Mostly about my amusement

Month: November 2008 (page 1 of 2)

Dead Xbox 360 MTU issue

For months my Xbox 360 has been complaining about the MTU being too small on my Internet gateway. This meant no updates and Xbox Live stopped working. I’ve been busy so I did not give it much thought.

My brother Alek bought a new one  for his apartment and hooked it up at my house.  I figured that the MTU problem was an issue with my old Xbox 360. Naturally it wasn’t.  His had the same problem so I looked at my Linux gateway.  Running ifconfig on my server showed me that the MTU on the external interface was set to 576.

How did that happen? I thought it defaulted to 1500. I ran the command “ifconfig eth1 mtu 1500” and that fixed the problem right away.  On my openSUSE server I edited the file /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-eth1 and made the MTU line read MTU=’1500′. This way when my box reboots the MTU setting should go to 1500.

After that was done, Alek was able to download the “new Xbox Experience”.  The irony is that Friday night my Xbox 360 finally gave up the ghost and died.  It’s out of warranty so I’ll be heading to Best Buy to get the holiday bundle.

First model my son built

The set of First Grade 1/144 models from Hobby Search came today and my son wanted to get started.  After dinner we sat down and he got to work. I think he did pretty well for someone almost 7 years old.


All I had to do was show him how to clip the pieces off the plastic mold and make sure he followed the instructions in order.  Except for helping him with the torso, he assembled the whole thing himself.

As he got closer to completing the model he wanted to skip ahead but I was able to convince him to keep to the instructions. I know how he feels; I like to jump around too.

In the middle of assembling his model, he realized that he was working on Char’s Zaku II.  I’m working on the MG version and that got him excited. He completed his model and wants to do more.

We’ll work on a few more FG models before trying the speed grade models. He’s very proud of his work and so am I.

“Let’s go to a different cemetery”

Today we observed the anniversary of a close relative’s death by visiting the cemetery and leaving offerings (Chinese family members).  It’s very respectful and Lily and I want our children to understand the reasons for this.

But my five year old girl is sick and the place we were going to is very cold.  She would have gotten much worse so we left her at home.  After the visit the whole family went to Flushing to eat, did some shopping and we came home around 4 P.M.

She was still upset about it.  I once again explained that where we went was very cold and she would have been miserable.  I promised that next time we go, she will come too (if she is not sick again).

She: It was very cold?

Me: Yes, windy and freezing.

She: Let’s go to a different cemetery. Once that has heating.

What could I say to that?

Got some Speed Grade models

Gundam Speed Grade Collection

My soon to be 7 year old son is fascinated whenever I build a model.  He really enjoys just watching me and examining the parts I put together. It’s part of that whole son dad thing and I like him watching me too.

His school teacher wants him to work on things that have  step by step instructions to get him to work on his patience.  She knows about the models so we agreed that I would work with him on some easy models.  After looking some over with him, I ordered a set of  Speed Grade models, 2 of each, and tomorrow I’ll start one with him.

It’s going to be interesting.  I’ve explained that he will make mistakes and should not get frustrated.  He is really pumped about working with me on this.  He knows the difference between models and toys and I know he’ll work on this seriously. Today we picked up some clippers so he can remove the pieces from the mold.

These are pre-painted and meant for small kids. Once we’ve completed one I’ll post it on Flickr.

Not Gundam models

I ordered some 1/144 scale FG models from Hobby Search and was excited to see they arrived. I ordered 6 and each one was 285 yen, so with EMS shipping charge of 2,800 yen I spent ~$47.

tamiya-truckWhat I actually got instead of 6 FG Gundam models was two Tamiya 1/48 scale German 3ton 4×2 Cargo Truck Kfz. 305 each worth 1,900 yen.  All six FG models combined were 1,710 yen.

Gah. I’ve never been into WWII models and I’m out my 6 FG models. I’ll e-mail Hobby Search and see what they want to do.  They’re in Japan so this should be fun. I’ve ordered from them before and never had any problems.

Somewhere someone probably received my 6 models and is miffed that they did not get the two trucks.

Update: Hobby Search is the best. I sent an e-mail to them and they replied almost immediately.  All they have requested is that I send them a picture of what they shipped to me which I just did.

Might not be a civil liberties problem

I like the ACLU and by extension the NYCLU.  I think that people questioning their government is the right thing to do and civil liberties are very important.

But sometimes I read something like this and I think that they should prioritize what they spend their efforts and attention on.  Here is a quote:

”When a guy with nothing more than a chair in his hands ends up dead, that raises lots of questions about the propriety of a police shooting,” said Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “When a guy like that ends up dead, you definitely have to ask yourself, ‘How can that be?’”

via Police Defend Shooting of Man Swinging a Chair –

There are cases of Police shooting people under questionable circumstances. Those need to be addressed and made right but that’s a different problem.  Civil liberties groups perform a valuable service to us all when they ask questions of the government and try to hold officials to the law.

Here’s why I think this case is not a good one for the civil liberties groups: the officer was in real danger and that apparently warranted her discharging her weapon. At that point the confrontation was over and sadly someone died.

Guns are lethal weapons and if the officer tried to “shoot to wound” then she may have hit a bystander.  TV and movies play up the idea that you can shoot someone and disarm or just wound them but that really romanticizes guns.

Guns kill, that’s what they are designed for. Last time I checked, the NYPD did not hire professional wrestlers or martial artists.  NYPD are trained for physical confrontation but they have to measure the risk and keep people out of harms way including themselves.

When a Police officer discharges their gun, they are supposed to do so aiming for the center of the targets body mass.  No movie scenes, no John Wayne moments, and someone will end up seriously wounded or dead. There are alternatives such as using a Taser, but how is that working out?

Watching the shower get fixed

Yesterday Lily stayed at home and got the contractors started on our bathroom.  They have done work for us before and don’t need us but we wanted to start off right.

Today it was my turn so I took a day off and ran errands.  Me and the owner of the contracting company went to Home Depot looking for tiles.  The ride there was fun.  I was the passenger explaining how to get to Home Depot and the driver spoke English very poorly.

The Home Depots around here don’t really have much selection of tile so I ended up buying the tiles from a local seller.  The store did not have it in stock, so I took a 15 mile ride by myself to their warehouse.  I had to get 7 boxes of tiles.

The ride was in my MINI Cooper and my only GPS was my iPhone.  It was in Old Westbury and when I got to a light I pulled out my iPhone and checked my position in the GPS.

Drive, stop, check GPS. I must have been the poster boy for why you can’t use cell phones while driving.

Once I got there I filled up the back of the MINI and came home.

Oh sure, it’s just a little leak

Broken shower

We thought we had a little leak in the shower faucet.  After we started looking at the damage it became apparent that it was much more than we thought.

The ceiling in the living room below was showing some water damage but not like this.  The board behind the tiles was not water proof, so very little cracks in the grout caused the beams to get soaked.  It’s probably been going on for months.

. . .

Oh well, we’ll get this fixed and repair the room below.  It’ll be nice to not worry about the this anymore but gah, you never have small problems when you own a house.