March 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Wendy!

Today is (was) Wendy's 43rd Birthday. She was born in 1964. I gave her a discast model of Richard Petty's 1964 Hemi Belvedere -- car number 43.

For dinner, we went to Ruth's Chris Steak House in Irvine:

We had the sizzling blue crab cakes appetizers, followed by the Porterhouse for Two, the au Poivre sauce on top, sides of mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and the sauteed mushrooms (a vegetable?!). All accompanied by a very nice Merlot, a split. With tip, a hair over $200.

We've blown our dinning out budget 'til June or July.

Posted by Paladin at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2007

Pacific Volkswagen

The Check Engine Lamp is Lit. In Wendy's New Beetle. SHe tries to make an on-line appointment for service with Pacific Volkswagen, 14900 Hindry Ave., Hawthorne, California 90250. When the confirmation E-Mail failed to arrive she called -- they didn't show anything, the Saturday timeslot was gone, she makes the appointment for today, at 7:30 AM -- I take a personal day off. Arrive, check the car in, go wait in the Customer Lounge area. Along with another laptop user. They HAVE a computer bar set up for us:

Pacific Volkswagen Service Department -- Customer Internet Access

Yes, the inset is correct. It is March, 2007, and they are providing DIALUP lines for the laptop users. Three positions, three telephone lines, business -- gotta be at least $50 a month!

Got up to check if there was a fax line in the office (fax lines are just fine for DSL as they are dedicated to the one position. All that is needed is to order DSL on that line, add a splitter and a wireless modem-router, leave it open and Zap! -- WiFi Access for the Service Customers.) There is, in Edward Kline's office. Talk to him and he says he is just one of six under http://LAcarGUY.com and I should talk to them. So LAcarGUYs! Hello! How about advancing into the 21st Century and replacing the dial-ups with a DSL/WiFi?

Posted by Paladin at 08:51 AM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2007

Birch UPS


Had the job last august or so to install a LAN upgrade at Birch. They overlooked the power requirements for the new Switches and Routers. Which normally means Uninterruptable Power Supplies. For something like this, with a pair of DS3 feeds supporting a few dozen VoIP users, the UPSs are Liebert 2000's with an extra 48v backup battery. About 400 pounds. They finally noticed that they dropped the ball and I'm finally finishing the job.

The UPS I'm mounting in the patch rack, inbetween the router and switch racks. The supplied shelf is mounted on the rear of the rack (left picture) so that the UPS will be not sticking out in front and will have the weight mostly centered on the shelf. No problem, 'cept that they slide a little. The supplied brackets would hold the UPS off center on the shelf, so I had to make my own brackets. Had usable brackets that were to hold the Ungermann-Bass Access One (yeah! Look up how old THAT is!) in an older 23" rack (actually a List-15 Data Cabinet.)

Pete Talaro, relaxing in paradise, was The Man when it came to making the shelves and brackets we need to do the job to L.A. Harbor OCS standards. The first backet took a few hours, including time spent working/closing tickets and destroying a couple of attempts. The last two brackets only took about 15 minutes to drill and mount -- once I figured out how. But the resutls are GOOD! (see right.) The UPSs and their batteries are rock solid. Which is a good thing -- Birch is rather close to the Newport-Inglewood Fault.

Posted by Paladin at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2007

Stole a wheel/tire

Bike is looking real smooth from the rear -- which is not a good thing. Need another tire for the rear (got over 10,000 miles out of the D404 which is decent for a motorcycle tire -- MC tires are the consistancy of automobile race tires, soft, sticky, extreme traction, low mileage.) Was looking at getting the wheel sealed by Wheel Works so I could run tubeless, which would be at least 10 days down time. Wendy asked, "Why not get another wheel?"

So I hit eBay, find a good deal, sit quietly until the last seconds to make my one move. (The object is to place your maximum bid and not give anyone else a chance to reconsider and over bid you.):


Tire looks to be a Cheng-Shin Hi-Max 140/90-15 which goes for about $48 minimum new, plus shipping. I figure I'll get new brake shoes locally, mount this wheel on Thumper. Then next year I'll get my original wheel sealed, a tubeless tire mounted, and put it back on the bike. Then sell the '86 wheel for what I paid for it. Which means I got me a free tire to use for the next 15-18 months.

