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Last Visit 2019-12-27 20:14:13 |Start Date 2003-07-07 03:39:31 |Comments 5,610 |Entries 6,423 |Images 14,681 |Sounds 119 |SWF 21 |Videos 322 |Mobl 2,936 |

Category: buffalo

12/16/08 11:32 - 23ºF - ID#47085

Getting beaten by a Gang in Buffalo

More reasons that I am thinking I need to buy a gun or tazer. Does anyone else think these sound very related and scary? If I see any gang of 10 men I am running. The first victim was only 15. It seems so even freakier that the guy form the second story wouldn't even file a complaint.

Teen beaten, robbed while waiting at downtown bus stop
A 15-year-old boy told Buffalo police he was approached by a group of 10 males and attacked while standing at a downtown bus stop Monday evening.

The incident happened at about 6:30 p.m. at Washington and South Division streets, according to a Buffalo police report.

The victim told police one of the males in the group asked him if he had any money, then punched and kicked him in the head and face causing swelling and bleeding from his lip and nose.

The attackers took his wallet, which contained $3 in cash and various papers, according to the report.

The boy was transported to Women and Children's Hospital by Rural/Metro Medical Services.

South Buffalo man jumped, beaten by gang
A South Buffalo man suffered a possible broken elbow and was knocked unconscious when he was jumped by seven to 10 people Sunday night.

The victim, who also suffered cuts to his head and hand, was jumped just after 9:30 p.m. at Exchange and Selkirk streets, according to a Buffalo police report.

He refused medical treatment at the scene, and told police he could not identify any of the attackers and would not file a complaint.

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Location: Buffalo, NY

12/16/08 12:32 - ID#47081 pmobl

James playing with his iPhone

At our work holiday party.
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Permalink: James_playing_with_his_iPhone.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY

12/16/08 12:43 - ID#47075 pmobl

Rotating windows

The KDE desktop for fedora 10 is pretty sweet. You can arbitrarily
rotate windows and all desktop widgets. I think it's the first time
I've seen that.
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Permalink: Rotating_windows.html
Words: 29
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: roswell

12/15/08 11:50 - ID#47074

Roswell park tire dump

Remember when I wrote (e:paul,45191) about the nasty shreaded tire mulch at 901 Washington a while back. One of my complaints was that the rubber shreds would wash into the surrounding area and sewer. Well, that is exactly what is happening. They really should have built a better containment wall for that, or better yet not have it.

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Permalink: Roswell_park_tire_dump.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY

12/15/08 10:22 - ID#47065 pmobl

Wegman's courtesy Umbrellas

Wegman's now gives out courtesy umbrellas duribg rain storms that you
just leave in your cart when done. I wonder how long that will last.
It's amaIng to see anything still working on a trust based system.
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Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: government

12/13/08 12:24 - 23ºF - ID#47052

Throwing your money "at the windows"

This is just a continuation of (e:paul,47049) as I am still so angry about this issue.

(e:james), you are right, we need to get some politicians behind this. Even just starting with the city of buffalo, there must be so much in possible savings. The problem is getting information about what they currently are using. We need a tech person on the inside who cares. I think tax payers are not outraged because they do not understand the issue, all it would take is some awareness.

The City of Buffalo represents a perfect candidate for free and open source change because:

1. It is so poor and our taxes are so high.
2. It is a pure government entitity unlike Roswell where some of the money comes from grants.
3. Its not that big compared to New York State.
4. We have access to policticans who could make it an issue.

Building Future Workers
A interesting way to promote this would be to pick an OS for the city customize the build to its needs. Then release the live CDs on the cities website so that citizens could download the OS for their own computers. It would help people who can't afford to buy windows products and it would also effectively train new city workers in using the software. If you use open office, firefox, etc at home then you won't have a problem using it at work. With all the money that would be saved, you could afford to have more programers customizing Free and Open Source software for the government needs, so they could get what they really want and need.

