in life has always been that no matter how bad you think you have it, someone else has it worse and you can always help someone else. I want to apply this by turning my self-renewal into something positive for someone else. I have always supported the EFF so I thought that I would do a fundraiser to shave my hear for “Internet freedom”! How is that for a fucking dramatard announcement?

Here are the details:

As far as the haircut goes, I will do it over the Christmas break. I will take a set of clippers and just buzz right through it all…OK, I won’t personally, but someone will buzz it for me. I will not shave it with a razor, just a buzzcut. I will film it for an episode of HackTV (probably the PWNED series, that sounds about right) for proof. You don’t have to care about the haircut at all to donate and/or participate. The haircut is just my way of making this fun and trying to give my grown as a person some significance. You can ignore the haircut and do it totally for the perks listed below.

All money will be collected and donated to the EFF after the Christmas break. I will post totals. None of it will go to BinRev. I will eat the cost of the items listed below, including shipping. 100% of your donation will get to the EFF.

Whats in it for you?

We will accept donations of any size! All you have to do is submit your donation to orders@binrev.com which is our standard paypal account. Just put in a description or a note that your donation is for the EFF fundraiser and I will make sure that it gets included. If you donate one of the tiered amounts below, you will receive the benefits listed.

Tier 1: $25.00



  • Free 1 year membership to the financiers group with all of the benefits that it currently offers. If you already are a member of the financier group, I will extend it.
  • I will announce the HackTV episode in this group first, so you will be one of the first to see me make a fool out of myself.
  • My gratitude.

Tier 2: $50.00



  • All of the perks from tier 1.
  • 1 BINREV T-shirt (while supplies last, but I have a bunch of these left…XL only).

Tier 3: $100.00



  • All of the perks from tier 1 and tier 2.
  • Copies of magazine (while supplies last…I have very limited supplies of these so donate early!) I will personalize them for you if you want, just tell me in the notes of your donation.
  • Every little laptop sticker that I have laying around(from our friends at Memestreams, no starch press, and all kinds of other things), including a small number of stickers.

FAQTHBAY (Frequently asked questions that have not been asked yet):

Q: How do I know that this will make it to the EFF?
A: I will provide totals and counts of all donations at the end.

Q: Can I donate anonymously?
A: Of COURSE! I will not drop docs. You can also donate directly to the EFF if you prefer.

Q: Why should I care if you cut your hair? What’s the big deal?
A: LOOK AT THAT RIGHTEOUS FRO!!! Should I deprive the world of that gift?

Q: How long will it take to get my stuff?
A: Well, be patient with me. I will try to get everything out by the end of January 2010. I will get the accounts created as quickly as I can and hopefully as soon as I see the donation. Keep in mind that I will be out of town on vacation and then again on the Christmas holidays.

Q: Don’t I remember you complaining about “beg-a-thons” back on BinRev Radio?
A: Yes. Actually, I just hate the beg-a-thon over and over again seemingly all the time. This is the first such event that I have conducted EVER so I don’t feel like a total hypocrite…just a partial one.

Q: Can I be your “baby mama”?
A: I am single again.

WHAT I NEED FROM YOU GUYS and GALS:

Publicity! I need you guys to get the word out. Even if people don’t know or care about StankDawg or binrev, just get them to support the cause of the EFF! Emphasize that they will get perks of extra access to the forums, free blogs at binrev, and generally tell them what a great community we have here! Blog about it (you are using your free blogs here at binrev, right?) everywhere! Post in other forums. Do anything else that you think will get the word out and help[ us raise money for the EFF! I am sincere and I want this to be one of the biggest things that we have ever done. We have done smaller efforts in the past for the EFF, but in case this is my full retirement swan song (and I am not saying that it is or is not) I would like to leave something behind and feel that I helped someone in the process.

Participate! Hell, if anyone else wants to shave their head with me, upload some pics before/after and we can do it as a group! It will be fun! If you want to donate something for one of the tiers, let me know!

