On Vacation { New Musical Interest

Following up on Ladytron, I have a new band that I am enjoying, Sleater Kinney. I know they are not a new band, as I've heard the name going around for years, but I never heard any of their stuff till I was journeying through YouTube tonight.

Here is their music video, 'Jumpers'.


Social { The Return of FWOS

FWOS = Flying Whirlpools of Suck, an Aces High 2 squadaron made of friends and co-workers. We flew together heavily for 2 years back in 2000-2001 and took a hiatus as we all got on with out lives. When I was back in the Cities a few weeks ago for a class, I ran into some of my old co-workers who let me know they would like to resurrect the squadron. I said hell yes! Tonight is the first squad night in 5 years.


Music/Tech { 3am iTunes

Discovered last night around 3am when I couldn't sleep that iTunes Music Store (which I only use now for music that is hard to find or I simply want a single song on a otherwise crappy CD), that it has a Beta 'May we suggest' section. My music tastes are ecclectic and varied so I spent the next hour and half seeing what it would suggest. There were a lot of duplicates and a few that made no sense (like Britany Spears), it also suggested some death metal stuff I'll pass on (H.I.M.). But in the process I learned a bit about myself.

1. I cannot be quantified. I am a markerting exec's nightmare form hell. My tastes range from the very obscure to the latest pop, and change fast.

2. My taste in music while running in veins where stuff often sounds familiar, is not really like that. The sounds of the cross-section of what I listen to ranges from accoustic folky to completely artificial euro-trash disco.

3. I like a lot of music that cannot be found in mainstream outlets (Best Buy, Target, even on occasion iTunes) and some cannot even be found at local record stores that specialize in that stuff like Electric Fetus and Deaf Ear (although Rasputin's in SF was amazingly well stocked). This stems from the local bands, obscure european, alternative japanese music that I tend to favor. Also MN is a techno wasteland, where there is no techno radio station, and only a handful of places even play techno (Kitty Cat Klub has a DJ who does techno).

4. 1993-1997 were my favorite years for music.


Global { Have you heard?

Its World War III (per Gingrich).

Truth? FUD? I find it ever increasingly hard to listen to politicans because in this age of high noise to signal in everything people seem to not be able to get attention without using shocking phrases or poking primal emotions (like fear). I would be curious to see if the suicide rate is up in this country (as well as/vs globally). Seems like the talking point last Sunday on the talk circuits was to use the words 'WWIII' (and as the Daily Show pointed out one guy even said WWIV).

We waste our time on a pointless war and on pointless and meaningless distraction issues (bickering over flag burning, the phantom threat of gay marriage) while the real threats approach to consume us (and by this I do not mean the big bad boogey man terrorist or North Korea, or Iran, alone, increasing poverty, lack of health care, rising debt is as deadly).

I don't know whether to play 'Sunday, Bloody Sunday' (U2), 'Its the End of the World as we know it (and I feel fine)' (REM), 'Clint Eastwood' (Gorillaz) or 'Float On' (Modest Mouse).

Fact is fiction now, and for most TV is reality.

It has started with an earthquake, there are bombs, snakes and aeroplanes.

I am happy and I'm feeling fine, don't know if I have sunshine in a bag.

Perhaps we'll float on ok and we'll all be ok.

Maybe I should play 'Ocean Breathes Salty' (MM)...have we wasted life? Will we waste the afterlife?

Make love not war, with yourself if you have to (love the one your with). Swords into plowshares. Stop, listen, and hear. We have only fear itself to fear (borrowing a quote). We can end this if we want to, its never too late.


Weather { The Heavens opened up...

...and unleashed a torrent of rain, wind, and hail on Rochester this morning. This morning (9am) went to work and it was partly cloudy, mild with a little sun. 10:30am the sky was as dark as night, winds over 60mph, lightning like the wrath of Zeus all around, rain so hard it turned the streets into the canals of Venice and hail. Now its 11am and the weather is still raining and still some lightning, but the hail has stopped and the wind has decreased to 20-30mph.

We need the rain, its been very hot and while humid, very dry. Everything is scorched brown, usually something you don't see until August. (I blame Global Warming) It would be nice if we could have a constant soft-medium rain for about six hours or so to soak the ground, with rain this hard and fast, most just runs off the dry top before it can soak in.

We took a break from work to watch the show, Nature has the best stuff. Waiting to hear if anywhere needs help. SW Rochester reported tree damaging winds and hail so severe it looked like it snowed.

Tech { How the Internet Works


Jon Stewart and the Net Neutrality arguement in the Senate...the recordings of the Senator from Alaska illustrate why these guys are not qualified to govern and legislate technology...they have no clue.

