Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My last Wii post for a while... I promise

This blog has been Wii-loaded for the last while. It must seem like I'm obsessed. Well, I kinda am...

But last night I had the opportunity to finally play a Wii, thanks to a friend that was luckier than I was on November 19th. And it was awesome.

Wii Sports Bowling and Golf were great fun. Boxing is tricky, but I was starting to catch on by the end. Baseball is hard as hell. We forgot about Tennis.

We also played a little two-player Golden Axe (Sega Genesis) on the Virtual Console. And some Rayman Raving Rabbids, which was actually really fun.

All in all, I was extremely impressed by the controls, and the ease of targetting on the screen. I expected to have problems with an unsteady hand, but I was moving the pointer around with ease as soon as I picked the Wiimote up. And the all-important motion detection worked like a charm, especially in Bowling, Golf, and Rayman.

I chose not to sample Zelda. That can wait until I have my own Wii.

In non-Wii-gaming news, Guitar Hero II for the Playstation 2 is pretty awesome as well. My friend has all the cool stuff...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

No more Wiis until December 8th?

That's what Best Buy is telling its customers in this week's e-newsletter. I won't have to bother lining up on Friday morning this week, because there won't be any Wiis available.

Frustratingly, I have family obligations out of town on December 8th that will both keep me away from the Best Buy online site and any retail locations. It's looking more and more like I'll be buying my Wii in the new year, sadly...

Amusingly, my component video cable shipped today from Nintendo. The component video cables are pretty much essential for HDTV owners, but they have been sold out and backordered since before the Wii launch day. I never thought I'd get the cable before I got the Wii...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Gah! Part 2

I'll still Wii-less, and it's driving me crazy. I've never had such a hard time buying something that I wanted...

Rumours were circulating all week that many retailers were hanging onto the Nintendo Wii systems they had received after launch day to put them all out this morning ("Black Friday" in the US). Best Buy soon confirmed this rumour as fact in their case.

Thinking that Walmart would follow suit, I got up early this morning and made it to Walmart a half hour before their 7:00AM opening. The fact that nobody else was around clued me in early to the fact that I was likely out of luck. I sat in my car and played some DS until 7, and then confirmed my fears inside the store. They had nothing. A greeter informed me that they have been putting the Wiis on the shelves as they were received, and "they have been selling like hot cakes," so the chance of getting a Wii from Walmart is nearly nil.

I had spoken to a Zellers clerk on Thursday, so I knew they didn't have anything today, so my only hope was Best Buy. Knowing that they planned to put 100+ Wiis for sale online at 9AM, I went to work and awaited my chance.

And this is where IT fucked me. Because I had to use Internet Explorer. And it crashed. had 124 Wiis this morning, and there was available stock for 4 minutes, but I missed out due to Internet Explorer. Having practiced speed purchasing on Best Buy's site every hour on launch day (see Gah! Part 1), I know that even with extreme server load, I was taking about a minute and a half to get to the end of the checkout process with Firefox. With only 20 Wiis available each hour, this was about 30 seconds too long to get one on launch day. But it would have been plenty fast with the 124 Wiis today. But on the second page of the checkout, Internet Explorer decided to choke entirely. By the time I got back onto the site, the inventory was at 0.

At 10AM, I decided to visit Best Buy's retail location and see if anything remained of the 20+ promised Wiis. I had seen a few people lining up at the store when I was at Walmart, so I didn't feel I had any hope of getting a system, but I was curious. It was quickly apparent when I arrived that Best Buy had already given out tickets to those in line. All 27 Wiis (and 10 PS3s) were sold. But apparently the last few Wiis had sold only 30 minutes earlier, so it wasn't as hopeless as I had originally thought. There were a lot of late comers like myself, and we were all told the same thing: try again next Friday for round 3...

Ebay is tempting me, especially now that the prices are getting more reasonable... if $400 is reasonable for a $280 console. But I'll try to resist. I haven't given up on getting one from Walmart or Zellers either. I'll probably pop in randomly at both stores throughout the next week--and hope to get lucky.

If I continue to come up empty, I have an appointment with Best Buy on next Friday morning.

Monday, November 20, 2006


It was a simple plan: show up at Zellers before they opened on Sunday morning and be one of their first Wii customers. I had cashed out AirMiles for HBC gift cards, so I was relying on Zellers for my Wii fix. Little did I know they had sold all of their Wiis by pre-order...

