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Archived Entries from October 2007


Variety Show

I had to go let my buddy's dog out on my way home tonight, and fill her bowl of food, because he is stuck in Champaign with fraternity house "stuff"--tomorrow is homecoming. What is with my awful sentences lately?

At any rate, when I got home the redhead was cozying up on the couch (and has since turned off the television and pulled a blanket over herself). Junior was on the PC originally but has since moved into the other room and is playing (what else?) Guitar Hero. Sorry, Guitar Hero 2. All we've heard about for the last month is how Guitar Hero 3 is coming out.

I unloaded, loaded, and started the dishwasher, and I don't have much else to do so I guess I'll post to my blog and let everyone else be as bored as I am. (Everyone else == my two or three readers....).

Em isn't here because she's at a friend's house getting "ready." Tonight is the variety show at the school, and of course Em and friends have a skit. It's too bad, though, that Em and friends can't just come here and perform their skit in our living room--I do want to see it. I just don't want to see the other 38 "acts."

Last year we had several acts involving a couple (or more) 12- or 13-year old girls, who were dressed very inappropriately, doing dance routines. Sorry, "routines." I was completely embarrassed. I couldn't watch. There's no way my daughter would ever go out on stage dressed like that. Especially not at 12 or 13. Yeeeesh.

And then that act would get followed by a group of little kids singing some religious pop song ("I'm a friend of God," was memorable...). Seriously? I didn't realize the kids went to a parochial school. And no, I'd never be "that guy" that wants "under God" taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance. Yes I'm in that minority, but I'm certainly not outspoken--being outspoken in this case just gets you into trouble (is it irony that when an atheist expresses his or her views the bulk of the "Christians" threaten to physically harm them--or worse? Not very "Christian," methinks...). Anyway. My point isn't to go there. Whether I think what I think or not, I find it a bit odd that the school allows kids to get up and sing church songs. Suppose I'm not Michael Covenant the Unbeliever (wow--anyone remember that book--and yes, I know his name was Thomas....) and instead I'm jewish, or a muslim, or whatever. In our politically correct world that removes Indian mascots/symbols that even the Indians don't care about, we seriously are going to preach at a public school event.

Yes I realize it is a small town, and no, I'm not as worked up about it as it is probably coming off.

And then after the religious songs, we have more girls dressed like tramps doing cartwheels.

I will suffer through it for my daughter, of course. I'm sure her act will be quite funny--with as intense as she is, and as long as she's been working on this (months), I'm sure it will be quite entertaining. At least the execution of it will be perfect. Well, or the execution of her part. And I'm not bragging because I think my kid is perfect--I'm just pointing out that she's a perfectionist. Boy, is she ever...

"He calls me friend...." Sheesh. I can't wait....

In other news....

My application for graduate school is almost complete. Two of my three references have uploaded their letters of recommendation. My boss (one of my references, of course--the other two are instructors in the undergraduate computer science program that I'm enrolled in now) e-mailed me today to let me know he had uploaded his letter and that I shouldn't have any problems being accepted. Always good to have an "Assistant Dean" in your court that thinks somewhat highly of you.

So I'm trying not to be nervous. I'm trying to keep calm. The application deadline is December 15. They don't look at the applications until the first week of March. And then notify people March 15th whether they are accepted or not. That's almost five months. This is going to be like being trapped in a cave underground with a big boulder on my legs. All the panicking in the world isn't going to do any good, so I may as well just sit tight and try to be calm and patient. It will help that a) I have a job to occupy my time, b) I have children to occupy my time, and c) I'll still have this other undergraduate degree coursework to occupy myself. And don't read anything into the order of a) and b)--occupation by children is much more enjoyable that occupation by work. It's not that the kids are second-most important, it's just that work seems to take up most of the stress. The kids are fun.

The redhead just got up from the couch. "Pray for the fish..." I just heard her sing to Alex. That was another treat from the variety show last year.

Homecoming is tomorrow. It's my 15th reunion at the fraternity house (while I was in the pledge class of 1992, technically I was in the class of 1991 even though I didn't graduate then, and more technically I actually graduated--finally--in 1995...). I don't plan on heading north of St. Mary's Road tomorrow, and I mean the St. Mary's Road three miles north of Villa Grove, not the one on the south side of the Assembly Hall in Champaign. No thanks.

