Monthly Archives: June 2004

Gotta love ads…

You’d think that a huge company like Microsoft would try to make sure that the ads on their sites actually made sense, and that ads displayed on the same page didn’t totally conflict with each other…

great ad combination

Yes, Iced Earth does indeed rule…

Yup, there's a reason Iced Earth is one of my favorite bands… because they rule. Inspired by Matt's recent purchase of some Iced Earth CDs, I decided to fill out my Iced Earth collection and I picked up Days of Purgatory and Night of the Stormrider. Stormrider is the only studio LP of theirs that I didn't already have. Purgatory is a two disc set of some of their older songs that have been re-recorded and remixed with Matt Barlow on vocals. The sound quality of the older albums (Stormrider included) sucked pretty bad, so the remix and remastering sounds a lot better. In addition, Matt Barlow is like, 6.02E23 times better than the older singers, so hearing some of the older jams with his voice made them sound like, well, 6.02E23 times better.

I really haven't been up to anything noteworthy recently… I've been working on my project at work pretty regularly, and the data collection part is deployed across all of the Liquid Web servers, but I don't want to deploy it any further than that until theres a secure and automated update system in place. Having to log into a ton of servers to upgrade monitoring crap is a pain in the ass. I've already had to do it once this weekend when I broke something, which sucks. It's running pretty well though… The average load on the collection machine is at or below what it was with the old system, even though it's collecting a ton more data. Works for me.

Yesterday I was goofing around with some more guitar stuff on the computer… I had the signal output from my pedalboard plugged into the external drive thingy that's attached to the Audgiy card in my Windows box, and I was playing with some of the internal EAX effects that the Audigy card brings to play. There's a lot of neat stuff in there, and Phil will be happy to hear that I was playing around with the delay effects quite a bit. Kind of a weird thing to get used to playing along with, since there's kind of a implied beat that is generated by the delay effect, and straying from that makes things sound really weird. I wanted to record some of it, but the thing didn't really seem to want to record properly, so I didn't get any of it. Oh well.

More guitar for your saturday

I just got done recording another chunk of improv guitar crap… no songs here. This is all played on the Carvin, in C# tuning. Yup, cranked those strings up a bit tighter. This one is about a half hour long, and will tap your internet connections for about 20MB. Enjoy.

Sleeping in Rocks

I got a rare chance to sleep in today, and I grabbed that mighty quick. Joe wanted to switch up with me today so he could be free this evening, and I jumped all over that, because, well, sleeping in rocks. Not like I slept the morning away or anything though – I woke up at 8:45, which isn't all that late, but it beats the pants off waking up at 7AM. I wouldn't want to change the shift permanently, because I'd rather have my evenings free than sleep in every day.

I was pretty pissed off yesterday at work… I came into work to see a ticket that Phil had left in the queue about some dude messing up his server. (No, I wasn't pissed at Phil, I was pissed at the dumbass who messed up his server.) I worked on that thing for most of the morning, then when it was fixed, which was a feat in itself, he did nothing but complain about the lack of a system backup. Well, it's a dedicated server buddy, nobody stopped you from performing a backup. We can set up a backup that would have fixed this problem pretty damn quick, but as far as I can tell, we never got that request. Grr.

And on a happier note: Congrats go out to the Pistons! Not too many teams can complete a 5 game sweep, but you did it! (yes, I know they only won four games. The Lakers were totally outplayed in game two, except for OT.) Excellent series.

A Mixed day for Detroit’s active sports teams

Today I went to a Tiger game with Matt and some of his friends from LTU, Lewis, Crystal, and Rob. The drive down was an adventure. We didn't get lost or anything, but the route we took was less than optimal in terms of efficiency, but it was quite scenic as well. By scenic I mean disamal.. We took Grand River through the heart of Detroit, and it's not a pretty site. Buildings were in shambles, some burnt out, many boarded up, and some looked like they'd been blown up. Definitely not a very pretty area. Kinda sad really. During that section of the voyage we attracted a lot of strange looks, seeing that we were probably the only pale-skinned folks for a good five miles in any direction, and we were riding in Lewis's '73 Dodge Coronet. Lots of strange looks from the folks native to the territory there… The game pretty much sucked… we got there late due to the slow route, and when we got there they were already down a run, and it only got worse. The score ended up being 9-2 at the end… definitely not a good day for the home team. I got some sun, so that's a good thing I suppose. After the game we made the journey out to the Chili's at Milford Road and I-96 for food, and more importantly, water. I must have drank damn near a gallon of water. What can I say, I was thirsty. After that, Matt and I went back to his place and he showed me his home theater setup, which was pretty neat. I'm still not all that impressed with this subwoofer though… the thing is like, 3 feet tall and probably a foot and a half in diameter, and yet I still didn't feel all that much effect… perhaps I was looking for the floor to quake under my feet due to the thing's sheer size, but it didn't, so I was disappointed. Oh well. I drove back to Lansing through a pretty good storm, but I passed out from under it into clear skies around M-59, and I got some neat pictures of rain pouring down and cars kicking up foam while the sun was beating down from the clear skies behind the storm front. Pretty cool.

