Archive for the ‘news’ Category

So I didn’t do much yesterday, just worked from home, washed clothes, washed dishes, fed my sourdough starter, you know, the usual. I did get my 8 terabyte drive in from Florida. Unfortunately it appears to be having issues. I’m sending it through ZFS scrubs after putting it into my array, we’ll see.

I believe I have mentioned that the dosage for chloroquine is very difficult to calibrate and don’t do this at home unless you want to die. Furthermore, while chloroquine has anti-viral properties beyond its anti-malarial properties (it changes cell acidity and makes it harder for viruses to enter cells to reproduce), it’s unclear whether it works against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The only “study” had results equal to chance, and some of those treated died so it’s clearly no magic bullet and would have to be used as part of an anti-viral cocktail if it ends up being part of a cure at all. Nevertheless, Arizona Man and Arizona Woman, the world’s dumbest Trump supporters, decided to give Florida Man a day off and decided to test it out. Arizona Man died. Arizona Woman didn’t but it was close.

Don’t try this at home, folks. Just sayin’.

Took my temperature. It’s a perfectly normal 98.4F. So far so good.

I’m waiting for President Trump to slap Pete Gaynor on the back on live TV and say heckuva job, Petey! as FEMA utterly fails at delivering masks from their stockpiles to hospitals in need. He also contradicted WHO guidance on testing on public TV.

Latest deranged Bernie Bro conspiracy theory — Biden didn’t actually win the majority of the votes in the last few primary states, it was all a conspiracy by thousands of county clerks at the behest of the DNC — including *Republican* county clerks as well as Democratic ones!

Yeesh. The whole point of our decentralized system of elections is to make it hard to have a conspiracy that actually makes a difference outside of a few tight elections where flipping one county could throw the election. To talk about conspiracies of thousands of county clerks is paranoid-delusional nonsense of the first order. Yet these people are spreading this nonsense with a straight face. Ugh.

Our school crossing guard, an elderly lady who lives in the neighborhood, is wandering around on the sidewalk in front of the school looking lost. She doesn’t know what to do with herself without her orange vest and stop sign and little ones to protect. So she’s just walking around to get some exercise, I guess, but she looks sad. She’s fierce in defense of “her kids”, and no matter what else she does, it can’t be as rewarding as making sure little ones don’t get run over by the maniac drivers around here.

Finally, here is how I stay warm on cool mornings:

A furry blanket

— Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

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You’ll notice that I didn’t post one of these yesterday because I was hip deep in computer parts. Here is my rack now.

My home office data center

From top to bottom: KVM switch, NAS/virtualization, SAS2 JBOD cabinet, new virtualization server. Then some spare disks and a spare 10 gigabit Ethernet switch.

So yesterday I put a SAS2 backplane into the antique SAS1 JBOD cabinet to convert it to SAS2, then put a SAS2 card and a 10 gigabit Etherent card into the new virtualization server. I tried moving the NAS disks to the JBOD and then standing up the virtualization server as an all-in-one connected to the JBOD with the unit on top then recommissioned as a part-time VMware virtualization server (since I only need it when I’m developing software during the day), but my Windows 2019 Essentials virtual machine that handles my video surveillance network refused to come up. I moved the disks back into the NAS/virtualization server and stood up the other server as ESXi only (necessary because I’m developing virtual appliances for the vSphere environment), and all is well again. The NAS is running Centos 7 Linux and serves as the data store for the VMware via a NFS file share. The ESXi box on the bottom is running ESXi 6.0 and has a fleet of virtual appliances running on it that I’m developing for work.

Other things that happened yesterday: An ER nurse says goodbye to her family, because due to lack of preparation she is almost certain to die.

We needed to start emergency production of PPE gear two months ago — and now it’s too late. She knows she’s going to be infected. She knows everybody else in her ER is going to be infected. Because there just isn’t any protective gear, yet they are the kind of people who can’t just let people die. There’s people who run towards fires, and people who run away from them. For all you emergency responders out there, thank you for what you do. And fuck Trump. May his orange asshole self get COVID-19 and infect every other stupid asshole in his idiotic regime who did absolutely nothing while China was warning us that shit was about to burn.

