Monthly Archives: March 2009

Does is say you have a low traffic site…

… when your top visitor is on

I was just poking on the logs for Drupal at and noticed this. Obviously the site has been scanned by google more than by any actual user.

The next 4 visitors are all yahoo addresses (but two are for another company in the registry), then me.

I’m not worried — and maybe relived — to know that I’m not getting a lot of traffic.

This should have been obvious to a software engineer

Just now, I downloaded two files: the source code “tarball” for a package and the windows binary installer. The download time for the compressed source code was much less than the download time for the windows install.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the windows version ends up installed faster, since I’m having to compile for Linux which takes time.

Aside, when did “tarball” start referring to any tar archive. I first encountered it only in reference to the now rarely seen self extracting variety?

Tired and Sore

But for a good reason. This afternoon my current Karate School (Champion Eyes Karate in Oceanside) hosted a series of seminars with Tadashi Yamashita, who is the Sensi who taught the head of our school.

I was at a 90 minute seminar for adult and teenage low and middle rank belts, and we got a good workout and good instruction in many of the basics of this system (Shorin-Ryu Karate and/or Zen Okinawan Kobudo — I suspect somewhat of a blend).

We went through several of the basics that make up the form, some of the Katas (forms) — only one of which I’d actually worked on in class before — did some pre-sparing drills, some throws and some work with the bo. My trouble was largely where it always is — with the difference of the Japanese/Korean blend of National Karate and this system. On the other hand I startled one of the yellow belts (the order at the beginning is White, Yellow-White, Yellow, Orange-White, Orange and then I loose track) when I seemed to know pretty well one of the katas not normally taught until approaching Orange belt. However this kata had a lot of a center-kick, land, punch combination that was part of one of the National Karate forms (Wan Jun Hyung) as well as their marching basics.

I also had him a bit worried — since we were partnered on the throws and pre-sparring drills — when we were near-sparing and I was seeing if I could still get my kicks up high (he’s an inch or two taller than I am). He was afraid that I was mad or something, rather than just falling back into old practice.

It was a good seminar and should Yamashita Sensi return for seminars here — he is getting ready to retire from teaching — I will definitely take the opportunity. This also has me regretting even more that I had a conflict (probably DucKon) last year when Master Chuck Worley — the head of the National Karate schools and based out of Minneapolis — gave a similar seminar for the Chicago National Karate schools before one of the black belt exams.

No longer cut off

When robot_grrl got home, I was able to walk her through rebooting the server — which had apparently crashed, since the reset button brought it back up.

Now, I just need to wait for about 8 hours worth of backed up e-mail to trickle back in. Since I’ve never looked closely at the details of SMTP, I’m not sure how long a sender is supposed to keep it if it cannot connect. And since 90-99% of the e-mail is sent from the same server (forwarded from oakes dot net to ron-oakes dot us) it still takes quite a while to catch up.

Picasa Face Recognition

This morning, I ran the face recognition on my Picasa Gallery, and had some interesting results and observations about their algorithm.

There algorithm is actually pretty good — at least for the first several pages. It did a good job of presenting pictures of Derrick and my nephews over several ages. But as things got harder, it quit guessing quite as well. I did notice, however, that it seemed to pick up family resemblance, often mixing up cousins and other relatives. But it was just as good at mixing in a member of the family with no actual biological relationship to anyone else. At times it thought that Derrick looked like Tara or one of his cousins.

However, the bottom line is that at least this algorithm, as good as it appears to be, still has a long way to go over what a human who isn’t all that good with faces (me) can do.

Feeling cut off

Sometime between last night (actually probably after 5:05 this morning) and when I got to work, my sever quit working. I’ve almost verified that we have network in the house — the VoIP line is behaving like I’d expect when it has service — but I cannot get the web pages to respond. I’m also not getting any response (at least not after 30 seconds or so) from an SSH attempt from my phone.

Therefore, I’m reasonably sure that my server has crashed. Until robot_grrl gets home, I won’t be able to have anyone attempt to reboot it — and I hope that is all that it will take. The hard drive is less than 6 months old and that is the most likely failure, so I’m reasonably sure that it will come back.

