Friday, October 31, 2008

On Values

[08:59] Nat: freitag lawl
[08:59] Nat: i stole ur typing
[08:59] Lauren:
[08:59] Nat: no can do, chiefette
[08:59] Lauren: ph boo
[08:59] Nat: phboo
[08:59] Nat: that is funny
[08:59] Nat: not as funny as values
[09:00] Nat: values is a weird word when you type it a lot
[09:00] Nat: u gets to step up to the plate and be phonetic
[09:00] Nat: word manager baseballman said "U! you are not carrying your weight around here, go hit a home run please"
[09:00] Nat: and u was all "I cannot do that because I do not have arms :-( "
[09:01] Nat: so baseballman said "okay, sound like yourself for once instead of o. o gets a lot of attention anyway."
[09:01] Nat: and u smiled and yelled out "U!"
[09:01] Nat: the end :-)
[09:01] Lauren: whut

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trip to the Land of Twinkies, Day 4

So, I've been kind of light on content this week.

Part of this is because I made the decision to leave my camera in a safe in College Park. This was a wise choice from a logistical standpoint, as I had to walk over 2 miles from the West Natick MBTA commuter rail station to the Hampton Inn.

That's fine - I haven't been able to go anywhere, and the only thing I've wanted to take a picture of are the bright red trees out in the parking lot. Little maples, very pretty.

Anyway, I was planning on doing some google maps editing and uploading my GPS log from the trip up here. We hit 151 miles an hour at one point, and apparently the whole notion of lining out the train route up the Eastern excited me. Or something.

Unfortunately, here's what I've been dealing with since I got here Monday night:

Macintosh-4:~ natkuhn$ ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=47 time=203.091 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=47 time=999.273 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=47 time=394.044 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=47 time=839.724 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=47 time=419.128 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=47 time=1003.461 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=6 ttl=47 time=1004.051 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=7 ttl=47 time=1003.662 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=8 ttl=47 time=954.812 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=9 ttl=47 time=1010.508 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=10 ttl=47 time=1003.984 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=11 ttl=47 time=1003.854 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=12 ttl=47 time=1003.493 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=13 ttl=47 time=1003.364 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=14 ttl=47 time=1003.827 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=15 ttl=47 time=1003.112 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=16 ttl=47 time=1008.885 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=17 ttl=47 time=1002.986 ms
--- ping statistics ---
19 packets transmitted, 18 packets received, 5% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 203.091/881.403/1010.508/248.835 ms

The values <1000ms are cool; the internet works when that happens. Even the values > 1010ms are generally cool; I've had working internet here when it gets up to 2200ms - working, but slow.

It's all those values - sometimes hundreds in a row when I have non-working internet - that hit between 1002 and 1004 that are convincing me there's some kind of artificial packet shaping at work here, and that it's horribly broken.

I tried to find the Hampton Inn tech support contact number, and instead, I found installation/configuration guide PDFs meant to be used by contractors installing this stuff in all kinds of hotels. In them, it says that Hampton Inn (and its parent, Hilton) asks the contractors to prevent contact between user computers.

Hmm... bonjour, anyone?

I turned off mDNSResponder and mDNSResponderHelper using launchctl and actually got working internet. It's been worse today, but still up more than down. (of course, as I type this, I appear to be stuck in a good stretch, with over 60 pings <30ms.)

Anyway, the situation is affecting all web traffic, including Hampton Inn websites, and all traffic associated with IMs, and most traffic associated with IMAP. SMTP is out completely when this happens.

Well, as it is, FileMaker training is going well. I've learned a lot of optimization tips for the database work I've done over the years, and also learned that nothing I was doing was outright incorrect in the professional sense - they live by the rule "if it works, and it does what you want, it's right." Today was calculations, tomorrow will be scripting. I've spent a lot of time in these, so it's actually been easier for me to deal with than the database planning stuff we did yesterday and Tuesday. An aside - Did you know that FileMaker has average and mode functions, but not median? We learned how to reinvent that wheel today.

