Saturday, July 24, 2010

Context is Everything

If there's one thing you don't want thinking "outside the box", it's a cat come bathroom time.

A Root and a Complete Thought

The value of multi-posting. While one copy goes to twitter, the copy sent to a blogging site can act as the root of a more complete posting.

Inane Decisions

Do I raid the freshly backed brownies or do I lobby for it being declared dinnertime?

Euthanasia and Insurance

I know it probably wasn't long enough ago to say, "I still remember," but... I still remember when the scare-mongers were trying to argue that Obama-care would result in death panels and euthanasia. Whatever. Made good headlines, I suppose.

Me? I'm more worried that, when the time comes that I won't be able to see to my own disposition; that I won't be able to choose the time and manner of my own ending. One hopes that by the time I'm ready, we'll have progressed enough as a society to make allowances for dignified deaths. Hell, given what keeping codgers warehoused while they wait to die costs, one would almost hope that one could get insurance to assist you in setting up a proper exit. I mean, no matter how elaborate, I gotta think that a clean exit would be cheaper to finance than years of care in a nursing home.

Transition Time?

Ok. So, I may end up doing my big posts at Blogger more than Tumblr. Tumblr seems to have frequent "ISP problems".

Then again, most of what's been showing up here has been by way of my activities, any way. :p

Preparation for Tastiness

Had to pre-cool the house down to 74° so Donna could bake. New loaf of sammich bread and some chocolate brownies w/ dried cranberries!

Oh well, the things you gotta do on a hot, DC-area summer day.

My Neverending Cheapness

Anyone know of any VOIP plans that offer unlimited incoming minutes? I don't care about outbound as I can GV to proxy the outbounds.

A couple years ago, I was paying around $50 a month for a landline I was never using. I was never home (travel-based jobs do that). I was just gonna straight-up ditch the line, but Donna didn't feel comfortable relying just on our cell phones. So, I went the next-best route to ditching: I changed to VOIP.

At the time (mid 2008), I opted to go for Vonage. They were giving away a free VOIP router and a set of wireless phones. I could get unlimited calling - including international calls - and a bunch of pointless bells and whistles that VZ was charging $6/feature for. Mostly, it was the international calling that was of interest, as I was starting to travel overseas for work and Donna would need a way to get ahold of me without bankrupting me.

At any rate, I got the Vonage unlimited plan. It was like $25/mo. plus fees. Those Fees brought it to just under $40/mo. While not quite the savings I was hoping for, that was still better than $100/yr I wasn't paying on a phone line I wasn't using (plus, if I wanted them, I could use the extras).

I've been looking over my calling patterns, since then, and even the Vonage plan I had didn't make sense. I've been averaging well less than 50 minutes of outbound calling a month. The work overseas never fully panned out, and, even when I was working over there, we ended up using Skype because of its video features. So, it was time to re-evaluate things.

Today, I submitted a ticket asking if there were any other options. Now, I'd read around, and seen that Vonage (at least at one time) offered a number maintenance plan. It would have cut my $25/mo. (plus fees) to like $5/mo (plus fees). When the CSR called me, she offered a $10/mo. (plus fees) plan. When I asked about the number maintenance plan, it was indicated that said plan had been discontinued. I'm guessing they were getting soaked on the GV-proxy gambit (I'll describe in a bit more detail, below), and decided it was no longer worth having in their catalog.

So, while I'm not saving $20/mo versus my prior plan, I am saving at least $15/mo. Yeah, not much in the monthly scheme of things, but that's still, like, $180/yr.

Oh... the GV-proxy gambit: it's kind of nice. Many calling plans are based on outbound minutes. A call-redirection service, like Google Voice, allows all of  your calls to be processed by your voice carrier as inbound calls. You just go to your Google voice page, punch in the number you want to call, select which of your "real" voice lines you want to talk on, and then Google calls your line, first, and then the number of the person you want to call. If you're on a outbound-only billed voice plan, all of your calls become free, since using the GV-initiation method gets handled as an inound call. So, you can initiate thousands of minutes a month worth of calls but have them all processed under your inbound billing rates.