So I have no Wii. It sold out very quickly at every store in town, and I failed in my attempts to pick one up online from Best Buy (every hour, on the hour, 20 Wiis were made available--but they went fast, too). I have Zelda, because Zellers did have a few copies left of the game at least, but I have no idea when I will have a system to play it on...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Are you ready for the Wii-kend?

The last few posts have been pretty serious, so it's time for something a lot more lighthearted... video gaming!

Today was the release date of the Playstation 3. But who cares? The date I am waiting for is Sunday, November 19. That is the day that the Nintendo Wii is released!

(Okay, so apparently a lot of other people cared that the Playstation 3 was released today.)

The Wii is a Nintendo fanboy's dream come true. The controls promise to incredibly intuitive and very unique, and Nintendo can always be relied upon to create amazing games.

The big launch title for the Wii is The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess, which I know will be completely awesome. And the Wii comes bundled with Wii Sports, which will effectively show off the full capabilities of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.

I'll be up early on Sunday morning and getting in line for one of the first Wiis available. Sunday will be a complete write-off of a day, as I know that once I start playing Zelda, I will not be able to stop...

Atheism and me, part 2

Continuing my story from part 1, I want to begin by addressing what the following key words mean to me: atheism, agnosticism, irreligion, and anti-religion.

Although I haven't believed in a god for a very long time, I only recently started calling myself an atheist. Why? I don't know, but I think the word "atheist" has been unfairly used for so many years by religious folk, that the negativity around the word frightened me away from it. And I had the completely mistaken impression that atheism was as much of a religion as Christianity. Why? Because that's what Christians claim: atheism is a religion established on the faith that there is no god. But this is 100% wrong. There is no faith involved in atheism. Atheists require scientific proof. It's nonsense to claim that it requires faith to not believe in something for which there is no proof.

If a god showed itself (ignoring the obvious questions of what a god would have to do to show itself), I would have no problem changing my stance on this issue. I don't hate god. I just don't think there is a god. Prove me wrong, god! Come on! Do it! What are you scared of?

When I was seeking alternatives to atheism, I settled on anti-religion for many years. Anti-religion is far more arrogant than atheism, but I wasn't concerned about arrogance. I was against religion, and I wanted people to know that.

As I grew older and graduated from university, I pulled back from the anti-religion and settled on being non-religious (or irreligious). This is a grey area that can encompass many different spiritual beliefs. All you are saying is that you are not into the rituals of religion. You can believe in a god and still be non-religious. And this is why I eventually had to acknowledge that I was in fact an atheist. I don't believe a god. Why not accept that I am not only non-religious but also an atheist?

There was a very brief period where I considered myself to be agnostic. Agnostics take the position of unknowing on the issue of god. They are basically weak atheists. They don't believe in god, but aren't prepared to come out and say that.

One of the formative classes for my atheism was Philosophy 110 in university. Arguing the existence of god was a significant percentage of the course material. It became clear that most theists were actually arguing about the existence of a prime mover, some significant force that set the universe in motion, but there was no reasonable argument for the all-knowing, benevolent Christian god. That god can not exist. It is absurd. But maybe there was some force out in the universe that set this world in motion.

I am not a scientist. I can not begin to understand the complexities of the Big Bang. Does the beginning of the universe require a prime mover? Where did the prime mover come from? Where did time and space come from?

I can't answer that. Science can't fully answer that. Yet. But science continues looking. Religion stopped looking thousands of years ago. This is why science should trump religion always. But I digress.

And so, with some feelings of uncertainty about the beginning of time, I decided that maybe I was agnostic. Which was just me being silly, really. I don't mean to offend agnostics, but come on!--you know you are really atheists at heart. When religion argues for god, they are not arguing for the beginning of time, they are arguing for a god that affects us here and now. Even agnostics can admit that that is bullshit.

When did I stop fence sitting and admit to myself that I was an atheist, and that atheism is not a religion nor a bad word? Only about two years ago.

After I graduated university, I started online dating. I don't want to get into a long rant on online dating, but the relevant information here is that most of the women that were looking for men online were Christian. This isn't really surprising, since most people in this country are Christian.

