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Garden Bed (#garden ) 2023-05-07
This year, I decided to build some raised garden beds. I had a large number of pallets. These were originally collected with a plan of building a fence. That would have taken over 300 pallets. Once we got to around 100 pallets, we ditched the fence plans, but still had the pallets. So garden beds. Because we had so many, I went a bit overboard - 5 pallets per bed. These need to be built not just on site, but exactly where you want them.

Six weeks of spring (#test ) 2023-05-07
Trying something with an image. Six more weeks of spring.

CICD Test (#test ) 2023-02-22
I have not updated this site in so long, I wanted to see if the pipeline still works. As a follow up, I’ll edit this qit journal and submit it back.

Markdown Syntax Guide (#markdown ) 2021-07-18

This article offers a sample of basic Markdown syntax that can be used in Hugo content files, also it shows whether basic HTML elements are decorated with CSS in a Hugo theme.

Mermaid Diagrams (#markdown #mermaid ) 2021-07-18
Examples The following are some examples of the diagrams, charts and graphs that can be made using Mermaid. Click here to jump into the full syntax. Flowchart flowchart LR A[Hard] -->|Text| B(Round) B --> C{Decision} C -->|One| D[Result 1] C -->|Two| E[Result 2] will be rendered as: flowchart LR A[Hard] -->|Text| B(Round) B --> C{Decision} C -->|One| D[Result 1] C -->|Two| E[Result 2] Sequence diagram sequenceDiagram Alice->>John: Hello John, how are you?

Homelab Rebuild Part 2 (#homelab #rebuild #traefik #docker ) 2019-12-29
I realized so much of my reading on Traefik was based on 1.7 and I was running 2.0. I jumped ahead and set my image to 2.1.1 (latest as of this post). The big problem I had with that blog post was that for the main traffic instance with the redirect was not working. Because I have - "--providers.docker.exposedbydefault=false" I had to add these lines to the labels.

Homelab Rebuild (#homelab #rebuild #traefik #docker ) 2019-10-28
Background I have a homelab which has been grown organically with services installed by hand and placed randomly. I decided it’s time to rebuild it “in place”. Since this isn’t a production system, I have a lot of latitude in taking things down and redoing it. I do have a bunch of montoring data in influxdb that I want to keep, but most of the rest can go away. I’ll start first by figuring out what I have server wise.

Golf Cart project intro (#clubcar #golfcart #alltrax500 ) 2019-03-23
This is an intro to my newest project. I picked up a 1999 Club Car DS “project cart”. It has an A-Frame 6" lift kit, 22" tires, a 10HP motor and an Alltrax DCX 500A controller. I have “all the parts” but the wiring needs completed, batteries added, and finally put back together. My goal is to have a silent EV for roaming around my property. Mistakes: I called this a 10A motor, and that’s what the guy that sold it to me called it.

Powerbox and Learning Fusion 360 (#powerbox #fusion360 #hamradio #gokits ) 2019-03-23

Powerbox in 3D

I am planning a new amateur radio go-kit. I’ve made a number of these over the years. I have a lot of fun making them, and then I get a new radio or come up with a “better” idea. So just like someone on their 4th marriage, I’m getting really good at making go kits. This go kit is a slightly different take. In fact, it’s actually a power box.

GMRS is pretty cheap and easy (#gmrs #radio ) 2018-01-28
I got myself a GMRS license 2 years ago. They are $80 for 5 years, and they allow an entire “immediate” family to use it. That’s spouse, children, parents, in-laws. I thought I was going to put play around with some GMRS repeater/text data modes, never did. Flash forward to more recent. Picked up a 4-pack of Baofeng BF-888S radios. These go for about $13 apiece and $42 for a 4-pack.

Ansible Flush Handlers Immediatley (#ansible ) 2018-01-19
ansible flush handlers In ansible playbooks, handlers (such as to restart a service) normally happen at the end of a run. If you need ansible to run a handler between two tasks, there is “flush_handlers”. - name: flush handlers meta: flush_handlers

Enable linux serial console (#serial ) 2018-01-19
Serial port console This is how to get serial port console working on a Ubuntu 16.04 (or any systemd based OS) and how to access it with idrac/ssh. To get serial port working on a running system: systemctl enable [email protected] systemctl start [email protected] Update Grub: To get serial console during boot up, including the grub menu: Go ahead and edit /etc/default/grub GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="splash quiet" GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="console=tty0" GRUB_TERMINAL="console serial" # also, it takes so long to boot a server, adding 10 # second to the grub menu is more good than harm GRUB_TIMEOUT=10 Access it via idrac

Pornhub Articles (#pornhub ) 2018-01-18
I browse pornhub for the articles. Not only is this an interesting article on the drop in traffic during the Hawaii Missile Alert, I also discovered that their insight’s blog has a lot of good data analysis type articles. The blog itself is SFW with no bad images, though of course the logo and items mentioned in the articles themselves would not be. #yourtech-dailies

Mocking Consul for fun and profit. (#python ) 2018-01-04
I’ve been creating a fun microservice tool that provides a single API frontend and merges data from multiple backends. Since the app itself relies entirely on external data, I was wondering how in the world I would write unit tests for it. It’s written in python using the amazing apistar framework. All of my external data so far is gathered using the requests library. The answer for this, turns out to requests-mock.

