Status Updates posted by Planky
Its been a while since Ive had a mini-itx computer (ignoring the new commodore 64 I bought) and felt like delving into them again to see how things have progressed since several years ago. So a few weeks back I ordered various parts to build a small computer. Finally arrived the other week and have just built it
Love minimalist approaches to computers.
Intel D2500HN Mini-ITX Motherboard. Runs Dual core atom at 1.86Ghz. I threw in a 2gb SODIMM, will pick up another at some point. Only regret is not getting the next model up which had DVI/HDMI. Here you can also see the pico PSU. Has one molex and sata connector - more than sufficient to run the cpu/ssd and a couple of USB devices.
Circuit board in the bottom left is for two usb ports - hidden by the front bezel. The sata SSD can be seen under the drive/fan tray in the top left. Need to get a shorter sata cable.
Threw Ubuntu 9.01 on (hate Unity) and its happily running away. I have a couple options for it, one bolt it to the back of an old monitor and use in my bedroom for downloaded tv/movies, two use as a car PC with some free GPS software. Or build a couple of them and make a beowulf cluster :)
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(ignoring the new commodore 64 I bought)
And subsequently unignoring:
I've had this C64 for over a year and finally decided to do something with it (asides from using as a minecraft server briefly).
The ITX motherboard in this is by far the superior one. Same chipset as the one I bought above, but with an nVidia GeForce GT 520. XBMC runs without issue (well, it wont let me connect to my wifi), something I can't do on the intel motherboard.
Yeah, it's just you. HDMI is great.
Bleh. Perhaps I should plug it into my flatmates plasma tv and see if it works properly. Certainly doesnt with my viewsonic screen.
Heh, and to think that the G3 PowerMac from 2001, with a case weighing a beastly 25 kg, had nothing but a couple of underpowered v1.1 USB ports, that craped out as soon as you plug a SINGLE multi-GB stick, and you had to sacrifice one just to plug in the keyboard + daisy-chained mouse.
Not really robust design for a company that hoped to phase out everything legacy, and very poor even by Apple's 2001 standards.
Wow, that's crazy. I guess that's why I've heard a lot of love for G4s but never G3s.
Anyway, HDMI = licensing fees and DRM fun. MDP is a nice alternative (free and small formfactor) and is gaining popularity (eg 6990 has 4x MDP + 1x DVI) for that reason.
Edit: May have been too quick to blame the RAID. I downloaded TestDisk and it was able to find the partition and rebuild the partition table. Reboot later, all of my data is back. Phew. Now to figure out what the hell happened to its partition table.
I booted my PC to find my RAID 5 array (4TB) gone - Windows reports the drive as unallocated/unformatted. No warning, no errors, just a missing drive.
I knew of disaster stories from people using onboard RAID, but figured I'd be ok (first mistake).
Thats a huge amount of data gone. Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck.
Fortunately I stream most of my porn these days.
After many years of using laptops, I've started thinking of building a PC. I use to build PCs frequently and was up with the hardware back then. Over time I got sick of lugging large PCs/Monitors around and built a small PC (mATX, Mini Case), and a while after I switched to a laptop and didnt look back.
Why am I looking to build a PC again? I would like more storage with redundancy than what external drives can provide. There are also certain Steam games I can't play due to my laptops hardware.
So this is what Im looking at the moment:
Western Digital Scorpio 320G SATA 7200RPM 16M notebook HDD
Kingmax 8G(2x4G)PC-10600 1333MHZ DDR3
Lian Li PC-T60B ATX/Micro Test Bench Black
AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0Ghz AM3 95W
Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 AMD SB785 4xDDR3 8CH Audio GLAN SATA3 RAID USB3,0
Thermaltake TR2 470W PSU
eVGA GTX550 OC 550TI DDR5 1G HDMI
Viewsonic VX2453MH 23.6"W LED 2ms DSUB SPK HDMI
You may ask why the notebook harddrive. The reason is the case I intend on getting. This will run the OS and leave me three bays for 3x2TB harddrives running RAID 5.
Of course RAID is not a backup, so will be looking to use my external drive for that and setting the drives up in a way so I can separate the important-must-backup data and stuff I can replace/redownload/etc.
