Top Democrat Admits to Being In a Party of Dumb Asses.

It’s refreshing to hear a politician admit that his own party is the reason they are out of power and not the opposition. Charles Schumer did just that.

“After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus, but unfortunately Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them,” he said. “We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem.”

via Schumer: Democrats erred by pursuing health reform too soon – LA Times.

I’m not going to condemn the ACA here, there is some good parts to this legislation, but I am going to say that it wasn’t what the Democrats needed to burn their political capital in passing.

Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.
~ Albert Einstein

This is especially true right now.

There is a very apparent solution for the people of Ferguson

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced on Monday night that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in a press conference that many found baffling, unwieldy and inflammatory.

via Ferguson Prosecutor Robert McCulloch Gives Bizarre Press Conference.

Honestly, I don’t know if Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown and neither do you. All you and I know is that a grand jury in Ferguson refused to indict him for any crimes in the shooting. By doing a little research I also know that the Ferguson PD has only three black police officers out of a force of fifty-three. In a city with blacks making up 67% of the population this will raise an eyebrow.

Since the 2010 census blacks have made up the majority of Ferguson with whites making up only 27% of the population yet whites maintain full political control of the city. Evidently blacks are not running for office in Ferguson or blacks are not  voting in Ferguson.

To me it looks like there is an apparent solution to Ferguson’s problem and it ain’t burning down a Little Cesare’s.

[Poll] Classism In Religion, Does It Affect You?

I got into a discussion with my dear friend, tom. He is bothered by classism in religion while I don’t see it as a problem. He was raised Catholic, I was raised Protestant. I got to wondering if that was the difference. Please take a moment to answer my poll question.

Classism In Religion; Who Is Holy
Do you believe the Clergy is closer to God than the Laity?
Moral Authority of the Clergy
Do you believe the Clergy has moral authority over the Laity?

Noise isn’t what’s distracting you.

Dan passed this along and it goes a long way in helping me understand why some of my best programming was done on a noisy factory floor while I’ve struggled to do the same in an office environment with other engineers discussing a problem in the background.

Justin Stout, Cambridge Sound Management’s acoustical expert, says noise in general isn’t to blame when it comes to lost productivity. “When we talk about distractions what we’re primarily concerned with is intelligibility,” says Stout.

via The Not So Silent Office Productivity Killer | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

This makes a ton of sense to me. Now to figure out how to use this information to my best advantage.

I Dig Steel

I don’t know about you but I really, really, really dig a steel framed bike. Don’t get me wrong, I love riding my aluminum framed Specialized Allez with its carbon fork but it’s an aluminum bike with a carbon fork, something to like and even love but not something you can dig. It rides fast and fits me well but lacks a little something in style.
Velo-Orange Pass Hunter
Velo-Orange has a model they call the Pass Hunter. It’s a bike I can dig. It probably isn’t as fast as my Allez but it looks like something I could load up and ride and ride and ride.

I dig the cantilever brakes for their ability to scuff off the momentum my fat self and baggage builds up on downhills.  I also dig the fact that this allows me the clearance to put wider tires for better stability in gravel on the bike and still have room for a set of fenders. Fenders that I need to keep the lime spray from wet gravel roads from turning the bicycle a mottled white.

I dig the way the steel frame will absorb the vibrations from the road and deaden the shock to my wrists and butt from hitting an unavoidable pothole. I dig the fact that should the frame somehow get bent that I stand a chance of repairing it on the side of the road to at least a level of ridability that will get me back home or to a reasonable pick up point.

I have no beef with aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber bikes, they all have their place and can be sexy machines. I just dig steel over the long haul.

Why are housing costs so high?

I read stories like this and I get angry. No one in this country should be homeless unless that is their choice. Seriously, shelter doesn’t cost that much to build as long as you keep things simple.

Comfortable housing that meets one’s basic needs can be built for as little as $10,000. Jay Austin designed and built a 140-square-foot home in Washington D.C. but zoning and building ordinances keep him from being able to live in it full time.

See, most cities (and even a lot of counties) want to define minimum room size and minimum lot sizes to preclude really affordable housing from being used. Often they demand that a structure be permanently fastened to the ground with a foundation and that water and sewer be connected.

I’m all for people having running water and sewer but how many homeless people could be housed in these tiny homes in relative comfort in a park like setting with a common bath house? With parks like this being discouraged we end up with homeless encampments with lesser conditions hidden away where mothers and their children are at risk to predators.

See we don’t need really need all the space we put into modern houses. We need spaces that are designed efficiently and are cost effective to build on lots that are of sensible size for a tiny home. If you can afford a 6,000 square foot house on five acres that’s fine but that isn’t practical for someone making $12/hour and raising a couple of kids. It also makes it difficult for someone trying to get out of an abusive relationship to find shelter.


Facebook Says It Can See Everything You Post

Facebook is telling us something everyone should already know, they can see everything we post, regardless of privacy settings.

“With most online services, there’s an understanding that when you use those services to share information, you’re also sharing information with the company providing the service,” explained Scutari.

via Facebook Says It Can See Everything You Post.

But for some reason there are still people out there that assume social media is just between friends. Tell me, what’s wrong with people?

It Ain’t Always What You Think

This past Sunday I got a call about our power monitoring being down in one of our small data centers. I logged in remotely and quickly discovered that the SQL server for that site had lost two drive in its RAID array which took down the database our power monitoring equipment was logging to.

This was not good. Since this is a very small data center I have very little support staff on site, I mean these guys are good but the knowledge base isn’t as large as it is here at home. So I was going to have to come up with a plan to quickly get a new SQL server up and running before we lost data.

My first inclination was to get one of my local boxes that was reserved for disaster recovery for another system to act as a server for the other site until I could get a new box to the other site. We started work on doing just that but it didn’t take long to see that the backup of the old server was going to take longer to move over the network than FedExing the hardware to the backup.

Time is passing and people are getting nervous. This has the potential of affecting our billing. Our service center has declared a major incident and directors and vice presidents are watching. There’s nothing I can do, however, until the new server reaches its destination. I go home and sleep.

It’s now morning, I’ve had a good night’s sleep and the server has arrived and is being racked and cabled up. We start things up, no connectivity. After a bit of cable swapping we get it to where I can log in and finish configuring it. We get the NAB interface configured and enabled and restore the backup to the machine. It’s Wednesday and time is still ticking away. I have a Dr’s appointment Thursday morning.

By midday Thursday everything looks like its up and running but wait….. data is not logging to the database. We check this, we check that and everything looks fine so what could it be. Finally, we take a look at what data we do have and notice that logging had stopped on November 2nd at 2:00AM. That’s a whole week before the server crash. Notice anything special about that date and time?

Our controllers from where the data is being pulled from are looked at and they are still on daylight savings time giving our collectors the idea that the data they are getting from the controller is from the future so they don’t log it. The controllers never set themselves back to standard time when they were suppose to. Had the server not crashed we might have gone a full month before discovering this with even more lost data. The server crash may have been the best thing in the world that happened to us.

However about a day was spent trying to figure out what was wrong with the new server configuration when it was actually nothing. The problem was elsewhere. I’ve had dual problems occur before and cause similar problems. This just reinforces my belief that you can never assume anything. If configuration looks good look to somewhere else.