Today I updated the theme of this site and discovered that there’s a fair bit of tweaking to do.

Today I took my daughter swimming with Grandma Joy.

Today I had the following conversation:

Me:  Hi Miss Barbara, did Brianna have a good day?

Miss Barbara: Yes she did. (laughing) She told me you had your nipples removed.

Me: Uh…

Miss Barbara: I thought to ask her where were they removed from and she said (imagine cheery toddler voice) “Oh, from her neck”.

Me: Yeah, they were moles. Really.

Today I laughed.

here we go again

Panic attacks.

I’ve begun the slide back into yet another round of depression and anxiety, likely triggered by the continuing stress at my current place of employment. Rumours of 50% staff layoffs abound. Management assures us that layoffs aren’t on the table. They also assure us that we aren’t going to be sold again.

What they don’t say is that if they were going to sell us, they would be able to say so. It’s so obvious that they are trying to sugar-coat the entire situation.

I can see where this is going, not so much for the company but for me. The roller coaster ride that is my emotional life continues. And I am resistant. I don’t want to go for this ride yet again. I don’t want to spend tomorrow and the next day feeling this aching hole in my chest, this inability to breathe, this ongoing panic and anxiety. This is just not worth it and I don’t want to go down this road, yet again.

I don’t want my brain to be broken. But it is. And now I don’t know how to proceed.

It occurs to me that I cannot wait for a full-blown meltdown to occur. I have a four-year-old child in the house, that is simply not an option. I don’t want to just up and quit my job, but no job is worth going through this.

I wish I knew how to proceed. I just want to make these feelings stop.

What feelings? Just let it go, zen girl, you may say. Yeah, that’s good. And when your leg is broken and I tell you to just let it go, whatcha gonna do? This is a disorder of the brain that expresses itself through thought and emotion, but the underlying brokenness is indeed a physical/chemical disconnect in my grey matter. I can’t stop thinking these thoughts no matter how much I want to. I’ll try to express what it’s like:

broken heart pain open gaping wound chest blown open too much too much get a knife cut it out peel away the flesh and expose the source pull it out make it stop make it stop make it stop not again oh god not again can’t breathe can’t breathe please god not again it feels like someone’s squeezing my heart please please please make it stop

Welcome to my world. I can’t stop crying.

And you thought “The Matrix” was science fiction

Okay, so it’s not “The Matrix”, but the idea of countries having cyberwarfare divisions of the military is apparently an idea whose time has come. The Register has an interesting report on the subject here.

Nevertheless, most governments have “cyber soldiers” ready to engage in cyber warfare and it’s quite likely that some of the incidents that are reported as hacker activity are government cyber soldiers out on exercise. Only Russia and China have an official branch of the armed forces devoted to cyberwarfare, but whenever any military activity or even military tension occurs cyber warfare breaks out. It happened first in the disintegration of Yugoslavia. It happened between India and Pakistan and more recently in the Middle East – where it is happening at a low level most of the time anyway, but the activity increases when the bullets fly.

The problem with cyber warfare is that normal business activity suffers the collateral damage. There have been two attempts to completely take out the internet – by mounting denial of service attacks on the 13 root servers that run the internet DNS. One took place in 2002 and one took place in February of this year. These attacks weren’t successful but they may not have been intended to be. They could have been mounted by one government or another simply as target practice in order to assess the amount of power that would be needed to be successful. No one seems to know who was responsible.

The world is in urgent need of technology that can properly block denial of service attacks. There are some intrusion prevention systems and DOS mitigation products from the likes of Cisco, Top Layer, RADirect and others that can help but the cost is high. In any event they do not address the fundamental problem – that the Domain Name System itself is vulnerable.

It makes sense—why would any government not be funding this area? It is both target and battleground. As we move forward in time, we see that the nature of warfare is evolving. Once again, civilians and their institutions are considered legitimate targets. If we don’t take responsibility for the actions of our governments, the consequences of those actions will be visited on us and our children.

This reminds me of an interesting conversation I had on the weekend, where a friend of mine argued that the people of the United States are wholly responsible for the election of George W. Bush as president. It’s a difficult argument to refute, even with the Republican parties shenanigans and outright crimes with regard to voter registration. No matter how disenfranchised the American public has become, the people who vote and the people who choose not to are responsible for the choice of leader in America. The American system is broken and I don’t know how to fix it.

Cyberwarfare and election fraud. What a brave new world we have created.

Someone thought I was profound

I recently wrote an email responding to a question on a coaching list that I’m on. The questioner wondering if monks were somehow inherently “holier” than us regular folks. Another coach on the list asked if she could reprint my post.

Here it is for your enjoyment:

Rereading it reminds me that I should write more. That is currently moving to the top of my to-do list, along with sitting more. I’ll let y’all know how it goes.