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Today was a good day.

I woke up earlier than normal due to a combination of a full bladder and fear that the ceiling was dripping on me (it wasn't). Decided that I had a bunch of stuff to get done today and I should get on with it. After an aborted attempt to walk up to *$ for coffee (forgot my wallet), I walked back home and dug the car out of the snow; drove back up town, finished my Xmas shopping at the bank and acquired caffeine for breakfast.

After some noodling around the house, I ran over to Penzey's to pick up some cinnamon and BBQ spices for my brother-in-law (ok, I guess that was the end of my xmas shopping). Despite the stupid on the road, I managed to not darwinate anyone. And then the cooking began!

First up were two batches of stollen. Two each were made with marzipan inside, the other two were done with cinnamon and sugar; I also split them up by rum- or brandy-soaked fruit, so one of each all around. The two rums are going to Maine for my father since it's his fault I started making these things, a marzipan goes off to Robin, half is for us and the last half went to Tom and Carol who were visiting from afar and came for dinner.

Which brings me to dinner! Duck done simply, with spinach wilted in duck fat (we now have a whole jar in the fridge to use up!) and risotto-in-a-box (sue me). T&C brought a lovely bottle of red wine and when Jess finally made it home, it all disappeared. After dinner, there was much conversing, sampling of chocolate, music and scotch.

It had been far, far too long since I had seen T&C - almost two years. They are my home away from home in the UK and I can't say enough good things about them. February can't get here soon enough. :-)

Right... I should go have lots of water and call it a night so I can finish wrapping presents tomorrow before heading to Maine.
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How do I know? Ice dam on the roof, leading to water actually dripping down ONTO MY BED.

A few years ago it was just water dripping down the window, tap tap tapping onto the sill in the middle of the night. Then it was a bit more of that, but also down to the downstairs window below it. Last year, there was a stain from the window to just above my bed (over six feet from said window) where dampness spread across the ceiling.

Today I asked Jess to call the landlord while I was in the shower, to have them come over and clear the roof off so that we wouldn't have an issue. Never happened. And now I have to do another load of laundry and move my fucking room around so I can sleep without fucking water torture in the middle of the night.

So. Fucking. Pissed.
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R and I went to Gordon's Fine Wine and Culinary Center thingy tonight for a tasting. It was actually part two in a two part series, but that didn't much matter. Glenmorangie, Macallan, Clynelish, Talisker, Bowmore and Laphroig. Then an unannounced-in-the-booking round of Highland Park 12, 15 and 18. Followed by bimbling about in the store for an hour to sober up and chatting to the man behind much of the scotch, cognac and beer.

A very good evening indeed.


Dec. 11th, 2008 03:04 pm
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With the dollar/sterling exchange rate slowly moving back to what I tend to consider normal and an offer by British Airways tempting the pants right off me, I'm heading back to the UK. I'm currently looking at the end of February, arriving around the 26th-ish and staying for up to a week. Who in the UK crowd won't be around then? :-)
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Last night was an awesome evening full of ninjas and pirates, right up until I looked at my phone before heading home. Two missed calls. From Maine. ::dread::

My father took another fun filled trip to the ER and spent the night in SCU. Apparently he keeled over and decided to stop doing that breathing and blood-pumping thing for a little while. There were a bunch of other words used to describe it but some are unprintable and the rest were medical terms and acronyms that fell out of my head. In any case, it wasn't long after he arrived in the ER that he was coherent and back to "normal"

I'd like to take a moment here to clarify that. Forty years of diabetes and Addison's disease, plus yet more things that I can never remember. His current list medication is a page and a half long. Over the past year, he's had a unknown number of mini-strokes. Physically, he's just about had the mustard.

So, he's still in SCU I believe, but doing ok. My mother and sister are going to talk to the doc about getting a monitor for him to wear for a while to see what the ticker is doing. I know they'd been discussing whether or not to have a DNR, as well. Some mixed feelings on that, but even in a hospital it's possible to end up with brain damage after a code and that would be worse.


Edit: forgot one thing!

It seems that when the call went out for the ambulance, everybody showed up to help out. And a paramedic who happened to be at the hospital recognized the address and told the ER staff who it was, so that then they arrived they were all there ready with his chart and were set to go. So, mad props to the folks at CFAA and PBMC.

"quick" fix

Dec. 5th, 2008 02:48 am
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So the maintenance tonight was supposed to be relatively quick. Bring the cluster down, finish growing two filesystems, then bring it all back up. Except that the second filesystem didn't want to play nice. Now I'm stuck in fsck hell while on the phone to Sun. Luckily it's only a ~300gb filesystem, so it only takes about an hour to fsck. Unluckily, it's the mail store for the majority of the University.

Oh, and on top of it all Comcast nuked my internet connection from home in the middle of it. So I'm in the office now.

