Archive for June, 2010

A day that made me curse my existence..

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

So last night one of the web servers at my job took a dump.  It ended up coming back up before I could take a look, so I just kept an ear out for trouble…

This morning, same server drops…  I reset it since I can’t actually get into it, some time goes by, another server drops…  I check the firewall – nothing really standing out, so I follow up on some errors in the server logs, and make some suggested performance tweaks…  Then after a quiet hour or two… the feces hit the oscillator.

Two specific webservers start getting SLAMMED.  That cascades in a way that affects a few other servers.  Now mind you, the root of this entire problem is a denial of service attack. Once I stop that, we’re good.  I dig into the firewall, and start to identify the attackers.  As they hit me, I’m blocking them.  It’s tedious, but besides limiting the number of connections per second, my only real recourse.

In the middle of all of this, identifying attackers, blocking them, bringing the servers back up, and trying to make sure that this all can’t happen again… I get interrupted at least every 20 minutes by someone who doesn’t understand that the problems they want me to fix are being CAUSED by the f’n DoS attack.

I finally manage to block the attack after nearly screaming at the person who kept interrupting, and in the process manage to mess something up with my firewalls.  I spend a few more hours trying to fix what I messed up, but decide to call it a night, go home for some dinner and a bit of a break before I head back in after everyone’s gone home to fix the problem.

I call in my consultant friend, he tries for about 40 minutes but kicks it up to support.  I call support, my contract is for Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm…. it’s now 10pm.  Still, I explain my story to the tech, and he helps me… by about 10:40, the firewalls are back to normal… no server issues since the late afternoon…peace and relative quiet.

Only redeeming fact of this entire day was being out on the bike in the cool, clear evening air.  Was a great way to decompress from the stress of all this BS.

Hoping tomorrow that I’ll get out of work around lunch, go to the gym, then come up and make some GF cupcakes for the potluck at my church.  ~fingers crossed~

STUDY DIRECTLY LINKS LUNG CANCER TO BREATHING

Monday, June 28th, 2010

I’m really tired of the sensationalist bullshit that gets thrown around the Internet these days.  It’s nothing new, but I got an email today which really annoyed me.  It pushed the idea that the interior components of a modern car pump out insane levels of benzine, which is probably why everyone is getting cancer.  Their solution?  Don’t turn on the A/C in your car in the summer when you first get in, no – open your windows and let the evil benzine leech out into the surrounding environment – thus ridding you of the risk of getting cancer.

The funny part?  The first line of the email is a link to an article at Snopes.com.  If you click the link, and read the story, as well as the study (from Korea in 2001) that the email is loosely based on you come to realize that you are more likely to inhale benzine during the winter months in Korea as a result of burning FUEL then you are from the interior panels of your car heating up in the warmer months.  The worse part of it all is that people will blindly pass this crap on, when the facts that completely trash the argument are sitting in the email itself.

I feel sorry for anyone who reads it and subsequently is now airing their car out every day instead of enjoying the sweet, sweet air conditioner.

Morons.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/benzene.asp
Read and give it some thought
Car Air-conditioning –
No wonder more folks are dying from cancer than ever before.  We wonder where this stuff comes from but here is an example that explains a lot of the cancer causing incidents.  Hmmm.  Many people are in their cars first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, 7 days a week.   As I read this, it makes me feel guilty and ill.  Please pass this on to as many people as possible. Guess it’s not too late to make some changes
Car A/C (Air Conditioning) MUST READ!!!
Please do NOT turn on A/C as soon as you enter the car.
Open the windows after you enter your car and turn ON the AC after a couple of minutes.
Here’s why: According to research, the car dashboard, sofa, air freshener emit Benzene, a Cancer causing toxin (carcinogen – take time to observe the smell of heated plastic in your car).
In addition to causing cancer, Benzene poisons your bones, causes anemia and reduces white blood cells. Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer. Can also cause miscarriage.
Acceptable Benzene level indoors is 50mg per sq.ft. A car parked indoors with windows closed will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene.
If parked outdoors under the sun at a temperature above 60 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level.
People who get into the car, keeping windows closed will inevitably inhale, in quick succession, excessive amounts of the toxin.
Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidney and liver.. What’s worse, it is extremely difficult for your body to expel this toxic stuff.
So friends, please open the windows and door of your car – give time for interior to air out -dispel the deadly stuff – before you enter.
Thought: ‘When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.’
And when that something of value is based entirely in bullshit, you have a moral obligation to call it out.

