Saturday, May 31, 2008

Who knew?

If Lee Had Not Won at Gettysburg.

by Winston Churchill. Statesman, historian .. spec-fic writer? Who knew?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Be Prepared

Reason #98883 why everyone should carry a multi-tool.

Posting style


A: Because it destroys the flow of the conversation
Q: Why is it bad?
A: No, it's bad.
Q: Should I top post in replies to mails or on usenet?*

*via email from Frank Van Damme.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Phoenix - what's the point?

“What’s the point of sending that to Mars, it’s a waste of money. We should give that money to the poor.”

Krep. Nothing pushes my buttons like reading stuff like that. [1]

I've got nothing against charity. We all need a hand sometimes. But let's put this in perspective.

This article says there are 37 million poor in the United States. Go with that figure. [2]

Government figures are hard to nail down - Nasawatch claims $420 million for the Phoenix lander.

>> 420000000/37000000
=> 11

If we smeared the cost of the Phoenix Lander into a thin paste and divided it up even-steven we could buy all the poor people in the US a nice lunch at Applebees.

In the meantime we’ve lost whatever science data the mission will yield. We don’t know the economic benefit of this but in the past such returns have been huge - the way of life that enables me to type and you to read comes from unexpected riches derived from scientific research.

If we buy every poor schmo in America a single meal at a cheap restaurant .. jobs have been lost because we’re not paying tens of thousands of people to build the rocket, the probe, to monitor and direct the mission. They’re not all rocket scientists - no small percentage of the people involved with the mission - NASA, JPL, contractors, sub-contractors - are just people. Some of them are officially poor persons who sweep floors and clean out toilets.

Now they’re really poor because they don’t have a job.

They have lunch, so that's something. If they're canny they'll save back part of their meal for take-home so they can eat it for dinner.

[1] Outlanders disrespecting the Green Machine, will do it as well.
[2] We can ignore the snide 'holier than thou' tone of the article.


My bedroom: pleasure palace for the cat, room of horror, death and pain for mice.

Yes, thanks for the mice. I like you as well.

Time to set out more traps.

James and Sarah Knoke - May 24, 2008

He asked
I forgot to ask in the comments over at my place - how was the wedding?

It was busy.

We ran behind schedule. There were last minute bobbles including but not limited to the bride not sitting down for a trim and makeup session until the last minute, a flower girl getting a case of the heebie-jeebies by bugs in the park bathroom.

But all that is minor and of no great import.

The bride was beautiful, the groom handsome. The bride's maids were gorgeous, the groom's men studly, the ceremony was wonderful. Family came from Texas, Oklahoma and Montana and were with us spirit from Virginia and Florida.

You could not ask for a better setting than Doty Park in Neenah, Wisconsin in May.

You could not ask for a better daughter than the bride, nor a better son-in-law than the groom.

Some pictures are here.

The Bride's Myspace picture page is here, if you're into that kind of thing.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day, Afganistan May 2005

Memorial Day, Afganistan - May 2005

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sarah is now getting married

Sarah is now getting married
She is crazy and all harried
But today is the day
Where she can now say
"Away by James I'll be carried."

Poem by Pasty

Friday, May 23, 2008

On the Poverty of Internet Life: A Call for Poets - Reader's Digest Condensed Version

It's by a poet, for poets. So, clearly, the conversating is going to be slow going.

Jasper Bernes's essay "On the Poverty of Internet Life: A Call for Poets" (Action, Yes) argues for an understanding of internet culture in terms of the logic of capitalist accumulation and the ideological imperatives of the U.S. ruling class after 9/11. It closes with a call for poets to realize the emancipatory promise of the internet in a space and manner less susceptible to regulation and subsumption.
But good golly Miss Molly was that a slog. i condensed it for you.

1 There is a lot of stuff on the internet. Connected stuff.

1.1 All that stuff has a lot of information in it.

2 It's futile to own anything on the internet.

2.1 Relationships - it's all about that.

2.1.1 You thought you were acting in your own self-interest. Ha ha! You're really working for the man.

2.2 It's class, race, and sexual warfare. And man, it's brutal.

2.3 Nothing has substance.

2.4 The virtual has become the real. It's a bummer.

3 The internet is - shocking, I know - affected by real life geography.

3.1 Internment and interment - they both have the word internet in them. Whoa!

3.2 Proles and working class - organize!

3.2.1 If you don't get what I'm saying, you're missing the Big Idea. Pass the pipe and I'll explain it again ..

3.2.2 All this work exposing the Machine and no one gets to get off the world.

3.3 No matter where you go, there you are.

4 The modern world sucks - even as we concentrate the masses they're being segmented. Give me another hit on that, bro ..

