“Who’s this ‘Haunter of the Dark’ who keeps calling you ?”

Random geek post. A few months ago I upgraded my Nexus 5 to the Google Pixel (not the XL). I’d transfered over all the files, and the device’s name, NecronomIpod. (cheerfully stolen from Charles Stross). But it didn’t feel right, devices have their own personalities, and I generally give their own names. (Yes, I’m weird that way). So, Saturday came around, and I was re-listening to ‘The Haunter of the Dark’ radio play. I was pondering the magic McGuffin of the story, and thought “It’s dialing ‘N’ for Nyarlathotep!”. *bing* I have name. So my phone’s new name is ‘The Shining Trapezohedron’, with shiny new wallpaper from Gage Prentiss’ design for the Robert Bloch Award from the NecronomiCon Providence. Nerd, thy name is Vulpine. Now lets see if Calls to Cthulhu have less static, and if calling Yuggoth won’t be long distance any more.

Deep Ones at the Movies – Alien: Covenant

Back from ‘Alien: Covenant’. Quick review, it’s not bad. It’s not great, it’s not spectacular, but if you came for face hugs and chest bursts and general mayhem, you won’t be terribly disappointed. Could have used some peppier mid movie foo (kind of dragged), and people would have been just fine if they just stuck to the program, but people making bad decisions = a horror movie. Otherwise, it’s a travelogue. 3.5 out of 5 xenomorphs, and I’ll be buying it on bluray/dvd when it comes out.

Can someone help me find my lung?

It’s April Fool’s Day. Been caught at least twice, possibly I should just avoid the internets today. Oh well.

Was kind of a rough week, still feeling puny, work has ramped up my meeting queue, and I’ve been kind of flailing around trying to get stuff done. Glad it’s the weekend though. Today is movie theater day, going to see ‘Ghost in the Shell’ then ‘Life’ this evening to celebrate Nymaz spawning day (early, since the poor viking is stuck on call on his actually spawning weekend). There will also be general hangout time, and dinner at a diner we all like by the movie theater. Omelet for days, and maybe even pie.

Still coughing up shoggoths, still feeling less than good. I’m hoping it’s just my lungs clearing with a side of allergies redux. But there may be yet another doctor visit coming up, as this is utterly miserable.

Otherwise, things are ok. Double-checked vacation approval with my boss’s boss. Wasn’t ‘worried’ but I wanted to make sure it was cool up the chain. I also found a reason to adjust my pre-Providence travels. Kirk Hammett, along with being a guitarist, is a major horror collector. So a museum in Salem is doing a exhibit of some of his stuff. And since I’m flying into Boston, I may have to make a side trip up to Salem the day I fly in. (on top of visiting old Ironsides and the Boston Aquarium, maybe driving to the Atlantic shore…) Really, I need to make a separate trip to Boston in the future, lots of things I want/need to see with adult eyes. Oh well, that’s what 2018 is for.

What’s up in cultist ville? Books, including finishing the late John Glasby’s ‘Dark Armageddon’ trilogy. The series is about humans trying to survive when the stars come right. It’s very Brian Lumleyesque, but I’ve always liked Glasby’s writing. He doesn’t reinvent anything, or won’t take home the gold in Cthulhu writing, but he does right solid, readable, enjoyable tales that scratch that tentacle itch.

Also, remember ‘Winter Tide? Book freedom day is this Tuesday. It should be in your local brick+mortar stores, as well as findable at your online bookplace of choice, plus there’s always I’ve got the Kindle edition preordered, and I’ll be at the local B&N on Tuesday to get my hardback edition. April has a lot of preorders coming out, so it will be a good reading month.

Also, speaking of Lovecraft, next weekend is the release date for The Void. Lovecraftian film, that has people/shoggoths/mi-go all abuzz. (literally when you mention the later). It will be showing in DFW at one of the Alamo Drafthouses, and I’m looking to go see it on the big screen. (then of course, pick it up on bluray afterwards).

Ok, that’s enough rambling for today. Wish me luck on good movie sign, and feeling better, and I’ll ramble later.

News from Carcosa

I’ve posted this on my LJ and other social media, but I can’t forget my trusty Deep One blog. A little over 2 weeks ago my boss at Carcosa Corp called me to give me the news, they were going to make me an offer to come on perm where I am. Same duties for the most part, with the addition of being oncall and being responsive to alerts and work outside of core hours. Well today I had a call with the HR rep. Long story short, I accepted the offer. 19 PTO days a year, good benefits, and both a title change (adding a ‘Senior’ to my title) and the money that goes with it. Went and did the drug screen and filled out the info for my background check. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll come on board on December 12th. So happy. So is everyone I work with, I seem to be a popular fellow there. So yeah, things are going swimmingly. Now if only Carcosa Corp would open an office in Innsmouth, I’d be set. *wink*

Weekend Computer Foo

And now we talk about computer foo. last night and today has been more geekery than I’ve done in a while. Dagon’s new monitor is much of the shiny. I’ve switched to using multiple virtual desktops, scattering various apps that I can reach with with key combos. Here are the desktops and what they’re used for.

