beer, meetmeme, Backyard

This Weekend

Not that I post all that much, but it is Anime Detour this weekend. Sometime today we will be headed to the hotel for setup. The hotel corporation has decided to provide wifi at the insidious cost of $10/day, so I will not be on much, and probably using the Caribou wifi across the street if I am.

There are still a few walk up registrations available. I would recommend getting there early if you do not have one.
  • Current Mood
    excited excited
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Best Buy offends me, again

Best Buy has a long and sordid history of offense. News of false imprisonment, failed customer service, failed "Optimization" service for PCs and TVs. The offense today was another joint effort between Best Buy and Geek Squad.

First, some reminders about Internet and Network speeds.
Most cable connections to the Internet run between 8 - 12 Mb/s (aka Mbps - Megabits per second). DSL is about the same at the high-end, if you are lucky enough to have fiber-optic, you might get 20Mb/s.

That being said, do you ever get 8-20 Mbps of download speed? No. Just No. The websites/download sites are capped on their end as to how fast they will feed you data. That is why downloads are not instantaneous. Many download are very quick, but the speed is still regulated by the site.

Wireless speeds:
A - no one uses A.
B - 11 Mbps
G - 54 Mbps
N - 300 Mbps (approximately - N standards are either still in Draft mode, or very recently become official)
N+ - BS

Notice how even B exceeds most capabilities for Internet connections.

What I have done with B/G in my house:
Simultaneously: multiple torrents downloading on multiple computers, streamed near-DVD quality movies from Netflix, played MMORPGs, chat, surf the net.

Back to the offensive part:
Best Buy/Geek Squad has a poster by the WiFi routers proclaiming that
G is good for general Internet
N is 'adequate' for streaming music, movies, games
N+ is really what is want for streaming movies, music, and games

WTF?! N is adequate? Yeah, for a definition of adequate like getting 80mpg is adequate for a car, or how the Bugatti Veyron is an adequate sports car (0-60 in 2.46s, top speed 253mph).

So, if you really, really push to max out your incoming pipe (assuming you have fiber), you still can not saturate your G wireless, unless you are trying to maximize your connections within the house (like say copying blue-ray disks to and from multiple computers while surfing, downloading, streaming music and videos and games. So, if you really have to try to saturate a G network, how the fuck are you going to possibly saturate an N network today? Yeah, didn't think so. Adequate. Dumbasses.

edit: fix typo
beer, meetmeme, Backyard


Thanks to our lovely firends scotia_girl and davedujour we have more Primary and Secondary fermenters now. In an effort not to waste any time filling them, I signed up for the Ale Kit of the Month club at Midwest. And as mle292 mentioned, we also picked up another Mead and a Lager. Lager is currently in the one day room temp cycle before going into the cold dark recess that is the uninsulated tool closet. The Mead is currently occupying the wine primary. We think we are going to put in a proper wine as soon as that moves to the secondary. Hopefully also soon smaller fruit wines will be made.

We bottled the Irish Red last night. Today we will bottle the Hex Nut brown ale. We will also move the lager to the secondary and brew the Ale of the Month - Excelsior Altbier.
beer, meetmeme, Backyard

2009 / 2010

So, the world did not end. Not even close. Not even when I had a migraine so bad I wanted it to. It will not end in 2010, 2011, or 2012. Beyond that my Magic 8 Ball still says, "Hazy, ask later" or some such enlightened psychic answer.

In 2009 I learned to brew beer. That is perhaps my most crowning achievement of the year. Perhaps longer, but I am still tired and caffeine deprived and not entirely certain. Besides, if there is something more impressive, it will not appear in my feeble brain until _after_ I click "Post."

From a work perspective, I became a better Project Manager and fairly successfully managed a large project in which I had two core engineers, two significant contributors, and two more supporting engineers. It came in at just over 5000 hours. It did mean frequent, and I do mean too frequent here, trips to IA. Not that IA is a bad state, they passed Gay Marriage ahead of most of the country and you can buy booze in the grocery store, so they are more progressive than many places I have traveled. I had to go to Topeka, FFS.

mle292 and I painted the living room and kitchen. We also had the main bathroom redone - down to the studs and subfloor and back to a very nice bathroom. The house has color now. The bathroom is black and white and Central Mauve (purple) with yellow accents. The living room is Water Sprout and Sagey (light and darker greens). The kitchen is Glorious Gold and Feather Plume (looks like peach to me). We, and by we I mean mostly mle292 and I assisted, put in new light fixtures in each of the rooms. The kitchen has so much light now it needed a good scrubbing because all of the dingy spots are now visible. Still some touch-ups, cleanup, and putting-away to do, but we are mostly done. Not bad for a week of vacation.

Speaking of vacation, I took a few short vacations, one for Marscon, one for Anime Detour, and another for Convergence. Our trip to Chicago was canceled for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was my project was supposed to go live that week and I was in Iowa Sunday night to Thursday night the week before and after. Such is life. Fortunately, we did get to see the most important people in Chicago when they came and visited us here.

