Okay, the fourth time I've taken the car back for the same problem: the AC is leaking inside the car. This time, instead of going to the dealership down the street I'm taking it to the dealership I got the car at (at the recomendation of my friend Greg who helped me get the car). Spring was expecting the worse to happen, but it went smoothly. We even got a loaner car! Well, it's a Jeep Cherokee and not a car, but that went quite smoothly.
A few days ago I recieved an old network card and I've just now finished installing it in the firewall system. I had two cards in there, one hooked up to the DSL equipment and one for the local network. I wanted a third one in there to separate the network between myself and my roommate. No real reason other than to do it and just see how much I can trick out an old 486 Compaq computer.
Problem number one: Identifying the network card. Mark helped there; depending on how it's configured (via jumpers as I found out) it shows up as either a WD80x3 or an NE2000 clone.
The other two cards (important later on) are a 3Com503 (for the internal network and yes, I realize it's an old card) and an NE2000 compatible (for the external connection to the DSL unit) that I can't change the settings on because it's software configurable and I don't have the software (MS-DOS only of course) to change the configuration. Pitty—I find those cards all over the place!
Problem number two (and this is the embarresing one): don't forget to include the IDE drivers when compiling the Linux kernel!
Transfer the new kernel and install. Shut machine down. Install card. Bring machine up. See it find three network cards and immediately kernel panic because it can't mount the root partition.
Keep from having heart attack.
Boot old kernel (yes, I did have an option to boot the previous working kernel. Standard operating procedure around here). Good, it comes up and the filesystem is not corrupted at all. Try to reboot the new kernel.
Kernel panic trying to mount the root device.
Okay, something odd is going on here.
Since my roommate is home and knows Linux, maybe he can help me. I go to his room and start describing the problem when it hits me! I probably forgot to include the IDE drivers!
Sure enough, no IDE drivers.
D'oh! (Which I can now use since it's part of the Oxford English Dictionary)
Problem number three: The 3Com503. It kept spewing these error messages about bogus packets. Probably some strange interaction with the WD80x3 driver I now have. Play around with the settings on the WD80x3 and that doesn't fix the problem.
Heck, I can reconfigure the 3Com since unlike the NE2000 it has jumpers. I change the 3Com to use I/O instead of shared memory and even though I get this message on boot-up:
3c503.c:v1.10 9/23/93 Donald Becker (firstname.lastname@example.org) eth0: 3c503 at i/o base 0x330, node 02 60 8c d8 75 17, using internal xcvr. eth0: 3c503-PIO, 16kB RAM, using programmed I/O (REJUMPER for SHARED MEMORY).
it works fine with the three cards.
I also changed the firewall settings to log all unused ports below 1022. I found out the hard way that Linux (2.0—it's too much work to upgrade to 2.2 or 2.4) seems to use 1023 as the first available port when making outgoing connections, instead of 1024. How odd.
Got the car back from the dealership today. The A/C should stop leaking into the passenger side. I hope.
TCP/IP packets don't have to take the same route but
in real life all the packets travel the same path. Do two
traceroutes and you'll see the same path.
But today, something seriously odd is going on with the Telocity network. I noticed some annoying network lags between my home system and my colocated server and did some traceroutes. And I got something I've never seen before: no two traceroutes (done seconds after each other) where the same!