And more proof (as if we needed any) that this Big Ten Network thing is a greedy ripoff move by Fox and company: our homecoming game is tomorrow. Yet the entire state will see Northwestern vs. Purdue on the Big Ten Network. I promise you that under the old scenario we would have been able to watch the game on the local CBS affiliate. Sheesh. Big Greed. When you have a whole separate section of your "FAQs" titled "Why this isn't greedy," people know it's greedy.

Okay, I'm sure I've bored everyone to tears sufficiently.

Maybe tomorrow I'll blog and lament that I don't have my fund account for the new fiscal year yet so I can't upgrade to Leopard. (And if you haven't seen the video of all the features on Apple's web site, you need to check them out--this thing blows "Vista" out of the water....)

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2007, 11:27 pm
Mood: Not Too Bad | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


mhash

Okay, I'm writing this down this time, since when I searched my blog for "mhash" I found a couple of posts from last year that said "yeah, I fixed that mhash issue" or some such. The notes I took last year aren't helpful either.

To install mhash on RHEL 5:

Download and install mhash-0.96-0.rhel5.i386.rpm.

(To install it, copy it to the server, navigate to the directory on the server and then type "rpm -i mhash*.rpm"....)

Download and install php-mhash-5.1.6-4.el5.i386.rpm, copy it to the server, and install it. I think that you could probably just do this step and it would go and get the mhash rpm, but I'm just writing down how I did it today.

You'll have to restart Apache, of course. It doesn't add a "--with-mhash" to the configure page, but it does add mhash.ini to the list of "additional files to parse."

And it seems to work.

I should be installing any new servers for a while, so hopefully won't need this info anytime soon.

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2007, 6:09 pm
Mood: Busy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


One Week

Geez, I can't believe it's been a week since I've blogged last. Sometimes I go day after day and then if I accidentally skip a day or two it always seems to end up turning into a week.

I guess part of the reason I don't get in a hurry to blog sometimes is that there's nothing out of the ordinary to talk about. Dad came down last Monday and we played golf, which was fun. I had a busy but not overly hectic week at work. I'm caught up with school and was fortunate to find one of the two books that I need for the rest of my "Animals and Human Civilization" class at the library. And I could even check it out (significant only because any time I find a book that's used for any of my computer classes--which is rare anyway--they aren't able to be checked out (you can only look at them at the actual library...).

I'm feeling better about school. It seems when I hit my mid-semester doldrums that it usually isn't as bad as I think it is. I turned in my midterm paper for my Network Intrusion class, and the paper for my Animals class won't be that big of a deal.

So last week I started my actual on-line application for graduate school. Geez. Sometimes I think I'm just plain crazy.

Yesterday the redhead and the princess drove down to southern Illinois for my nephew's first birthday. I didn't go because their house, well, their house has a lot of furry things living there. My eyes would have swollen up and my chest would have tightened within minutes. No thanks. And since I stayed home, Alex opted to do the same.

So we went fishing. We didn't catch much (he didn't catch anything, actually) but we had a good time and had a good talk.

This morning I mowed the yard, fixed the fence that a few friends of ours broke with an errant football pass, changed the oil in my car, and cleaned up the garage.

Now I'm enjoying an Amstel Light and watching the Bears lose to the Eagles. The redhead is taking a nap, Em is down the street at a friends' grandparents' house, and Al is downstairs doing who knows what.

As I said, not too much to report.

Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2007, 9:45 pm
Mood: Relaxed | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


That Is Why....

...we don't start talking about the Rose Bowl three weeks into the Big Ten season. You'd think people would learn....

Anyway. I'm not surprised.

However, the redhead was certainly surprised when we arrived at Esquire Lounge yesterday and Steve and Susan and Tod and Margaret were sitting outside in the beer garden.

You see, the redhead turns 35 on Halloween, and has been bugging me for several months about throwing her a surprise party, to which I would roll my eyes.

About a month ago I put the wheels in motion and began planning a surprise. We (Susan and I) quickly decided that happy hour would be the best bet. We planned around the Illinois home football schedule (home games the next three weeks...) and found that yesterday was going to fit the bill perfectly--and it would be far enough in front of her birthday on the calendar that she'd never suspect.

Earlier in the week I enlisted Joyce to ask to keep the kids, which would conveniently leave us kidless for a Friday. And I made sure that we carpooled yesterday so there was no way she could leave work early and go home or anything like that. After her mom asked to keep the kids, she brought up going out after work on Friday several times, and of course I seemed quite non-enthusiastic about it.

Then after work yesterday I suggested going to have a beer. "Why don't we go to the wings place in Savoy?" she asked. "How about Esquire?" I replied. When we finally got to downtown Champaign she said something about going to Mike and Molly's tavern for bloody marys. "How about Esquire?"

