Half Staff Again?

Half StaffI actually meant to pen this post a few days ago, because today the Stars and Stripes are flying tall and proud. However a few days ago, that wasn’t the case. How many times in the past year have you driven past a government facility and thought to yourself, “Why is the flag being flown at half staff today?” I don’t exactly read or watch the news (because it’s generally more bullshit than news) so granted, sometimes I’m a day behind hearing about the latest big breaking story. However, for something to be monumental enough for everyone to lower their flags to half staff, I would think it should be one of those events that everyone is aware of, regardless of what rock they live under. It should have to be one of those things that everyone is talking about. You shouldn’t ever look at that flag and have to ask someone, “Why is it flying at half staff today?” If it’s serious enough for our nation to take notice and lower our flags in honor of, remembrance or mourning, then the average person should already know and understand why. Continue reading

Comcast Pissed Me Off

Comcast SuxIronically, this post and the image that you’re viewing are being hosted by a server on the residential side of a Comcast internet connection. I’ve been running my own web server and email server at home using a dynamic DNS service for well over 10 years now. Never has there been an issue… until this past weekend.
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Idiot vs Math = Math Wins

It’s hard to argue with math. It’s even harder to argue with Joel. The following is a little tidbit of Joel’s recent thoughts on Joe Biden’s home defense advice. Do please click through and read the whole article. Especially when he gets to the part about comparing a 12ga shotgun with a .32 caliber machine pistol. I love it when math is put to good and practical use.

Joe Biden is misguided at best.

I’m sure many of you have heard VP Joe Biden’s “advice” recently regarding self defense at home.

Where do we begin?

I believe that we should start with one of the most irresponsible statements I’ve ever heard, “Just walk out on the balcony…. and fire two blasts outside the house.”

Really, Joe? Just fire blindly into the night? No worries about the payload of lead or where it will go? That violates the most fundamental rules of firearms safety. (Google “Celebratory Gunfire”) And why fire both barrels, Joe? Shouldn’t you keep one round in reserve just in case the enemy isn’t frightened by shots you’re not firing at him or her?

A single 12 gauge shotgun blast with 00 buck shot is more powerful than getting hit with 9 rounds of .32 ACP AT THE SAME TIME!

Joe, if you think full autos are bad and high capacity semi-autos are bad, why do you think it’s OK to put 9 rounds down range with a single pull of the trigger?

Your belief system is flawed.

Read the rest at Joel’s Blog.

I almost missed my own gig!

2013-02-15 Croation Center GigThanks to everyone who came out to see my band 6ix 5ive 9ine on Saturday! I think it was one of our best sounding shows yet (excluding my vocals on Rooster), but it almost got cancelled before it even got started. Lets rewind back to Friday. We set up at the venue Friday night and ran through a few tunes. Given the layout and size of the room, I decided we were going to use Bill’s new drum mics and run the drums, bass, guitar and vocals all through the PA system. This was my first time gigging out with the new JBL speakers and stands, so I wanted to hear what the balance sounded like.
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Strange Women Lying in Ponds

Strange Women Lying in Ponds

Seriously, does this make any less sense than letting the TV pick your president?

“I am your king!”

“Well, I didn’t vote for you.”

“You don’t vote for kings.”

“Well, ‘ow did you become king then?”

“The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king!”

“Listen — strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.”

“Be quiet!”

“Well you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!”

“Shut up!”

“I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an empereror just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they’d put me away!”

“Shut up! Will you shut up!”

“Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.”

“Shut up!”

“Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!”

Pro Tip #7

100 MPHScenario: You’re in a hurry to get to work. You’ve decided to throw caution and fuel economy to the wind in an effort to reduce the impact of your tardiness. You are cruising past cars on the expressway like they are standing still. Suddenly, that gleeful feeling of acceleration dissipates and you suddenly feel as though there is something wrong with your truck.

There is nothing wrong malfunctioning on your vehicle. It is operating as General Motors intended. They have decided for you, that you don’t need to drive faster than 100 MPH.

… I disagree.

I’ve already priced out a programmer to remove that restriction. Oh yes… it will be mine.

Stolen Truck

This past Friday I was very disappointed. I was supposed to drive my new truck to work. The source of my disappointment: I didn’t have a new truck. I have been perusing the Carmax website for a while looking for new vehicles. My ’98 Cherokee is getting pretty rough, and I don’t think it’ll survive another business trip to Pennsylvania. I had found a great looking, gray 2010 Chevy Suburban 4×4 with all the trimmings, and I had pretty much purchased it in my head already. I went to go see it Thursday night, and unless it had some glaring problem, I had every intention of driving it home.

the one that got awaySo Jenn and I arrive at Carmax in Merrillville and go find a sales associate. I tell him about the truck I want to see and he looks it up. We stroll out to the parking lot to look for the behemoth of a truck. You’d think a giant gray Suburban wouldn’t be that hard to find. The sales guys scratches his head for a bit and says, “It should be here!”

We walk back into the store and he goes to the counter to check on it. Apparently it’s being transferred to Naperville at the behest of some other Carmax-savy consumer. Come to find out, had I called before I left, I could have had the truck held and they wouldn’t have been able to transfer it.

To add insult to injury, as we’re leaving the Carmax store we look over and see a sweet looking gray Chevy Suburban. It looks an awful lot like the one I wanted to get. Low and behold, it’s being loaded on to a flatbed truck. As a matter of fact, it was exactly the one I wanted to get, and there it was being hauled away. So close, yet so far away.

