Refuting some misinformation about vaccines- not just the ‘Rona jab, but mostly about the jab.

So, a friend of mine from high school posted this question and comment on Facebook:

As I really don’t like being confrontational just to be confrontational, I asked if they really wanted an honest answer, or were just looking for reassurance in their choice to not get it. I promise that wasn’t passive-aggressive, just an honest ask.

At any rate… my legendary reputation for patience is really just a myth, so I started writing this to address a few of those questions/comments and have something to share later when someone (inevitably) asks again why they should get the shot.

So first, a primer:

My creds…or lack thereof

I am not a doctor, never had the interest, temperament, or quite frankly the type of brain required to enter the medical field. I am, however, an engineer, and science is very much and ingrained interest as a function of my career, and, also quite frankly, the type of brain I actually do have.

That being said, I am no fan of Western Medicine as an institution. Not because they aren’t helping, or because they aren’t smart, or don’t figure out how to help people live longer, better lives, or they don’t actually care about the well being of patients…. no, I really think they do or are ALL of those things. My problem is the profit motive. I truly believe in capitalism, but I also equally believe that certain segments of the economy simply shouldn’t have a profit motive: military, law enforcement, education, and health care. I understand the arguements made by pharmaceutical companies that the profit motive incentivizes them to do better things, and they would have a point if they weren’t making 40,000% profits on insulin, or made $100,000 pills, or had people like the Pharma Bro in their midst. I just don’t trust Big Medical to do the right thing unless coerced by regulations. Now, that being said… vaccines just plain work, and they are one of the few things that have almost no profit margin, and no revenue potential. We’ll get to that in a few, because, sure, there are exceptions and simplifications, but in general, vaccines are a 1-shot, no recurring expense kind of thing.

How vaccines work, and how they don’t (from a lay perspective)

The common belief is that vaccines are a magic shot that if you get it, you can’t get a certain disease they protect you from. You get a polio shot, and you never have to worry about it again, right?

Well, that’s a fairy tale. That’s just not how it works, and frankly, it’s never worked that way.

What’s generally referred to as the first ever vaccine was for smallpox. Smallpox was a stupid-level scary disease. Variola Major had a roughly 30% mortality rate, while the lesser form, Variola Minor, had roughly a 1% mortality rate. But even people who survived were often horrifically scarred, and many blinded. It was a shit disease to have gotten. But someone, a guy named Edward Jenner, discovered that milkmaids and dairy farmers almost *never* got smallpox. That led to some questions, and study and learning that nearly all milkmaids got Cowpox, as they handled cows with cowpox on the regular, and cowpox was zoonotic, or transmissible from animals to humans. Horsepox was the same way, and mounted cavalry was noted to have much fewer incidents of smallpox, too. Jenner tested using fluids from a pustule (big gross zit full of germs, yo) and applying it to a human intentionally would give that person cowpox, which was obnoxious, to be sure, but nearly never lethal. Because the cowpox/horsepox viruses and the small pox viruses are of similar families, and the vectors they use to infect cells are virtually identical… having one disease meant you wouldn’t be struck down with the other. They had no idea that it was a virus, at the time, nor that the germs caused the disease, and such… but the lucky break was that it worked. People that got this treatment pretty much stopped dying of smallpox. There were problems, of course, that they couldn’t foresee- the most common way to do this was an arm-to-arm fluid transfer… which often led to the spread of syphillis and such. Unintended consequences are real.

Now, the reason the cowpox virus acted as a shield to smallpox is generally how vaccines, in general, work. (Don’t @ me with exceptions, please.) Your immune system senses foreign germs that are harmful, and sets out to fix the problem. This usually involves types of white blood cells and antibodies that some white blood cells (lymphocytes) produce. Now I’ll be the first to admit, that this is where my understanding of the process breaks down, but I believe the lymphocytes create antibody particles that other white blood cells use to fight, in this case, a virus. Viruses are cells, and they can be “killed”, (there is still some debate as to whether viruses count as life forms or not), but they are like anything else- biologically, they don’t really want to die. So, they have defenses. For things in that scale, what one can use as a weapon isn’t necessarily obvious to us… but maybe it’s a chemical compound, or protein, or amino acid that the virus finds toxic. Maybe it doesn’t react well to heat. Maybe it’s a protein that has a sort of slime that fills all the holes the virus would use to inject it’s DNA into cells to infect them- it doesn’t have to *kill* it, but preventing it from infecting more cells is just as good.

You would *still have the virus inside you*, but it would be relatively neutralized. At that point you are still a carrier of that disease, and virus cells that are in you can escape through a sneeze or cough, before the white blood cells have taken care of all of them. That means you can still transmit the disease. BUT, because you are sharing MUCH less of the disease, since the immune system is killing most of them, you aren’t shedding as much physical mass of virus cells, and that directly translate to fewer people getting it from you. It can still happen, but on average, it will happen MUCH less.

There’s this one weird trick…

Well, maybe not just one… and maybe not weird, who knows. But for most virus and bacteria that you gain immunity to, or even simply don’t die from, there’s *something* that your body figures out how to defeat. If your immune system can’t beat it, it multiplies till you die, or it changes into something less harmful over time. If your immune system just ends up in a stalemate, you have a disease for life, even if it’s not always active (like herpes).

The trick, though, is to figure out what that “trick” really is. When you pick up a disease- say the flu- your body may or may not immediately recognize what it is, or even if it’s bad. Some are devious- HIV works by attacking the cells that would be the first to fight it… essentially a “invade the country by destroying all the military bases first” scenario. Can’t lose the war, if there’s no army to fight. Most are ones the body recognizes as a threat, and neutralizes first… if it knows how. It learns of the course of a lifetime, to react to or create antibodies that are specific to the threat in front of it. The first time you see a complex flu virus, your body doesn’t know what to do, so it throws everything it can at it.


If you get a bug that is cured fasted by being 101.3°, then you’re gonna get a fever. If a bug settles in the lungs, you’re gonna get a phlegmy, hacky cough. Sinuses = runny/stuffy nose. Those are your own defenses, NOT the disease. The symptoms are you *fighting*, not something the bug is doing to you. The whole time, your lymphocytes are producing all the different formulas for antibodies it can remember, and new ones, for good measure. If one of those seem effective, it starts producing more… and if it’s a new one it just invented… it adds it to the memory for next time.

