December 29, 2015

Wolf Line Item Veto's PA Budget

Today, Gov. Wolf line item vetoed the PA budget and blamed the Republicans in the house for the problem. Here is an email a sent to Wolf.

I just watched your line item veto of the 15-16 budget and wanted to let you know that the legislature is doing their job. The people of Pennsylvania do not want your tax increases.

Furthermore, it was very nice of you to release the Federal Funds for school districts, which you had no right to hold anyway.

My next emails and phone calls will be going to Dave Reed and Don White to tell them to stay strong and fight for the future of Pennsylvania.

Looking forward to the next gubernatorial election.

December 24, 2015

No Mouse Server 2012 R2 running on XenServer

There is an issue with Windows Server 2012R2 running on a XenServer platform where the Mouse is not recognized after logging into the server.

As most of us are aware it is rather challenging to use Windows without a mouse, so here is a quick way to solve the issue.

Press the windows button on the keyboard.

Press the Tab and arrow keys to move to the control panel and press enter to open it.

Press the Tab and arrow keys to move to the device manager and press enter to open it.

Press the Tab and arrow keys to move to the USB Universal Host Controller (it should be in a warning state with a yellow icon).

Press delete key on the keyboard and follow prompts to delete the device.

Press Alt-A on the keyboard to open the Action option and select Scan for Hardware changes using the arrow keys.

The system should reinstall the USB device and the mouse should work.

Simple, but annoying.

If anyone has a script to do this automatically or a permanent fix to the problem , please leave a comment below.


December 23, 2015

Expanding a RAID 5 Volume on a XenServer 5.6 Server: Part 2 of 2

An additional drive was added to the RAID 5 configuration, see Part 1 for more information. The next step was to enable the XenServer to see the additional storage capabilities.

This is comprised of 4 steps using the XenServer console and command lines. Warning: you should be familiar with basic commands before proceeding and as always have appropriate backups.

1. Increase the Partition using fdisk
2. Update the LVM to include the resized physical volume
3. Resize the Logical Volume
4. Resize the File System

Increase the Partition using fdisk
The last partition needs to be deleted and then recreated to allocate the new available disk space.

Here are the commands to enter at the prompt #
Fdisk /dev/sda3        (or whatever your naming scheme is)
p (to display the original partitions)
d (to delete the last partition)
3 (this is the last partition in my server, yours may be different)
n (creates a new partition)
p (primary partition)
3 (recreate partition #3)
 (press enter for default first cylinder)
 (press enter for default last cylinder)
t (sets the partition type)
3 (partition #3)
8e (changes the partition type to Linux LVM)
p (to display the new partitions)
w (to write the partition table)
reboot (to reboot the system)

Update the LVM about the resized physical volume
Upon completion of the fdisk commands above, the LVM needs to be able to see the new blocks

Here are the commands to enter at the prompt #
pvdisplay (to display the original physical volume information)
pvresize /dev/sda3     (to resize the physical volume, your /dev/sda3 path will be different)
pvdisplay (to display the new physical volume information)

Resize the Logical Volume
Once the LVM is resized the logical volume needs to be resized.

Here are the commands to enter at the prompt #
vgdisplay (to display the original volume group information
make a note of the Free PE)
lvdisplay (to display the logical volume information
make a note of the LV Name)
lvresize –l +20480 /dev/files (increases the size of logical volume using the Free PE, your LV                                                             name will be different)
vfdisplay (to display the new volume group information)

Resize the File System 
Finally, the file system needs to be resized. Note this process will take some time to complete.

Here are the commands to enter at the prompt #
resize2fs /dev/files (to resize the file system, your LV name will be different)

The expansion should now be completed and the new space should be available to XenServer.

Much of this process is documented a following this link.

Hopefully this brief guide has helped you. Please leave a comment if so.

