Back in the Groove

After several weeks of very intermittent exercise, and some backsliding on the dietary controls, I’m back in the groove, I think …

Good exercise days

Good exercise days

Good exercise days – two days running at almost precisely the same pace. Excellent!

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I use OpenSSH for nearly all of my computing platform access, except for that OS from Redmond. Secure access to commandline environments meets about  90% (a made up number, gut check says “true”) of my requirements. It’d be more, but I access a lot of monitoring services via a browser. But close to 100% of actual work is done via commandline remotely over SSH.

Every time I set up a new server, I’ve been logging into the new box and setting up the first user account with the appropriate public key. First I’d copy the key up to the new system, then I’d log in on the new box and run commands like these:

[user@box] ~# mkdir .ssh && chmod 700 $_ && touch $_/authorized_keys && chmod 600 $_
[user@box] ~# cat >> $_

How was I to know that in the intervening years, some one of the smart contributors to the OpenSSH project added the ssh-copy-id program. All I need to do from the client system is type something like this:

[user@client] ~# ssh-copy-id -i .ssh/ user@box

It prompts me for my password, and the work is done. All of the directory and file work, correct permissions included (replacing those chmod commands), all done in one swell foop. Very handy.


Posted in Computers, Exercise | Leave a comment

Push Through

I’m tired. There’s been a fair bit of unscheduled work over the last few days, leading to sleepus interruptus. But I got done what must be done, and a fair bit else besides. The big project of the weekend was a bit of reconstruction on the front step, which has been sinking away pretty much since the house was built. For some reason, they didn’t rebar the step into the concrete porch.

What I need to do is break that old step out, drill some holes into the porch and epoxy in some rebar, then pour a new step. But I’ve not had the time to take on that project. Sadly, we’ve spent a lot of time this summer telling people to mind the first step, since it sank another inch in the last year or so. What we had was a 7″ rise, then an 11″ rise. That’s a lot.

So yesterday I put in some pavers over the step, so we now have two 9″ rises. Even height risers are much safer.

Better step height

Better step height

The other fun thing I learned about the original step installation is revealed by the shadow line you see under the pavers. Yeah? Me, too. The underlying, original step is 12″ deep on the left side, and 13″ deep on the right. Sigh.

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Our condolences to the family and friends of Sgt. 1st Class Samuel C. Hairston, 35, of Houston, Texas, who died Aug. 12, in Ghazni, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his unit was engaged by enemy small-arms fire.

Posted in Beware of Leopard, Fallen Warriors | Leave a comment


We’re ten days into August, the last (usually) properly hot and humid month of the year … and we’ve only made it up out of the 80′s into the low 90′s ONE day this month. Mind you, I’m not complaining. Our electric bills are lower, the house is more comfortable, etc. But this definitely bodes, eh? If the ice comes in September, I’m going to be upset.

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In other news, like most non-lazy people, my time is defined by the work I do. Yesterday: patching an ESXi host, and mowing the lawns. The latter was a big catch-up, because it’d been at least three weeks since last I mowed (well before the Red Hat course). The one mitigating factor is that even though it hasn’t been super hot, there also has not been a lot of rain. So the lawn stayed mostly dormant. Today, Marcia joined me for the shopping, then I did a bit of around-the-house maintenance before heading into the office to do some patching of Solaris systems. I could do that work remotely, but it’s a lot easier to do on my multi-screen setup at work. All of the patching stuff (both days) went well, and systems are stable, which is good.

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Marcia and I recently started watching a new (to us) show on HGTV called Fixer Upper. The hosts, Joanna & Chip Gaines, have a great chemistry and fun working together on their projects. It makes the show a joy to watch. Recommended!

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

  • Staff Sgt. Girard D. Gass Jr., of Lumber Bridge, North Carolina, died Aug. 3, in Jalalabad Air Field Hospital, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident while on patrol that occurred in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.
  • Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, 55, of Schenectady, New York, died Aug. 5, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small arms fire.
Posted in Beware of Leopard, Fallen Warriors | Leave a comment

What I’m Reading – The Setup

Tech note – when you see a Twitter handle here, it’s because I follow that person/entity there. For Twitter curation, I tend to lean towards the tech/tech security sector, with a light mixture of  non-tech people added in.

What I’m Reading – The Setup

Recently, @deirdres (Deirdré Straughan) brought to my attention a brief interview with @brendangregg (Brendan Gregg) that was running on The Setup ( Huh?

The Setup is a collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

Ah, yeah. Now, you see, that’s something that I can get into. How real people use and integrate technology into their lives and their jobs is very interesting to me. And the fact that the initial link confronts my consciousness via Deirdré and Brendan helps for traction, since both of those folks are on my personal “smarter than me, I should pay attention, I’ll learn something” list. What I found at The Setup was that there are a lot more people in the world that belong on that list. I’m happy to have found some more of them. One of the best things in (my) life is to be surrounded by smart people.

My thanks to Daniel Bogan (@waferbaby), who came up with the idea, and keeps on truckin’.

Be well.


