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Blog Archives for May 2010

Lost

Thursday, May 27th, 2010 - Comments (0) in Life, TV

Unless you've been living under a rock (or in a hatch maybe), you know that the Lost series finally came to a close. I'm really glad the show got to do a proper ending, unlike some of my other favorite shows: Carnivale, Deadwood, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles; all of which were not renewed for the next season leaving us hanging. It was promised that all would be explained by the end of Lost, and I must admit I was a little underwhelmed and annoyed at the lack of answers. Sure they answered some of the major questions, like what the island actually is, the origins of the smoke monster, what Jacob was protecting and what was going on with everyone, but I wanted to know so much more than that.

** Spoilers **

What I got out of the ending was that everything on the island really happened to all of the Lostaways. The alternate reality of the plane landing in LAX and all of their lives continuing to intersect was a sort of purgatory that they went to after they died. They didn't die all at the same time, Jack died on the island just after restoring the light, Locke died when Ben strangled him a couple seasons ago, Boon and Shannon died back in season 1, etc. They stayed in that alternate reality until they were ready to "move on", and most of them weren't ready to do that until they connected with each other and remembered what happened to them. Jacks father said there was no time in that alternate reality which allowed each of them to live out their lives and die on their own. Hurley told Ben he was a great number-2 and Ben said that Hurley was a great number-1. I took this to mean Hurley and Ben protected the island after Jack's death for quite a while, maybe hundreds of years, yet they were there at the church with everyone who died on the island early on.

That was great, but there were so many little things I wanted to know more about that were never addressed. One of my favorite things on the island was the Statue of Taweret. We first saw it's huge remaining foot in season 2. Sayid says he doesn't know what he finds more disturbing, the fact that the rest of the statue is gone or that is only has 4 toes. We later see the whole statue in flashbacks and discover that is where Jacob lives. We find out it was destroyed in the late 1860's when the Black Rock carrying Richard hits it while being swept into the jungle on a huge tidal wave. We know when it was destroyed, but not when or why it was built, or by whom.

statue

Another favorite of mine was the Frozen Wheel. This is an exit point of the island for the person who turns the wheel and it has the ability to alter the physical location of the island and the time for its occupants. We see a prototype of the wheel being built by the Man in Black (Jacob's brother) during ancient times as a way for him to get off the island, but this original mechanism is never completed. So who built it? How was it built way underground completely surrounded by rock? How does it work? Why is the wheel chamber so cold? Why did whoever turned the wheel get spit out in the middle of Tunisia?

wheel

I also wanted to know more about Jacob and his brother, the man in black. We know they were twins born on the island. Claudia, their mother, was on a ship that sank and washed up on shore. The islands protector at the time delivered the babies, killed Claudia and then raised the boys as her replacement candidates. When did all this happen? Why don't we know the name of the man in black? How long were they on the island? Jacob and the MiB were probably in their 40s when they attained their ageless states, but they could have been enemies for centuries before flight 815 crashed.

Jack and Vincent at the end

The last scene of the show when Jack was dying was very sad, but I thought they did a great job with it. I loved how the scene mirrored Jacks arrival on the island. You might not remember but the first scene of the first episode is a close-up of Jack's eye opening as he comes-to after the crash. He was in the same exact bamboo field with Vincent lying next to him.

Snow in 80 Degrees

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 - Comments (0) in House, Life

Ok, not real snow. My neighbor has a cottonwood tree across the street and last night or early this morning it decided to reproduce and cover the entire neighborhood in little cotton fluff balls. The really sucky part about the timing is yesterday I mulched the entire front of the house and now it looks like shit. I'm hoping it'll rain soon and these things will disintegrate.
cottonwood - worst tree ever cottonwood slag

cottonwood snow

cottonwood snow2

I had to mow my lawn today and it was terrible with these little fluff balls floating around. It was over 80° so I was sweating and these things were sticking to me. I'm pretty sure I inhaled a few of them too.

Mulcherrific

Friday, May 21st, 2010 - Comments (0) in House, Life

It's been kind of hard to find the time and energy to do house and yard work recently. I can barely find the time to mow the lawn once a week now. We have some people coming over next weekend when Claire gets baptized and we just needed to do something about the front of the house. We have a bunch of bushes that were way overgrown along with weeds growing out of other weeds.

