Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Santa the Sysadmin



Similarities Between Santa and Sysadmins

1. Santa is bearded, corpulent, and dresses funny.

2. When you ask Santa for something, the odds of receiving what you wanted are infinitesimal.

3. Santa seldom answers your mail.

4. When you ask Santa where he gets all the stuff he’s got, he says, “Elves make it for me.”

5. Santa doesn’t care about your deadlines.

6. Your parents ascribed supernatural powers to Santa, but did all the work themselves.

7. Nobody knows who Santa has to answer to for his actions.

8. Santa laughs entirely too much.

9. Santa thinks nothing of breaking into your $HOME.

10. Only a lunatic says bad things about Santa in his presence.

Friday, December 11th, 2009

What I am *not* thankful for:

A few days ago my storage facility emailed me and asked me to take a quick customer survey. I obliged.

Dear Lincoln, Is there anything else that you would like to tell us about your experience with Extra Space Storage?

My understanding is that you folks just took over the storage space I have been using for some time now so I am not entirely sure most of my problems are related to your company. What I can say for sure is when I initially signed up there, the clerk was really a jerk to us and obviously had no idea what he was doing. He made several snide comments and it took me 4 phone calls to get our access code. I would have left then, but this was the closest facility to me that didn’t charge exorbitant prices. You have since fixed the price point and are charging me as much as possible. The last time I visited my non-climate controlled unit, I found all my possessions covered in leaves and cobwebs and other miscellaneous flora, as if there has been some squirrel or rat or other critter in there. I didn’t bother even reporting it since I had such a horrible experience with the worker I ran into when I first signed up. At this point, the moment I can find a cheaper facility I am gone to take my chances there. At almost $50 a month for a 5×5 non-climate controlled unit with a crappy door and some mongoose living in it unattended I feel as if I am truly getting ripped off every time the bill comes due. And someone needs to fix the exit keypad that you literally have to hold up while you punch the digits. Apparently someone ran it over and the resourceful staff there have it professionally fixed with an old bungee cord.

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Ugly Sweater Day

For quite sometime, as a little morale booster, we have been having Hawaiian Shirt Fridays at work. It’s fun and I, personally like Hawaiian shirts. The gaudier the better.

Well, recently, it has been decided that in lieu of the warmer weather, perhaps we should temporarily switch to Ugly Sweater Fridays instead. What you see included in this post is my first attempt. I asked my wife the day before to run to the thrift store and get me the ugliest sweater she could find.

She really deserves the credit here, although I did wear it proudly. I was *easily* given the title for the most hideous sweater. We’ll have to see what happens next week, but I believe this will be hard to beat unless someone finds one of those light-up Rudolph holiday sweaters.

Let’s see the pics of YOUR ugly sweaters!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Prrrrrrrresents in the morning.

One of the things I most hate in this world is when I am woken up for anything right before my alarm goes off. I guess this has to do with the horrible quality of sleep I get, which consequently leads to the minuscule quantity. For some reason, ever since my daughter was born I am an amazingly light sleeper. Any slight noise will not only wake me up, but keep me up. If my daughter coughs or sneezes in her room at night I wake right up. I digress…

This morning, maybe 5 minutes before the alarm went off, my cat decided that is would be a great idea to prance into my bedroom and start yowling, purring, chirping and scratching at the rug. Naturally, I thought she was going into heat again. She’s fixed, but whether you believe it or not, fixed cats can and do still go into heat, it’s just a lot quicker and, thankfully, quieter.

Well, I yelled at her to shut up. Threatened her immediate and imminent demise under my breath. My wife called her. Nothing would shut her up. Just as I summoned the rage to spring up and crush her to death, the dang alarm went off. So, I grumbled and trudged to the shower instead.