I finally saw all of Farscape Season 1. Also very impressive for a list of achievements, I know.

In 2010, I resolve to... Hmmm. No resolutions. They don't work anyway. And speaking of work. Back to it.
  • Current Mood
    quixotic quixotic
beer, meetmeme, Backyard

On the Media

I was listening to MPR - On the Media on my drive down today. This is before I got out of range and switched to podcasts and music courtesy of my iPod. I should say that I have not had any issues with my iPod and I have had it for quite a while. Early on I had to complete one hard reset, but since then it was been working like a champ.

Back to the news. First up, Comcast buying NBC. Oh, Comcastic! Wait, except they suck. The guy interviewed by On the Media has doubts about it passing the "Public Good" portion of whatever token hearings the FCC sets up. Well, he did not say it like that... But he did say some things with which I did agree:
Comcast has to answer the same things all media / cable conglomerates are expected to answer - what happened to a la carte, and why do distribution costs keep going up?
Then he finished with, "Cable-bashing is a non-partisan sport."

Next story is the same story we have seen for decades. On what do we blame violence?
D&D - too small a crowd
TV - it has been overplayed and no one buys it anymore, since no studies bear it out
Video Games - the current whipping boy. DING DING DING
Hugo Chavez and his administration are now banning toy guns and video games to help reign in violence. I wonder if that douche-face Jack Thompson went down there and convinced them that video games are bad, m-kay?
Studies might show an increase in aggression, but have failed to show an increase in violence. The interviewee indicated that it is likely this will soon go the way of the TV argument, as more people that have grown up with video games start to gain influence. His other comments included, "When politicians start blaming video games (or TV), it shows they are out of real ideas, and this is the last card they have." His last point was also interesting - What will they start blaming next?

From Comic Books to Music to TV to Video Games, none if it has shown any causality with violence. Interestingly, I recall that Michael Moore searched for the same thing in his movie, Bowling for Columbine. I really did not like the way he ambushed Charlton Heston, but most of the movie was pretty decent. Japan, UK - much tighter gun laws, less gun violence. Canada - much less restrictive gun laws, less gun violence. What is it about America that gives us such a high level of violent crime?
beer, meetmeme, Backyard

In Iowa again

Here after an uneventful drive. I have a Ford Focus again this week. Not a great car by any means, but it is passable transportation.

Facebook continues to be broken. I cannot post, I cannot comment, I cannot even "Like" a post. The new layout blows. All of the things I worked to get rid of now show up in the Live Feed. News Feed mode seems to have about a 19 hours lag time, perhaps purposefully pushing people to the Live Feed, where we have to figure out some different shitty interface to get rid of all of the crap. I cannot even post on Facebook that I find it annoying. I think mle292 talked about syndicating feeds from LJ or Blogspot, then people who insist on staying on Facebook can subscribe.

In other news, my company's Project and Portfolio Management system is borked. None of the hours entries from my team have progressed, meaning I could not run my report on Friday, meaning I took heat from the client for not having the status up to date and it is not even my fault. As opposed to the times where I have purposefully waited until Sunday to do it since my team was working on the weekend. What do you want, incomplete information on Friday, or complete information on Sunday night? Apparently incomplete information on Friday. So noted. Note that I also have to fucking drive here on Sunday. Keep in mind if I post the status on Friday I am not updating it on Sunday. I work enough. Fuck.

On a hugely positive note, yesterday was a very productive day. We brewed a Trappist Ale. We moved the Cream Stout to the Secondary. And we bottled the Pumpkin Ale. The Grand Cru is gone, the Nut Brown Ale is going fast. The Scottish Export will be ready on Saturday, the Pumpkin Ale about 3 weeks from now. I think mle292 is getting another Secondary this week so we can have yet another brew in flight.
beer, meetmeme, Backyard


Three years. Three years and the vendor cannot fix two typos in a key piece of automation. But they can add "My favorites." However, my favorite groups is not actually my favorites, not actually user adjustable, just another setting that wastes time for my team. See, because My Favorites can only be set and updated by a system admin.

Argh. Also, why after two demonstrations does a team need to see a third demonstration? Did they fail to take notes? No, I will not be writing your team's documentation for you.

In other news, brewing goes exceeding well. The Pumpkin Ale took the place of the Scottish Ale in the secondary. The Scottish Ale was bottled. I took a reading and it appears the Scottish Ale is a bit light on the alcohol content, but it smelled fantastic. Three weeks before I get to try it.

The mead continues to sit in the secondary and be tempting. I had some of the Nut Brown Ale yesterday. I brought one bottle with me, so I will try it later this week. I also found three bottles of Grand Cru hiding, so I am very excited to have some more of that.

At least it is not snowing here, but I would rather be home.