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This Day in My History

George Washington's
Rules of Civility
and Decent Behaviour

24th:   Do not laugh too much or too loud in public.

Yesterday's Entries

2000: Mum's the Word
  Patriotism Is Not Enough
2002:  A Moving Experience
2003:  Perfect


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My Amazon Wish List

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I'm a proud

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I like to watch the bikers at the skateboard park.

Sheila Video 1
    ("See Sheila Run")
Sheila Video 2
    ("Meet Barkley")
Sheila Video 3
    ("Play time")
Sheila Video 4
    ("The Green Monster")
Sheila Video 5
    ("Sheila's Tongue")



17 September 2004

Remember those old Germanic tribes--the Franks, the Vandals, the Visigoths?  All those guys whose business was to plunder and pillage.

I had an interest in looking up the Vandals today, and I found a description on About.com:

The Vandals...crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, conquered the rich province of North Africa, built themselves a fleet, and in 455 sacked Rome with greater thoroughness than the Visigoths. They took the treasures from the emperor's palaces on Palatine hill and even the tile from the roofs of the temples, and returned with their spoil to their new capital of Carthage

So it appears that the Vandals were the guys who liked to ruin stuff.  No shit. 

Vandals are alive and well in this day and age.

Wilma's Word is one of the journals that I read.  But it was not available earlier this week.  She keeps her journal on Open Diary and as I started to look around, I discovered a note which says:

On Saturday, September 11th, Open Diary was attacked by hacker(s) who attempted to delete the database that holds our diary writing. The initial attack by these people was successful, and they managed to remove the current set of data files from our servers.

Apparently whoever hacked into Open Diary managed to delete all the files back to July.  

What kind of sick person would do such a thing?  Thousands of people keep journals on Open Diary and they've lost it all for the past 3 months.  I know how important this journal is to me.  Every time I write an entry, I save a copy of it, so I have all entries of this journal on CD to December 2003, and on my hard drive to the date of the current entry.  I can't even imagine how I'd feel if I just lost all these entries.  Not that anything is deathless prose, but still it is the record of my life for the past four years.  If that just all disappeared **poof** I'd survive, but I would be very sad to lose it all.

Periodically hackers would get into Fotolog too.   The servers would go down for days at a time.  The guys running the thing tried hard to keep it functioning--and it's still up and running, but I got so tired of the down time that I went and found another photo site, after at least 2 years with Fotolog.  (Check out the pictures I've altered with PhotoShop!)

I have never understood vandalism (hacking is just another term for high tech vandalism).  The dog park shares a fence with the skateboard park, as you have seen in many of Sheila's blog entries.  It's a lovely skateboard park, with lots of slopes and I dunno what you call them--but lots of places for skateboarders and bicyclists to do all sorts of fun tricks.

I was talking with one of the groundskeepers one morning and he says that the skateboard park has the highest vandalism rate in the city.  Here the city has built this lovely place for kids to enjoy themselves and it's constantly in a state of disrepair.  I think the City has finally stopped locking it at night because there is always a section of the fence that has been cut through.  Some day I suppose some idiot will try riding his skateboard around the park after dark, after cutting through the fence and he'll have an accident and his parents will sue the city for creating an attractive nuisance.

The other day I overheard someone talking about seeing a car with a bumper sticker that she disapproved of, so she keyed the side of the car.  She said it so matter of factly that it sounded like she just accepted that this is what you do to express your disapproval of someone's public display of his/her stand on some political or social issue.  No thought is given to how much it might cost to fix a car whose two doors have a big gash made by a key.  (though I mus admit the thought crossed my mind when I came across a car with an anti gay marriage sticker the other day!  ...just kidding!)

I know people who are afraid to put any statements on their car because they are afraid of reprisals.  A gay man had his car egged when he put a rainbow sticker on it.

Even something as seemingly benign as TP-ing a tree is an act of vandalism.  We kind of accept TP-ing a tree as adolescent hijinx.  In truth, I hadn't thought much about it as "vandalism" until some kids thoroughly TP'd a tree in the parking lot I rode my bike through all the time and even after they had "removed" all the toilet paper, it was literally months before the last of it was gone. 

We've even raised vandalism to an art form in this country.  There used to be a time when "taggers," those guys who spray paint buildings and freeway overpasses and anything they can get away with, were considred breaking the law.  Now there seems to be a whole cult built up around tagging.  I found a web site where it's called an "art crime," and the work of "famous taggers" is proudly displayed.

Like the "Vandals" of the 5th century, todays vandals bring destruction and, in cases, fear, to the communities they attack, whether it's a city or a cyber community.

I just can't understand the thrill so many seem to get out of making other people miserable.

Website of the Day

Check out Scott's entry for September 15.
(Scott is Steve's brother)

RERUN of NOTEGood ol' Steve has set me up with a G-mail account, so I'm going to start using G-mail for personal e-mail and see how it works.  I'm not going to link to it anywhere, like so many people are doing, so my new address will be basykes (at) gmail (dot) com.  Send me an e-mail and let me check out how I like it!



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Is it vandalism or is it art? --in this case, I suspect it's art!
(I was going to post a photo I took a that TP'd tree, but I can't find it)



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