Month: June 2012

I don’t understand poor republicans

Or shall I say, economically disenfranchised Republicans. A lot of them play themselves as Libertarians but I’ve long known that libertarianism is not what I want in control of government power.

In essence, libertarianism is fend for yourself.

But here’s what grabs me. We had dinner with friends recently and one of them has anti-union, and anti-government views. And looking him up in the Central Voter Registration DB, I note he’s a registered Republican. I mean, if you’re going to call yourself a libertarian at least disaffiliate so our status code in the database goes from R to U.

The other day I had picked up a replacement AC plug to repair a fan and I noted it was made by Leviton. That person mentioned that they once worked for Leviton here in RI that paid them $15 an hour and it was a union shop.

I explained that I was dismayed that the plug was made in Mexico. And I said that even when he was making $15 an hour, prices for Leviton goods were approximately the same as they are now that they’re made in Mexico. So where does the difference from $15 to $1 an hour go? In the pockets of the shareholders of Leviton.

I also brought up Germany – they are one of the most prodigious nations in Europe and have been for some time. They’re a heavy manufacturer, and their national policy dictates 6 weeks a year in vacation time. Here in the U.S. you’re lucky to get 2 weeks, 3 if you work there for 10 years.

The best deal I ever had was when I worked for the state once. We were allowed to comp any overtime. It got to the point where after we moved our facilities I had 400 comp hours. I used 300 of those which if you divide 300 by 8 = 37.5 days or 5.3 weeks plus my two weeks or 7.3 weeks off. That was as close as I’ve ever gotten to the German standard.

But I couldn’t get the point across that unions have actually given us the short 8 hour work day, the five day work week, etc.

And if you haven’t been watching – it will be unions that get us universal single payer health care in the U.S. I mean, look at the nurses, they’ve been agitating like crazy.

Here’s the thing that got me though. The guy in question, he’s struggling financially.

It brings to mind the bumper sticker I saw back in 2004. There was a beat up blue Buick in the parking lot with a Bush/Cheney 2004 bumper sticker on it.

Yes, that’s my go-to WTF! moment.

Speaker Fox in RI says house will vote on gay marriage in 2013 session

Really? Why now? Could it be the widespread condemnation of the civil union law which cowtows to the religious bigots out there? Or could it be the bait and switch move the Speaker pulled in 2011?

Or could it be Governor Chafee’s Executive Order that RI will recognize ANY marriage performed outside the state of RI, including same sex marriages?

It’s all just hot air. Every last bit of it. Fox saying he didn’t have the votes in 2011 is pure, unadulterated bovine effluent. I worked with MERI at the time and we had the house, and by that I mean locked! It was the opposition of Senate President M. Theresa Paiva-Weed that tanked the equality bill in 2011.

It’s funny, I went to the hearing and I knew the house judiciary committee was ready to vote to send it for a full vote. You could tell during the testimony that most of them had heard quite enough, ad infinitum from both sides and had decided that it was time.

But they didn’t move.

I’ll say it here – the way RI gets true marriage equality goes as follows:

In 2013 we will see the Federal DOMA fall. At that point a couple in Rhode Island who had obtained a civil union will attempt to exercise or claim federal benefit and be denied due to the fact that in Rhode Island it is a Civil Union, not a marriage.

At this point a federal lawsuit will be filed against the Speaker, Senate President an the rest of the legislative body under grounds of discrimination under the 14th U.S. Amendment and the plaintiffs will prevail.

Once again – why is the legislature showing such cowardice in this matter?

Android: Another reason to love it

I use DoubleTwist and AirSync – the former plays all music and lets you push your iTunes library over USB to the phone. The latter lets you synchronize your iTunes library to the phone over WiFi.

Other music app favorite is TuneIn.

Tech: Firefox 13 and Flash Player Issues

If you’ve upgraded to Firefox 13 and gotten the most recent Adobe Flash Player software you may have noted that any flash based video player (YouTube, MSNBC, Hulu) click, pop, skip, echo, on the audio but the video plays fine.

Overall I’ve been very happy with Firefox 13. But Adobe – really, you should thoroughly TEST your fucking software.

The solution is pretty simple, un-install Flash Player 11.3.300.262 in the Add/Remove programs control panel. It’s slightly different depending on your OS (XP, Vista, Win7).

Then download the zip file for version

Close Firefox – if you must bring up the task manager and make sure it’s closed.

