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Journal: Anti Incumbent Results 102

Journal by FroMan

We've been told by the majority of the of the media that there was an anti-incumbent feeling nationwide. Lets look at some numbers.

In the house 43 incumbents lost their seats, 2 of them being Republican and 41 being Democrat. In the senate we also have none of the Republicans in the general election losing their seat compared to 6 of the Democrat seats lost (as of this writing, 2 yet to be determined).

The numbers don't look like an anti-incumbent feeling to me. They look like anti-Democrat.

User Journal

Journal: Undercover operations 2

Journal by Degrees

I migrated yet another GroupWise post office from NetWare to SuSE Linux this evening. However, I had undercover help.

The data on the NetWare volume was 65 GB. So we made the ext3 volume 100 GB. Did the initial copy, and had 1% free disk space left. Dang NetWare compressed volumes....

Time to expand the LUN for the new server. The destination box is a Xen VM guest. I'm shady on the details, but after the LUN was altered on the host VM, the entire blade has to be rebooted to see the new space. The admin who was going to take care of it, was going to do it early in this morning, as he normally shows up at 6:00 AM. About midnight, he wakes up: "Oh heck! I'm scheduled to come in late tomorrow!"

Still in bed, he grabs his BlackBerry and establishes a SSH connection to the host VM. Resizes the LUN from the command line and then reboots everything. All is well for me to get the job done tonight (which I did, and it went well).

I did say "undercover" did I not? ;-)

User Journal

Journal: UN 10

Journal by FroMan

What is wrong with the UN? Israeli soldiers are attacked and they defend themselves and within 24 hours UN is condemning Israel. A month after North Korea attacks a South Korean ship with a torpedo and the UN is discussing condemning the attack, but in all probability won't since they cannot get China to agree.

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD. Proverbs 17:15

User Journal

Journal: TEA Party Event 17

Journal by FroMan

I took the family to the TEA Party event in Grand Rapids this afternoon. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm. I'd guess about 1500 folks showed up for the event, but I'm by no means trained in counting crowds. I did take a video of the crowd and will actually try to count the crowd if the news reports or the TEA Party website says a number too different from my estimate. Things were already underway when I arrived.

The first speaker we heard was certainly not someone I would want representing myself. She was a bit on the angry side, which one might think is preaching to the choir, but the crowd didn't respond well to her.

The second speaker was more describing an organization, http://www.icaucus.org/ and how they screen candidates that they wind up supporting. It sounds like a great organization, promoting some very sounds politicians. I'll probably keep looking into it.

Before we took off we listened to another presentation by a 17 year old. He was an interesting fellow, had his own radio show at one point. It is encouraging to see younger kids believing in conservative values.

One thing I did notice was there were not many black folks in the crowd. It is something I've heard a lot, that the TEA Party folks are all white and it sort of looked like that in this crowd. Then I looked closer, there were a reasonable number of Hispanic and Oriental folks in the crowd beyond the mostly white folks.

Over all the folks there were happy. My little boy ran around among the crowd with me chasing. There were lots of smiles and giggles. Basically there are a lot of good natured folks who have concern about where this country is going and wish to turn back the tide.

User Journal

Journal: Reloading 15

Journal by FroMan

I ordered a reloading kit, 9mm dies, and a brass tumbler this afternoon from my local gun shop. I might have been able to get a better deal online by a couple dollars, but this guy has been helping me out a lot recently with shooting questions and research into reloading.

I also picked up a couple hundred primers and bullets. I saved all the brass I shot last year, so I'm in good shape that way. The last component is powder, which I know very little about. With the help from a manual I've started learning about it. And I figure I'll start out with a more or less all purpose powder. When I've tallied up the cost it looks like it should be about ~$.15/round to reload (.04/primer, .09/bullet, .02/powder, reuse brass) compared to the ~$.25/round I usually have been paying.

