So a Thing Happened to the Server

So, and interesting thing happened just this past Friday while I was messing around playing games on my computer. I spilled water on my server.

For those who do not know, I currently use a Dell PowerEdge 1850 rack mounted server as my general purpose server for the things that I do. This server provides a platform for this website, my LizardCam, an IRC server, a Ventrilo server, and a Plex Media server that I use to enjoy my various movies and videos and things. I keep it on a desk right next to my computer. Since the actual machine is really flat, this works out well and I can just put stuff on top of it like it were a part of the desk.

Now before you think that I’m putting water on my server, no, I’m not. I’m not quite that stupid. I’m still pretty stupid though. I was keeping a big jug of water right neeext to it. And I was turning my chair and it tipped over right onto the machine. It was pretty bad and very stupid.

Now, the first instinct at the time was to turn it off. Immediately. I did a hard stop on the box and opened it up and checked for moisture and water. For the most part, it looked like it was fairly localized around the left hard drive and on the front plane. I took a few pieces of paper towel to it to try and dry it out, and removed some pieces to check for any moisture here and there. I gave it a little while to dry off, and then tried to restart it. All went well for a few minutes while the machine went through it’s various start up checks, but when it tried to spool up the disk drive for the start up check, it turned itself off.

Now, the neat thing about these Dell machines is that they will turn themselves back on after a power outage or after any event that causes them to switch off. It tried to turn itself back on. Once, then twice, and then it stayed off. That was really weird. And any time that I tried to turn it back on after that, it switched itself off again. So, at this point, I was really scared that the machine was a lost cause. I tried everything. Tried hooking up a monitor to it so that I could see any errors and got nothing. Tried to switch which power supply I was using and also got nothing. It would power up the fans for a short bit, and then switch itself off again in very short order.

So yeah, I was pretty certain that the machine was toast at that point, and it felt awful. But, I sought counsel from my various friends who are familiar with Dell products and hard ware in general. The consensus was that “Yeah, it might be toast, but you need to let it air out and dry for a few days before you try starting it up again.” So, that’s what I did, despite how impatient I was to try and restart the damned thing. The whole incident happened on a Friday, and I let it air out until Monday morning when I tried restarting again.

And here’s the really cool part. It started up and ran as though nothing had happened. I was fully expecting that it would not work, but it did! I was astonished! Very impressed with the hardware!

Oh yeah, and I’m going to try and be less stupid with this machine now. I’ve put it up on some stilts so that it sits above the desk instead of on it. That way, if there IIIS spillage, it’ll just go under the machine instead of on top of it.

So yeah, that happened.

Let’s Talk about Opportunity

So, I’m finding myself at a really interesting crossroads in my life right now. I’m going to try and keep this vague so that I don’t harm anyone’s particular sensibilities, but I know that some people who are close to me will be able to figure out what I’m talking about and will kinda get at what I’m about to say. But here goes! As I always say, people deserve to see me as I am and they deserve to learn just that extra little bit about me.

I put this really eloquently to my roommate, Jay Cooper, the other day. “When opportunity comes knocking, how do you know whether it is the right time or not? Is now the right time? Or is it time to wait?” I’ve known quite a few people in my life who… to be honest… just sat around waiting. They sat in a place they didn’t want to be for too long, waiting for the ‘right time.’ I’d talk to them, and they’d talk about how much they’re tired of the place they’re in and that they don’t want to be there, but when I encourage them to move on and see if they can get anything better, the time just ‘isn’t right.’ They don’t feel the call. They don’t see the open door. Or maybe they don’t want to go and open their own door… but that’s a different perspective.

Point is, my experience shows me that people languish when they wait for the right moment to seize opportunity. From the outside, you kinda end up wondering why they’re allowing themselves to stay stuck, and stuck is the way that you see it. I imagine that, on the inside looking out, it’s more like trying to see through a foggy lense, and the uncertainty just bites at you and you don’t know how to act, much less open your own doors or make your own destiny.

That’s how I’m kinda seeing it now. This whole journal is based around my profession. Let me lay some context, first.

