Published: Five fallacies of cloud computing

Five fallacies of cloud computing.

My article about cloud computing fallacies was recently published over at Tech Target. The cool part for me has been seeing people reference it in Twitter posts. Big thanks to my college buddy Richard Puig for asking me the question that set me off on this rant. 😉

Unlike past articles I’ve had published there this one does not have a comments sections, so I can’t see the feedback. I’ll have to ping my editor and see what sort of cranky emails he’s been receiving .

A Father & Son(s) Road Trip: Seattle to LA, and Back. (Part Two.)

Note: The following is a re-write of my father-son road trip story for the JagMag.

On the southbound leg of the trip I am accompanied by my eldest son, Christopher. He is 19, and had just finished his Freshman year of college a few weeks before our departure. I eagerly anticipated this chance to travel with him as other than a few brief visits, I had not had much of a chance to spend time with Chris since he left for college the previous autumn. Unfortunately after many weeks of brilliant sunshine and mild weather, the weekend chosen for starting our father-son road trip brings thunderstorms to the Pacific Northwest. Rain we’re used to, but lighting and thunder are rare occurrences. We have to wait for the storm to blow over which delays our departure by two and a half frustrating days. Thankfully our plans are very flexible, and the delay doesn’t really upset anything other than my desire to be on the road. When the weatherman says that the skies will clear by the end of the day, we depart our home and head south on Monday, July 13th. Our original route plans would have taken us out to the coast and around the Olympic Peninsula, but now we’re just blasting south on I-5 through scattered showers as we’ve given up on Washington’s sights and want to get to places further afield. At Longview we leave the freeway and cross over into Oregon.

Christopher Goolsbee over the Columbia River.

Our immediate goal is to find Oregon Highway 47, a thin ribbon of asphalt through the Coast Range that winds south from Clatskanie through the Yamhill wine country, to McMinnville, Oregon. The rain has stopped, and this route proves to be a proper antidote to a few hours of freeway monotony; tight turns, no traffic, plenty of elevation gain and loss, hairpins, sweepers, and finally opening up into the rolling Yamhill country bathed in golden twilight. If you’ve never driven this road in your Jaguar add “Drive Oregon Highway 47” to your list of things to do. (Note: A video search on Google turns up many wobbly motocycle videos shot on this road, so perhaps it is best avoided on weekends. We drove it on a Monday and it was completely empty.)

Chris is a real history buff, so our aim is going to McMinnville is to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum, home to the “Spruce Goose” and many other historic aircraft. We arrive too late in the day to get into the museum, but there are many exhibits outside and we park the Jaguar next to Medal of Honor recipient Major Leo ThorsnessF-105g “Wild Weasel” and then spend about two hours walking around the exterior of the museum and soaking in the outdoor exhibits in the long summer twilight.

A Jet and a Jag

That night I posted an update on our trip on my website with a picture of the F105 and received this email from a fellow Jaguar enthusiast:

“I probably wrenched on that bird at one time or another. They were very limited modified 105s that flew out in front of B66 chafe slingers and B52s in Southeast Asia. The ECM emulated the B52s and the SAMS would lock on and shoot at the 105s. In return, the 105s would lock on the SAM pads and fire back with AGM 78s(air to ground missiles). They had about three seconds to dodge the telephone pole sized SAM or they didn’t come back. I lost two planes and crews during my service there.
We were called ”Wild Weasels”. The pilots were the bravest people I have ever met.”
–Jeff Cecil, 69 E-type FHC, North Carolina

Small world.

Chris & I return to the museum the following morning, and spend almost all day touring the exhibits inside. The highlight of the day is a tour of a B-17 by a former pilot. His name is Barney, and our tour is only supposed to be about 8 minutes long. He begins by showing us the outside of the plane, and describes both the design goals and the realistic limitations of the aircraft.

Barney gives us the walk-around of the B-17, starting with the tail gun. The massive tail of the Spruce Goose looms in the background.

When we approach the waist hatchway of the B-17 something happens that will always be one of my fondest memories of this trip. Barney tells us that the B-17 now has a set of steps installed so that visitors can easily climb in, including him as he’s now in his eighties, but when he was flying they had to vault themselves into the plane. Christopher immediately vaults himself into the plane without touching the steps, bringing a huge smile to Barney’s face and changing his demeanor noticeably. Our eight minute tour stretches well beyond thirty minutes as Barney provides detailed background, stories, and observations concerning every bit of this remarkable aircraft’s interior and his experiences in WW2. Christopher’s simple youthful act obviously connects with Barney at a very emotional level, as he was Chris’ age when he served our country. Chris being a history buff is soaking it all up. It is a wonderful moment to observe, as a parent, as an American, and as a human being.