If there is a chemical solution it already knows of, à la antibodies, the body ramps up production of those antibodies, stat. You usually never even feel that. Sometimes you do- maybe you’re a little more tired than usually for no apparent reason… maybe you just successfully fought of the bubonic plague… you don’t know! But those antibodies are a specific formula, and if it doesn’t know the right compostition, it’s guessing at random. That could take forever, and you could quite literally die before it figures it out.

ENTER: The Modern Vaccine

What if we discover someone who has already had the disease, and successfully fought it off? Could we harvest some of their antibodies? What if we could teach other bodies how to make them too? Then what?

Well, that’s essentially how they work. The newest vaccines are called mRNA vaccines… and they are fucking clever. They don’t use the disease… they use a *blueprint* for the part of a disease that infects you, or makes it bad, and tells your body, start making this thing, and if you run into this guy, you’ll know how to kick his ass.

XKCD has an EXCELLENT demonstration on how it works: (click the link for the full comic… this is just a snippet.)

Some vaccines are SUPER EFFECTIVE, some are mostly effective… some are just better than nothing.

There are degrees to how well vaccines can and do work. As the HIV epidemic proved, just getting exposed and not dying doesn’t give you immunity to that disease. Sometimes they can linger for the rest of your life- herpes, syphilis, chicken pox (yes, chicken pox. Ask anyone who has ever had shingles.) Some mutate so frequently that the vaccine only works on a few strains, but not on others- flu vaccines, the whole reason there’s not a vaccine for the common cold, etc. Some vaccines are slam-fucking-dunks. Polio, modern smallpox, MMR, tetanus, rabies, etc.

Those slam dunks are so effective, that they are mostly responsible for the belief that you-can’t-get-it-if-your-vaxxed. They are so effective that once you learn about the one weird trick, your body can fight it off before it ever knew it had it.

Others, the vaccine simply teaches you how to do it, but maybe it’s a complicated antibody, or the virus has tricks to disguise itself before your immune system can fully ramp up defenses. The vaccine is still effective, because you are able to survive and fight the virus off and not die. If you are already battling other issues, what you’ve probably heard as co-morbidities, the vaccine may still not be enough to fight off the vaccine itself, and you still may get hospitalized. It happens. Sometimes the person has co-morbidities they didn’t even know of, and you may get an instance where someone who seems perfectly healthy dies of pneumonia one day without warning. It just happens.

At any rate, Covid is a good example of a virus that has a shape that is highly effective in infecting living human cells with its own DNA, that it then hijacks the cell to make more viruses, instead of whatever the cell was supposed to be doing. Covid does this with the Spikes it has all over its outside. If you were able to cover, alter the shape, or even break off those spikes, the virus would be rendered useless. Combine that with the blueprint vaccine that tells cells how to beat it, and you get a vaccine that is really VERY effective. Probably as effective as the polio or smallpox vaccines are.

Then why hasn’t the vax wiped it out?

Because not everybody is getting the vaccine. Point blank. That’s it. When the polio vaccine came out, there were still breakthrough cases. Polio vaccine has a 90% efficacy rate. Pfizer’s covid vax has a 94%. That means the vaccine stimulates the immune system with the proper antibodies 90 or 94% of the time, in those cases. 6-10% of the time, the persons vaccine *didn’t work*! Maybe for biological reasons, maybe for mechanical reasons (it wasn’t properly stored, or the container was improperly sterilized, or whatever), but in some cases the vaccine simply didn’t work. Having a community with 50% vaccination rates , the disease has *5 times* people it *can* infect than if it were introduced to a community with 90% vaccination. We need to develop herd immunity of the vaccinated to reach critical mass where the virus has no more hosts to jump to. THAT is what makes the disease go away.

You know what made the Spanish flu virus finally die out? Herd immunity combined with the virus mutating to a softer form. That herd immunity was formed because the natural response, the antibodies people produced when they got sick, were SUPER effective at preventing reinfections. You already have seen this in action- when you get the flu, you aren’t likely to get the same strain again. It’ll have to mutate to get it again. That’s because the flu antibodies find several vectors to kill the flu virus, and you maintain memory of a very effective response. With Covid, getting infected and living to tell the tale doesn’t mean your body figured out the *best* way to kill it, just *a* way to do it. The vaccine in this case is more effective, because it teaches your immune system to make the perfect antibody. It’s simply the best weapon we have. If 30% of the population are people without the vaccine, and are completely unprotected, the virus has enough bodies to jump to, that it can survive indefinitely. If we hit critical mass, the disease simply fades away unless it can mutate into something the vaccine doesn’t solve.

Our luck with Covid thus far has NOT had it mutating to less effective strains. Delta was bad, Omicron was worse for spread. It remains to be seen if the Omicron version is actually weakening, or if we’re simply getting better at treating it. Both could be true.

But I’ve heard of people dying from the vaccine! Perfectly healthy people just dying from the shot…

Statistically speaking, no, you haven’t. You may have heard of someone that was close to you that sort of fits the bill, but I’d bet you a paycheck that I’m right, and they died for reasons other than the vaccine. Have some people had a violent allergic reaction to something in the shot and died? I’ve never seen an actual case, or any link/story/article that points to that actually happening…. but odds are, the answer is yes, that *could* happen. Just as much as you could be olympic athlete, in the prime of your life, and simply prop dead from an aortic dissection.

The US has a system called VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System. As of a report from December 21, 2021, 3 weeks ago, from the University of Missouri health system, there have been a little over 10,000 people who have died within a limited amount of time after receiving the vaccine. Out of 200,000,000 people, and 500,000,000 doses. There have been 855,000 deaths attributed to Covid. Out of 340,000,000 total people (vaxxed or unvaxxed). You are 85 TIMES more like to die from Covid than the vaccines, and that’s just using these raw numbers.

The numbers are not concrete. People have been screaming that for a while, “not that many people have died from Covid… that’s just people ho died *while having covid*!!!”. That’s true! Many of those people died of heart disease or cancer or whatever, and covid simply *pushed them over the edge*. They still would have lived longer, if even only a few days, if they didn’t get Covid, too. That SAME ARGUMENT applies to the number of people who died after getting the vaccine, except, it’s the rule and not the exception. VAERS numbers are small enough to be individually checked by the CDC, and it’s known that the number of pure sudden death from vaccines for healthy people are so low as to be microscopic odds. The vast majority of those cases are ones where people died of other causes, after having had the vaccine. Remember- the first people to get the vaccine we 80 and up. They were already at high risk of dying even without a vaccine. Nearly ALL of the people who *actually* died as a result of the vaccine were due to allergies, and even that number is so low, I *still* haven’t seen anyone share a legitimate example.

