Wildlife 1

A while ago, I had my first recent wildlife encounter. On one of the coldest days of the year, I looked outside and saw a brown furry lump on the edge of the bluff. On closer inspection, it turned out to be a real big rodent. I first thought it was a beaver but it had a straight round tail.

After some research, I discovered it was a nutria. A South American rodent, it was imported to Oregon and is taking over, crowding out the native muskrats and beavers. Evidently, it doesn’t like cold weather and this one looked miserable in the cold.

Great Big Idiot

I wanted to see one of my favorite bands, Great Big Sea, play in Portland.

Last time, it was a pretty spontaneous event. I took a different route home and passed the theater where they were playing later that night. I was surpised to see them on the marquee. I went home, ate dinner as fast as possible, came back, and saw an awesome show. Even cooler, another of my favorite bands, Carbon Leaf, was fronting for them.

Today, the show was sold out when I got there. I knew about it in advance and even wrote it down in my calendar. I should have bought tickets or gotten more details this weekend. I could have even bought tickets online this morning. I wasted time and didn’t get there until 30 minutes before the show started. By which time it was sold out.

San Francisco from the Air

My flight down to San Diego on Christmas Eve stopped in Oakland. I had a window seat with a good view of the Bay Area as we were landing. I got a couple of good photos of San Francisco.

Trains and Snow

Some more interesting pictures from 2005 which I didn’t post at the time. The weekend of 12/17, the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation gave rides on trains pulled by the SP 4449 steam locomotives along the track that goes by Oaks Park across the pond from my place.

I was hoping to take a ride but I had a cold. Instead, I got to hear it blow its whistle and watch the train go by puffing a white cloud. You can see in the photo that half of the Oaks Bottom pond is frozen. That Sunday, it snowed an inch of snow; the second picture has the train going through while it is snowing. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of the snow outside.

Thanksgiving Retrospective

One of the best parts of 2005 which I neglected to post about was Thanksgiving. I flew out to North Carolina and stayed at my brother’s place in Carrboro. My parents and grandfather also flew out. We did the same thing last year but instead of exploring North Carolina, this year we relaxed and saw family. And ate good home-cooked meals.

The best part was seeing my niece Rose for the first time. She was three and a half months at the time. She was very cute and lovable. I loved watching her wiggle her arms.

One cool thing is Neil and Lara’s friends the Olsens visited. Both the Olsen children were old friends; they brought their significant others and their mom came out to spend Thanksgiving with her family.

For Thanksgiving itself, we went to my Uncle Tim and Aunt Judy’s place in Raleigh. There were 14 people at dinner.

The Waters Will Rise

I took my normal walk down to the Willamette River at Sellwood Riverfront Park.
The river was the highest I had seen it. Two years ago, it was almost as high in April but this is January. Normally, there is a beach, then a four foot wall with benches and picnic tables on a flat area on top. There are strairways leading down to the beach.

Today, the water was lapping at the base of the benches. The stairways were completely submerged and flooding on the paths. There is a floating dock which was sticking straight out from shore. It is hard to see in the picture but the river is confused mess with eddies, currents, and debris visible on the surface.

Leap Second

About 28 minutes ago, the first leap second in seven years was inserted. The clock went from 23:59:59 UTC to 23:59:60. Here in Oregon, this happened at 15:59:60. This was done to keep UTC in sync with the sun. The difference between atomic time (TAI) and UTC is now 33 seconds.

Linux handled this automatically. My home server printed out:

Clock: inserting leap second 23:59:60 UTC

Back Home

I got back home from San Diego last night. I had a miserable flight because of the tail end of a cold. I coughed, snuffled, and sneezed my way through the flight.

I didn’t get to enjoy the nice weather in San Diego because of the cold. I didn’t do much while I was home beyond sit on the couch, read, and blow my nose.

My Christmas was pretty low key. Probably becuase the exiciting members of the family were elsewhere. It was just my parents, my grandfather, and myself. We didn’t open presents until nearly noon. We had a nice dinner of turkey and stuffing.

Rebuilding Fedora DVD

I am going home to San Diego tomorrow. One of the things I do every Christmas is upgrade my Dad’s computer to the newest version of Fedora. However, FC4 has been out for six months so there is a whole pile of updates. Instead of downloading all the updates after the upgrade, I wanted to write them to a DVD. Even better, I made a bootable install DVD with the new packages.

First, I prepared the directory with a copy of the original DVD, and copied the update rpms. The repomanage utility in the yum-utils package helped remove the duplicates.

cp 4/i386/os/* rebuild/i386
cp updates/4/i386/* rebuild/i386/Fedora/RPMS
repomanage --old rebuild/i396/Fedora/RPMS | xargs rm

Then, it was time to rebuild the installer. This needs the anaconda and anaconda-runtime packages. The genhdlist creates the hdlist files in the Fedora/base directory. The buildinstall builds all the boot and installer images.

export PYTHONPATH=/usr/lib/anaconda
export PATH="$PATH:/usr/lib/anaconda-runtime"
export FCBASE=`pwd`
date=$(date +%Y-%m-%d)

genhdlist --productpath=Fedora $FCBASE/i386

pkgorder $FCBASE/i386 i386 Fedora | tee $FCBASE/pkgfile.$date
sudo buildinstall --comp dist-4.1 --pkgorder $FCBASE/pkgfile.$date \
--version 4 --product 'Fedora Core' --release 'Fedora Core 4' \
--prodpath Fedora $FCBASE/i386

genhdlist --withnumbers --productpath Fedora \
--fileorder $FCBASE/pkgfile.2005-12-23 $FCBASE/i386

Finally, write the DVD ISO image.

mkisofs -R -J -T -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table \
    -V "FC 4.3 i386 DVD" \
    -A "Fedora Core 4.3 Update $date i386 DVD" \
    -P "Ian Burrell " \
    -p "Ian Burrell " \
    -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/boot.cat -x lost+found \
    -o FC-4.3-i386-DVD.iso i386

Bluetooth HotSync with Linux

It turned out to be really easy to do Bluetooth HotSync from my Treo 650 to my Fedora Core Linux box.

On the Linux box:

service bluetooth start
service dund start

Create the /etc/ppp/peers/dun file:


The first IP address is the local machine and the second is the Treo.

On the Treo 650, open the Prefs, Connection. Create a New connection, with PC, Bluetooth and then select the computer. Next, go to Network prefs. Create a New (from menu) service. Select the Connection you just made. Set your username and password (although I suspect they aren’t needed).

Then, open HotSync. Set the Modem Sync Prefs to Network, the LANSync Prefs to LANSync, put the PC IP address from above in Primary PC Setup box. Finally, select Modem and select your Bluetooth network connection below. Start the HotSync.

On the Linux box, you can run any pilot-xfer command using net:any as the port.

pilot-xfer -p net:any -l

For some reason, HotSync over the Bluetooth serial connection does not work with Linux.