nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Jun. 2nd, 2012 08:55 pm)
20:57 PM 06/02/2012

So I'm doing okay. Not fantastic but okay. Camping over the holiday weekend helped a lot simply because I had very little cellphone signal and was thus fairly disconnected. (Except having to send an email to a grumpy customer that I dropped the ball on.)

Currently I'm sitting on the futon after a fairly big bout of dirty dishes, misc computer stuff, and getting my onw digital picture frame working. (Hint - don't use xscreensaver - use gnome-drapes and hide the icons.)

Earlier this week I started getting exercise in the form of yardwork. Managed to cut down a lot of weeds - I swear the milkweed was 3 feet high minimum. But I managed to clean out and rescue at least three of the remains of the established raspberry plants after my neighbor accidentally cut most of them down. Hopefully those will do well.

The weedwacker overheated so not to be outdone I pulled out the ancient solid-welded smooth-blade hand weed-wacker and just continued on. Cut a whole lot of milkweed down and pulled a lot more out by hand. Still have a whole hell of a lot more to pull. Also pulled out all the thick grass-like weeds that had grown up and were choking out the peonies bushes. Lots of hand weeding. Lost of sweat and energy expended. Ruines some of that with a little bad food later (carbs) but I felt extremely good that day and the next so I'm sure it was a net gain.

Lots of the annoying Thompson (Thomas?) grass still remains to be removed. The darn stuff wraps and tangles the weedwacker so likely I'll end up pulling it all by hand. Hopefully get to that during the week after work but no promises.

Around the house I managed to start getting the kitchen cleaned up but I need to make my workspace out in the workshop the priority as I need to separate my formal work environment from the rest of stuff around here.

My iPad seems to be working well as an ebook reader. That said I will likely still get either one of the smaller Nooks or a Kindle simple due to battery life. I kind of like the idea of not having to charge my ebook reader for close to a month. That said nothing still beats a paper book. Unfortuantely I don't have the money or the space for much of any books right now.

Amazon/Barnes and Noble gift cards for Father's Day people! Hop to it! ^_^

The family is doing well. We're currently saving for another Lhasa Apso but aren't going to seriously look until we have the cash ready. While having Richie around we learned a lot about the breed and just like them in general. (Don't have enough space for a larger dog or I might consider a Tibetan Mastiff.)

Hmm...about 9:30pm here...gonna have to stop typing here and get more motivated. Hopefully I can be motivated to get enough stuff done out in the workshop tomorrow before my wife leaves that I can start putting the computer crap that's in the house out there. Gonna have to start up the A/C unit out there soon or at the very least get a good exhaust fan set up out there. (Surprisingly not cheap.)

If anybody wants to ship me a 12/24V DC or 110VAC network rack fan I wouldn't be adverse to accepting it! ;-)

Later!
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Feb. 26th, 2012 06:29 pm)
18:30 PM 02/26/2012

After having the part sitting on the counter for months I finally managed to get the oven repaired. Ran it up all the way to 550F and it took less than 15 minutes to get to full temp.

So I baked some french fries from scratch! ^_^

Anyways it's good to have the thing fixed again. I can think of quite a few things I'd like to try baking and especially things with organic cinnamon in them. I'm rapidly becoming a fan. I wonder if you can make cinnamon rye bread...

In other news the snow started melting already. Hopefully it'll be gone by the end of this coming week. Of course it matters very little anyways because I haven't manage to get any seedlings started. And it looks like my chives have either gone dead or dormant. I'm hoping I didn't kill them from too much plant food. :-/

Still typing on the new-to-me notebook. The battery should be in this week so I should be back to normal functionality very soon. I mean the whole point of a notebook it portability right? Anyway it's experienced some glitches but nothing major. My biggest complaint is how long the wireless card takes to come back from sleep. Well into the 30 - 45 second mark. If I'm doing anything local I don't notice it but if I'm waiting before launching something network related like Thunderbird or something it's all too annoying. Regardless the new battery is a 9 cell 7200wh one so it should be good for at least a couple of hours if I keep the backlight down. Not sure with the 15" screen on this thing though. Somewhere down the road I'll upgrade things in this box because the upgrades are fairly cheap now and I'm not ready to shell out for a brand new notebook yet.

