Building A New Server

Well, I made a stupid programming mistake and messed up a monitoring script such that it was reporting that the drives were OK when they in fact weren’t. Between that and some flakiness that I’ve localized to the motherboard/power supply, and needing to upgrade the O/S, I’m putting a new machine together. It’ll be based off of an Athlon 64 X2 and will have a little more RAM than the old one did. As a side benefit it looks like the processor supports virtualization so I’m going to build a few VMWare virtual machines to play around with. Look for an outage later on this week while I build and move data.

Starting The Seeds

The paper pots have been made, filled with dirt, and the delicate plants which need to be seeded indoors for early planting have been seeded. Now it’s just a waiting game to see which seeds come up and which don’t. I’ve put a few extras in the pots just in case, so we’ll see…

Command Decision

The fourth book in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War series picks up pretty much where Engaging the Enemy left off. Ky’s trying to put together a fleet, Rafe is sorting out issues related to his family, and the situation with the pirates and the rebuild of Vatta Transport continue to develop. There’s a bit less battle and a lot more character and plot development in this book, and I’m not complaining. It was nice to see some parts of this universe get fleshed out a little more. Apparently the next book is going to be the end of the series and from the way this one ended it’s going to be a heck of a ride!

The Last Of The Dirt Has Been Moved

The last of the dirt is now in the frame and now I’m hoping for some rain so that the dirt will settle in a little. It’s pretty fluffy right now, and I’d like to get it a little more compacted before planting. The good news is that there’s still a few more weeks of waiting before we’re out of the woods as far as freezes go. As I recall, north Texas last freeze date is something like March 18.

Moving Dirt Around

Living Earth came by this morning and dropped off four yards of soil and a yard of mulch. I’ve started moving it from the driveway to the garden, and have gotten about two thirds of it moved. Doing this has really made me appreciate my desk job!

I’ve also added some more pictures to the album.

The New Feeder Is Here

I got home from work to find the new feeder on my front step. It’s definitely bigger than my old one was, and looks to be a lot sturdier. I ordered the medium sized one because, even though they’re on diet/light food, two Maine Coons eat a bit more than a pair of average sized cats would. The medium sized one comes with a whip to stir the food as it’s dispensing as well, which was a nice feature.

Now on to the details. Unlike the last one, this one dispenses using an auger so there are less things to go wrong. The downside to that method is that you’ve got to figure out how long to run the auger for in order to dispense the amount you want. The estimate in the manual was just a little bit off, and with two trial runs I got it down to the correct amount of time. The timer on this one is pretty full featured. You can set up to eight dispenses per day, dispensing different amounts of food for each one of them. That alone makes this thing worth the money.

So if you’re looking for a pet food dispenser that’s a little better than what I’ve seen in the pet stores, head on over to and see what they’ve got to offer. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Captain’s Fury

The fourth book in Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series picks up about two years after the end of the last one. Tavi is still in charge of the First Aleran Legion, which has been holding their own against the Canim invasion force. The civil war started by Kalare is still dragging on as well, with the predictable effects of a two front war on internal and external security. There are a number of revelations about Tavi’s past and future throughout the book, and the ending didn’t leave me disappointed either. I’m all caught up on the series and now have to wait until Mr. Butcher gets the next one out, but trust me, I’ll be picking it up when it comes out.

Took My CHL Class Today

I finished my state mandated CHL training class today, down at DFW Gun Range. It was both enjoyable and informative. Between the ten hours of classroom instruction and the range qualification, it was a full day’s adventure. Now I’ve got to get the packet put together and sent off to the state for processing.

Building The Irrigation System

Alex and Mike came over today to help me pick up parts and get the irrigation system put together. I can’t take any credit for the design, it was Alex’s idea, but it looks like it’ll do a good job of keeping the roots moist. Basically, it’s a kind of french drain. We used some two inch PVC pipe to create a loop that has small holes drilled in the underside to trickle moisture in to the soil without having most of it evaporate from sitting on the surface. There is a five foot tall standpipe on one side that will be used to fill the system and act as a reservoir. Right now, with nothing around the pipes it won’t fill up, but we’re expecting that with some dirt around it the flow will be a little slower and we’ll get the reservoir effect we’re looking for.