It was a lot of fun. We stayed at the Esquire for a little while and then headed to the Philo Tavern, which is about halfway home. We met up with Tony and Julie there. After Philo Tavern we headed a little closer to home and stopped at the Longview Tavern. We finally ended up at the Call 'Em Inn and stayed there until closing time. It was a hoot.

Anyway. I made a pot of chili this afternoon (after going and playing 9 holes of golf, of course), and it is spicy. Em is staying the night with a friend so the redhead and the boy and I are going to sit on the couch and watch some movies this evening. I'm looking forward to it.

Oh, and I'm ready to quit school again. Just thought I'd throw that out there....

Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2007, 9:31 pm
Mood: Happy | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


Observations

In the Spring, when the temperature is 60 degrees outside, students will be wearing t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sandals, and be all over the quad throwing frisbees and rollerblading.

In the Fall, when the temperature is 60 degrees outside, students are all wearing jeans and hooded sweatshirts, and look all scrunched up as they hurry to class as fast as they can to get out of the cold.

Interesting.

So on the way back from our trip to Findley Lake over the summer, we stopped and stayed the night in Columbus, Ohio. It was about the halfway point, which made sense, and I wanted to briefly visit Ohio State University.

I got the kids t-shirts and got a sweatshirt for me and the redhead to share, and we got on the road and headed home.

Today was the second time I've worn that sweatshirt.

Let me back up a second and say that I like to "collect" (not really, but for wont of a better word...) sweatshirts from colleges, but I somehow only consider it legitimate if I have actually visited there. I'm not going to go to the store in the mall and buy a USC sweatshirt.

But I went to Ohio State, and I got a sweatshirt.

Several years ago I visited Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Technically I was there "on business." I left the meeting after "my part" was over with, had lunch with a friend, got myself a sweatshirt, and headed home (7 hours--ugh).

Another of my dorky habits/preferences, is that if I'm going to get a sweatshirt, it should be in the colors of the school. We used to have dark green sweatshirts with Illinois in white, and while they looked nice, they should be orange and blue. (Well, and have the Chief on them...). So I got a red sweatshirt with white and gray print at Ohio State, and I got a bright gold sweatshirt with "crimson" (I believe) print from Iowa State. Let's just say I'll be easily spotted if I'm out in a snowstorm or something. (Not that orange isn't visible or anything...)

I've worn the Iowa State shirt many times over the past few years, and the only negative comment I got was from Antonio at Bamba, and that was only because he failed to make the distinction between Iowa State and U. of Iowa. I tried to assure him that I think the Iowa State folks don't care much for the U. of Iowa folks any more than we do, and he seemed to be okay with that.

My point of all of this? Both times I've worn the Ohio State sweatshirt I've caught grief from people.

Once was at the country club down the street (déja vu? Have I mentioned that before?). At any rate, I was quite aware that of the six or seven people in the room at the time, I was the only one not giving me grief about the sweatshirt, and I'm almost positive that I was the only one in the room that actually went to, and graduated from, the University of Illinois.

So this afternoon I stop at a grocery store in Urbana to get a bottle of wine. And as I'm leaving, one of the baggers says to me "There he is... Big Ohio State fan, huh?"

Uh, no. Not at all.

"Yeah, sure." Chuckle.

No. Not really. I just visited there once and got a sweatshirt.

And I walked out of the store.

It's not like we have a huge rivalry with Ohio State--certainly not any more than we have with any other school in the Big Ten. We don't even play them in football this weekend (actually, we play Iowa--heh...).

It's not like I was wearing a sweatshirt that said Michigan on it...

And yes, I do plan to wear my Ohio State sweatshirt the weekend that they play Michigan. Although I'm guessing it won't be too much of a contest this year.

Anyway. Not too much of a point to all of this. Sorry for boring everybody....

(At least I've gotten over this whole hacker thing....)

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2007, 10:10 pm
Mood: Happy | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


Insomnia

Yes, I'm still losing sleep over this hacker business.

And yes, the server is still just fine. No more intrusions. No more attempts at intrusions. It's almost too quiet.

I submitted a five-page report to campus security yesterday afternoon about the whole thing, even though they didn't ask for it and quite frankly probably won't even look at it. It made me feel better to write it all down, though, and will hopefully give me some closure.

