ted | computer | Friday, March 30th, 2007

And you thought a horrible idea never goes unpunished. As reported by Roninspoon, our own Crooklyn DJ PORKCUBE made it happen.

This is about four times as horrible as you would expect it to be. Feel glad that it’s only 43 seconds long.


most annoying mashup ever

ted | computer | Thursday, March 29th, 2007

This morning, Ed and I discovered the worst possible mashup that seems so terribly obvious now. A compatriot (Keith, if you must know) was complaining about having a song in his head. Because Ed and I are often of singular mind and the nicest, most charming jerks you’ll ever meet, we both launched into different songs to get one of those stuck in Keith’s head.

The exchange went something like this.

(Keith) can’t get the theme from Rome out of his head.

We expect a mashup (or mix or whatever you call it) within 24 hours.

Get to it, internets.

A bad days for tools

ted | house | Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Good: we sold the cabinets. A nice lady came by, proclaimed them worth $40 and sent her son by later with a truck to pick them up.

Bad: Said son left my mighty hand truck Sexcalibur in the alley. I imagine it was gone in a matter of minutes.

Good: The nice lady returned my voicemail, apologized profusely and said she would replace it. She was awfully nice about the whole thing. I made sure she knew what model it was and that it is available for $40 at your local Home Despot.

Bad: I did not get the chance to impress upon her the features I looked for in a hand truck. Sexcalibur had a MIG-welded all-steel frame, large pneumatic tires, was made in the USA and a durable powdercoated finish. These kinds of things are important to me because life is too short to have a cheap handtruck.

Good: We’re getting to take an evening off…

Bad: …because the Harbor Freight heat gun crapped out on us today halfway through the removal of the last peel & stick tiles.

Good: I made damn sure we kept our receipt.

Bad: With any purchase at Harbor Freight it is very wise to keep your receipt.


ted | driving | Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Finally filled up on the way home from work on Friday. I knew this tank was going to be epic. Results:

790.2 miles
15.8 gallons ULSD-B11
50.01 mpg

Eat that, hybrids. I got a car that has some nuts, can be worked on with simple metric hand tools (for the most part, every new car these days needs some specialty tools) and gets better real-world fuel economy without having to resort to black majick.

And it runs on biodiesel.

I could have made this an 800 mile tank but I’m totally happy with what I got. Next couple tanks are prolly gonna be back to mid 40s mpg since I don’t like driving like a grandma and drafting semis all the time. It’s strange, though, the biggest change I did for this tank was to obey the posted speed limit.

pfsense notes

ted | computer | Sunday, March 25th, 2007

pfSense has been rokken like dokken, and now I’ve found the option that gives me access to this jambox from the internal network.

System -> Advanced -> disable the “Disable NAT Reflection” option.

A destructive weekend

ted | house | Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Sick and tired of our cramped and poorly laid out kitchen, we’ve spent the past couple weeks figuring out how we’d like it laid out. This weekend we took a completely functioning kitchen and turned it into an empty room. We’ve got a toaster oven in the living room and a dish drainer in the bathtub. The coffee maker next to the bathroom sink makes it feel kinda like a hotel room except it makes good coffee.

All the cabinets are stacked & tarped on the back porch along with the dishwasher. The horrible electric stove is by its lonesome, waiting to be rained on since we sprayed it down with degreaser.

After peeping the appliances we wanted up at Abt on Saturday (once we finished removing most of the cabinets, of course), we found the dishwasher we wanted on craigslist. Used for a month in new construction and replaced with stainless steel appliances, we snagged it for 1/3rd its cost new.

Most of today was spent taking up the horrible black peel & stick linoleum tiles with a heat gun and floor scraper. Then we had to pull out wood screws every 3″ and remove the 1/4″ plywood underneath to reveal baby puke yellow 1970s linoleum. Below that is the original hardwood floor. Should everything go the way we want, it’s getting refinished. If it’s too riddled with screwholes or the baby puke linoleum doesn’t come up well, bamboo is going down over it.

Nice. I like progress. I like working with my hands, too. Fortunately we’re also working with our heads, unlike several previous owners.

five for fightin’, another another followup

ted | junk | Monday, March 19th, 2007

From Mrs. Bex Von Recentlybewifed, five questions.

1. I think we have compatible enough senses of humor, yet I do not see the appeal of Trailer Park Boys. Is it one of those things you have to warm up to or what? How did you even start watching it?

I think the reason I found it so piss-in-my-pants funny was that I grew up in a tiny rural north Georgia town and I knew quite a lot of folks that lived in trailers that would easily pass for a more humid version of Sunnyvale. The attraction goes beyond that, it’s that the show is at both very familiar yet uniquely Canadian. It’s sort of like watching The Kids In The Hall in that they do things differently than we do SNL, yet it’s still funny (even funnier, if you ask me) but familiar.

I heard about it from perdedor and CowboyNeal, neither of them have steered me wrong. I actually started watching Season 2 and didn’t go back to pick up Season 1 until later. The latter helps explain everything better but the former is far and away funnier.