4.1 The internet makes the modern world suck harder while appearing to make it suck less.

4.1.1 This is some good stuff. Who is your dealer?

4.2 The internets are the distillation of all that is sucky.

4.2.1 Life. Don't talk to me about life. We're being distracted by pretty pictures .. ooo shiny!

5 Privacy is privation. Once you grok this we can build a common space.

5.01 My version numbering scheme sucks.

5.1 Soylent Green is people!

5.2.1 Like Communism, we can make the internet better. Faster, stronger.

5.2.2 We need an internet of the streets - one that's real, baby.

6 American poetry sucks, and it's all the fault of that evil bogeyman, Capitalism.

6.01 The Man is keeping us down.

6.1 The strip mall - that's the problem.

6.2 Web 2.0 helps poets. It won't last.

6.3 Marx and primitive accumulation: dig it.

6.3.1 Burning police vehicles and vandalizing property require f2f time.

6.3.2 The franchise is moving online. Wal-Mart? The net's future. Fear.

7 People are mad as heck. But outrage does not transmit well; it's lossy.

7.1 This is because the internet was a tool of the military, way back when.

7.2 My fellow oppressed poets - keep on keeping on. But while you're doing that, hip the squares to what's going down. Operation MF? Like that.

7.3 You can't organize Operation MF. It has to happen.

7.4 Despair is a sin.

7.5 Our comment forum is over run by spammers and pictures of girls doing things that should make you blush. Discuss.

Reach out and touch someone

D.C. Police to Carry Semiautomatic Rifles on Patrols
The D.C. police department's decision to arm patrol officers with semiautomatic rifles is promoted by commanders as a way to stay ahead of criminals. But it is raising concerns among civil rights groups and others, who question whether the weapons are necessary.
Hey, if you need the tools, I'm all for it. Nothing worse than needing your ViseGrips and reaching inside your toolbox and not having them.

The kids did what with them?

I'm also not a subject matter expert in what John Law needs to get the job done: I fix computers for a living. But take a gander at the specs for an M16A2 ...

Primary function: Infantry weapon
Manufacturer: Colt Manufacturing and Fabrique Nationale Manufacturing Inc.
Length: 39.63 inches (100.66 centimeters)
Weight, with 30 round magazine: 8.79 pounds (3.99 kilograms)
Bore diameter: 5.56mm (.233 inches)
Maximum range: 3,600 meters
Maximum effective range:
Area target: 2,624.8 feet (800 meters)
Point target: 1,804.5 feet (550 meters)

Muzzle velocity: 2,800 feet (853 meters) per second
Rate of fire:
Cyclic: 800 rounds per minute
Sustained: 12-15 rounds per minute
Semiautomatic: 45 rounds per minute
Burst: 90 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
Unit Replacement Cost: $586

Do the police regularly have the need to engage bad guys up to 500 meters away? No? Is it possible there is a tool that fit the requirements better than an M16?

Could be.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin

Looking for manufacturing work in Neenah, Menasha or Appleton Wisconsin? See the email from HR ..
As you all know the Plexus business is continuing to grow across the Fox Cities campus. With that being said, we are looking for additional hourly production labor (contract employees) to help us with our customer commitments.

Aerotek will be hosting a job fair at Menasha High School (open to the public) on Tuesday, May 27th from 3:15pm - 6pm. (see attached flyer)

Please share this information with neighbors, friends and family that may be looking for employment. For those that may be unable to attend the job fair please have them contact Aerotek at the number listed below...

Just to clarify. The open positions are indefinite contract only, at this time we are not looking for summer help. If this changes I will keep everyone posted. Thank you!

Instead of posting the flyer - it's a Word doc for the love o' Mike - I'll duplicate the text below.

Aerotek, in partnership with Plexus, is holding a
for the following positions:

  • Electronic Assembly
  • Shipping and Receiving

Positions on all shifts are available
All skill levels encouraged to apply

When: Tuesday, May 27th 2008
3:15pm - 6pm

Where: Menasha High School
420 7th Street
Menasha WI

If you are unable to attend the job fair, please contact Kim with
Aerotek at (920) 225-7605 to schedule an interview.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Head of Steam

Do not get me wound up to do something and then ask me to slow down.



Boss: The new server and it's old application ... is not working - can you prep the old host so we can stand it up and take the new one down?

Me: (checking time - 4:30) Sure, I'll go do that.

Me: (moseys down to the data center, warms up the old host, does a bit of this and that, back at my desk in a few minutes)


Boss: You're ready?

Me: I'm ready.

Boss: Let's do it then. (hangs up)

Me: (Two keystrokes to halt the new server, gets ready to jump up and dash back across the street) ..


Boss: Hey - call me before you halt the server? The legacy process is still working away ..

Me: Oops.

Boss: (radiates gloom and agony over the phone)

Me: I'll turn it back on so the legacy process can finish ...