[spc]linus:/usr/src/linux-2.0.39>/usr/sbin/traceroute tower.conman.org traceroute to tower.conman.org (188.8.131.52), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets 1 janet (10.0.0.1) 1.814 ms 1.737 ms 1.755 ms 2 dsl-64-128-156-186.telocity.com (184.108.40.206) 3.196 ms 3.244 ms 3.321 ms 3 route-64-131-188-129.telocity.com (220.127.116.11) 14.046 ms 14.042 ms 14.335 ms 4 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 14.353 ms 15.842 ms 15.055 ms 5 22.214.171.124 (126.96.36.199) 28.034 ms 15.807 ms 15.295 ms 6 188.8.131.52 (184.108.40.206) 64.815 ms 64.130 ms 64.096 ms 7 tower.conman.org (220.127.116.11) 63.686 ms 64.580 ms 65.116 ms [spc]linus:/usr/src/linux-2.0.39>/usr/sbin/traceroute tower.conman.org traceroute to tower.conman.org (18.104.22.168), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets 1 janet (10.0.0.1) 1.811 ms 1.739 ms 1.814 ms 2 dsl-64-128-156-186.telocity.com (22.214.171.124) 3.203 ms 3.250 ms 3.166 ms 3 route-64-131-188-129.telocity.com (126.96.36.199) 14.206 ms 16.701 ms 14.037 ms 4 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 55.927 ms 14.870 ms 15.310 ms 5 pos8-1-hfr2.atl.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 29.778 ms 27.010 ms 28.602 ms 6 ge-v5-hfr1.atl.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 26.929 ms 27.705 ms 26.858 ms 7 pos8-1-hfr2.dfw.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 72.251 ms 75.729 ms 73.677 ms 8 ge-v5-hfr1.dfw.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 74.153 ms 73.005 ms 75.141 ms 9 pos8-1-hfr2.lax.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 105.344 ms 107.666 ms 106.208 ms 10 ge-v5-hfr1.lax.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 105.677 ms 105.910 ms 106.452 ms 11 pos8-1-hfr2.sjc.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 132.903 ms 130.575 ms 125.659 ms 12 fe1-0-pbnap.sjc.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 130.631 ms 124.767 ms 125.355 ms 13 ge-v5-hfr1.sjc.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 119.255 ms 117.430 ms 125.996 ms 14 fe0-0-pbnap.sjc.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 128.272 ms 130.919 ms 307.509 ms 15 * tower.conman.org (126.96.36.199) 64.129 ms 65.449 ms [spc]linus:/usr/src/linux-2.0.39>/usr/sbin/traceroute tower.conman.org traceroute to tower.conman.org (188.8.131.52), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets 1 janet (10.0.0.1) 1.800 ms 1.755 ms 1.731 ms 2 dsl-64-128-156-186.telocity.com (184.108.40.206) 3.212 ms 3.170 ms 3.230 ms 3 route-64-131-188-129.telocity.com (220.127.116.11) 13.544 ms 14.038 ms 12.598 ms 4 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 15.749 ms 14.805 ms 15.291 ms 5 pos8-1-hfr2.atl.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 31.635 ms 28.690 ms 28.623 ms 6 ge-v5-hfr1.atl.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 27.187 ms 28.049 ms 28.120 ms 7 pos8-1-hfr2.dfw.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 74.507 ms 73.200 ms 72.905 ms 8 ge-v5-hfr1.dfw.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 72.751 ms 73.105 ms 75.415 ms 9 pos8-1-hfr2.lax.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 106.234 ms 106.130 ms 106.299 ms 10 ge-v5-hfr1.lax.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 105.595 ms 106.418 ms 106.217 ms 11 pos8-1-hfr2.sjc.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 135.297 ms 128.321 ms 126.335 ms 12 fe1-0-pbnap.sjc.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 118.552 ms 130.986 ms 126.928 ms 13 ge-v5-hfr1.sjc.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 114.866 ms 117.073 ms 124.424 ms 14 fe0-0-pbnap.sjc.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 127.696 ms 130.745 ms 125.977 ms 15 * pos8-1-hfr2.atl.