A few minutes later my wife showed up to explain exactly why the cat was so happy. Apparently, she had brought us a present to show off and she was really proud of it and would not shut up until she had an audience. She caught a mouse, was carrying it around and took great delight in bringing it to my wife for examination and praise. 😉

My wife was good about it though. She managed to find some can from the garbage to scoop it into a bag with without calling for help or vomiting 🙂

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

New Show – Update

Due to the overwhelming response of 4 people on the idea of doing a Linux System Administration show, I have decided to do it anyway. I know – glutton for punishment. I believe I will do this in a video format, or I will at least try. I need to work out just how to get that accomplished, but we’ll see what happens. What I do need from you 4 listeners/readers/watchers is a NAME and (hopefully RFQuerin is reading) a LOGO 🙂

As always, hit me up with suggestions, questions or concerns at linc dot fessenden at gmail dot com. Thanks!

Friday, October 9th, 2009

New Show?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Server Names


I need ideas for new server names and I am just drawing a blank. As many of you know, I name my computers after cryptids, or possibly undiscovered creatures. My list right now is:
and Bumble.

Yes, I know Bumble really doesn’t belong, but it’s sort of a play on my chosen machine naming scheme and the fact that he’s my favorite Christmas show character (you know, from the Rudolph special with Yukon Cornelius). “Bumbles Bounce!”

At any rate, my brains are hurting and I am fresh out of non-stupid sounding cryptid names. If you have any cool ones I am missing, please let me know. If not, what sorts of things do you name your machines after?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Reading Lately

A couple weeks ago, Dann was saying how he was reading the Watchmen, and remarking on how good it was. Well, I hadn’t EVER read a graphic novel, or even touched a comic since I was maybe 10, so I decided to pick it up to see what I was missing.

Well, I am finished with it now and my opinion is that is really was very good! The story line was sufficiently adult enough to hold my attention. There was a lot of action going on. The character development was done well. The artwork was absolutely fantastic!

This brings me to the second portion of my post. Since I was so enamored with the Watchmen (hey it was a great read while on the train all week), I wanted to see if I could find another graphic novel to read during my transport. I stopped by Barnes and Knoble and looked around a bit but didn’t initially see anything that really caught my eye. There are a lot of graphic novels there, but the artwork in most is really bad (imho) and in still others, the subject matter is a tad juvinile. Then, just as I was about to leave, I spied a large cardboard end-display with copies of DanielX Alien Hunter on it. A quick peek inside revealed really nice drawings, so off I went with it. I hope to get a chance to start reading it soon.

In other news:

I had the opportunity this weekend to watch both “Wanted” and “Meet Dave”. Wanted was a really good action flick (I thought anyway) and Meet Dave was a really funny alien comedy with Eddie Murphy. Both were good enough that I would watch them again, so if you are looking for some way to kill a couple hours this week while you are off, pick one or both of them up. Just be warned that Wanted contains inappropriate subject material for young people.

Lastly, I found out that, although it isn’t too terrible, my ferrets do not necessarily enjoy taking a bath. I decided that they were getting pretty dirty so it was bath time. With tear-free shampoo in hand I proceeded to dip them one by one into the sink. Puff, slightly distracted enough to dig at the water while he was in there, did the best, although he was not into staying very long. Stinkerbell literally had the crap scared out of her. Teddy was big enough to be able to reach to edge of the sink, where he held on for dear life almost long enough to get wet. He’s quite a handfull when he is focused on getting away from the evil water stuff! In retrospect, I should have taken pictures, however, my hands were quite busy 🙂 Perhaps next time.

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

An interesting project perhaps?

The posts today are flying from my fingers! I guess watching Kitchen Nightmares has somehow gotten my brain and fingers working in conjunction with one another…

I mentioned that with my router troubles I had taken some pleasure in watching the people in my neighborhood connect to my unconnected router because it was unprotected and try to surf through it. It would sit there and blink like a dozen crazed fireflies half the night long.

