Tuesday, March 04, 2014

All One Might Need to Know About Being Outraged Over Ukraine v Russia

One the one hand one Geez-Louise Russians are acting bad, ami'right?  Can't we be all peaceful and stuff.

On the other hand, leaving out our own proclivity for leaping into other sovereign countries with jarheads and airborne troopers and Apaches a-blazing [Beirut, Grenada, Panama, Haiti, Iraq, Yemen, Libya], what business is it of the United States to wag their finger and say 'bad bad bad'.

On the gripping hand, extending guarantees to states surrounding nuclear-armed cultural paranoids .. I mean what can go wrong, ami'right?

Read, and heed;

"I want a man who is looking out from the true center of the universe which is the stone mound in the Kremlin known as the Lobnoye Mesto, the Place of the Skull. Lend me your eyes for a moment. Stand on the Lobnoye Mesto.  
"In the southern distances are the bottled inland seas coveted by Tsar Peter. To the northeast lie the bottled shores of the Baltic which the Russian spirit has been forced to conquer to break the exploitation of Russia by European navies. To the east is an ocean guarded by Japan and to the southeast lies the ancient Chinese enemy. There are rich and barrierless steppes to the west through which hostile armies can, and have, struck like lightning at every opportunity. To the north are the dread skies open to the swift hellfire and brimstone of American arrows.” 

 Excerpt From: “Donald Kingsbury - The Moon Goddess and the Son.”

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Movies I Have Watched Recently

Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
Why in the world don't they make more fun musicals like this? I really enjoyed the heck out of it.

Joe Bob says give it a whirl.

Gettysburg (1993)
The director's cut is 4 hours at 31 minutes of boredom, with overly long scenes of meandering tedium, relieved by moments of really good acting. Then more krep. Another bright moment! More meh. And so on.

So, not a good movie. It's not even good history.

If I didn't know anything about the Gettysburg campaign, or the penultimate battle before I watched, I wouldn't know much about it after the movie. I might even know less: it's like the movie was trying to replace my brains with cotton fluff. And Lord knows I got little enough brains to spare.

As shot, one piece of gently rolling countryside looks like another. Is that Seminary Ridge? Cemetery Ridge? Cemetery Hill? Who knows? We know Devil's Den - it's chock full of big-ass rocks. But the rest ... it's all just places they plonked a camera without much tying them together in the narrative.

I'll give them this: 20th Maine's engagement on Little Round top was very well done. Come to that, the scenes with _just_ the 20th Maine, filled out a bit, would have made a dandy movie all by itself. 

Another character and actor who deserves his own film: Sam Elliot as cavalry brigader John Buford.

I would have turned it off at the end of the first hour but for Tom Berenger as Longstreet. I kept watching to see him portray Longstreet as the only sane man in an army of fools, goofballs, and dorks. Amazing job by a great actor.

There is a scene - I guess you have to watch it through all the way to get the impact - where the stupid, retarded, awful Pickett's Charge is about to kick off. The artillery has failed to knock out the opposition.  15,000 men are about to walk a country mile under a broiling hot July sun across an open field, through shell, shot, and musket fire.  Half of them aren't going to come back.  Longstreet knows this as sure as he knows the sun will rise.  Everything he has spent the entire movie trying to avoid is about to happen.

Picket: "Shall I order the charge?"

All Longstreet can do is ... just ... wave his hand.  'Go' he is saying.  'But I can't say it for it will break my heart.'

That's some acting right there.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Another reason why having a configuration tool to build servers is a good idea

Forgive me reader, it's been a month since my last post. Sorry about that.

At work we've got Ansible.  It rocks. If you build servers by hand you have my sympathy, and stop doing that.  Check this out:

I have hypervisors running Proxmox. Which is openvz with frills.

On these hypervisors, I have a whole lotta containers. Two containers are 32-bit Ubuntu, 4gb of RAM. Found out today, at lunch, I need them to be 64-bit Ubuntu with 8gb of RAM.

Not very long ago, this would be a big deal, involving a lot of money, and time and frustation. Today I simply did this:

  • Stop and delete the old containers. 
  • Edit a file.  Change MEM=4096 to MEM=8192. Change OS=ubuntu32 to OS=ubuntu64. 
  • Run a shell script - answer the prompts. There are four of these. 
  • Shell script runs an Ansible playbook, which is a yml file telling Ansible what to do. 
  • Sit back and watch Ansible do it's thing. 
  • Five minutes later I have two new servers, the application is deployed and running. 

