MC Spoo
3Jul/130

Geek Your Library

Filed under: Creativity, Work No Comments
8Aug/120

Amalgamate Now?

Sometimes in your life, there are spans of time when the definition of your life is writ large, across the face of reality like graffiti. Everyone within eye sight, ear shot, a tongue flick can see, smell and taste everything that is about to happen... and have no idea what it feels like.

At this moment, my life is a storage closet of chaos. Life without definition, but full of cluster, sound and fury.

I just spent a half hour researching Cochlear Implants. I read someone elses blog on this process and broke down crying because it just hit me how freaking much... yeah, i can't even verbalize it yet, really.

I haven't heard much of anything since May.

My leg is healing from being broken.

I have ingrown toenail in my left big toe... which sucks terribly. Yeah, that's what I needed there: MORE FUCKING PAIN IN MY LEFT LEG...

Tomorrow, I am getting a CAT scan for the express purposes of getting a Cochlear Implant.

I am beyond fucking terrified. I want to jump in my car and drive away, I want to hide and pretend everything is okay. Just tell me it's okay, and tell me it'll be alright. Jesus, I'm sick and tired of this year. Everything is breaking and I'm having to stand strong and tall and pretend I'm the one who isn't affected... that I'll always be the tough guy, but this tough guy just wants to run away right now.

But I can't. Because this cochlear implant... if it works...

I'll hear my nephew again.

Maybe I'll hear my brother's new band.

Maybe I'll understand you all better, and be more involved socially.

MAYBE. I HOPE. I CAN HEAR.

How impressive. How horrible. How ridiculous. How sane. How completely and utterly impossible... or is it?

God please, let me get through this year. Let me hear everyone. Their voices, without having to ask twice. No more "what?"

This is the next step, isn't it? Evolution. I will be assimilated into the collective. My technological distinctiveness will be undeniable, and overwhelming... if I hear you all, and don't have to hide in the background anymore... can participate in group discussions... will I scare you? Will you accept this me, the real me, the hidden me?

Logically... It came down to to the Ellis Boyd Redding question... "get busy living, or get busy dying", just changed around to "get busy hearing, or get busy being deaf".

I don't think I could ever forgive myself if I didn't try. I really want to hear YOU.

I really want to hear my nephew, my cousin's kids... I even want to be able to say if modern music sucks, and not just be parroting someone else... I want to hear all that music I heard, the real thing, and not the tinny echo of my memory. I want to hear the argument across the table, at the meeting, or in the restaurant. My God... all I want to do is hear the sound of birds singing, or the cicada's (man eating sparrows) serenade... the toads on the pond, the sound of rain, thunder, and lightning... count how far away it is in miles, from flash to thunder. I don't want to make up your voices in my head anymore... like an equation of being able to tell what you sound like, just from what you look like.

or making up the sound of the room... here I sit typing, a fan next to me. I know I can't hear the fan, but my mind is making the sound of the fan. Cause it knows the sounds should be there, but it's not, so it makes it up... so it sounds like a fan, with someone playing a mournful guitar solo, bursting up high, holding the note in tremolo, and falling down, sadly, see the drops fall from the sky, like tears from my eyes.

You have no idea how lucky you are. No idea... just to hear the sound of a car door shut. That annoying screech of a baby crying. The nails on the chalkboard... just theories and memories at this point... relish I want in my life, once again.

28May/120

Returnth to Normal?

Tomorrow, next step on the way back to "normal". I go back to work...

I'm excited and scared about that. Excited because I've sat on my ass for the last 6 weeks. I can't sit on my ass no more.

I know the meaning of the word "laid up" and I don't wanna do it again.

I'm a bit scared, to be honest. After being in the house, and not leaving the house on my own... I'm going to drive to work, get out of the car, and scoot my knee walker, crutches, and a back pack full of lunch into the Library and work for as many hours as I can take (maybe 4 to 6 the first day, we'll see).

I have a bigger appreciation for the travails of what a handicapped person goes through, because at this point, I am really quite handicapped. I still can't walk. I'm a hoppin' fool. I've been away as long as I can take, and probably as long as work can take. The rough edges are showing and ripping up things.

And you know what? I'm not 100%. No. I'm not even 80%. I'm maybe 65% right now. I'm on one leg and...

no ears.

You read that right. As of now, you can and should consider me to be completely deaf. My latest hearing test results, if they are to be believed, were the worst ever. I'm suffering ringing that may or may not be full blown tinnitus in both ears, but I suspect are hyperacusis based (required sound to ring, which is the opposite of normal tinnitus.)