If you're on a "friends and family" or other kind of "calling circle" plan, leveraging GV becomes even sweeter. Since such plans typically makes all such calls free (not billed against your monthly minutes), you can just include the GV proxy phone number in your calling circle. Then all calls funneled through the GV proxy are processed as part of that free network. So, you eliminate using plan minutes.

Feel Like Buttah...

...I'm melting in the goddamned heat.

The Stankness

So, got up today, and took a shower. Had to run some errands, outside, and am now offending myself from the sweat-stink the errands created.

No One Banks On Saturdays??

Today is, apparently, the day that all my financial institutions are doing their maintenance (during daytime hours???). Grr...

I mean, I understand bankers hours. But, generally, my online transactions don't involve any bankers, CSRs, etc. So, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that I should be able to do all my online stuff, per normal, no matter what day of the week it is. If you're gonna do maintenance, do it during the middle of the damned night!

Where's My "Volatile" Warning Placard

I love free-floating rage days.

Waking Uh-ohs.

There are days where you wake up and all you can think is, "I gotta get the hell outta here".

Friday, July 23, 2010


I gotta think that being a participant in a German spelling-bee would gotta suck.

Better Than To Fade Away

Given the latitude and capacity to do so, I am *not* going out slow.

Pokey Pennsyltucky

Either tonight was "speed limit -4" night in south-central PA, or the speed calibration of my GPS and my speedometer were *both* wrong.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rectal Bleeding (a.k.a, "Banks are Evil")

So, in 2009 the average household paid 13 overdraft fees in the year. The last time I paid any kind of overdraft fee was shortly before I jettisoned BB&T Bank (I would not shed a tear to hear that their corporate HQ had burned to the ground and wiped out every last one of the bastards responsible for their fee structures). This was at least four years ago. Back then, they were charging $35/overdraft (and were pretty shady in how they piled them on). Thirteen charges at $35 per charge: that's a  whole lotta cheddar. I mean, that's over $400/year that just goes "*POOF!*" I gotta think that the fees haven't gotten any lower since my days with BB&T.


Eef: I ain't gonna be able to keep up if the garden keeps producing multiple lbs. of tomatoes per day. Neighbors and co-workers are starting to benefit from it, though.

I'm Likely Making Too Much of It

I've kind of an ethical dilemma: I've been asked for a reference, but can't really provide a glowing one without being liberal with facts. I don't want to write lies, but, I also don't want to write something that's too obviously insincere.


Dear RedHat:

Why is it that, even though most real UNIX operating systems allow me to easily find new disks/LUNs with an easy to remember command (if they don't just find them on their own, automagically),  I need to remember "echo `- - -` > /sys/class/scsi_host/host#/scan". I mean, I can buy that "devfsadm", "cfgmgr", etc. might be, somehow, trademark-able command names. I can even buy that, if such names are already owned, there might not be a mnemonically-nifty command name out there. But still... Having to remember your gobbledygook just sucks.

And, if it's too much to ask for a simpler, easier to remember command, at least be sorta consistent with things. Other operations-that-oughtta-be-commands tend to happen against locations in /proc. Inconsistency just makes this shit pointlessly difficult. Oh well, I guess it gives you a reason to justify the prices for your RHCT/RHCE classes and exams.

PIE! (Not the Geek Kind)

For breakfast, today: homemade black and blueberry pie. Going to miss when berry season ends.

"Sit" Is Not Just a Request

Sometimes, Puckett has to be reminded that "sit" is short for "sit down, right-the-fuck now" (not "eventually")

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Always (P)Review Before Hitting Post/Publish/Etc.

While amusing, "fisting expedition" is not the euphemism I was looking for. Thank god for noticing *before* hitting the comment button.

I Wanna Be Like Kryten

Since his surgery, Burt Reynolds reminds me of Red Dwarf's Kryten:

I mean, he's not the only one. It seems like a LOT of bad plastic surgery has afflicted the various Hollywood "veterans" - even some of the less seasoned ones. Is it that these people wait till they've pissed through all of their money to find a surgeon and end up with bargain-basement (didn't want to say "cut-rate") facial-rehab? Or, is it that everyone wants to look like bad sci-fi makeup or even drag queens?

