April 28, 2017

This Might Shape Up Nicely

While it's only April, and the 2017 Kilted to Kick Cancer fundraiser challenge is several months away yet, I've managed to get a fundraising event in place.

Fort Collins, among other things, is known for craft breweries, and one of those is generously helping me out.

Maxline Brewing, one of my favorites in town, is going to have a Pint Night, where they will donate 20% of the proceeds from that day to KTKC.

In addition, I am in talks with one of the local urology physician groups to see if they can match dollar for dollar any funds raised, as well as have a urologist come to the event with me to answer any questions that might come up.

Finally, I've checked with a few local bike shops (Ft. C is also a huge cycling town), and am hoping that one of them will donate a new bike we can raffle off at $10 a ticket to raise even more money.

This could be a "yuuuge" fundraising event, and I'm pretty stoked about it.

April 25, 2017

Random Musings

I need to quit asking people "How f#%@ing stupid can you be?"
  • Some people are apparently taking it as a challenge. 
Every computer system I design is, by nature, quite nearly perfect.  
  • Until I let other people start touching their computers.  Then it goes to hell in rapid fashion.
No, ma'am, in point of fact, I do not have the ability to change a route in AT&T's routers.  That's something they're going to have to do.  
  • Yes, I already asked.  
  • No, I don't know when it will be done.
  • Well, that's because you're too cheap to purchase your own DNS server.  
Some customers you just have an instant kinship with the first time you meet them.  
  • Or so I've heard.  
Despite all of the above, there are times when your planning, careful attention to detail, and meticulous documentation pays off.  
  • When another sys admin says "This is a thing of beauty... I've never seen anything so perfect before..." is when you know you did the job right.  

April 21, 2017


So I don't know when the official Buy A Gun Day is for 2017, but for me, it was today.

Thanks to a post over at Tam's View From The Porch, I just ordered a Sig P250 from CDNN.  It's chambered in .22LR, but according to Tam (who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the innerdes of guns) the fire control unit is the same as the fire control unit for their centerfire pistols.

Which means at some point I can change out some parts and turn it from .22LR to .45ACP and back.

This is something I've wanted to do for a while with my Glock 19... Get a .22LR conversion kit, so I can send more rounds down range during range sessions -- and really dial in my mechanics of grip and trigger press and such -- at a cheaper price.

At any rate, I've got a new gat on the way!

Thanks for the link, Tam!

April 15, 2017

The Dane Geld Is Paid

Got my tax returns done, and sent off in the mail today.  Yes, technically I have until the 18th, but it has been a JB Tradition to do the returns and mail them off on the 15th for, well, a while now, and who am I to break tradition, right?

At any rate, I had to pay the Dot Fed a bit, and I'm getting a bit of a refund from Indiana and Colorado, so all said and done it doesn't come out terribly bad... I got my withholding just about right, as I came out of it owing $27.

Still and all, it's truly amazing how much of my money I never get to see.  

Having paid the Dane Geld, I opted for a bit of 'Murica Freedom today, and took the dogs for a good walk today, then ducked into one of the local breweries for a couple pints.  I'd finished my weekend chores by noon, so I figured I'd earned a cold beer.  

Tomorrow, I'll take a walk to the home brew store, get ingredients for a cirtrus-y American Pale Ale, and brew that either tomorrow or next weekend.  

Routine daily life at Chateau J Bro.  Hope you and yours are well.

April 11, 2017

This Won't End Well For United

Try as I might, I can find no way this recent kerfluffle works out well for United.

The facts, as I have been able to ascertain, are as follows:

* United had a fully booked flight, but needed 4 passengers to give up their seats so the airline could shuttle a flight crew to Louisville.
* The man purchased a ticket for the flight.
* He cleared the Thousands Standing Around security theater.
* The passenger was allowed to board the airplane and take his seat.
* When nobody volunteered to take a later flight in exchange for airline credits, four people were selected to be removed from the airplane.
*This man refused.
*The cops physically removed him from the airplane.

Now I'll point that the airline has the right to refuse to allow a person to board the airplane.  That's in the contract that comes with the ticket (I've read the contract... I flew weekly for business for some 4 years, so I took the time to read the contract.)  But that's not what happened here... They let the man board.  At that point, the airline is not covered by the "refuse boarding" clause in the contract.