First impressions with emacs () 2017-12-24
Learning emacs really sucks. Let’s do this. My current stack Because I’m insane, I decided to give Emacs a try. While I’m still pretty pleased with Omnifocus, I do find limitations with it. I also store all kinds of notes in Quiver. Anytime I’m working on anything, I keep my notes in Quiver. I had been keeping a worklog in it, but it got goofy when work (and the associated notes) span multiple days.

bits and bobs for 2017 () 2017-12-23
Abusing my blog to record a few things. This is kind of a year-end wrap-up before Christmas, or a pre-pre New Years Eve post. I am off work till the end of the year, so this is kind of a good week to reflect and prepare for the upcoming year. I cover a couple different things in this post, find the section you want. Home Security Cameras Financial Tools (quicken, ledger, hledger, beancount) Security Cameras tl;dr - I recommend Q-See NVR, refurbished 16-channel for $250 with 2TB drive

Vault Standup () 2017-10-14
This is a little walkthrough of settng up a “production-like” vault server with etcd backend (Not really production, no TLS and one person with all the keys). Hashicorp Vault is incredibly easy to setup. Going through the dev walkthrough is pretty easy, but when you want to get a little more advanced, you start getting bounced around the documentation. So these are my notes of setting up a vault server with an etcd backend and a few policies/tokens for access.

I'm on my way () 2017-08-09
This chart only goes back a bit, but I’m down 27 pounds since April.

Camp night () 2017-07-03
My wife and son will be spending the night camping outside. I’d love to join them, but someone has to stay inside and have the entire bed to himself.

The Cheap Machete Problem (#machete #consumerism ) 2017-05-21
This weekend, I was finally clearing out the bit of walk between my pole barn and the hill behind it. Erosion has been filling it in, making it hard to get back there with any sort of push mower. Vines and brush have been filling in around it. I did what I could with the trimmer, then I went back in with the machete. Now, this machete was $6 at Harbor Freight and I haven’t used it much because the cheap plastic handle was starting to break.

Frustrations () 2017-05-07
This morning I took a meter I was working on outside so I could take it apart and watch my son run around the yard. I planned ahead and took a box to hold the parts. After I had gotten a couple screws out, the wind picked up and blew my box into the yard. I can’t find the funny screws in the grass. I should have left them out of the box.

All The Changes (#meta #website ) 2017-05-07
tl;dr Here’s a quick summary of changes that have taken place: A new site Nifty Noodle People has been launched BCARS has been moved from mezzanine to wordpress and re-organized A new community forum site has been launched: Comments for BCARS and YourTech use the community site now. and YourTech Community now live on a dedicated VPS. is now using WordPress, though all content is still generated in Markdown.

things are in a state of flux (#meta #website ) 2017-05-06
UPDATE: Content has been re-added, but the published date information is still being corrected. I am migrating the site to a new server and from mezzanine to wordpress. There’s always a few thins to work out, and I should be able to restore the content sometime this weekend.

Cable Combs () 2017-04-19
I’ve been incrementally updating my home lab, and now I really wish I had a 3D printer. These cable combs look like they would be awesome for when it comes to getting the server rack re-organized. One commenter said that the ones with a zip-tie slot will also fit nicely into a rack’s square hole. I do have a 3D printer on my “big ticket wish list” but I don’t think it’s in the cards for this year.

Down 6 pounds (#health ) 2017-04-13
At the beginning of this month, I said enough is enough and I forced myself back onto the slow carb diet. Slow carb is really another fancy name for low carbs, but it makes a distinction between complex and simple carbs. You also get a cheat day. Rule 1: Avoid “white” carbohydrates Rule 2: Eat the same few meals over and over again Rule 3: Don’t drink calories Rule 4: Take one day off per week I have been almost exclusively eating steak salads (from Sheetz and Ed’s) and avoiding soda/sugar drinks (including diet).

