Sort-of-Emergency Post

I’ll keep this short as it’s a little late and I should turn in.

I’ve had a bit of a hosting hiccup – my now ex-host unceremoniously cut me off and disconnected my server on Valentine’s Day, citing an ESA copyright notice. Unfortunately for him and the ESA, there’s absolutely zero proof or truth to the notice itself. What I found a bit insulting was the null routing of my home IP – to the entire network there –Β  preventing me from accessing the reboot port / console to see what was happening!

I’ve decided to simply move on. I’ve brought my server home (Thanks SteveL!) and my sites and most functions are being served from my “loungeroom datacentre” until I get better hosting.

All mail / web / domain and messaging services are fine. Of the game servers only Battle for Wesnoth is running. NTP is sadly out, as of course the IP has changed. I may or may not rejoin the pool, I’ve not decided.

The Fedora repository is fine (getsnmp and tintin got updates)

No IPv6 though, alas, not until some internal changes are made.

As this is only a DSL connection it’s not ideal but it will do for a week or two – I’ll likely go with a VPS (Xen preferred or VMWare – not Virtuozzo!) and have leaned towards Slicehost or Linode. I’ve had a couple of more local offers, but these two have the backing and experience I like. Suggestions for others welcome πŸ™‚

Thursday’s Thoughts.

  1. People need to chill the fuck out. I’ve had two people I love dearly lose the plot today; is there really a need? Really? Life is short and things are impermanent. If someone else has fucked you over, it’s their problem, not necessarily you – let them deal with their own issues, you get on with positive living.
  2. The Guinness Book Of Records need a category for SQL statement abuse – I saw SELECT DISTINCT query with two INNER JOINS, two OUTER JOINS (with SELECT * subselects) a SORT affecting 250K rows, an ORDER BY clause – on PostgreSQL. If SQL97 had a “PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE” they would have used it. The PostgreSQL query plan it generated almost made my eyes bleed.
  3. Found cursebird.com, which follows swear words used in twitter updates. Apparently I swear less than a childrens TV presenter. They’ve obviously not seen the Agro/Anne-Marie Biggar out-takes on YouTube.
  4. EDIT: Almost forgot about the NANOG poster who thought that because he couldn’t contact the WHOIS server for apnic.net, that Brisbane (where APNIC’s offices are based) was affected by the fires and/or floods[1] Given that I work upstairs from APNIC, I hope not. πŸ˜€ Those wacky Yanks and their geography FAILs

[1] We are about 1000km from either, but both in our thoughts.

I’m getting fitter!

As most folks who know me personally know, I’m not exactly a little guy. Not huge (175cm / 95kg or 5’9″ and 205lb in the old money) but not a lightweight either. I used to be even bigger in times past – 110kg at one stage a few years ago. There’s some gallery photos to prove it too, alas.

The ironic thing is that I was a weightlifter as a youngster so should know better. But things are on the up – my darling better half has been feeding me – literally and figuratively – some good advice and ideas for better health. I’ve been mainly-vegetarian for around a year now and have been recently cutting out/down the coffee, junk and even wheat / gluten products.

Of course exercise is also essential – so I’ve been walking to and from work each day for around 3 weeks now and intend to keep going. Not only am I losing the excess weight but it’s cheaper and believe it or not quicker than driving / taking public transport (which is well patronised but slow due to the number of transfers needed to get to work). I start yoga next week and will be going back to the weights soon, even just for nostalgia.

I don’t often plug product either, but I’ve been introduced by my girlfriend to some top notch gluten-free and organic bread from Zehnder out at Maleny. A good mix of various seeds, pumpkin, fennel, cardamon seeds, a touch of cumin among other things – all natural. If you happen to run across it give it a go, it’s a nice change from the overly processed crap from your local supermarket.

Some things have amused me this week. There’s some discussion as to whether then @ohhdl account on Twitter is indeed the official Dalai Lama; I did actually follow him for a very short time but found the update frequency a little overwhelming. As it turns out, the account was suspended at least temporarily for “impersonation” (a no-no for Twitter) but was operational when I last looked

Does it strike anyone as seemingly appropriate that it may/may not be real? How zen. Speaking of which, if you’re Zen and a twitterer, have a look at some of the Zen-related twitterers like @zenhabits or @dailyzen. Other suggestions for people worth following welcomed of course.

Oh, what to say

It seems quite odd – I’ve been twittering like mad lately, but don’t seem to have much to say here. Perhaps I’ve been too busy to put a coherent post together.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Twittering, as long as the marketing wonks don’t push their “brand” onto me. I seem to have picked up a few followers too – no idea why given my recent tweets. πŸ™‚

On the upside I am getting fitter. I started walking to and from work about a week and a half ago and it’s already had a noticeable effect on my fitness. I’ve not felt this good for quite a while. The gluten-free muesli my girlfriend has given me has run out but it’s certainly given me a boost in the mornings! I must get some more πŸ˜›

She’s also passed on some culinary tips that have worked a treat – a flatbread, some cheese, cucumber and tuna, grilled on a sandwich press makes for a great all-around snack.

I’m starting yoga as of next week (a touch too broke to go now). Valentine’s Day is tentatively planned but why is it always the day before payday? I’d love to do something extravagant but I always seem to fall short πŸ™

I’ll have to make up for it later hey?

Tourists…

Inquiring minds want to know how the following didn’t turn into a Darwin Awards nomination:

Coming home from drinks with my good friend Steven, I was stopped and asked for directions by a middle aged couple in a reasonably priced car. This part is fine.

However, they chose to stop me at the traffic lights. On a one way street. Facing and headed the wrong way – a fact they seemed oblivious to.

