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19 May 2009 @ 09:12 am

Sunday was my 33rd birthday. Another day older and hopefully another day wiser.
Birthdays are often a time to do some serious navel gazing. I try to avoid it, but did realize one interesting thing. My own introspection brought me a nice confirmation that I am exactly where I want to be in my life right now. Since it was my birthday, K asked me what I wanted to do. I thought about it a bit and had three options. I could go play a round of disc golf at the Devens Sunday social, I could have driven in to browse he MIT flea market, or I could go with the family to one of Zoe's friend's birthday parties. While I certainly would have enjoyed either of the first two, as you can probably guess, I went to the birthday party. And I had a great time. It was a lot of fun getting to see Zoe run around and play, and it was nice to get a glimpse into her world for an hour or so.
When I can honestly say there's no place I'd rather be than with my family, then I know that I'm in the right place in my life.

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21 October 2008 @ 09:07 am
This weekend started really well, and ended kind of bleh.

Kali came down with a pretty severe head cold Sunday afternoon, and now we're just trying to ride it out and hoping that no one else get's it. Of course I've got a sore throat now....

On Saturday, I played in a disc golf tournament at Deven's. There were three different events. In the Ace Race, everyone gets two of the same disc, and get's two throws from the ace tees on each hole. Aces and Metals (hitting the basket, but not getting in) are counted, and most aces wins (ties resolved by metals). I tied for 2nd with 1 ace and 1 metal, which is a bit better than I did last year with just 1 ace. Sadly I lost the tie breaker and came in 3rd. Then dougo and I played in the rec division of the Doubles tournament. We tied for 2nd with a score of 61! Sadly, we lost the playoff tie breaker, but it took us 3 holes to settle the tie breaker. The playoff was actually more fun than the tournament. And that's a lot better than we did last year. Last was the Speed Race. This insanity was 4 holes, played for time. So you have to run through the course, trying to play disc golf as you go. As expected, I came in dead last. But I didn't die, so it's all good. Unless I'm in much better shape, I don't think I'll try that again next year. It was simple a great day of disc golf, and the weather couldn't have been nicer. I can't wait for the next tournament.

Sunday we took the girls to Davis' Mega Maze. This year they have an Olympics theme, and it was a fun maze. The girls did really well for a while, and Zoe got into it a lot more this year, giving us directions the whole way. But they were getting a bit tired of it before we finished, so we cut out from the halfway point.
29 September 2008 @ 10:27 am
Backups. First, if you aren't backing up your computer, do so now!

I think most people realize that they ought to back up, but don't actually do anything about it until they get burned by a hard drive failure.

Then there are the really stupid, like me, who get burned by hard drive failure, and still don't get a real backup system set up.

Several years ago, I had a hard drive die on me. I thought I had been good, and had everything I cared about duplicated somewhere else. But when I finally had things up and running again, I discovered I'd lost about a years worth of photography. And while any sane person would immediately take steps to insure that never happened again, I didn't.

In my defense, I did eventually set up a system to duplicate all my photos. I created a duplicate copy of all my photos on a separate hard drive. Since then, every time I copy pictures off my camera, I copied them to both my main drive and to the separate drive. The problem with this, is that I then went on to work on the pictures on my main drive. So, while I had a back up of all my originals, any subsequent work was in just one place.

In the past month or so, I've hand 3 hard drives fail on me (in sequence). Thankfully they didn't fail catastrophically, and I was able to recover everything. So this time, I've gone and done the sane thing, and now I backup everything.

My first thought about backing things up was to buy a drobo. While a drobo can be used as an on-site, robust backup device, it's an expensive solution, and it doesn't directly help get a copy of your backup off-site. I'd occasionally considered swapping space with a friend, so we'd each have an off-site backup at the others house, but I have over 80 GB of photos, and add 1GB or more at a time. That's a lot of data to try to upload over the net.

A while ago, while idly thinking about backups, I stumbled across this post about backups. And it made perfect sense to me.

So, here's what I've done. I went out a bought 2 1TB hard drives and a USB SATA hard drive dock. Then I formatted one as "TM1" and set it up as a time machine disk (I'm running OS X 10.5). After that completed an entire backup, I ejected the disk, formatted the 2nd one as "TM2", and told time machine to backup to that disk. Then I brought TM1 into work.

This morning, I brought TM2 into work, and I'll bring TM1 home. Hopefully time machine will be able to deal with this, and wont have to start from scratch when I plug TM1 back into my machine. We'll find out tonight.

Go, back up your computer now.
12 September 2008 @ 09:55 pm
Well, I replaced the hard drive in my G5, and things seemed ok for a short while, but I came home to it dead again. Somehow it's overheating, not sure what's causing it though. But the failure mode is always the same, the fans ramp up to sound like a jet taking off, and the computer is completely unresponsive. So I have to forcibly shut it down. Then when I reboot, it can't find either hard drive. Let it sit overnight, and things seem back to normal....

It would probably be ok if I shut it down while I wasn't sitting in front of it, but I've gotten in the habit of connecting remotely from work, or from upstairs. I've become a big fan of ssh and screen, and finally have things set up with all the command line tools I need. Sigh.