So, I had to phrase my profile carefully to avoid scaring off the Christian women, because if I did that, I would not be meeting very many people, thus defeating the whole purpose. I settled on describing myself as the vague non-religious. And then I wrote that I had "Christian morals."

As I wrote in point 3 of my Manifesto, morals existed long before Christianity, but many people today honestly believe that without the reward / punishment aspect of Christianity, no one would be moral. Which is patently ridiculous. But I was trying to meet women here, so I had to go with the flow and pretend that my morality is the Christian morality, even though it's really just the morality of a good person. I just wanted to make the point to the Christian women out there that even though I wasn't Christian didn't mean that I wasn't a moral person, and I had to phrase it so they would understand.

Even with these compromises in my profile, online dating was extremely unsuccessful for me for three years. I didn't move beyond e-mail with most of the women, and the few that I met in person were good people but not serious candidates for a relationship. The non-religious thing became an issue with one, who made it her mission for over a year to try to convert me. Her mission failed, obviously, but my will to continue trying to meet people that way was also failing.

And then I met my wife-to-be that way. And she was also non-religious. And it was a release. I didn't have to hide anymore. I could be an atheist, without worrying about how that was going to impact my relationship. I have never been happier with my atheist world view.

In the last couple of years, this feeling of freedom has led me to really explore atheism. Blogs like Pharyngula remind me that there are many like-minded people out there, even if I don't know many of them personally (excluding my wife and a couple of friends). Shows like Penn & Teller: Bullshit! exposed me to more of the skeptical community, helping me find James Randi and Richard Dawkins, two men that I greatly respect now that I have read about them endlessly.

And so I am in a good place now. I am comfortable with being an atheist. I am open about it, without being arrogant about it.

I was selected for jury duty late last year. I can't discuss the case, but I can discuss what happened on the day of selection. For those that don't know, even in this day and age of diversity and multiple religions, when you are approved by both the prosecutor and defender to be on the jury, you then have to swear on the bible. When I was approved, I was really shocked--all of the young people that had been picked before me were rejected... and then the bible was brought forward. I'm surprised that my head was clear enough to realize what was happening, but I managed to croak out, "I won't swear on a bible." I didn't know what the alternative was, but it turned out to be pretty reasonable: raise your hand, instead of laying it on the bible. And the last part of the swearing, something with god somewhere in there, was just left unsaid for me.

I was the only member of the jury to choose not to swear on the bible. And after I turned the bible down, they actually asked each person if he or she would swear on the bible before it was brought forth. Obviously, my refusal was a rarity.

In the jury room, at the end of the deliberations, three weeks later, I was asked why I didn't swear on the bible. I replied, "I don't believe in that stuff." Pretty weak answer, I know. If I could go back, I would have said, "I'm an atheist." Why didn't I then? Because I still struggle with using the word "atheist" when talking to Christians.

Many Christians still have a terrible perception of atheism. It's a threatening idea to them, that someone could not believe in the being that gives them meaning. So they demonize us. They write ridiculous rants about atheism that are gobbled up eagerly by their followers. It is much easier to believe that atheists are immoral agents of the devil than reasonable human beings with a self-enforced morality based on simple principles of evolution and survival.

But atheism is picking up steam. It's becoming higher profile. More and more people are openly admitting that they see the world differently than the majority. At the same time, the fundamentalist movements are becoming louder and more frightening. Interesting times are surely ahead.

Thus ends "Atheism and me." Thank you and good night.

Atheism and me, part 1

A couple of recent Pharyngula posts have had me thinking the last couple of days about how I define "atheism" and how I came to consider myself to be an atheist. Long story short: I always was an atheist, even if I didn't always call myself that. But the full story will take a couple of posts to tell...

First, the links to those two posts I mentioned:
I keep being told what I believe
Freethought tag-team wrestling match

I grew up in a home that was not strongly religious. My parents weren't atheists--non-practicing Christians is probably accurate--but we also didn't pay many visits to the church. My brothers and I were all baptized, and I believe that we all attended some manner of Sunday school, but none of it ever stuck with me. By the time I was old enough to question Santa Claus, I was also not feeling the god love. But as a kid, you don't really think much about these things. I didn't grow up in a religious community, so religion simply didn't play much of a role in my life.

So I have no conversion story. I never was religious. I may have been Christian in name from the baptism on, but it never played any role in my development. I couldn't tell you the first time I realized I was actually unique in not believing in god. It's just kind of always been there in the back of my head. And it wasn't until I was a teenager that I started noticing how much of the world around me was into this whole Jebus thing.