We called up to the Naperville store on Saturday and got some insider information. Apparently the guy who requested the transfer is looking to get a Yukon, and the Suburban is his 2nd pick. Well we’re still waiting to see if he passes on the Suburban. If he does and it goes back up for sale, I’m on it!

So the moral of the story is: if you want to look at a vehicle at Carmax, call and have them put it on hold before you drive out there or you may have to watch a tow truck driver haul your vehicle away while you scream at him in vain and he gives your funny looks because he doesn’t know that is your Suburban that he is stealing.

Update: The guy who requested the transfer never showed. I’m having it transferred back to Merrillville. I may have it by Tuesday or Wednesday!

Presidential Non-Debates 2012

Anyone watch the presidential debates last night? I sure as hell didn’t waste my time with it. Why am I not concerned with how well the 2 presidential candidates do in the debates? Well that deserves a multi-part answer.

Reason #1 – There are more than 2 candidates for president on every ballot in every state!
I refuse to lend any credence to a debate that will not allow all candidates to participate. This is anything but a debate. It is a media event, but not a debate. It is meant to promote the political parties, not to educate the public. This farce of an event has only one specific purpose: to convince the American public that these are your only two choices. The truth of the matter is that Gary Johnson, a Libertarian candidate, will be right there on the ballot next to the other two. Most people don’t know that, and the Republicans and Democrats both agree that they’d like to keep it that way. Ask yourself why they want to edge out the competition? Is it because it is better for our country or is it because of greed and power? You’re not an idiot. You decide.

Reason #2 – If your only choices are Republican or Democrat, then you’re fucked either way.
Both participants will promise you that they can make things better and give you more and keep you safe, etc… And why shouldn’t they? They’ve been promising that shit for years and not delivering on it, and yet the general populace continues to eat it up and vote for them. Vote Democrat or vote Republican – it doesn’t matter. You’re voting for bigger government, more restrictions, less freedom and more taxes.

Reason #3 – Neither one of these clowns would stand a chance in a debate with a Libertarian candidate.
This is exactly why they will not even utter the word “Libertarian.” They will pretend the party doesn’t exist. They will pretend that there is no alternative. Each Republican and Democrat will pretend as though they have only one opponent. As long as they continue to pretend that and the general public continues to watch this crap on television, then they will succeed in convincing enough people that it’s the truth.

It’s a shame that Ron Paul didn’t get the Republican nomination. He was as close as either the Republicans or the Democrats will ever come to actually changing the country. What’s worse is that I’ve seen many of the Ron Paul supporters shift their support to vote against Obama. Well you can’t vote against someone when there are more than 2 options. You have to vote for someone. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on all the options before making a decision.

Seriously, people need to stop voting against the candidate they hate and start looking for a candidate they like. Remember, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

Updated: Jackass Takes Down Godaddy DNS Servers

Godaddy Rack Space
Update: Godaddy announced today (Sep 11, 2012) that it was an internal issue that caused the outage, and the punk hacker was just trying to make himself look cool by saying he did it. He’s still a jackass regardless.

So I’m wondering why in the hell some of my services hosted at home aren’t working anymore. Well the answer is simple, some jackass decided to screw with Godaddy’s DNS servers and all my domains are using Godaddy hosted DNS servers.

Thanks a lot, jackass.

Well it looks like I’m going to have to do a little work to make my DNS structure a little more resilient to failure. Currently, Godaddy is a single point of failure for me. And here I thought I was in good shape because I was having them host it instead of doing it locally. Perhaps I’ll set up my own authoritative server and have Godaddy act as a secondary. Of course I’ll probably have to pay extra to do it that way. I would know for sure except that… well… Godaddy’s own site is down. I’ll bet they’re slightly more pissed off than I am.

Pro Tip #4

Scenario: You pull up to a strange gas station in the middle of a corn field somewhere in Ohio. You grab one of the nozzles from the pump, and remark under your breath how these hicks still use these ancient, huge pump nozzles that were likely used for leaded fuels. Then you swipe your credit card, hoping that this isolated hick-town gas station has seen a credit card before. Then you select the 93 Octane button and squeeze the pump handle, because your Harley touring bike deserves nothing but the best.

Tip: When the pump fails to start pumping and still tells you that you need to select a fuel grade, don’t start cursing the pump with the most foul language ever uttered in a corn field for the supposed malfunction. Instead take a step back, take the time to read words, and realize that this “malfunction” just prevented you from filling the tank of your Harley Davidson with diesel fuel.

Pro Tip #2

When HBO On Demand says that their recorded content expires on 07/31, and you’re watching it as it transitions from 07/31 to 08/01, they’re not kidding. It expires. It stops playing at the stroke of midnight. Oh, but they put it back up with an expiration of 01/01. So now you have to re-download the whole fucking hour long show to watch the last 3 minutes of it.

Serious case of fucktarditis. Who in the hell thought that one up? Probably some assmunch lawyer.

Broken Crankshaft Position Sensor

I know I’m not the only one who’s done it. A Google search for “crank position sensor broken off in engine” and it’s pages upon pages of results are testament to a poor design that has pissed off many a mechanic. The sensor itself doesn’t fill up the entire bore in the engine block where it is installed. This leaves just enough room for a ring of rust to build up behind it, preventing it from being removed. Couple that fact, with the cheap, plastic construction of the sensor body, and you have a recipe for disaster. Specifically, the damned sensor body snapped after I tried for about an hour to coax it out of it’s hole. Continue reading