Month: April 2017

National Organization for Marriage is begging again

It never stops – I guess old Pumpkin Face Brian Brown doesn’t know what to do if NOM has to close it’s doors. I mean they lost the marriage equality fight. Now they’re going after the transgender community. Enough is enough. Don’t give the bigots at NOM any more money.

I’m sort of surprised that hate still sells. Here’s the letter verbatim:

Anthony: Many people have responded with support for our critically-important Spring Matching Fund Drive, but with just one week to go, we really need your help. Every contribution we receive between now and midnight on May 1st will be matched, dollar for dollar. Unless we hit our goal of raising $100,000 during this time, we’re going to have to make drastic budget cuts. Can you help with an immediate financial contribution?

It’s followed by a bunch of links for donation $15, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000. I wish they still sent out those little self addressed stamped envelopes, it was always fun taping it a load of bricks and sending it back to them.

And the target seems pretty low to me, only $100,000 by May the 1st. I wonder – is that what Pumpkin Face goes through in a month or every two months? Doesn’t he know, bigotry doesn’t fly anymore. And note in this  missive they never say they’re against the LGBT community, but they are.

And it makes me wonder, what ever became of Maggie “The Loathsome” Gallagher?

Track me why don’t you

Because I now have a lifetime VPN subscription. It’s on Digg – little under $40 for a lifetime. And this connection is coming through somewhere in Quebec. Ha ha ha. So track my history mother fuckers.

And if you want your own, you get 5 machines you can put it on. And it’s really easy to setup on Windows 7/10. For $39 for lifetime VPN go here.

Well it proves the point

At work I suspect a number of use are to put it bluntly atheists. I guess it’s because we’re more highly educated. And some of us did either part of all of our education in Catholic schools.

In my case it was the first twelve years. In a co-worker’s case it was the entirety right through college. He says he doesn’t go to church, I say I gave up organized religion for Lent one year and never looked back. It injects a certain humor into it.

Assholish behavior on exiting a parking lot

So today two things that frosted the shit out of me while trying to exit the parking lot a the Market Basket in South Attleboro.

First a guy in a Mercedes Benz (Why is it always Benz people who do bone headed shit) tries to cut me off for the exit lane. Then I get to the top of the exit where you’re about to head onto Route 1A a guy in a fucking Honda comes up on my left and cuts right out in front of me. A Pox upon both drivers. Seriously had I some caltrops I would have thrown them down.

This is why I dread buying a new car, my inner voice says “Buy a beater – hop the engine up. But the more dinged up the better. Because there are far too many assholes on the road.

Got my TYT MD380 all programmed

Found the New England code plug for the radio. A code plug is basically a file with all the zones, repeater, simplex, etc. broken out. Plus I can add zones too.

That makes it really easy to program. Just open the code plug, connect the radio and write the data. Simple. Finding that New England code plug was hard though. Just go to the New England Digital Emergency Communication Network (NEDECN) and once there click on the DMR Downloads link on the left. Then click on DMR Code Plugs, and then Tytera (Which is TYT) and then select your code plug for either VHF or UHF. Then open the MD380-G software and then File/Open the code plug you just downloaded.

Connect your radio to the computer using the USB cable. Then Ctrl-W to write the code plug to the radio. So I now have MA, NH, ME and VT in my radio. And I’ll edit the code plug to hit the two DMR sites here in RI, one in Smithfield which is about 10 miles from me, the other in Bristol which is also about 10 miles from me as the crow flies.

And it works for me as I commute into Boston daily. So I’ll keep the MD380 with me too.


I had to program my call and DMR ID into the radio. It’s in the general settings.

A new DMR radio

DMR is Digital Mobile Radio so that last part is redundant.

Anyhow I’ve been watching with amusement the whole digital sphere coming to amateur radio. First Icom embraced D-Star or Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio. Nope. Yaesu went with C4FM – this is close to the standard used by public safety’s APCO P25. But doesn’t interact with it. It’s essentially in a silo.

And finally there’s DMR. I chose DMR because there are more DMR radio manufacturers than there are C4FM or D-Star.

Now getting my mind wrapped around how DMR works is interesting. It’s got a lot of features in common with APCO P25 for example. There are talk groups, contacts etc. So it’s a blending of amateur radio and elements of the PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network.

Why Oracle DBA’s are fun to poke at

So  where I work we contract out the DBA’s to a company in MA. The stupidity is astounding. A DBA is a Database Administrator.

They’re trying to do a live restore of live data on a test server. Except Avamar is throwing errors and I get an email saying there must be something wrong with the config. Problem is Avamar is running perfectly.

Then I get an email from DBA’s that the load average on the test server is jacking to 50% or more. Now I know from experience if you look at the top processes and you see Oracle has been running for a hundred hours you can pretty much be certain that Oracle. The issue with Oracle is that it’s gotten bloated over time – with all sort of data redundancy, checks, etc. So it can take a server whose normal load average is .2 to 50. Orders of magnitude.

So I captured an image of the top processes, brought it into MS Paint and drew a line around the offenders and sent it back to them saying “I wonder what could be causing the high load.” In essence it’s the I.T. equivalent of Physician heal thyself. You’re smart enough to login to a shell and pull up the top utility, but you cannot see that it’s the product you are responsible for causing said problem? I think a more apt analogy would be they can’t see the forest for the trees.

You see I know when Oracle can’t get what it wants, the whole redundancy and checking panics. It’ll consume near every cpu cycle on multiple cores. This is a common thread with database products. Oracle has this, MySQL can’t handle bad SQL but I’ve never run into a Postgres database that did that.


Yet another new radio

This makes three that I own.

The inventory as follows:

  1. A Yaesu VX-7Rb does 70cm, 1.25m and 2m translation from 400-480MHz, 222-225MHz and finally on the 2m side it’s 144-148MHz.
  2. A Baofeng B580T does 70cm and 2m
  3. And all new a TYT MD-380 70cm DMR radio

I’ll be very honest here I like the MD-380 – it’s a very solid radio. The entirety of it cost me $100 but for an HT that does digital that’s pretty impressive. It comes with battery, metal belt clip, two antennas one stubby the other a whip, and charger stand and plug adapter as well as programming cable and software. It also comes with a fairly comprehensive manual even if it is in Chinglish. As an example of the latter it’s on the very first page where it states:

To Customers

Thank you very much for using TYT our two-way radios. This product has a newly developed function menu and humanism operation design, making it easy to use.

The humanism operation design bit really gives it away. And Chinglish if you’re wondering is original Chinese translates into English where certain things just stick out, like the above.

Once it’s charged up I’ll install their software, see how crappy it is and then go with Chirp instead.


The Latest Souse Vide Adventure

I made Creme Broule this evening using the Joule sous vide stick. One hour at 181F – the texture is a custard and I modified the recipe just slightly by adding a bit of good bourbon vanilla extract.

Pictures of course to follow. Then  I put some turbinado sugar on top and used the torch to turn it to caramel. My mouth still recalls the silkiness of this and I had to try it still warm. It cooked in a 181F bath for a bit over an hour.

I cannot say it any plainer, my culinary life has changed immensely since getting this Joule. For between $150 and $200 it really is a life changer.