recent television

November 14, 2021 @ 15:20

Brand New Cherry Flavor: This is amazing. Also exceptionally disturbing and freaky and I don't even know what else. I kept finding myself wide-eyed and sitting up straight.

The Order: College werewolves and witches battle, well, mostly each other. A bunch of the charaters are quite likable, while some of them are just so clueless you end up shouting at them to not be so stupid. Ultimately it was just okay. Cancelled after 2 seasons, of course, and it's pretty clear why.

The Blacklist: I've been watching this since the begining, and I just got to the end of season 8 and honestly I'm not sure I'll bother anymore. I'm a little surprised they've kept up the whole "the princess is in another castle" thing with the secrets for so long, at this point it's just tedious, and it feels like they've done everything two or three times.

James Spader is excellent throughout though, it's often worth watching just for him.

Jupiter's Legacy: Classic 1950s superheroes in modern times, but also their origin story set in the 1950s. Extremely over-the-top, way too much, really. And there's a twist at the end that's just, okay whatever, sure, why not. If they actually make a second season I'm sure I won't bother.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: I finally made it through all of this, and in retrospect I probably shouldn't have, they jumped the shark in like, season 2. The most recent ones were really just uninteresting and tedious.. and then involved time travel. And then they ramped up the drama. Ugh.

Cowboy Bebop: We're re-watching the original in anticipation of the live-action series being released. It's fantstic of course, but I always forget just how much (excellent) drama there is amongst the action and antics.

recent movies

November 14, 2021 @ 15:10

Space Sweepers: Campy and silly, in the vein of The Fifth Element - wow this was awesome!

Cosmic Sin: Seriously, is Bruce Willis washed up enough to star in something this bad? Typical alien first contact then they kill us movie, with a bit of zombies mixed in.

Beyond Skyline and Skylines: I started with Skylines because I didn't realize it was part of a series. There are a lot of concepts I really liked so I went back and watched the prequel once I realized it existed. Overall, these aren't very good movies, but they fit in that category of movies I'll watch even when I know they're not going to be great.

The Vault: Genious engineer plans a heist. Formulaic and predictable, there's nothing new here. Go watch The Italian Job instead. Either one.

Gunpowder Milkshake: Pretty basic premise, a campy "assassin screwed up and now everyone's out to get her" kind of thing. To pull it off they needed great acting and believeable action. This had neither.

How I Became a Superhero: It seems superhero movies are popular these days, but I really enjoyed this one! I really liked how it's got a bit of the feel of the original Watchmen comic.

Code 8: Yet another "average guy with superpowers" movie. Nothing really new here, and not executed well.

Project Power: And another superpowers movie. It's based on a clever idea. Just okay.

The Midnight Sky: Half this movie is a typical "manufactured crisis after crisis in a space ship" movie, but not done well at all. The George Clooney half... it's just boring.

ARQ: A time loop movie, ala Groundhog Day, but a post-apocalyptic. Neat concept, but ultimately not a great movie.

TAU: Girl gets kidnapped and imprisioned by a jerk who invented an AI, then makes friends with the AI. A bit slow, and none of the characters are all that likable. They kinda phoned in the end.


December 23, 2020 @ 08:30

📉 Monitoring is for running and understanding other people's code (aka "your infrastructure")

📈 Observability is for running and understanding your code -- the code you write, change and ship every day; the code that solves your core business problems.

That's 2021 for me right there. How about you?

(Quote from Charity Majors)

R.I.P. instagram

December 17, 2020 @ 23:22

Right so regarding my previous post - I looked at a few options and I've decided that I'm just not going to play this game, and so I pulled down a bunch of the Instagram posts manually and hacked this up a bunch. At least it won't go away this way, but doing this manually isn't ideal.

I guess I should consider what to do with that. Maybe there's some other reasonable thing I could cross-post to or even just do an instagram-style post via my phone. Maybe I should build an app for that.

Isn't the web such a better place now that we all need Facebook accounts? Grr.

related, related, related.


December 11, 2020 @ 12:15

Well I guess Instagram finally shut down the API I was using to pull my posts for the sidebar on right of this website.

So my choices are now:

  1. Jump through ridiculous hoops getting a Facebook developer account setup and using the Basic Display API - which means getting an actual Facebook account, something I've been actively avoiding for years.
  2. Just remove the sidebar.


April 26, 2020 @ 13:03

As I discussed in my previous post, everyone should be running SSL now... but the hacks I talked about were a bit annoying. So I'm trying out something new: Caddy.

Over the years I've changed my web sites from entirely dynamically-generated template-based stuff in Perl and Python, into this one, which is completely static, generated by Hugo. So I don't really run anything overly-complicated in my Nginx config anymore.

