“Mystery object” delays space shuttle landing…

CNN Headlines reported this morning:

NASA has delayed tomorrow’s landing of the space shuttle Atlantis after engineers spotted a mystery object outside the shuttle; weather at the Florida landing site also is a concern. 

 In the CNN article “Mystery object delays shuttle landing

“NASA engineers spotted the object at about 2:45 a.m EDT Tuesday with a video camera in the shuttle’s cargo bay.

The object, which circled the Earth in the same orbit as the shuttle and is of undetermined size […]
It’s something that we didn’t expect, but it’s something that we’re taking a real close look at,”

This has of course lead to rampant speculation around the office.   The current leading theory is:

Continue reading “Mystery object” delays space shuttle landing…

Irwin’s life: A documentary about love, not crocs

This story was sent to you by: Dan

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Irwin’s life: A documentary about love, not crocs

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Sheryl P. Kurland

September 8, 2006

While grief over the tragic loss of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin reverberates around the world, the loss of his life hit home. Not because I believe in his conservation causes. (I do.) Not because I agree with his humanitarianism. (I do.) Not because I adore crocodiles. (I do.) It’s the two words I have written in parenthesis — I do — that tell the story. Irwin’s death fell on the cusp of my 17th wedding anniversary. And, as news interviews with those who knew him best reveal, Irwin was, above all, a committed husband to Terri, his only wife and wife of 14 years, and devoted father to his two children.

With our 50 percent divorce rate for first marriages, 67 percent for second marriages and 74 percent for third marriages, their love was a sight seldom seen these days.

Irwin’s life was not about the crocs. His antics with animals were merely a front that allowed us to peer into his heart. And how ironic it is that death befell him by the physical piercing of that extraordinary heart.

As I spend hours watching reruns of his most memorable shows on Animal Planet, I notice that the dynamics between Irwin and his creature friends in the wild pale in comparison to those between him and Terri. The couple shared an unspoken rhythm. Their eyes locked often, they were both filled with verve and gusto, they were both so alive. (Even his 2002 cornball movie Collision Course gushed with romance, though the two never shared a love scene.)

The Irwins lived as husband and wife were meant to be. Working together. Laughing together. Dreaming together. A role-model couple whose dreaming has been cut short. It should have lasted forever.

Fans tuned in for danger, close calls and his trademark beaming grin, but he unabashedly broke stride to take us up close and personal. Footage from their wedding showed a tearful Irwin as he and Terri exchanged “I do’s.” The newlyweds took us on their camping honeymoon to northern Australia. At the birth of their first baby, he wept. At the birth of their second baby, he wept more. (Note the order, marriage first, children second. Another fledgling trend.) Irwin showed how marriage and family life are connected to one’s larger sense of purpose in life.

Their role-model marriage is one in which we should revel. Yet, it is soon to be overshadowed by the erupting global mania over Vanity Fair’s new cover story heralding Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, unmarried, and the first public photographs of their newborn daughter. Consider the facts: This is Tom’s third young damsel to be anointed “the one.” His first, a marriage to “the one” terminated in less than three years. His second, a marriage to “the one” lasted less than 10 years. Any bets in Vegas how long TomKat will last? Will they tie the knot before Katie awakens from his rule and decides to take charge of herself? Their lavish, glamorized, glorified relationship is probably just one more notch in the bedpost of celebrity shams. Time will bear witness.

Indeed, Steve Irwin’s life and legacy remind us that life is not about fame and fortune. He leaves us with lessons about true love and human passion. Crikey, Mate, we’re gonna miss you!

I do.

Sheryl P. Kurland of Longwood is a speaker and author of “Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls Of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years Or More” — www.EverlastingMatrimony.com. Copyright (c) 2006, Orlando Sentinel | Get home delivery – up to 50% off

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Error Message: TCP/IP CP Reported Error 733 when connecting to a VPN client

No, that doesn’t mean that you have to install the PPP protocol as it seems. 

What it means is that you are dialing into an existing VPN host run through Windows XP but you did not get assigned an IP address.  You’ve setup the “Incoming Connections” item under Network Connections ALMOST correctly.  However you’ve left the “Assign IP address via DHCP” box checked.  You would think this would make sense, however, if you are not running your network DHCP through that server and instead it is run through a router, this will not work.  So, what you must do is choose a range of IP addresses.  That’s the second radio button on that screen.  Give it some sufficiently high range so that it won’t realisticly interfere with your router.  Stay within the subnet defined by your netmask of course.

