Monthly Archives: September 2009

Another drawback to being home sick

This afternoon, I came downstairs and had to deal with Derrick telling me that the answer to his first, multiple choice, math problem wasn’t there. Of course I found it in 10 seconds (but didn’t tell him) and proceeded to point out that he was trying to add two numbers instead of multiplying them. The entire sheet was multiplication, not a + in sight. (A few -‘s, but they were unary proceeding a negative operand).

I had to send a TLA e-mail to work this morning

Following in the tradition of my employer (or at least my fellow employees) I sent an e-mail to work with the subject “OOO – NFW.” In translation, “I’m staying home sick today.”

After I made the decision, came home instead of catching the train, sent the e-mail, I took a nap for a couple of hours. Of course, now I’m feeling fine, and guilty that I’m not at work.

I suspect that what I was feeling was some combination of the allergy/sinus thing that has been plaguing me for a few weeks and yesterday’s flu shot. robot_grrl was knocked back a bit by her flu shot as well, so this year’s blend seems to trigger a more active response in the immune system than the ones for the last few years.

Hopefully, in a few weeks I’ll know how the H1N1 vaccine hits us.

Winter Travel

Yesterday, robot_grrl was able to confirm which of the 2 four-day weekends I have off in December and January she’ll also be able to get off. She then promptly (well after getting home and doing a couple of other things) got us tickets to fly to New Mexico.

We’ll be visiting the family there over the New Years weekend for a quick trip.

One thing this trip has already done is reminded me of the odd fact that in the winter it looks like it only takes 10 minutes to fly from Phoenix to San Diego. Of course in the summer I think it only takes 20 minutes to fly from Albuquerque to Phoenix, but its going to take longer in January.

I’ve gotten us signed up for Southwest’s “Early Bird” boarding passes, so we’ve got a decent chance of getting a decent seat — unless everyone else on the flights are also “Early Bird” boarders.

Out of the Darkness Walk

For some time I’ve been thinking I should try some 5K walks, and have been looking for one to try.

Today, it was announced that there is a Qualcomm team participating in the Out of the Darkness 5k walk for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). So I signed up.

Fortunately, I have not been personally touched by Suicide, but am well aware of the problem.

Since this is a fund raising walk, you may make donations against my participation (I’ve seeded the pot and will fill up to my pretty low goal if needed). For more information you can look at

Thank you

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Another Weekend Mostly Gone

Once again somehow the weekend disappeared without much effort.

Yesterday, robot_grrl, Derrick and I headed to the Oceanside Harbor Days. Last year we spent several hours there, and we don’t think we saw it all. This year we left quite early. Probably for economic reasons, the number of vendors was way down. And most of the non-food vendors seemed to be selling the same cheep junk that one can get for less just across the border (if one is willing to risk what is going on down there).

After we got home, I ended up heading over to Henry’s Marketplace to get some more produce. One thing I needed was more squash so I could make some calabacitas (sp?) — a New Mexican dish or summer squash, corn, chili and some other binder. I ended up getting some yellow “crook neck” squash and some “mexican” squash. It was a good thing I got both, because the zucchini I got two weeks ago to do this with had gone bad. After finishing, Tara and I agreed that we needed more garlic and more chili, but it was otherwise good.

Today, I observed, and then did, a new job at our new church (Daybreak Church in Carlsbad). A couple of weeks ago when they got a survey of my experiences, one of the staff looked at the fact that I’ve had both tech booth experience and Children’s ministry experience, and suggested that I could run the tech booth for Sunday School. This is a much less intense job than running any position for adult worship — there is just less to do many Sunday’s. Also, it is set up so that it is not a 3 service commitment, but more like a lot of Sunday school teacher jobs — the same hour as many weeks as you can make it. I’ll talk to them more, but will probably help out at the earlier service often and then attend the later service with my family.

Now, we are back home and I’m relaxing before another week at work (which is another topic, and for a more limited audience — I don’t want info leaking back, just to be safe).

I cannot catch a break with my e-mail server

Since upgrading SUSE on my Linux box, which is the everything server for the domain, thus my real e-mail server (I tell people to use ron at oakes dot net, but it just gets forwarded and filtered on my server).

Most of the time, it has been working except for mail sent inside the system. That bounces with an error saying something like “ loops back to itself.” Mostly this impacts cron messages, but I’m afraid to forward stuff to Tara using the inside shortcut while this is going on.

Last night I thought I’d solved the problem, only to discover that I’d started bouncing all messages back to Fortunately I’m still keeping a copy. So after reverting the configuration I tried to pull them to my server (in an alternate account to not get months worth of back e-mail) using fetchmail. But everything fetchmail pulled down bounced since it couldn’t find an account for ron2 at (this account is now deleted so don’t try to send to it). By the time I knew that there was a problem, I’d sent bounce messages all over the world.

So, if you got one or more bounce messages from me this morning, I’m sorry. I’ve fixed the cause, but the server may still be catching up with the failed e-mail.

I just hope I wasn’t automatically unsubscribed from too many lists due to this. I can check a couple, but I don’t always remember the host and passwords for all of my lists.

Smart Doggy

This evening, instead of giving Rocket his evening half-scoop of dog food in his bowl, robot_grrl had Derrick put it in his (IIRC) Kong toy.

But, instead of spending half an hour or more getting pieces out one or two at a time, Rocket quite quickly carried the toy to the landing mid-way up the stairs and threw it down. He actually did this three times to get all of the food.

Once in a while, he actually shows that he actually has brains

It’s Alive… my Linux Box, that is

I’m not sure what exactly what I did right this time, but last night I was able to reload my Linux box with the two new drives as a mirrored pair (mirrored by the controller, not the OS) and then copy the old files back off of the old (but still functioning most of the time) disk.

That later step took two tries since the first time I forgot to do a cp -p (copy preserving permissions for those who don’t speak *nix) which kept a lot of things from running.

But, by this morning, the machine was happy. It is now slowly picking up the e-mail since Friday that hasn’t expired somewhere in the Internet and I should be back in service.

Now, I just need to keep an eye on my weekly backups and figure out why all internal mail turns into routes back to itself failure messages.

Computer: Two Steps Forward, One (or more) Back

I’ve been working on getting my Linux box (and e-mail server) back up. I was able to get it up yesterday to the point that I could run my backup, so I now have a full backup. But this was after discovering that I could not get it to boot up on one of the new SATA drives (openSUSE and/or my BIOS wouldn’t put a boot block on that disk).

The new plan I was going to try to start quickly before work was to use the possibly dying IDE drive as simply the boot (and maybe swap) and set the two SATA drives up as a RAID 1 pair. So, I deleted the data on them (its now in at least 2 other places, one on a different box) and tried to configure them as RAID under SUSE — no go. Next I tried using the hardware/BIOS setting for the adapter. After that, I got a GRUB error when I tried to boot on the hard drive, and no boot from my DVD drive.

So I’m suspecting that my DVD drive just died in the middle of this, and I’m still not back to work.

Remember, this means that my e-mail is still questionable. I should be able to see it off of (which seems to be saving as well as forwarding) but its been a bit weird as well.