Offline Social Networking () 2017-04-10
A few days ago, I read a blog post by André Staltz about “AN OFF-GRID SOCIAL NETWORK”. I immediately intrigued and I’ll tell you why. Amateur Radio. The bulk of all amateur radio traffic takes place as either phone (voice) or CW (morse code). Textual communication is only a portion of the traffic. I have been on and done PSK31 to send real time messages to people that are listening right now.

documenting my homelab with openDCIM (#homelab ) 2017-03-28
Background I’ve been wanting to document my home and homelab network for a while now. I used to keep some individual files around with a list of ip addresses and networks, and I used to have a yaml file with the network laid out. But a lot of it was out of date and any time I made a significant change (like adding vlans or tagged interfaces), the entire format would need to change.

Welcome to 2017 () 2017-01-03
This year, I have made a few new resolutions. One of them is to write more blog posts. This post is the first step towards that. Rather than just naming off a few common resolutions, I spent a couple days working through the exercises in Alex Vermeer’s 8,760 Hours: How to get the most out of next year. In my opinion, this is an excellent book. The author and myself used mind-mapping software, but this is also very doable using pencil and paper.

Worst Practice Lab VM Automation (#homelab ) 2016-09-05
Worst Practice Lab VM Automation I’ve started the process of switching my lab over from unmanaged to ansible. I’ve used Puppet and Salt quite extensively through work, but after a handful of false starts with the lab, I think ansible is the way to go.g his is a series of what many (including myself) would consider “worst practices”, but are more along the lines of “rapid iteration”. The goal here is to get something working in a short period of time, without spending hours, days, or weeks researching best practices.

Ceph getting acquainted (#ceph ) 2016-01-20
The two key components: Ceph OSDs: A Ceph OSD Daemon (Ceph OSD) stores data, handles data replication, recovery, backfilling, rebalancing, and provides some monitoring information to Ceph Monitors by checking other Ceph OSD Daemons for a heartbeat. A Ceph Storage Cluster requires at least two Ceph OSD Daemons to achieve an active + clean state when the cluster makes two copies of your data (Ceph makes 3 copies by default, but you can adjust it).

Ceph 1st Runthrough (#ceph ) 2016-01-13
title: Ceph 1st Runthrough author: ytjohn date: 2017-04-30 21:42:52 layout: post permalink: These are just some notes I took as I did my first run through on installing Ceph on some spare ECS Hardware I had access to. Note that currently, no one would actually recommend doing this, but it was a good way for me to get started with Ceph. Installation Following this guide I set this up the first time in the lab, nodes:

postgresql hstore is easy to compare () 2015-08-23
hstore is an option key=>value column type that’s been around in postgresql for a long time. I was looking at it for a project where I want to compare “new data” to old, so I can approve it. There is a hstore-hstore option that compares two hstore collections and shows the differences. In reality, an hstore column looks like text. It’s just in a format that postgresql understands. Here, we have an existing record with some network information.

Programming Uniden AMH-350 for APRS () 2015-08-03
This is a narrative post. If you want to see my python program that calculates out the diode matrix, skip to the end or click here, I recently received this “Force Communications AMH-350” radio. Actually, it was an entire cabinet with a large power supply, an MFJ TNC2 tnc, and an old DOS PC running JNOS. These had active in a tower shed and turned off 3 years ago. The club wanted me to repurpose this packet system for APRS.

rPI DPI Display, cheap. () 2015-06-03
Recently the internet noticed the Raspberry Pi could drive LCD panels using DPI. This allows very inexpensive displays to be used with basically no additional hardware. This is not a full post, just capturing some details from someone elses blog post so I don’t lose it (will my site become my next bookmark holder?). Summary: Robert Ely learned his tricks from this forum post 40-pin TFT Friend $9.95 5.

Enter the Matrix

Everyday Superadmin () 2015-02-05
Every morning I wake up bleary eyed Another victim of aggressive deadlines I don’t think this is supportable It’s not good at all I’m just your average ordinary everyday super admin Trying to save the build but never really done I’m just your average ordinary everyday super admin Nothing more than that, that’s all I really am Just an all day job, there’s so much left to do It’s kinda hard when everything fails on you

All about git pull () 2014-11-09
All about git pull Because you know I’m all about git pull ‘bout git pull, no copies I’m all about git pull ‘bout git pull, no copies I’m all about git pull ‘bout git pull, no copies I’m all about git pull ‘bout git pull Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no guru But I can break it, break it Like I always do. And now I got that pull request, that we all want.

Radio Musings () 2014-10-18
Completely unrelated to the post below, I discovered that some has forked a copy of my website on github. I’ve actually migrated from the static site to Mezzanine, but the repo is still in place. I was very surprised someone has forked it. I checked the user out and he recently forked a large number of repositories, all related to docker or coreos type things. It appears that “builtdock” is putting together some sort of platform as a service offering.