And finally, Governor Newsome said that with over half of Californians projected to get the COVID-19 virus over the next 8 weeks, he had no choice other than to issue a statewide stay home order to try to keep the hospitals from being utterly overwhelmed. As I mentioned before, California hospitals are required to have contingency plans for natural disasters. But nobody planned for an epidemic, because epidemics are so…. 20th century.

– Batdut the Geek Nerd Penguin

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So, looks like Chewy.com is crumbling under the weight of people ordering large quantities of pet supplies from them. Since the pet store where I buy cat litter is closed, I decided to order my second-choice cat litter from them. Nope. Sold out. So found a second choice they still had in stock, and put two 40 pound bags into my cart, then went to add some cat food to meet the “free shipping” criteria. First choice: Sold out. Second choice: Sold out. Third choice — yep, my cats will eat that one, so added it to the cart. If this goes on, things are going to get grim for cat owners, maybe to the point where they have to make their cats into indoor-outdoor cats. At least I can still get cat food in large 40 pound bags locally, at least until Costco runs out.

One of the interesting things locally has been what has happened to our local Nextdoor group. This is generally a bunch of angry white people who post messages about suspicious people walking down the street (suspicious people who seem to always be brown), suspicious cars (driven by brown people, duh), omg I saw a snake in my backyard is it poisonous (answer: no, we don’t have any poisonous snakes in our city, rattlesnakes don’t like swamps), and so forth. But now there is a lot of people who are offering to help the older members with shopping and who are filling us in on what stores are open and what items they have so that people don’t need to drive all over to find what they need, as well as restaurants we should be supporting by ordering take-out, and so forth. It’s more like what was always envisioned for Nextdoor, neighbors helping neighbors.

The Giant Orange Underwear Shitstain hit the markets hard today with yet another incoherent babbling speech that did more harm than good but that his moron supporters undoubtedly ate up like chocolate ice cream despite the fact that, except for color, his bullshit shares nothing in common with chocolate ice cream. Meanwhile, the most honest man in the NIH, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases which is already testing a vaccine and a treatment, has been sidelined for, well, being honest. Despite the fact that his organization is the only one in the whole shitstain that is the Trump Administration that has actually responded quickly and competently to the crisis. Because competence is not rewarded in the Trump Administration. Loyalty is. Thus my new bumper sticker that came in yesterday:

Any Functioning Adult

Any Functioning Adult 2020

Mostly people seem to be complying with the shelter in place quarantine orders. The exception is Elon Musk’s Tesla, because building electric luxury cars for rich people is apparently an essential business in his eyes. Gotta meet those quarterly production numbers, y’know. Elon Musk now becomes a trope, the corrupt evil corporate executive. I bet those of you who were worshipping Musk a few years ago feel silly now, eh?

Food-wise, I finished up the hot dogs for lunch. With pickle relish, mustard, and ‘kraut, of course. I ate fish and baked potatoes for supper. I haven’t even touched the canned food in my pantry yet.

I haven’t ventured out of the house today other than to fetch the newspaper and feed the ferals that appear to be living on my back patio now, they’re sleeping in the cat beds and hanging around most of the day. It’s all been virtual interactions. We are well on the way to the world of the Newsflesh Trilogy, where people don’t interact with each other in person because anybody could be carrying the virus and turn into a ravenous zombie at any moment, everything’s done via the Internet or remote delivery into sterilization chambers. The governor has stated that school is probably cancelled for the rest of this school year, and has cancelled standardized testing since you can’t really test what hasn’t been taught because the schools are cancelled. People are setting up study groups and virtual schools on the Internet but that isn’t really a substitute for school, regardless of what the “unschooling” advocates believe.

Talk now is that the way things are is going to continue until at least mid-summer, which is going to take a horrific toll on the economy because most stores are closed and unemployment is going to go sky-high. And Republicans are talking about sending every American a check for $2,000. Republicans. Wow. We are in bizarro world.

