Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

Month: August 2005 (page 1 of 2)

Weekend Geekfest

I spent a bit of time this weekend on my home network. I had a “security incident” about 10 days ago that I had to both clean-up and prevent from happening again. No damage of any significance was done. I had setout on segmenting my network and replacing my ZyWall with a full-blown firewall. I did not end up there as it just turned out to be way too much work to get going. Instead I reinstated all my firewalls on every machine and pruned down the ports. I also put in place blocking rules on my LAN to WAN connection to block certain traffic that should never originate from my LAN, like IRC for example. This is a nice step-up, although not as robust as my plans were.

I also reformatted and reinstalled my Linux boxes (victims of said “security incident”) with Fedora Core 4. This time I left SELinux enabled and clamped down the firewall more.

I’ve also been working on reducing my electrical load in the house so I’ve made all the desktops go to sleep with inactivity. I was able to setup all of my backup scripts to use Wake-on LAN functionality to turn on in the middle of the night, do their housework, and then go back to sleep and stop spinning the electric dial so much. Of course my servers still have to stay on all the time, but this cuts in half the number of machines powered on at times.

Four Hours of Frustration

I just spent the last four hours trying to get my new network topology in place. The result of all that time is zilch. I installed pfSense 0.79.4 on the firewall box with four ethernet ports. I tried to setup a WAN, LAN, DMZ and WIRELESS networks but I couldn’t get anything working right. How frustrating. I’ll take another run at it some other time.

Two Weddings in Two Days

This is wedding weekend for us! Tammy’s sister Michelle is getting married tonight and we are both in the wedding. Tammy is a bridesmaid and I’m an usher. Luckily my mother is coming to help with Mazie duty but it’s going to be an interesting adventure timing breastfeeding and other parent duties with all the wedding stuff going on.

Then, tomorrow morning I get on a plane to New York for my friend Greg’s wedding. Tammy and Mazie are staying here. The first Northwest flight out is at 10:20am arriving in La Guardia at 2:00pm. The wedding is at 4:00pm in Central Park. And just to make things exciting the Northwest mechanics are expected to go on strike at the end of the day today. Luckily Greg’s wedding is going to be a relaxed affair so I could get there as late as 3:30pm, but it’s tight!

Whew! Hope this all goes smoothly!

Mazie's 2-month Checkup

Mazie had her 2-month checkup today with the pediatrician. I arranged my schedule so that I could go as well. We really liked the pediatrician that we met with. He was recommended by our neighbors who have two kids.

Mazie is doing great. She’s a big girl! She’s 97th percentile for both height and weight, and 75th percentile for head circumference. She’s already 24″ long and tipping the scales at 13 lbs 1 oz. (For reference, she was 7 lbs 11 oz and 21″ long at birth.)

The hardest part of the visit were the shots. Mazie got 4 different shots, after we confirmed they were single dose vaccines that contained no mercury. The nurse had me hold her hands and talk to her to comfort her. The shots were done in like 5 seconds, but Mazie let out one heck of a yelp when she got poked. I picked her up right away and held her tightly in my arms and she relaxed pretty quickly, and then even fell asleep. I felt really bad for her — poor little girl.

She’s been having a hard time tonight, residual effects from the vaccinations. After a good nights sleep I think she’ll feel better.

Make Minneapolis Bicycle Friendly

A few months ago I sent a suggestion to the mayor of Minnetonka to request that they work with the League of American Bicyclists to get Minnetonka the designation of a Bicycle Friendly city. She had someone on her staff look into it but they ultimately decided it would be too difficult to pursue.

In the new flyer from the League I noticed that Chicago had just received this designation. So, I dropped a note to Mayor Rybak of Minneapolis on this topic. Maybe Minneapolis would go for this. If you think this is a good idea, how about sending him a note yourself.

Mayor Rybak,

My name is Jamie Thingelstad and I’m a resident of Minnetonka but work, and have lived, in downtown Minneapolis. I’m also a bicyclist and enjoy commuting back and forth to work on my bicycle using the great trail network that we have in the metro area.

A few months ago I sent an email to Mayor Anderson of Minnetonka suggesting that she seek to have Minnetonka designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the Leage of American Bicyclists. I am a member of the League of American Bicyclists as well as a member of the local Twin Cities Bicycling Club. Mayor Anderson’s staff looked into the award but were unable to justify the investment.

I noticed that Chicago has now been designated a Bicycle Friendly Community, and that made me think that perhaps Minneapolis would like to seek the same designation. If Minneapolis achieved the designation it would be the first city in Minnesota to do so, and hopefully not the last. I think this would be a fitting achievement for the state that leads the country in miles of “Rails to Trails” paths.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and of course, your continued support of cycling in Minneapolis and the surrounding area.


Jamie Thingelstad

Mazie at 8 Weeks

This Tuesday Mazie will be 8 weeks old. It’s time for us to schedule her 2 month appointment. I remember thinking how insane that was. We went from the 2 week appointment and then 6 whole weeks without seeing professional help. How would we do it!? Well, it’s been fine. Mazie is doing great and so are we.

She’s put on a good amount of weight. She’s already well over 12 pounds. This last week in particularly seems to have been a watershed week. She’s been so much more engaging and interactive than ever before. She will smile and play with you for a while. She loves it when you tickle her and play with her while she’s on her changing table. Also, much to the pleasure of Tammy and I she’s actually started to smile at us, instead of randomly at walls and other objects in the house.

