Monthly Archives: October 2004

Super Post 3000

Holding to the line of exciting posts with pictures, I offer more words with pictorial accompanyment. This past weekend was mostly uneventful if I remember right, because I don't remember much happening. I did meet my family down at my grandma Neir's place, and we had dinner in honor of my dad's birthday. It was good to get down there and visit… I don't do it nearly enough.

This week has been a large pile of pure steaming suck. Monday I ended up working 13 hours in the attempt to get a new vserver set up, but everything was against me. Our kickstart setup was totally janked up, and that put me behind. There were other assorted problems throughout the day, so I didn't really get working on the server setup until it would normally be time to leave. I got the server and the vserver template finished up around 7, but was there until 9 testing it and tweaking the template. Tuesday wasn't half bad, but it was still rather busy. Yesterday fucking sucked due to the fact that some little script-kiddie decided to throw a 140Mbit+ DoS attack at a server on our network. That did a good job at crippling our network for a while until Greg and I could isolate the problem and get it blocked. The rest of the day after that wasn't bad, but the first part was bad enough. Today was busy, which is enough to call a day bad.

Speaking of networks, we got our new core switches in on monday… a couple of Cisco 6509's. Each one of them can handle like 50 million packets per second, so attacks like the one yesterday should do little more than tickle our network. I can't wait for it to come online. I also set up a much more powerful SQL server for my monitoring system at work. The old had a dual Pentium3 box functioning as the sole entity in the system – SQL server, collector, and web server. Now I have a Dual Opteron box functioning as the SQL server, and it's far less loaded than the P3. This should give us the capacity to install the monitoring system on at least another 200 machines before load again becomes a problem, if things behave linearly that is. I'll tell you one thing though… Dual Opterons compile Gentoo in a hurry! 🙂

Ace has been doing as good as can be expected I suppose. He still has accidents now and again, mostly because we're otherwise occupied and miss the “hey I have to go!” warning signs.

Last, and possibly least, I've recorded a few more diddys on the guitar over the past weeks that haven't been posted, so here they are. The first one is a rather short one played on the Fender, tuned to B. I think it's all clean, so your fragile little ears should be safe. The second clip was recorded the next night, with much more distortion, again on the Fender. If you listen not-so-carefully, you can hear me tuning from B to C about 3/4 of the way through. The third clip is much more lengthy, with much more going on as well. I think I show some signs of progress in this one. There are actually parts that I would call good sounding, and not in my normal metal way. It's recorded on the Fender again. There are some parts that are overdriven as a result of the mic inputs not being calibrated right when I switched to the neck/middle pickup combo, but oh well, this one is still worth getting. The last clip was recorded last on the Carvin in normal tuning. It has the added 'bonus' of having beats in the background provided by Frooty Loops. I played all right on top of the more aggressive beat, but later on I put on a slow one, and it highlights the fact that I don't play slow music. Oh well.

What’s in a name…

Well, for a dog, probably not that much. We finally came up with a name for the little guy though… We've settled on Ace. A couple of Greg's friends suggested it, and it works. So that's that. We had (and could still have) a bit of a scare towards the end of last week though… Thursday night we found some fleas crawling around on the little guy, which certainly got our attention. We gave him a flea bath, and so far, we haven't seen any more. Who knows where they laid eggs though, so we'll just have to keep our eyes open.

Ace has also learned the power of whining and barking to get our attention, which is good and bad. He seems to gave got the idea that it's bad to do his buisiness inside and that we need to take him outside, because he'll run back and forth between Greg and I and whine, so we know he's gotta go outside. But, he's also figured out that barking will get our attention for other things, like throwing balls and giving him food. He even woke me up out of a sound sleep the other morning because he had to go out… but it was 3AM. I was definitely not too happy at that point.

The only other thing noteworthy going on is that the monitoring system I've been working on for a while is finally being deployed everywhere. It's currently monitoring about 375 servers, and doing it well. The server it's running on is getting strained, so I might have to upgrade things a bit, or a lot! 🙂

The obligatory POOP post

I just got done reading the latest posts over at dooce.com, as is my almost-daily ritual. Today's post, along with a good portion of her other posts, talks a lot about poop in various forms in the way that only Heather B. Armstrong can muster. While I don't really share her would-be obsession with poop discussions, poop is on the platter for this post, figuratively speaking. Our still-unnamed dog is making huge strides… huge strides in soiling our carpet. Yesterday was his “pee on the floor” coming out party, where he made puddles no less than 5 times. Well, in the spirit of progress, today became crap on the carpet day. The first deposit was made after I went to work but while Greg was still home, under my desk apparently. I can't say I was too happy about that, but Greg cleaned things up well enough that I didn't notice. The second was after I got home and took the dog for a walk. I learned my lesson from the morning before and waited until I was ready to take him out before I let him out of the cage. It was raining outside, so I wasn't about to wait outside all day for him to do his business. He was a good dog though and added to the rather wet conditions outside with his own unique contribution. We both went back inside, and not 3 minutes after I let him off his leash he had laid cable underneath the kitchen table, as if to say “Ha! You thought I was done! I'll show you!” I suppose I'll have to get used to it.

