I must be Bored!

I just posted my first yelp review.

CartmanYelp

NO! I’m not becoming a “yelper” like those depected in South Park!

The episode “You’re not Yelping” cracks me up every time I see it.

OH Crap! Now I’ve got the boogers & cum song stuck in my head!

LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA !

Damn! Maybe some Nine Inch Nails will flush that all too catchy South Park tune out of my head.

Anyway, my very first yelp was about a recruiting firm.

Basically, I just lambasted them for their unprofessional behavior and muddying the waters for people like me that are genuinely searching for a new job.

ConfusedRecruiters

I was going to contact the management of the recruiting firm but trying to find out who even owns the place is nigh impossible. And don’t even try to reach a manager or supervisor. It’s all double and triple dead ends designed to obfuscate. Which means that essentially no-one is responsible for anything at the place.

It’s my fault for believing in ANY recruiter.

I got suckered by an email that described exactly what I’m looking for. I want a job that is in my field and that is close so I’m not spending my life on the freeway.

After the woman at the recruiting firm milked me for all kinds of information she said she was going to send my information on to her client. Then she went all radio silent and isn’t responding to emails or anything else.

A few days later I ran across an ad for the exact same position that appeared to have been posted by the hiring company on a public jobs board. So now I can’t apply because I don’t know if the recruiter submitted my resume or not. I also don’t know what is going on because the recruiter is not responding to any of my entreaties.

(Cool word, you just don’t get enough opportunities to use cool words these days.)

Since I have no mechanism to bring this recruiters unprofessionalism, to the attention of her superiors, I was left with adding my review to the chorus of reviews of her agency on Yelp.

Not my first choice, by a long shot, but hopefully it will help some other poor schmuck not waste his or her time.

At the Neighborhood watch meeting the other night…

Shooter

There was a very informative “Active Shooter” presentation by the Sheriff’s department, complete with a pump shotgun being fired outside the building.

I’d never heard what one of those sounds like if it was outside and I was inside. The sound was far different from what I’d have expected. It was more of a thump-pop and the volume was low enough that if I’d been further away I might not have even paid it any attention.

And that’s the point of training isn’t it? It’s one thing to hear the sound of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun when you’re the one firing it with ear and eye protection. It’s quite a different thing to be inside a building, hearing the shots outside or coming from another building.

runhidefight

The officers were professional and awesome. I generally like our police, I just wish they’d re-open the substation here in town.  Right now they’re 30 minutes away, so often by the time they get here whatever was going on is already done. The big difference is when the snow players are up then we’ve got a pretty good police presence.

active-shooter-hoodieActive shooters aren’t like average criminals. They’re out to hurt as many people as possible and they’re usually very young. I was shocked that the average age is 16.

Because they’re out to hurt a lot of people, the police are going to engage quickly and will likely not be taking the shooter into custody.  The reason is, Active Shooters often kill themselves or do something that forces the police to shoot them.

If you get an opportunity to attend an Active Shooter presentation I highly recommend it.

Escaping is bestThe main take-aways for me were confirmation that what I’d already been doing, was in fact prudent not paranoid.

1) Note exits (In fire, attack, flood, earthquake, etc. it’s a good idea to know which direction is likely to get you out of harms way.)

2) Plan (Run a quick scenario of how you’d get to an exit in an emergency. Don’t dwell on it, just note obstacles, and realize the closest exit may not be the “Best” exit.)

3) In an Active Shooter situation you’ve got three options. a) Exit / Escape, b) Hide / Shelter in place, c) Fight.

The thing I liked about the presentation was that the officers covered all three of the options in a pragmatic realistic way. They didn’t dwell on Islam, or Schools, or allow the training be taken off into the merits of concealed carry.

They simply discussed what is known about Active Shooters. And gave some tips that may be helpful in surviving an event if you were to ever find yourself in a shitty situation.

EvacuateThey talked about how to behave if you’ve been able to evacuate and come face to face with a group of armed officers entering the building. Easy answer… HANDS UP! Fingers spread, and do exactly what the officers tell you to do.

Don’t fight, argue, or bitch about it. These folks have no freaking idea what they’re walking into and have no idea if you’re the good guys or bad guys.  That was useful to me because I’d be worried about running out of a building and spooking an officer then getting shot because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.