She’s been doing well with sleep, although sometimes she puts up a bit of a fuss trying to get to sleep. But once in the bed and snoring away, she does well. She seems to be spitting up a lot more lately than she did at first. I’m guessing that has to do in part with a lot more volume of milk going her way. It’s pretty funny how being a parent pretty much makes all your “eww, gross” reactions go away. A pile of spitup goes all over your shirt, you wipe off the visible stuff and continue on your way, no worries.

She’s a strong girl too. I’ve been holding her up and letting her support her weight with her legs. She can do this for a few seconds at a time and then needs a break. She likes to lean up against me in a standing position for minutes at a time.

That’s all for now. Of course I put up some more photos as well. You’ll notice two pictures of me sleeping with Mazie. This seems to be a not to uncommon occurrence.

Landscaping Wonders

Last year we had the landscaping in front of our house redone completely. We used a small, native landscaping firm called Go Native. Native landscaping means that you only work with plants that are native to your area. The great thing about this, other than being ecologically “correct” is that you end up with landscaping that is lower maintenance. We’ve been loving it, and we know this year will be the “worst” year, if you can call it that. The first year all these native plants spend the majority of work establishing their root systems. Next year, they should all come up very strong. We’ve already had a multitude of flowers. It’s been fun to watch everything come up and develop.

Before, our landscaping was boring and dull. When we sat down with our landscaper she said that with our native plantings we would get a lot of birds and butterflies visiting us. We certainly haven’t been let down. We’ve got a constant array of visitors gracing us with their presence. I love it. See photos with bees harvesting pollen, a great yellow bird that visits us often and a huge monarch butterfly that stopped by.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I just finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I rifled my way through the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series much faster than the Order of the Phoenix. I found the Half-Blood Prince to be one of my favorite in the series in a very odd way. The story was different than the last five books. Each of them seemed to have a very finite start and finish. The books would start, there would be some very interesting story, and then after a climactic conclusion everyone would head home for the summer. This one had a different feel. It seemed like it was distinctly setting up something big to go down in what everyone expects to be the final, seventh book, in the series.

I was pleased that Rowling didn’t feel a need to make an even longer book than the previous ones. I’m still wondering if we wont get a Harry Potter volume that exceeds 1,000 pages at some point. The story was fun, exciting and I’m not going to ruin the plot and tell you anything about the last 300 or so pages, other than to let you know I found it hard to put it down at that point. I’m not one to rifle through hundreds of pages in a book at once, but I just had to know what was going to happen next.

Now I need to go search the Internet to see what people are guessing will be in the next and final, volume 7!

Camera Upgrade: Canon 20D

I’ve been going on and on for a while now with all my friends about how I’m not going to get a new digital camera until I can get one that has no focal length multiplier. (Not familiar with focal link multiplication? Read this.) Unfortunately there is only one camera I would get that doesn’t have a multiplier, the Canon 1Ds Mark II. This camera cost more than the first 3 or 4 cars I owned, substantially more now that I think of it, even if you add them all together!

So today we went to National Camera with every intention of getting a new lens. I still like to support my local camera shops. My workhorse lens is still the kit lens I got with my Digital Rebel (Canon 300D), the 18-55mm rather junky lens. I’ve got other lenses, all universally better than this one, and I shoot a fraction of my shots with them. Makes sense eh? No, it doesn’t.

I wanted something in the range I have now, but longer, like 80mm and fast for low light conditions. Of course, the lens that fits this bill like no other is the Canon USM IS 17-85mm. A great lens on it’s own, and it just so happens it’s also the upgrade kit lens for the 20D package.

So I picked up the 20D to play with this lens, and one thing led to another and I left the place with the Canon 20D kit with the 17-85mm lens. Yes, I realize this has the same focal length multiplier as my existing Rebel, but man do I love it so far. I justified this by the big “discount” I got on the lens since I bought it with the camera. Again, makes sense right? No, it doesn’t.

This camera is a huge upgrade from the Rebel, I’m loving it. Read a review if you want the details. The feel of the camera is stunning and the DIGIC II processor is definitely an upgrade after shooting for a couple of years with the previous generation. I expect I will get razed for a few days for this unplanned, and previously unacceptable upgrade. However, it’s a small price to pay for such a great camera.

Uptown Art Fair Conclusion

Tammy and I returned to the Uptown Art Fair after having previewed yesterday. We brought Mazie with us this time, so we went early to avoid the heat. It was another great day and the crowd was immense even at 10am.

We took a walk through the area we like the most and saw some more artists that we really liked. Tammy also found a custom purse by Laura Maclay that she really liked and decided to get.

Further artist highlights (again in no order):

  • We found John Sumner at the art fair. We totally missed him the first day and we have a giclee of his, Moe, that we got in his gallery in Sonoma, CA.
  • We were struck again this year by the photography of Edward Holland. We came really close in previous years to getting one of his items. He’s got an amazing eye and produces these striking, vivid photos.
  • I was struck by the work of Liang Wei from Washington. He had a number of pieces that I really liked. Tammy wasn’t quite as taken with him as I. Hope to see more from him.
  • We really like the work of Jay Long as well. The art is striking. Unfortunately for us it was all framed in oak, and we really, really don’t like oak.

As I predicted yesterday we returned to Keith Grace to make our annual purchase. We got the dog painting that you see in this post. It’s a great piece and we really liked his technique. He combines collage, acrylics and oils to make these striking, graphic pieces. The collage work also ties back to the subject of the painting as well.

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