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Posted on 2015.07.24 at 00:00
Current Location: 77541

Me, for the rest of the week



Posted on 2015.07.23 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

Spindles. Old skool administration 101 - when in contention, move to another spindle. Which is why I like my Virtual Machines off my boot drive when possible. On my desktop, believe it or not that 36GB 15k Raptor is still spinning. Half of which is partitioned as swap, the other half, more than adequate speed VM. My laptop has no such luxury, however, and if you've ever tried to run a VM from a thumb drive, you know how to play, "lock up" with the best of us.

Except now the higher-end thumb drives are controlled by an SSD chip, and we have USB 3.0. I've been using both the Sandisk Extreme and the Patriot RAGE to great success, but even those fall short of the glory of the RAGE2: 400MB/sec Read, 300MB/s Write.

All of a sudden I feel like a caveman.

Adama Comic

For Fuck's Sake

Posted on 2015.07.22 at 14:30
Current Location: 67114

Its 2015 and Apple can't receive Android MMS without routing the image to a fucking website, nor can Android receive Apple MMS without routing the image to a fucking website.


I called AT&T and they activated MMS (because, I guess, it wasn't) then pushed an MMS patch to my phone (because, I guess, the Moto X requires special MMS permissions), and now all is good! JUST TO BE SURE, I NEED EVERYONE TO SEND ME BOOBIE PICS!!!

Oh wait, this is a company phone. Nevermind :(

tera, MMORPG

TERA Roster

Posted on 2015.07.22 at 06:00
Current Location: 67114

Level 24 - Nibbles.Cheese (Popori Sorcerer)
Level 49 - Alexia (Castantic Female Lancer)


Level 52 - Awyrean (High Elf Female Gunner)
Level 21 - Capprica (Elin Slayer)
Level 41 - Utterly Enchanting (Elin Archer)


Level 19 - Skyyye (Elin Mystic)
Level 08 - Aetheena (Castanic Female Berserker)
Level 16 - Sensual.Jade (Castanic Female Sorcerer)
Level 16 - Sir.Paladin (Popori Priest)


Level 42 - Endless.Quiver (Castanic Female Archer)
Level 16 - Kick.Axe (Elin Berserker)
Level 60 - Manifest Destiny (Elin Reaper)
Level 60 - Araakis (Castanic Female Gunner)


Level 60 - Bathsheeba (Elin Reaper)
Level 29 - Paetra (Castantic Female Beserker)
Level 45 - Skoal.Archer (High Elf Female Archer)


Level 09 - Champange.Jade (Castanic Female Mystic)
Level 04 - Astral.Projection (Castanic Female Beserker)



Jesus, Bible


Posted on 2015.07.18 at 00:00
Current Location: 67567

Mormon Jesus watched me work yesterday.


vi[m] shortcut conquors /etc/services assininity

Posted on 2015.07.17 at 16:30
Current Location: 67567
Tags: , ,

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and OpenSUSE have recently been including, free-of-charge, the entire IANA registered port list in /etc/services! Long gone are the days of old when we either had to commit ports to memory, or look up the IANA registered ports, and manually add them to the /etc/services file. Because really, who wants to do all that time-consuming labor? In short, me! Why?

Because its more work to comment out the 999,999 services I don't need, than to add the couple hundred I do need. Especially when the couple hundred conflict with the entire IANA registered port list pre-populated into the /etc/services file. Now what I could see as being awesome is including the entire IANA registered port list already commented out because that would allow a quick-and-easy lookup, and a quick-and-easy port entry with a single keystroke. But that's not what is happening here.

So I have a list of 57 non-production hosts (not even going to count the production numbers yet), with 57 discrete /etc/services files, all requiring 397 blocks of conflicting ports disabled. Some suggested awk, some suggested sed, but each file being unique made attempting this arduous.

Until one enterprising young man introduced us to vi substitution using absolute line numbers.

:set number


This essentially replaces (s) the first of the line (^) with a comment (#) for all ports listed between lines numbers 6015 and 6030.

exampleCollapse )



Posted on 2015.07.15 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

Photo: http://unix.bris.ac.uk/2013/08/21/forcing-cssh-to-use-ipv4

Back when I was running linux on my work laptop, I could cut my workload in half by using efficiency tools such as Cluster SSH, which allowed me to open a terminal on multiple hosts simultaneously and send concurrent commands. This was especially helpful when performing repetitive tasks, such as global password changes. I even had a little script I could copy & paste into the cssh console to get me into whole blocks of servers at a time.