Boss: (resigned sigh)

Ecommerce Plutocrats

Real World Needs 'Net' Taxes
Do you think that billionaire Internet moguls should continue to benefit from a tax loophole that hurts parks and schools, and makes it harder for your neighborhood bookstore to keep open for business?

The populist appeal from Mr. Gomes really frosts my Wheaties.

For starters, by giving online businesses a permanent advantage over their bricks-and-mortar competitors, it helps those who need it least -- huge, profitable e-commerce companies -- at the expense of often-struggling local retailers

He is only calling out Amazon by name, so I suppose he has in mind Jeff Bezos.

What about all of the non-billionaires that work for Amazon who benefit? What about the mom n' pop shops that benefit? Rammro was pretty much a two person business - if my wife had been able to follow through with the ecommerce idea, she'd benefit from lack of a sales tax ... and we're certainly not billionaires. I know a guy who runs an online comic book store and also a technical video rental outfit - he's certainly no billionaire.

If Texas and New York want to tax internet sales, well that's what the State does - finds new and creative ways to skim money from the the taxpayer. Getting mad at the lege in Austin is like being personally irked at finding a rat snake in your chicken coop.  Get rid of the snake, but it's just doing what snakes do.

But don't pretend that all ecommerce sites are run by rich guys with gold-plated servers.

'Cause they aren't.

Remote Desktop Protocol Bleg

I've got an RDP bleg.

RDP Client

I've got a Windows 2003 server. I've got a legacy application [1] that must be managed (start, run, shutdown) from the console.

The obvious solution - it's free - is to use Terminal services in admin mode, let the RDP client that comes with every windows desktop connect using the magic console [2] switch.

Except there is one little problem. Client A connects, starts doing his thing. Client B, hearing about a problem with the application, connects and knocks out Client A. No warning, it just happens.


Imagine trying to concentrate on a chess game while sitting in a bumper car, with a lot of testosterone-laden  teenagers driving around you. You're about to checkmate the other bloke and WHAM a kid with a sunburn and a bad hair cut slams into you. Your attention is shot to heck.

How do I keep this from happening? What we'd like to do is force an option that tells the server 'throw up a dialog before bumping' .. or something like that.

Yes, there are a butt-load of solutions (vmware, vnc) that will do that for us - but the preferred (cheap) method is RDP.

[1] I've got the legacy .. the legacy application blues ..

[2] /console

Summer is here

Little Monkey is tear-assing around the court on his new bicycle. Wearing jean shorts and nothing else.

I don't care what the calendar says, summer is here!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Superlife - Kelly Tsai

Superlife - Kelly Tsai
for Joe Kelly

we talk shop

about Peter Parker
Superman Galactus
Silver Surfer Justice
League Wonder Woman
Wolverine Kitty Green Lantern

Joe lays out
every character conflict:

power vs. responsibility
good vs. evil
god vs. man
alien vs. human
nature vs. nurture

I look out the window
onto Washington Square Park

buzzing in the summertime

the sounds of drums jam
water claps on stone chess
pieces smack down under old
men’s elbows

we speak of the

extraordinarily rich
extraordinarily poor

those orphaned or abandoned
bitten by the radio-active or chemical
those descended from the gods

each with a haunting indelible secret

a colossal regret near to implosion:

how does it feel to be the squeeze
inside Superman’s fist?

the point where plates of armor slide
over Bruce Wayne’s chest?

how does the pinch between Wonder Woman’s
shoulders tighten as she flings her tiara?

how do Peter Parker’s fingers sound
as he swabs the ducts of his costume?

how does it feel to be
mutant and so precisely ironed
to justice –-
so evenly
good or evil

until you are kidnapped
drowned in poison gas,

brains fried by electrodes
strapped to your quaking temples

until you are forced to be


of who you are and who
you were meant to become

so we seek
the heroes among us

never fully healed

always impetuous -- hot-headed --
and horrifically strong

anxious for one touch
one clue of when to be called

out of safety and monotony

into the danger that feels most
free anyway

to put our lives on the line
and know that we hope to save the planet
each and every time

Monday, May 19, 2008

Days of Suck and Not Suck

My day? Spent dealing with applications that suck, operating systems that suck, a help desk system that sucks really hard [1]. The best thing that happened was when I woke up and saw my best beloved asleep in the early morning light.

The second best thing that happened today was when I came home and saw my monkeys, doing their boy thing. In between it was pretty much, yes, suck.

But this isn't a bit of suck: George Takei is getting married. [3]

Brad and I have shared our lives together for over 21 years. We've worked in partnership; he manages the business side of my career and I do the performing. We've traveled the world together from Europe to Asia to Australia. We've shared the good times as well as struggled through the bad. He helped me care for my ailing mother who lived with us for the last years of her life. He is my love and I can't imagine life without him. Now, we can have the dignity, as well as all the responsibilities, of marriage. We embrace it all heartily.

