Mon. Dec. 24, 2018 – Christmas Eve

50F sunny, and 80%RH.

Last chance to get presents, grocery shop, or set up your air defense battery and poison carrots…..

Dang kids. On a school day I can’t pry them out of be with a crowbar, rope, and a mule. Today, they are up and out of bed without prompting at 6am. I’m left to snooze for another couple hours, but don’t actually feel rested.

I still have some wrapping to do, some shopping for side dishes for tomorrow, and a bit more cleaning up. The reindeer bait needs to be made too…

Seriously though, if the holidays are tough for you, call someone. If you have a little voice tell you to check in on someone, do it. Don’t put it off for later.

I sincerely hope that everyone can find a bit of the peace and hopefulness of the season,

nick

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29 Responses to Mon. Dec. 24, 2018 – Christmas Eve

  1. ITGuy1998 says:

    Working today – didn’t want to use PTO and the office will be almost empty. Perfect time to actually get stuff done. I was going to take off Thursday and Friday, but am going to change that to Friday and next Monday for a 5 day weekend.

  2. Greg Norton says:

    On PTO but still babysitting clusterf*ck situations remotely at work, fingers crossed. We have “dirty” binaries on one new customer system, and I’m hoping we find the build environment and get the code committed to the Git repository before something really bad happens.

  3. nick flandrey says:

    ATT fiber to the home is flaky as hell. Drops out for less than a minute or two multiple times a day. Plays havoc on streams.

    Sure, it is fast, but unless you test using their cached servers, not as fast as advertised, especially upstream, but the flakiness is a constant daily annoyance.

    not ready for prime time.

    n

  4. JimL says:

    32º and cloudy, with spurts of snow today. I’ll get a run in before lunch, then spending the rest of the day as I’m spending the morning – with the kinder.

    Spouse is going to Christmas Eve mass this evening. I’ll stay home & guard the presents. Not that they need it, but you know….

    Tomorrow will involve kids opening presents, visiting family, and eating a yummy dinner with my Mother-in-Law. Great lady, there.

    Got a great Christmas present yesterday. Title to my truck. Paying extra every month resulted in a year-early payoff. Go figure.

    Merry Christmas to those of you that celebrate. Peace be with you.

    And to those who prefer the secular holiday or some other alternative – I wish you the same.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    not ready for prime time.

    AT&T Fiber is still the Uverse fiasco even if video decoding no longer happens at the beige box down the street … or does it?

    Nah, I’m sure they fixed that at least.

  6. DadCooks says:

    Total cable outage (no phone, internet, or TV) from about 11 p.m. last night to about 2 a.m. this morning. Spectrum offered no real explanation, which is usual.

    So…

    BAH HUMBUG

    Anyway,
    Peace on earth and goodwill to all.

  7. JimB says:

    AT&T Uverse fiasco? Never had an AT&T presence here, but Frontier is deploying a similar architecture, with a high speed backbone to the neighborhood, then existing copper to the home. Of course, they have their own catchy marketing term for it, but they can serve near-broadband speeds at very affordable (to them) cost. I was told our neighborhood could have it IF there would be $$ available. If course, that is one of the usual excuses that translates to “…in a hundred years.” They are serving me with a reliable 1 Mb now. No streaming for me.

    Trying to lobby Frontier is futile. So is trying to lobby Google. Hoping for Airborne Wireless or the Musk LEO satellites. Tempted to go with Hughes satellite, but know its limitations.

  8. CowboySlim says:

    Ready for family tradition:
    https://shophoneybaked.com/stores/huntington-beach.html

    Ham ordered online Thursday and picked up Fri AM. In and out in 5 minutes.

    I learned not to order and/or pickup Dec. 24.

  9. nick flandrey says:

    did everyone get their Christmas tamales? Huge lines are the norm around here with much pre-ordering and double checking….

    I don’t really care for them, so not an issue. Pies are big locally too, but I’m not standing in line for pie either.

    n

  10. Rick H says:

    RBT would have reminded us all that today is “Men’s Shopping Day”.

    Merry Christmas to All !!

  11. lynn says:

    Freefall: Ducks used to be dinosaurs
    http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff3300/fc03217.htm

    Ok, where are the teeth ?