The worst thing is, the hard drives obviously weren't the problem, but I have no idea what to try next.

In better news, I got out to play disc golf with dougo at Devens. It was a pretty good round, dougo shot a 75, and I had 77. It was just good to get out ot the hill.
08 September 2008 @ 11:47 pm
Well, it seems that I have at least one dead/dying hard drive. So I've ordered 3 1TB drives to take it's place.

No, I didn't buy a Drobo (though I seriously thought about it for a while). My plan is to make the 500GB drive my primary boot drive, and one 1TB drive my 'extra data' drive. I also bought a USB 2.0 hard drive dock, so I can trade the other two 1TB drives as a rotating offsite backup. One at home, one at work, and once a week or so, bring the one from home to work, and the one from work home.

Now I'm just waiting for things to ship. Then I get to re-install OS X 10.4 from scratch, and spend a few days trying to get things back to the way they were.
06 September 2008 @ 11:33 pm

I've been having problems with my PowerMac G5. It's only 3 years old, and in the past month, it's crashed pretty hard at least 3 times. It happened again tonight, and I'm too tired to try to get it back on it's feet. Maybe tomorrow.

At this point, I need to order at least two new hard drives (probably 1TB) and an HD dock, and pray I can get the data off of the two drives in the G5. I did boot off the OS cd, to try to boot off my secondary drive, but neither of the drives were visible. Great, just great. My pictures are backed up on another drive, thank goodness, but those are only the files straight off the camera. Any post production work I've done could be gone, along with all the meta data I've added. And then there's my music collection, and some personal documents.


Time to spend some money.
Current Mood: sicksick
28 August 2008 @ 10:10 pm
We had our group outing for work on Tuesday. We went out on the Spirit of Boston for a lunch cruise. It was a great way to come back to work after a long weekend.

Then, after the cruise, a few of us hung around and went on a photowalk around that section of Boston. That was a lot of fun. I'm not sure I got any unique pictures out of it, but a couple of decent ones at least. I'd like to try to do stuff like that more often. I know there are more amateur photographers at work, maybe I can get a few more people interested and we could do something on a regular basis. I really enjoy photography, but I find it difficult to make time for it. This might be a way to help me do that.

Once I get a few pictures online, I'll be sure to post them here too.
27 August 2008 @ 04:34 pm
Well, I haven't posted for a week, but I don't feel too bad, I've been offline most of the time.

This weekend we drove up to Maine to spend a long weekend with my Aunt and Uncle at their cottage, and my cousin and his son. We had a great time, and came home quite relaxed. (We were there Thursday-Monday.) K and I were able to take the girls out on a quick boat ride, which went well. And I was able to go out racing (sailboats) with my Uncle.

3 years ago, K and I went up to Maine every weekend in July and August to crew on his boat, and had a great time. Although I'm not sure we'll every make it up that often again (at least not for a long time) I really enjoy every chance I get. And Saturday was a gorgeous day for racing. Not too hot, and just enough wind. We came in last place in the first race, and 4th place in the second. Hopefully we'll be able to make it up a few more times next summer.
21 August 2008 @ 12:03 am
I really enjoy playing games. Lots of games. Just about any game. When I started working out in California, there was a group of people there I would play random games with most every day at lunch. Everyone had their own collections, and I got to play lots of games I'd never heard of before.

When we moved to Massachusetts, after a little while I was able to get a group of people playing games over lunch again. Although this time we were mostly dependent on my collection of games. That was fine with me, it was a good excuse to buy more games! Time went on, and now we play bridge at lunch. Just bridge, and pretty competitive bridge. I like bridge, but I miss playing other games. I have a few opportunities to play games outside of work, but my family is a much higher priority right now. So, I play bridge. I now know a lot more about bridge than I ever thought I would, that's for sure.
19 August 2008 @ 10:27 pm
I want to comment on the great list of post ideas that merseine left on my last post.

I'm still not sure what level of personal things I want to make public here. (I've only had this journal for 6 years...) So, children, job, plans for the future, and things you're not supposed to talk about at a 'nice dinner' aren't going to be the main subjects of any public posts anytime soon.

However, the rest of the list are a great place to start. So, for today, I'll go with telling you about a favorite book.

The Eight by Katherine Neville.

I'm not exactly sure how I came about this book. I first read it my freshman year in college, spring semester, in 1995. It's a story about a chess set, and tracks two stories, one set in the times of french revolution, the other in the 70s. I was having a tough time then, and reading really helped to clear my head. I had also found a collection of Fletch novels that I consumed like brain candy. But this had more substance, and really stayed in my head. Each chapter of the book was introduced by a quote about chess. I remember one day, I was heading back to my dorm room from class. I had just started a chapter introduced by a section about promoting a pawn to a queen. As I was walking home, something white caught my eye, I looked over and there was a white queen on the ground next to a sculpture on campus. It seemed like such an odd coincidence, that I picked up the queen and kept it. I still have it sitting on my desk at work.

Ok, now I have to go read it again.

Edit: I almost forgot the best part. In the process of going through all our cruft, trying to purge as many books as we could, I found my copy of The Eight again. But then I found another copy, that had my dad's name in it. Strange coincidences.