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 191.308 ms * 16 * tower.conman.org (18.104.22.168) 101.322 ms 100.327 ms [spc]linus:/usr/src/linux-2.0.39>/usr/sbin/traceroute tower.conman.org traceroute to tower.conman.org (22.214.171.124), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets 1 janet (10.0.0.1) 2.492 ms 1.769 ms 1.748 ms 2 dsl-64-128-156-186.telocity.com (126.96.36.199) 4.209 ms 3.150 ms 3.165 ms 3 route-64-131-188-129.telocity.com (188.8.131.52) 14.623 ms 13.612 ms 15.036 ms 4 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 31.694 ms 16.130 ms 15.292 ms 5 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 15.440 ms 15.476 ms 16.583 ms 6 pos8-2-hfr1.was.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 41.190 ms 62.272 ms 41.618 ms 7 fe0-0-mae-east.was.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 47.128 ms 40.831 ms 40.425 ms 8 at0-0-0-170.br1.WDC2.gblx.net (126.96.36.199) 51.271 ms 40.997 ms 41.915 ms 9 pos2-0-155M.cr2.WDC2.gblx.net (188.8.131.52) 41.269 ms 41.624 ms 41.947 ms 10 pos1-0-622M.cr1.ATL1.gblx.net (184.108.40.206) 57.903 ms 57.344 ms 58.573 ms 11 pos5-0-0-155M.ar1.TPA1.gblx.net (220.127.116.11) 91.555 ms 93.025 ms 93.167 ms 12 Customer.s4-0-0.ar1.TPA1.gblx.net (18.104.22.168) 99.760 ms 98.111 ms 216.351 ms 13 tower.conman.org (22.214.171.124) 101.450 ms 102.368 ms 101.038 ms [spc]linus:/usr/src/linux-2.0.39>/usr/sbin/traceroute tower.conman.org traceroute to tower.conman.org (126.96.36.199), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets 1 janet (10.0.0.1) 1.770 ms 1.852 ms 1.705 ms 2 dsl-64-128-156-186.telocity.com (188.8.131.52) 3.175 ms 3.220 ms 3.290 ms 3 route-64-131-188-129.telocity.com (184.108.40.206) 12.757 ms 13.936 ms 14.244 ms 4 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 15.600 ms 16.065 ms 13.803 ms 5 pos8-1-hfr2.atl.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 27.430 ms 28.691 ms 28.694 ms 6 ge-v5-hfr1.atl.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 27.660 ms 26.413 ms 26.573 ms 7 pos8-1-hfr2.dfw.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 74.026 ms 82.005 ms 73.880 ms 8 ge-v5-hfr1.dfw.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 74.488 ms 73.386 ms 73.193 ms 9 pos8-1-hfr2.lax.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 105.209 ms 106.414 ms 106.708 ms 10 ge-v5-hfr1.lax.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 107.248 ms 106.171 ms 127.723 ms 11 pos8-1-hfr2.sjc.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 135.017 ms 127.588 ms 126.325 ms 12 fe1-0-pbnap.sjc.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 133.066 ms 125.410 ms 128.867 ms 13 ge-v5-hfr1.sjc.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 115.226 ms 121.554 ms 119.980 ms 14 fe0-0-pbnap.sjc.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 130.603 ms 134.301 ms 130.845 ms 15 ge-v5-hfr1.sjc.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 119.819 ms 130.060 ms 142.445 ms 16 fe0-0-pbnap.sjc.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 139.018 ms 133.283 ms * 17 tower.conman.org (18.104.22.168) 102.361 ms 101.642 ms 100.291 ms [spc]linus:/usr/src/linux-2.0.39>/usr/sbin/traceroute tower.conman.org traceroute to tower.conman.org (22.214.171.124), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets 1 janet (10.0.0.1) 1.740 ms 1.757 ms 1.728 ms 2 dsl-64-128-156-186.telocity.com (126.96.36.199) 3.201 ms 3.244 ms 3.170 ms 3 route-64-131-188-129.telocity.com (188.8.131.52) 13.510 ms 13.748 ms 14.303 ms 4 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 14.592 ms 14.997 ms 14.759 ms 5 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 17.374 ms 16.767 ms 16.539 ms 6 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 16.462 ms 15.245 ms 14.954 ms 7 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 14.788 ms 16.020 ms 16.619 ms 8 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 15.897 ms 15.401 ms 16.995 ms 9 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 16.266 ms 16.682 ms 15.344 ms 10 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 15.385 ms 16.295 ms 15.085 ms 11 