swestrup: (Default)
It being a new year and all and whatnot and so forth I've decided to officially make the jump and move all of my old Livejournal posts over to Dreamwidth. I've had an account for years, and technically was crossposting from Livejournal to Dreamwidth, but I had really about given up on Livejournal, AND I never bothered to check that the crossposting was working.

So now I'm gonna see if I can get Dreamwidth to crosspost in the other direction, and see about setting things up here. No guarantees that I'm back to stay, but we'll see.
swestrup: (calvin)
I made a tactical error with my last post. I had been thinking, abstractly, that I should start posting livejournal updates again, and had planned to do that starting right after my 'we are here' post.

What I hadn't been considering (basically because its the sort of thing I try not to think about) was what a bad headspace I was in at that time. I was hurting badly, but I don't believe in talking to others about my hurts because I don't find that spreading it makes it better. It just makes other people hurt too, and then I hurt more because on top of my troubles I've gone and hurt my friends. So, for me, talking about it makes it worse. Empathic people who *really* want to help, only make it many times worse.

So, basically I had nothing I wanted to talk about that I was willing to talk about. Hopefully things will be changing a bit from now on, as I hope I'm over the worst of it, for now.
swestrup: (calvin)
Rumor has it that LJ has been bought out by someone who plans to do a lot better maintenance and upkeep than has been the case for the last few years. Not sure if this dying behemoth can be brought back to life, but I wish the project well.

I just wondered how many folks are still around. Why not everyone who reads this post a message to your LJ that you are still around, still exist, and lets see if there's any community left here. So like the Whovians from Horton Hears a Who

We are here! We are Here! WE ARE HERE!

Venn Who?

Aug. 12th, 2012 01:29 pm
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Once upon a time, ages ago, long before Wikipedia. Before even the web, I used to try to invent four-set and five-set Venn diagrams. They were intended for things like mapping the quasi-elemental planes in D&D, or for coming up with new alchemical systems for D&D. I never succeeded. Today a quick google search produced this:

and this

The reason the 5-set version looks better is that 5 is prime, and there are only nice solutions with rotational symmetry for prime numbers of sets. Not that said solutions are easy to find. I was reminded to look up symmetrical Venn diagrams because they now go up to 11, but with 11 sets, there are 2^11-1 = 2047 intersections, so its kinda complex:

Back it up

Aug. 5th, 2012 05:07 pm
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After having gone through a number of trials and tribulations, I think I finally have the hardware for the Ten Ton Tabulator sorted out. That's the name I finally gave to the 12 TB backup server I bought recently, mainly because its the heaviest computer I've ever owned, and the heaviest that the store has ever sold. The dang thing must weight 50+ Kg.

Now that it seems to provide reliable storage (two raid 6s) I just need to make USE of the damn thing. In the long run, this is likely to cause me to upgrade my internal network to gigabit speeds, otherwise it will take *forever* to backup all the house systems.

For the moment I am testing things out with an "easy" case: backing up my main computer and laptop. Only this turns out to be far from easy, as I seem to have 4 not-necessarily exclusive categories that a file might want to be in:

1) Junk or System files that I don't really need or want backed up.
2) Files that I just want backed up.
3) Files that I want to share between all OS's on a given machine
4) Files that I want to sync between different machines.

Seeing as my laptop runs 3 different OSes (Gentoo for customizability, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for work, and Win7 for games), while my Desktop runs 6 at last count (my dev environment plus one each of the target distros for my work software), and there are a large number of development files that need to be sync'ed between my laptop and dev system, especially when I'm on a business trip, it all gets kinda... messy.

So right now I'm going through my desktop and my laptop and moving files around so that they are in folders that make the above classifications clear, so that I can setup automated backup and sync services. This involves a large amount of reconfiguring software, as things move around, and in some cases rebooting a number of times to ensure that the software in every OS I run agrees on where the files have been moved to. Oy.
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So, suddenly I'm gonna be in Calgary for 4 days and, once again, nobody I know there is going to be in town or available. :-/

I usually love to travel, but I'm not really looking forward to this trip. No particular reason why; I just don't feel very motivated to fly half-way across the country at the moment.
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Yeah, I moved over to facebook, and I've been neglecting my LJ. Which is a shame because FB doesn't really keep anything like a chronological journal of events that I can look through later.

