"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
November 1, 2004

Matt Gansert: can i ask you a personal question?
Bryan Allen: I've never retired a human by mistake.
Matt Gansert: dammit.

2:55 PM | Life

Congrats to Max Barry for getting that far. I honestly hope one day I'll manage to be that overpaid asshole with dreams of something more.

One glorious day.

10:06 PM | Writing

Nick Holland wrote a nifty FAQ on upgrading OpenBSD from 3.5 to 3.6, focusing on keeping system configuration in sync with the release.

I got my CDs a couple weeks ago but have yet to have reason to put install it on anything, or upgrade any machines.

10:23 PM | Systems Administration
November 3, 2004

12:21 <Danelope> And now I return to officially not giving a shit about politics in any capacity.
12:22 <Danelope> Because the people of this country are fucking idiots,
destined to choke us all on bigotry, deception, and an utter lack of accountability.
12:22 <Danelope> The feeling in my gut today is moderately worse than on September 11, 2001.

1:12 PM | Life

America isn't a country. It's a nursery school. We're fat. We're terrified. We're easily confused. And easily convinced.

The only cities to actually get hit by terrorists voted against Drooling. Every real American city voted against Drooling.

But, look at the Idiot Curtain, red as a splattered Marine. Not a chance in hell the boogieman will hit Branson, and still they cower. Pussies. Burn the entire fucking Midwest down. Let it spread to the Plains. The South. Show them a picture of god. Send them off to war. Show them a picture of god. Kill their jobs. Show them a picture of god. Close their hospitals. Show them a picture of god. Poison their wells. Show them a picture of god. Fuck their children. Show them a picture of god.

Show them a picture of god. Show them a picture of god.

America deserves whatever it gets.

Stewart/Driver in 2008.

9:20 PM | Life
November 4, 2004

It already started in the city
Suburbia will be just as easy

APC, Let's Have A War

4:50 PM | Lyric Spam

Decided to go out to the colo tonight and fix what was the primary database server. By "fix" I mean reboot the damn thing and recompile the kernel to use the old Adaptec 7k driver.

What a fucking waste of time. I didn't remember the new code, didn't have my laptop, they changed the wlan setup and I wasn't on the ACL, and my cell phone is dead.

I also decided, while listening to Philly "party" radio, that I want some club music.

Yesterday? When I had that super migraine? And I threw up and wanted to bleed out my eyes? I think something broke.

8:30 PM | Work

Lots of runaway disk-bound processes on our OS X Server earlier, so I killed them. The machine killed my shell and network latency started oscillating between 1ms and 9000ms. Then it rebooted itself.

21:24 <@bda> [root@sobek]:[~]# vim
21:24 <@bda> E575: viminfo: Illegal starting char in line: b0VIM 6.2
21:24 <@bda> Hit ENTER or type command to continue
21:24 <@ejp> rjbs: bda has shame?
21:24 <@bda> That's new.
21:24 <@rjbs> bda: delete viminfo
21:24 <@ejp> (moded cows)++
21:25 <@bda> I did.
21:25 * bda isn't dumb. :(
21:25 <@bda> I just don't know what that means is all.
21:25 <@rjbs> (modded cows)==
21:25 <@rjbs> bda: it means you need to delete viminfo
21:25 <@bda> k.
21:25 <@rjbs> bda: viminfo gets corrupt every once in a blue moon
21:25 <@bda> ah.
21:25 <@bda> Well. The machine rebooting itself would definitely cause that.
21:25 <@bda> Though, unfortunately, it does it far more often that once in a blue moon.
21:32 < solios> :|
21:33 <@ejp> maybe you shouldn't pee on it every full moon then?
21:37 <@bda> Naw. It needs it.
21:38 <@bda> Or it won't grow.
21:39 < solios> hahah
21:40 <@ejp> and suddenly I undestand all your computer problems.

9:42 PM | Systems Administration | Comments (1)
November 5, 2004

Kerry won...

