since i last put up an entry, the pairs of shoes and boots arrived, as well as the shirts i ordered. unfortunately, one of the shirts was a little snug (even though it was the same size as the other two) so i had to return it for exchange. and one of the shoes had a visible stretch/discoloration mark on the top, plus they were a little big -- so i had to return them for exchange as well. that leaves the boots. they're a little big too (long, not too wide), but i'm trying to decide if i want to exchange them or not. a lot of times i can only find things i want online, but not being able to try stuff on first can be annoying.
last week on wednesday the mechanic shop called and told me they'd talked with edelbrock and edelbrock was shipping them new lifters. they told me when they got them, they'd call me and let me know so i could take the car to them. so hopefully this will get done (and done correctly) soon and i'll feel better about the money i spent on the engine.
thursday night i made some major changes to the dns infrastructure at my place of employment. i figured i'd start around 6pm and get through enough by maybe 9pm or 10pm. i decided to stay at the office to work on it just in case working on it from home would be difficult or impossible. as is often the case with major things, issues arose that one couldn't really expect or plan for, so i had to try and work through those. finally around 12:30am i got to a point where i felt like i could stop, but things weren't all finished. i came home and tried to work from home, but i couldn't get my mac to play well with the java app that is run as an admin interface. (good thing i decided to stay at work...i would have had to go back there anyway.) i gave up around 2:30am and went to bed.
the next morning i got up and went into work around 9:30am. i continued working on the dns changes. eventually, even though i hate doing it, i called tech support and they gave me some pointers and info, and offered a couple of paths to take. i spent the rest of the day making all of the necessary changes to the bind config files on all of the various dns servers, as well as setting up all of the zone files on the admin piece. finally around 5pm i pulled the trigger and started propagating all of the changes. this was a pretty major change, one that could affect...well...pretty much everything. if your dns is borked, pretty much everything for you is borked. i checked the bind logs as i pushed things out, checking to make sure zone files transferred properly, resolution still worked, recursion still worked, etc. everything seemed okay, so i left work and went home.
around 8pm i got in touch with sue to see if she wanted to do something. she was working and would have no vehicle access, so she declined. after a while i decided i had no other plans, so i said i could hang out at their house if she wanted. she said that was cool. i got some movies together and headed to their house around 10pm. when i got there, it turns out they had no electricity. jack and the kids were going to bed, so sue and i took off. we decided to go to sherlock's, but sue didn't bring her i.d. so we couldn't get in. so we went over to the fox and hound. around midnight, while i was drinking a shiner, a security person from work called. they were doing a firewall upgrade (which is why i'd started my dns work on thursday night instead of friday night), and she was calling because dns seemed to be acting weird. *gulp* but she said it was recursion, and the changes i made friday should not have affected recursion at all. she said they'd keep looking at it and hung up. sue and i had another beer, then i took her home. i got home about 2am, and was sort of annoyed at myself since the plan was for me to go to austin on saturday (which it now was). i got in bed and started reading a bit before i turned out the light. then my phone rang.
one of the security guys was calling. things still seemed weird. pings generally worked but lookups mostly failed, etc. i still didn't think i made changes which should cause that problem, but i knew i'd made some major changes, so i couldn't be sure. after talking on the phone a while, i went to my computer to log in and check the dns servers. vpn wouldn't authenticate me. i couldn't ssh to a gateway server. (i even tried by ip, which should bypass dns, so i wondered if it might be something else. the problem is when dns goes south, lots of weird things can happen.) some things did seem weird. finally i told him i'd be there in about 10 minutes. my car was about on "e", so i hopped on my motorcycle, blew through a few lights, and got to the data center. the two security people who'd called me were there. they had the firewall vendor support on the phone and had been talking to one of our network guys, and who knows who else. i hopped on a system and logged in to the dns servers...processes up, zones files okay, transfers seemed okay...but something was weird. i was just getting to the place in one of the named logs for the point in time where they made the firewall change, when the security guy walked over to me and said he thought they figured it out. when they did the upgrade, they evidently missed re-entering an allow line for a route. the main route out of our company. oops. once they put it in, everything started working fine. so around 3:30am i left work and went back home. i hopped in bed, read a bit, and went to sleep around 4am.