And yes, it’s something you’ve got to get into to understand the relationships and intertwined lives. Until then you’ve got Bubbles’ kitties and Ricky’s constant mispronunciations to keep you amused. I know folks say that about shows that are simply trite, stupid and tedious (24, The Office (Duhhmurican edition), any soap opera, 30 Rock, etc).

2. Do you feel your relationship changed at all when you got married or was it just business as usual afterwards?

For the most part it has been business as usual, but sometimes it really hits me that we have taken a vow in front of Dayton and everybody to stick together. In ways this really makes me more at ease since I feel like there’s less of an imperative to work out disagreements ASAP and to let them take their own time.

Other than some paperwork here and there, things are more-or-less the same as they were before. It is awfully comforting, though, to know we’ve promised each other and everybody what attended that we’re sticking together til the reaper has his way.

3. What things have you killed in your lifetime?

A lot of pets that were severely injured had their shuffle off this mortal coil hastened by this native son of Dixie. A whole lot of stray animals, too, mostly cats and dogs – nearly all of them were very sick or injured and none had collars or tags. Probably a few crows. Oh, possums. So many possums. I house sat for a week during college while my parents were on vacation and shot at least 15 possums in just a few nights. Evil, ugly bastards. Their eyes glow a beastly orange when you’re looking down the scope of a .22LR at 2am with a Mag-Lite held against the cold blue barrel.

Cats’ and dogs’ eyes are usually green in the same situation. Just so you know.

4. Do you pay attention to what is on people’s shelves and media storage when you visit their residences for the first time? Does this ever change your opinion of someone?

Absolutely. I’m nosy as hell the first couple times I’m at somebody’s house. I’m always thumbing through the magazines next to the terlit, opening the medicine cabinet, checking out their movies, scanning their bookshelves, etc. I think it absolutely could tell you something about somebody.

F’ristance, the first time I came over to xdjio’s pad, had I seen Black Panty Chronicles Vol. 6 next to a copy of a Dave Barry book or Young Republican Magazine, I would think he’s either a closeted pervert (YRM), some sort of mouth-breathing retardo (Barry) or trying to play a cruel trick on folks like me (BPCV6).

Even though I do this stuff, I also feel like filling my medicine cabinet full of marbles for the jerks that come over and do this to me.

5. Fried grits – too much of a good thing?

Not enough, I’d say. Fry ’em in bacon grease and serve with smoked very sharp white cheddar or gouda.

five for fightin’, another followup

ted | junk | Monday, March 19th, 2007

From the Desk of Hazen H. Hammel, Esq.

1. For the benefit of everyone who hasn’t heard this already, or to get it all in one place, what are you going to do with your Mega Millions?

Well, when I win my Mega Millons tomorrow night, I’ve got a pretty simple plan for dealing with my newfound wealth:

– Take care of all my debts, public and private. Pretty simple. What little credit card balance we have, cars, house, Nikki’s student loans, all gone. Probably also do the same for close family members and very close friends.

– Feather my nest. I honestly think this will necessitate a secondary residence as I’ve got some lofty goals. I like living in Chicago and I like my house but I’d like it a lot better if it was done the way I want it. Ultra insulated, solar cells on the roof, wind turbine on the garage, Lister 6/1 genset, batteries, grid-tie inverter, geothermal heating/cooling, make it as green as I can. Throw in the usual smattering of new computers, appliances & other furnishings.

– Start up my own company. Illinois Talkshow Nightmare Liquor Corporation? I dunno. Buy an old building, turn it into my personal shop. Furnish it with good tools that are made in the USA. Metal working, wood working, automotive, bicycle, motorcycle, whatever. Do preventative maintenence on friends’ vehicles for the cost of parts plus $1/hour shop rate (tax reasons). Have a biodiesel processor in the corner as well as a nice brewery setup. Throw LOTS of parties.

– Spread the wealth (small version). This is where the fun begins. I’d start out by taking a good look at my list of friends and acquaintences and their various skills. Then whenever I needed some help with anything they were good at, they’d get paid. If I required legal advice I might fly Mr. Hammel and his family up for a paid week in Chicago (in February XA XA XA). If I needed computer help, it might be Chris in Nashua or Jared in Crooklyn or my brother in the ATL. Video needs? I’m calling up the boys in Asstoria. All expenses paid help, cash. No need for this to rile up the revenuers.

– Spread the wealth (big version). Start a Southside Chicago development agency. Donate some big chunks to the Red Cross, NPR/NPB, ACLU, EFF, Doctors Without Borders, anybody that fights the good fight and isn’t a dick about it or skims off the top too much (COUGHCOUGHUNITEDWAYCOUGH).

Other than that? Sock enough in the bank to live off the interest, travel around to my heart’s content, order up a couple drums of Illinois Soybean Biodiesel to power the cars with and cold kick it live.