The moment captured: Chris properly vaulting into the B-17.

From McMinnville we drive south to Eugene and enjoy a late lunch with a friend, followed by a drive to, and then down the coast. Along US 101 we see an Alfa Romeo Montreal driving north. I point it out to Chris and say “You don’t see those every day!” Then I followed up by saying, “I bet the guys in the Alfa just said ‘Wow, an E-type Jaguar! You don’t see those every day!'” As the sun goes down we arrive in Bandon, where we camp for the night in one of Oregon’s state parks. The E-type gets all sorts of double-takes from the other campers!

The world's smallest RV on the Oregon Coast

Our next day sees us driving into California. The morning is very cold and foggy, and we are dressed for the arctic as we cruise top-down through the chill. We stop for an early lunch with friends in Eureka, then drive the Avenue of the Giants through the amazing Redwoods. It is blazing hot once away from the coast so Chris and I opt for Highway 1. The coast however, is completely shrouded in fog. Caught between the frying pan and the fog, we head down California Highway 128 towards Booneville in the late afternoon, as it cools off, enjoying dinner in Santa Rosa. We spend the night with a friend in the Bay Area, after a long day on the road. As we ticked off those miles Chris and I spent a lot of time talking, which is always good.

Day four turns out to be action-packed, with visits to three E-type owning friends south of San Francisco, and driving in a pack to a lunch in Carmel. Along the way our caravan of three E-types happened upon another E-type going the opposite direction, not something you expect on a Thursday afternoon! After lunch we part ways with our Jaguar friends and head south along Big Sur with instructions from them about an amazing, little-known road to take halfway down the coast. Along the way we stop for a break and to admire the view when by complete chance we meet another Jaguar friend (though he’s driving a Lotus at that moment) who is driving the other direction. He stops when he sees us and tells us about Elephant Seals hauled up on a beach further south. I let Chris decide which way to go and he picks the seals.

Chris & the 65E in Big Sur

A chance meeting of a friend on the coast

Elephant Seals bicker over sleeping spots on the beach.

It is important to let Chris the pace and course of the trip. I’m happy to drive anywhere, so when he decides to see the seals it is OK with me. Neither of us have ever seen them before, and it is a shock to see how big they are. Unlike the Harbor Seals and Sea Lions we’ve seen around Seattle, the Elephant Seals are simply enormous. Though most are just sleeping on the beach, there is always some bellowing and minor confrontations going on. It is fascinating to observe. Chris oddly declines a visit to San Simeon, and I pilot the Jaguar inland as more fog rolls into the coast. We climb the coastal hills and are treated to a a spectacular view.

Looking south along the central California coastal hills at sunset.

We head over to Paso Robles for the night, with a great pizza dinner enjoyed with a fine local Petite Syrah – tomorrow we’ll arrive in LA!

I have some parts waiting for me at the will call window at XK’s Unlimited in San Luis Obispo; some clips to secure a loose chrome trim strip on the passenger side door sill. I bet the cashier has no idea that I’ve driven four days to pick this three dollars worth of parts… in the very E-type they’ll fix! Parts secured, we venture onwards through Ventura and towards Malibu. A familiar name catches my eye as we’re cruising along the coast highway and I hang a u-turn. I’ve always wanted to travel the length of Mulholland Drive in a cool car, and here’s my chance! The famed road follows the crest of the Santa Monica mountains and according to my map, will take us all the way through the Hollywood Hills. What a cool way to enter Los Angeles and end our journey! While it is better than following the main highways, it turns out my map is wrong, and Mulholland Drive is broken by an unpaved, closed to motor vehicles section in the middle. Oh well.

Chris and I wait for a light on Mulholland Drive as we enter LA.

We meet up with a friend of mine who works for RAND for dinner in Santa Monica, then complete the rest of Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills after dark. Our final destination is the house of a friend and fellow E-type owner in La Canada, Larry Wade. Larry is the person who originally inspired this trip, taking a similar one in 2006 with his two kids (same ages as mine), using my home as the apogee of his journey. He was now returning the favor, allowing us to use his home as our turn-around spot. We have a rest day in LA, which involves going to a local car show with Larry, then a spirited drive in our two E-types up the Angeles Crest Highway followed by a night time visit to the Mt. Wilson Observatory with a spectacular view of the entire Los Angeles basin. The next day Christopher flies home to Seattle while his brother wings his way south. I pass the time awaiting my youngest son Nicholas’ arrival attending the Art Center School of Design’s annual car show.