Well, that got me thinking. If (and I do mean *if*) I can do some sort of reset magic and get my old router to function a little again, what about setting up a sort of science experiment? I am thinking of setting up a lone linux box, connected only to that default and unprotected router (except maybe a real admin password) and have that doll out connections to these people and have all web traffic redirected to a local page. The thought had crossed my mind to have all the web traffic redirected to a local goatse page, but perhaps that is too nasty. Maybe just collect all the statistical info I can get from their machines and redirect them to a page notifying them that I did just that and that and this connection wasn’t going to get them anywhere.

So, to that end, I am looking for ideas and suggestions on how to accomplish that feat. Perhaps squid? That might be a little heavy though, and I am under the impression that somehow we can do this with just iptables? There has to be an easy way. So, again, please let me know if you have hints, tips, or suggestions. This just might turn out to be some real fun!

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

How to ruin an uptime

I had this old Belkin wireless router at home, and I knew it was on the way out for some time now. The symptoms were it would occasionally just stop allowing any new connections. A couple weeks ago I purchased a nice little Netgear wireless router to replace it with, but as luck would have it, I didn’t do it fast enough.

I have told stories here about my penchant for procrastination at home. They are all too true I assure you. It’s sort of like that old adage that the mechanic’s car always is in need of repair Likewise, so it is with the System Administrator as well. I went week by week without the gumption to actually configure this new router and dig through the pile of ethernet cables and power wires to replace the old one. I will have to note, however, that I did take a perverse glee from seeing people in my neighborhood connect to my new and powered on but not connected router and try to surf the web. More on that later….

Back to the old router. As you may have guessed, I waited just long enough for it to die while I was not in a position for an immediate fix, throwing my wife and daughter into the thralls of several hours of internet withdrawal. For some reason, at 3:30 in the morning, it dropped it’s connection to my cable modem and steadfastly refused to grab an address from it again. My internal network was working just fine and you could connect to the wireless here, but could not get out through the intertubes whatsoever.

The fix was lengthy, mostly because of poor planning and much haste to get things running again. I put the new router in place fast enough, but, of course, I had to configure it for my specific network needs. This is where the trouble was. I had to change the base addressing to reflect my normal subnet. That was easy. I also had to change the password. That was a snap. I added in my port forwarding information. I turned off the router’s dhcp (I run a dhcp server). I had to fight through several resets of the router and cable modem to get the cable modem to hand out an address to my new router. The real rub came with my dyndns though. You see, in order for me to get into my email, my mail config points to my dyndns address. Well, due to my piss poor planning, all my dyndns account information was (you guessed it) stored in my email. Can’t get into email because no dyndns, can’t set up dyndns because account info in email. Sheesh, what a pain. I spent maybe an hour trying different account names and a dozen old passwords until I found the right combo.

None of that tells you how the uptime was ruined though. That was just an absolutely stupid moment I had. I take great pride normally in pointing out to windows users that you almost never have to reboot a working Linux/unix system. It’s just not necessary unless you can’t get a shell somehow. Well, I must be working too close to the windows guys because before I figured out why I couldn’t get into my email, I spent a good 20 minutes or so troubleshooting and getting increasingly frustrated until, you guessed it, I played the old “lets just reboot the server and see if that fixes things” card. How humbling it was to lose my 195 day uptime and of course the reboot helped nothing. It really was one of those “I could have had a V8” moments.

So what are some things to be learned form this? Normally I keep a file tucked away that holds all my various logins and account information and passwords. Of course, my dyndns info was missing from this. You can rest assured it’s there now. Although it does not sound like good security practice to do that, there just is no other practical way I can think of to manage all that info than to keep a list somehow. The other thing is, by all means, when you start to get frustrated with a problem, step away for a moment and/or ask someone for advice before you make it worse. I guarantee that if I had stepped away and maybe called Dann or something, I would have realized what a dope was being before I finished dialing the number. Instead I just blundered my way through because I was tired and irritated causing myself even more downtime than was necessary.

Thursday, November 13th, 2008