2. Assuming cost is not a factor, if you could buy a vacation home, lakeside cabin, or some such frippery anywhere within a 150 mile radius of your current estate, where and why and what would you do there?

It would be a small cabin out in the middle of nowhere in NW Illinois, preferably something built myself – maybe bale hay/mud or ram earth construction. Basically a getaway cabin sandwiched between soybean fields where there’s no computer, no grid power, no cell phone reception indoors (fine metal mesh in walls, clever). PV cells on the roof and a small wind turbine collecting free power, inverter & battery bank keeping enough around to give a little light to cook or read by, human powered water pump to fill a cistern and solar water heaters. Big fucking stacks of books and blank paper. Couple bicycles to tool around on. Yes, I am turning into Ted Kaczynski.

3. With the scene set from your answer to the last question, now I flip the Grateful Dead question right back atcha. Five songs.

This is a tough one and could change on a whim. But as of right now, here goes.

Althea, Jack Straw, St. Stephen, Dire Wolf, Turn on Your Lovelight.

4. Which is more of a threat to our precious American way of life: big agribusiness or big energy corps?

At this point there’s virtually no difference between the two. I would like to say big energy by a hair since we got that Texas oilman in the White House is doing us notorious wrong, but it’s hard not to see where big agriculture isn’t doing similar things.

5. I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords. You?

Having been there, they need to learn how to drive worth a damn before I’m too concerned with them taking us over. Then again, I say the same thing when I’m in California. Eventually I see a stage where manufacturing jobs start coming back to Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan instead of being continually exported. Maybe if what they’re doing now makes us a little leaner on the corporate side of things, it might be good. All in all I have little beef with them artificially depressing their currency’s value by roughly tying it to the almighty dollar and making their goods so much cheaper here. I think other countries need to get wise and start fighting fire with fire, though. China is simply playing by the rules it has been given. If it’s not fair, then the rules need to change. And I salute those Coke-taining Chinamen for doing so. Strange thing is they make such bloody good watches.

Missing music

ted | travel | Monday, March 19th, 2007

I’ve got a big stack of cd liners from discs that were stolen from me during my long hot years in Atlanta, but the one that I’m missing the most right now is that of the defunct Josh Joplin Band’s album “Boxing Nostalgic”. If you’ve got a copy, drop me a line.

Credit where credit is due

ted | computer | Monday, March 19th, 2007

Big damn props to the crooklyn ninja perdedor for pointing out a path he’s been down years ago – him with m0n0wall for his routing/filtering needs on an embedded PC jambox, a soekris, and for the pfSense tip (fork of m0n0wall) which is optimized for installing on “regular” computers.

This weekend got some crazy computer style action going. First of which was my special lady and I gutting two “busted” computers that were traded to us in exchange for one working computer. Then we happened up a sale flyer for our local Microcenter including a nice smallish case for $25 that indeed supported one of the mobos we just got. Returning back home we put together a P4-1.8GHz machine with a measley 384MB of RAM (already had all that on hand plus PC133 168 pin SDRAM DIMMs are fuckin’ expensive now but DDR is hell of cheap, way to go economies of scale), 30G of hard drive space and various bobs and bits laying around. My first linux desktop –!

Despite “running” my own machine on this very domain for going on 8 years, I’ve never had a linux desktop or a machine what ran X windows (unless you count the X11 I installed on my ibook, which I don’t). I really feel like I’m getting the full linux experience now, since the scroll wheel on my mouse doesn’t scroll at all and despite spending 4+ hours trying to fix it with various ZAxisMapping in my xorg.conf file and xmodmap blah blah blah, it’s still fucking broken. Way to go, linux!

But the biggest thing is I now have full separation of church and state in my house, in that the server (banana) is now just a server and the router (crapbox) is now just a router/NAT/etc bawx.

The exciting part about this is when banana crashes or shits the bed or whatnot, it won’t take the rest of the network with it. The routatron is Nikki’s old laptop, a craptastic Dell Inspiron 2650 with a second NIC in the PCMCIA (what, it’s called CardBus now?) slot. It’s got a couple 5 – 10 minutes of built-in battery life should the power go out and with a little bit of rearranging in the computer room everything will be right as rain.

Open issues:

1. You can’t ssh into banana with the default ssh information anymore. Email me and I’ll explain why and what you need to do. This likely affects perhaps two – maybe three – people, one of which may read this.
2. Ought to replace the 10BT 16 port HP hub that Mikex0r gave me years ago with an 8 port 10/100/1000BT switch.
3. I think I’ve got all the appropriate ports forwarded to the places they need to go but if you find something that’s not working, let me know.
4. It would be nice to seriously underclock the Inspiron 2650 so it uses less power and the fans never have to come on.
5. Eventually replace the hard drive in the crapbook with a CF card so it would effectively be diskless & fanless.
6. Reroute all the power cables and make sure the stuff on the UPSes actually belongs on a UPS.
7. Try not to suck.

And of course, get the damn mouse to work in X11.

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