So, 5/25 I had an appointment with an ENT (Dr. Hoff of MOSA ENT). This Dr. was recommended by my family Dr.

They give me a hearing test... then have me come back, in which I see not the ENT doctor I was supposed to see, but his Physicians Assistant. Who summarily blows me off. At least that's what it felt like. "Oh, you're WAY too deaf! Go somewhere else, deaf boy!"

I'm "far too deaf" for them to help me, and they suggest cochlear implants. I have no business wearing hearing aids, they say. And these folks? They do not do cochlear implants.

Thusly, the dumb twinkers give me a PHONE NUMBER TO CALL for an appointment with someone else. Well... that was a total waste of my time, and if you're ever assigned to MOSA ENT... refuse, cause they probably don't care much. Pass the buck along, don't talk to the deaf guy and see if you can do anything, just take one tiny, abbreviated test that was cut short for no reason and say "screw you deaf guy" and send me out the door with a PHONE NUMBER!

Phone numbers are, of course, COMPLETELY WORTHLESS... especially according to their results.

What a fine mess I am. I'm THAT close to being the six Million Dollar man... fake leg. Fake ear. I just need nuclear powered limbs, and I'm all set... Lee Majors got NOTHIN' on me.

(Addendum on 6/25/2012)
I did a follow up appointment with my audiologist. I've dealt with them for years, and they hold the record of my last official hearing test in 2008.

So what were the results, you may ask?

NO CHANGE. There is NO CHANGE in my hearing between now and 2008. None.

Begging your damn pardon, but how is that possible?

Simple: My hearing is so awful, that upon learning of the results of a hearing test, an otherwise logical, perhaps excellent doctor will choose to steer me away from their practice. Why? maybe it's "too hard". My audiologist is "not a doctor", but she surmises that it's possibly, if not likely, that my recent tinnitus issues can be traced to all the pain drugs I was given in the hospital. Which would mean this issue is directly tied to the broken leg.

<sarcasm>Yay.</sarcasm>

My ears were ringing so bad today, I was throwing up. I'm afraid to find another ENT, because, well shit, maybe they'll throw me out of their office too. I wish I knew a lawyer, so I could find out if it's malpractice...

18May/120

Barbarian in the Gate… and you let him in

What do you do if the barbarian in in the gate? He's walked right through the gate, and you let him in. He's inside.

You can't let him out, because circumstances require someone to take up that space... how do you deal with it?

Proactively. Will the barbarian, marked as spoiled, choose to continue to enter the gates? Walk amongst us, like a monster amongst men? Pretend nothing is wrong? Or will he stay home, run away from his crimes, and force us to bring... shall we say... more extensive legal forms of persuasion to force?

How do you remain professional, calm and collected when someone has so completely violated your trust? Do you learn from it? become paranoid from it? How do you treat that person? with disgust? pity? hatred?

From my personal viewpoint... "you asshole." and the rest is too disgusting to publish in any form or fashion except for the part which states "you are a quantum probability of zero." What a shame.

From my professional viewpoint... "you asshole. get out of here. Don't come back. ever."

I'm not sure that's the correct answer, but that's where I am now.

Filed under: Work No Comments
17Jan/120

Screw SOPA/PIPA

Sharing this post I found. It echoes my thoughts well.

"...So many people honestly seem to believe this bill is just to fight piracy.

No one is protesting to help pirates.  This bill goes far beyond the reaches of piracy, and the "piracy" part of the name is there to dupe people too lazy to read (which is most americans apparently) into thinking that's all this bill is for.

SOPA and other similar bills share in common the fact that they provide the government with the power to censor the internet.  Basically any media company or political organization etc could lobby the government to censor and shut down websites.  Not only that, the end-user can be sued while doing so.

For instance, I see many of you here on CNN with avatars (including myself) that include copywritten material. This bill would give the government permission to remove your image, sue CNN for allowing it to be posted there and then sue you for posting it.

All of these bills have similar components that allow these scenarios.  Say goodbye to google, facebook, wikipedia, most websites would simply end messageboards like this as well simply due to the high liability of someone posting a copywritten image or phrase.

This bill and all those like it will put an end to the internet as we know it and turn us into a censored nation similar to china's "great firewall".

I've even read comments here by posters so ignorant they believe wikipedia is simply a "non-profit" trying to "secure their piece of the pie" and that protesting is socialism....if this is the true belief of america then our country is truly doomed and our education system has failed.

