Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

Month: June 2005 (page 1 of 2)

Comment Spam Protection

Just implemented some further spam protection to keep the evil doers at bay. I installed this great add-on that requires entering a validation code before providing feedback. I realize it is a bit of a pain, and sometimes the validation code is hard even for people to read, but it keeps those evil spammers away.

Power… Out… Again…

Stunning! Shocking! Our power went out again at 4:04 pm today. It returned, fitfully with a lot of jerking and stopping around 6:30 pm.

I really wish I understood why this happens so frequently for us.

Too Cold! Too Hot!

The people at the hospital were clearly out of their mind when they decided that we could go home with this small, fragile little baby. Seriously! Like we have a clue what we are doing? This should be left to the professionals.

The basic newborn crises have went away. We have plenty of diapers to change now. Mazie is gaining weight like, well, like only I can. Her belly button has revealed itself. Replacing these fears are the more basic issues of her being too hot, too cold, too sleepy, too awake or whatever the concern of the moment is.

This morning she had her first real bath (as opposed to the sponge baths she got before). The bath went well, but when we were done she was freezing cold. You sort of freak out when your baby is shivering. Fast forward to this afternoon. We took a brief trip to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and left after about 10 minutes. Why? Too hot! She had to be baking! We took all her clothes off except her onesie and then the dreaded sun came out! She’s going to get burned! RUN!

We retreated to the safety and air conditioned, sun protected comfort of our home to attempt to venture out another day.

Stopping TrackBack Spam with DotText

I’ve seen a huge increase in trackback spam to my sites lately. It’s now reached hundreds a day. I thought this was one or two hosts so I added a rule to snort to capture trackback spam and found it was coming from nearly all unique IP addresses. I’m guessing this is being propogated via spyware that is sitting on unsuspecting peoples computers. I couldn’t just block this at the router like I do with feedback spam since it was coming from a variety of sources.

I did a quick search after a failed attempt at stopping this with ISAPI URL rewriting because it cannot see POST data. However, a developer in Ireland has solved this problem and been kind enough to share his solution. I just installed it and am waiting to verify everything works well. One concern I have is that his solution is built against DotText 0.95.2004.102 and I’m running 0.95.2004.111. The 111 build was a bug fix build, and the last one that I know of, issued by the author to fix some API issues. So far the Dottext.Framework.dll file seems to work fine intermixed with the other version, but I’m not positive yet.

While typing this I got my first spam alert, check it out

Spam has been detected!!!

Title: black jack
IP Address:

Take your time to visit some helpful info in the field of <A href=”URLREMOVED black</A> <A href=”URL REMOVED <A href=”URL REMOVED vegas casinos</A>

Looks like the detection part is working! Provided I don’t have anything break I’m going to be a much happier blogger.

Mazie, The First Week

A week ago today Mazie introduced herself to us. Since then Tammy and I have shifted from glee to fright many times, sometimes all within a matter of a few minutes. We’ve been worrying about everything. First there was the lack of dirty diapers. My read of the situation was that she was starving to death. Tammy frets constantly about her being warm enough. Then there was the incident with blood around the umbilical stump — I won’t even go there. But it seems that we are getting the hang of it. Yesterday was our first crisis free day.

Mazie on the other hand seems to be doing just fine even with her neurotic parents. She sleeps amazingly well, at times sleeping six hours straight through the night. We hope that isn’t just a phase. She’s co-sleeping with us which makes it a lot easier for everyone and I think keeps her calmer at night. She’s caught up on her dirty diaper quotas, making up for lost time. She’s simply adorable. After she gets her milk she has a tendency to get the hiccups. We ventured outside today on our first walk with the stroller.


Everyone kept telling me that everything will change when you have kids. I knew it would, it’s a huge thing after all. But I feel a need to reiterate it and reflect that yes, everthing did indeed change, for the better.

I also put up some new pictures from Mazie’s first week.

Being Daddy

Mazie turns 4 today, 4 days that is. It’s been an incredible four days. I realize everyone all over the world goes through this process all the time. As a result, it should seem somewhat routine from a global perspective, but on an individual level everything seems profound and amazing and like you are the first person in the world to ever do any of this stuff.

