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November 2004 Archives

November 2, 2004

[beep][kerchunk] <server disconnects>

I just noticed that the cover page to jjc is blank. Woof! I guess it’s been a while since I’ve posted.

This is mainly because I’m being hammered with SC prep and the munchkins. So there’s been little time to take any notes. But right now there’s a problem with our servers — I’m blocking waiting for our sysadmins to fix it, so I might as well make a jjc entry. ☺


I’ve started to get a lot more blog spam recently (a strong, noticable increase within the last 2-3 weeks). If I didn’t have the MT blog spam blocker, there’s no way that I could have kept up. I’ve also noticed that many of the URL’s being posted are in the “.info” domain. It seemed that 4 out of 5 comments that I would block were advertising URLs in .info, so I’m now blocking all .info URLs. Sorry folks (not that anyone who would legitimately post a comment here will care ☺).

But the spammers are also the reason that the jjc front page was blank — whenever I reject some comments, it rebuilds the static jjc pages (including the front page). And it only includes new entries from within the last 2 weeks. Since I’ve been so slack lately, there were no new entries — hence, the blank page.


Today is US election day. Tracy and I will head out to vote in a bit. With Bush and Kerry basically in a dead heat, and with so many precints around the country who have foolishly decided to use paperless electronic voting (one MS Access database for the entire state of CA? Come one.. who really thinks that this is a good idea?), I predict a debacle of legal and voting issues over the next few weeks. I predict a minimum of 2 weeks will pass before we know who the next president is.

November 14, 2004

Slices of gouda cheese

ND lost the football game yesterday to Pittsburgh. The announcers kept saying how great the Pitt QB was, but really… really, he got lucky with some very questionable penalty calls against ND that kept drives alive. I don’t usually complain when we lose (because usually we lose because we deserved it), but several bad calls yesterday definitely could have tipped the game — which was very close — in our favor. Grumble. ☹


Was at SC all last week where we had an all-day tutorial about Open MPI which went very well (despite several last minute glitches). We went around and talked Open MPI to everyone who would listen (and several who didn’t!). All in all, it seemed to go quite well, but it was a very busy week. We’re targeting our first stable release in Q1 of next year.

So Open MPI is all “working” — but at a developer level. Lots of cleanup and polishing to finish before the Q1 release. Lotsa good work to do before then.

Huzzah!


Tracy’s gramma was just here for the weekend — the munchkins got to meet their great gramma. Lots of pictures (under “k-n-k, 11-2004 meeting with great gramms”).


I’m getting craploads of blog spam these days (5-10 per day). I’ve started blocking entire TLD’s (info, biz, etc.), and am blocking oodles of them. These guys are total scum.

Sigh.


BTW, I was totally incorrect on my prediction about how long it would take to determine the next US president. I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong, but I do admit that I’m surprised! ☺

November 22, 2004

It's snowing at a rate of $30/hour

A quick entry today about some tech-related stuff…

  • I recently discovered that I had been slammed back in September — someone changed my long distance provider to Sprint without my knowledge. When I called Sprint to fix the situation, they were quite helpful — the attendant confirmed all the charges that I had seen and sent all the information to some investigatory department (I should hear back in 20 business days… seems like a long time). She said that it looked like someone had bought a Sprint cell phone at a Radio Shack and put down my home phone number as their number and asked to have their long distance switched to Sprint. I asked her if this was the newest way of slamming people or whether it looked like someone made an honest mistake. She said it looked like a mistake. Hmm. I’m dubious, because the name on the account wasn’t mine and the address was “similar but different” (i.e., on my street, but the number was backwards). I suppose that it’s certainly possible that someone randomly put down a phone number that just happened to be mine and a jumbled address that was remarkably similar to mine… perhaps even one of my neighbors on my street (she obviously couldn’t tell me the name for privacy reasons). But it still seems awfully coincidental. We’ll see what Sprint reports back to me — hopefully, at a minimum, I’ll get a refund of the costs involved with switching to Sprint (!) and the difference in their long distance rates vs. what I was paying before I was slammed (yes, I was getting worse long distance rates with Sprint).
  • I got a new headset for my cell phone. I like it much better than my old one. It’s a little in-ear thingy with a short, noise-cancelling boom mike (the kind that doesn’t come out beyond your cheekbone). Yummy.
  • We just switched my church over to a Windoze domain (they had previously been doing just peer-to-peer stuff with a central file server before). All in all, it’s been a good transition, but there have been a million tiny “gotchas.” The same procedure applied to 13 machines has yielded different results on all of them — every one failed in different ways (keep in mind that they are fairly well-controlled machines; none of the users have administrative privlidges). This is perhaps what I had about Windows most: the lack of repeatability.
  • I’ve found at least one, and possibly two software bugs in my maxivan. The first is quite repeatable (I tried several times in the Kroger parking lot to ensure that I wasn’t imagining things). Do the following steps:
    • Insert key and turn on the car
    • Wait 4 seconds
    • Switch into reverse
    • Backup for 4 seconds (not sure if moving is actually necessary, or just being in reverse)
    • Switch into drive
    • The rear-view camera may stay on for several seconds more, but the map disclaimer will eventually come up. Click on ok, and you’ll be taken to the map. From here on our, the “Audio” button is non-functional — you can’t get to the stereo screen.
  • I haven’t taken the time to make the second bug repeatable yet, but it has happened to me multiple times: if I turn on the car and the CD starts playing (i.e., the CD was playing the last time the car was turned on), when I go to the audio screen, I can’t use the touchscreen to move away from the CD (e.g., to switch to XM radio). I can push all the mode buttons (FM, AM, XM, etc.), and the push clearly registers on the screen (i.e., the button changes color like it was selected), but then the button unselects itself and goes back to CD (the CD is playing uninterrupted the whole time). The “mode” button on the steering wheel seems to be the only way to change out of the CD player (note: I haven’t tried with the backup stereo controls, nor the back seat stereo controls). Need a little more testing to nail this one down, actually.
  • I got the weirdest message from Norton Anti-Virus on my mac the other day (many ask: “why do you bother to have anti-virus on an OSX machine, anyway?” After this message, I’m not sure!): “Norton AntiVirus AutoProtect could not continue. Please reinstall Norton AntiVirus and restart.” Here’s my response: “Dear Norton: PC users may be used to this crap, but I am not. If you stop working for no apparent reason (I hadn’t done anything to Norton when this message suddently appeared on my screen), then I won’t use you. Buh-bye.”

