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8/15/10 09:47 pm - I hate


Apparently has been hacked and had malware loaded.

I am working with the site tech support to have the site cleaned, in the mean time this may cause issues viewing the PotW.

If you do have issues, it can be viewed at
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7/16/10 08:03 am


12/5/09 12:36 pm - It's snowing


Don't get me wrong, normally I love seeing the first snowfall of the year. 

Normally, I really enjoy coffee while watching the white fluffy water fall.

Normally, I don't have a 4 foot by 10 foot hole in my house.

All I needed was another week... damnit.

11/10/09 09:02 pm - Today I

received an email from my supervisor at SACVAP and it just disgusts me.

MEN out there, do NOT stand by and let shit like this happen, period.  Call it out, point it out, contact site admins, all of that stuff.  Do not be silent about rape or rape culture.  This is not funny.

Australian students create "pro-rape" Facebook group
via Feministing by Jessica on 11/9/09

This is the kind of story that makes you wonder about the basic goodness of people.
A group of past and present University of Sydney students set up a ''pro-rape'' page in the sports and recreation section on Facebook, describing themselves as ''anti-consent''.
The male students, mostly from the elite, all-male St Paul's College, initially ensured the ''Define Statutory'' group had an open, public profile, and proudly displayed their membership on their personal Facebook pages.
Both the commander of the NSW Police sex crimes unit and the head of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre condemned the site, describing it as ''grooming perpetrators of sexual violence''.
And people have the nerve to argue rape culture doesn't exist...
Outside of the general horribleness of this story, Hortense at Jezebel asks a really great question: Why would Facebook allow this group to exist for so long?
This is a social networking site that refuses to let women post pictures of themselves breastfeeding, mind you, but it's okay to make a "hilarious" pro-rape group in the "Sports and Recreation" category? The group was public, by the way, accessible to anyone and visible to all. Interesting, isn't it, that in the eyes of Facebook, a woman shouldn't be allowed to show her breasts while feeding her child, but it's perfectly acceptable for men to make a highly public "sport" out of rape.

I am so infuriated I could just spit.  MEN do not pull this sort of shit.  BOYS do and need to be educated seriously.
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11/1/09 10:48 am - I'm not

dead yet.

I spent the last week in Las Vegas at a conference and while the conference was good, Vegas is definitely not my sort of town.  I do not enjoy gambling with the exception of the occasional game of penny ante poker or possibly other stakes that can make the game fun.  I enjoy shows but like with movies, I hate going alone and so I don't.  Add to all that, my allergies were off the hook to the point of 6 Benadryl a day (for those who don't know me, I generally avoid medication unless absolutely necessary) and it made for a business trip like any other basically.  The conference could have been held in Omaha and the result would likely have been the same.

Now, please don't take it that I had a bad trip.  The conference was excellent.  I didn't hit as many sessions as normal but I did a huge amount of networking, I established some new connections and from a work/career/business perspective it was quite an excellent conference.  Interestingly enough, I spent the majority of the networking experiences with the Germans from IBM.  This is actually much better than it sounds because two of the major tools I use from IBM are out of the German labs.  I also have an invitation from one of the developers to come visit him at his house if I'm ever in the area for business or pleasure.

While there I also had the opportunity to visit with [info]yinshu and Panther.  It was a good dinner and my body still being on east coast time was an early evening (or late for the east coast).

I am very glad to be home where my allergies have gone back into hiding, I have my cats, all 6 of them, a comfortable bed and a town I enjoy.

10/29/09 01:02 am - I is


5 Captain and Cokes will do that to a guy, even me.  Yes [info]pheylan I'm aware I broke the rule.  I will however be much closer to sober before I hit the bed.  At least I got to talk, extremely briefly, to the Cute German Girl (tm)

10/13/09 10:28 pm - And once again

I step into the realm of the political.

I am, at this point, tired of the party of NO.  For several years that party was the Democratic Party and now, for the last 10 months it has been the Republican Party.  As case and point, I bring health care reform to the forefront.  I will not come forward and say that the bills in the House and Senate will solve all the problems the plague the health care system, it took us decades to get here and one bill won't fix the problem.  It is a step, a start, a place to move forward from.  If we wait for the perfect bill, we will never have a law.  The problem is, all the critics appear to be able to do is say NO.

Let me hear some viable alternatives, please.  I've heard two alternatives, "Break down the laws restricting cross boarder purchasing of insurance and let the Capitalist system work" and "Limit malpractice awards to $250,000".

