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April 2017

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Round and Round We Go

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:35 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
So it turns out that there is a known problem trying to use ClearCase from a Windows environment on the new physical servers. We are now trying to find me a VM on a different physical server.

Of course, sooner or later, they will want to retire that machine because it is not one of the shiny new servers.

I have to say, it would have been good if some of these issues had been discovered before I got to find them...

Rosh Hashana 5778

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:55 pm
filkerdave: (jew roll)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Tonight at sundown marks the start of the Rosh Hashanah and the year 5778. May all of you reading this be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.

לשנה טובה
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One Ping Only

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:30 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Several months ago, I got an email letting me know that they were going to retire the server that my VM for work runs on and that I would be getting a new VM. This would have been fine if the new VM was actually equivalent to my old VM. However, it wasn't.

See, various development organizations had negotiated with IT years ago as to what type of VM developers needed. That included a big chunk of disk storage, because there are development tools and a metric ton of source code (in multiple versions) that take up a big chunk of disk storage. When the new machines were being allocated, they did not have the agreed upon amount of disk storage, because the new servers did not have as much disk storage per CPU as the old servers. In fact, they did not have as much storage as people were actually using on a per-user basis.

This seems to me to indicate that -- just maybe -- someone did a lousy job of specifying the new server configurations. But these are the servers that we have.

So I went to my boss and, instead of using the quota that had been allocated to me, he gave me a nice shiny new VM with everything that I needed. I configured it and was as happy as a clam.

For about two months, until they decided they were going to retire the physical server that hosted my new VM.

So I have a new VM now on a new machine. I have spent several days configuring it.

It will not successfully talk to the ClearCase server in the same data center.

I am not very happy about this.

Run, Ruby, Run!

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:33 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
It is just amazing how much Ruby the Dog enjoys having Uncle Jeff come to visit. She is one very tired dog tonight. :)
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Rough week. Especially yesterday, when N and I took a very sick Bronx to the emergency vet in Seattle. He had a fever of 106; apparently I can't tell at all from his nose and ears. He was also throwing up and not eating, and wasn't anywhere near his usual rambunctious self.

Note: apparently a virus. He's recovering well, and we'll be taking him home tomorrow.

The house seems very quiet and lonely without our Bronx boy. Brooklyn and even Ticia are rambuncting as best they can, but it isn't the same. Meanwhile, apparently cats really are liquids. Or should I say that cat is a liquid?

Thursday, one of our neighbor's cows got loose in our yard. One of those things that's very funny in retrospect. We've also been having a hard time finding a caregiver for Colleen.

As I said, rough week.

Two public service announcements:

  1. Breach at Equifax May Impact 143M Americans; How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze
  2. If you happen to be on Whidbey Island next Sunday (the 24th, a week from today), drop by our house for music and food. "The usual potluck bash", as we used to say of the Starport.

I'm trying to establish a schedule, so that I actually get things done, have some time for Colleen, and don't spend all my spare time online. 9-11 on Tuesdays and Thursdays are earmarked for "Unpleasant Chores" - unpacking, cleaning litter boxes, finishing up the taxes, taking out the garbage, and so on. Tag "UC:"

Notes & links, as usual )

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Orville, Round Two

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:52 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
The second episode of The Orville aired tonight. Gretchen and I watched it in almost-real-time, since it had been delayed by the football game.

It was good. It was actually good enough that Gretchen is now worried about the fate of the series, because she thinks that there is not enough audience that will be able to figure out what it is trying to be.

It's sort of like it's trying to be funnier than, say, Castle, but not as over-the-top as Quark.

And it's not any sillier in the important plot points than Star Trek: TOS.

I'm encouraged.

I'm also encouraged that FOX hasn't thrown it up against the future Big Bang Theory Thursday night time slot to die.

We'll see.
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A Good Try

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:44 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Katie's softball team was playing one of the team's from the "major" division in the league. These are generally the older, more experienced girls. Despite this, they came very close to winning, taking an 8-4 lead, but a bad inning did them in and they lost 9-8.

It was a heckuva game though. They done good. :)

Lessons in Sportsmanship

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:09 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
So last weekend, Katie's team lost to a team that we've played in the past in other incarnations of the league. They're a good team, but they tend to be, might I say, a little aggressive about the rules. Aggressive to the point where, on at least one occasion, the folks organizing a tournament had to tell them "No, you can't do that," after they had pushed the ump into allowing them to do a certain thing against our team. Of course, that didn't help us; only the teams they played subsequently.

