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Blog Archives for May 2006

A Change of Seasons

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 - Comments (3) in Life

This past week was actually pretty cold weather. I remember wearing jeans and a light jacket to work on Wednesday, and still being cold. Yesterday Rochester set a new high record for temperature at 92°! I've been waiting for the warm weather for a long time, but that is just a little too warm. I had to install the window air conditioner in the bedroom last night so we could actually sleep.

I started opening the pool early last week in hopes that it would be ready for swimming for the weekend. Technically it was but the water was still a little too cold for me.

Spammed by a University

Monday, May 22nd, 2006 - Comments (2) in Computers, Email, Work

While looking through my server logs this morning at work I noticed a bunch of email from a server at Loyola University. I looked a little closer and the email was coming from the a bunch of bogus addresses (random@gmail.com, random@hotmail.com and random@comcast.net) and all aimed at 1 user at Harley. Once I saw the from addresses I knew it was spam so I emailed Loyola letting them know they have a problem, including some entries from my logs as proof.

While I was waiting for a response I stopped up and talked to the teacher getting all of this spam and she told me she was a Loyola alumnus. I looked at some of the actual messages and found they were addressed to one of their alumni mailing lists. It looks like the university was running a mailing list that was completely open to the public. This means Joe Spammer can send 1 email to this list and Loyola will forward it to all their alumni, making the spammers job that much easier! Bah!

A little while later I get an email back from someone at the school saying that the person spamming was on the IP address 24.97.xx.xx. They said they forwarded my complaint to Road Runner's abuse department because that IP address is registered to RR and told me that they added the address to their blacklist. The problem was that the IP address above is MY mail server's address! This guy obviously had no clue what was going on and I couldn't email him back to tell him this because I was blacklisted. So I dug up a phone number online and gave this guy a call. By the time I got to talk to him he had figured out that he made a mistake and that someone on Bellsouth's network was doing all of this.

I added their server to Harley's blacklist until they stuck cork in it, which took an additional hour and a half after my phone call.

I assumed a University to be more on the ball about this stuff, but maybe that is too much to expect.

Frankenmower

Friday, May 5th, 2006 - Comments (0) in Life

When I started renting this house from Harley they (Matt) basically told me I have to take care of everything except mowing the lawn. This includes everything from cleaning and maintaining the pool to changing blown light bulbs. Obviously if anything in the house breaks or needs repair Harley will take care of it, but I'm responsible for day to day maintenance. I end up mowing the lawn anyway because if I wait until the school mows, it would be 12 inches long and all the neighbors would think I'm a scumbag.

Two falls ago I spotted a push mower in a pile of trash at the end of someone's driveway up the street. Jason and I ran down there and stole it after dark. It was in pretty bad condition and wasn't running at all. I figured I could take it apart, learn something and maybe even fix the motor. The problem with the engine ended up being a bad exhaust valve. I tried getting a replacement at Chase Pitkin's small engine shop, but they couldn't find one. Instead of replacing it I tried reseating it with some valve-grinding compound but I just couldn't get enough compression to get it running. So the it sat in my garage for a year and a half.

A year after I took the dead mower from the curb, my dad gave me a mower he inherited. It was almost an identical mower to my dead one but a cheaper version (lighter duty, plastic wheels, etc). It worked great but was a little too flimsy. It was slightly duck-footed and just had a little too much slop in everything.

Today I decided to combine these mowers. Basically I switched the engines and bodies. So I get the working engine on the sturdier chassis (which has all wheels aimed in the same direction). So far so good, the transplant went well and it even started on the first pull. I haven't had a chance to actually mow with it yet but I'm sure it'll be great.