Author Archives: Seth Cardoza

Brown Anole Bares Teeth

I caught this anole in the back yard. It (understandably) wanted to bite me. So, I decided to get a picture of it baring its teeth.

brown anole bares teeth

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Green Anole Gets Some Food

I saw this dragonfly hanging out on our porch about a year ago.

I thought it was weird that he didn’t really seem to mind that I was there. I would normally expect a dragonfly to fly off if I got as close as I did. He did fly away once or twice, but came right back to the ropes here.

Then, I see this green anole creeping over. I’ve seen him plenty of times on our back porch. He’s identifiable because of the black spot on his head. I thought that it was weird that he was coming over to the area where I was, since he generally avoids me.

Then, I see that he’s going after the dragonfly. I was really surprised at how close he got.

The dragonfly finally flew away.

But, then, he came right back. And met his doom.

I kind of wonder if the dragonfly was infected with toxoplasmosis, especially since I don’t think I’ve seen the green anole since this happened. But, it would seem that toxoplasmosis only affects warm blooded animals.

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Creating a Repository with Git

This assumes you have already installed git on the system in use.

Creating a new repository with git is very simple. First, using your favorite command line tool, navigate to the directory you want to start using with git. Then, it’s as simple as

git init

You could also navigate to the parent directory, and

git init

so, something like

git init my-new-project

And now you have a new directory called my-new-project that is under version control with git.

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Sears Problem Is Not the Internet

Sears was an online retailer before the internet was a thing. It’s failing because it’s poorly run. Customer service is atrocious. Online, staff is usually ignorant on how to resolve your problem. I once had a package get lost in the mail (understandable). I contacted Sears, and they told me I would have to wait 1-2 weeks while they investigate. Meanwhile, Amazon would overnight a new item to rectify the situation.

Physical locations are poorly staffed. When trying to check out, I would often have to walk the store to find a register that was open and staffed. Picking up an online order would take upwards of 15 minutes sometimes. It would have been faster for me to walk in, pick the item up off the shelf, and checkout, were it not for the aforementioned problem of checking out. Shelves and clothing racks were often poorly stocked. I shop at a physical store because I need something now, often times like a tool while working on a project. If you don’t have what I need in stock, you’re useless.

Stores were poorly lit. What I mean is that the lighting was out of date, and just made the store feel old and out of date. Stores are dirty. And, while most brick and mortar retailers have taken steps to modernize and update their physical locations, Sears has decided to try to continually cut costs.

Kmart suffers from many of the same problems.

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LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Portraits

As a child of the 1980s-1990s, TMNT holds a special place in my heart. I have the entire original series on DVD (a little disappointed that it doesn’t hold up so well). I own the 3 original movies, and I still have most of my original TMNT toys from childhood. I’ve since bought numerous TMNT actions figures, shirts, and gotten into the comic books. So, this piece was a long time coming. The design is fairly simple. The bulk of the cost was in the backing, and having to place multiple orders across sellers because I couldn’t consolidate the parts list better. And, the part for the “knot” in Donatello’s bandana was only available in 2 sets, according to Brick Set.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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LEGO Rocket Ship Mosaic

This is another requested piece. The little boy’s room is space themed, and this rocket ship fits great. It was a little tough designing this one, trying to get enough detail to define the ship. I knew right away that I wanted to use the 2×2 round flat tiles for port holes. After doing some searching around the web for inspiration, I found a mosaic that had the rocket ship on a diagonal, and something about it just made it pop. I think it better displays the flight. I couldn’t find a black base plate at a reasonable price, so I got dark gray, which actually doesn’t look bad. It also doesn’t create too much contrast with the ship.

LEGO rocket ship mosaic

Download LEGO Digitial Designer Model

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LEGO Ladybug Mosaic

I made another LEGO mosaic. This one was requested by a friend to match the theme of their daughter’s bedroom. This one isn’t purely flat square tiles like my rubber duck. The spots and the eyes are raised. It would have been difficult to get that much detail on a piece this size with just square tiles.

LEGO ladybug mosaic

Download LEGO Digitial Designer Model

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MySQL Crashing and Debian Open File Limit

For a while, I had issues with my MySQL server crashing. It was simple enough to just restart the server, but that started to get tedious. So, I finally decided to try to figure out what the root problem was. I started with the MySQL error log. There were several tables that were marked as crashed. The storage engine for the crashed tables was MyISAM, so I switched them over to InnoDB. There were a few other errors and warnings to clean up. The biggest issue I had though, was:

[Warning] Buffered warning: Could not increase number of max_open_files to more than 1024 (request: 5000)

MySQL could not open the number of files it requested. I needed to increase the ulimit for the server. You can do this on a per user basis, so I actually only increased the limit for the mysql user. I restarted the MySQL server, but continued to see the warning in the error log. Running a quick ulimit -HSn showed the same default limit. My changes did not take effect. After a lot of researching, I came across this answer on Stack Exchange, which refers to a bug in Debian, and needing to add additional configuration/etc/pam.d/common-session. After following these instructions, and restarting the MySQL server again, I no longer receive the warning in my error log, and running ulimit -HSn shows the correct configuration. I’m happy to say that my MySQL server has been up for over a week now, which would indicate my problem is fixed (for now).

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LEGO Rubber Duck Mosaic

My wife and I are expecting our first child this October. She’s really crafty and has been making a ton of artwork for the nursery, as well as knitting blankets and hats, and sewing a few sheets for the cradle. While I have helped paint the nursery, assembled all the furniture, and even installed crown molding in the nursery, I felt a bit left out in the creative department. I’m not very artistic at all. I wasn’t going to be able to do a painting or drawing (and have it actually look good). So, I turned to the only artistic medium I’m good with, LEGO. I used the LEGO Digital Designer to design the rubber duck mosaic seen below. We have a jungle/animal theme in the nursery, so the duck fits.

LEGO rubber duck mosaic

I ordered all the parts off of BrickLink.com, which cost me about $36. I did order over 100 extra tiles to make sure I had enough if any were damaged or discolored. I would like to fill in the whole board with white 1×1 tiles, but that would probably cost another $60. My wife thinks it’s funny that my one project has cost more than all of hers combined so far, but I argue that the LEGO will be reusable once the kid grows out of the artwork.

Download LEGO Digital Designer Model

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Shock Top, Taking Your Concerns “Very Seriously”

I recently wrote to Shock Top to complain about one of their beers. Their Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat Ale was honestly (I am not exaggerating) one of the worst, if not the worst, beers I have ever had. I couldn’t even finish the beer I opened. Their reply is below. The only way they could have put less care into it is if it started “Hello INSERT_FIRST_NAME_HERE,”.

Hello Seth,

Jennifer here with Shock Top. Thanks for taking the time to visit our site and write our team. It’s great to hear from our friends in Florida. I read that you recently the new Shock Top Honey Bourbon Cask Ale and that you were not happy with it.

I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us about how you found it to be the worst beer you’ve ever had. Part of my job exists to make sure voices like yours are heard and I wanted to let you know that we have shared your comments with the right team. We are always developing a wide range of beer styles to meet the variety of tastes that exist and we will be sure to keep you in mind as we move forward with our brews.

You can learn more about our beers by checking us out online at www.ShockTop.com. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook for the latest news, updates, and promotions we have going on with our beers.

Thanks again for writing us about Shock Top, Seth.  Feel free to drop me a line anytime about the beer or anything we do. Until then, I raise my glass to you.

Cheers,

Jennifer

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