Monthly Archives: November 2009

Trouble at the Borders

Borders is having a bad time in the US – $39M Loss in Q3 – and seems to be going broke in the UK.

Which is a shame, as I find their book stores a lot nicer than Barnes & Noble, which always seem cloned and unfriendly. But I can't say I'm surprised: we used to go to the local Borders on US 1 in Kendall a couple times a month. Oddly, no matter what we bought, the bill was just about the same — and fairly high. (Then we looked to run out of wall space for bookcases.) In time, we started making aggressive use of the excellent Miami library system, filling in the gaps with Amazon. And Borders lost a lot of business.

So it's probably our fault.

Posted in Shopping | 9 Comments

No Gavels in English Courts? But I Saw it on the BBC

According to Marcel Berlins, English judges have never had gavels, despite what you routinely see on the BBC.

He is not amused.

(via The Magistrate's Blog)

Posted in UK | 1 Comment

Coming Soon to a Country Near You?

The Ultimate Horror flic.

(From SNL)

There's a lot that rings true in the broad-brush parts Matt Tabbi's latest screed although I take exception to the most vicious bits, like the line about Palin “having the brains of an innertube.”

No, Palin is stupid like Ronald Reagan was stupid. Which certainly makes her smart enough to be dangerous.

Posted in Politics: US | 2 Comments

Flu Shot

We got our Swine Flu shots today — except the youngest, who had gotten the live nasal vaccine in school a few days ago.

The rest of us got the shots through UM, which is vaccinating employees and their children. The Sunday operation was run with extreme efficiency; we were in and out of there in minutes. Unlike most of the other flu shots I've had, which were mostly painless, this one aches some when I pick stuff up. Dr. Anapol, the director of the campus health service, was on hand to fuss over the operation in person; he told me they've already vaccinated more than 5,000 people this season.

I had the regular seasonal shot several weeks ago, so I've done my bit for herd immunity.

Posted in Science/Medicine | Comments Off on Flu Shot

Annals of Phishing

For a minute there I thought I'd gotten my first phishing email from Iran. But after a look at the headers, I think maybe not?

Received: from ([]) by with Microsoft SMTPSVC;
Sun, 22 Nov 2009 18:28:14 -0500
Received: from ([])
by with ESMTP id 5202001.34032630;
Sun, 22 Nov 2009 18:27:46 -0500
Received: from localhost (localhost.localdomain [])
by (Postfix) with ESMTP id CAFB3D74D7E;
Mon, 23 Nov 2009 02:56:57 +0330 (IRST)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
Received: from ([])
by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024)
with ESMTP id egIez7IMCKAL; Mon, 23 Nov 2009 02:56:57 +0330 (IRST)
Received: from ( [])
by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 8333DD74D4B;
Mon, 23 Nov 2009 02:56:52 +0330 (IRST)
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 02:56:47 +0330 (IRST)
From: OWA Management Group
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Account Update
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Originating-IP: []
X-Mailer: Zimbra 5.0.16_GA_2921.RHEL4 (zclient/5.0.16_GA_2921.RHEL4)
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

It all looks very convincing…the IP numbers in the top part are Iranian. I might believe except for that last little bit, the X-Originating-IP … that comes from Comcast here in the US of A. Whether it went via Iran, or most of it is a forgery, I can't quite tell, as it's odd that this IP number doesn't appear anywhere else. I suppose another possibility is that it really is Iranian, and someone forged the X-Originating-IP to make it look like it came from Comcast, but I'm not sure why they would bother.

Posted in Internet | 4 Comments

I Went to a Party

Here's what I did this afternoon:


More details at Soul of Miami and Sex and the Beach.

It was a good party – met Mustang Bobby and saw the Miami Beach 411 crowd — always the life of the party. Plus I met the Genius of Despair (but not, alas, Gimleteye, with whom it seems I may have a few things in common.

There was a loud band, which I would enjoyed more under other circumstances. The folks at Graziano's were pouring lethal rum-and-cokes; I haven't seen ratios like that since college. One glass and it was canapes for me, trying to soak up the booze. And they were good canapes too, especially the beef. I've only ever been to the Graziano's on Bird Road, which I recall for excellent, if pricey meat. Judging from the samples, the excellence is repeated at the Brickell location.

And then I came home to watch the taped second half of the UM game. But the DVR stopped taping with only a few minutes left in the game. I saw the bad call(s) that deflated Duke. I saw Berry run and and run and run to score. And I saw Hankerson pull it in. But apparently I missed a great interception and scoring run by Sharpton. At least it was on the ESPN highlight reel.

Posted in Blogs | Comments Off on I Went to a Party