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OOOooo … err. Certified. That’s whut I am. The week of death march revising on RHEL7, followed by two certification exams on Friday, it is over. And most interestingly, I passed both exams, and now have my RHCE. Coming out of the building after 5 on Friday afternoon, I was sure I’d passed EX200 (the RHCSA exam), but frankly wasn’t feeling too warm and fuzzy about EX300 (the RHCE). So I was pleased as punch to learn that I had in fact passed both, and by comfortable margins.

Better yet, I learned a hell of a lot about the tools and technologies in this latest iteration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and I’ll be putting that knowledge to use in production systems within the next several months. So, that’s a good thing, too.

This weekend, I tried to stay awake, and to do some chores. I almost got enough done. What really needs doing is … everything. The house needs a deep cleaning, and the yard needs quite a lot of attention. All in good time. Oh, and while the garden isn’t doing well, it is still producing a bit:

Garden Goodies -2 Aug 2014

Garden Goodies -2 Aug 2014

Some of that has turned into salsa, we’re having more in salads, and some goes to work to make people there happy, as well.

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DoD has announced no new casualties in the last 6 days.

Posted in Fallen Warriors, Operating Systems, School | Comments Off

A billion, billion comment spam

Well, that might be an exaggeration. It was more like a few hundred comment spam. Fortunately they were all so marked, making it easy to click–delete.

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Monday? Monday?!? So sorry to have missed y’all, yesterday. I’ve been preparing for this week’s RH300 course, and stayed pretty focused on that goal. We’re covering 14 days of regular Red Hat coursework in four days of grueling review, followed by the RHCSA and RHCE exams on Friday. And the exams are … challenging. I’m really good with the bits I use. And I can puzzle out the bits I don’t use often. But come exam-time, there’s 2 or 4 hours to do a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff, and it all has to work right, and it all has to survive a reboot.

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

  • Pfc. Donnell A. Hamilton, Jr., 20, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, died July 24, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from an illness sustained in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.
  • Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange, 30, of Hickman, Nebraska, died July 24, in Mirugol Kalay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
  • Pfc. Keith M. Williams, 19, of Visalia, California, died July 24, in Mirugol Kalay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
  • Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Yeshabel Villotcarrasco, 23, of Parma, Ohio, died as a result of a non-hostile incident June 19 aboard USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) while the ship was underway in the Red Sea.
Posted in Fallen Warriors, Operating Systems | 2 Comments

Tiger Lilies

The tiger lilies are in full bloom right now. There’s the sad, short ones around the perimeter, however … those were cropped by deer roaming the neighborhood. Still, tiger lilies:

Tiger Lilies - 2014

Tiger Lilies – 2014

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Cool July

We’ve had several days of unseasonably cool weather. I’m not complaining, mind you. But all the same, it’s weird. Temps in the early mornings in the high 50′s, and barely breaking into the low 80′s. Who’d a thunk? But they let me take Lexi on a two mile walk this afternoon without arriving back home as a sweatball holding a dead dog.

The garden, it fares poorly. I gave it virtually no attention in the days leading up to Marcia’s surgery, nor in the weeks that followed that event. Bugs have killed my zucchini plants, the tomato plants are small-ish with yellowing leaves and low production, and my herbs have all bolted. But I was paying attention to the important tasks in life, so that’s okay.

I’m otherwise tired. I had a couple of rounds of system work today: an hour early, and a couple of hours following the shopping run. In the coming week, I’ve got to spend a fair bit of time working with RHEL7, in advance of a Rapid Track training course the week following, with an RHCE certification exam at the end of that.

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Another week, another span of time during which DoD announced no casualties. It’s not like there isn’t plenty of unpleasantness in the Middle East and in the Ukraine … but I sincerely hope we stay the hell out of those conflicts.

Posted in Fallen Warriors, Garden, Operating Systems | Comments Off

Feel the Power

Outage Reported: The power outage in your area has already been reported. We 
anticipate having your service restored by 7/14/2014 7:45:00 PM.

Generators are good. We just had a big thunder storm, lots of lightning and noise, with half an inch of rain delivered in about ten minutes. Just as it was wrapping up … flash, sputter … power is out. It tried a couple of times to spin back up within the first two minutes, then nothing.

Given rain and a sump pump, I figured I might as well spin up the generator. Now everything except the air conditioning is working just fine. I’ll keep an eye on other houses on the street – when their light go on, I’ll flip back to street power.



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Improbably So

A relatively lazy day for me today: just shopping, laundry, and coffee roasting. Yard stuff consumed the Saturday. Hot and muggy, still tonight, but storms are coming, and cooler weather is (unusually) due by mid-week (yay!) The garden is starting to produce some tomatoes and more peppers to join the zucchini and cucumbers. Maybe first salsa next week!

Marcia’s doing great. Up and down the stairs like a champ … a hobbling champ, but much progress every day. She may be done with the cane by the end of this week, too, which is stellar.

In my tiny elective time, for work I’m starting to bone up on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, which was released a couple of weeks ago. There are some big changes at the system level in RHEL7, worth learning more about before I go into a rapid track course and certification exams at the end of the month. For myself, I’m getting into Harvard’s Statistics 101, via iTunes U. Statistics seem like they should be intuitively “easy”, which is usually, well, wrong. So learning more fundamentals will do me good.

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For a second consecutive week, no casualties have been announced by DoD.

Posted in Beware of Leopard, Garden, Marcia | Comments Off