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What Heroes Are Made Of

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What Heroes Are Made Of
Originally uploaded by avpjack

This is Jimmy A's guitar. Jimmy started me out with a few chords last year at "Old People's Beach Week" in North Myrtle Beach. I've since learned Margaritaville and the opening to She's Gone. Thank you Jimmy A. Thank you.

Well, not just those two songs, but those were the most exciting to learn. When I get done with the oppressive tedium of academia, I'm gonna take lessons. I can then I add Slow RIde and Freebird to my repetoire.
Dear DB (think about it and you'll know what insult I'm using),

When you decided to up and leave town, the blog went all Greek. Then, terrorists started shooting at people from the side of the highway. Yes, I said terrorists - I'm now afraid of the highway. WTF?

Whose Blog Is This?

What the hell happened to the blog? Why is it no longer in American?

Downtown Train

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Downtown Train
Originally uploaded by avpjack
I figured I'd start posting stuff from Flickr here. This was one of our better days in New Orleans. The engineer...what do you call the guy that drives an electric train in 2008?...was pretty nice. He picked us up even though we had no tickets and took us to the place to get tickets. Afterwards, he didn't even make us use our tickets. If you need streetcar tickets for New Orleans, just let me know.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Place Your Bets

Monday, March 24, 2008
Our next ultrasound is scheduled for April 21st at if you want to take a guess as to whether it's a boy or a girl, you have until then.

I'm really not sure, so I can't help you. :-)

Resistance Is Futile..

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Round one, complete

Friday, March 21, 2008
Here we are, only 5 hours later .... and I have just about everything done. Still missing:
1. MediaWiki
2. Fully configured Apache2
3. DNS (really not needed)

It's late, and my blog posts are confusing Mrs. B, so it's time to call it quits.

Things that I shouldn't be doing on a Friday night

Top on the list: fighting with AppleTalk file sharing on Linux.

Long story short: to get Leopard to connect to the Ubuntu/Debian versions of netatalk, you have to allow cleartext passwords under Leopard. On the mac, run this:
defaults write afp_cleartext_allow -bool true

And voila! it works. This is because there's a licensing issue with SSL; you can break the license and rebuild netatalk, but it wasn't working for me. Yet. For now, I will hack it.

Found the hack courtesy comments here, and found the SSL rebuild magic here.

On to the next headache :-/

What happened to the blog?

Δεν καταλαβαίνω μια λέξη όλου αυτού.

The Saga Continues

2 hours, 40 minutes in, and I have solved my RAID problem. The RAID device is now resyncing (should be finished before midnight).

Next: download & rebuild the netatalk package to allow SSL-encrypted AppleTalk (because Macs are sexy).

Snag #2

Fixed the first snag; pseudo-static DHCP did the trick. On to snag #2: RAID.

Have managed to solve this, but what a PITA. Had to create /dev/md0, which involved
sudo /dev/MAKEDEV md

which put the devices in a lower-level subdirectory to be added to /dev/ at a later date. This makes sense in retrospect, but wow ... I'm glad I've got Google. One reboot later, and some shenanigans in /etc/fstab, and I have RAID.

So: I now have a working
1. Base OS & networking
2. Apache 2.2.4
3. MySQL 5.0.45
4. PHP 5.2.3-1
5. Software RAID (but haven't proven this is reboot-proof yet)
7. USB
8. SSH

Now on to the rest. This is going quite quickly, all things considered.

Snag #1

Problem #1: IP addressing. The king server needs a static IP address so the other hosts on my network can find it. The default Ubuntu installation uses DHCP. I could modify the /etc/network/interfaces file to specify static addressing, but I think it might be better to tell my router (which is acting as a gateway & DHCP server) to serve king the same IP address every time it connects. Trying that now.

The First Acid Test

Acid test number 1: the first reboot onto the hard drive. Open questions here:
1. did I install grub onto the correct partition? I used the master boot record of my first SATA drive (/dev/sda1).

2. Did I pooch the mail installation? Probably. I can't remember the server that I'm using as a relay. No worries: I'll pull this from the saved config files on my backup disk (yeah, I made a backup). That is, assuming USB works, and I can get to the disk.

Conversion, part 1

First problem: remember which partitions NOT to erase. The installer is complaining the two partitions involved in software RAID (mirroring) have some sort of error. I think this is normal.

I hope this is normal.

Now installing the base OS .....

I'm Converting

... from RedHat to Ubuntu.

Wait. You thought I meant what? No. I'm a proud Jewpalian, and will remain so.


My RedHat installation is waaaaay too outdated for me to install new versions of anything. I could upgrade it, but frankly, I got there by refusing to buy into the up2date service. I could use a Linux kernel update. And I'd like to get my LAMP stack working correctly. So.

Ubuntu to the rescue! At least, here's hoping.

Blog posts throughout the night as I try to get the beast up and running. Critical services that MUST work by tomorrow morning:
1. Base OS & networking
2. Apache 2.x
3. MySQL
4. PHP (ideally, php5)
5. Software RAID
6. Netatalk (really, afpd)
7. USB
8. SSH
9. CVS
10. Subversion

Plus, I'd like to make sure I have:
11. MediaWiki (the new Wiki)
12. The existing Wiki (can't remember what flavor this is ... DokuWiki?)
13. DNS (caching nameserver)

I'll be posting progress throughout the night. And on into the weeks ahead, if necessary.

Dr. Strangelove

Thursday, March 20, 2008
Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Alien Growing Inside Me

18 weeks down, 22-ish more to go!

