April 29

Random.

Basically, few people read this. I have it to voice my thoughts to the void… and to argue that I posted an update to my life without having to deal with the baggage that comes with Facebook.  Shh.

So.

I’ve landed a contract with SOJTF, I’ve put law school on hold, and I am working on my 365 day plan for the coming year.  I’m still trying to get myself centered, so I have nothing to share… but no, I have not died. And yes, I plan on blogging more now that I have free time.

Though… I’m not sure that moving it here was a good decision if I actually intended it to be read. Ah well.

April 20

Close that book!

20150416_072433_Sophia_BluegradFew things in law school are as contentious as open v. closed book exams.

With an open book exam, you have access to all of the material you care to carry into the exam. If you can print it /and or summarize it, you can use it to draft an answer to the undoubtedly evil prompts that your professor has provided. If you forget something, you can look it up in the book… and if you don’t know something at all, you can usually parrot a passable answer that touches on the major points.

On the other hand, an open book exam makes even the minutest details fair game. Remember in that one case about the thing, where the guy and the girl said that stuff about the OTHER thing and there was a very specific model of doohickey that was used? No? Well, you’d better look it up, because the professor expects you to know it. And you’d better cite every case, too… after all, you have access to the material.

With a closed book exam, you’re relying on a pen and your intellect. You can’t look up details because, quite simply, those details are either in your head or they’re not. You’re doing battle with the test, you’re walking a tightrope of doom with no safety net, you’re…

I mean, you’re on your own. That’s what I mean.

But… that can be good. Most reasonable professors realize that it’s the rules and the broad stroke principles that matter, so you can focus on the stuff that’ll be important to… you know… actually learning the law. You can show off your comprehension instead of showcasing your mad skills at looking things up. You’re almost guaranteed to do fine if you understood the class.

Me? I prefer closed book exams because I don’t care about case names, and flipping through the book to make sure I remember them interrupts my flow. And because I hand write my exams (an issue for another day) I can’t just go back to fill in the gaps.  A closed book is conducive to my style of learning and my style of test taking. I’m not saying it is better, necessarily…

…no, wait. Yes I am. 😉 It is better. Without a doubt. So there.

April 11

“I’m not a Trump supporter, but*…”

Mini memorial, right after September 11, 2001
Mini memorial, right after September 11, 2001

Too many of my conversations, of late, have started with that line… and quite honestly, I resent the fact that people are making it necessary to say it. When you have a media whose members have thrown off all semblance of objectivity and reason to push for their own candidate du jour, however… well, here we are.

Look, Trump is a pretty garbage person. I’ve been suffering through his campaign speeches, I’ve been watching his ego-driven campaign with a mixture of amusement and disgust. And hell, there’s a lot to dislike about the guy. But we have media outlets photoshopping his skin tone to compare him to a Nazi, celebrating the anonymous hackers who are attempting to silence his campaign, and digging up his family’s migrant name to associate him with 1940’s Germany.

Like, what? Jesus, people, focus on his message. Judge him on what he’s saying. Isn’t that sufficient? It should be sufficient, because the things he says paints him in a pretty nasty light. But of course, the End Justifies The Means to those yellow journalists and cowards who would skew the election at the cost of democracy.

Trump isn’t the only…. I hesitate to say victim because I do in fact dislike the guy, but.. he is the most egregiously victimized here. A robber who is himself robbed of his rightful possessions is still a victim, as just as it might seem on the surface.

In short? Focus on his statements and the policies he supports. Focus on his vileness as a candidate.

Stop making him into a martyr for those angry folk who see his brand of hate politics as our only path to greatness.

* – No, I am not voting for him, are you kidding me? Absolutely not, not ever.

April 3

The Educational Milkshake

_yanesenwalk_in__yanesen__tokyo__japan_...__travelThis past Wednesday I passed my 70-417 (for the laypeople, I updated one of my high-end computer certs) which brought me up to speed on all of my IT stuff. That means that I’m up to date, albeit a little rusty on the enterprise level stuff… I could swap my suit for a polo and a nerdy background image without too much effort.

Winning, at least as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve also planned my next side project. You see, I’ve been speaking to lawyers who work in cybersecurity law, and there seems to be a dearth of lawyers with technical backgrounds. As the social networks of the world expand and people’s data becomes more accessible to all, there will (I think) be a need for people who can address privacy issues. I think it meshes well with intellectual property law in the digital realm, too, so…. hey, maybe I have found my niche.

Of course, I will need to expand my skills in the data encryption / protection realm, which will be my next major (non-law) project. Or rather, it will be my next major law-periphery project, meant to complement and differentiate me from the rest of the grads. As it is, the inapplicability of my old skill-set is irksome… so, I think I’d like to see what I can do about that.

