Month: October 2011

RI will have to wait for REAL marriage equality

Why? Because as we saw over the last year, there was tumultuous change in the core group just as we had the votes necessary in the house and were turning our attention to the senate.

That tumultuous change was brought forth by Speaker of the House Gordon Fox, and others in the Democratic Party of RI.

You see, they did the old bait and switch. All along promising equality and then giving us this hideous civil unions law with the pandering to the Church exceptions built in.

So until MERI comes correct, and tosses out that overgrown delinquent that is leading it, I won’t support it.

So one of my facebook friends posted how if you donated $100 to MERI you’d get this home produced honey and jam. I commented that until leadership at MERI changed, I wouldn’t be putting ANY money into it.

I’m increasingly of the opinion that this is how it is going to play out in Rhode Island:

The federal DOMA law will be repealed in the next year or two. We’re already seeing rumbling of that right now with the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. So you can now openly serve your country but you still don’t get the full measure of military benefits because of DOMA?

Either congress will act or a successful legal challenge will be mounted.

At this point, those in RI that obtained Civil Unions will be stuck. The federal law uses the word marriage, not the words civil union. So I see a court case in RI based on that.

All of this is making MERI increasingly irrelevant. Either their leadership keeps submitting legislation, or they join a legal fight. They have a choice to make and so far they’ve shown little evidence of doing either. All they’re doing is begging for money.

What is it with RIPTA drivers?

I mean, could I hate the service any more if it weren’t for some of the idiot drivers that RIPTA hires?

Bus drivers or operators if you prefer tend to fall into three categories.

The first is professional, takes their job seriously, and are generally pleasant.

Next is the extra friendly drivers. The two above are my favorite types. The extra friendly drivers will go out of their way to help a passenger find a route, or a stop, etc.

And finally there are what I would term the jackasses.

And I’ve now had two encounters in the last year with jackass drivers. Even called them such.

Tonight was interesting. I get on the #28 bus and find a seat in the back of the bus. When my stop comes up I pull the yellow cord and step down to the back door. Another gentleman was also getting off at my stop so he yelled for the driver to open the back door.

The driver responded “I can’t!” and started driving off. I yelled “Stop this fucking bus now!” after which I said “Open the back door, or would you prefer I kick it open”.

As I exited I thanked him with “Thanks you jackass!”

I can’t help myself. I expect a certain level of service as a PAYING customer.

It always happens this way, I get fed up with the dis-service, buy a car and no more bus. But it’s more fun this way. I get to run my mouth!

And the guy who got off at the same stop agreed with my assessment of the driver as a jackass.

My weekend, or what there will be of it

So there is no rest for the wicked. Tonight I go back to work at 9PM to upgrade a clients box. It’s easier to do it from the office than from VPN since I’ve got the big screen there.

The upgrade will take about four hours. Or if I’m lucky three hours. It’s only two major versions and a bunch of LSP’s (Log Source Packages, it’s 17.1, 18, 20, and 21) So I’ll get home just as the clubs and bars are letting out. That should be a fun drive home as it screws up traffic through the city.

Then Sunday at 6PM I have to upgrade another clients box. This one is a hotfix and two LSP packages.

Not to mention the hellish week I’ve had. I really, really, really need vacation time again.

Mr. Mayor, you are wrong about Occupy Providence.

First off the Mayor of Providence, one Angel Taveras has said he will employ legal measure to get the Occupy Providence people out of Burnside Park.

I have some points I’d like to make regarding the Mayor’s erroneous move.

Those people in the park are exercising their first amendment rights, under both the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, to the Rhode Island Constitution Article 1 Section 21 to, using the RI Constitution:

“Section 21. Right to assembly — Redress of grievances — Freedom of speech. — The citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assembly for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or for other purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance. No law abridging the freedom of speech shall be enacted.

So Mr. Mayor, whatever legal moves you are considering, I strongly suggest you consider them under the guidance of the U.S. First Amendment, and RI Article 1 Section 21. Because what you are proposing, I take great umbrage at your use of it.

Your own Public Safety commissioner won’t send police in and I think I know why. It is because you Mr. Mayor have shit all over the public safety unions and I surmise that if you were to send police in, they may just be sympathetic to the cause of Occupy Providence.

So you’ll try to use the courts. First I’d like to know who you are going to name in your suit since there is no real leadership to go after in the Occupy Providence movement. How do you file suit against an entire group of people in the first place?

You Mr. Mayor are now between a rock and a very hard place. I strongly recommend you backpedal on your threats. Because it won’t be funny when the city faces a multi million dollar lawsuit for abridgement of civil rights.

Am I THE Anti-Christ?

You know, the definition of the Anti-Christ is someone who denies the existence of Christ. I deny it, I do not think it was a son of any god, and that it’s all bovine effluent.

So strike one for me being the Anti-Christ.

Now, in a prior post I noted how the 6-6-6 pattern had shown up and how it segued to another post.

So if you’re a suspicious type, you probably think I am THE Anti-Christ.

I’ll give you more. My PIN for an alarm system once contained the digits 6-6-6.

But alas, if I follow the prophecies I do not have the mark of the beast on me. So I guess I’m not THAT Anti-Christ.

It’s just a funny occurrence of a pattern that got me thinking about it. That pattern, the triple sixes. I’m not sure why 6 is such a dreadful number when combined in a pattern of three. It’s a good number. It’s an even number, it’s factors are 1, 2, 3 and 6. So I’m perplexed by why three of them are any indicator at all.

Bicycles increasingly gaining again

To the point where they recently resurfaced Broadway in Providence, RI.