Grand Theft Free Time

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Ever since GTA4 came out and I wasn’t entirely thrilled with it, I’ve had a goal to get back into the series give it another run through to see if my memories were accurate and if GTA4 really did stink that bad.

Thanks to a ridiculous sale at STEAM, I picked up every single GTA title for $40.

I started by playing GTA, the original.  Still fun, my biggest complaint overall?  No save ability.  Essentially, you beat all the missions for a city, then move on, and that city is now unlocked.  I’m glad that they got it to run on Windows 7, that’s for sure.  So then I jumped up to GTA 3, the sandbox title that started a gaming revolution.  I dove right in, the controls were familiar, the gameplay just as addictive, it was FUN!  The only complaint I’ve had so far?  I can’t remember how to access the in-game map, if there was even that ability.  Surprisingly enough, in the years since I played the game, I still remember the layout.

So I take a break from GTA3 and fire up the GTA4 title I haven’t touched yet, ‘The Ballad of Gay Tony.  Graphics?  Photorealistic.  Controls?  Sluggish.  FPS?  Choppy.

I’m not playing this on a low end system either, I’ve got a top of the line gaming rig with the latest i7 CPU, NVidia gaming card, etc…  This thing chews up games and spits out framerates that’d make any gamer cry.

So while the plot isn’t anything huge, I’m already distracted by how shitty the game runs (and I’m using the auto-config from Rockstar to select my settings), I’m annoyed because the controls are so sluggish compared to GTA3, and don’t even get me started on the physics engine.  Well, why not.  The physics for the driving engine were always somewhat realistic, you can’t drive like an Andretti and expect to keep the car in one piece… but the physics in GTA4 have just gotten… ridiculous.  We’re talking Forza Motorsport / Gran Turismo style physics in an arcade style sandbox shooter.  Instead of wrecklessly hurtling from point A to point B, trashing the car in the process – you have to pay attention when you drive or you’re just not going to get to point B.

Visually – GTA4 is an unbelievable improvement over its predecessor.  The ways people die, blood splatters, and cars wreck / detonate are entertaining in themselves…  But the game play feels numb, disconnected.  I feel more connected to the game world after 5 minutes in the cartoonish GTA 3 and its two subsequent titles than after glitching for an hour through the updated GTA4 world in all of its really spiffy photorealism.

I’m going to guess that we may get one or two more expansions minimum in the GTA4 engine, and I don’t know that they’ll really be able to rejuvinate it to the extent that will bring about the satisfaction of prior titles, but maybe – just maybe – when they bring about GTA5 – they’ll remember first and foremost that this is a GAME and should play as such.

I’ll have more updates as I progress.  I figure I’ll take a quick jaunt through GTA2 before I put a stopper in my ADD and begin to complete them one at a time. 🙂

I dare you.

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Went to see Toy Story in 3D yesterday, not only was it my 4 year old stepson’s first experience at the movies EVER – it was my irst 3D movie.  I gotta say, I’m an idiot for skipping out on  the 3D wave, as it has come one hell of a long way since the blue and red cellophane glasses of the 80s and prior.  They had a preview for some owl movie, and at the end this 3D feather appeared to hover over the audience for a few moments… pretty cool stuff.

So I’ve always enjoyed the Toy Story movies, as have the kids, the big difference was that at the end of this 3rd installment… I seriously got choked up.