The Nay-sayser
The worst part of transitioning anything are the government employees who say I am only trained in microsoft tech. Well, you know what, getting a government job should not be the only pre-requisite to keeping a state job - as it seems to be. Especially, in technology. Technology changes and people need to adapt to new technology and more importantly - new budgets. Their lack of willing to learn and train in cost savings alternitves should equate losing their jobs to people who are committed to cost saving technologies.

Its not that hard to learn new technology. If you are a computer server tech, you could definately learn linux - if not capable of that you are in the wrong field.

If you are an administrative assistant, you can learn to type reports on open office software. It kills me to think how much money is thrown out the window or as I said in the last post "thrown at the windows"
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Permalink: Throwing_your_money_quot_at_the_windows_quot_.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: government

12/12/08 10:07 - ID#47049

Cut costs, open source, free software

What prompted this?
So, New York State is in this horrible budget crunch that is going to involve all kinds of budget cuts. It stresses me out every time I think about it. I wouldn't want to lose my job but it would also be bad having the same amount of work and less people to do it. Through the grape vine I heard that the union is working with the state on making us take 5 day pay cut, to be paid back upon retirement in order to save money now. Supposedly, we will get it back at our retiring pay rate, which is great - if NYS has any money then. Not to mention that we already gave them two weeks pay at the beginning.

I say stop borrowing from the employees and start borrowing from the wasted money spent on vendor contracts, and propriety OSs and microsoft products.

Why doesn't the government consider letting go of Microsoft and expensive vendor products, especially for web servers and office products or other systems where there are free open source alternatives that are even more robust.

In terms of the office products it is exceptionally ridiculous when most of the users don't even use any of the high-end features. You don't need expensive office software to type memos or spell check a report. Its almost like they never heard of the multitude of free office type products, most specifically Moreover, its so crazy when people cling to things like Internet Explorer 6.0, software from almost 10 years ago that is light years behind where the web is now. Imagine what the web could have been if IE 6 was abandoned yers ago. Everything is always developed for the lowest common denominator. If your vendors are 5+ years behind the times, then maybe you should realize they suck. Converting stuff to work in standards complaint brosers is not rocket science. Most of the blocks are caused intentially by vendors using micorosft technology that locks the end users into microsoft solutions. As tax payers, you should really hate this. There are billions of dollars thrown out the window or should I say "at the windows."

Roswell Park alone spends a fortune on Microsoft and Microsoft related vendor products. .NET is costly and really doesn't offer much of an advantage, especially when you are using it to develop simple form based web apps. Luckily, we have changed that significantly since I came onto the scene but it needs to be more hospital and state wide.

It is the same with all government institutions from the city, to county, to state to country. Take the NFTA site or the City of Buffalo site or the Erie County site or Roswell Park Cancer Institute's main external site Why are they all in asp and aspx - because the vendors convinced some IT people who really don't understand what they are doing, that it is necessary. It is especially true for web sites using content management systems. There are so many free, open source content management systems that run on Linux. I wonder what will happen when the old people who cling to the Microsoft ideals retire.

Our new web content manager is finally committed to this. It is so financially irresponsible to use Microsoft products and then to pay huge vendor fees on top of it for a stupid CMS. Not to mention that the vendor products are closed source, so we just keep paying and paying every time we want a new feature and are completely dependent on vendor release time lines for changes.

My Suggestion
We as tax payers should force all government institutions to use free operating systems and to create and use open source software. We as tax payers should also force them to share, making all software produced by government workers, open for re-use in other departments and sectors to reduce duplicative error. You and I as tax payers should be demanding this - we pay for the government. Better yet, why not even have an official government or healthcare OS. Maybe that is my calling.

Voting Machines
This is exceptionally important in things like voting machines. At the minimum, this software should be created by government workers, completely open source and auditable by the public with the possibility of submitting patches and bug fixes back to the government to keep stuff honest. I mean why should we let any company control that.

What I have done so far
I have done a lot to try and reduce spending in IT at Roswell. All new web app development is done in Linux with CENTOS(free) / apache(free) / php(free) instead of Windows (costly and old) / microsoft IIS(costly /.NET(costly) / mssql(costly) / oracle(costly++). We also do our development in eclipse (free) instead of visual studio (costly). It is such a huge savings.

