Orville, Round Three

Sep. 22nd, 2017 04:18 pm
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[personal profile] billroper
The third episode of The Orville aired last night.

After we were done watching it, Gretchen turned to me and said (roughly, it was late, so my quote may be a bit off), "That was far more nuanced than I would expect to see on network television."

Um, guys? Against all odds, they are actually doing good SF.

Y'all might consider watching this before it gets cancelled for lack of viewers...

VMs and Softball

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:50 pm
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[personal profile] billroper
I have now been assigned a new VM at work on a physical server of a type that actually works with ClearCase. The investigation of why the other type of server is not working with ClearCase continues, but it is -- at least for now -- a matter of academic interest on my part rather than urgent need. Now, I just need to get the new VM configured, which is going to take days of installing software and source.

Meanwhile, Katie's team had a scrimmage against the other Des Plaines girls team today. Katie acquitted herself well, throwing out a runner at first from right field for the unusual 9-3 putout (looked like Kolten Wong out there :) ), walking, and lining a ball to right field for a two-run single with the bases loaded. (It might have been a double, but the runner on first stopped at second.)

Katie even caught an inning and didn't look too shabby back behind the plate.

(One of the other girls caught for what I think was the first time this season. She looked really good back there and it turns out that she likes to catch. The things you find out a few weeks into the season...)

Round and Round We Go

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:35 pm
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[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

Curate's Egg...

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:58 pm
hrrunka: A small radio transceiver (radio)
[personal profile] hrrunka
The radio club meeting on Monday evening was a busy informal fix-it evening. A number of strange bits of kit were being worked on. I just went for the chat, and was feeling tired enough that I didn't stay all that long.

On Tuesday the weather was slightly lees grey and damp. I finally got round to doing a bit of work in the garden. I gave about ten feet of hedge a bit of a trim, and that left the garden waste ben almost completely full. In the evening there was another radio club meeting, but this involved a couple of short talks. They seemed to generate a fair bit of interest. I got home a bit later than usual, and discovered that my home *DSL was not performing. A bit of research using the mobile's data eventually revealed a notice about "Planned Maintenance" affecting about 150 exchanges including the one I'm on. As the maintenance was scheduled to run from 10pm to 6am I decided I'd have an early night. I think the network actually came back sometime around 2am...

This morning I decided I needed to get out of the house, so I packed some radio and geocache kit into the car and headed off. First stop was a geocache I hid back in 2002 which was in need of a fresh logbook. I took the opportunity to clean it out a little, removing the rubbish and adding a few new swaps. The weather was a bit grey and the path a little muddy, but the walk wasn't a bad one.

After that I headed back to a view point car park which is a good starting point for the nearby SOTA summit. I'd taken a packed lunch, so I ate that while looking at the (rather grey) view, then grabbed my radio kit and walked to the summit. Now, this particular summit is one I'd normally not have considered bothering to re-visit, but it is the one nearest my home. There's a large water tank and a couple of communication towers at the summit. Today there were four work vans at the summit, and work going on. If I'd taken a hand-held and a suitable antenna I could have considered activating the summit on VHF or UHF, but there was nowhere accessible I could set up my HF antenna sensibly, so I decided to abandon the SOTA idea and come home. Frustrating...

One Ping Only

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:30 pm
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[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.

Jordin Kare memorial filk at Boskone

Sep. 19th, 2017 01:38 pm
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[personal profile] madfilkentist posting in [community profile] filk
Boskone 2018 will, instead of having a Featured Filker as it has for about 20 years, dedicate its filk program to the memory of Jordin Kare. Tentative plans include a concert of his works and themed song circles appropriate to him (space flight and parody, for example).

If anyone is interested in getting involved in this, I can get you in touch with Priscilla. She's especially hoping to get Featured Filkers from previous years.

(Edited, when I realized that "getting past" Featured Filkers could be misread. :)

Run, Ruby, Run!

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:33 pm
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[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. :)

Muddling...

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:34 pm
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (kei frown)
[personal profile] hrrunka
I did, eventually, sweep up the conkers late on Wednesday afternoon, and went to a radio club committee meeting in the evening.

Thursday morning's Morse practice was a bit more of a struggle than usual, partly because I wasn't particularly awake, and partly because of the odd HF propagation. The rest of the day mostly followed a similar pattern. I managed to get a little preparation done, but not much else.

Friday followed the same sort of muddled path, mostly, and I got less done than I'd have liked. On Friday evening I went over to Gravesend for gaming, and we spent the evening chatting.

There was the first day of a Foundation radio licence course on Sunday, so I had some preparation to do on Saturday. I managed to get it done, well enough, but other things I might have done fell by the wayside.

The course day on Sunday seemed to go well enough. The clubhouse we use is no longer being used by a pre-school, which meant we didn't have to work around piles of stuff. Just as well, as the course was full. Also just as well we didn't need my laptop, as I managed to take it but leave its mains adapter behind, so it would only have run for about half the day. I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day.

This morning's been another slow one. I've spent some of it trying to get FC preparation done. It's yet another day of sunshine and random heavy showers.

