Friday, April 27, 2007
Prior to today, my Favorite episode was when Bobby modeled plus-size clothes. Favorite line: "Peggy, somewhere along the line we forgot to teach that boy about shame."
Today, I saw the episode where Bill joins a gay men's chorus. Best line ever: "This chorus is the feces that is produced when shame eats too much stupidity!"
Thank God for Roger Ebert.
Ebert has been undergoing treatment for cancer of the salivary gland. His cancer spread, resulting in the removal of half of his jawbone. This left him with a trache tube and unable to talk.
So he went to his Overlooked Film Festival anyway. Let the gawkers and the cameras and the idiots be damned.
Too often we shy away from the sick and the "abnormal". I'll never forget my wife swelling to nearly 400 pounds as a result of steriods taken during full brain radiation for her brain cancer treatment. Bald and undaunted, and braver than I, she still refused to be left behind and went to class reunions, summer picnics, and public dinners. I wanted to scream at the starers, or make a sign that said "She's got Brain Cancer ASSHOLE!", but didn't.
Roger is an example for us all, both in his courage and his indifference.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
UPDATE: This post is by far the most popular of my blog. If it does you some good, consider hitting the Paypal link on the right and buying me a Diet-Coke. Or two. Also, I'm doing the vast majority of my technical blogging over at MyITForum these days. Check it out.
One of the things we've missed after moving from Zen to SMS 2003 is Wake on Lan. For those of you not in the tech world, this gives us the ability to remotely turn on a computer using it's network connection. It's endlessly handy for patching and other things that might take a while, or just need to be done after hours.
I was flabbergasted to learn that SMS 2003 did not have Wake on Lan built in. The next version, System Center Configuration Manager, does have it. We've had WOL in Zen for years and years.
There are companies that offer WOL capabilities as an add-on to SMS. But another client on the workstation and another expense are just out of the question.
So I found, over at the great MyITForum site, some contextual add-ons for SMS that were free, and one of the was Wake-On-Lan. Hooray!
Alas, the wake-on-lan only worked on it's own subnet. Not good enough for me.
I found a free WOL utility from SolarWinds that purported to be able to WOL across subnets. I tried it out and it worked like a champ. But could it be scripted, in the same way that the contextual add-ons scripted the other utility?
A quick reg check and I found the portion where the other utility enumerates it's command line to link into the magicpacket program. A simple edit of that reg key yeilded a working result. Here's the exported .reg for the edited key:
"Description"="Use the SolarWinds WOL to wake up the client."
"CommandLine"="cmd /C \"c:\\Program Files\\SolarWinds\\Free Tools\\WakeOnLAN.exe\" -IP ##SUB:IPAddresses## -MAC ##SUB:MACAddresses##"
"CriteriaMessage"="Unable to find ##SUB:MACAddresses##"
"Name"="WakeUp""CriteriaQuery"="select * from SMS_R_SYSTEM where ResourceID = ##SUB:ResourceID##"
So with the SolarWinds Wakeonlan.exe installed in the default location, I get Wake On Lan capability across subnets from the SMS console for free.
Up next: figuring out how to Wake a collection.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I distinctly remember being assigned Slaughterhouse Five in high school English class and thinking What? Who?
At the time I was steeped in Asimov and Heinlein and, God help me, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Who was this lanky guy with crazy hair that wanted to preach about war? And then I remember closing that book, maybe a day later, compleltely blown away. So this is what fiction can do. It affected me like nothing I've read before, and maybe since. I read it like a prisoner fresh off a hunger strike would attack a buffet. It made me go back and research the war, and the bombings at Dresden, and form my own opinions. It forced me to think.
And I went on to collect and read just about every novel he wrote. A couple were painful. Most were brilliant. All had an effect on me. "Cat's Cradle", "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater", "Player Piano", "The Sirens of Titan", "Breakfast of Champions": these great works marked my summer of 1983. I was changed, I was expanded, I was thinking for myself, questioning authority, exploring areas I hadn't thought about before.
Vonnegut was a humanist, something I didn't quite understand then. Like everything else in my life, I had to learn more about both Humanism and other 'religions' before I could form my own opinion. I'm still learning today, but I think the Humanists are closer than anyone else.
About our great leader George HW Bush, Vonnegut said "By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East?" he wrote. "Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas in December."
In A Man Without a Country, he wrote that "George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography."
Vonnegut's fictional recurring character, Kilgore Trout, dies at the age of 84, in luxury in the Ernest Hemingway Suite of the writer's Xanadu in the summer resort village of Point Zion, Rhode Island. Yesterday Vonnegut died in his home at the age of 84. I think he would have found that fitting. Of course, as can only happen in the world of Vonnegut, Trout had died before. In Breakfast of Champions, he was born in 1907 and died in 1981. In Timequake, it was 1917 to 2001. Both death dates were set in the future as of the time the novels were written. More recently, Vonnegut "reported" that Kilgore Trout committed suicide by drinking Drāno in an article for In These Times magazine. Trout "died" at midnight on October 15, 2004 in Cohoes, New York, following his consultation with a psychic, who informed him that George W. Bush would win the U. S. Presidential election by a vote of 5-to-4 in the Supreme Court. The epitaph on his tombstone reads, "Life is no way to treat an animal."
There is no more profound statement about his death than can be found on his website here:
I like that the little symbol for his site is his crude drawing of a sphincter, from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater if memory serves. I will miss his irreverence, his wit, his humanism.
And so it goes.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I love voting. Never do I feel more American, more a citizen, than when I punch those cards, or fill in the little black dots. There's something liberating about walking out of your polling place knowing that you've done your civic duty.
The disenfranchinsing things: It was a local election cycle, and many of the races were non-contested. As is my usual, in races where I did not like the incumbent, I wrote in a candidate. Sometimes I write in myself, sometime someone else. I once got two votes for Democratic Committeeman, or some such, when my wife adopted my write-in policy. It was a close thing.
I work hard to be an informed voter. I research each candidate and know why I'm voting the way I am. The last time I voted "with the crowd" was Reagan. I was eighteen, forgive me. I even voted Green Party in some of last year's statewide races.
I'd like to see more people vote, but I'll qualify that statement by saying I'd like to see more 'informed' people vote. Care about the issues, know what and who you are voting for, and be part of the process.
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