October 18th, 2003


(no subject)

When I was little I used to run around barefoot. This is fairly normal behavior for any kid, but when you live on the farm it isn't the most advisable habit to practice. Things were fine for a number of years, but finally the law of probability caught up to me and I stepped on a rusty screw one day while doing chores out by the compost heap. The screw went right through my foot and lodged there. I limped, crawled and sobbed my way back to the house to show my mother what had happened, and as soon as she saw it we had to visit the doctor for tetanus shots and other unpleasantness (like having the screw removed -- I think it hurt more coming out than it did going in). Every day, three times a day for the next three weeks I spent a twenty minute block soaking my foot in a warm tub of water sprinkled liberally with Dreft detergent (I don't know where my mother picked this up from but it did a great job of keeping the wound disinfected and it actually did help promote healing. Sometimes old home remedies are the best). Because of this past experience I absolutely will not go outside without some form of footwear. Say what you like! I know some of you folks are dedicated to the idea of going barefoot and hey, I say more power to you. While you're enjoying the feel of grass under your toes I'm going to protect my feet -- maybe it's irrational, but I have absolutely no desire to repeat what happened to me all those years ago. My feet have been punctured, frostbitten, burned, bruised and run over so many times during the span of my life that I've become very stubborn about taking good care of them. I want to keep them for as long as I'm around on this planet. I suppose you could say I'm peculiar, but I've come to realize that my life would be a great deal more difficult without the ability to just get up and walk around whenever I feel like it.

To continue this little foot-oriented journey through my upbringing: as I grew older my parents dilligently taught me simple etiquette. One of the first lessons they burned into my psyche was that when you enter somebody's home you should always take off your shoes. It helps keep your host's home neat and generally shows that you have respect for their property. This is a habit I learned when I was seven or eight years old, and I still practice it today.

Now, with that being said, let me add one more little tidbit: I absolutely, positively will not go barefoot in public places like hotels, restaurants or clubs and this is why. So the next time you're at a convention and you feel like slipping off your shoes before you go walking around the dealer's room you just might want to reconsider.

General plans for today include laundry so that I have something to wear to work next week, an attempt at taking the recycling down to the municipal drop-off and other miscellaneous chores. Once again we have a weekend houseguest, and I'm looking forward to the company! It seems that neuracnu has decided to take part in Chicago's Fast Forward Film Festival so he'll be in the area this afternoon to drop off his entry for the show. He should be arriving at the apartment sometime this evening although we're not sure exactly when that'll be, it all depends on how long things run downtown. If he gets back too late in the evening we'll probably just let the poor man sleep off the drive. Tomorrow we'll drag him to my favorite restaurant for lunch if he has the time, and we'll see where we go from there!

and such was life in leningrad
  • Current Music
    ZZ Top -- Master of Sparks

(no subject)

Additional update -- the build of the "new" server (currently at new.black-panther.us) is proceeding quite rapidly. I received notice on Thursday night that the setup was complete but when I tried to connect to the server I found that I couldn't gain access! After some poking and prodding kristenq suggested to me that this problem might have a very simple explanation: the customer service representative could easily have made a typo when they put the server's password into my form letter. This seemed the most rational possibility to me so I had to just let things go and wait until ValueWeb's customer service center opened on Friday morning. Right at 8 AM I was on the phone trying to get ahold of somebody who could resolve the problem for me (read: give me the right password). Sure enough, the password they sent me did not match the server's build records (it was quite a typo, I'm not sure how they managed to diverge that much.. this was not a case of striking one key that was right next to another... this was a case of using a zero where should have been a one, and numerous other differences). From then on it was package installation after package upgrade after source compilation! I worked until around 1:20 this morning building binaries, migrating website directories, DNS zone files and more from the "old" panther to the machine that will take its place.

Its times like this that I get a feel for just how much data has been entrusted to me. I am amazed at just how huge some of the websites are that I host. One of them, when archived with tar and compressed with gzip was still over 500 megs in size! I simply cannot fathom having that much material on a website. I must make a note to ask the responsible party what the hell it is that they've got tucked into the dusty corners of my hard drive.

After a lot of fighting with OpenSSL, Kerberos, Apache and miscellaneous unrelated-in-my-mind-but-still-terribly-important packages I finally got a functional webserver built. I've gotten most everything ready for the move when it comes to websites, but I'm having one or two minor issues that are keeping me from "throwing the switch" on it. Right now I'm battling Apache's ErrorDocument directive. See, I have nifty little custom-written web pages that should be displayed when the server encounters a 404 or 403 error. Yet for some reason it's refusing to display them, and I cannot figure out why. If simple little tweaks like customized error pages are acting broken then who knows what else might be wrong with the system! I'm glad I have another week and a half to get all the bugs ironed out.
  • Current Music
    Meat Loaf -- Objects In the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are