In happy news, my father went back home today. The kidneys weren't actually having issues and the doctor believes that the fluid buildup was due to some medication changes done late last week. So he's home and, for the moment, feeling better.

Aaaaaaaaand the on-hold music that Sun has is atrocious. I might have to stab myself in the ear if I have to keep listening to this...


Dec. 1st, 2008 09:28 pm
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My sister just called and things are better: kidneys are actually working. So, no transfer to MMC needed, but he's still stuck in the ER for the night (no beds available). They're also trying to get fluid out of his lungs (oh, please no CHF). I have little doubt that he'll be a cranky bastard: he hates being in the hospital, all of the ER activity means he won't sleep much and the whole 'dying by inches' thing isn't his favorite either.

Apparently my sister had stopped by the house earlier today on a whim. He was sacked out on the couch all askew with a blood sugar of 53 and just barely coherent. She stuffed some sugars into him and sorta got him back together, but he was huffing and puffing pretty hard. When mum got home they decided that going to the ER sooner than later was the plan, so my sister pumped him full of D50 and away they went.

If nothing else, it's damned handy to have an EMT-I (Intermediate) and a paramedic in the family.

Thanks for all of the hugs and thoughts, it's appreciated.
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I may be heading to Maine at very short notice this week. My father's about to be shipped down to Maine Medical in Portland; they think his kidneys have shut down and he's had problems with fluid build up, etc. Considering that my mother broke down in tears on the phone, I think he may not make it much longer. I'm so not ready.

So yeah, how's your day? :-P


Oct. 15th, 2008 11:00 am
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I got rear-ended this morning. It was about as fast as bumping someone while parallel parking, so it wasn't the accident that really pissed me off (though I certainly wasn't *happy*). It also wasn't being able to watch the idiot hit me while pawing through something on the front seat next to her, which is surprising given how much inattentive people piss me off. No, what really pissed me off today was that after she ascertained that I wasn't hurt and the car *looked* ok, that she could just drive off while I was looking for a pen to get her insurance info.

"Well it looks ok." *zoom* Gone.

I probably should have guessed, given how many digs her car had already. Silly me. Next time, info first apparently.

To add insult to injury, three more idiots on campus were unable to figure out such things as Norton Anti-Virus and thus spammed the hell out of AOL. I didn't want to work on actual projects anyways!

I try to be happy that it's a virtual Friday for me, as I'm heading up to Maine tomorrrow for the weekend, except that half the reason I'm going up is to help my folks get the house ready for winter because my father can no longer walk. Hooray!

It's a wonder I haven't gone on a rampage...
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Before I forget too many more times, some events in the near and distant future that folks might be interested in...

This week:
Wed: dan le sac vs scroobius pip @ the paradise 8pm. tix
Thurs: my life with the thrill kill kult @ the middle east 8pm.
Sat: Museum day, free admittance to Smithsonian related museums. see link for which ones, and the printable pass.

Almost certainly going to see Scroobius Pip, slightly less certain about TKK, and saturday will depend slightly on friday evening. :-)

Further ahead...
10/31 Booty Vortex @ Johnny D's
11/1 Sisters of Mercy @ Wilbur Theater
11/19 Cruxshadows @ TT the Bear's (wanted to see them at dragon*con)
11/20 Tower of Power @ Scullers Jazz Club
11/26 Booty Vortex @ Johnny D's
11/28 BB King @ North Shore Music Theater

Way ahead...
1/18 Metallica @ TD Banknorth
1/24+ Boston Wine Expo
2/13+ Fetish Flea @ Providence

Waaaaaay ahead...
3/1+2 Yo Yo Ma @ BSO
3/6 The Chieftains @ BSO
3/22 KODO @ BSO
3/25 London Sympony Orch @ BSO
4/29 Alvin Alley Dance troupe @ Opera House

Some things I know I won't make it to (BB King) but others might like to know about. Some things you'll have to kill me to stop me going to (KODO).
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Yup, that's why they call it a crush.
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It's been a while since I've updated...

Work has been good, but busy. Since [livejournal.com profile] geoffroi left, I've inherited his projects, so now I've got a new cluster to build and another to expand, plus a bunch of stuff to upgrade. I've lost almost a month to dealing with phish and spammers, because our users can't understand that we will NEVER ask for their passwords. I might actually get away from mail stuff later this year; my boss asked in my review what I wanted to do and my reply was "not mail." Seven years of rebuilding and replacing high-profile bits has worn on me. :-P So I need to start playing around more with PHP/MySQL - at least I have interesting non-work projects there that I can poke at.