Of course the requirement to use tools which only run on Windows (as well as a whole host of other supportability issues) led to me to finally relent and use an official operating system. However! I still had my ace in the hole with a linux VM on my desktop so I was still able to utilize cssh on the sly. Until I was no longer able to bridge the virtual NIC through VPN.

After a particularly hectic week of work plus weekend surprises, I volunteered to help the new guy with password changes, because that sounded nice and calm. That's when I learned there really is something to be said for, "repetitive tasks." About 50 boxes in, the tops of my hands started burning. Now, maybe its my age - I'm getting a little long in the tooth for rote data entry - but it was so bad I actually considered hydrocodone. I almost never take that stuff unless I absolutely have to.

So instead I bought some of these goofy supports and wrapped them tightly around the tops of my hands after some liquid Advil and a topical analgesic. Lowered my office chair to the ground, reclined it, and managed another 50 boxes pain-free. We'll see how the next hundred go, but I'm already considering replacing old-reliable with a backlit ergonomic keyboard (like this one, because I have Office[Max/Depot] store credit, and its the only backlit ergonomic keyboard I could find - what I wouldn't give for a backlit Logitech WAVE).

fairy, anime

AnimeCon 2015

Posted on 2015.07.14 at 10:55
Current Location: 67114

Data Center


Posted on 2015.07.10 at 14:00
Current Location: 67567

[/home/ehowton] root@belanna# finger ehowton
Login name: ehowton (messages off)
Directory: /home/ehowton Shell: /usr/bin/ksh
On since Jul 9 07:35:36 on pts/2 from

Unread mail since Thu Jul 9 18:35:06 2015
Plan: Take over the world.



Posted on 2015.07.08 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

Strong thunderstorms Monday night in Kansas finally blew out my longtime friend, the Sony STR-D915, an Anna Texas Community Forum purchase back in 2009 for $25. drax0r had loaned me his own Sony until we'd gone to pick this one up from his newly moved-in neighbor Justin, who'd just upgraded all his own A/V equipment.

I didn't require anything fancy, just a 2.0 system to rock the obscene speakers on my desk.

Sweet dreams, buddy. You deserve them.

Yamaha R-S201 arrives next week



Posted on 2015.07.07 at 22:30
Current Location: 67114

Lollipop and 8.0.4 came out on the same day? Glad I'm not on call.


There and Back Again

Posted on 2015.07.07 at 10:45
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

Spent Wednesday through Sunday in Pawnee Rock, came back home and Dad arrived unexpectedly Wednesday, staying through the holiday leaving Sunday morning. Was off Friday for the 4th so deep cleaned the house in preparation for a small get together prior to fireworks. In attendance were my father and I, Dorian, michelle1963 and her roommate, one of her roommate's guy friend (who'd I'd been wanting to meet) as well as both kids at one point in time or another as they popped in and out all weekend. Bill was invited but he declined as he's 93, and suzanne1945 was invited but declined as she's not 93.

The party disembarked prior to the launching of the ground war (which reminded my father of a firefight in Fallujah, not that he's ever been, but he had just watched American Sniper) and a fantastic time was had by all. We'd spent the night across the street where I played Beer Fairy (meeting some new people by delivering further out) and made my neighbors strawberry margaritas. As I remembered all too fondly my New Year's Eve experience, I abstained from mixed drinks, sticking solely to beer and water. My father had never seen such a display of fireworks, especially at the neighborhood level. He likened it to a 2-hour version of the "Grand Finale" at the Cotton Bowl.

My son and I had quiet evenings at home the rest of the week, but he's spending this weekend in Tulsa with his best friend (which necessitated the purchase of his first real set of luggage) and I will be driving back to Pawnee Rock for the remainder of the week, returning this weekend for Wichita's annual AnimeCon with my daughter.