A few days ago, I thought I felt someone poke me in the stomach - from the inside. I wasn't sure, though. Then yesterday, there was no mistaking the feeling - like someone was playing the piano on my insides for a few seconds. It's odd, and reassuring, and pretty neat.

This is the weirdest and coolest thing I've ever done.

It's hard out here for a...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008
What do you think?

As far as I can tell, Ferraro's comments come across as racist. Maybe she's not a racist, I dunno. If not, she's just plain stupid. I could be wrong, but that's my opinion. She could be telling it like it is. She could also be telling me that being excited by a black person running for President is wrong and I shouldn't do that. On the other hand, being black never helped Alan Keyes seem more attractive to me as a candidate for anything.
"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up,' Ferraro said. 'Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

Reality: Racism doesn't work in two different directions. You're either an idiot or you're not. You're either willing to say something hurtful to win or you're not. It's just one way. I'm not on the other side of the fence.

People are attacking you because you are alienating a significant voter base in the middle of the primaries to win by inciting racism. How do you plan to bring these people back to Hillary if she wins the nomination?

Polls have shown that 90% of the black voters in Mississippi voted for Obama, while only 30% of whites voted for him. What does this mean? He's winning because he's black? Possibly. What else could it mean? Mississippi is steeped in years of racist tradition? Uh huh. Anything else? An important demographic for the democratic party is black people. Yep.
"In all honesty, do you think that if he were a white male, there would be a reason for the black community to get excited for a historic first?" Ferraro said. "Am I pointing out something that doesn't exist?"

What I've seen personally is people crossing party lines to vote for this man - blacks, whites, Puerto Ricans, and Samoans alike. It could very well be just rhetoric, but it's rhetoric that transcends the bounds of traditional politics. It transcends things like race and gender. It excites people in a good way. It makes them care and it makes them want to get involved.
Ferraro said she was not trying to diminish Obama's candidacy, and acknowledged up front that she would not have been the vice presidential nominee in 1984 if she had been a man.

If she's not trying to diminish his candidacy, why would she even go down this path? What else would her purpose be? She never mentions that this is a sign of change in this country…that race may not be the liability that it once was.

Ferraro's comments have excited me in a bad way. I'm angry. I'm angry because there's some truth in her statements. That Obama has gotten this far in part because he's black (but then there’s Vermont, Iowa, Maine, etc.), but it’s a liability for him in Pennsylvania. Let's flip it though. Hillary is a woman and she's running for President. Would she be able to do this if she were black? Would educated whites run out and vote for her? Would she inspire college students to believe in our political process? Probably not. If Hillary wasn't white, would she be where she is today? If she wasn’t white, would she be able to exploit race as a political tool in Pennsylvania?
"Sexism is a bigger problem,' Ferraro argued. 'It's OK to be sexist in some people's minds. It's not OK to be racist."
Apparently 30% of voters for both candidates felt that race was a deciding factor in choosing a candidate. Racism may not be socially acceptable, but it's alive and well. When was the last time large groups of people were rounded up because they possessed a certain type of genitalia? When was the last big rally of an organization sponsoring hate crimes against people of the opposite sex?

Not to say that sexism isn’t a problem, but it doesn’t seem to be what is keeping Hillary down. Being white and rich certainly isn’t hurting her either. I don’t see her complaining about that. I'm going to ask my mother if she thinks that being black or being a woman has been harder.

Verb 'n' Verb

Sunday, March 09, 2008
On another note ...

Have you noticed that all baby/toddler items you can purchase are named "Verb and Verb" (or the ever popular, Verb 'N' Verb). I suppose it's part of the FUD parenting ethos - if you are loaded up with Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about parenting you will buy anything regardless of cost to make sure you are doing the best possible thing for baby (warning, Margaret and John, do not succumb to this). Everything must be TWO things, or your baby will not learn, grow, play, whatever ....

Here's a list of just the things I have around my house at first glance:

Pack 'n' play
Peek and sqeak
kick and play
snap 'n' go
play and learn
play and grow
seal and go
sit and spin

What have I left out?

iPhones are for phones, not blogs

Yes, the iPhone is cool.

No, it does not make a good blog interface. Until you get a touch screen computer. The text is hard to read, and WHERE THE HECK IS THE NEW POST LINK???? Why do I have to go to my blogger home page to write this? My life is complicated enough already! Argghhh!


Thursday, March 06, 2008
Happy Anniversary, hon. I love you.

I'm dope on the floor and I'm magic on the mic.

Nuff Said.

Saturday's Weather

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Fred and Valerie are getting married on Saturday! I remember our wedding, four years ago around this time - beautiful day, sunny, breezy...

A few minutes ago I started wondering what the weather will be like for this Saturday, so I went to the weather channel website. The report was concerning, so I called Oh Bee Juan to discuss. He looked up the weather as well, but was not concerned. Took us a few minutes to figure out why - apparently the weather in 22902 is going to be much nicer than in 22901!

Good thing the wedding is in 22903, which will be having weather much like 22902's.

One day God stopped over in Amsterdam

Monday, March 03, 2008

and created the Beertender. It takes those Heineken kegs that you get from the grocery store and makes them even more amazing.

Our anniversary is on Thursday and I believe the fourth anniversary is the frivolous, over-indulgent, binge-inducing, Dutch invention anniversary. Well, I think that's all I need to say about that.

I hear from other folks that the Beertender is amazing and everybody knows how much I love Dutch beer. I think it also doubles as a nanny. With that said, why is it that I love Heineken on some days and think that it tastes like <insert word meaning putrid or rank here> on others?

I'm sure that it will taste wonderful everyday with the Beertender serving it up.