For many of my public school years, the Lord's Prayer and God Save the Queen were rituals of every morning. The only thing I can remember about this daily ritual is the day that my friend got me into a giggling fit right in the middle of it, and we were both sent out into the hall for a stern talking to. I may have recited the words every day, but they meant nothing to me. (I am glad that they have removed this type of ritual from most public schools. Even though most kids don't give a shit about this kind of thing, it just has no place in public schools.)

I can't say when I was first exposed to the idea of atheism. Maybe when I was introduced to the internet in 1995, maybe there was some tv show I saw earlier... I really can't say. But I know that religion only started bothering me in my later high school years, and this carried through to the peak of my anti-religious furor in my early years of university.

My high school years were when I really started noticing how many of the small rituals we do every day had their basis in religion. I honestly hadn't noticed nor cared before, but suddenly someone saying grace was a piss-off. Everyone has some rebellious urges in their late teen years, and my rebellion was about religion. Not god per say. Just religion.

But it was a quiet rebellion. I just refused to partake in any of the rituals anymore. I wouldn't bow my head during prayer, nor during grace. I would be the only person still sitting in church during a wedding's devotion. I liked the minor attention that I earned with this type of behaviour. More and more, I considered myself to be anti-religious--specifically anti-Christian, because Christianity was the only religion with any visibility at the time.

University only strengthened my resolve. Campus Crusade for Christ advertised everywhere, which annoyed me--but whatever, that's their right. Much worse was their visit to my dorm room on an annual basis. These were my first actual encounters with Evangelical Christians, and they left a mark.

I am a hobby musician. I play guitar, sing, etc. I started writing my own songs in my late teens. Most of the early songs were heavily influenced by the alternative music of the time--especially the depressing lyrics. It wasn't me speaking for myself, it was me trying to capture the magic of my influences with forced artificiality. But after my third visit from Campus Crusade, I wrote one of my most personal and passionately angry songs, "Campus Crusade for Christ."

This is my last stand
I am who I am
You cannot change me
It's not your right to judge me

I can't believe your audacity
Knock on my door to tell me
He will save me
You see, I don't believe in your Heaven or Hell
Is your God good or evil? Sometimes I just can't tell

This is my last stand
I am who I am
You cannot change me
It's not your place to judge me

It's pretty simple, actually
The Bible is a work of fantasy
And it makes no sense to me
You see, I don't believe the stories about your Jesus
If you think about it, it's pretty damn ridiculous

This is my last stand
I am who I am
You cannot change me
You have no right to judge me
I've always been this way

So stop saying I'm boarding a speeding Chariot to Hell
If Heaven's for jerks like you, I guess it's just as well

This is my last stand
I am who I am
You cannot change me
You have no right to judge me
I've always been this way

This was the beginning of a string of religion-themed songs. Religion frequently made me angry, and music is an excellent way to vent. I also started venting by moving beyond the quiet rebellion into full-on asshole territory. I became arrogant in my anti-religion, and started saying anti-religious things just to draw attention to the fact that I didn't believe the same things that most people do. I angered a lot of people that way, because for them, religion is a serious part of their life and to have someone completely disrespect it is to have someone completely disrespecting them. But I felt like this religious society was disrespecting me, so it was fair.

If I had a conversion story, and I've already said that I don't, it would probably start like this: in 1996, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and she passed away in 1997. If I had still believed in a god at this time, this would have been where I would have started hating it. But there was no god for me to hate. (Ironically, this event brought my father back to god.)

In response to this loss, I sat down and wrote some of my most devastating lyrics to date. It was a five part suite titled "The Whispering," and part three of the suite, "Monday," is the most relevant to this discussion. Warning!--this song does not hold back on the language!

Sure I'd like to blame Him, say it's all His fucking fault!
And it would be nice to know that my mom's in a better place
But I can't believe in Him
I won't believe in Him!

As appealing as it may be
I won't... sacrifice... my beliefs for anything

Sure I'd like to blame Him, say fuck God and fuck you all!
And it would be reassuring to know that one day we'll be reunited
But I can't believe in Him
I won't believe in Him!

