Saturday, September 22, 2012


Life has been busy and good chez BMGM, but not often blog fodder.  If you are purely interested in sewing content, scroll to the end.

Our entire family has been taking on-line classes through Coursera, edX, and CalTech.  It's been like going back to college, without the tuition and parties.  OTOH, Bad Dad and I are taking a literature course together and every family meal is a discussion section.  Only there is no question that the cute guy with the green eyes hidden behind his glasses .is. interested in me.  ;-)

There was no school last Monday because of Rosh Hashanah.  I took Iris and three of her friends to LACMA and lunch at Rosalind's in Little Ethiopia.

Ask Mr Protocol's amaneunsis*, Mike O'Brien, sent me a tweet; we were laid off the same day and we missed each others' company.  I invited him to meet us at LACMA.   I had been taking a class about Internet History and who would be a more interesting lunch date than the person who wrote software for the ARPANET NCP-to-TCP cutover?  (ARPANET is the pre-cursor to the internet. That't the TCP of TCI/IP.)

The girls wanted to see the Egyptian display.  I wanted to see the leather bound books in the Japanese area.  Fortunately, Mike agreed to accompany the girls so I could sneak off alone.  The books are amazing and well-worth visiting.

But, the surprise is how well I planned the outing.  I had forgotten that Mike learned to read hieroglyphics as a break from ARPANET programming and then traveled around Egypt.  The kids enjoyed his company and all his stories as much as I do.

* Ask Mr Protocol was a monthly column about internet protocols and security that ran for 15 years.

The Coursera literature class is reading Cory Doctorow's novel, Little Brother, which you can download in many formats for free through this site.  I can't say enough good things about this novel.  But, it also reinforces my good taste in choice of friends as Mr Protocol wrote in March 2000,
There are two basic rules to security considerations of any sort, computerized or otherwise: 1) The effort put into security should be consonant with what you’re trying to protect, and 2) a steel front door does no good if the back wall of the house is missing. Or, putting it another way, security should be appropriately scaled, and it should be applied evenly. Sort of like a good coat of paint.

There is nothing inherently good about security. It is a negative concept: it exists, in its entirety, for purposes of prevention. In a perfect world, the entire apparatus could go away and it would be unmourned.
...after a digression on how SSL encryption for e-commerce works, my emphasis at the end...
Most people never have to move beyond that. However, if one looks around, it isn’t hard to find folks who, as much as they might wish it, don’t fall in with what “most people” need. Take email. There are the people who send things via email that they’d rather not have read by people other than the intended recipients. Some of these people are working on sensitive technology in big-money start-ups, for example, or are exchanging email about contract negotiations, email that the people on the other side of the table would just love to read. Then there are the people who need to keep their email secret from the CIA, the NSA, the NRO, the FBI, the Trilateral Commission, the UFOs and all seven clones of Lee Harvey Oswald. No, really!

Security isn’t in the eye of the beholder. It’s in the eye of the beheld.
Sewing Content
BTW, Iris is wearing Vogue 8936 and I am wearing a Frankenpattern with pieces from Vogue 1224 (skirt) and Kwik Sew 2852 (bodice). Yes, I did make Vogue 1224 straight up and will post pix and a review later.


  1. I learned to read hieroglyphs too! It makes for a fun museum experience. Once we were in the Smithsonian and I was explaining Hatshepsut to my kids and a lady contradicted me! Amused, I said I think you are mistaken. She dragged a guide over to prove her point. The guide had been at Cal too! We all had a great discussion and the other lady learned way more about Hatshepsut than she probably wanted to know

  2. Sounds like a fun outing and I love that pic of you and DD!!

  3. Terrific picture of you two and thank you for the book recommendation. I imagine your dinner conversations would be interesting even before the online class.

  4. Hmmm. I've been meaning to read some Doctorow. Maybe I should start with this one!

  5. nice photo. Iris has grown so much!

  6. Sounds like a lot of fun, and I too love the photo of you and Iris! She has gotten so tall!

    The Frankenpattern looks really nice.

  7. There's an Ask Mr Protocol archive???!!! I love you! I never did understand much of these but always enjoyed reading them. Thanks!

  8. I miss Mr. Protocol. Most people are puzzled these days by the framed "Betrayal of Special Characters" on my desk.

    1. I miss him, too. I should bike over to his neighborhood to have lunch with him.


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