Category ►►► Administrative Annunciamentos
November 28, 2013
Action-Packed Replay of My Favorite Thanksgiving Annunciamento
Merry Gotdankbar to All, and to All a Gut Gotdankbar!
Eat, eat, you're skin and bones!
January 8, 2013
There Is Absolutely No Truth Whatsoever...
(I considered simply stopping there; but I reckon I should "complete the sequence, Mr. President" -- which itself is a nicely obscure film reference.)
...to the rumors that I am nought but a sock puppet of Steven Hayward. Whoever he was.
(No, I have not been dipping into the sacerdotal wine. There's madness in my method.)
January 1, 2013
Awaken to Your Worst New Year's Nightmare...
Perfect Progressivist Paradise!
December 25, 2012
Have Yourself a Merry Little Chrismartini
December 22, 2012
All Right, So It's December 22th 2012...
November 22, 2012
The Future Is Tense - Happy Thanksgiving!
January 1, 2012
Have Yourself a...
December 25, 2011
Did You Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas?
What was the question again?
October 31, 2011
~ Halloween 2011 ~
September 11, 2011
Remember: September 11th, 2001 - September 11th, 2011
July 28, 2011
"Computer" Problems Fixed - I Hope!
Sorry about the recent lack of posting. First, we were on holiday: white-water rafting on the Kern River, followed by horsepacking (well, mulepacking, to be technical) in Yosemite/Ansel Adams Wilderness.
Second, we brought our ancient laptop, but it appears to have bitten the dust. I might be able to resurrect it, if I can get Registry First Aid to run there. But in any event, we were unable to establish a connection on all but a single day.
Finally, when we returned and booted up, our home computer itself started having terrible problems! That's the one that really took time and sucked up all available energy: having to recover from a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death); restore from a backup image taken before the problems; uninstall and remove all traces of anything Norton, which was primarily responsible for the crash; then finally, mash everything (hardware, software, firmware) together so it works.
Upshot is, we should have some posts in a few. Again, sorry to our readers -- the two of you know who you are -- for an even greater lack of posting that our customary slovenly, sluggish, lazy habits!
P.S. The word "computer" is in quotation marks above because, per my pal Bill Patterson, "We have not yet entered the computer age; we shall enter the computer age when computers become invisible."
That is, when we never have to think about "firing up the computer;" when using a computer is too well hidden for us even to notice. Then and only then will we truly be in the Turing era.
July 4, 2011
Joyous Indepence Day to All!
To hell with politics, let's set off some incendiaries!
Bonfires, illuminations, and -- and -- balloons?!
On July 3rd, 1776, John Adams sent a letter to Abigail Adams, his wife, exulting in the great and awful deed the Second Continental Congress had just performed:
[Independence Day] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Adams, in his lawyerly way, imagined the day of celebration would be July 2nd, the day the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress. But practical Americans instead chose the date actually printed on the Declaration itself; it was easier to remember! So July Fourth it became, that first Independence Day, and real Americans celebrate it every year.
Finally, just because I really, really like it, here's the image we used the last couple of years:
Happy Independence Day - 1916 meets
May 22, 2011
It's 12:01 am... Do You Know Where Your Rupture Is?
January 2, 2011
I Need a French Idiom...
Friendly readers, I'm transcribing an interview, and the subject spoke a term I cannot understand or unpack. He is a Korean War vet, and he said that around the South Koreans, he and his fellow American paratroopers always had to be [unknown expression here], which he defined as "on the edge" or "at the ready"... meaning that you never knew whether a South Korean was on your side or secretly on the North's side.
The word or words he used were in French, he said; phonetically, they sound to me like "kay deeve."
Does any of you know enough idiomatic French (or Korean-War idioms) to hazard a guess as to what he actually said? He repeated it clearly several times at my prompting, but I still can't find the phrase on Babel Fish; sadly, he has since died, so I can't ask him what he said, at least not without the intervention of a Ouija Board.
Anybody have any idea what he was saying and how to spell it?
December 25, 2010
Troffie Claus sure will!
November 25, 2010
Merry Gotdankbar to All, and to All a Gut Gotdankbar!
Eat, eat, you're skin and bones!
September 27, 2010
BlogRolling.com Security Alert Problem Should Be Fixed
Commenter MikeR alerted us to the fact that the security protocols on a number of ISPs have begun flagging BlogRolling.com as a "malware" site. (We had been using BlogRolling to manage our blogrolls.)
In fact, it doesn't contain any malware; see the discussion here. However:
- It's easier for us to change all the Big Lizards templates and rebuild the blog, to remove BlogRolling and manage our blogrolls ourselves, than to argue with every ISP in Phosphoristan.
- BlogRolling is about to be terminated anyway, so (1) is required in any event.
We changed all the templates to remove all script calls to BlogRolling and rebuilt the main page (which is fast and easy); the rest of the blog, the archives and system pages, will all be rebuilt as soon as our domain host tells us all is clear to do the (monster-sized) rebuild.
(The Bear Flag League, which lists California blogs, presents a special problem: Its list of links is enormous, and there is no way we can type them all individually into Big Lizards even once, let alone keep them continually updated! Therefore we must forgo those links until such time as the BFL finds a different blogroll-manager that doesn't generate security alerts. BFL links will resume when and if it can do so.)
This should resolve the problem. If you navigate to Big Lizards later today or tomorrow and still get the security alert, try reloading the site in your browser: Sometimes browsers bring up a cached version, which might still have the script call. If that doesn't work, let us know, and we'll investigate.
Thanks, and we apologize for the inconvenience.
August 25, 2010
Point of Personal Privilege - I Need Help on a Word Macro
I have a manuscript file that was typeset for some ancient version of Ventura Publisher, I think, and I need to convert it to Microsoft Word 2003 (or 2007 of 2010).
I've managed to convert all the silly, custom VP formatting into ordinary Word formatting, all except for one class of transformations: I must somehow convert VP italics to Word underlines.
Through a brilliant series of global search and replaces, I managed to turn all the italics formatting into constructs that look like this: (em)phrase to be underlined(/em), or on some occasions, (em)phrase to be underlined, followed by the end-of-paragraph marker. But I need somehow to turn them into actual Word formatting that looks like this: phrase to be underlined... that is, actually underlined in Word.
Thinking about it as best I can, it seems I need a macro that does something like the following:
- Search for the opening italics code, (em).
- Turn on "select".
- Search for the closing code, (/em), or else for the end of the paragraph.
- Close selection, leaving the phrase selected.
- Format the selection with the underline character format.
Later on, I can delete all the (by then redundant) ems and /ems, and all's well in the world.
Alas, however, I have no idea how to construct such a macro! The part I'm missing is how to turn on and then off the selection, leaving the phrase sandwiched between actually selected; and then how to format the characters of that particular selection: If I just searched for the (em), then searched for the (/em), the insert bar would just move to the latter, and nothing would be selected.
Can any reader-genius out there help me? It's rather important that I convert this file, and there are way too many italicized phrases to do by hand. You can respond either via comments, or else by the semi-secret, semi-sweet blog e-mail address, which you can find in the right-hand column in a cool box.
July 25, 2010
Snappy Aphorism Lizipedia Project - Share Your Entries!
John Hinderaker at Power Line has a great aphorism; he likes to say, "You cannot create wealth by subsidizing the inefficient production of energy."
I'll rewrite that slightly to make it snappier: You can't create wealth by subsidizing inefficiency.
I have my own saying which shares the basic structure of the Hinderaker Hypothesis: You can't create jobs by paying people not to work.
To be specific, the structure of this line of aphorisms is, You can't [achieve some obviously desirable goal] by [obviously inimical action that is nevertheless American policy]. Here are some others in that same format:
- You can't create freedom by removing choice.
- You can't feed the world by paying people not to grow food.
- You can't foster original thought by stifling dissent.