The good part of the sports day was the Pistons' victory in game 4 of the finals. It wasn't quite as impressive as their win in game 3, but I'll take it. The Lakers looked flat, and except for Shaq, they weren't very consistent. Their frustration seemed pretty evident too… lots of fouls in the second half that probably wouldn't have come about had they not been getting out hustled and out played. I'm hoping that the Pistons will be able to win the championship on Tuesday… that would be killer. On a related side note: Yes, I am a fair weather basketball fan.

Multimedia in the house!

This is going to be one link filled post. First off are the guitar clips I alluded to in the last posting. I did the clips kinda funky, so follow along. Note that all clips are just me, so it can get kinda boring in the places where there's no guitar. Also, I neglected to change the equalizer settings on the distortion pedal for recording, so the clips are really heavy on the bass and treble. It might be in your best interests to turn down your bass and treble on your player if you choose to listen.

First there's the whole thing (1:23:51, 102MB). This has all the bullshit in between songs, like me doodling, tuning, etc. If you're really really bored, you can listen to this. Next I've divided that huge ass clip into two parts, first clip (26:45, 31MB) is when I'm playing on the Carvin, tuned to C. I played a few Prong songs here, and did some goofing around towards the end. The second clip (57:02, 71MB) is me playing on the Strat, in a normal E tuning. I jammed to some of the old Megadeth and Metallica favorites here.

Those are the big chunks. Now, for those of you with shorter attention spans (read: everybody), here are the individual songs. First off were Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck (4:06, 4.7MB), Test (6:09, 7.2MB), and Whose Fist Is This Anyway (4:42, 5.6MB) by Prong. These are the songs played on the Carvin. Then I switched over to the Strat and played (in no particular order) Orion (8:00, 9.9MB), Ride The Lightning (6:34, 8.6MB), Master of Puppets (8:30, 12MB), One (7:06, 8.6MB), Sanitarium (6:24, 8MB), and Disposable Heroes (8:14, 11MB) by Metallica, and Symphony of Destruction (3:51, 4.7MB) by Megadeth. Yah, I didn't branch out very much here, what else is new.

Next are some more funny Family Guy clips that I've been meaning to post. They're hilarious! But what part of the family guy isn't hilarious? Here are the vids…

Six Million Dollar Man (6.7MB)

Gumbel-2-Gumbel (20MB)

Black to the Future (42MB)

Holy Guitar Batman!!

Today brought about an event that doesn't happen too much any more these days… After work I jammed on the guitar for damn near an hour and half. Cool thing is that I set up the set up my newly reclaimed Windows machine to record and I got all of it on disk, for better or worse. I used to play in stretches like that all the time while I was still in school, but the working life has seemed to cut my playing sessions down to a half hour to an hour in most cases. I banged out a few songs pretty nicely, others not as nicely. The Windows box is converting the lot to MP3 right now, in different sections, so when I upload it, anyone wanting to hear the stuff will be able to download only what they want to hear. I'll upload them and add a post once they're done converting to MP3, which could be some time next month at the rate they're going…

Other than that the week has been pretty average, albeit a little busier than normal. We had a nice two day period of suck when someone discovered a vulnerability in CPanel's implementation of suexec in Apache, which forced us to recompile apache on all of our servers plus most of our dedicated servers. Forced software upgrades due to vulenerabilities are a pain in the ass. Perhaps this story from BBspot isn't so far off…

Stunning Picturesque Visual thingies

I uploaded a ton of pics today, including the ones from Josh's going away party last night. I don't have descriptions up for most of them… that'll come later. Enjoy.

I work too much.

I need to stop doing so much work from home… I spent most of yesterday, a perfectly beautiful saturday afternoon, sitting in my living room working on my project at work. Dedication is cool, but I think I take it too far. It's not just work though… I do this with all the projects I take on. I'll beat it into the ground until it's done, focusing all of my attention on it. Oh well.

I'm going to try to post some pictures that I've taken soon, either today or tomorrow. I've got quite a backlog, and because of all the extraneous work I've been doing I haven't taken the time to post them. There's a great one of Joe that is dying to be posted. The sunglasses were killer.

A bunch of us liquid web guys will be up at the Peanut Barrel today… should be fun. We're throwing a little going away bash for Josh, who will be leaving Liquid Web on tuesday. It kinda sucks… Josh is smart as hell and a cool guy to boot, but I can totally tell LW isn't his kind of job. He's a developer, and having to deal with customers all day just doesn't seem to be his thing. I don't think any of us really 'likes' dealing with the customers, except maybe Phil, but it doesn't really bother most of us. Anyways… It's been fun Josh, good luck with wherever your path takes you!

Back in Business….

Well, I've restored my project at work to most of its pre-disaster state, and as it stands I've only lost a rather small amount of work. Most of the lost stuff resides in one piece of functionality – the graphing code. I had planned on redoing the way the graphing code accepts data, but the display was working pretty nice before the crash. Now I had to revert it to something from about 3-4 months ago, and it's ugly as a dog's ass again. On a related note, backups are installed and working fine on the new server.

This past weekend I was at my parents house. Andre was in town from Indy, and we hung out at his parents place around the campfire and got smashed like the days of yore. It was excellent. I was totally in the mood to be rawkus after the deboccle of the day before… Sunday I lounged about, then headed over to Jon's for some more debauchery (read: Beirut). I spent a decent portion of Monday restoring the limited amount of backups I had for my monitoring stuff and getting things working with the older version so there would at least be somthing in place letting us know what was going on. Gettting that back going wasn't too hard, thankfully.