Python Modules and Single App OS (#a:1:{i:0;s:58:"a:1:{i:0;s:40:"python console, python, import, pysphere";}";} ) 2014-09-17
Emacs standing alone on a Linux Kernel. I’m not an emacs user, but I thought this was really fascinating. Basically, the author took the linux kernel, a statically compiled copy of emacs, the mount command, and that’s it. You could dd that to a hard drive and boot into only emacs. This gets me thinking about what I’m going to call SAOS - Single Application OS. Sort of like the python on a chip scene.

Salt The Earth () 2014-04-29
Learning Salt I am just beginning to read up on SaltStack, but I am really liking it. It has a number of things I like from Ansible (separation from code and state), the targeting abilities of mcollective, and the centralized control of Puppet/Chef. Salt can be run masterless, but in a master/minion configuration, it uses a message queue (0mq) to control minions and get information back. All messages in this queue are encrypted using keys on both the minion and the master.

Codebox in Docker

C270 Review () 2014-02-01
Acer C270 Chromebook Last week I picked up a Chromebook, specifically the Acer C270. One of my coworkers uses one and kind of convinced me that one would be worth checking. I compared what was out there and other than the Pixel, the C270 had the best specs, including battery life (8.5 hours). It’s an Intel chipset, 16GB space, 2Gb of RAM, 1.4Ghz. The good: You get a lot of functionality for $200.

Foreman managed virtual datacenter (#a:1:{i:0;s:49:"a:1:{i:0;s:31:"foreman, puppet, libvirt, virsh";}";} ) 2013-07-28
I ordered the KS2 from <> - $50/month, 3.4ghz, 16gb ram, and a 1TB software raid setup. My plan is to set this up as a single server virtual datacenter. They also have the SP2 with twice the ram and storage for $90, but I figured I’d test out the cheaper option first. I can always upgrade and migrate to a larger server later if I get into heavier usage. The prices are rather cheap and they have scripts that will automatically provision physical servers.

Starting with Ruby and AWS () 2012-11-02
rvm rubies ruby-1.8.7-p371 [ x86_64 ] ruby-1.9.2-p320 [ x86_64 ] => - current =* - current && default * - default ytjohn@freshdesk:~$ rvm use 1.8.7 RVM is not a function, selecting rubies with ‘rvm use …’ will not work. You need to change your terminal emulator preferences to allow login shell. Sometimes it is required to use /bin/bash --login as the command. Please visit for a example.

dingus problems () 2012-09-20
This weekend I decided to takle both learning Ruby and working with AWS via the Ruby API. Having only played with both of these in the past, this presents two learning challenges at once. However, from past projects, this is how I learn best. I am somewhat familiar with AWS terms and once made a script in Python to fire up an instance. This was before Amazon came out with their management console, so I imagine things have come a long way since then (hopefully easier).

Bootstrap and CDNs () 2012-09-18
Often when creating a “modern” web page, it’s very common to find yourself reinventing the wheel over and over again. I know any time I wanted to create a two-column layout, I would have to look at previous works of mine or search the Internet for a decent example. However, I recently came across Twitter’s Bootstrapframework. At it’s core, it’s just a css file that divide your web page into a 12-column “grid”.

python console import tip () 2012-08-29
Tags: python console, python, import, pysphere This is a quick little python tip. When experimenting with python commands and modules, it’s usually easiest to use the python console interactively, then create your programs later. The downside of this is that sometimes you have to do a bit of typing before you get to the specific command you want to try. Imagine the following example: Here, I had to type in 3 lines, including my password in plaintext, to test out querying the server.

pysphere: VMWare in Python () 2012-08-29
Tags: api, python, programming, vmware, pysphere I do a good bit of work with VMWare vSphere and I’ve been wanting to work more with their API. Everything (except console) that you can do in the vSphere client, you should be able to do through a web-based API.Unfortunately, it seems that VMWare does not provide an SDK for Python, my current language of choice. I could work in Perl or Java, but I want to develop a web application, which I don’t want to do in Perl.

Upgrade Redmine () 2012-08-09
Currently, I have Redmine version redmine 1.3.3 installed via the ondrej/redmine PPA. I have been wanting to upgrade to the 2.x series of redmine, but no PPA currently exists for it. Redmine is officially provided by Ubuntu, but the version for Precise is 1.3.2, and Ondřej’s PPA is on 1.4.3. While I usually prefer to have my software installation and updates handled by packages, it looks like to get to the 2.

Markdown Blogging () 2012-08-06
I recently have started a process of migrating my website over to One of the main reasons for this was because in my last server move, I had broken my Movable Type installation, and found myself too busy to fix it. I found I didn’t want to spend my time fixing and updating blogging software. I wanted to work on my projects, write them up, and post them. It was time to move my content to an existing platform that handled the back end.

Gate One supervisor script () 2012-08-02
Yesterday, I setup gateoneto run as a non-root user. I also spent some time looking at potential init scripts for starting and stopping this. The gateone project does not currently provide any init scripts, but this is planned for the future ([Issue #47]). I tried to use one of the scripts in that thread, but I wasn’t really pleased with them. The big issue is that doesn’t fork. However, I believe there is a better solution.

