Category: "General"

Pages: 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 33

11/06/13

  12:12:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 293 words  
Categories: General

The 2013 Chuck Yerkes Award goes to...

Link: https://lopsa.org/content/2013-yerkes-award

...me :cool:

The Chuck Yerkes Award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding individual contributions in [system administration] online forums. It was created after Chuck Yerkes' untimely death in 2004 to memorialize the mentorship he provided countless systems administrators through his helpful and accurate posts to systems administration mailing lists.

Since 2009, LOPSA (The League of Professional System Administrators) determines and presents the award to someone who followed Chuck's example in their contributions to system administration online forums--whether mailing lists, web forums or chat rooms. 2005-2008 awards were presented by the USENIX Association.

According to alerts coming from IRC, I found that I got the award during the "Opening Remarks and Awards" portion at LISA '13 conference in Washington, DC.

I knew I had been nominated, but hadn't heard anything after that...so I'd be curious to see what get's written up on me officially, etc. B-)

Full story »

10/02/13

  02:11:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 164 words  
Categories: General, Healthcare

Its been another 4 months, time for a new eyeglass prescription

Hopefully, this isn't a trend... but rather a strange problem that has now been treated (through the use of Muro 128 at night for the last few weeks and to taper off over the next couple...)

Nov 2003: OD -5.00 -1.00 075       OS -8.00
Apr 2005: OD -4.25 -1.00 080       OS -7.00 -0.75 045
May 2006: OD -4.50 -1.00 055       OS -6.50 -1.00 035
Apr 2008: OD -5.25 -1.00 060       OS -7.25 -1.00 025
Aug 2009: OD -5.00 -0.50 050       OS -7.00 -1.25 030
Oct 2010: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.25 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.25
Nov 2011: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.50 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.50
Feb 2013: OD -4.50 -0.75 040 +1.50 OS -6.75 -0.75 010 +1.50
Jun 2013: OD -5.25 -1.00 060 +1.75 OS -7.00 -0.75 040 +1.75
Oct 2013: OD -5.25 -0.50 060 +1.75 OS -7.25 -0.75 015 +1.75

Wonder if there's enough time to get a new pair of glasses online cheap, before my upcoming trip (Narcolepsy Network Conference). And, to use up the remainder of my limited use FSA, which is kind of surprising to have last this long this year. Probably because of the unstable nature of my eyeglass prescription this year, I didn't get what I really wanted in a second pair of glasses this year. Maybe I'll finally get around to it next year....

Just as long as I can see the best that I can for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who! 8|

09/13/13

  06:24:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 126 words  
Categories: General, Healthcare

Another eye exam, another pair of glasses?

Well, not yet...though I've been having trouble seeing more and more the last few weeks. And, there was a evidentally measurable change in the right eye.

But, today's exam was to see if I might have Glaucoma. Had gotten a retina imaging test back in February, did another today and things look the same, so probably not Glaucoma. Though today my field of vision testing was bad all over, like a more general loss of vision.

Since the shape of my cornea has changed over the last 3 exams, he suspects its changed again though the test wasn't during the initial testing of the appointment. It got done before I left.

Gonna try some eye drops for 2-3 weeks to see if things get better, worse or not.

06/21/13

  06:52:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 522 words  
Categories: General, Healthcare

A shift in my vision

After I got my new glasses after my eye exam back on February 8th, things were great...but gradually they started getting back again, which was some what distressing. Especially since I had also gotten that call about the results of the Retinal Thickness Analyzer (?) showing some thinning and that I needed to plan a follow up test in about 6 months. At first the vision would start getting bad as I was heading home from work, and it subtle...though it would get pretty bad about mid evening.

But, then it was starting to get pretty bad around mid afternoon at work, so I decided I needed to get my eyes rechecked. In the inbetween time of making the appointment and the appointment today, I now feel that my vision starts getting bad before I leave for work, sometimes wonder if I should even bother (though I end up going in anyways and struggle until quitting time...)

So here's the next entry for my prescription progression...

