Logging off another user, remotely

So, for some reason someone left root logged in to the physical console on one of my Linux servers (Debian 4.0 on x86, if you must know), probably to see if the system was up after a power event. Well, of course it was up. I don't like root being logged into the physical console for obvious reasons, so in case I need it in the future, the appropriate incantation is:

# skill -KILL -t tty1

You're welcome.


Snowy Sunday project: Heat molding my 32 Forecasts

Nothing to it.

A $40 heat gun, some cardboard tube, a thermocouple, an hour and a half, and three beers. I was going to take my boots to the nearest Zumiez today, and simply take the path of least resistance. I'm sure the heater that 32 gives it's distributors does a fantastic job of heating their liners. Unfortunately, I called them and their sales representative chirpily informed me that while they sold 32s they 'don't do heat molding', and none of their locations do heat molding, sorry. Which didn't seem plausible, but after saying 'Really?' and 'Are you sure?' in an incredulous voice a couple of times, I gave up. Hell, I have a heat source and a basic knowledge of thermodynamics. Who doesn't?

The key was ducting the hot air into the toe of the boot. I used a handy 1.5 inch cardboard tube that had a previous life as the center of a roll of wrapping paper. If you just blow heat into the top of the boot, you won't get good airflow through the liner, and the heat just stratifies in the top of the boot. You need to get the air down into the toe, and then it will heat the rest of the liner as it flows out of the boot. I heat soaked the liner at about 220F for 15 minutes. I cut a notch in the tube about 6 inches from the end so it would bend a little more gracefully.

Not the most elegant solution, but cardboard is a very poor conductor, and I wasn't worried about the tube singing the liner. Ultimately it worked very well.

I simply can't believe the level of fit I have now. I'll have to actually ride it, but it feels incredible. I could barely get my feet into the boots prior to treating them.


Preview: Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60

Snow tires aren't exactly cheap. This set of 15 inchers ran just under $800 with shipping, wheels, and tire pressure sensors. Actually, only about $350 of that money went towards tires. So, they're somewhere in the realm beyond all-seasons and budget performance tires, and well below a serious performance tire.

The real question is: how much would you pay for traction? In my case, since I plan on making 50 or more trips into the Cascades this winter, I thought the expense was justified. You're not going to feel too proud of your thriftiness as you slide towards the guardrail on a snow-covered mountain pass.

I'll come back here and actually compare them to the Bridgestone Turanzas they replaced - hopefully after this weekend.


Panorama: Playa Funchi, Bonaire

This was taken about a year and a half ago. I was just going through old pictures and noticed that I'd taken a panorama at this particular beach (playa). This beach is at the northernmost tip of the island of Bonaire, and is a part of the huge nature preserve there.

I've never seen such large parrotfish, anywhere.