Did something good today and gave two of my spare notebooks to the neighbor kid. He's expressed a desire to learn computers and I/T stuff so I gave him two older notebooks loaded with Mint Linux 12. I told him that they are specifically meant to be a learning experience for him so I wouldn't be anserwing a lot of questions. He's got the aptitude so he should do well. :-)

And really I didn't need those two boxes anyway. ;-)

Still working on getting my glucose under control. Lots of factors involved not the least of which is my current work environment which is pretty stressfull most of the time. A big part of it though is learning to eat right again. Not take in those carbs if I can avoid it. (Hence my dilemma about the fries this evening. I love them but I really shouldn't have had them.) The other part is exercise. Thankfully since I'm no longer in pain every day I can get a whole hell of a lot more done. All that aside the numbers are currently fluctuating a lot. I'll get it all sorted out. (No lectures please! Had a lifetime of those lately. I will take suggestions though.)

Priced direct-burial ethernet cable on E-bay yesterday. It's about $100 for a full box. I don't really need a full box of snot cable and Mashblock kindly offered to check if he has some so I may take him up on it. I only need about 50 feet or so. (I haven't made a direct measurement yet though so it may be less.) If Mashblock doesn't have it I can probably get some from another friend who works in the wireless business and puts up wireless internet access points on roofs and towers and such. Either way once the ground is soft it'll delay me having to trench the yard and for the moment that's a good thing.

Finally managed to get started on reading a fresh book. I'm about a third of the way through the last Alagaesia book. For some reason I'm reading it slower than I usually do. Either Paolini has become more wordy or I'm slowing down in my old age. ;-) Still it's nice to get back to actually being able to buy a new book once in a while. That reminds me...I'm behind on the events of a certain Chicago wizard...

*goes back to reading his book*
11:31 AM 02/22/2012

So the new job has kept me busy busy busy. The only reason I've got a chance to post right now is I had to take the morning off because my daughter got sick on the bus this morning and that means she can't be in school according to the rules.

She's sleeping quietly on the couch now and will likely be fine tomorrow. (I just woke up from a preemptive nap myself. I've been running a little stretched lately and definitely was able to use the extra sleep. That will get cleared up here soon enough as things at work are going well and I will be doing a little more dispatch and scheduling and a little less technical work. The two are supposed to be mutually exclusive and the former definitely doesn't happen as much after-hours as the latter.

In other news I reclaimed a laptop from a co-worker that had a bad motherboard. It almost wasn't worth repairing but my neighbors had me order a replacement motherboard for their laptop and I got a deal and was able to get the board for this one as well. Now all it needs is a new battery. It's a Dell Inspiron E1505, 15" Core2Duo, 2gig ram, and it was able to just up and run with my existing SSD installed with Mint 11 Linux on it. That laptop can also be upgraded to a 2.35 Ghz chip pretty cheaply but even with the old 1.6ghz and the SSD it just seems to fly. Faster than the 2.16 ghz C2D of the same year. Very strange.

Managed to get the garage connected with the house via gigabit ethernet cable. It's not pretty because I have blue Cat5E strung arially from the house to it but it works thankfully. With time and money this spring I'll get the yard trenched and a pipe put in between the two places and that'll be a great improvement. In the meantime if I find a cheap price on fiber and gbic connectors that arial cable may turn from blue to orange. What I'm most worried about with that is local lightning. If something hits close it will easily induce a current in that wire and probably kill the two switches at either end. Then I'd have to buy gigabit switches as well.

As for other things our daughter is gettng more used to not getting her way but it's still the typical teenagerism. Went to play Mahjonng at a friend's house and half the time she kept asking us if we were ready to go. That didn't work so she was a little perturbed but she didn't have a full scale meltdown so that's good.

Slightly irritated that I haven't started any seedlings yet. I've been so busy with work that I may have to just order starter plants this year. I _WILL_ have a garden this year dammit. Still really itching to have some sort of hydroponics setup but until I get other inside things taken care of that's not happening.

