June 18, 2018
by dhoytt

Turning Over Garden

Getting set for garden turnover after early plants of mustard and lettuce bolted and went to seed. Now will try to plant the same but with a garden shade to protect from the Sacramento summer heat. Did some intense gardening over the weekend and Monday evening to remove the plants that went to seed plus some weeds now I’m ready to get some new plants in place.

May 20, 2018
by dhoytt

Garden to Table Dinner

This is how I do my spring and summer dinners grabbing vegetables/herbs from the garden to the oven then the plate.

Today I have a mixture of different types of Swiss chard, mustard greens, collards, sweet basil, Thai basil, rosemary, mint,sweet purple onions and I’ll add salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne as my peppers aren’t ready yet.

Will throw the mix in a wok once I’m close to having my wood fired whole chicken ready.

I’ll be able to have leftovers off of this meal for a few days this week.

Swiss chard, mustard greens, collards, basil, onion, rosemary, mint getting prepped.

Swiss chard, mustard greens, collards, basil, onion, rosemary, mint chopped up.

Swiss Chard and Mints growing in garden.

Bush Beans in garden.

Cucumbers ready o be picked.

Big Boy Tomatoes, mints, sweet basil, Thai basil.

Bell Peppers, tomatoes and a need to weed.

More Swiss Chard, mustard greens, more mints, plus tops of purple onions to the left.

Collard greens. young basil plant in foreground, and young asparagus plan to the upper right.

Roma tomatoes with some immature chives.

Dozens of green cherry omatoes about to get ripe, more of my mint nemesis and another chives bunch.

Swiss chard, mustard greens, collards, basil, onion, rosemary, mint washed.Whole Chicken ready to go on my Traeger Grill.

May 13, 2018
by dhoytt

Replacing Last Years Collard Greens and Barefooted in the Dirt

Removed last years stalks of collard greens earlier this week since they were going to seed and this years collard greens are growing rapidly. The collards from last year I let go a bit longer than normal and the stalks were long twisted and tough! I needed an axe to chop through the stalks! I then took the leaves off washed and will cut up later.

Earlier today I used the small tiller to prep the area last years collard greens were and planted yellow bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, summer squash, yellow crooked neck squash and another eggplant.

While tilling the soil and raking it I kicked off my flip flops and went barefoot in the cool rich soil, it felt great! I forgot how nice it feels to go barefooted with cool dirt beneath your feet.That’s the thing about gardens they give a nice return in lots of areas you can’t perceive along with the obvious until you do it!

Last years collard greens gone to seed with peppers I will rotate into their spot.

Roots of last years collard greens.

Roots of last years collard greens size made apparent when shown next to y size 10 foot.

Collard greens wild twisted stalk cut with my ax.

Soil prepped tilled and planted along edges with new plants to flow into.

Going barefoot in the tilled soil.

Still barefoot in the garden feeling good.

This years collard greens looking good in east part of the garden.

Another shot of this years collards with some basil on the side along with romaine lettuce.

May 11, 2018
by dhoytt

First Tomatoes of the Year

My first tomatoes of the season were some delicious cherry tomatoes I put in a salad with Swiss chard, basil,romaine lettuce, sweet purple onions and mustard greens all from my garden. Together with a baked potato and ribeye steak cooked to medium with my homemade dipping sauce for the steak was a great meal including 805 beer and Crown whisky as beverages.

April 24, 2018
by dhoytt

Garden 2018 Spring Blossoms

Gardens in the front yard and backyard blossoming well again this year. The front yard producing vibrant, varied, colored rose blooms of different sizes from bush to long stemmed I have planted throughout the years.

The backyard has the hearty green leafy vegetables I planted early blossoming with different lettuce varieties, mustard/collard greens, plus peas, beans and tomatoes starting to produce. Under way are items like asparagus, eggplant, a variety of peppers squash, cucumbers with more planned shortly. There’s also my herbs with different basil varieties, rosemary, sage, thyme, even the ever present pests mint plants. I am allowing the mints to grow on the outer edges of the garden since mints are good in teas and cocktails and have great benefits despite their propensity to try to take over the whole garden.

