Quarterly Inventory 2024 – Q1

Dear FutureMe,

Today would be a good day to do a quarterly inventory.

Question: How is your personal life going?

Question: How is your work life going?

Question: How is your volunteer service life going?

Personal Life

There hasn’t really been much change this quarter in my personal life.

I went to the Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE 21X), but regret it because it was so much money. Previous SCaLE events were at the LAX Hilton, which is half the price of the Pasadena Hilton. The trade-off is that the LAX Hilton has only about five restaurants nearby, so if 400 people break for lunch, those five restaurants are absolutely swamped. If 400 people break for lunch at the convention center in Pasadena, there are probably 30 restaurants within a ten-minute walk nearby. But $400 per night for this show really isn’t worth it to me. If I had stayed three nights for the full four-day show, that would have been $1,200. ACK! For that kind of money, I could pay down my mortgage one month and retire a whole month early. Really, SCaLE is a wonderful show if you already live in Los Angeles and don’t have to spend money at the Pasadena Hilton.

Had my ten-year colonoscopy. Zero polyps found; I get to come back in five years because of my age.

I went to a Jack-In-The-Box restaurant a couple of months ago. Lunch was $20. I suspect this was my last visit to a fast food restaurant ever 1 (well, in California, at least). Sacramento decreed that fast-food workers should get, beginning today, a minimum wage of $20 per hour (as if fast-food workers would make it a career). The result is that Sacramento has completely priced these stores out of business due to inflation (unless they replace the workers with robots).

2024 New Year’s Resolution: go to the gym more often. Resolution failed: I suspended my gym membership. $60 a month is too much (yes, inflation).

One really fun thing for me is that I bought another Tiny PC and put 32 GB of RAM in it, and I am running Proxmox on it. This lets duplicate all the steps I will go through to migrate the website (item (5) in the volunteer service list below) from Amazon to Linode. If I bungle a step, I revert the snapshot and try again. Even better, I can document about how I did the migration to my blog. I did have DNS pointing to this home device, which (via pfSense) did actually route the public Internet to this little host. I’ve since turned this off, but will turn it on again when it comes time to demo the new website.

Work Life

If $44,000 dropped into my lap today, I would retire tomorrow.

I have little to do except e-discovery and email retention policy work. We had a good system where clients would work through legal counsel before opening an email investigation; but, our new(er) management wants to bend over backwards to be helpful. That is a nice sentiment, but the previous practice protected us from liability – only the people with legal training made judgement calls. Now, I have people asking me to find “inappropriate” email, as if I know what the hell that means in a legal context. Sometimes I hate my job.

I did take on printers and the print server. I did build the replacement server and migrated over; that went really well.

The other big project is to check 5 million email that are about to be deleted: are they supposed to be deleted? There’s no way that my direct report and I can read all five million email and verify them all. So, we’re spot-checking. I probably will read about 12,000 email before we can confidently pull the trigger on the deletion process.

Volunteer Service Life

I counted up all the current service commitments I have, and it numbers sixteen at the moment.

  1. Sundays: treasurer of a weekly meeting.
  2. Sundays: Technology captain of a weekly meeting (I run the Zoom camera, speakerphone, and laptop).
  3. Second Sunday: audio recording and posting the recording to our .org website of the second Sunday speaker breakfast monthly meeting.
  4. Tuesdays: Secretary of a weekly meeting.
  5. Second Tuesday: web servant for our little 501(c)(3) central office.
  6. Second Tuesday: liaison to our district (complement of item (10) below).
  7. Second Tuesday: president of the board of our little 501(c)(3) central office.
  8. Last Tuesday: member of a monthly technology sharing session (I presented last month). Nicely enough, this is on Zoom, and happens from 16:00–17:30 which allows me enough time to be secretary at 19:00 (item (4) above).
  9. First Wednesday: Recording secretary, monthly district meeting.
  10. First Wednesday: liaison to our little central office monthly meeting (complement of item (6) above).
  11. Every other Wednesday: co-chair of the Founder’s Day Picnic; as such, I am on the planning committee. I set up the laptop, camera, and speakerphone for Zoom participants. Created two documents, but have a third pending. The other chair has been in Europe, so as far as I can tell, I’m the only one who has done anything.
  12. Thursdays: meet with my sponsee weekly.
  13. Thursdays: treasurer of a weekly meeting. Also, supplies.
  14. Fridays: literature captain of a weekly meeting.
  15. First Saturday: member of a temporary contact committee (meets monthly), and have begun outreach to a local institution.
  16. First Wednesdays (until this weekend): stage manager for our twice yearly dinner and a speaker event.