Exploring GateOne Browser SSH terminal () 2012-08-01
I came across a program called Gate Oneby LiftOff Software that just amazed me. This is an open-source, web-based ssh terminal. It is capable of multiple users, sessions, and bookmarks. I’ve tried a number of AJAX terminals or Java applet based ones in the past. The javascript ones usually did not have very good terminal emulation, while the Java apps worked, but worked just like a local desktop app (making it’s own connection to port 22).

Puppet Dashboard and selinux () 2012-06-25
Tags: puppet selinux Once I got a rough handle on setting up Puppet, I decided to get Puppet Dashboardworking on my puppetmaster (a Centos 6 server) to have a sort of web interface to view puppet statuses. Since I already have the puppetlabs repositories setup from when I installed puppet, this was almost as simple as running “yum install puppet-dashboard”. You then go to /usr/share/puppet-dashboard and follow the install guideto get the database working.

Using puppet to install djbdns () 2012-06-22
This is a basic walkthrough of getting a slightly complex “step by step to install” program like djbdns to install under puppet (in this case, under Ubuntu 12.04). It shows building the manifest, testing it, and some possible gotchas. I am generally following the guide put together by Higher Logic[1], with a few changes of my own. Step 1: InstallationI use the dbndns fork of djbdns, which has a few patches installed that djbdns lacks.

Enabling remote logging () 2012-01-17
I was experimenting with rsyslog to allow remote logging and within 20 minutes, I had two rogue log entries show up from random hosts. Jan 17 05:00:23 kernel: Configuring keys for mac:14:5a:05:ad:6b:cd, sc_hasclrkey is set Jan 17 05:01:05 kernel: Configuring keys for mac:14:5a:05:ad:6b:cd, sc_hasclrkey is set So what is interesting about this? I’m on comcast in PA. The host that sent this is on, or Lumos in (most likely) West Virginia.

Audible Thoughts () 2011-12-24
Recently, I’ve been working my way through the Ender’s Saga audio books. I had read Ender’s Game back in grade school, but I didn’t know there was a whole series. They’re a really good read.. or listen, as the case may be. I’ve been listening to the Ender series in mp3 format. First, I had them on a thumb drive which was read by my car’s radio. I find it very convenient that a radio in my car can directly read a thumb drive’s file-system and play any audio files found on it.

Impressive Notebook () 2011-11-16
Those of you that know me probably wouldn’t guess this, but I actually work with a bunch of nerds, geeks, and freaks. Pretty much all of my coworkers have smartphones, and many of them have at least one tablet. Every time a new portable computing device launches, it’s a guarantee that someone in my group will show up with it. Since all these devices are nearly similar, no one is really impressed when a new one shows up in the office.

For Sale: Dirt Devil Ultra Vision Turbo. () 2011-04-28
For Sale: Dirt Devil Ultra Vision Turbo.Price: Make an offer“It Kinda Sucks” - John Hogenmiller, USMCI once owned a regular Bissel bagged vacuum cleaner. For the better part of a decade, I would turn it on and vacuum the floor. Before that, my sister owned the vacuum and did pretty much the same thing. It was a rather boring device that picked up debris from the carpet and would place it in a bag.

Sending messages using xmpppy () 2011-04-05
In continuing working with XMPP and Python, I managed to get xmpppy working. This proved to be particularly tricky because xmpppy uses some outdated modules like md5 and sha. It also relies on some dns functions which no longer seem to work. I was able to use the sample script “” that the project provides. The big thing is that I had to specify and the port number directly in the connect command.

Nagios and XMPP () 2011-02-28
I found that someone has written a perl script geared towards sending alerts from Nagios to XMPP usernames. I have downloaded this, but have not yet got it working as of yet, but it does look promising. It took me a while to update all the dependencies for it, but if those were in place, the installation itself is rather simple. That is, the notification script works, but I haven’t actually configured nagios as of yet.

Jabbering about Python () 2011-02-27
I am getting more and more into the idea of using XMPP for sending messages. XMPP (also known as jabber) is a very open protocol. Anyone can throw up a server, and by publishing a few DNS records, your server can interact with any other XMPP server out there (that is open). For a popular example, anyone can throw up their server with their domain and send messages to someone using Google Chat.

Expanding a raw image file () 2011-01-13
On one of my customer’s devices, the backup software requires that the backups go to a separate partition (or drive). However, the customer only has one raid array and the bulk of the space is in /home. To work around this limitation, I created a raw image file called backup.img, which gets mounted as /backup. After the software performs its local backup, I use duplicity to backup /backup remotely to a backup server at my location (with encryption).

