Saturday, September 29, 2012

Once it gets started there's no stopping it until it has corrupted the whole body politic

"I have come to think, especially since my trip to Spain, that civil liberties must be protected at every stage. In Spain I am sure that the introduction of GPU methods by the Communists did as much harm as their tank men, pilots and experienced military men did good. The trouble with an all powerful secret police in the hands of fanatics, or of anybody, is that once it gets started there's no stopping it until it has corrupted the whole body politic. I am afraid that's what's happening in Russia."

John Dos Passos

Friday, September 21, 2012

But when we get together It just all works out

I asked my wife 'how' she makes her meatloaf.  She finally - finally - wrote it down for me.

Mix meat and other ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Put in as much seasoning as you think is good. I usually cook with the, "Yep, that looks about right," method. So, make sure to season it to your taste.

She is such an argument in favor of  the 'opposites attract' theory of boy meet girl.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spy Vs Spy

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them," Obama said. "And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."


"There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

The scouts around each fire nod their heads wisely and say 'mm hmm' and 'right on' and 'preach it brother-man'.

Instead of talking about who loves the common man more, or who is more right about such useless trivia, wouldn't it be a truly nifty thing if we'd take a break and focus on actually important matters like trampling the Constitution into dust, kill lists, illegal wars on countries far away and citizens at home, insane levels of spending?

Just a thought.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Most joint U.S.-Afghan military operations have been suspended following what authorities believe was an insider attack Sunday that left four American solders dead, officials told NBC News.

“We’re to the point now where we can’t trust these people,” a senior military official said.


F*ck that sh*t sideways and twice on Sunday.  You can't do nation-building if you can't operate with the native troops and - it seems - we can't operate with the native troops without them getting all upset [1] because we do sh*t they don't like and they get all shooty at us.

Time to declare the job done and get the fuck out.

[1] On the other hand if horde of Afghanis invaded Wisconsin, installed Jim Doyle as Boss of Madison and insisted he was in charge of the rest of the state, and then had the gall to violate my cultural norms [2] to boot, I'd be tempted to take a potshot at them, too.

[2] Dissing the Packers, say.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

emacs org-mode export to html - awesome like a possum

I've got a TODO list in emacs org-mode [1].  I want that puppy dog on the intranet at work.  Because compulsive sharing is what I do.


emacs --batch --visit "$orgfile" --funcall org-export-as-html
scp $htmlfile $host:$wikipath/$htmlfileonwki

Just wanted to not for posterity how nifty it is, now.  That one can do this kind of thing with a text processor makes me unreasonably happy.

Because tomorrow it is going to be part of my workflow and two minutes after that it is going to be just a thing and not worthy of mention.  Oh, yeah, I'll say, that old thing [2].

Also: I'm just realizing the implication here: one can call a function in emacs externally.  Sure, I read about it but seeing it ... this can be all kinds of cool.

[1] For the record, keeping my TODO in org-mode is the longest I've ever stuck with any given software or system for that purpose.  We may have a winner.
[2] Next up: exporting org-mode as html straight to the web server.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tabs ... so many tabs

Space Elevator Science - Climb to the Sky - A Tethered Tower  A kickstarter for space elevator research.  Kicking butt on their goals, too.  And a few days ago mlaine messaged me saying in effect 'want to help'?  Well ... yeah.  Maybe.  Gotta think about it.  Pretty tempting.

We found these two startling photos of Lujiazui District in Shanghai, one taken in 1990 and the other in 2010.

The idea that the government
should provide everything suggests a great dimness of mind and poor grasp of the origin of specie. The belief apparently is that money comes from the government, as food comes from Safeway and cell phones from Radio Shack.

Command-line utility-belt for hacking JSON and Javascript.

Password management should be simple and follow Unix philosophy.
With pass, each password lives inside of a gpg encrypted file whose filename is the title of the website or resource that requires the password.

Are we going to see a shift in manufacturing
towards the west? Are we going to see innovation in robotics and manufacturing? The landscape of automation is going to change. We are going to rely on software and cheaper hardware to get things done.

Programmable logic controller (wikipedia)

Foreman. The app switching app that will blow your freaking mind

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Welcome To Linux Part 2

TJIC wrote

I'd be curious as to how much of your distaste is just "I like Pepsi, but this is Coke" and how much is "feature X is just objectively bad".

About 90% the former, 10% the latter, 15% a dislike having to learn something new, 20% an intense dislike of ripping a perfectly fine, working, system up to replace it with something else.

Thinking it over it is (was) not so much 'Solaris' that I like but the combination of Solaris + hardware + support.   One of their SEs once, in a completely above-and-beyond action, stayed on the phone with me during a tricky 3:00 a.m. call when I was a total zombie and needed such basic instructions like 'no, don't retype that entire line, yy-p and edit.'  Sun support was the thing, man.

Linux Plus: things [1] just work without having to mentally translate 'linux-ism to 'solaris-ism'.

Linux Plus: the cool toys do work the way docs expect them to.

Linux Minus: the temptation to go wild and just install stuff is .. tempting.  This might be a personal problem.

Startling: a how-to written 18 months ago is referred to without irony as ancient.  In Solaris-land this same document would be venerable.


[1] Things.  Nagios, Puppet.  gcc.  Stuff like that.