  1. Edit: this is almost certainly an overstatement. I still like Panda Express, and it hasn’t raised prices ridiculously, but it does qualify as a fast food restaurant. ↩︎

Quarterly Inventory – 2023 Q4

Dear FutureMe,

Today would be a good day to do a quarterly inventory.

How is your personal life going?

How is your work life going?

How is your Volunteer Service life going?

Personal Life

There hasn’t really been much change this quarter in my personal life. For Christmas, my mom and I drove to Oregon where my two brothers live. It was nice being able to spend some time with her. She told me stories of her and dad living in Sacramento before I was born.

My mom had a soft tissue sarcoma surgically removed a month ago. Although nothing about getting a cancer is good, at least soft tissue sarcoma has a five-year survivability rate of better than 80%.

I did give four of the Tilt Five augmented reality kits to my family for Christmas. I am a little sad that we didn’t get to play Settlers Of Catan, though. It didn’t ship yet, although the plans were for Q4 2023.

2024 New Year’s Resolution: go to the gym more often. This should be easy to do: in 2023, I went twice. Here in the first week of January 2024, I’ve already gone once.

Work Life

If $55,000 dropped into my lap today, I would retire tomorrow. I recognize that I’m feeling a little sorry for myself: last year, the bulk of my life’s work was deleted because we moved to Microsoft. This quarter, the last bit – an email archive server – was deleted. So it is nice that we freed up 15 TB of storage. But now I have nothing to do except e-discovery and email retention policy work.

I’m going to take on printers and the print server. No-one else wants it. I can be of service by picking up the work that no-one else wants to do. I did build the replacement server from a template, so that is started.

Volunteer Service Life

I’m now president of the board of the little 501(c)(3) we have. I’m no longer treasurer for my Tuesday night group, nor am I a General Service rep for my Friday night group. Instead, I am now secretary of the Tuesday night group, and Literature person for my Friday night group.

I have a ton of obligations to fulfill regarding two websites I help with. I’m a little resistant because the workload is so large.

Quarterly inventory – 2023 Q3

Dear FutureMe,

Today would be a good day to do a quarterly inventory.

How is your personal life going?

How is your work life going?

How is your Volunteer Service life going?

Personal Life

Not really a whole lot going on. My mom did want to move in to a senior assisted living facility, so we took a tour and got a complimentary lunch. However, the place charges $8,000 per month which is $96,000 per year (and the move-in fee is one month’s rent, so $104,000 for the first year). Although my mom has some money, this was too rich for her blood. The residents we met loved the place. They say it is like a cruise ship that is parked. I was mildly interested to see if they are publicly traded, but alas they are not. Their headquarters are in Seattle WA, but they are privately held.

Happy that I have a Nextcloud server running on a tiny PC here at home. I had to configure pfSense to do Dynamic DNS to map the server name to my home IP address. The Internet gateway had to be beaten into submission to pass outside traffic in: pfSense had to carefully map the listening IP address and port (with an SSL upgrade) on the public Internet to the inside address and port. Running physical hardware is I think a better option than renting a Linode. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Linode running my email server on my own domain. But for serving up a calendar, address book, to-do list and media files – oh so many media files – the Linode would have been rather expensive. $110 later, I’ve got a (refurbished) 16 GB RAM Intel Core i5 running a cool 12 watts at idle. Storage is over on the Synology NAS (not exposed to the Internet). 12 watts isn’t as low as a Raspberry Pi, but still, it’s pretty good.

FINALLY! My new cell phone has an address book with entries. The entries are stored on the Nextcloud server, which is nice. I’m having to use Nextcloud email to get access to the address book contacts; and I’d prefer Roundcube, but that they are there at all is good. When I added them to Nextcloud email, it did create Birthday entries on my calendar which is sweet.

