19 Feb 2017

Well, here we are, barely a month into this Republican Administration. How do you think it’s going. I’m pretty disappointed. By now, I was sure we’d ALL have gold-plated hotels of our very own. Sad!

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I was helping Marcia box up some stuff in her sewing area in the basement, and I may have gone overboard:

Lexi's ready to go!

Lexi’s ready to go!

Of course I blamed the dog for this. Why wouldn’t one?

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We’ve had an unseasonably lovely President’s Day weekend so far. Unlike the heavy snows of the last few years, we’re up into the 60’s and 70’s for highs. That’s probably going to end in sorrow (and snow) though, because I washed both cars this weekend. We all know that car washing beats forecasts, every day of the week. That, with other chores and remote work for the office has meant a full weekend so far. Tomorrow’s moderate temperatures are indicative of yard work, more’s the pity.

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DoD has reported no casualties in the last week, for which we are grateful. We can but hope that this Republican Administration doesn’t lead us into new wars. Ciao!

 

 

12 Feb 2017

A quiet weekend around here. A haircut, some shopping, a few dog walks. Ooooh, yeah: I got my BSidesCharm 2017 tickets tonight. Yay. It’s a superb, impactful, (mostly) defensive security conference. I’ve enjoyed the first two years of this con, and the third year’s program looks like it will be a worthy continuation. The first round of badges has already sold out. The second half of the tix go on sale 26 February. Keep an eye on @BSidesCharm on twit that day. You may need to be quick…

*      *      *

This Republican Administration continues to disappoint, to no one’s great surprise.

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DoD reported no new casualties in the last week. Ciao!

5 Feb 2017

A good weekend, as such things go. Saturday, I roasted some coffee. In the evening, we headed over to the Annapolis Shakespeare Company‘s new digs, and enjoyed a superb performance of Thorton Wilder’s Our Town. Not a play I’d seen before. Excellent direction by founder Sally Boyett, and powerfully performed.  Patrick Ryan Sullivan takes a very pleasing and strong turn as the Stage Manager, but my personal favorite for this show has to be the tender  and heart-rending Emily Webb as given to  the audience by the talented Laura Rocklyn. As each season with this company progresses, I see new depths in each of the Resident Company Actors – frankly I love them all – and I’m already looking forward to Alice In Wonderland! Aaaand, I just scored our tickets to see The Tempest in July, in the gardens at the Charles Carroll House. We saw Midsummer Night’s Dream in that venue last year – a great place for a show!

Today, shopping, 2016 taxes, and associated year-end paperwork. All done and submitted. Not the most pleasant of chores, to be sure, but done for the moment. Just a couple of missing bits of paper to add to the documentation pile – I know what the numbers are, but I want hardcopy of the things just to be safe.

*      *      *

For many people, these past weeks have brought about a great deal of uncertainty and trepidation. In the face of such circumstances, clearly a diversified portfolio is the correct strategy. When you don’t know what’s going to succeed, through the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks…

Diversify your portfolio!

Diversify your portfolio!

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Alternatively, just lick your nose and hope for the best, as Lexi does:

Is my nose okay?

Is my nose okay?

*      *      *

DoD announced no new casualties in the last week, for which we are grateful. Ciao!

3 Feb 2017

Another interesting week near the heart of power. Well, when I say “heart”, I mean corroded hunk of radioactive tin encased in an orange waste of skin. Ah, well. One does what one can while watching the wreck of trains, above and below.

In the meantime, I managed to get Kubuntu installed on my old Mac Air (2011). The install was fairly trivial, just a couple of trips to the search engines to get me over the occasional install hump. Everything but the thunderbolt port works flawlessly, and here it sits next to it’s new big brother:

AirBuntu next to the new-ish MPB

AirBuntu next to the new-ish MPB

The primary failing of the Air was one of battery life – it had a semi-useful 2 hours worth, which sucked when I found myself stranded in Columbus without a power brick last Fall. The other main issue is the screen. In the last 6 years, my eyes appear to have aged about 10, and with the amount of information I like to keep on screen, the larger, higher resolution MBP is just better. Let’s be clear: compared to the Air, the Retina screen on the MacBook Pro is glorious. Oh, and a much faster processor doesn’t hurt at all either. The air will serve well as a conference laptop. The MBP is a superb work machine for me. All I have to do is get used to floating my palms off that bloody huge touchpad.

30 Jan 2017

My gast is utterly flabbered. Donald of Orange, elected as President, signs his name and commits his office to actions I find reprehensible. More evil is coming, of that I am sure. We donated tonight to Planned Parenthood and to the ACLU, both doing good work in “interesting times.”

*      *      *

I had a busy weekend. Okay. I had a lazy Saturday, and a Sunday filled with shopping and housecleaning, followed by dinner out with the cow-orkers. Lovely food and evening at Seasons 52 up at the Columbia Mall. Recommended.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the family and friends of Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois, who died on Jan. 28 in the Arabian Peninsula of Yemen, of wounds sustained in a raid against al-Qaida.

22 Jan 2017

It’s a hell of a thing. But let’s be clear. I’m not really an optimist. Most days, I plan for the worst. In the end, most days I’m pleasantly surprised by how well things went. Given my imagination, really, I’m not going to actually have the worst day I can envision.

Sadly, I don’t think the President has the chops or the self-control to build a team that will give us good government. For me, this makes bad days more likely. I think it’s the absolute unpredictability of the man that is most bothersome. Well, that and the sycophants that parrot and back up whatever shiny lunatic lies pops out of his mouth. I suspect our best hope in the short term will be an adversarial press, and an active electorate.

