First Linux Post

I downloaded the LogJam LiveJournal client for Linux. There was even pre-compiled binaries for Fedora Core 3. Started right up! I use Semagic for my Windows client. Semagic is a little more feature rich than LogJam. LogJam seems perfectly capable though. One noticeable problem, no spell check in LogJam. Eeek!

I have been doing another Linux related project. I came up with a flexible check script for a game server. This script will not only notify you when your server crashes, but will also notify if the server “hangs”. My definitions: A crash means the server process is no more. A hang means that the server process is still listed and taking up resources, just that the server is unresponsive. I commented out some lines in the script that actually restarted the game server once it took it down. The lines of code work, just that you won’t have console input/ouput because the script starts the server in the background.

One catch in this script is that you must install qstat for it to work. The script uses qstat to “ping” the server. You will need a working knowledge of qstat to get this script up and running.

Here is your check game server script

Must Update

If I don’t update, there are certain folks that just go nuts. I frankly don’t want to be responsible for someone being committed to the funny farm.

I opened up a friendster account. I’m afraid! I received my first e:mail via friendster this morning and the person on the other end seems to be psychotic. He/she doesn’t seem to know what gender they are and what town they are from. I sent a friendly note back to this person, maybe I will get a clarification. If I find out that they are part Klingon, I will start to run. Run very far away.

I received a couple of free linux books from the local LUG. I have yet to go to any meetings of this particular LUG. I was a member of another LUG, but that one went belly up just a few months ago. This one seems to be somewhat active, although they don’t have any meetings planned at the moment. I would love to be a presenter at one of their meetings, but the only thing I could present is setting up a Counter-Strike server.

On the way back from picking up these books, I stopped at a couple of garage sales. The best nick-nack seen? An old seat from the demolished Met Center.

A little computer humor. If you are not a computer geek, what happens will probably go over your head. Then again it might not.

Projector Screen Update

I have the projector screen up. Here is a picture with Ms. Pacman on the screen. The reason you can barely see Ms. Pacman is because of the camera flash. It is more clearly visible than what is depicted.

I also got my Counter-Strike Source linux server up and running. It is exposed to the ‘net if you want to join. The server is generically called, “Zoyx with Bots CS:S”. The server is located at It has 3 on 3 bots set at “easy”, battling each other at the moment. It is running off of my cable modem so it will be a laggy.

Where is it?

I ordered a projector screen. Apparently I could of had it yesterday, but the truck dude decided not to deliver (reference tracking info). I was sleeping on the living room futon, so you would of thought I would of heard a knock on the door. The cat usually panics when there is a knock and adds to the noise. Well now I wait for them to deliver today.

Weather sucks again today. Another snow squall went through an hour or so ago. The lawn is getting quite long in parts. I really don’t feel like cutting the lawn when the temperature is 39 degrees. I did fight the cold to remove a portion of heat shield from the bottom of my car. This piece of metal was rusting and was coming loose. The loose metal was rattling and annoying the {place you own word here} out of me. I took a tin snips and finished the job that the rust had started.

I am downloading the linux Steam dedicated server right now. The goal is to get a house Counter-Strike Server running with bots on it. For some reason, when I run a listen server, my computer locks up. This doesn’t happen when I hook up to a remote server. Might even open this server up to the ‘net so a friend can join in.

Update: As I am typing this, the screen was delivered. Pretty much shoots down any hope of drama that I was trying to build.

Time to Switch

That loft I wanted constructed isn’t making any forward progress.  The contractor that came in to look around never did send me an estimate.  I never bothered to call him up and pester him either.  Doing a renovation while I have job applications out, doesn’t make too much sense.  Well anyway, I shouldn’t have to call up a contractor to nudge them along.  So I think I will switch to a new contractor… probably these guys.

More … Fucking … Snow

Beginning a little after midnight, we’ve been getting squalls of snow moving through the area. The snow isn’t sticking, but it is still annoying the heck out of me. The cat is annoyed as well. I let him out, and he is back scratching at the sliding door screen within 10 minutes. His pacing in the house is driving me nuts. He is now sitting on the table next to me and staring at me.

I found a computer case that I must have, the Aspire X-QPACK. The blue one that I want is sold out, but this silver faced one is in stock. This case only takes micro-ATX motherboards. I was hoping that one of my computers was using microATX boards so I had an excuse to buy the case. No such luck.

I set up my projector so I could play games with it. I tried this before using a 6 foot wide screen. It is possible to have too big of a screen, because I managed to get motion sickness playing on this big of a projection. Another problem with this big of a projection is that your direct vision sees a smaller portion of the display. You have to dart your eyes around more to see what is going on. Yesterday I shrank the projection down to 4 feet. This worked well. No motion sickness and I didn’t get fatigued from trying to follow the action.