Google, Imgur...oh why bother even listing them all.  There are literally dozens and dozens of FOR PROFIT companies also voicing their opinions on the matter.  The ONLY ones supporting this bill are politicians who have received funding from media companies, the media companies themselves, and their subsidiaries and partners.

This is basically a bid for media companies, hollywood and the record industry to seize control of the internet, simultaneously throwing the government unprecedented power to censor free speech.

DO NOT LET THIS BILL, OR ANY LIKE IT PASS.  I don't support piracy, most people don't, but this is far beyond the reaches of piracy, this is about free speech as we know it."

Would you like to know more?

Wikipedia Article on SOPA:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

Text of the actual SOPA bill:
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/show

WordPress on SOPA:
http://wordpress.org/news/2012/01/help-stop-sopa-pipa/

Join the Strike:
http://americancensorship.org/

Facebook/Twitter/Google + images:
http://www.blackoutsopa.org/

Don't let them pass redundant laws. Let's make this clear: Piracy is ALREADY ILLEGAL.

SOPA and PIPA serve no logical purpose other than to shut down free speech. Please, don't kill the first amendment.

 

 

14Jan/120

Musings upon existance

I'm curious, really.

What the heck am I doing here right now? I mean the physical here, not metaphysical.

I'm sitting in the condo, which I still barely call home. I have trouble saying "come over to my house". I say "come over to my place."

I have no house now. My house is my Dad's house. That's what I think of when I say "my house".

This stupid economy... has me stuck in a place I will never escape without going bankrupt. And I'm starting to think it might be worth it.

I cannot spent time with people I want to be with. I would rather sleep at my dad's house, than in this place. I would rather sleep at my lady's house, than this place. I would rather spend time with my cousin and my friends, than subject them to this place. I do not want to "come home" to this place. It serves... no purpose.

What use is life if you spend it alone? i don't want to spend any more time in this place. I've lived here for 10 years in a bad investment and learned one thing: I fucking hate condominiums.

I'm ready to go. I'm ready to leave. To move onwards unto the future.

Home isn't in place. It's where your heart is. and my heart isn't in this place. It's with my lady, my family, and my friends.

 

17Nov/110

Kindle Fire – Review

I'm lucky enough to have gotten a Kindle Fire right off the bat. Here's a few initial thoughts:

1. This is not replacement or even legit competitor to the iPad or other Android tablets (Samsung Galaxy, Toshiba Thrive, Motorola Xoom, etc). I really like that when I ordered it, the settings were input into the device, so it was automatically tied to my Amazon account. This meant that it instantly populated the Kindle Fire with books I had checked out for Kindle! However, this "convenience" makes gift giving for the Fire a bit strange, however.

2. This is purely a media delivery device for Amazon. The clear and obvious intention in the device is to push users to buy an Amazon Prime account, and purchase items solely from Amazon. It's a consumption device, sold and marketed at a loss in the same way that HP or Xerox sell printers: the printers are relatively cheap because they charge exorbiant amounts for the print cartridges and other printer consumables to make up the difference on the back end.

2a. How do I know this? Well, consider the following: the Amazon App store does NOT include the Overdrive app. Overdrive is an extremely popular choice for Public Libraries to provide ebooks, audiobooks, etc to patrons. It's not included because Amazon wants the average Fire owner to purchase a Prime account and use the Amazon Lending Library instead of your Public library.
2b. Never fear! The Fire has a very decent web browser, which can properly load your local library's webpage, and then their portal to Overdrive... you can select Kindle titles and directly deliver them to your new Kindle Fire.

3. Now, on the the device itself... the form factor is excellent. 7" screen, VERY BRIGHT and VERY READABLE. I like this screen almost as much as my Toshiba Thrive (10.5").

4. The weight is acceptable. It fits in my back pocket (although I wouldn't want to sit on it). It's comfortable to hold, and feels very sturdy. The power button location may be a mistake: it's on the bottom. The only mechanical button on the unit, and it's in a location where accidental use is not just possible, but likely.

5. Noticing the wifi antenna in the Fire may be a bit weak. In a location where my Thrive and Blackberry Bold both show strong Wifi signal, the Fire shows a very low, weak signal. On this subject... some people may purchase this without realizing it REQUIRES a wifi connection. So if you do not have a wifi connection at home, work, or wherever your primary use of this device is... you may need to arrange the installation of wifi.

