Month: November 2008

Black friday…

Tell me something…

What’s the best way to turn average people into rude, arrogant, violent, murderous, assholes that don’t give a damn about their fellow man, or the property of others?

Simple, you cut all of the prices on all of this years most popular Christmas gift items, and then advertise it as the start of the holiday shopping season. People line up at the doors to every retail store in the country, and when the doors open, they race as though their lives depended on it (maybe it does.. i’ll get into that later) to the items that they want. They push and shove, they lose all patience and consideration, even trample store employee’s to death (yea, I said _death_) all for that mediocre "deal" on a flat panel tv, or Wii.

Have a look over here at the NY Times. … .html?_r=1

A greeter (and a relatively young greeter at that, not one of these old retired folks) at a Wal Mart in Long Island was trampled to death by a crowd of crazed shoppers. He was trying to keep some order amongst the crowd, and when the doors opened, they pushed the poor guy over, and trampled him! Two hundred some people just ran right over him, not with a car, or a cart, or something heavy, just their greedy, impatient, crazed feet. Now this guy’s family is minus one for this holiday season, all because of the craze that this event causes.

Who’s to blame? Everyone involved to some extent, except imho the guy that got trampled. He seemed to be the most innocent of anyone. He was just trying to help out by keeping these people at bay until they were actually allowed to get into the store. There’s no reason something like this had to happen. I’ll elaborate…

The retailers:
These guys have one thing on their mind. $$$ Dont let them tell you otherwise. The days of stores that actually care about their patrons are gone. They all care about the almighty dollar, and that’s it. They don’t _really_ care about the communities they’re in, or feeding the homeless, or curing cancer. Sure they all donate to these causes, but that’s all just to make them look like they care. In reality you have some CEO flipping out at his PR department because theyre requesting 20Mil to donate to the spotted owl. Do i know this as fact? No, but I bet I’m not far from the truth. They hype up this event, cut their markups from 400% to 300% for a day, make you think you’re getting a deal, and they rake in the cash. I heard from a Wal Mart employee yesterday, at the end of the day, their store (yea, just THEIR STORE) raked in over $1,000,000. So apparently the hype works.

The media:
I blame a lot on the media. They’re responsible for providing the public with facts, unbiased and fair. There only seem to be a few that still seem to stick to that. Most of them put their own spin on the "news" so it looks they way they want to. How do you think Obama got elected? But that’s another blog. Today I’m talking about assholes. The media hypes black friday up almost as much as the retailers do.

The customers:
I don’t mean every customer, I’m sure some of them are still civil, and don’t fit into my stereotype, but it seems that the majority do, and maybe it’s temporary. After Christmas is over they turn from Mr. Hyde back into Dr. Jeckal. This temporary insanity is the problem. Without it, all they hype from the Retailers and the Media would be in vain. The problem is that both sources are so damned good at working people into a frenzy, that most can’t resist it! I’d bet that if the media started telling you that Communism worked better than democracy, we’d be ruled by some dictator in a few years. Most of the American people stopped thinking for themselves a looooong time ago, and depend on their TV to tell them how to live their pathetic lives. Harsh? yea, but it’s how i feel, sorry.

Every single person that mis-treated someone else on black friday (or any day for that matter i guess) needs to be reminded WHY they’re even out there in their shopping frenzy. What’s Christmas? We all learn this at a young age. With some it sticks, with others it doesnt.

Presents right? An excuse to spend your money on others, and expect them to spend theirs on you. A day off of work, or a long weekend, or a reason to use a week of that vacation time you’ve been saving up. Or some time off of school. A reason to decorate your house with twinkly little lights, bows, ribbons, wreathes, and little wintery scenes. That’s what it’s all for right?

WRONG! We celebrate Christmas because of the day it represents. The birth of Jesus! Giving gifts is a tradition which represents the gifts given to the baby Jesus by the wise men. Yes, they were all valuable gifts. But does that mean that we should be treating our fellow humans like dirt because you want that deal on a PS3? What the hell happened here?