Next month I’ll share the return trip with my fifteen year old, through the Sierras, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and the northern coast bathed in sunshine.

Another classic car review in-process…

Chuck throws the Panzerwagen around a track.

I’m writing another one of my reviews of a vintage car for TTAC. This time the 450sl. It’s been cooking for the past couple of weeks, with lots and lots of edits and do-overs. I usually write pretty effortlessly, but this one has been frustrating for some odd unknown reason.

I’d love some feedback, if you have any… so go have a read here and add your comments.

Cringe worthy word abuse

I’m not a grammar nazi. I don’t correct people in mid-sentence. I don’t flame people online who make language missteps. I can’t even profess to being mostly correct in my writing as lord knows I abuse it constantly with ellipses and parenthetical statements (as I’ll soon demonstrate … d’oh!) I’m sure all my English teachers would tell you I was nowhere near the top of their class when it came to grammar. Sometimes though I see things that make me cringe.

I have pre-built RSS searches that scour Craigslist’s “Free Stuff” section for things I use to make BioDiesel. One of those searches is the word “barrel”. When I was setting up my system I needed barrels and why pay for one when somebody is always giving it away somewhere? I no longer need barrels (in fact I should give a few away!) but occasionally people give away a barrel full of stuff (waste oil, veggie oil, methanol, Diesel, etc) that I can use, so I leave the search there in my preferred RSS reader, Safari.

I swear, at least once or twice a month, this one comes up…

It is not always this person Samantha giving it away. I’m sure she is not an idiot, and in fact could very well be a very nice person. Most people I’ve met named Samantha have been nice. I even dated a wonderful woman named Samantha when I was in college. But … THE WORD IS WHEELBARROW DAMMIT! Wheelbarrow. Look it up!

ah… there … I feel so much better now.

A Father & Son(s) Road Trip: Seattle to LA, and Back. (Part One.)

Note: The following is a re-write of my father-son road trip story for the JagMag.

How to carry the ideals and concepts into the future? This is the question heard often within the old car community, frequently in the guise of a pressing problem: declining club membership. “How do we get young people interested in old cars?” I wish I had a few bucks for every time I heard that question, as I’d be comfortably retired now with the full set of dream cars in my Garage Mahal.

The answer is simple: Engage the young directly.

Introduce them to cars the same way you were introduced to cars. Have them help you work on your car. Show them how things work. Make them a partner to your passion. Take them for a ride, or better yet… Let them drive! Lose the idea that the car is a precious and fragile object, and remember that it is really your passion for cars which is precious and fragile. The passion is what needs preservation and care far more than the car itself. Throw away the “Do not touch this car” sign. A car is a multi-thousand pound industrial object made of steel, glass, and rubber, and it can not be hurt by being lovingly touched, or fervently used as its designers intended. However, without someone to carry on the passion the car (and the club) will inevitably vanish. The car will follow the passion as it is ignited in the next generation(s). So stop treating your old car like it is made of dragonfly wings, and start sharing your passion for cars with somebody young.

Like many, I came by my love of all things automotive from my father, a dyed-in-the-wool sports car nut. My childhood was filled with Mustangs, MGs, car shows, and trips to Can-Am races. This didn’t instantly turn me into a car nut, but it planted a seed. Like all seeds the “car guy” bent lies dormant while more pressing items of life are attended to. Cars become a secondary concern in young adulthood as education courtship, family, and career come along. Automotive desires are restrained, but always remain just under the surface. Now in middle age, resources are available to explore this passion personally, and like my father did with me, share it with my two sons. They attend club functions with me, Sunday drives, wrenching in the barn, rallies and road trips.

Road trips are quintessential journeys of discovery and there is no better way to take a road trip than in an old car. Old cars break down social barriers and invite everyone to be your friend. Stop for gas and people naturally come talk to you. They ask about the car, tell you stories of the one they, or somebody they know owned and wish they’d never sold. Sometimes old cars just break down, but even then I’ve always found that help is closer at hand than you would imagine – other hobbyists will often come to your rescue or assistance. The road is a car’s natural habitat, not the concours field, and seeing an old car traveling the back roads of America is an inspiration to everyone that captures a glimpse of it going by. How best to discover and nurture the seed of passion for cars than taking my kids on a road trip in their grandfathers old E-type?