Learning Python () 2011-01-03
I am reasonably familiar with Perl and PHP languages. Recently though, I have taken it upon myself to learn Python. I’ve played with Python a few times, and it seems to be very powerful with lots of useful functionality under the hood. For some basic practice, I recommend Learn Python The Hard Way, which is free book by a reputable Python author, Zed Shaw. He makes the book itself available for free as a PDF download or you can purchase it directly.

We have moved! () 2010-09-06
Starting around Memorial Day, we have been busy working on moving our office to our new location in Bedford, PA. We have now completed that move and wanted to let everyone know our new address. Our new address for correspondence is: YourTech, LLC300 Cumberland RdBedford, PA 15522 

Securing Apache2 () 2010-01-02
A client wanted to make files available available to the web browser from within their LAN and a handful of static IPs without requiring any sort of username or password. This is the web equivalent of a shared, read only folder. This is no big issue, you can create an .htaccess file like so: Order deny,allow Deny from all Allow from Allow from Allow from However, they would also like to access it from a remote location with a username and password.

Backing up with duplicity and Amazon S3 () 2009-10-26
Duplicity is a great little backup tool that can do incremental backups to a variety of different servers (ftp, scp, and Amazon S3). The Install I am installing on a Centos 5 system which uses the yum tool. I also have the enabled. I need that for librsync and librsync-devel which provides rsync capabilities when the remote file details are not available (like in FTP). All of these requirements are found on the duplicity main page.

Forgotten Realms () 2009-09-30
Yesterday I was working on a very old server – a Cobalt RAQ 4. I actually leased a RAQ 3 for web hosting back in 2001 and thought it was the neatest thing, but found it too limiting in many ways. These servers were popular because they could be administered using a series of push buttons and an LCD screen up front. It also has a web interface that controlled everything.

Back into programming, monitoring notes () 2009-08-25
I have been out of the programming circuit for a few years and have been looking at getting back into it. My traditional programming style is an ssh window into my server and all my editing takes place on a development server, in vi. Recently, I’ve been trying to decent work out a way to determine how the world sees your connectivity from within your network. Essentially, I wanted to simulate accessing one of my locally connected machines from the Internet.

My Time () 2008-07-21
Yes, it is my time. Last monday on the elliptical: 3 miles = 21:16 (~7 minute mile) Today: 3 miles = 19:26 (~6.5 minute mile) Next time? Who knows. I am excited about being able to set this pace, however I have to temper that with the understanding that running on an elliptical is much, much easier than running on flat ground. On the 13th, we managed to capture Sean on camera trespassing at my parent’s house.

Purple Triangulation () 2008-07-08
So I’ve been noticing these purple triangles have been invading our trees. Along the roads, trees would be found with this big hollow purple triangle hanging off of it. What wasn’t immediately apparent is what they are up there for. If it was just one or two, I’d say some kids put them up there (unfortunate kite incident). However, these things are everywhere, giving it a more ominous and official vibe.

Not My Time () 2008-06-24
(unless your talking about my worst time). Today the dream has ended and the fantasy has been washed away. After keeping the pace for a whopping 0.2 miles, my shins hurt and I just couldn’t make myself go on running. So began my walk home. It’s been many months since the elliptical, over a year since I ran anywhere. Riding the bike did little more than delude myself. A 2 mile bike ride on flat ground is not exercise, it’s just a way to make you think that you’re doing something good.

Strange Call Redux () 2008-05-20
Checking my voicemail: I don’t recognize the name or know anything about the camera. However, I have installed a few security cameras in my life and given out cards a couple years ago to people that were interested. Then, I look up the number – it’s in Meadville. I have never been to Meadville – all of 3 hours away. Does my Yellow Book ad reach Meadville? It might, but it doesn’t have my first name or cell phone number on it.

May Change () 2008-05-05
For only 5 days into May, it’s been fairly eventful. Robin is graduating this month – the pinning ceremonywas on the 2nd and her graduation is on the 10th. Of course, before she even got to go to her pinning ceremony, I had a few questions for her. The first question (both chronologically and in order of importance) was “Does it fit?” (it did) and the second question was “Do you want to be my wife?

Strange Calls () 2008-03-25
I was in Anne Arundel County on Friday and Saturday. On Monday, I get a missed call from Hanover, MD on the cell phone. I call it back later in the day thinking it’s either a friend or family or a family member in the area. A “Jim” answers the phone and has no clue who I am or that he called my number. So that was kid of odd getting a random, wrong number, from a place I was just at two days ago.

Move/Game Night, February 22nd () 2008-02-06
It’s been a couple of months, but the first movie/game night of 2008 is coming soon! This month we’re having it on a Friday – the 22nd of February to be exact, starting around 6pm with games and potentially migrating to a movie or two. Pizza and drinks will be provided. If you can bring a couple bucks to throw into the pizza pot, that would be great. If not, don’t worry about it.

