Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Odds and Ends Monday

October 10, 2011

This is a bit of a ramble.  See what interests you!

MACOSX LION – I installed MacOSX Lion over the weekend. Lion Server, actually… I am not overly impressed – a bit “doggy” – “pokey”. There are spinning beach balls now and then – haven’t seen them for years – they need to go away…

Often, a new OSX installation is slow for the first few days as the OS updates pre bindings, locate databases, Spotlight and other metadata. Lots of stuff can go on in the background processes for a while. I think performance has improved 10% or so since Saturday.

I have the server implementation. Server services and processes are prioritized even though there are none running. Find and uncheck the box to prioritize server services, and “Presto-Chango” – much better.

The Server applications did not launch initially – a server daemon did not launch. Thanks to Apple Enterprise Tech Support for spotting this quickly and defining a plist file to launch the process whenever it was required.

Some permissions bugs – files on an external HD were not viewable until I adjusted permissions. The Sandbox is quirky – jpg’s in an unzipped file downloaded from the Internet are treated as applications with each demanding an approval to open with Preview. Opening any file the first time that launches an Apple application, for that matter, has a noticeable delay – as the Sandbox process is run, I presume. Using the embedded MacOSX archiving utility and the native Preview applications work in tandem to manifest this awkward problem. Use Stuffit , and no problem for Preview. Use the MacOSX unzipped and no problem for a media cataloger viewer such as the old Microsoft Expression Media. This is a “must fix” bug.

Lots of memory paging, spell checking everywhere… Apple is going to make IOS an exclusive subset MacOSX, and they are changing MacOSX to coincide precisely with IOS features. Look at LaunchPad to see for yourself. Speaking of which, I simply don’t see the justification for Lion’s new LaunchPad or MissionControl banner features. I don’t “grok” it.

And (Apple – are you listening?), why hasn’t the IOS e-book reader app been ported to Lion, yet. I would like to buy an e-book in iTunes and read it at the desktop.

BEER – made a new batch with a good friend – did good – a nice British style ale – very drinkable! After two weeks fermenting and another two weeks getting fizzy in bottles – that’s four long weeks of waiting, it proved to be a good brew.

The Samuel Adams Harvest Collection box is outstanding!

THE EVENT – an NBC SiFi show available for Uverse customers on – the entire season. Maybe you can watch it if you aren’t a Uverse customer… Very clever and dynamic show – the Aliens are among us – some were captured in Alaska in the 1940’s and detained in a secret prison until the President stumbled upon it. Lots of conflicts, diverging priorities, intrigue. I never heard of this show when it aired last fall/winter. This is worth watching for a scifi buff like me!

IMMIGRATION – An employee on an OPT extension of an F1 visa needs a Green Card or an Hi visa that my company sponsors. This is a big problem. It is expensive for my employee, and it is expensive for my company. It is really, really complicated. A priority 2 Green Card application is taking four years for processing, and a priority 1 Green Card application is taking between six months and a year to process. An Hi visa also takes about 6 months to process. A lot happens in six months. Business staffing decisions need to happen much faster than this.

This is my employee – she needs this job and the subsequent opportunity, and I need precisely her and no one else – she has a year of experience with my company and several years invested refining the technology and techniques we employ. There are so many DOL and INS forms and so many rules and so many quotas and limits and the like that it is almost impossible to understand the boundaries of the problem and potential solutions. Congress needs to fix this.

An immigrant scientist who was educated here, stays here and works here pays taxes and helps build a bigger opportunity – those benefits evaporate if the employee must stop work, and worse, if the employee leaves the USA to take the opportunity to a different country’s economy. What was Congress thinking? Gotta fix this…

BANKING FEES – Why is it that services provided by expensive employees from plush “brick and mortar” banking facilities are free, and services performed on-line or by robot ATM machines cost money. I would think that anytime you walk into a bank to conduct conventional business with a teller, you should have to pay a fee.  Anytime you avoid the costly trappings of a bank office, it should be fee-free. The current fee structure prompts me to use high cost bank resources for low-value services because the cost to me is $0 when the alternative service resources cost me a fee. One of the big banks will catch onto this…

When I was a child, my bank charged me $1 per withdrawal after one free every quarter. This made me rather angry for an 8 year-old. A dollar was a lot of money. I would simply close my account after my one free withdrawal per quarter, and then walk over to the New Accounts desk to open a new account if I needed to raid my savings account. After more than three years of this (and countless new accounts), the bank President stopped me in the lobby and kindly asked me to close my account and take my business elsewhere. He explained that it cost the bank more than $20 each time I closed my account and opened another one. I simply said that he could have “saved a bunch of money if he hadn’t started charging a fee.” He called the guard and asked that I be escorted off the property. I returned a few days later with a permit to protest, with a sign, and with determination to show the bank manager a thing or two. The local TV stations interviewed me, and I could see the bank President pacing nervously behind the cameras… There was no graceful way for him to recover.

