Category Archives: Administrative

Non-Military Affidavit

This law seems absurd.

We’re living in a Carl Hiaasen novel, with a crazy tenant who is destroying the property, and we want to evict her ASAP. Why is it incumbent on the landlord to prove a negative?

It seems like the first condition could be satisfied simply by pointing out that she’s been renting a home in Boca Raton, Florida, and there are no commutable military bases nearby.

Improving Space Operations

There’s a workshop at JPL today and tomorrow (I’m doing a presentation there tomorrow morning), so blogging will probably be light or non-existent.

[Update a few minutes before I leave]

The Humans2Mars conference starts today in DC. There is so much stuff going on in space that it’s hard to cover it all in person, even if I had the travel resources. Follow @jeff_foust and Pat Host (@Pat_DefDaily). It’s also live streaming.

[Update before I’m out the door to Pasadena]

Humans2Mars has issued its first annual report. That’s the first I’d heard that Mike Raftery had left Boeing.


Partly out of interest, and partly because there don’t seem to be any yum packages for Kerbal, I decided to load it on a spare SSD (not using grub, I just go into the BIOS and decide which drive I want to boot). I set up an account. It didn’t ask me to create a password for root, just a personal account. I try to ‘su -i’ and it asks me for a password. I use the one I created for my personal account. Nope.

Way to go, guys.

VirtualBox Problem

OK, I took previous advice and installed VirtualBox. It seems to work, but I want to mount a physical drive to it. It’s NTFS, and when I try to load the vmdk file for it, I get a permissions problem.

Failed to open the hard disk file /home/pat/VirtualBox VMs/Windows 8.1/VirtualBox\ VMs\ Windows\ 8.1.vmdk.

Permission problem accessing the file for the medium ‘/home/pat/VirtualBox VMs/Windows 8.1/VirtualBox\ VMs\ Windows\ 8.1.vmdk’ (VERR_ACCESS_DENIED).

Result Code: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004)
Component: Medium
Interface: IMedium {05f2bbb6-a3a6-4fb9-9b49-6d0dda7142ac}
Callee: IVirtualBox {fafa4e17-1ee2-4905-a10e-fe7c18bf5554}

I’m running VB as a user, but a user doesn’t have permission to do a disk mount (also, the drive itself, when I mount it as admin, shows it owned and grouped as root, probably because it’s NTFS). The file itself is owned and grouped by the user. Any suggestions?

Anza Borrego

We spent yesterday checking out wildflowers in Henderson Canyon, then driving up to Font’s Point, over to the Salton Sea, and back through Ocatillo Wells. Today we hiked up Palm Canyon, saw a lot more flowers, birds, and desert bighorn sheep (just a couple ewes, not rams). We also discovered how out of shape we were. Recuperating now, heading back to LA tomorrow. We clearly need to do this more often.

What strikes me about these desert communities, like Borrego Springs, Salton City (also Cal City up north of Mojave) is the boundless optimism of the founders. They’re huge, with lots of roads laid out ready for building, perhaps decades out. The optimism in Salton City was expressed in the street names — Marina Blvd, Sea Isle Lane, Ocean Avenue, you get the picture. Unfortunately, in the past few years, the lake level has receded a hundred yards from the planned shoreline. It was a depressing place.

In Borrego Springs, there are a lot of wealthy new estates, with little oases of palms and and palo verde. Most of the street names are ranch brands — Tilting T, Double O, Frying Pan…

It was interesting to see a part of California I’d never explored for thirty-five years, only a couple hours away.