My Wushu Blog

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Blog Posts

Wiring My Home

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Years ago when I bought my first home in Antioch I ran cat5 all over the house. It was fantastic. It gave me the flexibility to put computers in any room, or have my server inside or out in the garage. Wifi was pretty much only used for the Tivo and laptops. This was 2004 after all. Lets skip forward a few years, to 2011 when I moved and had to deal with a rental for the first time in a looong time. Read More...

harman kardon avr firmware update

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About 7 years ago, I wrote this post and at the very end I said: I’ll hold of on the firmware update, if I dont encounter an issue, I’ll leave it alone. Well I have finally found an issue! How exciting yes? I recently purchased a (used) PS4, for the “soul” purpose of playing Bloodborne. But Mike, isn’t that really weird to get a PS4 for one game? Read More...

ELK Stack

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Needless Explanation I have been a long time Splunk user, and I think it is great. Still, I have had my eyes on other log aggregation and analytic tools for a while. Price is usually the pain point with Splunk, ask anyone, I also run FreeBSD, which was recently dropped as a supported server OS. There is still a universal forwarder for FreeBSD, and I am still pleased with that. Read More...

pdfcrack

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It took over a week of pdfcrack running on my desktop, and it finally found the 6 character password that was set on a PDF Before we changed from Kaiser to Blue Shield, I had Owen’s medical record produced for us. It was not cheap either, and it came with a password set on the PDF. Well, I had saved the PDF to my google drive, but, I apparently did not unset the password. Read More...

fedora and broadcom nics

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I think I have come to terms with the fact that Dell servers ship with exceptionally poor onboard devices. The cheaper broadcom ethernet controller have had a less than stellar track record, across both BSD and Linux systems here. Before I Google it yet again, this is the boot option required to install Fedora 20 onto a Dell server with a broadcom controller: modprobe.blacklist=cnic,bnx2i This will not load a kernel module during install, which crashes the Anaconda installer. Read More...

Flipping to Amazon

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A good friend of mine has been nice enough to host this site for me. When I moved to the beautiful redwoods, it became apparent that with the fluctuating power situation, I would no longer have the same kind of uptime. With the transition, Christopher was also nice enough to let me host my site over https. I am one of those people that sort of believe in encryption everywhere, even though my site does not transmit any user data. Read More...

thermal grease

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Before and After After rebuilding my home server, my primary fear was death by over heating. The first utility I setup was Munin, as well as loading the thermal sensor KLD’s: root@server:~ # kldload coretemp root@server:~ # kldstat Id Refs Address Size Name 1 12 0xffffffff80200000 179ddd8 kernel 2 1 0xffffffff8199e000 4a50 coretemp.ko 3 1 0xffffffff81a11000 1f1698 zfs.ko 4 1 0xffffffff81c03000 3331 opensolaris.ko root@server:~ # dmesg Jan 24 16:35:20 server kernel: coretemp0: <CPU On-Die Thermal Sensors> on cpu0 Jan 24 16:35:20 server kernel: coretemp1: <CPU On-Die Thermal Sensors> on cpu1 Jan 24 16:36:21 server kernel: ichsmb0: <Intel 82801GB (ICH7) SMBus controller> port 0x4000-0x401f irq 19 at device 31. Read More...

ceph ocalypse

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This story began with upgraded Ceph from Hammer to Infernalis, thinking it was the next stable release. The upgrade was a little rough, there were some major changes to ceph, a big portion of it was that is switched file permissions from root to ceph, an unpriviledged account. With some downtime, we ran a recursive chown across all OSD volumes (we spun un a tmux session for each drive, 34 drives in each server) Read More...

new workshop

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When we first moved to our place, there was an existing shed on the property: Old Shed... It was in pretty bad shape: a tree branch had crushed part of the roof, the plywood foundation had rotted away and most of the organic material inside was moldy. I suited up in the nice and humid mid-june weather and took it apart (which is also when I found out how bad the mosquitoes are in the area…), leaving a giant mess of sheet metal, tiny nuts and bolts, and decomposed wood. Read More...

sump pump

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There is something strange about moving to a new area. Everything is different, even the bugs in this area are drastically different that what I grew up with. It can be unsettling even though it is mostly harmless (except termites, they are not harmless). Other areas of difference order on the side of natural catastrophes. In the east bay, Antioch specifically, the weather did not seem to destroy anything. Pipes froze one cold winter, and the hot summers were tolerated because we all had AC Read More...

zfs failed array recovery

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I have had a nice ZFS RAIDZ in operation for the last 7 years now, 4 1TB Drives. The 2.6TB or overall storage I had was very sufficient, and while the drives were starting to show their age and performing less and less, I had no reason to replace them yet. After all, I don’t need MORE storage. Then one evening, my desktop failed to mount a mapped drive. Specifically to the storage path. Read More...

ceph cluster

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One thing I have leared over the past few years: if you do not have a solid data management policy, at some point, there will be disasters. At work, we currently have two different types of storage. One I call “Tier 1”, is a beefy ZFS file server with very fast 900GB SAS drives. While the amount of storage is relatively small (~9TB), it is not meant for long term storage. Read More...

the chernobyl of boulder creek

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todo Okay, so its not exactly a nuclear reactor encased in a sarcophagus in our beautiful neighborhood. It is however, a closed down public school. The Redwood Elementary School of Boulder Creek CA was shut down around 2003⁄2004 when it merged with Boulder Creek Elementary. That is according the the SLV school district notes. It is in very good condition for being effectively boarded up and shut down for over a decade. Read More...

more custom salt grains

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At my day job, we’ve taken some large steps into the modern web application era. We have a great in-house development team, with fantastic leadership and direction. One of the best parts about my role, is that I get to help move obstacles out of our developers way. Simply put: when they are busy, I am busy. After a full year and a half, Don and his team have been very productive. Read More...

using salt grain to help manage passengers

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At my day job, we’ve taken some large steps into the modern web application era. We have a great in-house development team, with fantastic leadership and direction. One of the best parts about my role, is that I get to help move obstacles out of our developers way. Simply put: when they are busy, I am busy. After a full year and a half, Don and his team have been very productive. Read More...

freebsd 10 dot 1 upgrade trouble

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I’ve used freebsd-update(8) since its release, and I can only recall having one issue where I had to take extreme action (rolling back, due to driver issue with an intel 10Gb ethernet card…) Both my co-worker and I faced the same upgrade problem between FreeBSD 10 and 10.1, and it turns out, we were not alone. Here is the scene. Its Friday afternoon, which means the fantastic idea of upgrading a vm used to build our custom FreeBSD packages popped into my head. Read More...

openldap upgrade

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We use LDAP for a few things at $JOB, and I do my best to take care of them and keep them up to date. As I get more surly and burnt by the bleeding edge, I have started to adopt the no-frivolous upgrade policy. With that, one of our LDAP nodes was running a little sluggish. I have our ldap service load-balanced, so it was easy to direct all queries on one while I took some time to investigate why one (a VM no less) was running so slow. Read More...

photos are back

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I’ve re-deployed my old photo galleries: http://m87-blackhole.org/photos/ The reason they went away was mostly because I was using Zenphotos (for YEARS), and all of the overlayed upgrades became unmanageable. It was also a high-risk application to run, and had basic spam mitigation tactics. I also moved away from PHP in general, and started working with static site generators (this blog being octopress). The technical issue with this, is that most of these do not have built in tools to manage photo galleries. Read More...

a collection of little things

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I have a terrible method for collecting all of the little tips and tricks I use at work. The method is this: I’ll mention that I did a cool thing on my work log. Thats it. No standard tips and tricks wiki page, or github gists, nothing. So, here they are FreeBSD PKG Query When we upgrade systems from 9 to 10, part of that step is to ensure all packages have been upgraded. Read More...

happy 4th

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todo I thought I would at least show that I still have a family life beyond Salt and other work duties :) This weekend, I went up to the East Bay (Antioch) to stay with the in-laws and enjoy some super hot weather, some pool time with the kids, and fireworks with Owen. I only took one picture, but Owen and I did a little mini-hike up to the Contra Loma Regional Park to get a better view of the fireworks… and the rest of Antioch burning down. Read More...

unified infratructure management with salt

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Preamble I gave this talk at SaltConf2014, but I felt I still did not convey how killer salt has been at Bay Photo Lab. This post will be sort of the Directors Cut, where I’ll flesh out the slides. I’ve worked in a few different environments, and oddly, each position change at LLNL had an entire evolution of systems management. So, I’ve worked for teams that did everything the manual (ie:hard) way, and then I’ve worked with teams that had many specialists for each discipline of IT. Read More...

skepical conference 2014

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This is now a thing. A thing I do with Caralyne. todo I took Caralyne last year and we had a fun time. It was a little over her head, but since she enjoyed listening to Eugenie Scott so much, I knew there was great potential to bring her back. Plus, and most importantly, it’s a day her and I get to spend time together. We joke around, I ask her questions about what we heard, what does she think about that. Read More...

a new industry blackcap textiles

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My Wife makes some incredible bags. She even made me a canvas backpack which I use daily. Since I have not completely destroyed it, I feel that is a real testament to the build quality. For a little over a year, Michele has fallen in love with creating small purses and large Tote bags. It has been amazing to see her progression, her first items started out as reusable shopping bags. Read More...

managing samba shares with salt

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Since I attended SaltConf, I had all sorts of motivation to help out with the https://github.com/saltstack-formulas, which I did. I’ve found out that my brain, and work environment, does not always lend itself to that. For certain states (or a combination of states) to work, but also be decoupled from each other, I can’t always easily create a one-off git repo that is self contained. We manage a few (5) sizable Samba servers (>20TB). Read More...

saltconf 2014

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todo I went to SaltCont2014 last week, and not only did I have a blast, it was one of the best and well organized conferences I’ve attended. I also was fortunate enough to be a speaker there, and I took the pre-conference training as well. All in all, it was very productive. Not because of my talk, or because of the training. It was the people I met and talked it that was the most important. Read More...

active directory authentication with salt

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I typically manage two different authentication realms: Interal, usually Active Directory External, LDAP (OpenLDAP or now, OpenDJ) So at minimum, I have two completely separate authentication mechanisms for our FreeBSD/Linux system based upon their function Setting this all up in Salt was pretty easy so we’ll start with the pillar basics Pillar Data I have a few pillar values, ad-auth, ext-auth and is-public. AD Authentication Lets take a look at ad-auth: Read More...

tools have made me lazy er

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I’ve finally become a dinosaur, near extinction. There are two problems I face: I’m not a cloudy-cloud person. I love hardware. I can’t keep up with how Linux does things. I’ll work on the first, becaused after we moved a datacenter 10 miles over one night, I really wished everything we had was in EC2. The second… I’m not going to at all. Let me explain. I was building a new KVM environment using oVirt, which so far has been pretty cool. Read More...