The GFX card I'm not sure on - as I mentioned I stopped custom building a fair while ago and no longer up with recent developments. As far as I can tell, it will be more than up to the task of running what I want. I'm not concerned about running everything at max, but would like to play with an HD TV from time to time at the native resolution...
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Yeah, for example Oblivion has no AA in-game unless you use bloom instead of HDR. As Bethesda doesn't give two shits about patching or fixing bugs, you have to force AA externally. With an NVidia card I can toggle AA on for oblivion.exe only but Catalyst requires me to change the global settings. I really haven't looked at it much but to me it seems that Catalyst has a lot less options in total.
No, not that source code. Just got back from a "date" which involved seeing Source Code. Given the amount of dross at the cinemas lately (Thor/F&F5/Adam Sandler shitfest), this was a nice surprise.
I won't go into details to avoid ruining it for anyone, but there is a reason its getting favourable reviews. Jake Gyllenhaal pulls off his part convincingly (and who doesn't like seeing Michelle Monaghan in a short skirt). The action isn't over the top, does include thinking (not as much as Inception, but I had no problems processing that one) and leaves you wondering till the end. I thought I had it figured out part way through.
Really the only bad parts were the fact its called Source Code and the occasional utterance of "charging the drivers" made me cringe.
Hopefully I'll get another date with this girl though and find another decent flick.
Edit: Wow, Im a Senior Member now, despite being here since 2002. Wish these titles werent based on post count
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This guy I know has a laptop repair business. There's a plural noun in the name, and he used an apostrophe to spell it, if that tells you anything.
Anyway, my grandad's girlfriend took her laptop to him, and he told her she needed a new laptop because her drivers had gone bad.
It tell's me a lot. :)
So does he just pretend to fix laptops, or is he simply capitalizing on ignorance?
I was going to see Source Code in theaters, but it so happened that on that particular day, I was too tired from working the night before. It looked like an interesting movie. Limitless also looked interesting, even if it is based on the false premise that we only use a fraction of our brains. But hey, if the enjoyability of movies was directly proportional to truth/realism, there would be hardly any good ones.
Is enjoyability a real word, Sam?
Been in Brisbane for nearly 6 months now. Found a like minded individual while flat hunting and we've signed a lease for a newly built three bedroom town house. Will be nice having my own room and a fair bit more privacy than my relatives place.
I've also been in my job for 3 months, really enjoyed it. Up until they laid off their projects staff and dumped their work on me. Stress level went up and was fairly sure they were going to have some project failures as a result, but that has turned around (I can now add BlackBerry Migration/Upgrade and Project management on my CV).
Am looking to buy a second hand Hyundai Excel to enter at the local racetrack as they have a Hyundai class there. They only allow stock cars so the entry cost is quite low compared to the other classes. Basically find a car, strip the interior, get a roll cage (stupid not to get one) and a decent set of tires and thrash the shit out of it.
Also, never trust your aunty to "fix your sideburns"
Two days ago I went to login to my gmail account. Rather than listing my deluge of spam and nonsensical emails, I was presented with a curious message: my account had been disabled. I thought, what strange happenings are occurring here?
After getting it reenabled*, I had a look around. Low and behold there were 10 rejected messages, messages I had not sent. I delved deeper and obtained the rejection message and the reason the account had been disabled - suspicious activity had been detected.
Checking the account activity, someone in Turkey had accessed my account and attempted to send the drug pharmacy messages (one to codeimp even).
It wasnt for another 10 minutes that I realized the risk of this intrusion - this was my main email account, with countless emails about accounts and other sensitive data. While it seems they only tried to send messages, they had access for an unknown amount of time and could have downloaded the entire content of the mailbox.
Whats to blame for all this? I suspect a malicious Android app, but I cant be sure, the only evidence was that it was accessed from Turkey on a mobile. Suffice to say all of my passwords are now changed and bad habits suddenly broken; Im a system engineer and should have known better.
*which was a strangely easy affair, just entering a code sent to my phone, that I also entered: what was to stop anyone else doing that and gaining access?
