More FetishCon ’04 fun stuff!

Yep, still more yummy goodness from FetishCon ’04. Friday night, datan0de went with Shelly and I, our roommate, and his girlfriend to the Fetish Factory party, which was a lot of fun. We ran into a bunch of friends there, including someone I haven’t seen in quite a while, who I ran into later at the convention proper.

The Fetish Factory parties are strict-dress-code affairs (fetishwear only), which actually helps to create a very immersive atmosphere–it was a lot more fun than I’d predicted. Pics of Shelly and I and our roommate’s girlfriend, as usual not work-safe

A quote…

…ruthlessly ganked from skitten‘s journal:

There are two kinds of people — those who finish what they start and so on.”
                  –Robert Byrne

I have tons and tons of pics and stories about FetishCon still to post, but I’m running late and likely won’t be able to for a while, so instead I’ll just rave about a movie.

Shaun of the Dead, to be exact.

We went to see the movie last night with all the Smooshlings, and I can safely say it was by far the best zombie flick I’d seen all day. In fact, it was hands-down the best zombie romantic comedy ever filmed in London.

Seriously, it’s hysterical. Much, much funnier than I expected it to be. It’s dead-balls on target, skewering every zombie movie cliche in existance; it even gets in a little poke at Resident Evil toward the end. And it’s all brilliant deadpan stuff. Highly, highly recommended. (Pay special attention to the scene where Shaun goes to the local grocery to pick up some Coke after the zombies have started taking over London…)

FetishCon ’04: What’s more fun than hot girl-on-girl action?

Hot girl-on-girl action in full suspension, of course!

One of the high points of the convention was Lew’s demonstration of double-suspension techniques. These two clearly had a LOT of fun during the workshop, and it really showed.

One of the things I like about the kind of suspension he does is that it affords the models a tremendous amount of mobility, while still being extremely secure. Still photos don’t really do justice to just how much mobility there is; essentially, this kind of suspension allows you to do just about anything you want, only in three dimensions rather than two.

During the demonstration, he said they have yet to find a position in the Kama Sutra that can’t be done in suspension, and I’m inclined to believe him.

Note: No nudity in these pics, but still not work-safe!

FetishCon ’04: Shelly in the Spiderweb

As promised, the first round of pics from FetishCon ’04.

Shelly and I met up with a friend of ours, P, who we haven’t seen in a while. (Actually, this was a recurring theme for the weekend; I met an old friend I haven’t seen in about six years or so, and we got the opportunity to catch up, which was cool.) P was acting as DJ for the post-con party, so after things wrapped up on Saturday night, we hung out with him and met many of the people who were planning the post-con events, including Lew Rubens, who was one of the presenters and did several sessions on suspension bondage–more pics of those later. 🙂

We hung out and chilled whle they rehearsed the post-con show, which made us the only two people not connected with the show who’ve ever seen it, on account of the hurricane, which killed power to the hotel just before it was supposed to be staged. Afterward, P practiced some rope bondage on Shelly.

Anyone who’s put off by nudity or bondage probably shouldn’t click, as these pictures are SO not work-safe

Whew! Another convention, another %#$@ hurricane…

What’s the deal with hurricanes landing on Tampa every time we go to a convention?

Anyway, we’re back from FetishCon, which was huge fun–much, much, much better than either of us had anticipated (and Shelly got suspended!). I’ll be posting some decidedly not work-safe pics later.

Since the convention hotel was about ten minutes from home, we didn’t get a room, but drove back and forth to the con. We weren’t counting, of course, on getting clobbered by the latest hurricane, so by the end of the weekend, things were getting a bit tricky…we were, quite literally, dodging debris in the road (including fallen traffic lights, road signs, trees, and the like) each way. We didn’t suffer any real damage, and didn’t even lose power, thought the hotel did. My office got a bit flooded, too.

Good news: Logged on to one of the net-admin newsgroups I read this morning (where I had posted this saga of a spammer named Art Schwartz and my dealings with his Web hosting firm), and discovered that the resulting backlash against Hopone Internet was great enough, and enough people chose to blacklist Hopone as a result, that Hopone threw in the towel and terminated Art and his Web site permanently. Y’know, I wonder if he realizes I would never have made such a big stink of it if he hadn’t started emailing me death threats.

And just for fun:

I amNyarlathotep!

The 999 forms of Nyarlathotep are a point of meditation for the true initiate. It is through these manifold faces that the secrets of the universe are made known. Called “The Crawling Chaos”, Nyarlathotep is the disembodied ego of Azathoth and thus the universal “I” of known reality. Some of the many documented forms are; Father of Knives, Nephren-Ka, the Black Man, the Beast of the Lashing Tongue to name a few.

Which Great Old One are you?

The return of Art Schwartz: a sordid tale

Many of you already know the backstory of this tale. Namely:

Periodically for the past couple of years, I and other readers of newsgroups like,, and the like have been spammed by a particularly slimy spammer named Art Schwartz, who collects email addresses from graphics-related newsgroups and spams his Web site,, where he says one can get Photoshop and other high-ticket graphics apps for $29.95. It’s a scam, of course; he’s a credit card fraudster, not a pirate, and those dumb enough to fall for the bait get (1) a list of pirate Web sites and (2) big credit card bills.