I’ve been trying to get Home Assistant, running on a Raspberry Pi 4, to connect to the files on the Synology, but it doesn’t work. I’m pretty sure it is that the Synology requires SMB 3, and Home Assistant isn’t specifying vers=3.0 correctly. It could be something else though, which is extremely frustrating that I cannot tell what the hell is what.

Been playing a lot of Factorio. Did get Elder Axe’s blueprint used and fully implemented; it is probably the best blueprint I’ve used so far. That said, it is missing a few assembly machines, and only has a single yellow science and a single purple science, so progress toward artillery was extremely slow. Bulked up my defenses and let the game run over night and during the day when I’m not at home. Still needed to manually craft some materials (low density structures) for yellow science bottles to be produced in less than a week’s time.

Work Life

The email retention project will soon be winding down. There was some kerfuffle because Opentext (who bought Micro Focus and GWAVA, who bought Attachmate, who bought Novell) wants to increase the yearly charge a huge amount, and we have documentation that their records are screwed up. They are claiming some people are new, when I show we paid for them three years ago, so they are not new. The whole mess though did kick us in the butt to export everything out of the server so we can power it down and delete it. That would free up 15 TB of storage, which is a reasonably large amount.

I did get to fix a broken system where server templates run a script on startup that send an email to a Mediawiki server, and the body of the email becomes the documentation for the new server in the wiki. Fixing that was cool, because it was a nice feature way back when, to get some documentation simply because the new box powered up and asked the server team member to answer a few questions. It’s not 100% solid though, as I just learned of two servers, and they are not in the wiki. 🙁

Volunteer Service Life

I’ve registered for a couple conferences; one is out of town with a hotel/motel. I also get to go to an Election Assembly, although a friend booked the motel. I’ll drive as we carpool three people. I get to man a Public Information booth at a health fair here in a couple days. One person on the Board of Directors for our local 501(c)(3) is ineligible to run, and another has announced that he may not run for health reasons. That leaves me and two others as elected members. Maybe one other person is interested in running? I also attended a technology workshop via Zoom, and heard that apparently I’m a “dark knight”. I’ve done technological stuff (it’s just WordPress), so like a knight, I’ve shown up to save the day: but I’m a dark knight because zero other people understand the dark arts I’m using to keep the website running. Did I mention that it’s just WordPress? But if I were to get hit by a bus, people might feel helpless to continue on (which would be a shame, since it’s just WordPress).

Quarterly Inventory 2023 Q2

The time frame is April through June 2023

Dear FutureMe,

Today would be a good day to do a quarterly inventory.

How is your personal life going?

How is your work life going?

How is your volunteer service life going?

Note that apparently I was too busy May 1st to do Quarterly Inventory 2023 Q1

Personal Life:

Not much is happening in my social life. I have friends in my social circle, but they are more like acquaintances, which is okay. I do have a friend who I consider my best friend at the moment, but it’s not a typical friendship. Through that relationship, I know a lot about him and his life, which is fine. However, I don’t really have any close personal friends in my life, and that hasn’t changed. On the bright side, I have a great relationship with my son. We go out for breakfast every couple of weeks, and he’s a wonderful part of my life. He recently purchased a new home, so there are a lot of interesting things happening in his life.

Nothing else has really changed with my other related family.

In an effort to improve my diet and lose weight, I decided to make some changes. I had previously purchased an air fryer toaster oven from Costco, which was a great addition to my kitchen. It allowed me to cook foods without heating up the entire house like a regular oven. It was also faster, so the amount of electricity I burn was reduced. I ended up buying a variety of foods that worked well in the air fryer and were delicious. However, after a few months, I realized that those foods were not suitable for my diet and weight loss goals.

Costco offers frozen pizzas at an affordable price, but consuming a whole pizza was detrimental to my weight. So, I made the decision to change my diet. In the past, I had successfully lost a lot of weight by consuming low-calorie yogurts from Costco, which had replaced sugar with alternative sweeteners. Each large container of yogurt contained only 100 calories, allowing me to have three or six of them a day, totaling 600 calories. This approach was effective in helping me lose weight. On alternate days, I would also have a salad protein bowl from Subway, adding around 600 calories to my daily intake, resulting in a 1200-calorie day alternating with 600-calorie days. I did lose a lot of weight, 35 pounds, in about three months.

