March 13, 2016

The men in my life

These three guys caught my attention in the last few months.  

Roman Mars - This video was on the YT recommended page and I gave it a shot.  This guy is charismatic, he has a charm about him.  He got me to pay attention to his topic and I subscribed to his podcast afterwards. 

Adam Driver - I love him in Girls but didn't really look into him until after he played Kylo Ren.  He heads a non-profit bringing theater to the military.  He said watching a group of cheerleaders didn't really match up with the kind of work they were doing in the military so he created something with substance and integrity.

Lin-Manuel Miranda - He obviously can freestyle. He can write and star in a a hip hop play about Alexander Hamilton, he's bi-lingual, incredibly supportive to his fans on Twitter and a huge theater nerd.

Reaching 0

I'm sorry.  I wanted to post this somewhere.  I finally reached Zero Inbox.  I've had a handful of emails for several months but have finally made it. 

August 25, 2015

Google Search Appliance

GSA's were personal Google engines, it would index all the documents on your network and make them searchable.  They were leased for a few years after which the hardware found its way onto eBay. A quick BIOS flash from Dell and they were restored to a normal PowerEdge.

I bought this on eBay in 2012, sniping it for $100. Other PowerEdge 2950's was going for >$500, so this was a steal. They're still on eBay, mostly newer models and some 1U SuperMicro models which still look appealing.

At the time it was a beast and a perfect lab machine.  Now it feels like a lumbering hulk.  It's still ridiculous looking which is the hardest reason to give this up and I need the space and I don't have time (parenthood!)

I'm also giving it up because I haven't turned it on in 3 years.

During POST it draws ~300w with idle of around 240w.  Powered down is still draws 40w. All of this is with only one of the PSU's connected.

It's listed on Craigslist and if I don't get any hits in week it'll go to the e-waste. Here are the specs before I sell:
  • Dual Xeons
  • 12 GB RAM
  • DRAC
  • PERC 5/i
  • 2 x 80GB velociraptor in RAID 1
  • 4 x 500GB Seagate in RAID 5
  • Dual 750w PSU
  • Dual Gb ethernet LOM
  • Dual Gb ethernet PCI-E 

July 25, 2015

Homesteading this week

Last week I worked 4 x 10 hr shifts. This week I worked 3 x 10 hr shifts. With my time I did these things on the homestead:

  • Poured concrete for outdoor shower pad
  • Spouse planted bougainvillea in raised beds made from fence scraps and stuffed with rocks, grass and dirt from the land
  • Drowned a rat that didn't die in the rat trap
  • cleared a few lumps of cane grass to let my goat wander more freely on her cable run
  • Set up additional cable run for goat
  • Got dryer fixed
  • Velcroed the floor mats in the car to stop them from shifting
  • Cut down 3 tree limbs

Most of this was with a 5 month old strapped to my chest.  He's getting to be quite the chunker! but he's happy as long as he can see what's going on.

April 15, 2015


Local culture is anchored in food.  While carrying a server from building A to building B I stopped to talk with a friend. He offered me bananas to take home. I accepted.

I have a box of bananas on my desk. Child comes in to talk about yo-yos. He looks interested in the bananas and I offer him to help himself. He eats two while we talk, his mom yells for him to get in the car and he grabs three more on the way out.

I still have two more!

I kept the peels to take home for compost.

March 28, 2015

Friendship service

We have friends that had a child about 6 months before we had ours. We wrote them emails saying "let us know if you need anything!" and never heard a response. I didn't think much of it.

Having a child now I realize what happened.  It feels strange to ask your friends to come over and do your dishes or a load of laundry or pick up diapers.  It feels uncomfortable asking someone over to hold your baby while you go to sleep. I'm used to inviting people over socially not as a utility. But that's what I needed.

What I really appreciated during our first weeks days and weeks with a newborn were the friends who just did things for us.  They dropped off food and didn't ask to see the baby. They brought dinner over and did our dishes afterward while I napped.

If you have friends with newborns and you're looking to contribute, don't ask and wait for a response. An easy thing is to drop off food and then go home. Don't expect any social niceties or catching up.  This isn't a social call, it's a friendship service.  

If you're close enough and you really want to go the extra mile bring over food, put the baby in a sling on your chest and do the dishes. This feeds, completes a chore and occupies the baby while mom and dad grab a nap. Even 30 minutes can make a difference in those first few weeks.

February 26, 2015

New born prep

I'm 6 days into a newborn.  Lots of advice I receive was about getting enough sleep before hand and having lots of sex.  That's really it for advice from the masses.  I think the sex part is good, there's no time or energy for sexy times in the weeks following a baby.  But the sleep advice is pretty bad.

You should be well rested going into delivery.  All nighters and burning the candle at both ends should no longer be in your routine.  But you can't bank sleep.  You can't sleep so well the week before that you can stay up for days afterwards.  Why is this such popular advice?

The best things I did before my boy arrived were to buy and prepare food and freeze it.  A CostCo run a few weeks before means that we have food ready to go without much prep.  My wife made and froze some soup and curry.  Having food on hand is probably the most annoying and difficult to worry about while caring for a newborn.

The other thing we did was all the errands and chores on our list.  We made a couple lists with degrees of criticality:
  • Most critical - absolutely had to get done
  • Things that really should be done 
  • Things that would be nice but not critical 
  • Least critical - not important to get done.
Then we started at the top of the list and worked our way down.  So far, having those critical items complete has made the biggest difference. It was challenging to get all that stuff done, some of those things have been waiting to get done for almost 2 years.  This is part of being an adult though, right?

The best preparation I have for this experience comes from a youth spent at UU cons.  Running around all weekend with no sleep, sleeping on any surface and waking up after only an hour or two. These experiences provided the best training I could have. Losing a sleep routine is not new for my body and I'm able to match my boy's a lot better.

Forget traveling the world or pursuing your dreams

The majority of the friends I have from my life in VA do not want kids.   The world is full of kids with indifferent parents, there's no need to feel obligated to have kids if you don't want them.   Having a child that you're not ecstatic about  is doing a disservice to that kid and to the world, so I think it's NBD to not have kids if you're not ready.

The only thing that makes me sad about all my friends that don't want to have kids that I think they'd make excellent parents.  They're smart, capable and fun.   They'd teach adventure and learning. They'd have self confident and lovely children.