- You can't end mandatory government racism by racializing government mandates.
And here are some of a similar but shorter structure, You can't [counterproductive action] your way to [desireable outcome]:
- You can't tax your way to prosperity.
- You can't surrender your way to victory.
- You can't dictate your way to democracy.
So let's play Lizipedia: Please post in comments as many such aphorisms as you can concoct, putting them into one of these two formats. If we get enough, maybe we can compiled them into a long post; then truly, everything you need to know you could learn from Big Lizards!
July 4, 2010
Happy Pro-American, Exceptionalist, Patriotic, Liberty-Filled Independence Day, Redux 2010!
I really like the image I used last year, so I'm going to repeat it. If I have time tonight when I get back from the fireworks display, I'll hunt for a new image and attach it below this one.
In the meantime... enjoy!
Happy Independence Day - 1916 meets
Last time I asked, "I wonder how many liberals see today as the goy equivalent of Yom Kippur?" In case anyone missed the snarkiness, Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement, when one is supposed to reflect back upon all one's sins the past year, feel contrite, and resolve to do better.
My (uncharitable) point was that, to a radical liberal like President B.O., July 4th may not be a date to be celebrated; rather, it's likely a date to be mourned and regretted. Think of slavery, racism, sexism, Capitalism. Think of all the wars world-wide since 1776, and all of them America's fault. My God, think of the Native Americans!
Thanks heavens we need wait no longer for the One We Have Been Waiting For, the heart, soul, and intestines of America, to save us from ourselves. And the Obamacle shall not fail us, for I know that my liver redeemeth.
...Or am I maligning the man?
Anyway, for real America, let's celebrate Independence Day in the time-honored way: By eating burgers and franks, potato and macaroni salad, baklava and chow mein, and washing it all down with good American celebratory munitions.
April 12, 2010
Anals of Relocation 003: Back Online
A quick note to declare we survived translocation relatively intact. I have restored (some) online connection; haven't rebuilt the entire LAN here, but at least I connected a laptop... I'll just pretend I'm on holiday in a foreign land, where I must use portable means of internet communications.
I will make a real post later today; for right now, this is it. But keep watching the skies...
March 9, 2010
The World Has Gone Mad
I've been summoned for jury duty many times; I've never even gotten to voir dire.
Until now: Through some perversity of the Fates, I was actually impaneled yesterday.
A juror impaneled is like -- is like a butterfly mounted. All day, every day for the rest of the week and perhaps even Monday or Tuesday next, I'm pinned in my box, unable to do ought but squirm and squirm, and wriggle and wriggle. I'll try to blog a bit in the evenings, but...
But on top of just closing escrow on our house, having to get it rewired, repainted, erecting a couple of fences, stocking the joint with labor-saving appliances; having our main car totaled, buying a new (used) car in replacement; and atop Sachi going through a particularly stressful time at work just now; suddenly finding myself on a jury is just too-too!
It saps the very marrow of my bones. *
I shall do my civic duty; but next time, I swear to whatever God I don't yet believe in that I'm going to show up in the jury assembly room sporting my t-shirt that reads, "I'd rather be waterboarding."
I'll see you on the flip side; and don't expect the usual long-winded, endlessly weedy screeds for which Big Lizards has become justy infamous.
* I've been told being on a jury is very rewarding, and the tale-tellers were right: I'll get about $75 plus thirty-eight cents per mile... where "per mile" here means, not my actual driven mileage, but rather as the vulture flies. Cheap, Alfie.
February 11, 2010
If You're Wondering Why Posting Is Light...
...It's because Sachi and I are taking advantage of the "perfect storm" of very low interest rates and plummeting property values to buy a house. (It's small, but better than the condo we've been living in!) Of course, this being Southern California, even a small, two-bedroom, entry-level house goes for nearly half a million Samolians.
Escrow opened today, so we've been rather busy, running around like a pair of chickens with their legs cut off, trying to fill out loan applications and sign 48,994 copies of every document ever printed. For the last several days, we've been negotiating prices, making offers, reading counter-offers, dealing with the loan and real-estate agents, and so forth.
All of which is time consuming.
We hope to get back to our "normal" publication rate (whatever that is) real soon now...
January 1, 2010
December 25, 2009
We Wish You a...
Merry Christmas ~
And a Happy... Morning After the Night Before!
December 9, 2009
That was the sound I heard tonight when I got pounded in an intersection. The first was the sound of some idiot blowing through the red light -- way, way into the red light -- and the second was the sound of the right-side airbag deploying... which would have been a Godsend, except nobody was sitting in that seat. (Ordinarily that's where I would be sitting, because usually Sachi is driving; but tonight, I was alone. Whew!)
Here's what went down in the big city: I exited off the freeway; at the end of the offramp was a red light, and I came to a full stop. I was even annoyed, because the instant I stopped, the light turned green. I started out, crossed both of the northbound lanes fine; but halfway through the southbound lanes, I got perfectly t-boned.
The impact was enough to spin my BMW 180° around, so I was facing the opposite way on the street. But I take my hat off (or I would, but I don't wear a hat -- I'm not Matt Drudge) to the powerful German engineering at Bayerische Motoren Werke AG: Even with that heavy a pounding -- I'm sure the nut was going about 45 or 50 -- the car was still drivable enough after the accident to make a Y-turn, get facing the right direction, and drive part way up the block and park it more or less out of the way.
Neither I nor the other driver was hurt; but his car lost practically its entire front end, and our two right doors are munched. Still, I have hopes that the frame isn't bent and we can get off with just some replacement doors. I also hope that he won't go home and claim that he had the green light: Though the fact that I crossed two lanes of a busy street without hitting anything is pretty good evidence, I would think, that I had the green and he had the red.
My guess is that if he's that inattentive a driver, going through a red a solid five seconds after it changed, that he's probably got a bad driving record; mine is perfect. Maybe the two insurance companies will take that into account when they're deciding who to charge with the accident.
Anyway, that's why my homework was late, Teacher. I mean my second blogpost; I'll try to post it later tonight.
November 26, 2009
...And I hope you had matzoh-ball turkey noodle soup. And wear your overcoat. Don't make so much noise when you eat, you want people should think you were raised in a barn? Oy!
July 15, 2009
Has the commenting facility stopped working again?
Or have I finally achieved my life's ambition of getting everybody in the world simultaneously to stop speaking to me?
If the former, can someone tell me what's wrong via the "Lizardly Tips" e-mail address displayed in the right-hand sidebar, below the perpetually free advert for Power Line Video?
And if the latter, then go ahead and don't speak to me... see if I care, you lousy bunch of tree-hugging, plague-infested, insect eating, beady-eyed, naked-tailed, mangy members of order Rodentia.
(And if the former, please completely ignore the sentence immediately preceding. I was just talking to a friend of mine on Bluetooth.)
July 4, 2009
Happy Pro-American, Exceptionalist, Patriotic, Liberty-Filled Independence Day!
Happy Independence Day - 1916 meets 2009
(I wonder how many liberals see today as the goy equivalent of Yom Kippur?)
May 24, 2009
Diversity Lane on Big Lizards!
Please look right to the sidebar and notice the new appearance of the wonderful webcomic Diversity Lane, a fine mockery of all that is Left. (To see the words and things big enough to read them, please click on the cartoon image.)
I have been working with the creators of the strip to be able to present it here... I hope you enjoy it as much as I! In theory, as the artist, Zack Rawsthorne, draws new strips, they will appear in our sidebar in place of the one currently there. If this fails to eventuate, I'll try to figure out why it's breaking down.
Needless to say, given my respect for copyright, the appearance here is with the full and enthusiastic cooperation of the copyright holder.
To read more about the strip, the characters, the artist, and everything else, please head here...
March 16, 2009
Lizard-Skin Bookmark Icon
We've added a cool -- well, I think so, anyway -- lizard-skin bookmark icon to Big Lizards.