If you know of real world examples, please share, but keep in mind, if you have one, I have half a million examples of dead people that absolutely died as a direct result of covid that weren’t going to die the next day anyway.

Bottom line: estimates I’ve seen this week suggest 20%, or 1 in 5 Americans has contracted Covid at some point in the last 2 years. (I’m actually surprised it’s that *low*). The math works out like this: 20% of Americans is 340M * 20%= 68,000,000 people have had it at some point, and 855,000 have died. That’s a 1.2% mortality rate. 1 in 80, roughly. If that seems low, or not-so-scary, take a look at this:

Your odds of dying if you got Covid in the last two years are HIGHER than hitting 1+ the powerball on any single lottery ticket, and winning a grand total of $4 .

That death statistic is scary… but to me, it’s only a small part of the story. For every one that dies, there are more that get it and live with consequences. Some of those consequences seem small, like never getting your sense of taste or smell back… or even just living without those senses for a few months. Some of the people who survived spent weeks strapped to a ventilator, in a humiliating pose, exposed to the world, with a tube down their throat that scars them for life, others have ended up with permanent brain damage. This is not a bug you *want* to get.

If you don’t want to get the jab…

That’s on you. I can’t make you. I can absolutely support legal rules that mandate you have them to attend school or work, just like the rules now for polio, MMR, hepatitis, tetanus, rabies, etc. etc. etc. I think you are wrong if you don’t have an actual medical condition that leaves you immunocompromised and don’t get the jab. I may know you, I may still like you, I may still be related and love you dearly… but you will not maintain my respect for your perceived intellect or for your perceived bravery. Sorry, but I’m convinced, the jab is good, and good for you. If you have a legitimate medical reason for not getting it, you do not need to worry about how I feel about it, you do you, and I’ll fight for your right to *not* get it. The rest of us need to pull our our weight, though.

To close:

The vaccine isn’t a magic prophylaxis that shields you from ever interacting with the virus.
The vaccine is not a magic bullet that kills the virus on contact.
The vaccine is not a magic potion that make you superhuman and immune to symptoms if you do get it.
There’s simply no magic here. Just dirty, rough, real world science.

You can still get covid, but the effects should be nearly guaranteed to be less severe than if you were unvaxxed.

There’s a pretty good chance that if you get the vaccine, you could get it and defeat it before you ever knew you had it.

If you get the vaccine, you are nearly certainly preventing yourself from getting deathly ill, but you are also dramatically shortening the lifespan, and thus the ability for spread, of this virus. You are almost certain to save someone else’s life in the process. Odds are, several lives.

Please get the shot.

Perception is Reality.

(or… Beauty is where you find it.)

NB: I posted this on other media back in October of 2019. Since then, I haven’t got out to shoot as much, and this blog kinda fell into a big pot on the back burner. Time to get it back. So…

Perspective is an amazing thing.

How you see something is more important than most realize, and as I’ve explained to my kids, ad mauseum, perception IS reality. Occasionally, seeing behind the scenes can feel like it diminishes the magic of an event or image… but if you can look deeper, you will find beauty that you never knew existed.

This picture is a prime example. Take a minute and just look at this image. Soak it in and imagine you’re there. This is a real tree. It looks like this in real life. The colors are very vivid, but I promise, they are not photoshopped out of reality. Try to imagine what it would look like in the moment. Take your time.

The Tree (alt text)

I shot this about 6 months before the lockdown. It’s a terribly majestic tree. One can imagine leaning up against that massive tree trunk, good book in hand, maybe a glass of lemonade or iced tea, if that’s your thing. Glass of wine, maybe. Gentle breeze… the sound of the occasional fish splashing in the pond. Serenity.

Now I want you to find that tree in this picture. I assure you, it’s there. It’s earlier in the season, before the colors have changed, but it’s there.

No rush… but did you find it?

Here it is…

Totally not kidding. It’s that one.

Here’s what it looks like to shoot that tree.
(It’s still a little earlier in the season…the leaves are yellow-orange, and not yet red.)

Don’t look at this and think the magic is gone. The magic had to be found. Real magic and real beauty is there. Even if you didn’t know to look. If you see those reveal pictures and think, “well that’s disappointing…”, you are completely and literally missing the forest for the trees.

Perspective matters.
Perspective equals perception.
Perception equals reality.

I see this tree and see beauty. The beauty is *there*.

Just because you can find an unflattering angle doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful, too.
Don’t pretend the unflattering perspectives don’t exist- that isn’t helpful either… just don’t dismiss something because you once saw it as less than perfect.

Find the right perspective.

Find the right perspective.

The College Admission Fraud case, Operation Varsity Blues

A little extra insight on Operation Varsity Blues; from Rolling Stone magazine-

“5. Felicity Huffman was concerned about getting caught.
… In 2018, Huffman allegedly paid CW-1 $15,000 so her oldest daughter could participate in the SAT exam scheme. When it came time for her younger daughter to apply to college, Huffman considered enlisting CW-1 again, but ultimately chose against it because she was concerned her daughter’s SAT tutor would be suspicious if her score increased too much: “I just didn’t know if it’d be odd for [the tutor] if we go, ‘Oh, she did this in — in March 9th, but she did so much better in May.’ I don’t know if that’d be like — if [the tutor] would be like ‘Wow,’” Huffman told CW-1, per the court docs.”

The thing that bites me more is the fact that she. has. an. SAT. tutor. This doesn’t sound like much, and quite frankly, this isn’t that uncommon. However, this is privilege, plain and simple. All the privilege, and they *still* want *more* advantage. It must be nice to have all that disposable wealth.

Things like this are the reason that black and brown students don’t get into the good schools at rates they should. There is a multitude of chain reactions here that cause inequality. I’ll get to that in a minute.

We are a family of privilege. I am fully aware of that. We up and moved *twice*, once literally across the country, to live in the area with the best public schools we could get into. That was an advantage we had because of wealth. I absolutely understand the need to provide the best lives for your kids, and being willing to take extreme measures to ensure the best lives you can give your kids. Not everyone can afford to uproot and move to get to better schools, though.