Much of the previous gap in my journal has been me being really depressed, which is another reason I just stopped writing. I don't want to write about being depressed any more than folks want to read about it.

All that changed last April (almost a year ago now), when I finally got a full time job with people who actually seem to respect my skills and experience. Feeling like I'm useful has certainly helped, and the money (although not great) is far better than no money. Getting rid of the continual anxiety caused by monthly bills I can't pay has been a major relief as well.

Yesterday, we finally got the inheritance from Linda's mom's estate. Its been delayed so many times I was wondering if we would ever get it, so I didn't want to mention it and jinx anything. Now that its actually here though, we can consider replacing the car, which has been on its last legs for quite some time now, and getting a much newer and more intact model. Somehow I suspect the next car will be another Volvo as both Linda and I have been very happy with that brand.
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Went and got myself a Google+ account. Still undecided as to how it will ultimately stack up against Facebook, but I think it has real potential.
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I learned yesterday that, Liz Metcalfe, one of my oldest friends was killed while riding her motorcycle. An oncoming vehicle crossed the center line causing a massive multi-car pile up resulting in several injuries and deaths.

I don't have words to describe how much I'm going to miss her.
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Given the title of the episode, I thought the latest Doctor Who episode would be about River Song. Boy was I wrong. Neil Gaiman wrote the episode and he decided to delve into the character of the Tardis. Strangely enough, I've been mentally writing an episode that did the same thing, for some time. Neil Gaiman's take was completely different than mine, and roughly two orders of magnitude better. I guess that's why he's a world renowned writer and I'm not.

Suffice it to say that I absolutely loved the episode although I had to keep pausing it and replaying bits to get all of the dialogue, some of which I found hard to make out. Its also quite evident that Neil Gaiman has got to be completely mad (in a good way) in order to be THAT creative in his writing.
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I seem to have made a surprisingly rapid recovery from one of the nastiest bugs I've been hit with in some time. I think that since Saturday Night, I've slept for a total of something like 48 hours. Last night I started trying to eat solid food again, and today I've been slowly progressing to regular meals.

I don't yet feel 100%, but now I feel like I have a slight cold or something, rather than the Death Leurgy From Hell. I call that an improvement.
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I went to bed last night feeling fine and woke up this morning feeling awful. I've spent the last 12 hours in bed sleeping due to extreme fatigue, punctuated with a mad dash to the bathroom every 10-20 minutes.

I even find it hard to concentrate enough to let folks know how sick I am. I have a whole bunch of activities that I'm supposed to participated in this week, and now they're all in question.

So, if you don't hear from me, assume I'm too sick to make it.
swestrup: (Default)
My first week of work was a short one, as its Good Friday today and so there's no official work. I actually spent the morning configuring stuff on the new distro install so I'll be able to be productive on Monday, and so that I can get dual boot working properly (its 97% there. I can dual boot, but its interaction with kernel updates is kludgy).

Anyway, I haven't done much. Most of the week was taken up with the usual first-days-on-a-new-job thing like paperwork and getting accounts set up and reading the basic documentation and stuff. I'm hoping to actually get something accomplished early in the week because I'm flying out to meet my bosses and co-workers in Calgary on Wednesday.

I had initially thought there would be a two-week delay before heading out there, and had hoped to have something small but real to show for myself by then -- to prove that I can hit the ground running. Right now, not so much.

Other than that, I've been in a REALLY good mood the last week or so. Its amazing how much better one can feel when they know enough about their financial future to make reasonable plans.
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Its quiet here... too quiet.