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 16.568 ms 17.000 ms 16.552 ms 12 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 16.599 ms 17.155 ms 14.814 ms 13 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 14.799 ms 40.861 ms 18.034 ms 14 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 17.572 ms 91.453 ms 15.259 ms 15 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 23.225 ms 16.968 ms 16.886 ms 16 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 16.060 ms 17.160 ms 15.896 ms 17 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 15.333 ms 16.403 ms 25.721 ms 18 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 17.314 ms 15.686 ms 16.859 ms 19 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 23.482 ms 15.241 ms 15.339 ms 20 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 16.103 ms 16.605 ms 17.546 ms 21 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 15.845 ms 16.959 ms 18.241 ms 22 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 16.839 ms 15.091 ms 15.442 ms 23 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 15.910 ms 16.546 ms 16.501 ms 24 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 16.934 ms 16.800 ms 17.549 ms 25 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 17.931 ms 16.327 ms 16.082 ms 26 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 15.973 ms 16.469 ms 16.467 ms 27 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 52.760 ms 17.235 ms 15.509 ms 28 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 16.039 ms 16.770 ms 16.421 ms 29 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 15.857 ms 16.527 ms 17.723 ms 30 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 17.253 ms 18.240 ms 16.017 ms [spc]linus:/usr/src/linux-2.0.39>/usr/sbin/traceroute tower.conman.org traceroute to tower.conman.org (22.214.171.124), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets 1 janet (10.0.0.1) 43.666 ms 1.827 ms 1.813 ms 2 dsl-64-128-156-186.telocity.com (126.96.36.199) 3.306 ms 3.232 ms 3.102 ms 3 route-64-131-188-129.telocity.com (188.8.131.52) 14.623 ms 14.539 ms 14.481 ms 4 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 65.600 ms 81.921 ms 58.918 ms 5 vlan20-core2.mia.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 85.022 ms 14.867 ms 14.560 ms 6 fe1-2-core1.mia.tlct.net (18.104.22.168) 119.265 ms * ge-v5-hfr1.atl.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 46.996 ms 7 pos8-1-hfr2.dfw.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 73.053 ms 81.261 ms 94.668 ms 8 ge-v5-hfr1.dfw.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 105.210 ms 75.482 ms * 9 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11) 80.207 ms 71.852 ms 72.419 ms 10 gigabitethernet5-0.core1.Dallas1.Level3.net (18.104.22.168) 71.978 ms 74.689 ms ge-v5-hfr1.lax.tlct.net (22.214.171.124) 106.497 ms 11 pos8-1-hfr2.sjc.tlct.net (126.96.36.199) 133.156 ms 141.849 ms 134.666 ms 12 fe1-0-pbnap.sjc.tlct.net (188.8.131.52) 125.158 ms 117.098 ms 115.600 ms 13 pos2-1-paix.pao.tlct.net (184.108.40.206) 115.742 ms 121.505 ms 162.642 ms 14 gblx-px.pao.tlct.net (220.127.116.11) 124.839 ms 117.256 ms 124.204 ms 15 so1-0-0-622M.cr1.pao2.gblx.net (18.104.22.168) 122.668 ms 126.308 ms 138.030 ms 16 pos1-0-622M.cr1.HOU1.gblx.net (22.214.171.124) 121.666 ms 132.773 ms 124.458 ms 17 * pos0-0-155M.ar1.TPA1.gblx.net (126.96.36.199) 151.364 ms * 18 Customer.s4-0-0.ar1.TPA1.gblx.net (188.8.131.52) 158.682 ms 246.846 ms 158.229 ms 19 tower.conman.org (184.108.40.206) 161.658 ms 163.065 ms 161.680 ms [spc]linus:/usr/src/linux-2.0.39>
Got to see major network rerouting at work here. From 7 to 19 hops no less! Sheesh!
Spring has been
FTPing to her site. Her computer is currently
sitting behind a firewall, so to use
FTP she has to use passive
But … her web host has stuck the
FTP server behind a
firewall, where it doesn't work in passive mode.
So, she can't FTP to her web host.