Of course this was after writing a paper about the stacheldraht distributed denial-of-service attack for my Network Intrusion class. Yeah, I don't think it is exactly irony, but it is sort of funny that the semester I take Network Intrusion I actually have one. Sheesh.

And then there was this today--good timing.

(Even though I'm now pretty certain that it wasn't SQL injection that got me--I think it was a PHP/apache thing related to my stupidity that was allowing apache permission to write files to the web directory....).

That's all it was. I stupidly removed read and execute permissions for "everybody" on the old server, but since apache was running as user "nobody" it didn't matter.

On the new server, with those same permissions, no web pages would appear, because user "apache" didn't have permissions--e.g. "everybody" couldn't see the files, and that included apache. So I stupidly added apache to group "web." Now the web pages worked, but group "web" also had write permissions on the files, which meant that so did user apache.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

But it is fixed now. Global read permissions are now set correctly, and apache isn't a group of anyone anymore.

That was it. That was the vulnerability. And it is fixed.

Go back to bed. Sheesh.

The problem now is that we're still waiting for Google to purge the search results. I've made the proper requests and done the proper robots.txt thing. 3-5 business days sometimes just isn't fast enough. (And if you want to know what I'm talking about, and know what site it is I'm talking about, go there and type "webcam" in the search field and you'll see what it is I'm concerned about--please note that none of the links that are returned work, it's just the descriptions that are a problem....)

At least fall is finally here. Although I did remind everyone at dinner tonight that I think we had the a/c on like four or five short days ago...

But I'm not turning the heat on until at least November--and you can take that to the bank! (Hmm, I initially was thinking that was a dorky Robocop reference, but now that I think about it that might be from a Steven Seagal movie??--Yeah, it was Hard to Kill...)

So it's almost 5:00. Do I attempt to go back to bed, and possibly incur the wrath of the redhead if I wake her up, or do I just take a shower and "be up for the day"?

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2007, 9:42 am
Mood: Exhausted | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


6-4-6-5-5-4-5-6-5

How fitting that on my birthday I finally break 50. And I'll admit--I took a couple of mulligans, but neither were out of bounds, so at worst it would have been a 48. I smoked the ball this afternoon.

Basically, I'm having fun at golf. It's becoming the background activitiy that I always hoped it would be.

If that doesn't make sense, let me put it this way.... I started this year hitting in the 60s for nine holes. I got down to the upper 50s. Then I started consistently hitting mid-50s. But when I used to get a 54 thanks to a couple of totally lucky holes to offset a couple of really crappy holes, now I'm hitting low-50s with no bad mistakes, and a pretty steady gameplay. And today I happened to have a few holes where I was somewhat skilled and somewhat lucky and got some breaks and managed to break 50. It felt quite good.

I broke fifty, but I haven't yet broken forty, even though I'm now one year closer.

We had a wonderful dinner last night to "celebrate" my turning 38. Steaks on the grill, shrimp scampi, bread, salad, Blackhawk dressing, and a quite tasty bottle of 57 Pound Rooster Pinot Noir.

The Bears won against the nasty Packers, in Green Bay. Illinois defeated number five Wisconsin and is now ranked in the top 20. The Cubs got swept. The Yankees got eliminated. And I broke 50. How cool is that?

I'm still losing sleep over this whole server hack thing, unfortunately. I've been keeping close tabs on my server logs, even from home the past four days, and the problem is definitely fixed, but I still am unsettled by all of this. I am going to submit a full report to campus security tomorrow explaining what I think happened, and what I've done to plug the holes, but to be honest--they won't read it or really care. I don't have any critical information on my server (no student grades or information, and certainly no social security numbers) so while they were mildly concerned that I fix the problem, it's not anything that was that critical. But it will hopefully give me closure to write up an explanation of everything that happened and how I've more than plugged whatever gaps there might have been.

Okay, I need to go to bed. Back to work tomorrow...

Posted: Tuesday, October 09, 2007, 4:53 am
Mood: Great! | 3 comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Hey, Hey, Whaddya Say...

...the Cubs are gonna get swept today!

And would you look at that--the Fighting Illini won their FIFTH in a row today, knocking off FIFTH ranked Wisconsin, who up until this point had the longest running win streak in NCAA football.

Illinois wins, surprisingly. Cubs lose, not very surprisingly.

It's a good day.

Go Indians! (and yes, feel free to read WHATEVER you want into that....)

(Oh, and the "Russians" are actually in Ukraine. But whatever.)

Posted: Sunday, October 07, 2007, 1:33 am
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Russians!

