Tuesday, April 29, 2008


So I've been meaning to install and use Cacti to monitor my routers and servers and now (actually two weeks ago) seemed like a good time to do it.  I've also wanted to get to know Gentoo Linux for awhile and this seemed like a good time to start.  Two weeks later I finally have a working OS.  To their credit, Gentoo has a great support forum with plenty of knowledgeable folks willing to step in and help out a noob like me.  That is only relevant however, when the noob doesn't screw up and insert a typo in the grub.conf file for the kernel name.  For those of you scoffing, like you've never done this, no...it didn't take me two whole weeks to discover this.  I do on occasion...work (what an ugly word) and the last couple of weeks have taken more time than usual away from my hobby time.  Let's hope that Cacti isn't as difficult.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Girly Man

Proof positive that curry is dangerous for you.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Diet Update

        Back in August, I blogged about my attempt to lose weight after realizing the cow I had become.  I was all gung ho and then promptly went right back to being a typical American and quit.  And then, being the typical American, I started back up again.  I've lost 20 pounds since I started back on March 24th.  
        My newest eye opening moment was when I stepped back on the scale and realized I had gained back my whopping 10 pounds that I had lost and had even gone over by 5 additional pounds.  I followed that depressing moment with a trip to our local Longs drug store to pick up some Advil for my wife.  My wife's family was going to be joining us for Easter (always a stressful, headache inducing experience) and I quite frankly needed to get out of the house. I decided on a lark to sit myself down in one of those blood pressure machines and see how close to death I was.  The answer was closer than I thought.   When the test finished, an automatic 911 call was made to pick me up because my pressure was through the roof.  Not really, but having level 2 hypertension was not what I was expecting either.  I've never been the picture of manly heath, but I never expected to be this close to death at 33.  
        The following day at work, I started researching my options.  I could go the Weight Watchers route like my wife did and start counting points.  That didn't really interest me for multiple reasons, most of which includes pride, arrogance and the fact that I have two testicles.  Granted my wife is down 40 pounds, looks terrific and feels even better, but it has involved, for her, submitting herself to a pretty aggressive regime of vegan hell.  Please don't send me email saying that Weight Watchers allows meat, cheese, etc.  I've already stated my three big (or is it four) reasons for not going on Weight Watchers.  It just didn't interest me.
        I kept looking and found a diet that makes sense to a IT guy like me.  The Hacker's Diet.  The best part of this diet is what I believe needs to be a habit that is instilled in me.  To be aware of how much food I'm ingesting is I believe my Achilles heel.  I've never thought twice about consuming a whole large pizza and then swilling it down with a couple of soft drinks.  That was after having the Hungry Man breakfast at Denny's.  When I first saw the link on Google, I thought....cool, I can eat pizza and Jolt soda and lose weight.  Obviously I learned differently but I like the idea that the body is a system and approaching my weight as an engineering system....well it appealed to my manly pride.  I've also borrowed heavily from Jeremy Zawodny's tweaked approach.  His approach and tools was where I started.  I hope in the following weeks to document my progress and stay with it this time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Router Performace

David Davis follows up his excellent piece on securing Cisco equipment with another great work.  If you have a chance go over to his main site at Happy Router and check it out.  The Forums are a great place to ask questions or find answers.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Why I love my kids

Holy Sardines.  If it weren't for my kids I would never have been introduced the joy that is.....
We are currently watching this movie with my 2 and 3 year old about 4 times a week.

And because it's so much fun I give you "The thrust of manhood"

Friday, April 4, 2008

I've been had

I just answered blog spam.  We don't get many readers over here at Portcullischain, so when someone actually leaves a comment, we get as excited as a preteen girl at a Hanna Montana concert.  Needless to say, I answered the comment without thinking and after investigating realized it was nothing more than a attempt to drop a link on our page.  I've enabled Blogger's word verification feature that should eliminate this nuisance but it's still pretty damn embarrassing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Router Security

David Davis has a great article on Cisco router security that covers all the basics nicely. I would add AAA implementation is an even more secure way to configure passwords.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


So I was feeling mischievous yesterday and decided a little April Fools humor couldn't hurt. I downloaded this gif from Hargrave's site and printed it out to our sales, claims, underwriting, accounting and programmers main printer pool. The gag is to see how long someone will actually follow the instructions. So far Sales has already seen through the gag and thrown the paper away. Accounting has actually taken the paper out of the printer and placed it in a place of safety. The rest have left it in the printer tray. I'll check again tomorrow.