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Status report 2017

I know it’s a little late to be posting a 2017 update, but, y’know, life happens.

I’ve got several things going on under my belt, so the blog hasn’t been a priority. But, that’s what this post is about.

I’ve got a few interests that keep me going: aviation, photography, computers, politics,  all blog concentrations, of course, but there’s also music, Scouting, robotics, writing, working, parenting, and husband-ing. I’m not really stretched thin so much as some things occasionally take a backseat for a while when I focus on others.

For example: I haven’t flown in nearly a year, and it’s killing me. My flight physical was delayed while they study my EKG and a sleep study…because, y’know, I’m 40 now. Hopefully that will be remedied soon, with a letter from the FAA. I’ve taken some time off from music, too.  I was a band leader for a Jazz band and Big Band in Raleigh for several years, and stepped into a player role for the last year, since I knew we were moving. I was a player in a couple other bands, too, before that including a Brass Choir (that specialized in chamber music), and a Ska band from many years ago.  (I play brass – mainly trumpet- , guitar, and even bass on occasion.) Scouts has become a back burner, since we’ve moved and we’re waiting for the middle child to complete his Eagle Scout before we move to another troop. (He’s almost finished.) I’m nearly completely burned out on politics, seeing as how everyone has an opinion on things they do NOT understand. It’s just painful dredging through BS opinions to find real political dialogue.

That being said, I’ve been focusing a lot on my photography, computers and writing. I’m nearly halfway through a novel I started writing a few months ago. I’ve got enough material for a whole series, just need to get it sorted out and in text. I’ve been learning new computer languages, applications, and suites. I’ve been neck deep in the Atlassian suite this year, and setting up provisioning suites for a small lab at work.

I’m also trying to teach the kids to code. The boys have started learning Java in their robotics program at school. A lot of the robot competition involves controlling the robot, and programming autonomous activity for the machines, too. It’s just too cool. The 10 year old just started learning HTML tonight. I got her set up on Codecademy, running through building her for web page. We got her fist Hello World page, and now she’s heading for the bowels of CSS. :)

So, that’s the update. I actually sat down here because I wanted to write up a schematic for the home network. I got a substantial UPS a couple weeks ago (for free, because it needed a little work), and replaced a blown cap, and VOILÀ!, 2700 watts of backup. That gives me 10 minutes of outage time! That may not sound like much, but if you look at my schematic, you’ll see I’m pulling a LOT of watts. Ha!

 

G’night!

The Pacific Northwest is beautiful.

The trips I’ve made out here have literally been a religious experience for me. Nature is my god, and she is here.  The Water. The Geology. The Flora and Fauna. The Night Sky.  The Open Air.  Any combination. of those. It’s just glorious out here.

Growing up in the Midwest and living in the South, and having visited the Northeast a few times, you get the sense that most everything east of the Mississippi is just variations on a theme. Sure there are subtle differences from one woods to the next,  one field to the next, one hill to the next, and there are significant differences between the woodlands of the upper Midwest and the beaches of the South, or the Wetlands of the Deep South or the mountains of Appalachia.  In most of the Eastern half of the country, though, the most you can see in a days drive is 3, maybe 4, different landscapes.

On this coast, the differences are vast- subtle is overrated. Within 6 hours of Portland I can physically touch at least 3 significantly different types of deserts; dozens of forests whose differences are identifiable in seconds; beaches of cliffs, rock, sand, glass and ash; mountains and volcanoes, dormant and live; hot springs, cold springs and glacial melt rivers; high plateaus; vast meadows and prairies; jagged volcanic gorges, slot canyons, and winding creeks; water formed caves and lava tubes; I can go on! There are just SO MANY different terrains.

It’s been a fun few weeks, as I get to spend most of my weekends out and shooting these places.  The views alone confirm our decision to come here. Pics are forth coming.

Cheers.

Hacked, but just a little…

TL;DR : I got hacked. Fixed it quick. Got cool new toys from the hacker in the process.

So…

One of the pages I hosted for some friends (a Cub Scout pack page that had long since expired…) had an unsecured file. Total oversight, it was an old version of WordPress and it left a password in plain text, for a user that had superuser mysql rights. That account was compromised, and that compromised the entire mysql db, obviously. So, I took down wordpress on this page to allow for cleanup. I am planning on moving this page to AWS in the very near future, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.

Back in November, someone did a clever scan, and found it.  Clever, becaus ethe site isn’t even running.  The DN had long since expired with the registrar. I guess they got the IP from an old cache page or something.

They were sending out phishing scams for itunes.fr for a few hours. I shut it down, but in the process, found that the hacker had uploaded their hacking toolkit. So, long story short, I got some cool tools that I never would have found on my own to security test. Now I can run them against my servers and feel fairly confident that all my shit is squared away. And maybe have some fun at someone else’s expense :)

Blogs and SEO comment spam

I’m sure this is a common occurence, but it’s still a bit annoying. Nobody has been told about this blog, with the exception of a single twitter post, that I added just to test out my google analytics plugin. (It’s working, btw…)

Regardless, insincere comments about how “impressive” my blog is when it’s a grand total of 6 posts and a generic WP template with absolutely zero customization kinda makes me not want to use your services. Ever. I am not signing up for your SEO optimization program or whatever it is you’re selling. If your search methods really did work, your blog would be at the head of google searches, and clearly they aren’t.

Good luck with that. Hey, by the way, I have some foolproof methods for buying lottery tickets and picking football point spreads…wanna find out more? Send $$$ to ….

Intros. Jellyman, offspring…offspring, Jellyman.

Initializing….complete.

First post on the new blog site, and I’m stoked. I have been posting in several forums around the different environments, and decided I really just need a repository for the various ramblings I’ve got. My spectrum covers technology in personal and enterprise computing, portable electronics, communications, photography, aviation and aerospace science, and politics. I know, quite a diverse spread there that seems unrelated, but those topics all have stations in my train of thought. Continue reading Intros. Jellyman, offspring…offspring, Jellyman.