  12. nick flandrey says:

    Minor victory, but I got a coin sorter working again. Wife needed one for her Girl Scout stuff, and I got one on a pallet, but it didn’t work. Popped it open, and the fuse was blown. Replaced that, but no dice. Tested the motor separately, and it was fine. Close examination showed what looked like a cold solder joint, so I reflowed the solder connections for the motor control chip and the noise suppression capacitors. Suddenly Robert was dad’s brother….

    Got a bunch of presents wrapped.

    Might have come up with a treatment for when the soft plastic overmold on some items gets old and sticky. It seems to work on this particular thing anyway. Silicone spray (one brand worked better than the other), soak, wipe, wipe with denatured alcohol, repeat if necessary. Nice firm coating, instead of sticky. Might not last, but for now….

    n

  13. lynn says:

    xkcd: “Christmas Eve Eve”
    https://xkcd.com/2089/

    No, please no.

    If you need an explanation:
    https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2089:_Christmas_Eve_Eve

  14. Greg Norton says:

    AT&T Uverse fiasco? Never had an AT&T presence here, but Frontier is deploying a similar architecture, with a high speed backbone to the neighborhood, then existing copper to the home.

    Oh, God. I heard rumors through the phone company grapevine that AT&T was going to unload the surplus DSL Uverse equipment onto someone, but I couldn’t imagine who would pay for that cr*p. Yes, it is a fiasco, and, no, 1 Mbps won’t even get you old NTSC quality video.

    Frontier has become a dumping ground for the CoDominium, legacy GTE territories the big guys and CenturyLink don’t want. It is more or less the old GTE with the valuable pieces strip mined out by Verizon in the “merger of equals” from 2000.

  15. nick flandrey says:

    “Baltimore: “Fires And Explosions Turned A Quiet Neighborhood Into A War Zone””

    “Baltimore is the epicenter for economic inequality in the US. Black residents make up 63% of Baltimore’s population and do worse than the African American national average on nearly every metric.

    Almost 1/3 of the households of color have a negative net worth in the city. So, when a young African American from an impoverished part of town firebombs a bunch of cars in Mount Vernon, a historical and wealthy neighborhood in the city, we should understand that wealth inequality, already at extremes, is leading to social destabilization.

    Baltimore is imploding from within; it will get a lot worse in the next recession.”

    Um, NO. “wealth inequality” isn’t the problem here.

    n

  16. Greg Norton says:

    RBT would have reminded us all that today is “Men’s Shopping Day”.

    Merry Christmas to All !!

    RBT used to wish us a Happy Saturnalia and discuss his latest ASG (Anti Santa Gun).

    This is the second Christmas without his active presence.

  17. mediumwave says:

    Um, NO. “wealth inequality” isn’t the problem here.

    The “wealth inequality” “problem” will disappear when the non-Black Balamer population abandons the city …

  18. nick flandrey says:

    OMG, I once shared a bottle of MD 2020 “Orange Jubilee” Wine… no buzz and a killer headache. Never again.

    n

  19. paul says:

    My ‘net connection is still flaky. I ran a few speed tests and I’m getting about 500k to 1.2 Mb to zero. Not quite the 5 Mb I’m paying for. I tried calling today and they are closed for the holidays. Er, on Monday? They are open on Sunday….

    Currently, .2Mbps down and 1.4Mbps up from Dallas. SLC is .1 down and .7 up.

    Rise Broadband. They have a speed test on their site. The default for me is Dallas. Salt Lake City and Denver are the other choices. Denver is .7 each way.

    But yeah, “the guys are working on the tower”. Wednesday should be interesting.

    When I moved here, the telco was GTE. “What’s your address?” was solved by telling them I have a tag at the interface that says Contel and some numbers. Then it became Verizon. I dropped the landline when they decided my $17 plus taxes line (with no LD) was now $23. And a few months later, $32. Now it’s Frontier.

  20. paul says:

    Clear skies and a full moon tonight. Santa should be an easy target. 🙂

  21. JimB says:

    Greg, I grew up on the Bell system and learned to admire their solid network and competent service staff. Old tech, but it worked, and was the envy of many countries. Then, I moved west to the denizens of Contel. Even older tech (rotary dial!), but it worked pretty well.

