About bilborg

I am who I am, there's plenty of data on this site to tell you more. Briefly, I'm a husband, computer geek, avid reader, gardener, and builder of furniture.

2017 June 18

Most of a post-vacation work week gone by – I’ve just been dropping back into the groove. We’ve got patching and virtualization updates scheduled for the near future, so I’ve got a fair bit of planning to do to pull it off without causing unplanned downtime. This weekend was … hot, mostly, and humid. It’ll take me a while to drop into summer accommodation mode. We did celebrate a friend’s birthday this weekend, and we’re going to help a neighbor celebrate a birthday next weekend.

I made the Father’s Day phone call today, it was nice chatting with my folks – their weather is right now as hot as ours, but the humidity is much, much lower. Yay, California!

Here’s a happy Lexi who spent a couple of hours snoring on my chest yesterday:

Lexi snoozing on me

Lexi snoozing on me

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families and friends of these fallen warriors – I mentioned the initial notification last week, now we know who we mourn:

  • Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25, of Baltimore, Maryland, died on June 10 in Peka Valley, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of gunshot wounds sustained there.
  • Sgt. William M. Bays, 29 of Barstow, California, died on June 10 in Peka Valley, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of gunshot wounds sustained there.
  • Corporal Dillon C. Baldridge, 22 of Youngsville, North Carolina, died on June 10 in Peka Valley, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of gunshot wounds sustained there.

11 June 2017

A week in Maine

A week in Maine

We had a nice week in Maine – two 10+ hour driving days, two sunny days, and a fair bit of Seattle-influenced weather. But a relaxing, wonderful trip. A few small fish caught – all sent back to eat healthy and grow bigger. Pictured above is the camp (the word for house on a lake, in Maine) we were staying at. No, you can’t build that close to the water anymore. Yes, we did bring Lexi with us. And yes, there were more than a trillion mosquitoes around, just lurking around the camp waiting to feed on Marcia and I.

Today: chores, shopping, etc. Tomorrow: TBD. I’ll be back at my desk at work on Tuesday morning.

*      *      *

DoD announced three US casualties in Afghanistan yesterday, but no further details are available yet. Our condolences.

 

5 June 2017

Sorry for the delay – I’m in the midst of a long weekend. Last week was a three-day work week. So far the long weekend has been as much about helping a friend with some to-do items they’re unable to deal with at the moment as it has been about relaxing. But overall things are going swimmingly. Lexi’s confused, having me around for more than a couple of days in a row, however. But she’s not complaining much about the fact.

*      *      *

On Tuesday last, we tried to catch The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged. Annapolis Shakespeare is putting it on in the courtyard at Reynold’s Tavern again this year. It’s such a blast. Sadly, the rain, it did not agree with the idea of an outdoor performance that evening. We’ll try for another presentation soon – it’s running all summer!

*      *      *

More another time, when the “relaxing” is done.

*      *      *

DoD announced no new casualties in the week past, for which we’re grateful. Ciao!

 

28 May 2017

In entertainment news, we attended the theater last night. Annapolis Shakespeare’s Donald Hicken gave us a superbly directed production of Richard III. Visiting actor Kurt Elfmann was wonderful as the murderous, treacherous, and slimy Richard. His introspective Richard was for me most compelling. ASC company member Brian Keith MacDonald played both Brakenbury and a strong, well-executed (heh) Buckingham. It’s tough playing second fiddle to an erratic schemer. I don’t but wonder what sort of role models he had for that, these days?

Also ASC regulars: Olivia Ercolano and Laura Rocklyn (Lady Anne and Queen Elizabeth, respectively) lent strength and passion to their portrayals. Doomed in their interactions with Richard, the women in this play do their best to survive at the cost of horrid compromise. Dexter Hamlett’s George (Duke of Clarence) also stood out for me, playing out his character’s fate and pain with dignity and power.

The whole cast, some eleven in all, built an exquisite mind palace for this play, making do with but three pieces of furniture in the black box of the company’s education stage. Well-designed  and executed (there’s that word again!) music, drums, and lighting provided the necessary complement to this powerful Shakespeare history. Runs at the Annapolis Shakespeare Company through June 11, 2017. Highly Recommended.

*      *      *

It’s a holiday weekend. So of course it’s been raining straight through. We just cracked a year’s worth of rain, some 44″ worth, since I last changed the battery in my backyard rain gauge. That year’s worth of rain did, however, take 15 months to fall. So we’re still a bit short. Friends over for supper and games tonight, and anticipation of a relaxing day, possibly with some wood-working thrown in, for the actual Memorial day. Here’s how Lexi handles a rainy holiday weekend:

Rainy Day Lexi

Rainy Day Lexi

*      *      *

Our condolences to the family and friends of Spc. Etienne J. Murphy, 22, of Loganville, Georgia, who died on May 26, in Al-Hasakah, Syria, of injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover related incident.

21 May 2017

A good week. I made progress on a couple of projects at work, patched a bunch of systems, and this weekend, patched another bunch of systems. Best of all, they’re all still running and doing their assigned tasks. The lawns are mowed, the coffee is roasted, Marcia’s new office fan/light is installed, and my energy: it is gone. But the wheel keeps turning. Three day weekend coming up next, that’s a good thing.

Oh, yeah, about that new office fan/light? I had tucked the receipt into the box when I bought it … five years ago. Sigh. New means newly installed, I guess.