I”m talking the T-800 is lowering itself into the steel at the end of T2 choked up.  I dare any guy to watch that and not get a little.

A debt epiphany…

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

So I’ve been trying to pay off my credit card the past few months…  Paying what I add to it each month + old debt.  The end result is that each month I break even, which gets frustrating since I”m used to running a bit of a surplus each month – and actually SAVING money.  So I took a look at what it costs me to maintain the debt on the card, its about $50.  My new plan?  Each month, pay off what I’ve added to the card.  Then take that extra cash, and throw it at my car which is costing me $300 a month.

This way, car gets paid off earlier, I have cash in my pocket at the end of the month, and with the extra $300 a month I can proceed to pay off my CC debt.  So its either pay $50 to maintain debt, or pay $300…  I’ll take the $50 route please. 🙂

This is dedicated to the crackas that was down from day one…

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Sorry, was listening to Dr Dre during this post. 🙂

Yesterday I’m on my way home from my parents house, and try to lower the driver’s side window in my VW GTI…  I hear a pop, and the window won’t go down.  This happened once before, I tried to lower the window when it was frozen, and it detached the glass from the carrier for the power window regulator.  I managed to finagle it back on that time.  This time, I’m driving and trying to do the same, then SHWOOMP, the glass falls completely into the door.

Now it’s 7pm, rain possible, and I have no drivers side window.

Dig out the Haynes manual, I have the door apart in about 20 minutes, the trick was to get the glass back up, tape it in place, raise the carrier up to meet the glass, then lower it to where there are 2 access holes for adjustment.  This was the cool part – I loosen the bolt, push the mount up onto the glass a bit, then tighten it back down.  Did that on the front and rear bolt – window works like new.

Didn’t find myself cursing or screaming either, like when I was trying to work on the door of my ’89 Chevy pickup… 🙂

Another win for the new supermarket…

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Filled the car up at Sunoco in Warwick last night, 12 gallons of 93 octane only cost me $2.97 per gallon when everyone else had to pay $3.17.  It’s one of the perks of using the ‘advantedge’ card from Price Chopper, for every $50 you spend in the store, they knock $.10 off a gallon of gas at the local station.  It’s cumulative too, I spent $100, they knocked $.20 off.  I think it goes as high as $.30.  Still, for a busy family, that’s knocking the price of gas down to a level that actually competes with the stations just across the border in Jersey.  It’s keeping money in the town, and helping local businesses even further, which is something I am always for.

Funny sidenote, had to go to Shoprite on Sunday, instead of scanning my price plus card I scanned my advantedge card – and got the same exact discounts.

There are still things I will specifically go to Shoprite for… but that list is getting shorter.

Beyond AWESOME.

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Whitesnake Zinfandel

I believe I just may order a case. 🙂

“Good thing it’s Whitesnake and not Great White: I wouldn’t want to drink anything that ignites within ten feet of an open flame.”

Done with satellite.

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I’ve had Sirius for a few years now.  Last night I grew tired of the talking, the ads, and the sub-par audio quality, so I plugged in my iphone, started Pandora, and instantly had CD quality music that I wanted to listen to, with minimal interruptions.  What happened to Satellite?  It was so cool, now it’s 4 BILLION dollars in debt, the audio quality is easily surpassed by terrestrial FM, and they’re charging more than ever.  I’m going to cancel and invest the money I would be spending on Sirius on a new smartphone, seems to be the better investment.

Congressman assaults American for asking a simple question…

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Congressman assaults American for asking a simple question…

Caught this via Facebook this morning and had to share it.  Summary of the video, an unidentified young person with a cellphone type video camera asks a Democrat congressman if he fully supports Obama’s agenda.  Simple question, anyone can ask it of him.  His response?  Immediately ask for the identity of the person asking and assault them physically.  It’s all on video, start to finish.  I’d say this guy’s career needs to end, and he needs to get sued in civil court for everything he’s worth.

I don’t expect it to get big coverage, as he is a Democrat after all.