A road trip we’ve always wanted to take is a tour of the West Coast, and we chose this summer as the time for this trip. My oldest son is nineteen years old, and my youngest is fifteen. In a few years they’ll be gone so, for events like this the time is now. But how to deal with the mathematical reality of a two-seater and me, plus two kids? Division of course! Can’t make one kid from two. Can’t add another seat to the E-type. But the trip can be divided into two parts. We’d acquire a pair of one-way tickets between Seattle and LA, one kid would go southbound, the other return on the northbound route. Our plan begins to formulate, with specific things to see and do along the way, people we’d like to visit, and our very own Rules of the Road (Trip):
Road Trip Rule #1: No Interstates, unless unavoidable.
Road Trip Rule #2: No fast food.
Road Trip Rule #3: Route follows whims, weather, and no fixed schedule (except the flights!)
Road Trip Rule #4: Travel light, travel cheap.

Interstates are great for getting somewhere in a hurry, but they are dull ways to explore as you are insulated from the environment. While traveling the superslab you are surrounded b noisy trucks, fast food places clustered around every off-ramp, acres of concrete and asphalt. No thanks. We’ll find back roads and twisty highways. We’ll read historical markers and take meals at “mom & pop” places. If the view is nice, we’ll stop and soak it in. If we’re tired, we’ll stop for the night. Our days will not be dictated by a timetable, except for the flights that trade the boys’ places in Los Angeles. We’ll pack a tent and camp out if it suits us. We’ll visit friends along the way. We’ll carry tools and spares and be as self-sufficient and self-determined as possible.

All the while we’ll savor the experience of being together, with this amazing machine. Sir William’s Sixth Symphony serenading our ears. The wind in our faces. The whole west coast to see in an old Jaguar! Stay tuned for next month where you’ll read about the southbound journey in Part Two.

All of our stuff, plus spares, in the E-Type boot,

Toolbox and tent on the luggage rack. Ready for takeoff!

Monte Shelton Rally Magazine Article

The following is a “publication-friendly” edit of my Monte Shelton write-up for the “Jag Mag” a monthly put out by the Seattle Jaguar Club. It is still in progress as I whittle it down from my usual verbose report. I started off with ~5000 words and hope to get it down to close to 1000. I’ll pick a few good photos to accompany it as well. Check back often.

My father and I have been TSD (Time, Speed, Distance) rallying now for over eleven years and you would think by now that we’d figure out how. The one thing we have learned is that when we’re on, we’re on. But… when we’re off, we’re REALLY off. For the past three summers we’ve attended two, highly competitive vintage TSD rallies together in the Pacific Northwest. Every June we join the Classic Motorcar Rally, and every August we’ve run down to Oregon to participate in the Monte Shelton Northwest Classic. Both events provide formidable challenges for the vintage rallyist, while being great fun for all.

We’ve settled into the roles of myself at the wheel as Driver (and under the bonnet as Mechanic); and my father, Charlie Goolsbee doing all the really hard work in the Navigator’s seat. We’ve done well, with constant improvement in our finish positions each year. Our best run at the Monte Shelton was last year; we finished 9th out of 80 cars. In our June effort at the Classic Motorcar Rally we blew the first morning, becoming lost on the second segment and spending the rest of the rally recovering. We feel very confident about the 2009 Monte Shelton. They’ve altered the format a bit, making it easier: there will only be ONE, non-hidden checkpoint per TSD segment.

The key to our success will be to STAY ON COURSE.

At the start in Portland. John & Olivia Morrow in their 1966 E-type FHC.

The 2009 Rally begins in at Monte Shelton Jaguar in downtown Portland with much fanfare, flag waving, pomp, and circumstance… but due to our low number (#13 of 50 cars) we miss most of it. Instead we’re following the course’s first transit segment out of Portland south towards Lake Oswego where we’ll be given TSD route instructions. Once armed with the route instructions Dad starts building our pace notes and I do what drivers do when waiting for a start… wander around, chat with other drivers, and try to relax until our start time.

The Navigator does all the hard work.

