Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More work whining

I've been asked to get the serial numbers of our spare Cisco gear, to make sure it is still under service contract. On the back and bottom of the switch I'm looking at are a whole bunch of stickers with what could be serial numbers. None of these numbers are identified in English. One of them is identified in what appears to be Chinese. After eliminating the numbers that are obviously not a serial, I'm left with about 5.

I go to Cisco's web page and search for Serial Number Location. I get text directions--Instead of saying "click here", it tells me to go back to the home page, click this, then choose that. I do.

In order to see which of these numbers is the serial number, I have to log in. I find a diagram that doesn't match the specific model number of switch that I specifically searched for. I also find the one useful clue--the serial number is 4 letters, 4 numbers, then 3 letters. After counting numbers and letters, I'm finally able to eliminate all but one label.

Why couldn't they just print SN: on the label? There's plenty of room.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Book Review: Ayoob files

This book is a collection of magazine columns on shooting incidents, plus a similar column on the Rodney King incident.

The first half of each article is a shot-by-shot description of the action. After is an analysis and critique. The descriptions are a little overdramatic, but not too bad. The after-action report appears to be balanced, and points out both flaws and proper action. Entertaining and instructive, and much, much better than "In the Gravest Extreme".

Thursday, September 06, 2007

In-house spam

We get an incredible amount of useless email here. This may be common to all large employers these days, I left my last job when their email system was new.

Not much pure spam from outside sources, some crap that trainers I've been sent to mostly.

A little internal spam, from both us and our customer--Charity raffles, health tips, events. I used to get deluged with events hundreds of miles away, thankfully that stopped.

We get "Make sure you do this task" emails, or "Someone is late doing this".

Most of the "do this" are sent to lots of people who don't actually have to do it, but have to open the mail and decide if they are a "customer facing buzzword compliant performing supplier" who needs class AZTB123AC, or a "Back Office non-exempt servicing auditor" who needs class AZTB123BC... Occasionally these will be sent only to the people who need them--However, if that happens, a manager is sure to forward the message to everyone in the account, so you have to search to see if your name was in the original message. Sometimes you need to open a spreadsheet to see if it's you they are complaining about.

Computer patches. Jebus, the computer patches. First a pre-mail, telling us how to verify that the patch was automatically installed, and the website to go update when the patch is installed, but telling us the patches won't start for a few days. Then the same basic email, telling us the patches are being installed now. Then the same thing, saying they are finished, then finally the same thing, but warning us that we'll be cut off the network if we don't check the box on the website that says the patches are done.
Plus managers forwarding the obligatory "make sure this is taken care of" identical copies.
By the time you are done getting mail about this month's patches, you are only days from getting the next month's set.

Misdirected crap. My employer has at least 8 other people with my first and last name. Outlook will accept a first and last name rather than an email address. If the name isn't in your personal address book, Outlook apparently just picks one rather than letting the sender know there are 7 more possible matches. I notified one lady not only was I the wrong one, I figured out who the right one was. Her response was "I'll probably do it again, yours is the one that comes up".
If it doesn't matter that he gets this important message, why bother sending it?

Book Review: In the Gravest Extreme

I've heard that Ayoob's In the Gravest Extreme is an excellent book, although the firearms chapters are extremely dated.

A few of the chapters may be somewhat useful to people who don't frequent gun forums, but overall I'm extremely disappointed. Cheaply printed, and the black and white photos are amateur snapshots with an obvious on-camera flash-I'm a lousy photographer, I would have done a much better job.

The meat starts in chapter 2, "Self Defense and lethal force". Basically, you can't shoot someone unless you are under imminent threat of death or severe injury, a bit on disparity of force. Says you can't be the one to start a fight, then claim self-defense if it gets out of hand. 22 pages, the longest chapter in the book.

Chapter 3: The dangerous myth of Citizen's arrest. 6 pages, about what you'd guess from the title.

Ch. 4: Samaratans with guns: 2 pages: Legality depends on the state, be darn sure you know who is who.

Ch. 5: Women and guns: Women can't handle more than a .380 or a .38, a .22 might be the best choice. "If you do work up to a .38, lean way forward into the recoil, unless you're a big girl"

Ch. 6: How and when to use firearms in your store: Rehash of when it is appropriate, then some obsolete hardware information, and a bit of useful advice on where to keep a gun, and .45's and .357's require extensive training to deal with the recoil. Again, .38's and .380's are the best choice.

Ch 7: In your home, probably the best chapter overall. How to move tactically (doesn't call it that) in your own home. The picture "proper way to check for prowlers" shows the model with his finger on the trigger--Rather than re-taking the photo, he just complains about it in the subtitle.

Ch 8: Gun in the street: Throw money at them, shoot as a last resort.

Ch 9: Gun in your car--Don't pick up hitchhikers, don't leave your gun in the car.

Ch 10: Deterrent effects: Guns often scare criminals away without being fired. Comes with 2 personal encounter stories where he drew on people, from before he was a cop.

Ch 11: Common sense on carrying: You should have training. Don't let your gun be spotted.

Ch. 12: High price of machismo: Try not to shoot anyone, even if you are justified you'll be sorry.

Ch. 13: Picking a gun: .38 revolver. Others are too powerful, .357 and .45 are for experts only. No mention of shooting .38's in a .357

Ch 14: Ammo: .38 or .45. 9mm is only used for the features of the guns chambered in it.

Ch 15: Technique: Use a belt holster at 3:30, shoot COM.

Ch 16: Safety: 4 rules, don't get into aruments or drink while armed, keep guns away from unsupervised kids.

Ch 17: Aftermath: Get a lawyer, don't talk to the press. 4 pages.

Total, 130 pages.

I suppose back in the day this book was good information not easily available elsewhere, but none of it is new to anyone who spends even a little time on gun-related internet sites. I honestly don't understand why it gets the recommendations it does.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Stopped by a garage sale, and found a non-working 20g Ipod for a dollar. I figured that it was worth a gamble, so bought it. Opened it up...and smelled urine. Faint, but definitely urine.

I think I know what happened to it, but I don't think I'm going to fix it.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Just fix it

My wife has a bad foot, first showing up after she slipped and fell at work. If we had known the results, she would have clocked out for 5 minutes, fell, then clocked back in so our regular insurance could have handled it.

Workman's comp has selected the doctor she is to go to, but apparently they don't trust the doctor because they take at least 3 weeks to approve his treatment. Because it is workman's comp, we can't use our health insurance.

"Reading between the lines, it appears you want to go on disability"

No. She wants her foot fixed. She doesn't want narcotics, which they are quite willing to approve, with no questions. She wants you to give the doctor that you picked permission to actually do his job in a timely manner. If this goes on, disability is a real possibility because most of the jobs she is qualified for require her to be on her feet a lot, which isn't possible UNTIL YOU LET THE DOCTOR THAT YOU CHOSE FOR HER FIX HER FOOT!. If you don't trust him, don't send people to him, or take it up with him.

If this is a preview of nationalized health care, no thanks.