November 24, 2004

True story

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it here, but my sister Terry is pregnant — she’s due in late Feburary, 2005. Woo hoo — congrats to Terry and Allen!

Although my niece (Meghan) and nephen (Ryan) and have not met their new cousins Kathryn and Kaitlyn, they have apparently heard about them a lot. So when their mom (my oldest sister, Robin) was talking to them about Aunt Terry’s upcoming munchkin, 6-year old Ryan excitedly asked “Is she having two boys or two girls?”

“Well, not exactly…” said Robin.

“What, is she having one boy and one girl?” interrupted Ryan.

“Well, she’s only having one baby. But she doesn’t know yet if it’s a boy or a girl.”

Ryan got a very confused look on his face. After a few seconds, he said “Is she giving one of them away or something?”

November 25, 2004

Wailing Banshees, Inc.

It’s time for a update on the munchkins.

They’re generally both doing quite well, growing and gaining weight as they’re supposed to be. Their colic phase is ending, which is a relief to us all. They’re also sleeping better at night — sometimes going for up to 5 hours at a stretch! (the norm is about 3 hours) They’re also making lots of 1 syllable sounds these days, experimenting with communication other than crying (woot!); we’ve even heard a few 2 syllable noises as well.

They’re looking around, playing, and even becoming aware of each other. They’re also now distinctly in a drooling phase. Gallons and gallons of it. The total liquid volume of drool produced is simply staggering. It’s like they’ve tapped into the city of Louisville’s water mains. Seriously, we have to walk them around trailing drainage pipes that go to the sump pump in the basement. It’s quite the production.

On the upside, we have the greenest grass in the neighborhood.

A note of irony: one of Tracy’s products in one of her former jobs at GE was working the model of microwave that we have in our kitchen. One of the Big New Features in that model was the fact that the booster exhaust fan was the quietest that it’s ever been in any previous model. Well, that fan is now serving as the the uber-pacifier for our children. Specifically, it’s the Method Of Last Resort when the kids are screaming and wailing and nothing will soothe them. The booster fan creates a white noise field roughly the size of Saturn (perhaps you’ve heard it when we have it on?) and it serves to overwhelm our children into fappy pacifiance. Indeed, the white noise field is so intense that it’s effectively a noise cancellation of all other sounds in the area. You can see people’s lips moving, but you can’t hear a damn thing. Hell, maybe they’re even still crying, but we just can’t hear then… hmmm…

Some of the more popular nicnames that we have for them (these are the ones that recur on a regular basis):

  • Burrito
  • Chalupa
  • Fuzzy head
  • Milk face
  • Munchkin
  • Kicky
  • Squirmy
  • Screechy
  • Punkin
  • Stinky breath

Lost mail

I just found out that due to an bad setting in my OSX Mail application, I’ve lost 1.5 months of sent mail (it was automatically truncating my sent-mail folder). I have all mail that I’ve sent since the mid-90’s, except for September 1, 2004 through mid-October, 2004.

Doh. ☹

November 27, 2004

Friends in Iraq

An old college friend’s husband was just deployed to Iraq yesterday. He’s a captain in a medical battalion out of Ft. Bragg; I think his deployment is scheduled to be a year. He leaves behind his wife and two children.

This is one story among many. Please, support our troops.

To anyone who is reading this, send me a picture of yourself (and/or any friends and family) with a yellow ribbon. I’ll pass them on to all my friends who are deployed.

Most don’t want to be there; most want to be home with their families. And despite what the press reports, there are many many Iraqis and Afghanis that are appreciative of our soldiers’ efforts. Sure, there’s lots of rough spots. And there are definitely some bad apples in the US military (who the press is capitolizing on, unfortunately). But let’s not forget some things that the world press is choosing not to publicize: women are back in school. Kids are getting health care. Homes have electricity. Afghanistan just had a free election. Is the United States the solution in the middle east? Clearly not. And I don’t think that anyone believes that. But we certainly can’t just pull out right now, so I have to put faith in those who are in charge that they’re doing the absolute best that they can. I certainly believe in the US servicemen and women over there.

Regardless of how you feel about Bush and his policies, please support our troops. Support free Afghanis, and support free Iraqis.

About November 2004

This page contains all entries posted to JeffJournal in November 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2004 is the previous archive.

December 2004 is the next archive.

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