Ah, San Francisco

Every time I hear about the marriages in San Francisco, it makes me smile.

Most know this, but should anyone not, my wife and I got married for the very unromantic purpose of getting me health insurance when we moved to Miami. Then we didn’t tell anyone for a couple of years.

We’re both committed to the relationship–well, I am, and it keeps my stress level lower to believe that she is, too–but that commitment doesn’t reside in a piece of paper issued to us by the City of Cambridge, hinge on a big public ceremony or somehow reside in piles of wedding gifts. Which is good, since we only have one of the three.

(Though we have been contemplating the having a 10-year anniversary party this June. Don’t know if that’ll happen, though–that’s a lot of logistics, and we’d want to try and spend most of the money where it counts: on the bar. Feel free to register interest.)

Add to that the fact that we’ve none of the 50s-style traditional notions of marriage that seem to permeate the Republican party’s rhetoric–we both kept our last names (though Anne does occasionally use mine because it’s shorter and easier to communicate to, say, the dry cleaners or for restaurant reservations; BTW, a belated thanks to Joy and Carl for what may be only the third wedding invitation that got it right by naming both of us as we prefer to be addressed), neither of us wants to sit around the house eating bon-bons and watching soaps, and although I have been known to cook, I wouldn’t go barefoot in our kitchen (all the catfood bits make it an unpleasant experience), and I figure another six months of regular yoga will put any pregnancy jokes to rest once and for all–and we’d almost certainly be considered part of the problem, not the solution.

All that said, it should come as no suprise to anyone that every time I hear about the little revolution going on in San Francisco I can’t help but smile. I’m sure the Great Braying Ass that is the current Republican Party will find some way to spoil the fun, but I, for one, cannot be convinced that something that has made so many people happy can be in any way a bad thing.

So Fucking There.

(Seriously, June 21st is on a Monday, so we’d probably do it the weekend before. It might just be a big house party, or if enough people wanted to come, we would do something more elaborate. I’m probably fooling myself as to whether this is a good venue to mention all this, though)

Wow

I just don’t know what else to say. This wins any “Write a hello, world” program competition hands down.

If you want SSH for your Treo 600

I recommend, so far, TuSSH. It is not perfect, but it does do SSH2, which the old standby TGSSH does not. I have not used TuSSH a bunch, but it appears adequate, at least for the very low-use I intend.

There are at least two other commercial alternatives, Mocha Telnet (which you can try before you buy–I have not done so yet, so I can’t tell you how good or bad it is) and Expand Beyond’s PocketAdmin Console, for which a 30 day eval is available. I’ll probably get around to trying both at some point–the fact is, I’m willing to pay for a good enough app, but it will have to display significant benefits over TuSSH.

If you’re running SpamAssassin

I have two recommendations, stemming from the thrills and chills I experience daily running a commercial anti-spam service:

  • Use some supplementary rules

Go to the SpamAssassin Custom Rule Emporium, and pick up, at the very least, copies of backhair.cf, chickenpox.cf, weedsonly.cf and bigevil.cf. These have shown an enormous benefit for us.

The great thing is that all you have to do is drop these rules in your SpamAssassin rules directory (our Debian boxes use /etc/spamassassin for local stuff) and it will immediately start using them.

  • Don’t let spamassassin automatically train the bayes database

Now our situation differs somewhat from most people–we do filtering for a couple of hundred domains, so we see a very wide range of email, and our users often don’t have the facilities (since LookOut! sucks so much) or the time to get all incorrectly-classified messages fed back into the system. If you are diligent in doing this for every mis-classified message you see, your results will probably be good.

Still, for us, auto-learning was a disaster.

We have found it much more effective to pull and classify random mails going through the system, and build a bayes database exclusively from that corpus; the fact is, the accessibility of SpamAssassin’s rule set means that clever people can find holes, and although closing them will happen quickly, it might not be before a number of messages go through your system with scores low enough that they cause SpamAssassin to learn them as ham, and Whammo! you’ve got a bayes database that is going to start working counter to your desires unless you make sure each and every one of those messages gets re-learned as spam.

So my recommendation is that you add a ‘bayes_auto_learn 0’ parameter to your config file.

Of course, the real solution is to sign up with AnteSpam, and let us take care of the maintenance headaches.

I’ve been getting back into comic books of late

I noticed a sign near the coffee shop I go to for a new store opening up around the corner–it turns out that simply having a car was not enough; I needed proximity, too, and the shop in Chapel Hill could only lure me in for something I knew I wanted like 1602.

So–predictably, I suppose–I’ve found myself alternately catching-up and finding new stuff; it’s sure as Hell more fun than, say, tracking the declining State of our Union–I happily leave that to kos and Josh and Billmon.

As an example, I’ve picked up most of the Hellboy trades (I date myself by admitting that my first remembrance of Mike Mignola is Rocket Raccoon), and, as something of a Lovecraft fan, Hellboy works just wonderfully for me.

I wonder how I’ll like the movie. I suppose it couldn’t be worse than Underworld, but I doubt it could approach Lost In Translation, either.

(More on that later, perhaps)

There’s Y, The Last Man–as the proprietor of the store pointed out, “The best last-boy-on-earth story since Kamandi!”

I’m also amused to see Bill Willingham doing a ton of writing, when I remember him first for his illustrations in various AD&D materials in the early ’80s.

I’m waiting, with intense anticipation, for the end of Cerebus–while reading with a great deal of distress the reports of just how, well…NUTS Dave Sim has become. Still, if you have the slightest inkling of interest in comic books, and you haven’t read High Society and Church & State, you’re missing out.

I fear that means you, Chet. 😉

And, finally, I’m sad to see that Julius Schwartz died. While I would be lying–or at least overstating things–to suggest I have some sort of eidetic memory, the fact is, this stuff sticks with me for a long time. And I remember a lot of comic books I read when I was a pre-teen with Juliuz Schwartz’ name on the masthead.

I don’t know why this seems so sad to me right now–good lord there’s plenty of other sadder things going on in fifty-zillion places than an old man who had a pretty damned good run dying just shy of 90. Perhaps it’s just the passing of someone that you realize had, however ephemeral, some influence on your childhood.