Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

(this is going to be a rambling affair, so feel free to tl;dr)

God has blessed me and my family beyond all reason.  Really.  We aren't deserving of all that he's given us, and so, we work hard to share His blessings as much as we can.  This great big house is more than the four (now three, with Josh at school) of us need, but when Josh brings over his dorm floors to watch football, or for their yearly Christmas party, it's the perfect size, as He intended.

I have an amazing job, and work with some truly amazing people.  I make games every day, who could ask for more?

I have some truly awesome kids.  Both of them are Godly, kind, gracious and loving.

And, as I've written here before, God gave me my Robin, who saved my life.

It's hard to feel like I deserve all that He has provided.  I am so far from a perfect human, that His Grace is clearly just that.  Grace.   Undeserved.  Unexpected.  Unearned.

I'm grateful nonetheless, and try to show my gratitude and love for Him by helping everyone I can. I can only pray that His light and Grace shines through me, unfiltered, and into the world.

But sadly, I'm broken and stained, and too often that light is filtered and dim.  But I'm trying, because I love Him more than anything.

The good news is that He loves ME more than anything, and his love is boundless and unending.  It's infinite and beyond the comprehension of our decidedly finite minds. And he has faith in ME.  How could I do less than love him and have faith in Him?

I am thankful for everything he's given us, but most of all I'm thankful for God's love and guidance. For His gift of life, His gift of my children and my wife, and both my puppies.  For his everlasting love for each of us.  For His perfect faith in us. For His example.  For His son's sacrifice. And for being the Father that I never had.

Server Changes

Well, I've gotten rid of my Solaris box, and have cut my home servers down to 2, a Windows Home Server (doing backups only) and a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, hosting all my data.   I've got most machines backing up to Server 2008, so I'll be retiring my WHS machine shortly.

I bought a cheap Rosewill rackmount case, which holds 12 drives and is plenty for the new server.  It's a little noisy and it literally heats the room, so I'll likely move it somewhere out of the way.

ZFS, while great in theory, was awful from a performance perspective, at least as I was using it.  Granted, I didn't install a L2Arc SSD, and while read speeds were fine for my application, write speeds were atrocious.  I rarely got above 12MB/sec, while with my Server 2008 box, I regularly get near 100MB/sec.

I've come to realize that I liked the idea of ZFS far more than the practical application of it.  I've gone away from any kind of software RAID,and in fact, have no RAID at all on the server, having fully bought into the idea that RAID is only for availability and not data security.  I'm backing up the stuff I care about on the server to an external drive (photos, family movies, music, etc.) and will be rotating the drive(s) offsite periodically.

I'm using a couple of disks in a dynamic 'array', kinda like a JBOD, for the big video drives, and they're working great.

My movie library, while fully recoverable if I lose a drive or two, by re-ripping, will probably be backed up to a couple of 2 TB external drives that I'll just put in a drawer somewhere, and if I lose a drive, I'll pull them out again and save myself a ton of time.

Then again, with drive prices skyrocketing, I'm going to have to wait a bit before buying a couple more 2 or 3TB drives.

In any case, we mourn the retiring of the DragonLair and the Smaug servers, and hail the rise of the DragonServer server!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Orange Head Joke - By Request

(shamelessly stolen from Penn & Teller)

This guy named Bruce walks into a bar and notices a man at the end of a bar with an orange head.  Not an orange colored human head, but an actual orange for a head.

Curious, Bruce sidles up to the guy, and asks him about his head.

Orange Head guy says "Well, that's a story.  Buy me a drink and I'll tell it."

One day, I was walking on the beach, and I saw something glinting in the sand, so I went over to it and picked it up.  It was a funny looking thing, caked in sand, so I rubbed it trying to get the sand off, and lo and behold, a genie popped out!

He was big and blue, with a turban and everything, and he sounded a lot like Robin Williams.  'I am the genie of the lamp... Make three wishes...'

Figuring that this was odd, and maybe some kind of hallucination caused by heat stroke, I figured I'd make the best of it, shrugged and made my first wish.

"I want to be famous, and for women to love me, and I want people to adore me the world over."


Right after the genie spoke, I got a phone call.  The guy on the phone said he was my agent and that my latest album had just sold 200 million copies!  The weird thing was that he kept calling me Justin.  (my name is Harold)

While I was on the phone with my agent, I heard a beep signalling an incoming call. I looked at my phone and Selena Gomez was calling!  I switched over to it and she said 'You know you love me, and I know you care', to which, I felt compelled to respond with "Baby, baby, baby, ooh..."  It was bizarre.  I kinda freaked and hung up on both of them.

So, Bruce  said 'Wow, that's quite a story.  Keep going...'

So, I'm standing there, and I can hardly believe what's happening, and oddly, I keep winking at people as they're passing by, but I say to the genie:

"I want to be powerful, I want to save the world and I want to do miracles"


As soon as he spoke I got this weird pain in my forehead.  I reached up to it, when I noticed I'd been scratched, or something.  Just then, I saw a blinding flash, and this weird dude with no nose popped into existence!  He had a stick in his hand. It was black and stumpy.

He pointed it at me and said something that sounded like "witchita".  I heard a weird buzzing sound and saw a bolt of lightning coming at me!  I noticed I had a stick in my hand too, and my hand raised (all on it's own) and I hear myself say something that sounded like "kalamazoo" and pointed it at the no-nose guy.

Just then, the lightning bolt that was coming at me bounced off my wand and back at the nostrilly impaired guy, blowing him into a million pieces!

It was so bizarre, and just then I got a call from this chick named "Hermaninie" or something.  She said "Oh Harry, you did it!"   Again, feeling really weirded out, I hung up on her.

So, Bruce says "Man, for a guy with an orange head, that's some crazy story, but it still doesn't explain... um.  this.  What happened next?"

The guy paused, and then said.  "Well, then I wished for an orange head."