Aug 3 11

Apache error: File does not exist: /etc/apache2/htdocs

by seb

I had noticed the following frequent, recurring error in my Apache error log:

[Tue Aug 02 19:43:44 2011] [error] [client] File does not exist: /etc

It didn’t really both me too much, but today I decided to do something about it. To avoid these errors make sure that DocumentRoot directive is properly configured. DocumentRoot is the directive that indicates the directory from which Apache will serve files. If it is not configured, it will be taken a blank, and since a black string isn’t an absolute URL, it is assumed to be relative (and thus, in this case, equivalent) to the ServerRoot directive. I simply created an extra configuration file as follows

seb@ornette:~$ cat /etc/apache2/conf.d/default-documentroot
DocumentRoot /var/www

This worked for Apache in Ubuntu (10.10).

Jul 29 09

Four wines

by seb

Spring Vale 2008 Melrose Pinot Noir

This Tasmanian pinot noir from Spring Vale Wines looks light but the rusty brown tinge suggests a fuller character.  It has an earthy nose hiding some some fruit (strawberries).  It has got enough body — I hate thin pinot noir — and savoury flavour profile. On the whole, not bad, but not spectacular.

Tar & Roses 2008 Pinot Grigio

I give this one a review below, but here’s a second attempt.

From the winery without a vineyard comes this pinot grigio. Not that exciting on the nose, fruit (pear, apple) with some of  the whiffiness that comes with pinot grigio. However, this is a very focussed wine, heavy and long-lasting on the  on the mid-palate, with a solid acid finish. Very worthwhile.

Tamar Ridge 2006 Reisling

An odd nose in this Tasmanian reisling: orange, but I can’t help feeling  that it’s the scent of one those citrus-powered cleaners… and I don’t want to drink that. Citrus dominates the palate with a lemon and lime attack; minerality tempers the finish. Hmm… not to sure about this one — bit too unbalanced overall.

The Black Chook VMR

I like chooks — indeed, I keep chooks — and this was basically the reason why I first bought the Black Chook Shiraz Viognier: the label’s prominent black chook appealed to me.  This triple blend of Viognier Marsanne and Roussanne is as big and mighty as its Shiraz Viognier cousin. A very fruity nose with prominent apricot and peach. Good acid and plenty of heat from the alcohol (perhaps a bit much). One of those white wines for the red wine drinker.

Jul 21 09

Some recent wines

by seb

D’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne

Yum! I really liked this D’Arenberg Viognier Marsanne. Belinda had her reservations and was less enthusiastic than I about it, but I found this to be a very well balanced wine. There was enough acid to counter the huge fruit and floral flavour, and minerality further contributed to the complexity.  At around $15, there’s much to recommend here.

Segura Viudas Aria Brut Nature NV

Good value (around $15) bubbles from Segura Viudas. Not particularly complex in the flavour profile, but this dry, moussey sparkling wine is a refreshing change to most of the equivalently priced bubbles you’ll find in the bottle-o. There’s a distinct apple tart scent to the nose, and apples and pastry are found in the flavour. This isn’t a sweet fizzy, though. Unfortunately slightly hollow in mid-palate, but thankfully dry  and extremely drinkable.

Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers Überblanc Riesling

Caught a glass of this Tasmanian riesling at Joe’s Shoe Shop on High Street Northcote. On the first occasion I was knocked out by its crisp lemon/lime zinginess. In fact, this is the most citrus-focussed tasting wine I’ve ever encountered. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember the name of the wine, so I went back a couple of week later to reacquaint myself with it, and this time note down the name. My second tasting found the wine lacking some body: it has strong acid and sourness, but is perhaps a little thin — the paleness of its colour and low alcohol (10.9%) add to the chance for this wine to be tagged lemon water. But that said, I highly recommend this wine.