I wasn't sure how to configure ProFTPD to do
FTP proxying, so I
downloaded jftpgw, an
FTP proxy. I
wanted it to work in conjunction with ProFTPD, so it took some work (namely,
getting ProFTPD to not bind to every IP address on the firewall, and setting up an extra IP
address for the proxy
FTP program to run on.
The contortions one must go through when you only have a single IP address.
The Condo Commando's still hate Spring's van. This time it's not the fact that the van is covered, but that it's covered and parked in a guest spot! Apparently that's a no-no, even though it isnt' stated in the RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC. AMENDED March 22, 2000.
And I've still yet to sign any papers stating I have read and acknowledge the RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC. AMENDED March 22, 2000 so they can XXXXXXXXXXX.
“My sites down again!” said Spring. “What is Russ doing?” Russ being the person that hosts her site (I offered, but she doesn't want to move the site. Can't say that I blame her.)
“Oh dear,” I said. “I may not be your site.” I'm sitting next to her in the Computer Room at my computer, attempting to check email. “Looks like there's something wrong with the network here.”
I switch over to the firewall. “I can still get out on the firewall.” I then tried to ping my machine from the firewall. Nothing. “That isn't good.” I then start crawling under the desks. “Could you watch that screen,” I said, pointing to the screen attached to the firewall, “and tell me when you see something pop up.” I left the ping program running.
“Okay,” she said.
Now, I'm running a 10Base-2 network here at the house. Primarily because I'm cheap (10Base-2 is also known as “cheapnet”) but also because most of my older equipment only has 10Base-2 connectors (or 10Base-5 but I have 10Base-5 to 10Base-2 transceivers—10Base-5 to 10-Base-T transceivers are very hard to find and also very expensive to a non-hardware hacker like me). One of the problems with 10Base-2—if one segment is bad the entire network is down.
So I spent the next fifteen minutes tracking down the bad segment, which went from the firewall to my computer (the next segment went from my computer to the 10Base-T hub which is where Spring's computer is plugged into). The cable seemed fine which meant that something was wrong with the card in my main machine.
I got Spring squared away and back on the net, and took my computer apart, cleaned all the dust out of it (cough cough). Back together and Woo hoo! It works again!
Thankfully I don't have to find a new network card.
I've noticed some very odd network activity recently here at the South Lab. At 8:02 pm EST yesturday I got slammed with DNS. For nine seconds I received an average of 10 requests per second for DNS resolution from 22 different IP addresses (an average of 4 requests per IP address).
But then, exactly 12 hours later, again, for nine seconds I received an average of 10 reqeusts per second for DNS resolution from 22 different hosts; the same hosts as 12 hours earlier.
Very odd …
Jorn Barger, of RobotWisdom fame, has an interesting theory about the ancient Minoan culture—that it was the Las Vegas of the ancient world (which is my take on the theory and not Jorn's words at all). An interesting theory for sure. And would that mean that the famed maze at Knossos, which held the Minotaur (half man, half bull), was an attraction? “Survive the maze, and win fabulous prizes!”
I'm guessing that betting on survivors of the Minatour Maze wasn't everybody's cup of tea back then.
I was surprised to find “Property of Acme Widgets, 301-555-1212” in the .EXE file from 0x6000 to 0x14FFF. The compiler had obviously just grabbed a big chunk of disk space and stuffed it into the file, without bothering to clear it first.
Even scarier are the articles about Microsoft and nuclear material tracking. Shudder
There are five settings on my washing machine for load size, ranging from small load to large load. I never know just how much makes a certain size load, and there's no guide telling me how many pounds of clothes (or to what level) constitutes a load size.
What? Like I know laundry?
MSN Explorer Tech support states "that MSN Explorer and MSN.com send web-based HTML e-mail ONLY and cannot be configured to send plain text."
However, if you use MSN as your mail service (i.e., email@example.com) you can simply go to Hotmail.com and send e-mail from there in plain text (via their so-called PASSPORT system). Same inbox, address book, etc.
You just have to remember to send or reply to POP3 and plain text e-mail from Hotmail and not from MSN. A real nuisance but at least an option.