My first job was working as a pizza delivery driver for Pizza Hut. My mom was the one who suggested it to me, and much as I dismissed it at first, I eventually took that on and I didn’t and don’t regret it. I grew up as a driver working that job. When you’re having to drive on a schedule, how and when and where you drive suddenly becomes a lot more important. But that is not a job you stay in and I was very much ready to move on the first moment it came. Opportunity (college) knocked and I moved on and didn’t look back.

My second (unique) job – as I consider it – was working at Jiffy Lube doing basic car maintenance. Much like pizza delivery, it’s low brow work and it doesn’t require educated skill, not really. But it was worthy for me. You’re working to keep people’s cars in shape, and that keeps them moving around. That keeps money moving around, which keeps the economy moving around. I dunno, but I found it really rewarding in its own way. Plus, I got my hands dirty and walked around a lot and kept in shape doing that kind of work. And I learned an awful lot about cars and learned a great respect for maintaining what you have. I’ve seen what badly maintained cars look like, and I’ve seen the people who drive them. It’s not entirely pretty (for the people, it’s mostly that you see them and you know that they are stuck with what they have and regret it). But again, that’s not a job that you stay in and I was ready to move on. When I did, I didn’t look back.

My third job was working for an ESL (English as a Second Language) school in Seoul, South Korea. Notice that’s South Korea. Not North Korea for you knuckle draggers. South Korea. That was also a very rewarding job, and it taught me a lot about myself and a lot about humans in general. It’s really weird when you see the humans when they’re small. They’re not really all that different than they are when they’re adults. The fights are over smaller things. That’s really the only difference when it comes down to it. We, as adults, fight with the same emotions that we fought with when we were little. And the fights are resolved much in the same way, with reason and mediation. Or they aren’t! You never quite know with those odd humans. And I learned about myself because I found out how I could have patience and see things for the long haul rather than for the short haul. When you teach people, you don’t think about where they’ll be tomorrow, you think about where they’ll be in a month, or even a year. Teaching is a slow thing, and you don’t and shouldn’t expect everything to change overnight. Again, ultimately, I found an ending point, and when I found it I moved on and didn’t look back.

But now, I find myself in my current profession. I love what I do. I love who I do it with. especially my boss. I love the product and I love what it is able to do for people. I love the role that I play in delivering and moderating that product for the people who use it, and it means a lot to me that I’m able to make a difference and have made a difference where it counts. The weird thing is that I’ve suddenly found opportunity knocking when I don’t feel done yet. In the past, I would feel done, and I would move on and not look back, right? Now, though, it’s like opportunity knocks early, and it knocks everywhere. Doors are open all over the place and it’s like the whole world asks “What are you waiting for? Why are you standing still? Move! Opportunity knocks!” But I’m not done! If I move on now, will I look back? Will I regret? And ohhh, how I’m stuck wondering if I will like the new place I find myself in if I did take that opportunity. Or that one. Or that other one. It’s definitely an odd place I find myself in.

I’m stuck. I’m stuck between “languishing in wait for the opportunity to your dreams is bad” and loyalty to the company that has given me more meaning  – and has done more to help me find my confidence – than any institution in my entire life. This is saying nothing about all of the awesome awesomeness that is the culture and the team and the people that I work with every day. That is a hard, hard loyalty to beat. And having to question that in lieu of the knocking opportunities grows more and more and more difficult by the day. And feeling that I would be betraying that very personal, emotional loyalty for what – quite honestly – feels like a material craving makes my heart ache and my stomach churn.

This is weird, right? I’m talking about a job! Jobs shouldn’t define you to this level and shouldn’t affect you like this! In this day and age, no one has loyalty anymore, and people jump at the job that offers the most pay/benefits. But I guess I don’t quite think that way, and it’s a hard thing to reconcile.

In the end, the ‘opportunities’ that I’m talking about haven’t materialized and I’m not yet willing to take action on them. They’ve only been on my mind, and it’s good that they have been. My perspective on things is that you are made better by your struggles, and the more you think about a taxing thing, the better you are prepared to face it. But I honestly fear that possible day when I talk to my boss and tell him that I have made other plans to move on. And I honestly think that it would break my heart to do so.

And that is the effect that opportunity has on me at this point in my life.

Realizing the Worst through Another

I found this draft in my admin panel tonight. Since I haven’t updated this blog in a while, I figure I’ll post this for the world to see. I originally wrote this on January 27, 2014.


