Alkahest my heroes have always died at the end

November 29, 2009

Trash heap of programming history

Filed under: Technical — cec @ 1:08 pm

When we put in the massive wall-eating bookcase, I thought that we had enough book space for the next 10,000 years! Or at least the next 10. Unfortunately, things were filling up a bit too fast, so I grabbed some of the books that I know I’ll never use again and will send them to recycling. Most are completely out of date (from bottom to top, these are from the mid-80s to the late 90s). Linux Application Development is probably still relevant, but a little too basic. Linux Device Drivers goes all the way through the 2.0 kernel series (and may be relevant for the experimental 2.1 series)! Switched LANs (snicker) and In Search of Clusters were given to me by vendors. And if I ever have to program native X-Windows again, I’ll kill myself. I kept the books on C/C++, Python, Perl and PHP – though I’ll probably never buy another programming book. Maybe Celeste is right, I should just get a Safari account… Google works pretty well too. If there’s anything you want in here, let me know…

November 24, 2009

Allman Brothers Band

Filed under: Random — cec @ 3:31 pm

10256 It’s a good day for the Allman Brothers. Great southern rock without the confederate overtones and segregationist dog whistles in Lynard Skynyrd.

November 23, 2009

Yellowstone calendar pictures

Filed under: Gallery,Photography — cec @ 10:27 pm

Time to assemble the annual Yellowstone calendar.   This year I had a bit of a deadline (and not the shipping deadline this year!).  The company I ordered from (Zazzle) was having a 44% off deal, which expires around 3am.  Unfortunately, because of my grandfather’s death, I never did get around to processing the pictures from this year’s trip, so I didn’t have anything ready to go.  Fortunately, it didn’t take that long to find 10… 18… 26… 28… 29 pictures.  It took a bit longer to color correct and prune them back down to the 13 below:


November 19, 2009


Filed under: Cooking,Gardening — cec @ 9:44 am

pickled-tomatoes and that’s the last of the summer veggies:  pickled green (and unripe red) tomatoes (mostly cherry), bannana peppers, a couple of small eggplant (can you pickle eggplant?) and an okra that I hadn’t noticed.  I’ll crack one of these open in a month or so and see how they taste.  FWIW, the pickled bannana peppers from September are great.

November 16, 2009

cec’s day off

Filed under: Gallery,Gardening — cec @ 9:02 pm

I thought about titling this “VD Day” for reasons explained below, but as K pointed out, my mom reads this blog.  More to the point, as I noted, my mom has a dirty mind – which is where most of her children got our sense of humor, so she would absolutely get it.  Anyway, I took today off work, because a) I recently had a birthday and wanted a three day weekend, and b) there were a number of little things around the house that needed doing.  In rough chronological order, I

  • finished up the door that I installed in August (September?).  There wasn’t much left, I just needed to bore out the hole for the doorbell without tearing up the doorbell wires, with a detour into making the stupid doorbell work again.  I got that finished and put up all of the old screen door (in case we reinstall it) then piled up all the old door frame, etc.  VD:  Victory over the Door!
  • built a new, larger, compost area.  We used to have a reasonable sized plastic compost bin, but that has proved difficult to use (hard to turn the pile) and too small.  The new one is much simpler, just a couple of stakes holding some 4 foot tall hardware cloth in place, but it’s much larger and should be easier to access.
  • cleaned out the garden for the end of summer.  Yeah, yeah, it’s the middle of the fall, but the plants were still producing.  It was good that I had put the compost area together, because I definitely needed the space.  I felt a little bad about pulling up the peppers and tomatoes which still had flowers on them, but since we don’t have the sun or the warm days left to ripen anything, it was probably for the best.  The amazing thing was how much produce was still out there:  a couple of small eggplants, some peppers, okra, a number of green onions, and a ton of tomatoes.

  • started preserving what came out of the garden.  Some of it went into tonight’s dinner:  Orzo with Veggies.  There were enough ripe tomatoes left to turn into roasted tomato sauce (roast tomatoes, garlic, italian seasoning, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for an hour, then puree and can).  I need to get some quart-sized jars tomorrow so that I can pickle all of the green tomatoes… unless someone someone has another good use for 2+ kg of green tomatoes.

Update: I shouldn’t forget, I also

  • cleaned, chopped and froze all of the green onions; and
  • updated the “title font” on my blog from “renaisannce” to “english,”  as well as updated TWRC‘s events

November 13, 2009

Sounds about right to me

Filed under: Funny — cec @ 12:21 pm

Courtesy of xkcd:

November 11, 2009

Mr. Deity

Filed under: Funny,Religion — cec @ 9:18 pm

For all of your theological questions, the deity is now on YouTube.  Two of my favorite questions are the problem of evil and how do you explain the trinity.  Respectively answered in the “Mr. Deity and the Evil” and “Mr. Deity and the Identity Crisis,” below:


Great moments in . . .

