Thursday, April 26, 2007

Internet08:29 AM - So I got set up with a static URL for my PC

I ended up going with DynDNS over no-ip, but it turns out my router will, in theory, update both of them with its current IP, plus a third service that I can't remember now. I have misgivings on it actually auto-updating, since it got a new IP when I turned on DDNS with the information filled in because it had to restart itself, and DynDNS didn't get updated when it did, so... I dunno if it just fails to send the update when it reboots, or if it doesn't really work. (I'm also pissed that this particular router loses its current date and time settings when it reboots, but I've known about that.) I'm going to research that with Google and DSL Reports, but in the meantime I downloaded DynDNS's client updater for Windows instead, and set it up as a service (which makes it work when I'm logged off my PC, which I never am, but it's nice anyway). Even if I can verify that my router will work as it should, just maybe doesn't work when it first reboots, I'll probably still keep the client, since the damn router likes to reboot itself somewhat at random anyway.

So, I now have a plain URL I can use for hitting the meebo repeater, yay. I'm connected to it right now, so I know it's working. So long as the domain I picked ( doens't get blocked here I'm all set. :) And I didn't have to write one line of code, or spend much time at all setting it up.

not interested in hearing you whine about this one | labels: dyndns, IM, internet, meebo

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Internet Technical04:35 PM - Quick question for anyone using the meebo repeater

So... how do you deal with the fact that (a) one's home IP changes regularly unless one pays through the nose for a static IP, and (b) the repeater doesn't update itself to show you that current IP, thus requiring a restart of the program to see the new one? Is there an easy way I can use to always have the same link to my home PC repeater, or am I stuck just restarting it and checking it every morning? What if, for some reason or other, my IP changes midday? How would I begin to find that out? I have a backup IP that I can use to access the real thing, but in case that gets shut down too, as well as others, my home box may be the only option.

(Yes, I realize I could have some sort of script running that would periodically FTP a little file with my current IP addy on it to my webserver, and look at that. But, I first would rather see if there's an easier solution that doesn't involve me either learning Windows batch file scripting for such a thing, or having my own little tomcat server running all the time that can fire off a Perl/PHP/other script to do it. I.e. I don't wanna write it myself if I don't have to.)

Edit: Free is also a requirement; I do believe I could buy a domain name, and DynDNS or something like that to keep it pointed to my IP, but that would require money. I'll write something myself before I spend money on this.

not interested in hearing you whine about this one | labels: IM, internet, meebo, technical

Monday, April 16, 2007

Games & Gaming Gardening Life03:26 PM - Saturday was fun day, Sunday was productive day

I don't think I did a single thing of great import Saturday. We went grocery shopping, and our Karazhan group finally managed to down that bitch known as Prince Melchazaar. But, the former wasn't terribly special and the latter was fun and not "constructive" per se. Oh, and I got called at a quarter to 2am, shortly after we'd finished our last attempt for the night on Netherspite, from work telling me one of our jobs was fucked, so I had to log in and take care of that. Bleh.

Sunday was gardening/exercising/errand-running day. All between 2 and 8, those being the hours between when we had lunch and when the sun went down. My bulbs came Friday, and the weather Saturday was crap. Saturday was a day off from cardio 'cause I went Friday, and the errands didn't even accomplish half what I wanted, but were kinda fun anyway.

First up, I went shopping. I went out specifically for three things: face wash from B&BW, under-bed storage that actually fits under the bed, and a new clear shower curtain liner. The first I scored, along with some sample sized stuff and some more hand cream. This led me to the Express next door, where I found I can fit into their size 6 pants if they're low rise, and I'm now solidly in their medium sizes for tops instead of large or XL. Plus, sale! Then, I hit Target for the rest. I got the clear liner plus nicer (read: not plastic) shower curtain rings. However, they didn't have any storage bins that'd be both large enough in the w x d department and shallow enough for the height requirement. But, I did end up picking up some wash cloths in the colors of bath & hand towels I'd gotten on sale a month or so ago, 'cause we didn't have nearly as many wash cloths as i thought. I also picked up some cheapy workout clothes, shirts in particular 'cause I was tired of having t-shirts that hung too big and slid around enough that they usually tried to choke me with the collar. $7/shirt works for me. :D

Now that J refreshed my memory on the nearest K-Mart I'll have to look there next for my under-bed storage needs.