You might see it if, having just navigated here via your bookmarks, you check your bookmark menu again. Or favorites, if you use Internet Explorer.
If you don't see it, you might see it the next time you start up your browser.
If that doesn't work, you might have to bookmark the site again; then you can delete the old bookmark and use the one with the icon henceforth.
And if that doesn't work, then your browser was probably designed by a Democrat.
Constant site improvement, that's our motto!
February 14, 2009
To All Our Beloved Readers...
January 9, 2009
Hoping the Long Computer Nightmare Is Over...
As I think I've hinted, we've been having terrible computer problems since about mid-November. This is the worst I've ever personally experienced... but with brute determination -- perhaps better phrased as mulish stubbornness -- I was finally able to put everything back together, with only a few minor setbacks caused by listening to experts.
For those who are interested in these sorts of things --
-- It all began with a crash that prevented me from booting into Windows. It seemed that some boot file had gotten corrupted. Slumming on Sachi's Mac, I found a copy of it on Microsoft's website and replaced it; and for a day or two, it appeared to be working. But then another crash, and this time it was another boot file that wouldn't run.
(I'm not going to bother editing this; so if you find some stupid tyop, or if you some missing verb, feel free to comment on it and embarass me in front of my peers. Go ahead; I'm too relieved to care.)
More noodling around the web convinced me that part of the problem was my ancient motherboard, an Asus P4S8X from the Pre-Cambrian epoch. Replacing that file too, I got Windows up and running again; but this time, I was sure it would only be temporary. I decided that now might be a good time to upgrade the motherboard... so I bought a nice Gigabyte Ultra-Durable 3, which had gotten very good reviews by both professionals and consumers.
I naively assumed that Windows -- being an operating system -- would live on the Operating-System layer, not the hardware layer; therefore, it shouldn't care what hardware sat beneath it. After all, there is the network layer (a.k.a. communications layer) sitting there in between them!
Computer Architectural System Layers
Foolish me. In reality, Windows is so fragile, so badly designed, that changing the motherboard out from under the OS caused Windows to have a complete nervous breakdown, hysterically complaining that everything was changed and it didn't know what to do.
At this point, I decided to contact the real professionals, the geniuses at the Microsoft help desk... located, as they all are, in Bangalore, India. They informed me that Windows is integrated with the hardware (what a great design!) and could not be run on a new motherboard. They suggested I should simply buy another copy of Windows (the one I have was an upgrade from Windows ME, not a full-install version) and install it. This, they swore, would take care of the whole problem.
It took a while -- everybody is frantically flogging Windows Vista, not Windows XP -- but I finally found a full-install version of Windows for about $100. As instructed, I installed it in a different partition from the old Windows.
Surprise! While Windows did come up, it had no knowledge of any of my 126 applications. None of them. Thus, I would have to reinstall them all; naturally, I didn't have disks for each of them; while I have no illegal software here, I have certainly not kept tabs on each and every set of CDs (or in some cases, floppies) of every legacy program I have and use.
At this point, I belatedly remembered that I had used Norton Ghost to make disk images of every partition on my drives, just about three days before the crash; they were sitting on my terabyte Apricorn external USB hard drive. Aha, I thought, perhaps I can restore the system by just copying the disk images onto the partitions of my hard drive, replacing the new motherboard with the old one, and firing it up. There was only one catch: My Norton Ghost program was, of course, an application on the system of which Windows was unaware. In fact, I couldn't even run it by going to its directory and double-clicking the application file.
The only solution -- suggested by new help-deck experts from Bangalore, this time working for Symantec (which owns Norton Utilities) but sounding suspiciously like the previous experts allegedly working for Microsoft -- appeared to be to buy a new copy of Norton SystemWorks. Well, all right; my old copy was from 2005, perhaps it was time to upgrade. But I was beginning to notice that all "solutions" seemed to begin and end with buying more software from the experts' employers. Odd.
Skipping lightly over the fact that the new SystemWorks conflicted with ZoneAlarm, when I tried to restore the ghost image to the partitions, both the C: and D: drives had serious errors. The Norton experts assured me this was due to the hard disk itself, on which they say, being old, decrepit, decayed, and in a bad way generally.
I bunged out and bought a new drive; but the only drive I could find big enough to put all the partitions on one physical drive (to avoid buying two new ones, you see) was made for a SATA bus -- a different, more modern sort of connection to the motherboard than the old IDE 13,226,425-pin connectors we've all come to know and loathe. But again, I got the same errors.
I decided to heck with it; I would go with what I had. I rereplaced the motherboard with the original, hooked up the new drive (with the error-riddled, restored ghost images), booted, and --
Nothing. Nothing at all. It was as if there were no hard drive there whatsoever. Which was actually the case, as it turned out that the SATA connectors on the old motherboard were just there for show, I suppose, and didn't really work. Neither did the SATA card I installed. It seemed my only choice was to put the old drives back in; but when I did that, they failed.
At this point, all that mulishness set in; I decided I would put this bloody, blasted, tanstaafled system back together if it killed me. So there.
I had to (a) find a working IDE drive that was big enough, then (b) somehow partition it and get the Ghost disk images onto it, then (c) put it in the original motherboard, and finally (d) fix whatever errors were caused in the drives by all this nonsense. That meant removing the old board and putting the new one back in again, just long enough to run through the recovery-restoration procedure with the new SystemWorks. After doing this, I again replaced the new with the old, plugged in the new IDE drive, and turned everything on.
Nothing. I couldn't see a thing. Of course, one of the problems was that the old board wasn't quite installed correctly (it couldn't be), and the video card didn't sit low enough to be screwed tight. I tried poking at it, and for a brief moment, I saw some video. That meant that the current problem was a lack of a working video card.
I bought a replacement; I've always used nVidia GeForce cards... but this time I was misled by reviews to buy a Radeon whateveryoucallit instead. Surprise surprise! The card not only didn't work in my system -- it made such a mess misinstalling its drivers that it scragged the disk again!
Again I had to remove the old board for the new, restore the disk images for the fifth or sixth time, swap back to the old board, and plug in the drive again. (I did return the Radeon and get my money back, thank you very much for asking.)
Now I was stuck; a month and a half had passed, and I was still stealing time on Sachi's machine. We trundled out to Orlando, Florida, to see Brad (lurking at the threshold of his ancestral manse in the nearby Florida town of Brand New Arkham), leaving the computer disembowled all over the living room. Upon our return, I wearily returned to the seven-weeks war.
Shortly before leaving, I found a guy in Hong Kong offering (on eBay) the very last GeForce video card made to fit into an AGP slot -- which is what the old board had for its graphics port. By the time we returned to stormy SoCal, this GeForce 7600 had arrived. Alas, when I tried it out, it failed to work. He was rather nice, agreeing to exchange it for another... so long as I sent the first one back to HK.
In the meanwhile, I discovered that I could unscrew part of the mounting assembly on my old GeForce Ti 4200 and, by bending the metal mount into a pretzel, get it close enough that I could screw it tightly to the chassis. But it still wouldn't work... and neither would any other card, not even in the normal PCI card slots. Somehow, in the course of all this removal and replacement, sticking cards in an out of the slots, the board was damaged -- and dead.
This is starting to sound like that children's book Fortunately, by Remy Charlip: Fortunately, I was able to make the video card fit. Unfortunately, the board broke. Fortunately, I found some guy -- also on eBay -- selling the identical motherboard. Unfortunately, that was more days delay, first for the auction to close (though I was the only bidder) and then for the USPS to get it here by (ho ho) "next day" air.
The end is in sight. The board finally arrived; I put it together, and everything seemed to work well. Except, not being able to leave well enough alone, I decided that maybe everything would be really all right if I just flashed (upgraded) the BIOS, the little chip that tells the system how to interact with the outside world -- with disk drives, keyboards, mice, monitors, and so forth.
