The anti-spam plugins have stopped being effective. Registration is back to requiring approval. After registering, you must ALSO email me with your username, so that I can manually approve your account.

Main Menu

Show posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Show posts Menu

Topics - Xepher

Announcements / Server Move
March 24, 2010, 04:44:01 AM
UPDATE UPDATE: FRAK! Well, that didn't go so well, did it? Long story short, we moved 2 more times in the past 24 hours. I think we're settled down finally. I've been up 30 hours right now, and I'll make a new post later tonight or maybe tomorrow that'll be LONG and explain everything that happened.

UPDATE: Move is complete. So far, bumpy ride, and there've been some issues and brief outages. I'm tuning things to try and make it work better on the new system. Please let me know if/when you run into problems.

Fasten your seatbelts, we're about to move to a new server. has been hosted on a discounted plan I got through my old employer, and now that discount is going away. As such, I'm going to have to find a new home for everything. Thankfully things are all virtual these days, so it should be just a matter of finding a new host and transferring the data. I expect it to be mostly seamless, with a few interruptions in service here and there, maybe a couple hours downtime at most. There's always the chance things could go south though, so I'm giving as much notice as I can here. I just found out a few hours ago myself. Worst case though, I do have full, nightly backups of everything on my own PC here though, so no matter what happens, all the data is safe, and I will get it all back up and working sooner rather than later.

The good news about still being unemployed though, is that I have plenty of free time to work on this. :-) The move may happen as soon as tomorrow, so by the time some of you read this, it might already be past tense. In any case, keep an eye on this thread for updates, and if is unreachable, feel free to ping me for status updates on AIM/Gtalk/YahooIM... my screenname is Xepher42.
General Chat / Internet Age
March 05, 2010, 09:44:51 AM
So I realized that I'm a geezer in internet years... I mean, "All your base" is my standby, and that's ancient, but before that, there was the original meme: All I can find is a remix version, but if this make you feel nostalgic, welcome to the dark ages. :-)
Announcements / Another Ski Trip!
February 22, 2010, 09:21:53 AM
Yeah, I take a lot of vacations... one of the benefits of being unemployed! :-) This time it's to Crested Butte, which just got like 3 feet of snow this week. Should be quite awesome. Anyway, regular comments apply... some internet, but I plan to be skiing and drinking, not web surfing. I'm leaving tomorrow (Tuesday morning) and 'll be back sometime between the 1st and the 3rd of March. See ya'll then.
General Chat / Breadgasm
February 11, 2010, 10:17:58 AM
So, I've recently decided to try my hand at baking. I know it's not the manliest of pursuits, but I love EATING baked goods, and I also love the DIY ethic, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I had a few mediocre successes -- bread that was decent, but really kinda plain -- but yesterday I finished something that's positively addicting. I mean it... I've been having to literally force myself out of the kitchen to keep from just chomping the entire loaf in one go. It's a sweet, white bread, perfect with butter. It also happens to be really easy to make. As such, I'm going to outline it here, in case anyone else wants to try it.


2 cups warm water
3/4 cup white sugar
1.5 tablespoons dry yeast
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

Notes: Sugar can be slightly less if you want, and salt could probably tend slightly more. Bread flour is not QUITE the same as "all purpose" flour. It has more gluten/protein in it. It tends to make better bread, and only costs a few cents more, but you can make do with whatever you have in a pinch, though you may need slightly more of it.


