Stuck on "Shuffle"

and I think the "Menu" key is broken

2/20/13 06:12 am - My first ever "big time" cigar splurge

The first time I've ever paid this much per stick for cigars of any kind, and the first time (aside from the humidor) that I've spent this much at once on a cigars and cigar-related accessories purchase.

Order Placed

Freebie with order...

2/17/13 04:17 am - That's right (again), I'm back (again), and I'm a BLOODY ANIMAL (again)!

No Content, just that announcement.

4/9/12 06:57 am

Looks like by spending a few bucks on Hulu Plus and Epix (and our existing Netflix account), we're going to be able to get completely away from traditional pay TV. No cable, no satellite, just free OTA and less than $30 a month for all the premium and on-demand content we need, all delivered by IPTV. We'll still have an horrific bandwidth bill (for an awesome amount of bandwidth), but no more paying for 200 channels we never watch, no more DVR fees, no more equipment rental, no more convenience fees, no more weird taxes and surcharges and regulatory fees. We could literally end up $50 a month better off.

4/3/12 09:16 am - You're a superhero

I used to work with Trevor, before he went on to become a superhero. He's an awesome guy, and this is an awesome concept, and you should all watch this video, find out what your superpowers are, and then go put them to use.

Seriously, you guys. gives you superpowers.

3/24/12 12:09 pm - Step 1 Complete

Step 1 of expanding my cigar collection is complete. An order has been placed for:
Behold my bounty!Collapse )
Average price so far: less than $2.75 per stick. I'd say that's pretty reasonable value, but the expensive part is yet to come.

3/20/12 07:44 am - ATTENTION INTERNET!


1. This kerfuffle you may have been hearing about is not "ISPs spying on their customers". ISPs do not do this. The copyright-control powers that be (the xxAAs) are already actively monitoring torrent sites and other arenas, complaining to ISPs about users that they detect sharing the content they control.

2. Right now, many ISPs do little to nothing with those complaints. However, the xxAAs can build up enough steam once in a while to sue a specific user. That user right now generally has no advance notice from their ISP that an xxAA is tracking them.

3. Several ISPs already throttle torrents, and already throttle high-usage customers just because they're high-usage.

4. The new scheme is at its core an agreement between ISPs to give their users a series of "heads up" messages to let them know an xxAA has been complaining about them.

5. This is not "worse than SOPA". It's the opposite of SOPA. Instead of one allegation leading to "no Internet for you!" (and possibly a lawsuit), users will be getting fair warning that they need to change their behavior to avoid being complained about.

2/21/12 07:31 am

Would you like some ?

2/16/12 09:48 am

Further to the possible Ethiopia trip: found out a little bit more about some of the languages I'll probably be encountering. The largest non-official language is Oromo, which seems well-documented and learnable. It's a Cushitic language, which is related to Semitic (which is what Amharic is). The major local language family along the Omo river is called (perhaps unsurprisingly) Omotic, and those languages seem much less well-documented. There is apparently some doubt as to whether the Omotic languages are Cushitic or Semitic, but if I can learn Amharic and pick up a little Oromo, I should be good to learn by immersion.

2/15/12 06:59 am

The book on Amharic arrived, and I spent a while last night trying to push through lesson 1. It's actually a pretty typical Semitic language, if there is such a thing. All the "h" sounds have merged (along with /x/) into /h/. Labiovelars have emerged as phonemes in their own right, and there's a new /hʷ/ phoneme (from /xʷ/). Aleph and Ayin have both become zero. All the "s" sounds have merged into (plain or emphatic) /s/. Emphatics are simply ejectives. Gender and number are simple enough, given its heritage. Case seems to be pretty straightforward, though I haven't delved into construct state yet. I ought to be able to learn Amharic well enough to get by before November. It's looking like I'd be advised to learn Oromo too, and maybe another one of the 75-90 or so documented languages of Ethiopia.

2/10/12 09:42 am

This'll really bake your noodle...

2/7/12 02:03 am

So. Here's something else that's been on my mind. My church is planning a mission trip to the region of Ethiopa in November. It's apparently pretty tough circumstances, including areas where you need locals with AK-47s to make sure nothing untoward happens (not to mention no running water, no electricity, and often no roads). Many of the people in that region are essentially living the life they have lived for 10,000 years (give or take), and hold to the animist beliefs they have held for probably about as long, but Victory have managed to establish five churches in the region, and are aiming for a sixth. I'm considering volunteering, partly because I simply feel called to go, but also selfishly for anthropological study reasons. I'd have to learn Amharic, and probably at least one of the local tribal languages, which would also be something of a selfish personal goal.

