Friday, March 25, 2005

Along came a spider...

Here's the scene:

I'm finishing up breakfast in the kitchen. Good Friday in Canada is a stat holiday, so we're home with the munchkins. The children are playing quietly in the living room. Suddenly, there's a commotion. No, they're not fighting, and no one has "accidentally" stepped on anyone else. Nothing like that. Rather, our daughter has spotted a spider walking across the ceiling, and has enlisted her younger brother's help to visually track it while she runs to the kitchen to fetch Dad the Spider Eradicator.

Dad grabs a tissue from a nearby box and follows spider-phobic little girl to the scene of the arachnid intruder. The eight-legged dude has arrived at the crown molding and is sitting (standing?) on a spot directly above the kids' computer. Dad grabs a chair and assesses the tactical situation. He usually tries to get them out of the house bloodlessly, but this one refuses to play along. It doesn't move when the tissue is placed next to it.

This is bad: a spider that won't cooperate can easily make a run for it, rapelling down a quickly-spun line of silk into some never-to-be-seen-again hiding place inside a dusty piece of computer equipment. No, says Dad, not today. After what seems like hours but is more likely 30 seconds, Dad squishes the intransigent insect (murderer!) and wipes the spot a couple of times to ensure there are no spider-guts left behind.

Daughter cries, "Ew, there's blood there." Dad confirms, no, it's just a shadow on the edge of the molding. The spider is very much an ex-spider, and all of him (her? it?) is now firmly stuck in the folds of the tissue.

Formerly-squeamish children suddenly lose their fear and become very curious children. They must visually confirm the deceased state of the spider, and insist that father opens up the tissue and shows them.

"!" They both ooh and aah over the state of their father's recently-dispatched victim as they all meander over to the bathroom for the ritual flushing.

The tissue is tossed in. The lever is flushed. The children wave and say goodbye as it circles the bowl before beginning its inevitable trip down sewage pipe lane.

Once it's obvious that spidey is good and gone, the children turn around and go back to their toys on the living room floor. Crisis averted.

End scene.


Exzite said...

See, this is what I'm talking about. Who the hell wants to read this stuff? No one in the world could possibly care that you killed a spider. Do you want a medal?

vegemiterules said...

What the devil is going on here, cannot we talk about what we want to talk about, if you do not like it, leave, do not comment, just leave!!! I have run across heaps of blogs where I might find what they have to say does not connect with me, I do not leave a negative comment, I graciously leave

carmilevy said...

Welcome, exzite. So glad you could join us and share your thoughts. I must admit, I've never had someone take the time to put up a hate site about me. Most folks usually blow their wad in e-mail and leave it at that, so I'll give you credit for investing the time and energy in letting the world know how much you despise what I write.

If you think you're the first, or will be the last to not like my writing, think again. You obviously have lots of courage hiding behind an alias. Takes guts: I'm sure your demeanor would change significantly if I were standing in front of you. Ya think?

Somewhat bizarrely, It's flattering: you have nothing better to do than crank out thousands of words about someone you obviously do not like. Most people would simply find something else to do, yet you devote hours and hours to this purposeless pursuit. We're all so impressed. Do you work or study? When DO you find the time?

I'm going to leave it up so everyone who visits my blog can read your output and make their own assessment. Suffice to say your mother would not be proud.

BTW, for anyone interested, exzite visits us through, from an IP address in the 67.171.76.XX range.

psuche said...

I liked the story. It is just one out of many fun incidents where children and their parents share a moment.

Hey exzite, Blog means personal web log. So this story is personal, on the web and is a log of events. What are you looking for? Read CNN if you want the latest stories - which I might add probably are less interesting than Carmi's account of his day.

Chris said...

For the record, I enjoy your family stories more than anything else you write. As well as being very entertaining, they remind me of all the small moments with my own children that might otherwise pass unnoticed. said...! LOL - Sounds just about right.

Personally think that exzite guy is just jealous - I wouldn't worry about him.

Exzite said...

I must say I am shocked that any of you intrepid Carmi-readers were even able to see my comments. This is the first time Carmi's swift hand of censorship allowed any of my postings to reach the light of day!

While some of you might think I am a random passer-by, the truth in fact is that Carmi and I have established somewhat of a repartee amongst ourselves under the cover of his careful comment deletions. I invite you to my Carmi 'hate site' as he amusingly calls it, for a more thorough history.

As it were, I do in fact work and study (way too much in fact), however, making fun of you, Carmi, provides a wonderful respite from long nights of arduous work. You'll note many of my comments come time-stamped at a late hour when an amusing break from all-nighters is sorely needed.