Then, I did some of the gardening. I planted some begonias in the hanging planters, then J and I went to the gym. Turns out their summer hours wherein they close at 5pm on weekends haven't started yet, so they were open till 9, so we didn't have to rush anything. I learned on Friday's jog/walk that 5.5mph is a little too fast for a half mile jog for me yet, 'cause the last 1/5 mile or so was just... ugh. I tried it again on Sunday, but the first half mile set I ended up slowing down to 5.3 at a little over halfway through, plus I paused the machine to get a bunch of water before continuing on the halfway walk, so for the 2nd half mile jog portion I set it to only 5mph. (The 1/4 mile bits I can handle.) It's not even my CV system holdilng me back either, it's just general body fatigue. Therefore, I've decided I'm not really ready to start week 5 of the program, 'cause that's 3 half mile jogs. I'm going to keep on week 4 until I can get through it all at the speed I want to do, without being this close to quitting.

After we got back, I cooled off enough so that the breeze wasn't chilly (i.e. enough for my shirt to dry) and finished. I stuck the other begonias in front of the front window, the hardy cyclamen plants along a slightly back-set front row in front of the Japanese maple, and the lily-of-the-valley roots behind. I got 10 of those, but there were two groups of two where the roots were so entangled I would've destroyed them trying to separate the mess. So, I planted 8 holes instead of 10 and am hoping it doesn't kill all of 'em. I also saw that one of the two hostas is indeed trying to come back. No sign of the other one, but I left space so I could put a new one there.

I capped off the night making a start to cleaning up the mess from having my desk not all the way built. Set aside a mess of old catalogs for recycling, threw a bunch of crap away, etc. It looks and feels like a lot of work, but I have to remember it isn't nearly as much as I think it is, and that so long as I'm methodical about it I should be fine. I just can't let it overwhelm me.

not interested in hearing you whine about this one | labels: exercise, gaming, gardening, health, shopping, work, world of warcraft

Friday, April 13, 2007

Life10:33 AM - Specifically for retropixiechic

A cropped, sized so it's not 3MB, picture of a half naked dude posing in front of Abercrombie & Fitch. If you want the original I can email it to ya; like I said, it's 3MB or so, so it might take a bit to download. ;)

Probably safe for work; the guy's not wearing a shirt but he's wearing jeans so he isn't showing any fun bits or obvious outlines thereof. He does have some sweet muscle def though.

not interested in hearing you whine about this one | labels: hot dude, pictures

Life09:46 AM - Quick note to self about books

I've been trying to come up with a list of books that I should add to my "want" list, particularly some of the better classics (i.e. I only had a few of them required in high school English classes and I thought most of 'em sucked—did like Brave New World though). I did get to read Stranger in a Strange Land recently, and farther back than that The Martian Chronicles, but I keep forgetting there's also 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 among others.

laurenlall posted asking more or less the same thing and I'm gleaning some titles from that. Here's my list, mostly for my reference, based on titles I remember having been brought up to me before and from the comments in her post. I don't have any of the Stephen King books listed here 'cause I've already read 'em. ;) Not all of these are classics necessarily, but ones I've heard mentioned many times and really enjoyed. I'll probably also throw on here other stuff as I remember it, even if it isn't recommended

  • House of Leaves
  • 1984
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Slaughterhouse Five
  • Catch 22
  • The Demon Haunted World
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Brave New World Revisited
  • Animal Farm
  • Atlas Shrugged
  • The Giver (thanks laurenlall!)
  • Emma (thanks ehadams!)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Worm Ouroboros, maybe
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • Watership Down
  • The Hunt For Red October
  • The Puppet Masters
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
  • Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • Guilty Pleasures
I know I'll come up with more. However, this is certainly a good start.
view whining (all 4 of them)  | labels: books

Monday, April 09, 2007

Life08:24 AM - That was a first

I was sitting at the light at Lindbergh & Florissant, about a block from home, waiting for my left arrow. Kinda woolgathering, as after all it is Monday morning, but paying enough attention so that I wouldn't get honked at for ignoring the green light. Out of nowhere, there's "Oh crap they're gonn–" *POW* Two cars hit about 10 feet in front of me. O.o Basically, the one coming from east bound Lindbergh (my right) was making a left onto Florissant Rd., and the other was coming from west bound going straight through the intersection. The turning car's right corner and the straight moving guy's right corner met in a very not good way. Both drivers were fine, both able to almost immediately get out of their cars and walking normally, no one bleeding that I could see.