Nov 2003: OD -5.00 -1.00 075       OS -8.00
Apr 2005: OD -4.25 -1.00 080       OS -7.00 -0.75 045
May 2006: OD -4.50 -1.00 055       OS -6.50 -1.00 035
Apr 2008: OD -5.25 -1.00 060       OS -7.25 -1.00 025
Aug 2009: OD -5.00 -0.50 050       OS -7.00 -1.25 030
Oct 2010: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.25 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.25
Nov 2011: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.50 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.50
Feb 2013: OD -4.50 -0.75 040 +1.50 OS -6.75 -0.75 010 +1.50
Jun 2013: OD -5.25 -1.00 060 +1.75 OS -7.00 -0.75 040 +1.75

Somehow my eyes are close to back to where they were in Nov 2011...

Nov 2011: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.50 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.50
Jun 2013: OD -5.25 -1.00 060 +1.75 OS -7.00 -0.75 040 +1.75

There's a slight change in the right eye, and even less of a change in the left eye....reading power another step up....

Seems a really strange jump and not really sure how to explain it. In what feels like an unusually rarity in my life, there hadn't been any medication changes from when I started having problems last fall to no, and no new diagnosis....though the latest problem that I've yet to receive a diagnosis for started mid-October....and it in November that my vision started getting bad (though with LISA and my mom's 70th birthday coming up, and thinking that I wanted to wait until I had FSA money...I had put off getting the eye exam. Plus it wasn't as bad as it has been lately...

As to why the shift...they had done a cornea surface mapping as they have done in all previous exams....and in comparison...my cornea surface was much more pointed in February while my current surface is similar to how it was back in November 2011. Not really sure how that came to be though. But, Optometrist said he would order up new lenses and that there would be no charge. Hopefully, they'll be able to get new lenses already pre cut for my glasses, as these are now my only pair....not having kept any of my old pairs this time around given the big change. (and not yet having gotten around to getting a second pair, because around when I was starting to think that I should get them...was when my vision started getting bad....)

Not sure where I'm at on getting a second pair now....will probably shoot for getting them before the upcoming NN Conference for sure.

Hopefully its not some kind of periodic variation, possibly similar to the variation in my sleep....which appears to still exist even with my Narcolepsy being pretty well controlled with medication now.

04/15/13

  07:59:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 523 words  
Categories: General, Home

Blast it, I missed a payment

I don't know if the stars were against me, the delays in timings at my bank or complacency in expecting everything to work, or something in particular about this time of year. Or, that I've been ignoring the nag screens up buy Quicken 2013...but, it has been general practice for me to only upgrade every 2-3 years, ever since I started with Microsoft Money 98.

The last version of Microsoft Money was "Plus" (AKA 2008), and its electronic capabilities would last at most 3 years, though it started ending sooner as banks stopped supporting it. Though oddly I have an account that only offers csv or ofc (the older Microsoft Money format) for downloads. The newer format OFX started appearing in 1999 with the rush towards Y2K, though the format was devised in 1997 (when I started with Microsoft Money 98)....by Microsoft, Quicken and Checkfree. Though Quicken uses a variant known as qfx.

But, a payment to a card was missed on Friday. >:-(

It had seemed lately that my bank was taking an extra day to update my balance to reflect the direct deposit of my pay, and occasionally the debits from their online bill payment service. Because I usually check all my accounts electronically first thing in my morning....Monday to Friday....(when I'm at home), and I will occasionally check once or twice on the weekend.... There was no activity reported on my account when I checked Friday morning (though there were errors in connecting the days before Friday... Just as two transactions that posted on Saturday to a credit card were missing from this mornings download, but included 4 transactions that posted on Sunday.)

Though it was my understanding the bill payment service pays the bill (a few days before the payment date, when they mail payments on my behalf. Or the day before when they pay my bill electronically. They also have the option to issue a check that drafts directly against my account, which they have done on occasion...such as when I use them to pay doctor bills.) and then debits my account first thing on the day that payment was to reach the biller.

April 12th was payday, and I had a number of bills that were to be paid that day. The total of bills that day, would amount to $17.35 more than my existing balance. But, it is also generally understood that my pay is also reflected first thing and before the debits of the day.