As far as aliases go, it would seem the norm on the internet to use such an online-identity. In fact, it's probably the prudent decision in the name of sanity and/or safety. You of course, chose to promote your dubious freelance work online using your own name, rather than making the smart decision. You'll notice none of your other readers made the same juvenile mistake. Call it a lesson learned.

As a side note, I think it's remarkably witty of you to reference my IP address range in some sort of thinly veiled attempt to show off your internet savvy-ness. I'll go the extra step and tell you my actual IP address of the moment is, however, this DHCP lease will expire in about 22 hours. So, until then, I invite you and your readers to do their worst. If you bothered to traceroute the address, you'll find that the last hop source is a curb Comcast router in Pittsburgh, PA.

I feel it's probably responsible to point out the fact that my field of research is in fact, network security. How ironic is that? Also, that this above IP address is one of an open wireless access point in the middle of a college neighborhood, and shared by huge numbers of us. To take it one step further, I am behind no less than 3 layers of NAT, several hardware firewalls, and a custom hardened TCP stack. Regardless, I still invite you to give it your best shot. If you can devise some amazingly clever and heretofore unseen attack, maybe I’ll have some new conference paper material.


psuche said...


There are many like you out there on the Internet. I have a few that like to come to my blog and try to get some type of response to try and feel important. It's nothing new and will continue to be the way things are.

That being the case, finding you is really a moot point. A quick reverse lookup says you are coming out of Comcast in Mount Laurel,NJ. If you were actually a concern an e-mail to would result in which account that wireless router is hooked up to. They log the IP and time so figuring that out would be trivial. From there, since you are on at a university (and which university can be figured out by the account), a scan of the wireless routers would yield all possible access points. From there the MAC addresses registered on those access points can be traced and linked to you. Being behind several NATs and firewalls would prevent attacks but not figuring out who you are.

Like I said though, it isn't that important. If Carmi wants to remove your comments it is his blog and therefore well within his rights to remove all traces of you.

Exzite said...

Ah, but you underestimate the resourcefulness of college students today.

First of all, as I stated earlier, I'm in PA and not NJ. Secondly, there are dozens of residential (i.e non-college affiliated) wireless AP's visible from campus (hence the comcast carrier, do you really think a university would use comcast as an ISP?). Thirdly, the particular AP's we jump around on are MAC access controlled, and in fact, the only way to gain access is to packet sniff legitimate packets inbound to a particular AP, then spoof my MAC address to match and gain access to the router.

So, all that means that you'll be unable to ascertain who I am, since my MAC will come up as a legitimate user in that particular residence, and if you complain to comcast, you'll have some poor innocent family's access removed for no reason.

In fact, as Carmi will no doubt notice, this post is already bouncing from a different source IP. Good plan though!

psuche said...

They theory of Occam's Razor essentially says the simplest answer is usually the correct one. My guess is that you being an engineer and playing with network security would want as much control of your internet access as possible. It is probably your account that you are connecting from. The wireless war-driving idea is a nice touch but I don't buy it.

Again, you haven't done anything except be a nuisance. I'm not in the mood to give a lesson on computer forensics. If you were to take it up a notch and actually be worth attention then trust me when I say you can be found.

Exzite said...


It's a waste of time to even begin to try and explain to you how much of a moron you come across as.

Occam's Razor? The principle of parsimony is completely irrelevant in a situation such as this one, when I'm obviously putting effort into making my actions as illogical as possible to avoid idiots like you.

Computer forensics? Please go back to your sad little IT job, or whatever it is you do, and leave the workings of the internet to the big boys. The sad truth of the internet today, is that a truly knowledgeable user (read - not you) wishes to remain anonymous, it is impossible for anyone to do anything about it. Anonymous open proxies, open APs, zombie proxies, MAC spoofing, session hijacking... the list goes on and on. In fact, the anonymity problem is inherent to the design of the internet today, and it is precisely that problem which my fellow colleagues and I are working to solve in our doctorate research.

Please, if you're going to attempt to banter with your 'internet knowledge,' you'll have to find an opponent who hasn't spent the last 5 years of his life designing secure authenticated protocols.

Your reference to 'taking it up a notch' almost seems like a challenge. My IP of the moment is, what's yours? We’ll see just how confident you are in your knowledge of network security.

Dean said...

Wow. I, for one, am impressed by you L33t s{!llz, d00d.

You must be well hung, too.