Tag Archives: featured

Sanity guide for new boxer (or boxer mix) owners

An acquaintance of mine picked up a boxer-mix puppy a few days ago. I don’t know if he’s a previous boxer owner or even how recently he’s had a dog in his life. This got me thinking about the huge number of boxers who eventually find their way into the animal rescue system because well-meaning, warm-hearted owners have no idea what they’re getting into and become overwhelmed by the high maintenance of this particular breed. Considering my buddy has a significant other as well as (I believe) children, the foundation of “patience” and “tolerance” has already been beaten into him. I’m sure he’s going to be a great parent to his newest family member so hopefully my thoughts here serve only to fill a few gaps if they exist. There are endless “how to” guides for new puppy owners on the Internet, so my intention was to focus mostly on my experience with the Boxer breed and the things I learned while sharing my life with one. The easiest way to describe the breed is that they are the dial that goes to 11 where other breeds stop at 10.

The single most fundamental thing about boxers (and many mixed boxers) that you have to learn, quickly, is this… Continue reading Sanity guide for new boxer (or boxer mix) owners

7 things I learned cooking and canning homemade dog food for the first time

Update: 10/30/2012
I shifted to the new food and fed my fat-intolerant boxer the new mixture all day yesterday. Sadly, he vomited this morning with whole green beans coming up. Back to the drawing board.

I also followed up with a simple recipe the dogs seem to love sans the “canning” process.

I’ve become increasingly cynical about the relationship between pet food manufacturers and the professional veterinarian community. While I didn’t actually have much of an opinion on feed makers, my relationship with the vets who care for my animals has been pretty solid. Over the last several years however, as my animals have continued progressing through the geriatric stages of their lives, I’ve been increasingly frustrated with getting the specialized food my boxer requires, and the hoops my veterinarians are forcing me through.

I had finally had enough and decided to cook / create / mix my own dog food while using standard household hobby canning methods to preserve it long enough for the dogs to eat safely. My main tool for this first attempt was a 21-quart All American pressure cooker / canner. The intention was to pressure cook the food, wash the pot, then use it for canning. What follows is a list of things I did wrong and what to avoid if you’re doing it for the first time. I won’t get into pressure canning mechanics or why you’d need to do pressure canning. I assume you’ve done your own research on this. Continue reading 7 things I learned cooking and canning homemade dog food for the first time

Definitive instructions for installing secure Proftpd with OpenSSL – Part 1

Proftpd is a remarkably versatile Unix/Linux FTP server daemon that has been in under active maintenance for more than 20 years. Downloading the base package from a stable Linux repository or performing a default installation from the latest source will net you a solid and easy to use server.

But what if you want more that just a default installation? There are hundreds of configurable options and more than a few dozen contributed or 3rd party modules, each with their own quirks/caveats that can lead a mostly Windows person down a thousand rabbit holes if you aren’t careful or have a strong background in Linux administration. In addition, while the base install of ProFTPd / OpenSSL from a stable repository will work “out of the box”, there’s a good chance that you won’t have the latest version of ProFTPd and OpenSSL (or source) due to delays from extensive vetting by Canonical.

This multi-part tutorial is my re-cap of months of monkeying around with Proftpd, following hundreds of different links, reading pages and pages of info, finally getting it to work they way I want it to.

Please link back to these instructions so others may find them on Google. (You know how it works — only pages with the highest number of incoming links get the best search position. If this guide helped you, help others find it too.)


  • You are a Windows professional or advanced user who “tinkers” with Linux as a hobby or as a non-critical part of your job. Expert Linux isn’t required, but you should understand basic commands like cat, tail, ls, grep, etc. You need to know how to use “vi” or some other command line text editor.
  • You have a [mostly] vanilla installation of ubuntu 10.04.04 LTS server that has been fully updated with all security patches and application updates. It’s entirely probable newer versions of Ubuntu will work fine (12.04 as of this writing) but this guide has only been tested with 10.04. The SSH server daemon needs to be installed either manually or as a part of an initial server load.
  • I make use of the Webmin utility to handle several basic Linux administrative tasks. As I mentioned, the audience for this guide is a mostly Windows person who tinkers. You’re not here to learn how to create new user accounts from a command line.

We’ll be compiling, installing, and configuring ProFTPd to use a non-standard port number, SSL, behind a firewall, and on a non-routable IP block.

Let’s get started…
Continue reading Definitive instructions for installing secure Proftpd with OpenSSL – Part 1