Month: April 2013

Saturday 9 – I Don’t Want to Talk About It

Granted it’s not Saturday but a few days later. My first chance to answer these as I got it from Patently Queer who got it from Rejected Reality.

  1. Crazy Sam (the author of this meme) is beyond sick of all things Kardashian! What’s a topic you’re just tired of and don’t want to talk about anymore?
    * The Kardashians – I don’t want to hear another thing about it. In fact celebrity in general annoys me.
  2. Rod Stewart has been recording for more than 40 years. Do you have any of his music on your iPod/mp3 player?
    * Interestingly I don’t have any of his music in my library.
  3. Rod Stewart is known for his coif. How much time do you spend on your hair each morning?
    * Wash, dry, gel, 30 seconds!
  4. Rod’s first child, a daughter, will turn 50 this year. His most recent child, also a daughter, is 2. How close in age are your children? If you don’t have any children, how close in age are you and your siblings? If you don’t have children OR siblings, well, tell us what’s immediately to your left as you respond to this meme. If you don’t have anything to your left … Oh, hell, I give up!
    * No kids, no siblings.
  5. Which do you prefer — french toast or pancakes?
    * Oh French Toast! I buy the french loaf, cut it into nice thick little pieces, then into the egg batter seasoned with sugar, cinnamon and a little maple syrup. Then into a well buttered pan to cook.
  6. When was the last time you lost your cool?
    * I grow weary of “parents” pretending to care about their children but abdicating responsibility every chance they get.
  7. Crazy Sam once had a pet hamster she named Bart. Have you ever cared for a hamster or a gerbil?
    * Yes in fact I have. I had a hamster once – a little female teddy bear hamster named Tiffany. She was a trip – you’d give her some lettuce and she’d stuff he cheeks with it. Her favorite place was on my shoulder.
  8. Are you ticklish?
    * Yes I am.
  9. Ouch! You have a headache! What’s your go-to remedy?
    * Hyrdation!

The FCC wonders why cell 911 service borked in Boston

Doh! I was perusing some wordpress blogs and came across this:


In his final meeting at the Commission, the agency’s top regulator said the FCC would press forward with an examination of why wireless phones failed to operate in the wake of the bombing. Such a result is unacceptable, he said, given how essential it is for the public to access 911 during an emergency. “We will not let up as long as there is more to do to harness the technology,” he said.


This is why I say, it’s time to stop putting the lawyers in charge of the FCC and put the engineers and technical people in charge.

I can tell you why – it’s simple. A cell site can only handle so many calls at a time. A lot of them use variants of TDMA and CDMA which both have contention issues. TDMA because the number of time slots is fixed by physical realities, CDMA by the amount of bandwidth.

Even the ‘wired’ telephone network which more and more is becoming VoIP has contention issues. In a real emergency the switch fabric can only handle so many calls at once. When everyone picks up the phone it ties up the switch. Of course some people would get through, modern phone systems have these things called Class of Service(COS)  and Class of Restriction (COR). Entities with high COS and low COR get priority.

And ‘fixing’ this problem is likely to cost billions or trillions of dollars. You see, the limitations were a design choice in telecom switching, not a problem per se.

So really – maybe we should pass a law where half of the sitting commissioners are not attorneys but engineers and technical people. You wouldn’t need to have hearings to figure this crap out.


On How Facebook triggers posts about religion

So a friend on Facebook posted the following:

I can say stupid things about Catholic people, but I’m not gonna do it. I could say all Irish people are drunks, or all Polish people are dumb, or all Italian people are in the mafia. Everyone has a different ethnic group or religion they belong to. Prejudice is stupid.

Now I chimed in that I thought it was ok to discriminate against Catholics, after all people CHOSE to be Catholic. Therefore we can make fun of their choice. I didn’t choose to be gay.

I also brought up the ‘other people’ in the Bible. It’s right there in Genesis right after Cain slays his brother. He’s cast out of the Garden of Eden and goes East of Eden into Nod where he finds a wife. So in essence there were all these OTHER people in Nod when God decided to do his little Garden experiment.

Pisses Christians off when you tell them that. Because it tells them their entire belief system is based on a falsehood. Produces massive amounts of cognitive dissonance.

