22 Nov 2015

This last week, we saw a brand new play, Poe, staged at the Reynolds Tavern by the Annapolis Shakespeare Company. An excellent show, good food, and a wonderful evening. How can I tell that a new play is wonderful? It leaves me wanting to know more about the subject, and in awe of the actors plying their trade. The 1747 Pub in the basement of the Reynolds tavern is a great place for the work, too. Only two more nights, this week, so go if you can! We also had Linda and Mike over to supper and a game of Ticket to Ride last night. Otherwise it was a normal, if busy, week catching up from my conference week. Nothing too exciting to report.

*      *      *

DoD reported no new casualties in the last week. Ciao!

2015 Nov 15

This last week was a blast at LISA 15, the annual USENIX all things system administration conference. I averaged 12 hour days over the 6 day run, so I’m still decompressing a bit. More of a report on that in a day or few.

Nothing else of particular importance going on in our part of the world just now. Terrorists killing random innocents for kicks seems to be increasing the world suck factor by a billion elsewhere at the moment, though. That makes me sad. Condolences to those who suffered loss in Paris, Beruit, and everywhere else in the world where people kill other people to make a point religious, political, or for reasons psychopathic. Redundant much? Sigh.

*      *      *

DoD reported no new military casualties in the last week, for which I am grateful.


The LISA 15 conference is in full swing. I was up at 0600, and on the road at 0630. People to see and things to do before two half-day tutorials today: Go for SysAdmins, and Software Testing for Sysadmin Programs. Both were interesting and potentially useful and applicable to my work. Tomorrow, I’m doing the System Internals course, but if there is too much overlap with Ted Ts’o’s course from last year, then I’ll bail at midday and attend the Systemd tutorial in the afternoon. Tuesday I’ve got a couple more tutorials on tap, followed by three days of conference talks, BoFs, and evening meetings. Busy, excellent week ahead. I’m tired already, just thinking about it.

Yep, I’m going to learn a lot,  but really, the best part for me is seeing all these wonderful folks that I only cross paths with once a year at best. I’m quite thankful for that part of this event.

*      *      *

DoD announced no new casualty reports during the last week, for which I am grateful. Ciao!

Central Time

Me, I’d set every clock to UTC, and just work with it. Marcia would, however, balk at the idea. Yep. DST is over for the “year” but they A) paid back the hour without interest, as usual, and B) are going to steal it back again in just a few months. Sigh.

Fun: We went over to see the Annapolis Shakespeare Company production of As You Like It on Friday evening. It was a blast. I’ve seen two or three productions of As You Like It over the decades, but they’ve generally been fairly traditional stagings. Not that I’m knocking that. Compared to some interpretations, traditional is most excellent. However, Director (and ASC founder) Sally Boyett put together a lively production set in 1930’s Appalachia, with period specific (and play appropriate) musical interludes between many of the scenes. It made for a rollicking good show, while not sacrificing any (well, not much) of the Bard’s original language. We both enjoyed the show immensely, and plan to be regulars at future ASC performances. Highly Recommended!

Hallowe’en has come and gone. We kept the lights off, which keeps the dog much, much calmer and happier. Pleasantly, we found while walking the dog today that not much in the way of candy or discarded wrappers were strewn about. A departure from prior years, but one that is welcome.

Speaking of Lexi, here she is in a recent photo, paying attention to the world and not to me:

Lexi on "Relaxed Guard" duty

Lexi on “Relaxed Guard” duty

Now if we can only keep the kids on dirt bikes from abusing our trails and roads (and keep those kids from getting themselves killed by inattentive drivers). I got a picture of some of them yesterday, and posted it to our neighborhood website, in hopes that the parents in question would observe and take action. We’ll see what happens. Next for me, a rocker for the front porch, so that I can shout at people walking near our lawn.

And yeah, I’m still waiting for my car. If I’m lucky, it’ll be before the end of this week.

*      *      *

DoD posted no new casualty announcements over the last week. Ciao!


Fall is well and truly here – and the temperatures are trying, occasionally, to match the season. We did drop into the low thirties a couple of nights, and once into the high twenties. Since, though, it’s been warm-ish: mid-40’s overnight, into the high 60’s during the days. Lovely weather, really. I got some house cleaning done over the weekend, and shopping today. A bit of work for the office today, and lazy for the rest, sadly. What I should have done is finished the house cleaning, or done something else productive. Oh, well.

Marcia and I are car-sharing this upcoming week, so I’m working from home on the two days she needs to be out and about. Nothing else really exciting on the known-things schedule.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the family and friends of Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, 39, of Roland, Oklahoma, who died on Oct. 22, in Kirkuk Province, Iraq, from wounds received by enemy small-arms fire during an operation.