And in something totally unrelated to poop, I finally got the third Evergrey album that I ordered almost two months ago: Recreation Day. It was back-ordered at Amazon, which I should learn to expect. This is the sound that I remember from the concert. The other albums are most certainly sweet, but this is the Evergrey I heard on April 24th. There is a ton of double-bass throughout, sweet riffs, killer harmonies, and a ton of energy. I would recommend this album to anyone who likes metal. You can't really miss here. “Blinded” and “Visions” kick total ass, but I'm sure I'll love the whole album once I give it a few more listens.

Anybody got a towel?

Well, we were hoping that the new puppy was ultra brilliant or something, because until today he hadn't had any accidents, and had been pretty mild-mannered. Well, that didn't last. I made the mistake of letting him out this morning a few minutes before I was ready to take him out for his morning relief walk. I was brushing my teeth while I was putting on my shoes, and he seemed to be rather entertained with the toothbrush hanging out of my mouth. I went back upstairs and deposited the toothbrush, then came back downstairs. As I was reaching for the leash, he hunched down in the kitchen and let rip. So instead of just letting him out when I was ready, I got the added pleasure of cleaning up a puddle of dog piss. That made me a few minutes late for work, but nothing too horrible.

Greg got the same treatment a few minutes ago, but for much less reason. I had already taken him out 3 or 4 times since I got home from work, and he had done his duties each time, so there wasn't really any reason for him to have another accident. Well, there apparently isn't any rhyme or reason in the mind of a 9 week old puppy, and he demonstrated that fact by leaving another puddle on the carpet. Oh well… He's got to have the accidents before he learns that accidents are bad, so for a while we'll have to bear with it.

We're still deciding on a name, but we're getting closer. “Spock” has been suggested by a couple different people, but Greg isn't a huge fan of that. Greg found a dog naming site somewhere, found “Mr. T” on there, and was inspired. “Cisco” is also on his mind, so we'll see what comes about. He might be caving on Spock, so if a couple more people suggest it, we might have a vulcan dog!

A cute new friend…

No, unfortunately it's not a girl. But he is very cute! Yesterday, Greg got himself a little golden lab puppy and he made his presence felt here a few hours ago. I'm sure having a little puppy in the house will yield to lots of fun tales of crap on the carpets and chewed objects strewn about, but who cares! It's a cute little puppy! There will likely be tons of pictures as well. And who knows… maybe having the puppy around will help land some cute lady-friends…

We don't have a name for him yet… any suggestions? Cool names only please! In a daring nod towards Gentoo, Greg is considering “Portage”, but I don't know if the dog needs to be burdened with living up to something as cool as that namesake.

Sonic Torture

Today, when I was glancing at the webstats for my site, I noticed a weird string of downloads to one of my guitar MP3s. I traced it back to some 15 year old punk's xanga blog, and when I got there, I was rather dismayed to find that my (rather shitty) rendtion of Sanitarium from the guitar multimedia page was playing as the background music for his page. Not only is using my sound clip without my permission pretty lame, but he didn't even copy it to his webserver or anything. It was loading straight from my server, stealing my (free) bandwidth. Well, that had to stop. I decided to set up a redirect that would make this punk kid think twice before he hotlinked another mp3. I got a couple good suggestions of stuff to redirect to, such as static, a clip of me shouting into a microphone, or the audio track to a gay porn movie. The third would have been classic, but I had no desire to subject my ears or my webserver to something like that. So, I kinda combined the first two with some guitar stuff, and went to work. I cranked up the guitar, turned on every effect I had, and played a totally nasty dissonant chord (think alarm clock here) over and over again. It made an excellent backdrop for my verbal message, which ended up sounding really funny due to the voice I used. I repeated the voice clip over and over, as I let the dissonant chords deteriorate into a droning feedback loop. Definitely an annoying sound. After I had saved the sound and published it, I went to work on the redirect, only to find that the kid had moved on to use some other sound file as background music. All that work for nothing. Well, not really. I set it up as a universal hotlink blocker for my mp3 recordings, so anyone hotlinking the mp3s will get a rather annoying sound out of their speakers. For those who are interested, the clip is here.

I also recorded another guitar doodle after the hotlink soundclip was recorded, and that can be found here. I also posted some older doodles, located here and here. I can't remember if they're worth downloading, but they were worth saving to disk, so they can't suck that bad. Maybe.

Fear Factory, Children of Bodom, 10/9/04

I'm up and I can't friggin sleep, so I guess I'll write this up now. Technically there were three other bands at the show, but Fear Factory and Children of Bodom were the bands we went to see. I went with my metal-concert-buddy Matt, and his friend Anne from LTU.