I'm looking forward to shooting about 50% more this year with reloading. Here is a video of shooting from a couple weeks ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V05okGGPG9k

User Journal

Journal: Backing up OMG number of files - Parallel::Forkmanager did well 3

Journal by Degrees

In my last JE, I asked how to back up a directory structure with way too many subdirectories and files in it. One of the ideas was to do one tar job per top-level directory. Since this one didn't take any more disk space, the SAN guys wanted me to try it first. I had to learn how to use Perl's Parallel::Forkmanager. It worked well.

I have 256 top level directories, so I forked one tar job per directory. We took the VM that runs the server and configured it for four CPUs. I configured Parallel::Forkmanager to only allow four concurrent forked tar jobs. What was a 70+ hour single tar job became a 30 hour batch of 256+ tar jobs. The new scheme runs in 43% of the time of the old job. That's great.

Thank you for the advice. I'm using it well. :-)

User Journal

Journal: Recommendations for archiving a ton of files? 12

Journal by Degrees

I have a system that makes a metric buttload of small files, with a 1:1.2 ratio of files to folders. So 850 GB of files in one million subdirectories. The tape backup system chokes on this, and I have the disk space to copy everything into one big file - the tape system loves backing up that. As my storage grew, my initial .tar.gz job got to taking three days to complete. I thought that converting it to just a .tar file would speed it up, but the opposite happened. That may be due to the fact that I changed the destination file system at the same time.

Any suggestions for an optimal setup to copy a large number of small files into a single file for tape backup? The tape backup exists for disaster recovery, in case the SAN burps (again). I have a lot of flexibility on how to get the job done - suggestions welcome. If there are any system tuning parameters I ought to be looking at, please say so.

Thanks!

Bug

Journal: Not what is meant... 18

Journal by FroMan

I cannot imagine this is what is meant to pray for your leaders.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/31/phoenix-pastor-draws-protests-telling-church-prays-obamas-death/?test=latestnews

It is a shame that someone would take upon themselves a congregation and lead them so poorly. This man is not following the scripture. David prayed for his enemies, even the king. We are commanded repeatedly to pray for our leaders in the new testament.

Lord God in heaven, may your will be done in all things. Give us all grace and cover our sins. Lead us according to your will, teach us what is right, that we may be used for your glory. Help us to humbly submit to those you have put over us, acknowledging that your hand is over all creation. Give our leaders wisdom to set a righteous example before us and all the Earth. Bend their will to your own to that righteousness may abound in our land that we might be a light and example as a nation in this world for your glory and praise.

Even that prayer, as feeble as it might be, is how we should pray for our leaders. To pray for their suffering or death is not how Christians are called to pray.

I have no love for Obama's policies. He cares not for the most innocent lives, and is pushed and pulled by many who desire to continue or expand abortion in this country. His policies have rewarded some of the most corrupt constituencies in our country. He is trying to force great changes on our nation which would our founder would abhor. For all that he earns my prayer, not my hate. I will fight his policies where I am able and pray that he sees what is right.

The Gimp

Journal: Whoops - don't upgrade The GIMP on Windows 3

Journal by Degrees

I had installed The GIMP on my wife's machine way back when. Version 2.2 on Windows. She wanted to scan and crop photos, and it seemed a good way to introduce the idea of free software to her. Free, as in hobbyists are writing it and giving their work away for free. The GIMP can do an awful lot, and my wife could see that we didn't have to pay a lot of money for an app that duplicates that The GIMP does. And, you can see that the world is just a little bit nicer, that people do good works and share it.

Alas, I had to work on her machine a week or two ago. While I was there, I upgraded to The GIMP 2.6.

The GIMP 2.6 does not do "Acquire from TWAIN'. Heck, that was the whole reason she used The GIMP.

Nicely enough, the downgrade was blindingly simple. But she will have to remember to never ever upgrade.