i woke up saturday around 11:45am and got ready to go to austin. it was going to be cold, so i had decided to take the car. unfortunately, i woke up to it thundering and raining and the windshield wipers on my car had stopped working a few weeks ago. i went outside and crawled under the dash to see if a fuse had blown, or wiring seemed loose. from what i looked at, things seemed okay. (of course, i'd never looked at it before, so who really knows.) i popped the hood and looked at the wiper motor. i played with the wire that turns the motor on and off. nothing. then when i was tracing the power line, i wiggled it to see if it felt loose and the wipers started working. i guess it was just a loose line. *sigh* i finished getting ready and hit the road around 1pm.
within about 10 minutes of being at highway speeds with rain and mist from the other cars, i realized the blade on the driver's side was messed up and wasn't really actually touching the windshield much. so i could only barely see from one thin section of the glass. i kept driving anyway. it cleared up on the other side of sealy and the rest of my trip was without wetness. i arrived in austin without incident.
my purpose in going to austin was mostly to help my brother do home theater work. i'd bought him some new speakers for xmas, as well as some surround speaker wall mounts and some wall outlet speaker post plates (since the previous owner of his house had done two of the surrounds right with plates, but left the other two as just wires sticking out of holes in the walls). i brought some good speaker cables with me for him, as well as my old logitech harmony remote i described fixing before here on ye olde blog. since i was messing with his a/v equipment, i noticed he could be using hdmi and digital optical cables in a couple more places than he was. we hit lowe's and best buy and got some stuff. we were working on things when my parents arrived. they'd decided to come to austin to eat supper with us. we went to cannoli joe's. it's an italian place that turns out to be all-you-can-eat. after eating, our parents dropped us off at his place and headed back to brady. we did some more work, then stopped and watched moon. i'd almost seen it when it was in theaters, but hadn't gotten around to it (like a lot of movies over the last year or two). it was good. a sci-fi psychological thriller, which doesn't seem that common these days.
on sunday i was supposed to have lunch with a girl i haven' seen...probably since 1991 or something. i was friends in college with a guy, and i went with my church group to his hometown church one weekend, plus i went a couple more times, with my friend and while i was co-oping in san antonio. she was...i think in junior high at the time. back in the day i was actually a letter writer, so i had a group of people from different places that i traded letters with. anyway, she and i had lost touch...maybe in '96 or so. (maybe i stopped writing.) but then a year or something ago she found me. so we'd talked some since then, and i was going to be in austin so we'd made tentative plans to have lunch. all that to say, she ended up having to back out so we didn't. maybe some other time.
since that didn't work out, linc and i ate brunch at the galaxy, then we hit lowe's, best buy, radio shack, and discount computers. why? we got some other stuff, but mostly we were looking for a firewire-800 to firewire-400 adapter. why? because their powermac system had "popped" and stopped working some months ago, but when i plugged it into the network and turned it on (sans monitor) it managed to get online and show up. they had bought a new 17" macbook pro linc was setting up, so i was going to use the cable to attempt a migration. we finally found a cable at discount computers. when we got it hooked up, it turns out their powermac evidently is running os 9, so it couldn't do the migration. but the drive was being shared via firewire so they could pull data off it onto the laptop. and if they get a new monitor (or hook it up to the tv) they can use the desktop. we got all of the speaker post plates in the wall okay, got all of the surround speakers mounted and working okay, rewired several devices to use higher quality cables (hdmi vs. rca, digital optical vs. rca), and got the universal harmony remote set up. i also hooked his blu-ray player into the internet and downloaded/installed a firmware update, and after i did that his blu-ray player gained the ability to stream netflix. so he set that up. and i re-setup and tested the airport express i'd given them. all in all, i think it was a pretty successful outing.
his wife (heather) and their son (miles) had been out of town visiting her parents, and they returned in the afternoon/early evening. i hung out for a couple of hours, then headed back to houston. not long after i left my brother called to tell me the cable box was only playing the lowest (local) channels. i didn't really know what could be causing that. he called the next day to say unplugging it and powering it back on fixed it. so i think so far things seem to have stayed stable.
tonight i rented and watched erik the viking as one of the 99 cent movies of the week from itunes on my appletv. it said copyright 2005, but i thought it was (and looked) older than that. at the end of the movie it said 1998, which makes more sense. i'm not sure why the copyright would have slipped, although i know that happens sometimes. the movie is done by terry jones (of monty python), and it kind of has that feel to it. tim robbins plays erik, which seemed funny to me. i guess i imagine him being a more serious actor, even though i can think of more movies he's played odd/silly parts in than serious ones...so maybe it's just me.
futureman: what the hell you wearing?
dignan: it's a jumpsuit.
futureman: clay, look at this guy.
clay: he looks like a rodeo clown.
futureman: he looks like a little banana. [...]
(from bottle rocket)