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Michael Gracie

“Comply with all crew member instructions” and then some

FACTS: People all over will travel all over this holiday season. They will stuff themselves with holiday joy. They will feign appreciation for useless gifts. They will complain about service, especially that purveyed by airlines.

This is but a public service message reminding everyone to comply with all crew member instructions, as well as those printed on the wing of the plane …

do not step out of this area

DO NOT STEP OUT OF THIS AREA (Photo: Yours Truly)

MG signing off (’cause that next one is a doosie)

Plugging mcrypt into PHP on macOS Sierra 10.12

We climbed up then down El Capitan, yet little changed. We’re still in the Sierras, and there’s still work to do.

The following instructions are for peeps a) developing on macOS Sierra 10.12, b) need mcrypt for their PHP development i.e. PHPMyAdmin and/or encrypting personally identifiable data before storage (unlike your health insurer, Yahoo! and/or pretty much every other knucklehead out there), and c) do not want to recompile PHP or run MAMP. Mcrypt will load dynamically with PHP after completing this tutorial.

We begin by acquiring the following stuffs …

1) libmcrypt-2.5.8, which you can find here; download by clicking the one of the two file links (author used “libmcrypt-2.5.8.tar.gz”);

2) PHP 5.6.24 source code, which is available here; [NOTE: you may someday update OS X beyond 10.12, and PHP may get updated along with it; the author used 10.12, and PHP 5.6.24 was included with that OS version. If necessary use php -v to check your version of PHP and then download the PHP source for that version.];

3) Xcode 8.0, which you can get from the App Store. You will also need the Command Line Tools (macOS 10.12) for Xcode, which you get by selecting “Xcode/Open Developer Tool/More Developer Tools…” from the Xcode menu, then logging into your Apple Developer account (yea you need one of those too); and

4) Homebrew (http://brew.sh) which can be installed by typing ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/ install/master/install)" at the command line.

But before we really wind up, let’s turn off System Integrity Protection (SIP):

  1. Click the Apple menu (upper left hand corner of your screen)
  2. Select Restart, then hold down the Command-R keys to boot into Recovery Mode
  3. Select the Utilities menu and then Terminal
  4. In Terminal, type csrutil disable and then hit return; then close Terminal
  5. Click the Apple menu and select Restart

NOTE: When you are done installing mcrypt, you can restart SIP by following the above steps while substituting csrutil enable in step 4.

Proceed.

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Very Average Naknek River Rainbow Trout

Could be considered trophies most anywhere else, but quite average as Naknek River, Alaska rainbow trout are concerned. The fact they are taken sight casting into smolt feeding frenzies puts them in a class all by themselves.

Piggy …

averagenaknekrainbow1

After piggy …

averagenaknekrainbow2

Busted with these …

naknekrainbowflies

MG signing off (a true believer in the power of smolt busts)

Debt crazy. Make that insanity.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Grant Williams does a heck of a job explaining the situation

MG signing off (because owing nothing means you can)

Blocking Facebook, Completely

A long while back I deleted my Facebook account. Yes it was a large pain in the ass, but not nearly as bothersome as the potential risk of having such a thoroughly untrustworthy group – downright devious if you consider they change their privacy terms seemingly by the hour – holding a constantly updated dossier of oneself. I have avoided the site like the plague since. If I accidentally passed by I would immediately clear browsing history and caches.

Nevertheless, a few months back I observed browser cookies showing up from Facebook, so I added a Little Snitch rule to block all processes for facebook.com.

fb-ls-rule

Soon after I noticed that Instagram photos embedded in sites no longer displayed in my browser. Bonus! I was henceforth free from drunken selfies, cat gonads, and $30 spinach salads laden with moldy cheese and anchovies.

But the question lingered: How many other points of entry might not be blocked here? After all it’s a huge ‘organization’, and they’ve probably conjured a myriad of stealthy domains for the purpose of pinging, tracking, recording, and otherwise intruding. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one asking.