A Week of Summer Cardio Selfies

Posted on 2015.07.02 at 11:00
Current Location: 67114



Small Balance Charge-Off

Posted on 2015.06.28 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

While in New Mexico I bought a new class-10 SDHC 16GB camera card and put it on the "Store Credit" card I'd been carrying around for a year, which covered all but five dollars and some change. So when I got home after vacation, I scheduled $5 through my bank's bill pay as I had not yet received the e-bill. I knew there was a remaining balance, and figured I would pay that when the next cycle hit.

But when my balance showed as, "$0.00" on the next go round, I logged directly into the site to find out what was up, and saw this:

I initiated online chat with billing and asked about it, where they explained because they don't process balances less than a dollar over the phone, they simply credit the difference. Wow!

Thanks, Best Buy :)


Nothing Acquatic

Posted on 2015.06.27 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

In the State of Kansas, the window you register to VOTE is the same window you register your BOAT. Yes, this greatly compromised speed and efficiency.

That is all.

Buddy Christ


Posted on 2015.06.26 at 18:00
Current Location: 67567


Mobile Office v2.0

Posted on 2015.06.26 at 00:00
Current Location: 67567
Tags: , ,

When I got my new work laptop, I simply swapped out the docking station and started using the new one right where the old one sat. When I temporarily relocated my office to Pawnee Rock this past work week, it marked the first time I'd used the laptop standalone - without external mouse, keyboard, or monitor.

This new laptop replaces my aging Core Duo chip with a nice i5 and doubles the RAM to 8GB. Its also backlit and weighs a fraction what the other did. No, seriously. It is far lighter and makes all the difference in the world in my backpack. The downside to all this lightness is the unusually small keyboard, which I found especially frustrating during a particularly frantic evening prior to a big application install in preparation for go-live.

That night, I ordered the above mouse from my Amazon wishlist (while this does indeed mark my third Cyborg R.A.T3 mouse, at $40 it was considerably less expensive than my other two - and the coloring reminded me of the rebel forces on Star Wars: The Old Republic). Knowing the shipment would take a day of transit, and preparing for the go-live, I figured I could pick up a decent keyboard at Wal-Mart (while they now carry the Razer BlackWidow, I was hoping for something far less expensive for my second office). I initially settled on a nice, ergonomic Logitech, but was shocked to find a surprisingly well-built, backlit gaming keyboard form a manufacture I wasn't familiar with - and for $20 less!

I am more than pleased. While its not mechanical, the keys are freaking enormous! And it comes with all the bells and whistles I look for in an appropriate unix input device - solid construction, heavy keys, and a braided cable.


Bill Murray


Posted on 2015.06.25 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

I am raising my children to be critical thinkers. This is actually more difficult than it sounds, because indoctrination is easier than education. Telling a child to look in the dictionary when they ask how to spell a word is easy. Telling a child to brainstorm pros and cons of a decision, then assign value and weight to them, less so. Especially when given a lack of world experience. And when you teach your children to think for themselves, you have to be prepared for them to side against you on a great many things. When I was released into the world I had the same political party as my parents, the same values as my parents, the same religion as my parents, and the same motivations as my parents - every mother and father's dream, right?

When we first discover our values do differ from how we were raised, or when our experiences differ, we tend to compensate - learn; grow. We find out often far too late that our parents were wrong about quite a few things. And for those of us who think, we understand our parents were simply regurgitating how they were raised - allowing for the caveats above - and passing it on to us. It is entirely possible not only were our parents wrong, but so were their parents! If this all stands to reason, then I have to assume I will be wrong about things, and that my children's experience will also differ from my own.

So its not enough to tell them what to think. They're going to need tools to survive and thrive in this world. So I want to teach them HOW to think. I want them to draw their own conclusions, whether they're radically different from my own or not. I teach through examples, and recounting my own experiences. An interesting by-product of this has been a surprising capacity for inclusiveness; compassion. When you explain race and politics and nations and religions are all invisible constructs, they tend to not matter. There is no, "us" and "them" mentality which so many adults seem to struggle with every single day on social media and the news.

When Colorado legalized marijuana, I was asked about drugs. Having never smoked it myself, I had to read up on it - educate myself outside my institutionalized upbringing, and without bias. I then simplistically explained to them in my experience, smart people seemed to be able to smoke marijuana without ill effect, but dumb people thought it made them smart, which caused them to do even dumber stuff than usual, and that was where the problem manifested itself. This places the responsibility upon them, and arms them with far more usable data than the unsustainable and unjustifiable, "Just say no." Ignorance is never an effective tool. Never.