Time arrives for our first TSD segment. After a bit of tricky navigation we settle onto a large 4-lane road going southbound and I ask my navigator how long we’ll be on it. He replies “It looks like we stay on it until the end of this segment.” Then we see rally cars with confused occupants going the other way – never a good sign. Soon after we realize why. Things we should have seen remain unseen and we start trying to figure out where we’ve gone wrong. Dad finds it: we missed a left turn, labeled as “straight as possible” in the route instructions, but we missed it as the main road was in a curve. I drive fast to make up time and near the end of the segment we pass the checkpoint, two minutes and four seconds late. We’ve already missed our start time for the next segment and Dad is giving me instructions rapid-fire as I drive at a hurried pace. About four miles into the second TSD we realize we’re lost… again! We backtrack to the very beginning of the segment and recognize that we went straight at the start rather than right. I drive right at, but not beyond what can be described as “reasonable and prudent” for three short TSD segments. Passing Rally Cars with numbers in the mid-20s at first, and eventually those closer to our own #13. Dad is beside himself and I’m just single-minded on getting us back to our proper position. We know we’re very far behind our time and I keep pushing ahead when I can. We pass a checkpoint, whose course workers are getting a good laugh at our pace, and manage to arrive at a rest stop between segments with a few minutes to spare before our scheduled departure. From here to lunch we stay on-course and on-time on one TSD and a long transit stage.

Sigh. When we’re off, we’re REALLY off.

Sealed with aftermarket weatherstripping.

The weather turns all Northwest on us as we ascend Santiam Pass after lunch. The top goes up and I seal it with my usual bright yellow tape. Without this “aftermarket weatherstripping” the top of the windscreen becomes the lip of a waterfall, which pours down upon the driver’s hands and the navigator’s calculations. We’d prefer this trip over the Cascades to be less eponymous of the range, keeping ourselves and our workspaces dry. We arrive in Sisters, Oregon bathed in sunshine and jammed with vintage sports cars drinking gasoline. While waiting in the queue I drop the top, and recalling the rainy weather forecast I retain the yellow tape by applying it to the nose of the car. If it rains I have a pre-sized weather-strip handy.

From Sisters we rally northward on back roads in the area between US 97 and the Cascades through ranches and farms. Two TSD segments bring us to Madras, and finally to our base of operations for the Rally, the Kah-Nee-Tah Resort. We feel pretty good about our performance as it seems Dad & I have gotten back on our game.

Remember the yellow tape from the Jaguar’s top stuck to the nose of the car? All night at dinner I had people asking me “What’s that yellow tape on your car for?” At first I answered truthfully, but as it involves a long explanation after the third time I just started making things up:
“It is holding the headlights on.”
“Oh, that is to increase visibility.”
“Without it the engine falls out.”
“I put it on to confuse people. It is Confusion Tape. It is working!”
I have to admit, this was enjoyable. It became something of a mental exercise to come up with good ones.

Hey what's that yellow tape on your car for? ... Why, CONFUSION of course! And it appears to be working.

At dinner the day’s results are passed out and we’re in twenty-ninth place out of forty-five cars. We promise ourselves that we’ll do better tomorrow and wander off to bed.

When we’re off, we’re really off.

The next morning we take off for the first segment and about a mile down the highway perform a four-wheel drifting panic-stop and a hard reverse maneuver as we ALMOST miss a turn. Not a great start of Day Two, but we recover in time, and in fact finally fall into our groove. Other than a bit of confusion in the town of Culver, where I’m certain we missed a turn but somehow managed to recover nonetheless, our entire morning seems to go by very well. The afternoon consists of progressively more difficult TSD segments, twisting and turning all over the rolling hills and canyons of north-central Oregon. We stay in our Zen-like Rallying Groove with only a couple of minor errors. At the finish the Jaguar gets the traditional end-of-rally collective car wash, in a party atmosphere complete with a keg of local microbrew.

Charlie Goolsbee, serious Navigator.

At dinner we hear a talk by racing legend Janet Guthrie, and afterwards hear the Rally results. We have moved up to 19th place (from 29th), collecting a “silver” medal for the effort. Not bad considering! The scoresheets are handed out and they tell a far more intriguing tale. On the 10 TSD’s today we collected the following penalty times: 0:01, 0:00, 0:11, 0:02, 0:02, 0:04, 0:02, 0:02, 0:19, 0:10. That comes to a grand total of 0:53 seconds off the entire day. Only one team did better than us, with 0:27, and they won the whole rally. Only three teams collected less than two minutes of time, and most accrued four minutes or more. If only we could have done as well yesterday! We’d be right in top tier.

Like I said, when we’re off we’re off, but when we’re on, we are really ON!

The Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally is a charity event hosted by the Alfa Romeo Club of Oregon. It generally takes place in early August and is open to any 1981 or older collector car. The rally starts in Portland and travels scenic back roads of the Pacific Northwest. This years’ event had seven Jaguars in attendance. The rally offers a “touring” class for those who wish to participate but not compete. For information and registration visit the Alfa Club’s website at