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I heard on the radio just a few minutes ago that a large database firm that handles the email accounts of something like 50 companies has been hacked very recently. The hacking and phishing attempts have been pretty widespread over the past few days, according to this news brief. They didn't mention whether Google was affected or not. It may not be related at all.
The company involved probably does email messaging and marketing for it's corporate clients - and according to this story there's a lot more than 50 businesses involved.
"A relatively unknown company called Epsilon came forward last week and confessed that its email database had been hacked. But this was not just any database; this was one used by industry heavyweights like Disney Destinations, banks such as Citibank, Capital One and Chase, and stores like Walgreens and Kroger."
"According to a press release, Epilson has more than 2,500 business clients and sends out -- wait for it -- 40 billion emails a year."
This is going to be bad news for a lot of people.
26 today. Just for something different, I'm putting myself in a "hot seat" where you can ask me any questions and I'll answer them as truthfully as my 26 year old brain allows
The past year I've got sick of my job and life so packed up and moved countries, got a new job, potential love interests and generally having fun. Heres to more intrigue for the next 365 days.
Awesome phone, quick and snappy. The screen is incredibly vibrant. I'm liking the Sense UI, though I am contemplating putting CyanogenMod on it. Miles ahead of the HTC Magic I had. Lack of physical KB doesnt bother me, but it rules out playing doom on here for now.
Loaded a ton of games on last night and became addicted to one called Air Attack HD; brings back fond memories of 1942 on the C64 and similar games.
I also pre-ordered Portal 2 on Steam. Nice to be earning enough to save/invest as well as having some play money for once.
I've been fairly busy with my web server, wordpress, mysql and particularly interested in the apache stats as of late. This caught my eye, which has started screwing up my vistor stats:
There are a lot more than that in the logs, this is just an excerpt. To me it looks like some automated software requesting '/~carry/.login.php' from the host with random user agent strings, but it doesn't exist and results in a 404 error. If you open the link in Firefox or Chrome, it gets reported as a phishing site.
As a result of the above, I've taught myself about iptables and blocked the IP addresses. I would like to figure out, when time permits, how to set something up that will automatically ban the IP of any machine that tries to access that particular URL. Though the last thing I want is for them to twig to my blocking them and change the url.
Edit: Wheeej, sidescrolling ftw
This is a normal thing that you will experience when running any kind of server on the Internet. It could be a person attacking your machine but it's almost certainly an automated worm searching for new hosts to infect. They usually go through sequences of IP addresses in turn, trying each until they find a web server, then trying to exploit common security vulnerabilities on the web server to find a way in. If it doesn't work, they give up and try a new IP.
Here's a short extract from my own server for example:
In general the best advice is: if you don't need a server or aren't using it any more, turn it off. If you are using it, apply security patches to keep it up to date.
It's almost certainly a waste of time to bother constructing automated firewall scripts or banning IP addresses: if it is a worm, it isn't interested in your server any more. If your server isn't vulnerable to the exploit, it hasn't done you any harm. Banning that particular URL achieves nothing and there are new exploits being discovered all the time. Just keep your server protected by making sure that security updates are applied regularly.
Absolutely. While Im not new to webhosting, the last month or two I've been getting fairly deep into the backend services - manipulating the OS, tweaking php/mysql/apache to suit a low memory VM, etc. I find it fascinating.
I haven't had any other suspicious behaviour asides from what I posted above and this server has been running for a year or so.
I did check the patch level of the OS, found I was a little out of date, but majority of patches were not for the internet components. Still, thanks for the reminder.
Just picked myself up a Sony Vaio netbook cheap - it was a returned one with no faults.
First impressions, its nice and lightweight (though not compared to the mac book air I looked at), performs pretty well given its only got an single core Atom processor. Plenty of USB ports, external vga (hdmi would have been nice, but wouldnt handle hi def), memory card reader and 250gb hdd.
It can play most of the indie games I've thrown at it (Braid, World Of Goo, Osmos, etc), though it cant play minecraft. Largely got it for portability (my hp luggable is too heavy), so have used it on flights and the train. Battery lasts approx 5 hours, which is fantastic.
I know one of the developers of chocolate doom uses an eeepc, anyone else have one? What have you ended up using for?