Support! Sincerely, this is all for the EFF. Put all of my sillyness and drama aside. I am having fun, but I am seriously trying to do something good here. I know times are tough, but please donate whatever you can. It will all go to the EFF and I will announce the totals and make sure it is all on the up-and-up. If you donate the amounts shown above, you will even get something to show for your donation from us. So you are getting something back for your donation. I will eat the cost of the shirts and magazines and shipping and all of that. 100% of your money will go to the EFF.

Please help us support this great cause.

I got my library card!

Well, this post makes it official. I always hated blogs because people post the stupidest most inane shit that no one could care about and here I am posting about getting my library card.

I have hit a new low.

But fuck that libraries fucking ROCK! I have had a library card almost everywhere that I ever lived! For some reason, since I moved to Orlando, I just didn’t get around to getting one. I thought about it and realized that these days, whenever I need a book, I just buy it. Fuck that…I already pay taxes and those taxes fund the library so why wouldn’t I take advantage of it?

I always loved the library, even as a kid, but it was when I graduated high school and started college that I really started to live in the library. I mean that almost literally. When I was just out of high school and starting college, I spent a lot of time in the library on campus. It was awesome because they pretty much knew that it was just for students on campus and that students were famous for falling asleep in the library so there were several comfortable couches and chairs all over. I found a nice quiet corner in a remote part of the top floor and took a nice stack of books and just went up there to a nice little couch and read until I fell asleep. It was a great way to kill time between classes and catch a few winks. I had my handy-dandy datalink watch (model 150)to wake me up in time for class, so I was straight. I could have lived there (cafeteria was nearby).

But that library was fairly small and mostly contained textbooks. I had read most of the computer related ones that I was interested in and ran out of things to read. Luckily, the public library was only 4 or 5 blocks away. I would walk down to the local library, which was HUGE in comparison, and they had magazines and public computers to use, and just tons of stuff to stay interested. I would go to classes all day and then go to the library until well after dark.

Eventually, I got used to being a regular at that library and started exploring other parts of downtown Louisville KY. I found that if you wear a Doctors lab coat (which I conveniently had) then you were allowed to freely roam throughout many of the numerous hospitals that were in downtown Louisville. Now, I didn’t do anything crazy or dangerous. I just wanted to do some exploring. Cafeterias in hospitals have the best food ever! then, I stumbled upon a University of Louisville medical Library inside of their practicing hospital downtown. Man, there was all kinds of crazy shit in there! Lot so of medical journals and a huge number of medical reference books. This was not really my cup of tea, but it was pretty awesome to know that it existed for the medical students and I did, on occasion, look up a few things that I was curious about. I became an expert on female genitalia, if I do say so myself.

Unfortunately, that is when the real world set in for me. I was maybe 19 or 20 or so and my family was not rich. It came to a point where I had to get a couple of extra jobs to be able to pay for my college tuition and books. This pretty much took all of my free time (and most of my sleeping time). I began working 5 jobs and taking a double load of classes and my love affair with the library came to an abrupt end. Looking back, maybe I should have apologized to the library for abandoning it, but I digress.

How was that for too much information? So yeah, this library is nowhere near as exciting, but I am hopeful that it will re-spark my interest in reading again. I haven’t read any fiction or read for any entertainment purposes for along time. I am hoping to find more time to do this instead of just reading technical manuals. So yeah, this was a blog post about me getting my library card…but hopefully I put a little “Stank” on the story so that it is not as lame as it sounds.

If I ever post about what I have for breakfast…kill me.

Mental Illness is a sad thing to witness

I will warn you up front that this is a very personal post and I am using this blog and will continue to do so for some sort of therapy of my own. I have found that typing things up helps get them off of my chest and helps me come to terms with things. I know, I know…take it to livejournal…but fuck that. This is my life and my blog. Yes, I am a hacker and all that, but I keep reminding everyone that I am also a human being. this is the blog of a hacker and a human being at the same time. If that makes it less interesting, so be it.