Posted by Paladin at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2007

Better safe than sorry

About 3 pm I received a call from Cousin Gabrielle, in Colorado -- the Torrance, California Paramedics called her as they were taking her grandfather Glenn to the hospital. Seems he got light-headed and collapsed -- they were taking him and his wife to the hospital for a checkup. Gabe is actually a second cousin, her grandparents are my aunt and uncle. Paula is also my Godmother.

I was in Hawthorne, barn is in Carson, house is half way in between. Call home and have a daughter out front to take my laptop backpack as I drive pass -- don't need the extra weight. Hit the barn, close out the load, hop on the 'cycle and head for Torrance Memorial. Get there, tell the guard whom I'm looking for. He points out the far room. Find my Uncle and Aunt, both looking quite good considering where they are:


Doctor stops by, blood tests all negative, need a sample for urine tests. Meanwhile I ask how they intend to get back home, "I'll get a ride with you" my aunt replies. "Don't think so, I'm on the motorbike." I get the keys, told where the garage door opener is, ride over and get the Big Lincoln out of the garage. Should have taken it's picture -- it's the big luxery sedan. Hop in, seat is too far back, start it up and the seat slides forward all by itself. Back it out, head for the hospital. JEEZ! One tenth throttle and the thing leaps forward. Impressively responsive, almost a sports car ride. Pity, I kind of liked the floating luxury ride of our old '70's vintage LTD -- when Detroit followed the foreign sports sedan trend they lost the boulevard ride they were famous for.

Anyhow, get back to my aunt and uncle, take Paula to the house, she gives me clothes for Glenn, go back and get him. No problems found, everyone is home. People apologize, don't know why. Tell Glenn he has two choices when he has a problem -- call 911 and get checked out, hopefully as today with no major problem. Or not call, and it it is a major problem - die. Really, people do not mind helping someone who is NOT taking chances.


Posted by Paladin at 05:17 AM | Comments (1)

March 05, 2007

Spring is Sprung


Spring is sprung, da grass is riz
I wonder where da boidy is.
They say the boid is on the wing
but that's absoid,
because the wing is on da boid.

People on the Motorcycle Forums are asking as to when Srping will arrive. As you can see, it is here. Expected to hit the mid '80's this weekend.

Posted by Paladin at 10:02 PM | Comments (1)

March 03, 2007

WiFi Done

Another Move" was the beginning, and shows both switches mounted and the wire management hanging. Last Monday/Tuesday saw the cutover and cleanup.

The two equipment racks have the new switches in, the old switches out, all the floor connections cut over, the new 831's mounted, etc.. *AND* the cabling all neatly tucked away in the Panduit wire management. On the left is the rack in the 1.1, a tiny closet, which holds the two Cisco 2600's connecting the LAN to the WAN. On the right, in the larger 1.2 terminal room with the windows, the rack has a patch panel to bring telephone lines in to go out on the cat-5 cabling. Why? I don't know. I didn't do it. We have 25-pair cat-3 cables everywhere. But this site has bounced back and forth between two OCS groups and the work shows it.
Anyhow, the Ironpoint APs are mostly hidden:

One I mounted in a conference/crew room using the supplied hardware to attach to the suspended ceiling. The Ethernet feed intercepts the cable going to the wall jacks. Power is from the POE equipped Foundry switch. The next is in the 1.1 terminal room. I originally planned it for the break/assembly room but couldn't justify the cost of the conduit when the AP will have no problem covering the room where it is. It has a ten foot patch cable right to the Switch. The third AP is stashed in the 1.3 closet, near the front office and the only conference room that is still used only as a conference room. Guests with their Corporate laptops will be able to connect wirelessly. And, yes, the KTS equipment in the photo is still being used.

The last AP? That one I needed the electricans to do their thing. The is a small room above the north entrance, the AP is mounted on the east wall of the N/E corner, feeding the external antenna. They didn't ask me how long of a coax I would need; which is why 67 feet of the 75 foot coax is coiled up. Lose some small amount of signal, but where I place the antenna still gives me a excelent signal at all corners of the lot. Note: on future jobs, while 3/4" is find from the terminal room, the conduit for the coax should be 1". In the 3/4" conduit the female coax connecter will not pass; I had to feed all 75 feet down from the roof rather than 8 feet up from the room.

Posted by Paladin at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)