Let's start with the second one first, because I'm contrary that way.  On the surface, this sounds like a great idea, $250 is a lot of money and is great compensation.  Well, let's break that down a little.  Start with the fact that to get the $250K, you have to hire a lawyer.  A normal lawyer will agree to take on the case for 30% or $75,000.  Sounds great, you still get $175,000, which is still a lot of money.  Well, not so fast there.  You still have to pay taxes on that money, which will put most people paying at the 38% level of the $250,000 and since Uncle Sam gets paid first, that comes out to $95,000.  So, let's do the math:  $250,000 minus the $95,000 for the government, minus $75,000 for your lawyer leaves you $80,000 or 32% of your malpractice award.  Now for the next step; is your right arm worth $80K?  How about your eyesight?  Or perhaps your child?  Are any of those things worth $250,000 after taxes and lawyers to you?  More?  Starting to get the point?

I agree, there are many frivolous malpractice lawsuits out there, target those, not legitimate claims.  Target the real problem because what I just went over is about to play into the first alternative I skipped.

The Capitalist system.  Sounds great, free market and all that.  Well, first of all the Capitalist system is about one thing, Capital.  Money.  Money does not have ethics, morals, a soul nor does it care about humanist principles.  A for profit venture cares about one thing, making a profit.  Do not think, for one second, that any insurance company has your best interest at heart.  They only care about their bottom line and what the law tells them they must do.  The goal of the insurance company is to take your money and give as little of it to anyone else as humanly possible.  They will find all the reasons in the world to reduce costs and not pay out.

Two, real world scenarios that happened in this household.  Clue had major surgery, an incision from navel to pubic bone and the insurance company only authorized one night in the hospital.  Her Dr. stood his ground and she ended up there for 3 nights but not until after a big fight and nearly a delayed surgery.  I had minor surgery however I was put under General Anesthesia.  My insurance company paid for the Anesthesia but was not going to pay for the Anesthesiologist.  What, I was supposed to administer it myself?  Both were resolved in our favor but took time and arguing with the insurance companies.  They did not care about our health, they only cared about our money.  That is how the Capitalist system works.

Now, to tie the two together.  If an insurance company or doctor can only be held responsible for $250,000 of damages, now a cost benefit analysis happens.  If we don't perform procedure X, it will cause a fatality 2% of the time,  however we can only be financially responsible for $250,000 per fatality.  The savings to the company by not doing X 100% of the time is $750,000 per 100 skipped procedures.  The two fatalities will only amount to $500,000 and the bad press will amount to $100,000 so by not doing X, the company saves $50,000 per 100 skipped procedures which translates to Y Hundred Thousand per year.  Don't think they'll do this?  Look to the auto industry, they've balanced recalls vs $$ for years.  It's one reason why the National Transportation Safety Board now has the authority to order automotive recalls.  The Capitalist system cares about one thing... Capital.

Please feel free to start a courteous debate on the topic.  Flames, insults and rudeness will be deleted but intellectual discourse and disagreement are welcome.

10/9/09 07:04 pm - I have

just started my first oncall rotation with the SACVAP hotline.

Wish me luck for a quiet night.

10/7/09 10:51 pm - And So

we knock another chip off the rape culture block.

Al Franken pushed forward legislation to defund contractors that require sexual assault and rape accusations to be privately arbitrated.  The vote was 68 - 30 for the bill.  10 Republicans crossed the line and voted for the bill, including all of the female senators regardless of party.

I have not read the exact wording of the legislation so I can only speak to the several articles I've read, but how do you vote against legislation that requires a company to allow workers to take rape charges to court?  I'm sure there is nuance related to the wording of the bill however the only argument I've seen against is that this bill is either a political attack on Halliburton or that 'arbitration works'.

Rape is a crime and should be punished within the judicial system, not by a 3rd party company, usually hired by the accused (the company having a complaint filed against them) for review.

I will be curious to see how those 30 male senators do in the next election.

10/4/09 09:45 pm - So tomorrow

I get to be at work at 08:00 :P  I then get to spend ALL day in meetings that are not going to be the most exciting things I've ever been through.  After that I will be going to dinner that we are 'Strongly Encouraged' to attend.  "If you can not attend, please speak with <boss, boss, boss> to explain why you will be unable to make the dinner."

I do believe this means I'm moving up the ladder.

10/4/09 05:59 pm - After a

lot of reading and thought, I'm going to put forward how I feel about the Roman Polanski arrest.  Skip now if you don't want to hear it.

For me it comes down to a few simple facts:

1)  She said "no", he committed rape.  Period.  Her age no longer matters, how she was dressed is, was and always will be irrelevant, how old she 'looked' doesn't matter, the drugs only make the situation worse.

2)  He copped a plea.  He plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor before a judge, admitting that he knew her age at the time of the rape.  He plead to a lesser count than rape, and statutory rape.  It happens all the time.

3)  He skipped town before sentencing.  He again broke the law.  It does not matter why he skipped town, he did.  He had the money and the lawyers to fight anything that was thrown at him, he chose instead to break the law... again.

