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goobster

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hubskier for: 1992 days

Writer by trade. I makes da words purdy.

My #meetHubski interview is here.

recent comments, posts, and shares:
goobster  ·  2 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Masks Indoors And Outdoors, CDC Says

I debated wearing a mask to the coffee shop this morning after my unmasked dog walk.

But everyone - 6 customers and 2 staff - were masked, so I put mine on before going in.

But man ... I can't wait to not wear a mask any more.

goobster  ·  2 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 2021: the year the West invents the Ekranoplan

I wish these were a thing. I'd love to see them whizzing around the San Juan Islands and around Elliott Bay...

I like this article, and the treatment they gave the science part. It's a much better journalistic effort; "...scientists have questions, and so far there are only political answers because we do not have access to X, Y, and Z, and to get access to those, A, B, and C need to happen." I wish all science was reported this well.

And shit... I want every one of these fuckers digging deeply into coronaviruses and planning for the next one ASAP!

goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

Fortunately, in my business, incumbency is a powerful thing. It'll cost a school around a quarter million dollars to remove our hardware, install another vendor, configure their software platform, and train up their team on the new system. All to get essentially the same set of features with a slightly different UI on top.

Not many schools (or other government agencies) can make a case for that choice.

And their purchasing processes are highly structured and regulated. And audited. It turns out that being a developer and project manager in the past helps me to ensure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed in this complex and confusing system.

Can others do it? Sure.

Is there anyone else who can do it AND who knows our products (hardware and software) inside and out? And how our security infrastructure is built? And how our third-party installers work on-site to get our equipment installed? And how to integrate our systems with around 20 or so of the other common tools in use in the market?

Yes... someone knows each of these things. But I'm the only one that knows ALL of them, and can stitch them all together into a good story that wins business.

So yeah, I can be replaced. But it takes a lot of work by a lot of people who already have full-time jobs, and many of them don't have the skills/focus to attend to the all-important details like I do.

I have no illusion that my job could end literally any day. All I need to do is make one tiny error in one part of one document and either lose a customer, commit the company to legally or fiscally disastrous terms, or promise features/functions that don't exist, and I will instantly be The Fall Guy.

I am absolutely sure that, the day I am fired, my CEO will have a negotiation with some Purchasing Manager from a State-owned Utility, or huge school district, and the conversation will include the phrase, "... I apologize for that error, and the employee responsible for making it has been fired."

Either that or I retire. That's how this job ends.

goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tesla Makes More Money Trading Bitcoin Than Selling Cars

Yeah. Musk's comments there are a dog whistle of recognition to those of us who love ETH.

goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

Moxie is an Anatolian Shepherd and Husky hybrid, so the fetch instinct is almost non-existent with this one! :-)

But, I have found that a thrown toy becomes a pivot point in a game of tag. I'll throw the toy out there, and she will race to it, nose it, and then expect me to chase her. I then chase her around the yard, as she uses the toy as a touch point each lap. It's fun for a bit, and gets her in full "goofus mode", so it is a lot of fun. But it is more tiring for me, than for her. :-)

goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In Liz Cheney vs. Donald Trump, Guess Who Won

I don't think this is a "true conservatives" thing any more.

It's the philosophical right that has no voice any more. The small government, low regulation, low taxes, push the decision-making away from DC and give it back to the States, and fiscal responsibility "small-c conservatives" who have nobody speaking their language anymore.

My Mom is one of these. She's not a Trump acolyte or even a Reaganite. She's just a white upper middle class woman who feels people shouldn't be coddled, and budgets should be balanced, and that we tend to throw money and regulations at problems, rather than community/social programs to address things at the grassroots.

Which has always been the central breakpoint between classical liberals and conservatives: Liberals want the State to help those in need, and Conservatives want the local community/religion to do it.

Nowadays there's the AOC wing and the Q wing, and nothing effectively in the middle.

ANYONE that steps into that gap and waves their flag is going to draw a lot of fed-up people to their cause.

goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

Well... "protects me" in as much as anyone can be "protected" in a job. I don't hold compromising photos of the CEO, or anything.

