Just Like A Thingy…

It Came From The Garden

It Came From The Garden

The green beans and tomatoes are welcome, but I think I’m going to have to put the cucumber on eBay … It’ll probably prove to be as popular as Baldrick’s turnip.


What Day Is This?

I have it on reliable authority that it is, in fact, Tuesday. That’s amusing, since this clearly isn’t Belgium. But with a bunch of reorg work yesterday in the data center, and fun with ZFS and the backup system today, I’m all a-whirl!

Things to do next:

  1. Move the watering over to the next flower bed.
  2. Get cracking on a final review of the database course project.
  3. Figure out why my WordPress instance insists on correcting my writing to British english.
  4. Start on the reading for the applications course.

That third item is fun, because I’ve been known exhibit Anglophilic tendencies in my writing from time to time. So I’m going to get a different set of corrections after finding and killing that configuration. But I rarely spell that word in the first paragraph “centre”,  so I think it’ll be a net win.

I would comment on more important things, but there are reasons not to, so I won’t. Politics and position don’t always converge neatly, I’m just sayin’ … anyway, Ciao!

Hope: #FAIL

Every week, I open the pages on the DoD website, hoping that there have been no casualties since my last report. That’s still not happening. Our deepest condolences to the families and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. Steven L. Talamantez, 34, of Laredo, Texas, died July 10, in Al Amarah, Iraq, of injuries suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with indirect fire.
  • Spc. Rafael A. Nieves Jr., 22, of Albany, New York, died July 10 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fires.
  • Sgt. Christopher P. Soderlund, 23, of Pineville, Louisiana, died July 9 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with rocket-propelled grenade fire.
  • Lance Cpl. Norberto Mendez Hernandez, 22, of Logan, Utah, died July 10 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Lance Cpl. Robert S. Greniger, 21, of Greenfield, Minnesota, died July 12 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Seaman Aaron D. Ullom, 20, of Midland, Michigan, died while conducting a dismounted patrol in the Now Zad district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on July 12.
  • Sgt. Jeremy R. Summers, 27, of Mount Olivet, Kentucky, died Jul. 14 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, after enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire on Jul. 13.
  • Staff Sgt. Wyatt A. Goldsmith, 28, of Colville, Washington, died July 15 at Camp Bastion Hospital, Afghanistan of injuries suffered July 15 when insurgents attacked his unit with rocket-propelled grenade fire in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Lex L. Lewis, 40, of Rapid City, South Dakota, died July 15 after injuries suffered July 15 when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire in Farah province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Frank R. Gross, 25, of Oldsmar, Florida, died July 16 at Kandahar province, Afghanistan of wounds sustained at Khowst province, Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device caused a military vehicle roll-over.

What To Do?

6.25# of pesto sauce

6.25# of pesto sauce

Over 6# of pesto, all told. Just looking at it, I gain weight … and happiness.

Pesto preservation

Pesto preservation

I preserve the pesto by freezing it in ice cube trays. I turn the pesto cubes out into a bag and keep frozen. Handy for pulling out just what’s needed for a meal or two at a time. I have no idea how many trays all told; Two at a time is going to take a while.

Neonatal salsa

Neonatal salsa

The ingredients are sufficient for salsa. Tomatoes, onion, peppers, cilantro, and garlic. Only the garlic isn’t from our garden. And yes, that’s too much onion. I’ll find another use for the two that didn’t go…

Salsa on the menu

Salsa on the menu

… into the salsa. There’s still some left, but we’d already put a dent in it by the time I thought to get the camera back out. Only a one-jar batch. Once the tomatoes are rolling, I tend to do a steel bowl full, which is just about a gallon. That much salsa might last a week. This batch will be lucky to last for the day.

Bright and Cheery

More tiger lilies...

More tiger lilies...

For those who wanted more tiger lilies, there you go. On the other hand, for those that like pesto:

Harvested basil

Harvested basil

Laid out on the counter, you see about 25% of the basil I harvested in today. It’s a mix of about half large leaf Italian and half sweet basil. In the bag on the blue tray is another quarter. The remaining half of the basil is already pesto, in the fridge. I’d have kept processing, but I ran out of pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese. So, I’ll whip up the second two batches tomorrow, and freeze the lot. I did put a generous helping on to the penne pasta this evening, along with fresh tomato and some mild italian sausage. Yes, you do see some more tomatoes in the background there. They might be enough for a small batch of salsa. That could happen tomorrow, too.

Be well.

Just Don’t Lie To Me

Karon(09:06:39): Hello. Thank you for choosing Verizon and visiting our Verizon chat service. How can I help you place your order?

You(09:07:06): Old bundle expiring, looking at new bundles… Confused by pricing, let me explain:

Karon(09:08:42): Thank you for being a valued Verizon customer.

Karon(09:08:52): Please go ahead with your question.

You(09:09:07): I select the bundle with Ultimate HD, 35/35 Internet, Freedom Essentials – price listed as 139.99. I click the button to do a 2-year deal. The next page shows the price: 139.99 (same as before), only it *ALSO* says “Price included these discounts: $5 24-Month Contract Discount”.

You(09:09:22): There’s no actual $5 discount reflected.

You(09:09:42): What is the truth?

You(09:12:00): Ping.

Karon(09:13:00): You will are seeing already discounted price for the service.

You(09:13:21): But its the same price that was displayed BEFORE the discount was offered!

Karon(09:13:56): You will be able to see Discounted price on your screen.

