This Space for Rent

Feb 02, 2016

Double ugh!

Oh, yeah, I forgot; Redhat based Linuxes (most of them) use PAM instead of the traditional /etc/password stuff. So vm-pop3d won’t work, nor will postoffice (a /whole/ shitload of other stuff doesn’t work either, like the posting interface to this weblog. So even if I write up a PAM authentication shim layer to configure into vm-pop3d (edit: okay, it turns out vm-pop3d already has a pam layer in it, but it authenticates against the service “vm-pop3d” which make install doesn’t even try to install. Weird. So I modified it to use the “passwd” auth and now it works. It saves me from dovecot, which has the annoying misfeatures of (a) adding new headers to all of the mail in /var/mail/orc and (b) spitting them all up to my mac as Brand! New! messages. Yay open source software, I guess) and postoffice I’d still be left with a nonfunctional system. Ugh, I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.) Argh, just kill me now – I should just find a hosting provider that lets me install homemade system images, then find a way to image the existing gehenna and move it over.

Feb 01, 2016


So the vhosting provider this website is on has decided to go out of business at the end of the month. “No problem”, said I, “it’s a freebsd host so it should be simple to move everything over to a new machine.” So this morning I picked a new vhost provider, paid for a month’s worth of hosting, and started provisioning.


My first attempt was to use a freebsd (10.something) image; gehenna was running 7.something, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble. It took me about a hour to realize that basically EVERYTHING had been subtly CADT‘ed to the point where I was starting to think about flinging my macbook (OSX is also infected with CADT, but since I’m not using it as a server the full fucking horror of the thing is not as much of a showstopper) across the room.

It didn’t help that freebsd switched to clang, which is, horrifically, even more pointlessly anal than gcc has EVER dreamed of being, and which meant that I had to rebuild pretty much all of my'ed programs to compensate for various ridiculous “oh, we know what this function is supposed to do even if you don’t include the header files” failures.

So goodbye to freebsd and back to Linux, which has the dubious advantage of being brain-damaged for much longer than freebsd, so it can’t get /too/ badly fucked up. And then I get to fight with gnu configure (to build lighttpd) and I don’t know what the hell I’m going to need to wedge rc scripts into the all-singing-all-dancing init replacement that infests modern Linuces. But at least here I’ve got a usable package manager (yum) instead of the mindbogglingly stupid ports system that is spiked into the throat of freebsd.

11 packages that I need to carry: lighttpd (kind of horribly open sourceish, but about 1/20th as bloated as Apache is), spamassassin, postoffice, a dnsbl milter, the milter glue for spamassassin, tcp wrappers (no linux package for tcp wrappers. Slick!), git (I don’t know what sort of nonsensical policy is written into $CURRENT, so I’m sticking with, discount, annotations, dropbear (not going to run opensshd, sorry!), and my dns (bind. Yuk. But it’s really the only game in town, and I don’t think I’ve got the patience to write my own dns server.) And only 4 of them use the special snowflake that is GNU configure (which I suspect is the app that made Docker necessary), so once I’ve got lighttpd,spamassassin, the dnsbl milter, the spamassassin milter glue (these last two require special versions to work with postoffice, because the stock ones won’t work with anything except sendmail for no good reason at all) built and starting up it will simply be a slow slide down the hill to insanity.

Jan 30, 2016

Railroad picture of the day

An EPT passenger train at the ORHF shops

An EPT passenger train at the ORHF shops.

Jan 29, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Cozy Mite

Dust Mite nest

Jan 28, 2016

Painting (again)

Back to the "paint shop"

The bruising and swelling on my left shoulder has subsided enough so that the fractured clavicle just hurts (instead of HURTS!!!), so that means I can get back to painting the kit bike. 4 light coats of traction orange today, with another 2-3 to go before I set it aside to cure for a couple of days, then sand + paint one last time before clearcoat, decals, and reassembly.

I’ll probably just brushpaint the next frame – rustoleum is a fairly fragile paint (the GT has already developed a large crop of dings and it has only been painted about a year now) and spraying seems to be fussier than I am capable of working around without a lot of finish sanding.

Jan 25, 2016

Trolley picture of the day

Purple-Green approaches

Purple/Green approaches the clockwise loop stop at Grand & Weidler.

Jan 22, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


Needs a smaller helmet.

