Archive for February, 2003

In Sync

Deb and I were watching TV last night. While waiting for Conan to come on (which won't be happening anymore when we have our Direct TV/Tivo unit delivered this Friday), I was flipping around and landed on MTV. It was the standard dance party/video show, and they were announcing a special guest Fat Joe. Just as I was opening my mouth to speak, Deb turned to me and said “So would he still go by Fat Joe if he got his stomach stapled or something and lost weight?” Whch is precisely what I was going to ask. This sort of thing happens all the time with us.

_Great minds think alike, and fools seldom differ._

If I had any power

I'd like to issue the following fatwa: Any driver blocking traffic while waiting for a parking spot to open shall be subjected to a public stoning. If said driver is driving a minivan, BWM, or talking on a cell phone they shall be stoned twice for good measure.

Since that's unlikely to happen I propose a broader and more socially responsible resolution: Tested and certified competent drivers will be issued paint ball guns which will carried at all times. These drivers, upon witnessing an act of driving stupidity, will tag the guilty driver with a barrage of paint ball ammo. A paint splattered vehicle will alert other drivers to the incompetence of the driver so they may react accordingly when dealing with them.

Get your kicks on Route 22

Traveling Route 22 from Pittsburgh to Johnstown four separate times this weekend gave me ample opportunity to formulate some observations…

Sheetz has their shit together. They've been using touch screen ordering systems for all their “Made To Order” food options for at least 5 years. I never have speak to another human other than the cashier, but more importantly my order has always been correct in that time. Why do Wendy's, Burger King, et al. still bother with humans taking my order? They fuck up my order 5 times out of 10, and speaking to them is an outright mental assult. I've tried to refine my ordering technique to reduce mistakes and to preempt any unecessary questions, but they don't stick to their own damn script. Anyone competent enough for the job is over-qualified to work for a minimum wage… so just eliminate the position entirely. And Sheetz… Please build some locations in Pittsburgh proper. Being able to get a tasty custom built burger, Krispy Kreme donuts, and a tank of cheap gas all in one stop kicks ass.

There are still a lot of _”Trucker's Libraries”_ (my father's slang for Adult bookstores) between Murrysville and Indiana, including The Climax a drive-through strip joint. I wonder if the internet is eroding their sales… of course, that assumes that supplying pornography is the only function these stores provide. If you watch closely when you drive past, the parking lots are much bigger behind the stores than in front of them.

This winter is absolutely destroying the roads around here. I'm now almost happy that my new Alfa has been sidelined during the EngineRebuild. I'm glad it hasn't been subjected to the salt/flying gravel/and lunar-like road surface that my Acura has seen. I think Afghanistan has a better transportation infrastructure.

Bitten by same bug

So I was reading my coworker's site and I see this : News: When you hear hoofbeats… A cautionary tail concerning problem debugging. Interestingly, I had the exact same problem last night.

My wife started blogging. We were busy this weekend and she had much to post. She started complaing about MT taking forever to rebuild the index after she made a post. Initially, I suspected it was bandwidth issues related to CMU implementing traffic shaping to throttle outbound connections… those damn kids and their P2P are fucking up my free bandwidth.

My ssh connection to the server was working fine… “Maybe they only clamp down on WWW and P2P traffic”, I thought. So I tried using Lynx to connect to deb's blog on localhost. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to rebuild the indexes, because MT uses a popup window to execute the command… Lynx seemed to be ignoring it (or at least not making it obvious as to how I could access it.) So I started digging through the log files. That's when I noticed an entry in the error_log about a connection timeout, and incomplete headers.

That's when I found the weather server was down, and causing the index rebuild to time-out. Doh! To keep deb posting I deleted that entry from her site Template (adding the TWiki integration) and all was good again.

_UPDATE:_ I'm such a dumbass. I just tried to post this forgetting completely that the weather plug-in is still in my template. “Hey, why's it taking so long…” Duh!

TWiki + Blog Integration

A test link: AlfaWikiTutorial

A regular link:

A photo link:

I love being an adult

Being an adult I get to do all the things I wasn't allowed (or couldn't afford) to do. This project didn't cost anything other than some tight back muscles: Snow Pile I'm not sure what we'll make of it, maybe just an igloo. There was something so pleasantly unwholesome about useing the hose in the wintertime. If I can find that damn lawn sprinkler tonight, I'm definately going to put it to use.

Meta Post

So I was going to post a snarky post about Pat Robertson and his cancerous prostate. But then I thought it was wrong to take pleasure in such an event…

It's the best job he's ever done at convincing me that there is a god.

So to dig myself out of that karmic hole, I thought I'd post a useful link Prostate Health website

But when I went to the site, I realized just how un-useful it was. Who the hell designs a flash/java only website for pratical medical information. Especially one that I assume is targeted at a much older demographic. Even the fucking disclaimer requires a plug-in to view. What about making it accessible?

Now I'm mad… Mad about a prostate health website.

Getting Serious in the Garage

I think the dreaded previous owner fouled the oil pump with evil RTV sealant. I was able to restore oil pressure, but the engine still didn't sound right under load. All signs point to rod knock, so I embarked on EngineRemoval

Now, I'm starting the autopsy:

The The Alfa Wiki kicks ass. It's so easy to publish… I want to Wiki-fy everything. Now, I just need to convice the rest of the Alfa community to start posting their own content.

Thanks again M$

I've been trying to figure this one out for a while. 320944 – How to Turn Off the Processing of HTML Scripts That Are Contained in Windows Media Files.

Opps, I did it again

For the second weekend in a row, I maganged to screw up the firewall remotely, forcing me to drive into work to put us back on the net. The firewall software we are using Shorewall is excellent, but you can still shoot your foot off with a configuration error. I finally got PPTP traffic to make it through our firewall to a staticly NAT'd internal server. I still haven't figured out why I wasn't able to do it with port forwarding, but at this point I just don't care.

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