I’ve been suffering something of a quiet agony for the past week or two. It’s been a weird sort of resurgence in my depressive tendencies and it has a lot of sources. Some are immediate and work related, and others are more long term issues that I’ve been dealing with for a very long time.

I had a thought the other night, though. I’m always worried about my reputation, and about how others might see me, and what people really think but never tell me. I’m also very introspective and constantly thinking and re-thinking and overthinking all of my thoughts, actions, beliefs, reactions, etc, sometimes to the point of feeling ill. So, I tend to be well aware of my faults (as I see them), and I’m sensitive enough to have an idea on whether others pick up on them as well.

Lately, I’ve come face to face with a couple of situations where I have done someone harm and have either caused hurt, have been disliked, or have just been tolerated. This has set off something of a mini-firestorm in my head of reviewing and analyzing all of my social interactions to try and get a grasp on where I’m failing, what I could do better, or what I need to do to feel happy and satisfied again.

Now, before you say to me, “Jesse, stop worrying!” or “Jesse, you’re overthinking things,” I know. I already know all that, so it doesn’t bear repeating. I think a fair thing to say is that I’m writing this all down, just like last time, so that you can know who I am and what makes me tick better than you did before.

And now I come to the crux of this little update. I’m going to write what I think someone in the world might think when I come into the room. If my worst fears about myself were realized on what others think of me, this is what they would say…


That he’s arrogant! He’s so arrogant, and his ego barely fits in the room! You can just see it in the look on his face, that condescending face of his. Always looking down at people, scowling and glaring. It’s very difficult to get him to take interest in anything you want to talk about to, unless it has to so with him of course. Then you can’t really shut him up long enough to get a word in. I almost try to get the conversation going on something else as quickly as I can.

He really gives off this uncomfortable aura sometimes, of just kinda… I dunno. It’s like he doesn’t feel anything sometimes, or that he’s not there. Or that he won’t say or do what he feels and thinks, but I don’t know.

Sometimes you’ll try and be nice to him and make conversation with him. I have some friends who’ve tried it once or twice, and it’s virtually impossible to get him to engage! He’ll just throw some generic conversation at you before falling silent again. It’s the least engaging I’ve ever seen anyone.

Don’t get me started on how annoying he can be sometimes. Always asking questions and trying to butt into conversations or things we’re doing. He wasn’t a part of the conversation in the first place because he couldn’t be arsed to join in and engage, but then all of a sudden he’s right there wanting to chat? Nah.

I think probably the most frustrating thing I deal with him, is he’ll treat you like your scarcely worth his time for months on end, and then one day try to hit you up and be best buddies with you or something! You can never tell where you are with this guy, whether you’re a friend, someone he doesn’t care about, or what!

It’s just frustrating to deal with him sometimes. I’d be glad to have him as a friend really, he seems like a swell guy, but… Just.. All that is so off putting. I’d just sooner not deal with it.

Let’s Talk About Love Again…

I’m a bit conflicted about this post, mostly because I’m not sure what people will think about what I have to say. I’m sure that many of my friends will sympathize, and I’m sure that many more will probably have a better understanding of what makes me tick. I’m also fairly certain that a good number of people will think that this is pathetic and have no more a desire to be my friend than they did before. I guess my ultimate goal for this post is to educate, and if it helps me to feel closer to the people who matter then it will have success.

I guess I’ll start by saying that I’m really successful in a lot of the things that I do. I’m successful at work, with friends, at home, at school, and so forth. But I’m really really bad at being in relationships. Not friendships, per se, but serious committed relationships with potential partners that I’d want to get married to or something like that. I end up being one of those types who can do most any job and learn most any thing, and I make a swell friend, but I’ve turned out perpetually single and rather awkward.

I want to think that I don’t know why! I want to think that I’m just fine and that I’m somehow a victim of a prejudice or that I’m unlucky or something like that. Or that I just don’t know anyone or that no one really cares to get to know me for reasons that I don’t understand. But… if I’m honest with myself, that’s not entirely true. I can perceive some reasons why I’m single and awkward and remain single. Let me list what I think I understand:

1) I’m very shy, and don’t handle rejection well. In my normal work life, this means that I can take criticism a little harshly. I tend to over-adjust my behavior, act as my own worst critic, worry, fret, get worked up, and on and on. In relationships? It means that I never make a first move, or I feel so uncomfortable making any moves that I just don’t.

