lwood: (spiral)
Friends, sign up with the Spiral Clergy Program today, and in just a few short years, you, too, can be an Emergency Clerical Hologram aboard any ship in Starfleet.

Can't you imagine it? I can see the script now--thanks, [livejournal.com profile] mephron, for the punchline...

SCENE 09 - INT ENTERPRISE HOLOCHAPEL )-- Lorrie has perhaps one too many of the jms Babylon 5 script books.

- Yes, yes: if Goddenbery hadn't been a dork about "in the future, there is no religion". Work with me, here!
lwood: (westria)
Ha!

http://www.westria.org/forum/register.php

Non-Geek version: Now, when people sign up for my bulletin board thingy, they have to answer a math question. Automated botnets set up to try and register on my (deliberately off-brand-but-actively-maintained) forum system will not expect this, and fail. Yay. Should the blighters get in anyway, another system will check posts over looking for Dastardly Activity, also yay.

Now if anyone ever posted...I'd be set.

Geek version:

I got the code, then jiggered the English parts and, with the help of [livejournal.com profile] feonixrift, made it a 50/50 shot you'd get a multiplication question instead of an addition one. Subtraction and division might have frightened people and/or required more elaborate checks; mustn't frighten off the mathematically illiterate.

Also, I swatted the n00b programmer, corrected his missing semicolon (ewps), and allowed as how it is Good Practice to use the long form of the php variable query instead of the short form, as the short form is not universally enabled, and therefore will hamstring the innocent, clueless administrator.

Like myself, until I waved the poor thing at [livejournal.com profile] feonixrift while hunting through php.ini for some distasteful setting.

Akismet is Doing the Right Thing--it successfully caught a spam post in its tracks.

Now if anyone ever posted...I'd be all set.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
--Robert Heinlein


My answers to the checklist behind the cut. )

Hm.

Should work on that.

For rather a few of these, I admit, I Have People for That: I can think of three people I'd ask for anything involving slaughtering, flensing, or butchering, another three for a sonnet, a couple for bone setting, and so on. When any of those have a computer that needs a Stern Talking-To, they call me. This is a community, whereas Heinlein was speaking to the rugged individualist. Those are important, and well, and good, but so is interdependence.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
Psst.

[livejournal.com profile] dpaxson

Pass it on.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (semper slug)
The crafty Swedes have succeded in staging a production of A Shuggoth on the Roof.

AND! Tentacles have infested my favorite Yuletide carol in a most delicious way.



THE STARS ARE ALMOST FINALLY RIGHT!



Sushi and fried calamari for all! Eat them before they eat you!

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)


http://space.com/news/061204_nasa_moon.html

NASA Unveils Plan to Return to the Moon.
Article Text Behind Cut )

Great! Now all we need is for Bell Labs somebody to get off their arses and start developing that High Optional Logical Multi-Evaluating Supervisor. We've only got until 2024 to get three of those buggers made, and I figure 2075 for the fourth one to wake up.

It is not, after all, like the "Crazy Years" are not still upon us...

-- Lorrie

* - Through Adversity to the Stars". Those of you who didn't already know that and yet call yourselves fannish of a science fictional persuasion, deduct three points from your overall score on the "hard science fiction" portion of the May exam. Sheesh.
lwood: (kushtaka)
One of the Mad Scientists had a presentation for we Administrative wonks over lunch, on the lifecycle of HIV and what we're doing about that. I was the Designated IT Guy, so I sat in the front row, cowl pulled up.

"Are you supposed to be Death?" asked The Head Honcho.

I turned and smiled. "No, Doctor M, I'm a Jedi."

"Oh! You had me worried for a minute there!" After all, our Mad Science revolves around three big killers...appearing as Death would have been in supremely poor taste.

Later, gliding down the hall with overrobe closed and hood pulled up:

"What are you supposed to be, Gandalf?"

"Nope, I'm a Jedi! See?" I opened my robe, revealing the underlayers that made everything much more clear.