So, if your machine’s IP is 192.168.100.10, make your address range be 192.168.100.100-192.168.100.110.  Then you can have up to 10 VPN clients connected.  Make your range 192.168.100.10-192.168.100.10 if you are the only one to be using it. 

 Hope this helps.  I keep forgetting about this setting myself.  Maybe I’ll remember now that I’ve written it down.

Blocking an IP Range using .htaccess

I’ve decided to block all traffic from all McColo Corporation users.

Not all are guilty I’m sure, but I just got hit by one of their customers called “Digital Infinity”, reportedly a Moscow based company.  I was crawled repeatedly by IP 12 IP addresses within the 208.66.195.1-208.66.195.20 range.  Now, <100mb of transfers isn't so much to loose over a couple days, but it's enough to catch my eye.  Looking up one of those IP addresses shows McColo Corporation has leased 208.66.195.1-208.66.195.15 to “Digital Infinity”.  However, several of the IP addresses that scanned me are within McColo Corporation generic pool.  I’ve also seen posts related McColo Corporation’s 208.66.192.* range being a major source of WordPress comment spam.

So, guys, you’re outta here.

I’m blocking them via .htaccess.  I suggest you might want to do the same for at least 208.66.195.1-208.66.195.20 if you’re feeling more charitable than I am this morning.

Since they have four groups of addresses, I add four lines to my .htaccess file.  As a whole, that section now looks something like this:

[html]

order allow,deny
deny from 208.66.192
deny from 208.66.193
deny from 208.66.194
deny from 208.66.195
allow from all

[/html]

OK, I’m back.

I didn’t mean to go away, but it seems I went away anyway. Things were spiraling way to fast there for a little bit. When I created that yet-to-come mega post about the need to update to the latest version of WordPress (I may yet publish it in some form) it broke me out of the spiral and gave me a chance to breath.I’m now more caught up with things at work. We had a new release of our product and I needed to release new deployment tools. That’s done now. BTW I’m now using a tool a co-worker discovered called Eureka Log. It is an EXCELLENT product. It should be included in just about any Delphi program out there. I’m considering buying a personal copy so that I can use it on any thing I do out of office. Any time an error occurs in your program it allows the user to send you a full stack trace with screen shot via email or internet site. Then with the tarballed .ELF file you can see the full state of their machine at the time of the error, the active button/control and within the stack trace you can double click on each line and it will take you back to the appropriate line in the Delphi source code. Within an hour of its use, I squooshed four bugs that have been in the software for the last year. Perhaps its best feature is that it lets you know that an error has occurred. After all how can you fix something if you don’t get feedback that there is a problem?

Let’s see, what else… My home PC has been rebooting every 5-45 minutes, but I think I may have gotten a handle on that now.  But that was not done before I ordered a whole new generation of computer.  I wonder if I’ll notice a difference moving from a 333mhz FSB to a 2,000 mhz FSB based system – I haven’t figured out how to compare the CPU improvement yet.  It’s a several generatation jump.  More on that later – the boxes should arive today!

And things at home are coming more inline. We’ve replaced our old smelly couch with a not-as-old not-smelly couch. We emptied the garage and all its storage. We pressure washed away everything that was growing on the damp garage walls and threw out loads of stuff and reboxed everything else. So, the garage is now in much better condition.

I’d planned to complete everything on my to-do list this weekend but Thursday night I had a salad tasted really bad at the first bite. I’d actually set it aside, but twenty minutes later we were still watching the movie and I was starving at that point and tried it again. It didn’t taste too bad at that point. Boy, was that using my stomach and not my brain. I felt bad the next morning and was a walking zombie by noon. My holiday weekend was spent rolling around in bed having stomach cramps. Anytime I stood up I had extreme vertigo. It was nasty.

I got up and about some on Monday. I actually took a short walk with the kids in a local park – more on that later. Anyway… By 11pm Monday night I was feeling almost normal again and was ready for the weekend to start… Yeesh…

Anyway, I’ve finished two or three more books – I’ve got to get them up for review. I’ve also got three or for draft posts started and I’ve got the whole series Web Bots in Delphi articles I wanted to post. So, there should be pleanty of things coming up on the site as I get back into the swing of more frequent updates. Chow for now!