I can’t stand “weight loss” entertainment shows

Extreme Weight Loss: How the most obese nation on earth makes itself feel good by publicly shaming the worst of us

I’m very glad the stack of routers and switches next to me is almost loud enough to drown out the TV. My wife is watching Extreme Weight Loss and I wanted to slap the “guest loser” about 30 seconds into it. (Queue sob story about how her entire family done her wrong when she was most vulnerable…)
Then they pulled the predictable and over-the-top “You’re exercising for the first time in 20 years. You’re sweaty, out of breath and straining like you’re giving birth again. Now while you strain against this weight, tell us why you’re mad at each member of your family. Great! You’re completely out of breath, drenched in sweat, face is completely red, you’re angry and crying. Now, tell us whom you’re the maddest at of all?” (Spoiler warning: she’s slightly less than pleased with herself. Bet you could have guessed that already, right?)

Oh, and the weight loss reveals, where the giant scale takes 10 seconds to “add up” how much the loser has lost this interval, piss me off. Especially when they start the “reveal”, explain what they weighed when they started, what they weighed at the last weigh in, how much they lost the first interval, how much they had to lose this time, and the overly dramatic “If you weigh less than XXX pounds today (pause) you’ve met your goal!” (because they, and the audience, can’t do math?) They step on, the scale takes 5 seconds to count down and…. ad break!
Break’s over. Let’s cover that entire conversation again. Now step on the scale and take 10 seconds to “add up” the weight…

They haven’t gotten to the part where they start discussing how close the “loser” is to having lost enough weight that the surgeon is comfortable performing the skin reduction surgery. As if the weight loss, and the chance for the surgery, actually goes away if they don’t hit that magic number by the end of the 1 hour episode.

I’d be far more interested in what the “losers” from the first season look like today. Did they maintain their magical transformations, or have half of them gone back to their original weight?

Back to this weeks episode: She’s already lost over 100 lbs, she’s down to 160-something and looks fantastic! But the narrator / trainer just said “But, she doesn’t look any different from when I last saw her three months ago in the Bahamas…” Are you kidding me? She hasn’t put on an ounce, looks great, “But she doesn’t look any different…” Fuck you. She’s not 4 feet tall and 160-ish is fat or something. And then you weigh in and she’s lost another 11 lbs and is down to 150? You, Sir, are a DICK. Double douche-bag points to the show for having her go back to her parents, on camera, and confront them with the emotional reconciliation. Either they agreed to this when the producers contacted them and all the on-camera stuff is fake, or they didn’t and you just sandbagged them. People watch this shit and actually believe it’s real?

Just imagine how much I’d be frothing at the mouth if I wasn’t sitting next to noisy equipment and could actually hear it?

LinkedIn spam…

Hmm… two invitations from two different women to “connect” on LinkedIn in the last five minutes, both of them graduates of “The Masters College” in “Greater Los Angeles area”, both working for “Pro Logic Web Design”, both with the exact same work experience and positions held, both trying to sell “$149 web site designs”. I smell a spammer…

Windows patching hell

A Unix sys admin struggling with patching Windows servers.

Never thought I’d end up babysitting MS Windows server patching and pulling my hair out as it takes an hour or more to install 100+ patches, reboot, 30 minutes “finalizing” the updates, declare it “failed” and 90 more minutes “reverting” the installs before rebooting again, wash, rinse repeat, until you successfully tell it which patch NOT to install.
I’m a Unix admin for Pete’s sake. There’s a reason I don’t (normally) do Windows. The only time a Linux server takes so long to boot is when it’s running on bare metal that takes 30 minutes to POST and/or it has lots of LUNs assigned and it takes a while to sort them all out.
I was hoping to have this 2008 server to a state that I could start installing the software it needs by the end of the day.

FINALLY it finished reverting and rebooting. Luckily it didn’t back out 100+ updates. The only one left to install is the one troublesome update that should be done last, because it causes this problem if you don’t.

Nope, spoke too soon. Had it re-check for updates and it now says ALL of the updates from the last go round still need to be installed. But now I see there’s a second update that partners with the known one, so hopefully de-selecting that one as well will fix the issue.

(And in another in a list of first that came with this job: never thought I’d be adding a new “Windows” sub-category under the System Administration category of this blog.)

Memorial Day – 2015

Remembering my grandfather this Memorial Day

It’s Monday, 25 May, 2015; Memorial Day here in the United States.
This is the day we remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

Today, I remember my grandfather, Lt. Herbert David Edelstein.
He was a navigator aboard a B-17 bomber (no known nickname or nose art), 367th Bombardment Squadron – Heavy, 306th Bombardment Group (“The Reich Wreckers”, tail insignia “Triangle H”), 40th Combat Bombardment Wing, Heavy, 1st Bombardment Division, VIII Bomber Command.

367th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) emblem
367th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) emblem

306th Bombardment Group, Heavy
306th Bombardment Group, Heavy

1st Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy)
1st Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy)

VIII Bomber Command
VIII Bomber Command

Continue reading “Memorial Day – 2015”

Info, please?

Dear Computer User,

Sending tickets to Support with a subject line of just “Help” (even when spelled correctly!) is not very helpful for the poor techs who are staring at a screen full of tickets, trying to prioritize which one’s need immediate assistance and who can wait.

This falls in the “It’s broken. Fix it.” category. Help me help you.


Thank you,

Your friendly neighborhood support technician

Mail and Network admins

I am so tired of dealing with mail,  and network admins who haven’t the slightest clue about DNS. I hate having to waste half an hour explaining PTR records to people should already understand this basic stuff.

Writing documentation

Not my idea of fun.

“Disabling” web sites

Sorry, Right click is disabled.
Sorry, Right click is disabled.
I think I’m going to start a new category for web sites that like to disable your browser. You know the ones. They use javascript disable your right mouse button, telling you you don’t have permission to use that feature. Presumably they do this so you can’t right-click, select “view source”, cause they don’t want their source “code” revealed.
I’ll start this Wall O Shame with a real doozy:

USA Web “Solutions”.
These tools have not only “disabled” the right mouse button, but any key on your keyboard that might lead to telling your browser to do something. Ctrl, for example. Or Alt.

Sorry, you do not have permission to press this key.
Sorry, you do not have permission to press this key.

That’s right, you can’t do “ctrl-r” to refresh the page. Or “ctrl-arrow” to go forward or backward in your history. Or ctrl-u to view their source. Or alt-tab to another window…

And here, just to shame them, is their source code:
Continue reading ““Disabling” web sites”