Yesterday we took Claire outside and Rachelle fed her some cereal while I trimmed the bushes. She did pretty well, only starting to freak out when we were both not paying any attention to her. It was so bad, the bushes were actually growing together in some spots.

Today on my way home from work I stopped at Country Max and got six bags of black cedar mulch. I probably should have gotten seven, but maybe I'll grab another one this weekend; it's a little thin in spots. It was a lot of work, but I think it turned out great!

mulch 1

new mulch

Cheap Switch Upgrade

Monday, May 3rd, 2010 - Comments (1) in Computers, Life, Work

The core switch I have at work is a rather old Cisco Catalyst 4006. This switch has been very reliable for the past 8 years, but recently I've had a couple uplink ports fail which is making things difficult. The old uplinks were all 100 megabit fiber ports that really aren't used anymore, at least on new equipment, so finding replacements is kind of tough.

I looked around on eBay and found a 6 port gigabit module that looked perfect for what I need. This would allow me to upgrade 6 of my 9 locations to 1000mbps and keep 3 at their current 100mbps speed while still leaving me some spare ports in case some more die. I looked it up at CDWG and it's a current module you can buy brand new selling on NY State Contract for $2036.60; I got a used one for $60 shipped! It arrived this past Friday and I installed it this morning. The switch recognised it right away and all 6 ports work just fine.

ws-x4306-gb used from ebay

ws-x4306-gb used from ebay

I also got 15 GBICs to go in this module and in a bunch of other switches (since one is needed at both ends of every link). These will typically go for over $100 each new, but I got them for $2 each. I love eBay...

$2 gbics from ebay

Sprint Airave

Monday, May 3rd, 2010 - Comments (0) in Gadgets, Life, Nerd Stuff, Work

My office at work is on the ground floor in the center of the building where Sprint cell phone service is usually just a figment of my imagination. I complained about this to our Sprint rep since my personal Verizon phone usually has 5 bars in my office. He said they have some device you can plug into your network that acts like a small cell tower for up to 3 connections and he was going to try to get me one for free. Sure enough a couple months later a mystery package arrived for me at work, it was like Christmas. Inside was a new Sprint Airave.

sprint airaveI immediately took it out of the box and plugged it in. When it failed to instantly work I dug up the manual from the box which said it could take up to an hour to start working. Three hours later it still wasn't working. I did some research and found that these things require a GPS signal to function. It needs to be able to inform Sprint of its exact location for emergencies like 911 calls, which makes perfect sense. What doesn't make any sense at all is the logic that if you need one of these things because you can't get any cell service, what are the odds you're going to be able to see a GPS signal? Sure enough being in the center of the bottom floor of the building it couldn't get a signal. I called Sprint to see what they could do and was told to "move it next to a window." I tried to stay calm and explain that I'm in the center of the building where there are no windows. I was told there was nothing they could do. I asked if they could manually enter the location on my account but they said no. I did move the Airave to a location next to a window (useless to me, but just to see if it worked) and it still wouldn't work even when the GPS light confirmed it had a signal.

sprint airave

I went home that day and read through all the documentation and found a note that said it should be activated before it's mailed out but if not call and have a support guy activate it. I called and asked if the device was activated and they said it was, so then they started asking me questions to see if they could figure out the problem. She asked me how it was connected to the network and sounded confused when I said it was connected to a switch. "What do you mean a switch, what kind of switch?" That question right there confirmed the "support" person on the phone had no idea what they were talking about. She actually told me I need to plug the internet directly into the device. I told her this device was in a school on a network with 300 computers and over 20 servers and I'm supposed to unplug all of them from the internet for up to an hour just to test this stupid thing? She said yes, I hung up. Apparently she's never heard of a network bigger than a couple desktops plugged into some little Linksys router...

The next day I plugged it back in near a window and within 15 minutes it was working! I have a feeling it wasn't activated when it was sent to me and when I called to ask if it was, they just did it without telling me. Once it was working I started on the GPS problem. One of the accessories they include in the box was a 20-or-so foot extension cable for the GPS receiver. I ended up snaking this cable up next to a drain pipe through the concrete decking to the floor above me and then across that drop-ceiling to an open area.

It took way too much effort to get this working, but finally it is working fine in my office. The only other problem I had was when our internet connections were maxed out calls would break up. I just had to change my traffic shaping rules a little to give this thing priority.