Sounds plausible to me, considering the state of things.

1:32 AM | Life
November 6, 2004

Updated selene (my PowerBook, PB12A) last night. Seemed fine. Also updated helios (Mystic, dual G4 500), and it has displayed no weird behavior.

This morning, I woke selene up to check email and do some admin stuff. I was connected via wlan via AirPort. Had Keychain Access open, and was in the process of opening TextEdit. They both SPOD'd, which is really, really weird (never seen it happen before), so I killed them, restarted KA -- and all my keychains were gone. KA keeps references to files, and doesn't actually try to manage the files unless you insist, so the actual keychain files had not been touched. So I went to re-add login.keychain (which is kind of important), and it failed silently. At this point I'm more than a little annoyed, so I close all my apps and go to log out.

The machine boots itself into single user mode. Awesome.

After failing to log in a couple times, I hardboot it and it comes back up. I reconnect to our wlan network, and kick open some apps. They start displaying the same behavior. I kill them, turn off AirPort, and plug in a wire. Everything is fine.

So either someone has something unreported and is spamming at my machine via wlan, or Apple managed to fuck up AirPort somehow with 10.3.6.

As Adam said, "Occam's Razor."


12:37 PM | Systems Administration

Here's some Pumpcon 2004 shots. If you missed it, you suck.

And here's lots of pictures of Steve and Keri's wedding.

4:30 PM | Linkwhore
November 7, 2004

A good, long day starting with a walk up to Borders, always walking against the wind, reading Don di Fillipo short stories while taking a lunch at Pine St. Pizza, capping with an excellent night hanging out with the O'Donnells.

Walking home, feeling the last shot of Jim Bean right around Broad St., as I hypothesized.

Stopped at the hole in buildings between 16th and 17th, and smoked a cigarette while looking up at the towers, envisioning the cover of system, which I fear is something I will never write and will prevent me from writing anything else.

Went and saw The Incredibles tonight. Highly recommended.

I didn't talk to you today, and it affects me more than I think I like to admit. I leave you voicemails and I think how I sound like the nagging boyfriend, or whatever I am, whatever we are, so I joke about it. All day I expect a call, something, and all day I hum song lyrics to fend off thoughts that by no rights should I be having.

The ambiguity demanded by distance, trust like leaves fallen in Autumn, and every day feels fragile, waiting, wondering, will Thanksgiving ever get here? Thinking about you meeting me at the airport, what the expression on your face will be, and how long is time when you're waiting...

The gin and tonic at the theatre bar kicked the shit out of the same at Doobies. I am disappointed: The place is no longer falling apart (on passerby) and the drinks are surpassed by chain movie theatre bars. One of the bartenders at the theatre had cleavage you could lose your mind in, and looking down into it as she got something from under the bar, I admit to feeling fear; I expected, the gin starting to wash over me, to see a light coming from somewhere around her navel, hearing the voices of the few dead loved ones I have calling to me, their voices oscillating as the ethereal sound waves flow over the contours of her body, nothing like hidden under what passes for her shirt.

Alcohol and kid's movies: An excellent combination.

Drunkenly debugging code by reading documentation is a singular experience, and how Adam can program in monochrome I have no idea; it has always made me seasick. (And remembering, now, a whale-watching trip my family took out of San Diego years ago; we saw no whales, but my mother saw her fair share of the hull of the schnooner while my sister and I ran up and down the stairs, watching the ocean cut against the portholes below deck, grinning as we were covered in sea spray at the bow underneath a deep California sky. If you could bottle that color, the depth of it, you would make no money because the feeling it engenders, you would want to give away...)

Philadephia at 0400 makes its own indelible music, coating my ears with the sound of the few cars on the roads, bums and cabbies hailing each other. The sound of my blood in my ears, desire and whatever is left in me. Mostly there is the wind through fences, through alleys, catching up leaves and plastic bags and newspaper. The sleeping sounds of the city, breathing softly in time with its citizens.