April 6, 2018
by dhoytt

Getting Back Into Swing after Body Realignment Due To New Mattress

Looking back it should not have been strange but after I bought new mattress with the adjustable frame my body literally corrected its alignment very dramatically. I was adjusting my bed and one side of my bed would not rise so I decided to lay it flat for the night until I could call the company or figure out how to get the whole bed’s head to rise.  I laid there a little pissed on the flattened out mattress on my new slightly firmer mattress on my back and felt my left lower back and hip area get hot then felt my lower back move up felt my ligaments from my lower back then inside of my inner thigh, to my knee all the way to the heel of my foot tighten as if on one rope and then the pressure released as my lower back and hip just sucked itself went back into place like a rock sinking in heavy mud! I now no longer have that tightness in my calf muscle, knee and I do not feel my body is slightly twisted any longer!

I had meant to replace my prior mattress for a while but kept putting it off but this year it was just too much I have a first generation memory foam mattress that had a sag of several inched in the middle and generated some heat as all memory mattresses do. I’m more than sure that having a mattress contributed to my recent injuries which all happened on my left side that corrected itself. Even with my extensive stretching I was sabotaging myself with the faulty mattress. Led to torn calf, Achilles, knee tightness, lower back strain and me not able to get my run on! I can feel the differences in my stretches when I walk and when I get up in the morning I don’t feel my body joints popping any longer!

When I first moved out my mom told me to invest heavily in a mattress since you spend so much of your life there and it seems like its really paying off to keep doing that instead of letting it lapse!I waited a while before testing out seriously but tonight I will put things to the test at the gym, then it’s time for the running man come back!

February 25, 2018
by dhoytt

Doing it Big with Late Wild Saturday Night…… in My Computer Room

That’s right a wild Saturday night in my computer room revolving around my secondary FreeNAS server\disk array. I have had so many issues updating this server to FreeNAS 11.1 I decided tonight I would make sure I came to a conclusion to alter my HW or see if this is a 11.1 FreeNAS issue so that I would know how to proceed with my main FreeNAS system I had to take back to FreeNAS 9.1 due to update issues and lack of time to properly spend on this.

I need to know how I want to invest my money going forward in my computer room and I build items redundantly meaning if I rebuild one FreeNAs server I would end up building two with the first rebuild being the model and test platform until I get things where I like which can mean multiple tries at various hardware and firmware configurations. I often times have controller cards, chassis, hard drives and network cards leftover from these tests and I don’t use consumer level gear so the costs can add up quickly even with planning and checking of posted requirements and hardware compatibility lists.

The first thing I did was boot my secondary FreeNAS and enter the bios and went through every screen to make sure I had configurations I wanted enable and anything unneeded disabled since I had replaced the dead battery on my motherboard with a new one and kept losing my settings every time I unplugged the system and there were several changes that needed to be made.

Secondly I attempted to install from a FreeNAS CDROM I had burned from an SATA connected DVD/RW to an internal flat SSD hard drive of the type created for laptops attached to SATA. This test ended like my prior attempts to install FreeNAS 11.1 and rebooted @  the 70% mark copying files to the SSD drive.

Next I tried to install to an external USB thumb drive and met with the same results system rebooted after reaching 70%.

I also want to note that prior to last night I had tested the memory extensively and pulled out every card in turn and even disconnected all drives and disabled IPMI on the mother board and numerous other isolation techniques going as bare metal as possible with the same results.

Well this time I found a version of FreeNAS 9.3 and attempted to install it with same hardware configuration but to the SATA SSD and that went fabulously proving that my configuration was valid!