I wish other people would see this as a big issue. I guess they won't until things like having their pay reduced or delayed started to happen.

My dream job would be some sort of technology cost control manager for the state. Just so I wouldn't be some lazy ass bureaucrat leach on the taxpayers, I would want my salary directly proportional to how much I save, so that if I get lazy I get less money. I am so confident that so much money is being wasted that I think that would never be an issue all the way through my natural work life.

The hypocritical part
Some people might think this is hypocritical as I have a mac at work. I really like mac hardware so much and for what it offers the price point really isn't that high - I would consider a lenova thinkpad instead or even a Dell. I would go macbook instead of pro but I really need the larger screen size to be productive. It has to be powerful but also very portable as I carry it around everywhere for meetings and back for forth home several times a day.

If they told me I had to get rid of my mac OS for linux, I would in a heartbeat. I mean I spend 90% of the time on the mac, working on the linux servers. The mac basically become a dumb terminal. Unfortunately, being a web developer and I constantly have to test everything for mac, especially as it becomes more popular and the mac lets me test windows, mac and PC while a linux laptop only lets me test linux and PC. That might be changing with OS X running in vmware or the possibility of just sharing one mac that we all VNC into.
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Permalink: Cut_costs_open_source_free_software.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY

12/11/08 09:35 - ID#47033 pmobl

Sandwich in a box

We had our union holiday party today. This year the food sucked. It
was subway sandwiches in a box. Every person got their own
environmentally disastrous, personal box. It was like one quarter
full. I am not even sure what they were for because my coworkers
sandwich was smooshed paper flat, although the box was unharmed.

Then after it all I am having a horrible crohns flareup crampimg
sypmach paims drama, which I attribute to the lunch and the ice tea -
the first caffeine I had in over a year.
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Permalink: Sandwich_in_a_box.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: work

12/09/08 11:13 - 47ºF - ID#47011

Work Exam

I had to take this ridiculous exam at work about corporate compliance, safety, etc. i understand the purpose, but the questions are so dumb. If you get less than 70% you can take it over till you get it right. I am going to be honest and say I didn't watch all the popwerpoints that com with it, because the questions were so easy.

Here is one of the more serious questions as an example:

Which of the following is statements is true?
a. Compliance with HIPAA is optional
b. Noncompliance with HIPAA is a federal offense.

Without knowing much about it, it seems obvious that choice b. is right. You never would phase anything with compliance as optional.

But then I got this crazy one.

Dirty Bombs, although dangerous, are more of a scare tactic rather than a health hazard.
a. true
b. false

I picked false, and ... I was wrong!


It seems pretty crazy to bother with that question. What is it teaching the workers? If someone calls for radioactive materials and says its only for a dirty bomb, then its not a big deal. it just seems like such a stupid question to ask on this type of exam. The exam took about an hour and I was paid to take it. GLad they carefully thought about the important questions like:

It is acceptable for employees to wrestle with their friends on Roswell property, so long as it is break time?
a. true
b. false
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Permalink: Work_Exam.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: friends

12/07/08 08:56 - 11ºF - ID#46992

Hanging out with dave

It was awesome hanging out with our friend dave today. It's the first time we had him at our house since his accident. He can go up steps now which is kind of a pre-requsite for visiting us since we removed the downstairs bathroom. (e:terry) made turkey enchiladas. I have now eaten Turkey for like 10 meals in a row. I still haven't tried a turkey milkshake and all the jars of broth I made have to be frozen because I only have a water bath canner and not a pressure canner.

If anyone has a pressure can they don't want or I can borrow - that would be awesome.

We watched Wall-e and man did I think it was stupid. Cute but stupid. Was there a message? Yesterday, we worked on the downstairs appartment at the rental prop some more. It's just about totally ready now. We also spent the evening hanging out with James and Robert from work. I drank quite a lot of wine that they brought from a wine tour they were on. On top of that I got a bunch of programming done.
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Permalink: Hanging_out_with_dave.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY



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