2) I hate annoying people. I don’t like feeling unwanted, so if I feel like I’m with someone who doesn’t want me around, then I escape. I don’t just leave, I escape that feeling, because it is so sooo uncomfortable. In friendships – or in trying to make friends – it often means that I don’t try, or if I do try I don’t try hard. Trying to chat with someone and they’re silent on the other end, or it seems like a chore for them to talk to me? I must be annoying them. Better go talk to someone else.

And of course there’s the whole “Oh, you don’t want to talk to me, well fuck you!” feeling, but the fear of being annoying is a very, very real phobia for me.

3) I am a horny, dirty minded guy. And I’m frustrated because I have no sex life at the moment. Can’t really say that I’ve had a fulfilling experience with any long term partner either. Quite the opposite, actually. This might turn some people off, sound silly, or just plain be Too-Much-Information, but this is a really big deal for me. Like, agonizing. And I don’t want anyone to see this. I don’t want anyone to know that this is such a big deal, so I suppress it and try my hardest not to show anyone that I’m quite willing or quite available. I don’t want anyone to look at me like I’m some sort of pervert, or that sexual satisfaction is one of the most important things that I’m looking for (to me anyway).

You might start seeing a pattern of hiding appearing. Yeah, I’m kinda seeing it too.

4) I reject anyone who seems interested in me. And this is depressing too! I do have some people who are interested in being a partner, and they’re also quite available and quite single. And I reject them because I don’t like them, or I don’t feel comfortable with their attitude, or I’m just not comfortable with the idea of being with them. And – what tends to happen – a few months later when I’m feeling particularly frustrated (see 3) I nearly always regret it.

Now, I could come back and say that I’m just very very selective with who I’d want to be with, and there are people out there that I would like to try and be with. I can think of a few. But it turns out that I generally don’t get interested attention from the people that I’ve already selected, and I’m not brave enough to approach them and express any interest myself (See the previous 3 points).

5) Anyone that I’m really able to connect with on some level is already in a relationship or otherwise unavailable. This one kinda carries good and depressing. I know that I can make a relationship work and I know that I can, in fact, connect with someone very personally and intimately. But nearly always, they’re in a relationship already or married. This has probably been the case at least a half dozen times, and it’s depressing all on its own. It kinda turns into a case of only falling in love with something that you can’t have.


When I look at all of this, I wanna ask myself — others can do it, but why can’t I? Honestly, I kinda know the answer. I’m extremely selective, very shy, awkward, not-forward with my desires, and afraid. And, I think, most people don’t see that because I put my respectful self forward. Can’t offend anyone because I’m frustrated. Don’t want to annoy anyone or act like a shallow slutty guy, or ruin my image of the mature, level-headed, likable, unique and eccentric young man.

I get the sense that most people don’t know that I’m even looking to be in a relationship or that it is such an enormous strain and anguish in my life. My worst fear is growing old, to be 60 or so, and to not have had the joy of being in love with a partner that I could spend the rest of my life with, or to give grandkids to my parents. I’ll just be some old, cold, dried out soul who never knew what it was like to feel that way about someone, and I’ll have to live with that and all the times that I’ve been told:

“Do you have anyone in your life?”

“I don’t believe that,” when I say I’ve not been with anyone in almost 2 years.

“You’re so young and handsome and you don’t have a girlfriend?” some strangers from when I was 16.

“You like cuddling too much to not get in a relationship and get married,” also when I was young (it’s true).

“Did you get any Korean girlfriends?” various people when I talk about living there (the answer is no, not even close).


Time now to wrap this up. I’ve recently found that many people are… actually interested in what I have to say. People read my blog posts and comment on how full of insight they are, and I start to get the sense that I really have been hiding from everyone, and that when I start showing people what I think and how I feel about things their perception of me grows a little and it’s like they wanted that all along. So if you’re reading this, I honestly just want you to know me better and know one of the things that makes me tick (with an awkward rattle). I’m here. I’m just scared.


Let’s Talk About Love

Touchy subject, love is! A lot of young people, and old people, haven’t quite figured out what love is all about, or what it’s supposed to mean about a relationship between two human beings. I’d like to think that I’ve got it figured out to a certain degree, but I’m probably pretty far off the mark. Nah… that may not be true either, since the meaning of love changes depending on who you talk to and depending on their experiences and the people that they know.