To top it off, they were asking how to get to the Gold Coast Highway, which doesn’t really exist. The Pacific Highway will get them to the Gold Coast, which is about an hour in the opposite direction to where they were going.

To top off the idiocy – after thanking me they proceeded to turn into the bus lane and speed off – again, the wrong way.

Oh, and before anyone asks – they sounded very British and a lot more sober than I.

*sigh*.

Folks, just buy a map, or a TomTom/Garmin/GPS-of-choice….

Something new and hopefully good.

A different kind of week this week.

I do need to go on a diet, or at least go back to my old one as Christmas has done little for my waistline. The Significant Other is trying to convince me to go gluten-free and hit the gym, which are both good ideas. I forsee walking to work for the exercise soon too πŸ™‚

We also hit the shops yesterday and today, so I’ve got (another) new haircut and some more bling. To my surprise I can fit in size 38in pants, and even 36in depending on brand –Β  something that’s been impossible for a long time. I can say I’m unhappy about that πŸ˜€

Qbert’s crashed on me a couple of times (suspect PSU but sensors aren’t telling me) and hopefully yesterday was the last time for quite a while (hopefully forever :-)).

I’ve pushed out new WordPress OpenID and Supercache plugins, even using the latter here now; not that I expect to get Dugg or Slashdotted tomorrow. I’m running out of interesting things to package to be honest.

As some may be aware, I run a Crossfire RPG server on qbert;Β  however noone’s logged in for ages. I may swap it for Deliantra or even something Free that people might actually play, like Nexiuz or Battle for Wesnoth or even Teeworlds, which seems like fun πŸ™‚ Suggestions welcomed.

Things I’ve learnt this week

  1. There are no tasteful Myspace layouts. It’s simply not possible
  2. Most of the invites on above are spammers or struggling musos. No thanks..
  3. I like Perl’s way of writing to files better than Python’s
  4. Olive oil makes a fast and effective makeup remover (the things I learn from Meish!)
  5. Headhunting old work colleagues is fun and potentially profitable
  6. 512mb memory sticks don’t cut it anymore. Thankfully bigger ones are dirt cheap
  7. Lawrence of Arabia is quite long and slow in parts, despite being a classic movie.
  8. OpenID doesn’t get enough love among the general web community

I’ll also need to change my diet, which has regressed a little – feeling a little grungy lately and that’s not good. I might pop down to the chemist and look at some of the liver cleansing packs they carry; it helped last time. Cutting back on the junk completely might help, as would limiting myself to just a couple of cups of coffee a week, not the 3 a day some of my work colleagues are drinking.

What a strange state of being this is…

This has been one of those times where a moment of quiet reflection is not suggested, but mandatory.

Firstly, my near and dear is most upset over the loss of a favourite horse. Being the animal lover she is, loss of any animal companion is going to hit hard.

Secondly, it turns out that Rosie Bebendorf, who died New Years Day after taking a dud E / GHB hit, was a friend of my old mate Stace’s. My condolences to all concerned for your loss.

Folks, appreciate what is around you while you are here to do so. It’s ephemeral and sadly so are you and I.

And on the “yeah, you really have problems, not” side, we have the greatest (attention) whore in the history of civilisation with this gem.

I’ve only slept with two men – Paris Hilton

Yes, and Barbara Cartland wrote a couple of short stories and Paul McCartney wrote the odd popular ditty.

Paris, either do something useful and constructive or just go away, please. You add little to the public discourse and your lamentations are frankly laughable.

(“Charity work”/donations/trusts are a furphy, simply a tax dodge for your sort, try a soup kitchen or Rosie’s van if you want to do it right)

Three little pre-Christmas requests.

Dear Lazyweb,

I’ve set up icecast as anΒ  IPV6-only experiment (the result of a half-drunken challenge from Mr Steven Lisson Esq.) and am streaming some Ogg Vorbis tracks off it with EZstream. Winamp and Totem Player (Linux/Gnome) work fine. Banshee (Gnome/Mono) and WMP however do not – WMP freezes and Banshee refuses to even start the stream. I can’t see why, even in the logs. Any ideas?

Dear Santa,

Please put lumps of coal in my office helpdesk operators’ stockings. They’ve been very naughty – they insult my intelligence, break things that work perfectly, don’t fix things that should and tell fibs about why things are down/unavailable/generally FUBAR. That’s bad, OK? It’s bad form to BS your systems admin I don’t want to LART them at this time of year, but if you don’t come through I will and it won’t be pretty.

Dear Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communications (or soon to be “MiniTru”.)

You remember Harold Holt, right? Do you like to swim? Have you considered following his example about taking a good vigourous swim and not returning? I’ll even organize the Chinese submarine to come and pick you up this time, they like your filtering ideas after all, perhaps you’d be better off with them.

Don’t worry about sharks either. They don’t eat politicians – out of professional courtesy of course.

Thanks,

Michael.

Busily employed.

I’m happy to (belatedly) announce that I’m now back in full-time employment, having started as systems administrator at Australian Publishing Network’s Milton office. My colleagues are pretty switched on, the atmosphere is fairly easygoing and being on Park Road there’s no shortage of places to get a decent coffee (even if it’s a little expensive)

I’m still ramping up DotProfile (consulting services) however so as not to create a conflict of interest I’ll be concentrating more on the messaging/XMPP, email and host security aspects.

Of course having a paycheque also means I can finally pay off the glasses I’ve got on order (and the jacket!) and get a decent haircut – I’m starting to look like a hair metal throwback, without the groupies or the over-the-top “axe”, or power-ballads.