Hmm. While the hackers IP address doesn't resolve when I try it today, yesterday it resolved to an address that ended in ".ru".

It appears that entry was gained via SQL injection, though I'm still not quite sure exactly what happened.

From there they uploaded a PHP file manager, and then it was all over but the crying.

And they were stupid--the only reason they got caught was because Google's spidering bot was hammering away at my server looking for multiple instances of the same page, and that's probably what sent up the red flag at the campus level.

I'm much more locked down now. I've blocked 194.143.0.0/16 from even being able to see my webserver now. And as I said previously, I had already changed ssh access to only be available to my computer on my desk and my network at home.

I've removed the offending .PHP page, which will become part of my new secure administration section.

Lesson learned. Thank goodness it wasn't worse.

Go Illini!

Posted: Saturday, October 06, 2007, 5:58 pm
Mood: Recovering | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


h4xX0r3d!!

Well Grandma Helen (my father-in-law's mother) finally died on Sunday after being very sick for quite a while. We were supposed to go to Chicago today for a four-day weekend up there, but last week scrapped the plans because we weren't sure what the situation was going to be here. They had the visitation and funeral on Wednesday, followed by a short graveside ceremony.

And when we got home, I had a message on the answering machine. It was my pal Steve, who is the network administrator for our sister department, and is also listed as the backup netadmin for our department.

My new webserver had been hacked, and campus security had sent him and my netadmin and my department head a message explaining that if it wasn't fixed in four hours it was going to get yanked from the 'net at the campus level.

Whoops...

Someone had uploaded some scripting pages that linked to a bunch (and I mean a bunch) of different sites containing pornographic material. Wonderful.

Without knowing exactly what was going on, I started deleting the errant files. Which was all well and good until I noticed one of them reappear moments after I got rid of it.

service httpd stop

"Honey, I have to go to work...." I threw on a pair of shoes and drive the 25 miles to work in, well, I won't say just how much time it took to get there, but suffice it to say I don't normally get to work that quickly.

They had upload not one, but two different PHP pages that were linking to the porn sites. And weren't they clever--both files started with a "." (which is basically a "hidden" file in *nix) so they weren't easily discoverable if you weren't specifically looking for them. Of course, I was specifically looking for them because I knew what the files were (and by default, because I'm a nerd, my "ls" utility aliases to running as "ls -la" anyway, so I see everything whether it starts with a dot or not--so it wasn't that secretive...).

I found it interesting that both files were owned by user "apache." Oh boy. Did someone enter via ssh using the apache account and then uploaded the files, or are they owned by apache because someone hacked one of my many forms on my web site and used it to upload the files (which would make them owned by apache since apache is running the process httpd). I quickly did a search for anything else in the web directory that apache had touched, and found a dozen more files that had been messed with. Like, they left the bulk of the page completely intact, but at the end of the page they added a stylesheet tag to hide paragraph text from that point onward, and then listed tons and tons and tons of links. Sheesh.

Now I know that I had never changed the password for the account apache (which I did immediately at this point) but I still can't find out exactly if it has a default password or not. So I'm not sure if that's how they entered, or if that's my fault. Yet.

It gets more confusing. I screwed with the permissions of all the files on the web site when it was on the old server so that a couple of people could modify and upload a very specific set of a few pages, but not get to anything else. In screwing with all the permissions, I managed to remove read and execute permission for "everybody". However, for whatever reason the web server on the old machine was running as user "nobody" and group "-1" so it had no problem finding files. Apache on the new server is correctly running as apache (and group apache). I'm still not sure why it was ever set as "nobody" and "-1" on the other machine.

Anyway, when the whole big huge web site was moved over, none of the stylesheets could be imported, none of the images appeared, and no subpages would work. Why? Because read and execute permissions were removed on all files and directories and user apache wasn't in the group that could get to them. Confused?

Then I made a big bonehead mistake.

To get it to work, I added user apache to the group(s) that owned the files so that everything would work. What I should have done was changed each file so that it could be read and executed by "everybody."

I think this might have lead to this hack.

I removed apache from those groups. I went back and recursively re-added read and execute permissions for all the files on the web site. The web site now worked as it should (how I should have done it in the first place...).

The next step I took was I messed with iptables and told it to DROP all packets coming in to port 22 (ssh). I then added two ip addresses in for ALLOW--my computer at work and my address at home.

If I ever would have thought there could be a threat through ssh I would have done this a long time ago. So now the only way in the world that someone can connect to my server via ssh is to either be in my house or sitting at my desk. (And if I'm out of town I can always VPN in to campus, ssh into my desktop machine, and ssh into the server....).

