Aaaaand we’re back! Tales of PITA

Wow.  That was way harder than it should have been.

On March 10, I got this message:


Jetpack Monitor is on the job, keeping tabs on During our last check on Tuesday, March 10, 5:58 pm, we noticed that your site was down.

If you’re concerned about your site’s status, you might want to get in touch with your hosting provider. We’ll continue keeping track, and will let you know when your site is up and running again and the total downtime.

The Jetpack Team

Oh, the Internet probably went out for a bit.  The tubes are just clogged. I’m sure it will come back.

At 7:01, this:

Hi michaelerps,

We’re following up on the recent Jetpack Monitor alert we sent. It appears that your site is still down, and has been for 1 hour.

At this point, you’ll probably want to reach out to your hosting provider to determine the cause of the outage.

We’ll continue monitoring your site, and will let you know when it’s up again.

The Jetpack Team

I get home & the Internet is fine.  Something’s wrong with my server.  I go to log into Proxmox, and can’t remember the password.  I tried about 35 passwords and combinations thereof with no luck. Bad news bears.

I’ll fix it tomorrow.  Right.  Things were busy – we were looking for a house – so I didn’t get around to hooking up a monitor until that Friday.  I fire up the login screen & try a bunch more passwords. Logged into single user mode and changed the password.  Since it was late, I decided to come back to it Saturday.

On Saturday, things are good, and I’m back into Proxmox.  The containers have stopped running, so I go to fire it up again.

Starting container …
Container is mounted
Adding IP address(es):
Setting CPU units: 1000
Setting CPUs: 2
Killing container …
Unable to start init, probably incorrect template
Container start failed
Container was stopped
Container is unmounted
TASK ERROR: command ‘vzctl start 110′ failed: exit code 47

Awesome.  Time to do some Googling.  Lots of generic stuffs, but nothing specific enough to help.  I check the raid.

cat /proc/mdstat

One of the devices has failed.  Time to order new drives.

Drives show up 3 days later, and it’s time to add one in, remove it, and add the second new drive.  Start the process

mdadm -a /dev/md0 /dev/sdc1

Fire up a little watch script

while [0]

do clear

cat /proc/mdstat

sleep 2s


When the sync finishes I go to mount the drive and it fails.  Crap.  I’ll fix this over the weekend.

Saturday night arrives and I go to build a USB boot stick with dd_rescue.  I’ve never had trouble doing this task, but unetbootin didn’t want to cooperate.  I also tried a couple tiny distros but nothing would boot – so I dug out a giant CD case.

Knoppix 6.1 – Sweet!  What?!? Why won’t you load?  Pull the disc out of my USB Blu-Ray drive and see super deep scratches.  Damn.  Ubuntu 10.04.  Jackpot!  Why are you taking 15 minutes to load?  At least it’s up.

Fire up dd_rescue to start the clone.  “Command not found” or some stupid message like that.  Alright, where’s Synaptics?  Add multiverse repository, sync, download.  Got it.  We’re in.

So I started the clone:

code>dd_rescue /dev/sda /dev/sdd

Time for bed.  Next morning, TONS of errors and the new drive is chattering. This is getting ridiculous.  Anyway, I reboot the machine since the command prompt has quit working.  This time it doesn’t load.  Dammit!  Let’s get that USB thing working.

Download Knoppix.  Download Rufus. Bingo.  Boot to USB and fire up the clone again.

dd_rescue -r /dev/sda /dev/sdd

I get through about 400GB and the new drive becomes unresponsive again.  Time to clone disk1 again, but with the second new drive.  Start the process and let it run overnight, to more errors and another unresponsive drive.  Something’s up.

That night, I brought home a different USB to SATA adapter from a buddy at work.  Bob’s your uncle.  I make clones of both original drives – turns out both of them had failed sectors which made the cloning take like 5 days – and then take images of them using R-Studio. (No affiliation with any of the links in this article. These are just tools I use.)

By this time there have been server parts, hard drive adapters, monitor, keyboard, mouse sprawled out in our living room for about 2 weeks.  It’s time to clean this up, and get the adapter back to my buddy. (I guess I should buy one for my toolkit.  It was this.)

Now that the old drives have been cloned, and the new drives have been imaged, I can install the new drives and hope the data I need is still there.  After booting, I check /proc/mdstat and see only 1 device present, but the RAID is working.

mdadm -a /dev/md0 /dev/sdc1

cat /proc/mdstat

We’re building.  Sweet.  Let’s see if the data is any good.  Check mount and see that local-raid is in the list.  Log into Proxmox to start the container.