Expanding a RAID 5 Volume on a XenServer 5.6 Server: Part 1 of 2

This post briefly describes my recent experience of expanding a RAID 5 array on a server running XenServer 5.6.

The server originally had  3, 500 GB drives set up in RAID 5 and was about 90% full. The server had room for one more drive so another 500 GB drive was added.

The RAID controller is an Intel RAID Controller SROMBSASMR running firmware version 1.41.372-2527.

After the new drive was installed the RAID BIOS Console recognized it as an unconfigured drive.

To add the drive to the existing drive group and expand the array, use the Migration with addition option.

After you confirm you want to perform this operation, the reconstruction process starts. This took about 10 hours to complete.

When the reconstruction was complete, the new drive was successfully added to the RAID 5 array.

The server was rebooted and the next step was to enable XenServer to see the additional storage space. See part 2 for more information.

December 03, 2015

PA State Budget

As most Pennsylvania's know, the state budget is way overdue. It looks like the Republicans are going to give into the Governor and raise sales or income taxes without addressing property taxes.

Please contact your local representatives now and tell them we need property tax reform now!

Here is the letter I sent to my reps.

Please do not increase taxes (income or sales) for school districts WITHOUT capping or eliminating property taxes!

Don't cave to the Governor's tax and spend liberal demands. He is wrong and bad for Pennsylvania.

Thank you

November 06, 2015

Book Review

Islamic Imperialism: A History by Efraim Karsh

As the title suggests this is a book about the history of Islam and their basic tenet of ruling the world. The author writes about the major dynasties and  events of Islamic rule from the beginning with Muhammad's claimed revelation from God to the current date (2007) of Osama bin Laden's Holy War.

The basic history of Islam is to rule the world and convert everyone to the Islamic faith. Throughout history there have been more aggressive leaders that would kill the infidel while other leaders would leave them alone as long as they paid their dues, taxes, tributes, protection money, or whatever you want to call it.

Since it is a history book, I found it rather boring and in fact I could only read a few pages a night before my eyes would magically close. However, I don't believe there is any reason to doubt any of the facts in the book. In fact, there are over 30 pages of footnotes to back up what the author writes.

One aspect of the book that I did not like is how the author jumped around historically. For example, in one chapter he starts writing about events that happened in 1993 with Bill Clinton, then a few paragraphs later jumps back to the Ottoman Empire in 1916. Then gets back to the 1990's a few pages later, only to jump back to the 1970's after that. Then ending the chapter back in the 1990's again. The chronological jumping around got me lost on several occasions. Not only that, but many of the Islamic people had very similar names, most of which I could not pronounce.

If you are interested in a brief history of the major parts of the Islamic Imperialist doctrine then I would recommend this book. If you are simply looking for something to help you sleep at night, then I also would recommend this book! Otherwise, take a pass on this one.

September 01, 2015

Book Review

Billy Graham: Personal Thought of a Public Man by David Frost

This book is a compilation of David Frost's various interviews with Billy Graham over a period of 33 years. The book is divided into 10 chapters, each dealing with a different topic. Some of the topics are family, marriage, politics, presidents, sin, moral/social issues, temptations and heaven.

Overall, I found this book very interesting. The name Billy Graham is very well known, however, I didn't know much about him before reading this book. In fact, I was even surprised to learn a few facts about his life. For example, at one point in his life he dogmatically preached on and described the actual dimensions of heaven. Another topic that surprised me was that he believes there is life on other planets in the universe.

I recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about the life and thoughts of Billy Graham.

August 27, 2015

Book Review

Managing Money God's Way: A 31-Day Devotional by Bob Lotich

The purpose of this book is to provide a 31 day reading and thinking pattern about money and what God says about it.

I got this as a free e-book so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was hoping for practical implementation of God's Word. However, this book seemed to be more about the author's thoughts about what God says about money.

Overall, I didn't get much out of it.