But I am the one guy in the company who can do the work necessary to maintain the clients where about 70% of our revenues come from. (Government contracts.) Yeah, they could hire someone else to do the writing I do, but then they'd need at least three tech people, two people from the Installations/Training teams, a lead salesperson/account manager, and sales administrator to do every one of the projects I work on.

And I have 7 in the hopper right now, all that must be finished and submitted by the end of next week.

If I bunked off today, they could do two of those projects, max.

I kinda see myself as the spine, and my collaborators as the ribs. Each of them does an important job (less important as you go down), but none of them work with each other, and without me, they can't communicate or replace the work I do.

In the end, yeah, I'm a glorified specialist writer. But not one that is easily replaced, and one that has several other departments invested in ensuring my success.

Right now I'm just watching my ETH and wondering how long I need to go before I just pull up stakes and retire. :-)

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

Some of the managers I was the most fond of, turned out to be terrible managers. But it wasn't until they left, and I was put under a competent and professional manager, that I realized it.

Employees are just cogs in a big machine, essentially. They are reliant on the ones in front of them to provide them with good information to work with, so they can do their job, and pass their work on to the next person in the chain.

As a "unicorn employee" myself, I have fallen into the trap of irreplaceability a couple of times.

The problem with being irreplaceable is that you can't grow, get promoted, take vacations, or leave, without everything going to shit. My boss and I actually did the math, and if I walked out tomorrow, they'd have to hire three people to replace me.

This is a VERY weak point in their structure. I get eaten by tigers on the way to work tomorrow, and they'd be screwed for 6 months. If I get promoted, then the company needs to hire at least 2 people to fill my shoes, and cost of operations goes through the roof.

So we have spent the last year making sure I "Only do what I can only do" and offload all the other work onto other people in the organization who do those things.

This reduces the company's exposure if I ______________ tomorrow, and makes it easier to find someone with the specific narrow set of skills to fill my core role.

Perversely, it also protects me, since there are now 10 other people in the company doing small parts of my job, who all need to be in tune with me and my work and rely on me to make sure they meet their goals that are pinned to what I do. This makes me key to many people's success, and gets me and my contributions noticed much more. Before, I was working my ass off, all alone, and nobody saw how I did what I did. Now I and my work show up in quarterly reviews for 10 other people across 4 other departments, increasing my visibility and the perceived critical nature of my work.

All because my manager wanted me to be able to take a vacation and not be a single point of failure in the system.

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

She needs big active exercise. She needs to run. And I'm just not capable of that any more. If she could be trained to run with a bike (a big if, but not too hard to do) then she could stretch her legs out and tire herself out, as well. Would be good for both of us.

And heck... an e-bike would be generally useful for me, as well.

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In Liz Cheney vs. Donald Trump, Guess Who Won

If Liz Cheney doesn't start the New American Conservative Party (NACaP) tomorrow, she is missing out on a HUGE opportunity.

There are a bazillion reasonable conservatives out there who would love to dissociate their name and vision of the future from the Republican party of today.

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

Being vaccinated still sucks. I still have to wear a mask everywhere, out of fear someone mistakes me for a Republican. My seasonal allergies have kicked in, and sneezing/dripping nose inside a mask is just poo poo.

My new dog, Moxie, turns 1 year old on Friday, and is in heat for the first time. She's only been with me for a little over 1 week, so navigating owning a "giant breed" dog that needs a lot of exercise, who can't go to the dog park for the next 4 weeks, and my having "old man knees" that just can't walk at the pace her long legs need to go... well, these variables are incompatible. Where can I run a big dog, in an enclosed/fenced space, where she won't interact with other dogs while she's in heat?

So I'm thinking about getting an e-bike. Maybe she can run with me then... but she'll need to learn how to run with a bike, which is a skill dogs need to learn... and she's highly distracted right now with all the surging hormones... and I don't want to run her over...

Ah the joys of having a new dog and training/learning each other! She also needs to go in to the vet for her second round of shots, and a microchip. But can't do that while she's in heat... so waiting on that end, too. And we need to choose a vet, as well.

Fortunately, she's a lovely spirit, a snuggler, and loves learning and training. She's going to be a great dog.

I'm loving every single minute of it.