Walking across Broad I look north at City Hall, and for no reason at all I kiss my Claddagh ring, heart facing in; I bought it and its mate with you standing three feet behind me at some craft store in some town whose name I can't remember, Katie and Zoe lost somewhere amongst the rows of knick-knacks and paintings and sculptures. I hushed the owner so she wouldn't say anything as she rung me up, so you wouldn't know. And driving you back from your mom's in Steve's car the next night, it's freezing; my coat seeming to envelop you, Vermillion Pt. 2 quiet on the radio, I ask you if you went through my pockets. "Of course not," you say, almost indignant. "You should do that," I quip, and you do, finding the box with the rings in them, and walking now, not entirely in what you would call a straight line, I can almost, almost taste your lips.

Here, in this city, all these miles of concrete and glass (and how in love with that phrase am I?), the opal heart tastes like cigarettes and a long day, miles of asphalt passed under my big black boots, and underneath these street lights that stretch forever into the ghetto and suburbs of this eroded concrete paradise I've come to call home, I miss you, and long for you and I hum tunelessly, the gin and bourbon making my legs feel miles and miles away, somewhere maybe in the mid-west where there's nothing but flatness and that slow drawled accent.

I think of lines from Amy Hempel short stories and I want to scream at the broken sidewalks, because I can never tell, with her, if these stories are true or a passing fancy; a day dream or a nightmare or just something that she woke up to one morning and struck her enough to put pen to paper.

Did you know people who tend cemetaries don't call them rows, but plot lines?

You said I remind you of Sinantra, and I have no idea what to think of that.

Earlier tonight, and I'm standing in front of the mirror in my bathroom, winking at myself. I do this because I was reminded, for some reason, of you sitting down the table from me at the reception, and you looking over, catching my eye, and winking. This is an art that is closed to me, I think; my eyebrows are more easily controlled, though my eyes themselves say more than I wish them to. I think about what you said about them, words barely remembered, losing myself in you, and I turn off the light.

Later, I walk down South singing Fuel's Shimmer and Black Lab's Anything to the mostly empty street; a few drunken college kids lean over the rail of their second floor balconey, talking about what I don't know; and there are always bike punks on the streets, no matter the hour; and we come, we go, we say we know, but we don't remember, and we don't recognize each other.

Could have been anything, could have been anyone.

I pull All Tomorrow's Parties off Adam's bookshelf long after Sophy has gone to bed and I read: Through this evening's tide of faces unregistered, unrecognized...

Finally at home, I look up at the moon through the bars in the gate, and I am reminded, inexplicably, of the taste of your lipstick, your hair tickling my nose, and the sway of your hips against mine.

November 8, 2004

I was whining about OS X and caching, and Rik bothered to think for two seconds:

<@rjbs> lookupd -flushcache


1:51 PM | Systems Administration
November 9, 2004

Sleeping through the evening singing dreams inside my head
I'm heading out I've got some ins who say they care and they just might
I run away with you if things don't go as planned
Planning big could be a gamble I've already rolled the dice
I spit and stutter stuff and clutter worries in my worried corner
Maladjusted just untrusted rusted sometimes brilliant busted thoughts
Think I'll stay for a while I'm intrigued and I'm red as a newborn white as a corpse

I promise not to try not to fuck with your mind
Promise not to mind if you go your way and I go mine
Promise not to lie if I'm looking you straight in the eye
Promise not to try not to let you down

I am elated I am all smiles and dated in my man bites dog town with a Spanish name
I am all bone I am two tone red as a newborn white as a corpse

I promise not to try not to fuck with your mind
Promise not to mind if you go your way and I go mine
Promise not to lie if I'm looking you straight in the eye
Promise not to try not to let you down

Why you gotta keep the fan on high when it's cold outside
Just want to let you know that I'm still a fan, get it?
Everybody wants charm and a smile and a promise
I promise not to try

I promise not to try not to fuck with your mind
Promise not to mind if you go your way and I go mine
Promise not to lie if I'm looking you straight in the eye
I promise not to try not to not to not to leave


6:43 PM | Lyric Spam
November 11, 2004

Had to crack a Win2k box this afternoon as it was "appropriated" and no one knew the Administrator password.