If you don’t want to read the whole book like I once did I suggest you at least read the Pentateuch or the first five books of the Old Testament. Tells you everything you need to know about the current crop of Catholics and Christians.

And if you’re feeling adventurous – keep reading. And then come back to me and say that you still believe. Because when you get to the New Testament and start reading the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John about Jesus death and resurrection you see that each gets the story slightly differently. And even the first three books – the share a lot of commonalities but also a lot of contradictions between them. It’s quite fascinating to do a forensic walk through the Bible too.

As a society I think we’d all be better off if we cared more about our neighbor than about our church. Might actually make some progress if that were the case.

And more to the point, one can be highly moral without religion. So the argument that we need religion to form morality is patently false too!

You can now see – I’m no fan of organized religion.

So it’s now official

I’m a Unix guy. It has been boiling around in my resume for awhile now. At this juncture I’ve now dealt with more Unix and Linux systems than Windows systems.

Granted I still know the hell out of Windows too. For example, I know how to get Windows to route packets destined for certain devices over a certain interface.

But the majority of my experience has now been with Unix and open source tools. And I know how to use Corkscrew to tunnel http connections on Unix too.

2012 Taxes Filed

I knew I was going to owe this year. So when I do I don’t file until the very end.

The state is about $300. I’ll pay that off – but I still have $1200 that they say I owe from six years ago. We’ll see about that.

Federal I’ll pay in two or three chunks.

Help Cluck!

Go to their Indiegogo page and contribute. $1, $10, $1000 whatever you can to help.

What they got was what I consider a raw deal. Two abutting properties say they were never notified. But I call foul, I think they were and they just lied and said they weren’t. Whatever the case – we need to lean heavily on those who would try to stop it from opening.
I mean really – is this so harmful?

Or maybe this:



And I’m happy to report that the turnout today was impressive. I estimate at least 200 people, four police cruisers, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, 13th Ward Councilman Bryan Principe, and 8th District Representative John J. Lombardi too.

And my favorite sign from the rally today:


If only because of the ST:TNG reference. LOL!

Saturday 9 – You Belong to Me

Attributes: Got this from  Rejected Reality.

  1. Like the boy in this song, have you ever been in love with someone, but was afraid to tell them?
    * No – I’m sort of like a brick wall in the middle of a highway when you’re doing 80MPH.
  2. Taylor Swift has been known to write songs about her real-life lovers. If you were to write a song about the most recent person you were romantically involved with, what would the title be?
    *Only You Could Make a Younger Me want to Play Baseball in the Cold, Dark Night.
  3. Ms. Swift recently turned 23 and has already won VMAs and AMAs and Grammys. What were you doing when you were 23? (If you aren’t 23 yet, where do you see yourself when you hit it?)
    * I was 23 in 1987. I was dating a woman at the time – married her through excess of peer pressure. It all ended in 1988 when I could no longer suppress the attractions I was feeling.
  4. When you were a child, did you sleep with a plush toy? (If yes, please include its name in your answer.)
    * Not that I can recall.
  5. I’m making a Starbucks run. What can I get you?
    *Not a real coffee fiend so maybe a Frappucino.
  6. It was 60 years ago that Clarence Birdseye first marketed frozen vegetables. Now it’s your turn: Share something you learned recently.
    * That a local church is trying to drive down  a properties value so they can build their heritage museum there.
  7. In junior high, were you class clown, teacher’s pet, a geek, a jock … or did you just melt into the background?
    * Geek all the way. Computers were my thing.
  8. Was your most recent ticket for parking illegally or was it a moving violation?
    * Almost a decade ago, in Boston. I ran a red light and got nabbed by a cop.
  9. Tell us about the last museum you visited.
    * The Boston Museum of Fine Art. When they had the Titian, Tintorento and some other artist exhibition. They had each artists rendition of a Christian scene – St. Jerome in the desert. The interpretations were very far apart, in some Jerome is an old coot, in others a middle aged man, so in essence it only confirmed what I’ve long known; that all of Christianity is based on so much misinterpretation of bullshit.

The height of injustice and stupidity in my neighborhood

So I hadn’t written much about it here. It started playing out on Facebook and I’ve been hearing about it from a friend and others on my daily commute.