Jun 24 09

Reliving teen music

by seb

These days, I don’t get to listen to as much music as I used to. At work, I listen to, which I have mixed feelings about: how amazing is it to be able to type a name of an artist/band and listen to a stream of related music; that said, I do find the channels sort of narrow. (I say sort of because some channels produce quite disparate playlists. I love the way when I base a channel on Scott Walker, I get to listen to This Heat, for instance — problem is it always does this. Anyway, I’ll save my experiences for another posting.) I’m enjoy some radio shows on 3RRR: the Skullcave on Friday arvo/evenings, Beat Orgy on Saturday evenings, and Under The Sun on Sunday evenings.

I finally got my hands on the Zombi CDs Spirit Animal and Surface to Air.  Zombi make me laugh. They sound so like the music that as a teenager I was repelled by. Back then I hated lame-arse synth rock of Genensis or Tangerine Dream; today I’m more open to it (um, I might have even bought some Tangerine Dream recently).  And indeed the music make me feel like shutting myself in a room, reading some comics, playing with Bionicles or somesuch.

In my teens, I listened mainly to pre-’60s blues and some ’60s psychedelic rock (mainly Hendrix, and indeed I was obssesed with Hendrix). I wish that I’d been more open to other music, especially local Australian indie/punk bands, instead of now feeling like I need to make up for lost time. Making up for lost time by listening to Tangerine Dream. Hmm… I think I’d better reassess my priorities.

May 15 09

Tar & Roses Pinot Grigio 2008

by seb

Tar & Roses is a sweet name for a winery — if it is a winery. There seems to be no cellar door, no vineyard… Just 2 wine makers bent on making some interesting sounding wines. Belinda picked out the 2008 Pinot Grigio from a Dan Murphy’s promotional catalogue: she’s been working her way through it.

The 2008 Pinot Grigio is  a bit tight on the nose, but I do get some lemon and the pear, which can be a charateristic of  the varietal. The wine also has a very slight pinkish tinge to its color, again being a pinot grigio trait. To drink, this wine has nice, crisp acid that balances a somewhat sweet attack. Mid-palate, I find some salt and cream tones — just a hint, but enough to give the wine a welcomed complexity. It’s a great food wine.

Mar 16 09

Dovecot deliver and sieve

by seb

I read mail from several addresses using mail clients on a few machines. I wanted to aggregate all the mail in one IMAP account to allow me the greatest flexibility when reading mail. I had set up postfix and dovecot on my Linode (running Ubuntu Intrepid), and also used getmail to fetch mail from some POP accounts. This was working for me to a certain extent, but it was falling down when I was using the mail client (Evolution) to filter messages into different folders: I got too many duplicate messages when I switched machines.

What I wanted to do was filter the mail on the server side. Getmail can pass messages to an external mail delivery agent (MDA) for delivery. Since I was using dovercot, its local delivery agent (LDA) deliver seemed the best option. I could then use dovecot’s sieve plugin to do the filtering. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it working, but after persevering I manage to succeed.

First, configure getmail. Use the destination section to set the external MDA:

type = MDA_external
path = /usr/lib/dovecot/deliver

That seemed simple enough. Where I went wrong was not realising that deliver needed some configuring too. deliver gets configured in the protocol lda section of dovecot.conf. Make sure that the postmaster_address is set to something; if not, a fatal error is thrown. I spent some time thinking that the root problem wasn’t that there was no postmaster_address, but that deliver was faulting elsewhere and then complaining that there was no postmaster_address. I repeat, you must set postmaster_address.

For filtering, enable the sieve plugin. On Ubuntu (Intrepid), the CMUsieve plugin is provided, so include “cmusieve” in your list of mail plugins

# Space-separated list of plugins to load
mail_plugins = cmusieve

To check what deliver has done, if you haven’t found the mail in your store as expected, look in the /var/log/mail.log and mail.err to see what’s happened. Maybe check where dovecot is configured to log.

And, to check that the filter is working, the sieve plugin will write out errors to .dovecot.sieve.err. Check for this file if you think the filter is failing.

Jan 16 09

Del Rios wines

by seb

Just before Christmas I bought a couple of dozen bottles of wine from the Del Rios winery. We’d previously enjoyed a visit to this winery in Anarkie, west of Melbourne, north of Geelong. We’d liked the wines we tasted, but I think mainly we liked the people who run the place. They were relaxed and welcoming — no hint of us being an interruption. We were given a tour of the wine-making facility and tasted the coming years’ yet-to-be-bottled wine. And, no small part to us liking the place was having them help start our car after we’d stupidly flattened the battery.