Anyway, last weekend, we got caught by a rule that is supposed to allow teams that are trailing going to the last inning a chance to catch up by allowing an unlimited number of runs to be scored in a half inning instead of five. The problem was that we hadn't done something that is required by the letter of the rule, so the spirit of the rule could go to heck. Ok, our fault. I've talked with the manager and we're adding armor to our process so that this doesn't happen again.

As it happens, the other team from Des Plaines was playing this team this weekend. So both our manager and I had briefed them on what had happened to us.

This time around, it happened that the Des Plaines team had a big lead. They scored five runs in the top of a late inning and called their girls off the field. The manager of the team that we had played then came out to argue that this was the last inning and that the inning should continue so that they would have a chance to score unlimited runs in the bottom of the last inning and, thus, have a chance to win.

That is to say, they tried to talk the ump into doing exactly the opposite of what they'd asked to have done the previous week when they were playing us.

Properly briefed, the other Des Plaines team pulled out the rule sheet, pointed to the rule and said, "We don't think so."

And the team that had (admittedly correctly) had the rule enforced against us last week got it enforced against them this week.

Oh, darn.

The rule is actually fundamentally broken as written, because it requires both managers and the umpire to agree that the last inning is the last inning. If one team is ahead by more than five runs going to what would obviously be the last inning, then I cannot understand what -- other than a belief in sportsmanship that appears to not always be in evidence -- would cause them to agree that this is the last inning. I mean, the sixth inning is the theoretic last inning, but since there is a hard two-hour time limit on the games, none of the regular season games go six innings. Most go four.

Ah, well. In any case, justice was served today.

Cold. :)

Tales of the Mighty Hunter

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:08 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Of course, I'm talking about Ruby the Dog here.

You may remember the invasion of the chipmunk from several weeks ago. The chipmunk decided to come back into the house a few days ago, earning him his new name, assigned by Gretchen who watched him pop in through the open back door, right onto the must-smell-exactly-like-dog rug that Ruby likes to lie on in front of the door.

That would, unsurprisingly, be Dumbass. Because you just have to be exceptionally stupid for a chipmunk to come back to play with the dog again. Happily, Dumbass was easily chased back out the door this time, without ending up underneath various bits of furniture. I missed all of this excitement, not having gotten downstairs yet.

But I did not miss last night's excitement.

See, I had promised to take Katie (and by extension the rest of the family) out for frozen custard last night in repayment of some minor slight that she felt that she was suffering through. It was getting late enough that it was definitely time to be going, so we just needed to let Ruby in from the back yard, get her in her kennel, and proceed on our way.

Ruby was on the back porch, so it was a simple matter of getting Julie to let her in.

"Aaaugh! Ruby's got an animal in her mouth."

And Gretchen said, "I don't do dead animals".

Julie: "She dropped it. It's breathing!"

Me: "Ok, not a dead animal."

Gretchen: "Oh, no. You don't try that, mister!"

Me: "Everybody out to the car. I will deal with Ruby."

Julie: "But it's alive! She's licking it!"

Me: "Go to the car."

Julie: "I can hold the flashlight for you."

Me: "Everybody go to the car. Now!"

Finally, everyone else was kicked out the door. Let me grab a Pupperoni to lure Ruby into her kennel. Hand into bag of treats.

Bag of treats is filled with dust.

Ok, I can grab the Beggin' Strips that I bought at Sam's Club. They're right here. Let me cut the two bags apart. Now I will tear off the easy-open strip and--

The bag won't open.

What you don't know is that the bruising on my injured left foot has progressed to the point where standing in one place hurts like hell. Moving is fine. What can I say?

I am now standing in one place and becoming progressively more furious because I had had to stand around (ouch!) waiting for everyone to get out the door, then stand around to open this lousy bag, then find some scissors to work around the not-so-well-designed easy-open strip. Yes, there is nothing like pain to improve one's mood.

Eventually, I got some fakin' bacon out of the bag and opened the back door cautiously to let Ruby in. I did not see an animal either in her mouth or on the porch. Hmm.

I got Ruby in her kennel and eventually figured out where Julie had put the flashlight so I could shine it out on the stoop. Nothing there.

On the other hand, the brightly glowing blue and orange running shoe belonging to Katie was obvious at the edge of the grass where Ruby had stolen it in an effort to get someone to chase her outside and play with her. I suppose I had better get the shoe back.

And at the edge of the patio, curled up in a little ball, was a very bedraggled and damp looking baby possum, about the size of a saucer. It wasn't moving.

I recovered the shoe and went inside. I considered the chances were fair that the possum was, as possums do, playing possum. I went to the car and reported this to the family.

When we got home, I checked the patio. There was no possum to be found.

