Sarah Palin’s version of Paul Revere’s Ride

Aside

benstumbling:

“He who warned, uh, the…the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and um by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that  uh we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free…and we were gonna be armed.”

Totally unqualified to be President.

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An Apple “Genius”

Much of my time here in Texas, at work, has been spent catching all the computers up to speed. System updates, hardware upgrades and troubleshooting problems that have gone unresolved.

We have in the past, up until recently, had a former Apple Genius as the office IT guy. We were referred to him by an Apple Store in Austin where he had worked before going independent doing contract work in the city.

Our office is just outside Austin by about two hours, he didn’t mind getting paid to drive out here and the relationship seemed to be a match made in heaven. Previous IT guys had been pretty underwhelming and unreliable, though none had been cheap.

The new guy worked great for a good while, but as the honeymoon period began its end, and as I became aware of his style of work… well let’s just say he no longer works here.

As far as a cost-cutting IT guy, he was probably the worst. He purchased unnecessary hardware and software and inflated his hours worked significantly. He would consider setting up an automated backup system a job that lasted until the backup was complete. Never mind it’s more of a set-it-and-forget-it kind of deal.

With some people having a laptop and a desktop computer, the question on how to properly keep them in sync came up. Having one computer with a necessary document and then needed it on the other computer… well it just wasn’t a good system. Emailing files back and forth between the computers was a waste of time, and as we all know, time is money.

His solution was to buy a synchronization software/hardware combo kit. Basically a double-ended USB cable that would connect two computers together and synchronize specific folders.

In theory this works but in reality, not even close. It neglected email. It required both computers to be in working order, turned on, next to each other, with open USB ports and a user to manually hit sync each and every time.

No one ever did this. Each computer duo cost $100 for this and not a single person used it. Well that was a waste of money. The system was stupid enough that I don’t really blame anyone who decided to just continue emailing themselves.

My solution?

Switch email from POP to IMAP. Switch server from our webhost to Google‘s hosted apps. Now all email accounts are kept in sync between their computers and the web interface, which is the best webmail interface I’ve ever used. Better than WindowsLive, for us at least.

Synchronizing computers was as simply as Syncplicity (until it left the Apple market.) Now we use SugarSync. For the price of the USB device our “genius” bought for each computer, we have two years of backup and synchronization service from SugarSync. Not only are all the users’ files kept in sync, their versions are kept in sync as a sort of historical sync. Accidentally made a bad design choice in a document that you’ve just saved? Go to the file manager and select a previous version! It’s that simple. Plus you can access your files from nearly any cellphone on the market with special apps available for iPhone and Android phones.

There have been literally dozens of cases where this former Apple Genius just totally screwed up but tonight the kicker was just beautiful.

He bragged and bragged about the system he had setup to backup our server. He said how he had it backed up twice so if one drive failed, the other would be safe, if the computer crashed and took an external drive with it, we’d have another backup… backup.

What he failed to notice was the absolutely critical flaw in this system.

The OSX server had scripts running to backup the entire server to two separate external hard drives. One drive was on FireWire, the other USB 2.0. Everyday at 9pm, the FireWire drive would make a copy of the entire server disk. As soon as that script completed, the USB 2.0 drive would do the same.

Two copies, two backups, sounds good right?

Ahh, but what if, now hear me out on this, what if someone deleted all the files off the server? A disgruntled employee logged in from home and decided to wipe us out, a virus writes the main hard drive as 000000000000000000 then 11111111111111111 then 000000000000000000 again. We’ve got two backups right?

No. We have two empty drives. Why? Because at 9pm the FireWire drive wrote itself 000000000000000000. Then, an hour or so later, the USB 2.0 drive wrote itself 000000000000000000.

We now have three 000000000000000000’d hard drives. Hooray! No data whatsoever. This kinda reminds me of the old OLD IT guy that reused magnetic tapes over and over again to backup our server, then placed the stereo that served up the music for the office phones/lounge area next to it. The magnet in the speakers connected to the magnetic backup machine erased the data off the tapes just as quickly as it was putting it on there!

My solution?

The FireWire drive will
syncronize every night at 9pm. Synchronizing means it won’t be re-writing the entire drive every single night, just the changed files. This puts less stress on the drive and decreases the chance of error and drive failure.

Every week at midnight, the USB 2.0 drive will backup the entire disk. By backing up the entire drive, and not synchronizing, it can have two copies of the disks. One for every week and one that’s updated every month.

Now, if the server turns into a whole bunch of 0’s from a bug, hacker or former employee (hopefully former at that point!) the backup hard drive will have the previous week’s backup as well as the previous month’s. The FireWire synchronization drive may or may not have been compromised, depends on the time of day really. If we fail to catch the hack or attack, the backup drive really has us covered. But what if the backup drive fails and the sync drive has been rewritten as a bunch of 0’s?

Well, the entire server is now being backed up online via SugarSync. We can access the files at anytime, from any computer, but only admins have read/write. Employees at home have read only access. This provides a safe, secure, offsite backup in the case of catastrophic damage.

