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Here is how I make pesto:


  • 120g (about 4 oz) fresh basil leaves
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 70ml (about 1/4 c) pine nuts
  • 50gm freshly grated parmesan
  • 160ml (about 3/4 c) extra virgin olive oil

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My internet went down on Saturday. The very friendly and competent folks at Consolidated Communications couldn’t get a truck out to fix it until today (Monday), so we had to spend the weekend limping by with mobile data.

It turns out an animal had chewed through a couple of cables under the house. It’s the first significant failure of my service here in 15 years, and they fixed it quickly and efficiently. Both the phone staff and the field tech were awesome.

“it’s the guns”

This thought from former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum.

freak storm

I dressed this morning for my usual bike ride to work. It was a beautiful spring morning. As I was seeing Joshua and Matthew off to school, I heard thunder crash and saw dark clouds rolling in from the south. “It will pass,” I thought, but by the time I got home from dropping off Matthew it was raining. I changed into more wintery work clothes and had to drive to the office. The temperature peaked at 69°.

Carrot Weather, in her inimitable profane style, tells me that it’s going to be back in the 80’s tomorrow. Back on the bike!

DC916 again

I went to my second Defcon 916 meeting yesterday. They did a great hands-on demonstration of remotely obtaining a root shell on a slightly-misconfigured GNU/Linux web server.

The principles are largely the same as from my hacking days in the 1990’s, but the tools… there’s a brave new world of resources for the would-be pwner.

I also realized it was the first time I’ve done any kind of hacking when there was someone else in the same room.

Caltech pizza

Back in the 1970’s, I was a student at the California Institute of Technology. Many, many things about that institution were extraordinary, but the dorm food service was not.

One of the lunch options was always “pizza.” At least, there were these round food units consisting of a crusty light-brown base, a red paste smeared over it, and a weave of yellow strips on top.

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systemd woes

Yes, I am one of those Linux jockeys who loathe systemd. Why? In a nutshell, I have had more unscheduled downtime directly attributable to systemd than all other downtime combined over the past fifteen years.

I have one whitebox router I built that loses its iptables settings on reboot, leaving this web site and a few others unreachable until I sign on and manually reset the iptables rules. Naturally, I blamed some systemd weirdness. As it turns out, it was due to a small init script I had written to work around a bug  systemd had when it was first released. So, though the mistake was actually mine, it wouldn’t have happened if there hadn’t been an opaque bug in systemd.

I just hope the Devuan gets the ongoing love it deserves.

money clip wallet

I have always wanted a little wallet that was nothing more than a card case and a money clip. Inspired by some designs online, I created and printed one with my 3D printer. The cool thing is that I can keep fiddling with the design to keep it as minimal but functional as possible. I have uploaded the design to Thingiverse.

school lunches

This morning, I made my 1,440th (approximately) school lunch. For years, school lunches were one of the biggest stress points in my life. Sounds silly, I know, but I had to make them early in the morning, I really wanted Joshua and Matthew to find them interesting, I’m picky about food, and it takes a lot of planning to have everything ready every day.

I woke up this morning, thought about the lunches, and realized that after ten years and 1,440 lunches it no longer made me anxious.


I put down a deposit on a Tesla Model 3 today. Matthew will be wanting wheels soon, and my fabulous Honda Civic Hybrid is about to turn ten years old, so it seemed like a thing to do. It could be a couple of years before I actually get one, as they’re a bit behind on their production schedule.

Folks I know who already drive Teslas assure me it’s worth the wait.

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