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I got Ubuntu running on the network, works fairly well and allows me to play frozen bubble. Movie play back is glitchy for some reason - I use gstreamer on another machine without a problem, but it doesnt like this netbook. I get other weird behaviour, such as getting a dialog appear and the mouse stops working till I close it. Otherwise the UI generally behaves and the library of apps available is handy. I'll try slackware next.
A netbook with a 16-32GB solid state drive would be ideal. I finally caved and bought one for my desktop; they're nice and speedy now.
$400 for a 32Gb CF card is still a bit much for me. All I can think of is the multitude of other things I could buy. Still, impulse buying might change that.
Edit: Looking around on Ebay, I can get them for around $100. Pays to shop around.
Its nice and fast on this machine, I'm yet to work out the keyboard and how it maps the buttons usually on the phone. Games work fine, wireless doesn't which is a shame. I might be able to work around that once I get the kernel source. Pop up menus (such as the power menu) make it run very slow. Usable as a machine? Not really, it needs more work to suit a keyboard/mouse. Nice being able to play the games that are too slow on my HTC Magic G1.
Since mine has a touchscreen I think I can deal with the last issue. The wireless is another matter. It certainly would be a dual boot if anything, and I'm sure it couldn't be used as a working environment for much.
Im in a rather good position at the moment, having had two months off from working and moving to Brisbane, I have had several job interviews and now two job offers in the IT arena.
One is a System Engineer role, largely acting as backfill, working with multiple clients and taking on projects on top of that. Their business is expanding, so potentially more experience as time goes on. A large amount of their clients are using VMWare ESX, which suits me as I intend on specializing in the virtual aspect of IT.
The second is a more senior engineer role at a larger company - one of the bigger vendors in Brisbane. Originally the interview was for a sys admin role, but based on the two interviews they had with me, they want me to go into their project space, dealing with VMWare, server implementation, infrastructure, etc. After the interview, they told me they had "Senior" engineers come in and they weren't able to answer the tech questions posed to them (E.g. describe an exchange cluster and how it connects to the internet) - Im certainly not a senior, yet able to answer it easily.
Both are 6 month contracts, turning to permanent afterwards. Originally I was planning on going for the first role, but the second seems more attractive now (after a 2nd interview) and certainly puts me on the path for a senior engineer role.
Off topic: I wrote two reviews for newstuff a while ago which is now been published. Think I might go review some more - its been so long since I played Doom for longer than 2 minutes, I forgot it can be enjoyable.
...after swearing I would never buy one. Specifically the new Nano.
I'm liking it so far, nice and easy to use. Its a shame Songbird no longer has a supported ipod plugin, so stuck using iTunes for syncing at the moment.
Am I hip yet?
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If you're looking for an alternative for iTunes, check out Exaile for Python (Windows should have a freely available Python Development Kit) or Amarok ... which isn't "officially supported" in Windows but it has a Windows binary available ... these apps require a libgpod plugin to work with an iPod, but it shouldn't be too much trouble to install.
As you can see by the links posted above, these are open source projects for GNU/Linux distributions (I use Amarok 2 in Mandriva myself and find it very convenient), but they should be easy enough to port into Windows.
I've been using SharePod, seems to do the trick.
I'll check those two out and see how it goes.
Handed in my resignation four weeks ago (have to give four weeks notice). Today is my last day, will be having TGIF drinks at work then going bar hopping. I think my weekend will be a write off. Then in 7 days time I'm flying to Brisbane for a long holiday and will start looking work once my funds run low.
So fucking glad I quit, more so than the fact I'm moving countries. Doubt I'll work in an enterprise environment again for some years.
Roughly a year or so ago I got myself this headless server called a Cobalt Qube from a local auction site. Bit of an impulse buy, certainly never heard of them or the company that made them before and seriously considered ripping the guts out and turning it into a beer cooler :þ
Inside is an AMD K2-600 CPU, 512MB of RAM and a 120GB HDD (I think the previous owner upgraded it) - no video or optical drive. Runs a variant of Centos called BlueQuartz.
CPU and Memory sits on a daughterboard (mostly passive cooled, except of the case fan):
The rear of the case is pretty straight forward. 2xNICs, External SCSI and one spare PCI slot. Has a small control LCD which allows you check various stats/boot options/reboot/etc.