Now, the system isn’t foolproof by any means. If someone wrote 0’s to the server and the sync drive followed suite, and so did SugarSync, and then they deleted, damaged or stole the backup, or if its drive just flat out failed, we would be SOL. But that’s entirely unlikely.

For a former Apple Genius, this guy sure wasn’t smart.

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Facebook, Yucky Advertising!

Gay With Genital Warts?Like seriously, Facebook, what’s going on here?

Yes, I’m gay but no I don’t have the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).  In fact, I don’t know anyone that does.

Never the less, “Gay With Genital Warts?”?  Does this medication not work for “Breeder With Genital Warts?”

Blech.  Whatever.  Total FAIL here.  Which is why I love the thumbs up/down option on advertisements.

This was a big ol’ thumbs down and why?  Because it didn’t pertain to me.  If this is what targeted advertising is coming to, count me out!

Now back to some Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire… hmmm, that song title is ironic…

UPDATE:

I’d only been away from my blog for a few minutes before another stupid Facebook advertisement showed up.  This advert was for a law office that, seems to at least, specialize in DWI/MIP arrests/tickets.

First off, advertising to college kids that there are people out there to get them out of their DWI/MIP offenses is awful.  DWI should require jail time.  You are lucky when you don’t wreck your car and kill.  DWI has no excuse. Period.  I’m sure we all have done it at one point and we were all so very stupid to do it.Mid-Mo DWI_MIP Lawyers

I have had a roommate who was notorious in his drinking and driving, and it ended up with him messing up the car he was driving more than once.  He is lucky there were no other people involved, who knows how that could have changed his life?

Maybe it was working in the emergency room of my university’s hospital that has me like this.

I will never forget the Sunday morning when I had three patients come into the ER via life flight helicopter.

This family was on their way to church when a drunk driver hit their car head on.  Killing one child instantly, severely injuring another and her father.  I remember seeing the father crying before his daughter’s bed after he was released from the hospital he was flown to and made it to our ER.

I learned that just a few months earlier he had lost his wife, their mother to cancer.  And now he had lost one child with the other one slipping further away every moment.

The drunk driver was ok.  He should be in jail for life, for ending two children’s life.  For destroying what was left of a father and his fractured family.

I think I’m done now.

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People Are Stupid

from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Biography at www....Image via Wikipedia

It seems like it’s been years since I started noticing that people are stupid. Some are kinda stupid, some are not that stupid and then some are just fucking stupid. It doesn’t bother me too much when a normal person does something stupid. That only affects that one person, however, when someone with actual power does something stupid; that’s when I really get frustrated.

These sorts of things could be anything from the name Kwik Kopy to calling a bill The Defense of Marriage Act.

Quick is spelled with a “Q” and Copy is spelled with a “C”.

The Act was not defending the right for anyone to marry, it was actually attacking the ability of certain people to marry.  It’s all a misnomer that in some instances caused people to vote for something they were actually against.

I think Arnold Schwarzenegger is stupid for several reasons but the one that kills me would have to be when he vetoed the legalization of Gay Marriage in California.  He said

Voters and the state Supreme Court should decide the issue.

Schwarzenegger said it was up to the voters.  The voters elected their legislature and effectively voted to recognize gay marriage.  Those voters finally got a chance to give their say, a second time, this yes, voting just as their legislature had voted less than a year earlier.

That veto was a waste of money and time.  It cost the State of California millions of dollars, money that might have been better spent finding a solution to their failing school system and better equipping their fire departments to battle the annual summer blazes, which this year are at an all time high.

We could go in to how other politicians are stupid but I think we’d never be able to stop as it seems no one is free from making stupid, STUPID mistakes, Democrats included. (Though I do believe Republicans make a few more stupid mistakes)

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Here’s another stupid guy.  Jim Donald.  He managed to take Starbucks grow Starbucks to death and now he’s gone and Howard Schultz is back.  While Donald was growing the company, promising 15,000 stores in a matter of years and expanding to markets they were not ready to compete, Schultz was sitting in the background.  Unhappy with the massive expansion of Starbucks stores, Schultz finally voiced his opinion in September of 2007.  He stated;

Growth is good, but at what expense?!

Good point.  Seems Schultz had noticed what all of us Starbucks baristas and loyal customers noticed, that things are Starbucks were starting to really slack.  Goodbye Jim Donald and welcome back Howard Schultz, hopefully he can fix that Donald broke; how about fixing the stock which has dropped over 30 points since I was a Starbucks Partner.

Where did Jim Donald go after being pushed out of Starbucks?  Another company expanding far faster than it should, Rite Aid.  Good luck!

But lets get to the fun stupid people. There are those that videotape themselves committing crimes and posting them onto YouTube.

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I wonder who was the first genius to think, “I should provide the proof that I broke a law”.

Here’s another one, Joshua Lipton.  He thought it would be funny to go to a Halloween party as an escaped prisoner.  Never mind that there was a county prosecutor building a case against him for a DUI just a few weeks earlier.  A DUI where he seriously injured another female driver as he crashed into her car, leaving her in the hospital while he continued to drink and party, all while under age.

Sometimes these kinds of people are given a Darwin Award which is published each year.  Hilarious.

