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Vinny vs. Red Dot

Vinny vs. Red Dot

   Vinny has found a new toy, my laser level.  She'll chase the red dot all over the house, never able to catch it.  In this picture, I've set the laser on a table.  Although it had stopped moving, Vinny sat below it and watched for sometime—perhaps contemplating how she was going to get that red dot.
   Rebuilt the loft at the Shed.  Good old Shed 40 in Roscoe once served as our practice place for the band, recording studio and even a living quarters for a short time.  Shed 40 is rented by Zen, and has for a long time.   I originally constructed a loft in the summer of 2000 so Malicious Mischief would have a place to practice.  After Mal. Mis. went our separate ways, Shed 40 became the practice area for 3NP. In 2001, after we moved into Park Place, the band took over the basement.  The loft was removed so the wood could be used to cover the dirt floor at Park Place and the Shed returned to a storage area.  Now, the loft has been partly reconstructed as a wood hanger.

March 19, 2006

Intermittent downtime

Little kitty can see

Little kitty can see

   Scattered downtime.  I noticed it starting around 4:20pm and it continued intermittently until 6:30pm.  That upsets me.  I hate even a minute of downtime, and have always taken great lengths to eliminate this.  With TDS, we had maybe 24 hours of downtime in the 5 year time span we had them.  With Charter, we've had 2 hours in after the third week-- and that's just what I know about.  To keep an eye on things, I wrote a script that will check the status of our connection every 5 seconds.  Loss of connectivity will be logged in a database.  We're going to keep a count of every minute we don't have our business-class connection.
   Our life-time account on SDF (Super Dimension Fortress) has been approved.  Now I have a remote location to try out various things.  I originally was interested because I wanted a remote server to SSH to other servers.  I've run into problems where I couldn't reach something from my network directly, so this adds a middle man.  Since I set up an SSH account on Zen's server, this hasn't been a big issue.  But SDF also lets me use GCC and run programs.  That's good stuff, since having a remote Unix system for testing makes writing portable software easier.
   Last night I noticed the kittens starting to open their eyes.  Today, one of the kittens could look back at me.

March 15, 2006

E-mail is back up

   Since it had been awhile, I decided having e-mail working might be a good thing. The Black Dragon has having problems with e-mail during the move. Every time an e-mail come in, the system locked up. Not a good sign. We wanted to get the e-mail hosted on the Indigo Dragon anyway, so this seemed like a great time for that. So, we setup sendmail and Dovecot. Didn't take too long at all. The biggest issue I had was Debian's "aptitude". I compiled OpenSSH myself, but aptitude won't recognise that. So installing Dovecot, I had to re-install OpeSSH. All the services seem to be functioning now.
   Picture today is Wednesday's eyes, taken in January.

March 13, 2006

UPSes setup

   The Indigo Dragon takes back server operations.  This was a rather involved process.  First I wanted to get the UPSes running.  Since they both hum and are rather large, I decided to place them in the back room.  To connect them to the servers, which are in the front room, I ran 14 gage wire though the ceiling, into the attic and over to the front room.  This wire is directly connected to the UPSes.  Since they both use standard electrical outlets mounted in the back, it was easy to connect the wire to the screw terminals on the outlets.  There is no risk they will be accidentally unplugged this way.  To help limit hum, I set the UPses on Styrofoam.  I also placed a large amount of weight on top of them.  It helps, but the hum is still pretty significant.
   After the UPSes were setup, I setup the Netgear router.  The Linksys was only a temporary solution until Park Place had been shutdown and I could retrieve the Netgear.  The change over went fairly smooth, syncing the Indigo Dragon to the White and then transferring control.  I make one mistake however.  The Linksys had a subnet.  The scripts to automatically sync the apache config where not setup to change from this subnet.  Thus, all the sub-domains were routed to the root of  In most cases, this isn't what people came for.  I caught it after a few hours, but I'm sure a couple gamers looking for King's Quest information were a little upset.
   Picture today is a skateboarder at Riverside Park, taken a year ago today.
   Went to visit Pluvius and test the hard drive from that RAID array that wasn't functioning. After running the extended test, no error turned up. To means there might be a cable issue, or a bad channel on the RAID controller, but the hard drive looks fine.
   On our return trip, our truck's alternator went out. The voltage dropped from 14 to about 10 volts and we herd a grinding noise. Shortly there after, we started seeing sparks coming from under the hood and decided it was necessary to pull over. I opened the hood and the alternator had flames shooting out of it. Engine fires are not a good thing, so I decided I had to extinguish the fire fast. One of the sand bags in the bed of my truck had broken open, so I threw a few handfuls of sand and the flames. That killed them. From this point forward, I'm going to carry a fire extinguisher in my truck. I was lucky— had the fire spread, I could have lost the entire vehicle.
   Pictured is Guy doing a fireball, displaying that fire is usually very much our friend.

1 comment has been made.

From Zen (


March 13, 2006 at 8:11 AM

Damn dude, that's crazy.  My brother had an old Jimmy burn up like that.. totally demolished the vehicle - all from a bad alternator.  Good thing you had a means to extinguish it..
Since you don't already have one, I'd recommend putting together an emergancy kit for your truck.  I have one (three, actually) in my car, and they're wonderful to have.  Just take an old duffel bag or similar and put a no-battery flashlight, radio, fire extinguisher, duct tape, some extra wire and other basic tools, basic first aid, water, and some food that keeps (I have some canned fruit and wild ramen).  Stuff that shit behind your seat, and it'll be there to save your ass next time ;)