What happened to my blog

The short story is here. Despite some coincidences I do not believe it had anything to do with PNNL/Battelle. Here is the slightly longer story I told my web hosting company:

I believe I have the answer as to why there was high CPU usage. The blogging software I’m using (dasBlog) has some very inefficient code for dealing with what it calls “Comment Views”. When viewing a single post without the comments, for the same CPU usage, the number of views is over 100 times faster than when viewing with the comments.

I did some code and configuration tuning and was able to improve the performance by a factor of 2 to 3 depending on how I was testing it. There are still lots of room for improvement and I decided to just turn off the comments until the performance is more comparable to the performance without the comments. This eliminates the CPU intensive view type entirely.

This CPU expensive view mode probably normally isn’t a problem except with the robots come visiting. They view the posts in all their view modes.

Would you please enable my site again?

Thank you.

I was up until 4:30 this morning getting it ready to go back online in crippled form (comments are disabled). I still have work to do to get comment views more efficient and then I’ll turn the comments back on.

I need to get to work now but I’ll update the story here by tonight sometime. I’ll fill in the Quote of the day posts tonight sometime too.

What they are up to

The PNNL/Battelle lawyers must be desperate, have dirty minds, or else are just fishing around for the pleasure of more billing hours. Since Battelle isn’t paying the bill (U.S. taxpayers probably are) what do Battelle executives care?

Interrogatory 4: Do you operate a website that is a bedroom cam website or similar type website? If the answer is affirmative, please describe in detail the contents of the website whether a person must pay to view the website and the approximate number of people per year that view the website.

The answer is no. Never have. Almost for certain never will.

What they may be fishing for is that while I lived in Richland I had a cam in my room which showed the table where I used my computer and part of the bed. Primarily this was for my wife and kids to check to see if I was awake before they called me at odd hours of the day or night.

I also used it for security as I had a gun safe and sometimes left the company laptop there and wanted to be able to see if my roommates (or anyone else) ever came into my room when I wasn’t there. I know the PNNL “investigators” repeatedly viewed that cam.

Other questions include the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all marital counselors Barb and I have ever visited.

On the other side of things it’s also clearly apparent they either deleted or withheld email that we requested in our interrogatories. Yeah it’s a crime, but it’s a lesser crime than the felonies they have already committed so you can understand their motives.

 These guys are “real pieces of work”. I’m looking forward to attending their sentencing hearings.

Quote of the day–Francis L. Wellman

But as yet no substitute has ever been found for cross-examination as a means of separating truth from falsehood, and of reducing exaggerated statements to their true dimensions.

Francis L. Wellman
The Art of Cross-Examination
[I have lots of falsehood and exaggerated statements to wade through in the PNNL case. There is so much of it that there won’t be anything of substance left when I’m done with their so-called “evidence”. I disposed of probably half of it during my deposition. The rest will tossed in the trash during the course of discovery. It’s a very, very “target rich environment”.–Joe]

Quote of the day–James Huffman-Scott

No mercy. No quarter.

James Huffman-Scott
[After hearing of the unethical and illegal behaviors of PNNL in my lawsuit. I have substantial evidence they did not begin to comply with our interrogatory. My blogging will be light until I have taken them down. The trial is scheduled for the end of January.–Joe]

Deposition results

My Quote of the Day for yesterday was Sean wishing me “good hunting” in the deposition. That was very nice and even encouraging. But either Sean was unaware of the roles being played or he was supremely confident of my abilities. I was being asked questions for hours. I was the hunted, I was not the hunter. I’m certain that is how the PNNL lawyer saw the game being played. I viewed it as just a swamp I had to cross to get to the meadow on the other side when we can start doing our own hunting.

In a book I read about employment law and wrongful termination lawsuits the author, a lawyer specializing in employment law, said dispositions were the worst part. You are made to feel like crap. It’s the job of the opposing lawyer to do that. It’s distasteful and he couldn’t imagine anyone feeling good about things when it was over. My lawyer wasn’t that negative about it. He said I should be myself. I should tell the truth not only because it is legally required of me but because of the impression one makes when they try to be something other than what they really are.