We will now see if the possum is smarter than Dumbass...
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It pretty much kills any real social media time, especially longer-form stuff like DW. I could probably do more if I turned the computer on at night but I really try never to do that when I'm on a project. There's no reason to.

Maybe things will even out a little. I'd made a commitment to myself to write here regularly, and I haven't quite been able to do it for the past few weeks.

On the bright side, Baltimore is a nice town so far. I'm sure there are parts that aren't nice, but that's true of every city, isn't it?
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Everyone Knows It's Windy

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:14 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
It was a happy surprise to discover that Gretchen's brother, Jeff, was in town and had called Gretchen to arrange to meet us for breakfast over at T-Bob's this morning. The conversation was very silly, to the point where I do not remember what prompted this to come out of my mouth, but suddenly I announced:

"That's it! Gale Force Boobs!"

I am not sure exactly what this would mean or how they might work, but I have this nasty suspicion that they have something in common with Earthquake Pills...
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Back to Baseball

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:59 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
I finally made it back down to Wrigley Field with a friend of mine and we watched as the Cubs demolished the Mets. Seeing the Mets get demolished is generally a good thing, even in their current piteous state...

Half Day

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:36 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
The girls had a half day off from school today, which maximized the amount of chaos around the house. But nothing too odd happened, so...

I am continuing my work on porting our C++/C# code up to Visual Studio 2017. This would be less entertaining if Microsoft hadn't changed their locale support in the CRT library around to hide all of the internals. Gack!

McManamon Theater Sept 9 2017

Sep. 12th, 2017 09:09 pm
ericcoleman: Cheshire Moon (Cheshire Moon)
[personal profile] ericcoleman
We played two storming sets this weekend. Xap streamed both live for us over our FB page. I was able to snag them and repost them on You Tube.

Susan joined as, as she does for a lot of the Chicago area shows. Cathy McManamon both hosted and sang and played drums a bit.

Set 1 - https://youtu.be/J6grsJHdC3w

Set 2 - https://youtu.be/3ZQh9T_o03E

If you like these, and want to support our House Concert shows, think about sending us something via PayPal. cheshiremoonband at gmail.

We've also posted this around.

We’re starting to think about next year. I expect we will do a show at the Church on Lawrence in Chicago, as we try to do every year. Another house concert in Champaign is probably going to happen, like it does. If the November show in Indianapolis works out, we’ll go back there. Cathy has said she wants us to do another show at her place. This weekend's show was very special.

Right now the only definite convention is Demicon (that will change I am sure). After the financial beating we have taken this year, the cost of badges and rooms are just beyond our means.

We still want to do a show a month at least. So we’re looking. We’re looking to do house concerts, especially house concerts, coffee houses, little music festivals, anything like that. We don’t do Ren Faires, we’re just not that sort of band. We don’t do bars. We want to go places where the music is the focus.

And we want to get places we haven’t been! So if we haven't come out your way and you think of a place that might work for us, please let us know!

There is now video of an entire house concert on our FB page (and it will be up on You Tube soon). This one was unusual because Susan was playing with us, which she doesn’t do very often, living in a different city and all. But it shows you what we do live. (this part written before I posted the video)

We’re never going to do this for a living. I’ll be 60 next year, and I don’t see myself living in a van for weeks at a time.

But we want to play as much as we can. We want to record more new songs.

So, if you have a place for us to play, please let us know.

In the meantime, enjoy this weekend's show.

Somewhat eventful week, and I see that I didn't get it posted yesterday. Grumph. And today is a busy one, so this will be worked on only in the interstices.

This was our first week of school for both of N's kids, and in particular of homeschooling for j. N and I are taking turns, with N on Tuesday and Thursday, and me on Monday and Wednesday (when C has a caregiver in, although it's a little more hectic right now because we're between caregivers). Friday is for catch-up and projects. J also got the first weekly call from his teacher, where we were able to determine that we have a lot more freedom to choose which activities (e.g. science experiments) we actually do. It's still a bit of a scramble.

This weekend (ok, last weekend -- I'm finishing this up on Tuesday at this point) one of our neighbors, Dean, threw a huge party. He apparently does this every year for his birthday. He's 67, and has been building his house and "landscaping" his property since sometime in the '70s. It's awesome. "Landscaping" in quotes because landscaping doesn't normally include secret tunnels, grottos, and water slides. I only found out about it because I was standing behind him in line at the grocery store. Fairly large amount of music. He's a fiddler! We have a lot of songs that could use fiddle. He also repairs pianos.

The hash I made of "Wheelin'" on Saturday afternoon prompted me to finally reprint the LgF songbook -- two-sided, using my new style definitions. Worked great. There are still a few glitches, but on the whole it's a big improvement.