Rock on, George. When you find someone you care that deeply for, hold on to them, cherish them and do what you can to make it work. It's worth it, when you find that special someone.

Having someone to come home to makes up for any number of days of suck.

[1] The people answering the phones at 'Large Corporation that shall not be named' [2] are very nice and professional and it's not their fault that Metalink sucks hard. They're all cogs in a machine and it's not their fault that the procedures do not let them actually help someone.

[2] Oracle.

[3] Mr. Takei's blog really isn't - if there is a permalink, it's not apparent. It's posted May 16, 2008. The blog is really a press release kind of deal, which is fine. A little bit of suck if you expect a blog, but not so bad.

Disco Inferno

Dear Oracle Technical Support,

da-da-da da-da-da-daaaaa. whoooo hooo

It's about your on-hold music.


The 70s called - they

da-da-da da-da-da-daaaaa. whoooo hooo

want their music back.



da-da-da da-da-da-daaaaa. whoooo hooo

The same .. damned .. song .. over .. and over .. again.



Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika

Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika. Unfortunate cover ...

So much wrong, it's hard know what to start with.

Interesting comic, as those things go.

It's Heidi - if Heidi was incredibly naive and oblivious.

It's a come-to-Jesus comic book, with better art and writing than you might expect. The artist, Al Hartley, also worked for Archie Comics - he's not some guy with a pencil and a Big Idea, he's a guy who can sell stuff people want to read.

I suppose the same impulse that led to the Army publishing comic books telling draftee soldiers how to take operate their M16 led someone to conclude that Youth would 'get' religion if it was offered in four colors and a simplified story line.

This fellow summaries the story nicely ..

Hansi ends up as some kind of Gestapo Candy Striper, taunting injured German soldiers. "I lost MY ideals when I lost my eyes on the Russian front." says one poor kid. "We are nothing," snaps back Hansi, cheerfully, "The Reich is everything!"

You know you want to read it. PDF here. It's online, here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Clinic Seed - Keith Henson

Keith Henson is an interesting guy.

Howard Keith Henson (born 1942) is an American electrical engineer and writer on life extension, cryonics, memetics and evolutionary psychology. In 1975 he and his then-wife Carolyn Meinel founded the L5 Society, which promoted space colonization and which was eventually folded into the National Space Society. More recently, Henson's outspoken criticism of the Church of Scientology and subsequent criminal proceedings have gained him headlines.

He's also written a story that he describes as ..

It's part of a larger story where the world that's left in the wake of the singularity is seriously underpopulated.

It's worth a few minutes of your time. See

Friday, May 16, 2008


This is Laura Roslin, portrayed by Mary McDonnell.

Ms. McDonnell is just a bit of awesome in this role.

This season Roslin is wearing a wig - she's got cancer and chemo is a bitch. The wig has bangs and it makes the character look - a bit - like Helana Cain.

She is a hard woman, unafraid of making difficult decisions and unflinching in her will to do what she sees as right. These traits sometimes compel her to feel that she has been left no choice but to take controversial, unpopular and morally questionable choices.

Just moonbeams and fancy but Roslin has an edge this season that's like biting into tinfoil.

Updated the Cain image - bad blogger, no hotlinking!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is something lost when you do not know it is gone?

Things Lost.

Writing a Wagnerian score requires (I think) a sense of the transcendent. To write The Lord of the Rings or to paint Leda and the swan, one need not believe in Norse gods raging in battle against chill skies, or a muscled Zeus throwing thunderbolts, or Pan leering from darkling forests. You need a mind that doesn’t smell of electrical insulation. This, few now have. The sciences are remorselessly literal. They do not admit of transcendence, wonder, or magnificence. People today drink this terrible narrowness with their mother’s milk and seldom get beyond it. They do not know what they have lost.

Apocalypse No

But this new leadership class, those roughly 35 to 40, grew up in a time when media dominated all. They studied, they entered a top-tier college, and then on to Washington or New York or Los Angeles. But their knowledge, their experience, is necessarily circumscribed. Too much is abstract to them, or symbolic. The education establishment did them few favors. They didn't have to read Dostoevsky, they had to read critiques and deconstruction of Dostoevsky.


A long, long time ago I heard the excellent Bruce Williams on the radio - this would have been in 1985. A caller was whining ...

Mill closed down, unemployment is running out, no jobs, no opportunity


But my life is here, I grew up here, family...

My friend, you gotta move.

But ..

And Bruce laid it down the way he does, with a lot of compassion and directness.

If there are no jobs, no opportunity where you are, you can stay or go.

If you stay you're accepting a hopeless situation. Stop whining, it won't change anything and you're annoying people.