While I was trying the install to the thumb drive and testing out the 9.3 install I downloaded the newest version of FreeNAS 11.1u2 which was released sometime in January. I then started browsing my thumb drives I have laying around looking for my FreeNAS thumb drive that was the previous boot drive for this system even though FreeNAS said it had issues that couldn’t be fixed via GUI or  manually clear with ZFS in case I hadn’t save off my configuration database of this FreeNAS system. The FreeNAS website had never stated they had an updated version of 11.1 or I missed it but it wasn’t apparent that it was different until I saw the file being downloaded listed as “FreeNAS-11.1-U2.iso”. I was downloading only thinking maybe I had a corrupted version of 11.1 not to get a new version but I felt a little hope seeing the new version “FreeNAS-11.1-U2.iso”.

Now starting the install to my SATA SSD from FreeNAS 11.1u2 and I’m at first disappointed to see it do its initial DD after I select my SATA SSD have “dd records in” then “ dd records out” be different as it had been in my previous 11.1 install failures while they were the same with 9.x installs. So I get up stretch start going through next steps but keeping an eye out for when this 11.1u2 install will fail when the install scoots past 70% then 80% and I’m thinking it will still fail because prior times I had made some configuration changes to get it to go from 50% to 70% but this version FreeNAS 11.1u2 installed then successfully came up!

Well my work is not over I changed my 3 NIC’s on the system to the appropriate network settings for the various networks from DHCP to static and started importing volumes. Still this did not share out my CIFS or NFS shares, iSCSI targets or any other configuration items I had made on this server and I didn’t feel like recreating something already so I started looking on my Linux workstation I was running the GUI from for my config files for this FreeNAS server and could not find them in the place I thought they should be. I jumped to the cli and did a find and found them on one of the path’s I had browsed but had not gone deep enough in and uploaded the configuration file to my server and after a couple of reboots it came up with a configuration minus a lot of my iSCSI targets. I looked and I had not uploaded the latest configuration file but once I did and a few mere reboots I had my FreeNAS up with proper configuration at 11.1u2!


One of My Routers WAN Configured Incorrectly

My next step was to see if there were any updates for FreeNAS 11.1u2. This system did not bring up “pending updates” but “no route to hosts” or a similar message to that. I go to my primary FreeNAS system which populates the “pending update” field properly. Check my network config and routes which all look fine on my secondary updated FreeNAs system.

Suspecting what I call my third physical network is the issue I ssh on one of my systems that has access to all my routers and networks start pinging from first the primary interface to the outside world using “yahoo.com” to see if there is an issue then I try my 3rd interface. The primary interface card pings correctly over the WAN while I cannot get out over the WAN from my 3rd interface (#ping –I <interface>).

I login into my GUI’s interface via a browser and my WAN information is all wrong to go over my third static WAN ip. I make the changes and try again but still get the issue. Looking in the setup of my router again I see 2 typo’s in WAN ip and my gateway is still showing my gateway of my old ISP I changed away from last month. I re-apply the changes and my gateway will not change! I keep trying and no matter what my gateway will not accept changes for the gateway!

Now I start an internet search to see if anyone else has seen this issue since I have DD-WRT installed on this old   and find that I have indeed ran into a bug with my older firmware per the DD-WRT forum string I found. I don’t feel like detaching this router from the network getting one of my laptops and installing new firmware tonight! Thank goodness on this forum string (https://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=751544) they have a workaround that saved me some time and effort here is the workaround you can double-check with the link above:

OK, so I tried to replace the onclick event on the apply button to bypass the validation




After doing the above using a Firefox browser on my Centos 7 server that touches all my networks   I was able to save my gateway and other settings in my DD-WRT router.

I go to my cli on this system and still I cannot ping via my 3rd network interface to any outside networks via the WAN. Now I look at the routing table on my system and note the only gateway is my primary NIC. I then try pinging out using my 2nd NIC and cannot and I verify those WAN router settings are correct. I now go into the network config files for each interface (/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-<interface-name>) change the parameter “DEFROUTE=” from “no” to “yes” bring the interface down with “ifdown” then back up with “ifup” and I have a gateway out to the WAN for each network now  and can ping out on any interface.

None of this of course helped with FreeNAS 11.1u2 not seeing update information but it did help me straighten out my 3rd router and my Centos 7 routing though I may go back sometime and make other routing changes there.