1. Put the water in a big mixing bowl (from your power mixer if you have one, if not, biggest bowl you have) and mix in the sugar. We need it to be about 110° F after that, so microwave it if it's not warm enough. If you don't have a thermometer, it needs to feel hot to the touch, but not actually "burning". Think "The hottest hot tub" you can stand.
2. Add the yeast to the sugar water, by sprinkling it evenly over the surface of the water. Go play smash bros. for 15 minutes or so.
3. The yeast should make a brown foam about an inch thick that cover the entire surface of the water. If it does, you're good to go. If not, start over, and buy new yeast.
4. Add the oil to the sugar water.
5. If possible, mix the salt into the first cup or two of flour. You don't want to add it directly to the yeast/water, or it'll kill it off. If you're feeling lucky, just mix it in a bit at a time as you add the flour.
6. Add the flour a cup at a time or so, and stir it in evenly. It'll tend to clump, so you just keep stirring.
7. Eventually, it's gonna get really thick and paste-like. It'll pull away from the sides of the bowl and seem slighly lumpy. If you've got 5 cups or more in, it may be time to use your hands (my spoon was bending at this point.)
8. Mix in the final flour with your hands, kneading the dough and using the main ball of it to scrape the dry flour from the sides of the bowl.
9. When you get down to only a few spoons of flour left, find a clean surface (dough sheet ideally, or really clean/dry countertop) and sprinkle the flour on it.
10. Knead the dough for at least five minutes. This means smash it flat/away from you with your palms, fold it over, rotate it a bit, and smash it again. Repeat that a lot. You can add slightly more flour dust to keep things from sticking.
11. After five minutes or so, and when the dough seems evenly smooth, stop. Clean/dry the bowl, then oil it. That means spray it with pam or something, or rub with vegetable oil. Ball up the dough into a smooth, round shape and set it in the bowl, then cover it with plastic wrap, or, at least, a wet towel. Put it someplace warm-ish.
12. Give it an hour. It should double in size or so. If you have a plastic bowl and your house is around 70°f, great. If it's colder, or metal, it may take longer.
13. Flour your surface again, and dump the dough out. Put some oil on a sharp knife and cut it in half. Knead each half just a bit more (to get rid of the "cut" edge) and flatten into a rectangle about the size of a 9x5 bread pan. Fold the ends over, and fold the rectangle in half. Pinch the seam together and roll it a bit. You're making a lump slightly shorter and narrower than the pan. Oil the pan, and set the loaf in the center of it, seam side down. Do that for both loaves.
14. Cover the loaves with more plastic or wet towel, and let them rise another 30-45 minutes. They should rise about an inch above the top of 9x5 bread pans.
15. At this point, it's baking time. Preheat to 350°f (or 325°f in a convection oven) and put 'em about 2/3 of the way down. Make sure there's several inches of clearance on top (raise/remove the top rack) as the bread really rises high.
16. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Keep an eye on the top color. It should be brown but not burned.
17. Pull the loaves out, and immediately turn/dump them out of the pans and let them cool in the open so they don't get soggy.

To eat, cut a nice slide, and slather it in real, salted butter. It's absolutely delicious. After the bread cools for an hour or so, stick it in a plastic bag (simple grocery sacks work great) and leave it at room temp. Later, you can slice it easy, add some fridge-temp slice, and just microwave for 30 seconds (and spread the butter) to get that same fresh-from-the-oven taste.

Next time, I'm gonna try using butter instead of oil, for both the recipe and for the pans, as well as brush on some butter when they come out of the oven. It would be nice to get a little bit of that baked in, so you don't need as much added later. If anyone tries this, lemme know, I'm curious how it works for other people.
General Chat / Flying 101
February 10, 2010, 06:22:06 AM
Will sent me this earlier... I laughed, and had to share.
Announcements / Ski Trip
January 30, 2010, 03:46:04 PM
I'm off, once again, to go have some fun. Going to ski in Breckenridge for the week. Should be back on Friday (the 5th) or so. I'll have some internet access, so I'll keep an eye on things, I just won't be reviewing applications or anything. Email is probably the best way to get a hold of me if something comes up though. See ya!
Announcements / Bandwidth Use Issues
December 22, 2009, 05:26:04 PM
EDIT: Finally found it... been digging on this for two days. Turns out, I made a really dumb mistake a few weeks ago. See below for updates.

Something is causing a huge spike in bandwidth use this month. I'm about to go over the prepaid amounts bought for the server. I don't think it's any sort of normal use that's doing this, as I'm having a hard time tracking it down. It looks like it might be caused by incoming data, rather than stuff served out. As a temporary measure, I've suspended all OUTGOING traffic on port 80. This means your scripts won't be able to grab remote images and such to process them. Mostly this may break some RSS parsers and such. If you have something that broke, let me know. Most of you shouldn't notice a change though. If this doesn't shake out the problem though, I may have to try some other stuff while tracking it down, and it could be slightly disruptive while I poke around in things. I'll let you know if anything major is going to happen though.
General Chat / Google Wave
December 03, 2009, 05:00:58 PM
I haven't really seen much of it, but I'm intrigued by the idea. That said though, I fear it might not exactly be the next gmail. It reminds me in many ways of the early Microsoft "Active Desktop" push, along with IE's "push" websites. Nothing caught on there until years later when RSS feeds finally took off. Wave seems like it might be useful, but only in the same way AIM is... that is to say, it only works if everyone is using it.

Anyway, thanks to a friend, it appears I now have some invites to hand out. So if you're raring to get your paws on the newest google noun/verb, lemme know, and I'll toss a few out here. If, on the other hand, all of this was gibberish to you, then don't panic... you'll likely never miss it. :-)
Announcements / Xepher's Moving (Again!)
December 02, 2009, 05:12:17 AM
It's a short/easy move this time though. From San Antonio over to Houston. Shouldn't affect at all, and really, I just felt like making an announcement. :-)
Announcements / Blocked Email Issues
November 14, 2009, 11:23:18 PM
Some of you may have noticed that many emails have been getting bounced when you try to send from to other services over the past few days. Turns out the datacenter where the server is got their entire range added to the Spamhaus PBL. This is a kind of blacklist, and it specifically says "these IPs are dynamic (they change ownership frequently), for home and other use, and shouldn't be sending email." I requested an unblock a couple days ago, and it went through, but as they work to resolve the issue as a whole, it looks like the server got whitewashed with the rest of them, and back onto the list. I've again gotten it removed, and hopefully it'll stick this time. If not, I'll continue to work on getting it resolved. Believe me, this is more annoying to me than anyone... I (obviously) use this for all my own mail. :-)
General Chat / Wild Things
November 04, 2009, 10:49:02 AM
I just saw "Where the wild things are"... I thought it was pretty good. I love the cinematography, and the way even the most absurd stuff (hitting owls with rocks) could be taken seriously. Anyone else have opinions?
Announcements / Outage
November 02, 2009, 12:14:55 AM
Update: Second outage (0700 UTC Nov. 3rd) is not my fault. :-P The datacenter lost power and all servers there went offline. It's now back up as of 20 minutes ago.