If you go you could end up in a worse situation .. but it's probably gonna be a lot better.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why I avoid commenting on newspaper articles

I avoid commenting on newspaper websites because eventually the comments devolve to things like this

(Throwing candy at police officers) is a form of expression.

Which is about a damned dumb as it's possible to get.

Couch full of cute

Lydia, Jasmine and Drake.

They're my future son-in-law's sister-in-law's children. I have no idea what relation that makes us - but ain't they cute?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tips for a healthy relationship


If you want to maintain a healthy marital relationship, do not regale your beloved over lunch about the good times you had before you were married.

Specifically don't talk about liberty in Okinawa, the red light district outside Kadena and bar girls. More specifically don't say anything like the following: Boy, I could have married that girl - mmm hmm.

Because that would be what is referred to as a mistake.


LFTP is sophisticated ftp/http client, file transfer program supporting a number of network protocols. Like BASH, it has job control and uses readline library for input. It has bookmarks, built-in mirror, can transfer several files in parallel. It was designed with reliability in mind. LFTP is free software, distributed under GNU GPL license.

So says the website. I do know it is all that and a bag of chips. A better FTP than whatever creaky FTP program is on your computer? Sign me up.

But there is more.

I own an application that - once in a great while - has bits of it just stop. It's not really obvious in it's log when this happens, but it's glaringly obvious in it's status web page when it does. Words like FAILURE pop up and replace 'Success'.

Whop-te-do! I don't look at a web page every five minutes. This is the 21st century. Computers exist to do this kind of thing for us.

curl could do it - curl the page, grep the contents for the word 'FAILURE' but ... dragging the entire page down to look for a word? That's so .. 1990s. Plus it takes about 10 seconds.[1]

Enter LFTP. Now what I'm doing is this this; there are seven services listed on this page. If there aren't at least seven instances of the word Success on that page, something is wrong.

Knowing this is enough. And it takes less than a second [1] for lftp to return the number from the page.

lftp -f control_file > value
num=`cat value`
if [ $num != "7" ]; then mailx -s Your_lame_application_is_broken < /dev/null ; fi

$ control_file
cat page | grep Success | wc -l

FTP centric lftp tutorial, here.

[1] YMMV.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nerd in Love

I made this for Pasty the other night.

While not as out and out nerdly as putting our names together (serial numbers 62748 and 62749) on a cd aboard the New Horizons spacecraft for our wedding anniversary in 2005, it was an interesting token for a birthday and Mother's Day weekend all combined.

Well she liked it, and that's all that counts.

Whoosh - off to the Kuiper Belt!

Tinydb seems interesting as well. MySQL was a stripped down sort-of relational database for applications where the overhead (and cost) of Oracle is unsuitable. The came sqlite for those times when MySQL consumes too much overhead. Now .. we don't need a stiinkin' database for data [1] if the data is sufficiently small. - store some tiny data in a tiny url.

[1] Clearly this is the 30,000 foot view of the process.

I'm a nitpicker. It's what I do.


  • The Python's King Arthur was a loony, clapped into irons by the police at the climax [1] of his quest for the Grail. Probably not the image Obama wants to associate with his bid for the Oval Office.
  • Patsy isn't clapping two coconuts together to make the 'cloppy-cloppity' horsey noise.

[1] Trivia. In that scene, when the French dump a bucket of slops on Arthur's head? That was real offal. Which Chapman wasn't expecting at all. He looks well and truly pissed after that ... it ain't acting.

Celtic Space Marines

I get people who hit on this search term coming to my blog, now and again.

celtic space marines

So .. ya. Celts. Celts are famous for man skirts. Men .. wearing kilts. In zero gravity.

You might find out what a Scot wears under his kilt even if you don't want to know.

Hello, my name is put your skirts down, man.

Create your own fortune

Create your own, somewhat cynical, fortune file.[1]

First you'll need fortune. [2]

sudo port install fortune

Then you'll need a collection of vaguely cynical mutterings. This part is up to you.

Insert '%' between each line.

Run strfile

briandunbar_natasha_~/fortune:strfile -r sig sig.dat

Now run fortune

briandunbar_natasha-2_~:fortune -s $HOME/fortune/sig

To expect the government to save you is to be a bystander in your own fate.

briandunbar_natasha-2_~:fortune -s $HOME/fortune/sig

Communism has only killed 100 million people. Let's give it another chance!

briandunbar_natasha-2_~:fortune -s $HOME/fortune/sig

"...not one but all of our crisis problems can be solved by exploiting space."

briandunbar_natasha-2_~:fortune -s $HOME/fortune/sig

Goblin War Strike: "Fire, aim, ready!"

briandunbar_natasha-2_~:fortune -s $HOME/fortune/sig

Stop the vicious spread of wealth creation! Vote Green.