I don’t know what the world is going to look like after all of this is done, but I have a suspicion it’s going to look somewhat different from what it looks like today. Meanwhile, I have food and drink, I’m healthy, I still have a job (for the moment), so we’re going to have to see what happens, I guess.

– Badtux the “Interesting Times” Penguin

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All of the counties in the SF Bay area have issued “Shelter In Place” orders basically shutting everything down. Here is Alameda County’s.

HSSV (Humane Society Silicon Valley) has shut down all non-essential services. No adoption fairs. No spay/neuter/vaccination. My TNR of the local kitties is on hold for the duration.

Kaiser-Permanente called and said that all allergy department appointments have been cancelled for the next 30 days. Apparently they are preparing to re-shuffle personnel into COVID-19 treatments. So my allergy shots are cancelled.

I am working at home. Today a switch died at the office. I directed somneone in replacing it via a Skype video call. The replacement switch triggered a packet storm due to a loop, so I then directed him to remove the wires back to the old switch, and then slowly move them one by one. It was the wire in port 11, which he traced to a place it should not have been, so I had him remove it entirely.

I went out to buy some Sudafed because I noticed I was low. Sudafed has strict controls to keep people from buying large quantities, so they had plenty of it behind the pharmacy counter. But the shelves for flu/cold medications at CVS were emptied. I’m not sure why. It doesn’t really matter for me, I have plenty of antihistamines and decongestants now, but so it goes.

There was a large amount of traffic for a weekday afternoon. Everybody seems to be panic-buying. There was no distilled water for my CPAP machine at CVS, so I popped across the street to Sprouts, which usually has a lot. All checkouts were busy. Most shelves were stripped bare. A quick trip to the water aisle showed that they’d stripped even the distilled water clean. I have about 2.5 gallons so that’ll last me a week or so, we’ll see if they have some on Friday. If not I can use boiled water, but it’ll gum up the humidifier over time, so not really recommended.

I did an inventory of my pantry. Note *just* my pantry, not my bread basket or refrigerator or freezer. I have 37 canns of tuna. 22 cans of kippered herring. 5 lbs of pancake mix, 16 lb masa (corn tortilla) flour, 8 lb of general purpose wheat flour, and a bunch of other stuff I’m not listing here like rice, beans, spaghetti, mac’n’cheese, cream of mushroom soup, and of course 10 lbs of coffee beans. I think I’m fine, I’m not going to starve to death even if the stores never do restock. Note that all this isn’t a result of panic buying, it’s a result of me living down the street from an overstock grocer and buying in bulk whenever they get something in that I like. I wish I’d bought spam in bulk, they had spam coming out the wazoo before this panic buying started, but alas it’s not to be. No problem tho, I’m pretty well set.

The death rate in Italy has apparently hit 8% because their health care system, rated #2 in the world, was overwhelmed. Let’s hope that we’re not too late with the orders shutting everything down.


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Most major school districts have announced they’re shutting down for the next two weeks, and most major universities have moved to distance learning for the remainder of the semester. How long this actually happens depends on how long things go on.

REI’s 161 adventure sports retail stores closed until March 27. REI will be paying their associates during that time, and their web site will still be taking order and shipping them, but the stores are closed.

City of Fremont schools closed until March 27.

Newark Unified School district schools closed until March 27.

City of Fremont cancels all recreation programs, limits access to City Hall, and greatly restricts Senior Center programs.

Governor of California orders all bars and nightclubs closed, restaurants allowed to operate at 50% capacity. All gatherings over 250 people were already prohibited.

CDC recommends that all events of 50 or more people be cancelled or postponed for the next 8 weeks

In my own life:

1. We are working from home for the next two weeks, except for people who must physically go to the facility to move wires or otherwise physically touch equipment (e.g. reset a circuit breaker).
2. The inventory of my pantry is at its normal level, meaning I have about a month’s supply of food other than milk, eggs, and bread. I have flour so can make bread if needed (I prefer to buy it because lazy, duh), I have dry milk if necessary, I do not have powdered eggs alas. This isn’t including the contents of my camping kit, which has about 2 weeks worth of freeze dried and MRE component foods.
3. My Jeep club has cancelled all meetings and gatherings for the duration.
4. I am limiting outings to the bare minimum. Basically, groceries.