For the first couple seconds I was blinking and a little wide eyed as the adrenaline started up, thinking, "Oh my god, did that just happen?" Then I was reaching for my cellphone. Before I got it off the clip from under my coat and sweater (sweater's longer than my belt where it's clipped) I heard sirens coming from Lindbergh. We're right by the police station so there's a slightly higher ratio of cops, and there had just happened to be one going west bound who saw it and got his sirens and lights going so he could make a left towards the mess. Then I looked up and saw we'd gotten our green and cars behind me were going around to make their left.

I was gonna back up and change lanes so I could make it around at the next light, and even backed up a bunch, but then I figured since I was right there, I ought to stay and give what little info I had. I waited a bit while the cop talked to the two, as others arrived to also talked to them, then made eye contact with him and asked if he needed me to stay. He asked if I'd seen it, and I told him it'd happened right in front of me, so he came over and talked to me for a few seconds. He simply asked, "what happened?" I said the guy was turning left onto Florissant, other guy coming along straight, and they hit, simple as that. He asked me if the guy turning had the arrow. I realized I hadn't been watching (and the only indication of that I could've seen was if eastbound had a red, 'cause of the angle making me unable to see westbound's lights from there) and apologized and told him I hadn't.

Reason dictates that there's a high probability he didn't, but I couldn't state it as fact. Basically, since it was right before my light, that means that he probably didn't. There's always a left arrow for westbound right after north- and southbound Florissant drivers have had their light cycles, which vary somewhat based on who's in what lane, but it's incredibly rare that time of morning that they get a second arrow right before our light cycle. (You'd think eastbound would get one, but there are so few people turning north up Florissant in the morning that it's every bit as rare. There'd actually have to be a few cars waiting to have that, I believe.)

So, it's very, very likely that the guy going straight was not running a red light and the guy going left either didn't see him at all, or thought he could make it. However, they're going to have to settle that based on any other potential witnesses (didn't see anyone else stop, doesn't mean they didn't go by then turn around, though), and what the cops saw of the light cycle (they'd know it better than anyone, really), and how honest both men are.

In other news, I'm again having adrenaline pumping in my system because while I was writing this a goddamn spider the size of a nickel or a bit bigger, just webbed down to drop on my laptop and it crawled off and I lost it and it could end up crawling on my legs while I sit here. :( I'm gonna be watching for it all damn day.
not interested in hearing you whine about this one | labels: driving

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Internet Life08:29 AM - PSA: Internet Bill Pay

Please, learn from my stupidity, because no one needs this kind of blood pressure spike. Confirmation pages for online banking transactions exist for a reason, and should not be skimmed in autopilot.

So, I owed the sewer folks some money. Typical for owning one's own home, yes? I'd managed to miss a few of the last bills (no, actually not the stupidity I'm going to show you; they don't flip out on that and the interest is excruciatingly low), so I owed 'em around $80. Not exactly enough to break the bank, right?

Except when you miss the decimal point.

Yep. I got my transaction email for it yesterday, and there was a debit for nearly 8 large. As in, four figures. As in, more money than I generally ever keep hanging around in the checking account. I about fell out of my chair, and I know my eyes bugged out as far as they're able. PANIC! To compound things, it was 6:30pm. Utility office was closed, so was the bank. It was all I could do to remain relatively calm and not run in a tight circle screaming "WHATDOIDOWHATDOIDO"

J said if anyone could help calm me and tell me what to expect, his mom could, 'cause she's dealt with money lots being a CPA and managing their business (obviously, not because this is something she'd done, she's far less prone to making stupid mistakes such as this). So, I called her. She said not to worry, just call the bank very first thing in the morning, and probably they wouldn't have accepted it anyway even though it was showing right now in the system. She said there was really no reason at all not to be able to sleep at night over it, and it should end up alright.

She was right, and it was simpler than I thought it ever could be, but goddamn. With a few checks that should be hitting shortly plus needing gas money for the MN trip gas pool, it could have been incredibly awful.

I called the bank this morning at 7:30am when the branch opened. The man I spoke with said he wasn't even showing it anymore; I logged into the bank's online system and wasn't seeing it either. He said it probably was automatically rejected, that they wouldn't have accepted such a large amount of overdraw likely anyway. He looked in, and he did see it but that it didn't go through. He also said he'd give the bank's state office manager a call and make sure it didn't get forced through.

To make sure there were no loose ends to surprise me later, I also called the sewer company, account number in hand. Their system didn't even show it, so no bounced check fee to worry about either. She said it happens more often than you'd think, and that sometimes the bank isn't so conscientious or doesn't have the failsafes or whathaveyou and it is allowed to go through, and then the sewer company has to refund it, and there are the overdraft fees, and it takes a few days to get sorted. So, I got off very lucky. (I did have the funds in the savings account to cover the overage in the event I needed to until it was refunded, but that'd be most of it and I'm very thankful I didn't have to take the overdraft hit plus the lack of interest for that month plus the fee for going below a certain amount on that account.)