You(09:15:12): No, you’re not understanding. PRIOR to selecting the 2 year plan, I was shown $139.99 for a one year price. AFTER selecting the 2 year plan, it says I’m getting a $5 discount for 2 year plan, but it still says $139.99.

You(09:15:36): The discount is NOT reflected in the price.

Karon(09:16:41): I would suggest you to proceed with the customization of the service and proceed till “Review Order” page to see the detailed information on this. I am right here to assist you.

You(09:18:06): No $5 discount applied.

Karon(09:21:16): $139.99 price is already discounted price.

Karon(09:22:11): You will get 12 months price guarantee with Month to Month plan and 24 months price guarantee with 2 years contract that’s the only different with the contract.

You(09:22:19): Read above. Seriously. Your website is NOT changing the price, but claiming to have applied a discount. I can always ask the Maryland Public Service Commission to look into this for me.

You(09:23:34): The FIRST page doesn’t claim to have applied a discount and shows 139.99. The later pages claim that the $5 discount applies to 24 month contracts, but doesn’t change the price. That’s funny accounting, and is wrong.

Karon(09:25:49): If you are getting message saying “”Price included these discounts: $5 24-Month Contract Discount” it means that price is already discounted price.

Karon(09:26:04): It already includes the discount.

You(09:28:52): You’re wasting my time, and the pages for signing up for bundles are showing falsehoods. One of two things is true: (1) The language claiming a $5 discount for 24 month contracts is incorrect, or (2) the discount is true, but the discount is not being applied to the monthly price. When I read your web page, there are no other possibilities – something is wrong. Please advise.

Karon(09:28:52): Do you have anymore question I can assist you with today?

Karon(09:29:52): You can confirm this information with our Local Business office and check with them.

You(09:30:21): Good luck with that script…

Ah, the joys of life dealing with big corporations. If I can’t get a straight answer out of the local folks on the phone later today, I will refer this to the Maryland Public Service Commission, claiming to apply a discount without having done so is a problem.

Creepy Thoughts

I was in the chair at my dentist’s office on Wednesday morning. I chose not to tell them what I thought of as I was falling asleep the night before…

I’m talking to my dentist.

“You know, I was looking on the Internet, and found evidence that 90% of problems with teeth originate with the gums.”

The dentist nods in agreement, and I continue.

“So I found a couple of sites that made specific recommendations, and followed them. I got a fresh #11 X-Acto blade and cut all the gums way, way back. Once the screaming and bleeding was done, I think my mouth felt a lot cleaner, and healthier, too! See!”

I grin an awful grin, and the dentist recoils in horror.

I told you it would have been a bad idea to relate that vignette to the dentist, and especially not to his temporary hygienist (the regular Terese was gone on holiday, she ‘gets’ my oddball sense of humor).

*    *    *

Tonight I finished up, I think, the second project in my database class. I’ve sent it in by email for review, on the off-chance that they’ll offer useful advise this time. It’s not due until the 24th, but better ready early than late.


GOLD! Errr, Vegetables!

Cucumber, beans, and tomatoes: Hurrah!

Cucumber, beans, and tomatoes: Hurrah!

It’s getting to be happy veggie time, fo’ shuzzle. This evening’s haul was everything I could fit into and balance on top of a stainless gallon bowl. Sure looks pretty, right? It’s delicious, too. I put tomatoes and green beans in with my pasta and chicken for supper. Absolutely superior. Soon … Salsa. Another week, perhaps. And out front, the tiger lilies are once again spectacular.

Tiger lily, up close and personal

Tiger lily, up close and personal

The day’s gone fairly well, too. The temps are down 10 degrees from the peak a couple of days ago, and the humidity is down, too. I was able to walk Lexi after supper without breaking a major sweat. After helping out with Marcia’s appointments today, I made a big dent in the next database class project. The “hard” stuff is done, now I’m just making up fake data and proving that I can retrieve it again. While many students are using the Oracle 10g instance running on one of the school’s big Solaris servers, I’ve downloaded and installed Oracle 11g Express Edition for Linux. Works like a champ, although I’ll bet dollars to donuts that Ubuntu current isn’t an Oracle supported platform, eh?

Back to the grindstone mines. Ciao!

Arbitrary Crap

I lost two points out of fifteen on my first database project. I did so by following the directions literally, and by counting on the review by the instructor and the TA to provide useful feedback. The loss of two points doesn’t bother me, except that why did I bother getting it reviewed if I’m not going to get useful feedback. That makes me angry. No point in fighting city hall, though.

I’m taking the day off tomorrow, and I’ll get plenty of work done on the next class projects that are due in about ten days. After this summer session, 8 more classes to FINI!


Byte? SRSLY?

First off, Byte is back. Yeah, SRSLY, Byte. Talk about your basic reincarnation myth, remixed about 5 times over the last 10 years. And equally fully of #FTW, Jerry’s involved. Huzzah!

*    *    *

Also, Jerry’s got a column out, having finally battle his way past nearly four months of creeping crud. I just finished the editing pass and got the column posted for him within the last hour. There’s still kinks to shake out of CMR at the new hosting site, but we’ll get them licked, one way or another.

*    *    *

Nothing else going on, work and such. Remind me someday – I *still* really want  to build a Solaris 11 box. Can I do everything I do here (on Linux) with that? Do I want to try? The answer is “Probably”, but it sure ain’t this week. Maybe after summer session, and before fall classes start. I can’t just wing it, because I don’t have spare hardware, and no budget for any right now.