Unfortunately the transfer to Hotmail from MSN e-mail takes you through 3 screens and requires you to reenter your password even if you checked the "remember my password" box.
I'm currently on a mailing list where one of the members uses MSN for email and yes, it is very annoying to get email from that person in all HTML (when you are using an email client that doesn't support HTML and no, getting a new program is not the answer! (Anymore than forcing Microsoft Windows users to switch to something more sane, like Unix) It's nice to know there is a way that person can avoid sending HTMLized email, but somehow, given the instructions (and the @#$&@# attitude of Microsoft towards Internet standards and conventions) that this person will change.
Anti-smoking groups reacted angrily Tuesday to a report by cigarette giant Philip Morris that said tobacco could save a government millions of dollars in health care and pensions because many smokers die earlier.
Giggle. Sorry, but I found this quite amusing. Of course a tabacco company is going to say that! I mean, come on!
Exit Strategy is a collaborative story where the main fiction has been written by Douglas Rushkoff, but footnotes are added by people going to the website. The story itself is set a few years in the future, but the footnotes are to be written as if it's 200 years further on and a bunch of archeologists and historians are annotating the book.
I'll skip the ethics of Douglas Rushkoff, who is expected to take the best footnotes and publish the result, giving the contributors a signed copy of the book (not all of which he wrote), but I find it neat that any portion of the book can be marked for connotation. You can even add footnotes to the footnotes and possibly even engage on a conversation with fellow anthropologists/historians.
Looks like I'll have to take the car back in for more A/C work. It's peeing again all over the passenger compartment.
I took Lake Lumina (as my friend Greg called it) to the dealership today to have them check out the A/C. The supervisor sighed when I told him the problem still persisted and that this is the fifth trip in to have it “fixed.”
I was waiting for him to
I've been living next to Butterfly World for 10 years and I've never been there myself. So after lunch we headed on over to Butterfly World.
The place is currently being renovated so there's much construction going on. The main entrance is now on the side admist warning signs, exposed wiring and joists and conduits and sawdust. We snake our way around the exposed construction to the gift shop where you buy tickets into Butterfly World itself.
For US$13.50 per adult!
That's a bit more than we wanted to pay to see some crawling, flying insects so we made a quick tour around the giftshop (and it was your typical tourist trapish museumesque giftshop) and left.
Each time I've had the car worked on for the A/C, a day or two later, the auto manufacturer of my car calls up with a followup survey asking me a few questions about the service.
This was the fifth time they called.
I'm now starting to answer the questions with “Can I get back to you on that?”
Tonight is the night that Spring heads off to Oshkosh for AirVenture, a yearly convention of the aerospace industry. Greg got her tickets to attend, plus plane tickets. Spring is picking up Greg, then it's a three hour trip to Orlando to pick up their flight to Oshkosh. They'll be back sometime Sunday night or Monday morning.
And I'll spend the next few days catching up on stuff here.
I'm beginning to pick up on Spodie's preferred means of communication when he's peeved. He doesn't urinate on the carpet or clothes or anything. He'll meow. And if that doesn't work he'll start using his claws a bit more.
Like this morning. I'm sitting at the computer, replying to some email Spring sent me from Oshkosh when Spodie had to get to the top of Spring's monitor that instant, as quickly as possible.
And I was the spring board.
And he used his claws for traction, which not only punctured my pants, but punctured me in the process. It was just his little way of saying “Hey! Give me some food and clean the litter box while you're at it!”
What a pleasent experience it is to clean a cat's litter box.
I'm not entirely sure what Spodie was peeved about this morning but for some reason he knocked his water bowl off the counter and onto the kitchen floor.
Could have been worse. He could have kicked the contents of his litter box out onto the kitchen floor.
For lunch my roommate Rob and I went to Tony Roma's. It's one of the few places we haven't tried around here and we figured “Hey! Why not?”
Along the wall near the booth was a collection of essays by local elementary school kids about their heros, and one particular one caught my attention:
by Sean Conner
I hadn't realized I was in the first grade, nor that I had a brother.