Though now that I think of it, I was told that this is how things were done at my bank in Ohio, and I just assumed that things worked that way now that I'm in Kansas.

Also in years past...with my previous bank account...there was a quirk in transaction downloads, which I presume was an artifact that the download has transactions time stamped in local time, but don't contain timezone information. Resulted in transactions appearing to occur early during standard time. Likely because the bank was headquartered in Indiana...so when Ohio is experiencing eastern daylight time, it is matched to Indiana's staying with central standard time all year. Though I guess moving to Kansas was what fixed that glitch....

:**:

03/25/13

  09:57:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 42 words  
Categories: General

I called it right ... Federal Tax Refund Received

Since my State refund appeared on the Thursday, March 21st....it seemed to follow that my Federal refund should appear two days later...or rather two bank days later...so Monday, March 25th.

Sure enough....that's when it appeared.

What did I pre-spend it on now?

03/21/13

  09:02:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 507 words  
Categories: General, Quicken/TurboTax

State Tax Refund Received

I received my State Tax Refund...only 5 calendar days since my return was reported as accepted. TurboTax had said allow up to 21 days. There was a year where there was a budget crisis...though it doesn't seem to have ended yet....where they were threatening to not pay income tax refunds....or severely delay them.

Though it wasn't that huge of a delay by the time I filed.

Wonder when I'll get my Federal Tax Refund.... TurboTax said 9 out of 10 got refunds in under 21 days last year, though when I did my taxes last year, TurboTax said 7-14 days. Which was pretty much spot on....I got my Federal refund 7 days after I filed....the state refund came 5 days after filing.

So, if things hold....my Federal should appear on Monday.

Full story »

03/17/13

  03:10:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1773 words  
Categories: General, Computer, Home, Windows, FreeBSD, VirtualBox, Quicken/TurboTax

Did my taxes for 2012

Like I do every year, I bought TurboTax Premier Federal + E-File + State 2012 as a PC Download from Amazon.com back on Jan 18th, in part due to sale email from TurboTax. But, probably should've waited, because its cheaper now. Not sure why PC download is so similar in price to buying PC/Mac package. And, wasn't sure if I would still be on a PC.

In fact, I haven't had a physical Windows machine for almost 10 months now. Last year I did my taxes in a Windows XP VirtualBox VM on orac, since I had evolved to running Quicken in different XP VirtualBox VMs and using Dropbox to house my Quicken datafile. My first XP VM was on my laptop....and I spent part of Gallifrey One 2011 getting Quicken up and running in that VM and recovering my Quicken data. Where it seemed the best place to put the file was in my Dropbox. Have since adjusted things to make that work better to mostly cope with the locking issues between Quicken and Dropbox. I set up the one on orac which is where I did 'Windows' for about 9 months, and still use on occasion due to the lack of USB 2.0 support for VirtualBox on FreeBSD.

Though on zen, I have a Windows 7 VM (and still own another Windows 7 copy that I don't know where I'm going to put to use, just as I have a couple copies of XP still...been planning to put the 64-bit XP one into a VM on zen...but it hasn't happened yet.) Perhaps when I finally do get my Mac, I'll use some copies there.

Anyways...I would fire up TurboTax now and then, to see it get updates. Always thought it strange that after it said it was done that it would say that it was restarting TurboTax, but not. So, I never did more than see what updates it was getting.

But, I had intended to start my taxes last weekend...where DST began, though that turned out to be a bit of a weird weekend so I didn't get to it. I had actually intended the weekend before DST, but that also didn't pan out. But, seems tradition has been 2nd or 3rd weekend of March lately.... It is also for some reason the weekend that they always bring down HRIS for upgrades. As it happened this year, I did want to go on there and check something....

So, Friday night at 10pm I fired up TurboTax to see what updates, there were a lot. Been kind of unsettling lately...especially after the IRS Notice I got last year, which I dealt with using the services of Tax Resources...but it might have been a variation of a TurboTax bugs -- "Federal 2010: Customers with certain 1099-R retirement distribution codes" or "Federal 2010: Qualified Pension Conversion and Rollover" -- so I probably should've gotten TurboTax to take the heat for it.

Of course, TurboTax has had other issues in the past, and yet I stay with it year after year....