Filed under: Random,Security,Technical — cec @ 8:39 pm

Minor notes, none worth their own post.

  • Traffic management: I get a call from K around 5:30. She’s stuck behind an accident and the cops on the scene, a) don’t tell people to take a detour until they’ve been there for a half hour; and b) once the ambulance has left the scene, don’t direct traffic around the one remaining open lane. So, after waiting a half hour, K has to take a 20+ minute detour home.
  • Memory: Once she gets in, K and I are fixing leftovers for dinner. C: “Hey, where are the mashed potatoes?” K: “Where did you put them?” “In the fridge, but I can’t find them.” “Maybe they’re in the freezer.” “Nope, not there either.” Ten minutes of looking for the potatoes. Did we throw them out on Sunday? Nope, not in the trash. Did C put them in the pantry? Nope. Can’t find ’em, can’t find ’em. Finally, K says, “wait, we fixed rice on Sunday.” There weren’t any potatoes. I would attribute it to getting old, but I’ve always been this way.
  • FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt): we’re testing some things at the office – will our authentication system (active directory) honor password failure lockouts when using LDAP authentication? I ask our windows consultant to either a) answer the question, or b) enable an account lockout policy so we can test. He responds back that he can do that, but with the warning that “many Linux services aren’t well-designed for this, and repeatedly try a cached or user-provided password, so that users or service accounts may be mysteriously locked out after one attempt or at some future time when passwords change.” Which is complete and utter B.S. Signs that it’s BS? He references Linux services as opposed to open source, i.e. attempted linux dig. And I used to “own” identity management services, including authentication at a large university and if this was the case, things would have blown up within 10 minutes. I thanked him for the advice and noted that I’ve never seen this, but that it’s why we test.
  • OS Performance: we’re looking into some new ideas at the office. Things that could be useful as a preprocessor for a host based intrusion detection system. As part of my testing, I told my laptop to audit all syscalls made to the kernel, by all processes on the system. CPU load spiked, system performance went through the floor, the windowing system became almost completely non-responsive. In the two minutes it took to get access to a terminal, I logged 150 MB of audit logs. On the plus side, all of the information we need can be collected. Now I just need to figure out how to keep a usable system.
  • Self aggrandizement: talking to my technical manager, we need to write up two journal papers based on our recent work. Cool!

I hope everyone had a good Veteran’s Day and remembered to thank the veterans in their lives.

November 5, 2009

gop hcr doa

Filed under: Political,Social — cec @ 11:02 pm

In the most awesome [1] display of legislative ineptitude since they presented a budget with no numbers on April Fool’s Day, the republicans have released their plan for health care reform.  Now, keep in mind that as scored by the CBO, the democratic plan will increase coverage from 83% to 96% of the legal population in the U.S. by 2019 and will reduce the deficit by $104 billion over the same ten years.  Of course, the republican plan was going to be “much better.”  And was it?  Not so much.  Under the republican plan, coverage will increase from, wait for it,  drum roll please 83% to a whopping, um, 83% by 2019.  Well, hey, at least it’ll do more to improve the deficit, right?  Well, not exactly.  According to the CBO’s initial analysis, there would be a $68 billion dollar reduction in the deficit over the next ten years.

Wow!  How do the republicans manage to achieve such amazing results?  Simple, what they lack in sense, they make up for in strict adherence to ideology.  Free market principles baby.  Do they regulate insurance companies regarding rescission?  Nope, instead they would create the same sort of race to the bottom that we have for credit cards.  Ever wondered why most credit card companies are based in either Delaware or South Dakota?  Simple, those states have passed laws that screw consumers.  Since the credit card market is deregulated, Delaware and South Dakota can screw the whole country and not just their own citizens.  Under the republican plan, you would be looking at the same thing for health insurance.


[1] In the 80s, lots of things were “awesome” to me, and I was very serious about it.  Sometime in the past decade, I’ve taken to using the word again, but with 100% more sarcasm.  Things are now “awesome” in the same sense as 80s hair metal bands are awesome: think Winger.

Facebook security vulnerabilities

Filed under: Security,Technical — cec @ 10:32 am

and this is why I like cross-posting to facebook from my blog.  It’s a healthy reminder that nothing on fb is actually private.  If it’s online – it’ll be exposed eventually, whether through a new exploit, or just because you “friend” someone in the future that you had written about in the past.

h/t hsarik

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