Advice? Opinions? Suggestions? Dried-frog pills?

2/7/12 01:31 am

It struck me the other day that the ancient history of art seems to have swung back and forth between lifelike depictions of single objects c 100 kya, abstract "stick figures" showing sequences of events c 50 kya, back to lifelike depictions c 25 kya and sequential stick figures somewhere around 10 kya, continuing to swing back and forth faster and faster until somewhere around 2 or 3 kya, when the forms started to merge, but there's still a distinct dichotomy as late as 1 kya. It doesn't seem to be until more or less living memory that the two forms merged truly, and it's only been taken to its ultimate conclusion with sequential (captioned) photorealistic "text on a picture" memes in the last 10 or so years. One could argue, I suppose, that the first movies were the convergence, but that's still something like 100 ya.

I'm entirely unsure what to make of that thought, and I'm aware it might actually be wrong in a variety of exceptional cases, but I figured I'd throw it out there and see what y'all thought.

2/6/12 08:55 am - England, etc

It's really not that complicated. There's England, and then there's all the uppity sheep-botherers and associated hangers-on. Here, though, are the details, in entertaining-yet-informative presentation.

2/4/12 10:58 am

I know "proper" distilling (for human consumption) is illegal without thousands of dollars in permits and inspections, but is it the production of strong liquor that's illegal, or the use of a still? I ask specifically because I've been thinking about ice distilling.

2/3/12 07:36 am

It struck me the other day: the colors for The Hulk are exactly out of phase with the classic Steel & Straw palette. Is that deliberate, do you suppose?

2/3/12 06:10 am - I have a cunning plan...

A friend has officially inspired me to dive back into hardware hacking. To complete my grand master plan, I need... qty 8 qty 8 qty 1 qty 1 qty 1 qty 1

With this modest arsenal of pieces and parts, I shall build the world's greatest humidor monitoring rig. All I need is funding, and time.

2/3/12 05:56 am - Aww

True story, apparently.

2/2/12 08:59 am

"Welsh essentially sounds like drunken Klingon" -- me

1/31/12 07:59 am

Pure pharmaceutical grade nicotine as a biocide for getting the mold out of a humidor... Any opinions? I think it's down to a choice between that and some high-test grain alcohol.

1/30/12 09:39 am

Since I'm still having problems getting the big humidor set up, I decided my first purchase of the year would not be a bulk purchase (i.e. a couple of boxes), but instead this little bundle, which should just about squeeze into the small humidor.

1/30/12 06:36 am

I so want this t-shirt. I mean, how could anyone possibly not?

1/30/12 06:26 am

When did they add the option for using DirectX 11 (instead of 9) to World of Warcraft? Did I miss a memo? Has anyone tried it out carefully enough to be able to help me understand whether it's worth it?

1/26/12 08:05 am

I think I might be detecting what might indeed be mold in the big humidor. Tiny places look a bit ... funny. There might be some white fuzz starting to form. Going to scrape it all off, and Google up some curative / preventative measures.

1/25/12 06:29 am

The big humidor seems to be fully seasoned. If anything, it's a bit damp in there now, and I'm starting to get worried about mold. Letting it air out a bit isn't going to hurt any, though, and I should be ready to decant from the 50-count (and maybe buy my first ever full box of cigars) in a week or two.

1/16/12 03:47 am - 18 months in summary.

So, what have I been up to while I wasn't updating this thing?

Sheesh, there's a question. It's probably best answered with a selection of links and snippets from my Facebook and Google+ postings, from oldest to most recent. Brace yourselves, punters.

Avril Lavigne has never disappointed me quite so much as she did this New Year. "Hell yeah, I'm the one and only princess"? It's New Year. It's live. You're a damn millionaire. Pay the FCC fine, and sing the song as written.

Resolutions for '11? Not sure. Lose about 75 pounds, maybe? Be more appreciative of and attentive to my wife. Gotta do something about the ol' tobacco habit too, at some point. -- Read on for the hilarious conclusion.

Started playing World Of Warcraft fairly seriously, and haven't stopped.

I've been reading about Perl 6 and Parrot, and now I want to write a Java compiler that compiles to Parrot bytecode (instead of JVM bytecode). In Perl 6, of course.

Been working more on Net::IPAddress::Util, my contribution to the world of Internet-oriented modules for the Perl programming language. Still crashes during install on random platforms, but at least I've got some ideas of where to look to find out why. Now, if I just had the time.