There is a vicious cycle, and we are part of it. I feel a level of shame for that, but I also know we didn’t get where we are entirely by privilege. Sure, we’re white, but that was the limit of my privilege growing up. Looking back, though, I’m certain that was a big, big, big slice of how we got here. We had all sorts of disadvantages- we were working class, there were substance abuses, a constant lack of money, (partly owing to the substance abuse, but also from my being the result of a high school pregnancy in the endtimes of manufacturing jobs), physical abuses, being the “poor kid” getting bussed to a more affluent school (I had really good test scores…). Regardless, we’re now firmly out of “working class” economic territory. We’re nowhere *near* wealthy, but generally, I’m no longer floating checks to payday. Still, I’m very much a lucky man, on many fronts.

There’s this image of the “welfare queen” from the Reagan campaign- you know the look. Picture her in your head, go ahead. If you pictured a white woman, I’m not going to believe you. The prevailing theory from certain conservative circles is that black and brown people are poor by circumstance, not the system; and they will cheat and take advantage whenever it suits them. Those people completely fail to see the irony when rich people and businesses take advantage of the system- that’s just a bad individual, after all.

The “truth” is that people of color collectively have less wealth than people who look more like me. That means POC are poor. Poor people live in areas with higher crime. Higher crime is indicative of lower quality people. The people who commit crimes are people of color, because that’s what we see on the news. People of color use drugs more, just look at the prison system! Black people are violent! That’s why there’s more police related deaths! People should just be more compliant! Black people and brown people live in crime ridden areas because most of them are drug dealing criminals, and the drugs are the reason they stay poor and go to prison more.

OMG. The logic from that paragraph makes my head hurt.

The chain reaction I mentioned way up above is real. That “logic” that hurt my head has actual valid facts, just misattributed reasons. POC are in prison for drugs more, not because they use drug or sell drugs more- it’s because they are prosecuted more. Statistics say they tend to be more poor- that leads to not being able to hire expensive lawyers. Statistics also say they tend to be poor. Poor people stay poor because it’s harder to develop wealth in poor neighborhoods, because property values are kept low, because wealthy people don’t want to live in those neighborhoods, because of the crime, caused by poor people who often don’t have better prospects, because education money is tied to property values, which is tied to the neighborhood, which is poor, which is blacker/browner than white neighborhoods, which causes poor people to suffer, which encourages escapism with substances, which leads to arrests, which is crime, which lowers property values, with diminished wealth…. have I made my point here? The death spiral needs a way out. Nobody chooses to be poor. Poor people don’t choose to live in poor areas. Poor people live where they can afford to. POC who do make it out of the poor communities have the added insult in that often they don’t feel welcomed in white neighborhoods- often rightfully so, as the white people can get very unwelcoming.

I can’t *not* see the racial component in that, but let’s step away from that. Race aside, that way out is *supposed* to come in the form of higher education. The bastion of meritocracy. If you are smart and capable, you have as good a chance as any others. We are well off. We still can’t buy our way into Harvard or Yale or …. wait a minute… apparently we can. That’s why I’m angry at the people perpetrating this. We play by the rules, we encourage our kids, we want the best for them, but we still play by the rules. Cheating the system is one of the fastest ways to make me angry- the guy that flies up the shoulder to merge ahead of traffic; the lady that slaps a “service dog” harness on her chihuahua to take it into the deli; the guy that has zero shame in claiming to be a Christian family man while making his mistress get an abortion, paid for as a congressional expense; virtually every single thing 45 has ever done. All with no sense of shame. Gleefully.This sort of thing is bullshit.

This is unrelated, but the worst are the people who not only cheat, but feel people who don’t cheat are the suckers for doing the right thing. See: Merrick Garland.

Throw the book at these people, ESPECIALLY the ones that took the money.

I feel a sense of pity for the kids that are getting mixed up in this. Some of them will have had zero knowledge of what their parents were pulling behind the scenes. Some will have known, but even so- they are being taught how to cheat the system by a parent, and are thus betrayed, too. There’s a sense of schadenfreude at the rich kids getting hurt in this, but I can’t say they necessarily deserve it. The worst part is that it’s really hard for a child to recognize when a parent has failed them. Some of the worst parents I’ve ever seen had children that worshipped them.

Political Sex Scandals tend to affect and favor one party over the other…

I know, I know, this is going to be a controversial post. Just by nature. However…I’ve brought some facts.

So, I was browsing some stories and stumble across this wiki article:

I took that, and compiled some more info into this spreadsheet, looking just at events since 1990.

TL;DR: Republicans were 3 times as likely to be caught up in a scandal, and 6 times more likely to get away with it.

It’s here (and public): Google Doc Spreadsheet.

*Lines in red indicate no noticeable effect on career.

**Lines in BOLD indicate person is still in office.

Most of those fields are self explanatory, but a few need clarification. Some events were very old, some were more recent, but the offender was already out of office when the scandal broke.


  • MOT – Moral Outrage Today.
    • I ranked events on how they might be perceived today. Example, Strom Thurmond’s “sin” was fathering a *black* child. Now, a mixed race, non-wedlock child is a non-issue, but it was percieved differently in different times.
    • I tried to keep similar accusations ranked similar, but some would clearly see seen worse today that when they happened (harrassment, etc.) and some would be seen as “that’s an issue???” (shirtless photos surfacing of male congressmen, *being gay*). Others, like Gary Condit, the accusation (rape, murder) was *way worse* than the actual offense (regular affair), and like Denny Hastert, the actual offense (molesting boys while he was a coach) was *way worse* than the initial accusation (possible tax evasion.)
  • Outcome
    • Did they survive re-election? Resign? Still in office? Primaried?
    • Keep in mind, some people “resigned” at the last minute, others resigned immediately, others refused to resign, despite overwhelming evidence, and a couple resigned, even though their “offense” is perceived by many as not warranting a resignation.
  • My takeaway
    • Just some notes on hypocrisy or relevant trivia related to the out come
  • Negative effect
    • I looked at what happened after the scandal. Some resigned, others are still in office. Did it have an overall negative effect on their career? I have Y, N, and ?. Some clearly had an effect, others is debatable. Did Clinton suffer any career effects, since his career was effectively over his completed term. Roy Moore already had a controversial career, and his accusations didn’t change any minds. Herman Cain didn’t have a political career to begin with, so who knows how it affected him.

So, that all being said, what’s the infographic version of how things played out?

There were 50 “sexual scandals” since 1990, not including the current Brett Kavanaugh issue.

