Dream: Mark Hamish synth dogs

Lost most of the details, but we were at a party, restaurant was Josh Vernon’s, brass and marble. Well lit, open floor mingling, our company had the whole place. It was in a mall, but so was my company, a research firm.

My boss was not there, but his dogs were. They were getting sick, throwing up if they ate. We could not reach him on the phone, and no-one knew where he was.

I went to find him, but his office was torn apart. I found his research that indicated he had engineered them to starve to death. I could not believe he had not euthanized them.

I kept looking, and found him with the board if directors, and I laid into him, telling him he was horrible, etc etc. I knew I’d just resigned, so I left in a rush.

Somehow, between leaving, and getting out, I knew he was dead, andbthey thought I did it. My DNA was all over his office, and I took his jacket, because he was an ass, because it was cold, and because I could not find my jacket.

Ecxept, by the time I cleared out my locker, it was not cold out, and I was now wearing his jacket over mine. Two people asked me why I was wearing Hamish’s jacket, and I made up stories.

I just had to get out. I knew I was going to be investigated for his death now. I was sort of lost, but finally made it to a bar that was opening, and could pass from the “mall”, theough the bar, to the parking lot.

The lines were huge, so I just went for the compact car lot, because it openned first. I could not get to my car from there, but when I walked to the far edge of the lot, my mom, aunt, and sister saw me, and they drove over ti get me in their big SUV. They heard Mark Hamisch had died, and knew I would be upset.


HOWTO: AIX support for R/W filesystem on USBMS

JFS2 Unsupported
Putting JFS2 on non-LVM block devices has been working for a long time. I​ wrote up how to put JFS2 on a ramdisk back at AIX 4.3.3. I lost the techdoc from back then, but IBM has a newer re-write dated 2008 here: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=isg3T1010722

JFS2 requires the underlying system to tell it if something goes away, or for it to stay there as long as the filesystem is mounted. LVM does this for disk, and the ramdisk drivers do this as well (mostly because if the ramdisk fails, likely the system has failed). The key there is that with JFS2, the ramdisk pages are pinned.

I wrote up including performance on USB 1 and USB2 ports in January of 2010 HOWTO: JFS2 on USB device on AIX 5.3.11.1. Everything is fine, and dandy, even mount on boot, except it’s not supported by AIX Development.

JFS2 Problems
The problem for USB Mass Storage Devices is that the device can just go away unexpectedly. If a disk goes into deep sleep, or resets because of a loose connection, the JFS drivers do not get notified. So, they take writes, and JFS2 saves them up until it’s time to flush. It goes to flush, and the I/O channel is gone. Sometimes, this is just loss of everything in cache. If it’s an important file, then the system crashes.

​Because of that, we still cannot put LVM on a USB Mass Storage Device. This would take changes to notification of device availability, perhaps changes to the sync daemon, etc. Who knows, but there’s not been enough push from paying customers to make it a priority for AIX Development. Until that happens, don’t expect formal support for JFS2 on these devices.

UDF is the solution
AIX development supports read/write and even booting from USB Mass Storage Devices, but only with UDFS. The purpose is for writing a mksysb (system boot) image, or tar/cpio files, etc, and exists because of the RDX USB Internal Dock sold with some systems.
https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/ssw_aix_61/com.ibm.aix.files/usbms_fileref.htm

​Boot support is provided as well: REF: ​http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=isg1IZ66737

More info on RDX USB Internal Dock. https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/POWER7/p7hdt/fc1103.htm

RDX is just a hot-swap USB to SATA drive bay. Any current USB drive (USB3 is preferred due to performance), should work fine.

HOWTO: Create, Read, and Write UDF on AIX

Create bootable filesystem
mksysb -eXpi /dev/usbms0

Create empty filesystem
udfcreate -d /dev/usbms0

Create UDF 2.01 filesystem
udfcreate -f3 -d/dev/usbms0

NOTE: UDF 2.01 supports a real-time filesystem. It’s still UDF, so don’t try to put a database, or a million files on there.

Access read/write
mount -vudfs /dev/usbms0 /USBDRIVE

NOTE: The mksysb is a SPOT, plus a mksysb image, so adding files to the UDF will not make the restore huge.

USB Adapters on AIX
Add-in USB3 XHCI adapter for POWER8 is:
* CCIN 58F9 – PCIE2 4-port USB3 adapter
* FC EC45 and FRU 00E2932 for Low Profile
* FC EC46 and FRU 00E2934 for full height.
* driver is 4c1041821410b204 internal or 4c10418214109e04 PCIe

Add-in USB2 EHCI adapter for POWER7 is:
* CCIN 57D1 – PCI-E 4-port USB2 adapter
* driver is 33103500 integrated or 3310e000 PCIe
* FC 2728 or FRU 46K7394

Add-in USB2 EHCI adapter for POWER6/POWER5 is:
* CCIN 28EF – PCI 2-port USB2 adapter
* FC 2738 or FRU 80P2994
* Belkin F5U219 – exact same card without the sticker.
* driver is 99172604 internal or 99172704 PCI

Original USB1 OHCI /UHCI adapter for POWER5 and earlier was
* driver 22106474 on blades or c1110358 PCI
* This device is not really available anymore.