Starting container …
Container is mounted
Adding IP address(es):
Setting CPU units: 1000
Setting CPUs: 2
Killing container …
Unable to start init, probably incorrect template
Container start failed
Container was stopped
Container is unmounted
TASK ERROR: command ‘vzctl start 110′ failed: exit code 47

WHY?!?!?  Turns out I had to umount the RAID, and my NFS share (which is mapped to the RAID) & then remount both.  RAID first, then NFS.  Then the container fired right up and I’m logged into the admin console – typing this post.

RAID recovery is 34% complete.  Yippee.

Now I can spend time with my wife, instead of worrying about this stupid server.

Will we have a series soon on migrating to AWS? Also, did Google delist me or will I come back once they see me again?

Catching up with an old coworker

I hope you had a nice holiday season. I’m re reading this tonight – sorry for the late response – and I am amazed at the turn things have taken. I just started with a small company with a contract at CFPB. Got hired on as a Mac Desktop Engineer, and it turns out they pay a premium for the specialty. My first two months at OPM were spent making the Mac OS 10.8 baseline STIG compliant and in the process, I learned a great deal about mac and the Casper admin suite.

Then I went along with my normal business, working on the Windows 2012 server baseline deployment and configuration with SCCM and running the desktop engineering team. My buddy said some guys wanted me to help on the contract and told me I’d be billed as a Mac Engineer. I started Jan 20 and haven’t touched a Windows box since the first day. I still get to help out with the Windows desktop team, I’m just not pushing the buttons. It’s tons of fun, and I work with one of my best friends.

If it turns out that this place hits a contract end date or something, I’ll be in touch to see how things are doing. I like doing new and cool things, and there’s tons of it in the Microsoft world. Would it work to live in Minnesota and work for you guys? My wife has talked about moving there, and then I’d be very interested in learning more about what I could get my hands on.

Hope all is well.

Talk soon,

Did I make anything online with Remarkamobile?

Traffic Purchases
10/20 $150.00
09/29 $316.58
09/10 $105.00
08/14 $105.00
08/06 $105.00
07/12 $200.00
05/20 $40.00
04/30 $175.00
03/20 $200.00
03/19 $144.00
03/15 $90.00
03/12 $4.82
03/09 $120.00
02/25 $80.00
02/14 $50.00
02/10 $40.00
Total $1925.40
Around $475 profit after 8 months.
Since becoming Premium MMA in February 2014…
Payments Received
10/16 $54.52
09/30 $164.50
09/16 $465.77
09/02 $163.56
08/20 $222.78
07/31 $137.24
07/01 $136.30
06/14 $55.46
05/31 $153.60
05/22 $248.16
05/01 $211.88
04/15 $271.28
03/31 $110.95
Total $2396.00 

Ok, so how do I do this?

  1. Find sales copy in the business center.
  2. Choose a solo ad provider from my list.
  3. Place my link in the sales copy & send it over Skype.
  4. Pay with PayPal.
  5. Watch leads flow in.

That was it, before the new business center.

Now I also check in daily and send welcome emails with just a few clicks.

Though I’m not rich because of RemarkaMobile’s Maximum iNcome Machine, I am turning a profit and earning residual income along the way.

I get 100% commission on $29 sales every month – which will begin to add up nicely as long as I’m persistent.

The best part: mCommerce stands on its own without the affiliate program.

Check it out here.

myremarkamobile Duplication Visitor Notice

Just got this email letting me know that the  Lead Protection Program worked.  I’m pretty happy to see they thought to implement a lead retention system.  It maintains data integrity by only allowing an email in the database one time.  So if you get an opt-in and they opt-in again on someone else’s page, you get it.

This is great for affiliates as it ensures that you’ll get credit for the sale if it’s your traffic source that initiates contact with the opt-in.  Added bonus.


Now if I could only get the hits tracking working…


See my account of the first 60 days after upgrading.

Check out the Teaser Video.

Here’s the Long Sales Video. It’s long (about 40 minutes) but my initial results are featured around 10 minutes in.  There’s also my testimonial complete with picture at about 15 min.  It’s  a complete sales video – kinda drawn out, but thorough and effective.

The ONE Video The “So Called” Gurus Hope You Never See..

The ONE Video The “So Called” Gurus Hope You Never See..

Something profound is happening online right now. A major “shift” is underway. Very few see it. Yet.

It will shock many, upset plenty, but make a select group very rich…

Quick, important “1-minute” video below explains. Must see. Now.

Press PLAY below or watch it RIGHT HERE –>

Teaser Video - RemarkaMobile 2.0
Teaser Video – RemarkaMobile 2.0

Stay tuned for even more in a couple days. What you are about to see will amaze you…..

To read more about RemarkaMobile, look here:

60-Day Log – Premium MMA Exposed

Is RemarkaMobile Legit, or a Scam?

To get the inside scoop, sign up for the autoresponders here:


Just found $800 in my ProPay account…

I’ve been pretty much coasting these last few months, but a solo ad came through and gave me some more interest.