I guess it really comes down to this. Love doesn’t really have a single definition or a secret. It’s something that depends on who you are and who you know. I hope that this makes sense, cuz it’s kinda fuzzy in my head at the moment. Who you are defines how much you want others to give to you, or how much you expect others to love you. I mean, it really plays a big part in what you expect from others in order to feel loved, if that makes sense. And who you know plays a big role too, because if you know people who have the same type of expectations as you do then you’re quite likely to find the love that you have always wanted. Meanwhile, if you know people who have different ideas and expectations on what love means, then you’re likely to feel confused and lost in the grand scheme of things.

Dear God, that doesn’t seem to make much sense does it? Maybe it will. I would hope so. I could sum it up exactly the way that I introduced it; it really depends on who you are and who you know.

I can say for sure that I feel extremely blessed to be who I am right now. I have very close friends that I love very much and feel no qualms in saying that. They might be married or in relationships, but I don’t have to feel any sort of shame or hide my feelings when I say that I love these people. I’ll put their names below:





Might seem a bit braggart, and you’d probably feel right to feel that way. For me, though, I’ve gone through a large part of my life up to this point not knowing what it felt like to be loved by people outside my family, and it really makes a big difference in my life to have met random people I love and who love me back. I mean, a really big difference. 

So, I guess this is the part where I talk about what love means to me? That’s a tough task, actually! Like, I know who the people are that I love, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you why I love them the way that I do or why they earned my love like they did. But what comes to mind, now that I think about it, aren’t parts of their personalities, but rather the things that they were willing and happy to do for me.

Like, ok, let’s take Darren. He was a source of happiness when I was living in a foreign country and was horribly depressed. And I got to visit him once and had awesome cuddly time with him, and we did a lot of things together, just him and me, and had deep dish pizza and watched movies and shared things and it was all kinds of awesome. It’s just so cool that I have someone that I can share things with and they laugh and get it and want more of that.

And then we can take Jen, who drew me a picture when I was sad, and tells me that she misses me, and is happy when I’m around and listens to the things to say. And I never feel impatient at her or upset or anything like that. Which is weird because I don’t see myself as giving most people the privilege of my patience like I do with her. It’s like no one wanted to give her any patience and I see it as my mission to give her just a little bit of understanding and patience and time.

And I could probably wax poetic about all of my friends and go on and on about how I love them for whatever reason I do. But at this point, I’m not sure that I can really bring this to a point that would be all encompassing and revealing, so I’ll draw this to a close. Love, for me, is not tied to marriage or some sort of relationship. Love is recognizing someone who matches me in some sort of way, like a puzzle piece that makes my life more complete. Recognizing that someone is having a positive influence in my life and that my life would be less than what it is if they didn’t exist. And when I finally learned how to recognize that and take my closest friends from that group, I wasn’t depressed any more, and I learned how to be happy again.

Let’s Talk About Politics

Time to explain why I haven’t posted in a while. The simple fact of the matter is that I ran out of things to talk about, and I haven’t done anything new to the server that’s worth bragging about. You could say that I entered into a bit of a cruising phase where nothing interesting is happening and I’m just waiting for the next chapter to begin. Life Filler.

But, Life Filler aside, there are some big things going on that don’t affect me directly – yet – and some big events in my life that are coming up in the next month or so. First and foremost a very special friend is coming to visit me in November. I’ve taken off two weeks from work to spend time with him, and we’ve made all kinds of big plans on things to do together. It’s basically going to be Us Time during that whole period, and it will be awesome!

One of the things that we planned to do together was visit Space Center Houston. Maybe a month or so ago I reserved a spot on a Level 9 Tour at the Space Center, which is a big behind the scenes tour of the facility. It lasts all day, we eat with the astronauts, and get to see things that are restricted access to the public.

…and as a result of the big government shutdown/showdown, this plan is now up in the air. I honestly don’t know if things will settle down by the time November rolls around. I honestly don’t. I’d like to think that this is just more political theatre that will sort itself out before it’s too late, but the trends of late have me a little distressed.