briandunbar_natasha-2_~:fortune -s $HOME/fortune/sig

Communism has only killed 100 million people. Let's give it another chance!

briandunbar_natasha-2_~:fortune -s $HOME/fortune/sig

Saddle your own horse, cull your own herd, and bury your own dead. ~Col. Knute Lombatton

briandunbar_natasha-2_~:fortune -s $HOME/fortune/sig

See, that's a _detail_.  We need those.

briandunbar_natasha-2_~:fortune -s $HOME/fortune/sig

I don't know what it is, but I think I have a copy of WordPerfect for it. ~Mike Schiller

[1] Yes, fortune is old school and everyone knows it's ins and outs. Except I didn't, and had to look it up.
[2] If you don't have 'ports' or OS X you're on your own.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Containers on NFS

You can't mount a Solaris local zone (aka containers) on NFS. [1] You just can't and trying to do it ends in tears and heartache.

This isn't a problem but it sure 'nuff would be handier if you can have a zone available on a global resource (say a disk mounted with NFS). Moving a zone to a new host would be as easy as turning it off here and turning it on there.

This would be righteous and cool.

Seems that a Sun employee worked out a way to do this.

In short what we do is: We mount an NFS filesystem; Create a file; lofiadm this file; newfs this new lofi block device; mount the device on de zonepath location; Define a zone with the correct zonepath; Install and boot the zone.

It's involved and tricky and very non-supported but it oughta work. I will clear out a few hours next week and try it.

[1] 98% of the people reading this just redshifted.

Politial Fail

If one of my children acted like an infant and insisted on sleeping on the living room floor [1], and then got pissy because Mom or Dad used the living room as a living room and woke him up, I'd have no sympathy.

I have less for a supposed adult who does the same thing.

At 4:30 am I had fallen asleep and one of the staff ran a chair on wheels into me as she continued her nasty tactics of intimidation.

Nasty is in the eye of the beholder; I submit that it's nasty and rude to inconvenience a lowly office worker who no doubt feels that she doesn't get paid enough to deal with smelly old hippies and would rather be at home with her family at 04:30.

And not just rude but pathetic - after all that ruckus and commotion they failed.

(At noon) the staff reluctantly replied that the senator would be "supporting the troops." We said we were not going to leave until the senator agreed to vote against anymore funding. The impass began.

At 5:00 am the four of us left and went to the nearest diner and headed for the toilet and then had a well deserved breakfast. I was home by 6:30 am and spent much of the day sleeping.

Senator Collins didn't agree to squat.

[1] This is hypothetical - my kids have manners and listen to their parents.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Shell History Meme

briandunbar_natasha_~: history | awk '{a[$2]++ } END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}}'|sort -rn|head
88 rp
53 ls
47 cd
35 ifconfig
18 ping
17 The
15 phone
14 cat
11 exit
10 sudo

rp is a shell script I wrote that spits out the password for root on various servers I manage. 

phone is a script that extracts telephone numbers from work's online phone directory - original name, hey?

The? I cut-pasted text from John C. Wright's review of Blindsight into terminal by accident.


Friday, May 09, 2008

It was inevitable

The Pulp Shakespeare Project.

There is no way to stop this from happening, so this wiki exists to ensure that it is done well, or as well as it can be.

Skippy and PTSD

Not everyone has issues after a tour of duty in a hot spot. But if you do ... don't be a hero. Get help. Learn from this man: Skippy comes clean on his PTSD issues.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Love and Light

And there, in the darkness, was just what I needed.

Just like Dee, the darkness was of my own making. It took a few years and there were mistakes and wrong turns along the way, yes.

The destination was worth the journey.

Little Dee - always a chuckle, sometimes profound.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Boomer, Unix and ignorance

I had a nice tidy blog post all ready to go.

It wasn't a masterpiece of snark or derision. It wasn't a world changing essay. It was geeky: I managed to talk about Boomer, Athena, Caprica Six and Solaris Zones.

Just a projection - it wasn't really there.

But, the heck with it. It's not nearly as good as something that has Grace Park and unix in the same post should be.

Solaris is a marketing term, but SunOS is clunky.

Instead, an article by a bint who gets all worked up that the nearly 10,000 Marines and sailors at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base have access to a beach, post exchange, a Wal-Mart and your standard gift shop selling t-shirts.

fear, mortal terror, etc.


Not gold, but it'll do

The Fourth Checkraise
Back in the old country, Jussi Halla-Aho brings to our attention this promotional video produced by the Finnish Ministry of Labour to attract skilled professionals to come work and live in Finland.

Choice quote: 'wages and what's left after taxes might not impress on a world-wide scale, but you get by.'

Well shucky dern and slop the pigs - there's getting by and state-run daycare in them thar' hills!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Stand Tall

I kid my daughter - she's 15 - about things a girl can't do.