There’s a new urban farm/garden store called Cluck! that was supposed to be opening. It’s fully stocked as you can see from my pictures over on the right side. I posted them to both flickr and Facebook with the tags “Injustice”, “Idiocy”, “What the Cluck!” and “Just Cluckin’ Around!”. I want them shared far and wide.

It’s ridiculous. The real story emerged however and my initial suspicion that the church had a bigger part was confirmed. They want to drive down the price of the property so they can use it to build an Amernian Heritage museum.

Kind of a dumb place to build one if you ask me. But alas, that’s the core.

The other parties involved are the same (Forgive me William Safire) nattering nabobs of negativity that halt progress everywhere.

As you can see from my flickr photos – it’s a gardening store. No livestock, only chicken feed. I suspect the name of the place, Cluck! got a lot of peoples feathers ruffled. There’s sort of a strong anti-chicken vibe in the city. But I’m told my city councilor Bryan Principe, State Rep. John J. Lombardi, and Senator Paul V. Jabour are supportive – if they’re really supportive their butts better be there tomorrow morning.

Anyhow there’s a demonstration going on there tomorrow morning at 9AM. I’ve baited all my friend on Facebook to be there. Get your ass there if you’re local. It’s on Broadway in Providence and you can’t miss it. It’s a bright green former gas station. And there will be a whole bunch of people there.


You may have noticed

The frequency of posts has dramatically reduced on this blog.

It’s because I’ve been at a new job doing something I’ve always touched on the fringe but never done full time. Documentation, and QA type stuff using test cases etc. It’s interesting. But I’m a coder at heart so it’s way different.

The commute is sort of ugly. Two trains and a shuttle. First it’s the MBTA Commuter Rail on the Providence to Back Bay circuit, then the Green Line from Copley to Newton Highlands and the the shuttle down to Needham. Total time on transport is an hour and three quarters. Say 2 hours total each way. It’s an hour and ten on the commuter train, then twenty five minutes on the LRV, and ten minutes on the shuttle.

Now I could post from my phone but 4G service is sort of spotty at various points through the route. And I really hate when I’m in the middle of something and the app crashes because net connectivity is down temporarily. It annoys the hell out of me.

But I generally get home by 6:30PM, have some dinner, surf the blogs and then in bed at 9PM!

So that probably explains why there’s been a dearth of posts here lately.

RIPTA could learn a thing or two from MBTA

Ok, so tonight RIPTA once again managed to piss me off. The MBTA train ride home wasn’t bad. But it was cold and rainy. I happened to have one ride left on my 15-ride card.

So I walked down to Kennedy Plaza, checked the RIPTA web site on my phone and found the #28 bus would be there in < 5 minutes. Cool!

And as is wont to happen when RIPTA is involved – the bus NEVER came. It was supposed to be there at 6:26PM. By 6:36 no bus. I decided to walk, and deliberately walked the path the bus runs. No bus.

Now to contrast – I’ve been taking the MBTA Providence Line commuter and then the Green Line for a few weeks now. They’re both ON TIME nearly every single time. Granted, I know this is Apples to Oranges because in both cases the MBTA vehicles travel on dedicated track.

But it’s worse – a private shuttle gets me from the train stop on the Green Line to my office. That shuttle is ALWAYS on time too. And I note you can pretty much set your watch by the MBTA’s #59 bus. Just as I’m coming up the ramp from the station that bus is always just taking off. It’s funny how they know how to keep a schedule yet RIPTA seems incapable of keeping a schedule, unless it’s on their vaunted R-Line (Formerly the #11 and #99 bus).

The other joke – RIPTA did traffic and ridership studies. Turns out I live on the 2nd busiest route of their entire system. Yet they can’t seem to get a bus to keep to a schedule.

I’ve ripped into RIPTA before but now that I’m using MBTA services again I have to say it, RIPTA ain’t shit. They can’t even move to build a streetcar line. The project is completely stalled for over a year now. And of course they dipshitedly decided to plunk the first line between the hospital complex on the south side and Brown University on the east side.

The above despite studies that have said, when you build a line into an economically depressed area it suddenly starts climbing out of the depression. But no, RIPTA and their ‘experts’ chose to link two already well established areas. Fucking nitwits.

I’m thinking maybe we should scrap RIPTA entirely and invite the MBTA to take it over lock, stock and fucking barrel.