    Then GTE took over, and later Verizon. Neither cared about our remote location, and let the wire plant decay. Oh yes, GTE put in a new switch, which actually reduced reliability in the first year, and brought widespread failures that never happened with step relays. Took more than a year and massive work to get back to the reliability we had before.

    As for Internet service, Verizon actually planned to put in FIOS here before the financial slowdown (2008?) killed the project. We heard that Verizon was spending $2k per house in dense neighborhoods. But they were a big company with tons of cash. Meanwhile, AT&T was spending less than a tenth as much to deliver speeds a little better than cable internet service, and over existing wires with no digging. None of this mattered, because we would get neither. Our area only had cable.

    Cable could have been a contender, but the new incumbent stopped expansion, leaving large areas unnserved. Their equipment was old and unreliable. No matter, they wouldn’t serve me.

    Enter Frontier, the fixed base provider of last resort. Oh, they are willing, but not rich enough. I just hope they can afford one Vantage (their moniker) box for me. Yes, it is the dregs unloaded by someone smarter, but it could be my dregs. At 19k ft from the CO, an intermediate crappy box could do wonders. I’m told I might get ~12Mb down, which would be slightly better than my cell data without the cap.

    Actually, I have two lines of AT&T cell unlimited data, but their speed drops to (if believable) 0.01 Mb at popular times of day. It is about 10Mb at 3AM, but I am not often up at that hour. Great for downloading Linux ISOs, though.

    Now, maybe some might understand my situation. “I complained that I had no shoes, until I saw someone who had no feet.”

  22. Greg Norton says:

    Then GTE took over, and later Verizon. Neither cared about our remote location, and let the wire plant decay.

    The FCC never should have approved Bell Atlantic buying GTE. It was a rotten deal for the shareholders, employees, and customers. Of course, as General Counsel for GTE and, later, Verizon, Trump’s new Attorney General made out well.

    GTE was a training ground for lots of miscreants, however. I don’t know if Randy McDonald still runs HR at IBM, but he learned to swing that layoff axe at GTE following the telecom deregulation in the 90s.

  23. Greg Norton says:

    Minor victory, but I got a coin sorter working again. Wife needed one for her Girl Scout stuff, and I got one on a pallet, but it didn’t work. Popped it open, and the fuse was blown. Replaced that, but no dice. Tested the motor separately, and it was fine. Close examination showed what looked like a cold solder joint, so I reflowed the solder connections for the motor control chip and the noise suppression capacitors. Suddenly Robert was dad’s brother….

    We are supplanting a lot of old toll equipment on our new installs. The hardest installations are where the customer wants to keep the coin buckets and/or humans in the loop.

    Union jobs.

  24. nick flandrey says:

    Those tons of coins aren’t gonna steal themselves….

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2001-08-23-0108230327-story.html

    “Tollway thief told to repay $182,000”

    “This was the third sentencing in recent years of a tollway employee on theft charges.

    In 1995 Gary Horan, who drove a truck carrying coins from the tollway plazas to Downers Grove, was convicted of stealing $46,000 and was ordered to pay restitution and serve 4 months in a work-release program.

    In 1998 Dean DePaola, who operated a forklift that carried coins from the trucks to the counting room, pleaded guilty to stealing $59,000 and received the same sentence as Horan.”

    n

  25. nick flandrey says:

    According to NORAD, Santa is currently over Williamsburg VA, so still plenty of time to get my air defenses up…. Or not. The kids wouldn’t be happy to see the yard spattered with giblets….

    First round of presents opened, and kids in bed. Parents will reset, do all the Santa evidence, and get out round two…

    There was squealing, jumping up and down, joy, tears, and reluctant heading for bed. A good night.

    n

  26. JimB says:

    Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

  27. Greg Norton says:

    Those tons of coins aren’t gonna steal themselves….

    We don’t have contracts in Chicgao, but we have deals in other entrenched union strongholds where the tollway authorities are actually (gasp) generating positive cashflow for the first time *ever* on their roads.

    In one location alone, our system tagged 800+ individual violators with hundreds of dollars of unpaid tolls racking up more repeat violations over the course of the first month without penalty. Imagine what will happen when law enforcement actually begins rolling on these people.

  28. lynn says:

    There was squealing, jumping up and down, joy, tears, and reluctant heading for bed. A good night.

    Good times, good times ! Enjoy them now, they grow up quick.

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