I’m 32 years old, and so I try to behave like a grownup and not get excited over all the injustices of the world. And I try to have a reasoned, diplomatically nuanced outlook on world affairs. When it comes to Chinese politics I understand the tensions between regional independence and national cohesion, the tension between personal freedoms and the scary business of managing a rapidly industrializing nation of 1.2 billion people and limited natural resources . . . I care about what happens in China but I uhm, try to be a properly diplomatic adult and defer to them doing it their way.
But this latest story from the BBC, about something trifling, just makes me wanna smack somebody with a stick. (more…)
When people ask me what I do I answer either “computer stuff” or “Unix systems administration” and when asked what that means I answer that I keep the servers up and running. If you happen to be curious about my technical background you can review an old copy of my resumé online.
SAGE members and survey participants now have access to the 2007 System Administrator’s Salary Survey at http://www.sage.org/salsurv/. It is nice to check in an see how well one’s compensation aligns with that of one’s peers. I like the summary:
“A technically challenging profession that pays its entry people as much as US$50,000/year is an interesting one. System administration appears to be a fine way to make a living. Experience, education, and enhanced skillsets seem to be the growth path of choice.”
My current employer is known for its generous compensation, and the current survey is an affirmation of that. More importantly I’m enjoying my experience of my present employer and with any luck may actually hold this job for a few years.
I still hope to eventually return to Chicago to work. The San Francisco Bay Area has the highest average salaries, though Chicago averages not much less. The catch is that most Chicago jobs are in the financial services industry, and that is a less enjoyable work environment than the Silicon Valley culture.
Ahhh, Ikea! Our favorite one-stop shop to kill an entire Saturday stocking up on inexpensive husgerÃ¥d. The checkout process can be exhausting, but I tend to find the post-unloading furniture assembly to be relaxing.
And while Ikea has nice products at modest prices, sometimes things don’t go perfectly, and you need some customer service. This is where you experience the dark side of Ikea: getting customer service, especially from your local Ikea store, can be a nightmare.
But, fret not, as I had done, for after my whining, Paul posted the number for Ikea US Corporate Headquarters, and I have since heard from others that calling this number indeed connects you to friendly human beings who can resolve problems for you:
If you find that this does or does not bring you satisfaction, please let me know. Cheers!
The deal is I’m trying to set some image published each Thursday. I missed last week for sure. Today is a double-header from around 2006: practice sketching cartoon characters based on a book I purchased on impulse on how to draw cartoons:
The first page is just practice drawing a simple character from repeated elements: nose, eyes, chin, ear, hair, smile. Then he gets a trapezoidal boy, simple arms, easy legs . . . . then we try posing him. On the next page we try to bring in some action.
A healthy reminder as to how you can achieve a great deal with simplicity, and that I should practice.
This week I upgraded the guts in my desktop. For the video card I jumped up to an ASUS EN9600GT silent graphics card. It is pretty “bleeding edge” as far as Linux goes, and it is a double-wide card with a massive heatsink where others would have a fan. I like to reduce the white noise.
Unfortunately, it is too new for the currently-supported Ubuntu drivers. I used Ubuntu’s NvidiaManual docs to manually upgrade to the 173.14.12 drivers from NVidia’s site, and then things were happier. Except video playback. Files and DVDs seem to work okay, but the colors are off, notably, people get rendered with blue or purple flesh. (more…)
I spend a few minutes most mornings at the bus shelter at 19th Ave and Taraval. In July, they featured this public-service ad on the street side of the shelter, encouraging black youth to “stay alive and free” eating mama’s home cooking, rather than the cuisine associated with orange jumpsuits:
Cheesy, but well-meaning. I encourage all youth to “stay alive and free”.
The shelter side of this shelter usually features bizarre fashion advertising. In July, on the flip side of the above poster was this bizarre lady: a white woman seductively holding handcuffs. In addition to promoting “fashion” I guess she was trying to explain that temptations can be crassly grotesque:
To be sure, my neighborhood is dominated by Chinese families. Red is the color you wear on your wedding day.
Meanwhile, over on the BART, I see this strange poster in the distance:
I got up to take a closer look to discover a black man in his underwear, barricading the door against the sodomy we assume accompanies a prostate exam. “If you’re over 50, or an African American over 45, get your prostate exam!”
So, yeah, there are some provocative posters, questionable imagery, but look beyond advertising to real folk, and you’ll see some soul.