We're getting almost three grand back from the taxes this year (even some from the state) and while a chunk of that has to go to the mortgage this month some of that is definitely going into house repairs. Maybe I'll finally be able to buy the bags of concrete I need to fill that hole in the basement wall and start finishing out that space. That would be awesome.

Well my daughter is up and showing signs (and sounds...ugh) of still not feeling well. It's probably just the 24 hour thing my wife had the other night so I'm not too concerned. And my wife just arrived with food so I gotta go so I can get back to work. Later!
So talked to the doc this morning and he's sending me home with an oral medication. Not sure what the plan is but sad as it is I will likely go home, take a shower, get dressed, and go to work. I can't afford not to.

So thus begins another round of constant glucose testing among other things. Not thrilled by that but don't have a choice in the matter. One thing I'm going to do this time is make sure people stay out of my face about it. Last time I had people constantly up in my grill about what my numbers were all the time. I know you care people but WTF? I'm 42 years old - deal with your own lives and I'll deal with mine.

Regardless I'll get it all back on track. The workshop, the job, the house, everything.

Oh great Celestia! I have to order seeds next month and get them started! Wonderful. That alone will be a project.

That said seven years between reminders about one's stupidity is not too bad in my book. I know I can do better but honestly it's annoying.
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Dec. 3rd, 2011 04:23 pm)
And very well I might add. I like the job, I like the people, and I like getting paid. (Did I mention the people I work with rock? ^_^)

It leaves me less time to get things done around the house but I wasn't really getting things done anyway.

I managed to order a Mr. Beer ingredients kit for cheap from Target so hopefully I'll be able to get a batch started next week when it arrives using my home-made fermenter made from a pretzel container. Still need a capper and caps. I should be able to make do for everything else but as finances become better I'll definitely be buying proper brewing equipment and cleaning/fixing the one turkey cooker to boil wort in.

And I finally got the One Wire Weather software to build on Luffy my WeatherQube:

http://luffy.nimitzbrood.com

It's accurate now and once that machine is on a battery backup it'll be quite reliable. I've got the oww software configured to log to Weather Underground but it hasn't shown as active there yet. Hopefully it'll be good for that by Monday.

Got to make sure I have some other way into my network before then as I had the main webserver die a couple of times on Thursday and Friday and couldn't get in to restart it. My whole shebang needs to be on battery backup units simple because the power here fluctuates on a semi-regular basis. It'll be even worse when I move them outside as the power dips whenever the space heater kicks in out there. I so need to be off the grid.

On the bench right now is an old Powerbook 100 that is having booting/P.O.S.T issues. It's for a good friend and it's a classic so it's a labor of love. Hope I can fix it.

Still not finished with the workshop out there. I suppose I should be doing that rather than posting here but I'm pretty tired. I'll try and get to it tomorrow as I don't really have any other plans than laundry and my wife and daughter will be out at a party for a our twin niece/nephews at my brother-in-law's house.

Also picked up the first repair part for the house so I'll be able to fix that leaky toilet and our water bill will be just that much lower. (It's minorly dripping but that can easily cause big problems.)

And I managed to get fuel system dryer into both vehicles so hopefully I won't have problems when the temp drops below a certain point. Protip: A bottle of isopropyl alcohol in the washer fluid before it freezes will help keep it from freezing up when it gets cold.

Off....my rocker... ;-)
01:46 AM 11/21/2011

Once again awake early under the stars...so to speak anyway...and thinking about things as usual.

Managed to get a couple of large items moved around in the workshop yesterday so making progress there. Today I'm hoping to make even more progress but that depends on a lot of factors - cleaning the house among them. Moving the one desk scratched up the rubber tiles on the new floor out there. *grumble* Thankfully I can just tear up the tiles in question and replace them but probably not going to do that just yet. It's only two tiles but it's still annoying.