Another form of stupidity that gets me the majority of the time since I see it everyday is marketing stupidity.  Some of my favorite companies make these really stupid mistakes in their advertising campaigns, for instance.

The other night I was with Jeremy browsing Target.  Hanging from the ceiling was a calculator, it’s back to school time you know.

On the left you can see what they hung from the ceiling.  A magical calculator that spells out words with backwards numbers; on the right, you see what they should have shown, a calculator with the numbers 00734 on the screen.  They could have maybe even flipped the calculator to show the joke which really is only funny to little kids and only really funny when you spell out boobless.  But whatever.

Panera makes grammatical mistakes all of the time.  From missing punctuation marks to made up words.  It drives me mad when I see these things.  I see them all of the time.

The other day Ryan and I were in the mall when we saw a girl with nickles in her ear.  Not in her guaged out ear lobes, no.  They were in her ears.  Why the hell would you do that?  Cause you’re stupid.  That’s why.

I’ve thought a few times that I should make a blog with the soul purpose of cataloging these stupid people and stupid things I see everywhere.  This day in age it sure isn’t hard to find them.

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On a Mission (in the Mission)

Our last day in San Francisco was a busy day.  Ryan had a lot of paperwork to get processed and needed a few LiveScans for a job application and ambulance license so we marched down Powell to the Bart station.

Wow, I guess I forgot all about the Pride Parade.  Thousands of people met us at the Bart station, completely hiding it from our field of vision.  We hung out, watched a few floats go by, reveled in the fun, friendly good times and took a few pictures.

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As with any gay event, not everyone there was there to celebrate equality.  Some religious zealots where protesting the parade, the weekend, the gay marriages in California and just whatever popped into their heads.

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They blamed the fires on the gays.  They blamed the terrorist attacks in 2001 on the gays.  They blamed the salmonella on the gays.  They blamed the storms on the gays.  Apparently it’s our fault.  Sorry guys.  Our bad.

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The kicker was when he said, “If you guys are such a loving, kind and friendly people, why do you need all of these police officers?  It’s because you cause hate and destruction that they are here” and then went onto something about paying good Californian’s tax dollars for us to celebrate our heresy…

I guess what he was missing was this.  The police are there not to protect us from ourselves but from people like him.  Pride is about as safest I have ever felt in a city, day or night.  The only thing one gay guy wants to do to another gay guy is fuck him (excuse my vulgarity and obvious exaggeration).

Well anyway, we finally made it to the UPS Store for Ryan’s LiveScan only to find it had closed for Pride.  Haha, a UPS closed for Pride, how awesome.  We took a seat at Squat & Gobble for lunch while we figured out a Plan B.

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Squat & Gobble is the perfect little brunch place.  I always think of Landon when I go there.  I’m pretty sure you would love it Landon, reminds me of The Café in Washington DC only… better.  It was delicious.  While there we found another LiveScan place, hopped on a bus and back to the Mission we go.

LiveScan went easy enough, then back to the hotel.  I’m leaving Ryan here to go to Pride for a bit.  Catch you guys later!

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It Really Isn’t That Bad

Texas is so wonderfully hot.  But never mind that.  Check this out.  The first picture was taken two years ago.  Two.

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Now one taken like a week ago.

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Gas hasn’t really gone up THAT much considering.  Two years ago?  $3.497 vs $3.498!  It has only gone up $0.001 so… what’s the big hullabaloo?!

Maybe that’s why I haven’t gotten so worked up over the gas prices.  Behold the power of browsing your old Flickr posts.  Fun times.

This Week in Video

I’ve been lazy posting recently because I’ve been going back in time and re-categorizing and tagging all my old posts.  I did some work on my MySQL database and deleted one extra table too many… oops.  So I lost all the categories for posts.  So, slowly I am putting categories and tags to all my posts.  I’m 10% done.  Seems like I should be closer to finished.  Ugh.

So, in leu of an actual post, here are some videos that caught my fancy this week.

First we have the Skittles Chocolate advertisement.  If all advertisements were this entertaining, I wouldn’t “Tivo” past them.  It’s so simple, yet so hilarious.  Maybe just to me, you be the judge

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Next up is a documentary that calls out the coffee companies on their bean purchasing practices.  That really irks me about this movie, is how misleading it is.  [Disclaimer: I haven’t actually seen it, but if it is as the preview advertises and most of these stories go, I think I know what’s going on]

They act like companies, say… Starbucks, pay pennies on the dollar for the beans as compared to the price at the store.  What they neglect to mention is the fact that when the beans get to the beaneries, they are raw.  No treatments have been done beyond maybe some washing and curing in the sun.  They haven’t been roasted, flavored, QC’d, packaged and shipped.  It is the price at the scene.

It’s like calling out Chick-Fil-A for selling a sandwich for $2.59 when the breast they used for it cost them $0.65.  There were so many things that happened between the death of the chicken and the serving of the sandwich.

Now, I can’t say much for bulk coffee companies like Folger’s and Maxwell House, they are both notorious for poor practices.  Either way, the movie looks interesting.

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And finally… No wonder the Sharper Image has filed for bankruptcy.  How stupid is this thing?  I mean, it looks fake it’s so bad.  haha

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