I got home late Wednesday evening. I watched for activity for most of the night, and didn't sleep well. I got up early Thursday and headed in to continue seeing what I could find out and doing what more I could to lock things down.

There were a bunch of version 3 PHP pages for a set of FAQ pages that never worked right that were from before I even worked there--I dumped those. I got rid of all the "hey someone is trying to send me an attachment bigger than 5 megs and it's getting bounced at campus--can you make an upload page for them so that they can get it to us?" pages. Each required a simple password, but still, none were probably very secure.

I created an admin directory on the web site, and told apache to redirect all http traffic to that directory to https. I'll use log-ins and passwords from a single centralized place now to upload items to databases, etc., rather than having multiple thrown-together systems for different things.

This is all stuff I probably should have done in the first place. But my job involves me quickly hurrying to fiinish one project so that I can get to the next one--I'm not always afforded the time to slow down and really think about what I'm doing. That sounds bad, and it's not really that bad.

I would say that what I do now is appropriate. The problem is that I have stuff that I did three or four or five years ago when I didn't know as much that I haven't had time to go back and "fix."

Everything else is coming to a halt for the time being, and this is going to get taken care.

My next step is to pour through my log files and see if I can't find out how they really did get in.

How embarrassing. I told the redhead last night that I feel totally violated. I guess it could have been lots, lots worse.....

Posted: Friday, October 05, 2007, 7:52 pm
Mood: Worn Out | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


Credit Union, Take Two

So remember the other day when I said I had to drive to the credit union in Champaign to deposit some money to cover the mortgage?

Well, our mortgage payment went up $26 last month because our property taxes, which are in escrow, went up $300 or so last year, and they had to increase our payment to cover the new tax amount. When I got the letter from the mortgage company I thought it was no big deal--the amount we pay every month includes an "extra" amount that goes straight to principal (basically I just rounded up to the next nearest $100). And that "extra" amount is greater than $26. So I figured the amount that gets taken from my savings account won't change because we have that cushion built in--we'll just be paying less "extra" every month.

I was wrong.

The "extra" amount stayed the same, and our payment went up, so the total amount the mortgage company was expecting to take from my savings account was $26 higher than it had been. And as can be guessed (or else I wouldn't be talking about this) I didn't have much in there--I was short by $12. So the credit union bonged the payment, and added insult to injury by charging me a $25 fee.

Well, my father-in-law's mother finally passed away over the weekend, and the visitation and funeral are today, so I took the day off of work.

I called the mortgage company last night and they said it was no big deal, that they'd just attempt to re-draft the money once they realized on their end that it didn't go through the first time.

Groan. So once again I had to get up, run to the bank in town and get money out of our account there and then hurry up to Champaign to cover the $25 fee and the $26 overage amount before the mortgage company decides to "try again."

It looks like I beat the mortgage company to the punch, but seriously, what a pain in the neck.

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 3:29 pm
Mood: Mildly Perturbed | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


The Chicago Cubs

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and have been somewhat of a lifelong White Sox fan. I say "somewhat" because I really don't care for baseball all that much. It seems much more tedious to me than football, basketball, or even hockey. But at the end of the day, if asked who I cheer for, it'd be the Sox.

Now for most of my childhood, being a "fan" of the second team of the second city has brought a slight amount of mild ridicule from that larger group of "other" fans--the Cubs fans. And that was sort of silly, considering both teams haven't done much to speak of in the past five or six decades.

Oh, wait. We won the World Series two years ago.

How cool was that? Take that, Cubs fans!

Unfortunately, the Cubs won their division this year (only because the Brewers stunk slightly worse) and it seems that Cubs fans have already assumed that this is their year--it's destiny. The Sox won the series two years ago and the hated Cardinals won it last year, so now it must be time for the Cubbies.

Unfortunately, the two years in which I've been able to wear a White Sox t-shirt with pride have been too short. If the Cubs win the Series, I fear that all memories of Chicago's second teams' achievement will be once again shoved to the back of the bus. And I'm not ready for that.

So as much as I have many friends that are fans of the lovable losers, I do hope that they blow it in the playoffs again this year (with or without the help of another Steve Bartman...). I was never too smug about the Sox winning the series, but I can't imagine what it will be like around here if the damn Cubs finally shake their curse and win one.

But seriously--it's the Cubs. I don't think I have anything to worry about.....

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 9:24 am
Mood: Ambivalent | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


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