Dorothy ran a little rough yesterday when I started her up. Going to go out and get the spark plugs later todaya as those are cheap and a good first start. She probably, as do the rest of the vehicles, needs her fuel filter changed. Amy's minivan needs her oil sender replaced again. I think those things are the first to go if the engine gets overfilled accidentally. The last time we replaced it we used an aftermarket sender - this time I'm going to buy a Chrysler OEM one. It'll still have to come from E-Bay but it'll be OEM new-old-stock or NOS as they say.

(Y'know when I mentioned previously that the vehicles suddenly let me know what they names are after I own them for a while...the truck is named Sam. Not sure why it took so long but the name just appeared recently. So yeah Sam needs a lot of work but I'm planning for that monetarily as I can. Muffler, timing chain, water pump, and eventually transfer case. All things I have in stock. Also needs Stabil for the gas tank by now. Been keeping him on the maintenance charger though so the battery is good.)
Speaking of which... )
11:02 AM 11/17/2011

So we experienced some interruption to our network services at here at home. Turns out the network switch took the preverbial dump. Teach me to use a desktop model switch for server support.

I think part of it is that the temp in the basement is now lower than normal AND we've been being hit by spammers more than usual cause the thing to overload a bit. I've replaced it with the same brand switch but a bit beefier rack-mount model so hopefully that will last a bit longer until I can find the money for a good Cisco 3548.

On top of all this I feel like crap. My wife and I think we got it from a friend who does childcare but honestly it doesn't really matter where it came from. It's that kind of lingering and cold-like thing that makes you just want to curl up under the blankets. So far we've been fighting it back with medicine and chicken soup. Hopefully we'll be able to kill it before the end of the week.

In addition to this I had to manually repair that toilet fill valve because the pusher pin had poked it's way through the diaphragm and wasn't shutting off. Some superglue this morning and it seems to be fine this afternoon. (Had to use it several times thanks to the above microbial invasion.)

Still no word on if I got the job or not in Chicago. There's an email in my box from another semi-local place so I'll respond to that today now that I have the network up and running again.

No beer fermenting yet either. I've got most of what I need to do a small batch - everything but the ingredients, bottle caps, and a capper.

And this just in - BIND 9 has a 0-day exploit:

http://www.isc.org/software/bind/advisories/cve-2011-tbd

So if you're using BIND 9 for your nameservers please download the P1 versions suggested!

Here's the link for 9.8.1-P1:

ftp://ftp.isc.org/isc/bind9/9.8.1-P1/bind-9.8.1-P1.tar.gz

So nameservers are crashing 'round the intarnets causing all sorts of issues. I'm currently compiling the new version as we speak and should have it installed by this afternoon.
Somthing's making my tail twitchy... )
03:54 AM 11/08/2011

So once again our intrepid poster is awake at an early hour. Both good and bad. Good because I won't oversleep for the interview that I have today. Bad because I didn't get enough sleep for the interview I have today.

Did I mention I have an interview today?

Actually it's a three-person interview at a datacenter for a Help Desk position. Hopefully it goes well but that depends a lot on me. I know I meet their typing requirements of 35 wpm minimum since they had me do a quick typing test online. (I tested at 50wpm but that was with the laptop balanced on the corner of the couch so I know I can do better.)
The end of the world is coming...again... )
02:02 AM 11/03/2011

So once again I'm having trouble sleeping. This time it's because I actually fell asleep during part of the afternoon/evening. Silly me thinking I can sleep...and then sleep AGAIN.

Shuffled more stuff in the workshop yesterday. Making progress out there. Hopefully will have at least the basices sorted here soon. Decided to use the two desks we have in the house instead of taking down the one plywood workbench and moving it. We'll see how that's going to work.

I have a damn good reason for sorting things out quickly (and not just because company's arriving today) because yesterday my wife's minivan suddenly has started to stutter and misfire at idle and under load. It's fully electronic ignition so it has no distributor to speak of. If it's not something simple like the plugs or the wires then it's the timing belt. Thankfully those aren't too expensive and fairly easy to change. Still not a project I wanted to tackle right away - especially since I don't have a job yet.
Money, money, money money money... We can't keep 'doin this Bob! )
22:13 PM 10/13/2011

So tomorrow my mom stops by for the weekend or so. No big deal there. (Reminder that if she reads this she should bring both her wireless router and the wireless camera so we can make sure it works properly.)