You're way ahead of me. I downloaded the latest BIOS program, ran the "E-Z" flash system -- and the flash failed. Not only did it fail, it left the board unable to recognize the existence of such a thing as a "keyboard!" At this point, I was looking for some cholera-infected water to drink. None was to be found, unfortunately.
Fortunately, I contacted Asus (the board maker), and they agreed to send me a new BIOS chip. Feeling sorry for me, they also agreed not to charge me the $20 they normally charge for such chips, because it was their fault; but their sorrow did allow them to charge me $25 instead -- for overnight delivery by FredEx.
Well, the chip arrived today. I managed to prise the old one out and install the new, and now everything looks fine. I installed my new external sound card (the old one died somewhere in the midst of all the monkeyshines), had to re-activate Windows (which grew suspicious at all the new hardware it was seeing around itself), and I think -- hope -- pray, if I were a believer, that is -- that I have finally fulfilled my vow.
And I didn't even have to be killed.
(Published raw without editing. Read at your own risk. Wash your hat and coat.)
December 15, 2008
Suggestions for Commenters
I've noticed several people making multiple copies of the same comment -- heck, I did it myself a week or so ago!
I have a feeling that the new TypeKey/TypePad system is not doing a good job of updating the posts to show a newly added comment, even if it's actually published. Here are some suggestions:
- Before attempting to publish your comment, please select the entire comment and copy it to your clipboard. That way, you have a copy, just in case something messes up.
- Once you post, no matter what response (or non-response) you get (or don't get), before republishing, please actually check the post yourself to see if your comment did already publish after all.
- If you don't see your comment, please click your "reload" button above your browser window. This should delete the cache version of the post and actually download the current, correct version instead.
- If your comment is still not showing up, you can click to leave another comment and paste the clipboard-saved text of your comment into the text box.
Thanks, and I hope this works!
December 10, 2008
I think I Forgot to Mention...
...That I think -- fingers crossed -- I've managed to completely repair my system here at Lizard Central.
At least, it's worked fine for the last couple of days.
<neep alert>I had disk images for each of my drives sitting on an external terabyte USB drive... but the problem was I couldn't get my system to boot (after the fiasco where the fatheads at Microsoft tech support "suggested" I simply buy another full copy of Windows XP and install it on a different partition -- inadvertently neglecting to mention that this would mean I'd have to reinstall all of my applications; that is, all 126 of them, about 100 of which are sans disks that I could find (though each and every one is legally purchased).)
It took me more than a week to undo that insanity and get a system that would actually boot... but only using my Norton Rescue Disk. Eventually, I bought a new 500 Gb IDE drive, plugged it into my original motherboard -- I now know how to replace the motherboard without causing Windows to fall into a hysterical fugue, but I'm not sure that new Windows installation disk will cooperate -- booted off the Norton disk, and was able to restore, one by one, each of the drives to a corresponding partition on the new drive. The boot drive and the Windows drive each had problems, but I judged them not serious enough to prevent booting; and once booted, I would be able to repair the drives.
It all finally worked, and I spent all day Monday running every repair application I had, from Norton Disk Doctor to Norton WinDoctor to Pest Patrol, to a couple of antivirus programs, to Registry First Aid 7.0 -- which I had to run five separate times to clean up all 3,347 registry errors lurking in the Windows-drive disk image I restored.
Anyway, it all seems to work now, knock wooden nickles.</neep>
So the last few posts here were created on my original, comfortable, happy, Windows system, instead of on Sachi's wretched Macinslosh toy computer. And I was only able to do so once I got the brilliant idea of completely ignoring all of the advice I was getting from endless armies of help-desk professionals from Bangalore named Noor or Singh or Mohammed, and simply following my own instincts and logical, Spockian analysis of what to do and how to do it.
There must be a patriotic lesson buried in there somewhere.
November 26, 2008
Typekey (or the Comments Facility) Appears to Be Messed Up
Alas, I still have (unrelated) computer problems and cannot access my server's helpdesk. Sorry!
I might have my computer back in play Wednesday; if so, I'll launch a help ticket and see if they can take care of it. But more than likely it's a Typekey problem, so only Typekey can do something about it.
November 21, 2008
If You Wonder Why Posting Is Pretty Slack Lately...
...It's because we've been having serious computer problems at Lizard Central:
- Norton SystemWorks 2005 failed; it kept calling its own files, which were mysteriously corrupted (I've been using this version of NSW since 2005 with no previous problems). A round of tech support hijinks ensued.
- I couldn't even boot until I booted off the Windows CD and deleted the errant files.
- Almost immediately thereafter, one of our hard drives failed deader than a clam (I don't know if 1 and 2 are related). With the disk dead, booting up took about 7 minutes each time -- presumably the system was looking for all sorts of applications and such on the dead disk.
- I bought SystemWorks 2009, hoping to (a) fix problem 1, and (b) restore the dead drive of problem 2 using its most recent Norton Ghost image.
- Then I had terrible problems installing NSW 2009; another round of tech support.
- Got NSW working, but still couldn't do anything with the disk. Partition Commander could not even detect it, so I unplugged it.
- Bought a new disk, a SATA drive. I hoped to format it, then restore from the Norton Ghost image; but the disk wouldn't work with my SATA card.
- I decided it was high time to upgrade my system anyway... so I ordered a new motherboard with onboard SATA (Gigabyte EP45-UD3R) and a new chip (Intel Core 2 Duo). They arrived yesterday, and I started reading the installation instructions.
- Discovered the board needed a 400 watt power supply; mine was 300 watt. Went to Fry's and bought a 500 watt power supply -- Antec Neopower 500.
- Late last night (ca. 3:00 am), tore computer apart and started replacing the motherboard. Realized my venerable graphics card was a GeForce 4-something... AGP. ("But nobody uses AGP anymore, and there isn't even a slot for them on modern motherboards!" "Yeah, thanks for the post-hoc heads-up, Mr. Turing.")
- Went back to Fry's today and bought a GeForce 9800 GT for PCI Express 2.0, which is what the Gygabyte board uses.
- Assembled everything, plugged everything in, turned on the power... nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zed. Several hundred dollars, and I don't even have a half-working machine.
- Took whole shebang in to a repair place; they said that no power at all was getting to the motherboard; when they used another power supply (one that had enough power but didn't have the proper connector for the chip power), they at least got some lights to light... they believe the new power supply I bought yesterday is defective; but the motherboard may be as well -- couldn't tell without a proper power supply.
So that's were we stand. I'll be back to Fry's tomorrow to exchange the power supply, and the nightmare continues. As Sachi is out of town on a business trip, I'm posting this from her (yecch) Mac Mini; of course, she hasn't the clean, obvious, well-organized load of bookmarks that I have... so it's a struggle to find the right links to go the Big Lizards posting URL.
Bill Patterson is right: We're not yet in the computer era. We won't be in the computer era until computers become invisible. I take him to mean until everything works right out of the box, all things work together, nothing requires configuration (or refrigeration), and nothing must be physically connected via cables.
Until then, we live in a primitive, half-civilized condition, able to envision the promised information revolution but unable to achieve it. I feel like Moses... or maybe like a eunuch in a harem.
In the meanwhile, don't shed your skin if posting is kind of light. You think you have troubles?
August 2, 2008
Sitemeter Problem Should Be Fixed...
I was never able to rebuild the blog until today: This site gets so many hack attacks and spam and suchlike that our host server, Hosting Matters -- about whom I have no complaints -- keeps some piece of techno-wizardry in place to prevent much of this.
Alas, it also prevents intensive operations like rebuilding. I have to tell them when I want to rebuild, and they fiddle with the system somehow to allow it to rebuild while the shield thingie is still in place. Last night, I was unable to get a response right away (it was probably about three in the morning at Hosting Matters!), so was unable to rebuild then. This left some of the pages with and some without Sitemeter code.
