Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Imortals

The Immortals, Ageless, Forever Young
(, 'The snake that devoures its own tail' Never Ending)
(working title)

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Bob Dylan

Chapter I (the meeting)

“Good afternoon Dr. Kalman.”

“Afternoon Larry. Any good news today?” Larry the news-stand attendant always greeted Dr. Kalman with cheerful friendliness. Larry had known the doctor for many years. “The news is always pretty much the same doc, you know, the stock market is up or down, the war du jour is going well or badly. Same old stuff.” Larry smiled as did Dr. Kalman.

“Well Larry you better give me a paper anyway.” Dr. Kalman took the paper and gave Larry a dollar. “Keep the change Larry, it is a lovely day.”

It was a lovely day for December in New York, in fact the whole week had been unseasonably warm and sunny. Dr. Leo Kalman liked New York and New York seemed to like the doctor. He had a very successful, though understated practice. He was well respected by his fellow physicians but kept to himself when away from work. He was 55 but looked younger. His hair was slightly graying and his mustache also had hints of gray.

Dr. Kalman walked briskly down the avenue, he greeted George the doorman at his apartment “Afternoon George.”, “Afternoon Dr. Kalman, wonderful day today, I hope it lasts a little while longer.”

“George, I am expecting a visitor, his name is Peter Geiger. Would you ring me when he arrives and show him up to my place?”

“Certainly doc.”

“Thanks George.” Dr. Kalman took the elevator up to his apartment on the 23 floor. The apartment was a spacious two bedroom suet with an unobstructed view of Central Park -- Leo Kalman lived well.

“Dr. Kalman your guest has arrived, I'll bring him up if you like.” “Yes George please do.” Leo answered via the intercom. A few minutes later Leo greeted his visitor at the door.

“Hello Peter it is good to see you again.” Peter Geiger shook hands and Leo thanked George for his assistance. “Come in Peter and make yourself comfortable. Can I get you something to drink or eat?”

“Yes thank you, maybe a short Scotch if you have some.”

“I always keep a little around. I'll join you, I just got home and have not had a chance to relax yet.” Leo pored two drinks and sat down across from Peter. “Have you had a chance to speak to any of the people I spoke to you about Peter? I am sure they would be very interested in you story.”

“Yes I met with Elsa Meisner yesterday, a fascinating young woman. I take it from what she told me that you two go way back.”

“Yes you might say that. We have known each other for a very long time. Did she give you details?”

“Yes Leo she gave me a brief history. We only had an hour as we both had other engagements.”

Leo gazed into Peter's eyes “A very long history it is. We met in the third century AD in Germany where she was born, of course it wasn't called Germany then.  Elsa was born near what is now Hamburg in about 210 AD.”

Peter interrupted “You and Elsa are then the oldest?”

“Yes, though I am far older than she is.”

“I feel like a child compared to you and Elsa, a 285 year old child.” Peter grinned. “Tell me again when you were born.”

Leo paused and looked at his hands “I was born in the second millennium BC near what is now called Stonehenge in England. An exact date is hard to determine as calendars have changed over the centuries and back then time was a different notion without clocks or calendars as we know them now. You were born into a world where dates and time were already well established, I was not.”

Leo went on “One loses a sense of time without the documentation of time we take for granted now. Also, my memory of thing so far in the past is made up of only a few events of great significance, all the rest is just a blur of feelings without details.”

“When did you first realize that you were not aging?” Peter asked.

“I got the influenza when I was around 30 I think. From what others have recounted all of us had a similar experience.”

Peter confirmed “Yes I was about 35 when I came down with a flue that almost killed me. There were many people who died from the influenza that year but I pulled through. It was of course several year before I realized that I was not aging. In fact it was almost 20 years. I was 55 and still looked like I was in my middle to late 30, maybe early 40 but not 55. I became quite concerned and worried as people were starting to notice my youthfulness. I started to try and look older and it worked for a while but by the time I was 70 I know I had to disappear and reinvent myself.”

“I know Peter I had to do that many times. It was quite a bit easier back then of course without passports, birth certificates or much in the way of borders. I would just leave where I was and turn up somewhere else. No questions asked. Any way as I was saying, Else was born near what is now Hamburg and she became infected by the flu when she was about 28. It was remarkable that she survived in those primitive days. By the ninth century Hamburg was a city-state with a castle built by Charlemagne.”

“Elsa became a servant and over the years she learned to read and write and gradually moved herself up the ranks of service. She had figured out how to make herself look as if she were aging as we have all had to do.”

Peter nodded his confirmation and Leo continued “Elsa and I met in Hamburg in the 13th century. I moved from England to France and then north into the German area, always changing my identity and changing my appearance to look like a young man again. I would try to become someone around my early twenties witch was not hard to pull off. I would stay in one place for 30 to 40 years and then move on.”

Leo's face darkened as he continued “It was the Black Death, the great plague, that brought us together and revealed our true identities. Northern Germany experienced the Black Death around 1,350 and in a big city like Hamburg it was exceptionally evil. Elsa and I both figured we were probably safe and tried to help those less fortunate. At the time I was pretending to be 45 and Elsa was 50. We became good friends and gradually realized that neither of us was the age we were pretending to be. We became very close and eventually engaged in sex at witch time it became very evident that we were very much younger than we pretended to be. It wasn't until after the worst of the Black Death had passed that we revealed to each other our true ages and long history.”