postgresql salt state

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This post will not just be about how I’ve decided to manage our PostgreSQL servers, but my journey into Jinja templating. Tuning PostgreSQL is pretty much a neccessity (especially on FreeBSD), because out of the box its tuned for a small server with <1GB of physical memory. The default configuration (postgresl.conf) does not assume it will be a dedicated SQL server, which is fine with me. The convention I came across is to simply use pgtune. Read More...

the magic foundation annual convention

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todo Since our Son (Owen was diagnosed with a congenital pituitary issue (Pan-Hypo-Pip for short), Michele had looked into attending the annual Magic Foundation Conference in Chicago IL. I, for one, would have nothing to do with it and had said “NO” each time it was mentioned. I was scared. Even right up to the conference. I was afraid of extrapolating from the worst case and being sad and depressed the whole time. Read More...

skeptical conference

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I’m a big fan of the Scientific Method, so by transitive properties, so is my daughter, Caralyne :) While listening to my favorite podcast, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, I just so happened to listen to the last minute of announcements (which to be honest, I usually skip (I hit FF right after Jay’s quote) which mentioned SkeptiCal Con. I’ve wanted to attend a conference like this for a while, and I sure as heck didn’t want to go all alone, so I asked Michele (crickets), posted in on Google+ (crickets), and then asked my sweet daughter. Read More...

auditing file access with samba and splunk

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Preamble The other week, we had an issue with our working production data on our ZFS file servers. We have a running service that uses a CIFS share to extract file contents, read in a XML file, and then from that file, build out a directory structure based on a field in that order file. I won’t get into the horrible details, but we eventually discovered that this service does not halt or error an order if that field is missing! Read More...

building packages for freebsd

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I have held out on building packages on FreeBSD for a long time. My experience with portmaster and portupgrade was not perfect, but it was pretty consistent, and I always knew how to recover from any failures. I normally had systems build packages via portmaster during the early am, or through some automated process that I didn’t have to look at. At this point though, pkgng has become a much better tool than the pkg_ tools, and while portmaster and portupgrade support registering packages with pkgng, I felt this was a good time to start building local packages for our infrastructure. Read More...

configuration management with salt stack

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I’ve often made the remark that the open source community is a fickle crowd. There is always a new fork, or a new hot development team that everyone is clamoring to be involved in. I strive for stability, but I’m not going to stick with something for historical reasons. If I find a better tool, I’ll spend a good amount of time working with it before I call it production. Read More...

2tb hitachi drives and zfs

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I’ve built a new file server at work so we can start phasing out the old ultra-scsi arrays we have. Since performance (and price) is valued more than actual space, my initial quote with iXsystems was for 26 1TB Drives ( HUA72201 ) with the assumption being that the lower platter density would provide better performance. I was not super satisfied with the results when I actually setup the ZFS array, and the best performance numbers I got out of it was about 250MB/sec Read More...

playing at the beach

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Michele and Caralyne left for Antioch this last weekend, to help my Father in Law paint, and get their hair “did” for Jessica’s up and coming wedding. That left Owen and I alone, and while I didn’t chop down any tree’s, we did make the best of our time together. I told Owen that we would go to the beach, which is one of his favorite things to do. It can always be a dicey situation with Owen though, he’s very particular about when and what he’ll eat, and the terrible consequences of missing out on a meal. Read More...

a geeks right of passage

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Caralyne built her own computer this weekend! It is hard to contain my excitement for a moment like this, and I’ve been slowly cultivating patiently brainwashing encouraging Caralyne’s computer interests. I also, would like to have my computer back, so this project had many benefits. To share the experience, and to make sure we had enough perspective and patience, I had Steve and Summer (and William) come over for a BBQ as well. Read More...

site migration

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I’m moving this blog to: https://mywushublog.com/ The back-end publishing platform is also changing from WordPress to Octoress I thought I was clever, struggling through the wordpress export all by myself… If I would have just gone a quick Google search, I would have seen the 20 or so new Octopress blogs that converted from WordPress Since I would like to retain my “identity” according to Google, I configured Octopress to use the same Article perma-link format as Wordpress. Read More...

ftp stuff

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After looking at yesterdays transfer logs on the Colo FTP server, I decided to grok the fields in the xferlog and put them to use. The ftp transfer log is in /var/log/xferlog. It it rotated daily, and compressed with bz. I’m using yesterdays log, so I have to look at xferlog.0.bz, and use bzgrep to find all of the “Jan 16” transfers. After today, we can reliably use bzcat. Here is a snippet: Wed Jan 16 23:57:23 2013 19 10. Read More...

dell f1dh

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We bought a stack of Dell servers off of eBay for work. The price was great, I think it was about $3K for 20 1U Dell servers. 8GB RAM, Dual Xeon, and 4 SATA drives in each one. They even have a MegaRAID on board, how perfect is that? I installed FreeBSD 9.1 on two of them, used ZFS, and they are both running nicely. We then decided to stand one up as a Windows 2003 R2 server, because everything was going over so well. Read More...

committed to passenger

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I’ve pretty much transitioned off of Apache and PHP in favor of Nginx and Passenger to run my Rails and Python applications. Except Even this WordPress based blog. I don’t even host it anymore, my good friend Christopher has allowed me to run it on his Colo server. Where I currently live, there are a lot of trees and power outages, so I cannot reliably run a server there. BUT, for the few sites that I really don’t care about uptime, I’ve been working on the following: * HTTPS virtual hosts * Top level hosting (ie. Read More...

quick awk trick

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While managing a Bacula environment, I occasionally found it useful to find savesets that were still on the Storage Node beyond the life of our retention policy. Since Bacula does not actually erase old volumes if the client next contacts the server again, they hang around and it usually requires manual intervention. find . -mtime +30d -print | xargs du | awk '{ sum += $1;count++ }END{print (sum/1024/1024),count}'

running gitorious on freebsd

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Gitorious has some documentation on a local install for Ubuntu, RHEL, and Debian, which turned out to be slightly outdated. Now that they have leveraged the Bundler GEM manager, the installation process is much simpler. FreeBSD is by far my platform of choice when it comes to flexible and complex open source applications, and it was a cinch to reuse the Linux documentation. Aside from having to re-write the init scripts, the entire process was very easy, and I got to try out a few different web servers for the heck of it. Read More...

year one the good the bad and the weird

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Since I/we (the family) have made a fairly drastic change in our lives, I thought I would give the “Year One” run down. In pictures only. todo My first day at work, and the last time I showed up before 8am! todo The room I rented while the family was in antioch was a real gem. The manager of the home ripped the bathroom out after he cashed my first check. Read More...

bacula framework on github

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I’m pretty happy with the Bacula environment I’ve created. It has gone through a few iterations, and I’ve learned a lot since I started using it a few years ago. I think its only appropriate to share the evolution of my environment with as many people as possible, and I hope it can help save new bacula administrators some time. Enough of the preamble, here is my github project page: https://github. Read More...

atlassian tools and nginx

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Atlassian has a wonderful set of tools. I’ve been using Jira with Fisheye for the last few months, but I recently came across Stash. Stash is a nice git repository and project manager than provides easy access to creating new Git repo’s with User and Group access controls. I’m considering phasing out FishEye in favor of Stash. I only wanted FishEye as a source code browser, that integrated issues tracking. Read More...

puppet module to update freebsd passwd has

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LinkedIn’s users database was leaked, and while passwords were not stored in plain text, they were hashed with the MD5 algorithm. Not salted, just hashed. MD5 is no longer as secure as it once was, not with all of these GPU’s lying around. Well, the FreeBSD community has not let this go unnoticed. First off, FreeBSD has defaulted to MD5 for a while, but it has had support for Blow-Fish, and (this is new to me) SHA-256 and SHA-512. Read More...

poor samba performance

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If you have google’d for smb.conf settings to max your 1Gb (or 10Gb) ethernet based network and you still cannot seem to get beyond 30MB/sec, make sure you have this option: socket options = SO_RCVBUF=8192 SO_SNDBUF=8192 Either commented it out, or set the buffer size to 128K (131072). Or larger. I was helping a friend of mine troubleshoot his ZFS + Samba environment. He was running FreeBSD 9.0 and Samba 3. Read More...

zfs and acls with samba

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I’ve been using ZFS on FreeBSD since it was first made available in 7.0, and it was not until FreeBSD 8.2 when NFSv4 ACL’s were implemented. At $oldJob, I had a list of “To do’s”, really cool things like: “Integrate Puppet into CMDB”, “Rewrite the Bacula addClient script”, “Build a MooseFS Cluster”… At the top though, I had: Implement ACL’s on ZFS/Samba fileserver Actually, come to thing of it, I think the top of my list was: Read More...

mailman with nginx on freebsd

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I like Nginx a lot. Not because I’m some sort of hipster sysadmin either. I like it because it is small, fast, and as a FreeBSD port, it compiles and updates quickly. What I also like is the separation of services and processes. For example, if I want to run a PHP script, I don’t load “mod_php” like you would with Apache. Instead, you have a PHP processor, like php-fpm, running (on localhost, or, another server that only processes PHP scripts). Read More...

google ads coming

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todo Owen and Caralyne playing at the beach I always felt very proud that this site was “free” to everyone. I think its great when you can go to a site that isn’t laden with advertisements or pop-ups that try to sell you more things you don’t need. Sort of like how the internet used to be. I regret to say, I’m going to compromise my ideology and give Google Adsense a try. Read More...

not giving up the dream

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Glenn and I have kept up with our Tuesday nights band practice. Every Tuesday with rare exceptions, which is usually some form of vehicular issue on my end. Both Michele and I have had a slew of minor vehicle issues, mostly dead batteries. Our motivation has not been the more difficult part, nor has our muse left us ( The two of us have been able to work out some really fun segments ). Read More...

xen and convirture

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My previous experience with a large virtual “enterprise” environment was with VMWare’s ESXi and vSphere. Performance wise, I was always fairly happy with ESXi knowing that it was a virtual machine of course. There were a few issues I recall: silent data corruption (fsck’ing Linux and FreeBSD volumes would reveal inconsistent filesystem information, but there were never any errors reported to the VM) Live migrations were not always stable. In fact, most of the time it would result in an unexpected shutdown I doubt it was solely VMWares fault, as it could have been a series of mis-configurations and poor implementation descisions. Read More...

skynet began in a kitchen

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Over the past year or so, Caralyne has become increasingly interested in scientastical things like computers, Minecraft, Robots, Mythbusters, and specifically, Mythbusters! I’ve been using our TV for my own nefarious deeds, unbeknownst to Caralyne, as an educational tool in science and skepticism. Between Good Eats, Mythbusters and a few PBS clips of Neil Degrasse Tyson being awesome, something was bound to stick. Also, as a daughter and child of mine, she is constantly seeking my affection and approval… which I am not above exploiting these features she no doubt got from me, so I give her a LOT of positive feedback and attention when we are watching these shows. Read More...

using couchdb with puppet and bacula

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On aspect that I was never happy with the Bacula environment I built while at LLNL was the fact that I could no look up certain values for each client. Values like: * Passwords * Storage Devices * Certificates (if you are using Encryption) Well, over the past few week’s I’ve been able to work around this problem by storing additional information in a CouchDB DB. It is not the ideal solution, but it is a start and I’m okay with that. Read More...