I did try to get it running a dedicated server for Doom, but as it has no video whatsoever, none of the ports I've tried will work. At the moment its just running LAMP for various things (like hosting the above images) and from time to time a Teamspeak server.
Yup 25 today. How am I celebrating it? Currently hung over from last night, got a call at 3am about a datacentre loosing power and am currently working to bring all the clients SAN/Servers/etc back up. One of the more interesting starts to the day :D
Edit: My brother was kind enough to get me a bday cake...
...a little anti-semitic for my tastes but oh so yummy
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY PLANK-E
HERE ARE COUPON FOR FREE REPAIR
What the fuck man, I made it plainly obvious that I was interested in her, hands going all over the place, flirting enough to power a small city. You could have anyone you wanted, yet you steal her. Wtf. WTF.
Due to HPs shitty software, I have lost over a weeks worth of government backups. I hate backups.
On a lighter note, I'm going to Brisbane for a holiday and don't have to deal with it!
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Dunno if it's your thing but there's a coffee and chocolate festival on Sunday at Portside. That's about a 5 minute taxi ride out of the CBD.
And everyone who likes Doom likes metal, so here's the local metal club flyer for Friday night. That's right in the CBD, last public transport to get home drunk is 1am. If you see a dude wearing a Doom t-shirt that's Sigvatr.
tl;dr version: I lost 4 days worth of backups, possibly in a bit of trouble, stress++
Earlier this afternoon I encountered problems with our backup software. Initial investigation indicated the internal database had become corrupted. After trying a few things (over several hours with HP support), I decided to restore the DB from a backup taken this morning. This involved connecting the tape library to another server, importing the 40+ tapes and restoring the DB back to the original server. Not overly complicated but time consuming. It fixed the issue.
A few hours on, I was checking the nights backups (our backups are pretty much running 24/7 and need constant monitoring), I realized the DB was missing session information (records of what was backed up and to what media) from the last 10 days. I soon found out that I hadn't imported all of the tapes to the other server - as a result the software didn't know about the more recent copy and restored an older copy of the DB.
This wouldn't have been an issue, except that I had already started the nights backups, potentially overwriting a backlog of 4 days worth of backups that the DB didn't know about (we backup to hard drive first (fast) then tape(slow)). Effectively, the data in the Internal DB and what was actually on the tapes was out of sync.
I hated backups already - I really hate them now.
Edit: Just realized the tapes have protection applied, which is recorded in the IDB as well as the tape itself - the protection would prevent it being overwritten. The data should still be there. Hmmm. Still hate backups though.
Got myself a relatively cheap Honda Civic (1990) a few days ago after deciding my Diamante is costing me too much (mainly petrol, but the tires cost too much). Well, I say cheaper, but I used it as an excuse to get a car I can do up and sate the boyracer in me.
To begin with I need to get it up to warrant of fitness standard so I can get it on the road, fortunately it is all minor stuff to repair.
After that, I'll focus on the look of the car - new paint job, bodykit, large bore exhaust and alloys. I'm not going to change much of the interior, except to paint the plastic panels matte black. The front seats will also be replaced.
Work on the engine will come last, mainly as I am not sure what to do with it - I lack experience/knowledge to make any decisions as of yet.
Fun, expensive times ahead.
After the hardest interview of my life and a week of waiting, I was offered a Technical Engineer role at my work (think 3rd level support, dealing with servers rather than users).
I'll be getting a decent pay raise, with a 6 month review that will increase said wage by a large amount. Part of the new contract also guarantees further pay increases on completion of certain MS qualifications, such as Windows 2008 Server Enterprise Admin.
The downside of this is I'll be working in a contact centre with an insanely small desk (we don't even get cubicles!) thats only enough for a PC. I'm going to have a hard time with that, considering I currently have a huge corner desk and large IT setup area to work in at the clients site. It's also an hours extra travel each day.
So I figure I will get some of the qualifications (which work will pay for) and leave after 6 or so months. After all, I'm only 23 and have been at the company for nearly three years now. Gotta have some fun while I'm still young :)
Despite my repeated comments (not on dw mind you) that I would never sign up to social websites, eg facebook and bebo, or dating websites, I did. I feel dirty.