Of the 50:

13 were Democrats
37 were Republicans

5 were indeterminate with respect to effect
15 had no noticeable effect
30 had clear effect

Of the Democracts,

1 was unclear of effect
2 were able to salvage their careers
10 had their careers ended

Of the Republicans,

4 were unclear
13 were able to salvage their careers
20 had their careers ended

Of the 5 with questionable effect:

1 Democrat – 20%
5 Republican -80%

Of the 15 with no effect:

2 Democrats –  13%
13 Republican – 87%


On the finer points of Mac and Cheese. Bologna. Processed desserts.

This is going to get a little ramble-y, but bear with me.

I like Hostess and Little Debbie snacks. I really have a soft spot for the Hostess Ding Dongs. I know full well they are full of the worst crap you can possibly eat, which is why I haven’t had a Ding Dong or Twinkie or Ho-Ho or the like in probably 5 years. I still like them, though.

Fried Bologna and American cheese slices. Don’t even start with American cheese not being real cheese. I agree with you, but still…

The best example is Macaroni and Cheese. Kraft Mac and Cheese, to be precise. It, too, is total crap and there’s probably more nutrition in the box it came in…but it holds a soft spot. Why? Well, that’s easy. Growning up, that was the *good stuff*. The REAL stuff. It was especially good when you had a little Velveeta left over from some healthy dinner like Nachos – a.k.a. store brand tortilla chips, a pound of hamburger and most of a block of Velveeta- to melt into the mix.

The first time I went somewhere and had some scratch made gourmet-type mac and cheese, I couldn’t say….but I know I hated it. It didn’t taste anything like what I knew of as “the Good Stuff”. I would have been better if it were “the cheap stuff”- the store brand noodles whose cheese sauce mix was essentially yellow dyed sand in skim milk- because at least that I was familiar with. As I got older, and was able to go to nicer restaurants, or more wealthy firends houses (which was exceptionally rare), I did start to learn the difference between qualities in things like cheese, meats, sauces, etc.  As a teenager, our world expanded a bit, and I was exposed to better and better food. When I started living on my own, and with the new wife shortly thereafter, I was able to start cooking…and put the effort into food and really see the difference and understand what the “good stuff” really was.

I mean, really, to each their own and all…but I grew up mostly poor.  Our scenario was not typical, of course, but nobody is ever really typical; I still suspect there were a lot of people in my school who had similar existences.  There were times where we didn’t have power or heat. There were times when the only food in the house came from the Food Bank, most of which was expired cans from Aldi’s (before Aldi’s was cool) and/or cans missing their labels. Some of that poverty was situational,  sometimes it was parental substance use… just depended. There were good times, though. That’s when the name brand food came out, and cheeseburgers and ribs and steaks! (My dad had worked at a steakhouse about the time I was born, and so learned how to “properly” cook a steak, I guess.) Those were the times we’d have Kraft Mac and Cheese instead of  ACME Cheese* and Mac’roni®.

Even through the bad times, my grandparents always kept Hostess and Little Debbie snack around for us. Those treats are some of the happiest childhood memories I have. *That’s* why I can’t hate the “processed crap”, and will gladly allow my kids to have it on occasion, too.

Anyway, about halfway through high school, my dad got a new job. One that catapulted us from hovering around the poverty line 4 months of the year, to being solidly upper middle class. I haven’t been dirt-poor since.

A few years ago, I read this article. I could completely relate. In my house it was Mayo sandwiches instead of Ketchup sandwiches. And Instead of Mayo it was Miracle Whip. (Unlike other crap foods, I now can’t stand Miracle Whip. Unlike the “processed crap” in ho-hos, Miracle Whip is actually disgusting. )

Rambling? Sure. But that’s what I got today.


Updates on Ubuntu

I have to admit, Ubuntu and I had a bit of a falling out several years ago. I really hadn’t even been paying attention to El Reg or Reddit streams about the U in so long I missed an announcement: Unity is finally dead.


Ubuntu 18.04 has reverted back to Gnome for the default desktop.


So, backstory. In 2011, Ubuntu was King of Consumer Linux. Red Hat and it’s army of clones had the server segment locked up pretty tight, but Ubuntu was easy to install on your PC or laptop. Even your Mac. Gnome had been around a while, and was pretty stable. Sure it wasn’t as flashy as the new Vista interface, but …. wait…..seriously? That’s what Canonical thought people wanted? Aero? Ugh.

Anyway, the Unity desktop was foisted upon us, and I hated it. Sure, it was an improvement on the little 1024×600 netbooks that were everywhere at the time, but the 1600 x 1200 res on a good ol’ 4×3 LCD was perfectly good to run Gnome.

What was worse- they made it damn near impossible for a user to revert back to Gnome if they wanted to- even Windows does that at new releases. No, they wanted to be like Apple, and tell users that “trust us, is better.” The problem with that thinking is that Linux users actually do their own thinking. If we wanted to be mindless fanboi drones, we’d have just got Macs.

At any rate, yes, we don’t like change for the sake of change. Unity was to be this new centerpiece of Canonicals attempt as Convergence. Unfortunately, the phones, laptops, smart TV, etc., never really materialized, and Unity became the reason droves of people switched to other variants, Linux Mint being the chief landing spot for the dissenters. Mint pretty much *was* Ubuntu, but with a few fewer locked binaries, and a non-American pedigree that allowed for DVD playback without all sorts of stupidity that the DMCA gave us It still offered Gnome or MATE, another spin off of Gnome from a previous version that was even more beloved than the current release of Gnome. It seems like Canonical took that dislike of Gnome 3, and mistakenly thought they could just roll their own. Plan Fail.

Well, now they’ve finally reversed course (only took 7 years) and 18.04 (which is an LTS offering, to boot!) is now defaulting back to Gnome.

They still switched to systemd, le sigh.  Slackware is the only major distro still using SysV init. Dammit. Slackware is great for homebrew systems, but not for corp environs. At least now I won’t feel quite so dirty using Ubuntu desktop to dual-boot my Macbook.


