Wednesday, June 30, 2010

That's what it looks like

Inside a can of ...

Rule Britannia

Steampunk is a really keen idea. Ninety-nine percent of the time the execution is full of suck.

The remaining 1% is Steampunk Wonder Woman.

Steampunk Wonder Woman



Eyes up here, buddy

New House Rule: No demolition after 11:00 p.m.

{ whump-whump-bang  ping }

It's 00:10.  What is going on down stairs?

He removed the hinge pins from a bedroom door.


He is fifteen.  He has his own tools.  He is not sleepy.  He is bored.  He thought he was being quiet.

Other people's children, when they can't sleep, read.  Watch television.  Play video games.  Mine deconstructs things.

He wants to be an engineer.  This is a good thing, I think.

But sometimes ... I fear for the future.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Highway Ten Again - James Lileks

The best contemporary writer describing the everyday and awesome in the American Midwest: James Lileks

We walked outside, and I saw something I am almost ashamed to say I’ve forgotten. Living in the city you don’t see rain approaching like you do in the desert or the prairie.

In the city you read rumors in the clouds over your house, above the trees; the clouds prepare the way, the wind stirs up an oration for the approaching majesty – all kneel! – and then the rain comes in, rolls over, rolls past. You never see the rain you don’t get. In the prairie you watch the rain in the distance, watch it fall miles away, and it seems as if it has a will and a purpose, as if it’s chosen that place, not yours. The clouds almost look alive, as if they’re grazing, a great and unnamable beast.


In Wadena I pulled over in the park by the tracks to call the office, and a train barreled through as I was talking: just held up the phone to give an office worker the sound of the Great World Beyond, the siren blowing that perfect chord, the National Anthem of Anywhere But Here, then the wheels on the rails, clankCLANK, clankCLANK, clankCLANK, then the fussy annoyed aftermath when the commotion has blown through and the signals ding-ding and raise their arms with rote theatrical annoyance. Well that was certainly something, wasn’t it. Such a production.

Monday, June 28, 2010

When cybers attack

Congress wants to hand over an internet kill switch to the executive branch. 

'Kill Switch' is shorthand for 'create a new bureaucracy for nebulous but fine-sounding reasons, staffed by a few well-meaning folks, a horde of drones, run by political appointees, whose only reason to exist is to wrap yet one more aspect of life in a slimy mess of shokushu goukan.

The idea is so full of suck only a politician or a second lieutenant would come up with it.

  • What is a cyber attack? No one really knows.
  • Orgs are under a constant bombardment of what might be called cyber attack right now. All the time. Spam, malware .. it's a constant background hum on the internet. If we didn't know how to handle this we'd be out of business.
  • Email, Twitter, blogs, IM - the internet is how we communicate in an emergency.  Take away the net and we can't talk to each other.  And it's not as if the governemnt has a good record for reacting well in a crisis: the only effective response to 9/11 came from civilians, using their own sources for intel, their own brains and initative to form an action plan, which worked.
  • If the internet goes down companies are out of business. Our distributed sites can't talk to ERP, we can't talk to customers, customers can't talk to us.  Talking thousands of dollars for a few minutes of downtime.  We can't ship, we can't get inventory, can't do nothin.

Forget the talk of censorship and shutting down Rush Limbaugh - that's just the drones taking counsel of their fears.  Killing the internet to halt an attack is the last resource of the incompetent: a shot aimed directly at what keeps America chuging along.


Unfortunately, you weren't oppressed to begin with.

This ...
In your typically egocentric way, you pretend you're the vanguard, freeing the oppressed from the shackles of ignorance. You conduct a sorry crusade to recast the world in your image. You're dumb enough to think you'll make a difference. You feel that if everyone was like you, society would be wonderful. Yet you walk away scratching your head when the truly oppressed don't want anything to do with you. You've never fought for anything but the right to be infantile.

If patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, political rhetoric is a cubbyhole for dullards. The political is merely the personal in a cheap, quivering act of sublimation. You oppose power, which is like protesting the sun-scream all you want, but it'll still scorch you. As you cry about global warming, global corporations, and global revolution, I stare into the vacant globes of your eyes. The only anarchy going on is the mutinous misfiring of your brain cells. The 'A' stands for "asshole."

Much more, here.

All aboard for Mamby-Pamby Land, TJICistan, all stops in between ...

If Travis were a head doctor, his sessions would go like this (warning, YouTube ahead).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

No matter what - it's your fault

The Korean War was essentially a civil war against those Japanese imperial collaboraters and those who had fought against the Japanese occupation and could not accept the U.S. as the new colonizing government. Since the Korean War never resulted in a peace treaty the war continues to this day with the U.S. still remaining in control of the South Korean government.