  • Primus: Web browser and terminal windows, with Alpine (mail), CenterIM5 (IM client), one terminal with a screen session linked to every VM and physical box here at Château Innsmouth, and one for text editing (like this entry).
  • Secondus: Five larger terminal windows in a pattern. Good for sysadmin or coding or stuff. Larger = less eye strain.
  • Teritus: VirtualBox and VMs. This is the problem child, as I start working on a desktop VM, and forget about it with flipping back and forth.
  • Quartus: Misc stuff.

    As I said, it’s easy to lose stuff in this setup, but I’m thinking I’ll get used to it over time. The new video card in Dagon can support 2 of the big monitors, and I can double up on those cards, so I could upgrade to a 3 monitor rig in the future. Also, Hydra has DP ports as well, so I could split it, 2 on Dagon, 1 on Hydra. Doubt I’ll do that anytime soon though, both for cost and the fact the Desk of Doom ™ isn’t sturdy or large enough. So, in the future. Maybe after I pay off the trip to Portland.

    Besides getting things updated and rebooted all the systems. Tried to upgrade Dagon to the latest stable kernel, but no dice, I couldn’t make the new monitor play nice, and after 3 or 4 reboots and driver swaps I gave up for now. Hydra and Nyogtha came up fine after general maintenance and reboots, so did the VMs. I then turned my attention to my mini server Shoggoth, which has been offline for a week or so. On advice from my IT guy (yes I have a friend that does most of my hardware foo. I can do it soso, or he can do it right, and he’s worth every cent. If you’re in DFW, and need a geek, let me know) I popped out the drive, tried to see if it would get past the weird lock. It did. So I put the drive back in, and it booted fine. So I updated it, rebooted, came up fine. So, thinking the SSHD drive in Shoggoth might be flaking, I enabled SMARTD to monitor the drive. So we’ll see if it was a fluke or a drive giving up the ghost.

    Now I’m updating the assorted desktop VMs, and fiddling around with other stuff. Been a productive day geekwise. But soon it will be time to wind down and head to bed.

  • A Very Good Day

    Well, this Friday was a good day. Work was pretty good, even with a very long conf call. My mad skills at system monitoring came in handy, as I figured out a quick organization fix for Cacti, and came up with a ‘in theory’ way under Nagios to alert for processes that A. use 95% of the CPU, and B. last more than 30 min. And I could do it with the built in plugins. I’ve never DIY’d my own Nagios scripts before, but between my brainmeats and Nagios having good documentation it was a 5 min to have a plan. And since I’m working on a Nagios setup here at Château Innsmouth, I’ll test it over the weekend before testing it more on the devel and stage networks at work.

    I also volunteered to help a fellow Lovecraftian in Hungary with a thesis he’s doing on HP Lovecraft. He had a ebook copy of Joshi’s epic ‘I Am Providence’, and had about a dozen citations, but he was worried his committee would argue that the citations didn’t match the physical page numbers (which I’ve heard of before). So, I have the 1st edition hardbacks, so he sent me a list of quotations and their chapters and general location, and I verified the page numbers (which were way different than the ebook). Didn’t take long, maybe 30 min. Felt good to help another adept of Grandpa Theobald. *gains 2d6% in Library Research*

    I’ve also watched some really bad horror movies. I’ll post one of the reviews later (I did some of my best writing on Facebook ranting about this flick). I’ve moved on to ‘The Descent’, one of my favorites. Ubuntu released 16.04 yesterday, so I’m updating my test VMs. Tomorrow is hermit day, with a side of organizing, and possibly a marathon of the ‘Hellraiser’ flicks (random idea I had). I’ve got to move Dagon and Shoggoth onto the UPSes, as the last power blip showed me I oopsed there. There will probably also be a labeling fest, along with more VM updating and the aforementioned Nagios experimenting. Probably will be other experimenting, I have a list. Sunday is back to normal, laundry and TV and Amythest time. Then back to work. I have a meeting/lunch with my recruiter on…Wednesday? I definitely have to give my recruiter company this, they keep up with their placed minions. I also have a bunch of work to do, still playing catch up from being sick, and I keep coming up with ideas on how to do things, that lead to me getting assigned the deployment of said ideas. But, instead of freaking out (well for long) I take it as the challenge it’s intended as and go with it. So I expect the next 3 months to be interesting, and not in the Chinese curse sense of the word.

    So that’s the most of the state of the fox. I’m still feeling fairly meh physically. Worst allergies ever. Mood is better, then again given how low I swung for a while, I kind of have to be better. Looking forward to a number of book pre-orders and future geeking and well, stuff. Catch you all later. *waves a tentacle*

    Weirdness with VirtualBox and Windows 7

    First post of geek stuff. Was running though my virtualmachine horde and I ran into an issue with Windows 7. The bridged adapter was saying ‘no internet’. Googling was less than helpful, so after poking at it a few times, I shut it down, switched from bridged to NAT, restarted and got network. Ran Windows Update and got two Windows OS updates, 2999226 and 3080079. Installed those, shut down, went and reset to bridged, booted back up and huzzah I had network.

    Weird thing, a friend of mine was talking about the same issue, but on a Windows 10/VMware setup. Which is why I jumped to the ‘Ok, it’s Windows’ conclusion. Hope this helps someone out there.