Modern Crusade Dream

We were at a Western hotel in Mumbai. The staff were white, and everything catered to the wealthy. Business was off, so we got to visit sometimes for lunch. Something happenned to the staff, and the east side dining hall got no service for hours after seating patrons.

The manager comped four tables, including ours, and gave us a his card. It said we could come in after 11:30pm and before 2:30 am to get leftovers and seconds (errored orders) buffet style for free. But, really, we could come in by 9:30pm, and until 5:30am. Lots of leftovers due to slow business.

This helped because we were always busy in the slums, and never knew when we’d get back. We were a mercenary tactical / investigation team, with not as much budget as we’d like, but enough to get what we needed. A bit of extra time in the fancy hotel was welcome.

We were at odds with the CIA, so we were on alert when we found the two familiar agents standing in our equipment room. They were fatigued, and just said, “load up.”

A Christian extremist group was hunting internationally, kidnapping members of our team, and forcing them to call in warnings. “Do not touch us! Do not touch us!”

We would find the team member, and we would have 10 minutes to query them, look through pockets, etc. Then they would get confused, seize, foam at the mouth, and die. If we touched them, it was contagious, and would get the next person. There would always be awriting, in Arabic, that said “do not touch us”.

This time, they needed our help. The extremists seemed nearly impossible to identify, but always left a subtle clue. We needed more than just that they hated Arabs, they considered themselves Christians, and that they were very well funded.


Minimum Wage 2017 edition

Looking at the “OMG VISA/MCDONALDS ARE EVIL” stuff around some first-draft budget from 4 or 5 years ago got me to thinking.

I definitely see a lot of unrealistic expectations, entitlement, etc. But there are a few valid points. I’ve long felt the minimum wage is unrealistic right now. You should be able to support yourself on 2000 hours per year, even if you’re unskilled, and had a spouse die young. I don’t like the idea of a hand-out, or certain people get extra money because we feel bad for them, or whatever.

I like the idea that someone could work a reasonable number of hours, and scrape by without being seriously concerned about whether they could feed themselves.
One important point is that a single parent with 2 kids (again, dead spouse scenario) will have about the same expenses as a traditional 4-person household. Federal Poverty Level for a 4-person household is $24k.

Another is that, while some people thrive on 60-80 hour workweeks, that is not sustainable for most people. 35-45 hours of work per week is reasonable, because, ideally, it leaves time for grocery shopping, registering kids for school, paying bills, etc. without so much fatigue that you’re a road hazard.

So, in my mind, that means minimum wage should be around $12.25/hr, but with regional increases based on cost of living within a 1-hour commute. I also think this should be indexed more often than whenever a politician needs a bump in popularity.

This isn’t going to make anyone rich, and isn’t going to keep anyone from working hard to better themselves through struggle. It’s not going to bankrupt fast-food places, and automated systems have been in roll-outs for years, despite having a pretty low minimum wage.

I think this COULD reduce the number of people on government poverty programs, and also give people a sense of control, stability and empowerment over their own lives.

So… Poke holes in this. What am I missing, for real. Be prepared to defend your claims beyond “That’s just not right!” Also, check out the US Census website, encyclopedic, wikipedic, and almanac information on poverty.


Amazon continues downward spiral

Head’s up. Amazon Seller Central now will cancel your account if you have not sold anything in 30 days. You will not get a notice of your account being closed. If you have inventory stored with them, they will not send it back to you. When that inventory sells, you will get an email, but they keep the money since your account is closed.

The normal Amazon helpdesk cannot help, but also doesn’t tell you they cannot help. My rep told me “that order number isn’t registered to your account. If you need help, use the contact us link.”

After multiple tries, a chat rep was able to send me to a voice robot for Seller Central. I was not given the phone number. They had it call me. I got someone who was willing to at least submit a request for my account to be reopenned, but “it will take a while.”

I had asked to escalate regarding the whole situation, because it’s not just about fixing my one issue today. It’s about preventing this issue at all. You cannot silently steal someone’s inventory.

I was told by Amazon main helpdesk if I had a problem, ask to escalate. I asked the Seller Central rep to escalate, and was told to fill out the web form instead.

The Seller Central help form is available if you log out of the error page, go the front login page, click help next to the sign-in button, then middle-right, you can click on “Contact Us”.

However, all of the support people believe this is acceptable behavior. There is no escalation, and your only recourse is to make a new account and sell more items.