He’s been hosted by an outfit called Cove Software Systems (“Covesoft”) for years. Covesoft has for years ignored LARTs and permitted him to spam. Recently, as these sorts of outfits do, Covesoft went titsup and got bought by Superb Internet, the retail marketing arm of Hopone. So when some spam showed up in my main email address and one of my spamtrap addresses, I sent ’em along to Superb’s abuse address.

The next day, I get a rash of threatening emails, as documented here, from the spammer. Okay, that’s not cool–so I pick up the phone and have a nice long chat with a person at Superb who identified himself as the head of their abuse department.

The good bits:
The person I spoke to claimed Superb/Hopone have strict zero-tolerance spam policies. Okay, I ask, why is this Web site still up? We haven’t received any complaints, he says. Ah, but you have, I tell him, from me, on thus and such a date, with these headers–would you like me to send you the spam again? Oh, yes, we have received complaints, he says, but our policy is not to take any action unless we receive a number of complaints from different people. You have, I say–I can give you the email addresses of about a half-dozen Usenet readers who’ve LARTed you, there’s a conversation on one of the Photoshop newsgroups about it right now.

So then he says, Well, the official policy of my bosses is that as long as our customers pay their bills, they can do anything they want, so long as what they’re doing is not illegal and doesn’t get us into SPEWS or Spamhaus. Sez I, spamming addresses scraped from newsgroups is illegal, the CAN-SPAM law is right on point about this. You’re right, it is, I’ll pull the site right now, he says, and sure enough, stops resolving that afternoon.

Fast forward to earlier this week, when I get an email from in my mailbox. The email says We have put back online. If you feel this customer is doing something illegal, contact the police, not us. The business relationship between Hopone Internet and this customer is none of your business. Do not email us again.

So, just for the record: Hopone/Superb Internet are black-hat spam supporters. No reasonable person should touch them with a ten-foot pole–which is, of course, why you’ll find criminals like Art Schwartz using them.

The normal course of a spam-supporting business is to go bankrupst. When it happens to Hopone, it can’t be soon enough.

It’s 9:02; do you know where your computer’s been?

So. I went to a client’s site this afternoon to set up several brand-new Power Mac G5 systems. Apple Cinema Displays, Adobe Creative Suite Professional, Quark 6, the works. Beautiful systems; I wish I had one.

And then the client asked me to look at his Windows XP laptop, because it’s been “acting funny.”

He has broadband at his house. He’s never run Windows Update.

It’s after 9:00 at night and I’m still here. Why am I still here? 1,524 copies of the W32/Bagle.z virus and counting. Plus about 6,000,000 Windows security updates that need to be installed. And did you know that Bagle blocks Windows Update from doing its job? Isn’t that lovely?

If you are reading this on a Windows computer, and you have never run Windows Update on your computer, you are infected with a virus. Or more likely, thousands of viruses. Yes, I mean YOU. Right now, the average life expectancy of an unpatched Windows box connected to the Internet is less than twenty minutes.

I could be at game night right now. I could be hanging out with cool people and playing Are You a Werewolf? But no.

Immortality Ho!

Shelly finished all her Alcor paperwork today! datan0de and I witnessed it, so it’s all signed and notarized and ready to go. She should have her bracelet soon, and I’m getting started on my own paperwork soon as well.

We’re thinking of having a party when Shelly gets her bracelet, and another when I get mine, because hey, two parties!

A peek into the future

I’ve been looking for a new programming project, since I haven’t really felt like doing any more TCP/IP programming for a while, and I finally decided to make a program that could predict the future.

It’s a simple matter, really. If you know the basic laws of motion, and you see a ball rolling across a table, you can use the laws of motion to predict that the ball will fall off the edge of the table if it’s going fast enough. Applying the same basic idea to a larger system, if you know all the laws of physics, and you can create a model of the entire world, you can use the model to predict the future, right?

So that’s exactly what I did. I wrote a program that would simulate every subatomic particle in the solar system (I decided not to model the entire universe, because I’m running the simulation on a 600MHz iMac), and set it up to show me what will happen in the future. Among the more surprising discoveries:

In the future, cows and other barnyard animals will be converted to run on natural gas, a clean, renewable energy source.

In the future, supplies of gravity, once thought to be a limitless natural resource, will diminish until the government has to start rationing gravity. People with an even numbered street address get to use gravity on even numbered days of the month, people with odd-numbered street addresses can only use gravity on odd numbered days of the month. $500 fine for using gravity on the wrong day.

In the future, a balloon animal will be elected mayor of Washington, DC, and surprisingly, its ideas on economic reform will prove to be very popular.

In the future, mimes will be driven to the brink of extinction by unlicensed poachers, and nobody will really care.

In the future, money will be printed on aluminum foil, because it’s much shinier than paper.

Carpe motherfuckin’ Diem, Part II: Sunday

So Sunday morning rolls around:

Shelly: Let’s go to Disney World today!
Me: Mrrruuuuuuughh. Unf? Rrargh murgle muuuuuuuuh.
Shelly: Let’s go to Disney World today!
Me: Muuuh? Uuuuuuunfg…what time is it?
Shelly: I don’t know. Let’s go to Disney World today!
Me: Muuuuuuuuuugh something something something okay!

So we went to Disney World…and had a blast. The crowds were very light, no lines in front of the rides, the weather was mild, and we stayed until the park closed.

Got back home in plenty of time for me to set up a Gmail account, for no reason other than everyone else is doing it. The address is urban.decay at, just in case anyone’s interested. (“Chaos.theory,” “entropy,”and “evil.genius” were already taken, dammit.)