Mr. Gagnon took a little jaunt to South Korea to wallow in moral outrage and celebrate the idea that the everything, everywhere, is America's fault. 

Motherf*cker pisses me off so much I can't properly condense my outrage to words.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wal-Mart and Urban Blight

Speaking of Downtown. Wal-Mart arrived in Neenah a few years ago and today downtown is a dead husk of it's former bustling self.

With the opening of Plexus Corp.'s new global headquarters, downtown Neenah boasts a daytime employment of nearly 12,000 people.

"That number is similar to Green Bay and larger than Appleton," said Chris Haese, Neenah's director of community development. "It's a testament to the growth of the downtown and reflects an effort to diversify our economy."

The employment covers workers within a mile radius of downtown. It accounts for not only Plexus, but also Alta Resources, Bemis Co., Neenah Paper Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Bergstrom Corp. and ThedaCare, among others.

The story is really about a keen new office building [1] but the number in the lead gobsmacked me. 12,000 people. Restaurants, bars, a nice little park with a farmer's market and concerts in the summer. That's a whole lot of activity to cram into an area that is supposed to be blighted by the arrival of a big box store on the edge of town.

[1] Bias alert - I work there and think it's a pretty keen place to sit

Wisconsin Avenue Project Ends Early in Neenah - Let The Wild Rumpus Begin

Thanks, America!  Your generosity (in the form of federal stimulus money) paid for a street reconstruction project downtown. It's done and looking good.

From the dead-tree version of this article ..
The $450,000 street reconstruction project ... replaced the asphalt pavement with concrete between Main and S. Commercial streets. [1] Stamped colored concrete was used for the crosswalks.

Advocates of stimulus spending who envisioned this money putting America back to work will be happy to hear that hundreds upon hundreds of area unemployed were busy at work with hand tools, chipping up the old asphalt, carting the rubble away in wheelbarrows, making themselves useful and getting an honest day's wages for hard work done well.

The stamped concrete is pretty cool - looks like brickwork.  I'm sure it was more expensive to do it this way and of course we'd have paid for it if we had to pony up the funds ourselves.

Makes a fella proud to pay his taxes, it does.

[1] Weirdly, the main road downtown is not Main Street but Wisconsin Avenue. Main is the road in from the freeway. It's an okay road but it's not a stereotypical small-town Main Street.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Comment of the Day

A-Ark - B-Ark - C-Ark

If you pay someone from the A-Ark to design a nuclear power plant, you will get it. If you pay someone from the C-Ark to build a nuclear power plant, you will get it. If you pay someone from the B-Ark to make a movie that makes sense about a nuclear power plant, you will get The China Syndrome instead of something that makes sense.

Penn Jillette - What He Said

When I disagree with Obama, people always say, "Well, you're a big Bush guy then." And I'm like no, I didn't like Bush either. I disagree with Bush and Obama on all the stuff they agree on, which is pretty much everything. They both want to kill people, they both want the government to be bigger, and they both want less freedom for individuals.

- Penn Jillette


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update: Bleg - Agile PLM - F5 - Web Logic

Bleg Update. Tech support at F5 supplied the fix: Change the virtual server type to Performance Layer 4.

90% of the time it's wiring, the other 90% you need only make a very small change and things start happening.

VirtualBox - NAT - Ruby on Rails - SSH - SSHFS

How-to setup NAT, SSH, SSHFS, Ruby On Rails and VirtualBox.

Assumes pcnet nic.


% VBoxManage -v

SSH. Half the fun [1] of unix-y operating systems is shell.

% VBoxManage setextradata hilda "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/ssh/HostPort" 2222
% VBoxManage setextradata hilda "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/ssh/GuestPort" 22
% VBoxManage setextradata hilda "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/ssh/Protocol" TCP

SSHFS. Mount the guest $HOME directory and edit files using TextMate.

/Applications/sshfs/bin/mount_sshfs -p 2222 brian@localhost ~/sshfs/hilda


% VBoxManage setextradata hilda "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Rails/HostPort" 3001
% VBoxManage setextradata hilda "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Rails/GuestPort" 3000
% VBoxManage setextradata hilda "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/Rails/Protocol" TCP

Restart or start the guest.
Launch Rails on the guest.
Hit up http://localhost:3001/

[1] I have odd notions for the value of 'fun'.

Karate Kid (2010)

Karate Kid. I lack the words to convey how wonderful, awesome and all-around good this movie is. 

It is all that and a bag of chips.

A perfect re-telling of the Hero's Journey.