I used Austrumi, which in turn uses (I think) ntpasswd to do the actual password changing.

I'm sure I've made posts similiar to this in the past, but I never actually bothered doing any of this (generally speaking, any workstations we would have gotten from elsewhere are riddled with viruses, trojans, and random stupid crap users install on machines, so it's easier to just reinstall most of the time).

Anyway, it worked well.

3:11 PM | Systems Administration

dream you
find you
taste you
fuck you
use you
scar you
break you
lose me
hate me
smash me
erase me

Nine Inch Nails

6:05 PM | Lyric Spam
November 12, 2004

So very tired.

Long day at work. Swapped switches at the colo, did a quick reinstall on what was a fresh OBSD 3.5 install that I just hadn't had time to deal with.

Found a Catalyst 2900 that was full of styrofoam and spider corpses.

Didn't get home until midnight.

The switch worked, amazingly enough.

I fully expect it to catch on fire as the arachnid souls trapped in their plastic prison something something I'm going to sleep now.

1:12 AM | Life
November 13, 2004

I hate waiting for things.

I hate knowing that I have some big thing that is either coming up, or that I have to do. I hate knowing that I have to have a conference call with someone at 1300, or sit in a meeting Monday, or be at the airport in six days.

Instead of filling the time until the event, I sit and stare at the clock, unproductive and becoming more and more annoyed with myself.

Instead of working on my various little projects, or doing some writing, I watch the shadows on the ceiling not move. I listen to the rain.

I sit here, and I wait.

November 14, 2004

Met up with Adam for lunch yesterday. Hung out at Factory briefly. Sophy fed us dinner, then we went to Doobies with Andrew. Eric and his new boytoy showed up. Adam, Sophy and Andrew ditched around 2200 but I hung out with Eric and Russel for another two hours.

Eric was just as entertaining as always. Hopefully I did not make too much of an ass of myself, but whatever.

Nancy called and I talked, briefly, to her bartender, whose name is Brian. We gave each other shit about how we spelled our names. I gave him shit for his Kansas drawl, and then went all South Philly on him to the best of my drunk-ass ability.

Got home, drunk, and Russ (my neighbor) called so I walked down the street to the pub to meet up with him. Hard to figure out what table the nerds are sitting at, let me tell you. Waitress displayed incredularity at the fucked up AZ license but still brought me my gin and tonic. The fact that I was already drunk probably aided in her decision.

Back to Russ's, did a shot of some sort of whiskey. Back to my place, hung out with Pete, Russ, and John for a bit. I saw Pete more in the last two hours than I have all week, the gamer bastard.

Somewhere in there I woke Nancy up twice. She's so cute when she's barely awake.

Time for the sleeping.

4:52 AM | Life

I found Amy Hempel through an interview she did with Chuck Palahniuk. Hempel writes about things that ordinarily hold no interest for me. A family weekend BBQ. A woman dealing with an abortion. Things that are very human, but really don't encourage me to care about them.

The way Hempel writes, though, is completely amazing.

Here's a short of hers. Not her best. There's also an explanation, after the story, of the events that inspired it. (If you've read Invisible Monsters, there's a lot of this short story in Palahniuk's book, as well. Not too surprising as he's repeatedly said how much he adores her work.)

I think I prefer not knowing, at least with her work, simply because it's hard for me to discern what might have happened, and what didn't.

I've been trying to get my hands on her second book, but it's out of print, and the cheapest I can find it is $125. Figures.