I glided away, and only I could hear the baritone chuckle...a Word from Our Sponsor, living at the intersection of Death and Gandalf for mumblemumble years.

This earned a sotto voce, loving, respectful, "Oh, shut up."

Then I grinned, and kept on toward the Mad Scientist Home's Hallowe'en Party, where I demonstrated that, really, the fog effects of dry ice are much improved if the water's hot, and then bowed out of the costume competition per se--but not before a Picture was Taken, which I will probably post later for your dartboard-mounting pleasure. ;)

-- Lorrie
lwood: (lwood lego)
"Are those Jedi robes?"

"Yes, ma'am, they are."

"Oh! Wow, cool!"

Some years ago, the Most Excellent [livejournal.com profile] lferion made me a set of Jedi robes, which I wear whenever opportunity presents itself--seeing as my costume closet has about three choices*, this isn't as difficult as it first appears.

Now, I could, conceivably, fold the whole kit up, stuff it in my knitting bag, and take same on the Transbay Bus, but really...it's Hallowe'en/Samhain/Winternights/Dead Guys' Night/etc. If there is any day when it would be better to let your freak flag fly, I can't think of what is. If I can make the hardened pedestrians of San Francisco stop, look, and think--then I've Done My Job.

So I dress.

Drawstring pants. Raw silk undertunic in a grey that wanders toward lavender. Blue-grey overtunic, stole, and sash, all in more raw silk. Black leather belt. Light wool, loose-woven, darker blue-grey burnoose (that's "big flappy cloak-robe" to most of youse). A pair of clogs**.

I swirl the burnoose around me and, with two hands, pull the hood forward, over my brow. The last step is to clasp my hands in front of me, overlapping the sleeves. It's a chilly morning as I glide toward the bus stop.

A Jedi never hurries. The flow of the Force will guide what she needs to her, when she needs it. This includes the Transbay Bus.

Have you ever noticed that a properly done costume...wears you? As I glide through the ramps and hallways of the Transbay Terminal, cloakrobe swirling around me, I stand straighter, walk in a purposeful glide instead of a stalk, charge, or stroll. I find that myself urged to hold myself to be worth of the image I portray: formal speech, good manners, compassion towards all I meet--I walk too many dark paths to be wholly Light Side, but the Grey Side suits me...and today I can show that.

Another shuttle later, I arrive at work, cloak-robe at my side as the bus was too warm for it. Just before I enter my building, I swirl it around me again, pull the hood forward, thread my hands into the sleeves.

"Aw, now, see--she's getting ready," declares the AA who came with me from the shuttle stop to the third in our party. Said third had hoped someone would dress up as Ewan MacGregor, and had wanted to be Satine, herself.

"Well, I did used to wear a Padawan braid, but no costume is going to make me look like Ewan, I'm afraid!"

I hold the door open, let them in, and, alone now, circle Reception and glide at a smooth, measured pace down the hallway and through Administration.

TG, one of the Facilities guys (no costume), and CP, the HR guy who knows enough of Astrology to flip out for Mercury Retrograde (cutesy devil horns), watch me approach.

TG is in awe. "Coming down the hallway, you were perfect. The walk, the posture, everything."

In a practiced two-handed gesture, I draw the hood back and smile. "Thank you; after having this costume for five years, it sort of wears me--and I've had time to practice."

"Shouldn't you have your hair back in cinnamon buns or something?"

"Unfortunately, that would take a lot more hair than I have. That hairstyle is based on Hopi and some rural Mexican looks and isn't terribly practical to do or wear." The top half of my hair is swept back into a black clip slightly more practical than a rubber band or leather thong. "This is Qui-Gon Jinn hair, actually."

He did ask.

We share a grin, and I sweep the rest of the way to my seat in quiet splendor, ready to start my day fixing computers here at the Mad Scientists' Home.