When a Face Just Screams "POINK!"

It's hard to trust or respect people that look perpetually surprised. Sometimes, you just gotta say no to the extra botox or facelifts.

Just Top the Damned Thing Off

Can always tell when Donna has filled the tank: the mileage is weird-high on the just-emptied tank and weird-low on the one she filled.

I Shrug In Your General Direction

I see that Caprica's returning to "SyFY" (could they have picked a more ghey name?) in January. All I can think is "meh" and shrug.

Giving the Smackdown

Sometimes, even the NHL will say "no" to cap provision circumvention. Gotta think that, had it been Pens/Sindey, they'd have approved.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm De-Oxidized

If tomatoes truly contain anti-oxidants, I'm going to be rather short on oxidants, soon.

Paperless Tickets (*shudder*)

Dear Rock Gods:

Please make this "paperless ticket" thing not a nightmare. And, if you could, a little less heat/humidity?

Bumps In The (Surgical) Road

Apparently, discovery of atrial valve flutter trumps the need for surgery to find/correct a bleeding gastric ulcer.


I's going to spend part of another day in a basement data center, today. Iron Maiden, tonight, though.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Garden Deluge

The tomato flood is in full swing. We've had to start sharing things out. It's also gotten so we can let the imperfect ones drop to reseed.

I Am the Harbinger of Bad Tidings

Why do I always gotta find the breakage? Worse, why is it that, when I do find these problems, people typically don't see what I'm seeing ...until the horror I've predicted actually comes to pass?

More Than A Mouthful

4.1 pts seems to be a lot of blood to lose to a bleeding ulcer.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

TV Oddities

So, I'm watching an long-form Futurama episode on NetFlix. There was a scene that made me think, "is there anything worse than an owl infestation?" Well, actually, the whole scene was pretty ridiculous, and that was really just a peripheral thought (right after "who the hell would think of 'owl infestation' as a diversionary tactic").
Been feeling sleepish all day.

Sucktabulous Realizations

Crap. Just realized today isn't actually Saturday.

In Case You Were Curious

For the record: gooey cherry-chocolate brownies fucking rock. Sucks to be anyone who doesn't get any. =)

Best. Page. Evar.

Tired of Cats

The bulimia is something I definitely will not miss when Bella is gone.

Perspectives on Cruelty

How to get all the whackos to come out of the woodworks: make any mention of doing something that might be interpreted as "cruel to animals". Frequently, they really aren't actually cruel. But, there's any number of dim-bulbs out there that will get their panties in a bunch. Whatevs.

Truth in Advertising

I really think C|Net should just rename this page "skynet":

Viral Clarity

Nifty: colorblindness might be curable by way of virus that introduces additional ocular pigmentation (tetrachromacy might also be possible)

Why Bother with External Authentication Mechanisms

I really don't understand sites that say "or, log in with OpenID" then want you to fill out all sorts of account creation data, any way?

WTF: Twitter "Echo Service"

I always wonder what value sites think having a half-page display of "no added-value" re-tweets is.

Sometimes, I Hate the Written Word

I think, for the most part, I've gotten over things like they're/their/there, your/you're, accept/except, lose/loose, whether/weather ...etc. Hell, even I frequently find myself asking, "wait: is it effect or affect" or "is it principal or principle" or "capitol or capital". I think why I find those all a bit more acceptable is that, "at least they sound the same".

However, I still find that there are some errors send a shiver down my spine. I'd say that they were like Freddy Krueger dragging his hand across a chalk board, but, in general that doesn't bother me the way it does most others (hell, many people just shudder at the recollection that reading about nails on a chalk board causes - cheers to you). For instance, I always die a little, inside, when I see someone write "etc." as "ect". You just know that they're the same kind of person that needs to "axe" you a question. You know that when they need to wait to get into a venue, get service at the DMV, or other similar situations, they get in a "que" (though, more likely that's how they'll write if if they're even aware that the word "queue" exists and want to be "fancy").

I really need to stop reading message boards and comments sections on news sites.

That's about right...

Inception: Not a RipOff

Inception fucking rocks. Though, I'd likely have changed the end to use a touch less sledgehammer.