Had a chick show some interest via the dating website, similar age to me, seemingly intelligent, good looking and so on. Had one message from her and then nothing. She updates her facebook quite often so not sure whats going on there.
I have noticed a trend that most of the girls that indicate/feign interest in me are singers/actors and are studying psychology... makes me feel like Im part of a study of males and intarweb dating.
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heh, my old high school crush found me on myspace. she is now a lesbian and married to a very sweet woman. go figure.
Haha, that reminds me of that episode of Clerks where they go to the high school reunion.
My old high school crush found me on Myspace and she turned out to be a half-wit alcoholic. And to think I nearly lost my virginity to her...
Heh, my first ever crush from like 4th grade who moved to California way back then found me on Facebook a couple of years ago. That was interesting. Also this girl who lived next door to me for like 8 years and who was kind of like the older sister I never had looked me up as well. Facebook is neat for things like that. And for free unlimited photo storage.
I shifted flats recently and one of the benefits is this place has a nice sized garage. Rather than keeping my Diamante in there (who would do that!), I'm turning it into a bar/theatre.
I got an Acer projector, which came with a free 84" screen. I don't want to pay the $100NZ for a ceiling mount, so I'm making up a wooden box that can be bolted onto the metal roof supports. My next purchase will be the 5.1 surround sound and I'll use an old PC to do dvd/movie/music playback (yay for Windows MCE). I have some old couches and will get some barstools eventually.
Finally, I'll build a small bar in the corner of the garage with a bar fridge and some shots dispensers (whatever the hell they are called). Im hoping to get this all done for under $2000NZ ($1000 of which was the projector).
Pictures when I can be arsed.
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Might I recommend the Kenmore 75050? It is very inexpensive, and despite not being Energy Star rated, it has enough features to manage your project. Granted, with an efficiency rating of 9.7, the Kenmore 75050 will cost 10% more to run each year than a similar-sized unit with an EER of 10.7, but you have to compare the savings with the usage rates. Otherwise, reviews say the Kenmore does a fine job cooling nice sized garages, and owners say it's quiet enough. The Kenmore 75050 has mechanical dials instead of digital controls, which I often find to be the most reliable tried-and-true method available.
Ergh. The projectors IR receiver doesn't work. The remotes battery is fine and giving off an IR signal, but the projector doesn't do anything*. I don't really want to lug the thing back into town. oh vell.
*Not technically true, it does give a nice, bright image, I just can't change the zoom/image settings/etc
Turned 23 yesterday. <pbf />
Haven't gotten any presents yet - I asked my parents for some air rifle related stuff, vouchers, etc. Will be seeing them this weekend though.
Went out on the piss last night, which went quite well. Got on well with this rather cute chick from work - some potential there.
When I got home, I found out that my brother (who I'm flatting with) had been arrested as he shot someone with my air rifle. Naturally, the cops confiscated said rifle and I doubt I'll get it back for some time if at all. He's due in court next Wednesday. Stupid idiot.
Kinda makes my presents a little pointless now.
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Kid Airbag said:
Is your brother like 13? What a fucking moron.
Happy birthday, though.
He's 26, so yes to both points. He says it was an accident, but I think he was being stupid/showing off with a few friends when it happened.
As it's a first offense, it's unlikely he'll get it on permanent record.
Is this rifle powered by the same compressor used in No Country for Old Men? Whoever goes crying to the cops over being shot with a pellet gun is a bit of a pussy.
Regardless, your brother seems like a bit of a dolt, anyway.
It's 750FPS rifle and at the distance this person was, it only broke the skin. Apparently they went around screaming that they had been shot.
I hope I get the rifle back.
I was feeling destructive, which usually occurs when work is being a bitch and I die one to many times in TF2. So I shaved my head. It's cold and feels funny.
Next Week: A tattoo/piercing/shaving other things/more shaving cream.
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I've shaved my head to scare off this girl who was following me around a few years back. She said i looked like a nazi, which was deeply concerning for her since she was jewish. While i had it shaved, i got a few tattoos scattered on it. Its going to be pretty awkward when i go bald at 40 to explain them to co-workers.