So far we’ve drunk the 2004 Marsanne, 2004 Chardonnay, 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 3D Shiraz Cabernet Merlot, and 2004 Pinot Noir. I didn’t like the Chardonnay at all. Of the reds, the Pinot stood out as the best — by quite a stretch I might add. But the wine that really stands out is the Marsanne. It’s a well-balanced,  clean, fruity (notably apricot) drop.  One doesn’t come across that much Marsanne, but I’ll be lookin’ out for it from now.

Jan 4 09

Happy new year

by seb

First the resolutions:

  1. Blog.
  2. Drink more wine than beer.
  3. Paint the kitchen, and other home improvements.

First, I plan to blog and take control of my online identity — or rather establish some sort of online identity. Indeed, I feel some debt to all those blogs I read. I sponge quite a bit of  help from bloggers who have kindly posted solutions to problems, as so I feel I should do the same.

Second, I’m becoming increasingly jealous of people who are in control of their wine palate.  I find it too difficult to describe what my palate senses when tasting wine; so, this year I plan to develop mine. I started last night and surprised myself by divining apricot in a Del Rios Marsanne. “I smell apricot”, I asserted on giving the wine a sniff. I grabbed a nearby jar of apricot jam and confirmed that it was indeed so. A taste of the wine detected further apricot flavours.  When we looked up Marsanne on the Web, we found that it was noted for apricot flavours. I’m off to a good start then.

Third, well over a year ago I washed down the kitchen walls in order to paint that room. It was quite hard work because the ceiling was crusted in mould. Now we don’t have the mould, but the kitchen is still a depressing blue-grey, with a peeling ceiling.

Aug 31 03

Shane Maloney

by seb

I’ve recently finished reading the five Shane Maloney books based around the Murray Whelan character. Maloney’s protagonist, Murray Whelan, is a Labor Party hack who has a knack for getting involved in crime solving. The crimes invariably centre on a murder that intersects with Whelan’s work in State politics. What makes Moloney’s books special is the way he writes the Whelan character, and situates the novels in the familiar surrounds of Melbourne and its political climate.

Whelan is far from the hard-boiled detective character of tradition crime fiction. Indeed, when he tries to be, it usually spells some misadventure. He’s a politico, and while very competent at his job, he is somewhat bumbling in the rest of his pursuits. Whelan’s ham-fisted attempts at anything covert provide for much entertaining slapstick. He invariably ends up a bedraggled mess, with injuries and torn clothing, and usually pissing himself or being pissed on.

The books are set in Melbourne, and the Maloney does good job of describing this town. Those familiar with Melbourne will enjoy the accounts of Melbourne town and suburbs. He also captures this towns political climate, with stories encompassing the Olympic bid, the arts world, various unions, and prominent business figures and politicians. His stories tend to involve a thread from a respectable but corrupt top end of town to the seedy criminal side of a suburban world. It’s a nice mix.

Maloney’s not a great writer; but he does enough. Somethimes I found his style a bit corny; but, this is crime fiction afterall. If anything, though, I found the writing style detracted from what are well thought-out stories. But that aside, I’d recommend these books.

I’ve bought a fair bit of music recently; here’s some of it: Neil Perry Lineage discography, the three Earth CDs, No Neck Blues Band Letters To The Serth, Black Flag First Four Years and Damaged (don’t know why I didn’t have these already), Parker, William Eloping WIth The Sun, Clark, Gene Roadmaster, Welch, Gillian Revival and Hell Among The Yearlings, From Ashes Rise Silence and Love Cry Want self-titled.

Aug 29 03

Release a record

by seb

We stock a fair bit of stock by local bands who are doing it themselves or releases on small labels run by one or two people. If you’re just starting out in a band and want to push some product, check out [indiecenter]. It’s not the prettiest site, but it does contain a lot of info on going about releasing a record.