Suicide by BMW

At 0635 EDT (pre-dawn at this time of year), a deer tried to commit BMW-assisted suicide while I was driving to work. I’d have to say, that deer is a failure. It got up and ran off, and my car is in the body shop for the next few days. Bummer, I know. It jumped out of the bushes ten feet in front of my car or less. I barely got to the brakes before the deer was in my grill. Torso to the grill, neck took out the headlight, and the head dented the driver-side front quarter panel. And me with no venison!

That event rather owned my week, sadly. Still, yesterday we puttered on up to the Maryland Home Show up at the fairgrounds in Timonium, MD. We wandered about for a couple of hours, and spent much more time on the crafts side, and less being pursued by rabid window and siding salesmen on the home-show side. A nice little half-day trip.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families and friends of these fallen warriors:

  • Maj. Phyllis J. Pelky, 45, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, died Oct. 11 in the crash of a British Puma Mk2 helicopter in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • Master Sgt. Gregory T. Kuhse, 38, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died Oct. 11 in the crash of a British Puma Mk2 helicopter in Kabul, Afghanistan.

I’d better not get the flu…

I’d better not get the flu this season, because I’ve already paid the cover charge and over-tipped all the bouncers. Seriously. Thursday I got the regular dose (as opposed to high dose) quadrivalent flu vaccine for the season. Friday, I had the day off. I was taking the day to handle a couple of chores, and then attend Capclave for the two and a half days of programming, Friday through today. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

By midnight Thursday, I had aches and pains in the large muscles and joints, and a mild fever afflicted me. I was “fine” by Saturday morning, but all washed out. Much better, finally, this evening, having missed the whole thing. Sigh. So if this was my reaction to the vaccine this year, my antibodies sure better be ready for the real thing, should it look my way.

In other news… well, there is no other news. Three days of my life lost to the sofa and television.

*      *      *

DoD has reported no new casualties in the last week. Ciao!

Kindle, revived?

I have a 2012 Kindle touch. It’s been my bedside reader, light and easy on the eyes as I wind down from the day. I think it’s a better late-night device for me than a backlit screen device would be. However, week or so ago, I noticed that my kindle had stopped behaving. It wouldn’t turn on. Then it would, just to display a dialog box saying something about the application crashing or stopped or somewhat. I figured it was down on charge, so the next morning I put it on the charger and headed to work.

That evening, with the status light green (full charge), I pressed the wake button: application crashing or stopped message, again. Sigh. Okay. I pressed and held the wake button for a long while, to execute a reset of the device. No joy. Upon re-awakening, no dialog, no wakie, no books, no nothing. Just a stock wallpaper. Hmmm.

On the weekend, I popped the back off the Kindle and had a poke around. An easy to identify battery, with five screws. I know how to do a proper deep reset, thank you very much. Out came the battery, and out it stayed for a few hours. Then I reassembled it. Pressed the button, expecting a full resurrection. Nope. Blank screen, nothing. I set it to the side and walked away. I guess that three years and change out of a relatively inexpensive device was going to have to be good enough. I started thinking about how/what to replace it with.

Last night when I got home from work, I caught sight of the display in the corner of my eye as I sat at my desk. The wallpaper was back! I pressed the wake button, and immediately got the stock battery nearly empty, plug me in dialog. So I did, and let it sit.

Tonight: full charge, full function, and everything’s fine. I’m pleased.

Back to the grind

Tomorrow, I’ll be back to the grind. Today wrapped up a four day weekend for me. I just took Friday and Thursday off for fun … then spent those two days worrying about a hurricane headed our way that ended up turning right instead of left. So it goes. It was also a low-energy weekend – I felt pretty washed out the last couple of days. Maybe my body was missing work?

Still, you might have noticed a bit more activity around here than usual over the past week, from foxes to Apple upgrades. Most of the activity was indoors, because outdoors was a bit damp. While the hurricane chose a different destination, we still had 5.6″ of rain measured in my back yard over the last five days. The wind finally came up and blew the moisture mostly out of the area, but it’s still cloudy with occasional drizzle. Additionally, there was apparently an EF-0 tornado that cut a minor swath 20 miles away, last Tuesday. But other than that, not much else to report on the home front.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Seaman Philip Frazier Manes, 21, of Fairfax, Virginia, died Sept. 27, in Manama, Bahrain, of a non-combat related incident.
  • Capt. Jonathan J. Golden, 33, of Camarillo, California, died Oct. 2 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.
  • Capt. Jordan B. Pierson, 28, of Abilene, Texas, died Oct. 2 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.
  • Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Hammond, 26, of Moundsville, West Virginia, died Oct. 2 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.
  • Senior Airman Quinn L. Johnson-Harris, 21, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, died Oct. 2 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.
  • Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain, 29, of Pensacola, Florida, died Oct. 2 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.
  • Airman 1st Class Kcey E. Ruiz, 21, of McDonough, Georgia, died Oct. 2 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.