But today, I looked and found that Sitemeter itself had fixed the problem (which was of course on their side, since it hit everybody from Instapundit to Big Lizards!)... thus, I took the commenting off of the Sitemeter code on Big Lizards. I'm now rebuilding, just on general principles... but you shouldn't notice anything different.
Full funcionality should now be restored. But for those of you who check such things as Sitemeter stats for Big Lizards, you might see a drop that is primarily attributable to the main page being without Sitemeter code for circa twelve hours.
August 1, 2008
Sitemeter Killing Internet Explorer 7
I just heard from a friend of mine that, as of sometime this evening, something changed in Sitemeter that caused Internet Explorer 7 to curl up and die when some poor fool was unlucky enough to try to use it to view Big Lizards -- or any other blog with a Sitemeter display.
You should be able to view the main page of Big Lizards via IE now; and you'll be able to see the whole thing using IE whenever the rebuild finishes.
Once this is all sorted out, I'll uncomment the script and rebuild again.
Apologies for the inconvenience.
April 7, 2008
Something New Here...
Check the sidebar; there is something new.
It's an experiment. It's intentionally a bit hard to make out (to frustrate spambot-OCRs); if it's utterly impossible, I might be able to make it a bit easier.
If we start getting massive non-sequitur responses, especially if it's spam, we may eliminate it. But if it works for the intended purpose, then I hope you're all satisfied, you verminous lachanocephalics.
January 22, 2008
Upgraded to Movable Type 3.36
We just upgraded from MT 3.34 to MT 3.36. You scrofulous riff-raff shouldn't notice any difference, except the IQ of our posts ought to increase by 0.6% (bringing us close to that magic 100!)
Should you experience any difficulties -- I mean new difficulties, not the same, old problems you always had -- please let us know, so we can try to fix it. (I think I correctly copied over all the plugins, but you never know...)
Also, should something that has been paining you for months suddenly alleviate, well, let us know about that, too!
December 25, 2007
Merry - Unny Ufts!
November 28, 2007
Meet the New Ross...
Same as the old Ross.
As some of you may have noticed, we have a new permanent guest-blogger on Big Lizards: David Ross. You can read his first post here.
We found his name on the back of a bird-seed catalog, scribbled in crayon; and we thus decided he was perfect for the blog. After much poking (with a red-hot poker), Mr. Ross disgorged a brief bio. We cannot vouch for any of it; and frankly, some of it looks to be made up out of whole milk. But this is what he said:
For 23 years David Ross has been the editor of the Valley Roadrunner newspaper, a weekly community newspaper, in San Diego County, California.
Ross does many of the news stories for the weekly paper and writes the editorials. He has won about a dozen first place newspaper awards for editorials and one or two for humor.
He is also the author of two science fiction novels, the Eighth Rank and the Argus Gambit, both published by St. Martin’s Press.
In the last few years he has become something of a specialist in Indian gaming because he can't turn around in the shower without his stomach brushing against a casino. Although that could also be a faucet. He writes for two casino magazines and a gaming newsletter.
He lives on top of Palomar Mountain, home of the famous observatory.
Mind, all this self-serving diddly-boo was supplied by Ross himself; take it for what you will. Until we get around to tarting up his resume with the patented Lizardly touch (as seen here), this will just have to do.
So eyes front: Whenever you see a post with the keywords "Hatched by Dave Ross" below the title, you'll know you have another Ross gloss in your hands. So don't blame me or Sachi; direct all bouquets and brickbats at Mr. David Ross, esquire.
November 5, 2007
Happy Guy Fawkes Night...
...Whichever side you're on!
Penny for the Guy
You are free to use the comments section to discuss the pros and cons of the Gunpowder Plot.
September 6, 2007
Heading for the Yukon
As internet advertising has dried up considerably since the glory days of the 2006 election (for everyone, just just us), we at Big Lizards have decided to implement Plan B (not the pregnancy thing).
In order to raise the vast funds it takes to continue bringing your this blog, without which your lives would sink back into the drab, lifeless, despairing existence you had before we came along to brighten your otherwise wretched days and your nights riddled with restless leg syndrome, we have decided to head to the Alaskan gold fields and make some serious money.
We figure this will take about a week. Thus, posting may be light (as opposed to light-headed, our usual state) from Sunday until a week from Monday: Curiously, it's not the problems of an internet connection; few people realize that the Yukon gold fields are now fully wired for wireless connection. Rather, we're just not sure we'll have as much time as normal to surf the internet, what with assaying all the gold nuggets that we're reliably informed simply tumble from the rivers and streams in our 57th state.
(Even fewer realize, as those same sources inform us, that Alaska, all by itself, has more land area than the entire Earth.)
Ever mindful of our responsibilities, we've scheduled several posts to automatically publish in our absence (allowing us to maintain our drab, lifeless, despairing, wretched excuse for restless blog syndrome). We shall supplement these with on-the-spot reports on important events; and I'll bet Sachi will eventually write another travelogue... and let's hope we can get her to write it in English as well, this time!
Just thought we'd let you know. In our absence, our crack team of guest bloggers would surely have taken up the slack; but they were all tapped to run Fred Thompson's campaign. What luck for the rest of us!
July 5, 2007
Comments and Trackbacks Should be Working Again...
...Now that we've rebuilt the blog.
If you tried unsuccessfully to leave a comment in the last day or so, please try again!
February 2, 2007
Hosting Matters Was Down for About Seven Hours - Updated
So in case you were wondering why you couldn't get to Big Lizards... that was why!
(You also couldn't get to Patterico's Pontifications, Captain's Trousers, or Power Line; that last is especially odd, because I was under the impression that Power Line had a dedicated server. So what's up with that?)
Anyway, we appear to be up now -- but it could be only temporary. I'll try to make some of the posts tonight that I planned for yesterday, hoping to catch up.
Please, everyone, visit here one extra time tomorrow, so we can get our average back up to what it should be!
UPDATE: It was a cut fiber-optics cable that fed into Hosting Matters; it wasn't even their equipment. Anyway, it's fixed now, so there should be no more problems.
January 23, 2007
Upgraded to Movable Type 3.34...
Sorry for the light posting, but it took a while to upgrade to MT 3.34.
Part of the problem was that we use an alternate edit_entry template developed by Dan Wolfgang; it gives us a huge number of editing buttons, so we don't have to keep typing HTML code. Alas, the template was written for MT 3.2... and under MT 3.3, it has a slight difficulty: you can't save posts!
Obviously, this is a drawback when trying to write and publish blog posts. It took me a bit to discover a workaround: if you click Preview, you can save the post from that screen. I just sent e-mail to Wolfgang, asking if he is going to update the template for MT 3.3; but I haven't heard back from him yet, of course (not everybody spends all day hovering over the keyboard, waiting for e-mail).
In any event, with the workaround, we can now start publishing again. Working on a fat, new post right now...
January 19, 2007
Computer Problems - Sorry For Light Posting
I'm working with a (near) catastrophic computer problem here: when I boot, it shows the Windows XP splash screen... then the entire screen goes dark. Sometimes, after 30-40 minutes, the machine boots up; other times, it just sits that way for hours.
I spent all afternoon on the phone with some Microsoft tech-guy in India, Mr. Nahasapeemapetilon, I think he said. Mr. Nahasapeemapetilon appeared to be in the midst of a tubercular fit of some sort: for the entire conversation, he insisted upon coughing -- horrible, wracking, gagging coughs -- directly into his microphone. Hence, my ear.
In the end, he admitted he had no idea in the world what was wrong. But some "senior technician" is supposed to call tomorrow... and by golly, this time, I expect some results! After all, if you can't trust Yogananda from Bangalore, then who the heck can you trust?
It's up now, and I have internet access (no problems with my internet connection, fortunately), so I'll get cracking on a real post.
Again, my apologies.
