Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I'm an expert?

I found this today: someone picked up a link to one of my "click here" rants with a comment about how it's frowned upon by experts. I can't help but laugh. FYI, he found my blog from a comment I left on Jeremy Zawodny's blog. I think Tim sent me that last link.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Rustle, rustle.

I was sitting here on my laptop at the office desk here at home and I kept hearing a rustling sound. I thought maybe it was the wind or something, but that didn't seem right. Of course the thought of a mouse entered my head, so I went up to the front where I expected to see an encore of last night (I saw a mouse scurry past while watching SNL), but, alas, there was no sound, no mouse. I went into the dark kitchen and stood there like a statue, waiting for the sound to reappear. There it was: a rustling from the trash. I stared into the bottom of the trash can, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the light. I thought I spotted our furry grey friend. Without averting my eyes, I reached back and pulled the cord to flip on the overhead light. There he was. Looking back at me. As I took a step closer, he tried to jump up and over the lip of the can. With a quickened pulse, I stepped back in response to his jump. But he had failed. He seemed to not be able to get up high enough, like he might be trapped. He jumped again, this time seeming to grab some footing on the side of the plastic trash bag. I kicked the can, knocking him back down to the bottom. I boldly strode forward and gripped the sides of the trash bag, quickly flipped it up off of the lip and cinched it up, tying our mouse friend inside. I could still hear him rustling, struggling against the bag in which he was sealed. I wasted no time in taking the trash bag out to the can in the alley. And when I got back in, I set a mouse trap by the garbage can.

Proxying HTTP and HTTPS with Apache

Sorry if this info is a bit rough. It still needs to be more thoroughly tested, but here's what I've done to make my Apache 2.0 web server be a proxy server for HTTP and HTTPS.

LoadModule proxy_module modules/
LoadModule proxy_ftp_module modules/
LoadModule proxy_http_module modules/
LoadModule proxy_connect_module modules/
LoadModule ssl_module modules/

        ProxyRequests On
#specify a list of port numbers to which the proxy CONNECT method may connect
#allow 22 to use PuTTY w/Proxy to connect to arbitrary SSH over HTTP proxy.
        AllowCONNECT 80 443 22

#secure your proxy server with Basic auth.
                AuthType Basic
                AuthName "my proxy server"
                AuthUserFile /path/to/file/.htpasswd-proxy
                Require valid-user

#Mask your point of origination
        ProxyVia Block
        CustomLog logs/proxy_log common

#allow SSL proxying to occur on port 80
        SSLProxyEngine On
        SSLProxyVerify none

Update on the move and the job

I wanted to post a status update about the changes in my life right now. Tuesday morning I moved everything that I need to live day-to-day to Chicago (clothes, toiletries). I'm staying at my sister's house in the Bucktown neighborhood for now. She and her husband spend 90% of their time in Memphis, where Paul works (Brooke can work remotely for most of her job or she travels when she needs to), so I pretty much have an empty house to myself (it's a bit lonely).

Wednesday was my first day at Avanade. It was just orientation meetings: here's how you arrange your travel and here's how you get reimbursed and here's how you bill the client and here's how you check your voicemail and here's your company laptop.

Thursday and Friday I ticked items off of my TODO list that I had created on Wednesday: build your internal skills profile and resume, talk to people to arrange your client assignment, get the software installed on the laptop that you need for the upcoming project. I've been assigned to a project with "a leading financial services provider" in Wisconsin. It seems like a great project. They're working with some Whidbey/.NET 2.0 technologies, and also some agile methods and automated build management. Supposedly the Microsoft architect on the project is top-shelf, too. Monday morning I'll start at the client site.

Things are settling in nicely. The job is shaping up and the people that I've met so far have been friendly and easy to deal with. It's fun taking the L to work; I get a warm and fuzzy feeling taking public transportation. The commute from door-to-door is about thirty minutes and it's cheap and easy (just the way I like it). Of course, Monday morning I have to drive to Wisconsin. We'll see how it all goes. So far so good.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Jen and I had artichokes as part of our dinner at my apartment last night (along with guacamole and fried rice with tofu). After we were done, I put the artichoke leaves down the garbage disposal. Bad idea. An odd smell started coming out of the drain. At first I thought it was the mixture of artichoke, lime and other foods. But as the smell got stronger, it was clear that it was raw sewage. Add to that the fact that the drain wasn't draining. After the laughter subsided, I reached in and pulled out the fibers of the artichoke leaves that had gathered in the disposal. Once they were clear, the drain still wasn't going down. And my kitchen still smelled like poop. Nasty, nasty, poopy sewage smell in my kitchen. More laughter. I grabbed a toilet plunger and went to work. After about ten minutes of alternating between plunging and laughing, the drain was finally clear. And with a fan on, the sewage smell quickly became a memory.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Les Mis

I saw Les Mis on Sunday with my special lady, Jen. It was playing at the U of I Assembly Hall as part of their Broadway Series. The show was top notch. Most of the cast has experience on Broadway and they were all great (especially the guy who played Jean Valjean). I know the music pretty well (I sang many of the songs when I took voice lessons in high school), so it's especially enjoyable to me.

The first downside was the venue. Assembly Hall is a stadium. They partitioned off about half of the stadium with a giant curtain to give it a slightly more intimate feeling, but it's still the same place I watch Illini Basketball. During intermission, people came back to their seats with all sorts of "stadium food:" tubs of popcorn, soft pretzels with cheese, nachos, hot dogs, you name it. That just screams "high class." I reminded Jen that if we were in a real theater in Chicago (or another big city), we could have cocktails during intermission instead of a footlong hot dog.

The second downside was that this is Champaign, IL. Most people wore t-shirts and jeans. One guy a few rows in front of us was wearing his blue-collar work shirt—it even had his name embroidered on the breast! Jen wore a nice dress; I wore a shirt and tie. We were the most dressed-up people that we saw. Again: if we were in Chicago, we would have blended in (or even been under dressed).

Oh, well. One week from now I'll be living in Chicago. Great show! Not-so-great venue.