6:48 PM | Life
November 15, 2004

Let it slide
when I believe in you
my soul can rest

But our love
it's really love
it never fades
but fade it does

When we shine
like the sun
you seem the only one
my only friend

So pretty in white
pretty when you're faithful
so pretty in white
pretty when you're faithful
when you're faithful

I resigned
from myself
took a break
was someone else

It's like I've come undone
and I've only just become
inflatable for you
I don't mind
most of the time
but you push me so
far inside


2:50 AM | Lyric Spam
November 16, 2004

pyopenbsd, a set of Python classes for interfacing with OpenBDS and associated libs.

<@newsham> awesome. now you dont have to be a C programmer to enjoy the diverging APIs of unix systems!!

Had an idea to do the same thing with a set of Perl modules. Got so far as registering the namespace on the CPAN before getting distracted.

This was, of course, six months ago.


1:56 PM | Systems Administration

What a great night.

Adam and Sophy invited Pete and I over for sausage and pepper sammiches. We picked up salad mixings, cherry pie, and ice cream.

Spent a good four hours killing two bottles of wine (one homemade which Pete supplied, garnered from a friend) and eating some incredibly good food. This is the second real dinner that Adam has had a primary hand in preparing (I already knew that Sophy was a good cook), and I'm impressed. This will hopefully become a very common thing, because it's super.

I'm not so full I feel ill (which is awesome), but am at that stage where I'm completely content.

Great night. I absolutely needed it after the pointless and frustrating day I had at work.

Now to lay in bed listening to all the blues tracks from the various Cowboy Bebop soundtracks and possibly nap until N calls and wakes me up. Mm.

11:17 PM | Life
November 18, 2004

We finally got a "real" box for our backup mirror and transfer point. P4 2.6G, 512MB RAM, dual 1000BT, enough room in the case for seven drives. Of course, the power supply only has connectors for four, but that's okay. Two PCIX slots as well, so I can feed the 64bit RAID controller we have in it once we get some bigger drives (something else I think I'm going to insist on).

It took about twenty minutes to put together, and in another five, I'll have OpenBSD 3.6 installed on it. Probably ten minutes after that, I'll have a sync running off the production server.

OpenBSD is teh lurve for just straight up getting shit done.

1:37 PM | Work
November 25, 2004

The last five days have been the most surreal and emotionally erratic experience I have ever had.

I spent all day today feeling either completely dead inside, or wanting to cry my fucking eyes out.

I caught a flight out of Wichita this evening, and I can only assume that the people sitting next to me thought I was on drugs because of how I was acting. I'm spending Thanksgiving with my parents now, instead of with Nancy.

I don't know that I can talk about what happened.

I don't even really know myself, still.

I just want to sleep, but I know I'm going to feel even worse tomorrow, and right now, I can't even begin to believe it will be better any time soon.

November 26, 2004

I stole a copy of American Gods I left for my mom to read last year (and of course she hasn't, even though I know it's something she would really enjoy), and took a two hour bath.

And for the duration, I didn't think. I managed to escape, a little.

But it didn't help.

Run, desire, run
Sexual being, run him like a blade
To and through the heart, no conscience, one
Motive, to cater to the hollow

What are you supposed to take away from something that was welded together with lies, with exactly what you needed to hear, regardless of the truth?

And later, after the angry noises of the betrayed, the tears and apologetic noises, the continuing insistance that all the parts you needed to hear, they really were true. That what came out of both sides of her mouth, it was all of it true. Except some of it omitted, twisted to keep you, hold you, make you believe in her.

What are you supposed to take away from things whispered and promised, cried out?

Screamin' feed me here
Fill me up again
Pacify this hungerin'

Sitting on the couch with Eddie, and saying how there's nothing here, no meaning, nothing to take away but what she's made us feel.

Nothing but chemical responses, an incomprehensible need to believe in her again.

Nothing but momentum.

So grow, libido, throw
Dominoes of indiscretions down
Fallin' all around, in cycles, in
Circles, constantly consuming
Conquer and devour

I keep staring off into the distance and losing the thread of what people around me are saying. I'm not even thinking anything. I just feel shell-shocked, looking a thousand miles into the blurring distance of a desert night.