January 8, 2007
Comment Thread for Media Matters In the Meme Streets of Baghdad - 1
Here you may post comments, thoughts, and suggestions anent our Michelle Malkin post, Media Matters In the Meme Streets of Baghdad - 1.
Fair warning to Michelle Malkin readers: Big Lizards has a very strict comment policy, and we nuke miscreants without remorse, pity, or warning. Honest disagreement is fine, but no obscenity, personal attack, or boorish behavior is tolerated.
The complete comment policy is found in this post. The hosts are always right. Tie goes to the runner.
January 7, 2007
For the next X weeks (I don't know how long), we'll be guest blogging over at our dearest Michelle's joint (along with See-Dubya and the divine Ms. Ham) while she -- Malkin -- is in Eye-rack.
She made it clear she doesn't want mere cross-posts -- after the first three posts, that is... which will (oddly enough) be cross-posts of the boggling-big Eric Boehlert vexposé. But when those are finished, the rest of the posts over at Michelle Malkin will be unique, lizardly creations. (I wonder if Malkinites will be frightened -- or at least overexcited -- by the sight of so much italic and boldface type?)
We'll try to put up at least 2-3 posts here each day (our normal average when we're not being unusually slothful); but since work is a foreign concept to the lizards (we're more the "lie on a rock and bask in the sun" types), Atlas may shrug now and again; in particular, the posts both here and abroad will probably be shorter than the last three (you can cease cheering at once, or I'll post my 3,000-word essay comparing the manufacture of cheese and tofu).
Also, Jesse Malkin -- who is some sort of distant relation to Michelle, I gather, maybe a fourth cousin once removed (twice, if you count that time he was bunged out after l'affaire Krauthammer and the andirons) -- has promised that if we mess up, he'll break my spine in six distinct places. Having grown attached to my spinal column, I'll be running a parallel "Malkinblogging" open thread for suggestions, thoughts, and especially comments on whatever we've posted over at MM, since they don't allow comments over there (cowards).
That is, each piece at MM will be accompanied by a corresponding open thread over here: if we post "James Carville Arrested for Mopery With Intent to Gawk" on MM, we'll have a post titled "Comment Thread for James Carville Arrested for Mopery With Intent to Gawk" over here, with links and such back and forth, and the main category "Malkinblogging."
People reading MM can come over here and comment; but Lizard lovers can also use it to suggest topics for posting over at MM... what an incestuous relationship! (And it has not escaped this reptilian eye that a bunch of refugees from Michelle Malkin, Inc. coming to Big Lizards to post comments would significantly expand our daily Sitemeter reading. Heh.)
As always, anti-troll policies will remain in full effect: our dearest Michelle tends to attract a mourn of slope-browed, beetle-brained, anthropoid liberal ogres who make crude, obscenity-laced suggestions via e-mail; those will be bounced instanter if they show up as comments here, and their authors immediately banned for life. However, fair warning: they may appear briefly until I see them. Try not to succumb to the temptation to debate such creatures; it's like arguing with a talking dog.
But liberals who make legitimate arguments for liberalism (however wrongheaded) are always welcome, and you can argue with them to your soul's content (let's be nice ourselves and give a good impression).
This will be sort of a "People's Choice" opportunity... but please, not like last time: no more suggestions to post graphics of R-rated tubers or celebrity unmentionables; no more quizzes about leaders of insignificant and possibly nonexistent countries I've never heard of, like "Akrotiri," "Kiribati," or "Pakistan"; and most especially, no more recipes for "pig lickins," whatever that is (and I really, really don't want to know). Let's all behave ourselves in front of company, what?
If we play our cards right, we can, you know, seize Michelle Malkin! (The site, I mean; the person is 10,000 miles away and guarded by that great-granduncle on her mother's side, Jesse.) But don't spill the cat out of the beans... let's keep that part of the plan to ourselves.
January 1, 2007
Happy New Year...
...For those of you who elected a new year this time.
I've been trying out used (or rather, "pre-lived") years instead the last few New Years'; they're loads cheaper, and you know how they'll turn out. 1969 is a popular one, But a lot of folks seem to prefer 1955 or 1956 (take your pick).
The problem with new years is that it takes a while for the sharp edges to wear off. The pre-lived ones are comfortable and pre-fatigued, like old shoes. Of course, if you've got hold of someone else's old shoes, they can pinch like the dickens; and the same is true for a pre-lived year that doesn't ring true.
Thoughts to bear in mind when selecting your pre-lived years (I'm reading this out of the catalog, as I haven't the faintest idea about the subject myself):
- You're not restricted to years subsequent to your own birth; it's perfectly permitted (except in Kansas) to select a year from before you were born.
- You cannot mix and match pieces of pre-lived years: it's all or nothing, baby. If you pick some year that has a bad monsoon season, you can't return it when you get soaking wet.
- Read your history carefully: stay away from obvious klinkers -- 1917, 1350, 1492 (if you're Jewish. Or Mayan), and 1976.
- Obscure years can be every bit as interesting as 1812 or 1066, but at a fraction the cost! I was able to get 1760 for a wing and a song once; it was child's play to make my way to William & Mary College and spend some time with Thomas Jefferson (he called me "squatty;" to this day, I've never quite understood why).
- Don't forget, transportation can be a problem. If you select any pre-lived year prior to 1910, be prepared to wait a long time for the bus.
- Finally, I understand that package deals will soon be available that include future years, for those of you who want a preview of what is to come. Save your shillings and pence!
But for dyed-in-the-cheese traditionalists who want to stick with the old-fashioned model of an actual new year for New Year's, Merry New Year, and I hope it works out for you.
December 25, 2006
Happy Christmas, Merry New Year!
Who could say it better than Chuck?
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, bah, humbug!
December 14, 2006
I'm going to be rebuilding Big Lizards, which I must do piecemeal for various reasons. You may have a hard time leaving comments and trackbacks... but hang on, don't shed your skin: they'll function off and on during this period, and it won't take longer than a half hour or so from now (5:00 pm PST) to finish.
Apologies, it takes longer and longer every time. Normally I try to do it really late at night; but I need the host server to do something first, and I couldn't get them to respond quickly enough the last couple of nights... so I decided to do it a little earlier. I hope everything works all right now!
July 31, 2006
I'm trying to get all my favorite posts from earlier incarnations of the lizard (on Patterico's Pontifications and Captain's Quarters) onto Big Lizards; hence, I'll be posting a number of "Scaley Classics" this week. Each such will be introduced with an opening graf that tells when and where it was first hissed, but not why on God's green Earth, beyond mere reptilian caprice, it should ever see the light of day again.
(Of course, it allows me to pump up the number of posts without thinking so much as a single original thought. But that has nothing to do with it. Well, very little.)
Those readers puzzled why anyone would be egotistical enough to do such a thing should rest assured that I have no idea either. The madness possesses me, and I am but a poppet, dancing to the strings of some eldrich master.
But we are all sinners in the hands of an angry God; so in penance for your life of indolence and greed, you must suffer through these wretched excesses of floccillation. Just remember: TTSP. It won't help, but it's cool to say.
July 13, 2006
New Reptillian Rule for Comments
I admit, part of my reason for enunciating this new rule is just to smirk as one particular commenter squirms, trying to follow it. But the other part is that Sachi and I read enough of this garbage in the antique media, and we don't need it on our blog, too.
Here it is:
- We don't mind you gloating over the deaths of our enemies; but Big Lizards will not tolerate any gloating over the deaths of Americans or American allies.
I will also make one other long overdue change to the Reptillian Comment Policy. Originally, I had the following bullet point under the "what we do want" section, the part where I listed what HTML is allowed:
- <p> for paragraph, though I don't know why you would ever need that
Well, I quickly figured out why. If you have multiple paragraphs sitting inside a blockquote or list tag, you should put the <p> tags around the first paragraph, or it will look goofy. Let me illustrate.
