The Wholly Chao Cabal

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Words of Wisdom...? Well, Words Anyway

Failure is eminent;
prepare for it.
Success is possible;
be ready to seize it.
Opportunity is everywhere;
exploit it.

Posted by Frater V:I: at 3:23 PM - 2 Comments


Hey Frater, I like the post. Failure is eminent, huh? I have started a blog on this server too.
I put a link to your blog on it.

by Rev. Tom on Thursday March 9, 2007 @ 4:08 PM
yeah, it's my version of pessimistic, optimism or the other way around if you like. Welcome to the community and thanks for the link. I'll check out your blog very soon.

by Frater V:I: on Saturday March 11, 2007 @ 9:48 PM


Giant Ego or Genius

Some readers who are religious may be offended by some the things I say in this entry. If you are religious, and you get to a point where you just can't wait to the end to make a comment, please read the last paragraph before you make a comment. It may save you some time.
I watched a documentary about Albert Einstein a few weeks ago. I left me perplexed and generally questioning Einstein's greatness. Everyone knows about his famous mass/energy conversion equation. I've even seen it on T-shirts. But what is less known and the source of my consternation is that he spent his last few years on this earth ignoring and more or less discounting important findings in the area of quantum physics. I'm not going to rehash the documentary here but to summarize… Einstein didn't like the inherent unpredictability of quantum particles. It wasn't in keeping with what he thought God's ordered universe would and should be. On the one hand I'm almost offended at his ego in thinking that he could comprehend a mind as complex and powerful as a deity, much less, The Deity. Then again I'm shocked and astounded that a brilliant and rational mind, such as his, would ignore important scientific studies and findings because of a religious viewpoint. And the irony of the whole thing is that Quantum physicists are close to completing the work that Einstein was trying to prove when he died. He was trying to find a unified theory to explain everything in the Universe. He felt that God would have made an ordered and predictable Universe, so Quantum physics had to be wrong because it was filled with random events. The problem I have with his inability to get past his religious viewpoints is this. When Jesus was born, the people still believed that the earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe and that everything in the sky moved around the earth. Now, bearing in mind that we were completely wrong about all of that (with the one exception of our moon) and those things are readily apparent for us to see and study, I ask you this. How can you possibly believe that the people of that time got their theories about a being as complex, abstract and powerful as The One True God, correct the first time out? Our view of the universe has been changed several times in the last 2000 years, but our view of god has not. In fact the older your view of God is, the more adamant your fellow believers are that they are right and everyone else is wrong. So, why didn't Einstein even consider the possibility that he was wrong? That is the nature of the scientific method! This is not a new concept. It has probably been tossed around for decades at least. I'm sure that it must have at least been presented to Einstein if it had not occurred to him on his own. I guess he wasn't really clinging to a 2000 year old view of God, but his own view of God. Which I can respect a little more, since it means that he at least thought about God and decided what he was going to believe instead of just accepting whatever the priests of his church fed him. In which case we get back to his amazing ego! Can you imagine the size of his own self importance to think that he knew the mind of God? I really would have loved to have met him. Even though I can be seen as criticizing him, I am filled with a profound sense of relief. Einstein was plagued with all of the shortcomings that make us human. And he was a genius to boot! I think that this may be his biggest contribution to humanity. That it is possible for a mere human to have such a huge impact on our advancement; and still be human at the most basic levels. Maybe there is hope for our species after all. Before you waste your time damning me to Hell, just know this. I have in my possession several passes for the gates of Hell that read, "Head of the Line Privileges shall be granted to the soul in possession of this pass." So, your work is already done, if you're going to comment on the entry then try to stay on topic. And, just in case you're wondering, this entry isn't about religion or God… Hopefully you can figure out what it is about on your own.

Moving Sux!

The boss and I recently decided to move... I was let go from my position because the merger my company went through eliminated the need for me to be there. So I started going after a position in Bremerton, WA. During my visit for the interview, My wife and I looked around and liked what we saw, so we are moving up there. Not to mention we get to be closer to two of our very best friends in the world. Secretly we just hang out with them cuz have 3 of the best kids we've ever met. shhh... don't tell them.
So now we have to fix up our house and finish all of the partially completed projects that have been going on for the last 4 years so we can sell the place. I hate yard work and that's what I'm going to spend the rest of my time in this house doing. Yard work!
But in the mean time we are trying to figure out the logistics of such a long distance move... Any suggestions in this area would be very welcome. For instance, we are looking for a moving/storage solution that will be easier and cheaper than paying someone else to move our stuff for us and less stressful than driving a U-Haul from San Francisco to Washington. Since we have to take our Ark full of animals with us.... Not to mention the two vehicles that we have to have for commuting to and from work...
Then there is the whole finding a place to live until we have employment. Money won't be an issue, but finding a place to rent that won't mind the pets is going to be difficult.
Will try to keep the interesting/funny stuff up here.