The Battle Begins! () 2008-01-03
I always considered myself a somewhat lazy person. I guess I never really realized how active I was. I knew I was active in the winter of ‘06. I was carrying and climbing ladders, attaching antennas to buildings, pulling cable, and facing off against freezing temperatures on a daily basis. In January of ‘07 my activity level decreased as I stopped doing this, but I was still doing other things for other people.

Falling Forward () 2007-12-14
I’ve been relatively busy recently. Obviously, there is work, which takes up about half of my week. But I’ve also been working on a few projects – not related to computers. My house has 22 windows: 12 downstairs, 10 upstairs, All but 9 of these windows are older single pane. Six of them face the neighbor’s house – 4 feet away. For the downstairs, I’ve slated 6 windows for removal. Over the last few weekends I’ve been boarding them over on the outside – not the typical “hurricane safety” boarding up, but precisely cutting the OSB to size and attaching it to the outside of the window frame.

Classic Robin Quote () 2007-09-23
Just so this is remembered for all time: Robin (via AIM):i thought those boobs looked familiar!

ANNOUNCE: Game/Movie Night October 20th

Iced Tea () 2007-09-18
At work, getting something to drink is an issue I face each night. I can drink water, which I don’t enjoy for too long. I could get from the vending machine ($1 per bottle, $2-$3 per night), or I could bring something in, which would have to transported in my backpack. Now, there is another option. They have a “coffee station” here with hot chocolate, coffee, and tea bags.  I don’t drink coffee, and if I drank nothing but hot chocolate all night, I would explode.

What I Have Always Wanted () 2007-09-15
When I was a young kid, I was interested in electronics. When I got into my early teens, I got into computers. Before I could drive, I had an idea that I wanted to start a business dealing with computers. I was so cool.. I thought I could write programs in QBASIC and sell them. I never did that, but I did start my business. First it was a sideline, and things were good.

Condictive () 2007-09-15
A few weeks ago I came across a choice phrase that got me thinking. The phrase was “unable to get addicted”. You know, I’ve never been addicted to anything. I wondered if it was possible for a person to be unable to get addicted to something. Then I wondered if there was even a word for it. Google came up dry at first. After some creative searching, I discovered that the following are the “opposite of addiction”: desensitization, prayer and fasting, and recovery.

ANNOUNCE: Movie night resumes () 2007-08-27
On Saturday, September 8th we will resume the movie night tradition. Somewhere around 5 or 6pm on Saturday, people should congregate at the Hogenmiller Professional Building in Everett, PA. There will be movies, food, drinks, and games. Please feel free to donate food, drinks, and/or movies to the night’s entertainment.

Brain on Fire () 2007-08-09
Today I had to do some physical labor (gasp), which I normally have no problem with. This building was huge. Greg and I were carting an undisclosed number of PCs from a shipping container to the receiving office – about 1 football field of distance. My hair and back were dripping wet before we were done. Granted, it’s not as big of a sweat as I get after riding my bike 2 miles in 90F+ heat, but still a lot sweat.

Splurge () 2007-07-27
I like to splurge on something once each year, typically a gadget. As you may have read, I am working for “the man”, a big corporate entity in Virginia. My main business has become a sideline endeavor for the foreseeable future. I still have customers I support, and I’ll still do a lot of the same stuff. But, I’m not taking calls constantly for the business and not using my phone that much as a phone.

We are forming () 2007-07-14
So far, work down here has been pretty good. I get along with those that I work with, I understand the job, and I’ve been able to be valuable with some of the knowledge I picked up along the way. Now, the place I’m working at is not the only place down here that’s hiring, but I know that they are looking for people and not getting them in. Right now, it seems like things are pretty slow (and the seasoned workers also say it’s kind of slow this time of year) but there are busy times of the day and there will be busy days.

Hired () 2007-06-25
Some of you may recall that in January I was planning to get a job to supplement the shop’s income.  At the time I was looking at a company in Hershey, PA that needed “weekend workers”. The company decided that they were only going to hire full-time people, and that opportunity went away. Since then, I’ve been searching around, submitting resumes, getting calls and emails from recruiters. Some really interesting positions have been offered to me.

Fugitive () 2007-06-06
It happened on a Tuesday. I’ve never gotten the hang of Tuesdays. This Tuesday started out fairly simple. Someone I knew was moving and had an air conditioner he no longer needed. I was told I could have it for free if I got it myself.. otherwise, he would leave it behind.  Free is usually a good price to pay for a known working air conditioner, so I accepted. Last evening, I drove to the house to pick up my purchase.

