dxmachina: (Computers 02)
...or how I spent my summer.

I spent a good portion of the summer teaching — the lab portion of my usual MCC assignment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 to 10 p.m. The three days a week thing got old fast, but otherwise I had a good class and a good time. One of my students was even a minor local celebrity, a features reporter for a local TV station who is apparently chucking it all to become a (male) nurse. Of course since the local TV station is not local to where I live, I had no idea until some of the other students pointed it out. He was totally not the stereotypical self-absorbed TV personality, but was rather a keen student and very helpful to others.

As for the rest of the time, here are the highlights...

Last weekend of June... )

Fourth of July weekend... )

Readercon weekend... )

First weekend in August... )

The funeral... )

Summer ends for me on Tuesday, with the start of the semester at MCC. Meanwhile I have been busy preparing syllabi and lecture notes. I'm teaching my usual general chemistry course at MCC, Mondays and Wednesdays 4-7, and a lab over at CCSU on Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30. The department chair at CCSU offered me a second lab section, but it conflicted with MCC, alas.

Hoping I can post this...

Nope, still down... and I lost all my tags. Bother.

And now we appear to be back.
dxmachina: (Computers 02)
Looks like I no longer have to worry about that Vox account I set up years ago and never used. From TechCrunch:

Six Apart’s Vox Heads To DeadPool

And then there's Vox's official announcement.

I never really did get the point of Vox. At the time, Six Apart also owned LiveJournal, and Vox seemed to be an essentially identical platform, so what was the point? It looks like I wasn't the only one who wondered.

Bad Ideas

Sep. 1st, 2010 10:15 pm
dxmachina: (Marvin02)
So here's the thing. I rarely post on Facebook anyway (and never on Twitter), and I'm certainly not going to crosspost either my entries or, especially, my comments in anyone else's posts from here to there. Please do me the same courtesy. Thanks, ever so.

I can see the utility in being able to crosspost entries if one is comfortable matching up their LJ personna with their FB one, much the same as many Dreamwidth inhabitants do with LJ. Although I've never gone out of my way to hide my real name here or over at b.org, I am not at all comfortable with that direct a connection, especially given FB's cavalier attitude towards privacy. And what I really don't get is why one would feel the need to to crosspost comments, which without the original entry or comment they are addressing are just nonsequiturs.

Lily White commented on DXMachina's LiveJournal post: "LOL!"

I also specifically disabled pingbacks (they are on by default), not that I ever do much backchannel, but who needs the potential agita? The point of a locked post is that only certain people can see it, and pingbacks breaks that rule. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cofax7and [livejournal.com profile] serenada for the heads up on that part of this mess.)


The accumulation of rainy days and mechanical failures kept me from setting a fourth straight monthly best, but I still broke 250 miles for August, which is very good. I'm now also 10 miles ahead of my 2008 pace, which was my best riding year so far. Alas, no ride to start September off because I was at work until after dark rearranging the server nook in anticipation of it being enclosed into a server room whilst I'm on vacation next week.
dxmachina: (Computers 01)
Lots o' humidity yesterday and today, with added heat today, but the three days preceding were fabulous, especially Saturday. Good thing, too, because it made for a splendid day for vw's graduation party.

Yesterday I gutted the grill and replaced all the internal organs with replacements from the Depot. New burner, new drip pan, new grill surface, and new igniter, although the last doesn't seem to work. That was the one part I didn't buy. It's been sitting on a shelf in the basement for years. I bought it for my previous grill, but it was the wrong one, so I never installed it. It wasn't the proper part for the current grill, either, but I adapted it. Or so I thought. Shrug.

A couple of tomatoes have started to turn yellowish, and the spaghetti squashes are growing so fast you can almost see them expanding. At this rate maybe in a couple more weeks I can hollow one out to use as a garden shed.

I've had a Facebook account for a while now, but I never did anything with it until Saturday. The impetus mostly was because I was apparently collateral damage in the DDOS attacks on LiveJournal last week. It seems that at least one of the attacking machines must've been nearby, because even for most of Saturday I couldn't get to the site. They later explained that some of the steps they took to mitigate the damage might cut off folks on the same local nets as the attackers. Just to make sure I wasn't one of them, I ran a packet sniffer on my home network for a little while, and came up clean.

Anyway, in the meantime I decided to have a look at Facebook. I friended a few people, and was in turn friended by a bunch more, which is kind of neat. Previously, the only person who'd ever tried to friend me was a retired school teacher from the south somewhere who seemed like a nice lady but was a total stranger, so I passed. Probably a misidentification.