Although this method was successful, I eventually grew tired of the Subway protein bowl salads, not to mention the rising prices due to inflation. To save money, I decided to cook my own meals instead of relying on Subway. I contemplated trying a carnivore diet, as it provides satiety without feeling hungry, and if I enter ketosis, my body would actively burn fat instead of storing it. I recently purchased a considerable amount of steak, finding them not-terribly priced. However, one drawback of buying food from the grocery store butcher is that the packaging can emit a foul smell when disposed of, necessitating more frequent trash bag changes. Additionally, with the arrival of hot weather, going outdoors to empty the trash becomes less desirable. I do live in what would be desert, if not for irrigation: this weekend the high temperature will be 110 °F (43 °C). Moreover, I now have to run the dishwasher every day, and sometimes even twice. That’s some running up of the electric bill I’d rather not do.

Despite these minor inconveniences, I will keep experimenting with a carnivore diet to achieve to lose weight. I didn’t stick to it completely this past week, so I’m unsure if it’s a sustainable long-term solution. Nevertheless, I will continue to give it a try.

I noticed that Monster energy drinks became unreasonably pricey, so I made the decision to stop buying them. However, I realized that completely cutting out energy drinks wasn’t a solution because I was in dire need of a caffeine fix. When I stopped drinking them, my ass was dragging. Terrible. Instead, I found Rockstar energy drinks were available at a more affordable price at Smart and Final. I made a mistake when they were priced at $1 per can – I should have stocked up on as many as possible; shortly after, the price jumped to around $1.30 per can. I do buy only the zero calorie or low calorie versions to help with my diet.

Speaking of inflation, a friend informed me about Southern California Edison’s request for a 23% rate increase, which I find absurd. I wrote a blog post addressing this issue. The rate increase is planned for 2024, and their justification is the need to upgrade their SAP Business Suite Enterprise software, which they claim will cost $35 million. I find this price tag completely unreasonable. No software upgrade should require such an exorbitant amount. Even if Southern California Edison has a large number of servers that need upgrading, there is no way it would justify a $35 million expense. It’s possible that SAP is quoting $30 million for licenses and only allocating $5 million for the actual upgrade, but if that’s the case, Southern California Edison should consider exploring alternatives to SAP. However, their statement simply states the need for $35 million to upgrade SAP, which is shocking. If I were to guess, I would speculate that the person responsible for the upgrades lacks competence and, instead of attempting to do it themselves and risking their job, they approached SAP for assistance. SAP likely saw fool and his money, and since the person isn’t spending the money from his own pocket, he agrees with it. It’s appalling.

There is also a proposal on the table to replace all the smart meters, which seems unnecessary. If they are not malfunctioning, there is no need to fix them. The prudent approach would be to replace them as they actually fail. Additionally, there is a $25 million budget to complete a $180 million project for new buildings, which isn’t great; but, if something is already under construction, it would make sense to finish it.

I suppose the $17 million allocated for wildfire management is the only expenditure I completely agree with. The Paradise Fire was devastating, and if Southern California Edison has neglected their infrastructure, it is essential for them to address and rectify that issue.

Another thing I’ve been enjoying in my personal life is using ChatGPT. It’s been quite fun. It’s quite proficient at reformatting text according to specific requirements. I particularly like using ChatGPT for my volunteer service work. I serve as the recording secretary for a 503(c) nonprofit, and part of my responsibility is to write up meeting minutes. Sometimes, discussions can be lengthy, and ChatGPT has been helpful in summarizing and condensing what’s said. Of course, it’s not flawless, and I still need to review and ensure the accuracy of the meeting minutes generated by ChatGPT. However, it has been helpful and makes my work easier compared to how it was before.

I have noticed that I still hold onto my old biases against Microsoft. It seems like they rarely get things right. However, I must admit that they did manage to do one thing correctly, and I even posted an article on my blog acknowledging their success. So that was a positive development. In another blog post, instead of simply complaining about Microsoft, I made an effort to be helpful. I addressed the issue of WordPress Media Uploads going to the wrong folder and provided a guide on how to import files into the WordPress media library using the command line. I believe this information could be valuable and beneficial to readers.