Today, the office can see some of my real job, as opposed to the dayjob that pays the bills, and I am happy for it.

And tonight...we feast with the dead.

Happy Hallowe'en, everybody.

-- Lorrie

* - Jedi, Migration Era Norsewomanm, and Victorian/Edwardian Whore. The last of those does not get to come to work, is nigh-impossible to get into unaided (there's a corset), and is Fraught with a Certain Amount of Peril.

** - Those of you familiar with former iterations of this costume will note the absence of my blue Birkenstocks. Alas, they have had to be retired due to insufficient arch support, only to come out on special occasions when I don't have to walk far, and by "not far" I mean "less than half a mile". Boots are Correct, this is the closest I have just now.

- Yes, except for a Sith. I know. You're disrupting the mood by making me bust out in all these footnotes, you realise.

- Yes, I know, it's not canon. Dualism sucks; I'm not Buddhist enough by half to make a reasonable Jedi, nor Machiavellian enough to be a reasonable Sith. I am Grey, we stand between the candle and the star, the darkness and the light, yes I know that's Babylon 5, but jms, now, that's a man who understood a non-dualistic perspective. Also, he is overfond of footnotes. Like these. Moving on!
lwood: (sea-longing)
[Edit: New user icon added, chose not to inflict GIP on flist.]

Hark! A yarn entry--but not, I hope, lacking in amusement to those who shy from the textile arts.

It's got dwarfs and the sea in, after all, and therefore will appeal to several broad demographics of my flist...

On exotic yarns... )
lwood: (mandelbit)
Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] dduane--yes, that Diane Duane, 'cos, y'know, Everybody's Got a Blog.

"Camelot", from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, done as a Star Trek: The Original Series Songvid.

Come one, come all, to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptx98LTGyfE

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Raven)
I noticed a full-page ad for this in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, followed swiftly by my monthly SF Symphony e-mailed newsletter.

Anyway, when the Return of the King Extended DVD sets came out, you may have noticed a certain amount of hoopla regarding a LotR Symphony based on Howard Shore's soundtrack playing in Toronto.

Guess what?

It'll be in San Francisco next week.

There are two performances, Friday 14 July and Saturday 15 July, and [livejournal.com profile] countgeiger and I, probably in the company of The Notorious DLP, will be going on Friday: Premier Second Tier, Section FF, seats E 2, 4, and 6. Those were the least expensive seats remaining, by which I mean $33 each (a lot compared to a movie, not so much compared to a rock concert).

Anyone else coming along is more than welcome to try to find a seat near us, or find us afterwards to burble happily--our usual habit is to go uphill a couple blocks to Max's Opera Café. While there's a parking garage nearby, both hall and restaurant are a short walk from the Civic Center BART station, and even after dinner there's still plenty of time to catch trains back across the Bay.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (stitch)
Meanwhile, on Logo, the Queer Channel (check your local cable or satellite company for channel number), my TiVo's Filters of Norsey Goodness caught an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess.

Where Xena, back during her Bad Old Days, was running around doing Bad Things, but talked Odin off the Tree by waking his bloodlust, in return for which he made her a Valkyrie. These are the Bad Old Days, which Xena proves by goading five young warriors to die hopelessly, but gloriously.

But she gave all that up to nick the Rheingold, having already forsaken love, and forge the expected ring with the expected curse, to which I can only say...dammit, they shoulda paid for the rights to the Right and Proper Soundtrack! I want my nineteen tuned anvils! My Tubas of Great Power! My...right, I forgot we have no budget.

Now, during her Good New Days, she's teamed up with Siegfried Beowulf to kill Fafnir Grendel, although actually there are two, and one is his mum, formerly a Valkyrie named Grinhild.

I'm really rather annoyed, though, as I recorded only one part...of three.

Fansites to the rescue!

The second part gets the Beowulfbits that couldn't be well-mixed with the Ringbits: Amnesiac!Xena gets rescued by Beowulf from certain marriage to Hrothgar. Eh, whatever. Back to the Ring!