I don't know how much I'll use it. The people who I've friended and been friended by are all folks who I can see on LJ anyway, and the interface is strange and offputting to me. One odd thing about me is that it appears that none of my immediate family nor any of my meatspace friends are on Facebook (or LJ, for that matter). They all use the net, but apart from some of my nieces and nephews, none are into any kind social networking. Well, except my mother, but she hangs out over on the MSN WebTV boards. This was one of the reasons Friendster seemed so useless to me. I brought nothing to the table in terms of connections.
dxmachina: (Television)
Snagged from the Onion... )

I went nuts with this post, because it 's the first time I've ever tried to post an embedded video, and it was blinvisible in my journal. I thought I was getting the coding wrong. Kept trying different things, checking out help files both on LJ and Youtube. (LJ's FAQs are useless on the subject, as they are on many things.) On a lark I tried looking at the entry from [livejournal.com profile] quonset_air's friends page, and the video displayed just fine over there, so it had to be my LJ style that was doing the emblinvisibling. After much googling, I found that the bug was likely in my custom style layer (which is based on a very old version of S2 Flexible Squares). Sure enough, the video appeared when I switched to an unadorned and current version of Flexible Squares. The fix I found via Google didn't work, though, because it was based on a different base style. I was on the right track, however. The fix was in an LJ community devoted to the style in question, so I reasoned there must also be a Flexible Squares community, and sure enough there was, and one of the posts had the fix I needed. Good deal!

Oh Joy...

Oct. 10th, 2006 09:28 pm
dxmachina: (Marvin02)
Just got an e-mail from LiveJournal notifying me that I'd asked them to reset my password, and asked for confirmation that I was the one asking. News to me, so I declined. Apparently someone in Atlanta wants to be me. I mean, I want to be someone else, too. Who's stupid enough to want to be me? Gotta be the dumbest fucking moron on the planet.

Heads Up!

Aug. 16th, 2006 04:53 pm
dxmachina: (Runforit)
The PTB at LJ are going to be foisting a new navigation scheme on its users sometime tonight, so your journal might look a little off tomorrow.

Details here: http://community.livejournal.com/lj_biz/237302.html

eta: And more here: http://community.livejournal.com/lj_support/659051.html
dxmachina: (Calvin)
Six Apart, the owner of LiveLournal, TypePad, and a bunch of other blogging sites, got whacked with a DDoS attack Tuesday night, pretty much knocking LJ and everything else offline for about twelve hours. Now comes word that the attack may not have originally be aimed at Six Apart, but was rather redirected there (inadvertently or otherwise) by the real target, Blue Security, an anti-spam service. It seems when they came under attack, they pointed their domain name at their TypePad blog, presumably so they could provide status reports. Of course, since the domain name was the frelling bullseye for the attack, the river of bad traffic just got diverted into Six Apart's front door. Um, oops?

More here.
dxmachina: (Default)
You might not yet be aware of this, but LJ is considering adding an ad-based service level in addition to paid accounts and free accounts. Essentially it'll be a free account with some of the goodies that paid accounts get, but there'll be some advertising in your journal. I mention it mostly because the discussion is going on over in [livejournal.com profile] lj_biz, rather than in one of the more usual LJ communities. That would be the place to go if you have questions.
dxmachina: (Snow)
I have successfully disabled the frelling nudge "feature." I have no clue why LJ thought this frelling thing was necessary, but they certainly don't make it easy. You have to go to the administrative console, type "set disable_nudge 1" (without the quotes) in the posting box, click on [execute], and Bob's not only your uncle, he can't nudge you.

If someone tries to nudge you, LJ pops up a vaguely judgemental message blaming you for ruining their nudgy fun:

Nudging Disabled

While we know you want to hear from [livejournal.com profile] dxmachina, they have disabled nudges from other users.

There's discussion of this here. Pillocks...


Sep. 16th, 2005 11:54 am
dxmachina: (Hobbes)
Torrents of rain yesterday and today, with more on the way, I expect, as Ophelia wobbles her way up the east coast. The current projection has her passing just south of us tomorrow morning. Just as long as she doesn't decide to make that left turn up Narragansett Bay. I'm going to shut down the servers tonight before I go home, just in case.

