Wednesday, November 29, 2006

This is really starting to tick me off....

Last Sunday evening my wireless router finally gave up the ghost. It was starting to act kinda squirrelly and needing to be reset pretty often, it finally refused to reset and just kept recycling through it's POST. I had been needing a new one for a while anyway, this router was an old "B" type that did not support WEP. so I went down to Wally World (the only place open at 7:30 pm on a Sunday evening that sold this sort of stuff.) and bought myself a Belkin 802.11g wireless router. I got home and set it up and was able to get my daughter's machine which uses a Dlink 802.11G PCI card to connect using 128 bit WEP without even breaking a sweat. but my other daughter's machine, a rebuilt old P2 Dell running Win 98se (there is a reason it runs win 98se, several of her educational programs, which are hand me downs from my older daughter won't run under 2k or xp, even in so-called "Compatability mode"), using an Airlink 101 MIMO G PCI card refuses to connect. (it connected fine to the old Network Anywhere 802.11b router so I know the card works) I thought perhaps that the channel the card chose was noisy at that range and tried a different channel. no dice. It won't even connect with WEP turned off. Now, I had to re-install the utility software that came with the card to be able to turn WEP encryption on. and I am wondering if it has screwed up the winsock stack or something. Here is the part that really gets me though. I can ping the other machines IP addresses fine. so I know that much of the network hardware/software works. I'm at the end of my rope. If anybody can suggest anything to try I'm all ears. I am contemplating re-installing the OS to try to repair any files/drivers that might have been corrupted, I'm also contemplating yanking the card and going down and buying a dlink card instead of a no-name generic chi-com card. I know some MIMO devices don't play well with some 802.11G devices, Linksys had some problems with that if I recall. so the MIMO bit may be my problem, but if that were the case why would I be able to ping the other machines? I really need the MIMO range though because the machine is a good 40 feet from the router and the other side of two oblique walls.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Strange telecommunications.

I got a very strange phone call Sunday night around 11:30pm or so. It was from a presumptive female (it at least sounded like one) who used the same name as my daughter, it started out with her using my given name and telling me how she just wanted to thank me for pleasuring her so well Saturday morning. She then went on to say that she did not know whether the number she had called was my home or my cell number. (it was my home number.) Now I am flattered that a woman enjoyed my attentions enough to call and exclaim her utter joy, however there is only one little problem with this scenario, it wasn't me. I was asleep, in my own bed, with my wife lying beside me at the time. Additionally, the way the woman was speaking gave the impression that she was self-conscious and trying to make it up as she went, possibly as a prank.
Now there are a number of possible explanations for this, not the least of which was that since my name and number are in the phone book, she may have merely called the wrong person. Another possibility is that a family we are passing aquaintances with that lives a few streets over happens to have a nearly identical phone number (with two digits reversed) and one of the teenage son's middle name is the same as my first name. We have received mis-directed phone calls for them in the past (and I suspect they may have received some of ours although they have not told me so.). So that is another possibility.

Now we get into explanations that are a bit more paranoid.

I have not really gone out of my way to hide my identity. Someone with a real penchant for research could glean my real name from bits and pieces of information scattered around the web. Additionally some bloggers around town know my name. My name has even appeared in both print and broadcast media around town as has my daughter's name. I have angered not a small number of people over the years with my broadsides, so it is not entirely impossible that someone thought to cause familial strife by making my wife jealous. If so, that person mis-calculated by choosing a time and place that I could not possibly have been at. But what concerns me is that the next person who comes along might not be so juvenile or amateurish.

I'm trying to decide if I should take steps concerning my own and my family's safety, and to decide what steps those should be. Am I being paranoid? or am I being paranoid enough?

Friday, November 17, 2006

M-F transsexuals: What is the motivation

After an email exchange with Leigh Hopper that led to this post, I got to thinking. For decades, a small group of men have sought out hormones and surgery in order to transform them into women, some with more success than others. The standard line among them is that they are victims of a biological mistake or misstep that left them a woman's brain in a man's body, supposedly due to a developmental quirk during brain development as a fetus. I can accept that may well be true for some of them. But I have to wonder if that motivation is universal, or if some are merely wanting to live out a sexual fantasy. It would appear that medicine may be poised to call their bluff so to speak. A group of doctors in New York plan to perform a uterine transplant. Now mind you, the transplant will be on another woman, and to my knowledge, an ovary is not involved, but it would seem to me that an ovarian transplant is the next logical step, and if so, that opens an intriguing possibility. How would the ability to change a man COMPLETELY into a woman change the dynamic? These transgendered individuals would be forced to come to grips with the same choices and inconvieniences and dangers that biological women must face. Monthly periods, pregnancy (although vaginal birth would probably be out of the question due to the male pelvis being too small.) mood swings, cramps, migraines, the whole shooting match. Much of the sexual freedom that they would have experienced as homosexual men or transsexual women will go out the window. Suddenly they must make choices that they never had to before. Do they want kids. Do they want kids by THIS GUY. What form of birth control do they choose.

There are a number of physical drawbacks and choices that transsexuals do not have to face now, that they may find themselves facing in the future. How will that change the decisionmaking process? When presented with the full meal deal, how many will choose the happy meal instead? And what will that be saying about their motivation?