• I've won the part of Wilbur in the (somewhat) nearby Wayne Densch Performing Arts theater's production of Hairspray! First time I've been in a play since high school; I'll bet Mom will be happy I'm using my singing voice again.

    It's taking up a lot of my time, though. Luckily two of my daughters are in the play, too, as ensemble. So we go to a lot of practices together.

    It hasn't cut into my exercise time, though. I'm perfectly set up: I keep track of calories with Lose It!, I take a no-fall Aikido class during lunch hour twice a week (love it!), and I commute 6 miles each way by bicycle twice a week. It's so integrated with my schedule, I can't miss. Heck, I stopped tracking calories over the holidays and still lost two pounds.

    I've also been invited to interview for Amazon. What with the fiscal cliff, I'm thinking a non-government option might be worth having. (I'm not worried for simulation: even if the public eventually realizes that we don't need a huge standing military, we'll want a way to train soldiers quickly and at minimal expense. That's what simulation is all about.)

    To prepare for the interview, I'm studying up on my programming basics and completing at least one interview question every day. I think I'll share the questions with you guys. So every day you'll get a new brain teaser chosen from a site like techinterview or GeeksforGeeks.

    Help me out: think you can do any better than my solutions? Prove it! I love learning, and this project promises something new every day!

  • When I changed web hosting, my emails couldn't be copied (curse you, PowWeb!). I had to back them up myself.

    I do most of my work on the web, so that I have the same data everywhere. To back up the emails, I needed to copy them locally.

    I knew that Thunderbird keeps its emails in the Unix-standard mbox format, and I thought that might be helpful for restoring. A quick survey of other email clients (a dying breed, by the way) didn't discover anything better, so I installed T-bird despite its impending end-of-life.

    Backing up and restoring was surprisingly easy. Here's how I did it.

    Continue reading "Backing Up and Restoring IMAP Email with Thunderbird"

  • Today I moved my website from PowWeb AT LAST.

    I feel like an emotionally abused girlfriend moving out of the apartment. My original problems with PowWeb started in 2009, when they changed a bunch of stuff and everything slowed down. They were unable to help me with even basic support. By 2010, things had improved, and my search for a better webhost had been fruitless, so I renewed at the best value package.

    Little did I realize that they were charging me an extra $45/year to list me in their community directories, a "service" that I never would have authorized. When Eri got the second bill in 2011, she thought it was just a one-year renewal.

    This year we discovered the problem. PowWeb's renewal fee was double the introductory price, and it destroyed my credit card balance. Then we found the "Directory Listing" fees. Then we couldn't reconcile the past credit card statements with PowWeb's invoices. They agreed to refund the charges and stop the directory listings, and I renewed for the shortest term so that I could have some time to find a better webhost.

    THEN they charged me for the original two-year renewal on my new credit card.

    I found a better host: A Small Orange. They don't have an "unlimited" plan -- but nobody does, really. They're just honest about it. They also don't charge me for configuration stuff, like SSH access, or "directory listings": they charge me by the amount of space I use.

    The final insult -- the "you don't know how to be happy" as I run out the door, clutching my suitcase -- was that PowWeb didn't even use cPanel. I've got to backup, transfer, and reconfigure everything by hand.

    Which is progressing pretty well, obviously, if you can read this.

    I hope PowWeb enjoys the $90 they scammed out of me for useless stuff. They'll never see another penny from me.

  • I'm prone to regular sinus infections. Over time, I've come up with a regimen for fighting them off quickly. At the first sign of an impending illness, I:

    1. Medicate with everything: decongestant, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, cough medicine, and expectorant -- whether I need them or not
    2. Drink lots of water
    3. Get lots of sleep
    4. Modify my diet: extra garlic, no sugar

    Yesterday I found out that I've been doing the "no sugar" bit for all the wrong reasons. I'd been told that viruses can only eat sugar, and so cutting sugar from my diet would starve them off. Turns out that's not the case, for embarrassingly obvious reasons: viruses don't eat, they just hijack your cells' machinery to duplicate themselves. They use whatever your normal cells eat.

    That led me to a modification that (in this single incidence and without double-blind or verifiable evidence) finally kicked my current virus out of my system.

    Continue reading "Judebert's New Illness Regimen"

  • Wandering about in the junkyard, looking for parts for the Metro, I came across this interesting Sharpie paint job.


    I also found a '99 LSi Metro 4-cylinder engine. I'd tell the forum, but they've banned me for posting a link to girls in bikinis... on a thread titled, "Global Naked Chicks". Go figure.

    Doesn't look like mine at all! (original)