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She’s real fine, my 4 0 9 . . .

Cue the Beach Boys.

Back at the client’s this morning, I concentrated on getting full access to the webserver. And to do that I had to figure out how the other IT guy was getting from his personal computer into the webserver, which is a Linux machine, not Windows.

Normally you use a program called PUTTY to telnet into the other computer, but it wasn’t installed on his machine, so I went looking for OpenSSH, another popular ssh program, but no luck there either. Of course I could have just installed PUTTY or OpenSSH and used them, but I figured that whatever program he was using would have the IP address and ports already entered.

And finally I found it – TightVNC. And there was the needed info – Now to figure out the password.

I had found various passwords scribbled on Post-It’s around his office, and started with some of those. But I quickly ran into a problem. He had the security protocols turned on, so after three wrong passwords the system would lock me out for a while.

So I had to get smarter. I had noticed that there was a lot of references to 409, the song by the Beach Boys, and I knew the password had seven characters (the system wasn’t masking the password length) so I started trying variations on  this theme – and the second try – ‘fine409’ hit paydirt.

Now although I was into the the webserver, I still didn’t have root access, so it back to my password list. And in this case the fifth try was the charm, and I was in with SuperUser access. And that wrapped it up for today.

Now I can work on it remotely from home.

Tomorrow morning we’ll head for Hammond LA about 350 miles away to pick up our RV from Big Wheel Towing and Diesel. The last time I saw ‘Beauty’ she was parked forlornly at the side of the big lot there a week and a half ago. So it will be good to get back to our ‘home’.

I know Karma will be glad to get back as well, since for the last almost two weeks, her entire world has been our bedroom here at Brandi’s

Karma Bored

With two big dogs, Kitty and Baxter, and two other cats in the house, we decided to keep her out of the fray. But I should have brought a couple of her toys with me when I brought her with me. She’s been really bored.

I would like to leave earlier than 9am, but that would put us in the middle of downtown Houston traffic during rush hour. So we should get to Hammond about 3pm, and  hopefully on the road back to Breaux Bridge, and Poche’s RV Park by 4pm.

Then on Friday we were scheduled to come on  back to Lake Conroe TT for two days before moving over to Colorado River for two weeks. But this evening I changed our schedule to where we stay nine days at Lake Conroe, a week at Colorado River, and then back on our two week schedule at Lake Conroe.

Thought for the Day:

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” — George Orwell, ‘1984’  



I wasn’t expecting that.

More headway at the client’s. 

I got the iDrive online backup going again today. It was working when I left, but somewhere along the line the IT guy disabled it. I’m not sure why since it was paid up and has been renewing automatically ever since. But it’s working now.

I made some more advances in hacking into the main webserver through the IT guy’s gaming machine. I still don’t have root access yet, but I’m getting there. In case you’re not familiar with the term, root access, or super user, or god, gives you total control over a Linux machine, which is what the webserver runs on.

Unlike Window’s machines, where many (most) people are logged in as Administrator, on a Linux machine you normally work at a lower permission level, because with root access, a couple of wrong keystrokes and you can erase EVERYTHING. So you generally don’t use it unless you absolutely have to.

We had already planned to eat at La Finca this evening so since I pass right by it after getting off the Westpark Tollway, I waited for everyone to show up, and was reading over the menu when a word caught my eye.


As shown here

Fajitas a La Diabla
Beef or Chicken Fajita, Topped with Tangy Chipotle Sauce. Picosa.  (1) 15.99              (2) 28.99

And it was even in BOLD.

And it seems to be the only menu item where a Spanish word is thrown into the English description.

And it’s a word that I haven’t seen in a long time, and certainly not in this situation. I even had to check my phone for a translation to be sure. They were going for ‘spicy’, so I’m not sure why they didn’t use the more normal term for ‘spicy’, which is ‘picante’.

It would certainly have been a better choice, because when I was growing up in Colombia, South America, ‘picosa’ meant ‘riddled with, or having smallpox’. And a check of one online Spanish-English translation backs me up.

Probably not the meaning they were going for.

And a lot of other phrases don’t translate well. For example, everyone probably knows what Pico de Gallo is, chopped up little pieces of onion, tomato, and jalapenos, right?

But the literal translation is ‘beaks of a rooster’, or rooster beaks. Not so appetizing know, huh.

But my Fajita’s Poblonas was delicious, with Beef, Onions, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, and Jack Cheese. Really good.

La Finca Fajitas Plobanos

Well, after calling Big Wheel RV again this morning, I finally got a call back about 4:30 this afternoon as I was on my way back from Clear Lake.

The coach is has been test driven and is ready to go. But the “OUCH’ part is that the total is $1902.32. Of course with Louisiana’s 10 percent sales tax, $173 of that is tax.

Based on what several other people said on about the same repair, I was expecting maybe $1200. According to Cummins, it’s a 2.5 to 3.0 repair, with Big Wheel’s shop rate being $125 an hour. So I was expecting about $375 for labor.

With the motor being $462 (Cummins told me $352) I was expecting around $900 or so for parts and labor, with new hydraulic fluid, etc. bringing it up to about $1000. So I’ll be interested to see what the itemized bill looks like.

This is why I do as much of my own work as possible. First off, I’m cheap. And secondly, I’m cheap. I hate to feel I’ve been screwed over for something I could have done myself.

This is why I was trying to limp back to Lake Conroe so I could fix myself. There’s two bolts holding the motor on, 8 bolts holding the fan on the motor shaft, and the two hydraulic lines. That’s it. I was figuring 4 to 5 hours, maybe 6 tops.

A GoFundMe account is starting to look interesting.

Thought for the Day: 

If we tear down or destroy all memory of the Confederacy, does that mean it really never existed, and thus neither did slavery? Just wondering.