You cannot reply to messages from Seller Central via email. You can just fill out a whole new request, and get a whole new case number.

Obviously, someone is paid on the number of cases they open, and not customer satisfaction. I say this because also, each reply has a “did we solve your problem?” The link requires you to be already logged in. You simply cannot report to them that they did not solve your problem, unless you can log in.

Every time I get upset at Amazon, I go pull a report on what I have spent with them. My first order with Amazon was 6/23/1999. Since then, I have spent roughly 1 year’s salary with Amazon. (I made a little less back then, and make a little more right now, but it averages out.)

That excludes the Seller Central stuff I’ve sold, from which they have made money on their FBA services.


Dangerous Car AC in the heat – FALSE

Starting your car A/C / benzene chain letter has popped up in several places again recently. That letter is FAKE. No need to worry.

DETAILS:
It’s a rewrite of a 2009 chain letter, which is false, and based on cherry picked information out of a 2001 report on automobiles in Korea, and a 2007 article on new cars in Germany.

The article claims benzene exposure is related to the A/C, and that is false. Benzene levels are related to combustion engines, because gasoline contains benzene. A properly maintained car will emit very little benzene. A poorly maintained car will emit more while the engine is running. It does not build up or accumulate when the car is off, unless you have a fuel leak.

REF: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969701011019?via%3Dihub

The article claims the benzene comes from plastic, which is false. All plastics DO offgass, and usually that is formaldehyde. This is more of an issue for new cars, and has nothing to do with the A/C itself. If the car stinks like new car smell, then air it out. The only observed risk was for people with allergies, it increased those temporarily.

REF: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es0617901

A more detailed write-up about this chain letter is here:
http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/benzene.asp


Generations

When did “millennials” get redefined?

“Generations” for grouping (vs ancestry) have been roughly 15 year spans. Generation X was the 1970s through about ’85. After that was Generation Y. Millennials, by definition, were people born at or after the turn of the millennium. Being generous, that could be as early as ’98.

Now, people are trying to say Gen-X included the ’60s, and that Millennials are in their 30s.

Nooooo! That is inaccurate. Labels matter, and some media or researcher does not get to redefine people after the fact to fit their narratives!


Dreams of Heroes

Ending fragment.  Guy like a cross between The Punisher and Star Lord.  I was his friend.  He was having some struggles, and his car would not start.  I looked at is, spotless under the hood, cavernous even, and all simple.  There was not enough under the hood to go wrong.  It was just a matter of running way too rich, so it would not even start.  Clouds of half-burnt fuel would spurt out of the intake, sputter, lop, die.

He wandered off, comfused and conflicted, while I troubleshot it.  There was a small, compact, spark control computer as part of the distributor.  I figured that had failed, but maybe if we opened up the throttle, it would at least stay running.  There was not a usual air filter, rather a yellow box, with a key on it.  Again, spotless, shiny.  Far too small to filter that much airflow, it must be an EM field generator that actively cleans the air.

I went to find him to get the key, and he’s wandered out back, hood pulled up.  I followed, and he’d gone to track someone down.  Through some alleyways, etc I followed.  The dream is faded as to whether he kicked some ass, or could not find them.  But, I followed him to the back gate, put my gand on his shoulder, and someone else spun around.

She was a shapeshifter.  She had been drawn to our place.  Others came, a green woman, a woman who’s skin looked like a concert hall inside out.  She traveled by playing a violin.   The feeling and nuancel directed her vehicle.  Ther were many others, but I walked past as they mingled, up to the small shop that was my friend’s home.

“It’s an honourable intent lockout,” I said.  He had been conflicted, and had decided to seek revenge.  The car could not support that.

He was frustrated, almost indignant, but he knew it made sense.  He felt hopeless about it.

“I’m your sidekick.  I’m here to help you through this.”  He was my friend, and it would take time.  The others who came would help.  We were not looking for trouble.  We just wan to help when situations arise.


Weird dream

Middle of the dream… family and I were meeting up for dinner. The place was similar to a Cracker Barrel, except it was upscale. Lots of wood, but more open space, different kinds of goods, and I think there was a Casino off the other side.

The waiter was someone we know. He called me by name, and I recognized him. I think he was an uncle. I think he was also Gene Hackman.

The table we were seated at, the four of us, was about 2 feet on a side. Basically, food came out one person at a time, except drinks and desserts. Khai had trouble deciding, and I ended up with the grilled salmon because of some change I wanted or would want, was easier on that.

After, we ended up at a Christmas partly. Lots of people, drinking, etc. And then someone died. Cue murder mystery, and before the police arrived, someone figured out the guy’s wife had poisoned him. There were $6m worth of $125k bearer bonds or similar in the stocking, and she wanted them. Except, in the process of explaining this, whomever figured out what happened lost track of the wife. Police showed up, and the wife had slipped away, with the bonds.