Then expand the zip file. You want to change into the folder and choose flashplayer10_3r183_20_win.exe file and run it. Then start Firefox 13 and you can now enjoy videos without the annoying audio issues.

Addendum on NYC LGBT Pride

There are a couple of things I noticed that I thought worth mention here.

As was the case last year the NYPD did an exemplary job of controlling the flow of the parade and the flow of traffic. They also displayed a courtesy that I hadn’t seen before. We were standing under scaffolding and one cop made a first pass even saying “please” after asking folks to get off the scaffolding. Of course the influx of people meant new attendees would climb on up and as time went on the bullhorn batteries wore out and he would just walk by motioning downward and shouting “off”, “off”, “off”. Too funny.

Another thing I noted. I’ve known for some time that police departments around the U.S., because of their union affiliations, only bought U.S. makes of vehicles. This is true here in Providence, it’s either Chevy, Ford or Chrysler.

But in NYC, I noted a few police cruisers with Nissan badges on the grille. They look like new Altima’s or possibly Maximas. I didn’t get a rear view to confirm.

But I find that really interesting. Myself, I prefer Nissan and Mazda to Honda and Toyota.

Another thing I note about NYPD – they’re not such great ambassadors because they’re not information fonts. This was evident trying to find the Megabus pickup point in NYC today because on not one but TWO different occasions they told us it was in the bus station. That’s one fact about Megabus btw, they don’t stop at stations. Lines like Greyhound, CoachUSA, et al negotiate dock rates with the stations and they are fairly hefty. So Megabus just goes on the periphery.

Perhaps the City of New York should invest in city ambassadors – maybe put em’ in Yellow like our Downtown Improvement District guys here in Providence. Or train the cops on the common things for travelers – subway info, bus info, things like that. Let them be the ones that the public learns to trust.

This weekends Doings: NYC LGBT Pride 2012

So once again this year we stayed with a friend at the Edison Hotel in NYC. It’s right near Times Square.

This time out we took Megabus. The pickup in Providence was easy. There was their signature double-decker bus right at the intersection of Fountain St. and Dorrance St.

You can click to embiggen.

However there is one issue: The bus drops you at 7th Ave and 28th Street in NYC. More to the point the bus drops off in one place, and picks up for return in another at 10th Ave between 40th and 41st Streets.

The drop off location is 18 blocks from the hotel. So it’s a slight hike, about a mile which we can do without issue.

The pickup is confusing. If you count blocks coming from 9th Ave. the next over by logic should be 10th right? Nope, it’s still 9th.

Luckily the agents for Megabus are familiar with that scenario and had someone at that end telling us just to go up one block further. And if you need to contact Megabus dial 877-462-6342 (877-GO2-MEGA)

We were there for the LGBT Pride parade and once again it did not disappoint. It ran for about five hours and lots of spectacle. I’m still uploading video from my phone. All I can say with any confidence is that there’s one video in there that PoltGuy will love. It may well dwell on his Plenty O’ Purple page, as it’s a hot guy, in purple feathers and roller blades.

As I said, more to come!

More to come!

Hot in Providence

Yes indeed, you can tell it’s summer. The heat up happened right on schedule for the turn of seasons into summer. We had 60’s and 70’s all prior, though March showed 70’s and 80’s.

And end of June comes roaring in, 95F yesterday, 93F today. And Friday is forecast at 92F before finally cooling down into the low 80’s. I love it.

I don’t care if it is 90 something outside. I love being out there in it. Of course I know all the shady spots, and even though you do sweat there’s enough of a breeze to cool you down.

But around the 4th of July it’ll spike again. And I can recall in prior years nearly every July it’s so muggy that it’s oppressive.

But as I always say, I’d rather roast than freeze! And the sun has been out and my exposure even though brief and my skin gets a slight reddish olive tone to it. The red is probably the streak of Mohawk in me, the olive of course the Italian.

Summer is here! Yay! Can you tell I hate winter? Last years was just barely tolerable.

Ohio idiot wants to remove Buckeye tree because it’s “bisexual”

There are idiots out there in spades. The vast majority of the U.S. Population falls into this category and the latest is from Ohio, the Buckeye State. Seems a gentleman, and I use the term loosely, wants the state to ditch the Buckeye because he’s discovered the tree is, well I’ll let him say it himself:

“The buckeye is our state tree and most of us gladly wear the nickname, “buckeyes.” But it is shameful and unacceptable that a bisexual tree should represent us! We are flaunting the Holy Bible!