4)  He has shown no remorse for his actions.

The gave up any right to a plea deal when he skipped town.  Additionally, he deserves ADDITIONAL jail time to what ever he would have been sentenced to by breaking the law again and skipping town.  I don't care how good of a director he is, I don't care how much money he has, he broke the law... repeatedly.

Do the crime, do the time.

I know if it was anyone I personally know, this wouldn't even be a discussion.
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9/29/09 10:58 pm - I forgot

to mention that at the end of the month I will be in Las Vegas for a work conference.  This will be the first conference in 4 years that I will attend but not present.  Part of me misses the fact that I will not be in front of my peers talking about this, that or the other.  Part of me is quite looking forward to just attending the conference.  The sad part is that I will not have the $$ to bring Clue with me this time.

9/29/09 08:04 pm - Today

did not go exactly as planned.

It started fine, 08:00 call, which is the last of the sort for now.  Coffee and breakfast, which is somewhat normal.  On the way to work I stopped at the hospital and got my flu shot.  As you know, I am volunteering with SACVAP.  We are actually considered hospital staff, volunteer staff, but staff none the less.  The State of New York made it law that all Health Care Workers must get a flu shot and the H1N1 when it comes out.  The Hospital determined we qualified, so it was either get the shot or not volunteer.  I got the shot and will get the H1N1, towards the end of my grace period when that happens.  I know there are a lot of people that feel it is a violation of their personal rights and are refusing.  I do not care for the idea of getting the shot, I've always preferred to let my body fight things off but I weighed the options and chose that volunteering was more important to me.

Anyway, I was fine a good chunk of the morning and then I started to get the joint ache, minor chills, etc.  I know that I am not coming down with a full case of the flu but it was still very distracting.  Finally, I couldn't focus and generally felt like ass, so I gave up and came home.  It's not like I won't have the hours this week.  Once home I had a 2 hour nap complete with kitties and a nice bowl of soup.  I'm feeling much better and will likely be back on top tomorrow, just not how I expected my day to go.  For the H1N1 I think I'll see about going in the afternoon and just sleep it off.

Now it's time for a nice bath and perhaps NCIS.

9/28/09 08:59 pm - I'm not

dead yet...

This last few weeks has been hellish.  I'm ready for things to calm down and I'm definitely ready for Mercury to get its head back in front of its arse.  Aside from the issues with the house, I spent the month preparing for a major upgrade of DB2 into production.  Long hours, lots of planning, much grumbling... that sort of thing.  The first night, a Friday late into Saturday morning, took 2 hours longer than anticipated but we worked through the issues fairly easily.  The second night, a Sunday night into Monday morning, went about an hour long but again, we got the issues sorted relatively easily.  Monday was fairly quiet and generally a good day was had.

Then came Tuesday.

I started the day at 07:45 with a page out for problem A.  We sorted problem A and quickly found problem B.  I spent the next 13 hours on the phone, with my beloved Clue making sure I was fed and watered.  Wednesday was not much better, though I did at least make it into the office.  We spent most of the week gathering and submitting documentation to IBM for analysis.  Though I did have a 16:00 through 19:00 meeting, which was followed by a 13:00 - 15:00 the next day.  Additionally, on Thursday night we started the backout process which meant no bowling for me.

Friday I got home early enough that Clue and I had a lovely hike in the woods.  It was a real hike too, not much in the up and down sort of way but the trail was no walk in the park either.  That was a nice break and I needed that, especially since my boss called me on Friday evening with a completely new disaster.  That caused a 10:00 meeting the next morning, which meant I got to try and sleep in but oh yes, we have toddlers cats.  The call took longer than I would have cared for but was relatively painless... for me.  10:00 that night I was back on the phone for the backout processing.  Sunday evening I spent reading/editing doc to be ready for my 16:00 - 19:00 today.

I am taking Friday off damnit.  I also plan to screen calls.  I can be found Saturday but Friday is mine.  No work for me.

Anyway, the super suit is beginning to chafe.  I'm ready to take it off for bit.

9/22/09 11:38 am - My wife

is a Goddess.

I have been on a major problem call for nearly 4 hours where I am a critical resource.  She not only tolerated my not even saying good morning, she went out and got coffee and breakfast.

I love my Clue, she is a wonderful person, no matter what [info]unclesiko says :)

9/12/09 01:47 pm - I know

that many chose to post yesterday about where they were, what they were doing 8 years ago.  They chose to compare and contrast.

I am choosing to post the day after the anniversary about an anniversary I'd much rather remember.