Looking today my FreeNAS 11.1u2 is populating its “pending update” window properly so I think it was something ultimately at IX Systems end the company who creates FreeNAS.


Backing up Data from Primary FreeNAS to Secondary using Rsync

Now that I have the secondary system up I need to make sure that it has all of my NFS data that my primary system has. What I have done in the past is rsync using cli of the Centos system that has access to all of my networks with both systems mounted on that system but I wanted a FreeNAS system to FreeNAS system approach this time in case I  needed to do other things on that Centos 7 system unrelated to FreeNAS.

I decided to use rsync from one FreeNAS to another server and started to do this via cli and putty but then decided to use the FreeNAS GUI “rsync tasks” instead. I went to the guide they had which was pretty straightforward https://doc.freenas.org/11/services.html#rsync minus one detail I missed because of the way I like to browse the GUI using the top navigation at times. Where it gives you the breadcrumb trail (g Services ‣ Rsync ‣ Rsync Modules ‣ Add Rsync Module.) to create “Rsync Module” as the “rsync target” or “rsync server” , it doesn’t mention you can only access that via the left handed navigation not the top navigation menu.

Then from the “rsync target” FreeNAS server that is pushing the data you need to recall the basic “rsync” rules if you have existing data on the source and you don’t need a whole new directory structure as is my situation then you need to put in a trainilg “/” at the end of your source path so that “rsync” doesn’t create a whole new directory if that’s not what you want. Just make sure you consult the very robust “rsync man pages” from a Linux\Unix\BSD system as they seem to have the same switches.

There is no way to monitor the “rsync” progress from the FreeNAS GUI so you will have to ssh into the server or bring up the shell in the GUI and perform a “ps ax | grep rsync” to see the progress. I am also monitoring the directory growth via my Centos 7 system that accesses all my networks and I have the NFS filesystems of each FreeNAS mounted to. This also reminded me I needed to grow my second FreeNAS  system’s NFS volume and did this via the GUI striping in 2 spare 3TB SAS disks I had while still running rsync to this volume

That was my very wild Saturday night a bit different from some non-computer flavored wild and wordy but still not expressing all the hurdles as any of you in this field know.  This Saturday night ended with my FreeNAS systems syncing to each other and still doing so as I write this.

FreeNAS rsync trailing “\”:


FreeNAS Rsync Module Navigation Location:


Monitoring rsync proceess:

February 19, 2018
by dhoytt

Newly Planted Vegetables Covered Greenhouse Style

Recently planted vegetables covered not only because we are in below freezing overnight conditions but I already had some plans trying greenhouse type enclosures this season. The materials were already around the house so I just put them to use and only had to pick up a little more garden greenhouse mesh. I am still planning an official greenhouse and also shade for area for delicate plants that don’t do well in the Sacramento heat for later in the year.

February 17, 2018
by dhoytt

2018 Vegetable Garden Starting Early Looking Good

With this unexpected warm spell I decided to get my garden ready. I was going to try some greenhouse techniques for the cold days of winter anyway so I just prepped the whole garden.

Would have been done last week but my rototiller needs a tuneup. Couldn’t get in touch with my small engine repair guy the past week and a half so I picked up a used rototiller off Craigslist for a great price that was a little rough and missing non-critical parts like air filter and pulley cover. I still dropped off the other rototiller after hearing back from my small engine guy then finished the garden with my recently purchased rototiller.

This year I did not dig up my collard greens or rosemary just turned the soil around those plants. I also replanted my Swiss chard and sage after turning the soil plus some roots and stem systems from , eggplant, some pepper plants and purple basil that seemed to have life in the stems and roots to see if they come back like rose bushes or a tree that has been cut back.

Planted some new lettuce, mustard greens, Swiss chard, stevia, a new eggplant, and Roma tomatoes (not sure why I got romo tomatoes I prefer other varieties). Tomorrow I plant some more items that start well this time of year for Northern California valley. Some items like the mustard greens can’t handle the valley heat once it starts.

I may implement some greenhouse techniques for some vegetables.

Anyway here’s some pictures of my 2018 Vegetable garden progress!: