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Feb 22, 2020

Group Muse Time
last update: 02/22 @ 14:24

Now that it’s mid-winter (but a very mild one so far) and we’re starting to see the days get longer, it seemed like time for more music.

Sarah arranged another Group Muse last night. And, again, it was great.

Joelle and Gavin brought their violas and some great music.

Most interesting, unexpected and I thought fun was Kenji Bunch’s Three Gs.

And we had plenty of company. Which was a good thing…

… because: our heating system decided to stop circulating water yesterday.

And, did I mention it’s the middle of winter.

So we were fortunate to have some residual heat and then to get all those nice warm bodies, interested in hearing good music to help warm up the house.

Feb 17, 2020

Passport time..
last update: 02/17 @ 20:21

Time to renew Robert’s passport means it’s time to get out the lights again.

I did ask if he wanted to brush his hair.

Obviously, he declined.

It will be a more accurate passport photo that way anyway.

And no, you’re not supposed to smile for your passport.

Since the lights were set up, I called Sarah over for a shot with Robert.

And then Robert was kind enough to take this photo of me.

After this, the foam core that’s been a background for years went out. It’s age was clearly showing.

Our basement is not overly kind to long term storage.

And yes; the next post is the kitties. At least as long as they would stand still.

Kitty portraits…
last update: 02/17 @ 20:08

It’s been a while (probably 5 years) since I tried to take kitty portraits. They were more kitties back then. And Zip Drive was still king of the house.

Now they are well established cats.

And less interested in sitting for a portrait.

The lights and attention seemed to worry them; which I’m OK with.

Panzer above; Pinker to the right.

George Washington’s Birthday!!!
last update: 02/17 @ 19:22

I was a fantastic day for a parade: blue skies, sunny, 50+ degrees (20 degrees warmer than Saturday for the XFL game).

And Alexandria did not disappoint.

We had George and Martha (several Georges, actually).

We had the Shriners little race cars.

And pipes! Alexandria can’t have a parade without bagpipes.

There’s just something about good pipe and drum band that warms the heart.

I’ve not fully adjusted to the new parade route; I like it better going straight down King Street. But I expect those who want to get through town or to any of the shops much prefer the new, cross King route.

Feb 15, 2020

It’s a whole new game..
last update: 02/15 @ 21:32

… well, sort of.
We went to go see the DC Defenders XFL football team.

Interestingly for DC football these days, we won!

It was fun, fast, entertaining.

And cold, the high of 37 was history by the time we left after the third quarter.

Feb 03, 2020

Speaking of cars…
last update: 02/03 @ 22:57

Robert had an assignment in Engineering Explorations II; Robtics to design a car, draft it in a CAD program and then have it 3D printed.

It looks really cool to me!

This is actually a bit small for the track so he has scaled up the CAD file and will get a new print out. (For comparison, the axles — not printed — are paper clips.)

It’s a crazy world when you can print a model car…

Jan 30, 2020

Momentous Day
last update: 01/30 @ 20:31

Sarah got this great picture of Robert and his temporary learner’s permit!

Look out; he’s on the road, behind the wheel now.

And pretty excited about it.

We just have at least 45 hours of driving time with an adult and 9 months before he can be driving on his own (and we can stay home and worry about him).

It’s possible there may be a road trip coming up for spring break…

Jan 27, 2020

Life is Good
last update: 01/27 @ 21:39

At least it is right here, right now.

Mellow evening; full tummies, fire in the fireplace.

And some marshmallow roasting instruction going on.

Jan 25, 2020

English Class
last update: 01/25 @ 10:42

Robert’s group is doing a short scene from Othello in English class next week. He found (in our basement) a suitable sized box to turn into a wall for their set. And after the rain quit this morning, he was giving it a couple coats of gray. It get’s handed off later in day for Kenna to add some detailing to it.

I’m sorry we’ll miss the production.

It was great fun to see him on stage at the Folger as the Moon back in middle school.

Outside of he’s enjoying being an assistant stage manager for a local theater production of Frozen Jr. Another show we’ve enjoying seeing.

Jan 10, 2020

Flumoxed … Resolved
last update: 01/10 @ 20:42

Feel free to skip this, it’s going to be geeky…

I’ve been running Bind as a DNS server for years now; both for our internal network and as authoritative for this website. It’s been stable and working fine for many iterations of DSL and now cable ISP service. It’s possible, though I don’t honestly remember, that I was running (an older version of Bind) way back in the Ricochet wireless modem days.

And I’ve always been a control freak so I’ve had it configured as the resolver for our internal network. If the query is not for something on our network, it goes to the root servers and tracks down the correct IP address.

So I was flumoxed when my Comcast service was upgraded and suddenly my internal DNS servers could no longer get resolution for external systems. The upgrade was meant to be simple: new modem, faster service. “This year’s deal.” And it worked fine for everything except DNS resolution — which means it effectively worked fine for public access of this site, but was significantly broken for our use here going out to the Internet.

My flumoxation was of the compound variety: a simple upgrade, which clearly didn’t break connectivity, did break that one key function. And rather than querying our internal Bind servers, if we queried a public DNS server, it worked fine.

But, being a control freak, our internal network is a different domain from the public network (but registered and paid for). And that domain is not published. So relying on public DNS would leave us blind to our intranet.

I had iftop running and was tailing logs and doing tcpdumps for wireshark and nothing was standing out to me as the problem. I just got status: SERVFAIL for external addresses and everything internal was fine.

As I was scratching my head and looking for better Bind debug options, I ran across the documentation for forwarding. Since I could query external DNS on the command line fine, I thought it was worth a shot (though not my preferred option).

That worked. I’m sending more traffic to (and I’m more reliant on) Comcast and Google’s DNS servers. But it’s working.

I would welcome explanations or theories, but now I’m just going to bed. I expect it’s something in the format of an “internal” query from Bind (following the path from the root name servers to the authoritative name servers) versus just asking someone else to do that leg work.

But first a shout out to Bill at Comcast. He was not able to point me to a fix, but he tried very hard and was as helpful as he could be. (And I know my situation is not very common.)

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