Ok, i’m done.. i think i got the point across.

Have a Happy, Healthy, and SAFE holiday season!


What happened to Thanksgiving?

So, i’m sitting here, checking out Sanctuary, on SciFi. I havent seen the show yet, but my interest in Amanda Tapping’s career _after_ Stargate SG1made me want to check it out. Anyway, it’s November 7th. A few weeks from Thanksgiving here in the US. Now, not 2 weeks ago, all of the local stores were flooded with Halloween stuff. Decorations, costumes, whatever.
So what do i see during the commercials of Sanctuary? A wal mart commercial, about.. CHRISTMAS!

Now, dont get me wrong, i like Christmas, it’s an excellent holiday, not just because of all of the peace on earth crap, but the event that it represents. So what am i complaining about? What happened to Thanksgiving! Retail stores, Wal Mart especially, completely ignore this important US holiday in favor of Christmas, a holiday which just rakes in the cash for retail stores. Not just in gift sales, but think of the decorations, tree’s, and other holiday goodies. They just see dollar signs. They dont care about the significance of the holiday, what it means, or what we’re really celebrating. Just how much money they can soak us for.

So everyone, please join me in _NOT_ celebrating Christmas, until it’s actually TIME to celebrate Christmas.

Oh, and how was the show? One word…. Tribbles….

New forums!

I’ve been doing a little work on the site. I now have a message forum tied to the blog! So any new posts from here on are tied to the message forum! All you’ll need to do is go register and login, and you can join in the discussion. Head on over! -War

Windows Hatred.

Call me a bitter unix user if you must, but after today, I need to vent some of my Windows related frustration.

Today, we found that the scheduled tasks we have setup on one of our, rather important, servers, just decided to stop working.  When they run, as scheudled, as a user, they return a result code of "0x80", and do nothing.  If you run them as a logged in user, they work perfectly. What’s up with that?!  Turns out that this is a bug!  Yes, microsoft managed to screw up the TASK SCHEDULER, of all things.  The problem is, that this bug was supposedly fixed in SP2 for Windows 2003.  Guess what?  The server in question already has SP2 on it!  You know what they say to do to fix this now?  Delete all of the tasks, reinstall SP2, reboot, re-add your tasks.

What?  You want me to uninstall a core OS update, on a production machine?!  Why in the hell would iw ant to do that?! All to fix the task scheduler?  Mind you, this scheduler worked perfectly until just a few days ago.  No updates were installed, no permissions changed, nothing, the issue arose on its own, as far as we can tell. 

This is so frustrating.  You have no idea.  It’s no secret that i’m a Unix/Linux fan.  This very site runs on Linux.  When was the last time i had a cron job spontaneously stop running?  Let me think….. NEVER!  unless there was a problem with the target of the job, which isnt cron’s fault!  In this case, the program which is to run works perfectly, its the scheduler itself that’s busted.

How can microsoft get away with charging so much money, for such crap?  Yea, i know Unix  isnt bug free.  There are plenty of very nasty bugs and exploits which will ruin any unix admin’s day, but at least theyre not with core OS utilities, like the task scheduler! 

I cant remember the last time i rebooted my server.  I bet if i were to go check uptime right now, it’d be 100+ days.

[war@www ~]$ uptime
 18:02:26 up 264 days, 22:51,  1 user,  load average: 0.06, 0.08, 0.03

There you have it, 264 days. That’s what, 9 months?  Sure, i’ve seen windows servers up that long too, but not if you plan to actually keep the system up to date.  You;ll be rebooting once a week if you run updates as often as you probably should.  90% of the updates i run on my server wont reboot the server.  And if a reboot is requred, i’m not forced into it like on windows.  Most things can be reloaded without a reboot.  Why cant Microsoft grasp that idea? 

I think i;m going to try to convince my boss to move his sql database and his parsing scripts to MySQL and linux.  I’ll let you know how _that_ goes over.