I've just started my first day of work at Userful. However, although I started at 9:00 am local time, its 7:00 am at the main office in Calgary and no one is there yet, so I haven't actually been given anything to do. Still, I know enough about the project to start reading up on the various bits of documentation I'll need to be familiar with. So far though, my first day of work feels a lot like most of my non-work mornings.
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I'm in the middle of another period where my sleep schedule is all screwed up, so I've been working on some of my software through the night. A few minutes ago it gradually registered that I'd been hearing a rhythmic bumping noise for some time.

It wasn't a steady bump-bump-bump, but was more of an rapid series of beats that would grow faster and louder until they stopped, only to start again a second later. Sort of a "bump ... bump ... bump bump ... Bump Bump Bump BUMP BUMPBUMP*BUMP*!!BUMP!! .......

At first I dismissed it as the sound of a neighbors unbalanced dryer, but ... at this time of night? Then I thought it could possibly be a snowplow, but it didn't really sound like one. I wandered the house and it seemed louder in some rooms, quieter in others, with no discernible pattern other than it got louder the farther down I went.

I eventually ended up in the basement only to see that one of our copper water pipes was vibrating frantically. The vibrations would build up until the pipe would move the 3 inches needed to hit the wall, at which point it would stop for a second and then start over. It looked like it was planning to tear itself out from the wall if I didn't do something.

I stuffed a handy jug between the wall and the pipe, to damp the vibrations, and stood wondering what could be causing this wild behaviour. The only thing I could think of was some sort of broken pipe gushing water somewhere, but I would probably have noticed such a thing (if it was in our house) while looking for the source of the noise.

Then I noticed that the sewage stack I was standing beside had a continuous sound of rushing water, but I knew there were no taps on in the house, and that water had to be coming from somewhere in our condo. I traced the faint sound of running water all the way back up the stairs to the second floor, and to the bathroom.

There I noticed that the toilet tank was giving off a continuous "sssstick ssstick ssstick" noise. It dawned on me that the toilet valve hadn't seated itself properly the last time the toilet was flushed, and the water was continually draining from the tank and needing to be refilled. The noise was the on/off of the new toilet fill valve. It was cycling on and off at just the right frequency to set up a major oscillation in the pipes in the basement.

So, jiggling the handle solved the problem, but it does have me worried, as it could easily happen again and I don't know how much punishment our basement pipes could take. Since it was the cold inlet pipe into the water heater that was vibrating, much mess could occur if it were to fail. I'm going to have to looking into permanently putting a block of wood or something on that pipe, so it can't vibrate freely any more.

And now I think I need to go lay down a bit and calm my nerves.


Jan. 9th, 2011 02:27 pm
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Linda and I went out to Pierre and Susana's party last night. It was a combined Birthday party for Susana and Peter McCurdy. I had a really good time, but I found myself wishing I could split into multiple people, because there just wasn't enough time in the evening to talk to all the folks that I wanted to reconnect with. There were people there that I only seem to see once or twice a year, and at least one that I hadn't seen in four years or so.

I am going to have to spend some time pondering ways for me to make sure I get to see some of these amazing people a bit more often than I have. Not always easy though, what with everyone having such busy lives.
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"The Sausages Are Dancing on My Aunties Hat."

Actually, I am just checking to see that exactly one (1) copy of this public post shows up on facebook.
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Just wanting to say "Happy Frimblemass" to all you Zebumans out there!


Dec. 15th, 2010 06:58 am
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For the last three or four weeks I've been feeling very positive and upbeat, with no real reason for it. For the last few days to a week, I've noticed it start to change into a slide into depression. Again, I don't see any real reason for it.
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With my old computer it regularly took me 8+ hours to rip a DVD movie to my hard drive. Then I got me my nifty new speedy machine and that time dropped to an hour. I was just grumbling because its back up to 8+ hours, but that's because I'm now ripping multiple DVDs for an entire season in one go.

No doubt I'll eventually get a faster computer, things will speed up, but it will have blue-ray technology (or something even higher density) and when I start ripping those, I'll be back to 8+ hours.

January 2017



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