6. The Amazon App store requires you set up a one-click choice for your account. The Amazon app store is simple enough to use, and works essentially the same way as the Android market. I was able to install and run Netflix without much issue once I applied One-Click settings to my account.

7. No extra media support. There are no media card ports, no USB ports, no obvious means to connect to your desktop or laptop computer. Your only connection with the Kindle Fire is intended to be with Amazon.

8. Oddity: the touch screen is oddly numb compared to an iPad or most other touchscreen devices. It's like it requires you to "lag" your normal usage behavior from other devices. You have to touch, count to 0.75 or 1 and then release to actually click and use a button. This may confuse many people who are used to touchscreen devices, and certainly confuses an iPad user.

9. The Kindle Fire is clearly designed and intended as a n00b device. Anyone wanting more advanced features and hackability... is not likely to be happy with the Kindle Fire.

In summary: The Kindle Fire is an Amazon centric media consumption device with an excellent form factor, and some small issues, but otherwise is a well executed "pseudo tablet" and an excellent ereader.

12Nov/110

Still

I still feel myself suffering this "impending" burn out feel, and I do not like it. I am going through one of the roughest installs I've ever had... and it seems like even when I FINISH it, it's still not right.

I know installs aren't always clean and easy, but this one is like "Murphy's Law of Installations".

So, the crux of it: Upgrading OPACs from Windows XP to Windows 7. New workstations replacing 8 workhorse OPACs that were approaching 5 years old, and all exhibiting various states of thermal failure. 1 has had 4 hard drive in it. All original KB's and Mice had been replaced twice, and 2 monitors replaced twice. Rule of thumb: If you get 3 years out of your hardware, you got your money worth (an important point to consider when buying computers... a $500 computer is worth about $166.66/yr.)

My methodology follows: First, I set up one workstation. I set it up so it's running, it auto loads, it shuts down, etc. Then, I use CloneZilla to make a copy of this to an identical sized USB hard drive (320MB in this case). Then I can use CloneZilla to copy the "finished" state computer onto the other computers. This reduces setup time greatly, as removing all the pre-installed crap, then Windows Update, AV software, Public Web Browser, etc is about a 4 hours process minimum. So 8 computers would be a 32 hour process normally. With CloneZilla, it tooks 4 hours for the first one, then only 20 minutes each for the other 7. So the original 32 hour job is reduced to just 6.5 hours or so. It also means, ALL the computers are exact copies, which almost always makes roll out easier...

First Buggaboo (and the apparent cause of almost all buggaboos): Symantec Endpoint 11.06. A decent piece of AV on Windows XP, and supposedly compatible with Windows 7... my experience is... NO. Trash that sucker. Take the software, and throw it in the can. It's garbage on Windows 7, and I expect this is because the scanning engine is inadequate for the Windows 7 network stack. We use Symantec because that's what our Cooperative provides. Its' free, and trust me, in a Public Library, when you can get Enterprise grade software free... you use it.

The second piece of the puzzle is called WinSelect. This is an excellent piece of software... with Windows XP. We had to upgrade from a previous version to a newer version because the previous version was not Windows 7 compatible. Neither the company, nor our cooperative (who owns the license, and sold us the software... ) advised this. So I run the updates... and the update destroys all access into the management server for WinSelect.

This requires a WebEx session by the company to fix the software. After the "fix" is applied (basically cracking MS SQL), I'm able to get 4 of the OPACs done. Then, I have to wait a few days to work on other duties. I was thrilled we got the Server working, and thrilled I could install the damned software.

But it was stupid. I had to remove Symantec from all the clients, and turn of Endpoint and the Windows firewall on the Core server. Why? Most any security program will open it's firewall holes appropriately, but not WinSelect... I had to manually find out the ports used, but even then, because Endpoint is crap, it was still blocking even when turned off. Therefore, I had to remove Endpoint from the clients.. and it worked THEN.

When I come back to work on this (first day after Standard time goes into effect)... nothing works. The installations are all a total failure. And at that point, I had a mini nervous break down which required half a Xanax. My mind was shot, and I was useless. I could not solve the issue that day. It did not occur to me until the next day that the issue was... Endpoint on the server.

So, I removed Endpoint from the server.. and VOILA! I was able to complete all OPAC installations... So at the end, I'm feeling all happy that this is completed and I can move on... We discover that rebooting the Core server causes ALL THE OPACs to reboot and require a login.

I hate you, WinSelect. I hate you Endpoint. With my last breath, I spite thee.