Furthermore, I reached a point of frustration with the Orbit B-Hyve sprinkler controller and decided to replace it with a Hunter Industries Hydrawise Pro-HC 6-Station Indoor Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller. This new controller has an on-screen display that allows me to search for available Wi-Fi networks, choose from the list, and enter the password. The experience with the Hunter controller has far surpassed my experience with the Orbit B-Hyve. Although I have yet to confirm if the lawn is being watered as intended, I believe I have correctly configured the new controller, but I’m not entirely certain. It has a mode where it can run for a few minutes and then pause to let the water soak in. I don’t know if this runs in parallel or serial on the watering zones.

Every year on Father’s Day, I enjoy shopping for affordable dress shirts. This year, I found a great deal at Costco where I purchased them for only $13 each. I ended up buying 10 shirts, so now I have two shirts in my daily pool. Initially, I wasn’t impressed with the material as it seemed prone to wrinkling. However, after washing them again with ample fabric softener, I noticed that they didn’t wrinkle as much. Additionally, there was a noticeable reduction in static electricity when I put the shirt on. Based on this, I have decided to keep them.

I recently switched from OpenSuSE Leap to OpenSuSE Tumbleweed, although I must admit I haven’t been particularly thrilled with OpenSuSE lately. Ubuntu made things even worse by implementing a policy where core packages are upgraded for free, but a subscription is required for other packages, which I find quite disappointing.

The issue with OpenSuSE Leap is that while it’s stable and most things work, the software packages are outdated. I needed to use Audacity for filtering background noise, but the Audacity 2.2 version available in OpenSuSE Leap didn’t have that feature. Thankfully, upgrading to OpenSuSE Tumbleweed resolved the Audacity problem and even fixed a few other issues that were present in Leap. However, I’m a bit concerned because in the past, being on the bleeding edge with Tumbleweed has caused some trouble. So, while I’ve made the move, I’m cautiously waiting for any potential issues to arise.

Some users in the OpenSuSE forums suggest using Flatpak or Snap images as alternatives. However, when I tried using Ubuntu Snapper, it caused complications with my website for audio recordings in my volunteer service work. Although it didn’t completely break the website, it repeatedly notifies me that the Linux system version firmware is out of date whenever I attempt a software upgrade. This issue only started happening after I installed Snapper, which was initially done to facilitate certificate renewals with Acme Certbot. Snapper: I don’t like it.

Work Life:

There haven’t been many changes in my work life. I have one direct report who is proactive and does a great job with the assigned tasks, which is definitely a positive. However, he will be on vacation for a significant number of days next month, so I’ll be the only one available to handle the litigation hold work. It will be fine.

Recently, a colleague who had been with the County longer than I have, retired. I had the opportunity to attend his retirement lunch. It sparked my curiosity about employee numbers and their correlation to the start of County service. Lower employee numbers indicate longer tenure, and by that measure, I am in the top 1% of County employees. However, it’s important to note that I spent a significant period in the private sector and cashed out my retirement credit upon leaving the public sector. I am currently in the process of buying back those years of service, and once I make the final payment, I will overnight gain an additional 6.1 years of service credit. This detail is interesting to me because there will be a recognition event for individuals with 15 years of continuous service, and I have been invited to attend. It’s a bit annoying that despite “doing computers” for the County since 1988 (a total of 34 years), I will only be recognized for 15 years of service.

Overall, my work life remains uneventful, and if given the chance, I would retire tomorrow if I had $60,000 unexpectedly come my way to pay off my mortgage and complete the process of buying back my retirement service credit.

Volunteer Service Life:

I have taken on a new service commitment starting tomorrow as the secretary of the Sunday morning meeting.

In other news, the previous office manager at central office sadly passed away. A year or two before his passing, we had acquired a new computer for him, as the previous one had been purchased way back in 2012. It was never disposed of. A few weeks ago, during a storage room cleanup, I was asked if I wanted to take the old computer. I took the offer, as I’m interested in learning how to modify a page format using Filemaker Pro, which is still installed on that hard drive. It has become a new project for me. My plan is to familiarize myself with Filemaker Pro, make necessary edits to the production format used at the central office, and then decide whether to wipe and restore the machine to its original state or install Linux on it.