Enter one Jonathan Dugan, technology consultant and entrepreneur from the Bay area. He offers a blocklist for Facebook, via Github, and from the looks of it is an extremely thorough one indeed. Over 880 distinct domains, one heck of a long list.

dugan-github

It is constructed for use on Windows, Mac and Linux; all you need capability-wise is editing your computer’s host file. You can find this dream come true right here.

process-blocked-lsThank you sir.

Meanwhile, I’ve downloaded and edited this blocklist, removing the loopback IP addresses so it can be utilized easily within Little Snitch. You can find that here (plain text 26kb, which will not be updated past today). 100% credit goes to the previously mentioned originator, and copy/paste works like a charm.

MG signing off (safe from prying eyes)

The Little Scott Radian 753/4 That Could

gear bagIn early 2013 I received a package. The note within said “play casually with the contents, and if you find the time drop us a few words summarizing your thoughts”. So yours truly delivered back some long-winded blather a dissertation, finely detailed results of functionality testing across a myriad of conditions. The subject of the study was a generic nine-foot five that would later become the infamous Scott Radian. Breaking the non-disclosure agreement was an afterthought.

Then the inquiries began. “What if you built this same rod in a three-weight, say sub-eight feet?” “Hey, any thoughts on a 3-weight Radian?” “Don’t you think a Radian Three would be the coolest?”

YOURS TRULY: Man, a fast-action rod with this kind of sensitivity, this tippet-protection, seems perfectly suited for a light-line … uh um … three-weight rod, eh?

ANYONE WITH THE FACTORY’S NUMBER IN THEIR PHONE: Jeezus, will you shut the hell up about that already?!

I will now.

Now will you? Please?

What should a three-weight be able to do? First off, keep 6x-8x tippet intact. Add covering ten to twenty feet with minimal effort. Plus, make do with small flies on standard leaders. But what if it the angler wielding it could also stretch to twice that distance, entice the bite with fluffy terrestrial patterns, and tangle with fish bigger than a six-inch Colorado River cuttie?

“We thought you would leave us alone.”

Fat chance.

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Man’s Best Friends

Presented without further comment …

MG signing off (as promised)

Improving your iPhone’s indoor reception with Wi-Fi calling and some basic network trickery

No shot against AT&T here, but the reception in my home office sucks. It’s probably just the combination of zombie-proof glass, the custom kevlar/copper mesh in the walls, and the tin foil hat I wear, but I called the carrier about it anyway. They suggested I buy one of those mini cell site jobs for ninety bucks. Instead I spent several times that amount for a new phone because I heard it was capable of Wi-Fi calling i.e. using my internet connection to make and receive calls. Sure enough it seemed it was …

phonescreenshot1x

Unfortunately, even after upgrading the network I still experienced warbled voices and dropped calls, meaning pineapple and broccoli pizza showing up at my neighbor’s door. Very bad.

However, all was not lost. With a little network trickery – mostly tinkering with IP addressing and port forwarding – I was able to get consistent Wi-Fi calling. Crystal clear with near zero drops, and my favorite Chinese takeout joint is again accepting my orders. Very good.

Note that the instruction that follow were done using a plain vanilla iPhone 6s and an Airport Extreme, but that doesn’t mean the general premise won’t work with a Samsung Galaxy and old Linksys gear. All is being provided in as layman-esque terms as possible for this reason; technical types providing commentary such as “you didn’t define NAT correctly” will be punished via intentional disregard. Further, everything that follows assumes you have Wi-Fi calling activated. If not, read the instructions here for getting it running.

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Featherweight

When someone dockside hands you a five-weight, you smile and give thanks. Then turn and hand it to the guide, while rolling your eyes.

But the wind hovered under 8 kts, and the initial gesture was followed by a convincing “don’t fear it, just try it.”

Will do, Mr. Cook

Will do, Mr. Cook

Walking a flat with tools better suited for trout feels kinda bad ass. Especially when there are surprises.

MG signing off (to rethink the whole eight-weight thing)

Tight Quarters

Plenty of places to hide, but nowhere to run …

Bonefish (and snappers) were caught here

Bonefish (and snappers) were caught here

20 pound tippet, drag cranked down hard, and quick reflexes. With six-weights.

MG signing off (because shits and giggles were the order of the day)