Smoke in your eyes

and thoughts in my head…

For a number of years now I have been involved in the memorial business. This involvement meant immersion in memorial products, how they work and the stories of the people who came to buy them. What I didn’t realize was how little about what happens to our bodies after we die that I understood. The book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty did more than make my eyes water, it opened my mind to how I want – and maybe as importantly, do not want – my body to be handled after I no longer need it.

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ROKU and Credit Cards

Last fall I was able to get in on this great ROKU Ultra deal, $50 for a $100 streamer! I was replacing an Amazon Stick for my in-laws as a Christmas gift and I was high on it for two reasons. The first is that it was one of the larger units, physically, and that let it house more higher end hardware with ideally less stability issues than the Amazon stick. The second perk was the “premium” remote that had all the buttons but also the killer feature – the headphone jack! Hearing and volume issues being what they were this seemed like a great way for one of them to use the TV to watch and keep the audio from blasting. There were a couple of bad surprises when I opened the box, however…

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Google Chromecast Broken in 2019

I wanted to like this thing….

Streaming Internet video is taking over the way many people consume their television and movies and there are more and more ways to accomplish this. The Google Chromecast seems to be a much loved tool for this and can be found for $30 or less nearly anywhere. I had gotten one expressly to be able to screen share from Android devices a while back and it had set in a drawer, lonely and unused. Then, just before cancelling the Chromecast Audio (which I continue to love) they announced that it was now possible to add a Chromecast (video) to a speaker group. Awesome! Except.. not.

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Working With Puppet

Moving on to some new challenges, I had to face the reality that some of my skills and operating procedures were dated. In this brave new era of Cloud-everything – which is really a simple way of saying software defined – what’s really nice is how disposable everything is. It is possible to get a new server instance very quickly and if you “recycle” an existing one DNS propagation is a non-issue and you can literally refresh a server in minutes. Many times you could redeploy a fresh server and your application faster than you could trouble shoot it.

That said, this automagic configuration is not free.

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2018 DL Younglife Triathlon Review

Each of the last three years I have competed in the Younglife Triathlon that takes place in August in Detroit Lakes. It is an amazing value at $60 with early registration for a fully featured and supported Olympic distance Tri. Each year they seem to tweak the formula just a bit to make it a better event, but for 2018 they made a couple of weird decisions that makes 2019 a make or break year for me.

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Percona apt repo with Key – Ubuntu

puppet code snippet

It works!

 

 

 

 

 

Using Puppet for configuration management is great.  So is using the high performance Percona DB.  Ditto for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic.   The issue arises when you are combining them and realize that all of the modules and easily located online resources use the old and deprecated short key, you can read more here:

https://www.percona.com/blog/2016/10/13/new-signing-key-for-percona-debian-and-ubuntu-packages/

You can read in the comments that some people asked for the current key… but didn’t get it.  I found using the installable .deb file that Percona provides to be a PITA with using the PuppetLabs Apt module:

https://www.percona.com/doc/percona-server/LATEST/installation/apt_repo.html

I jumped through some hoops (I should probably have documented that…) with gpg commands and the deb package and determined that the current repo public key is currently:

4D1BB29D63D98E422B2113B19334A25F8507EFA5

Want to put this to work in your own Puppet Module?  Here you go:

apt::source { 'percona':
  ensure   =>; present,
  include  =>; { src => true },
  location =>; 'http://repo.percona.com/apt',
  release  =>; $::lsbdistcodename,
  repos    =>; 'main',
  key      =>; '4D1BB29D63D98E422B2113B19334A25F8507EFA5',
  } ->;
  Class['apt::update']

This should work fine with other flavors of Ubuntu like 16.04 and you can also use it to get a repo installed for xtrabackup (make sure you use apt to get xtrabackup24 otherwise you’ll get the very aged version from Ubuntu sources).

St. Croix Fat Cat Triathlon 2018

It went pretty well… we won?  🙂

You should definitely register here if you are down for a fun, hard morning where you get to paddle, run and then bike your way across a beautiful countryside!

Standing at the finish line

The results show that over 120 people participated, and I know that many have been coming back year after year to do it.  The gals behind us on the bus were talking and I overheard that a couple of them had come back from Texas specifically to do this race as it was now a tradition for them and their girlfriends.

Not having to fly in from Texas to race is a real advantage here, given that this is in Scandia anyone can drive from the Twin Cities metro and easily compete and enjoy the event.

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Dam to Dam 39

D2D LogoThis was the last year for the Dam to Dam race that concludes in Des Moines and starts on scenic dam nearly due north of the city. It has a certain reputation as an iconic Iowa running event in no small part due to the cash purses available for the winners. Many people I know have run this race. Last fall my good friend Dave challenged me to run it – if I did, he would too. I took him up on it. What follows is the uncut experience that I had.

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2017 Detroit Lakes Triathlon Retrospective

IT WENT GREAT.

My overall goal was to finish in less than 2:50, which was a repeat of my goal from 2016 which I missed my just over three minutes.

The weather for the day was awesome.  Very calm, neutral wind and the temperature (61 degrees with a 3MPH wind out of the south, which happened to be back to the beach) was ideal for a high level of exertion.  By 9:50 at the start of the run it had only climbed to 66 degrees with a 4 MPH wind.

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New Bri Tri

Today I completed my first ever triathlon…

June 22nd, 2015 I bought a bike, a Trek FX 7.3.  This changed my life.  This neon green chariot of awesome, which I was eventually riding about 100 miles a week, culminated in riding in the Saint Paul Classic where I road it 50 miles in one go.  While on one of my rides in late August (which I thought of in my head at that time as bombing runs, an hour of fun exercise outside, zipping around curves and always pushing for more speed) I wondered what I should do next.  I considered actual bike racing but quickly discarded that idea.  Competing against single sport athletes was likely going to be a source of frustration, plus looking online didn’t turn up many local newbie friendly events.  What else then?  A triathlon.  I had never swum any distance ever.  I despised running at that point.  What do you do when you are only passable at one sport?  Do three at once.

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