Only thing I have planned tomorrow is I have to go down and do even more maintenance on my father's old Isuzu - basically replace the clutch master cylider (two bolts) and bleed the system. No big deal and that should be the final straw for it.

Got some really good news today. I called unemployment and it turns out that I made enough money at my last contract job to file for another 24 week claim. This will help us out until I find another position. (Of course I also have to go to the Social Security office and file for a replacement card because I need it to file the unemployment claim and haven't seen it physically around here in years. The card that is.) Anyways that gets us out of trouble for the moment.

Still working on getting the workshop shuffled around before winter. Checked on flooring adhesives today and it turns out that I can get the tile put down for about $30 total. Much better than I'd previously thought so hopefully there's enough left over from my wife's next check to do that. I hope I hope. Maybe I can get my dad to spring for it...

The grass has started to take over the tilled space in the garden so I have to work fast this weekend. I need to get the boards cut for the beds so I can staple black plastic over the beds to kill anything in them. I should have enough construction grade bags to do the job I just need to get moving on it. That not being done is just sheer laziness on my part.

More good news - my car passed emissions with flying colors. Now I just need to use my welder to tack down the top part of the clamshell on the catalytic converter so it doesn't rattle any more. Thankfully because Dorothy is a 1998 Neon she's new enough they could do OBD-II diagnostics on her rather than the manual diagnostics. Bummer is I don't get the actual emissions numbers like I do with a manual test. Regardless she passed in the state of IL and because she's older than 2000 in our area she probably won't ever be tested again.

And finally I figured out that it won't cost me a fortune to re-pour the concrete in my basement that the previous owner cut out of the wall.

Now if I can just find the money for all this...
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Jul. 31st, 2011 11:25 pm)
23:26 PM 07/31/2011

So it's 11:30 or so at night and once again I'm sitting in front of the fan in the library of our far-too-warm house.

We've still got at least one more month of this type of weather and with everything heating up we may very well be warm into September so I've come to a conclusion. We got the electric bill yesterday and it was $171 with all the fans we've been running. (Including the furnace fan to circulate the house air.) That being the case I've decided to put the large window A/C unit in.
Coolness... )
13:55 PM 07/06/2011

Managed to get out and do some yard work today. Got a parts tractor the same model as mine that had good blades and a number of other parts. Currently disassembling that for storage as I have enough room in the shed to fit all the spares.

And that is another thing I got done today. I organized the shed a little and got the old Suzuki into the garage, the lawn tractor and push mowers back into the shed, and the gas grill out. So I now have the grill out so we can cook with it once I remove the wasps from the frames and I have the Suzuki in the garage where I can take it apart. And the lawn tractor is now out of my way completely until I need it. (Though I need to replace the shed doors completely because one is horribly bowed outward. Easy stuff since I have the plywood for it.
Time to fire up the air wrench... )
11:20 AM 06/23/2011

Done with work for the week. Applied to three more jobs this morning. Only one of them got back to me and that was only to tell me I didn't qualify for the position due to FAA requirements. No big.

I start another temp job on Monday that should last at least a couple of days. Turns out it's right across from Fry's. Dangerous because I really really want RAM for the Ubuntu desktop as well as a number of other tech items. Have to try not to go across the street when I'm done for the day. ;-)
Those...eyebrows... )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Apr. 21st, 2011 09:42 am)
08:43 AM 04/21/2011

So with the resurgence of taking my vitamins I've been sleeping less. This is both a good and bad thing. I'm able to get more done but on the other hand I've had trouble staying asleep. I'm thinking I should maybe just roll with it and see what the results are. I certainly can get a lot more done.
Pinkamina Diane Pie! Rock farmer extraordinaire! )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2011 06:30 pm)
So...after studying for another week...I took another test online today for my CCNA...

...and got a 58%. (Previous scores include 74%, 80%, 84%, 76%, and 74% over the last three months.)

*headdesk**headdesk**headdesk**headdesk**headdesk**headdesk**headdesk**headdesk**headdesk**headdesk*

I'm so tired of this. It just never seems to end or even slow down.