In sum: double, nay triple check that amount on the confirmation page when setting up online billing! Writing a physical check, or calling it in, it's very hard NOT to write or speak everything properly. It is dangerously easy to miss typing a period where it should be; indeed the key may have been pressed but not hard enough. Don't just glance at it, note that the numbers are all there and the date's fine, and rush through that screen because you've seen it hundreds of times before.

not interested in hearing you whine about this one | labels: banking, internet, money, PSA

Monday, April 02, 2007

This site12:31 PM - New MT version coming

Version 3.34 of MT is out, and it automatically will run in FastCGI mode if that's installed and running on the host. I'm pretty sure it is, and I would like to take advantage of it in order to greatly improve performance. If it works out, then there should be a lot less duplicate comments (that don't come from repeated "post" clicks but from the system hiccupping all on its own) and timed out posts and comments both.

If things are acting weird, though, it might be from being in the middle of upgrading. I don't really have any failover temp stuff that I can revert to (i.e. a temporary htaccess rule that redirects all pages sitewide to a static page or whatever) during the upgrade. Mostly because I'm lazy.

not interested in hearing you whine about this one | labels: MovableType

Exercise Gardening Life12:24 PM - My life in general, only a little about exercise

I swear I'm not going to babble on and on for pages on exercising and all that hoohah.

I'll just get the quick mention out of the way and move on: I was ok back on the program on Friday, no big knee issues resulting from it, but I did not exercise Sunday in part because we were having fun visiting with J's family and in part because I was lazy. Knee continues to improve, and as long as I pay attention to my feet when they land and lift off I should be good. Also going to hand fashion a wobble board from PVC and plywood to strengthen my knees.

OK. Few things. Lots of irises are coming up around the tree, which is good. Less mountain bells are coming up than I hoped for, but I'm hoping they spread well once they take hold. I thought all my bulbs in pots outside had died or been dug up and eaten, but yesterday I removed the mulch and found one plant in one pot, and another in another pot, so I'm slightly less disappointed there. I was also quite surprised to look at the area that had the hostas to see that one of them appears to be coming back from nothing. !! I mean, literally nothing showing above the ground at all. I got confirmation Wednesday that all the plants I ordered from Breck's had shipped, so I'm expecting those in a bit. I don't remember how long it took last time between shipping and arriving so I'm not sure on that. I kinda hope they don't come this week since I doubt they'd get here today, because if they come mid or late week I won't be able to plant them till next week. My cilantro and basil are coming up nicely. I already got my "safe around animals" bug killer that specifically said it works on aphids, so I'm gonna try mixing up a small amount of that and spraying my one pot of snapdragons like it's goin' outta style. The other pot is bug free, but I think I killed 'em all from neglect. :( It's my "replacement/leftover plants" pot anyway so I feel less guilty than if it were the first one that still has some of the ones from my grandma's funeral.

This weekend: we're going on a road trip! mladyjade and suthainn are having a reception in MN for those who weren't at the courthouse last August (which I understand is most folks, natch) or the reception in London. Eee! We have our room reservations, and are caravaning up with them and *stops to count* 5 other people. Which is why I can't plant any of those plants if they get here this week, unless they arrive early enough to do it mid week, hehe. Reminder to self: talk to Mom in class tonight about watching the cats since we'll be gone most of 3 days. Another reminder to self: do the closet sifting now rather than Thursday night to see if wedding attire that fits is extant, so if shopping is needed it won't be last minute.

That's all for the moment. I probably have WoW related stuff to yammer about but nothing cohesive, just random bits of stuff.

not interested in hearing you whine about this one | labels: exercise, gardening, health, life, road trip, vacation

Internet07:30 AM - ... and that's it for IM

Logged on today, opened up my browser, and meebo's been blocked from work "for security reasons." :(

I remember some posts in their forums about alternate ways to access the service but I don't remember any details, and of course the domain being blocked means not looking them up at work either, heh. So if I care, I might try to see if I can get Trillian to connect again, but I suspect that's unlikely.

Anyone who used to occasionally IM me from work probably shouldn't expect to see me on anymore. It was nice to have while it lasted, I guess.

feeling: bummed
not interested in hearing you whine about this one | labels: IM, work