My air conditioning unit stopped working on August 31, 2006. Which sucked, but these things happen. So, I call the service techs in. I was very lucky and managed to score an appointment the next day, this being the peak season for these guys I considered it a good omen. So, tech shows up early the next day, and looks at my A/C unit.
"Oh yeah," he says, "Blower motor is frozen. Gonna have to replace it."
Guy spends the next hour on the phone trying to identify the part number and get the motor ordered. Finally find the part and discover that they have to replace a capacitor along with the motor. So he puts together a quote for me, tells me that the parts and labor w/ the diagnostics is going to total out at $417 and some change.
"Ok," I say(cuz I really don't have a choice, I need cool air), "Lets get the parts ordered and put 'em in."
He orders the parts and schedules the next available appointment for me 2 weeks later!!!
I'm a patient guy, so I bite my tongue and accept my fate. Fortunately we only got up to 100 degrees F about 5 times in the two week period, so all and all it could have been worse...
Parts show up on Sept 7 and the repair tech ( a different guy) again astonishes me by showing up early on Sept 13, to install the parts. And here is where everything goes sideways...
He replaces the mystical capacitor and turns on the unit, it starts up! I'm excited! :) yeah! I say... When are you going to be done.
He informs me that the "Motor is fine" and writes me a parts refund slip for the motor. Closes up the A/C and finishes his paperwork. I sign of on the job and he leaves. The A/C is running this whole time. I'm very pleased.
10 minutes after he leaves, it stops working... odd but not unusual if I have the thermostat set too high, and it could be with 2 different techs monkeying with it, so I check the stat. I'm assuming that the A/C should have been on, cuz the stat worked fine up until it failed and my house didn't feel like it was 50 degrees F. So, I call tech at his cell phone and tell him what happened.
He returns and informs me very politely that I'm a filthy home owner and if I cleaned my A/C filter and the inside of the blower's compartment it wouldn't be overheating and shutting down. Again he leaves and I don't complain as I'm very excited that my A/C will work properly again, once I do the right thing and clean it...
An hour later and a lot of vacuuming, I have a clean A/C blower compartment and filter that is so clean it looks brand new. I close up the covers and fingers a twitch'n I turn it back on. Still setting the Thermostat to 50 cuz I want to make sure It's gonna run for more than 5 minutes. It doesn't.
I Call the tech again, this time no answer... :( I leave a message detailing what I've done and ask for further advice. Also, noting that by this time my excitement has worn off and I notice that the motor for the blower is humming. For those of you not familiar with electric motors... if they are humming they are under too much load and pulling an enormous amount of electricity to keep turning. Since this motor was engineered into the system, I have to assume that this is NOT normal. Anyway, he never returned my call. But I patiently waited until the next day.
I call the service center and after a maze of guessing and guessing wrong in the phone systems automated menu I finally got a human being on the phone. I explained the situation to her and explained that the system still wasn't working. She informed me that the next available appointment wasn't for a week, I was not pleased. ;) I managed to get her to schedule an emergency visit for the following day.
Once again the tech (yet another person) amazes me by showing up early, when in the history of time has this happened so many times. I would rather they showed up late and fixed the problem, personally. But, I guess you can't have everything. Anyway, He listens to my story, and the A/C unit and agrees that the motor is definatley not sounding right. He informs me that SOP would have been for the other guy to drop the motor off at the shop and ship it back to their vendor, but He is going to try to track it down and hopefully get it. He will call me and let me know... famous last words...
That was Friday, Sept 15, 2006. I waited, patiently I think, until today to call the service center again and navigate that maze of a phone menu to get to a person. I got a very nice lady on the phone that informed me that she can't make head or tales of the situation based on the notes in my record but, the good news is that she can tell me that I have an appointment for Tuesday Sept 26 to have a tech come out. For what she couldn't say and there was no record of the tech that placed the appointment.
They say you catch more bees with honey than vinegar... That may be true, but I'm beginning to think that a 12 gauge shotgun would be more satisfying.
I have no Idea who I can call to get a real answer and I'm going to have to play my cards right so that I don't offend them as they already have my freaking money!
Who, you ask, is doing this to me? The government? Some angry person bent on revenge? No, it's SEARS Service and Repair Center! I have such a good relationship with their sales business, I didn't even think to question their customer service for repairs...
So here I am looking at a month with no A/C and all I can say is, "What the fuck?"


If it ain't broke, Don't fix it

I have been trying to get away from the Micro$oft world for some time now. I really like the way linux runs and the stability of it really is nice. But I have been searching high and low for a distro that does all of the things I want it to do.
You can find one that handles wine (ms windows emulation) really well, but generally it's lacking somewhere else, like wireless network setup. Or you find a distro that is awesome with just about every wireless card, but it doesn't really have much else going for it. Due to the fact that most of my software is MS windows based, I need it to run wine very well. And I also want to be able to access the shares I have on my other ms based systems, So the samba client really needs to be easy to setup and use. But, I also want to migrate away from that dependency. So, I have tried, FreeBSD, Turbolinux, Xandros OCE, Redhat 6.0 thru 9.0, Fedora Core 1,2,3 and 4, Mandrake, Debian, Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Suse, and several others that I can't think of right now. I finally found one that does just about everything I want it to do and even had World of Warcraft running flawlessly on it, Slackware 10.0... It's a really nice package and not nearly as difficult to setup as some Linux snobs would have you believe. It's only shortcoming, as far as my needs are concerned, is that it doesn't have a gui interface for the ndiswrapper. To setup the wireless network devices. But for my desktop system that's not an issue.
So, later I found this other distro that just seemed beg me to try it out. PcLinuxOS SuperGamers edition... It had "Try me!!" written all over it. Fortunately it's a liveDVD so you can run it without installing it.
At first it worked like a champ, but it didn't come with wine installed and of course you can't really install something like wine to a OS that's running off of a RAM drive and a DVD-Rom so I backed up my data and installed the OS to my harddrive. What can I say, I love it. Applying the World of Warcraft patch to wine and installing wine was a breeze. It went off without a hitch. I was very pleased.
Then disaster struck, after I spent 3 hours installing the OS, setting up and installing wine, and then installing and updating World of Warcraft. I sat down at my desk, fingers twitching for a little mob killin. And there was this nightmarish flickering of the graphics!!!! This problem is easily fixed in the MS world with a few tweaks of the OS and the installation of a custom driver for the ATI video cards... accept I'm on a linux box and I have a NVIDIA card. UGG!!!
So here I sit, reinstalling WoW on my newly installed Slackware 10.0 system.
The moral of the story... "If it ain't broke..." you get the idea.


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