After I figured I finished writing out my latest story for Torn World the canon board handed me a ton of edits for it. Some rightfully so but frankly I'm just not in the mood all of a sudden. (I know it isn't but it feels like just another failure. Not their fault though.)
Whiney Wanderings... )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Mar. 10th, 2011 11:58 am)
12:01 PM 03/10/2011

So I found another battery and am trying that in Banpei. It's giving me a nice orange charging light so we'll see. Hopefully that will work. The one that I did nothing but clean a bit seems to be charging well enough but it looks like it has a right wheel issue. Need to do a full cleaning on it. The third one that I repaired doesn't seem to be charging at all so maybe I need to look at it again.

Maybe I should repair these things for a living...
Borked bots... )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Mar. 9th, 2011 07:04 am)
07:12 AM 03/09/2011
Managed to clean off my tech bench yesterday and do mosfet replacements on two of the 6 Roombas I have accumulated. The one seems to be charging okay but I have to check it over the next 72 hours. The other...well...Banpei might actually have to be retired. I replaced the entire system board in him and he is still giving the the red finger...er...ring and not charging. I'm going to see if one of the other batteries does better with this new board once the other two are finished with their charge cycles.
Soldered Suckers... )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Feb. 23rd, 2011 10:26 am)
So I didn't sleep well again last night. It was a combination of things that I won't go into here. If there weren't so many downsides to taking sedatives I'd certainly consider it sometimes.

Part of it is I've been off my diet recently. Not horribly but a lot of rich food that has caused me to pick up an extra 10 pounds so I'm now 5' 7", 235lbs in my shorts. I'll rectify this shortly.
Dinking Drives... )
So I woke from a nap because I haven't been feeling well all day and tired myself out doing chores around the house. Just as I woke up I heard a lound POP! from the attic. I went up there and didn't find anything that I could see out of place but that sound worries the hell out of me.

This house was built in the 50's so that means it's seen three large snows as of this season. The means three large snow loads and the resultant stresses.

That means I really should do somethng about the snow that's up there. Tomorrow. It's going to be in the 40's here next week but I don't want to take the chance it might be too late by then.

So that means I need to get up there tomorrow and shovel snow off the one side of my roof. But I may have found another solution...

Warm water. The slop sink is right near the back door so I can easily bring the hose inside (I forgot to take the reel off the wall) and once it's thawed out hook it to the slop sink faucet. I don't need it really hot just enough to melt the snow.

And all the snow in question is in an area where I don't care if there's ice on the ground or not and I know the sump pump works as it went off one day when it got significantly above freezing.

So with the help of a garden hose, a glove, and some warm water I should be able to clear my roof in no time.

If that doesn't work then yes I'll shovel it but I really want to find ANY other method as I still am over 200 lbs and it's a fairly steep incline.

If I had better lighting and a thawed hose I'd try this tonight but it's just too dark out. :-(

Here's to hoping the roof doesn't cave in overnight...
nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Feb. 6th, 2011 01:43 pm)
So I'm taking another bite out of the snow in my driveway and I realize that I can at least clear the center using the tractor and plow.

I get out there after putting the weights and chains on the wheels (Yay personal weight loss!) and I get most of it pushed back. (Burying the truck which I'm not driving right now.) One last push then all of a sudden I'm leaning to the left.

I look down and the tire is a flattened polygon instead of round. Wheee. So it's currently in the workshop drying off so I can figure out if I need a tire or just a tube. Likely what happened is the chains pushed in too far and I had the tire aired up too much causing a rip somewhere under stress. I'm hoping it's just a tube then it's $20 versus $50 for a tire.

I think I mentioned I'm sick of snow...maybe...once or twice...a bit... ;-)

I applied for a job in Lincolnshire which is a bit of a drive for me. We'll see if they even call me back.

In between chores tomorrow after everybody leaves I'll be back to studying again. Maybe I can make some progress this time without being dumped on by all the snow in the world. (!)

Anyway I guess I know where my birthday money is going...

Oh and thanks for the birthday wishes everybody! It means a lot. :-)
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