When my lawyer told me this I doubted that he knew what that really meant to me. But I smiled and said I would do that. This advice was consistent with what my friend Eric Engstrom told me. Eric testified for Microsoft in one the anti-trust lawsuits the DOJ brought against them. Exec after exec testified and one by one the DOJ lawyer tore them to shreds. While Eric waited his turn to testify he made numerous trips to the bathroom and vomited. When Eric got on the stand he didn’t hold back. He didn’t try to conceal, give partial answers, or put a spin on things. He was blunt, he was outrageous, he was Eric Engstrom in his most candid and natural form. The same Eric Engstrom who once said to me, “I will consider myself rich when I’m standing on the moon with the sunlight reflecting off my visor as I’m looking at my initials carved into the soil. They will be big enough and deep enough that when people on the earth look up they can see I was there.”

The day after Eric’s testimony the newspaper articles told of Eric being the “white knight” that rode to the rescue. Eric told me that after the first couple of questions he had fun. It was something like “Whoo hooo! Can we do that again?” And they would. The lawyer who had littered the landscape with the bodies of Microsoft executives keep pitching what he thought were hardball questions to only have Eric do a line drive with them straight into the lawyers forehead. The court audience was laughing, the judge was laughing. Everyone, except the DOJ, was laughing.

Eric has a multiple IQ point advantage on me. In private we are probably both equally outrageous. In public Eric keeps it much more under wraps than I do. I, almost for certain, had a larger attack surface for my opponent to work with than Eric did. But my lawyer opponent isn’t the DOJ’s finest either.

I think it went well. As Barb and I lay in bed tonight and she went to sleep I keep going over and over in my mind how things went. Good, I think. Maybe even very good. There was that one time when I knowingly told a fib (by my definition, probably not in the legal sense). I just wasn’t sure how else to handle it. I’ll explain. Ignore the following techno babble unless you are a geek or one of PNNL’s lawyers who needs to read my blog as part of his or her job.

I was asked how I deleted the images of the PNNL hard disk I created on my own computer with the DVDs they gave us. They later demanded we give the DVDs back and delete any copies made. I told them I used a DOS prompt and typed “rd /s “, waited until it had finished removing all the files and all the subdirectories, I then ran a disk-wipe program that wrote zeros over the entire empty space on the hard disk. This latter step would assure that even a sector-by-sector read of where the original information would come up zeros. My opponent asked something to the effect, “So is there anyway that information could be recovered?” He asked an absolute question, my lawyer told me to interpret the questions literally, I was in full literal mode. I said, “It’s virtually impossible.” I had blurted out the truth and I knew he would jump on it before I finished saying it. Perhaps I could have said it differently, but I didn’t take the time to think about it. My mistake. I was also told to take my time before answering. He came back with “VIRTUALLY impossible? So it could be recovered in some way?” I then had to explain. I believed that the NSA has the equipment and skills to still recover the data. Perhaps some other agencies. It requires going down to the analog signal level and recovering the entire waveform of the magnetic field. It supposedly is possible to recover the lower level signal of the original data for some time after it has been overwritten. He asked if I had the capability to do that. I told him no. It was beyond my capability. That true answer depends on your definition of “capability”. I had some choices in answering that question. I could ask him for his definition of capability. Did he mean technical capability given a year or two of time and a couple $100K in equipment, racing against the time when the original signal on the hard disk would be completely faded into the noise? Given the ramp up time on my analog signal processing skills (I already have a MSEE but it would take some time to get back up to speed) and the required equipment did I think I had the capability to win the race? The most truthful answer is “Maybe”. It would be tough, but there is a non-zero chance I could do that given the procedure I had followed in the deletion. If you definition “capability” as me currently having the skills, the time, and the equipment to recover the data then the answer I gave is correct. I decided that I would take the risk–I would define “capability” in the manner that would put an end to this line of pointless questioning rather than prolong it without benefiting anyone except the lawyers sitting there getting paid by the hour.

As I lay in bed mulling the above issue over I realized that though I thought I was being somewhat evasive at the time I probably was actually telling the truth. I had forgotten that every Friday night my hard disk is automatically defragmented. During the week there are lots of additional files created and deleted as I compile programs, work on my websites, edit pictures, RIP music, download new audio books, etc. The new files and the deletions of files causes fragmentation. The defragmentation every Friday night physically moves data around on the disk. It temporarily moves parts of files to distant places on the disk to make room for a complete file in the now open spot. It move the temporary parts back into a position where it is contiguous with the rest of the file. The original magnetic image of their precious hard disks has already been at least partially overwritten with unknown and unknowable data. It has been scrambled far worse than I what I originally did. Each week more of it gets overwritten and more scrambled. I don’t believe I could recover it even if I had all the equipment right now. I certainly couldn’t recover all of it.