I made fudgies for the party. Recipe in the notes.

We hired a new caregiver for Colleen. As soon as we saw her purple hair we knew she was going to be a good fit. She'll start on the 25th, after giving two weeks' notice at her previous job.

Notes & links, as usual )

Orvilles and Means

Sep. 11th, 2017 10:19 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Gretchen and I watched the pilot for The Orville last night. It was interesting. I'm not yet sure it is viable, but I could have said the same after the first episode of The Big Bang Theory.

Obviously, the series owes a major debt to Star Trek. Listening to the musical soundtrack was really interesting as I was going "Ok, there's the Enterprise theme turned inside out. Hey, here are the enemy stormtroopers and we're getting that theme from Star Wars turned inside out." ("Turned inside out" is my technical shorthand for "Let's write something that sounds like the original without actually being the original." It's a handy recipe for a pastiche.)

Of course, the whole series is a pastiche. And that may be ok. I'm familiar with many of the actors in the ensemble and overall it's a strong group. If the writers figure out how to write for them, it could be pretty good. If not, well, science fiction on Fox. What did you expect?

Gretchen observes that there's a raunchy edge to the humor that may keep parents from letting their younger kids (and quite possibly their older kids) from watching it. That won't likely be good for ratings.

And the show is playing fair with the viewers. Was there anyone watching the episode who didn't go, "Oh, look! The Captain has a pocketful of redwood trees."? It was like finding a gun and a bust of Chekhov on the mantel. Given the debt to Star Trek, I guess a bust of Mr. Chekov would have been most appropriate...

We'll see what they decide to grow up to be.
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Still More Softball

Sep. 10th, 2017 10:37 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Well, the girls played hard today, but they lost. In this case, they lost to a team where it seems like every time we play them there is at least one more dispute over the league rules for the division.

Now, I'll say that the rules are not well-written (in my opinion, as someone who has to write rules in a way that a computer can execute them -- and remembering that a computer is not smart, it is merely accurate), but after a while, this becomes tiresome.

Ah, well. Another valuable life lesson for Katie about sportsmanship, I suppose.

Chicago!

Sep. 10th, 2017 10:24 pm
ericcoleman: (Default)
[personal profile] ericcoleman
We played a lot of music this weekend. A lot of new songs. Susan was brilliant. Cathy sat in for a couple of songs (a sublime version of The Weaving, and wonderful drums on Solstice).

Saturday night was really special. One of those shows we will talk about for years. Both sets are available to watch on our Faceboook page. We're working on getting it on You Tube.

Saturday night at the McManamon Theatre, complete with footnotes!

Set 1
Circus Of Dreams
Disenchanted
Witch In Your Story
Beast Within
Tea & Fireflies - C-P
The Weaving (With Cathy and Susan on vocals)
Callenwood Part One - C-P
Hamlin’s Bow - C-P
Calvin's Girl
Narrow Way

Set 2
Ghost Train
Banshee
Horizon
Seaside Evening Market - 1-P
An Affirming Flame - 1-P
Masters of Library Science
Gargoyles - P
Shadow Moon - 1
Spinning Skies & Mirrors - P
Solstice (With Cathy on drum) - P

Then, Sunday at Greater Chicago Pagan Pride, also a marvelous show. Eric had rubber fingers, but still managed!

Gargoyles - P
The Well Stone - P
Persephone
Shadow Moon - P
Spinning Skies & Mirrors - P
Widow's Garden
Ghost Train
Snow White Red Road
Boneman's Daughter
Solstice

If it is marked with a C, it is a Callenwood song
If it is marked with a 1, it was the first time we have played it live
If it is marked with a P, it is available in demo form on our Patreon page.

Yes, I'm Tired Again

Sep. 9th, 2017 10:30 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
The good news is that I seem to be recovering from my head cold, but it has left me very tired. And I have to get up early tomorrow morning, as Katie's team has a softball game at 9:30 AM.

The girls won today's game by a score of 11-1. All of the girls pitched well, including Katie, who allowed the game's only run due to an errant pitch that hit the first batter that she faced and who eventually came around to score. But strikes were thrown, which is the objective. :)

Less Baseball, More Softball

Sep. 8th, 2017 11:15 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
I had made plans to go to tonight's Cubs/Brewers game -- a first-time regular season Friday night game by special dispensation from the City Council -- and then I came down with a nasty head cold last night. I kept trying to convince myself that I would make it to the game with a friend of mine, at least until about 2 PM when I gave it up. It turns out that my friend was coming down with something to, so I suppose it was all for the best.

Especially because Katie has softball on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. I am feeling enough better, having taken it easy today, that I expect that I will be able to make it to both games.

Whee!