Well, this bank fee nonsense will become a game for some, and the bankers are not smart enough to see where this could eventually lead. Where is that old picket sign???

SUMMER’S ALMOST OVER – Whew – it was a hot one. The days are still in the 80’s, though, and one day last week was 97. Before long, I will complain about the cold. Brrrrr – don’t like the cold below about 40…

MY FRIEND MIKE – I heard from my stamp collecting friend Mike in Herford. He has adopted a Quaker school class and it sounds like he is enjoying that very much. He sent me some Zimbabwean stamps to add to my collection with a nice letter. We don’t write letters anymore, and we should. It was good to hear from Mike – he’s doing fine. I need to write back!

ISHA IS A BEAUTIFUL BABY GIRL – It was a treat to visit over the weekend and see this precious little one! And her parents, too! And the proud Grandmother, too! A baby transforms the world into a better place.

SKYLER’S SLEEPING ON MY DESK THESE DAYS – ah, the life of a cat… Hard to work, though – he takes up a lot of space. In the winter, he sleeps with his nose pressed against one of the flat panel displays where the backlight is (it’s warm there). He can turn on the scanner, answer the phone – actually knock it out of the cradle when it rings, and help me grab just the right pen when I ask him to. He even types for me when I leave for the restroom. Ah, the life of a cat…


Please Tell Me More…

May 27, 2009

When I have a question, I want an answer that imparts some relevant information. But, I want even more information than I may be asking for so that further questions may be unnecessary. I want a little bit of an education, and that is hard to get – it can feel like “pulling teeth”. So, sometime, well, sometime I just go get my “pliers”…

This is a rant – I don’t have many… While some may disagree, I’m telling you that my soapbox issues in this world are relatively few in my generally optimistic and upbeat brain. What brought this post about? The following example is trivial, I know, but it makes my point, so let me set the stage. You’ll see where I am going fairly quickly!

I have a beer or two with a good friend several times a month. On one of our visits to our favorite “pub”, the sign outside said: “Specials Today: All Domestic Craft Beers”. That sounded good to me… I ordered a Sam Adams Seasonal, and just before the waitress walked away from our table, I asked, “That’s a domestic craft beer, right?” The waitress informed me that a Sam Adams was not… I asked, “What is a domestic craft beer?”
A “I don’t really know – it’s what the companies call some of their beers…”
Q “Well, what are the domestic craft beers that you sell?
A “We have Michelob Amberbock, Michelob Honey Wheat and Michelob Irish Red and a few others.”
Q “Are the others that you sell also Michelob, or are they produced by other brewers?”
A “We also sell Budweiser American Ale.” (saved us a round of Q&A…)
Q “Do you have a list of all of your domestic craft beers?”
A “No, I’m sorry, we don’t. We also sell Busch Zeigenbock – that’s all of them.”

The waitress was really very pleasant, and we weren’t being pushy – we were also pleasant and trying to be as patient as we could be. We were still “all smiles”. I stuck with my Sam Adams… When the waitress returned with the brew, I asked, “Is a Sam Adams on special on a particular night during the week – if so, we’ll be back next time on that night!”
A “Yes it is.”
Q “What night is Sam Adams special priced?”
A “Tomorrow night.”
Q “What is the price?”
A “A little more than the special prices tonight.”
Q “I’m just curious – do you mind finding out for me?”
A “I can tell you right now.”
(waiting with baited breathe…)
A “It’s $2.50”
(almost asking for what size of a glass, but she beats me to the punch!)
A “… for a pint – I think it’s a pint – yah, it’s a pint.”

Finally, I had the complete picture… Dinner was just fine and the service was flawless. And we liked the waitress – and the entire staff at our watering hole was just super, for that matter. But I had to get out my “pliers”, and I had to be careful not to appear to be pushy.

Well, I thought that I had the complete picture. Our next trip to the “pub” on “Sam Adams” night found the sign out front saying: “Specials Today: All Imports On Tap”. My smile faded, but I ordered a Sam Adams Lager anyway. The waitress (not the same as on our previous visit) said, “That’s on special tonight! The special covers your Sam Adams, and all of our import beers on tap except for Guinness Stout.” Our waitress that night was pretty sharp. “Why not the Guinness?” I asked. She continued, “I don’t know why the Sam is an import – go figure, and I think the Guinness costs us too much to sell at the special price. A complete list of our other imports on tap is right here (pointing to a page in their menu) if you want to try something else. Still want the Sam?”

This person understood – I got just enough information as casually as it could be dished out – and with a smile and a friendly touch to my shoulder. There is indeed a fine art to information delivery…

The next time someone asks you a question (yes, it may even be me), think about saying just a little bit more than the concise answer that you are inclined to reply with.