I got a payment into my ProPay account on yesterday, so I logged in and found $831 and change.

I picked up another one today, and I heard that the RemarkaMobile business center will be ready by the end of the month. I’m very excited about that, have a bit of momentum, and here’s how some people make it happen:

Read my story here: RemarkaMobile Premium MMA – First 60 Days

The Volatility of a Development Environment

So I’ve been trying to get DirectAccess working the past week or so. Our test lab at work just seems to have a piece missing in either the DC or the PKI server – or something else…

Anyway, I decided to stand up 6 VMs last night. All at once. Then the Proxmox host quit responding via web interface.

My website still worked, but I couldn’t connect in via ssh – bad news.

I hooked up a monitor this morning, and it was FILLED with I/O errors. Scary. I force killed the server, and rebooted.

None of my VMs would start – nfs mount errors. Scarier.

So I rebooted it this morning and left for work. I didn’t check it today, and found that it was still down until about 5 minutes ago.

Turns out that the second reboot fixed everything, and I just had to restart the container. Now all is good.

Lesson learned: Reboot TWICE after a failure if you think stuff is actually set up properly.

Taking some time to reflect…

A lot has changed since I lived in Iowa. I used to think that I was content and happy, working 70+ hours per week for the satisfaction of providing a few jobs. I was constantly busy, but I was always doing what I wanted to do. Even if it meant lots of time at work – fixing things, removing viruses, waiting on data recovery jobs – I played as much disc golf as I wanted, and I saw my friends and family on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

I’ve been in DC for 2.5 years now. All of this has changed. I’m married, I work a “regular” full-time job, and I live in a tiny apartment with Anne and our dog Haley. I spend about 90 minutes each day commuting. Most of that time is spent listening to podcasts or watching people. A small chunk of it is spent reflecting, daydreaming, or thinking about my latest project.

I don’t spend a whole lot of time writing. I used to do it a lot, but I got distracted with this thing called life and let my old blog die. I’m not sure why, and I’m really a bit disappointed about it. Especially since a few people have read my writing and they have actually told me that I’m good at it. Lately, I haven’t done much writing without a goal – whether it be documenting or trying to rank in the Googles and whatnots.

I like documenting. And watching documentaries. People interest me, and I like to see the inside look into what they’ve done and what they’re going through. I’ve actually dreamt many times about making a documentary. I plan to, I’m just not quite sure when or exactly what it will be about. I need lots of hard drive space and diligence to keep all of my pictures/video/writing organized. Sure, I’ll go ahead and add that to the list.

“Jason, Jason, bo bason. Banana fanna fo fason.” Yeap, I just heard that out of the blue. The best part is that Anne’s brother wasn’t even phased when she answered the phone like that. Anne makes me happy, but I don’t think she knows quite to what extent. I find that she gets over-excited when I actually tell her stuff like that, so I decide to drip feed little tidbits like this from time to time.

Anyway, back to what I was thinking about when I started writing this post…

My desire to build a residual income has never wavered. That desire is slowly becoming a reality.
I’ve recently started promoting an affiliate program. It’s actually working. I’ve had fun documenting my journey on this blog. Also, after 10 years of hard work, Solid Systems is supporting itself. Imagine that. September 9th marks 10 years of Solid Systems, and it looks like the company will be out of debt by the end of the year. Maybe even by the 10 year mark.

All of the business credit cards will be cleaned up by June and I can start paying back the personal loans I took out back in 2007-2009. Thanks to family and friends for the startup help… and yes, I have actually planned to pay it all back. I just didn’t know how long it would take, or where the money would come from. Nick has really helped to turn the business around. I can’t thank him enough, and seeing his success might be the most rewarding part of the whole journey.

Life is good. I have insurance. Case in point: Anne made me go to the dentist today. My teeth kinda hurt, but she says they look cleaner. Yippee.

Anne has a stable job, and is able to pick and choose what she applies to.

My friends and family visit me. My friends are doing very well. Jake just got promoted to principal software engineer. Josh just got a new job and moved in with his girlfriend. Brett picked up a sweet job helping people and doing what he loves.

All of that said, I’m not sure if I want to stay here or if I’d rather be back in Iowa. I do know that I want to be closer to family. I’d love to be able to visit Cooper and Jackson’s birthday party in April. I wish Haley had friends that she could stay with whenever we wanted.

Is the desire really to be living closer, or do I just want more freedom to travel? I know Anne wants to live somewhere exciting, so I’m guessing that the “freedom to travel” piece will win out – at least in the short run.

Well, it turns out that 800 words comes pretty easily when it’s been a while. There’s not a lot of structure here, but that’s probably for the best. Also, the groceries are about to be delivered (that’s Anne’s fault – and a discussion for another time).

If you actually read this whole thing, I hope to see you soon.