DesertEdge 2 snags 2nd

So last weekend was a “UXPL”:http://www.uxpl.com tournament. the UXPL is a “speedball style tournament play”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paintball#Tournament_Paintball that is quite popular for various reasons. Some of those reasons are exactly why I don’t play very much of it.

Speedball is an extremely fast paced style of play. Fields are designed for a set number of players (3,5,7, and 10 man), usually filled with air bunkers in patterns. These condensed sized fields are home to the fastest paintball you can see, where the name of the game is time. Matches range form 3-5 minutes max, and are often shorter.

This style of play is often ideal for TV, and really benefits field managers and manufacturers, because it demands you shoot a _lot_ of paint. This is part of why I usually dont’ play speedball, I’m too cheap.

However, our team, which is largely “Woodsball”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodsball and “Scenario”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scenario_paintball oriented wanted to have some fun. A few members had a main 5 man speedball team, but we knew there was room for another. So 5 of us showed up Saturday morning, ready to play.

None of us had played speedball together, and for some it was the first tournament attended. But we were ready to have fun. It was great seeing the funny looks we got from semi-pro and pro level teams as we walked on with our Camo jersey’s (Speedball teams all have bright Motocross style jersey’s). We received more than one sneer from the uppity schmucks, but hey, we were ready to play.

Within a short amount of time we had people’s attention, especially when we blew out a higher division Team Imperial 97 – 4. Nothing is as nice as blowing out the big guys.

We were well on our track to taking first, when one member broke a rule and swore on the field after messing something up (he was mad at himself), and our team was forced to play the finals series with only 4 people.

Now when teams are only 5 man, that makes a serious disadvantage. Even more fun when we still managed to take 2nd place overall in the division. And this against teams who constantly practice in this play style. 🙂

September Plug Meeting – Plug Turns 10

Yes, “Plug”:http://www.plug.org is turning ten years old this month, and we have a very special meeting planned. There will be some big announcements, and two presentations. “Joe”:http://blog.josephhall.com has a special _show and tell_ item he is bringing in, and I will be providing the technical presentation.

Come learn about “mod_security”:http://www.modsecurity.org . I’ve posted a few times about this package, and how it has helped me deal with spammers, attackers, and other scum. Now come and see how it works, how easily you can set it up, and how you can configure it to your needs. Learn how this small package can protect your web services, custom code, blog, and just plain filter out crap from wasting cpu cycles and log lines.

Vist “Plug”:http://www.plug.org for time/location/details

Platinum Library Card

My family has had a long history of “Readers” in it. Growing up, there were always books around the home, of every variety. Family fun usually involved everybody sitting around and reading. Extended family often pokes fun at us because we usually don’t buy books for fun, because they only last us a day or two, whereas everybody else gets years of enjoyment from a single book 🙂 And yes, all except my brother are “speed readers”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_reading.

With that said, my Mom is one of the worst in my family (although my sister is trying hard to take the title). Even we poke fun at my mom, claiming she has the platinum library card.

How little did I realize how close we were.

See, my mom has serious health problems, and we often have to run errands for her. Today, my mom needed me to stop by the library and drop off a stack of books, and pick up her reserved ones. I ran in, handed her card over and mentioned that my mom needed some books on hold. The librarian looked at the card, and *no joke* said, “Oh, you’re _her_ son. How’s she been, we haven’t seen her all week and were worried.”

No kidding, she then asked a bit more, commented on the amazing amounts my mom reads, and delivered a stack of books that were on hold. All this from somebody I’d never met, and only saw the name on the library card.

I am proud, yet scared, and was ready to laugh. Now, if she could get frequent flier miles or something out of that, I’d be set 🙂

Team Desert Edge Featured in Recon Magazine

For those watching, you’ll remember me discussing a small outing my “paintball team”:http://www.teamdesertedge.com did with the National Guard. If you missed it, please read my notes of our “Green River Paintball”:http://halls.lug-nut.com/jayce/2006/04/10/The_Desert_Duel Trip first.

Along with my team, we took three people from one of our sponsors, and they did a write-up for the “June Edition of Recon Magazine”:http://www.specialopspaintball.com/shop/product_detail.asp?SKU=700+0008&CAT=116201

They were gracious enough to give us a copy of the article in PDF form for our site, so if anybody wants to read: “Team Desert Edge featured in Recon Magazine”:http://www.teamdesertedge.com/June_Dday_Edition_Recon_Team_DesertEdge_Article.pdf

MySQL 5.0 Joins

For the last two years I’ve have very limited use of “MySQL”:http://www.mysql.com , primarily using “PostgreSQL”:http://www.postgresql.org , “SQLite”:http://www.sqlite.org and a bit of “Oracle”:http://www.oracle.com .

I do enjoy using other engines, but my mysql-fu has been falling behind as some impressive features have been rolling out. So it felt kind of good when a friend asked me to help fix a problem with some SQL that MySQL didn’t seem to like… (Read More)

Watching Them Drop

Just another followup on my Mod_security patches. I’ve had to disable a couple rules I had setup, example, I decided I did want file uploads, so I re-enabled them. What’s been fun though is watching the number of times I’ve been bouncing fake attempts from various virus, spambot, and other hacks. Just in the last week, I’ve had over _19,500_ hits filtered by mod_security. Now aint that purty?!

Vim Config Tip

Via “Perl.com”:http://www.perl.com I found “this post”:http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2006/08/make_your_vimrc_trivial_to_upd_1.html that has a tip for editing your .vimrc (as we discussed at “plug”:http://www.plug.org on Wednesday).

The basic hint is these two keybindings, which allow you to edit and reload your .vimrc, instead of trying to muck around with in the ex interface.

“,v brings up my .vimrc
“,V reloads it — making all changes active (have to save first)

map ,v :sp $VIMRC_
map ,V :source $VIMRC:filetype detect:exe “:echo ‘vimrc reloaded'”

F Lock

For those who own one of several Microsoft keyboards, with the ‘F Lock’ key, you are sure to know the pain of which I speak here. These keyboards have a modal switch that alternates the commands from the function keys. What’s bad about this, is in great form, the default state for this switch is to turn your functions keys into some strange command keys, since nobody would ever use those function keys for their original purpose.

Getting ‘functionality’ out the keys is easy, you just have to press the ‘F Lock’ key, and things work. But this will then go away any time your reboot, returning you to the brokenness you come to expect 🙁

Well, today I found “a fix to F_Lock problems for Linux”:http://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/answers/Hardware/Microsoft_Keyboard_Function_Key_Fix . Windows folks have a description and fix “here”:http://jtsang.mvps.org/flock.html

Aliens In The Rockies

Ok folks, mark your calendar, while there are other fun scenario games happening in the next month, this is one of the big ones. If you are interesting in trying out paintball, if you like it and want to learn more, if you are new and want to get taught, anything, just check it out.

“Aliens in the Rockies”:http://mpaintball.com/aliens/index.html as presented by “Millenium Paintball”:http://mpaintball.com/

My Team has been contacted to help provide the “disturbance” forces for this year, and we’ll help make sure everybody can enjoy this game. This is a great 24 hour scenario event with lots of objectives, fun prizes (some really good ones too).

If you have any desire to try out paintball, if any of this sounds interesting, please contact me, I’ll see if I can assist you in getting out and making sure you’re set up right.