Or, in a painfully forced adaptation of a common lyric… let’s see if my IT/Law milkshake can bring all the jobs to the yard when I graduate. ;-P

March 26

Land of the Slowly Setting Sun

So, goodbye to Japan and TUJ. I’m beginning the “long wrap-up” for my Japanese excursion.

In about a month, it will be time to move on to the next place and the next thing.
I’ve met some interesting people and some nice people, and sometimes the two even coincide.

But, let’s be real. I’m a ghost, and when I leave, you’ll only remember me vaguely.

That is as it should be.

Best of luck in your future endeavors… I’ll be floating around somewhere. 😉

March 15

Rules of Engagement (Politics)

If you want to engage me in a political conversation, these are some of my most basic rules.

  1. If you’re making an assertion about a candidate or a political party, you need to fact check it. Snopes and FactCheck.org are great resources. If you’re posting and it shows up in my Facebook feed, I expect you to use them. And yes, I rely heavily on both. I’ve been on the Internet for a very long time. They’ve both earned my trust. If you’re going to call them liars, I expect you to cite your sources.
  2. Every time you post nonsense or lies, your candidate loses credibility. Again, fact check. No, Clinton wasn’t kicked out of the Watergate trials. No, Trump supporters didn’t wear “make America white again” shirts. No, Sanders (probably) didn’t march with MLK. You’d know that if you’d bothered to do a bit of cursory research.
  3. When you fail to check your facts, you lose my respect. If you care about those sorts of things, then be aware. I’m perfectly willing to check it FOR you. I’d rather you ask; at least you’re not spreading disinformation if you do. No minus marks for asking. Massive minus marks for posting.
  4. It isn’t a conspiracy. *sigh* It really isn’t. Just… just stop. You’re making yourself look like an idiot.

The thing is, every time one of you posts / re-blogs / retweets something that I find suspect, I do a search for it to see if it is true. I consider that the most basic of tasks; I don’t assert something as factual unless I’m reasonably sure I’m right. Occasionally, I get it wrong… but at least when I do, I know I did my due diligence in establishing the truth.

And you know what? I’ll admit that I’m wrong if it turns out I’m wrong.

March 14

Yes, I’ve Been Busy.

I’ve decided to push my 70-417 test back a week so I have more time to study. I want to run some hands-on labs, and I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to do so if I tested on Wednesday. So… still busy.

I’ve been slacking on updates, I know. I’ve been playing with a reformat, and I’m setting up Flickr so I finish the long overdue galleries. Flickr seems to be the better management option there.

Also… there’s a tiny chance that I’ll manage to pull my 1999-2000 blog entries out of the bowels of the old Internet. I hope so… they’re probably pathetic and boring, but I’d like to add them for completeness’ sake.

I may have news towards the end of March.

All for now.

March 5

More Ant Than Grasshopper.

Well this week has been busy!

I will, after this short break, have powered through 3 of 4 modules necessary* to take the Microsoft 70-417 exam. If I feel that they’ve gone well and I’m reasonably certain I’ll pass, I’ll schedule my test for mid-March. What’s that? One month before finals? Yeah, yeah, I know. But I have reasons for the accelerated schedule. One, I want to get the 2012 MCSA out of the way so I qualify for the 2016 upgrade when it comes out, and two, reasons.

I’ve also been re-activating my old networks for IT, revamping my resumes**, and setting up a couple of other things that may, in fact, end up being the sum total of my Saturday and Sunday. I submitted material for review for my GCIH, did some background research on myself to pull old data I wanted, researched NAS boxes, and took a few pictures because people say they like them.

Maybe they’re lying, I don’t know. Whatever.

For fun, I wrote up a quick “this is how you tax” entry elsewhere and I watched some Torchwood and some crazy anime called Blood-C because Japan, anime… it seemed appropriate.

Oh, and I had a wee bit of illness on Friday, but it passed.

…and, right, I started working out again. Note to self… look into new shoes because your New Balance seems to be Old and Unbalanced now.

Alas, I’m afraid I didn’t do any traveling. There’s some story about an ant and a grasshopper, and I’ve been playing ant so I don’t end up being a grasshopper. After all, I’m older and I lack that parental safety net that the rest of the college children have.

And… back to work.

March 2

Server Room Hermit

This week, I’ve been powering through the material for the MCSA for Windows Server 2012R2. Yes, I’m in Japan. Yes, I could be exploring Asia. Thing is, though, I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. As purpose and desire converged, well…

…I’m just about halfway through material that is worth 6 undergrad credit hours… or, you know, two 14 week classes.

I started on Saturday.

I’ve not pushed this hard for class since… well, since Afghanistan. And I’ve not delved into technical data like this since… well, Iraq.

I’m enjoying it, though I’ve basically become a hermit.

Why do this to myself?

Well…

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