Sure they put the bike lanes right in the door zone but it’s progress when they do things like this:

Bicycle traffic sensor

Yes indeed, the intelligent traffic systems signal can now understand things like bicycles! That was part of stimulus by the way, all the traffic signals got converted to ITS computerized systems with things like priority traffic lanes, traffic sensing, cameras, etc.

Now if only they’d repave Charles St. through Providence and I could bike to work. It’s a total of three miles and in the nicer months (late April to late October) I could do 30 miles a week, or 28 weeks times 30 miles is 840 miles. But I won’t bike on Charles St. because quite honestly, it’s all very badly designed for both pedestrians and bicyclists.

Charles is another state road and it really doesn’t have a heck of a lot of residential in Providence proper. As you get out into North Providence it becomes RI-246 and will take you straight into Woonsocket if you follow it out.

That would be a great place for the next set of bike lanes and ITS signals.

And why am I up at 2:30 AM?

Because I’m rebooting a client box in preparation to upgrade it at the end of the week. Linux/Unix has this little oddity. It’s so damnably reliable that it rarely if ever really requires a reboot.

I’ve heard stories and actually experienced a Linux box in an organization that was several years old but we had no idea where it was physically located. We could connect to it, manage it, etc. But it was buried somewhere in the building. I actually found it about a year and a half later. It was tucked into the very back of the warehouse. I threw a monitor on it and tapped the keyboard and was presented the login prompt. Sure enough, it was that server.

Anyhow the reason I’m doing a reboot is because Linux/Unix after so many days without reboot, forces a disk check. And the box I’m working on here hadn’t been rebooted in year!

Now this is a 250GB volume and it’s taken 31 minutes to get 66.6% through the disk check of that volume. I know I could screw with settings and make it ignore the disk check but honestly, it’s easier to let it just scan.

Interesting segue into my next post. That 666 number. Stay tuned!

Is it time to retool libraries?

I’m reading the latest issue of Make Magazine online. Yes, I still get the dead tree edition too but I’m considering dropping that and just going all electronic. And yes, I am getting a Kindle Fire though I have the Kindle app on my phone. It’s just the bigger screen would be nice on the Fire.

But anyhow in this edition of Make on pages 28-29 there’s an article title “Is it Time to Retool Public Libraries as TechShops” by Phillip Torrone.

And as I look at my city I see elements of the things mentioned in Torrone’s article. Yes, little Providence has a hacker space in the Brain Tank which is also where DC401 meets.

We have the Steel Yard where you can pay money to take courses on how to weld things, make things, ceramics. Just a lot fo things to learn!

We have AS220 for performance arts which is where Providence Geeks meets.

Brain Tank is interesting. I may want to get a membership there because they have all the cool tools.

And DC401, I’m almost always there because quite frankly the topics of discussion are interesting as hell, and the hardware projects are fun.

Haven’t been to Providence Geeks in some time and I think it was well summed up at the last DC401 meet up. It seems the event is being overtaken by the corporate lackeys. I also noted a high number of unemployed there too.

I do want to take some classes at Steel Yard though, yes it looks pricey but some of them run for several weeks so you’re really learning it. I mostly want to learn the welding and foundry skills but the glass casting and fusing fascinates me too. I wonder if I can get educational creds for this stuff?

the fact that we have all this in our little city fascinates me. I think a lot of it stems from AS220 and even they have a nice little hackerspace in there.

But getting back to the article. Maybe our public libraries should embrace the hackerspace mentality. Maybe even a Fab Lab at the Central library in downtown Providence. That would be, in a two words, fucking sweet!

And it would help the sagging libraries too. With city budgets being cut, libraries need to find new ways to prop up their huge collections because those too have value. The libraries need to become value added places. So I say to you Providence Public Library (Not owned by the city mind you!), think about it. You have the facilities that could be converted into a Fab Lab.

Even the branch libraries now run by a different group could embrace parts of this, maybe act as feeders by introducing some of the tech to youngsters.

I’m pretty sure there are grants out there that would cover the costs. It is after all, educational.

Cheapie USB audio adapter modification

So the old laptop had it’s audio jack start clipping out on the right channel. I had two options, either open the laptop up, unsolder the old connector and put in a new one, or use a USB audio adapter with audio-out and audio-in connectors.

Weighing it out, the labor involved in repairing the laptop outweighed the cost of the USB adapter. The USB adapter cost a whole $2.88.

But it was cheaply snapped together and the USB plug isn’t anchored to the board. Keyron’s adapter is trashed but I can fix that easily by re-soldering the USB connector.

So I decided to go preventative on mine. I fired up the glue gun and applied six drops of hot glue, two to anchor the USB connector internally, and one drop on each corner. I snapped it together and now it’s a SOLID device.

I love modifying cheap electronics and making them dependable. I’ve done it with my laptop by replacing parts that have gotten old or failed. Thus far I replaced the palm assembly, the LCD and the hard drive. Only the motherboard is the original.

Granted, I am getting ready to buy a new computer. I do get a 17% discount on a new machine where I work so I can really load one up.

Face if NOM, you can’t stop us!

I was pleased to see the NOM has suffered yet another judicial decision that they have to expose their donor lists. Good. Of course NOM is able to tap dance around IRS rules but don’t piss off a judge.

Because before you know it you’ll see old Pumpkin Face himself, Brian Brown, marched away in cuffs because he ignored a judicial order. Judges get downright cranky about that stuff.

So for all the misinformation and outright lies NOM has put forth, it’s time to pay the piper!

And I am so not feeling this new WordPress interface!