Other than worrying some over the above issue it was a fine day. No real surprises for me. He asked a lot of questions that I thought were pointless. In essence there was a lot of me saying “Yes, I did that, so what?” and “Yes, I wrote that, and your point is?” I suspect my opponent was surprised a time or two. But it’s tough for me to read people so I don’t want to claim I won any “points” unless he actually concedes them–which he did not. He was doing his job and I think he did as good a job as he could given the material he had to work with. I didn’t really notice my own stress until meal time. My appetite wasn’t quite normal. Not nearly as bad as putting on a Boomershoot, but it was noticeable.

Although it will be a while before I get to actually hunt, I should be able to acquire my hunting license by tonight.

Deposition time

It’s been very busy for me recently. Lots of prep for Boomershoot, the lawsuit, and… something else… oh yeah! Work has been busy too. As they say however… there’s lots of time to sleep when you are dead.

I’m on my way to Yakima to give my deposition in the lawsuit against the bigots and felons at PNNL. Then on Friday we argue before the judge about access to the hard disk images. I’ll keep you posted as best I can.

PNNL sensitive information

Currently I’m not at liberty to go into great detail on what is happening with the return of the DVDs constituting 99+% of the information we obtained in discovery. That will soon be fought in court and I can probably talk more about it then. What I can say is that PNNL claimed the information on those DVDs was “extremely sensitive” information and hence my lawyer and I were required to return it. The judge agreed without giving us an opportunity to refute that claim. This is acceptable in certain extraordinary circumstances which PNNL/Battelle claimed were present.

I thought people would be interested in knowing what PNNL defines as “sensitive”. This is from their public website (IIRC PNWD stands for Pacific NorthWest Division):

sensitive information

At PNWD, information is considered sensitive if any of the following criteria are met:

  • information is protected under the Privacy Act
  • information for which Battelle would be liable if released to unauthorized individuals
  • information for which Battelle is legally responsible
  • information of which corruption or loss would substantially delay a project or impact the completion of a mission or goal
  • information that cannot be reproduced or that would be unreasonably expensive to reproduce
  • information that could profit an employee or outsider through unauthorized use, modification, or disclosure;
  • or information that could be harmful to DOE, Battelle, or cause unfavorable publicity (e.g., financial, technical, or supply data) data identified by DOE as unclassified controlled nuclear information (UCNI) or data identified as export controlled information.

Bold emphasis added by me.

Needless to say we are challenging the validity of this as being sufficient reason to withhold discovery data. These guys are slime-balls and know that public disclosure is not good for their future.

I can understand their motives. Being rented out to their fellow inmate bidding the most cigarettes is something to be postponed as long as possible.

Quick update on PNNL

In a way I’m relieved they took back the DVDs with all the data I was going through. It had been a gold mine of useful information but this weekend I can let the caffiene circulatory system revert back to blood and get some sleep. It was wonderful to refresh my memory on so many things and be much better prepared to ask questions but I really needed some rest. The battle over the DVDs will be fought by the lawyers and either way Battelle comes out looking like a bunch of clowns and/or jerks.

The depositions and even the close of discovery may be delayed because of this. It’s hard to imagine the fight over the DVDs will be over in time to keep on schedule. We’ll see…

Yesterday I was talking about the current state of things with one of my primary financial backers. He congratulated me on hiding my true intentions on this blog. He said early on he was concerned about me being able to do that but that he was completely sucked in by my disinformation campaign. Cool! But what was so hard about it?

Quote of the day–Matthew Bean

This case just gets more and more interesting.

Matthew Bean
March 29, 2007
[Bean is my lawyer in the PNNL case. Today the bad guys got a court order to demand we return 17 DVD’s (and destroy all the copies) we had obtained as part of discovery. A lot of the information they gave us last week were printouts of my blog, nothing new for me to find there. Subtract that and the portions of the personnel file I already had and they took back more than 99% of the information they supplied to us. I had to leave work and get them to the lawyers office as quickly as I could. They sent someone to pick them up. Like I said before, I was shocked they hadn’t destroyed some of the stuff they gave me. They might now. Fortunately for me the more data of theirs they suppress or destroy the more of the total evidence consists of my log files. Yes, they are backed up in numerous safe places and I’m adding another location tomorrow. I was right to go into full overdrive mode to get through as much data as quickly as I could. As I told Barb today, they can’t legally delete my mind.–Joe]

PNNL adult content policy

Hope you get a good laugh out of this. According to the felons at PNNL/Battelle the picture below constitutes “adult content”. In the big picture of things this might not even be brought up later on. It’s just a minor example of the egregious nature of the pretexts they used to justify firing me.