Jan 20, 2016

Trolley picture of the day

A northbound train arrives at Bybee & 99e

A northbound interurban led by a Bombardier/BN “type 1” car pulls into Bybee & 99e station while a P&W freight (led by the Willamette & Pacific geep) waits on the ex-SP mainline to the east.

Jan 15, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


A nap after a long day (of napping)

Jan 14, 2016


Ugh. Horrible things. They are good for knocking the edge off bone pain, but the cost of them is that I spend all day wandering around in a stuffed-with-cotton-ball haze and have to do heroic attempts at concentration to even get a single thing done.

I will be really happy when my clavicle is healed enough so that I can move it without more-pain-than-I-want-to-think-about and can get back to sewing/brazing/riding again instead of the far more exciting business of sleeping 12+ hours a day.

Jan 08, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


Dust Mite makes a call

Jan 01, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

dust mite sling

A cozy spot for a Dust Mite.

Dec 30, 2015

Not where I intended to go when I went out shopping today.

A short but painful shopping trip

Yes, the mountainhack is in the emergency room. I was halfway between two errands when a car turned abruptly right just in front of me and won me a Free!(not free) trip to the emergency room with a broken shoulder, a broken helmet, a broken pair of glasses, and every muscle on the left side of my body bruised.


Dec 29, 2015

Dwarf Biscotti

Dwarf Biscotti

Occasionally my attempts to veganize a recipe don’t work out like I expected; this Moosewood pecan-currant biscotti (eggs replaced with soy yogurt) turned out as more like pralines instead of a sweet biscuit.

Dec 28, 2015

Railroad picture of the day

A southbound Coast Starlight approaches Stark Street

I reached the Stark St. crossing just moments before the crossing gates came down and a southbound Coast Starlight came through.

Dec 27, 2015


Traction Orange

This coat of paint is very glossy, but it doesn’t suck photons from the ether and accelerate them directly at my eyes like the mountainhack’s paint does. Now I suppose I should think up some good decals for the DT after the #many sand/spray cycles that I still need to do to get a consistant (and drip-free!) paint cover.

Dec 26, 2015

Resetting my idea of a sedate paint job

Fluorescent bagel delivery wagon spotted in the wild!

The bright & shiny traction orange paint that’s going on the kit bike even as we speak is going to seem like a pretty staid and conservative paintjob compared to the the mountainhack’s new clothes.

Hummingbirds in flight

fly, my pretties, fly!

In iPhone-o-vision

Dec 25, 2015

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Christmas Tree Mite

Holiday Mite

Dec 24, 2015

Mutant bread

Mutant bread

The result of really enthusiastic yeast; I needed to bend the large loaf to fit onto the baking sheet :-)

Dec 22, 2015

Toilet installation day

Our bathroom, updated to the current century with a low-flow toilet instead of the old 10 gpf one

Taking a break because of exhaustion; the old toilet was, not surprisingly, not completely compatible with modern toilet hardware, and to add insult to injury it had 104 years of filth caked over the hardware (the carriage bolts that held the captive flange to the bowl were completely corroded except for a whisker-thin iron core; the 2" steel pipe connecting the tank to the bowl had corroded to paper thinness, which was good because the clampy things connecting it to the bowl and tank were rusted into immobility, and the captive flange had seized to the sewage pipe, so I had to work a putty knife around it it a few times before I cracked enough of the corrosion so I could rotate the flange and thread new carriage bolts through two unused holes) which I needed to chip away so I could unbolt the old bowl and put it to one side before cleaning the floor and installing the new one.

…. after 3 trips to the hardware store for bits and bobs of hardware, including a new feed line because the old one (which was not, thankfully, original to the house) had brittled to the point where it stopped being watertight when I unscrewed it from the old tank.

The toilet seat, which we were thinking of moving over from the old toilet, is still stubbornly attached to the old bowl and I may have to use a sledgehammer to free it tomorrow morning. So the floor will remain grubby (it’s actually been cleaned, but there was a lot of debris to clean up) until then, and we’ll just have to perch birdlike on the edge of the bowl when we need to use the facilities.

(And, man, this low flow toilet is wonderful; when we flush, there’s this little gurgle and swoosh and all of the waste is sucked away instead of the old routine of leaning on the flush lever until the water decides that it really wants to head down the drain instead of swirling around and climbing higher.)