Here is an example where I used the <p> tags around the first of the two paragraphs:
The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.
Just the place for a snark, the Bellman cried, as he landed his crew with care. Supporting each man on the top of the tide by a finger entwined in his hair.
And now, here is that same pair of paragraphs when I did not put the <p> tag around the first of the two:
The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.
Just the place for a snark, the Bellman cried, as he landed his crew with care. Supporting each man on the top of the tide by a finger entwined in his hair.
As you can see, the paragraphination gets all goofy when you leave out the tag. Note that it's only necessary when you have two or more paragraphs inside a <blockquote> or <li> (list) tag. If you have only one paragraph, there is no need to use the <p> tag.
I know it makes no sense; but every time I try to rework my .css stylesheet to eliminate this necessity, it crashes Big Lizards (and also the Sexually Transmitted Diseases database of the Needles County Cafeteria Chefs Union, for some inexplicable reason).
So bear that in mind, all of youse who quote multiple paragraphs or create lists with multi-paragraph entries. And do not forget Rule 6; it will be rigidly enforced.
June 19, 2006
HTML "Quick Keys"
Are you guys able to see the HTML "quick keys" I added to the comment text box, both in the original permalink page and even in the comment preview page -- which last was a real bear?
Nobody has mentioned them, and I suddenly had the horrible suspicion that I was the only one who could see them!
Are they there for you? If not, what browser are you using? I tested it on Netscape 6 and 7, IE 6, and Firefox. I didn't bother testing it on Opera, because I have so many problems with that browser that I gave up on trying to design the blog to be Opera-friendly.
April 28, 2006
Distributed Denial of Service Attack
There was a DDoS attack on Hosting Matters today. I wasn't trying to get on at the time, so at first, I had no idea we had been caught in the crossfire... twice!
(Or maybe the second time was when they were transferring domains to other servers; I don't know.)
Did anybody here have difficulty getting onto this site? Our SiteMeter is a little lower than normal today, but I don't know if that is related.
The attack originated in Saudi Arabia, and the target was a blog called Aaron's CC (which I've never read)... but it also hit Power Line, Instapundit, Hugh Hewitt, Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin, and lots of other fry like Big Lizards. My pal Stacy (that is, the brilliant and beautiful technician who always fixes problems when I mess something up on Big Lizards) explains:
Today, 11:46 AM This morning at approximately 10:00 AM Eastern time, we noted a sudden abnormal surge in traffic to the network.
Shortly thereafter, our upstreams confirmed that one of the servers within the network was the target of a massive DOS attack.
We worked with the NOC and the upstreams to further identify the target and steps were taken to isolate that target from the rest of the network.
Recovery on all segments except that target segment is complete. The target of the attack will not be brought back online and will be removed from the main network in the event they are the target of future attacks, so as not to negatively impact other clients.
We are currently working to address clients who may be on that same segment of the network to bring them back online.
Stacy - Hosting Matters, Inc.
(Hat tip to Michelle Malkin, who hates me, I think. She never links, she doesn't write... oy, such a gantseh makher, she should go in good health.)
One hopes the problem is (finally) resolved.
Isn't there some diabolically clever way to finally lick this problem of DDoSes once and for all? Maybe some sort of really, really fast switch that can actually handle millions of sockets at once, just checking to see if there is a DDoS-like pattern... and if so, shunting the offending pings into the bit bucket and the real pings on to the server?
April 23, 2006
Sidebar Problem Resolved
Turns out there were a couple of unclosed div tags -- not in the templates (which was where I was looking) but in the posts themselves... where I never thought to look.
The problem shouldn't return, because Stacy at Hosting Matters explained an easy diagnostic technique to use to find such "broken" posts: you look at the permalink (which is the "individual" archive, in this blog's case) of the most recent post; if the sidebar is where it should be, you go backwards to the next permalink, and keep doing this until you find a permalink that shows the same symptom as the main blog: the sidebar is moved. That post will be the one that has an unclosed tag.
Now that we know how to do that, we can avoid or swiftly fix such problems if they crop up in the future. So kudos to Stacy!
Right Sidebar Keeps Dropping Down Below Main Column
The right-hand sidebar hasn't vanished; it just keeps dropping below the main (center) column. We're trying to figure out why this is happening. It doesn't do it all the time; just off and on. Sometimes, if you click the permalink, the sidebar on that page will be in its proper place; you can try that, at least.
It began around the same time Hosting Matters switched us to a new server, though I don't know if that has anything to do with it. We have a help call into Hosting Matters, and we're hoping they'll be able to figure it out.
In the meantime, any webheads among our readers are welcomed -- nay, encouraged! -- to make useful suggestions of things to check. (There are no open divs; we already checked that. The only div that remains open when the center column div ends and the right column div begins is a div called container, which sets fonts and suchlike... and that is closed at the end before the end of the body.)
April 21, 2006
Finished (I Hope!) Fooling Around With Comments
I just need to check whether trackbacks work; here goes.
April 20, 2006
Comments Should Be Working...
...But we're still trying to figure out what went wrong with the anti-spam thingie. Haven't implemented it yet; we just restored to the original configuration.
Next time, I'll warn y'all before horsing around with anything!
Big Lizards Monkeying With Comments and Trackbacks!
I know, I know; you can't leave comments. Hang on, don't shed your skin; we've been trying to implement anti-spam techniques, and they're not quite working as advertised!
They'll be up soon, and you can go back to raking us over the coals....
March 21, 2006
Dialing For Comments
We seem to have experienced a sudden and inexplicable dropoff of comments, and we're concerned there might be something going wrong with the comments system. (The alternative is that our readers have all simultaneously become shy about revealing their opinions on matters great and small!) The strange part is that we're not seeing any correlated dropoff in readership -- just in readers who leave comments.
Everyone is encouraged to try to post a comment here, just to see if everything is still working right. If you haven't left a comment in a while, it would be helpful (in the Rumsfeldian sense) if you let us know why, and if there's some topic you wish we'd discuss that would provoke more response from you.
March 12, 2006
Dhimmi of the Month Poll: Advanced Poll 2.04, Anyone?
We're trying to figure out how to use the PHP software Advanced Poll 2.04 to create the polls for the Dhimmi of the Month feature... but we're having a hard time figuring out how to work it (actually, I am the one who is completely befuddled; Sachi the Engineer refuses to get involved in techie stuff!)
Do any of you readers have experience with this application? I think it's the same one Patrick Ruffini uses for his 1,001 weekly straw polls, but I don't want to start bugging him for help until I've exhausted every other avenue.
Any aid you can supply would be greatly appreciated!
New Experimental Look for Big Lizards
Any thoughts? Do you like it, hate it, or are you indifferent?
Did you even notice it looks different from the last time you were here? (If not, then... yeesh!)
Please leave comments: we can easily restore the old version (it takes about thirty seconds to change the stylesheet back to what it was). But if you like the new, we can leave it up.
To get a better view of the background pattern, click the permalink.
If you want to click back and forth and compare them, just click Home on the navigation bar in the logo area; that is what the blog used to look like. Click Blog to return here.
February 20, 2006
Trackback Spam Attack
We've started getting disgusting trackback spam, so we've introduced a monitoring system: trackbacks will still be accepted, but Big Lizards will have to approve them before they're published.
Shouldn't affect anyone here... the trackback will still show up, just a few hours later.
Sorry for the inconvenience; but for some unfathomable reason, some deranged individuals seem to believe that people who read political blogs automatically pore through the trackback listings (of ancient posts), desperately hoping to find a link to a particular kind of website... that kind being (one presumes) so difficult to find otherwise.
February 13, 2006
New Feature at Big Lizards!
I have decided to inaugurate a new feature at Big Lizards: the Dhimmi of the Month award.
