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   Went up to Devil's Late State Park today for a hike around the lake.  I was hoping to capture some of fall color which really only started in earnest this past week.  On the drive I was a little concerned I missed the color as most of the color seemed to have turned to brown, but the color at the park was really quite nice.  One could not have asked for better temperatures for any fall day.  Temperatures were in the low 60s °F (around 16 °C) with low humidity and not much wind.  My hike took me around 4.5 miles starting with a climb up the northeast rock face and a clockwise circuit of trails by the lake.

November 05, 2021

My Initial Use of the Singular Plural

Pokie at Breakfast

Pokie at Breakfast

In my early web articles I used “we” a lot instead of “I”. At the time my thinking was represented a group of computers and the people of Park Place (our residence at the time). Thus it seemed like I should be using “we” because I was speaking on behalf of the group. At some point it was mentioned that my articles were written as if using the royal plural, and I was in the ranks kings, queens and Margaret Thatcher. As a result I slowly transitioned away from the singular plural.

November 04, 2021

Removing Bad Escape Marks

Baby Igor and the Alchemist's Table

Baby Igor and the Alchemist's Table

At some point in the porting process of my website I ended up with escape marks in my articles. Not exactly sure when I introduced these, but they caused quite a nuisance. All my older article links did not work and I’d saw from web logs tons of 404 errors from search engines looking for bad URLs due to escape characters. I wrote a script to walk through each of the articles in the database, remove escape codes, and if the article changed, write it back. Then I manually inspected articles containing source code. Those articles actually need the escape characters. I think I fixed everything, but it is hard to say for sure.

November 03, 2021

Set of Fail2Ban

Halloween Garage's Steaming Cauldron

Halloween Garage's Steaming Cauldron

My web server runs fail2ban but I never saw it ban anything. After some investigation I found it wasn’t correctly looking for the Apache log file. Once I fix this I tested it by making requests using wget from I knew would trip the detection. I might have been able to use the DNS server of to make these requests, but it will send error e-mails when it cannot connect to the web server and I didn’t want that.

I’ve been seeing a lot of SQL injection attacks lately so I wanted to make sure that filter was working. I also enabled an error 500 check. Error 500 is when a script fails and attacks often cause this. I’ll keep an eye on the log file for this script over the next several days. I want to make sure it only bans malicious activity.

November 02, 2021

Complains on .Trash-1000

Dragon with the

Dragon with the "Bad Witch"

Got a backup failure indication today caused by the .Trash-1000 directory. This directory is created any time a file is removed by the Gnome library libgio on the file system the file the file was removed from. The purpose is to keep the file in case one wishes to undo the removal.

Sadly there isn’t any way to limit the creation of this directory. While I don’t mind it existing for local drives, it makes no sense on network or removable drives. People have been making complains about this since at least 2010 and there is still no solution.

For now I have simply added the trash directory to my list of ignored files on the backup machine, but long term I would like a better solution.

November 01, 2021

Migration to Atom Editor



I’ve slowly started switching to using Atom as my main editor after well over a decade using UltraEdit. I began using UltraEdit after finding it the default editor when working at Rockwell Collins. After getting used to version I started buying it. Despite the fact I owned a more recent version, I still used version 16 because I liked it better. I bought an upgrade when I switched to Linux, but it wasn’t as good as the non-Linux version and ever since I’ve been wanting to switch to something else. Slowly I have been forcing myself to use Atom and get used to it. The editor is actually built on Chromium so it has Javascript and CSS built in. The editor makes extensive use of plugins and it seems like getting the fetchers I want is just a matter of finding the right plugin.

The first order of business for me was to create the color scheme I’ve been stuck with since 1995. I have (more or less) used the Borland Turbo Pascal/C color scheme since I first encountered it. Most of my C articles on this site still use the color scheme. Although some of the modern dark themes look pretty good, I still prefer the yellow-on-blue from my DOS days. I was having problems creating the color theme until I discovered Atom is actually Chromium, and as a result I can open the developer window and inspect what CSS classes are being assigned to syntax. Being well versed in CSS creating a custom CSS file for my desired color scheme was pretty easy.

There are still a lot of issues I have with Atom that need solutions. For now, however, I am pleased to be making progress.

Birthday shout out to Amanda.

October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween!

The garage has been transformed into an alchemist and mad scientist's laboratory.  We had a great turnout of people tonight, many of whom remembered our house from 2019.