The bike is currently in the shop getting back into working condition. It wasn't terribly happy after sitting for 18 months, but Galen is working his magic on it. Hopefully I'll have it back this week and can start riding again. ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. I need to remember to scour Ebay and the like for a new seat, though; last summer's sun pretty much destroyed the seat cover.

Apparently, there is less of me than there has been. Several people recently have mentioned it, so it would appear that the whole "eat less and exercise" thing actually works. Who knew? I've been trying to ride the bicycle after work during the week (too many idiots on the bike path on the weekends) and it's 8+ miles to Bedford and back. Last week was a bit disconcerting, though, as I had all of this extra energy that I didn't know what to do with. Again, who knew that exercise was good for ya?

What else... I asked a girl out, and she said yes. A bit nerve wracking, to be honest, as I'm usually the one getting pulled. Last night was the first date, although that's technically a misnomer as we've actually been going out and doing stuff for a while now. The jump from platonic to romantic is a bit awkward, but I think it'll work out. Also, SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. *ahem*

Still playing EVE. In fact, it's very close to one year now. I hooked up with some really cool folks recently, which has made it much more enjoyable. I think it's oddly amusing that a bunch of 'em are down in Texas, much like the folks I used to hang out with in WoW. But we've got a bunch of Europeans and Brits to balance things out. ;-)

Hm, I think that's enough for now. I should pretend to work again, even though I really, really want a nap...


Apr. 4th, 2008 11:55 am
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I'm sure I asked this once a while back, but I can't find it and asking again is easier (not to mention, what was true two years ago may no longer be true)...

I have a shiny new mac pro on my desk. What must I install on it? What *should* I install on it? That and any tips/tricks from the koolaid krowd would be greatly appreciated. :-)
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For years I've been waiting for spammers and phishers to combine forces and start using compromised accounts to send authenticated spam. I had been expecting them to hit up SMTP AUTH service, but instead it appears that webmail is the target du jour. Lots of sites on the hiedemail list started talking about getting hit by it recently, with a big spike last week; last night was our turn in the barrel.

So far it looks like only one account was compromised, despite a handful sending their usernames and passwords off to the bad guys. Unfortunately we didn't catch it until this morning when I saw a boatload of AOL SCOMP reports and locked him out. In the end, it looks like close to 200,000 messages went out, including more phishing attacks (sorry ise.ac.uk!).

tikibar: (veedub)
woof. all of the guests have left (sadness!) and I'm still blitzed. lots of water so that I don't wake up feeling like the walking dead... so many awesome guests, though. thankfully the censor is coming back online... *cough*

I hope everyone else out there had as good an evening. :-)
tikibar: (trap)
A forum I read regularly has a thread specifically for "awesome" youtube links. Most of the time I ignore it, but once in a while curiousity gets the better of me. In this case, it was an updated version of http://leekspin.info/ which dates to '06-ish. I won't bother linking the new version because the part that caught me wasn't the visual (which is probably NSFW), but the audio. If you opened that link and have audio, you're probably cursing me now.

The audio behind Loituma girl (aka leekspin) is a 27 second loop of, well, Finnish folk scat from Loituma's Ievan Polkka. There's also a video of them singing the entire song.

It's thoroughly stuck in my head for the night, so now it's your turn to suffer, too!
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A NY Times article on EVE (my anti-WoW. yup. haven't played since... july?). They're not wrong about in how they describe some of the alliances; RA is mostly Russian, IAC is mostly drunk. I think they may have understated Goonswarm, though, as only "mostly obnoxious," but I haven't run across many of them yet. I wonder if my liver is too old to withstand going to Iceland for next year's Fanfest...


Nov. 16th, 2007 11:41 am
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So I called the little coffee should that didn't. They were very nice and helpful and said it would have been an internet buy as their retail outlet doesn't do orders like that. Which I figured would probably be the case, but hoped otherwise... it just seemed to be a bit too coincidental that one of their outlets is a small town next to there I grew up. Well, it could still have been someone local snarfing the numbers and then buying online, but the end result will be the same: nothing. The police will take a report and file it, but have stated upfront that they just don't have the manpower to handle it; if the crooks has successfully racked the card for most of its worth that would be one thing. At this point, the most annoying thing is that my online account is closed until I get a new card, so I can't go and look at old statements looking for bad charges.

Ho hum. Is the day over yet?


Nov. 15th, 2007 07:35 pm
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Cranky the first: $700 fraudulent charge on my credit card from a shop in Maine.

Cranky the second: the "helpful" and "friendly" automated calling and answering system that Chase uses. Yes please, I WOULD like a clunky robotic voice telling me that someone has stolen my CC number! Yes please, I WOULD like you to drop my call when finally transferring me to a human. And boy howdy would I like it to interrogate me when I call back, and not give me the option of skipping to a human.

Technology is so fucking cool.

I shall be making waves tomorrow to see what washes up.
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