(and slightly related, here is the Daily Show take on the G8 Summmit)


[Politics] Minnesota AG race

Wow, Matt Entenza bows out of the race for Minnesota Attorney General.

Updated: Looks like Steve Kelley is in and David Lillehaug is not.

Update 2: Bill Luther is in too. Mike Freeman is also looking likely, according to MNPublius.

Update 3: Mike Freeman not so much per Centrisity.

Musings { Because its that kind of day

"Now that we know for sure they're telling lies when they say no one gets hurt and therefore nobody dies. You know its hard to believe anything that you hear. They say the world is round. The world is round?" - Garbage, "Metal Heart"

Music { Latest musical interest

First heard: 89.3 FM 'Minnesota Public Radio's The Current', evening program hosted by Mark Wheat (We love Mark Wheat ever since his days on Revolution Radio 105 through Radio K)
Current favorite song: "Destroy Everything You Touch" from the album 'Witching Hour'

Film { "A Scanner Darkly"

Film: A Scanner Darkly
Location of Viewing: Landmark Uptown Theater
Saw with: Nerdwife, AlexV
Post-Screening: Zeno Coffee and Dessert Bar

"A Scanner Darkly" is based off the novel by Philip K Dick. In a word, amazing. The film was shot live action and then animated and this mehtod works to help create the atmosphere of surreality that permeates the story. All the main characters suffer from substance abuse and paranoia, and the animation help to greate underscore the shifting faces of reality that they experience. The corporate and governmental overtones of the film strike chillingly close to home, except in this movie the US has escalated the war on drugs (as opposed to the war on terror) to the next level, fighting globally with the military on destroying the organic component of 'Substance D' while waging an unprecedented internal surviellance program (everyone is watched and everyone is encouraged to report suspicious behavior on everyone else). Over 20% of the US population is addicted to Substance D. There exists rehabilitation and salvation, offered by only one corporation (via an exclusive contract with the gov't) called 'New Path', which by way of its contract with the gov't operates outside the bounds of law (i.e. no oversight and no observation), and they are more than what they seem and harbor a dark secret while profiting on the misery of everyone.

By the end of the movie truth/fiction, reality/surreality have become so intertwined you are left wondering if it all exists or is merely a fantasy of the protagonist/victim.

Performances by the actors (who themselves have all had experiences with drugs) were superb.

Overall I gvie the movie an 'A' and highly recommend it to everyone. This movie may require a second viewing to reap the full experience.


[Health] Summer colds suck

Summer infections of the viral kind really suck. Hacking cough, stuffed up, burned out nasal passages, headaches, 10 kilograms of cement strapped to your chest.

Called in sick Tuesday, went in Wednesday and Thursday morning, should have called in sick those days too. Coworkers had to tell me to go home yesterday after I sounded like death warmed over. Had the good sense to call in sick today. Probably infected half the office and set back my recovery a day or two. I think my cello teacher probably thought I was drunk on Monday evening (it is very hard to read sheet music and play the cello when you are sick). The human immune system is very good, but it requires that one does not overexert oneself. If I had simply convalesced instead of trying to push, push, work, I'd probably be feeling a bit better. I read a great book a while back called How to Be Idle, which had a good chapter about how people don't even know how to be sick anymore. We're always too busy, trying to tough things out instead of relaxing and letting things take care of themselves.

My brother, sister-in-law, and niece are in town this weekend and I probably won't get to see them for more than a minute or so for fear of infecting my 9 month old niece with something she probably already had.

Apparently half the people I know had gotten or know someone who has gotten this nasty cold. Worst rumor I heard is that this one hangs on for two, even three weeks. Come on immune system! I'm not working. I'm giving you lots of gatorade! Regular does of the real, working sudafed (approved by methheads everywhere), and ibuprofen. Plenty of sleep. I'm even back on a little coffee to fight the caffeine withdrawl headaches. Adapt! Kill those nasty little viruses!


Work { V880 internal FCAL drive + Solaris 10 6/06 (Update 2) woes

Project due next Monday to provide a Solaris 10 development environment for electronic timekeeping. V880s rank up their with E420Rs on my list of "Least liked Sun Microsystem Hardware" as they are big, clunky, and consume an immense amount of power for their size. But I digress. They come with up to 12 internal FCAL loop attached 72GB disk drives and they have an add on option where you can install another FCAL controller (and a small cable) to make them mutlipathed to the disks incase one controller fails you can still access them. Useful for some situations, a waste of money for others. The patient in question did not have the multipathing option installed.

Solaris 10 is shaping up to be one of the best Solaris Operating Systems SUN has, but it was not ready for production use (in my opinion) until 01/06 (Update 1, side note to any 3/05 users may want to upgrade to at least 01/06 as the Java Desktop has greatly enhanced performance in 01/06 (JDS is rides on top of Gnome)).