At that time, 8 years ago, I worked for a major Telecom.  By the luck of the draw, we were the only major that had circuits in Lower Manhattan.  The building our equipment was in happened to be spared, simply the luck of the draw.  We were requested to provision temporary circuits for the other majors in order to restore service.  The company agreed, not because it was mandated by Federal Law (it was), not because it was profitable (it wasn't) but because it was the right thing to do.

In order to provision those circuits, we needed additional computing capacity.  In the modern era of Mainframes, this was a simple matter of 'varying online' additional CPUs; the problem is that does not come cheaply.  We contacted our hardware vendor and explained the situation.  An Executive Vice President of said company explained that we would have the 'keys' for the CPUs within the hour, at no additional charge for 30 days.  He also went on to give us his desk number "This rings at my desk, no my secretary's desk, if any of the other vendors tries to charge you, have them call this number."  I know, I was on the conference call.  As we started calling software vendors and explaining the situation and why we needed the keys, every company,




gave us the keys for the additional capacity, for 30 days, without charge.  Not a single one flinched, hesitated or though about charging us.


Not because it was required (it wasn't).  Not because it was profitable (it wasn't).  Because it was the right thing to do.

It is my wish and hope that in the future we do not require a National crisis in order for companies to do the right thing.  Don't get me wrong, I believe every company should make a profit, that's why they're in business.  I just feel that doing the right thing should be a part of that profit making.

9/9/09 09:25 pm - And the news

of the day.

I am now officially through my training and a Certified Sexual Assault Crisis Advocate.  I am to pick a shift sometime this month where I can shadow the on-call if there is an ER call.  I am also to pick the sifts I would like to cover during the month of October.  Tuesday we have the monthly staff and volunteer meeting.

It's official though and that makes me very happy.

9/7/09 10:21 pm - It dawned

on my that many who read my journal are not members of [info]middle_street where we post much of the house stuff.  Well, my weekend was all about the house.  You should go and read this... I'll wait.

Yesterday was spent having a bit of a break down and then pretending the house didn't exist.  Clue did sewing and I worked on New Zealand photos.

This morning I did the cost workup... well mostly, I 've still got one more to add and it looks like around $750 and a LOT of labor but I think I said that in the bit you read up there.  After all that, we started on the basement.  Fortunately, about 18 months ago [info]rikibeth helped us clean the majority of the basement.  This meant that we needed to move some of the shelves we put up then to a new location, which really needed to be done anyway since everything got shuffled during the reconstruction from the flood.  Next we cut up a bunch of wood that needed to be removed due to water damage.  I then removed the last of the framing from the 'bamboo wall' that the previous owners had put up.  Clue spent time cleaning up the piles of dirt that accumulated over many years.  We the called it quits and order pizza.

An interesting note is that some plumbing, intersecting the damaged foundation area has "installed 1996" written on it.  This means that the previous owner's plumber at the very least had to know about the damage.  I can't imagine the owners weren't told, but it is possible.  I will do a little legal research into the whole issue but really, the previous owner is a lawyer and it is very likely I would spend more than I would recoup taking the issue to court.  It's worth the research but not likely anything more.

Now, now I am off to relax since tomorrow is a work day after all.

9/4/09 10:36 pm - And now

an update...

Goings and doings here have been keeping me busy of late.  Work is spinning in interesting directions.  I can't say too much since there are too many irons in the fire.  Let's just say that I wanted new opportunity at work and I seem to be getting it in spades... in a good way.  I really can't wait to see how it all falls out but I do believe I'm going to have some choices.

The house has been... the house.  Last week we took one of the two outer front doors (we have 4 doors total in the entry) off its hinges, cleaned it, planed the bottom, lightly sanded, glued the facing back on and put a couple of coats of spray shalack on it to hold it for the next winter or two.  It took a little longer than we anticipated but the results are good for what they are.  Sometime in the next two years (but never in winter) we'll need to have them professionally restored but this will hold them in good stead till then.  Tomorrow, I tear a 4' x 10' section of clapboard off my house, remove a few hundred pounds of brick and put new clapboard back up.  Actually, I suspect this will take 2 days to accomplish, but we are finally moving the correct direction on the show room project and will soon be working on the INSIDE again.

Bowling started last night.  I'm on a new team and I enjoy this group greatly.  My first week this year was far better than my first week last year, so that's a start.  If I actually get out and bowl more than just league I might even bring my average up... don't hold your breath.

I have turned in my case studies and will likely do my debrief next week.  I should be manning the hotline soon...ish.

And now, I'm off to read a story and go to bed so that I can get enough sleep to keep my promise of no ER visits.

8/14/09 10:30 pm - I was

planning another SACVAP post tonight, possibly two but sleep calleth instead.  I have to be up for a conference call at hour I'd rather still be sleeping but late enough that I will at least feel that I've slept in.  More posts tomorrow on breaks of clearing things.
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