Girls can't do that. It's just not right.

She gets all irate and glares and stomps around. I probably should not do this but the fun is getting a rise out of her, then listening to her defend her position.

I don't want to do that but it doesn't mean I can't.

Damn straight, kiddo.

I know this guy - he's my age, pretty close - veteran of the Navy. He likes to wear kilts, which is something I admire greatly as a style choice while I'm pretty sure I'll never wear one myself.

He's in nursing school.

And it appears that some of the asstards who run the place get all weird at the idea of a man in a nursing program. He's got the goods on 'em; men in that program fail to complete the program far out of proportion ot their numbers. He's gotten a metric ass load of grief from some of the instructors, and it's gender-based.

You'd think that in this year of our lord 2008 when girls can be fire-fighters and fly attack planes and blow up bad guys in Iraq that the idea of a man being a nurse would not raise eyebrows.

You'd be wrong.

Well jam that noise. Some of the finest medical care I've ever had was from men, filling billets in the military that are identical to billets at the hospital and clinic filed by nurses in the civilian world.

Nothing says 'tender care' like a corpsman dragging a Marine out of the line of fire. Unless it's that same corpsman giving shots to a herd of orphans a week later.

Dude. Wear your nursing sweatshirt, your MacMedic kilt and shove that discrimination complaint down their fricking throats. Make them eat their gender-based krep and relish the day when they'll be forced to smile at you when you graduate with honors.


It takes a special kind of a guy to enjoy sales ...

I have been trying to remember to subscribe to Knights of the Dinner Table for I can't even recall how long--more than 18 months, certainly--and only today did it hit me.

Brian Dunbar has periodically prompted me to go look at Heavy Ink for manga needs (usually when I am complaining about something that's not out yet).

I got to wondering about going to Kenzer's web site and subscribing on-line, and then somehow a couple of neurons shorted together: "Wait, what about that one web site?"

The result. all I have to do now is figure out how I want to handle this--do I want to buy a bunch of individual issues and subscribe, or just subscribe?
And that guy ain't me.

I wasn't, of course, selling Heavy Ink. It's run by a fellow I know via the internet tubes who is a nice enough guy, if a little gruff and grumbly. I have no financial stake in it. So I wasn't actually selling, just nudging here and there.

But that's what sale is: you're out there wearing out shoe leather, talking with thousands of people for a single payoff. Not my idea of a good time.

But gob'less the folks who can do it.

Heavy Ink - Your Comics Are Here!

Throw down the hissy fit

Kids these days.

A student senator at UW Stevens Point can't handle seeing a political display with which he disagrees.

It's on YouTube, of course. What are they teaching kids these days?

The way it goes is
'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it', [1]
'I'm going to throw a great big ol' hissy fit and act all high school on y'all'. [2]

Voltaire - Writer, Essayist, Philosopher, Deist

Not a man prone to hissy fits.

[1] Voltaire - but not really Voltaire.
[2] Payback is a mother - someday I'm going to be caught doing something lame on YouTube. When that day comes you're welcome to heckle me. I'll deserve it.


Clusters of twitchy neurotics

Yet another reason to be from Oklahoma and not living in Oklahoma . . .

Those ain't grape juice stains, sunshine.

Via Popehat who got it from TJIC.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Something I Did Not Know this Morning - Gravure idol

Gravure idol

Gravure idols (グラビアアイドル gurabia aidoru?) are Japanese models who primarily pose in bikinis, leotards, and other provocative clothing for photo spreads in magazines and photobooks aimed largely at men. Fetish themes may include wrestling, martial arts, and Superheroines from tokusatsu.

Gravure idols range from as young as age 9 to as old as 35.[citation needed] However, they do not pose nude or perform sexually explicit acts in their work.

The term is derived from photogravure, or, technically more precise, rotogravure, the type of printing process used in the production of glossy magazines.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Day The Universe Changed - download

In case you missed the announcement a few days ago, we're going to be offering the terrific James Burke series The Day The Universe Changed starting this Sunday. One episode will be posted per night at 6 pm for 10 days. You can watch them at your leisure. They'll stick around for another week, then they're history.

This is a unique opportunity, so spread the word.

More info here. And yes, you can download these fine things.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Y'all need to speak gooder English

Listen to England's changing voice. More than 650 extracts from the Survey of English Dialects and the Millennium Memory Bank document how we spoke and lived in the 20th century.

Jesus H. and all his disciples in a sidecar - what language are these people speaking?

'Cause that ain't English the way it's spoke in Texas: nary a y'all in the bunch.

Two peoples separated by a common language .. boy howdy, that's the truth.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Gee, Lukis. What are we going to do tonight?

Rachel Lucas knows how to increase her blog traffic.