This picture was taken by my daughter Xenia at a public fair in Moscow, Idaho on April 30, 2005. I had viewed her Live Journal post believing PNNL’s “reasonable use” policy for company computers would include such material. The image was cached by the web browser and their scan of the hard disk revealed it. I wouldn’t have guessed that it would run afoul of their “adult content” policy or imagine someone would have the gall to use such a picture as a pretext to fire me. Perhaps my daughter’s friend should have been wearing a burqa.

Update: Perhaps that picture is more “interesting” than I thought. PNNL investigators viewed that picture on Xenia’s Live Journal five times. “PUCK” viewed it four times and “WD31448” (Una Carriera) viewed it once as well:

  • 2005-05-09 15:54:38 (PUCK)
  • 2005-05-17 17:25:32 (PUCK)
  • 2005-05-17 17:36:36 (WD31448)
  • 2005-05-19 23:18:20 (PUCK)
  • 2005-05-23 17:20:52 (PUCK)

Very, very interesting…

The chase is nearing it’s end

On Friday I was hot on the chase. Over the weekend Xenia’s sharp eyes picked up something odd looking in the bushes I had overlooked even though I had looked in the same area several times. Last night Ry pointed out an opportunity was not being fully exploited. I was up until after 3:00 AM as I caught up with and latched onto the haunches of my prey. I went to sleep easily for the first time in days. I woke up at 7:30 this morning again excited and with the taste of blood in my mouth. After another hour of working my fangs into my prey I can hear and feel the bones cracking.

This animal is going down. I can’t imagine it going any other way.

I’m looking forward to the feeding.

Quote of the day–Ry Jones

If you were fired for the stated reasons, I wouldn’t be pissed that they made a low-quality argument. It just gets you closer to a settlement.

Ry Jones
March 25, 2007
[Good point. It’s a good thing when they did something really stupid and documented it. After all, they probably were just doing their job as best they could with the resources they had available.–Joe]

Best Christmas ever

I’m sure my memory has faded of some of the Christmas’s of 40+ years ago to the point that I can’t really compare them on an equal basis with this Christmas. That aside today was a really, really happy day. I could barely sleep last night then after making arrangement in the morning to meet my lawyer this afternoon I had difficultly paying attention in during parts of meetings that didn’t affect me.

When I arrived at the lawyer’s office I asked if he had looked at any of the stuff from the felons at PNNL/Battelle yet and he said, “No, I figured I’d let you open the box. This is probably just like Christmas for you.” He was so right. The package didn’t have any pretty paper on it but that didn’t matter. I opened it up and did a high level scan of the material. They sent stuff I was certain they would have destroyed and then didn’t send stuff that I thought they would give up easily.

We then got down into the details of some of the stuff and we laughed and rolled our eyes. I dug around looking for things and then would laugh and laugh when I found it or find they are trying to avoid sending it. I had so much fun with it. So much like a bunch of new toys to play with on Christmas Day.

They admit to monitoring my blog and web sites until at least mid May of 2006–I was fired in June of 2005. You would think they would have had real work to do. But that’s your tax dollars at work there. There weren’t any terrorists to catch those months I guess.

Finally my lawyer said that I need to take my toys away and play with them on my own for a few days. He told me how it needs to be organized and what we need to do next.

I left his office, dropped most of it off at Kinkos to be copied so we have the original and a “working copy”. I then went back to my room and started going through the CD’s and DVD’s. More laughter and I had to share. I saw a friend on-line and started chatting with him about it. We finally agreed to meet for dinner and just as I was about to leave Kinkos called back and said my copy job was done. All 1,101 pages of it. Wonderful! We changed our dinner location to be across the street from Kinkos and I picked up my “working copy” to take to dinner with me.

My friend laughed at me as my hands couldn’t seem to make up their mind over which to pick up; the new toys or the menu. He said in a whiny little boy voice, “But I don’t want to eat breakfast, I want to open presents.”

I barely ate as I dug through the pages and showed my friend page after page that kept us laughing; “They think this is important?” Finally when my bladder and his butt could no longer take sitting there we left and now I’m back at my room. I should be going to sleep but my new toys are calling my name…

Christmas in March

Today I received an email from my lawyer in the PNNL/Battelle case:

A big box just arrived for you here.   When do you want to come and open it?

I’ve been trying to get this material for 21 months now. Soon, very soon…