In Solaris 10 Solaris disk multipathing (aka MPXIO) is enabled by default, which is a good thing. However on the V880 I installed, on first reboot after jumpstart, I received an error that it could not mount the root (/) partition...that's bad. I brought the system back down to the 'ok' prompt and boot into single user mode via the network. Once in single user mode I mounted up /dev/dsk/c1t0d0s0 (the / partition) and editted the /kernel/drv/fp.conf file and set 'mpxio-disable="yes";', to disable MPXIO and rebooted, the system was able to come fully online and the partitions mounted properly. But this disabled Solaris multipathing for all storage attached, this was bad as I had LUNs presented from SAN storage that I did want to be under MPXIO, so I tried to search through SunSolve, a once great resource that has now become almost, but not quite useless (content is locked away unless you have a support contract, which I do and even then a lot of stuff you used to have access to like bug IDs are not locked away) with vague reference to what I already tried, but no help. So I opened a ticket via the online support center...that was 48 hours ago with no response. So I escalated to my local SAM and SSE, they were able to help me with a few stmsboot commands, but these didn't work, as in they produced no output when I ran the commands. So I opend up the /kernel/drv/fp.conf file again and started reading:

--tail fp.conf---
# You can also enable or disable MPxIO on a per port basis.
# Per port settings override the global setting for the specified ports.
# To disable MPxIO on port 0 whose parent is /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@4 set:
# name="fp" parent="/pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@4" port=0 mpxio-disable="yes";
# NOTE: If you just want to enable or disable MPxIO on all fp ports, it is
# better to use stmsboot(1M) as it also updates /etc/vfstab.
---end fp.conf---

Aha! This is exactly what I want, to disable on a per port basis. So I modified the file to read:

--tail fp.conf---
# You can also enable or disable MPxIO on a per port basis.
# Per port settings override the global setting for the specified ports.
# To disable MPxIO on port 0 whose parent is /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@4 set:
# name="fp" parent="/pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@4" port=0 mpxio-disable="yes";
# NOTE: If you just want to enable or disable MPxIO on all fp ports, it is
# better to use stmsboot(1M) as it also updates /etc/vfstab.
name="fp" parent="/pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2" port=0 mpxio-disable="yes";
---end fp.conf---

and rebooted...error came back. I was perplexed, and pondered it over and realized that I may have the order wrong, so I did the net-boot/edit /kernel/drv/fp.conf again and changed it to read:

--tail fp.conf---
# You can also enable or disable MPxIO on a per port basis.
# Per port settings override the global setting for the specified ports.
# To disable MPxIO on port 0 whose parent is /pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@4 set:
# name="fp" parent="/pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@4" port=0 mpxio-disable="yes";
# NOTE: If you just want to enable or disable MPxIO on all fp ports, it is
# better to use stmsboot(1M) as it also updates /etc/vfstab.
name="fp" parent="/pci@8,600000/SUNW,qlc@2" port=0 mpxio-disable="yes";
---end fp.conf---

and Viola! It now does what I want it to, disable only the internal FCAL loop, but not the HBA fabric attached SAN storage.

time spent on problem: lots
number of small furry animals sacrificed to the machine god: moderate
number of admins rejoicing: 1

Casual Friday { (early) The real hidden rulers of the world

Saw this on BoingBoing and had to pass it on.

The hidden rulers of the world.

Yes I am being derivative.


[Gripe] Good Taste and Ephemera of Manufactured Products

Never seems to fail.

1) Find a product I actually like.
2) Fail to purchase item in a timely manner or purchase a consumable product in insufficient quantity.
3) Item is discontinued (good taste is rarely popular).
4) Find product again on vintage or auction site for 4X what it cost in the first place.
5) Pay small fortune for product I actually like.

I have a rather well-honed gift of being able to go into any catalog or store, find the one thing that I'd actually like to own, it will be the most expensive thing offered, and will be discontinued in short order.

On the upside, I have learned from this cycle of events that I should know what I want and be unafraid to jump when I find it. Also, that having some extra cash stashed away for when such items actually come around is a good thing.

If I were smarter, I'd being hoarding really good stuff early on so I don't run out.


Summer { A walk around Como

Last night, I had an excellent dinner with my grandparents. I don't see them as much as I would like since we've moved to Rochester. It was the longest time I've spent with them in a single sitting in years.

It was a beautiful night. I drove to Como park and took a walk. It is a little over a mile around the lake. The temperature was great and there was a free concert and I listened for a little bit.

I miss living in the Cities. I can't believe I never did these things when I lived there.