While there I saw what had to be one of the most inane items ever for a pet: dog gravy! Dog gravy! DOG GRAVY! Gravy you put on your pet dog's food! As I was telling Rob, “If they weren't making money off this stuff, they wouldn't make it.” Good Lord the profits these people are making off this stuff!
I attended what could only be called a “wedding bath” today. My friend John Anstett is getting married in September (1ST of all days, so he's getting married on 9-1-1. Heh) but it's a very small ceremony and only a few very close friends and family are invited to the actual ceremony.
But in order to celebrate with all of his and his fiancé's friends, they're holding a party. And for a refreshing change, no one is expected to bring anything but themselves—no food, no presents, nothing.
I arrived to the club house to find police tape around the front door and chalk outlines on the driveway and no indication that a party was going on. Upon closer inspection, the chalk outlines all had smiley faces, and there was a poster on the front door congratulating John and Laura. So it appeared it was a theme party.
I entered, and John's brother Bob nailed me at the front door, took my mug shot and finger prints. Then I could enter the party. I did so, getting ink all over me as I attempted to clean it off with some goop that seemed to spread it more than remove it. I noticed that most people had red fingers and hands so it wasn't just me that had difficulty with the ink.
One game they had involved guessing the number of red hot candies in a clear red container. I had guessed 352 (big candies, very narrow container) which wasn't far off the real answer of 388. Alas I lost to a guess of 385.
Another game was matching up finger prints to mug shots, but I decided not to participate in that one, prefering to chat with people instead of peering intenting at Polaroids and smuged finger prints.
Survivor, a gold fish that survived a 1,200 mile trip south in a Tupperware container over several days, finally sucumed to an unknown disease today. He was found by his owner's boyfriend on his side wedged in between the side of the bowl and a statue of Neptune. He is survived by his owner Spring Dew and her cat, Spodie. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Memorial service and burial times to be announced.
Our normal Sunday game was called off, so Jeff Cuscutis (not to be confused with my other friend Jeff, aka JeffK) decided to play test another game called Fung Shui, which is a Hong Kong Action Film Role Playing Game (and not a Furniture Arrangement Role Playing Game as Jeff's fiancé likes to describe it).
The rules are set up to be very simple. There are only a few character classes to choose from (and you start with the pre-supplied template) and just like the movies, you can have it so you never run out of ammo (which I picked), can take out bad guys with a full cup of coffee (which my friend Kurt picked) and the hoards of nameless bad guys are all bad shots and are easy to pick off (which we both did).
It also encourages a cinematic style of play. Need to jump over a chest high shelf to avoid a wall of bullets in the convience store? Not a problem. Want to leap horizontally into the air firing two guns at a named villian in a crowded subway station? Go for it. The GM may even put the game into “bullet time” for you.
It's actually a perfect game for our Sunday group, who tend to shoot first and if we remember, maybe as a few questions later.
A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss.
Plot outline from the Internet Movie DataBase
Guns and carnage a plenty in this film, but the best scene has to be at Jennie's (the singer) apartment. Two men, guns pointed at each other, carry on a civil conversation as Jennie serves them tea. The movie is worth it just for that scene alone.
Spring and Greg returned from Oshkosh this morning. It seems their return flight was overbooked or missing or something silly like that and they ended up flying home on a different carrier, arriving back in Orlando later than they expected. And the drive back to South Florida happened in half hour spurts as they were too tired to really drive long distances.
I'm glad they made it back safely.
I'm also experiencing a bit of schadenfreude. Usually when I travel I have a miserable time doing the actual travelling while most (if not all) of my friends seem to enjoy travelling so it's a bit refreshing to see a travelling horror story happen to someone else.
As suburban children we floated at night in swiming pools the temperature of blood; pools the color of Earth as seen from outer space. We would skinny-dip, my friends and me …
1,000 Years (Life After God) by Douglas Coupland
There is nothing quite like swimming on a hot muggy night in South Florida. The water tempurature is just right—enough to cool you off without having to suffer getting used to the tempurature.