Mostly about my amusement

Month: July 2013 (page 1 of 1)

“By the end of the war it was deemed inadequate”

Today we went to a nearby shopping outlet (I got sandals) and they had a section for the Museum of American Armor. This is an off shoot of the American Airpower Museum which the kids and I visit a lot.

My 11 year old son is a WWII armor vehicle buff. He looked at a vehicle labeled the M-8 Greyhound and started explaining that the placard said wasn’t for that vehicle. That vehicle on display was the British Bren Carrier.

This impressed the museum guide and when he got to the 57mm anti-tank canon my son replied like so.

Yes, but by the end of the war it was deemed inadequate. The 57mm anti-tank canon was adequate for fighting earlier German tanks like the Panzer I, II, and III. The Panther had thick sloped armor that shells would bounce off. They got the idea from the Russian T-34/76 tank.

Seriously, he said that. I just asked him to repeat it in case I got it wrong.

He’s been reading and has a few books on the topic and for the last couple of years has become an expert.

The museum guide was wowed and suggested that he should sign up to give tours. I think that’s a great idea and it would really build a lot of confidence for him. Hopefully next spring the museum will break ground in Bethpage and we’ll visit them regularly. In the meanwhile we’ll see the armor on display at the American Airpowered Museum this Labor Day weekend.

19 Years ago today

Time goes by but it doesn’t feel like it does. Lily and I have been married for 19 years today.

What was it like back then?

  • 19 years ago I was threatening Lily’s maid of honor with physical harm for being late and holding us up.

It all worked out for the best and we’re still great friends.

  • 19 years ago my best man was making jokes on the altar while I was attempting to look serious in a rented monkey suit.

It was a Catholic mass. When he got married in a Tibetan Buddhist ceremony I paid him back by standing next to him and treating the priest’s chanting like it was something you dance to.

  • 19 years ago Father Felix’s homily described our future life as me being married to June Cleaver.

We laughed as she’s not like that at all and none of the women in my family are either. That is such a good thing. I like being married to a modern woman.

  • 19 years ago Lily and I almost dropped to the floor coming down the aisle together.

Her family thought those loud party poppers were a good idea in said Catholic church. That’s how they ended the ceremony with organ music and a big bang. We thought people were shooting at us.

It’s all the same and it’s all different.

There have been changes in the scenery meaning we’ve moved.

Our family has gained and lost members in that time and not everyone is still with us from that day. I don’t like to dwell on that as I learned too early that life goes on.

We’ve a boy and a girl. Raising a daughter scares me. I grew up with 3 brothers and a squad of cousins, there were very few girls in my family. Our son is a handful but so was I.

We’ve both changed but we’ve both stayed exactly the same. I’ve always felt like I have known her my entire life and I totally mistake that she wasn’t around for the first 21 years.

We usually don’t celebrate our anniversaries and we laugh together when we realize that we’ve missed one again.

19 years of being married? I would not change a thing and would do it all over again without hesitation. That’s got to be the best recommendation for married life that I can say. It’s been great and I’m still head over heels crazy for her.

Even though she’s married to a big kid I’m reasonably confident she feels the same way. I’ll ask her again, you know, just to make sure.

In our time together I’ve learned to reach for the stars and I look forward to at least 50 more anniversaries to come.

50 years is a good target. With Lily I can accomplish anything.

Namecheap dynamic DNS setup with ddclient

I recently received an e-mail from my free dynamic DNS provider that said I can upgrade for a fee or I can every month login and re-validate that I’m still using their service.

As I’ve been mooching off of them for over 8 years I really can’t blame them and I fully understand this change.

When I moved my domains to Namecheap one of the options they provide is dynamic DNS so that’s the solution for me. But my FIOS router doesn’t support Namecheap so I setup ddclient on my basement Linux server.

Using Namecheap’s support forum I found what I needed. This post is really my note to myself for when I wipe out my Linux server again and I wonder “How did I do that again?”

Enable Dynamic DNS for your domain

Login to your Namecheap control panel and enable dynamic DNS for your domain. You’ll get a really long password string to use. Save that for now as you’ll need it later on.

Create the DNS entry you want for your host as an A record

I created it with an entry of just as place holder. I’m not sure if this step is really necessary as dynamic DNS should let you create new entries on the fly. But Namecheap’s page says to do it and there’s no harm in prepping for that A record.

Install the ddclient package on your Linux server

I’m using Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS and the command is simply

sudo apt-get install ddclient

The debconf setup will ask you some questions, just put in what you like. You’ll need to change those values in /etc/ddclient.conf anyway.

Modify the ddclient.conf file

My /etc/ddclient.conf looks like this.

# ddclient.conf
# namecheap
use=web,, web-skip='IP Address'

Details have been changed to protect the innocent.

Don’t mess with the server= line, they’re not being cute that really is the name of the dynamic DNS client end point.

The debconf settings that were put in previously won’t work so I deleted /var/cache/ddclient/ddclient.cache and re-ran ddclient manually.

$ sudo rm /var/cache/ddclient/ddclient.cache
$ sudo ddclient
SUCCESS:  updating my-server: good: IP address set to

Cool. My server in on my private network so I’m using what my IP address looks like to the outside world.

The ddclient is running as a daemon and when my DHCP assigned IP changes (FIOS does that frequently, no idea why) my basement server will still be resolvable as The client will run as long as my server is booted. I use that for testing dumb and harmful ideas and it’s always on.

DNS tranquility has been restored to my world.

You are there and I am not

This afternoon I had an appointment in Chinatown and when it was over I text messaged Lily to let her know I’m headed home.

Her reply should not have surprised me.

Can you get me some longan?

This is not really a good idea. I may have come back with cat food for all I know about fruit. Longan is a fruit right?

So I text back my “concerns” and get another not surprising reply.

You are there and I am not.

The cart on corner of Canal and Mulberry right next to the bank and Kam Man… The one I usually go to.

There is no reasoning with some people. I called her and walked over. Canal is crazy with vistors this time of year and it was more crowded than ever. It was $5 per lb and that was considered a good price. What do I know about how much it costs? I asked for 2 lbs.

The man started scooping up the loose longan for weighing. Full stop! I wanted the longan that was grouped together on the branch. I may not know anything about fruit but I do know that I’d really get it if I brought that home.


So now I’m headed home, typing this up, taking photos and sharing this from the train. Technology is grand but it’s no substitute for someone getting you the fruit you wanted.

I just hope Lily and our girl like it. Me and the boy won’t touch this stuff.