I spent some time over this weekend converting this and my other sites to use Caddy, which handles 100% of the SSL certificate generation, and otherwise works just like a web server.

I also converted both of the web servers fronting my Home Assistant servers, one of which runs on a Raspberry Pi.

Now I'm going to have a beer, instead of manually renewing three certificates. Cheers.

let's encrypt

February 6, 2020 @ 20:40

These days, everyone should be using SSL to secure, well, everything. It used to be that SSL certificates were really expensive, but with free providers like Let's Encrypt, there's not much excuse anymore.

Well... sorta.

In theory this is really easy to do, and easy to automate. In practice, well, a lot of the tools just plain suck, or they're designed for the most basic use-case and the most commonly used DNS providers. Or, they expect you use the certificate for a public website.

In my case, I have a number of private websites in addition to this one, and Postfix and Dovecot for my email. So I have to generate a few certificates, and then copy them to several machines and restart a bunch of daemons.

Also, for various reasons, I'm still using djbdns for my DNS, and so I've got to do things a little manually.

Here's my renew script, simply just call it with a list of domain names:


function join {
    for arg in $*; do
        echo -n "-d $arg "
domains=$(join $*)

certbot certonly --manual --preferred-challenges=dns \
                 --manual-auth-hook ~/bin/ \
                 --manual-public-ip-logging-ok --agree-tos \

That join function is a bit of a hack, but hey, it works.

Here's the auth-hook script - it generates a record suitable for import into djbdns and copies that to my server into the right place.


echo "'${rec}:${CERTBOT_VALIDATION}:300" > /tmp/${rec}
scp -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa /tmp/${rec} dns@myserver:/var/dns/extdns/root/dynamic/

sleep 30

That sleep there gives me 30 seconds to go manually run the "regenrate" process there, but this is better than nothing.

vim and powerline

January 24, 2020 @ 11:51

Do you use Vim and Powerline? If so, you may have got this error message at some point, when using a Virtualenv:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<string>", line 4, in <module>
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'powerline'
During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<string>", line 9, in <module>
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'powerline'
An error occurred while importing powerline module.
This could be caused by invalid sys.path setting,
or by an incompatible Python version (powerline requires
Python 2.6, 2.7 or 3.2 and later to work). Please consult
the troubleshooting section in the documentation for
possible solutions.
Unable to import powerline, is it installed?

I know how to solve this! Put this in your .vimrc:

" workaround issue with powerline + virtualenv
python3 << EOF
import sys
path = "/usr/lib/python{}.{}/site-packages/".format(
    sys.version_info.major, sys.version_info.minor)

recent movies

October 27, 2019 @ 01:00

The Cloverfield Paradox: A sort of thriller/horror in a space station. Reminds me a bit of Event Horizon, which isn't a bad thing in general, but there just isn't much original here.

And then they went and tied this into the Cloverfield series, which makes absolutely no sense at all.

Rotor DR1: This movie is actually a film-length cut of a web series, with a budget of $300k. Overall, it feels amateurish and unpolished, often disjointed, and doesn't flow very well. Feels really 1980s in a lot of ways - the drone race is especially hilarious. It even has a music video scene!

I'm going to just say "meh".

Bright: The usual "buddy cop" movie with an alien, basically Alien Nation but with magical elves. Really predictable ending, though I didn't mind watching it. Honestly, there's something cool about bad-ass elves.

Hotel Artemis: JWZ described this one really well: "If you wanted a spinoff story about the John Wick hotel manager, this is that. I did want that. It delivered." I also wanted that.

Scorched Earth: A sort of post-apocalyptic western. I seem to be watching a lot of low-budget crap lately, but this one was just one predictable cliché after another. All of the characters were exceptionally unlikable. Should I also point out that while one of the main quirks of the world is poisoned air, they treat the insides of buildings as if the air in them is perfectly fine, but there are no airlocks? Maybe I shouldn't.

Don't miss the dodge Dodge Charger Daytona made up to look like some weird 4WD thing.

I got as far as the Big Baddie's Sgt. Pepper dinner outfit and bailed.

There is, however, one scene where the character "Doc" is wearing a hat which looks like a bird pooped on it - I cracked up imagining the prop people getting all excited when they were putting that one together.

AXL: A boy and his (robot) dog. Predictable, seems like low-budget but they sure did a lot of CG. Don't waste your time.

IO: Another post-apocalyptic wasteland movie. The idea here was somewhat interesting, but the movie ended up being kinda boring. And then the "big reveal" near the end wasn't much of a surprise by the time it finally happened. I hoped for better.

Annihilation: I went into this one having never seen the trailer or heard anything at all about it. If you can do that, you should - this movie was really freaky and overall pretty amazing. I was on the edge of my seat! The ending wasn't much of a climax, and leaves more questions than answers, but it works.