Some context. I was reared a conservative Republican, went to college and studied Political Science, made up my own mind, and came out of it a Liberal Texas Democrat. I then lived in South Korea and was heavily influenced by the better physical (roads, railways, bridges) and social (health care, education) infrastructure. I got a sense of a people who, despite their quarrels, at least governed themselves competently.

And since Barack Obama was elected President of the US, I can’t really say that Americans are really all that interested in being governed competently. We’ve come really close to defaulting on our debts, have had a government shutdown now and are coming close to defaulting again, and have been so polarised that we cannot agree on any particular way to address problems that we all know we have. And the longer time goes on, the less interested anyone is in discussing things, compromising, or listening.

Now, I remain a liberal fellow and I happen to fall on the Democratic side of this shutdown/showdown thing. I hope it comes out that the Republicans back down pass a clean spending bill, that Obamacare remains what it is, and things go on as normal until the next crisis hits. But I recognize that things might not go that way, and here is where stuff gets a little more profound.

Whatever happens, we have quite thoroughly earned it. If we default on our debts and ruin our economy, then we will pretty much have no one to blame but ourselves. In some sense, I’m getting to the point where I welcome it since it might cause people to reconsider their opinions. More than likely it’ll just make the two sides more extreme than ever and even less prone to compromise. That seems to have been the trend up to this point, despite the self-destruction our government is inflicting on itself. And if it happens, life will go on and I will still have the same friends then that I have now, and that ultimately I will survive it. And in the longer run, it will become a story/lesson for the US nation to remember.

But for now, it sucks. >:/

Today is Blood Brothers Day!

Coming so soon off my previous blog post, I figured I’d share another band that I really enjoy. Now, be forewarned, this is one of those more extreme less pleasant sounding groups. At least, I bet most people would find it that way. I actually really enjoy this sound, harsh as it is. I think, probably, the biggest reason that I enjoy this sound is the complexity and thought behind it.

More than that, the things that this group sings about are usually very disturbing. Child predators (and how scary they are), political criminals, popular media and its contradictions, general injustice. And the music is meant to be just as disturbing and unsettling as the subject matter, and I find a lot of wonderful artistic expression in that.

So, if you’re honestly brave enough to try it out, please feel free to click on one of the playlists below. Enjoy!


Burn, Piano Island, Burn…


Young Machetes

Let’s Talk About Anxiety | Animal Collective Day!

Today is a double topic blog post. First, I wanna talk about something that causes me grief quite often. See, I’m a horrible worry wort. I have this tendency to overthink a thing, get hung up on it, let all of my emotional comfort hinge upon it, and let my day be ruined by it. I think that it’s something I’ve picked up from my mother.

Anyway, I should clarify that in the past couple of years or so, I haven’t had to worry about so many things like I have in years past. Life has been great! I’ve been comfortable in my job with prospects for advancement, I have wonderful friends who love me unquestionably, I have no financial worries.. I could go on.

But, still, every now and then a Thing will crop up that threatens that peace of mind. It’s usually something that I can’t really do anything about, but presents itself as an uncomfortable itch on my peace of mind. It’s like a mosquito bite that gets itchier the longer it’s there. And you can’t reach it. And it gets infected because things keep bumping into it. And you don’t have enough money to go to the store to get the anti-itch cream until next paycheck in a week or so. And your friend who would be willing to help you soothe the itch is on vacation until a week after that.

You can probably see where I’m coming from with this, cuz I’m sure that you’ve felt this sort of worry before. It’s anxiety. The worry about something over which you have no control. All you want is to be able to do something about the Thing, but all you really can do is wait for things to work themselves out. I hate this feeling! It’s such an uncertain thing! You can’t account for the random things that could resolve this Thing in the worst way imaginable. You also can’t really predict whether the Thing will resolve itself in a good way after all. It’s a horrible thing to feel. Anticipation, worry, anxiety, and only yourself to rely on in the end.

It’s a good thing that anxiety is almost always a temporary feeling. I usually comfort myself with the Thing by realizing that the uncertain, unstable situation will eventually have to come to a rest one way or another. And whether Thing falls one way or another, things will work out in the end. How else can life proceed, but to work out somehow?