The Dell Inspiron from 2012 that I got is equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor, specifically a third-generation i5. Although we are currently on the twelfth generation, back when this computer was purchased, it was likely a top-of-the-line machine. I have used it briefly, and it appears to be functioning well. However, I believe upgrading from a traditional hard drive to a solid-state disk would significantly improve its performance.

Although it started with last quarter, this quarter I went live with a web site to host audio recordings from speaker meetings. The web site isn’t bad, but I’m still learning how best to make the audio recordings using a Sony ICD-UX570 Digital Voice Recorder. But I also learned that WordPress is good at the one very narrow thing it does. As soon as you want to go beyond that however, it is terrible. All I wanted to do was forms with workflow, man. Apparently it is too much to create a data entry input form and post something with a file attachment.

Medical Life:

I’m waiting for the results of a medical test to find out more about a potential condition. In about two weeks, the doctor will give me a report based on a genetic test. The doctor mentioned that these test results are highly accurate. I do want to get a clearer understanding of my situation.

Quarterly Inventory

The time frame is October through December 2022

Dear FutureMe,

Today would be a good day to do a quarterly inventory.

How is your personal life going?

How is your work life going?

How is your volunteer service life going?

Personal Life:

  • Amazon Echo purge
    • I decided to abandon Amazon Alexa because they insisted on pushing advertising into my morning wake up routine. My morning wake up routine exists because I want to wake up grateful and happy. Playing a wake up song and then violating my peace with your advertising produces anger, not peace and grattitude. so, I’m out. I unplugged all my Amazon Echo devices and sought replacements.
      • Mycroft was no good.
        • The Raspberry Pi image they have doesn’t do audio levels right.
        • They have a terribly overpriced Raspberry Pi which does, so maybe that’s why the community version sucks.
        • They require a cloud login to use the service. Not a fan.
      • Apple Homekit is not great.
        • The microphone on the HomePod mini is super sensitive, which would be good if the software behind it wasn’t weak.
        • The software behind the HomePod is a low effort undertaking. Way too often I get an idea of something to ask it, and it (essentially) replies with you should do that on your iPhone. Mostly, it successfully controls the smart lightbulbs; and that’s about it. As an example, tomorrow morning I would like a reminder that I’m going to breakfast with my son at 7:00 AM. With the Amazon Echo, this was easy. With the HomePod, I get “your iPhone is not available. Check that it’s powered on and it’s software is up to date.” Both those things are true, so something else is wrong. Or really, the HomePod just isn’t going to store reminders and I should be doing these things on my iPhone. But even if I did a reminder on my iPhone, I’d need to be near it to get it. The Amazon Echo devices were a far better implementation of basic functionality.
        • I set up Automations on an iPad to light up a Bluetooth -enabled television sound bar. Automations don’t work well with Bluetooth, and putting the question to Reddit /r/Shortcuts got my post deleted by the mod because he doesn’t like the question being asked so often where the answer is “yes, Apple does not do this well”.
          • Something you can try: if the device (in my case, an iPad) can be put on the Settings –> Bluetooth –> list of possible connections screen, and just sit there, then Shortcut Automations on the iPad can light up the various Bluetooth devices within reach. But if something (like an errant Shortcut Automation) takes screen focus away, then the next Shortcut Automation which tries to light up a Bluetooth sound system, won’t, and you’ll never get the audio you wanted. If you wander over a few hours later to where the iPad is, you’ll see whatever caused your apparently really bad at multitasking iDevice to lose track of Bluetooth connections.
      • I put an image of Home Assistant on my Raspberry Pi.
        • So far it looks like it might work out best. I do have a problem though; I had set up my WiFi using Steve Gibson’s Three Dumb Routers scheme. Yes, it is secure. Whoops: my Home Assistant box needs to be able to talk to the Internet of Things (IoT), so it is on the IoT network (the “S” in IoT stands for “Security”). But I would like to be able to configure it from my main machine here on the secure network. I litterally cannot get there from here (which is a good thing). I’m going to have to put my network training to use for this home project.
  • The Helm email appliance company business exit
    • I got an email they are going out of business; I have until December 31 to find a replacement.
    • I built a replacement Dovecot + Postfix server.
      • It would have been on Amazon AWS Lightsail, but:
        • Amazon commits the crime of false advertising with their Lightsail lowest tier boxes. They advertise a 512 MB RAM machine, but deliver a 474 MB RAM machine. Mail-In-A-Box refuses to install on a 474 MB RAM machine, so the easy way to transfer my mail services to be on my own machine was out.
        • Opening a technical support ticket got me nowhere because the help desk person doesn’t actually know, and his backline support told him lies about kernel memory consuming RAM; that’s why the machine doesn’t have the full amount. I work in an environment with 600+ virtual machines and have spun up almost 70 of them myself, on Xen, KVM, and VMware. I know what virtual machine provisioning does and looks like. Amazon chose to underprovision by 9.25% so they could stuff more VMs on a blade. I’m not nearly as annoyed that they underprovisioned as I am that they lied to me about it.
        • Fine. You’re going to lie to me about your business practices? I’m out.
      • Now, I’m a Linode customer.
  • A thief stole a Christmas package off my doorstep.
  • Christmas was in Coos Bay, which meants an all-day drive Friday, Christmas with the whole family on Saturday and Sunday, and then an all-day drive back on Monday. The In ‘N Out at Redding California was not, because the place was packed, both times. Costco gasoline up there was almost 10% cheaper than in Visalia, which surprises me. Of course the gasoline in Oregon was cheaper still.
  • Haven’t played video games, but have been watching television instead. Never had watched the Harry Potter films, so am slowly going through them. On number 3 right now.