1. Profess to be a not-right-winger. She's for woman's choice and not religious. And she owns guns.
2. Dress up her dogs and take pictures.

Then, when she has a solid audience of right wingers, dog lovers and gun geeks ...

3. Post about Battlestar Galactica. Twice.

Well played, Miss Lucas. Well played.


I should have known about this before.

briandunbar_natasha-2_~/foo/foo:touch bob
briandunbar_natasha-2_~/foo/foo:open bob

Textmate launches and displays the file - slick.

briandunbar_natasha-2_~/foo/foo:touch bob.doc
briandunbar_natasha-2_~/foo/foo:open bob.doc

NeoOffice launched.

briandunbar_natasha-2_~/foo:open foo

Finder opened the directory 'foo'.

briandunbar_natasha-2_~/foo:man open
The open command opens a file (or a directory or URL), just as if you had double-clicked the file's icon. If no application name is specified, the default application as determined via LaunchServices is used to open the specified files.

If the file is in the form of a URL, the file will be opened as a URL.

You can specify one or more file names (or pathnames), which are interpreted relative to the shell or Terminal window's current working directory. For example, the following command would open all Word files in the current working directory:

open *.doc
"open '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'" opens the document in the default application for its type (as determined by LaunchServices).

"open '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/'" opens that directory in the Finder.

"open -a /Applications/ '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'"
opens the document in the application specified (in this case, TextEdit).

"open -b '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'" opens the document in the application specified (in this case, TextEdit).

"open -e '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'" opens the document in TextEdit.

"ls | open -f" writes the output of the 'ls' command to a file in /tmp and opens the file in the default text editor (as determined by LaunchServices).

"open" opens the URL in the default browser.

"open 'file://localhost/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'" opens the document in the default application for its type (as determined by LaunchServices).

"open 'file://localhost/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/'" opens that directory in the Finder.

I'm a happy monkey for having discovered this. Using 'open' to launch a URL in the browser seems especially cool.


Seth Godin resolves to skip meetings ...
Today's resolution: skip at least one meeting every day for the next two weeks. Watch what happens.

Result One: "Where is that Seth Godin guy? I suppose if he can't be bothered to show up and pitch his ideas then he doesn't want our money."

Result Two: "Well, crud. If the boss won't come to his own staff meeting what the stink am I doing here? Let's knock off early and hit the pub."

Some meetings are bogus and time-wasting. Some are not. The fault is not with the idea of 'meetings'.

Meetings are tools and can be used for enormous good or endless evil. It's up the primates in charge to decide which.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

George Bush and the supermarket checkout lane

If I point to this post from last year, will it stop the annoying 'Bush 41 was surprised at a standard checkout lane, what a snob' comments that are popping up like ugly mushrooms all over the internets? [1]

( Because it is a myth, perpetuated by the a reporter from the New York Times. I know, I was shocked as well. A journalist, making stuff up - imagine! It's like finding out that Bat Boy was made up by the fun loving guys at the Weekly World News: If you can't trust a journalist, who can you trust? )

No, it won't do any good.

But it will make me feel better for having done so. And making myself feel good is what it's all about.

[1] All because a 60-year old lady, one who has had people waiting on her for the last twenty years, didn't know how to work a one-button drink dispenser. Gads.

addicted by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

i marvel at those reckless artists of the world

the Amy Winehouse/s
and Rick James/s
screaming stoned cracklin high blown out of their minds

tumble downstage
slap on a guitar
grip the mic and

for hours

demons / haters / and paparazzi gone

for those moments (and those moments only)
none able to deny them their gods

most of the time
i feel like im filling a thousand and one shotglasses
each to an even level of water measured to perfection
i skim a metal ruler across their tops to persuade excess

spillling /i wipe and begin again

maybe an artist’s life is inspiration only
and the rest we delude ourselves to say that it is simply our own

if rain falls from the sky
we can have our buckets ready

gauge the atmosphere
with fancy instruments
measure the girth of the cloudswell

or forget the sky

prop up and pour from a garden hose with a raindrop nozzle
directed into our hearts
our brains
our pens
until full

ive been talkin shit about inspiration
glaring at her through plate glass

door closed
i go have a smokeless smoke out back

she comes and goes when she pleases
does whatever she wants

expects everybody else to line up around her desires

what a crock of bullshit
a diva / a horrible partner

what of these hands that have been so diligently ready to work
what about this mind sharpened to execution
what about these lips that tangle with the shape of every word
what about these eyes who hunt every street scavenging for the captivating and new

they keep the machine running like a bread factory
testing sifting teasing rising dough setting them down the conveyor belt

they arrive golden brown and satisfied

but we know that none of them taste as sunkissed or honeyed
as when she lingers in the doorways afterhours and decides to go to work