Crappy Morning…

As I drifted off to sleep last night, I heard the hum of the well pump in the basement of our house. It usually runs when anyone uses water… the diswasher, a shower, toilet, etc. I didn’t think much of it as we had a full house – Christopher came home from college last night. Around 5:00 am I sort of half-awoke, and the pump sound was still there. My brain sort of skipped a beat and then I jolted fully awake. I knew that a pipe somewhere was broken. Things had just thawed completely from the recent big freeze. We’d had snow all Saturday night, into and through Sunday. This after two+ weeks of sub-freezing weather. So I throw some clothes on and grab a flashlight to go check that indeed the pump is running (it is) and then start searching for the break.

I really love this house, but it is obvious that it has an Achilles Heel in the form of its water system and plumbing. I actually PREPARED for this freeze. I shut off the water to the barn, and drained its pipes. I even shut off the valve I installed to protect the last pipe that burst in a big freeze. I found the leak, and thankfully was able to fix it easily.

Since Chris is home, and would like to have a car to drive, and I have some bulky items in my office to bring home, along with a waste-oil run to Snohomish, I left the Jetta for Chris and drove the truck. We rarely drive this truck. Sue bought it a decade ago to haul horses, but now the horse trailer is gone, and most of the horses are gone, and the sole remaining one lives elsewhere. The truck has been kept for runs to the dump, the hardware store, etc. and of course situations like today. So I’m driving down I-5 to work and I note an (obvious) unmarked police car following me for a long ways. I’m in the right lane, and have the cruise set at 55, even though the limit is 60. I don’t like to drive this truck, and never feel safe going fast in it as it always feels top-heavy and dangerous. After several miles the cop flips on his lights and I pull over onto the shoulder. He tells me my tabs have expired… in March(!)
How did I let THAT happen? Usually the DOL sends out renewal notices and I renew them online within days. I never forget to do this… how did I not notice? The truck gets driven maybe 10 times a year, and usually only a few miles. But still… I’m usually not that unaware of things.

The cop takes my lic, reg, insurance, etc and goes back to his car. When he comes back he says “I’m not trying to be a jerk but… ” Sure enough he hands me a citation. Grrr. He explains how I can deal with it in court, but all I’m thinking is “What a jerk.” Now I know I can have Sue take care of all this, as she is an “officer of the court”… but I also know she’s going to be all ticked off at me for:
1. Forgetting to renew the tabs.
2. Getting a ticket.

Revenue collection device.

I take the citation from the Sheriff, and drive off to work in a bad mood. I renewed my tabs online as soon as I arrived at the office, but my mood hasn’t improved any.

TSA = (*Theatre) Security (*) Administration.

If there was any doubt that TSA is nothing more than security theatre, I present to these two links:

“Do I have the right to refuse this search?” – Interesting reading from somebody who is a trained law enforcement professional.


Redacted.” – A post by c.g.o reader David Traver Adolphus, where he links to a file that the TSA posted for the public, with black boxes covering the redacted text. However by selecting the text and capy/pasting it elsewhere it becomes readable!

These are the people who are supposed to protect us from terrorists? George Carlin was right.

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 .

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.

126 MPG, and no, we can’t buy or drive it in the USA. WTF?

308 HDi

I’m talking about the Peugeot 308 HDi.

Yes, I know that Peugeot has not been available for decades here in the USA, but my point is the self-defeating regulations that have been put in place that limit the American car buying market. We’ve erected trade barriers in the guise of safety and emissions that have excluded the very technologies we need the most. The EURO/NCAP safety regs are adequate for our roads as much as theirs. California’s emissions laws are the tail that wags the dog here in the USA. The result? we get Smart cars that average 37 MPG instead of the 70 MPG they enjoy in Europe. We get mid-sized sedans that strain to reach 20 MPG, whereas they have ones that enjoy 35 to 40 MPG.

Why not just scrap all these regs, adopt the European standards and open our market to these imports? Do we really think we’re protecting a domestic industry anymore?


I’ve had a series of thoughts rolling around in my brain for a while, and a comment made by Robert Farago made them all gell and roll out all at once. I offered it to him as a sort of “rebuttal” to his statement and he published it today. You can read it here:

I normally “preview” things I write here on my blog, but this one came out so fast it never had a chance to show up here first, sorry.

Defending The Data Center… from WHAT exactly?

absurd or plausible? I think the former.

Defending The Data Center –

This “datacenter as terrorism target” meme has to die. Seriously. It clouds (pardon the pun) the real issues of physical and network security in our industry. If you have to seize a hot button topic like “terrorism” to communicate something important (yet completely unrelated) then you are not communicating properly.

I’ve written about this previously but it bears repeating: Datacenters are genuine parts of the first world’s infrastructure, but infrastructure is never the target of terrorism. The minds of people are the target, and in the case of 9/11 infrastructure was the weapon and symbols of capitalism and government were the targets.

It is far too expensive and time-consuming to attack infrastructure. Infrastructure only becomes a target in times of war between nations. If we’ve reached that point, then we have much larger worries. Meanwhile the realistic focus should be on criminals, infiltrations & DoS attacks (which the recent attacks on Twitter & facebook mentioned in the article actually were!) and perhaps competitors (aka industrial espionage) long before we start throwing terrorists into the mix of threats to datacenters and their contents.