There's lots I should do this weekend, some of it outside. I need to replace the front porch lights, and figure out how to automate them. I'd prefer to just install a couple of photocells. They're cheap, but I'm unsure about reliability. I've already had two sets of cells crap out in the fixtures I have out there now. Granted the fixtures were cheap ones from Wal*Mart, but the replacement set of cells from the Depot didn't last much longer than the originals. I don't know if they are just that fragile, or if it's because the fixtures aren't all that weather-tight. The photocells in the side fixture and in the post lamp in the front yard are still working great four years after I installed them, but those cells are better protected from the weather than the ones by the front stoop. The problem out front is that the fixtures have to sit on top of clapboard siding, which leaves some large gaps between the fixture and the wall. Last time I just filled the gaps with plastic foam. This time I'll try to gin up something that seals the gap up tighter.

The alternative to photocells is some kind of timer switch that I'd install in the switch box for the lights. It would be more expensive initially, and I'd also have to replace the nice wooden switch plate that currently covers the switches by the front door. Then I'd have to program it. It's so much easier just to have the lights come on when it gets dark, and go off when it gets light.

Of course, if it's raining all weekend, I'm not going to be doing any electrical work outdoors.

The other job I need to do soon is to reroute my heating system so that the back room gets the heat last rather than first. Certainly it needs to be done before the weather turns cold.

It looks like the Google Blog Search bug has been swatted. I have mostly vanished from Google BS, except for the odd reference or comment. Still doesn't explain why Google seems to think Vee's Boskone report is part of a landscaping page.

DLowe threw his fifth excellent game in a row last night against the hated Jints, winning 7-1. He did give up a home run, but he didn't give it up to Barry Bonds, so that's okay.
dxmachina: (Calvin)
So, when I checked my e-mail first this morning, there was an anonymous LJ comment in my inbox. I marked it as read (I prefer reading comments in context), and clicked over to my most recent post on LJ to read the comment. Except there were no new comments in my most recent post. I checked all my other recent posts, and there were no new comments in any of them, either.

Went back to the message in my inbox, and read it. It was for a post I'd written back in July, and the new comment was from a total stranger, mentioning that she was also a mad scientist. Huh? I sat there for a second wondering at how a random stranger had come across that particular post. If she had selected "search random," she'd have gotten the most recent stuff. My head started to hurt, so I went off to take my shower.

I was in the shower when I remembered something [livejournal.com profile] alterjess posted at b.org yesterday. Google now has a blog search function. In my LJ settings, I've checked the little box that says "Block Robots/Spiders from indexing your journal," but there is a disclaimer that says some robots may ignore it anyway. Google never indexed my journal, having pledged to do no evil, but maybe the new function did.

After I toweled off and got dressed, I went to Google Blog Search, and entered "mad scientist" into the box. Sure enough, there was my post of July 5th, fourteenth on the list. Apparently, Google Blog Search is not as polite or ethical as far as its indexing goes as its older cousin. Pillocks...

As a side note, I tried entering "dxmachina mad scientist" into the main Google search box, and only got a handful of results, none of them from my LJ. It was an odd group of links. One was to an old Buffistas thread over on WX. A couple were about the two imposter DXMachinas on the net. I also discovered a third, who has managed to snag the domain dxmachina.com, which used to belong to a French manufacturing company. Rats. I wanted that domain, but I never figured it to come back on the market. (Note to self, see if dxmachina.org is available.)

The oddest cite was the last.

☞ landscaping - care plant take
... can spread quickly when pushed by power-mad men. ... was really cold out), I ran into dxmachina, who was ... viral-marketing game about a nonexistent scientist for the ...

Clicking on the link takes you to a links page for folks interested in landscaping. None of the text cited in the search appears on the page. I checked the cached version, and it doesn't show any of the cited text, either. The thing is, I recognized the middle sentence of the text. It came from [livejournal.com profile] veejane's recap of Boskone last February. The "viral-marketing" sentence comes from the same post. The line about "power-mad men" doesn't, though. Very strange. I can only conclude that Google's database is corrupt. As are their blog indexers.
dxmachina: (Hobbes)
It's been a nice start to the weekend, not too hot, not that I noticed right away. I'd turned the A/C on last night, and had no idea that it wasn't all that hot outside until Theodosia mentioned it to me on IM. I turned the A/C off before I went out to do my errands. It never did get all that hot today. Now they're shooting off fireworks over the turf field behind the house across the street. I can see them out my front window. I imagine there'll be more tomorrow and Monday as well.