I still havn't managed to get out to that geocache or the nearby SOTA summit. I have, somehow, managed to keep Duolingo and Ingress streaks alive, but yesterday was a close call...

Orville, Round Two

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:52 pm
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[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.

A Good Try

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:44 pm
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[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
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[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
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[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...

Wedding anniversary

Sep. 15th, 2017 07:13 pm
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[personal profile] flick
Today was out wedding anniversary.

I made Mike a card:


(I've only had the book on paper quilting for a year, after all!) Worth clicking to embiggen, ifIdosaysomyself.

Mike very kindly did all the mucking out.

(While he did so, I took Jo to the vet. Over the last week or so, she's been occasionally yelping or whining, but it's got more frequent and last night she had a particularly bad spell that involved her making a noise for a minute or so. The vet couldn't find anything particularly, but did think she was maybe not *quite* so keen to take her weight on one of her front legs. It may also be a neck thing, although she did have a good feel around there. Short walks and more painkiller than usual for a week, and we'll see how she goes on.)

We had a quiet lunch at home.

(During which I took some ibuprofen for a headache and Mike had a migraine pill)

After lunch, and Jo's walk, we headed off to darkest Sussex to look at a horse.

He's called Thunder Joe, a name which is definitely going to be unused in full.

We liked him enough to ride, and it seemed to go quite well.

Even if it did hail while I was on him, and we were in a field with overly-long grass, which is one of my least favourite places to ride.

We'll go back and see him again next week, with riding instructor, using a school that they can borrow just down the road.

If riding instructor answers her text messages....

Afterwards, we headed home again.

I'm not sure how the day has been utterly exhausting, but we're both worn out now!

We had a lovely special anniversary dinner...

(Party-left-over soup from the freezer, and the other half of the loaf of bread that neither of us ate much of for lunch

...and now we're on the sofa with a bottle of wine.

Thankfully, Mike did a run to France yesterday!
filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

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?

Everyone Knows It's Windy

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:14 pm
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[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...

Back to Baseball

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:59 pm
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[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...

Dropped...

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:35 am
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (good idea)
[personal profile] hrrunka
There are days and days...

I've not slept that well the last few nights, for a variety of reasons including lack of sufficient exercise during the day, and the weather. Last night's sleep suffered from both of those. It was another blustery night, sufficiently so that I felt the need (around 03:30) to get up and go around the house making sure all the windows were firmly closed, and then making sure there were no gaps in the bedroom curtains through which the neighbours' wretched motion-triggered lights could shine. In windy weather they turn themselves on and off frequently and erratically. (I have spoken to the neighbours concerned, but they've not done anything useful as a result.)

I had planned a local outing for this morning, primarily to attend to a geocache of mine, but also, possibly, to activate my nearest SOTA summit. However, the late slow start to my day and a deterioration of the day's weather forecast have put paid to that. I should get to walk as far as the shops, and I have to go out this evening on radio club business, but that's about all I have energy for. If I can, I'll find the energy to sweep up all the conkers the wind has brought down, but I'll do that after the afternoon schools exodus, as there's a fair chance I'll end up with quite a bit less to sweep up...

Half Day

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:36 pm
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[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!

Smart duck

Sep. 12th, 2017 07:27 pm
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[personal profile] flick
When we went to put the animals to bed (before dinner! The nights are drawing in.), Eskarina was sitting on her own by the pond. She looked up and wiggled a bit when I walked over to get the feed dish, but she didn't jump up and head for bed, which was ominous.

I gave Mike the rugs I was carrying (most of the boys rugs are off being cleaned at the moment, but their two thinnest ones go in our washing machine ok so I took advantage of a sunny, breezy day to de-stink them) and went to pick her up, which is when I realised that she had a piece of nylon thread wrapped around one of her legs.

Fortunately, she didn't wiggle while I untangled her, and even more fortunately she hadn't been struggling enough to have actually cut all the way through the skin. As soon as I'd finished, though, she was off with a flap of her wings and a squawk.

It got me thinking, though (after I'd picked up the rest of the thread and thrown it away): it doesn't really surprise me that, say, elephants go to people when they need medical help*: they're smart. Similarly, dogs do it because they're tame. Ducks, though, are neither of those things. My runners are fairly domesticated, but anyone who's ever seen the reaction when I have to pick one up knows that they're not at all tame**.

Mike pointed out that birds are quite smart for brain size, and it's true that I'd be fairly unsurprised if, say, a corvid that I'd been feeding did the same thing. On the other hand, I'd be completely astonished if the robin, who follows me around when I'm carrying the duck / wild bird food, nagging me to hurry up with it, did the same thing.

* Elephants also, I just heard on the World Service, go into stealth mode when in danger from people: they hide out during the day and travel fast at night if they know that there are poachers in the area. There are now plans to look out for this on the researchers' movement trackers, so that they can alert the rangers to be on the look out for trouble when they see that sort of movement pattern!

** Except Esme, she was fairly tame, poor little thing.

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