Mazie overall is doing great. She needs to catch up on diapers. There are numbers she’s supposed to be hitting and she’s behind. How do you like that? Four days old and already behind quota. She sleeps really well, usually getting two 4 to 5 hour sessions in per day, along with some shorter naps. She’s a great sucker!

Some thoughts on my new title of “dad”:

  • The first thing that comes to mind is that the parts that are easy are easier than I expected they would be, and the parts that are harder are way harder. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but maybe if you’ve been there before you know what I mean. Like changing diapers, is trivial, but calming your kid at 3 a.m. is really hard.
  • Those protective father instincts sure kick in. I’m always worrying about her and want to protect her at every turn. Imagine when she starts to walk! I’m going to need a sedative.
  • I’ve never been one to be real comfortable with newborns. They seem so fragile. All that disappears in about 2 seconds with your own kid. There just isn’t much better than laying with her on your chest and patting her back.
  • The most amazing thing in the world is being able to bring comfort to your baby. When she’s crying for whatever reason, and you pick her up and put her to your chest and she calms down and is happy, that’s amazing. Of course the reciprical is also true, when you cannot provide her that sense of calm, that is pretty much the most horrible thing in the world.
  • How can a kid that does not have precise muscle control get her socks off so easily!?

New Addition

It is tradition that a husband get his wife a present after the delivery of a baby. After being in the room and seeing in every little bit of detail all that is involved, a present hardly seems a satisfactory way of saying thank you. We decided to celebrate this event with art rather than the classic gift of jewelry. Art lasts just as long as diamonds. I contacted Amy Lynn Stevenson who we already have one piece from and discussed what I wanted to do. She came up with a wonderful painting that she titled “New Addition”. The dimensions are 5 feet wide by 3 feet tall.

I really love it and Tammy was very happy with it. I can’t wait to some day give it to Mazie to have in her house.

Happy Birth Day Mazie Kaye!

Mazie Kaye Thingelstad was born on June 14th at 3:17 pm. She weighs 7 lbs 11 ozs and is 21 inches long. Baby is doing great, and Mom is recovering from the [most amazing and traumatic] event.

There are more pictures from Mazie’s birth day, check them out!

Hardcore Geeking!

I’ve been having fun with what I expect will be my last weekend of hardcore geeking with my gear at home for a while. Once Baby Thingelstad arrives I’ll have more important things to do!

This weekend I jammed on two tools. First is Snort, which I have setup in a network intrusion detection mode. I now have one of my Fedora boxes listening on an unnumbered interface to all traffic on my gateway. Snort, with the appropriate ruleset, watches all traffic over the wire and takes note of anything suspicious. Snort then logs this to a mysql database and I’m using BASE to review the information. BASE is nothing to get excited about, but it seems to be the best out there.

I am getting some interesting information out of this rig. I’m pretty amazed at how many times SQL Slammer is still hitting me. It tries to get to me about every 20 minutes. Code Red is less active than it was before, but it’s still out there. Perhaps oddest of all is whoever is at who is hitting Road Sign Math with a large ICMP packet on a seemingly random interval all day.

The other tool I got going this weekend is Cacti. Cacti is a better (I think?) and easier to use (without a question) SNMP graphing tool than MRTG. I’m going to leave MRTG and Cacti running in parallel probably for ever. Some things I like better in MRTG than Cacti. Cacti uses RRDTool 1.2 (as opposed to 1.0) and generates these super nice images with anti-aliasing and robust font support (static image for example, as compared to).

I’d share access to these tools with you like I do with MRTG and my web logs but they require logins and I also don’t know that I want people being able to see attack alerts my intrusion detection system is throwing. You can admire the login pages from the links at the bottom of the page. As a side benefit of this work I’ve now designated a Linux server as a first-class citizen in my server setup and can now deploy other packages on it in the future if I want.

Another Baby Update

This should hopefully be the last of these baby updates before I’m putting up a picture of the little tike! We had another check-up on Wednesday with the midwife and not much is going on. The baby is healthy and all, but seems to be liking it in the womb a whole bunch! The official due date was last Sunday so we are +4 days after the due date now.

We are going to see the midwife again on Monday along with an ultrasound to check on things. And if the baby hasn’t decided to come out by Thursday we’ll be induced then. We’d really like to avoid that, but at least there is an outside date now.

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