Full story »

02/08/13

  04:42:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 307 words  
Categories: General, Healthcare

The result of my latest Eye Exam

So, since my Narcolepsy Diagnosis, I've been having vision problems...since September. I suspected that some of it was due to my medication, and I did find that I was right...but learned from Facebook before the NN Conference in October that what I was experiencing was more associated as a side effect of my stimulant than the other. I might be starting too strong with it in the morning.

Making a change on that front, brought about an almost immediate improvement....and while at the conference, I learned of another thing to adjust and that also made for a pretty quick improvement.

However, I still felt that my prescription had changed...but didn't feel like I could get an eye exam and new glasses done in time for LISA, so I put it off....except I guess I put it off too long...because I finally got the eye exam today....but, I'm off to Gallifrey One next week. Not enough time to get a new pair of glasses. Manhattan, KS needs an 1 hour place....though do they do computer progressives in an hour? No, I need my own time machine.

So, here's the updated progression...

2003: OD -5.00 -1.00 075 OS -8.00
2005: OD -4.25 -1.00 080 OS -7.00 -0.75 045
2006: OD -4.50 -1.00 055 OS -6.50 -1.00 035
2008: OD -5.25 -1.00 060 OS -7.25 -1.00 025
2009: OD -5.00 -0.50 050 OS -7.00 -1.25 030
2010: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.25 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.25
2011: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.50 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.50
2013: OD -4.50 -0.75 040 +1.50 OS -6.75 -0.75 010 +1.50

With the updated equipment at there...they could show me very quickly what my vision is like with old prescription and new prescription, and how things compare with and without the reading power.

The large improvement in my right eye, seems to have contributed to generally poor vision distance and computer.

How will I survive now through Gallifrey One ??? We shall see...perhaps :roll:

Wonder if this will be the year to finally get prescription sunglasses, hopefully I won't be buying 3 pairs of eyeglasses in one year...to only have one good pair still. Though the big change also means I don't have any spares....

02/05/13

  08:10:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 428 words  
Categories: General, Networking

Pinterest supports Internet Censorship

It has been about 20 months since I took the EFF Tor Challenge:

Operate a Tor relay to help Tor users all over the world!

Activists worldwide use Tor to protect their anonymity online and to circumvent Internet censorship. But they all rely on a limited number of user-provided "relays" to protect themselves and communicate with others. Internet users worldwide need your help to make the Tor network stronger and faster, so take the Tor Challenge today!

From this I initially set up two Tor relays....initially one with a limited set of exits and one with no exits (middle relay). For more info see: What is a Tor relay?

But, FreeNode blocks exit relay IPs that could access any of their systems....that includes port 80/http. Instead they run a hidden service that would allow a Tor user to connect to IRC via Tor....and say:

We appreciate your accessing Freenode via the Tor hidden service. If you'd like to help us maintain quality access, please consider providing "middleman" bandwidth to the Tor network. Just set your host up as a Tor server and specify how much bandwidth you want to provide.

I did irssi connecting to the hidden service as an experiment....while waiting for the exit relay block to expire. I continued to run irssi this way for a while, until I got tired of doing so.

Since then, Tor wise, I'm playing around with running an anonymous bridge in AWS.....currently costing under $1 each month on the free tier...for bandwidth overages. I'm wondering what it'll be after my free-tier expires, and what would happen if I were to move to another region. Though I guess its deploy new in another region and remove old, since the images have updated a number of times since my initial deployment that there have already been occasions where my image has had trouble staying current.

And, then recently I got stopped from accessing Pinterest, with "the we've detected a bot!", "because Bots may be resource-intensive and slow down Pinterest for other users."

After some email exchanges, they responded that:

Pinterest blocked access because the IP address originating traffic hosts a public Tor node. If you are knowingly hosting a public Tor node, we cannot ensure continued access if traffic coming through your node is malicious.

But, since its a middle relay, the only traffic originating from my IP address to Pinterest is me. So, they're censoring anybody that supports Tor and its use "as a method for whistleblowers and human rights workers to communicate with journalists"....

Guess, they're a strong supporter of Internet Censorship!

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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