Go see this film, is what I'm saying.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Terminal Lance.  You can't spell "disgruntled" without "grunt".  Guy spent four years in the Marines, two tours in Iraq and he draws.  Seriously funny stuff.  The slang changes, the attitude does not.

See 'SNCO Syndrome', 'Natural Age Progression of a Weapons Platoon Commander', 'How Things Have Changed'.

Spacetrawler, by Christopher Baldwin.  The talented guy behind Bruno and Little Dee is turning his hand to science fiction.  Very, very good stuff.

Bruno and Little Dee - Baldwin recently put both in re-run, posted daily from the start of the strip.  With annotations.   This is awesome.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hearken to the wisdom of the late Paul Harvey

Al Gore's split from wife Tipper after 40 years of marriage was a shock to everyone who thought theirs was the ideal marriage. Now Star can exclusively reveal that the former Vice President was having an affair with Larry David's ex-wife — for the past two years!

“Al and Laurie went from friends to lovers," an insider tells Star. "It couldn’t be avoided."

That's what I want as a President and Commander-in-Chief.[1] A man unable to control his gonads.

Title hat tip to Paul Harvey: "Gonads are useful for their purpose. But they are no substitute for brains."


[1] Yeah, it's a tabloid. I reckon they're as reliable as any mainline newspaper these days, just more frank and up front about the business they are in.

Monday, June 14, 2010

13 years of wedded bliss

My sweetie wrote this today.

13 years of wedded bliss still feeling the softness of his kiss;
in all the years my heart still sings;
of love and the smiles he brings;
into this life for nothing I long;
for he's the notes to my soul filled song.

Thank you, Brian. I love you.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pin the flowchart to my chest - tell the gunny I done my best

It’s fun extemporaneously editing song lyrics in real time when children are present to achieve a PG rating.


I spent four years in the infantry, lateral moved to the 4000 (data processing MOS) field. In the infantry you could be coarse. It was a feature! If you were not in the infantry the rules were different. At computer school the instructors had us out on a run, called me out. I sang a jody ...

If I die on the Russian front,

The lead instructor whipped his head around, gave me such a look. Oh yeah, we're at Quantico. I completed the line

Bury me in Russian you-know-what.

The Marine Corps, late 80s, early 90s edition, puzzled me, sometimes.

We could train to kill people and break their hearts but could not sing raunchy call-response songs for fear of offending ... I am not sure exactly who. The enemy?

Friday, June 11, 2010

60% of the vote is not luck

Dude had no plan (YouTube ahoy!) no organization, didn't run a campaign.  Won the primary for South Carolina senate seat.  The Establishment and the Press are out to get him.  Anti-incumbent fever, y'all! 

He's no worse than a whole lot of sitting politicians.  And with a tour in the military and nothing worse than a charge of showing pornography he's a whole lot better than some of the rascals that have sat in the Senate.

He's just not as polished as they are.

Money quote: "Sixty percent of the vote is not luck"

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Home Schooling

Come the Zombie Apocalypse ....

The Value of Homeschooling

The Best Solution

Sometimes "I hit it with my axe!" ...

 Hit It With An Axe

Friday, June 04, 2010

SANity Break

BREAKING: Moratorium on deep sea file storage declared as tarballs wash up on Florida coast.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Sign of the Apocalypse

An upscale Waffle House.

Waffle House - by J. Geierman at

It's not in the warehouse district.  I doubt there is a train track within miles.  I'll bet the waffle iron is in working order.  It looks like an actual pleasant place to eat.

The very foundations of reality are washing away from underfoot.

From Joseph Geierman.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

They called us 03 bullet-stoppers for a reason

The latest attempt to bust the Gaza Blockade demonstrated an eternal truth.

How Not To Fast Rope

It sucks being a grunt.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Bleg - Agile PLM - F5 - Web Logic

I've got Agile PLM v 93, WebLogic Server and a F5 Big-IP LTM.

Windows client is fine. Java client does not work : "Can't find server".

F5 LTM is a standard component to stick in front of a WLS cluster.

I've got about a day left to figure out why or I've got to junk WLS (and a metric ton of work) and install OAS. Which is like taking several giant steps backwards: OAS is a big giant suck of pain and tears and heartbreak.

Oracle can't officially help for understandable, but frustrating, reasons. We did a conference call with a clued-in guy (Hi, Frank!) from the Oracle consulting group who agrees with our assessment: it's not Agile's problem, but the F5.

F5 does not see a problem with the configuration.

Is anyone using an F5 LTM with Agile 93 / WLS?

Does your java client work?

What is the secret?

June 19 2010 Update. It's fixed.