Had the most awesome popcorn last night. Real from-scratch corn, popped in coconut oil, seasoned with equal parts powdered sugar and powdered salt. I'll take that over microwave "Kettle Corn" stuff any day.

No, Turbotax, just no. We do not owe more in taxes than I earned. That's very probably wrong...

Only took 3 years and 14 major releases, but the thing I work on is having the final switch flipped tomorrow -- we're moving over the last batch of stuff from the legacy system to the "new" system, and putting the legacy system into read-only mode. Must remember to bring a bottle of bubbly into work. I'll either need it as refreshment, or a weapon.

I'm getting expensive tastes in my old age. The sort of tastes had by the sort of man who is liable to die penniless and happy. For the curious, I'm talking about fine cigars, top-shelf Turkish cigarettes, and a particularly interesting blended VSOP. Nothing salacious...

R.U.S.E moment o' the day... KEKEKE PANZER III RUSH! Victory in less than 16 minutes, and that's only because I wasn't sure what I was doing at first.

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃

Introduced Kathy to Sepultura. Not impressed by "Territory". "Kiowas" made a better impression.

It was at about this point that my occasional desire for a cigar became a 2-4 cigar a week ritual. This on top of officially graduating to a full pack of Camel Turkish Silver per day. This is the hilarious conclusion referred to above. Well, kinda, it gets better. Between now and then, I've acquired a 600-count humidor, and have been looking around very carefully for things to stock it with.

Compare and contrast: vs

Happy 197th Birthday, Samuel Colt. The "real" inventor of the assembly line, despite what Henry Ford would have you believe.

Cowboys from Hell was released 21 years ago today. I feel quite distressingly old now.

Had a very tasty bowl of Miso Soup for dinner last night. Tastes like seawater would taste if God were Japanese ^_^

(17:41:29) me: well, I've read 3.5 books, cover to cover (except of course for the half, which is where I stopped to come back to announce that I've found something) and I think I might have found something useful wrt this damn serialization problem
(17:41:56) X: what does lotr have to do with work, paul?
(17:42:40) Y: Harry Potter and the Web Services Prison
(17:43:05) X: my precious... data...
(17:43:53) Y: But then the Code did something that Paul did not intend...
(17:44:32) me: YOU SHALL NOT PARSE!
(17:45:16) Y: It is written in the black speech of WSDL, which I will not utter here

At about this point, Kathy went into the hospital with another incarcerated hernia. All went well, and she was back on her feet in no time.

Great googly-moogly, reading official W3C standards documents will make you go cross-eyed in a hurry.

Trying to figure out how (if at all) to rearrange the furniture in the family room / den. With a 12 x 14 open-backed space, an 8 x 2 entertainment center, and a 6 x 4 viewing area, there aren't all that many options, especially if you need somewhere to put speakers, a 4 x 7 couch, and an exercise bike that's about as big as the couch.

Turkey Day. What a day for the brownwater outflow to get stopped up. For the entire apartment complex...

select state, left(host, instr(host, '.') -1) as hname, count(*) as num, if(count(*) = 1, id, null) as id from information_schema.processlist​ where state is not null and state > '' group by state, hname;

Finally broke the seal tonight. Had my first ever raiding experience in WoW, trying to 4-man Tempest Keep 25-man. It would have worked too, if not for that whacky mind-control business right at the end there. The Raid UI is no longer terra incognita, and much less scary. Now on to the whole "several groups not quite all in one group" thing. Any suggestions for 10-man content to warm up on for an ilvl 361 pally tank?

Speccing some new hardware for a new project at work. Looking at systems with 80 cores and 4TB of RAM. Looking at maybe ten of them. It makes me feel funny in my pants. -- However, that hardware is apparently not to be. I'm still pressing for more RAM (and maybe more cores) in our current servers, though.

How does one explain to a C-level executive "You wouldn't understand. I barely understand, and I wrote it"?

Finally ...

1/11/12 05:24 am - Wow

This guy beats NES Tetris in under 8 minutes. I don't think I've ever seen anything so beautiful in my life.

1/6/12 09:22 am - The stranger there among them had a big iron on his hip

Speccing some new hardware for a new project at work. Looking at systems with 80 cores and 4TB of RAM. Looking at maybe ten of them. It makes me feel funny in my pants.

12/29/11 07:23 am - I ATEN'T DEAD

Yes, it's been a while, but amazingly I was still able to log in. How's everyone been doing?

7/18/10 05:36 pm - Belated loot report, tl;dr edition

Some technology:

Some books:

And a lighter:

Belated thanks for all the good wishes.

