Archive for March, 2011

I have a job

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

It seems that upper management has known for several days that an agreement was reached to keep me and the other contractors on the job. They forgot to tell me.

I boxed up my personal items and purged all evidence from my hard disk. I set my phone response to something inappropriate, and I set my email to forward to my boss.

Now I have to undo much of this.

I hope that I didn’t erase anything important.

Mom and Sarah

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

My Mom enjoys making rag dolls. She made a fancy one and she entered it into the DAR craft competition. very slow again

Monday, March 28th, 2011 is the hosting company I use for and, and a dozen other sites. It is so slow today that I’ve started moving these domains to I guess when I am done I’ll be able to get rid of the $100 a year expense for the backup host. I can go without a backup for a while.

My Job Outlook

Monday, March 28th, 2011

I have just been told that the contracting company that employs me screwed up their application and I might not have a job starting April 1st.

I work as a consultant at the County of Westchester. Westchester, with about a million people, is the 43rd largest county in the US.

I have been busy here for the last 8 years coding Java and PHP for the Physical Facilities group that includes the Internet site, Westchester Airport, Rye Playland, and important systems such as Parking, Solid Waste management and Security systems. I have really liked working here. Recently they have started allowing a few PHP projects in the mix and I have enjoyed the challenge.

I am not alone and there are 18 people in IT whose jobs are in jeopardy. The application required that the contract company apply on-line and many or them missed or ignored the requirement. One contracting company submitted the wrong application, sending in last years’.

I am hoping that this gets straightened out, but the issue is that 85% of the contracts were submitted correctly, and those companies would have to be notified that there are exceptions being made. Alternatively, the contracts can go out to bid again, which would require a month or so before they could be processed.

I looked and this seems to be a good time to switch jobs. There are lots of Java and PHP jobs now on the boards. There were times in the last three years when there were none. They tend to be lower pay than I make now. I don’t want to switch jobs. I am quite settled here. The rules are that they can’t pay me for overtime and I am not allowed to work past 4:30. There is a union for regular employees (not me), and the union keeps an eye on me. I like that a lot. Most places expect you to “donate” extra hours by working late or weekends.

End of the world is nigh: 21 May, around 6pm

Monday, March 28th, 2011

I am reading a book where the year 1666 was thought to be the year of the second coming. The numbers 666 were thought to be significant. What came instead was the bubonic plague and the burning of London.

Nut jobs have been predicting the END every few years as long as there have been nut jobs. The latest nut job will be disappointed this May.

US preacher warns end of the world is nigh: 21 May, around 6pm, to be precise – Americas, World – The Independent.

October Cat

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

This is Larry’s cat October in a pile of leaves. Larry takes a good picture.

Larry’s Camera

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Larry gave me his camera to clear out the images. These are those.

Mar 26, 2011

WordPress Spam Reporter

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

I wrote a plugin for WordPress that does batch reporting of spam to the StopForumSpam database.

The guy I wrote it for has a bunch of Spam traps so he gets lots of spam. He was so excited by the software that he created music video about my program.

I have never appeared in a music video before. (It’s my software that’s running. I, personally, do not appear).


Thursday, March 24th, 2011

I’ve written a whole lot of stories in the Science Fiction sub-genre called cyberpunk. This is basically stories in the near future where computer technology is being used and abused by criminals, hackers and outsiders. The genre tends to be pessimistic about the future. Examples start withe Brunner’s Shockwave Rider and goes on to novels by Shirley, Rucker and, of course, Gibson. Gibson (misquoted) “The street finds its own uses for technology”.

RocketPunk would be another genre where, to paraphrase Gibson, “Space finds its own uses for Technology”. I’ve written more than a few of these.

I like the term RocketPunk. It means that that the Science Fiction Space Opera is now in the hands of the rogue engineer or hacker and no longer runs according the well planned schedules of governments and multinational corporations.

Thanks, Steve – this is word that I needed. This may be the name of my next Collection of short stories.

The ROCKETPUNK REVOLUTION is Upon Us! | The Crotchety Old Fan.

Book Sales Reversals

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

I read this over at Smashwords:

March 22 – If you experienced a reversed sale during the time period of February 18-21, you were one of about 8% of Smashwords authors and publishers affected. These were fraudulent purchases using stolen credit cards. The books were removed from the perpetrator’s account.

They reversed several of my sales, which was very disappointing. There was one for my Harmonica Book, which is my best seller at Smashwords, and the book that I make the most money from. The rest were 99¢ books.

I wonder if the thief had any time to download these and if they will appear on a Russian bootleg site before long. I have searched for all the books, but I only see legitimate references and a whole boatload of sites that stole the preview and then link back to smashwords using the affiliate links.


Goodbye Pinetop

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Pinetop Perkins, the blues piano player who backed the Muddy Waters Band, died at the age of 97.

Pinatop often played near here at the Turning Point Cafe in Piermont, where I saw him.

He was a heavy drinker and smoker and lived to be 97, anyway.

Pinetop Perkins, Delta Boogie-Woogie Master, Dies at 97 –

New Estimate for Alien Earths: 2 Billion in Our Galaxy

Monday, March 21st, 2011

The new estimate is that there are two earth-like planets with 12 light years.  Doing the math says that there would be about 1,200 earth-like worlds within 100 light years.

Earth-like worlds are far more common than anyone guessed in the past and they could even be more common if they start finding planets around Red Dwarf Stars.

The odds that there is an alien civilization within 100 light years of us have just gone way up.

When it comes to the 100 nearest sunlike stars within a few dozen light years, these findings suggest that only about two might have Earthlike worlds. Still, Catanzarite did note that red dwarfs might host Earthlike planets as well, and that such stars are far more common than sunlike stars.

via New Estimate for Alien Earths: 2 Billion in Our Galaxy Alone | Alien Planets, Extraterrestrial Life & Extrasolar Planets | Exoplanets & Kepler Space Telescope |

Happy Birthday Sun House

Monday, March 21st, 2011

This very early Blues artist was a major influence on guitarists as diverse as Muddy Waters and Bob Dylan. House himself was greatly influenced by another early Bluesman, “Tampa Red”. House did most of his recordings during the 1930s -’40s. In ’43, he relocated to Rochester, NY, USA, performing locally for the next 20 years. He toured the U.S. and Europe in the ’60s, after a Folk and Rock revival brought him again to public attention.

Spring is here

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Second day of Spring 2011.

Skip sent me a picture of the rock garden in his backyard.