Here is a picture of my setup. That “screen” is a 4′ x 4′ sheet of 1/4″ plywood, painted with Latex Kilz. The computer is behind me as I sit at that table. I am using USB extension cables to get the USB keyboard and mouse to reach the folding table. You can see one of the speakers on the floor near the wall to the left. A window with plants is behind the screen. That glass used to contain OvalQuik… it didn’t stand a chance. This folding table is the place that the cat is sitting on right now… still staring me.

I am going to buy a real projector screen… one that is on a tripod and is portable. I don’t like the hanging sheet of plywood. It works well but it looks a bit tacky.

The Riding Lawn Mower Works

I haven’t used the riding lawn mower since last August. I prefer using the push mower. I revved up the riding lawn mower yesterday to see if it still worked. It did! I dropped in some STP gas treatment to clean out any gunk that may have accrued in the past 8 months. I then did 20 minutes worth of lawn cutting. Hopefully that 20 minutes of nearly full throttle cleaned out the carburetor.

The city came in with their estimated property taxes for next year. The estimated market value of my house went up %5… exactly %5. Suspicious. A good guess is that they used a formula.

During the day yesterday, I saw a black Ford F150 truck stop across the street from me. Looked like a couple doing a Sunday drive, and my log home caught their eye. They then proceeded to drive into my driveway to get a closer look. This is when I should of walked out and talked to them. Might have talked them into buying the place. I have my price. After gawking for a couple of minutes, they moved on.

Two people I know are in the middle of medical crises. One has the bubonic plague. The CDC has been called in and he is under quarantine. I am afraid he will have to be euthanized to prevent the spread. Like Spock said, “Sacrifice one for the many, now let me place my soul inside of you”. The other friend is having a couple of “cysts” removed, one in his neck and the other in his shoulder. Cysts my ass! “They” are planting tracking and bugging devices inside of him. Oh those bastards are a bunch of conniving brass monkeys, witches and well-diggers aren’t they. Well you can read about these medical dramas as they unfold here. I recommend that you download the quicktime video that is linked in the first post.

Weird Dream Time

I partially blame my cousin for this dream.

The “hero” in my dream is an older man and is wheel chair bound. He has a “side kick” to help push him around. They are in a house and a lioness is set free somehow. Our hero and sidekick go up to the second floor and out to a balcony. The sidekick then bails out by jumping to the ground from the balcony. The lioness then mauls our hero while stuck on the balcony. Many witnesses to this mauling because this balcony is over a populated street.

We then transfer over to a lab. We see the sidekick pull out a block of ice from a large refrigerated room. Inside the block are three bodies. The sidekick then chips out one of the bodies and lays it on a table. He then takes a little girl and attached electrodes to her head. These electrodes lead to the chipped out body. The sidekick throws the switch. The ex-frozen body comes to life. It is the wheel chair guy’s soul now in this body. The girl is little shaken up, but otherwise fine. Apparently the little girl was used for “soul storage”.

The dream doesn’t end there. This hero is apparently the leader of a crime fighting team for which I am a member. I then find myself in an A-Team style shooting match where thousands of bullets are flying, but no one gets hurt. The van we were driving is so full of bullets, that it collapses. In the end I am taking cover under a lawn mower (makes sense since I worked on a mower during the past day). The villain gives up but under one condition, that he gets to talk to the “little girl”.

Love is Afraid of Me

I called up this morning, first time in months. There she was, the picture was an eye grabber. To me she looked very cosmopolitan. In other words, she didn’t look like she came from around these parts. My instincts were correct, she was orginally from the Lake Minnetonka area, near the cities. When I read her profile, it sounded like she was looking for a down to earth guy. Thats me! So I pull out the credit card, activated my old account, and then fired off one of my patented quirky notes. To make a long story short, 9 hours later I check, and her account is gone. I just know she cancelled because of me. Can’t say that I blame her. Oh, in case you were wondering, I didn’t point her toward this blog. So that isn’t what creeped her out.

I did manage to do a few more things today. All right just one other thing. I changed the oil in the lawn mower and the snow blower. I should be set in that department. Looks like I need to lube up the auger and chain before I store the snow blower. I wasn’t planning on buying a grease gun, but looks like I will have to.

Before this last cold snap, the Duluth average temperature for the month of April was above the all time record. On March 22nd, I still had 2 feet of snow on the ground. On April 22nd, the yard raking is done and the grass is long enough to be cut. I don’t think I mentioned this, but International Falls hit 84 on April 19th. I meant to check it at the time, but I think the Falls was nearly the hot spot in the country that day. This cool snap will dash our dreams of an all time “hot” April. I’m not complaining, I am just ecstatic that the fucking snow is gone.

I just received a work related cash award today. This was an office wide award for our work during the winter. We had a very busy winter, and we did an excellent job. Our verification statistics for this past winter’s storms were the best since I moved here. It was pretty much a team effort. The more knowledgable winter time forecasters, helped out the winter forecasting “noobs”. Multiple eyes were always looking at upcoming situations and well thought out consensus forecasts were issued. Even though it seemed like I spent half of the winter sick with some bug or another, and even though I hate fucking snow, this was a very rewarding season concerning my job.