The first band was pretty bad to be brutally honest. I think they were a local band, because they weren't listed on the bill anywhere. They looked like they were going for some sort of gimmick, because they had three complete drum kits out on the stage, and there were always at least three guys beating on them. A few times, the guitarists and bass player would put down their instruments, and grab some drumsticks and start beating on a floor tom or something… It was really lame. Other than the lame drumming thing, the rest of the music was pretty lame too… totally simplistic riffs, lame vocals, just really not that interesting. I give them credit for getting out there and trying, but that's about it. Grade: D.

The next band that played was called Throwdown. They were all right, much better than the asshats in the first band. They were a hardcore rap-metal band, but weren't really anything special in the grand scheme of things. They got my foot tapping a bit, so I guess they must have been doing something right. Grade: B-

Next up was Children of Bodom. I saw them open for Iced Earth a while back, and I've been hooked ever since. They only played two songs I recognized from the one album I've been able to find, but it was still sweet. They have a lot of energy up on stage, and always look like they're having a great time, which helps keep the crowd into the show. I definitely need to find a way to get more of their CDs… stupid stores not having good music… Anyways, I digress. Their set wasn't nearly as long as I would have liked, but they're an opening band, such is life. Had they been able to play more songs, their set would have easily got an A grade, but since they only got 40 minutes, it gets an A-.

Fear Factory was up next. I've been listening to them for a long time, proabably since I heard Zero Signal on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack. Yes, I own the Mortal Kombat soundtrack. Shut up. I've been a sucker for any decent music with a double-bass drum presence, and Fear Factory gives out huge doses of that. Raymond Herrera is freakin nuts when he's playing. I don't know how his legs move that fast. It's as much of a quandry to me as Jon Schaffer's (Iced Earth) insane triplet riffing. Damn rockstars and their bionic limbs… This was also my first glimpse of the new Fear Factory lineup… You'd never know Christian used to be their bass player. He's picked up the guitar duties without missing a beat. He doesn't have the stage presence Dino had, but the metal was surely flowing freely from his guitar. Due to the dual-headlining nature of the show, they were also forced into a shorter set list, but they made the best of it. They opened up with the first two songs of Archetype, Slave Labor and Cyberwaste. They set up a pattern where they played two of the better songs from each of their albums, which was sweet. If I remember right the set included (in no particular order) Martyr, Big God (raped souls), Demanufacture, Zero Signal, Replica, Shock, Edgecrusher, the before-mentioned Slave Labor and Cyberwaste, and Archetype. Those are pretty much the Fear Factory A-List as far as I'm concerned. The only two songs I would consider “missing” would be Obsolete and H-K. Had the set been longer, perhaps I would have heard them, but alas, that's the nature of the beast. Overall, they rocked. Grade: A.

We left after Fear Factory, mainly due to the fact that none of us except Matt had heard any Lamb of God songs, and he said he wasn't impressed by them. So we took off early, beat the crowds, and got a head start on getting shitcanned back in Anne's room. All in all, a very good night.

And with this ring…

… Will and Katie wed. This past weekend was Will and Katie's wedding. Due to an unfortunate situation with Jon, I had the privilege of being promoted to the coveted BEST MAN position at the last minute. The wedding was short and sweet, and everything went off without a hitch. I have to say though… making the groom and best man stand alone in a little room for a half hour before the wedding seems a bit like iceing the kicker before a crucial field goal… it really gives that groom some time to think before making that crucial step… hehe. The reception was pretty sweet too. My speech/toast went pretty well, dispite some early fumbling with my notes and such. I could have really used a podium. Once the speech was over and my nervousness went away, I had a really good time, dispite the fact that I only knew about 4 or 5 people in the room. I spent a good portion of the later hours hanging out by the photographers, for a couple reasons. First, they were using nothing but digital photo gear, and it was top quality. Lots of cool stuff. They had a laptop set up on a table in the back with a card reader so they could pull the pictures off the cards as soon as they were full. When they were both out and about taking pictures, they set up slide shows of the pictures they had taken so far that day. The older folks were very impressed by this. I was asking all sorts of technical questions, since I do try to dabble in photography a bit (as evidenced by my photo gallery), even if I'm not very good at it. The other reason I hung out back there was because the second photographer was quite cute, and my age! I tried working my magic in with actual questions about photography and the pictures they were taking. I succeeded in making her laugh and smile a bit, so perhaps there's hope for me yet!

Not much going on other than that, except we got our new Cisco 12000 series routers at work. They're friggin huge! They're each like 4 feet tall, with tons of horsepower and room for expansion. They each have two power supplies with fully redundant backups, huge blowers for cooling, and lots of fun expansion cards. There are 5 gigabit ethernet modules, a 16-port OC-3 card (!!!) and a 4-port OC-12 adapter. Lots of fun. Lots of pictures are up here.