September 12, 2017
by dhoytt

Perfect 100 Degree Evening In Attic with AC Then Garden Planting 

Spent the evening first in the attic where my central air units blower was ground to a stop then, in the garden planting some new mature tomato plants.

This was was the second time in 5 weeks I had major issues with my AC unit. The prior issue end of July was my external AC units fan that cools the compressor had stopped. In July I was able to troubleshoot that to a capacitor issue that is common with AC external units. In July I purchased the capacitors and a relay unit with a friend who has a contractors license. Ended up replacing 2 capacitors and a relay unit.

Today I ended up finding the issue was the blower had somehow slipped to the bottom of the shaft and was scraping the bottom of its enclosure. At the top there’s a brace that has 3 places the fan hangs from and 2 of the 3 screws were loose so I tightened them.

The fan unit of the blower was still scraping the bottom of the enclosure so I loosened the screw/pin or whatever its called on the shaft moved it up and tightened it.

The blower shaft is like a half- moon D shaft with the square screw\pin on the flat portion. Thank goodness I could get to it from the part of the attic where it had the most room and a nice platform to layout on.

Still at one point I had one finger pinned between 2 sharp fan blades and the side of the sharp enclosure with the fan digging into my flesh and my other arm on the other side of my body. I was able to carefully and slowly reposition without losing flesh or a fingernail which seemed inevitable at one point.

To get the clearance to tighten the fan on the right spot I had to use my ratchet wrench as a spacer between the fan and its enclosure.

On top of that I also had to pickup all my pieces of my 155 piece tool case I had dropped!

After all of that I was going to leave the 3 tomato plants I had picked up Sunday and intended to plant first thing this evening for another day. I was pretty riled up from the AC trying to get me again so I decided I wouldn’t let that stop my plans got my lantern and spot light plus shovel and planted my tomatoes!

Now I hope I’m ready for the next AC surprise and I have part of my secondary plants planted for our late California gardening season we have if you are prepared.

July’s pictures of capacitors/relays I replaced  several weeks ago above. Realizing I never took the finished photo.

Blower unit in picture above where I made the adjustments. Fan was firm to the bottom when I checked.

Other side of unit in the attic.

The entire unit with covers off.

New tomato plant number 1.

New tomato plant number 1 again,

New tomato plant number 2.

New tomato plant number 3.

Me nice and grimy about to clean up after washing hands

Still nice and grimy thinking I’m gonna hit the pool for a quick dip to relax from this craziness that could have had serious fall out from being a fire hazard with seized motor, plus those costs of replacing the motor, adding to heat stress on my computer workstations and my servers.

Lessons I have learned is don’t ignore little sounds or other signs of equipment variances it saves a lot of money in the long run and do your best to fix it right and gain a true understanding of why something isn’t working so its no longer a mystery. Also document which I have found my blog useful for. Many times I’m finding myself searching my blog for past computer system fixes and I have a few listed but not nearly enough,

    August 6, 2017
    by dhoytt

    Fedora 25 to 26 Update Works Well

    I just finished about an hour  ago updating my Fedora 25 workstation to Fedora 26 following Fedora DNF System Upgrade and it seems to be working great! This is the second system in a couple of days I have updated the first being my Fedora workstation at work. This is literally the first time that I have successfully updated a major Linux version without some type of a clean install of the OS partition and felt comfortable.

    I feel comfortable because I don’t see any leftover remnants of Fedora 25 still around. Seems that “dnf” has a switch called “–allowerasing” that allows it to remove problematic packages of the lower OS version. Allowing certain packages to be erased by this switch seems to prevent version and library incompatibilities and that frustrating mixture of OS versions that has lead to me having an OS specific disc with configuration changes saved in my home directory which is a separate physical disk. Actually I will keep that convention so that I can swap my boot OS disk for the fastest available and other positives.

    Anyway the whole purpose of me writing this is to say it looks like Fedora using DNF has really taken a huge step in system upgrading and I can’t wait to see how this develops in the enterprise world when\if it reaches Red Hat’s official version and Centos.

      July 1, 2017
      by dhoytt

      2017 Vegetable Garden Starting to Kick into High Production

      Pruning plants, weeding and redistribution of my drip system sprinklers as the plants grow has my vegetables really producing healthy hearty produce.

      Very nice going out in the morning collecting herbs like basil, chives and tomatoes to accentuate breakfast. Then later in the day squash, rosemary, beans, cucumbers or Swiss chard for my other meals.

      Soon my peppers and eggplants will join the mix!

      Later may make nice Bloody Mary with some garden fresh tomatoes and herbs or Mojto from some of my garden herbs.

      Chives, Thai Basil, mint, sage and rosemary

      Purple Bell Pepper, eggplant to the left

      Early Girl Tomatoes and sweet basil with Thais basil to the left and purple basil sneaking in to the right, yellow pear tomatoes in the background

      Collard greens in background, next to eggpants, with purple bell peppers and yellow pear tomatoes in middle, with cucumbers getting set to run, foreground has early girl tomatoes, sweet and purple basil, swiss chard and okra

      Early Girl tomatoes, sweet basil, Swiss chard, purple basil, okra is crowded in the back right

      Eggplant and purple bell peper again

      Closeup of baby English cucumber

      The other side of the garden with chives, sage, eggpnat

      Eggplant and swiss chard

      Swiss chard and basil and eggplant

      Part of the harvest recently zucchini, green bush beans, yellow pear tomatoes, early gir tomatoes, rosemary, sage, sweet basil and purple basil

      Part of the bounty being cooked in the wok

      Prep work for morning omelette, chives, basil and tomatoes 

      Recent dinner with my garden veggies and herbs

      Mornings omelette with garden veggies and potatoes with garden herbs

      June 10, 2017
      by dhoytt

      Vegetable Garden 2017 Progressing Producing 

      Picked out 5×5 gallon buckets of weeds from the vegetable garden today and noticed the gardens are progressing nicely.