A rehash for Technical Recruiters

A technical job is going to be able to be broken down into a few categories. Many of these overlap, and I understand it gets confusing, but here’s a few quick breakdowns:

Job types in tech fields:

Administration world… (Key words: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Unix, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, Sun, Active Directory, Virtualization, OpenStack , AWS, VMWare, LDAP, Apache, IIS, LAMP… )

– These guys (or girls or people in general. I use the term “guys”, as in: “Hey! Yous’ guys! I’m walkin’ here!”, no gender stereotyping, please…) are the guys that run in-office computer systems. Typically this means e-mail, logins, local security, pc updates/upgrades, etc. Basically they are who you call if your laptop has issues. Some of these jobs can be administration, but typically it’s local to a PC (meaning laptop/desktop). Good reference = Tier 1 support, help desk. (Help desk likes to call themselves admins- don’t confuse that with actual administrators, see next…) Analogous to = mechanic.

Call Center/Desktop Support – This a specific area in IT that refers to handling of individual problems, tickets, or products. If the call center is for a software company, the person may answer questions about hot to install a product, or may be an internal call center that answers calls like, “my monitor is not working,” or, “my password has expired.” Depending on the environment, it could be very detailed, if you support, say, CNC machines, and a customer needs to know the minimum thickness that one can “rail a part to” while the next caller may ask about metallurgical or chemical specs for specific alloys, while the next caller asks where the cup holder is.  Most call center have low level technicians working them, generally early career types, with more senior people choosing to go into management or deeper technical positions.  Analogy varies  = switchboard phone operator to high level mechanic – just depends on who answers the phone.
* Note: This is the single most common job posting I get, despite being way over-qualified for this role. This is what prompted me to write this article in the first place! If you can actually look at my resume, and think “he might be a good fit!”, then one of two things have happened. Either A.) Someone saw “computers” and sent a request, not really understanding the differences between roles; or B.) the tech economy has hit rock bottom, since these positions often (read: usually) start at under $20 an hour.

Administration – These guys maintain accounts, logins, upgrades/updates, etc. This may entail IT, but typically an Admin maintains larger networks, servers, offices, buildings, production environments, QA/Dev/other environments, etc. IT may be or have admins, but being an admin does not make you an IT person.   Good reference = Tier 1/2/3 support, may relate differently to different companies. Tend to be early-to-mid career, but not usually entry level. Sometimes called Analysts. Analogous to = Master Mechanic with a degree, makes hot-rods; not usually working at the local Buick dealer (unless he’s in charge).

Engineering – Admin +. These dude/dudettes design and implement what the IT people and Admins do. They are the ones whose job is to make the decisions of when updates/upgrades are done, how they are done, who does them, and when they are done. They determine what-affects-what in a matrix of technologies that may intersect. They have years of experience and tend to be specialized but still well versed in as many technologies as possible. Good reference = Tier 2/3/4,  Master Admin. Analogous to Electrical Engineer at GM, designing car systems.

Architect – Master Engineer. Designs whole environments. Develops vision for future use and paths. Good reference = Tier3/4. Analogous to : Designer at GM, specifically the person who designs each model year Camaro, etc.

Specialty World…

Programming/Developing – These guys write code. They come in many flavors. Being an expert in one does NOT mean they can program in others at all, but most programmers are fluent in multiple languages. There are different groupings of languages that serve different functions, but it’s not that important to learn which language does what- the important thing is to recognize the names of languages. Java and javascript are not the same in the same way Spanish and Portuguese are similar, but NOT the same. C, C++, C#, same analogy. (Fortunately, most programmers can jump around on similar code- C and C++ programmers are often fluent in both.)   Here’s a handy list of most major languages. If you have a job posting that requires “C, python, perl, or unix shell scripting,” and your candidate is “Strong in Java, Oracle DB, and MS Access” you should probably look elsewhere. (Rule of thumb: your candidate should have AT LEAST 25%  of any required language. If a job calls for three, and (s)he has one of the three…probably safe. Job calls for four languages and has you applicant has eight, but none are matching, probably a pass, but not always: knowing 8 languages also implies this person is a really strong coder and picks up new languages quickly.  Keywords: ANY of the languages in the link above.

Virtualization /Cloud Computing/Distributed Computing So *EDIT*…I’ve moved this up from a “thing to watch for” to an actual specialty, since it’s really blown up a bit in the last four years. Virtualization, Cloud and Distributed all essentially mean the same thing- Cloud just has a non-specific connotation that doesn’t necessarily apply to all virtualization though. (FYI: The “Cloud” in Cloud Computing simply means internet accessible. That’s really it. ) That being said, servers can be very powerful things. Often users don’t need such a monstrous device. It can be 10-50 times more powerful than you need. And cost way more than you want to pay. Smaller servers still take up space and power, so if you company has 10 groups that each need a server, 10 small servers may be way more expensive than that one monster server, and would use more power and be more costly in rack space than a monster. Virtualization lets you take a server, and make it pretend it’s really 10 smaller servers. You can use the pretend servers just like it’s stand-alone brethren. You can also quickly make exact duplicates of the virtual machines, if you suddenly need more capacity- or to spread the load across 10 servers, just in case one breaks. There’s lots of great reasons to virtualize. Cloud Computing is just a way of selling/monetizing virtual servers servers online. It’s essentially virtualization, but companies can do this without buying the big monster servers in the first place. Basically, they just “rent” virtual servers from companies like RackSource, Amazon (AWS), or Cisco (Okay…maybe not so much from Cisco anymore…I speak from experience there…) Some companies build their own “private cloud”, so they can “rent” space to internal customers, lightening the cost load to operate.  (Keywords to watch for here, Openstack, AWS, Cisco Cloud Services, VMWare, VCenter, VSphere, KVM, Xen (Pronounced Zen), Hypervisor, Qemu, Virtual Box, Citrix, etc.)

Networking – These guys run, maintain, plan and build connections, not servers. They make sure servers can talk to other servers, the web works, email servers can talk to the right servers, communication security. Basically, if one computer or server or office wants to move data from one place to another, these guys handle it. (Keywords: Cisco, Lucent, Alcatel, Nortel, TCP/IP, IPV4, IPV6, Routing, Switching, Packets, Gateways, Wireless, Cat 5, Wiring, Cabling, Load balancing, F5, Big IP)

Storage – These guys are easier to identify…they do storage. Storage entails disks and storage arrays. They may be attached to servers, they may be attached to networks, but the primary function is holding data and keeping it safe. (Keywords: SAN, NAS, NFS, RAID, NetApp, EMC, 3Par, SCSI, iSCSI, Fibre Channel, Fabric, Duplication, Deduplication, Backup, Samba, Filers)

Database – DBA’s. (Stands for Data Base Administrator) These guys are also easier to identify, fewer keywords. They are a subset of programmers who specialize in Query Language- fancy term for database coding. There are different types of databases- relational, transactional, object-based, etc. (Keywords: Oracle, Sybase, SQL, MySQL, Postgre, Access, Hadoop, Big Data )

Security – Alright, these guys are a little reclusive. They can be physical security guys (doorpad, keypads, entry systems, loss prevention, etc.), server-based guys (user access, user admin, password sets, encryption, intrusion detection, malware prevention, etc.), or flat-out hackers (intrusion detection, security hole tester, etc.)- a.k.a. “white hats”, whose job is to hack into their own systems (or clients’ systems) and figure out what needs to be fixed/patched in order to prevent a “black hat” (bad guy) from cracking in and causing damage. Either way, the job is to protect company assets, physical and digital.

