So I had the honour and privilege of doing an international wire transfer today to Hungary.

After some decoding of Hungarian addresses, accents, etc., I managed to fill that in to the web interface provided by my Canadian bank (you know, the web page where the ‘wireframe’ given to the ‘designer’ was a faxed copy of a carbon-form that was designed sometime between the two great wars?).

But then it got interesting. Because we’re worried about money laundering etc., it wanted to SMS me to confirm. No problem. I don’t consider SMS secure, but this isn’t hurting me right now.

So I fill in all the fields, select the button where it tells me it will send me a TXT. A box pops up asking for the code, with A 5-min countdown timer. 5-min elapses, no codes. I search this, it turns out I need to ‘enable’ the SMS receipt by sending (you guessed it) an SMS to them first with another code. OK, done, I get an immediate response saying “You are subscribed”.

So, fill in all the fields again, same process. Hit ‘send me a code’. Nothing happens. 5-min elapses.

So I repeat. This time I get a code (Yay!), but, well, its the code from the previous run, delayed by > 5 min. Argh.

So I repeat. No code this time.

On attempt #8 the planets aligned, not only did I get a response, but it was the right one.

So the score was: 8 attempts. 2 SMS received. 75% ‘packet’ loss. And one was delayed by > 5 min.

I have a feeling that somewhere in the middle of this mess RFC 1149 was used.

For those that know telecom, SMS is not actually data. Its ‘circuit switched’, its effectively a phone call. Since I’m on LTE, which is all data, this is ’emulated’ in my carrier. So there is a translation from some protocols resembling IP to old-school-signalling. On the other end, there is an sms gateway service that the bank is using. And in between is some routing, perhaps involving pieces of paper tied to pigeon’s legs.

You’re probably going to want to click on that picture to make it bigger and more glorious.

So I’m in the Taipei airport. I’m at the security line. The woman in front of me has a rabbit. No, not a stuffed rabbit. No, not a caged rabbit. A real live bunny, slung over her shoulder, its staring at me balefully.

She puts the rabbit down in the tray as she gets out her phone and wallet etc. It sits there, quietly. Its large. Its clearly not bothered by this. She then picks the bunny back up, and heads through the metal detector just like its another day. No one even stares or asks questions. Is she alice? Is there some sort of mushrooms being handed out?

I thought that would be the oddest thing that day, and, well, there’s my gate. The Hello Kitty gate.

Asia, I can’t even.

~4 years of outdoor kitty. His (heated) house to keep him warm, the live temperature feed, etc. So many mysteries. Where did he go when he would be off for days? Each time, would it be the last time we saw him?

We last saw him a couple of weeks ago. No big deal, its warm, we left water out.

Tonight we talked with the other family that has also been caring for him for the last couple of years. He’d been cheating on us! Neither of us knew about the other. They had also bought a house for him outside to keep him warm. Sadly, he came back to them last week w/ an infection, sick. After some time at the vet, well, he didn’t make it.

RIP you mysterious two-timing cat.

You remember outdoor kitty? The mooch? The one we installed a heated outdoor house and remote temperature sensing for? The same one that is much less friendly when its warm? Well, as we can see, he does not make much use of the house in this weather (~32C here today in sunny waterloo). And no, we are not installing kitty AC. The line must be drawn somewhere, may as well be at that!

Below you can see him sacked-out in the back yard, his house in the corner, and TC sacked out watching. Yeah, they are fine, no need for kitty AC.

OK, what is the heaviest fish a cat can lift? And, what type of cat is best at lifting fish? Well, now you are only 23 minutes and 19 seconds from knowing. There are some great graphics in here as they go through the math. You are gonna want to watch this from the start. For example, @ 2:50 where they whiteboard it out. @ 4:22 where they animate what they expect to happen. @ 4:45 where the first fish is brought out.  No spoilers, but some cats get fed during this.