Formal Wear () 2007-05-26
A few months ago, I was asked to be an usher at a wedding. For some reason, I decided “why not?”. I should have thought more about who was making the request. I actually do have varying degrees of dress clothes. I have my military dress uniforms. I have “business casual” clothes. I also recently purchased a formal suit to wear the last year’s Marine Corp Ball. However, none of these will work in this wedding’s bridal party.

April 20th () 2007-04-20
April 20th is a pretty popular day. It is the Birthday of Adolf Hitler and Muhammed. It’s also the anniversary of the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Ludlow Massacre, and The Columbine School Shooting. It’s also known as National Smoke Marijuana day. It’s only fitting that on a day like this, I turn a year older.


American Idolatry () 2007-03-29
For those of you that are like me and don’t have television service, American Idol is apparently a pretty popular tv show. I read that it’s been running for about six seasons now. What’s more is that I’ve actually seen parts of about 3 or 4 episodes over the last several years. The premise is that people (presumably American, but I’m not an expert on this subject) will do karaoke performances on the show, judges will judge them, and then other people will vote for the contestant that they want to stay on the show.

Kubuntu, Sabayon, and Windows XP () 2007-03-17
I have an HP dv1000 Pavilion laptop. Back in ‘05/‘06, I had this setup with Mepis Linux, dual-booting with Windows XP. Now the thing about this laptop is that it has a Broadcom wireless card (BCM43xx). With Mepis, I used ndsiwrapper to get the card working. However, the screen resolution was never very good, media files would play weird (codes at the time were a bit off, I think), and sometimes when switching wireless networks, the entire system would freeze.

Beeping phones () 2007-02-26
At first, I started noticing that my phone would beep in the middle of the night. Upon checking, there would be no missed call, no voice mail, no text message.. nothing on the screen to tell my why it beeped. Recently, I realized that the phone would beep at 1:13am. This was the great mystery that I typically didn’t think about until oh… 1:13am. Today however, the mystery has been solved.

Summer of &#8217;05 () 2007-02-21
Talking with some friends got me thinking about the Summer of 2005. Thinking about that reminded me of a song, which I quickly parodied. There’s a lot of inside references here, so don’t worry if you can’t follow along.  Summer of ‘05I got home by April sixteenth Deployed for the very last time Prayed that it would end It was the summer of 05 Me and some friends were real cool Had no job but we tried real hard Jenny quit and Curt got fired I shoulda known we’d never get bored Oh when I look back now That summer seemed to last forever And if I had the choice Ya - Id always wanna be there Those were the best days of my life Aint no use in complainin When you got a job to find Spent my evenins down at the Denny’s And at the Gateway we’d play pool Riding in Evil John’s car He said that the tree-trimmin was over Oh and even Chris got tanned I knew we’d be friends forever Those were the best days of my life Back in the summer of 05 Then around winter time We were no longer jobless We ended up reassigned I guess nothin can last forever - forever, no And now the times are changin Look at everyone thats up and gone Sometimes when I play that old pool thing I wonder if the gang will come along Riding in Evil John’s car He said that the tree-trimmin was over Oh and even Chris got tanned I knew we’d be friends forever Those were the best days of my life Back in the summer of 05

PEX Master () 2007-02-19
i just wanted to say some amazing things about PEX piping. This stuff is simple, and it works. I’m not a marketing guys, but here’s some things I love about it: Anywho, I had the opportunityto do some plumbing last week. I had to replace two runs of pipe (hot and cold) running about 13 feet each, with 7 elbows (and small sections) on each pipe. I had a few holes 6"x6" each cut into my wall to see the existing pipes.

Robin&#8217;s Induction () 2007-02-15
Robin gets inducted into the honor society at MAC

I&#8217;ve had worse, but things are getting better. () 2007-02-12
So the last several weeks weren’t the worst I’ve had. I’ve been in some pretty messed up situations before. That being said, the last few weeks sucked. I ran out of oil, so no heat or hot water, my car went on the fritz, Robin wrecked her car, and some new bills started coming my way. So first let me tell you about the car. I had some bald tires due to a bad alignment, plus the steering was sloppy.

Cold snap () 2007-01-30
Monday was the last day of Skyweb installs for me for a month. If things go as I plan, I probably won’t be doing any more installs. As I’ve said before, I’m currently seeking “regular employment” in hopes of funding a few projects I want to bring about. While the job seeking process is now in full gear, I do have a few projects lined up for February. First off, I’ll be taking back the tech support telephone from Greg and doing more work in the shop.

A Tale of H () 2007-01-18
I was going to call this “A Tale of Two H’s”, but then I realized that there is a lot more of H going on than I originally realized. Anyways, since people have asked, the job in Hershey is somewhat up in the air. I got some feedback about it. Essentially, three people left for other jobs during December. I don’t know how many were full time and how many were part time, but I know they went and hired one full-time person.