The moon so bright it's like a spotlight, drowning out the stars. Perched up on the mesas around this valley, I feel disconnected. Raw and bloody and my chest won't stop hurting.

I keep feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket, and I reach for it, knowing that it's all in my head.

'Cause it's time to bring the fire down
Bridle all this indiscretion
Long enough to edify
And permanently fill this hollow

That it was all of it in my head.

Screamin' feed me here
Fill me up again
Feed me here
Fill me up again

Sitting here, haunted by the understanding that yet again I was the fallback crutch, the pawn. That I stepped down and didn't fight, even though at the end, I wanted to. Just to feel her hand in mine again, and believe I'm the only one. To have her tell me how much she needs me, and have it just be a given.

Just to have her feel my eyes on her again. The way it felt like gravity between us, the tugging weight of tides and slow ions. But somehow saying instead, "We can't do this."

"I know. Just stop," she says, "stop looking at me like you do."

"Like what?"

"Like you can see right into my soul."

And you want to laugh at the sheer cliche of it, but her voice, the way it trembles, the way the neon glitters off unshed tears in her eyes, you can't do anything but reach over to the table and it's something like midnight outside in the flatlands, but in the purple-tinted darkness of the room, you put your mirrorshades on.

My voice like dead leaves in deep autumn, crackling under boots, and I say, "I don't know any other way to look at you."

Memory rattling around in my head like shattered glass in a metal box.

The way her back arched under my hands. Nuzzling my neck or chest, whispering: "You smell so good."

How, around her, I felt safe. How awake.

And now I'm here, alone, lost, and feeling so, so stupid.

Still wanting her.

5:32 AM | Life
November 27, 2004

Picked up Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and DeLillo's Underworld at Barnes & Noble this evening.

Read the first page of both and immediately lost interest in them. I suppose I should perservere, however.

They just both really remind me of Lethem's Fortress of Solitude for some reason, which was immensely disappointing to me. If I had to point out what annoyed me about Fortress, I would be unable to do so, so it was probably a bunch of little things woven together that created a shit-quilt.

The previous DeLillo I read, White Noise, had what I felt to be stilted writing, but an interesting and very twisted story. So I'll definitely give Underworld a chance.

1:06 AM | Books

An entertaining, informative piece on why the cities should tell everyone else to fuck off. While it obviously wouldn't actually work, I still envision things like Anhk-Morpork (Discworld) or Midgard (FF7).

[via dengler]

6:46 PM | Linkwhore

Went to a little emergency care type place this morning and got the staples pulled out of my head. Painless process, and I could have done it myself, but I thought the staples had claws on them. Not the case. They were shaped like little "M"s, which makes sense considering they're meant to hold wounds together until they heal, then be easily removed.

I almost asked to keep them, as a memento, but I decided I have enough scars that I don't a few grams of metal to remind me.

It'll be nice to be able to comb my hair and not get the teeth of the brush caught on the damn things.

6:49 PM | Life
November 29, 2004

I'll be on a plane back to Philadelphia in nine hours.

Staying with my folks for Thanksgiving has allowed me to get my head straightened out a bit, but I still feel fragile.

Fragile, and angry, and angry about feeling like I might shatter if I remember the wrong thing.

I hate this part, but I'm not going to let myself turn off again.

I'm not going to lose another four years of my life because I let a girl get in my head and she started pulling wires.

No fucking way.

3:21 AM | Life
November 30, 2004

Finally home, in my own bed.

Pete and Nicole (who is visiting from Oahu) picked me up from the airport, then we met up with Adam, Sophy and Kyle at Mom's. All around a good night.

So happy to be sleeping in my own bed.

And at some point last week, we got our heater installed downstairs. Awesome.

Working from home today. I need to decompress.

8:12 AM | Life