Each month, starting this one (even though it's half over), I'll be nominating some well-known blabbermouths as Dhimmi of the Month. Then, at the beginning of the next month -- assuming I can figure out how to do this -- I'll do a "poll" post, where you all can vote on which nominee wins the coveted "Four Feathers" trophy and plaque. (The plaque will remain metaphorical until I can find some really cheap plaque-making place to produce one.)
The plaque -- real or imaginery -- will remain at Big Lizards central; but if I ever get around actually to having one made, I'll take a picture and post it here, so you can see what it looks like. Each month, the winner's name will be "etched" onto the plaque below the other winners (by "etched," I of course mean "hand-scribbled with a paint pen").
Readers are invited to suggest nominees; you must include a link to a respected Antique Media article (not just somebody's unsourced blogpost) describing the incident for which you believe he or she deserves being immortalized. If I accept your nomination (totally up to me), I will of course hat tip all those who suggested that person.
This could be fun... I've never tried to make a poll post before! But it's just XHTML -- how hard could it be? (Uh oh, my hubris may have just angered Blogetheus, the Titan of the blogosphere!)
The next post will have our first Dhimmi of the Month nominee, the man who in fact inspired me to this reckless promise....
January 7, 2006
Upcoming on Big Lizards
We just put up our first movie review in the Movies section of the website; but regular readers of Big Lizards have already seen it.
It's my review of the Peter Jackson remake of King Kong, appropriately titled King Kong Died For Your Sins. I also added a new drop table on all of the pages in the Movies section to take you to the Dragon's Eye Movie Reviews page or Der Krapp, and a drop table under the Dragon's Eye to take you directly to various reviews as they're ready. (Naturally, it only takes you to Kong right now; "patience the way of the Jedi is.")
Our co-author, Brad Linaweaver, has just become the publisher of a magazine called (I think he said) Cult Monsters, which I imagine must have sprouted from Cult Movies -- though I'm really not sure. He is currently in the process of negotiating the electronic rights to his several decades of political and other nonfiction writings that have appeared in the National Review, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Chronicles, and many other publications. As he gets permission to do so, we will be adding these articles to the Big Lizards website as part of the Memorial Brad Linaweaver Historical Preservation Project.
And this weekend, we'll be adding Sachi's "Underway" travelogue to the English-language travelogue pages under the Sachi-Land section of the website. I will be flogging the poor girl until she gets busy translating her wonderful Grand Canyon travelogue, hitherto only available in Japanese, to English for the rest of us. I'm dying to read it myself... I want to know what happened to us!
In the meanwhile, we just came back from the pseudo-Danish village of Solvang (right next to Buellton, home of Anderson's Split-Pea Soup), where we spent a very pleasant couple of days and took lots of pix, testing out our new Nikon D50 SLR digital camera (for which we just got a 2 GB memory chip). We ate at A.J. Spurs, where they served me the best steak I've ever eaten.
We took a memorable horseback ride for a few hours through the hills and forest about thirty miles south of Solvang; it included too much trotting for Sachi, but she might write a post about it this weekend anyway. Here is a visual sample to whet your appetite:
Sachi ready for the roundup at the Triple R
Busy times here at Lizard Central!
November 15, 2005
Do Not Attempt to Adjust Your Television....
As you've probably guessed, Big Lizards is experiencing technical difficulties. Unless you thought I'd jumped into a kayak and headed back to the island.
Actually, the problem is not so much BL itself as the fact that I can barely reach any other websites at all. Thus, although I have drafted several posts today, I can't post them; each depends in some fairly critical way upon research and linkage that requires the internet.
My ISP, Charter Communications, says they have a "DNS problem" which interferes with any web page that links to other sites, either as direct links or as linked images. That, ah, means pretty much everybody!
I can access my Movable Type page (since that doesn't have many links); and some sites (like Big Lizards itself) are properly enough designed that the text will pop up while the rest is still grinding away. But a great many sites I routinely visit have become white screen with literally interminable loadouts.
Please keep checking back often; as soon as Charter gets my act together, I'll take it on the road here!
November 11, 2005
Flakey Cable Modem - Scaley Classics Upcoming!
The flipping cable modem in this hotel in Waikiki is fading in and out. I'm struggling manfully to make posts, but it's difficult.
In the meanwhile -- and I will still continue posting new stuff, don't worry -- here are some Scaley Classics, posts from the misty past, vast aeons ago, sometime between the Dark Ages and the last mini ice age. Well, stuff I formerly posted on Captain's Quarters and Patterico's Pontifications, while I was still trying to cajole the bank of little lizards to run inside their Faraday cages (that's what powers this website, you know).
Here is a three-parter: the Wishing Ring, about three inventions that will change the universe.
Note: There may be some old information in here; just let me know, and I'll update it. Thanks!
October 31, 2005
Happy Samhain Eve!
May all your ghosts, goblins, witches, and power-saw murderers be unectoplasmic, nonhumanitarians ("humanitarian" as in "vegetarian"), wartless, and purely pretend, respectively!
October 13, 2005
Comments Listing Style Slightly Changed
I changed the comments listing style slightly: I added a line above each comment identifying the commenter to go along with the line below, and I changed the color of the border (I never liked that blue-gray line, though Big Lizards Red may be a bit strong).
I would appreciate anyone interested in such things to click on the comments to this post -- I'll add a few ersatz comments -- and let me know what you think. This is your chance to get involved in site design!
Please leave comments about the change here; in addition to posting your words of wit and wisdom, you'll create more comments so that people can see how it looks with other commenters' names.
Questions to consider:
- Is it easier to tell who has left which comment?
- Is it confusing to see each person's name twice? Would a border without the commenter name be better?
- Is the border line too bright? Should it be a different, more muted color? Or does it clearly demarcate each comment better than a brownish line would?
By the way, this is the advantage of designing and creating one's own site, rather than relying upon the kindness of subcontractors: I can make changes like this myself whenever I see a need, without having to locate and engage the attention of some other mortal.
October 11, 2005
News About "Good News" News
I have created a new top-level category, Good News!... click on that entry in the category list in the sidebar, and you can read all the news that just plain makes you feel good about things, especially our tremendous success in the Iraq War and the Global War On Terrorism. But other issues, too: if Congress finally makes permanent the repeal of the death tax, that will get Good News! as one of its categories, as well.
So now you've got a one-stop shopping center for whatever good-news stories get posted on Big Lizards (mostly by Sachi, of course, since I'm the dour Spockian of the two of us). I reckon that's good news itself!
October 6, 2005
Change In Comments Policy
Due to the diligent efforts of a particular commenter to disrupt the dialog and drive away other commenters through sheer insufferable boorishness, I am forced to add a new rule to the Big Lizards Reptillian Comments Policy, which is now Rule 4:
Comments whose primary purpose is to derail, disrupt, or destroy the conversation, or to drive away other commenters, or to serve any similiar troll-like goal, will be deleted and the troll warned; subsequent violations -- or even a single violation for anyone on comments probation -- can result in permanent termination. The hosts are the sole judges. Squeals of "censorship" will be considered further abuse. While the hosts dislike having to institute this rule, we dislike even more seeing other commenters driven away by the abuse of the few (or in this case, the one). Reasoned dissent is welcome; verbal assaults and intimidation will not be tolerated.
Enforcement of the rule begins immediately for all comments subsequent to this announcement.
Examples of such abuse include but are not limited to repeated deliberately off-topic comments, endless epithets to describe those the commenter dislikes, and incessant use of circumlocutions to insult other commenters.
The comments section is for conversation and discussion -- not infantile game-playing to see how close the troll can come to violating specific commenting rules without technically crossing over the line.
Simply put, the line is no longer one pixel wide; it is now thirty pixels wide and fuzzy. All other commenters on this blog, including others who disagree with the hosts, have managed to stay well within the lines, making reasoned arguments for their side without stooping to trollish behavior. One commenter has not.
These are the new rules, for which I apologize. But necessity is the mother of restriction.
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