January 30, 2007: Sleep? What’s sleep?

I got home from work and Dominica and I went right out to IHOP for dinner. I was in a good mood and just felt like going out and taking the night off from work. We came home after our scrambled egg skillets and watched Are You Being Served? while I worked on writing a script that will automatically install BugZilla onto CentOS because it is way too complicated to be doing by hand should I ever need to do a rebuild and there is simply no documentation on how to do this anywhere. So I figure that someone will benefit from this once I am done with it.

I went to bed a bit after eleven and woke up, completely rested this morning, with but two hours of sleep! I got out of bed at one thirty in the morning. I was up for about an hour and a half and then decided that it was a mite too early and decided to just lay in bed for a while “reading” the book that I have been working on “In the Wake of Madness” which I finished this morning.

I got completely out of bed a little after four, but without having slept a wink since half past one, and got ready for work. I have some work to do that is perfect for the early morning when I am pretty much guaranteed to be alone with nothing to do. There is especially little to do since I am not officially covering the phones so there is someone already in the office taking care of that so I am free to just do server builds in peace.

I got into the office just after seven but immediately discovered that there was an outage that prevented me from doing the work that I had come in early to do which was not useful at all. So that was a waste of getting up nice and early. I could have stayed in bed with Oreo who was very sleepy after having had a birthday party at day care yesterday.

Doggie Paradise has posted the Halloween Party Pictures from a few months ago. It was Oreo’s first Halloween party and he loved it. There is a picture of him in his costume on the costumes page and there are several group pictures that he made it into that I am reposting onto Flickr to make sure that we preserve. We now have one hundred pictures of Oreo on Flickr!

Josh TXT’d me this morning to let me know that he is coming down to Newark the middle of next week. He doesn’t know his exact schedule yet. He should be down for a few days. The building is a lot more complete than it was the last time that he was down. This should be rather a shock for him.

I learned today (from reading Dilbert of course) that Penn and Teller (the illusionist in Vegas who have poor cat handling skillz) promote smoking because they claim that there is “no evidence that second-hand smoke is dangerous.” As second hand smoke is the same as first hand smoke without a filter they therefore are either stating that filters are dangerous or, more likely but even less reasonable, that first hand smoke isn’t bad for you at all and all of those people that you know personally who died from smoking, um, didn’t. Let’s face it. Smoking is so insanely bad for you that we would be lucky if there was a single person reading this blog who didn’t personally know someone who died from smoking induced cancer or lung failure. And think of the incredible number of people that we DON’T meet in our lives for exactly that reason. All those people who died before we could meet them. Maybe the lesson here is not to smoke. Maybe the lesson here is that two-bit Vegas performers define scraping the bottom of the social barrel. Maybe there is a lot to be learned today.

I started listening to David McCullough’s “The Johnstown Flood” today. I love David McCullough books. The story of the great flood at Johnstown is particularly interesting as the town was founding by a long lost relative (named John) and because it is located close to Pittsburgh where I once lived.

I came across a letter written to Scott Adams by a very adamant reader who was extremely upset with Scott for having suggested, in a comic-strip no less, that fish feel pain and that by doing so he was risking the collapse of America’s outdoor traditions and conservations practices. Apparently Americans can only exist happily and not kill things by inflicting horrible pain and wounding poor, defenseless animals. The person who wrote in (who withheld his name for obvious reasons) actually infers in the letter than pain is a human feeling and that animals don’t feel pain and that they have no rights – none. This person clearly is a scary, sadistic person – for any living creature to “need” to hurt another! This isn’t an argument about food supplies, health or anything of the sort. This person is lashing out because there is a one in a million chance that the population might catch on to animal torture practices and realize that people who take pleasure from killing, maiming and torturing one living creature are only the tiniest, unmeasurable distance away from being serial killers. In fact, the only mental difference between the two is the fear of going to jail for what you do. In both cases it is a matter of a living creature taking pleasure from the pain of another. Or, in Christian parlance, taking pleasure in the destruction of what God has created. The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?

Coincidentally I just finished reading “In the Wake of Madness” today which just happened to be about several men, specifically whalers – people who make their living killing gentle sea mammals on a daily basis – who are considered fine, upstanding citizens at home who, once out to sea away from the laws of the land, turn to racist serial killers who use their positions of power to torture innocent non-Europeans to death. It was widely known that the Massachusetts whaling fleet had a very high percentage of captains and mates who lost all concept of humanity when out to sea. What set the whaling fleet apart from other sea-faring jobs was the constant killing and death that was involved in the job. And with whales, unlike with fishing, the killing of a whale is a very personal experience where you have to spend a lot of personal time struggling to take the life of a large and highly intelligent creature. “Moby Dick”, often considered to be America’s most important novel, deals with the obsession one man has with needing to take revenge on a whale – apparently the inability for humans to separate the suffering of men from the suffering of animals is a critical thread in the very traditions of our country.

A new robotic parking garage is about to open in Chinatown. Now, before I mock this parking garage because you just KNOW that I am, I want to state that I am a big fan of the concept of robotic parking garages. They save tremendous urban space and lower the cost of city life. They just make sense. However, after Hoboken’s failed robotic garage fiasco the Chinatown facility was quoted as saying “”It is a complete virtual impossibility that damage can occur.” according to the Associated Press. A “complete virtual impossibility” – does that imply that it isn’t just a partial virtual impossibility which would actually make it rather likely? Is he trying to say that he isn’t lying when he says that it isn’t likely that your car will fall, upside down, onto the street below? I’m not sure what exactly they are implying but the one thing that I am absolutely sure of is that they are NOT saying that the garage is actually all that safe. (Remember, the cars are EMPTY in the garage. Do NOT leave pets or children in the car. The Hoboken garage dropped one car six stories and another car four stories!)

I found a great old video by the Apple team when they decided to start licensing the Mac platform to clone manufacturers. The really funny thing about the video is how completely convinced they were that by making really low quality Mac clones that look like PCs (read: ugly) that they would suddenly own the desktop computing market. Check out “I Think We’re a Clone Now“. They go on and on about how much better PowerPC is than PC and how CISC is awful and all that. Now Apple Macs are just clones of Intel PC boxes running CISC Pentium III enhanced processors. Lame. Now from the same time period: John Cleese in Compaq vs. “That Trendy Computer”.

I had a pretty good day today. I really appreciate my long day off yesterday. I really needed that time to just let my brain melt-down for a while.

I read while a bit of Scott Adam’s blog today and there was a lot of good stuff but one of the best is Wedding Favors. This really sums up what I think of wedding favors in general and, I believe, what everyone thinks of wedding favors in reality but some people have this big running practical joke going about them.

I worked until six this evening which was actually a pretty long day without even feeling like it. Eleven hours sitting at my desk. Not to bad. I am running to the grocery store on the way home and picking up some basic supplies. Dominica is planning on cooking at home tonight. We will probably just take it easy this evening as we usually do. Our plan is to head to Geneseo on Friday night – that is just three nights away. We have packing to do and we are going to go to Buffalo to visit Dominica’s cousin who has just gone into the hospital there a very long way away from home and family.

I am excited that I have no work to take home tonight so I don’t have to even log onto the office from home. Yay. I can just relax and enjoy some Are You Being Served? which I need from time to time.

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