Been a few days...
Easter weekend was pretty fun, actually. Saturday
mostly with a concrete mixer filling in a growing sinkhole
forming under the driveway of my in-laws' neighbor's house.
Learned very quickly that concrete dust that spews up while
dumping an 80 lb bag into the mixer not only makes
breathing difficult, but it tastes crappy too! Yum!
Since we had a few bags of concrete left over (total
the day was 21 bags, 80lb of concrete each - before
water :), we made the remaining concrete and filled in a
huge pothole in the street. The people around Fayetteville
can be bad drivers, though, so we put up a couple of
sawhorses around it to protect things. Amazingly enough,
the sawhorses (and filled-in pothole) remained intact
through to the next morning (long enough to get it 90% set,
which is all I really cared about)
My reward for all this manual labor (a nice reminder
why I keep going to school... more degrees == less chance
physical work, right? Right? Hellllllo??? Bueller?) was
vat-o-s'ghetti, grilling hot dogs, and torching dozens of
innocent marshmallows in an attempt to make the World's Most
Perfect Smore (tm). Weather was cooperating, at least,
which was good (wet marshmallows can make
for really crappy Smores.
Sunday spent hitting the parents' place. Swapped
USR 28.8 for a Viking v90
WinModem (shudder) and
noticed that everything seemed happy with the swap except
their FreeInternet.com setup that seemed to still be looking
for the old modem. I'll reinstall next time I'm down...
they've still got working Juno and NetZero, which is all
that matters much since they both have barely-firewalled
connections at work.
Monday (yesterday) was all about trying to resurrect
trace tool (I'll insert a link as soon as I get things
documented enough to put up a decent page... I swear! :) and
get some tracing done at work for the SpecWeb set-up. It
looks like we might skip the back-end database stuff (which
we'll get a better picture of from TPC-W anyway) and simply
trace the IBM HTTP Server ("Very Slightly Hacked Apache")
load. I haven't gotten to play with the server much since
my 2.3.x attempts of getting good performance out of the
dual-PIII Netfinity 4000R (two processors, 1U of space,
before Penguin or anyone else :)
I'm considering redoing large chunks of the trace
software set using python. I've been going
python tutorial and it would certainly make an easier
language for maintaining these things. I'm still a little
upset at Texas Memory
Systems at the moment. We get our new 200MB/sec setup
(64-bit PCI card combined with the TXL200 card to go into
the SAM unit... the two cards are connected by 4 strands (2
pair) of multi-mode fiber), and they still don't
basic commands over the interface (what a waste).
FWIW, not being able to send those basic commands is
pain mainly because it forces me to do the port
initializations, transfer commands, and data transfer wait's
(need to block on the trace finishing before reading the
data out) over a crappier interface. Currently, it's a
serial line that runs to the SAM (ugh!). It used to be an
ethernet run from the crappiest RS/6000 we could get
hands on, but whatever methods of flow control that was
getting used (very strange UDP hack... why TCP wasn't used
is beyond me) failed miserably. I might get stuck
revisiting the issue and trying ethernet again, but RARP
(only unpainful method to deal with the SAM) is still a
little bit of a pain under Linux, it appears... ugh
On the bright side, the Charlotte Hornets won
yesterday to even their first-round playoff series against
76ers. This is a good thing, especially as it'd be nice
to see the Hornets (hottest team at the end of the regular
season, at least in the Eastern Conference) go deep into the
playoffs for a change.
This morning was spent getting woken up by a call
the wife. She thought the car was on fire. Turns out it
was a busted hose and the fluid (probably antifreeze, based
on her description of the smoke) was just getting steamed on
the engine. I'm sure the nice guys from the fire department
(nope, I'm not kidding) must have liked that run. With the
weather as crappy as it is (just enough drizzle to
make you feel bad, not enough to warrant an actual
umbrella), I'm sure they wanted to be somewhere else.
Now if this were Jessica's actual car, it wouldn't be
huge problem. Reality is, though, that this is Julie's car,
her younger sister up in Asheville, who needed an automatic
to drive since she lost the use of one knee while recovering
from a skiing accident that tore up her MCL. It's a '91
Beretta that I've personally replaced 2 starters on just in
the few weeks we've had it. To say it has issues is an
understatement :) On the bright side, this will hopefully
be a good opportunity to get Jessica test-driving a car.
Her 92 Tempo is ok, but it's getting old and selling it
before it hits 100k miles would be better than trying to get
some cash for it afterwards. Anyone know of a place that
rents the Nissan Maxima SE? That's the car I'd like to
get. Decent price (despite the Edmund's review), nice
acceleration, decent MPG, nice stereo, etc.
Anyway, enough useless chatter for now. Back to
and trying to track down a rental place that has a Maxima.