Baracade

If you’re hiding / sheltering in place, get into a space that can be locked. Turn off the lights and your phone sound makers, and be quiet. It seems that Active Shooters get into a predatory mode. So don’t attract their attention in any way.

Shooters will typically pass by locked or barricaded doors because their goal is to hurt a lot of people. If a space looks empty and the door isn’t easily opened they’re not going to waste time, they’re going to look for obvious and easy targets.

Runhidefight

If you’ve got no choice FIGHT!  And when fighting your aim is to KILL you are fighting for your life and possible the life of your loved ones. All bets are off, there are no Queensbury rules.

Curb stomp the fucker if you can, severely fuck him up if you have the opportunity.  This person is no longer a person. Something inside them is horribly broken and there is no reasoning with them. Don’t try talking, don’t negotiate, they’re not going to hear you.

Dylan ThomasRemember almost anything in the local environment can be used as a weapon. A heavy object swung with intent and force can do enough blunt force damage that the threat is neutralized.

The police were very clear, leaving is the first, best option.

Not getting into a situation is even better. If something looks strange, or someone is behaving strangely it’s not paranoid or un-politically correct to report it.

A person might be acting strangely because they’re having a medical event. Think about this, the sooner that person gets medical help, the less likely whatever is happening will kill them. If on the other hand someone is acting strangely because they’re about to snap, then police intervention sooner rather than later may well stop a massacre.

02-053625-active_shooter_reported_in_san_bernardino_caEither way, the right people get on scene to handle a situation.

The thing they left unsaid and that I inferred is after you’ve reported the issue, either person or unattended bag, purse, backpack, package, etc. Leave the area.

This ties into my “Time to leave the party” instinct.

There are times when things are starting to get out of hand, at a party, or event, and I’ll just head to the exit. It’s not that I’m chicken (I do have a well honed sense of self preservation), I just don’t want to be involved in someone else’s drama. I may stick around if the drama involves someone I genuinely like or care about.

Generally if someone has issues, those issues aren’t my concern and I have zero desire to be sucked into the insanity.

So if I’m at a shopping center, or company party, or restaurant, and some craziness walks in the front door, I’m walking out the back, before the crazy spreads or the shooting starts.

The point is not to live in fear, and not to be paranoid.

The point is, be actively aware of what’s going on around you. Have an awareness of your surroundings and have a sketched out plan of what to do if, God Forbid, there is some kind of emergency.

In view of all the information the police were presenting, I suddenly flashed on the whole New Years Eve debacle.  On the one hand I was glad to have the police verify that my normal operating behavior wasn’t insane or paranoid.

On the other hand, I’d have loved to have the dumbass that kept repeatedly telling me I was a fearful paranoid dumbshit, duct-taped to a chair being forced to listen to this presentation. I’d like to do that only because I wonder how long it would take before his head exploded.

Then again, people like him would serve as distraction while I make like Elvis and… leave the building.

Uh Oh!

I saw this picture this morning and all I could think of was Godzilla or one of the other Japanese monster movies.

godzilla-1In the Japanese monster movies they often had lightening strikes as the monsters were waking up.

I didn’t know that it was a natural part of volcanic eruptions. Thinking about it, it makes sense with the fine particulate dust being kicked up in the air.

I’ve seen mixed reports that there were injuries and / or deaths. I’m hoping that those reports are incorrect.

New Tools, New Battery! Yay!

I finally found a company (American) who gave me a straight answer on my computer battery compatability. I ordered the battery they were selling, they tossed in the tools and shipped it free.

Cool!

apple-macbook-air-13-a1369-a1466-replacement-battery-a1405-original-6664-p_4
The Macbook Air 13 Battery

I get the battery today. GREAT response time.

So I power down my computer, then using their tool I unscrew 5 of the 10 screws on the bottom of my computer. On the sixth screw the tool rounded off the splines and was no longer useful to remove or re-install the screws I’ve got neatly sorted on my counter.

$%^#@$%^$@!!!! I hate cheap tools!

This tool is fairly specialized so it’s not like I can run to the local Radio Shack and buy it. The tool they sent is obviously made in China, it’s got the battery company’s logo on it and is made with some kind of metal that I could probably melt with a match.

lLpEmARHOhlWmYQC.standard
The Screw

NOW WHAT?