Leo smiled “The years after the Black Death were really quite wonderful. Prior to the plague, due to population increase and climate changes in Europe, food supplies were strained, jobs and housing were scars and all in all life was miserable. With 20% to 50% of the population gone, depending on the area, Hamburg was more like 50%, there were suddenly plenty of jobs and housing and food supplies were once again ample. During the happier more prosperous times after the Black Death Elsa and I became lovers and reinvented ourselves as 20 year olds once again.”

Peter frowned and said, “It is becoming harder and harder to reinvent oneself and I worry about the next time which is not that many years away.”

Leo understood the problem only too well. “That is why we need to pool our resources. Today one can not just disappear and then reappear as someone else. Modern technology and fear have made identity a very solid thing. Everyone has a history and a lineage that goes back several generations. One is born with a birth certificate, then a Social Security number, driver's license, High School diploma, military records, college diploma, credit cards not to mention one's Internet identity. Some of it is possible to forge but it is becoming harder and harder to forge everything.

I am also worried about our next move. My present identity is getting near retirement age and looking and acting the part is becoming a real difficult task.”

Peter frowned even deeper, “Elsa said she was 55 but she really doesn't look like 55 and my identity says I am 50 but I have to die my hair and wear glasses to try to look the part. I think you have done an admirable job with your persona, I could believe you are almost 60.”

Leo also frowned, “It takes a lot of time each day to prepare. I can no longer be intimate for fear of being discovered. We all have the same dilemma, and we must work together to solve our mutual problem. Elsa has computer skills as does William Fisher who you have not met yet. Reinventing ourselves may take a number of years so we must start in earnest now. I have set up a meeting with William, Else, Betty Williamson, you and myself. You have not meet Betty either so it is time those of us who live in or around New York should come together and discuss our next future.”

To Be Continued

Sunday, February 25, 2018

We Need Gun Control

Most of the civilized nation have workable gun control. We are one of the only countries where we say "screw the kids, I want my gun". We should definitely ban the sale and ownership of assault weapons. No one needs a automatic weapon to go hunting, the only use for such weapons is to kill large numbers of people.

I personally would ban all guns. Set up certified gun ranges where anyone could shoot anything one wants. Hunters could go the police station and check out their gun with ammunition. After the hunting trip the gun and spent or unused cartridges would be returned to the police station. Hunters could buy a bolt action gun and have it delivered to their nearest police station.

I can hear the cry from the NRA, but is it better to have safe children or to own a gun? I vote for children and the thousands of innocent people that are killed or injured by guns.

Will this ever happen in the USA? No, we will just get use to mass shootings and blame it on mental health.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

'kodi' fix for 'exodus' crashes on Linux Mint 18

I am using Linux Mint 18 and I was using 'kodi' and 'exodus' for a while. Then after an update 'exodus' stopped working and would crash with a core dump.

Well it was time to look on Google for a fix. It was quite a search but I finally found the fix.

search for 'wget'
The click on each of the 'wget' links, this will download those file to your selected directory.

The don't do what the author says next instead go to the directory where you downloaded the files and type:

sudo dpkg --install python-openssl_16.2.0-1_all.deb

and then do

sudo dpkg --install python-cryptography_1.7.1-2_amd64.deb

​Then start 'kodi' it should work now.​

The downloads and installs two python library file for 'crypto' and the 'openssl' update.

This was a long hard trek but I finally got 'kodi' to work again. I hope this help someone.

Friday, April 14, 2017

We moved from New Bury Park in Southern California to New Bern, North Carolina the beginning of April. It was quite a move, all the way across the US. We flew and shipped our furniture and car. We are in a nice cottage (or Villa) as they call it here in the Courtyard at Berne Village at 2701 Amhurst Blvd.

This is a retirement community and so far is pretty nice. More information as we get acclimated.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Last Modified Messages

I think every website should have a 'Last Modified' date. One needs to know how old the data is. I have seen sites that are several years old with very dated information. Without a 'Last Modified' date you can only guess at the validity of the data. If you have a webpage make sure it has a 'Last Modified' date. Try to keep it up to date.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


I have several GitHub repositories. The project are:

Please feel free to visit these projects. There is plenty of documentation on all of the projects.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Some Security Tips

Some Security Tips

The "robots.txt" file has its legitimate uses but not everyone who reads it is legitimate. In many cases the file will give nefarious individuals a glimpse into your directory structure and files you didn't intend anyone to look at. 

For example, if you list a directory like 'admin' and have not made it unreadable either via a password or by having an 'index.html' file in the directory or use the 'Options -Indexes' server directive, then even if there are no links anywhere to 'admin' the person reading your robots.txt file knows you have that directory and may therefore be able to look at it and all the files therein.

Another thing to keep in mind when writing a web page is that anything you get via the web may be evil. For example, if you have a form with an 'input' box you should make sure that the input data does not contain nefarious markup. You may be asking for someone's name which you intend on displaying on the form action page. What if the person entered the following markup: 

<script>windows.location =</script>

If the browser rendering your site has JavaScripts enabled that little snippet would redirect from your site to another site with a big advertisement. The result could be worse depending on where the redirection goes.

This type of devilishness is not restricted to 'input' boxes. Say your site gets the 'HTTP_USER_AGENT' and displays it. Many browsers have html markup in the User Agent Strings. I have seen <script> tags as well as anchor tags (<a). 

What to do? Well it is good practice to escape all tag markers, that is less than (<) and greater than (>) symbols, as &lt; and &gt;. Using PHP you could make a function:
function escapeltgt($value) {
  $value = preg_replace(
           array("/</", "/>/"),
           array("&lt;", "&gt;"), 
  return $value;
Use the function on anything that could be dangerous.