6/20/10 04:43 pm - Too ... much ... brain ... stuff. Need ... bigger ... brain.

I have too many programming ideas in my head.

Project #0, find people to help with the other projects.

Project #1, some particularly awesome reporting and graphing stuff for work.

Project #2, a pidgin plugin for my Logitech G15.

Project #3, take over the stagnant Sourceforge project to port Dosbox to my phone.

Project #4, port Perl to my phone.

Project #5, port MAME to my phone.

Project #6, figure out where the bugs are in Net::IPAddress::Util, or more specifically the Math::BigInt modules it relies on.

Project #7, figure out why the latest batch of Ubuntu updates broke every singe one of the tests for DBIx::Nailgun.

BTW: For the willfully ignorant, "my phone" means the Symbian S60 platform.

Someone please offer up their precious spicy brains for me to eat.

6/13/10 05:33 pm - Programming grumbles

So, I've got this Perl module, Net::IPAddress::Util, and it's not-quite-randomly failing its test suite on not-quite-random platforms.

The testing summary is here.

As you'll be able to tell (with some digging), the tests that are failing are one or more of the tests named /01-try-.*/. These tests are all sanity-checks put in place to test the underlying modules and/or libraries that my module itself actually relies on. Those tests don't even use my module -- they run directly on the underlying modules.

Now, I know for sure that the libraries themselves can't possibly be broken: they're used by gazillions of people all day every day, even for "real" comp sci problems. I'm pretty sure the Perl modules that use the libraries aren't broken: they also seem to be used by other people all day every day.

So, after eliminating the impossible, what remains is that I'm misreading the docs badly enough that even my trivial "are you alive?" tests are written badly enough that they're crashing hard.

Is anyone here ready, willing, and able to help me figure out what I'm doing wrong?

6/8/10 09:28 am - On the history of these United States

Back in the beginning, the United States were 13 separate, independent, sovereign nations. Acting as principals, they delegated limited and defined powers to a federal congress to act as their agent in certain fields. For more on the original conception of the federal congress, see the Federalist Papers, but more especially the Anti-federalist Papers.

It's amazing that what appears to be a strictly-curtailed and limited Federal Government as envisioned by the Founding Fathers (and as supported by Strict-Constitutionalist Anti-Government Right-Wing Nutjobs like me) is actually what we ended up with when the "big government" side of the argument won. For fun, imagine (and/or discuss in comments) how history might have gone differently had the Anti-federalists managed to limit the powers of Congress even further...

5/22/10 01:58 pm - Hmmm...

I appear to have been invited to join the ACM. Everything looks entirely and genuinely legitimate, even down to it arriving as a snail-mail pre-membership package. The URL and mailing address in the package seem to check out as real and official. Not very sure how to proceed at this point, but it'd be a hell of a thing for the ol' resume if all goes well.

5/21/10 11:14 am - RAGE!

This is the ultimate in screwed up. State Senator David Hoyle is trying to block broadband Internet from spreading in North Carolina. He's actually suggesting sending back Federal money assigned to help us get better Internet, as well as spending State money to block new companies and municipalities from offering service. We're already 41st in the country; what more could he possibly want? Big piles of money from the existing monopoly suppliers, maybe?

5/2/10 05:46 pm - I think I might have finally cracked it

4/24/10 05:12 pm

Anyone up for some co-op Half Life 2? Might be good for a giggle, if we crank the difficulty to 11 and take our chances.

4/5/10 10:12 am - "Booze, drugs, and women. The rest, I wasted"

So, I've decided what I'm going to spend (part of) my first full paycheck on, when they start rolling in with some regularity. I'm going to replace my boot drive, currently a 150GB 10Krpm Raptor.

The replacement is going to be...

One of these:

And four of these:

I'm just wondering whether to set 'em up in RAID-0 or RAID-5 -- my motherboard'll do either. I think I'm leaning towards RAID-5, for the feeling of security and safety, but the pure blistering speed of RAID-0 makes me feel funny in my no-no place.

The Raptor wont go to waste -- I'll use it as the drive in my pfsense machine, if and when I ever pull my thumb out of my ass and get to work on it.

Also wondering whether to replace my pair of 1TB storage drives with a pair of new 2TB drives, but that's a question for another day. Maybe when 3TB or 4TB drives come out, or decently-sized 10Krpm drives...

3/21/10 05:03 pm - I'm a published CPAN author!

My little contribution can be found here. It's a set of convenience wrappers to make life easier in a mixed IPv4 / IPv6 world.