Managerial – Applies to any of these categories. I think you can figure this one out on your own…

Operating Systems…

This seems to throw people off. Operating systems are the backbone of any environment. Most envs are now multi-OS, so there’s likely to be Windows and Linux (or unix) in most shops. You almost never see Mac in server space, but they do exist. A good way to think of it is like the mechanic analogy: mechanics can be specialized in cars, motorcycles, big-rig trucks, airplanes, boats, etc. Just because you’re a mechanic does not mean you’re qualified to work on a 747 engine. Yes, they all work on the same basic technology, (fuel plus oxygen plus fire = go!) but the implementations are so vastly different, that one person is not likely to know more than a couple really in-depth.

Microsoft – The most common thing you run into in IT space, not as ubiquitous in server space . Windows can be split into two categories, desktop support and server support. A server guy usually knows desktop, but the other way around is certainly not a given. Desktop OS’s are Windows 95/98/ME (outdated), Windows XP(also outdated), Vista(OMG, you run Vista???), and Win 7/8/8.1/10. Server OS’s are Windows NT & 2000 (outdated) and Windows Server 2003/2008/2008R2, etc.

Most Microsoft guys are not familiar with Unix, Linux, or Mac, but you will find the occasional MS user that is an outlier. Typically, though, most people who work in one of the other OSes know Microsoft inside and out- most of us started out in Windows, or at least used it heavily at some point in our lives. If the job description calls for Windows work on a Unix job title, most candidates would probably be fine.

Unix – The granddaddy of ’em all. Unix has been around by far the longest. It is a derivative of some of the first operating systems ever built, but has changed considerably, having to adapt to newer technologies, just like everything else. Linux is a (kind of) fork of Unix, and Android is a fork of Linux. BSD is a fork of Unix, and MacOS is a fork of BSD. (Fork, n., a version of a software product that has been modified to such an extent that it can be recognized as a completely different product, often with new owners and new copyright rules.)

Common versions of Unix are Sun’s Solaris (sometimes mistakenly called Sun OS), the actual SunOS, HP-UX, AIX, SCO-Unix, Minix. Often you’ll see the term “Posix” or “Posix based”. That simply means any software that is Unix-like, which refers to all flavors of Unix, Linux, Android, etc.

Linux – This is a relative newcomer. It was invented in 1991, but really was developed into a serious server OS in the early 2000’s. It’s becoming very popular due to the fact that it’s free. (Yes, free.) Instead of being owned by a company, Linux is a community owned code set, that is open source. (Means anybody can use it for anything they want, in essence.) Companies like Red Hat, Novell (they make SuSE Linux), Canonical (Ubuntu Linux), and others can take the open source code and improve it in what ever way works best for them and run server environments with it, and sell service to support the software, usually without actually selling the software itself.

There is a desktop component to Linux, but it is much less widely used. Keywords to watch for: Red Hat, RHEL, SuSE, Fedora, Ubuntu (or anything with the word ‘buntu’ tacked on to the end…), CentOS, Android, GNU, Gnu-Linux, BSD, Free BSD, Minix.

Mac – Macintosh, Apple, Mac, iOS, OSX (pronounced O.S.-Ten) are all names for the Mac operating system. You’ll find very little in the server world, but it’s popularity in the desktop space is booming. Even more so in mobile devices. Modern versions of OSX are based on BSD, and very Unix-like, but has a graphical component that is significantly different from anything else. Mac guys tend to be Mac guys, and nothing else. Not always, but usually.


Other stuff to watch for..

Enterprise vs Office Employers with large server sets are what we call Enterprise level. Small offices, or local IT guys are Office level. One is not ‘higher” than the other, just Enterprise jobs involve large-scale servers, lots of users, lots of layers, and usually lots of silo-ing of work. People tend to get highly specialized. Office level guys have to be jack-of-all-trades, and often focus on day-to-day desktop and laptop support. Think Enterprise=Major hospital. Office=local doctor’s office.

Big Data This is a fairly new phenomenon- services like Facebook, Google, financial institutions often need to crunch a HUGE amount of data. Companies like Teradata and products like Apache’s Hadoop are developing ways to cluster computers together in a way to do what’s called Massive Parallel Processing. A large database may be 20-50 gigabytes. Very large might hit the terabyte mark (that’s a thousand gigabytes.). Big data does petabytes (a thousand terabytes/a million gigabytes) to an exabyte (a thousand petabytes)! Ginormous amounts of data. Think about Facebook- all profiles, pictures, comments, movies, links, notes, groups, and everything else has to be accessible at a moment’s notice. That’s a certified metric tonne of data.


Now, I just sat down and wrote this out off the top of my head. By all means, send feedback if I left something out, or if you need specific question answered- I’ll add it to the manifesto above. ?



Why I distrust Dave Ramsey, and other “broadcast experts” who peddle snake oil

So, in response to a facebook post from a friend, I commented how I am not a fan od Dave Ramsey, AT. ALL. This appeared to have shocked some people, so I said I’d explain.

My problems with Ramsey are two-fold, one: I hate people that peddle their own brand of what’s essentially populist propaganda on masses that do not have the time to invest in fully understanding what he’s talking about.  If enough people hear the message, it doesn’t matter how wrong he is. If you tell a lie often enough people will believe it. Two: I hate his extraordinary simplification of complex ideas,  sometimes amazingly wrong and bad advise, and stretches of math that simply do not support reality. (Seriously… 12% annual growth over 40 years? )

First let me explain his personal issues, then expound on the whole of talk radio sales people.

Dave Ramsey says things that sound absolutely true and good on the surface.

