Month: February 2006

Record time

The Hawaiian flight from Honolulu to San Francisco made it in record time: 4h 19m! This was due to a generous jet stream that gave us an excellent tail wind.

How unfortunate that said tail wind and jet stream were causing a major storm in San Francisco that forced a shutdown of the airport… In the end, the whole flight took 5 hours, as usual, and I made it home in time to be deprived of sleep by the wind.

But let me tell you this funny story about my getting to the airport…

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One more month

{moszoomimglink:Kitchen tiles}The list of things to do is shrinking and shrinking. Remember, I presented it last month, and here is a new colored version (green: HAPPENING; grey: DONE):

  • Wall to the master bedroom and MBR closet
  • All swinging doors (14, plus closets)
  • Fixed doors to the kitchen
  • Drywalls and mud
  • Painting
  • Electrical (all)
  • Plumbing (finish)
  • Bathroom and kitchen tiles

Not bad, huh?

It’s heaping up!

The webcam says it all: it’s dumping snow in South Lake Tahoe! Great news, since it appears part of a system that will take us into the weekend, which will be devoted once more to snowboarding. This time the company sponsors an offsite, and that means Monday is included again (and again, I won’t be able to snowboard one day because I am going to be assisting beginners).

Hooray! I almost thought this snow season was beyond saving!
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Late, late, late

Just came back from Ninole, with a day-long flight that managed to be by far the fastest I have taken. The plane made it into the Bay Area from Honolulu in 4:19, and then had to park due to heavy winds for 40 minutes (sigh).

The house is well, with the tile work in progress and the electrical close to rough-in. That means we still have a few weeks to go, but then it’s final inspection and I can my refi done. That’s going to be a huge thing for me, finally to be out of the strictures of a construction loan!!!

The weather was mixed. Saturday was nice after around 2, and I hung out at the beach until I got a bad sunburn. Sunday was nasty, a cloudy day followed by a stormy night. As I woke up in the morning to get a coffee, I saw the streams bursting with brownish-red water and crashing down the waterfalls.

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Freezing in SLT

President’s Day weekend, and the slopes were packed. I had decided to go with a friend from L.A. who had never been skiing or boarding before, so a lot of the time was spent outside the ski circus. In the end, I had a ton of fun, although the conditions were only average.

The snow was decent, with some four inches falling between Friday and Saturday. Sunday saw a few flurries, but nothing that amounted to what the other resorts had seen. Mt. Rose surprised us with over a foot of fresh snow! Oddly enough, the Nevada side had much better conditions. The top of Galaxy had some serious powder cover, and I had a great time sailing through it.

The good side of the poor snow was that a lot of people had deserted Heavenly and gone to the North Shore. Northstar must have been drowned, just as Mt. Rose or Squaw. We had a good time – nothing of the 45 minute wait of last year, and even when there were lines, they usually were only at one of two lifts (e.g. at Sky Express, but not at Canyon Express).

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Recovering from IMAP crash

One morning I connect to my IMAP server and it tells me there is an I/O error. Terrified, I connect using SSH and find out the hard drive is full of backup files. This in turn seems to have caught Cyrus in the worst possible moment, and I struggle to restart it. Whenever I do, I get weird error messages like this:
Feb 21 04:35:15 invent lmtpunix[9573]: DBERROR db4: PANIC: fatal region error detected; run recovery
Feb 21 04:35:15 invent lmtpunix[9573]: DBERROR: critical database situation
Of course, I have not the slightest idea what to do. At least there is a hint to a recovery tool, no?

What To Look At

First things first: the Cyrus documentation is not as good as it should be, but not as bad as it could. Fortunately, a lot of people seem to have had similar problems, and I could garner a lot of information.

There are four places that store information relevant to this process:

  1. /var/spool/imap the sacred location of the mail store (your email)
  2. /usr/lib/cyrus where the tools for cyrus are located
  3. /etc with the configuration files
  4. /var/lib/imap the location of the corrupted db files

I had no idea what was corrupt, but got good vibes running ‘file’ on most of the db files in the last directory. Only the mailboxes.db file and the db directory seemed out of whack. That’s good, you can rebuild both easily (if you know how).

First Things First

Back up the directories listed above, at the very least the /var/spool/imap and /var/lib/imap directories! You are going to do some really invasive surgery around here, and you want to be sure you don’t lose anything permanently!

The Script

There is a trick – you have to run a script that does most of the work for you. It is listed under "More…". Copy and paste it into an editor, save it under a convenient name, chmod +x it, and run. It should do all its work without much complaining. I got it from a Google source, that had a bunch of things wrong. After fixing paths and adding the right secret sauce, it worked just fine.

To run the script, first shut down the IMAP server, then execute. Once the script is done (which took about 10 minutes on my machine), you can restart the server.

Ensure you read the output of /var/log/mail and /var/log/messages to ensure everything is fine! The first few times, I had gotten it wrong, and the log files quickly grew again into making my system run out of space.

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Snow predicted for the long weekend

Looks like Tahoe will be prey to the chill gods. Actually, even the Bay Area is supposed to get its light dusting with snow. The snow level is supposed to fall to 2000 feet, which would still cover a lot of peaks around here.

And I am to run out to Tahoe on the weekend with a friend, Mike. That’s gotta be tough!

War of the Worlds (2005)

Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise! A revival of the (excellent) Minority Report! That sounds like a reason to go to a theater, doesn’t it?

Well, I didn’t go when I could have, and I am happy I didn’t. The movie is a singular catastrophe, and I wished the director and protagonist had chosen a better screen writer.

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Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Paradoxically, while I am a huge fan of the history of the Medieval Middle East (in particular, of the Eastern Roman Empire) I didn’t watch "Kingdom of Heaven" in the theaters. Instead, I waited for a sick weekend and rented it from the local store.

Ridley Scott set out to do a relatively accurate depiction of the goings-on during the destruction of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. For those that don’t know, in 1099 the First Crusade marched into Jerusalem and captured the city from the Saracens (Muslims). A hundred years later, the resurgence of Islam that came from the Turkic tribes of Anatolia forced the destruction of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Just as the notorious internecine warfare between Muslim states enabled the Christians to gain land, their own constant dissonance was their undoing when the Muslims found their unity under Saladin. Indeed, most of the movie tries to deal with this disconnect: a small country on the border of giant empire, and yet its inhabitants are constantly at odds with each other.

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Sunday fun

Leaving on Sunday morning for a full day of snowboarding to Heavenly with a bunch of colleagues (including a bloody beginner!)