So, now with that relatively gloomy topic behind me, let’s talk about something infinitely more upbeat! I’ve been struggling to find music to listen to lately. I usually haven’t been one to give new music a chance, and that is still the case today sadly. :/ However, I have been able to look back to the music that I picked up (and forgot about) from college to find some respite. I have a couple of very good friends that were eclectic music lovers and helped to shape the sort of music that I like listening to, and they introduced me to a lot of really awesome things.

The other day, I happened to remember “Animal Collective.” Some of my closer friends might recognize the irony of liking a group called “Animal Collective.” Those of you who don’t, eh, you’ll probably figure it out someday.

This group is kinda weird, but melodic! I don’t know if everyone will find their music good, but I certainly do. Check it out!


Sung Tongs

Merriweather Post Pavilion


I love communications. I love facilitating communication. That’s one of the reasons that I installed IRC on my server.

I didn’t stop at IRC, though! Now I have a fully functioning Ventrilo server as well! For those who don’t know what Ventrilo is, it’s a Voice over Internet Protocol service much like Skype is. Except, it’s a very good group chat mechanism where Skype is a little more cumbersome for group chats.

Ventrilo was surprisingly easy to set up. All I needed to do was download the server files, extract them, make a few minor configuration changes, and then run the server. It was trivially easy.

What was more difficult to do was to configure the server to run in a jailed environment. Similar to the IRC service, I’ve set up the Ventrilo server to run in a chroot jail so that if it were to ever be compromised or hacked-into it wouldn’t endanger the rest of the system. It took me a little while to figure out the proper chroot command to get this to work, but I was able to get this to work properly and I’m very happy with the results.

As a side note, the Ventrilo server was, by default, configured to run with an audio codec that isn’t very compatible with most client programs. It’s easy enough to reconfigure with the default configuration file, however, and there are plenty of options to choose from. I was able to resolve that issue just by reviewing the documentation and following the commands listed.

Anyway, Ventrilo is up and running on the box now! We’ll see if it causes any system instability as we move again.

RAM Upgrades, Promotions, and Vacations

I’m sorry for having not posted in a while. Developments haven’t exactly been fast paced for the past few days, but they’ve been there! This is going to be a fairly straightforward posting.

Yesterday, I went to the store to buy some new RAM for the server. Previously, it had two sticks of 512MB RAM in place, giving the server about 1GB of physical memory to play with. I’ve decided that isn’t enough for what the server is doing, and even though I haven’t even been taxing the machine with the applications that I’m currently running (the stream, this site, and the IRC server), I wanted to ensure that the system would always have more than it needed to run continuously. So, now instead of 1GB of RAM, the system has 2GB! I also made the swap partition smaller, shrinking it from 8GB (which the 32 bit OS can’t use anyway) to 3GB, which is less wasteful. So, more physical (fast) memory and less swap (slower, and wasteful if too large) memory. Works for me! And the system has been churning along quite well since then without any issues that I’ve seen, so I’ve been very happy.

Now, aside from server developments, all of my work and all of the projects that I have initiated with this system have seen some dividends at work. I’ve been aiming to move over from my current position to something a lot more technical, and on Wednesday it was confirmed that I would be moving over to a Security role. 😀 This was actually very exciting for me! It’s going from a spot where I’ve been for a very long time now to something completely new. More than that, its an acknowledgement of skill, a chance to learn more, and a huge professional opportunity.

Even though I’m excited, on some level I’m really apprehensive. I’m apprehensive because I’m going from a department where I know everyone and can work casually to one where I don’t know anyone at all. And the general atmosphere, while supportive, seems a bit grumpy. It’s a little unsettling; that and not knowing much of the policy and workflow around what I’m to be doing for the next few months. But that is the way of things, isn’t it? Being thrust into a new place and having to learn things? I’ve learned several times from experience that no matter how out of place you might feel now, within a few months you will feel at home with your new environment. You have to be adaptable, have a good attitude, apply yourself, and be willing to take a little bit of friendly heat from your new coworkers to make it. 🙂

And aside from that, I have other things to look forward to. I’ve finally confirmed some long needed vacation time for this November! My best friend of all time (from the UK) is going to be coming to visit me, and we’re going to be having all sorts of adventures all around the state of Texas! So far, we have an idea of what we’re going to be doing, but it’s still largely unplanned and unscheduled (the events that is, not the time off). And the best part of all of that is that all of this time off is paid. I love working for my company. ^_^