I don’t want to use my computer with half the screws removed, primarily because I started on the end of my machine where the board, network card, and SSD hard drive are mounted.

I didn’t know if the screws I’d removed were intergral to holding those components in place. (Turns out they weren’t but I wasn’t sure.)

The Tool
The Tool

So I grab my iPad and start searching for the tool. Hmm, Frys carries it. My ususal store didn’t have one. I expand the search and am fully prepared to drive to El Segundo or the San Fernando Valley, if necessary. As luck would have it, the Frys in Industry had ONE, only one.

A sonic boom was heard as I left my home. Actually this is neat, it’s the first time I’ve ever had reason to go to this particular Frys.

Some of you may not know this… I love tools, (no, that doesn’t convey it, I’m a tool WHORE.)

I love having the “right tool” for the job. What this means is that I left Frys with more than just the Pentalobe driver I actually needed.

Years ago I had an absolutely awesome tool kit. I lost that kit in a fire and have been slowly rebuilding a new kit with good quality tools.

(I had great quality electronic tools in the kit I lost. I built that kit over about 3 years, by keeping a list of, “Gee it’d be nice to have a blank”.)

My current kit is built much the same way and while not complete yet, has a decent collection of good quality tools in it.

After spending way too much time shopping in the tool aisle I’m on the freeway heading home. 3 hours later I arrive. LA traffic is unbelievable 24/7 nowadays.

With the proper tool in hand, (a nice case hardened steel affair with a comfort grip,) the remaining five screws came right out.

Inside a Macbook Air
Inside a Macbook Air

The bottom of my machine came off, exposing the battery and components of my machine.

Five more screws, this time Torx; one last connector and the old battery was sitting on the counter.

While I had the computer open, I cleaned dust out of the fan, and cleaned the intake vents. A little Preventative Maintenance never hurt anyone!

The new battery was a perfect fit. So again, using my nice new tools I screwed everything back into place.

Now I’m in a twelve hour battery charge cycle, tomorrow I’ll discharge the battery fully and then we’ll see how much longer this new beast will last. The capacity is slightly larger than the original battery. I have no idea how that will affect the run time on my machine.

The old battery had gotten to the point that I was only getting about 1.5 to 2 hours on a charge.

When the machine was new I’d get 6 hours before needing to recharge.

All told, replacing the battery probably cost me almost $200 bucks. (I could have had Apple do it for $129) But I got new tools (Yay!) And when I get ready to upgrade my hard drive it should be a snap!

I’m counting it as a win.

Well done Microsoft

Windows 10 Education ISO 32 64 Bit Latest Version Download

As you may have gathered, I’m not a super big fan of Windows. I dealt with XP and over time it became familiar and therefore somewhat comfortable.

I moved to Windows 7 Professional and admit that I liked it after a while but the transition was less than easy.

I skipped the Windows 8 debacle, and the 8.1 fixes.

Apparently Microsoft skipped Windows 9.

I dubiously approached Windows 10.  But because I’ve got images of my Windows 7 workhorse, I figured that I could afford to play. And I have…

I’ve also learned a couple of things that may or may not be useful in the future.

1) Have a FAST connection.

2) Make sure you have a LOT of free disk space.

3) Don’t let your computer sleep.

4) Be Patient!

My installation was a bit more difficult than it needed to be. I figured Windows 10 would tell me prior to beginning the download and installation, that I would need additional space. It doesn’t.  So what happened was I downloaded the files then windows said it didn’t have enough space. The installer gives you the option to connect a USB device BUT it expects that device to be ready to go. (In other words you can’t delete files to make space if the device doesn’t have enough free space)

That being said once you get things downloaded and the installer is running, you are pretty much home free,

Which leads me to this.

I like Windows 10!

I don’t like it $200 bucks worth if I was having to buy a copy, but I like it well enough that I wish I’d kept the bootcamp partition on my Mac.  Don’t get me wrong, I like what virtualization brings to the table but I’d like to run Windows 10 natively. I may re-install the bootcamp partition on my mac and then re-upgrade Windows 7

Even in virtualization, Windows 10 is smooth, and quick. Things are where I expect them to be and for the first time in a very long time, Windows is enjoyable to use.

The office integration is really quick. It’s obvious a lot of time and though was put into Win10 and that office applications were always supposed to be part of the picture.

So to Microsoft…

Great Job guys!