What has He done for me?
I won't... sacrifice... my beliefs for anything

At my mother's funeral on the "Monday" referenced in the song title, I finally found someone to hate: the preacher that delivered the ceremony. I understand that it is the preacher's job to comfort the family. And this is hard, because death is hard. However, how is this comforting?--my mother was taken from us at a young age because she was such a good person that god wanted her by its side early. Yes, this is what he said. Was I the only person in the room that realized how inherently offensive that statement is? I know he didn't mean to slam everyone else that didn't die, but by trying to place meaning on a meaningless death, he inadvertently suggested that the rest of us weren't good enough to die yet. God didn't want us.

This is why religion pisses me off. There is no meaning in life. People die for unfair reasons all the time, and once they die, they are gone, except for the mark they left on the people they leave behind. But this doesn't mean that life is not worth living, because it is. You have to enjoy it now for what it is, not hold out for what it could be in an imaginary immortal heaven. That mark that you leave behind--that is your immortality.

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

All quiet on the IT front

I've been a good boy. For one full week now!

And I haven't heard a peep from IT since October 31st, which is certainly a good thing, because I'm pretty sure my boss will flip out on me if he gets another IT call anytime soon.

The only remnant on my computer of the Firefox war is a quicklaunch icon on my desktop that points to my USB drive (the one my boss gave me--the one with no programs on it). I named it "I feel like a star!" with the shortcut comment "Thanks for watching!"

My apology letter was shockingly sent to IT without modification at the end of last week. I was pretty confident that my boss was going to edit it--because he told me he was going to edit it--but in the end, he felt it was good enough. I'm a little disappointed I didn't put more effort into it now...

So, what now? My Manifesto established a number of subjects that I could blog about at length, but that would be somewhat redundant. Not that redundancy will stop me, as it doesn't hurt to lend my voice to the cause of rationality.

But why keep a blog when nobody is reading? And do I want people reading anyway? It's one thing for family and friends to stop by because I told them about this blog, but what if someone from the IT department came upon this blog by chance? I have not shared this blog with anyone at work, since I really don't want the URL showing up in any of our IT internet reports, even though it is my co-workers that would enjoy the subject matter of my inaugural story the most.

What would happen if IT found this blog, anyway? I'm sure they'd be angry and file a complaint with my boss, who would in turn become angry and confront me about it, but I don't exactly work for a company that is known for disciplining employees. And it's not like I have done anything wrong. No breaches of security or confidentiality--although I'm certain I'd have to argue the latter point. No discussions of the work we do. No badmouthing of particular employees (well... except for my old boss). No mention whatsoever of the company that I work for. I just told a true story about IT silliness. On my personal time. What's so bad about that?

Well, I hope I don't have to find out the answer to that last question. For now, I will carry on doing what I'm doing. I didn't start this blog because I hope to have hundreds of readers visiting every day to see my latest posts on atheism or politics or Battlestar Galactica--I created (and maintain) this blog because it's a great way to vent at the end of a frustrating day at work...

("Why not vent in a less public manner?" is a fair question that I can't really provide a good answer to.)

If there is actually anyone out there reading this, please feel free to stop by again soon... maybe there will actually be something worth reading the next time.

Oh, before I log off for the day, PZ Myers at Pharyngula has put out the call to all freethinkers to help choose a symbol for the freethought movement:

Freethought Symbology

My vote is for Affinity:

PayPal thinks George R.R. Martin is a terrorist

George R.R. Martin, author of my favourite fantasy fiction series of all time, A Song of Ice and Fire, has an interesting tale of PayPal misery in an entry from Sunday on his blog, "Not a Blog":

"PayPal Thinks I'm a Terrorist"

I've personally found PayPal to be a very useful internet service, overall, and haven't had any problems in the two years I've been a member. But I've mostly used it to process credit card payments for Ebay auctions, and I don't keep money in the account. If PayPal decided I was a terrorist and locked my account, it would have minimal effect on me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Miltiades' Manifesto

Although this blog was created to vent about my company’s frustrating IT department, I feel that it’s time to expand the canvas and establish the future path of this public journal.

So this is what I believe.

1. There is no god.

I don’t need proof of this. There is no proof otherwise, and that is all that matters. I don't need proof that there is no such thing as the Flying Spaghetti Monster--praise Him, ramen!--and the Christian god is just as (un)likely to exist. Atheism is not a religion. It is not faith. It is rationality.

Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, has a good line: "We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further."

2. Evolution is fact.

Evolution is a widely supported scientific theory. "Theory" in scientific circles does not mean the same thing as "guess." It's as good as fact, even though we are still learning how all of the pieces fit together. But that's the key to science--always developing.

3. Morality is not a religious construct.

Why do I do good? No, it's not because I'm frightened of god's retribution and an eternity in hell. It's because of empathy and enlightened self-interest. I "do unto others..." Contrary to what many Christians believe, morality existed long before the bible brought us the ten commandments, and it will exist long after the Christian faith has faded into history.

4. Fundamentalist Christians need a good knock upside the head.

The bible is not the true word of god. The earth is much, much older than 6,000 years. Humans were not created in the image of god. I could go on and on. I generally have nothing against moderate Christians (ie. 90% of Christians), but Fundamentalist Christians are a loud bunch, and seemingly getting louder...

5. Politics and religion must not mix.

The Conservative Party. Republicans. The parties in power in both Canada and the US owe a lot of their success to the religious right. And both parties have an obvious religious agenda. Whether the debate is about stem cell research, abortion, or gay marriage, religion--specifically the Christian religion--is playing a huge role in the decision making of these governments, and it is only getting worse.

6. Life does not begin at conception.

I am pro-choice. If a woman wants to have an abortion, I support that right. It's her body. And there is a big difference between a fetus and a baby.

7. Heterosexual marriage... gay marriage... it's all the same.

Everyone in this country has the right to get married. Deal with it. The "traditional definition of marriage" is dead, as is the "traditional family." There is no debate to reopen here.

8. Psychics are either lying scumbags or self-deluded morons.

Skepticism goes hand in hand with being an atheist. Rationality in all areas is important. James Randi has been seeking proof of supernatural ability for longer than I have been alive, and--surprise, surprise!--there is none. But that isn't stopping the so-called psychics from raking in the cash.

9. If "Alternative Medicine" worked, it would be just "medicine."

Alternative medicine is a huge scam. If you could make millions with an untested product just by using scientific sounding words in non-scientific ways, appealing to people's frustration with impersonal care by the under-funded and under-staffed medical industry, relying on questionable anecdotal evidence, confirmation bias, and the all-important placebo effect... but no, that's not what they are doing! Because obviously a teacher knows more about colds than a doctor, right? And rubbing a stick of wax on your forehead will surely cure that headache, right? Yeah.

And because I want to end this manifesto with something light-hearted and a little less contentious...

10. Battlestar Galactica is the best show on TV.

If you are a science fiction fan and haven't started watching BSG, what the hell are you waiting for? But you had better start at the beginning with the miniseries. To start watching now, in the middle of season three, would be stupid. So go buy the DVDs or something!

And that's what I believe.

My USB drive must leave the building

The hammer has come down. Wielded by my boss this time. I have been given a clean USB drive for work purposes, and I am to use it for portability of documents only. I am not permitted to have any executables on the drive whatsoever--to avoid temptation, I guess.

My personal USB drive has been kicked off the premises. I tried to clean it up to make it more acceptable, but that didn't make the cut with my boss. He never wants to hear about my personal drive ever again, and wants to assure IT that it will never touch my computer again (ha!).

This is okay. No big deal. But also a bit of a piss-off. I recently picked up an awesome high speed 2GB drive, and my new work drive is an old 512MB clunker. But that’s a big enough size for my files, and speed isn't a huge issue when executables aren't being launched, so I guess I'll survive. Ultimately the portability of my files was the reason I got into this whole game. I have important spreadsheets that I use at home and work, and keeping them synced was a problem until I decided to always use the same files on the same portable drive. Portable Apps and Portable Firefox came later. So I’m back to where I started.

I have mostly stuck to the rules so far, with the exception of YadaDisk, an encryption program for my files. IT is aware of this program, and they haven’t forbid its use yet, so I will continue to use it until they say stop.

My personal USB drive will also still make periodic (and secret) reappearances in my office, generally first thing in the morning, to deliver last night’s episode of whatever TV show I am watching that day at lunch (like Veronica Mars on Wednesday--or Thursday, depending on the download speed of the Tuesday night torrent). And then it will hide in my bag, a lonely USB drive, waiting to go home and run Firefox, because I have continued to run Portable Firefox at home.