hello bay photo lab

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todo From one Lab to another After 9.5 years with one employer (LLNL), I joined Bay Photo Lab in Santa Cruz. This has brought on many changes, not just a career change but a significant change in my way of life. First off, I’m renting a room until my family gets down here. I have this weird double life now, where during the week I live alone in a small room with no heating, and then I go back home on the weekend. Read More...

coal

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I’m absolutely crushed. I’ve lost a great friend and member of our family, Coal. He escaped our backyard and was hit by car between the A and G street freeway on-ramps. He turned two on 11⁄16. Coal was the dog I dreamed of having; he was the combination of all the Aussies I’ve had growing up. He was the best. That dog never seemed to have a down moment. He was always happy, and always looking for trouble. Read More...

goodbye llnl

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todo Well, after about 9 and a half years with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 11⁄09 was my last day. Now, I wasn’t the only admin besides Jenny (thats the aquilino1@llnl.gov email you see there), but she was my closest friend and peer while I was there. There was a little poetic license there, but it was accurate. It is hard to quantify the emotions about leaving LLNL. Read More...

welcome to antioch

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For a few reasons, I decided to go through the City of Antioch’s Type I crime reports (available here: http://www.ci.antioch.ca.us/citygov/police/crime-maps/crime-maps.htm). The City only publishes this as a PDF image, comparing the year selected, and the previous year. It also only goes back to 2005. To help view this as a possible trend, and not just a snapshot in time, I typed up all of them in Google Docs - City of Antioch Crime Stats Read More...

freebsd training

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At work I ran a 5 part FreeBSD Administration training course for the Unix team. I enjoyed it a lot, because I really like to share information. It is especially rewarding when it is something I have taken a great interest in, like the FreeBSD Operating System. The design of the course was simple, I did my best to fill in the gap that a Solaris or Linux administrator might have. Read More...

bacula in the enterprise part 2

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Software As mentioned many times, this is a FreeBSD based environment. Some good sysinfo output below: Operating system release: FreeBSD 8.2-RELEASE OS architecture: amd64 Kernel build dir location: /usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC Currently booted kernel: /boot/kernel/kernel Currently loaded kernel modules (kldstat(8)): zfs.ko opensolaris.ko Bootloader settings for the Director/Database node: The /boot/loader.conf has the following contents: kern.ipc.semmni=1024 kern.ipc.semmns=2048 kern.ipc.semmnu=1024 All of the storage nodes and the director are running a GENERIC kernel with very few system tweaking. Read More...

bacula in the enterprise part 1

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I’ve been using Bacula, the open source backup software, for over a year now. Things have been going well, and I would like to dedicate a post or two to the environment I built. Background Over a year ago, I took it upon myself to replace a single Legato Networker server with Bacula. One of our collaborators had decided to ship us (for no reason at all really, I think they were cleaning out their data center) a Sun X4200 AMD server, and two StorageTek/Sun NAS servers. Read More...

using duplicity

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A while ago, I posted about how I backup my server with Duplicity to Amazon’s S3 storage. To follow up, here is a little guide I wrote on using Duplicity in the everyday work environment Overview Duplicity is a backup tool that will create compressed and encrypted (uses gnupg) backup archives. It can use a variety of protocols as the target (file, ftp, webdav, imap, ssh/scp, rsync, hsi, s3 and hsi). Read More...

cheap two factor authentication with google

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I can be a glutton for punishment for a nearly trivial amount of gain. So lets bring on the two-factor authentication for my personal FreeBSD server. I’ve been using Google’s 2-step verification since Jenny told me about it, along with my android powered phone. What is nice about Google’s Authenticator app is its availability for multiple smartphone platforms: Android version 1.5 or later BlackBerry OS 4.2 - 4.7 iPhone iOS 4 or later How it works is pretty simple. Read More...

more fun with ffmpeg

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To follow up on two previous posts, the Buckethead concert and making your own YouTube bootlegs, I’m going to add just a little more. As I mentioned, the concert was great. If I were to pick out one part, it would have been this lengthy untitled (as far as I know) freestyle jam he did with a simple looping beat. I cannot think of anything worse than falling in love with a song at a concert, and not knowing the name of it. Read More...

buckethead live gamh

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Outside the GAMH Since I say this after almost every concert I go to, I’ll not forget to repeat it again: This was the BEST show I’ve ever seen. There are many aspects why: smaller venue, and our seats were on the balcony. This gave us a great view of the show, and we were pretty darn close to everything. Oh, and you know, it is one of my favorite artist doing what he does best. Read More...

couchdb and ruby on freebsd

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I’ve been using Puppet at work for the handful of FreeBSD and, recently, Ubuntu desktops. Aside from some very simple system configuration management (I’ve not yet dived too deep into puppet. I mostly use it for configuring system authentication and ensuring a particular computer security baseline), I though it would have been great to store the client’s “facts” into a accessable database. Sometime last year, Puppet added the ability to store facts into a Couch Database: http://www. Read More...

nlit 2011 vail colorado

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Every year, for the last 12 years or so, the National Laboratories have held a technical conference for IT. A different lab hosts it each year, and the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado was nice enough to volunteer. I should point out, this conference is not in any way funded by the Department of Energy. It is sponsored by Vendors. I have never been to NLIT before, but this year I felt I had a significant contribution to make and it was worth the effort of submitting an abstract and putting together a nice presentation. Read More...

zoey

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We lost a great companion on Friday. Our super awesome dog, Zoey, passed away due to a heart complication (cardiomyopathy). She was just over 6 years old ( 05-04-2005 to 06-10-2011). She was diagnosed two weeks ago, and we knew what to expect. It was terribly sad to see her in such poor shape, however, I’m glad I had two weeks to hug her, feed her delicious food, and tell her that I love her. Read More...

wushu west 2011 05 29

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It has been 2 years since I’ve regularly practiced Wushu. The last class I attended was around Christmas 2009 when I took Caralyne, but I had stopped around early June of 2009 when most of the class left for China. Over the past year, my conscious mind has told me it really enjoys just going to work, and then back home, with no interruptions. It has told me that I’m not young enough, or good enough to continue with martial arts, and I might as well accept that and embrace my more passive hobbies. Read More...

good news everyone

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todo I’m excited. The best part will be going into work on the Friday saying “WHAT?!”

test drive the cloud drive

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todo Amazon recently announced their Cloud Drive, and I feel it is interesting for the following reasons: The ability to play the same music from my phone, my computer at work, my computer at home is pretty cool Everyone gets 5GB of space for free, and you can pay for more When you purchase (DRM free) mp3’s from Amazon, it does not count against your Cloud Drive storage The player is web based, and the tools to download purchased music are usable on Windows, OS X and Linux So, I uploaded some music, bought two songs from the comfort of my phone to play around with it. Read More...

chabot space and science center

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A chilly and misty space center We did a night hike, and spent the night at the Chabot Space Center in Oakland the other week. The weather did not permit us to use the large telescopes they have there, but we did get to see the perigee-syzygy of the Moon. It was quite large and nice looking, but too bad the camera does not duplicate the same optical illusion our brains produce by making it look REALLY big: A nice full moon The hike was fun, even when our guide quietly announced “I think we miss our turn…” Read More...

music for you dad

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Hey Dad, lets chat. We’ve spent a good amount of time traveling in either a car or a big rig, listening to music. I remember waking up at 4am during my summer vacation so I could accompany you to help deliver lots and lots of boxes to U-Hauls around California. Or, our trips to Santa Cruz/Mission Springs, (despite the fact that you maliciously left the AC off for the entire trip just so we would really appreciate that cool Mision Springs air :) ), it was always a lot of fun and I really expanded my musical palette. Read More...

christmas in feb

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I guess I missed writing about last years Christmas in February. I’ll have to try and make up for it right now. First off though, we didn’t charge the battery for our nice camera. We were not prepared at all this year. So, the nice family portrait was not taken by us this year, and I don’t have a copy. Here is the other part of my lack of preparedness… I sort of forgot to tell Michele that this was the weekend we were going to my Dads. Read More...

amnesia the dark descent

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Amnesia is a great horror game, and one of the most immersive games I have played. It has a dark HP Lovecraft inspired story that you, the protagonist Daniel discovery throughout the game through flashbacks and diary notes. The game starts off with you, Daniel, waking up in a Prussian castle with a note along the lines of, “Hello me, I took something to make me forget the terrible things that have happened. Read More...

san jose childrens museum

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We took a trip to the Children’s Museum in San Jose. It was sort of like the on in Portland, but not as nice. It would have been a lot nicer if you could get in the vehicles and do something with all the knobs and buttons. They also had a horse drawn buggy, with a big sign that said “Please do not climb”. Seems a bit off, like a “keep off the grass” sign at a playground. Read More...

the graveyard book

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It feels odd to read a children’s book, but it was very engrossing and a fun light read. I blew right through it though, partially because I didn’t want to put it down, and also because even for a 300 page book, the font and text padding was larger than normal. Oh sure, I felt like a literary machine, reading 100+ pages in one sitting. Combine that with a nice cute story where there are no hard moral choices, a clearly evil bad guy, and no big words… reading hasn’t been easier since I read an X-Men comic! Read More...

line queue

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No cool Christmas pictures or stories, I did see this clip on YouTube and though “Wow, how interesting”. For two reasons, first off, it is cool to see how a line algorithm works. Secondly, it is just as fascinating to hear a reasonable hypothesis as to why we don’t use that. Because our brains are really bad at making good decisions. {% youtube F5Ri_HhziI0 %} Otherwise, there are two (and a half) days left in the year, and that means I rushed out to the internet to make a small donation to The FreeBSD Project. Read More...

roger waters the wall tour

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As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m a big Pink Floyd fan. The Wall was the first DVD I bought, and pretty much the reason WHY I got a DVD player in the first place :) I’ve always been sore that the band broke up before I ever had a chance. Seeing this live though, that really made me feel like I really got to see what it might have been like. Read More...

power steering

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My truck has been leaking power steering fluid for a while. An irresponsibly long while… A few months back I told my Step Dad (“Big Mike”) about it, so he briefly took a look then recommended that I go ahead and pick up the pressurized hose, and the return line. Fast forward 6 months, and I finally got them ordered. It took 2 days to get them in. Why it took me so long to do that, I still cannot figure out. Read More...

my own fundraiser

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It was inevitable. Once I started playing the guitar again, it really was only a matter of time until I would want another one. Are we not all surprised it took me this long? I’m a geek, I love the hardware as much as the actual sound it makes. I honestly almost feel guilty, I’m not a real musician with gigs and a fan-base. Sometimes I just look at my Fender, knowing it is awesome enough to have lived the life of a true instrument. Read More...

my wtf moment with marc maron

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I’ve been a big fan of Marc Maron for a while, since I heard his “Not Sold Out” album, and I’ve been a happy WTFPod listener as well. Okay, I won’t down play this.. Marc Maron is possibly my favorite comedian. Imagine that, I identify with a insecure, needy, narcissistic, neurotic, head-case who has cats. I’m one step away from apologizing out of anger just for admitting that. The last two times he’s had a show in SF, I found out too late and was not able to make it. Read More...