My apologies for the outage today. The webserver was offline about 12 hours (exactly during the period where I was asleep.) It looks like it tried to restart as per normal due to monthly log rotations, but something prevented it from coming back up correctly. Unfortunately, I don't really know why, as it's an error I've not seen before.

It's back up now, and I'll be keeping a close eye on it. I'll try some troubleshooting later in the night to see if I can narrow down the cause. Thanks to all of you who IMed me letting me know there was a problem... If I'd been anywhere but asleep, I would've gotten to it much quicker.
General Chat / Music Videos
October 10, 2009, 02:05:35 PM
Okay, so let's post music videos. They can be posted for being a cool video AND/OR being cool music. Bad videos with good music still count.

To start:
General Chat / What are YOU doing with your life?
September 26, 2009, 04:55:37 AM
This kid apparently plays half a dozen instruments, recomposes songs, and sings in 3 languages.

I, on the other hand, was proud to play Row Row Your Boat on a telephone. :-/
Announcements / Application Backlog Now Processed
September 24, 2009, 08:07:14 AM
I've finally managed to go and review all the outstanding applications. If you were waiting for a response, please check the forums. A few approvals were done, and a few further inquiries. Having no day job is AWESOME! Now I just have to figure out what to do with my life.
General Chat / I Quit My Job! (Again!)
September 01, 2009, 05:26:06 PM
So, the last tech job I had was chronicled in this thread and it lasted only 8 weeks and ended with much hate. This current job was way better, and I kept it the full year I promised myself I would. I gave my notice at the start of last week (written on my "happy one year at the company" balloon actually.) So this week is my last at the company. It's actually the longest I've ever held a job and I think I may even miss some aspects of it, and definitely the people, so it feels kinda bitter sweet. The problem was just the job itself... fixing computer problems all day for other people... was never going to be satisfying enough.

Anyway, I'm now going to be unemployed and looking for what to do next in life. I've saved up about $25K over the past year, so I have enough of a cushion there to move pretty much wherever and get started doing whatever I want. My thoughts right now are to move someplace "awesome" and probably go back for my Master's in Creative Writing... stick around at school and eventually become an english professor maybe. The main question I have is WHERE to go for that. Part of it is a school with a decent program, but the majority of the question is where I actually want to move to. I'd love to have some cool weather and mountains again, but mostly I want to live someplace that's good to live. A town that's not TOO big, but with some culture... a music scene maybe, but at least some people my age (late 20s-30s) that aren't all drop-outs or whatnot.

Bottom line is I'm really excited to do something new... just gotta figure out what. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Where's a cool place to live (if you could)?
Announcements / Another Vacation!
June 29, 2009, 04:43:26 PM
Update: I'm back!

This time, I'm going to Costa Rica for a couple of weeks: July 17th through August 1st. While I'm gone, Will-san will be keeping an eye on things, though that's really just for emergency stuff. He won't be approving applications or anything like that.
General Chat / Let me google that for you...
June 12, 2009, 03:35:35 PM
Found this the other day... really great for being a jackass when people ask dumb questions. You can enter a search, you get the link, and send it to them. It then chides them by typing out the search for them. :-P
Announcements / Vacation!
May 06, 2009, 10:36:36 PM
I'm going on vacation next week, starting Saturday the 9th and coming back the following Saturday. I likely won't have net access for most/all of that time, as I'll be on a cruise in the Carribean. This shouldn't affect anything, as the new server seems rock solid, though applications are going to be delayed further, since I won't have time to get to any of them before I leave. If you have any last minute requests for support or things you need done, get them in within the next day or so. Otherwise, I'll see you all when I get back.
Apparently the captcha thing no longer works well enough at preventing spam, so I'm switching the forums to require approval from me on new member registrations. I've not used this before, so if it seems like you're being ignored or not being approved, feel free to email me (admin@...) and ask me to approve things. Make sure to include the forum username/email you used to register.

In the long run, I need to find something better for this, so let me know if you have any ideas on how to keep out the spammers.

EDIT: I'm being kinda biased here, but if you're in Asia/India, Africa, Russia, or Eastern Europe, I probably won't approve your registration unless you specifically email me about it.