New House!

I have finally received the keys to my new house. As you may know, my house closed escrow on June 19, but the tenants that lived there just moved out today.

I took a few photos of the place before I moved anything in.  Let me know what you think!

While it seems like it would be ready for me to move in, it’s not quite there yet.  The house will be tented Tuesday June 30 to July 2 to kill the termites, then on Friday, the termite people are going to replace some wood on the outside of the house that has been affected by the termites.

My current plan is to move in on July 7.  I’ll take the day off of work, and have movers stop by to move the stuff in.  My parents are going to be down this weekend, though, so I’ll get to show them the place and let them inspect it!  Hopefully I get a thumbs up!

Written by Dan Smith in: Family,Personal,Uncategorized | Tags:

Back to normal…

Things are slowly getting back to normal for me.

First, thanks to a co-worker, I discovered that Tech Restore would fix my iPod Touch screen for $129.  Since that was much cheaper than Apple quoted, I sent them my  iPodTouch and also told them to replace the battery.  Their service was fast and I’m very happy that I have my iPod back!  (Woo-hoo!  More Bejeweled!)

Secondly, I went to Mammoth over the weekend.  It snowed all weekend, and there was much powder to be had.  As always, when the slightest bit of snow falls at Mammoth, they close the entire top of the mountain, but there was plenty of fun to be had on Chair 22 & Chair 5.  (I didn’t see that Chair 12 opened until too late.)

We had a big group up in Mammoth: Bryan & Ash, Andy & Anne, Guillermo, Josh & Brian all joined me in a Sierra Manors condo, plus Jessica and friends were staying at Motel 6, and as always Rachel was there, too!

…but the big news is that I finally got my car back!  After dozens of calls to AIG (my insurance company) and Pat at Mammoth Collision Repair, I was able to work things out so that Mammoth Collision Repair would fix the broken tie rod (plus a leaking brake line and a broken strut), then I would drive it down to San Diego to have the body work completed.

So, things are finally getting back to normal!

Written by Dan Smith in: Uncategorized |

Alaska Airlines Flight 2199

As my loyal readers know, I had a minor car crash while in Mammoth Lakes last week.  My car suffered some body damage, and a broken tie-rod.  My car was taken to Mammoth Collision Repair, where they were going to fix the broken tie ride, and fix the body enough for me to drive my Escape home.  However, due to stormy weather, they were unable to fix the car.

So, since I need to get back home so that I could be at work on Monday, I needed to find a way home.  I first looked into renting a car from Enterprise in Mammoth.  They charged $60/day to rent a car, but they tacked on an additional fee of $200 if I didn’t return it to the Mammoth Lakes Enterprise Location.  So, it would have cost me $260 plus gas to rent a car to drive home.

The big news in the town of Mammoth Lakes last week was the fact that Horizon Air had just started air service into the Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) I was curious what it would cost to fly home to San Diego.  After logging onto Alaska Airline’s website, I discovered that I could fly from Mammoth to Los Angeles to San Diego for $182 (including all fees and taxes).  On Friday Night, I purchased my plane ticket for a Saturday trip home.

I arrived at the new airport terminal around 3:20PM for the scheduled 4:05PM departure.  However, the plane still had yet to arrive from LA.  (It was scheduled to land around 3:15PM).  When I checked in my bags, I found out that the flight left LAX at 3:25PM, and my flight likely wouldn’t leave until around 5PM.  The delay wasn’t a big deal, except for the fact that the Mammoth Airport Terminal is kinda bare.  There was not Wi-Fi (though, I’m told that there are plans for it to exist), no bar or TVs to keep waiting passengers entertained.

The airport security opened the secure terminal at around 3:45PM, and I was the first one it.  Inside, the boredom continued.  There were a few vending machines, a single male/female restroom and lots of seats.  I started talking to one person, who worked for Good Morning America as a travel correspondent.  Essentially, he was based out of Seattle, but traveled around the USA capturing pretty pictures of travel destinations.  His piece on Mammoth (and other winter destinations) is scheduled to air on Jan. 10, 2009.

The Q400 from LAX landed in Mammoth at about 4:15PM, and the airport crew quickly went to work unloading all of the passengers and baggage.  About 30 minutes later, everybody traveling to LAX had boarded the plane, and we were ready to depart.

Once boarded, I saw that the flight wasn’t very full.  I’d guess that there were 30 passengers on the plane.  (I think that it holds 78 people).  We took off without issue, and the plane soared into a gorgeous sunset.  We headed south over Bishop, flew over the high peaks in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, across the central valley, over LA and into LAX.  The total flight time was about 55 minutes or so.  The flight didn’t include any food, but apparently all Horizon Airlines flights alcoholic beverages are included in the ticket price.  They featured Snow Cap Beer from Pyramid (which I don’t really like), so I enjoyed a nice glass of Red Wine on my way back.

The plane arrived at LAX without incident, and I had to hustle to grab a shuttle bus to the American Eagle Terminal for my flight to San Diego.  Nothing too exciting happened on that final flight, but my bag wasn’t quite quick enough to make the connection.  It was delivered to my house this morning.

Overall, the flight was enjoyable from Mammoth to LA.  It’s much quicker than driving, cheaper than renting a car one-way and serves free beverages.  However, I can see some problems.  First, the Mammoth Airport Terminal is really boring.  Hopefully they spruce things up for travelers stuck there because of poor weather conditions.  Secondly, only one bag is allowed “for free” from Horizon.  If you want to bring a bag of clothing, and a ski bag, be prepared to pony up an extra $25 (or more).  Thirdly, living in San Diego, it would be really nice for a non-stop for San Diego to Mammoth for only $99!

Written by Dan Smith in: Uncategorized |

Mammoth Trip Blues…

I’ve been in Mammoth since Friday afternoon.  Everything seems to be going wrong on this trip.  First, on Saturday, I hit an ice patch with my car, and steered into a light pole.  Nobody was hurt, but the car is currently sitting in a parking lot waiting for me to find someone to fix it.

Because it’s Sunday, and no place is open, I decided to go skiing today to enjoy a nice day.  It’s been snowing, and there has been snow the last few days!  This afternoon, skiing through the trees on chair 12, I fell and lost one of my ski poles!  Rachel has promised to try and find me a loaner pair for the rest of my week here.

Finally, when I got home today, I discovered that I had cracked the glass on my iPodTouch display today.  It must have happened when I fell at some point.

Ahh…what else can go wrong!  (Note:  I know that these are all small things, but it certainly is frustrating!)

Written by Dan Smith in: Uncategorized |

Getting Tested…

Hmmm….the past several days I’ve noticed a bot-net “visiting” my server.  It started off with lots of SSH login attempts, and now they’ve been attempting to log into my mailserver!  The logs are quite crazy.  Lots and lots of different usernames attempt to log in, all in alphabetical order, and all from different IP addresses.  I assume I must be on a list…

I’ve spent some time removing people’s logins who don’t use my server anymore, and I made sure everybody who does log in gets a new password.

I didn’t think that was too bad…until I noticed that the bots were now attempting to log into my mailserver.  I’ve installed fail2ban.  Hopefully this blocks some IPs and slows down this attack.

Written by Dan Smith in: Uncategorized |

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