meetbsd 2010

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I love the BSD community. How cool is it to have developers and end users from the various BSD projects in one location, there to talk about the various cool projects and technical challenges that face us now. Cool I tell you! Chris, Corrigan and I went to Google in 2008 for MeetBSD. We had a great time, so when I saw the announcement earlier this year for MeetBSD 2010, I rallied the troops. Read More...

the redeem team rose peak

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If you want to refresh your memory of why Rose Peak is my Moby-Dick, you can (re-)read last years post. In short, I didn’t make it to the top. I’ll hold you in suspense no longer, I made it to the top, and back down, without any physical issues like cramping. The hike was in fact, very pleasent, and it rained on us but it was nice. Last year’s experience was a really good learning experience, and it made me a lot more aware of the warning signs of fatigue. Read More...

third wish

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A man awakes to find himself lying by the side of a desolate country road. As he regains his bearings, he discovers that he has no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. As he stumbles about unsure of himself, a genie appears beside him and says “What is your third wish, master?” Confused, the man asks “Who are you and why can’t I remember anything? Read More...

silian rail buke and gass efterklang

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todo Radio Lab had an episode on Buke and Gass dubbed ‘The Loudest Miniature Fuzz’. I was so intrigued by that episode, and the music, that I did some googling. What I found was their tour schedule, so I asked Michele if she would be up for seeing a little indie duo (on a Monday night no less). I think this was the first time I went to a small venue to see a band. Read More...

the iranian dream

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I just got an email from one of my Wushu West buddies, Shahaub, and I wanted to plug his short film. Check it out, in HD, on the YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs2mJ3WnqQs The blurb is this: A Mockumentary about a traditional Iranian man who makes a living for his family in a very non-traditional profession. This short is a commentary on the stereotypes, homophobia and taboo nature of artistic expression in both the West and Middle Eastern cultures. Read More...

pinecrest

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We went camping with Michele’s family this weekend: View Larger Map We forgot our nice camera, so all the photos were taken with either Droid, or Michele’s Droid. Mostly mine, because I had a full charge that pretty much lasted all 4 days (I charged it in the car for 30 minutes one day). Pretty nice for a smart phone, especially since I was using to take photos , movies play music off of it, I’m in love with the latest Buckethead album I recently purchased. Read More...

old photos 1996

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I was at my parents this weekend, and my Step Dad found it hilarious to look through a large box of old photos. We had a few good laughs and he gave me a few of the to keep for myself. todo My Aussie Buddy wearing the underwear he chewed up todo The humiliation continues… todo Me and Buddy hanging out on the front lawn. Read More...

one brand new another squeaky clean

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I’ve had a good run with my Zune MP3 player, excellent in fact, and I would highly recommend that player to anyone who was looking for an iTunes alternative. Truthfully, I’d recommend one no matter what, but it is impossible to beat the ubiquitous nature of iTunes and the iPod, like it or not. I’ve had mine for over 2 years, and I only one had a problem where it locked up. Read More...

inception

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todo Possibly the best action sci-fi I’ve ever seen. It is not as confusing as say Primer, not as mind-numbingly STUPID as Avatar but filled with great action. I’ve seen a few headlines about the movies plot; how it might be ‘too smart’ for the average movie go-er. I think that is insulting to the average person, and I hope that movies like this will retrain the “industry” to continue to make “smart” movies instead of anticipating that the average person is a drooling slack-jawed yokel who is missing a tooth. Read More...

muay thai sparring

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Friday was the first class where I really sparred. It was the first class where I was punched and kicked, repeatedly, in the head. It was about what I expected. It didn’t hurt, and I had a fun time doing it, though there are some lasting effects. I did feel a little out of it for a while, and that was a combination of many things. First off, I got hit pretty hard a few times, and Juan (one of the coaches) gladly landed a well placed kick to my head. Read More...

okay dad you win

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I did sort of thrown down the gauntlet with one of my previous posts. Dad, I no longer doubt that you truly are my biggest fan :) Livermore is probably a tie between myself and Jenny, but mostly me because I might check out a post from work… daily…

shutter island

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todo Michele and I saw this in the theaters when it came out, and I just re-watched it the other night. Both times, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think it would hold up to a second viewing, so I’m not even sure why I tried that hypthesis out, boredom I guess. The first, and probably the best, thing this movie has going for it is atmosphere. Read More...

4th of july in monterey

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Michele and I purposefully did not make any July 4th plans, because we both silently and secretly waited for Steve and Summer to invite us down. We’d mumble back and forth “So, no fireworks in Antioch this year…”, “Yeah, maybe Steve and Summer will invite us down…”. As it got closer to July, there was a possibility that the two of them had other arrangements, and we might have to fend for ourselves! Read More...

timecrimes

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todo Time… for a Crime! While I feel the films title is really shallow and hokey, the movie itself really stands on its own. Oh, and this is your subtitle warning: it has them! I felt like I was watching a classic Twilight Zone episode, where an ordinary middle aged man finds himself in a strange and perplexing situation and clumsily adapts to all of it. Clumsy at first, towards the end, or maybe I should say the begining? Read More...

my audience

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I like the check out Google analytics to see how this website is “useful” to the internet. Let me tell you, the internet is not at all interested in how your wonderful author, Mike Carlson, is doing. The internet is interested in how FreeBSD is doing: todo I guess no one Google’s for Mike Carlson… kicks dirt What is even more interesting is that most of my visits come from other countries: Check that out, folks in Barcelona and Moscow check out this site more than my Dad does in Lodi ( come on Dad, I thought you were a fan? Read More...

freebsd and multipath

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I didn’t find any blog posts of discussions on FreeBSD and multipath (for storage) that wasn’t a man page. That means it is up to me to write about it :) Hardware CPU Machine class: amd64 CPU Model: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5530 @ 2.40GHz No. of Cores: 16 Memory Total real memory available: 65511 MB Logically used memory: 3945 MB Logically available memory: 61565 MB Storage The storage is a large ~90TB Enterprise class Fibre Channel array, a Data Direct Networks S2A9900. Read More...

stuff and things

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I don’t have a central theme with this post, but I wanted to at least do something (it has been a while). Packet Filter Based on Chris’s “Falling in love with pf(4)” google status, I decided to take the plunge and move off of ipfw(4) to pf(4). I’m not at the point where I could write my one filter, however, I do feel I at least understand what is happening here. Read More...

the poisoners handbook

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todo I was disappointed to find out this wasn’t a Oreilly “Howto” book… What a great book! There are so many interesting aspects and topics covered here, and not just the big obvious one the title hints at. I heard Deborah Blum talk about her new book on the Scientific America Podcast, which was great and lively, so I put this book on the top of my “Book List” that I keep handy. Read More...

valhalla rising

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[caption id=“attachment_958” align=“aligncenter” width=“400” caption=“Valhalla Rising”][/caption] I haven’t felt the urge to post about movies recently. A lot of that comes from the lack of good movies, ones that might get me excited enough to spend a few minutes and collect my thoughts so this blog doesn’t turn into illegible techie gibberish. Here is one that I sort of liked though. Here is the thing, when commit an entry on this blog about a movie, there are two things that I think about: Read More...

creating an audio bootleg from youtube

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Tools required: The internet A quality *nix OS (FreeBSD in this case) youtube-dl, available in FreeBSD under ports/www/youtube_dl/ ffmpeg, available in FreeBSD under ports/multimedia/ffmpeg/ First thing is first, find a really cool youtube clip. If you dont know of one already, use a Buckethead Song (Volume warning, this clip was mixed “hot”, so turn your speakers down): Watch the drummer (Bryan Mantia) go crazy in the background, pretty intense. Read More...

mt diablo the quick way

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Caralyne spent the night at a friends house Saturday, so after we dropped her off the three of us drove to the peak of Mount Diablo and hung out for a bit. I got a little queasy on the drive up, and I think Owen did too. Hiking up to the peak was easier in that respect at least : todo Whew, made it to the 1K mark… Read More...

gibson sg work

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Last month when I helped my Friend Glenn,who now works at An Olde Town Tattoo Parlour in Monterey, move he was cool enough to lighten his load by giving me a very cool cream and black Gibson SG. The original heavy metal guitar made popular by Toni Iommi and Angus Young. The guitar’s neck was broken at the body, and thankfully someone who knew what they were doing successfully glued it back on. Read More...

lagg freebsd

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I recently configured a NFS/Samba server with FreeBSD’s Link Aggregation protocol. Here is how I set it up. FreeBSD Configuration /boot/loader.conf I recommend adding the if_lagg_load=YES and kern.hz=“2000” to /boot/loader.conf. The OS will automatically load the lagg kernel module when your network configuration loads, I prefer to explicitly set it to load. ispfw_load="YES" kern.hz="2000" aio_load="YES" hw.igb.rxd=4096 hw.igb.txd=4096 if_lagg_load="YES" Since I am using the igb ethernet device (Intel 82575 and 82576 chipsets), I also set the max number of send and receive descriptors from the default from 256 to the maximum 4096. Read More...

owens chores and lasagna

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One of the unspoken rewards of being a parent is forcing your children to work for you. It is a delicious treat to my eyes, especially when it is a chore that I’ve handled since I was in the 3rd grade: Mush! todo The best part is, Owen still thinks the lawn mower is cool, and exciting. Even the edging tool is fun: Owen helping Michele todo Enough fun mister, back to work! Read More...

misadventures of cole chapter 1

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Pretend you are a dog, specifically my dog (oh if only you could be so lucky!) Coal. You’ve got that cute little muzzle with a cute button nose; but since you are such a smart little aussie, your brain-pan is bigger than your mouth. This gives your head a particular triangular shape, the kind of shape that will let you easily shove you head into a tight spot. Well, you better hope you can squeeze your whole body through, because if not, there is no way your head is backing out at this point. Read More...

buckethead

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One of my Christmas gifts was a magazine subscription to Guitar Player. The biggest enjoyment I get out of a magazine like this, is I get to read about bands and musicians I normally wouldn’t hear about. I live in a musical vacuum, which is odd since I seem to like it so much. I don’t listen to the radio, watch MTV, and for some reason I don’t like computer software telling me what I might like (like iTunes, Pandora, Google, etc…). Read More...

muay thai

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I signed up for Muay Thai at Crosley Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Brentwood. I’ve been eyeing the place for a while now, it seemed to be one of the few well established school in the Antioch/Brentwood area. I was looking specifically for some type of boxing program, and they have both western boxing and kick-boxing. It also helps that the price is right, I pay about 90 a month for two classes. Read More...

the exploratorium

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todo We decided to get out of the house Saturday, and be a little spontaneous, to go out and just do something. After weighing some options and realizing out time constraint (it was already 11am) we chose The Exploratorium at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Well, I chose it, and Caralyne quickly called me out and said “Why do you ALWAYS get to pick? Read More...

8 new spark plugs

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Lately, my truck has been stalling when I make a stop. It happens more frequently in the mornings, and while I’m on an upward incline, though it doesn’t seem to matter if I let my truck warm up or take off cold. My Brother-in-Law, Charles, recommended that I replace the spark plugs and check the air filter. His simple statement of “Sure, you could do it…” was enough for me to decide I was going to do all 8 (and he did remind me there were 8, thanks for the vote of confidence Chuck :) ). Read More...

coal and zoey playing

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Michele recorded these two playing, and then the aftermath of it all.

recent music purchases

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Not an instrument, but albums. I enjoy listening to music a lot, it makes my commute better, it makes jogging a lot of fun, and sometimes I don’t mind running errands because it gives me a good reason to listen to a new album. So, here are a few albums that I’ve recently picked up and really enjoyed. [caption id=“attachment_698” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Roger Waters - Amused to Death”][/caption] Fist off, check out that cover, that looks like a movie poster of something I’d watch. Read More...

new aussie

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We have been talking about getting a new dog, off and on, for a year or so. There was very little doubt that it would have been anything other than an Australian Shepherd, since I’ve been pretty vocal about that. That, and I try to abduct everyone else aussie. So, now I have my own, and he’s pretty freakin’ awesome. Let’s talk about names. I’ve had a rough time picking one, nothing has really lived up to how awesome this dog is. Read More...

freebsd 8 0 a great nas server

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I need to share this. When I google for “Samba performance”, I never see real numbers, real configuration files, or real hardware environments. All I read are anecdotal recollections, and that is not good enough. I like numbers, and I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves: > netstat -I em0 -w 1 input (em0) output packets errs bytes packets errs bytes colls 90166 0 98762637 95363 0 5332847 0 18131 0 24713156 20042 0 1123684 0 4 0 310 1 0 178 0 8 0 518 1 0 178 0 10153 0 10952920 10696 0 598129 0 92990 0 102837002 98476 0 5514994 0 92025 0 102680574 97277 0 5439496 0 92080 0 101799874 97403 0 5448637 0 75348 0 90861608 80972 0 4537737 0 90895 0 100323946 95781 0 5360948 0 89313 0 97371154 94364 0 5278618 0 81363 0 89229738 85861 0 4803589 0 2 0 126 3 0 286 0 I was so shocked that I had to use gstat and zpool iostat to verify the information: Read More...

wushu west 2009 12 20

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Patti called me on Friday, and invited me to come Sunday for a workout and food. This has always been a nice little tradition at Wushu West, Patti likes to do this around the holidays. I was pretty excited, I haven’t been to wushu since June/July, when they all went to China for the summer. I have sort of enjoyed my free Tuesday and Thursday nights, and so has Caralyne. Read More...

kringle

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Tools 2 cookie sheets 1 large mixing bowl 1 medium mixing bowl parchment paper The Ingredients The Dry Stuff 4 cups of AP flour 1 cup of Vegetable Shortening (original recipe called for lard, Michele winced at the mention of that though :) ) 3 tablespoons of sugar 1 teaspoon of kosher salt The Wet Stuff 1 package of dry yeast Read More...

noooo gasp ooooo

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NOOOOOO todo OOOOOOOO todo OOOOOOOOO todo OOOOO!!!!! todo !!! I came home with Owen last night, it was dark in the house. I was going to Owen’s room to get him ready for bed, and I went to the corner of the room to turn the light on. What I forgot, and didn’t see, was my guitar that I left of the floor. Read More...

why you should use disk labels

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I recently had a little problem with a new FreeBSD install, and it is one of those times were I sort of appreciate how FreeBSD assigns device handles, yet at the same time hate it :) The setup is this: The OS was installed on a mirrored hardware raid device (using the mpt(4) driver), and then I had a large RAID6 array attached via a FC controller (using the isp(4) driver). Read More...

the tree

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A few weeks ago, I was snapping some pictures of Owen in the back yard todo Owen outside And I brought the camera focus on my long time yard nemesis: todo Ugly Palm Tree cluster No one was home (beside Owen), which means I didn’t have any adult supervision, and I wanted to see how difficult it would be to cut the tree down. Read More...

64bit nvidia driver for freebsd

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I’ve always had a vested interest in the entire nvidia display driver for FreeBSD project, and I’ve pretty attached to the project. So much, that back in 2001 I started a little petition, got enough attention (and more importantly, a large list of people who signed my petition), and ever since 2002 FreeBSD users have been able to use high quality nvidia drivers. It wasn’t all me, whoever ran nvidia.netexplorer.org asked me to combine efforts, and I gave them my list, and they continued to market it and work with some folks at nvidia. Read More...

freebsd 8 0 is available

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So, it looks like FreeBSD 8.0 has been pre-released; the official date is going to be 11⁄25, as noted in src/UPDATING: Updating Information for FreeBSD current users This file is maintained and copyrighted by M. Warner Losh . See end of file for further details. For commonly done items, please see the COMMON ITEMS: section later in the file. Items affecting the ports and packages system can be found in /usr/ports/UPDATING. Read More...

gone fishin

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[caption id=“attachment_583” align=“aligncenter” width=“150” caption=“Rudy does not approve of our aquatic activities”][/caption] My parents had my nephews this weekend, so my Step Dad called me around 10 this morning to ask if Caralyne and I wanted to go fishing with him and the boys. Caralyne seemed really excited about the idea of going on a boat and fishing, so we got ready and met them at their house. [caption id=“attachment_584” align=“aligncenter” width=“300” caption=“Getting suited up, safety first…”][/caption] Read More...

the coffee experiment

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Step 1: The Question Background: I was watching a new episode of Good Eats (Season 13, Episode 7) and Alton Brown was going over a good coffee recipe he called “Man Coffee”. It had a decent ratio of grounds to water, a coarse grind, and he employed the use of a French Press. Then, to my surprise, he added a bit of Kosher Salt. So, being the unapologetic AB fan that I am, I decided to see how the addition of salt would taste. Read More...

windows 7

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I’ve been a “PC” user since I was in grade school. Well, technically, the first computer I owned was a hand-me-down Atari ST that had a broken printer and a flight simulator. That almost makes me a “Mac” user since it was based on the same hardware (Motorola 68K cpu). All of my (3) friends had computers, all PC’s running DOS, and their primary motivation was to play all of the cool adventure games from Sierra Entertainment. Read More...

random pictures

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I saw one of my Wushu Buddies picture on facebook (James). The picture is him as an angst filled teenager, with a closely shaved head and a goatee, playing an electric guitar. I sported a similar look, and I play as well, so that prompted me to dig through some old photos. I only have one picture of me during that time (I never owned a camera until 2000): [caption id=“attachment_543” align=“aligncenter” width=“573” caption=“Glenn, John and Me”][/caption] Read More...

sauna

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I like to watch horror movies from other countries, and not just Asia (the entire J-Horror category is getting absurd). They tend to have different dogma’s in them, or cultural references that I’ve never heard of. This is a Swedish movie (Yay subtitles!!), and it takes place after The Great Norther War (1780?). Sweden and Russia are drawing new territory lines post-war, and a group from each respective country has to survey the land and get any town or village on the border to sign an agreement about the new lines. Read More...

i sell the dead

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It’s October, and that means I naturally start to gravitate towards horror movies. Ahh, it feels so good :) The smell of a smoldering chimney is in the air, or someone is burning evidence… I Sell The Dead is about two grave robbers, one of the two is eventually arrested and tried for murder. He tells his story to a priest, hours before his planned execution. Oh, its not as serious as it sounds, its pretty funny. Read More...

x men origins wolverine

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I was conflicted about posting a little blurb about this movie. I wanted to actually post some other movies, good ones, and I felt it was only fair to also post a little something about this one. If I don’t like a movie, I usually just don’t bother with a post. I think this is the first movie in which I was so disappointed with, I had to at least get that out there before I posted anything else. Read More...

puppetcamp09

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This was a very cool conference. I picked up a lot of useful information on both the open source tool, Puppet, and some ideas on infrastructure. What also made this conference unique, is how honest the Puppet team and community were about the projects strength and weaknesses. Those that have deployed Puppet on a larger scale (MessageOne and Google) seemed to go through the same iterations in attempting to scale out their Puppetmaster’s. Read More...

rose peak hike or how i was destroyed

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The trail from Del Valle park to Rose Peak, the one we took, is about 21 miles round trip. 10 mikes up, 10 back, easy peasy right? I went with Jenny (and Velimir) and the hiking group she goes with, the Society of Outdoor Cardinals, lead by “V”. I went with Jenny and “V” in January on a 14 mile hike up Mount Diablo. That trip was a good deal of fun, and I didn’t die so I naturally assumed that a 21 mile hike would be difficult, but not impossible… Read More...

a nice clean garage

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WTF?! Spring has passed, however, our garage didn’t get its fair share of attention. We used it as a staging area for some of the shed materials, and after I had returned the left-overs, we had the beginnings of a clean garage once again. There are no before pictures, that would be too horrendous; here is what it looks like now, and hopefully will remain that way. Read More...

pc bsd 7 1 1

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PC-BSD KDE Desktop PC-BSD is a nice mesh between FreeBSD and a ready to use Desktop (which uses about 6GB of disk space). It is based on FreeBSD 7.2, so it has all the cool features of the latest release. Best of all, without ANY additional configuration, I was able to: Use the official FreeBSD nVidia driver for hardware acceleration Watch clips on YouTube (with flashplayer) Play back all sorts of media types like mp3’s, divx, mpegs,wmv,qt… Read More...

watchmen

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This movie was LONG. 3 hours, and most of the time it’s pacing was perfect. Except when it wasn’t. I had decided to start this movie at 11pm, so I finished it around 2am and I was pretty sleepy. This movie has a lot going on, and I probably would have felt very lost if I had not read the graphic novel (okay, okay, “comic book”). Now, I read that almost 3 years ago (I flipped between that and a Reg Exp book during a very boring LANDesk training class), and from what I remember, the movie is nearly identical to the comic. Read More...

david gilmour a night to remember

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Let’s get this out of the way: My favorite band is Pink Floyd, and Sir David Gilmour’s guitar work still gives me goose-bumps. There will be little criticism of this concert, in fact, there will be only high praise. With once exception, there was a TERRIBLE audio delay on the concert disc. That really annoyed me, mostly since I pay very close attention to how he plays the guitar. The show itself was good, it wasn’t the typical Pink Floyd production (no large circular projections screen, crazy laser lights and flying pigs), it was very basic. Read More...

the shed

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This title sounds like a horror movie title. We ordered a large 8x12 shed, and oh goody, it arrived on possibly the hottest weekend this month. When Michele went to get lunch, she reported that her car said it was 105, but then cooled off to 101. I really don’t think I have ever worked that long, and that hard in heat like this. I had my Step Dad (Jim… I mean, Mike) today, and my Father in Law (Curt) yesterday and today. Read More...

zfs updated in freebsd 7 2

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FreeBSD 7.x has been using version 6 of ZFS, and originally only 8.0 was going to have the newly updated ZFS version: 13. Last week the core team MFC’d (Merge From Current) the ZFS updates to 7.2, so I cvsup’d and re-build my server’s kernel and world ( with a simple “make buildworld && make buildkernel && make installworld && make installkernel ), rebooted, and now I have the latest ZFS version running: Read More...

the half life of timofey berezin pu 239

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This movie was released here in the US, though HBO, as Pu-239. It is based on a short story with the above title. Poor Timofey, he works as an engineer in some type of reactor. There was an accident, and he was exposed to 1000 REMs in a few minutes. They read this from his Dosimeter which I though was cool. This isn’t about his half-life, but the very painful last two days of his life while he tries to obtain enough money for his family to live on. Read More...

while my guitar gently weeps

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Over the past year I’ve had a slight resurgence in playing the guitar. Owen likes music, especially the guitar, and I’ve threatened a few times to dust off the electric guitar and really make some noise. After listening to a substantial amount of Pink Floyd, I got the urge (after 10 years of not playing) to pull everything down and get it all set up. I then hit a very unfortunate snag with my old Jackson JS20, the nut had chipped. Read More...

alaskan vacation part 2 the cruise day 89 tracy arm fjord

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I felt cheated today, I had to rush out of the room at 8am to see the iceberg that we were scheduled to see at 11am. I have had to wake up at 7 or so everyday, and the night before I was adamant (with myself anyway, I didn’t express this to anyone else) that I was going to sleep in, this is after all a vacation. Captain Rick had a different plan, and announced on the PA system at 8 that we were about to depart from the iceberg and head to Victora, BC, after another two days at sea. Read More...

alaskan vacation part 2 the cruise day 67 juneau and skagway

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Both Juneau and Skagway are tourist towns. the main streets are lined with cheap jewelry stores and gift shops hocking Ammolite stones and the Ulu cutting tool. This “knife” must be incredibly cheap to manufacture, or the cruise ship got a great deal on a bulk purchase. The did a demo of using it, and while the chief hypes it up with how easy it is to chop an onion, the way he holds the blade, by one of the sharp tips itself, seems pretty dangerous. Read More...

alaskan vacation part 2 the cruise day 45 at sea

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Our ship is named “Rhapsody of the Seas”, and I can’t stop re-wording it as Rapture of the Seas, which would be more appropriate for these two days at sea. Most people we came with got sea sick, Michele got sick from the food. I didn’t get sea sick, that part of swaying back and forth doesn’t bother me, I did jog on a treadmill during some pretty choppy waters and that was interesting :) I was also listening to a funny podcast, so I was jogging, balancing, and laughing all at once. Read More...

alaskan vacation part 1 the drive day 3 seattle

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The previous night I was lucky enough to get out for a jog :) and Portland is pretty nice, that is until I hit a truck stop type of road (which is odd, I guess I just naturally find myself in this places). I made a full circle back to the hotel at that point anyway, so the jog was shorter than I had wanted (and I ended up adding 30 minutes to the total on a treadmill that night), but it was nice to get out and see some of Portland and not get completely lost. Read More...

alaskan vacation part 1 the drive day 2 portland oregon

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The drive to Portland was really nice. The best part about drive NORTH on I5 from California, is that it gets prettier the farther you go. Oregon is a beautiful state, I’m really going to dislike the drive back home (view wise that is, otherwise, I’ll be ready :) ). We had timed it really well, we left right before Owen was ready for a nap. He slept most of the way, and then we kept him busy with a bottle and toys. Read More...

alaskan vacation part one day one eugene oregon

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We are driving up to Seattle to catch our cruise ship. Our “Vay-Kay”, as my sister Jessica was trying to get Caralyne to say. We’ll be on a 7 day cruise up the coast of Alaska, and the first part of that is driving from Antioch to Seattle. It should be really nice. I’m also going with 12 or so of my In Laws. This, like any good HP Lovecraft journal, will document my path to insanity. Read More...

wushu west 2009 05 14

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Wow, what an awesome class! It was nice and warm tonight, so it was really easy to get warmed up and stretch well. That was a bonus though, there were a few really killer parts to tonights class: We had some nice and quick basics Jumps! which I have not done in a while James taught me part of the Baji set he learned I had to change my shirt twice, and that means I got a good workout :) Read More...

yosemite trip

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Hmm, what does this remind me of? todo Ah ha, thats it! todo I grew up on Sierra adventure games, this was the highlight of my trip :) A few weeks ago the four of us went with my In-Laws and Butch, a friend of the family’s, to a place outside of Yosemite. It was a RV kind of campground, and they even had cabins you could rent out. Read More...

dirty rotten scoundrels

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Freddy, what I am saying is: know your limitations. You are a moron. todo I had never seen this movie, I mean, I think I saw the ending of it a long time ago when it first came out on VHS, but I didn’t know what it was about. Over the past few years, Jenny has asked me maybe a half dozen times if I had ever seen it, and after the last few times she finally brought it in for me to watch :) Read More...

using amazon s3 for backups

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I don’t have a backup system for home (which is where this site, and others are located), and I have generally relied on duplicating enough of my important stuff between friends and other computers. That, and I have a RAID5 setup for my large storage, and then home directories and website stuff is on a RAID1 ZFS volume. This doesn’t prevent accidental “oh-no”s, but it does protect me from some hardware failures. Read More...

samba 3028a vs 333 on freebsd 71

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!!! UPDATE on 12/29/2009!!! Since this blog post seems to get a good amount or hits from google, if you are reading this, please see my updated post: http://www.mywushublog.com/2009/12/freebsd-8-0-a-great-nas-server/ which has some additional information about FreeBSD 8.0 EOF Lately at work, I’ve been involved with a very large file system that is being export from Solaris 10/ZFS to windows and OS X users via Samba. Even with a very large Sun server (T5220) a lot of users are complaining about the slow performance of the system. Read More...

wushu west 2009 04 14

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Tonight was Mark’s last class before he leaves for Idaho for a month. Last week, he joked that he wanted everyone to still be recovering when he gets back in June… He tried his best to make that happen, and I think Patti bailed us out in the end :) We got some time to warm up for a few minutes, I think he wanted us ready by 7:20, so we jogged around for a bit and did some light stretching. Read More...

easter

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Sunday we celebrated Easter, as well as Owens 1st birthday (its really April 22nd, but we took advantage of having most of the family in one place), at my parents place in Knightsen. Here is a link to the gallery on my other site, m87-blackhole.org: http://m87-blackhole.org/photos/2009-04-12-easter/ I also took some pictures of my parents house in the making. It is starting to shape up nicely, my step dad is a pretty talented carpenter. Read More...

cmat 17

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Saturday was the 17th annual Cal Martial Arts Tournament, at Cal Berkeley. For the 4rd year in a row I went, and as the last three years I was solely a spectator. I took some footage, and snapped a few pictures, but I wasn’t into staying from 8am till 11pm running around to each ring trying to film everyone. My experience with that last year solidified the idea that no matter what, someone (usually more than one too) will be unhappy with what you’ve worked hard to do, and I wasn’t interested in repeating that thankless job. Read More...

ip man movie day with wushu geeks

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It’s long overdue, but Mark, Shahaub and I finally got together for a movie. All three of us are movie geeks. Mark was part of the industry with Jet Li and Rotten Tomatoes, Shahaub is in film school right now (and posted a few demo reels, like this one, on vimeo.com), and I like to watch them and then write about what I watch. Our conversations immediately started off with George Lucas movies, Arrested Development, and then oddly to my fear of Bees and Black Widows. Read More...

back filling some older blog entries

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I’ve gone from using Movable Type -> Roller Weblog -> Wordpress over the past 3 years. I’ve missed converting a few entries so today I went through my old MT blog (which is buried on m87-blackhole.org that I even forgot about it). So below are links to my china trip in 2006, which I still reminisce about. China Trip - Arrival and Settling In China Trip - Day one and two Read More...

harman kardon avr 254

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todo HK AVR 254 It is no secret that I love watching movies in the comfort of my own living room. I get to eat what I want, drink and not have to worry about driving, and most of the time I’m by myself so I don’t have to worry about shushing people. What can I say, its a great way for me to recharge and get lost for a few hours. Read More...

let the right one in

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todo Let The Right One In Let the Right One In is a very memorable horror movie. It’s in the vein (HA!) of a vampire movie, yet it never really addresses the question and creatively dodges it. The two characters are a boy and a girl. Oskar and Eli. The young boy lives in an apartment complex with his single (and very absent) mother. Like most boys, he has a bully problem. Read More...

lullaby

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These noise-aholics, these quiet-ophobics I liked that statement, it is mentioned many times throughout the book with some variation. There is a great part where the protagonist, Carl Streaton, talks about his apartment tenets “sound wars”. Where its not about the music anymore, but the volume. As much as I dislike loud noises and chaos, I was able to relate very well to the main character. The book isn’t about noise-aholics, peace-ophobics, but about a childrens lullaby that kills anyone who hears it. Read More...

wushu west 2009 03 12

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I didn’t know, but this class marked Mark’s 14th year wushu anniversary. Thats awesome, he remembers the exact day, time and the fact that it was partially cloudy outside. Sheesh, I remember mine was around October 2001, around the time The One was released in theatres, not the exact time and day though. With that, congrats Mark! The rule for showing up late is that you have to do 20 burpee’s. Read More...

mount diablo hike

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I didn’t want to forget to blog about this, it is a little late. Over a month ago (Jan 31st), Jenny invited me to hike Mount Diablo with the Stanford Outing Group, lead by “V”. I’ve posted her photos to the gallery here, and you should read her post on our trip. Its more entertaining than mine :) http://jettagirl.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/mount-diablo-hike-to-the-summit/ This was a 14 mile hike, took about 6-7 hours (I think) and made my legs feel like jelly. Read More...

christmas in february

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Group photo todo My Dad and I are very similar, one of those similar traits is that we procrastinate and push things like Christmas off until ALMOST March :) This get together worked out last year, so we did it again. The traditional holiday schedule is so crazy and overwhelming (especially for an introvert) that it is miserable to try and cram everything in within a few days. Read More...

wushu west 2009 02 26

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Another awesome class of basics with Mark. I like the basic wushu movements now more than ever, for two reasons. I’m so out of it now, I can’t remember an entire form, so its all I can do. If you can do basics well, then all of the rest comes a lot easier. Its something we should always work on. What I also like are little combination, you know, not a full section, but just a short string of punches, kicks, and stances. Read More...

setting up my own openid server

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I’ve configured this blog to use my OpenID accounts. I have two (which totally goes against the single identity mindset of OpenID :) ) http://mcarlson.myopenid.com/ http://openid.evil-genius-network.com/mike The second one I just stood up today. I’m always concerned with who has my information, and if I can, I try to keep it all within the realm of my control. Also, the evil genius domain has absolutely no purpose besides a testing ground that I have no problems destroying :) Read More...

the amazing adventures of kavalier clay

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A fantastic novel. This type of book makes re-examine yourself, which can be good and bad I guess. The book is essential about two cousins, Sam Klayman (or Sam Clay) and Joseph Kavalier, who decided to pitch a new line of comic book characters during the 1940’s “Golden Age” of comic books. They both bring their own ideals and messages to their fictional characters. What I found interesting is this isn’t about a particular event, but the two characters lives in whole. Read More...

the road

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It is hard to say that I’ve enjoyed a novel that was sad and depressing. It was a great read, and I really liked how the dialog was arranged, it was very sparse but not at all wasteful. The book is about a father and son traveling to the pacific coast in a very dreary post-apocalyptic south western. I guess this is all supposed to be after a comet hits the Earth. Read More...

wushu west 2009 01 22

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Mark was back, and when I walked in it was obvious that this is where he belongs :) Its always one of my favorite scenes to walk in on, and its because I enjoy the immense pain of simple leg conditioning. Mark is casually leaning on a staff, behind a line of the beginner students, calmly calling out “horse stance…” (pause 30 seconds) “bow stance…” (pause again for 30 seconds) Read More...

wordpress 27

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So, I updated this blog to the latest Wordpress release, 2.7. The interface is all fancy and it didn’t break my current theme so I’m happy. Aside from that, nothing else has been going on. Work has been fun, home has been busy, and I’m still showing up once a week to Wushu West. I’ll have to quickly summarize the movies I’ve seen soon, and since there hasn’t been one that really stood out I haven’t felt compelled to share any. Read More...

meetbsd kip macy

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On my last post, someone commented with a full article regarding Kip Macy’s recent legal trouble as a landlord. I don’t know Kip or condone what he and his girlfriend allegedly did, and when it comes to his contributions to FreeBSD it saddens me a little. For a community project like FreeBSD, one persons reputation can reflect on the entire project. However, whats worse is that the commenter,** ‘Mr Scott B’**, feel’s its his role to bring this to the light. Read More...

meetbsd day 2

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Thankfully I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn (7:30!) because it was scheduled to start at 11am. I was a little rushed for time since I had to drop Caralyne off at my parents in Knightsen (so I back-tracked a bit), and I left at 9am, so I barely made it in time for the ZFS talk. A Closer Look at the ZFS File System by Pawel Jukab Dawidek I’ve heard a great talk on ZFS from Bill Moore, one of the primary developers from Sun, but this talk was really cool because it didn’t just say what ZFS is from Sun’s marketting department’s point of view, but the technical details its mail peices and how it integrates in FreeBSD. Read More...

meetbsd day 1

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I spent the weekend at Google for MeetBSD in celebration of FreeBSD’s 15 birthday. I drove 70.2x4 miles, on a weekend, and for Saturday I got up slightly earlier than I would have for work. All worth it, this was the coolest mini-conference I’ve been to. Of course, the last conference I went to was BSDCon in 2003, and that was nice as well. The point is, I don’t get out all that much when it comes to conferences, I just make an exception for my favorite UNIX OS, FreeBSD. Read More...

120

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El Aura This was a cool Noir film. A taxidermist who is a little unusual, socially disconnected, and suffers from epileptic seizures finds himself in the middle of a heist. Yeah, it is sort of a jump, it works though. Thanks again to twitchfilms.net and their cool DVD reviews.

indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull This was the first time I had seen this movie. I skipped seeing it in the theaters, that’s my usual thing these days, so I patiently awaited for it to come out on Blu Ray. I have some mixed feelings with the movie itself, but the video and audio quality was fantastic in almost all scenes. There was the particularly goofy jungle scene where the CGI was painful to look at, but I disliked the tarzan-esque vine swinging in the first place so that may have tainted my opinion. Read More...

wushu west 2008 10 28

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This class was the most intense class I’ve had since I’ve been back. Jenny and I did a little jog for our lunch workout, and since I still don’t jog all the time, I was already sore by the time I got to class. Thats good though, I don’t mind, I feel like I accomplished something big. Our warmup was brief, James led it and since he had a tooth pulled Monday, he wasn’t going to go all out. Read More...

wushu west 2008 10 21

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Second class back (don’t worry, I’ll stop the counter there :) ), and I felt I had made a lot of progress since last week. Of course no butterfly-twists, but my muscles held up a lot longer and I worked out the entire class. Kenny led the warm up, and after a quick jog around the room we did sprint relays for a while and then on to stretching. Last week my hip flexors started to spasm and it quickly became painful. Read More...

wushu west 2008 10 14

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At last, after a 6 month break, its nice to be back. Once a week for now, but that will be more than enough. I was thinking Monday night about how I don’t have that persistent aching feeling, and how walking is just that, walking with out a limp. Today is the end of that; my hamstrings are sore, my hip flexors are sore, my back is sore. All of them in a good way and not in the scary injured way. Read More...

a linterieur inside

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À l’intérieur (Inside) Not that I need an excuse to watch a horror movie, but I tend to watch them around the Halloween season. Maybe its the weather, maybe its the decorations, either way this is the trend I’ve set for myself. Inside was scary. It was incredibly gory in the realistic sense, and the tension that it built up was relentless. Most the the movies I have watched recently are from http://www. Read More...

chocolate

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Chocolate The only thing better then the food, is this movie. This is what I can expect from the same director of Ong Bak, which helped Tony Jaa become a recognizable martial artist. This movie is like Ong Bak, where the first half hour is pretty slow in setting up who the protagonist is but once you get past that its non-stop action. I’d go over the plot but really, who cares? Read More...

the abandoned

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The Abandoned I like simple ghost stories, and I’d prefer that above something that is gorey. The short premise of this was something happened on a farm in Russia, the only survivor was a baby girl. Years (40 or so) later she returns back to her family farm and all sorts of spooky things happen. It always sort of surprizes me when a movie like this slips under the radar, mostly because it was better than your average wide release blockbuster. Read More...

taken

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Taken Luc Besson had a hand in this as the writer, and if you don’t know who he is he has written and directed Leon AKA The Professional as well as produced Danny the Dog and Kiss of the Dragon. As well as a few others that he has had a hand in, I have purchased and enjoyed them all. This was supposed to be release in the US next month but has been pushed back until Jan 2009. Read More...

dead mans shoes

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Dead Man’s Shoes I like how IMDB now uses tags on categorizing a movie. And not just “Drama” or “Comedy”, cause it has those as well (and this movie is not a Comedy or a Drama), but it has plot keywords like “Revenge”, or “Shot in the Leg”, or whatever else pertains to the movie’s story. Very cool, it now helps me find movies that are similar to ones that I already like without limiting myself to the director or the writer. Read More...

for the alive not dead people

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For the 3 that read my AnD blog, I’ve re-setup my blog import from http://www.mywushublog.com/ I finally finished re-copying the entries I lost when my server died. Letting AnD import my blog is a very nice way to keep a backup, and share with the HK community.

iron man

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Michele and I don’t get to the movies all that much, and when we do it’s not like we decide on a movie and then find a babysitter, a babysitter presents themselves and we panic for a while trying to figure out what to do with our precious spare time. This is where I can always catch Michele at a disadvantage. I tend to know whats in theaters at the moment and what I would probably like to see. Read More...

new pictures

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I put up two new gallaries on my main site http://m87-blackhole.org/photos/ One is of the server rebuild and the other is of the family (mostly Owen).  Both Owen and Caralyne keep michele and I very busy. For instance, right now I’m typing this up as Owen is taking a short nap and Caralyne us playing a computer game. I may try and workout, but the little guy is already stirring and Michele wanted to take a nap so I don’t have any coverage. Read More...

its freaking hot

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Thankfully it’s back down to the tolerable 80’s, but the triple digit weather in antioch pushed me to shut off my server this last week until things cooled down a bit. It stays stupid hot in that garage, close to 100f even at 10pm. Hopefully it wont get that bad again, but if it does I’m shutting it down again.

wushu west 2008 06 24 marks class

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It’s been a looong time since Mark has been in charge of a class, maybe 2005 or so, right before he moved to Shanghai. I had forgotten how relentless he is, even though over the past few years Pierre and I have threatened younger students, “Oh you think this is tough? Wait till Mark gets back!” or “If you don’t stop talking, we’re calling Mark and flying him back here to make you do burpee’s! Read More...

freebsd 70 zfs and iscsi

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A friend of mine got my the coolest birthday present I think I’ve ever recieved, and that was a bunch of new and super kick ass hardware. This will soon replace my current server, which is in such bad shape it cannot compile java code, or perl from source. Before I replace it, I wanted to play around with ZFS that comes with FreeBSD 7.0. Here is a quick rundown of it all: Read More...

my wushu story the slumps

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For me, wushu hasn’t always been kick ass and fun. I’ve gone through periods where I hated going to class, and I either wouldn’t have gone at all had it not been for my strong habitual nature ( I run on auto-pilot on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I just show up to class no matter what) or lately I would have found any work excuse to not go. Somewhere along the line, I stopped being excited about wushu, I stopped dreaming about learning cool styles like bagua, fanzi, longfist, etc… Read More...

my wushu story celery leg

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Let’s back it up a bit and go on record for exactly how I got the nickname, and the insane amount of flexibility in my left leg. I began learning the newer longfist compulsory with Isao. Stephanie was teaching us the first section. I remember it was towards the end of class and I was exhausted and hungry, probably dehydrated too. We got to the part where you do the jumping inside-kick and land into the splits where I faltered. Read More...

my wushu story the halcyon days

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Okay, ham-ish title, and it’s not like it Wushu West is bad now, just me and my motivation. As I explained before, the first year or so of wushu I was a wushu craving lunatic. I spent a lot of spare time at work searching for clips, which at the time were hosted on furiousg.com and then moved to wushucentral.com. I’m not sure why I don’t watch random wushu clips now, maybe its because youtube has taken all the work out of finding something, but I really take for granted how easy it is today to find any style you want. Read More...

my wushu story starting wushu

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One evening Michele was a little frustrated with me, about how I never really say anything. I’m a pretty private person even with my own family, so I don’t talk all that much beyond superficial “how’s the weather?”. Well, since I had this secret obsession with wushu, and I figured if Michele really wanted to know what I was thinking of I’d let her in. I believe she thought it was a little far-fetched, again, we didn’t know people who did martial arts especially adults. Read More...

opps

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I broke it… Okay, I didn’t “break” anything, I decided to upgrade my server to fix some corrupted files (this is what happens when you let your server melt in 100+ degree weather), and in the process I sort of forgot to backup the large MySQL Database…. And to think people pay me to do this for a living.

my wushu story pre wushu

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Mark’s Wushu Retrospective journal has made me all nostalgic about my own experience with getting in shape, loosing weight, and starting wushu at our beloved Wushu West. I had gained a lot of weight right after Michele and I got married in August 2000. Well, after high school (1998), I gained 20lbs, but I proceeded to put on more once we tied the knot. You would have thought it was my second full-time job, eating crap. Read More...