      Here are some current pictures:

      Prior to weeding

      Prior to weeding

      After weeding

      After weeding 

      After weeding

      Baby zucchini squash 

      Cucumber hiding under leaves 

      Early Girl Tomatoes 

      Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Habanero 

      Thai Basil 

      Bush beans

      Yellow Pear Tomatoes 

      Collard Greens and my dragonfly companion and grape vine in background 

      Dragonfly with cucumber plant foreground and grape vine background 

      Purple Basil, Okra and Celebrity Tomatoes 

      Italian Oregano and mint

      May 24, 2017
      by dhoytt

      Recovered from Catastrophic XenServer failure that made me Love Linux Even More

      I now know why I really love Linux right now after totally losing my XenServer configuration due to some overheating in my home data center today. I reinstalled my XenServer server reattached storage to my XenServer server and then reattached the luns I had created with unique names to my VM with the former boot drive in position 0 in the VM, and then my home VG drive in position 1 then my game drive as position 2 and the server booted Centos 7 just fine! I had to reset the network interfaces on XenServer and VM plus sit through a Selinux re-label on boot and then voila I’m up and running again


      This past week I have actually been dealing with overheating since it started dramatically warming up here in the Sacramento valley. I have been able to log in remotely and get my XenServer back up until today when even the IPMI connection went dead on me I knew the server was in trouble then!

      When I got home I still thought I would be able to clear some logs in the bios and crash dumps in XenServer and things would be back up in about 30 minutes. Not today, I had been neglecting these babies too long!

      I could not even boot off the safe mode kernel! For XenServer I could only get to the CLI in single-user and could not get past that. The system was complaining about not being able to mount a filesystem “/var/xen/xc-install”. The complete error was: “Failed to mount /var/xen/xc-install”.

      I looked in /etc/fstab and sure enough it had the line:

      • /opt/xensource/packages/iso/XenCenter.iso /var/xen/xc-install   iso9660   loop                                             ,ro   0  0

      Well I could see the file /opt/xensource/packages/iso/XenCenter.iso   and the mount point “/var/xen/xc-install “but when I did “mount –a” it said “filesystem type iso9660 unknown! I knew I had some module or kernel issues then or something else was royally corrupted. I played around with the basic XenServer commands then realized the cause was lost after I commented that line up got up and couldn’t get an IP address to stick and I didn’t want to go forward with some kluge of a system.

      I did try and upgrade with a XenServer 7.0 DVD but that produced an error message I didn’t bother to even notate something about a split.  So I weighed my options and went for the clean install to my XenServer disk. I verified all my hardware was solid and in good shape even blew off some dust and reseated memory and storage controller cards in the XenServer.

      Then booted up my FreeNAS primary server reattached the NFS share from there that has all my ISO’s for installing OS’ and was thinking I would boot off of the Centos 7 ISO and then “dd” all my boot drive then my home drive then may game drives to the new luns.

      As I reattached my prior drives to the new VM I decided that if I the Linux Rescue CD could detect my old environment and I received a proper path like /dev/xvdN  then I would try to position my VM’s old luns properly  and boot my VM up Well that’s what I did  and it worked as  I explained above!

      Maybe my Windows VM’s will come up just fine with this method as well. This however means that I will now bring both of my XenServers up to run once again in an HA ( Highly Available) configuration with my FreeNAS as storage instead of using local storage I had been using so I could cut down on my energy costs. The use of local storage seems dead now and it looks like I may have to bite the bullet on Solar since I haven’t found a place I want to move to yet! Ahh well the complications of life at least now I will not have to login and bounce my systems with IPMI or “wake on LAN”.

      Well I have a lot of work ahead of me with these issues later this week and beyond so excuse the typos and grammatical errors for now I’m going to bed, I still get up pretty early!

      What is NAS? A Practical Guide

      March 19, 2017
      by dhoytt

      2017 Garden Laid Out and Ready

      Finished laying out my vegetable garden for 2017 I was rushed into due to mint plants threatening to overwhelm the garden even though I decimated the mints last year. I guess the mint battle will continue as long as I live here though this was not as bad as last year.

      This year I had more replanting of plants from last years crop than ever before so I left some plants out for now. The plants from last year will go into seed at some point and I have already planted their replacements.

      As mentioned before collard greens, Swiss chard, chives, sage, and rosemary were replanted. I added 3 different types of tomatoes, eggplants, squash, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers and basil.

      I also got made some repairs of the drip system and tested that. I finished turning my soil with the rototiller adding mulch and fertilizer now will strategically add and remove vegetables plus as plants grow move parts of the drip system.

        March 18, 2017
        by dhoytt

        Garden Timeline Ready For Mulch 

        Ready for mulch after doing a little pick and weed work. After doing pick work went to local spot to get compost or mulch but they were out so went to big box hardware\outdoor supply store to get some bags of mulch. Got my gas for all my small engines, fed gas to rototiller churned the ground and ready for mulch but then have to work on some systems this evening for job. Just waiting for processing of on job and databases to go down verify all is good then finish up in the garden. Here is how things look presently.