So yeah, that's the story. Sorry for the blank slate. Again. Or as always.

Edit:: as if that weren't bad enough, it would appear there is a configuration error on our xserve. Now, my website is ugly. This is because everything lives on that xserve.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Unboxing of a different sort

We have something called a Super Grand Mart up the street from me now. When first I went, I had absolutely no idea it was an Asian market, or at least, primarily an asian market. That said, I chose to go back to raid the snack and beverage aisles for comedy's sake. Not much comedy, mind you, but hey.

So here's my bag:

Inside, we begin with a bag of spice that came from a section of only bags of spice.
So, either ground up spices are snacks, or Super Grand carries 40,000 different kinds of this company's products without getting into the snack section of the catalog.

Next, Jasmine tea. Whatever.
jasmine tea

Now, this amused me...
blood pressure tea
This tea tastes awful. I choose to blame the ingredients list, the last item of which is Horny Goat Weed.

On to the snacks!

My mom taught me many years ago to eat Pocky.
bag pocky
All of the white nerd in me, however, cannot possibly imagine the need to buy a bag of Pocky this big. Equivalent to five boxes of regularly packaged Pocky, the price of this magical item is about $4. Regular Pocky is not. I moved on from the bulk pack of Pocky to get some of my favorite variety, the comically named Pocky Men's.
pocky men's
Dark chocolate, dark pretzel, all tasty. A lot of people refuse to believe that such a product exists, but if the marketing wizards at Glico are to be treated as authorities on the matter, Japanese women are not allowed to eat Dark Chocolate. I was reminded that dark chocolate is seen as an aphrodisiac, and I can only imagine that it's a cultural belief that women who eat dark chocolate will turn into a Hello Kitty doll with tentacles for hair and unicorn genitals for everything else. Said demon attends a girls-only high school as a 10th level student preparing for college when it encounters trouble with its higher level maths. The placement test is so hard! Then it has a run-in with a gang of miscreant garage workers on the way home. They steal its mother's lunchbox and throw its sandals at it. Crying furiously, it goes super saiyan and destroys the whole of Tokyo, then, in a mixture of pride and shame, retreats to its cave to enjoy its own company. Also, its eroticism level is over 9,000, or something. Bow chicka mow bwow.

The most elusive and, despite the fact that I already knew of its existence as well, most amusing product of the haul, though, is the box of Pocky Giant.
pocky giant
I haven't opened it yet, so I have no idea what awaits me. $12 dollars for that box, though... it should be like unwrapping chocolate-covered pretzel rods of gold. Or at least tasty.

As I left the store, I was offered a door prize for shopping. Do you know what that was?

door prize
Note it's not even iodized salt, and I don't use salt for anything, so I couldn't help but walk home with a giant stupid smile on my face for having been handed a can of salt.

Bonus: Look at the sticker on the bananas I bought at Giant earlier...
banana lol

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Today's hike took me over Buzzards Rocks trail. About three miles and change, and I only took 17 pictures.

the perspective shot

down the valley


The rest with two pictures of cat.

Friday, October 17, 2008



My optiplex, fine. Two monitors on that.

Then there's the MacBook Air I'm taking with me to Boston receiving software updates, the extremely early PowerBook G4 (Aluminum, 1 GHz) in the middle dealing with an Office 2008 installation, and the one on the right (Aluminum, 1.5 GHz) getting both system updates and Office 2008 updates at the same time.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hurf durf - update

plant 1

White flower


More in the gallery, and with commentary (sort of). I guess I figure you put up with infinity days without any activity, the least I can do is try. These are from the national botanical garden.

edit: Here's this thing, too. This is from Theodore Roosevelt Island, taken on Sunday.

leaf alone


shield bugs

The gallery be here. Again with the commentary. Woop woop!