Announcements

Journal: Seraphina Faith Day 10

Journal by FroMan

God has blessed us with our new born daughter Seraphina Faith Day born Tuesday July 14 3:59 AM, 7 pounds 3 ounces, and 19 inches long. Mother and daughter are both doing wonderful. The labor was very easy and quick for my wife and she is recovering excellent. Seraphina arrived with a voracious appetite, but has been satiated and is now sleeping comfortably.

Pictures are on our website: http://www.crazydays.org in the photo ablum section.

User Journal

Journal: Slashdot message center - it's back 4

Journal by Degrees

A few weeks ago I (and it seemed a number of other people) were dismayed that the link on the front page to the message center disappeared. I found it's been put back, though in a slightly different location. Now, underneath the list of new messages is a link "NN more" which takes one to the message center. It's on the right instead of the top center.

I know that I complain a lot about the way Slashdot is run. In this case, I want to specifically say: THANK YOU. Thank you very much. Taco and friends do deserve thanks for listening to their content-creation-base and acting on it.

User Journal

Journal: Twitter 1

Journal by FroMan

I finally signed up for twitter, crazydaysorg is my id. Surprisingly there isn't an option to add a twitter id on slashdot, but there is for every other IM type tool, and even WoW (which I don't play anymore).

On Saturday there I attended a conference with ever other fellow with a laptop twittering or tweeting or whatever it is called. It was so pervasive that there was even a 1/2 hour session on twitter and other social networking sites.

I've heard about it for a while, but never really seen a use for twitter. Well, being all sheep like I decided to sign up cause all the cool kids are doing it.

I'm hoping to make it sort of a "cool links" type tool for myself. To that end, I've followed a couple folks who I think might generate links that I would be interested in such as: nranews, newtgingrich, and timoreilly. Hopefully these folks post links to interesting articles.

I don't forsee me posting much since I really don't have a lot to say. I'll probably mention releases of any of the software projects I am working on. I might post a few other things like links to articles or columns I really like too.

User Journal

Journal: A thought on where organizations go wrong 11

Journal by Degrees

For a while now, I've been looking at the behavior of organizations to see if I can identify where it all went wrong. The vendor I have the most to do with is a huge glaring example. Slashdot itself repeatedly gets it wrong. The thievery at hospitals, ripoffs in the mortgage industry, the slow self destruction of the USA automobile industry - it all seems to point to the abandonment of the company motto:

"It's good to be a (insert name) customer".

If that were the standard by which organizational decisions were made, we wouldn't have all this trouble.

The Novell company motto seems to be "It sucks to be a Novell customer (and we're OK with that)". They do some very good technology, but insist on overpricing it (because it is NOT GOOD to be a Novell customer) and then wonder how they are going to pay the support bill for a product with 1% market penetration.

The Slashdot company motto seems to be "We'll write the code the way we want to, and you all can piss off". Yes, as a matter of fact, I liked the front page to have the one line messages status text and link to all my pending messages. Posting this JE took far more work to get to the 'create a journal' link than in the past. But I don't expect it to change, because "It sucks to be a Slashdot content provider (and we're OK with that)".

Golden West started it's wholesale ripoff of people by handing out first ARM mortgages, then NINJA mortgages. By that time, their company motto had become "It's stupid to be a Golden West customer (but we're OK with that)". It's worth noting that the banking crises did NOT affect most of the small town local banks who don't view their customers as prey.

When was the last time someone bought a new Chevrolet and said to themselves "Well, at least I didn't get stuck with a Toyota!" (because "It's sad to be a bailout car customer (but we're OK with that)").

There are countless organizations where the company motto is "It's good to be a (insert name) shareholder (but we play our customers for fools, and we're OK with that)".

It's few and far between, but:

"It's good to be a Costco customer".
"It's good to be an Amazon.com customer".
"It's good to be a Netflix customer".
"It's good to be an Apple customer".

Why is it so hard for organizations to fight the decisions that transform themselves into a "It sucks to be a (our name) customer"?

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

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