However, this means that I’m unable to check my private e-mail — including mailing lists — or review the recent headlines that my site feeds up to me from RSS feeds.

This wouldn’t be so bad, except I’m waiting on automated tests and builds at work and don’t have much else to be looking into or at.

Water Water everywhere… I Hope Not!

Monday, robot_grrl got a phone call from the Village of Bartlett reporting that the water usage on our house in Bartlett — which is rented out through the end of this month — had a greatly increased water usage. After a bunch of phone tag we know:

  • The usage increase since the last actual reading was (IIRC) over an order of magnitude!
  • The renters are still using the house — although none are there at the moment
  • When our Realtor drove by today, there was no water pouring out of the house

So, now we need to get our Realtor and the foreman of the tenants — or another tenant — together at the house to see if they can track something down. The next step will be to get the village water department out there to see if they can find something. We know that this is beyond a running toilet or 5 men taking multiple showers each day. At this point I’m guessing — and hoping — that this is a glitch in the electronic water meter. But I’m not sure how to prove it if there isn’t a physical reading on the meter as well.

Thinking about running a game in {San Diego} North County (Oceanside)

I am seriously, but still somewhat preliminarily, thinking about running and hosting a Role Playing Game up in Oceanside. A couple of facts about this:

  • The game would be held about once a month, on Saturday afternoons, and early evenings.
  • A consistent weekend could not be guaranteed — I’ve got other activities and commitments that might require choosing a different Saturday.
  • The home where the game would be hosted (if mine) is non-smoking, has a cat and a dog in residence, as well as a wife and kid. Also, I do not appreciate a lot of bad language and do not want it in my home.
  • At this point, I’ve been doing some work on a campaign that could be run on 2nd edition AD&D, or possibly 3rd edition with 3.5 rules. Some house rules would be added.
  • Alternately, I may consider running some other systems, with the appropriate preparation, including: Ironclaw (furry renaissance setting), Top Secret/SI (Spy, smaller group), James Bond (Spy 1-3 players only). With a bit more prep, I might get something together for some other systems from the 1980s — in the 1980s I practically collected RPG systems

If anyone would be interested, let me know. I don’t anticipate being able to start before late April or early May between organization, preparation and existing commitments.

Logistical Error

{Or perhaps its a tactical error or a strategic error — I’m not quite sure which category this falls into}

On Tuesday nights, Rubio’s has $1.25 fish tacos(*). Since robot_grrl is on the midnight shift this week, and had accompanied me to my biopsy(+) at 11:00 — which didn’t actually happen until almost 1:00 — and because I had the aforementioned biopsy and so was home instead of at work, I took Derrick to Rubio’s for dinner.

While Derrick looked at the fish, after telling me he wanted two fish tacos and chips, I looked over the menu and ordered 4 fish tacos, a LARGE order of chips and a LARGE order of black beans. In retrospect, I should have ordered small sides, or at least small beans. I ended up with 1.5 to 2 cups of beans, and a good sized plate of chips. I ended up eating a lot more of the chips than I’d expected, as well as all of the beans.

Thinking back over the event, I should have been clued in by the $0.50 versus $1.50 prices for the sides, and realized that the $0.50 sides were the size that is normally included in the combos. Well, we’ll remember next time we have a chance for Rubio’s on Tuesdays.


I don’t think I’m the one with a problem

Yesterday, someone posted a mostly very good list of behavior suggestions to con_central. However, they chose to use a profanity in their posting. This prompted me to make a, somewhat directed, suggestion that people should try to not use profanity.

While I do not regret my feelings in the nature, I’m beginning to regret making the comment, because I’ve been getting, for lack of a better term, flamed over it. Apparently, there are a bunch of people who feel that it is perfectly acceptable to use profanity whenever and wherever they please, and I shouldn’t object to hearing it, or having my child hear it.

One even went to the extent of saying I should bring my son to a con unless it is specifically advertised as “child friendly” and that it wasn’t fair that I (implied) require that the world be “G Rated.”

Another poster claimed that profanity wasn’t in the class of the other things discussed. Yet one of item addressed was the use of racist language. I find profanity and racist language basically equivalent. Both are using words carelessly without thought or feeling about how others might take it.