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

Over time you will come to realize that your boss is not a good manager. Right now, she seems wonderful, but then everything you hate about your job is a direct result of her poor management skills.

Any manager worth their salary would realize that you are a single point of failure in the system, and would do everything in their power to mitigate that weakness. Cross-training. Bringing in interns to help out with the mundane stuff, so you can focus on doing the things that only YOU can do.

She is about to have a reckoning with her management, as to why her team of 7 is now down to 3, and key - possibly irreplaceable - skills have been allowed to walk out the door, and nobody has been cross-trained to fill in the gap. What if you had gotten COVID? Or slipped in the shower and broke you ankle and couldn't come in? Etc.

A good manager makes sure your work gets done, regardless of the name on the work. Because if the answer to ANY question is a person's name, then that person's manager has failed.

She will learn from this experience. She will become a better manager. And you will be better managed in the future. You have done right by everyone. You can rest easy. And move on.

As for moving far away...

I've moved overseas twice, lived in two different states, four different countries, and have Learned How To Move.

First off... bring NOTHING. Seriously. Everything you think is important right now, won't be important in your new arrangement. And, if it is, you can always have it shipped to you or buy a new one at your new location.

Second... immediately get out into the area and interact with the locals. Coffee shops. Butcher shop. Farmer's market. Whatever. THAT is where you will find your groove, figure out how to fit in, and embrace the local culture.

I mean... that's why you are there is in the first place, right? Not to export your old life to your new location, but to embrace the new everything in the new place! So do it! Leave the past behind and move forward. You can go back and get the important things later.

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Credit-Card Debt Keeps Falling. Banks Are On Edge.

Woah... I never got the Principal Skinner/BF Skinner connection... sheesh.

goobster  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Starlink is a very big deal

I understand why people hate/love Musk, and I can argue either side of that coin.

But, for me, he's a lunatic with big dreams, and every once in a while we need one of those to drag us Americans out of our comfortable doldrums and remember how fun and good it is to strive for Big Ideas and Big Goals.

And shit... if he gets me $1/gig internet to my house, and sticks a knife in the heart of Comcast at the same time, I'm happy for him to be just as rich as he gets to be.

Of course, he's a pretty shitty person and employer, and huge success won't make either of those things better... they'll only get worse.

But hey... I used to laugh at Bill Cosby and Louis C.K. when they were just funny guys, and then they turned out to be total dicks, and used Limewire and MegaUpload before those guys turned out to be evil schmucks as well. So my track record isn't so good.

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Starlink is a very big deal

Um. Holy shit. I hadn't seen this detail before, which eliminates my last question about Starlink's viability, which was ping rates:

    "...Even though the path taken by Starlink data is longer due to the hop into space, the vacuum speed of light is about 50% faster than in glass, more than making up for the difference over longer distances..."
goobster  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 82% of net neutrality comments to the FCC were fake

I had a Facebook post go viral when I talked about the importance of Net Neutrality, and how they would eventually break the internet down into glorified cable tv.

I got around 200 friend requests from legit-looking people... real profile photos, locations, some minor history of posting things, etc... but when you looked closely at each of these accounts, you realized they were fakes.

I still have that list. Most of those accounts still exist.

I'm pretty sure that the bot-farm that operates these real-looking accounts are just waiting for the next customer to come along and pay the bot-owner to promote specific content amongst legit-looking accounts.

Not sure what to do with this info. But maybe someday Glenn Greenwald could make use of it...

I want you to try and engage with the deeper idea, here. You are so indoctrinated in the fossil fuel industry's talking points and fear-mongering, you don't even have a clear frame of reference to think about the issue.

What is preventing ANY electric car from plugging in to electricity ANYWHERE?

An extension cord.

What is preventing a gasoline-engined car from refueling ANYWHERE? The limited availability of gas from only certain locations that are authorized to store and sell this extremely dangerous material called gas.

Yes, the problem is more complex because the electrical grid in America is a shambles and was never designed to ... well, honestly, it was never actually designed ... it just grew as need grew.

With an intelligent infrastructure plan in place that modernized our electrical grid, electric cars could be a critical part of the infrastructure and plan, and play an important role in storage of non-fossil fuel energy for off-hours consumption.