Then the world changed.

There was a study released which proved duress as the problem with addiction - not the substance. Recreational uses do not "abuse" drugs. Marijuana is not a "gateway" drug. Its all pscyhophysiological! So I relayed this new information to my children, reminding them its never as black and white as it sounds. Using family members as examples, I told two near-identical stories of two brothers. In each story, the brothers received the same level of attention from their parents. The same rewards and the same punishments. They had the same opportunities. But in both cases, one brother responded to these experiences with aplomb while the other was absolutely tortured by them. Again, the responsibility falls solely upon them to decide what kind of person they are before embarking upon potentially risky behavior. To bring it all back home, I pointed out the difference between the two of them. Something as simple as diverse personality types gives rise to perceiving the same information differently from one another, gleaning dissimilar parts because of it, each analyzing and synthesizing something unique, and drawing vastly different conclusions.

And this is the easy stuff. Our values should never be fixed, immutable anchors. Experience gives birth to untold data, all of which should be captured by our filter and applied accordingly. If we cannot modify our worldview based on updated, new information, and have no process in which to examine and dismiss outdated information, we can never change. How are our children supposed to be the change we want to see in the world if we're telling them what to believe, rather than how to think?


Arctic Diving

Posted on 2015.06.24 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114



Posted on 2015.06.23 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

Playing the choose-your-own-adventure MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic gives one the opportunity to amass "light side" or "dark side" points which affects one's alignment, and ultimately, gameplay. When partied up, my son and I often review the possible responses together, and discuss reasons for our potential choice - as they are often not as black and white as one might expect. Sometimes the alignment is affected by choosing a path which goes against what an authority figure expects us to do, while other times it comes down to our own moral code on what we believe the correct action should be. In some cases, doing what we're told goes against what we feel is right. Much like in the real world, we have to live with the consequences of our actions. Unlike the real world however, an unknown mediator levies real-time judgement upon us at every interaction. Who indeed has the ultimate authority to point our moral compass, and why?

In discussions with my son - especially when we disagree upon a course of action - we seek to understand each other's point of view for making disparate choices. What constitutes a "right" or "wrong" choice? Sometimes its as simple as not wanting to be rude - marginalizing someone different than ourselves or endeavoring to make ourselves appear better than someone else at their expense, or a desire to help someone less fortunate than ourselves. Other times however, its not that simplistic - We may be motivated by our own interests; elevating ourselves. But making short-term morally suspect decisions in order to fulfill a larger "end to a means" morally sound outcome is an age-old argument which limits creativity, so when, if ever, is it acceptable?

Moral absolutists may consider moral relativists nothing more than undisciplined (or liberal) absolutists perhaps because they have a singular starting point of origin and no usable process in which to decouple that belief. Similarly, relativists may eschew absolutism as archaic without perhaps a solid understanding of the universal concepts encompassing both - not that I would dare attempt to simplistically air both sides of an ages-old argument. Some believe applying absolutes more broadly will lead to peace on earth[1] while others believe that can only be achieved through less dichotomous thinking.[2] One might in fact take time to ponder the inherent complexity of the two sides as to why disagreement exists rather than just assuming their upbringing instilled a special understanding in themselves and everyone else is wrong or evil (or that evil is the only true path to moral absolution). Confirmation bias is a powerfully magical ingredient in personal empirical studies when one is trying to prove themselves correct.

So my son and I end up doing what every one does, we weigh the variables in a sort of equation. Address our own needs, compare our altruistic goals against our selfish desires - look at the costs and rewards of our actions - ask ourselves if we are acting out of doing no harm or avoiding harm, and deciding how far out of societal norms or our own comfort zone we wish to extend ourselves, look back to see if there is a pattern of outcomes from previous choices we've made before acting.

Because it is a game, we can give in to, or dismiss empathy. We can allow ourselves to respond to emotion over reason depending upon our mood with far less consequence than in the real world. The important thing, I think, is that we do acknowledge it is a choice, and strive to make the best one with the tools we've been given, just like in real life.

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