Had an odd night, sleep-wise. Went to bed around midnight, and didn't sleep well at all - very restless, with odd scraps of dreams. Woke about 4, had a drink of water, had a look in at b.org, then went back to bed and slept until 8. This time it was all very restful, with at least a halfway comprehensible dream (not that I remember much of it now).

On my trip back from Jersey last weekend, I stopped at one of the outlet malls along 95. No particular reason to, just tired of driving at that point. While there, I picked up a pizza stone, along with a wooden peel and a cute, but uselessly small pizza cutter, at clearance for $10. Now, one of these days I was going to fulfil my need for a pizza stone by getting a couple of unglazed floor tiles at Home Depot, a la Alton Brown, but $10! With a peel, and I'm sure I can use the cutter for something.

Anyway, I decided that since it was nice out, and since I had just cleaned up the kitchen so there was more room to work than usual, I'd pick up the stuff for grilled pizza. Except I wouldn't actually be putting the pizza on the grill, I'd be putting the stone on the grill, so it would be more liked baked pizza. I didn't need all that much, really, just a bag of fresh pizza dough from the dairy case, and some sweet onions. I already had sauce, cheese, and sausage in the fridge. I also picked up the current issue of Cooks Illustrated, which had an article about the perfect grilled pizza. Which I wasn't, of course, making. It's a good article. I'll try their dough some time, but not today. Or tomorrow.

I used half a one pound bag o'dough, and it's good stuff, very elastic. A bit too elastic, actually. I had a hard time getting it to stay stretched out in a thin little round amorphous shape. I tried a rolling pin (which is what CI suggested), but I've never been very good with one. The thing that helped most was stretching it over the backs on my fists the way they do in pizzerias that aren't in RI. (Almost all pizzerias in Rhody bake their pizzas in pans. Don't ask me why. It's crummy pizza.) Next up was the sauce, but I discovered that my opened-a-while-ago jar of sauce had some fuzz growing inside the lid, so I decided to pass on it. What to do? I had a can of petit cut tomatoes, so I took half the can, drained of as much juice as possible, then mixed in some dried basil, oregano, and garlic powder, and spread that out onto the dough. Followed it up with some sliced, cooked Italian sausage, and topped it with some grated and sliced mozzarella.

I put the stone on one end of the cold grill, and lit the gas on the opposite end, and closed the lid until the temperature was about 400°F. Opened it up, slid the pizza onto the stone with my snazzy new peel, closed the lid, and baked it for ten minutes. The temperature was somewhere between 400 and 450. Next time I'll probably go a couple of minutes longer. It was cooked, but it wasn't as crispy as it could've been. Still, it was very tasty, and I think the chunks of tomato worked out better than plain old sauce would've.

Now to wait for my JLU torrents to finish downloading so my browser will have some usable buffer space so's I can post this. Hah. One done.

I'll also note in passing that I tried out a few of the newer S2 styles today. "Punquin Elegant" just isn't doing it for me anymore. I'm currently using the base version of "Flexible Squares." I like "A Novel Conundrum" quite a bit, too, although I'd have to tweak it some. It uses drop caps at the start of each post, which is neat, but I don't have the font it specifies, so for whatever reason it substitutes Comic Sans, which I'm sure is not what the designer had in mind at all. "Smooth Sailing" is also nice, albeit a little busy.

And there's the other. Now for some JLU goodness.
dxmachina: (DX)

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I have no idea who Cameron is...

Gray Skies

Jun. 16th, 2005 02:06 pm
dxmachina: (Calvinball)
A few scattered thoughts while keeping an eye out for the occasional blue and gold FA-18 streak by my windows. It's not all that a good day for plane watching. The sky is overcast, and the cloud ceiling is low. Every now and then, I'll notice movement out of the corner of my eye, but when I look, it often turns out to be a sea gull. Probably just as well as I have a pile of work to do.

Ooh! Two banking in formation just zoomed over the warehouse across the street. Neat!

Thanks to the wonder that is interleague play, the Dodgers faced Jose Lima last night for the first time since DePo cast him off after last season. DePo's move looked pretty good coming into the game. Lima was 0-5 with an 8.16 ERA this season for the Royals. Naturally, he picked last night to throw eight innings of five-hit ball, by far his best outing since his playoff shutout versus the Cardinals last season. Royals win again, 3-1.