The book keeper wandered up.  I gestured: look!  She started at my terminal, printing line after line of text telling me what Ansible is doing to my server.  What ..

'My life-long ambition to reduce my job to pushing a button once in a while is coming to fruition! Muh-ha-ha!'

She gave me a 'bless your heart' [1] smile and warily backed away.  No doubt she was looking for a sharp stick in case I got out of hand ...

I love what I do for a living.

I need to point out that none of this Just Happens: The playbook that builds the container is a 2nd or 3rd generation playbook here.  It works well because we have done the hard work of making playbooks that didn't work so good.  At least my playbooks were lame and clunky.

An astute observer would also notice that the process does not yet do a very good job of editing proxmox container values on the fly.  That is I _should_ be able to edit the MEM value and rest easy knowing that Ansible will make that change for me.  It doesn't do that, yet, but I have plans ...

Also I would be remiss if I did not point out that there is a team effort at work here and my contributions are very much built on the platform I inherited when I arrived.  If I'm any good with these tools it's because the guys I work with did a great job of setting them up.

[1] Most of my readers may know this is Southern for 'You are insane and bear watching'.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hi-Point 45 ACP - October 2013

Being an occasional repot on a Hi-Point 45 ACP.  I own one, I'll shoot it when I can.  I'm not a gun expert, or a firearms aficionado.  I'm just this guy, you know?  Always remember: the plural of anecdote is not data.

October, 2013.  Fired fifty rounds.  No mis-feeds, jams, or excitement. Hit the target, a man-sized silhouette at 12 and 25 yards.  All rounds except one landed in the black, with consistent grouping down and to the left because the shooter is human, and weak.  The errant round was the last fired; the shooter got lazy and jerked it off.

Based on the collective wisdom of nerdy aficionados on the internet, I expected the thing to mis-feed, jam, explode, catch fire, sodomize a cat, or a combination of any and all the above.  Disappointed that I appear to have a firearm that, while not pretty, Just Works.

Until Next Time, Joe Bob says Check It Out.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Robert E. Lee of SF writers

When I look at the competition, think about the gifted, smart people I work with, our tool set, the shiny machines, the really nifty hardware we're installing in the data center ...

I need to remind myself ...

"Listen to me now: There has never been a military in the entire history of the human race that has gone to war equipped with more than the least that it needs to fight the enemy. War is expensive.  It costs money and it costs lives and no civilization has an infinite amount of either.  So when you fight, you conserve. You use and equip only as much as you have to, never more. 
He stared at us grimly.  "Is any of this getting through?  Do any of you understand what I'm trying to tell you?  You don't have these shiny new bodies and pretty new weapons because we want to give you an unfair advantage.  You have these bodies and these weapons because they are the absolute minimum that will allow you to fight and survive out there.  We didn't want to give you these bodies, you dipsh*ts.  It's just that if we didn't, the human race would already be extinct
"Do you understand now?  Do you finally have an idea of what you're up against?  Do you?"

Scalzi's online persona is a a bit of a dipsh*t.  Produces readable, but not great, fiction.

He is, come to think of it, the Robert E. Lee of SF writers in a world of Lost Cause a**holes.

But he's about got it spot on, here.

Gotta be humble.



Monday, September 16, 2013

PLEASE America do nothing to promote gun control

When I heard the news I thought: 'Stand by for stuff to get stupid'.

Feinstein and the Fonz did not disappoint.

In a world of higgedly-piggedly, it's good to know people's knees will jerk predictably.


Monday, September 02, 2013

Placeholder Post

Dear S4C Readers.

The story of the trailer house, the ferret smell, and the flush toilets, will remain unpublished until after the law suit is concluded.

Respectfully,

The Mgt


Bread

It's been too long since I've filled the house with the smell of baking bread.

Far, far, longer, I gather from the land lord, since this house has had people in who bake.

I'm not a wild-eyed mystic but I do, I do, believe a home retains a certain presence from what is done within: cutting a pine board, baking bread.

That stuff gets into the walls, man, and makes a place feel like a home.

Dough rising as I type.  Bread will be done at 6:00.  Be here by 6:15 or the Teenagers will not leave you a crumb.


I'm seeing things:

But that doesn't mean they are not there.

Look at this picture of the Caprica City skyline ( from the title track of Battlestar Galactica): front and center is a building that looks like an old-model Cylon head.

Man: those guys are tricky.

At least I'm pretty sure it is  Maybe not enough coffee.  Or too much.