By the end of the three-parter, Siegfried2 Xena goes through a ring of fire (which was formerly a Valkyrie named Brunnhilde) to wake Brunnhilde2 Gabrielle. Gabi's in the fire because Xena put the Ring during her Good New Days without forsaking love, which also gave Xena amnesia, because we had to get that in there somewhere since the Gibichungs have been clomped over the head and tossed into the same ditch with the Nibelungs and, probably, Tom Bombadil.

But this was all a ploy for Odin to get the One Ring of the Nibelungs, which fails, because Xena talks Grendel's Mum back into being Grinhild, who Odin really loved all along (Frigga, presumably, being over in the ditch with the Gibichungs, Nibelungs, and Tom Bombadil).

It's all burnt, and then the Rhine floods and drowns the flames... The Rhinemaidens get their Shiny back, Gabrielle and Xena reaffirm themselves as the Not-Very-Ambiguously Lesbian Duo.

Snark aside, though, this was well-written by... R.J. Stewart. I want the three-parter on DVD for Cheesy Viking Movie Night! Wah!

-- Lorrie
lwood: (wizpod)
Current Server Status:

Overall StatusExplanation
Cookie Monster The current status of my server is Cookie Monster: things are going well, but someone hogged all my bandwidth.


Someone in the Greater Columbus, OH area, using a RoadRunner cable modem is trying to get an archive of a site I host. However, they're being rude about it, ignoring the "please don't do that" sign that has been quietly erected. In response, I shut the web server down for five minutes and am researching bandwidth throttling solutions for my particular setup.

I'll post something that's not about the server soon, promise!

-- Lorrie
lwood: (wizpod)
Qapla'!

["Success!" --because dammit it just sounds cooler in the Original Klingon]

Comcast has just been by and swapped out the new modem/bridge for the new modem/router. I have swept in over the network and hopefully completed all updates necessary to get lorien to recognize its new IP, and to tell all its friends that it has a new IP.

However, there may be some lingering issues, so the new Muppet-Enhanced Status is:

Overall StatusExplanation
Bert The current status of my server is Bert as the network is UP but it and the software may both be FUNKY.


Projected hardware upgrades can now proceed at some leisure.

Web services are UP. E-Mail is UP.

DNS is UP but will propagate slowly; this means it may be a couple days before all receipt and delivery is back to normal. DNS-related issues are why we are at Bert instead of Cookie or the ideal Oscar.
lwood: (wizpod)
NB, Gentle Readers, that this isn't actually an old post come back around, but rather a new post made by editing an old post with new data.

[Edited 14:30 to Add: Called our ISP. Someone has to pop 'round to the Central Office, physically check some deep network hoodoo (the DSLAM card), and replace if necessary. Next update will be in 24 hours or so.]

And now, courtesy of Geek and Proud's Homeland Security Advisory thingy, cute Muppety pictures, we have the current Lorien Report:

Overall StatusExplanation
Elmo The current status of my server is Elmo as the network is DOWN.
The overall status breaks down into three sub-parts: network ("can I get there from here?") hardware (physical computer components) and software (programs that put the hardware on the network). If we have an Elmo, Ernie, or Bert on any one of these, that means something is affecting the casual e-mail & web browsing experience, either a little (Bert), a lot (Ernie), or it's completely cocked up (Elmo).

Sub-categories, history of current issue, all available behind here. )
lwood: (wizpod)
And now, as not everyone who has web sites, e-mail, etc at Snug Harbor is necessarily a card-carrying geek, here's the current situation in nice, friendly terms, courtesy of Geek and Proud's Homeland Security Advisory thingy, which provided the pictures.