Here’s his “baby steps”:

Baby Step 1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
Baby Step 2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
Baby Step 3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Baby Step 4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
Baby Step 5 – College funding for children
Baby Step 6 – Pay off home early
Baby Step 7 – Build wealth and give!

They all sound super smart! Who could argue with any of them? Me, and thousands upon thousands of economists, scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, bankers, politicians, and legal experts.

First off, all except #2 are actually good ideas, but with major caveats. Emergency fund? Yes. Are you making enough at your part time job to save $1,000? Then it’s not a good idea. If you were a medical student and your mission was to cure AIDS by the end of the year, that sounds like a good mission, but it’s a stupid goal because you don’t know how to even begin.
If you are making an average household 2-income cashflow, these rules are out of your reach, not because of debt, but because of the cost of living.
Let’s say you are above average, and are in the wealth range that DR is catering to: 2 and 4 are not good blanket advise, and he knows it.

Bottom line issues with #2: Debt is NOT a bad thing.
Bottom line issue with #4: There is no one-size-fits all investment strategy. There are better options depending on your own scenario.

Important fact: Debt is NOT a bad thing. In fact, it is the driver of literally most of the financial growth in the world. Literally.

If I have a job, but not a large savings and I need to buy a car, I can save up over time, and buy a car, or I can get a loan. If I save up, the car manufacturer has to wait on me to sell their car, which means they don’t have the money to spend until I do. If they are trrying to buy a house, but can’t buy a house till I buy a car, and I build houses, but can’t build a house because nobody has the money to buy one, we’re both screwed. Debt solves the problem. Sure, you’ll pay more for the car in the long run, but that’s not unsustainable. If you factor in inflation, paying for something later and paying less upfront is often worth the convenience- both for you and the seller. (Buying *too much* car is often a problem, though. Don’t do that.)

Dave Ramsey says all educational debt it bad. BS. Some educational debt is bad- diploma mills and online-only education scam artists that don’t earn anything extra are bad, but a 4 year degree in a professional field? Are you kidding? I can make $20,000 a year in retail, or $75,000 as an engineer. If I take out 80K in loans, and end up making $55k more than I would have, it only takes a year and a half into my career to be ahead. There are very few careers where you aren’t making more than you would have been. Some fields of study do take longer to recoup your investment, though. Some, I’ll admit, never make enough to recoup. You need to be aware of that and accept it before embarking on that path. Hopefully you did that first.

If you have Ed. debt, paying it all off first and renting, while saving up to buy a home is often ridiculously stupid. (Something he nearly always advises.) Renting costs almost as much as a mortgage in most markets, but with a mortgage, you actually build equity in your home. At the end of a year’s rent, all you get is a rent increase notice and the feeling of “well, at least I had a roof over my head”. If you are single, or non-parents, maybe renting is worth it, but not usually. Student loans are typically very low interest, and some of which is usually subsidized. Worse: he often says pay off your debts, and dump that money into investments. He argues this as investments can grow 12% over 40 years! (Which is utter, utter, bullshit. Oh yeah, dd I mention he happens to sell mutual funds?) Buying a house is a lower rate if investment, but at least you end up with a useful physical asset. When your mutual fund goes belly up, or the next crash leaves it at 10% of what it was, you lose big.

Those are just a few examples out of hundreds I can think of… but the real issue with DR is why he says what he says.

News flash: it has nothing to do with wanting to get you out of debt or make you wealthy. It’s making HIM wealthy.

DR sells books, and has radio broadcasts, and tv appearances. He makes money because *you* pay attention to him, not because he’s right. His mission is to say whatever gets you to buy more books, and listen to more radio ads. His advice is not the product, YOU are. Also, he’s a real estate mogul. He advises people to rent often…which he makes money on!

That’s my big beef with all broadcast salesmen. They aren’t peddling information, they’re extracting money from YOU. His advice is a massive conflict of interest that benefits him and him alone, much like the InfoWars people and their “Survival Seeds”, and Glenn Beck and his “buy precious metas and Survival Seeds”, and Breitbart and their “Survival Nazi Seeds”. It all makes me angry that people buy into their shit instead of thinking things through.

/End rant.

Status report 2017

I know it’s a little late to be posting a 2017 update, but, y’know, life happens.

I’ve got several things going on under my belt, so the blog hasn’t been a priority. But, that’s what this post is about.

I’ve got a few interests that keep me going: aviation, photography, computers, politics,  all blog concentrations, of course, but there’s also music, Scouting, robotics, writing, working, parenting, and husband-ing. I’m not really stretched thin so much as some things occasionally take a backseat for a while when I focus on others.

For example: I haven’t flown in nearly a year, and it’s killing me. My flight physical was delayed while they study my EKG and a sleep study…because, y’know, I’m 40 now. Hopefully that will be remedied soon, with a letter from the FAA. I’ve taken some time off from music, too.  I was a band leader for a Jazz band and Big Band in Raleigh for several years, and stepped into a player role for the last year, since I knew we were moving. I was a player in a couple other bands, too, before that including a Brass Choir (that specialized in chamber music), and a Ska band from many years ago.  (I play brass – mainly trumpet- , guitar, and even bass on occasion.) Scouts has become a back burner, since we’ve moved and we’re waiting for the middle child to complete his Eagle Scout before we move to another troop. (He’s almost finished.) I’m nearly completely burned out on politics, seeing as how everyone has an opinion on things they do NOT understand. It’s just painful dredging through BS opinions to find real political dialogue.

That being said, I’ve been focusing a lot on my photography, computers and writing. I’m nearly halfway through a novel I started writing a few months ago. I’ve got enough material for a whole series, just need to get it sorted out and in text. I’ve been learning new computer languages, applications, and suites. I’ve been neck deep in the Atlassian suite this year, and setting up provisioning suites for a small lab at work.

I’m also trying to teach the kids to code. The boys have started learning Java in their robotics program at school. A lot of the robot competition involves controlling the robot, and programming autonomous activity for the machines, too. It’s just too cool. The 10 year old just started learning HTML tonight. I got her set up on Codecademy, running through building her for web page. We got her fist Hello World page, and now she’s heading for the bowels of CSS. 🙂

So, that’s the update. I actually sat down here because I wanted to write up a schematic for the home network. I got a substantial UPS a couple weeks ago (for free, because it needed a little work), and replaced a blown cap, and VOILÀ!, 2700 watts of backup. That gives me 10 minutes of outage time! That may not sound like much, but if you look at my schematic, you’ll see I’m pulling a LOT of watts. Ha!