I urge everyone to contact their state representative and demand legislation removing the buckeye as our state tree and condemning the use of the term “buckeye” as a nickname for residents of Ohio.”

The guy in question is one Jim Flechtner.

I need to school Flechtner a bit. There are a number of tree and plant species that are in fact bisexual. Rose, Lilly, and other large flowered plants, Birch, Pine, Oak – all of them have both the male and female equivalent sex organs on the same tree or plant.

I wonder about the state of education in this country when idiots like Flechtner spout such ridiculous nonsense.

Doing a little digging on Flechtner I don’t find much other than the fact that he said something so ridiculous. But one hit does allude to his Christian beliefs.

And there I have the answer – Christianity is not itself education. It is dogma. True education teaches one critical thinking skills to be able to tell when someone is full of shit, and when they’re not.

They include

Gotta keep the ratings up

If you look over on the right, there’s a blog rating of NC-17.  I note the tool only scrubs the first page or so of a blog to determine it’s rating. Why? I re-ran my blog through it and this time got a G rating.

So in order to maintain my NC-17 rating, here goes;

ass, balls, cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, piss, shit, tits

I’ll go further with this universal tool:

Fuck you, you fucking fuck!

Let’s see what my rating goes to now. It went to R, more to the point it seems to key on only certain words. Let’s strip the italics off the above and see:

ass, balls, cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, piss, shit, tits

There it is, the use of the word ‘fuck’ four times in any one page of your blog  gets you an NC-17 rating. So let’s embellish a bit:

fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

So that’s a total of 12, well make it 13 fucks. That nets the highest level of warning, NC-17.

So now the fun is out of the blog rating when I know what they use to determine the ratings.

An I.T. Tip or even property tip

So a friend of mine called me today. She was telling me that at her job they have a few servers and switches and they’re all tied to one duplex 20A dedicated circuit. Dedicated because the outlets are orange. But she found out that she had a serious under-volt condition at the outlet – and tracing it down she found out that the alleged dedicated outlet circuit was shared among three rooms, and in one there was a portable heater in operation.

I started laughing when I heard that. You see, I’ve been through massive transition projects moving serious I.T. infrastructure, and adding infrastructure. That includes telecom services, data services, finding bonded and insured  carriers to move servers, working with electricians to determine outlet, data and phone taps at each position, and coordinating service cuts and re-implements. Yes, been there not once but three times now and got the t-shirt, the briefcase etc.

If there are two factors you have to consider with I.T. it’s power first, and then cooling. Stuffing servers in unventilated closets is just inviting disaster.

So at one job I did the specifications for power and cooling. We had redundant 2 ton cooling, an APC Symetra (The 3 19″ rack cabinets worth) and a 125kW natural gas fired generator with auto-trip. In fact I in the move I had even recommended we replicate the DNS zone for the state in our office since we did indeed have redundant power. That got quashed by upper management but 8 months after we’d moved in we had a massive power outage in the city. All our systems were up and running, but we couldn’t get out and nobody could get in. You see, the state DNS had gone belly up. Ah well.

But the thing that stood out in the last move/transition  was the building management.  My friend told me about how the property manager had outright lied to her. I recommended that my friend and her boss record all interactions with the property manager from this point forward.

When we had moved that facility we put out an RFP and got back 8 responses. And we traipsed out and looked at each. Now mind you the RFP specified x number of parking places, easy access on public transit, things like that. You’d be shocked how many of these properties didn’t meet our requirements.

But the last one was an old iron goods foundry. When we toured the building it was a mess but the owner and management were professionals and we negotiated in good faith. The time scale was six months from signing of the lease to move in date. And that company was Everet Amaral – the work he and his crew did received a reward from the RI State Council on the Arts:

Project Award to Everett Amaral and his innovative conversion of the Rhode Island Tool Complex (1853-1954) into first-class office space.

More here

It was a joy to work with them, the engineers at APC, etc. I suppose when the money is available you can get great things done.

But talking to my friend I realized something. I could make a space for myself working as tenants representative. I know what it takes to have Class A office space – and I know how to translate requirements for it.

But the thing you have to remember with property managers is this: Everything in writing or recorded. Actually you don’t need to do that until they screw you at least once.  Once they’ve done so you have to shorten the leash.