It was awesome to watch the crowds come together yesterday for the Women’s March. I was an event chauffeur, driving Marcia and a neighbor down to the Metro early, and picking them up in the afternoon. You can (and people do) pick apart any agenda, but I’m impressed with the general direction and motivation from the Women’s March. The big take-away is to be active. Become and stay involved in politics. Watch how your local, state, and national representatives act on your behalf, and let them KNOW you’re watching. Let them know when you don’t approve, AND when you do. Both are important. Actively support the groups doing good work: the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, etc. Stay active and be ready when it’s time to go to the polls again. If you don’t like how things work, and you don’t vote … well, that’s just sad.

The man who is President won, I believe, due to electorate lethargy and apathy. These are fatal to a Democracy. In the year to come, his actions and our level of activity will distinctly influence mid-cycle elections. Our Legislative Branch will then have to shit or get off the pot. Be part of the solution, make a difference. That’s my take.

Of course, as a died-in-the-wool pessimist, I expect none of this to make a difference. And there’s still a rock out there with our name on it. But maybe not tomorrow.

*      *      *

Lexi doesn't want a walk...

Lexi doesn’t want a walk…

I asked, really I did. It was an unusual Monday for the dog, because I was home all day on MLK Day. That sort of thing messes with her expectations of how life should go. I should be home for two days, then gone for most of the next five.

“Do you want to go for a walk, Lexi?”

That usually elicits an excited tail-wagging response that leads directly over to the leash. But on Monday last, the answer was clear:

“Nope. Belly scritch. Now.”

*      *      *

DoD announced no new casualties in the last week.  Ciao!

16 Jan 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr. Today we have a national holiday to celebrate his birth, and to remember his words and his deeds on behalf of Civil Rights for African Americans.  Today, even with the advent of Trump, the US is a better place than it was in King’s time. This should not be taken to mean that there isn’t far more work to do. Continued racial and religious profiling by law enforcement, and well-documented police brutality that is far more often inflicted on people of color are just the visible tip of the social/cultural iceberg that is inequality in the U.S. today.

How we treat our neighbors first is the most important step we can make in the right direction. I’m very happy that we have a wide diversity of neighbors. I think it makes the neighborhood stronger, and teaches the children of our neighbors that everyone can live together. This is true even though there are people who are unhappy with a well-integrated neighborhood. That’s okay. They’ll live with it, and learn, or they’ll leave. Their loss.

Today, also, we remember that Dr. King was assassinated for his beliefs, and for his work, his speeches, his marches, his arrests in the cause of Civil Rights in America. I will remember that his death does not mark the end of his work. It is up to us to continue it, as best we can, each in our own way.

*      *      *

I had another good week of exercise last week, and I’m currently down 5# since the first of the year. I’m gunning for five to six days a week of explicit exercise, and planning to continue that regime. I’m back up over 40 minutes per session on the elliptical machine, and approaching my “good” pace: 2000 strides / 15 minutes. I also value what the Marines have to say on the topic: Pain is weakness leaving the body.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the family and friends of these fallen warriors:

  • Spc. Isiah L. Booker, of Cibolo, Texas, died Jan. 7, in Jordan, in a non-combat related incident.
  • Spc. John P. Rodriguez, of Hemet, Calif., died Jan.12, in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in a non-combat related incident.

8 Jan 2017

One down, 51 to go.

A good week for exercise – I managed five days of workouts in the last seven. Today was good: 60/40/22/41(5200/635).

Work was productive and fun, and I got caught up on some technical reading. Oh, yeah. Snow. Predicted: 2-4 over Friday/Saturday. Actual: a little under 3/4″. Ah, well.

*      *      *

DoD announced no new casualties in the last week. Ciao!

1 Jan 2017

Happy New Year. Observe that I am expressing a hope, rather than a prediction. The good thing about expecting a depressingly awful sequel to last year’s trash fire is that, while it CAN be worse than I imagine, it MIGHT also be better than I expect. Pleasant surprises may ensue.

Things that continue to be true:

  1. I’m  thrilled to continue walking through life with my lovely bride. This will always be number one for me.
  2. I’m bloody lucky to live in a time and place where, today, I know where food, shelter, and toilet paper are coming from. Many folks don’t, and I’ll look to make a difference there, this year.

That’s enough of a list for me. The more I take on, the less I may accomplish. So, today was good. And this wasn’t on that list, but it’s a (re-)start: 6/11/4270(35m/604c).

The BEST list I saw today is this one: Elizabeth (@twoscooters) Sampat’s 100 tweet list here. Note that you’ll have to click Show More a few times in the web UI to see the whole thing. It’s worth it.

*      *      *

DoD announced no new casualties in the last week. I’m glad of that. Ciao!

 

 

26 Dec 2016

I hope y’all had a Merry Christmas, at least those of you that recognize the holiday. For the rest, I hope you enjoyed your weekend. We had a quiet holiday at home. I baked a ham and we added mashed red potatoes and broccoli to the plates. Lexi got the best under-the-tree gift this year – a tin of dog treats from her Auntie Tae! Marcia and I had done our gift exchange earlier, and mostly in support of the Annapolis Shakespeare Company.

Lexi on Christmas Day

Lexi on Christmas Day

*      *      *

DoD announced no new casualties in the last 8 days. Glad of that, too. Ciao!