Chaotic whiteboard dump

I'm copying the contents of my home whiteboard to here, so I can deal with this stuff elsewhere and reclaim the space. This might hold some interest for Chaotic people wondering why there will be downtime tomorrow. All of these things vaguely represent stuff that needs to be set up, copied onto, or removed from one of our normal NetBSD installations in order to turn it into a new disk for

OS ConfigSoftwareSoftware ConfigData
kareila, chaotic, rmg
user startups
ftp uid 14 --> 21
cvs gid 101 --> 3004
mailpipe uid 16 --> 18
bind 9?
perl modules?
xml stuff
apache conf
ftpd conf
named conf
cvs conf
mailman defaults
postfix conf
lynx conf
screen conf
user files
mysql dbs
mush dbs
cvs repositories (redo mudnet form/log)
mailman lists/archives
ftp files
log files
kareila cvs repository
  • Current Mood
    exhausted exhausted
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drip red

Shade and wireless

Bluh. So I just locked myself out of the house while yakshaver's at work and kareila's out of town. I called Alex from the neighbors' house (yup, forgot my cellphone too), so he'll come home and let me in. Meanwhile, there's a shade tree and a lawn chair in the back yard (good thing we got it mowed!), and I can use my laptop out here if I don't sit too far from the house. Heheh. Nothing to drink tho. Weatherpop says it's 92.
  • Current Mood
    hot hot
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drip red


My grandmother Griffin, from whom I learned a lot of excellent reasons not to do certain things, hated Valentine's Day. It was her birthday, but that wasn't the heart of the problem. To her, it was a painful reminder of the romance she once lost.

I don't have all the details, and I would never have tried to squeeze them out of her. She started to tell me, almost sixty years after the fact, and just trailed off into private sorrow. I'm trying to just remember what she did say, but I don't think she'd mind if I filled in the blanks a little.

She grew up poor in Tennessee. Went to school barefoot and too smart for her class, had to hunt squirrels for food, etc. She ran off to Alabama to go to high school and live at the Bessemer YWCA.

When she was eighteen years old she met a young steelworker named Ed Hunt. His family was also from Tennessee, he was witty and took her on motorcycle rides. They went to church together. True love, with all the trimmings. Flowers, valentines, no one else treated her like that. They were engaged.

Then he was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. He was despondent. She explained that she still loved him just as much, and was still making plans for their wedding. So much for steelwork, though; it might have been physically possible for him somehow, but no mill had a reason to hire him in that era. Good jobs were already scarce. She would have to come up with some way to support the two of them.

They never married, though. She began to explain this a couple times. He didn't feel he could be the man she deserved anymore. He didn't want to obligate anyone to take care of him. Crap like that; in short, he wasn't prepared to deal with paralysis. He killed himself in the bathtub within a week; she suffered for the rest of her life.

Grandmother Griffin told me she never accepted love or valentines from any other man. She and my grandfather "settled for" each other a decade later; they'd raise children and keep each other company but make no mention of romance. They slept in separate beds for as long as I knew them. She had a friend drive her down to visit Ed's grave as recently as two years before she died.

Valentine's Day always brought tears to her eyes. Now it does it to me; I can't really say I blame her. This story wasn't supposed to be her way of telling me not to celebrate Valentine's Day. There are probably lots of other morals to the story. I think she just knew I was suicidal and wanted to impress upon me the permanent consequences of such a thing. It obviously worked. I may have wanted an easy out, but I could not really have knowingly harmed others like that.

Happy Valentine's Day.
  • Current Mood
    melancholy melancholy
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Sunday after we got back from Providence I held the camera out the kitchen window and caught the sun setting on these icicles. Yes, the birdfeeder is very empty.

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Cart, horse.

At some point the shopping cart metaphor for online purchasing breaks down, and I have to wonder why some sites use it. I occasionally go browsing the web for objects of beauty (no, not porn), to convince myself that not everything is junk, and run across stuff like this. $82,000.00 (Add to Cart). Right. Like it would fit.

If you're about to buy $82000 worth of anything, you don't generally toss it in a cart and push it around the store. Especially if it's going to take them 60 days to make the thing you're buying. Chances are you make a note of the details and contact a salesdroid. There's all sorts of stuff you need to work out with these people if you're going to buy a serious water sculpture. Where's it going and how's it being delivered and installed? Who's taking care of the design and construction of the pool and plumbing for it? Would the artist like to have a look at your site, listen to your ideas, and compose something special?

But "make a note of the details and contact a salesdroid" doesn't make a very good button label, and I'll even bet selecting a more natural or accurate metaphor wouldn't help, since it would become an unfamiliar online purchasing experience. Besides, it's useful to give the illusion that it's that simple to make a major purchase. For many luxury items, "nevermind, this looks like more trouble than it's worth" is the kiss of death. We all hate those sites that give no hint of price and only divulge the phone numbers of salesdroids.

Thus I'm forced to conclude that the "shopping cart" is occasionally supposed to be a metaphor not for the everyday real world situation where you push a real cart around, but for the everyday online purchasing situation where you use a "shopping cart" to keep track of items you haven't yet committed to buy. The appeal isn't "oh yeah, like in a grocery store", but rather "oh yeah, like at Amazon". Amazing.

What, you expected a point? Ok. I'm watching a metaphor being turned into a figure of speech. I like the way real objects can quietly slip out from under the ideas we build upon them, like the gold that used to back our currency. The stream of water keeps curving after it comes out of the crescent, but no longer because of the crescent.
drip red

Sleep schedule randomization

Ugh. I was doing so well last week at the LISA conference. I was sleeping 11pm to 7am without having to use an alarm clock or wakeup calls. Here I am three days later going to work at 2:30am just because there's nothing to do at home. Naturally it wouldn't occur to my brain to actually get sleepy at the same time for two weeks in a row. Bork bork bork!
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    unidentified metal on the radio
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