3/14/10 03:17 pm

In honor of the day, here's a thingy that you might find nifty.

3/9/10 12:00 pm

My next Perl project, before moving it to Google Code, and from there to CPAN. You lucky, lucky punters, you. It's an attempt to make it easy to work with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses in the same application.

Where I need help, if that's your thing, is in collecting different people's time trials results. Just untar the tarball as normal, and before running make test, if you could set the environment variable IP_SIMPLE_TIME_TRIALS to some small positive integer (1 is fine, 10 is overkill). Then, just post your results as a comment to this post. Results from users with Math::BigInt::GMP and/or Math::BigInt::Pari installed would be especially helpful.


3/1/10 11:16 am

What's got two thumbs and his old job back?

2/23/10 02:37 pm

My Perl project has a new official home. There are still kinks to be worked out, but it's up and out there.

2/21/10 01:26 pm - My programming project

For anyone curious about the Perl project I've been working on during my time off, I'll be sporadically posting builds at this location, until it's ready for CPAN.

2/21/10 11:59 am

I should not be allowed to eat after taking a sleeping pill. Apparently, last night, I tore through not one but two full bowls of peanut butter and strawberry jam -- no bread or anything, just a couple of cereal-bowls half full each of PB and J, eaten with a spoon.

2/20/10 01:34 pm - Are you ready to have your privacy violated?

saizai is trying to find interesting ways to exploit a weakness in CSS. It'll make more sense if you read the page, but basically he's training an AI to recognize returning users regardless of which computer / browser / OS they log in from. It doesn't do anything unless or until you hit the button.

Please follow Sai's wishes, and share the link by word of mouth, but not via Fark, Slashdot, or any of the other "big name" sites.

2/11/10 11:53 am - Anyone got any spare hardware?

I need to build three computers: a pfsense firewall/router, a FreeNAS file server, and a MythTV media center (with MAME). Trouble is, I don't think I've quite got enough hardware on hand to do all three. I've got a quad-core that'll work well for the MythTV, and a dual-core that'll work for the pfsense, and a case that'll be good for the FreeNAS, but I'm not sure I have all the innards to fill that case.

Oh, and I've got a G4 Mac that might or might not be in working condition. Right now, it lacks a SCSI hard drive, and (obviously) an operating system. I'm probably going to go Linux rather than OS X, due to the cost involved.

So, if you've got spare hardware kicking around that you don't need, especially SATA or SCSI hard drives, I'd appreciate a holler -- doubly so if you're local. The pfsense and the FreeNAS are actually both for a good cause -- they'll be used for and by the charity my wife runs. The MythTV and Mac, though, are purely hobbyist / learning projects.

1/28/10 02:20 pm - I emailed the President

A copy of what I sent is on Facebook, which is where I've been tending to post more. I'm still reading Livejournal, but (as you may have noticed), not posting as much. If you want to follow me, I suggest you do it there rather than here.

Anyway. Here's what I sent, encouraging Thorium-based fission and Farnsworth-Hirsch-based fusion, instead of Uranium and Tokamak respectively.

1/23/10 12:20 pm

I installed the Fring IM client on my phone last night. If you've got my IM or Skype details, you'll now be able to reach me anywhere within WiFi range -- damn them if I'm paying for a data plan at this point.

Contact details should be on my profile page, if you have the appropriate security clearance.

1/2/10 12:40 pm

If you use Spamassassin, you need to update it as soon as humanly possible...

See sans_feed and jwz (among others).

12/29/09 10:05 am - Loot report

If you follow my every word with bated breath, firstly let me suggest you get out more, but secondly let me apologize for the lack of posting lately -- and specifically the lack of my traditional loot report.

Here's the list for this Christmas:

Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin.
I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek.
World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.
World Of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King.
A promise of Windows 7 Ultimate "as soon as feasible".

Also, a tremendous Christmas Eve dinner with the in-laws. Mary & Jesse cooked up a very tasty standing rib roast, on the rarer side of medium, served with baked potatoes and salad. Very nice indeed, and they sent the remains of the roast home with us, which was nice.

As a joint birthday/Christmas present for Kathy, we got a laptop, with a carrying case and a cable lock. In exchange, I'm getting her desktop PC to set up as a media center / games machine in the den (I'm thinking that Mythbuntu would be the way to go, unless further research shows otherwise). We'll be making payments on it, but that's okay, because we've only got one payment left until we've paid off the refinance loan on her car. That news, I think, might be the real treat I got this Christmas.
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