At the end, I was unpacking my own stocking. About 20 things in there, including what looked like a small Champagne bottle, with a plastic nozzle on it. It was Chilled Baby Wash. Also, a bottle with what looked like a thin roll of toilet paper on it. It was liquid toilet paper, or butt wash. Several other things in there, but the last present I opened was a phone call. Not a phone. Not a recording of a call. The call itself.

Anyway. I know there was a bunch more I missed. Lighting was dim, and colors were subdued, leaning towards blues, greys, but not exclusively.


Gym Workout Routines

I was talking with a friend about my Gym routine, I thought I’d share some of that here. It’s kind of a wall of text, soI tried to organize it for easy skimming.

I keep a notepad on my phone to track what I did and what’s next. End of workout, I add the updated list to MyFitnessPal in the exercise notes. This keeps me from twiddling my thumbs during rests.

#### Warmup is cardio:
* About 10 mins or 200 calories warmup on the recumbent bike. I’ll start at about 50%, and crank it up to 100% a couple of times. I try to vary my RPM, but tend to hang out around 70. I have long legs, so momentum is a factor. I make sure I clear 160bpm, but I never get to max HR. Sometimes I try to draw pictures with the hill profile.

#### Safety warmup for exercises I’m not sure about:
* 10-20 reps at 50-60% just to make sure everything moves right, especially for heavier weight exercises.

#### I usually go for strength
* Target is 2-4 sets of 6-10 reps per exercise.
* If I make it to 16 reps, I bump up the weight on the next set.
* Sometimes I’ll do 8 reps, then drop 40% and do another 8.
* If anything pinches or doesn’t feel right, I’ll back off the weight.
* Not so worried about cardio since I average 75 miles per week on a road bike.

#### I do circuits for time efficiency:
* Whole Body Days: alternate upper/lower, front/back, with 30 second rests between circuits.
* Upper OR Lower Only: I’ll do 2-3 exercises with a 60-90 second rests.
* I average almost one working set for every 2 minutes. That includes the set, equipment setup, walking between machines, updating my notes, and any rest/cooldown time. That excludes the warmup time at the start. (eg, a 2 hour workout has 20 mins of warmup, and 40-45 working sets. A 1-hour workout will have 10 mins warmup, and 18-24 sets.)

#### With a workout buddy:
We could alternate on the same machine with 60-90 second rests. This is less overall workouts, but more social. We could also do the circuits, and just be one machine off from each other. Less social, but more efficient.

#### Workout Duration:
I prefer a longer, whole body workout every 4 days. I get better results, and less wasted time. My goal is to grow muscle mass, and I’m missing the sprinter gene, so recovery time is usually 3-5 days instead of 2-3 days for most people.

If I have only 1 hour, it’s best if I stick to only upper or only lower, because exercises always pull in a other muscles a little. I don’t feel I get quite as good of a workout this way.

#### Upper Body Exercises:
* Freeweight bench row (Low-Back sparing vs seated)
* Chest Press (like a bench press)
* Lat Pulldowns
* Seated dips (because I’m too heavy to do real dips yet)
* Chest fly & rear deltoid fly (same machine, diff settings)
* Biceps curls (cable or dumbell)
* Triceps extension (Slow to improve)
* Sometimes I do a shoulder press or a vertical row, but those are not so great on my shoulder sockets.
* Lateral dumbell arm raises.

#### Lower Body Exercises
* Freeweight seated calf extension (Soleus Muscle)
* Rotary Calf Extension (Gastroc Muscle)
* Inner/Outer thigh (adductor/abductor)
* Leg Curls (Hamstrings)
* Leg Extension (outer and inner quads, nearer the knee)
* Leg Press (because it doesn’t load my low-spine like squats & deadlifts do.)

###### Back Pain avoidance (Chronic and Acute)
* Nothing with a torso twist (wood choppers, obliques) – always causes days of increased pain.
* No abdominal crunches – Still hurting from 2 weeks ago when I let my form get sloppy.
* No back extensions – Same as with crunches, though a 45 degree bodyweight back extension bench would be fine if I could find that at my gym.
* Backed off of seated rows, just to be safe. I’ve moved to bench rows, though bent-over single-arm dumbell rows are okay too (off-arm is on the bench, so no low-back load).
* I should be doing planks and leg lifts at home, but I keep forgetting. This gets core without abusing low-spine.
* I should do more stretching on non-workout days, but I keep forgetting. This helps keep from putting too much strain on low-back when moving around.

#### Preferred Machines
I like the Hoist machines my Gym has best, but I’ve maxed out the leg press. Not sure I want to use the freeweight leg press without a big spotter. I like most of the Precor machines, and use them for things missing from the Hoist line-up. Last are the Life Fitness for a couple things, but they use bigger weight stacks for the same effort, and just seem to be on a different scale from all of the others.