Work Life

  • Exterro has been terrible. It got listed in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. I can see in global search-and-redact brief moments of shine and wonder. But implementation had been terrible. Even after months of project implementation, the Go Live date came and nothing worked right the first time for several weeks. Product support is out of Calcutta India, which means every support request we make takes 24 hours to turn around. Most often, the front end help cannot help, so they have to take screen shots of what is wrong and submit that to back end support. That’s going to burn another 24 hours.
    • Lately, they aren’t even acknowledging problems I’m presenting them.
  • Waterford Technologies MailMeter has been a much better project implementation.
  • 1301 days until retirement.

Volunteer Service

  • Currently recording Secretary for the local 503(c) corporation; if I don’t get the meetings minutes done quickly, it stresses me out all month.
  • I have three other service positions going on. One of them means travelling to Sacramento and other places.
  • Currently going to six meetings a week; sometimes seven if a friend asks for a ride to a meeting.
    • Sunday morning: central service representative
    • Sunday evening: technology chair (I bring gear that lets the meeting be online and in-person, beyond just an iPhone. Using a laptop and a PTZ camera, Zoom attendees can be on a monitor in the room, and we have a wireless speakerphone which lets everyone be heard).
    • Monday Night: no service position
    • Tuesday Night: treasurer
    • Thursday night: no service position
    • Friday night: general service representative
    • Monthly, as opposed to weekly meetings:
      • First Wednesday, General Service meeting
      • Second Tuesday, Central Service meeting and board of directors meeting.
  • I was also a volunteer at our New Year’s Eve event. My first duty was to be stage manager. Then, I set up coffee, I set up games in a room for game night (although Bill H. came by on purpose, we only had a few people drop in and take a look). I helped with getting the appetizers put out, and then helped in the kitchen with slicing the deep pit barbeque beef and slicing and plating cake and pie. Lastly was cleanup with the take-away of New Year’s Eve balloons glitter: never again. Didn’t get out of there until 1:30 AM.

Irons in the fire:

  • I owe an article to the newsletter.
  • TRA web site to replace Mike K’s web site.
  • Move my volunteer service web site from Amazon to Linode
    • Also, I need to upgrade PHP and the Bitnami base makes that tough. Worse, the database will need to go from ASCII to UTF, which tripped up the migration tool I was using.
    • Add input forms to the web site and convert to three pages: newcomers, members, and information for professionals.
  • Newly elected as Registrar, I need to plan an event which is tentatively scheduled for February 25.
  • World Ag Expo volunteer service.
  • What I would really rather play with: Tilt Five Augmented Reality glasses; mine came in. 😀
  • It’s time to back up my main machine, too.