When the darkness enveloped the hidden world, the sudden post-war development of this new continent was gathering strange phenomenon and people wandeing in the darkness who are not human, regardless of the season was spring.

— Engrish from Chrno Crusade Episode 0 (copied from a screenshot)

More fun than one man can handle…

Sometime this morning, someone rebooted a KVM server. We don’t know who, yet, but this would only have been a minor problem if it weren’t for the fact that another unknown someone had accidentally deleted the disk images for some of the VMs running on that server.

A month ago. No one noticed because they kept running on the unlinked open files…

Daily full backups are your friend!


NetworkManager: threat or menace?

Seriously, who even configures a server with it, and who came up with the idea of instantly taking down the interfaces the moment you save ifcfg-eth0 to switch from NM to static config? Fortunately, IPMI meant that I didn’t have to physically plug a monitor into the server to get back in.

(although Neal did have to plug in the IPMI interface for me; the perils of setting up new servers in a hurry…)


Several years ago, the personally-owned MacBook Pro (Togetsukyō) that I used for work went flaky, and I didn’t feel like spending the three grand or so that it would take to buy a fully-tricked-out replacement. So I had my boss buy me the best he could get approved, which was the 13-inch model with 16 GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. I named it Hello!Party, inspired by Scott’s ‘favorite’ song, and carefully downsized onto the smaller SSD.

It served me well for three years, but around the same time AppleCare gave out, so did the right-side USB port. So he ordered me a new one, and the approval process didn’t require so many compromises, so I ended up with the 15-inch touchbar model with 16 GB and a 1 TB SSD, which I named Macchi: it’s not headless, but it’s formidably proportioned. Apart from the mind-bogglingly terrible keyboard and the mostly-just-annoying touchbar, it’s a spiffy thing, and the extra space gives plenty of room for VMware Fusion virtuals.

But there was a problem: a bunch of data from Tog never fit onto H!P, and was only available in an archive on the house server, a refurbished Mini named Melwin. I’d also decided to keep a cleaner separation between work and home, so I had two accounts on H!P, one with all my work stuff, one with personal email, iTunes, Yojimbo, etc. For more fun, H!P was bound to our AD domain, so the work account had funky permissions. For even more fun, when I got Macchi, I only moved the work account, so I had to carry H!P if I wanted access to personal stuff.

Ten days ago, I noticed that Apple’s refurbished store had just gotten a new batch of 12-inch MacBooks in stock, which seemed like the perfect opportunity to clean up my personal/work accounts once and for all. Buying refurbs directly from Apple is actually the best way to get a reliable machine with a full warranty, as clearly explained by the folks at MacRumors. Brand new hardware is a crap shoot (especially models released in the past 3-4 months), and no one else’s refurbs are eligible for AppleCare. It’s got a Core i7, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, and I kept the name Hello!Party.

TL/DR, I’ve spent the last three days figuring out how to merge the best bits from multiple accounts on three machines to create a fully-populated personal account where everything actually works and has the correct ownership, while stripping out the last of the personal stuff from the current work machine.

(well, the naughty personal stuff, for sure; unlike most of the people who certified that they’d read the employee handbook this year, I actually read the employee handbook…)

Side note: after I scrubbed and reinstalled the 13-inch MBP, the right-side USB port seems to work again. Sigh.

No, really, ‘I can quit any time’

Aw, c’mon!

Seriously, Samsung? I pay three grand for a new fridge and I can’t put magnets on the door? Who doesn’t use fridge magnets?

The limits of AI…

“Alexa, play ‘My Freeze Ray’.”

“​‘My Freeze Ray’, by Various Artists.”

“Alexa, play the next song.”

“What do you want to play?”

“The next song from that album.”

What would you like to play next?”

“The rest of that album.”

“What do you want to play?”

“Forget about it.”

(all Hue lights in the house come on at full brightness)

‘I can quit any time’

7 inches of bliss…

One of the quirks of my house is that the kitchen “island” is angled to create more space in the breakfast nook. This means less space to get in and out of the kitchen, especially since the pantry door and the refrigerator are right there.

As part of my minor remodeling, I’m going to replace the 28-inch pantry door with closet doors that don’t open out so far, but that still leaves a bottleneck getting past the full-depth fridge. The solution to that problem turned up yesterday when I was browsing at Lowe’s: the first counter-depth fridge I’ve ever not hated.

It’s a good 7 inches shallower than my current one, which will make it much easier for multiple people to use my kitchen at once. The interior layout’s more sensible, too. Not cheap, but this is precisely the sort of thing I took some equity out of the house to buy.

Last time I was in a rush because the old fridge had died while I was out of town, so I took the best-looking thing Sears had in stock. Apart from a persistent fan noise that they could never get rid of, it’s served me pretty well for nearly 12 years.

I sort-of bought a new dishwasher as well (current one’s ~18 years old), but they won’t actually sell it to me until someone comes out and measures to make sure it will fit. I went with a high-end Bosch, largely for the promised noise reduction.


Yes, the tech confirms that the industry-standard slot in my kitchen will fit an industry-standard-sized dishwasher. Now I can actually buy it and schedule the install.


As installed, the new fridge gives a full 8 inches more room to get in and out of the kitchen. Unfortunately, the stainless doors are non-magnetic, so I have to get some 3M clips to attach recipes, etc, to it. I can use the sides, but the space is limited.

A tale of three deliveries

The things you learn from Arlo:

3:00 PM, USPS: large box left in middle of porch, visible from street.

3:01 PM, ONTRAC: medium box left on top of first box.

4:28 PM, UPS: previous boxes moved out of sight from street, neatly restacked with new box.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”