***
I have been dealing with some personal issues with people very close to me (friends and family) that have really opened my eyes to the reality that is mental illness. I always thought that most mental illness was misdiagnoses of common things that people go through. I still believe this to be true in cases of ADD/ADHD, Depression and many others. Look, we all have bad days, but that doesn’t mean you are clinically depressed and have a mental problem. A lot of kids are hyper, this doesn’t mean that they need to be medicated. These are temporary conditions and I think they are far too often used as excuses to cover up problem behavior. At the same time, I also realize that when the mental illness is real, it is very much as devastating as any physical illness can be.

It is also especially scary depending on the type of mental illness. Some are “functional” where the person can still function in society. This may require drugs or regular therapy or other way of coping with the illness. It may also simply mean that the case is so mild or harmless in nature that the person may simply be viewed as “quirky” or “weird” to others. Hell, I fall into that category. But sometimes they are much more serious and it is a very sad thing to see up close.

A very close friend of mind…or former friend, as it were…had a problem that I have never really seen up close before. It is called Paranoia and you might think that you know what that is. Calling someone Paranoid is very common, especially to us conspiracy theorists. We hear that a lot. A lot of my co-workers think that I am overly paranoid. This is just using the an word when what they really should be saying is “cautious” or “concerned”. True Paranoia is a recognized mental illness. It is also commonly associated with other things, specifically schizophrenia. Both basically describe a person who thinks that everyone is out to get them, but in a very sincere way. In some very extreme cases, the person will hear voices and believe that they are on a mission from a higher power telling them what to do and who not to trust. These extreme cases mean that the person is not in control of their own mind. What I witnessed was not this bad, but it did involve someone who thought that no one was on their side. They feel alone in the world and think that the system is against them. This could be from their family (parents), the government, their friends, their employer, or all of the above. It is very sad because although I can see it very well, they cannot. This is the cruel juxtaposition of the disorder. You want to reach out and hold them and tell them that it is OK and that you are there to help them and you are on their side, but you cannot force them to believe you. If they think that you are out to get them, how do you help them? I offered to go to therapy with this person and they immediately lashed out and said that *I* was the one who needed therapy and we were never able to approach the topic again without me being accused of being out to get them and make them into a bad person. The truth is that I want to help, but I learned that you cannot help some who doesn’t want, or think that they need, help. It is a sad situation and it causes families, friendships, and relationships to fall apart and there is nothing that you can do about it except hope that the person come to the realization on their own that they have a problem. It also hurts the ones that care about them more than they probably realize.

My grandmother has Alzheimer’s. Now this is a physical disease but it has a mental manifestation in the form of lost memory and communication skills. I have had to watch my grandmother deteriorate slowly over the course of the past 5 years to the point where she cannot even say my name anymore. She recognizes me…sometimes…actually, very rarely. Usually, she is oblivious to everything including the passing days. She has some “good days” which you may hear mentioned when speaking of Alzheimer’s patients. Most of the time, however, are bad days (or normal days for her) where she doesn’t acknowledge the passing of time, she doesn’t know how old she is, or where she is. Sometimes I think that the bad days, ironically, are the good days in her life anyway because she doesn’t really comprehend what is going on around her. On her “good” days I visit her and she has some long term memory, but very broken short term memory. On one good day, she understood that she was in the hospital and knew that she was sick, but not what she was sick with. She had fallen and hurt her arm when she first went in the hospital and she thinks that she is still in the hospital for that. She doesn’t realize that it happened 5 years ago. One of the hardest things in the world that I have ever had to do was to look into my Grandmother’s face and lie to her when she looked at me and asked me when she would be going home. I lied and told her through my tears “soon Nannie…soon”. It makes me cry right now as I write this, but hey…I can handle it. I am “strong like Bull”.

And don’t even get me started on my own Mental issues…I have plenty. I think that I am pretty functional though. I am usually just “weird” to most people because I think and act differently than everyone else. I chalk a lot of that up to being a hacker, but some of it is probably deeper than that. I know this though, and I do a lot of self-analysis to try and recognize it so that I can overcome it. I think that this is true for most people. What is “normal” anyway? I may have my moments, but all-in-all, I am pretty normal to most people. It just takes a special kind of person to “get me” completely. I thought I had actually found one person who was special enough to “get me” but that didn’t work out and that is a whole other story for another post. I think this was more than enough corniness for one post.