What’s New?

So what’s new?

I accepted an offer for a new job last week. I’ll be working for a consulting company and my client will be a medical research company. I’ll still be doing mostly Java programming, but it sounds like there might be the opportunity to do some other neat stuff too. I’ll give more details once I start and get settled in.

My sister Civvy and her boyfriend got engaged to be married in April. It was a surprise to me, and a surprise to everyone from what I hear. Very cool though. They’ll be getting married in Las Vegas so I’ll be making a second trip to Vegas soon.

With that mentioned, I’m going to Vegas for a weekend of insanity with the Fazed crew next week. I’ll be there from the 5th through the 8th, so if you will too, drop me a line!

I brewed my first all-grain batch of beer a few weeks ago and I’ll be kegging the first half of it this weekend. For you non-homebrewers out there (why?!), all-grain is when you start with nothing but malted barley and you end up with beer. It’s a much more complicated process than what I have been doing till now, which is extract brewing. The upside is that you get much better beer, and you can control every aspect of the resulting product. This is of course practice for when I open my own brewery 🙂

The beer that I brewed is to be a clone of Alaskan Amber. Kelly’s parents went on a cruise to Alaska last year and her Dad had some of this beer. He thought it was really great and looked into having some shipped back home. Unfortunatly the cost to get a case or so shipping to New Jersey is very prohibitive so I thought I would try to make some. I’ve never actually had it so I figure I’ll work on the recipe till the beer tastes real good to me and then ship some to NJ for sampling.

I’m sorta working on a new photography type project, but haven’t really gotten it off the ground yet. I want to do some high speed photography of exploding fruits and the like. I know it’s been done before, but it hasn’t been done by ME before! The only place I have to do these experiements is in the basement and it wouldn’t really be safe, or legal to fire either of my guns down there so I am building a powerful CO2 powered air rifle. It’ll still be dangerous, but it will be legal and that’s important!

In the near future I’m going to try to take one or two welding classes, as that’s something I want to learn how to do. I’d like to start building a more permanent home brewery this spring and summer, and it’s either wood or weld. I’d also like to be able to add fittings to my kettles and the such without paying outrageous prices to have the welding done.

That’s it for now!


I’ve just finished configuring Nagios for the network at my office. Until now we’ve used a hodgepodge of monitoring stuff that never really did the job all that well. Nagios took me about 2 days to configure properly, and it was by no means easy or intuitive but now that it’s all done and I know how the system works some I have nothing but praises for it.

Nagios will monitor just about any kind of server or service you can throw at it, and it will notify you when there are problems. That’s just touching the surface, but for those things it does a great job. It will also do uptime reporting, escalations, dependencies and all kinds of stuff I havn’t even looked at. All this and it’s free. Yay Open Source!

If you want to run a robust monitoring solution for your network and don’t want to spend billions of dollars on something like HP OpenView, you could do worse than install Nagios.

Funny Ha Ha

Corny, but funny.

Motorcycle Surgeon
A Mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when a well known heart surgeon came in to his shop. The surgeon was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike. The Mechanic shouted across the garage,

“Hey Doc, can I ask you a question?”

The Surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic working on the motor cycle. The Mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, ‘So, Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take valves out, fix ’em, put ’em back in and when I finish, it works just like new.

So how come I get such a small salary and you get the really big bucks, when you and I are doing basically the same work?”

The Surgeon paused, smiled and leaned over and whispered to the Mechanic

“Try doing it with the engine running …..”