Which brings me back to the 300 miles thing you chose to ignore, to keep spouting fossil fuel industry FUD that you have been successfully indoctrinated with ... the vast majority of Americans - something like 70% or more - don't drive 300 miles in a WEEK. So regardless what type of powerplant you have in your vehicle - an EV or ICE vehicle with approx 300 mile range between "fill ups" of either electricity or gas - which one is MORE LIKELY to find its "fuel" literally anywhere?

The EV. Electricity is far more ubiquitous than gasoline, and all you need is an extension cord. No tanker trucks. No fuel tanks buried underground leeching toxins into the environment. No exhaust fumes. No oil refineries. No oil rigs toppling over in bad weather, or oil tankers crashing into Alaskan beaches. No wars for oil in places where brown people live. No more money flowing to Saudi Arabia or Aramco.

All of that can be eliminated with a few (metaphorical) extension cords.

See what I'm driving at here...?

goobster  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 5, 2021

Got my favorite custom-made bass back from repair. (The luthier uses the image of MY bass as the header image on his web site.)

He made it for me about 20 years ago, and the trials and tribulations of a number of countries, moves, climates, and playing, the wood of the neck needed some love. It's a wenge fretboard, and the the grain had expanded over the years and left the neck slightly twisted and gaps in the wood. So the nut had to be replaced and re-cut to narrow the string spacing by about 2mm, the gaps in the wenge wood filled, and new frets installed.

Mike Lull Guitars did the work. Mike himself passed away last year, but his sons and the luthiers he had on staff are carrying on the torch and doing amazing work.

Funny thing is, when I was growing up a metalhead in the Seattle's "Eastside Metal Scene", everyone knew you went to Guitar Works to get anything done on your guitar. That was THE shop to go to for ANYTHING.

Turns out that was Mike Lull. Before he started making his own instruments, and making a worldwide name for himself.

So.

I used my Stimulus Check to pay a second-generation, local luthier, to repair a custom-built one-of-a-kind instrument, so I could continue to make art with it. I can't imagine a more lovely way to spend that money from the Federal Government; on local craftsmen, so an artist can make more art.

In the mean time, I made new friends ... of people I have known for decades.

AND... because Spencer Lull liked my instrument so much, he went ahead and did a full pro photoshoot and gave me the photos to share with Tony Thompson, the original luthier.

Everybody wins.

Um. No. KB already destroyed the article and the total lack of "research" that was done to provide this fossil fuel industry fluff piece.

But you only need a charging station (or gas station, for that matter) every 300 miles or so. Why waste the land to have essentially a toxic waste dump - a gas station - every three blocks? Do those vehicles need carbon fuel so much that it is worth turning all that land into barren wastes?

Why do you need an EV charging station on every corner? For most drivers they need to charge once a week or so.

And electricity is EVERYWHERE. Gas is not. You have to go to a special building on a specific corner to get gas. And that's the ONLY place you can get it. You can get electricity anywhere.

Still not seeing how electric cars are "impractical" when measured against vehicles that need a special type of fuel, only produced by a small number of companies, at a limited number of physical locations... the "gas" stuff seems pretty limiting to me.

What about them is not practical? Been driving mine for three years now. No issues. Just spent a fuckload less money on gas.

goobster  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Picking up a new dog tomorrow

Pic gallery posted! https://imgur.com/a/McRr33B

goobster  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Picking up a new dog tomorrow

I tried to post pics, but couldn't figure out how. So here's a gallery on imgur:

https://imgur.com/a/McRr33B

goobster  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Picking up a new dog tomorrow

Yeah. The nice thing is Layna had a wonderful life and a perfect end. So there's no need to replace her. Her cycle is done.

Moxie gets to be her own dog.

goobster  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Picking up a new dog tomorrow

Oh yeah. Trupanion is our go-to. Always did right for us with my old dog, and expect they'll be good with Moxie, too.

goobster  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Picking up a new dog tomorrow

So here are some photos of our Moxie:

https://imgur.com/a/McRr33B

(Sorry... can't figure out the secret incantation to get the images to show here, so there's just a link to the gallery.)

I see, "4 out of 5 EV owners stay with EVs."

And this is a story.... why?