While one can argue that passengers are required to follow the instructions of the flight crew, that only applies once the airplane has left the terminal.  That hadn't happened yet, so that doesn't apply either.

What *SHOULD* have happened is United should have continued to raise the offer for giving up the seat.  If nobody bites at the $400 offer, then raise it to $800.  Then to $1200.  Then higher and higher.  I assure you that sooner or later people will take the offer.  For $2000 and a night at the O'Hare Westin, I'd gladly give up a seat (barring special circumstances like needing to get home to a sick family member.)

But having the man physically assaulted -- and make no mistake, that's what happened -- and removed forcibly from the plane is wrong.  The airline is wrong.  The cops are wrong.  There's no way this works out well for them.

United could have chartered a private jet to fly from O'Hare to Louisville for $15,000 or so.  How much you want to wager that United's CEO and PR staff would pay $15,000 for all of this to go away?

United's CEO should get in front of the cameras, make a profound and sincere apology to this man, admit they screwed up, and give him one free airfare per month for a year in First Class.

The cops need to be fired.  And charged with Assault and Battery.

What's worse is that is this tweet from the Chicago Police Department:

That's a special kind of stupid.  "He fell"?  YHGTBSM.

I hope the passenger sues the daylights out of United and the police department and wins big.

I used to fly United when I was a business traveler.  Fortunately I don't have to fly for work anymore, and despite Denver International being a United hub, I'll do everything in my power to never shade the door of a United aircraft again.

April 7, 2017

Apartment Life and Gardening

One of the challenges to living in an apartment instead of your own house is the limits you have on what you can and cannot do.  For instance, since I don't own the yard around my apartment, digging it up and planting a garden is frowned upon.  

Quelle surprise, right? 

I'd like to can some pasta sauce this coming summer.  For that, I'll need some tomatoes.  Roma tomatoes, preferably, as they have more "meat" and less juice than, say, Beefsteak tomatoes.  A couple pounds of Romas, some onion, green pepper, olives, herbs and spices, simmer it down a bit, fill jars, waterbath to preserve... There's nothing better.* 

At any rate, since I can't plant a garden, I'm contemplating planting in a few buckets.

Get some 5 gallon buckets from your local hardware store.  Paint 'em pretty colors, if you wish.  

Drill some 1/2 inch holes in the sides of the buckets, near the bottom, all the way around the bucket.  Space these holes a couple inches from each other.  You're making a drain, should the plants get too much water from a rain storm. 

Put a layer of fairly large river rocks in the bottom of the bucket.  Make sure the rocks are larger tahn the holes, or the rocks may get wedged in the holes, negating the draining effect.  I use rocks that are about the size of racquetballs.  Next, add a second layer of rocks, these can be smaller, like golf ball size.  The two layers of rocks should be about 1/4th the depth of the bucket.  

Now start adding your soil.  Personally, I like to use a mixture of top soil and compost soil or manure, mixed well.  If you don't have access to compost or manure, mix a good measure of plant food with the plain top soil.  

Plant your tomato seedlings, water, and place in an area that gets lots of sun.  

Couple months later, you've got fresh tomatoes for pasta sauce makin'.  

* If you don't want to fuss with the onions, peppers, olives, etc., I'd recommend Mrs. Wages pasta sauce mix.  You can get it at most stores that sell canning supplies.  It's quite tasty, but has more preservatives and such than just using fresh ingredients.  Still better than anything made by Ragu or Prego or any other commercially made crap.  Mrs. Wages also makes a solid salsa seasoning packet.  

April 6, 2017

As You Reap, So Shall You Sow

In 2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) managed to get Senate Rules modified so that future Senate Rule changes would only require a simple 51-vote majority.

They did this as part of the process to pass the Affordable Care Act.

Back then, I said that this would come back and bite them in the ass, because, like ANY change you enact to get your way, there's always the chance that "some day, people you don't like are going to be in power, and you've just set a precedent they will use against you."

I hate to say "I told you so," but, well....

I told you so.