I now have to arrange the company to do another Web session to determine why their useless crap ass software is sending reboot/licensing notices... or just reenabled Endpoint to block the shit, because it NEVER happened before.

So the company looked at both the install OPACs and the server, and cannot explain why the issue occurs. Lucky me, I have stumbled onto the great "unknown issues" that must be investigated at the software provider level. Meh.

Filed under: Work No Comments
15Sep/110

Tablet

I admit. I was resistive. Like an old man who doesn't want to do anything new. Remain stuck in the way everyday has always been.

I recently saw the future in the form of a gift. My brother and I bought my dad an apple I pad for his birthday.a Col gadget and maybe a simpler internet experience for him. Maybe I can get him using his email.

My nehew was SO excited that grandpa was getting an I pad. At the restaraunt, he tore the gift wrapping off, sat in my dads lap and said "let me show yu how to use this grandpa!" And started showing my dad Angry Birds and Plants vs Zombies. It was cute!

Anyhow, once I started putzing with it myself, I started to see the possibilities, I eed to learn more about these things! So, I broke down and ourchases a Toshiba Thrive tablet, which rus Android 3.1 Honeycomb. I'm kinda loving this thing.

I kinda see the point. It works exteremly well for casual computing. Web browsing. Simple gaming, and I am doing WordPress on this thing right now. Email, calendars, contacts, pictures.. oh my!

And now with the Windows 8 reports coming out.. with a huge tablet bent (metro interface), it really does appear that THIS is the future of computers.

Am I excited?? Sort of. I am a it worried about the costs associated of a major paradigm shift in computing methodologies at a large scale facility. The. Posts, primarily, but excited for he functionality and usabilty for our patrons,

Filed under: Work No Comments
12Sep/110

Conflicted, neither personally nor professionally

Okay, mostly professionally. The last week has been a comedy of holy shit!

Personally, I had a lovely week before... some lovely things with a lovely lady. A wonderful conversation, which etched words into a future... a solemn promise that made my heart smile. I know this much for sure, personally: I am in love.

Then after Labor Day... awful. Why do people steal? Why do we let them get away with it? I feel so completely conflicted about what is going on.

I know he's having problems at home. Money issues... but still... I'm left in the O'Brien Position: I don't hate you, Cardassian. I hate what you've made me: Someone who has to fire people. He's a good guy. I like him, and stupidly thought he felt the same. Alas. I feel so USED. I gave him $80 in gas money. I let him drive my car while his was in for repair. We gave him all the time he needed to recover from a serious medical issue. Then THIS?!?!?! When I saw this occurring on security video, I felt my heart break. Seriously.
Then I hear he's mouthed off, telling recently hired pages how EASY and CUSHY this job is... oh, for crying out loud.. are you kidding me??!?!? What did I do to you, besides be kind?

Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. It really takes strength to be kind... especially in this world, where par for course is to piss on your shoes, and then the top of your head when you clean your shoes.

he essentially embezzled $30 from us, and then only admitted to $20 AFTER I approached him... this is a repeat of the Syed situation for me, except now I'm part of handling it. He hasn't paid back yet, and I got a bad feeling. What does tomorrow bring? ARGH!

TLN still can't fix SAM... they lost another tech because she STILL doesn't know the difference between a System ADMIN and a System TECH. Now, we have to start ALL TROUBLESHOOTING all over again... it's like a really bad ride in an amusement park, and I want to get off and vomit. On the ride operator.

We've had perverts in the building... children breaking equipment... more perverts (with stalking on top).

I felt good about myself professionally... following the C-Page meeting. I felt everyone heard me, felt the message, and was feeling the same energy I felt. We're all ready to be more accountable. To be more professional.

Am I a professional?
No.

I overheard (probably by accident) that things are "much more professional" at another Library. I don't know how to feel about that, but I feel sad about it and want to do something to fix this... but the reality of it remains: I am not a professional.

I'm a guy who picked up technical tidbits by permeable memory, and applied it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I have loads of experience to draw on now, and I learn more every day. I'm professionally happy right now, but I'm also flustered to heck.

Am I administration?
No.

But I'm hearing grumbled/mumbled ponderings... why aren't I? I'm boss to 7 pages, with all the thrills, chills and spills that go with that. I've been here for almost 13 years now. Is there anywhere for this to go, or am I just spending out my days at this level... wondering if I'm ever good enough to be recognized beyond the door of the workroom...

Filed under: Work No Comments