*      *      *

Huh. For some reason I’d never run across the term “short ton” before. 2000#, aka “a ton” in US measurements. Apparently all the other usages: “long ton”, “metric ton”, and “tonne” refer to  1000 kilograms (around 2200 pounds). Apparently that’s also the common usage in Britan, where I might have expected a larger unit of measure. After all, the weight of many heavy things is measured in “stones.” A stone ton would be about 28000 pounds. Now that’s a useful unit of measure, especially when referring to chocolate, or bacon. Sadly, though, the UK banned stone-based units of measure for commercial purposes back in 1985. This from the country that kept its national currency even after joining the EU. I say, upon Brexit, bring back the stones!

*      *      *

DoD reported no new casualties in the last week, for which we are grateful. Ciao!

14 May 2017

First: She’s a good dog, Brent – 42/10.

Lexi

Lexi

Lexi, above, at one of her favorite activities: watching DogTV ™ from an ottoman at my upstairs office window.

*      *      *

Second: Happy Mother’s Day, y’all. You know who you are! My personal celebration in honor of mothers everywhere is listening to a lot of Bangles music tonight. Yay!

*      *      *

Our second streak of Seattle weather in May finally broke today, after several grey days and a couple of inches of rain. We reached the mid-70’s. That meant I could get out and take care of the mowing, and do some weeding out of the front flower beds. I’ve still not cleaned out the main veggie beds in back, for a variety of reasons. I’m leaning hard towards giving the garden a pass this year. We had such a bad year last year…

*      *      *

Penultimately: Today is 10 years with my current employer. Please note that I’m still nowhere near the median tenure for the firm, which is currently hovering around 17 years, IIRC. What a wonderful bunch of folks to work with.

*      *      *

In local entertainment news, The Annapolis Shakespeare Company‘s production of Richard III opens on Friday. It’s the first production in their new 99 seat black box theater. We’re looking forward to the show, and if you’re in the area, you should join us. We love this team of creative folks and are sure you will, too!

*      *      *

DoD announced no new casualties in the last week, for which we’re grateful. Ciao!

8 May 2017

A good week, past. Got lots done at work, including some annual testing that went as well as can be expected from a technical perspective, and finished an hour ahead of schedule, which is wonderful, for weekend work. The balance of the weekend went to chores: from roasting coffee to cutting the hay in the front and back 40’s. Seriously, about halfway through the back yard I stopped and sent a text to Marcia asking her where she was with the baler, because stuff was piling up…

Oh, I also managed a couple of hours back on the coast road to Nova Prospekt, playing the Half Life 2: Update release. Much better visuals, etc – it’s basically Half Life 2, remastered. See this article from GameSpot for more details.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the family and friends of Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine, who was killed during an operation against al-Shabaab on May 5, in a remote area approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu.

30 April 2017

I spent two awesome days attending BSidesCharm this weekend (not an HTTPS link, odd for a security conference, eh?). I was there from morning keynote through final talk both days, and I learned something from every speaker. So, big win. If you’re in (or interested in) InfoSec, and you’re local to the Baltimore/DC area, you really should be going to this conference. The tickets sell out fast, so keep your eye on things for next year.

That said, I got absolutely nothing else done this weekend. As it should be. Catching up should be fun… NOT!

*      *      *

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

  • Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Illinois, died on April 27 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of small arms fire while engaged in dismounted operations.
  •  Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23, of Kettering, Ohio, died on April 27 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of small arms fire while engaged in dismounted operations.
  • 1st Lt. Weston C. Lee, 25, of Bluffton, Georgia, died on April 29, in Mosul, Iraq, from injuries while conducting security as part of advise and assist support to partnered forces.

 

28 Apr 2017

Ubuntu upgrade news:

I upgraded a Kubuntu 16.10 workstation to 17.04 this week. I ran into just one big issue. I’d previously been running the open source nouveau driver for the nVidia card in that system. After the upgrade, I could not keep the desktop running for more than about 5 minutes before the screen would freeze. After a bit of search-engine foo, I found that the recommended solution was to use the nVidia binary driver instead. As sad as that makes RMS, I went back down that rabbit hole. A brief visit via remote connection (unaffected by the frozen GUI):

apt install nvidia-375 nvidia-settings
sync
sync
shutdown -r now

Poof, the problems were solved. I have other issues with fonts now, in the terminal windows, but that’s minor stuff, easily fixed.

*      *      *

In other computer-related news, I’ll be at the BSidesCharm security conference this weekend. See you there?

23 April 2017

Hullo. For my birthday this year, we went to Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s Cabaret 2.0. A fund raiser for the theatre that’s still a-building, we had a lovely evening of song, mostly Broadway musicals in origin. Wonderful. Upcoming: Richard III, Compleat Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), The Miser, and Alice and the Book of Wonderland (an original work). That wraps the current season, and we’re *also* really looking forward to the next year’s shows, too. But we can’t get our tickets for that, just yet. Are you in the DC area? Visiting? You *really* should treat yourself to a show. You’ll love the Company and their work. Seriously.

*      *      *

That was the fun part of the weekend. The rest involved:

  • Fixing a leaking toilet.
  • Replacing the bits of drop ceiling affected by said leak.
  • Patching a raft of production systems.
  • Bathing the dog.
  • Mowing the front yard once.
  • Mowing the backyard for the first time of the year. Twice. It was nearly knee high. Sigh.

*      *      *

DoD announced no new casualties in the last week, for which we are grateful. Ciao!