the orphanage and i get to keep my job

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This movie had Guillermo del Toro’s name attached to it, and I anticipated that it would be awesome and have some really cool creature effects. I was off on the latter, while the movie is a really good horror/suspense there is very little physical gore. One tiny part was graphic, and I made Michele mad that I had her watch the movie :) The premise is a little orphan girl grows up, and as an adult she adopts a little boy, and then buys the house that used to be the very orphanage she grew up in. Read More...

the good the bad and the ugly

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Westerns never caught my attention, I avoided them at all costs. It’s mostly because my whole family was into all of that, and since it conflicted with my indoors only activities of computers and guitar playing, I rebelled against then and refused to watch Lonesome Dove. Also, it was an older movie, and I’ve discussed my aversion to watching older movies. Well, I was doing my usual workout where I’m half-way lifting weights but mostly preoccupied trying to find something entertaining to watch so the workout wont feel so boring and lifeless. Read More...

what day is this 2

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The past few weeks have been pretty busy, Owen is still in the hospital (and we expect him to stay there another two weeks) and his collapsed lung has healed up. Now they doctors are getting him off the pain medication (down to morphine now), helping him feed on his own, and get his bilirubin resolved. We’ve been going to see him everyday, and we were finally able to hold him last week. Read More...

no title

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My little boy was born ( 04/22/2008 @ 10:25am ), at a nice healthy weight of 7lbs and 13oz with a height of 20” ( all in all, almost exactly what Caralyne was, she was 21.25”) We don’t have him home yet, and I’m sure I’ve keep almost everyone up to day, but he has a collapsed lung, or pneumothorax. This happens a lot, but most of the time it’s a tiny hole and the body just absorbs the escaping air and the lung heals within a day or so. Read More...

wushu west 2008 04 06

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After CMAT I had felt a little extra bit of motivation, it has dawned on me that this past year I had really digressed in wushu. There has been little focus for me, and work has been more and more demanding so I recognize that as an issue. Mostly though, the majority of ‘coaching’ I have received has been about the website and computer work. What I really need to do is to be less passive about what I want and be a little more persistent. Read More...

wushu west week of 04062008

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After CMAT I had felt a little extra bit of motivation, it has dawned on me that this past year I had really digressed in wushu. There has been little focus for me, and work has been more and more demanding so I recognize that as an issue. Mostly though, the majority of ‘coaching’ I have received has been about the website and computer work. What I really need to do is to be less passive about what I want and be a little more persistent. Read More...

wushu west 2008 04 03

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Class has been a little laid back for me, which is alright, I haven’t been working as hard as everyone else so it’s not like I can even bust out a section of a form right now. It is a little hard to go to class when everyone is so fired up and is at their peak. Patti is still giving me new moves here and there for the broadsword form, and James said she really wants to give us (those of us who are just learning dao) a really good old school wushu dao form, which is every cool for me. Read More...

wushu west 2008 03 18

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Good class tonight. I did manage to injure my calf when we did our round of sprints, oh but first I just wanted to say how cool it was to get a nice warm welcome from everyone :) I barely made it all the way through the door and I see Shahaub, James, Pierre, Lynda… pretty much the whole gang, and in unison (almost, its more dramatic if it seems they really were in unison) exclaim “HEY! Read More...

wushu west 2008 02 26

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Just a warning, I haven’t been receiving the comments people leave on AnD. So sorry if it seems like I was ignoring everyone :) Since most people are getting ready of either collegiate’s or CMAT, class for Isao, John, and myself worked out a little different. We had a good warmup. I think it is more exhausting when we not only jog around class, but include all sorts of different movements. Read More...

wushu stuff

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Alright, so since the last update we started ramping up for the three performances. I was only able to make it to one of them, and I’ll be putting what we have on the site soon, and I’ll also post a video on youtube. Classes have been going over really well, we’ve kept up the jogging and circuit training as part of the warm-up. My calves right now are killing me from Tuesdays class :) I’ve also been better about lifting weights at home again. Read More...

wushu west 2008 01 29 2

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I had to drag myself in to class last night. I was exhausted from work, recovering from a cold, and I was in a sour mood from work itself. It’s a scary thought, but I may end up being a dinosaur at my current work. There is a large push to “one platform”, and while that USUALLY means the desktop it can easily leak to the server room. Anyway, things are crappy right now. Read More...

sanjuro and yojimbo

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I have a negative bias against old movies. Mostly black and white movies. It is really weird, because not only am I pretty snooty with the films I watch (see that, I called them “films”, which makes my movie viewing experience that much better than yours!), so you would think I’d go on and on about how great citizen kane is compared to the common swill people watch these days. Read More...

dead tired 2

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I didn’t fall asleep monday night until 3am the next morning. I really messed up my sleeping schedule over the long 3 day weekend ( had a lot of fun though ), and I really thought I could quickly recover and not miss a class. I’m really bummed that I wasn’t able to go, and now I’m feeling a cold coming on so that is just adding to things. So I guarded the couch last night, watched Sanjuro until it was time to go to bed at a reasonable hour to wake up early enough to catch a early meeting that was cancelled anyway :)

wushu west 2008 01 15

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We have been consistent with jogging FOREVER in the beginning of class, and its actually starting to feel a little better. I also made myself pick up the jump rope along side Pierre and James, and this was right before we did a few rounds of horse-stance, sit-ups, and jump rope. I got warmed up really quick :), felt really good too. Shahaub joined us, and I’m going to assume he’ll continue to join us again ( at least for Thursday ). Read More...

no country for old men 2

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[](http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477348/) No Country for Old Men This movie was probably the best Coen Brothers movie I have seen so far. I thought Fargo was pretty good, I didn’t like O Brother Where Art Thou all that much, and Raising Arizona was some sort of staple back in the day. No Country for Old Men is in another vein altogether and very complete in its approach. By that I mean every action in that movie is done from start to finish and there are no questions left over about what happened. Read More...

wushu west 2008 01 08 2

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It has been a nice holiday break, but it was time to go back and get a good workout. I knew it would be tough, I had done some light exercising over the holiday but its just never good enough. We started out jogging for 15 minutes or so, at least that’s what it seemed like, and it was brutal (for me). I did make it the entire time, I wasn’t able to run as fast as Pierre or others ( I did get lapped) but I didn’t stop and that was an achievement in itself. Read More...

wushu west 2007 12 13

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Lots of conditioning tonight. We jogged around for what seemed like 20 minutes, I was pretty exhausted after that but then we did some circuit training. Three separate groups, one did horse-stance, another did vertical jumps, and the last group did jump rope. We did 40 seconds or whatever group were we in, then we’d switch to the next group. We did this twice, and two times doesn’t seem like a whole lot. Read More...

wushu west 2007 12 11

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I’ve had the misfortune of missing thursday classes lately. I usually have a lot of crap on thursdays, and I missed last thursday because… because… I didn’t want to drive in the rain. I took the day off for Michele’s ultrasound ( we are having another girl! ), and after running all the errands and getting back home around 5pm I decided to just stay home and make sugar cookies for Caralyne’s school. Read More...

310 to yuma

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Western movies were never really my thing, I’ve never watched a John Wayne movie and the entire ‘cowboys and indians’ thing never caught my attention. 3:10 to Yuma got a lot of attention, and with Christian Bale in it I figured it would be hard to go wrong. It was kick ass and it made michele leak a few tears towards the end. Christian Bale always pulls of the normal person doing normal things role really well, I mean even though he can pull off Batman with ease, he also does the non-superhero thing. Read More...

wushu west 2007 01 09

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I had a pretty long night, Pierre was sick and Peter is out of town so Patti asked if I could be there by 5:30 to help get the carpets ready and help out with the beginners class. Thankfully Lynda was there, so really, I just participated in the class like a regular student :) After some running, dodge ball (with really light foam balls, first time no one got hurt), then a good round of wushu tag everyone had sufficiently warmed up and went on to stretching. Read More...

wushu west 2007 01 11

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Most people went to the Crucible’s second showing tonight, so Patti had asked if Jane and I could take care of the beginners class. Pierre and I got there the same time and he helped me roll out the carpets, James dropped by for a few minutes. He gave us a quick run down of the show and said the fight set Wushu West does is incredible. James is also leaving for Thailand for 2 months, so I hope he comes back in one piece. Read More...

the crucibles romeo and juliet a fire ballet

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[ Romeo and Juliet a Fire Ballet ](http://www.thecrucible.org/ballet/) I was a lot more entertained than I expected to be. I went there to see the Wushu West folks and the flavor group, but I enjoyed almost everything else. Especially the chandlers girls, when I wasn’t so interested in the Romeo and Juliet specific scenes, I could just look up at them. They moved so slow and fluid it was hard to notice when they changed positions. Read More...

wushu west 2007 01 16

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When Patti asked me to come early on Tuesday, I figured it was because she was going to be gone and needed help with the younger students. So when I got there, Pierre and I helped with the carpets, changed and then started to warm up with the kids. Peter is back so he took over, and that was nice. Then, Patti came with Cary… and Johnny showed up right after them… and then I realized “oh, tonight is a regular class”. Read More...

wushu west 2007 01 14

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Went back for another “Self Defense” class with Ron Dong, so I came around 12:00 to warm up. I got in a few jump ropes when Patti had asked me to help out one of the newer students (and I can never remember her name) with her staff basics. Its actually hard for me to explain how to do something, and according to others, its not just wushu :) I have a hard time saying what I mean with just about everything, from computers to wushu. Read More...

beijing team demo

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The Beijing Wushu Team are getting ready for a small performance, so we all stayed to watch. I wasn’t sure if taking photo’s was allowed, but then I noticed Patti was recording it. The only problem with this demo is that our classes have been moved from 9am ( which I originally thought was unbearable ) to 8am ( which literally is hell ). So it’s an early bedtime for all of us. Read More...

china trip day five through eight

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It has been a very nice weekend to recover, plus the Beijing Team is back from their competition so Wu Di has been attached to Mark’s hip. Its pretty funny to watch those two. So besides lots of resting up, we’ve gone to a few nice places to eat, went to a VERY large electronic’s “store” The Fry’s of Beijing Which resembles a large computer show in the US, except all day every day and the store is 5 stories high. Read More...

china trip day three and four

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Not much happend yesterday (minus the very extreme training), but tonight we went out to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe, Shahuab cannot take a normal picture nothing else besides that, so check here for more: http://m87-blackhole.org/photos/China+Trip+06/page/3/

china trip day one and two

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The internet connection here has been down for the last full day, but not much besides training anyways. It was kind of odd to first walk in the main wushu hall, it felt like I was walking onto a movie set. I’ve watched countless wushu clips of the Beijing team in that same location. Practice was good, we do one morning class (9am - 11:30) everyday, then we alternate an evening (7:30pm - 9 ) and afternoon ( 2:30pm - 5:30 ) every other day. Read More...

china trip arrival and settling in

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Hurray, Beijing! Shi Cha Hai, a sports institute The flight from SFO was pretty boring, and long, but I had a very hyper 4 year old sitting in front of me to keep me awake. Her name was Odelia, and it took 5 attempts to get a picture of her since she thought it was a game. 4 hours of peek a boo I dont think she stopped moving the entire flight, she was constantly peeking over and giggling at me. Read More...