August 12, 2015

Book Review

Glenn Beck's Common Sense

This is Glann Beck's modern day version of Thomas Paine's 1776 publication of Common Sense. Beck looks at six major themes in this book:

  • Reshaping & Redefining of America
  • Money
  • Taxes
  • Political Class
  • Progressivism
  • America Today
The point of the book is to open the eyes of Americans and to see what the government is doing. Evaluate what the politicians are saying and doing and use common sense. If it doesn't seem right then it probably isn't.

The last half of the book is a reprint of Thomas Paine's Common Sense from 1776.

While I understand the purpose of this book, I didn't find anything in it that was new to me.

We do need to return to our roots and take back our government. The family is the backbone of America. We cannot let government destroy it. We need to remember the government works for us; we don't work for it!

After reading Thomas Paine's Common Sense from 1776, I wonder if some of these old American writers could read and understand our language and writings of today.

Overall, unless you are a big Glenn Beck fan (and if you are then you have probably heard him talk about everything in this book already) you can safely skip this back.

July 27, 2015

Book Review

On Which Side of the Road Do the Flowers Grow? By Wendell E. Mattey

This is a collection of stories about people in the author's life who have taught him many lessons about God's work in this world today. These people have helped him grow in his relationship with God.

The book is a very quick read and some of the stories are interesting, but most of them were not very useful for me.

The ultimate conclusion of the book is that God is in control and the people and situations He places in your life are there for a reason.

If you are looking for some quick stories about God using people, then go ahead and read this book. Otherwise, move on to something else.

July 13, 2015

Book Review

What God Desires
Matthew 25: Ministries
The Story of the Center for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief
by Wendell E. Mattey

This is the continuing story of how Matthew 25: Ministries developed into the Center for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief.

Like the first book, this is an inspiring story of how God works through His people, providing for them what they need and when they need it.

I encourage anyone who has doubts about God's truth and His faithfulness to His people to read this book and simply trust God. When you are doing what God desires you will not fail!

July 06, 2015

Book Review

Are Not My People Worthy
by Wendell E. Mettey

This is the story about the growth of Matthew 25 Ministries, an organization which in in ministry to the poor.

I found this story very interesting and inspiring. From starting as one man's will to help the poor in Nicaragua to continuous growth and ability to help more and more people.

This is a quick read, but worth it if you are looking to lift your spirits and inspire you on your own journey.

July 02, 2015

Dollar Shave Club

Last month I received a free month of the Dollar Shave Club. So I decided to try out "The Executive". This is their top of the line 6 blade razor with a trimmer edge. I received the handle and 4 cartridges. The directions say to use one cartridge a week. Like my other tests, I decided to use one cartridge for the month.

I could tell right after the first shave that this was not the razor for me. The head was too big for my face and didn't shave close in several areas. After a month the razor was still sharp enough to cut, but it just didn't work for me, especially for the price of $2.25 a piece.

Dollar Shave Club also offers "The 4X" which is a four blade razor for $6 a month or $1.50 per cartridge and "The Humble Twin" which is a two blade razor for $1 a month plus $2 shipping or $0.60 a cartridge.

I'll stick with my Gillette Sensor 3 on sale with a coupon for about $0.50 a piece. I haven't found anything to beat them for the price.

Still shaving here in Doe Valley.

June 03, 2015

Book Review

Thoughts for Men on the Move by Warren W. Wiersbe

This book contains over 140 pages of daily readings/meditations on select portions of Scripture. Each reading starts with a Scripture verse or verses for you to lookup and read. Then there is a heading for the topic of the day. Finally, there is the author's thoughts about the topic of the day.

This is a good daily devotional book and the author has many fine comments on various topics, however, the book is not what I expecting. The title made me believe this book would be geared toward the active working man. Upon reading the book I found very few that were specifically geared toward men, let alone a busy husband, father, son, and employee.

Certainly, the devotions are good and I recommend this book, however, if you are looking for a devotional book to help a busy man, then this is probably not the book for you.