Both the Yankees and Mets are both building new ball parks, or rather the Yankees are building a new park, and the City of New York is building a new park for the Mets as part of their ridiculous attempt to attract the Olympics to NYC. New Yankee Stadium will be built next to the old one, and will look more like the pre-renovation stadium, except that the current field dimensions will be kept, = rather than reverting to the original's 462' deep center field. The new Mets park will be designed to look a bit like Ebbets Field. Both teams decided a retractable roof would be too expensive, which is fine by me.

LJ has introduced support for tags, which is really neat. Now you can categorize posts as you write them for easy look up later, rather than having to use a work around such as memories. Cool. It's easy to do. The only problem is that you have to change to the S2 style system to retrieve them. Anyway, the tags for this post are "baseball, air show, live journal."

Now back to work.
dxmachina: (Default)
Swiped from just about everyone - the first (complete, unlocked, unquoted) sentence from each month of 2004:

* * * * * * * * *

So, I made three resolutions last year.
In a weird bit of synchronicity today over at b.org, hecubot mentioned that he thought I would like some of John Entwistle's old solo albums, and that I should check them out.
The weather really has been lovely lately.
It has been raining cats and dogs and ferrets and hamsters the last couple of days, and it's still threatening today.
So, the last few weeks have been all about the noir.
The Dodgers seem to have righted themselves, winning three out of four, although they lost to Milwaukee last night.
I have been seriously hating Bill Gates and the Microsoft programming staff lately.
So, I decided to see how the Dodgers had done the last couple of nights, and there on mlb.com was a picture of Nomar Garciaparra wearing a Cubs uniform, the first I'd heard about that bit of news.
So, last night I finally figured out how to make High Heat Baseball do what I want it to do, i.e., be able to simulate an entire season using teams drafted from a group of classic players (as opposed to the current players that came with the game) without the game crashing.
Okay, maybe I exaggerate.
It was a little early in the season, but we got a dose of Indian summer yesterday.
Wow, what craptacular weather we are having today.

* * * * * * * * *

So, do we see any bad habits here?


Nov. 12th, 2004 10:11 am
dxmachina: (Default)
Ya know what's annoying? Logging into your LiveJournal and discovering that it's switched schemes from Dystopia to Xcolibur without asking permission.

Fixed now.
dxmachina: (Default)
I was wondering why so many people didn't seem to have the problems with the new posting box, so I switched over to the S2 style posting interface, and hey, it works. The posting box resizes when you change the browser width, and the information boxes rearrange themselves at some point as the window gets narrower. It doesn't work that way in the S1 (or "Classic") interface, which is what I use. The posting box is about a thousand pixels wide, and it doesn't get any smaller, which means that even on my 1024 pixel wide screen, I get a horizontal scroll bar. You'd think the swinging geniuses who designed this frelling thing might have noticed that. Apparently they don't give a fuck.

Where the fuck does one go to give feedback on this thing?

New Drives

Sep. 22nd, 2004 11:01 pm
dxmachina: (Default)
So, I have well and truly frelled my Mozilla and Firefox installations somehow. I made the mistake of downloading a patch for the baseball game I've been obsessing over lately. The patch wasn't the problem. The game works great. But to get the patch, I had to register at a games site that only lets you download stuff if you install their download manager plug-in (KDX). That was fine, because Mozilla just ignored the pop-ups that came with it, but suprnova has a policy of not allowing downloads through a download manager so all of a sudden I couldn't download any torrents. Not good. (I really did try to find a less obnoxious site, but unfortunately, the game is a couple of years old, and the company that made it (3DO) folded earlier this year.)

I tried deleting the software, and the registry entries about it, but that didn't work. Finally, I saved my bookmarks and completely uninstalled Mozilla. Upon reinstalling, suprnova still didn't work. I uninstalled Mozilla again, this time deleting my profile as well, then reinstalled again. Still no joy. suprnova still works fine in IE, but it's still telling me that I'm using a download manager.

It's been a couple of years since the last brainwipe, so I decided it's time. But since I needed to add some more storage anyway, I decided that rather than brainwipe the old hard drive, I'd just get a newer, larger drive, and do the install on that. So tonight I went up to Best Buy and bought a new 120 GB drive. They were also clearing out Sony 12x DVD±R-±RW drives for under $100, so I got one of those, too. Digital video r us. I'll probably do the installs on Saturday. This should be interesting.

One last thought. The new LiveJournal posting interface sucks. And for chrissakes why did they have to put the fucking "spell check" button where the "post" button used to be. Wankers. (Turns out the "Post to Journal" feature of the picture galleries doesn't work with the new interface, either. Pillocks.)


dxmachina: (Default)

February 2016



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