Overall StatusExplanation
Ernie The current status of my server is Ernie as the network is UP but could go down again at any time.
The overall status breaks down into three sub-parts: network ("can I get there from here?") hardware (physical computer components) and software (programs that put the hardware on the network). If we have an Elmo, Ernie, or Bert on any one of these, that means something is affecting the casual e-mail & web browsing experience, either a little (Bert), a lot (Ernie), or it's completely cocked up (Elmo).

Sub-categories, history of current issue, all available behind here. )
lwood: (Default)
Okay, so I have, like many of you, all of these Star Wars soundtrack CD's lying around, conveniently ripped to mp3 so that I may enjoy them on my computer, iPod, and whatever.

But, Williams, in his infiniate something-or-other, put the tracks in some not-story-based order.

This is not okay! I want my SW soundtracks to go like my LotR ones, you know? I want to close my eyes and say, "okay, that's the trash compactor..." and have it be followed by "Hope that last chat you had with Qui had the blue ghostie lesson in it, bunky."

But I know that my friends list has no small number of mad, nay, rabid SW fen on it. Surely one of you has been maddened by this same thing! The world is vast and full of geeks; surely someone has put an order together that's at least semi-chronological.

Any help appreciated...

-- Lorrie
lwood: (stitch)
We're getting fairly well slammed by the latest spamming worm to make the rounds -- a disk filled up with the records of these asshats' spam, which is Not Okay in my world, dammit.

As a result, snugharbor.com and all four dozen (sheesh) domains hosted through, near, around, etc it have been given SPF entries in their DNS records. Our mail server now checks for proper SPF records and implements greylisting on unproven senders.

Update: These checks, and several others, weren't actually being checked because I goofed the configuration file. If you say "permit this mail," the program rightly does not then go on to check the seventeen other rejects and checks you have in place. So, now we're actually checking against lists of known open relays as well as actually implementing the SPF and greylists I already said we had. Go, me.

Impact on users is projected to be minimal, save a slight delay in receipt of mail while the greylist does its thing. If it's otherwise, you know where to go. 8-)

In other news, Greyhaven has picked up the "Sherlock Holmes" bug -- specifically the TV series from the UK filmed in the 80's. I'd caught a few of these with [livejournal.com profile] mendou when she was the Designated Stray Person, and they're still good. I wouldn't dream of downloading copies for my amusement, nor anything else I might care about, either. BitTorrent is a fascinating technology, by the way, and for any of my own (purely legal, I assure you) downloads, I recomment Azureus, which is Java and runs on both Mac and PC.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
Meanwhile, from an undisclosed location in Uttermost Ohio, my favorite Retired Israeli Commando was trying to satisfy the addiction to Babylon 5 I'd given her -- she didn't think it was fair to ask me for Season 4 so soon after leaving Pantheacon with Season 3, for some bizarre reason, so she was trying to get it from her local library.

The library, being in rural Ohio (as a former Clevelander, "rural Ohio" = Ohio && !Cleveland), didn't have any, but could get them via interlibrary loan from, strangely, Texas (the music noted below is pure, pure coincidence, I assure you). It would take 2-3 weeks, no way of knowing how long she could have them, no way of knowing if it were one disc of the set or a whole season... nothing.

But she did it.

Three weeks later, the whole flippin' season's boxed set arrives at the Library of Uttermost Ohio, she's only allowed to have it (all twenty-two episodes, Gentle Reader!) for a week, and then she has to wait another three weeks before she can have it back. From Texas.

She was just getting informed of all of this, literally on the phone with the library, when the doorbell rang. It was the mailman, with a box from California bearing Season 4 of B5, because when I'd gotten Season 3 from her without a cover letter, it took no great seeress to know that the thing to do was to swap boxed sets, retape the box, and send it right back to Undisclosed, Ohio.

My favorite Retired Israeli Commando has just sent me e-mail telling me, that, and I quote, "rock." Also that I am psychic. Retired Israeli Commando++.

-- Lorrie
lwood: (Default)
The Fonz is a shaman.

Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] mephron.

-- Lorrie

Profile

lwood: (Default)
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February 2011

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