Me, T’Challa, and Chuck are all doing well right now. No illnesses, and social distancing is pretty much my normal life other than work and the Jeep club. I talked to my mother, she’s fine other than recovering from a broken arm from a fall (75 years old, fell wrong). I was supposed to have a get-together with old friends I haven’t seen in close to ten years on April 17, but now I’m not sure about that. We’ll know more by then, I’m sure.

Shit be getting real, folks. Stay safe out there. Especially those of you in health care. The stories coming out of Italy are chilling…

– Badtux the Pandemic Penguin

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Go to Google Images and type in “Russian agent”. I’ll wait ;).

You’re back? Okay. Well. Max Boot, neocon’s neocon, has a nice little article at the Washington Post entitled “Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset.” Go read *that*.

Then read that the FBI opened a inquiry about whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia.

And Trump has deliberately concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from even his own senior administration officials. Even his Chief of Staff has no idea what Trump discussed with Putin.

Mueller apparently can show that the Trump campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence. Not proof yet that Trump himself collaborated with the Russians or that there was a quid pro quo, but definitely troubling.

Then there’s his behavior as President, which, as Max Boot pointed out, has caused enormous disruption to the U.S. government and the U.S. military as well as to U.S. alliances overseas, while benefiting Russia greatly.

Agent Orange of the FSB. It’s the only explanation that makes any sense. “Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.” — James Bond, “GoldFinger”.

— Badtux the News-gathering Penguin

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End result: an Israeli F-16 is shot down after Syria launches a barrage of anti-aircraft missiles in response.

Well, there’s $30M down the drain. Bibi is apparently about to be indicted for corruption. So he needed a distraction. But this was one helluva risky distraction, and could have cost lives if the pilots hadn’t ejected when they couldn’t shake the missiles off their tail.

I wonder if the supposed Iranian drone was as real as the imaginary poison gas that Assad used against his own people?

– Badtux the Skeptical Penguin

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Turns out every Russian athelete was juiced to the gills. Go figure.

In other news, Vladimir Putin has announced that he is running for President. Wait, I thought he’d just finished running for President, and won back in November 2016?

Oh wait, that was when he won the Presidency of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. No, his current announcement is that he’s also going to run for the office of President of the Russian Federation too.

In charge of two nations at once? Cool beans, if you’re a vicious tyrant like Vladimir Putin. Not so cool for anybody who opposes his rule.

Best comment: “I am sure the voting boxes are already full and the votes ready to be counted.”

Heh. Yeah, that’s how Russian elections work, alright :). And, increasingly, American elections too. SIGH.

– Badtux the Not-Russian Penguin

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You may have seen this image going around social media:

True, or not?

Well, there was only one way to find out: sic some reporters on the story! Have them track the photos all the way back to the first person to post them and…

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Newspapers are having to install bullet-proof glass and high resolution video surveillance cameras to deal with the rise in Trump-encouraged terrorism against them for having the audacity to report that the Trumperor has no clothes. Seems that newspaper editors and reporters are receiving death threats on a regular basis due to the rise in Trump-encouraged terrorism against them for having the audacity to report news that His Fraudulency Donald the Trump doesn’t want reported.

This is new. I can’t remember any time in my lifetime when newspapers were regularly getting shot at by people opposed to their reporting. However, a study of history shows a prior politician who similarly advocated violence against newspapers and reporters who reported news that he didn’t want reported. And the Munich Post went down fighting, documenting all of Hitler’s atrocities up to the very day all of its reporters were arrested and sent to Hitler’s extermination camps.

The question is whether any U.S. newspaper editors would have that kind of courage under similar circumstances…

– Badtux the Journalism Penguin

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