Cruising Mexico 2017 – Day 3 / Sea Day 2 – The formal ocean
April 19, 2017
It might seem strange but one of the funnest “little” things about the cruise is that there is almost always mail at your door. Every morning and night at least, there is something new. Little fliers advertising events not to mention the daily “Princess Patter”. The only downside is that they don’t give you the days Patter until about 11pm the night before. Combine that with the [email protected] app not showing you anything but the current day’s schedule… means you really can’t plan much in advance. Maybe that’s a good thing?
Trading in my IT hat for DevOps
April 17, 2017
My professional career started with a brief stint as Quality Assurance before I made a quick turn into Information Technology. Ever since I’ve stayed the path of considering myself a “tried and true IT guy” and all things that came with IT Management. However even in those early days, there was a small but growing portion of my job that I enjoyed but was never able to fully focus on… until now. That portion is what used to be called “Sysadmin” or even “TechOps” but now goes by the fancy term “DevOps”. Yes, going forward I’m now full time DevOps… and I couldn’t be more excited.
Cruising Mexico 2017 – Day 2 / Sea Day 1 – At sea exploration
April 14, 2017
At this point in time we’re somewhere off the coast of Los Angeles. The only way you could really tell was the location displays and the heavy smog, otherwise we were in a world unto our own. Unfortunately the morning started a little earlier than planned due to my poor understanding of how Cruise room service works. The night before we decided to try out the breakfast room service option and selected the 8 to 8:30 delivery window… which resulted in a knock at the door fairly promptly at 8am. While not a lot of options (breakfast sandwich, fruit, coffee, some breads), it was tasty. Next time I’ll remember to order for when I’m actually planning to be awake. But at least we were off on our first real day!
Cruising Mexico 2017 – Day 1 – Embarkation
April 4, 2017
Our cruise was scheduled for departure on Tuesday (February 28th) afternoon from Pier 27 (the fancy “new” cruise terminal) in San Francisco. As we live in the city it was just a Lyft ride away. We arrived at the Port about 1 PM and the traffic was terrible. We probably spent 15 minutes in the traffic circle waiting to get up to the unloading point. The Lyft driver noted this was unusual but even still, as able bodied individuals (with rolling bags) we’d probably go a block further next time to get dropped off and walk it. The cruises have special luggage tags, similar to airline tags, which you print out at home and attach to your bags. We bought cruise-specific plastic holders on Amazon to use. As soon as you get out of your vehicle, they have porters who collect your bags — so be ready to part with them the second you get out of the vehicle (i.e. have the luggage tags on before you leave the house). Also you will not see your bag again for 2-3 hours. They will be screened by security (mostly for booze, I’m sure) and eventually delivered to your stateroom. Ours showed up about 2 hours after we made it on the ship. Security screening for each person is a bit of a joke compared to say airports. They seem to be looking for only the most obvious problems, like machetes, bombs, and booze. As it comes to timing, our ships departure was listed as 4:00 PM, with embarkation starting at 1:00 PM. However in the fine print somewhere it said there was some staggered boarding times (of which we didn’t pay any attention to) and more fine print saying show up no later than 3:00 PM. My recommendation would be to aim for whatever the start time is (in our case 1 PM). It’s much better to be early and have an extra hour on the cruise ship than be late and miss the ship.
Cruising the Mexican Riviera 2017 – Day 0 – Background
March 31, 2017
At the beginning of this month I embarked on my first cruise as an adult. My previous cruise I was 10 years old, so I don’t really count it. As such I consider myself a total cruise novice. My significant other has been on cruises a few times and when we decided we wanted to take a “relaxing” vacation this spring, the idea of a cruise came up. We did some research together; I did a lot of reading, and we decided. Our cruise of choice was the Grand Princess, departing from San Francisco February 28th to March 10th, touring the Mexican Riviera. The decision points were: It was about the right length we wanted to take off It left from San Francisco (which makes it extremely convenient) We read good things about Princess.
Taking Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” for a spin
February 10, 2017
Sadly it’s been quite sometime that I’ve tried to spend any amount of time on a Linux desktop for fun (rather than work), even the general Linux category here on the blog is fairly dust ridden. In the proccess of starting this entry I realized that my last “going for a spin” post was from Ubuntu 12.04 and the last post about Linux Mint was about KDE & Superkeys in 2012. So with that depressing note out of the way, lets talk about the new Linux Mint 18.1 released two months ago.
February 6, 2017
For whatever reason, SquareSpace thought it was a good advertising campaign to tweet suggestions of a bunch of Super Bowl-ish related domain names. I saw HoustonWeHaveAWinner.com come up so I promptly bought it (Through Name.com — of course). No particular reason or use but any time a company tweets a domain name that isn’t actually registered — it’s free advertising. Several of the other suggestions they made are also registered and forwarded to unrelated companies sites.
Connecting a HID Prox Pro II RFID reader to Arduino
November 23, 2016
Arduino based RFID reader projects are a dime a dozen. It’s great and wonderful how plentiful and easy they are. Checking out Adafruit or Sparkfun one can find dozens of cheap components that are almost ready to go. The common factor is that they are all 13.56Mhz or Mifare compatible. Nominally this means cheap (And plentiful) components and fobs, but it also means that the systems aren’t compatible with most professional RFID badge systems. What if you want to hook up a “professional” grade system like a HID Prox-compatible reader? Turns out it isn’t that hard either.
America, please calm down
November 11, 2016
Look, America, it’s time to chill out. All this nonsense that’s been going on since the election needs to stop. There is absolutely no reason for the protesting, looting, assault, harassment, and rioting. You aren’t doing anything constructive and as a whole are doing far more damage to the country than any single person has done to date.