daily archive: 10/02/2005
Possible Bloggie downtime Monday
It's nice when downtime is scheduled, predictable, short and rare. At our previous host, which shall remain unnamed, it was predictable all right-five times a day for 20 minutes a pop.
On Monday, October 3, ServInt will be performing host machine upgrades on your current VPS host machine, which will begin by migrating your VPS to an already upgraded host machine. Some VPS downtime is required as your VPS is migrated to the new host machine using a process called fastsync.
The speed of fastsync depends on the total amount of data moved, more specifically how much data changes during the initial copy. The process involves two rsync operations, the first done while your VPS is still live, the second done while its offline. Large 'live' logfiles tend to slow down the fastsync process. Every effort will be made by ServInt to keep the required downtime to a minimum.
Start of Maintenance: Monday, October 3, 2005, 12:00 EDT
Window of Maintenance: 48 Hours
Actual Down Time Required: Brief (see above)
Affected Service Types: All SMV77 Clients
Internal Ticket Number: 15856
Today I'm happy to announce that ServInt will be upgrading ALL host machines to use RAID 10 disk arrays.
The process actually began two weeks ago, and all host machines since then are already utilizing RAID 10. Existing host machines will be upgraded beginning Monday. The process requires us to migrate all customers off existing host machines one at a time, and over to newly built machines running RAID 10. Because we have thousands of customers, this task may take up to two months. Servers will be upgraded in a random order, to prevent customers on high-numbered host machines from being last, but we'll be getting to all machines as quickly as possible.
RAID 10 utilizes striping over mirrored drives which results in better performance. RAID 10 also doesn't use XOR calculations, so when a drive fails, the rebuild only takes about 2 hours. During array rebuilds, performance impact is negligible.
Questions answered in advance (not quite a FAQ):
-The host machine order is predetermined and won't be altered. Requesting to be upgraded earlier/later won't change when your upgrade takes place.
-Some VPS downtime is required as your VPS is fastsynced to the new host machine. Fastsync depends on the total amount of data moved, more specifically how much data changes during the initial copy. The process involves two rsync operations, the first done while your VPS is still live, the second done while its offline. Large 'live' logfiles tend to slow down the fastsync process.
-Downtime is a result of the migration process, moving between two operational host machines. This will vary for every VPS, so there is no way to say for sure how long this will be for you. It is no different, however, than any other migration. Small or less-busy VPS accounts will only be down for a minute or two. Very large, highly active VPS accounts may be down for 10 minutes or more. Any customers who have been migrated in the past may wish to post here to give an idea how long it may take, I don't want to scare anyone unnecessarily with my estimates.
-Yes, this is great news, and you will notice the benefits.
So it looks like we'll be down for about 1-10 minutes or possibly a little longer tomorrow. Don't panic!
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How bona to vada your dolly old eek!
The sounds of the Esperanto words in the previous Root Cellar
somehow reminded me of Polari
, an odd, underground "slanguage" that peeped into the UK mainstream back in the '60s. A popular BBC radio series called Round the Horne
introduced the public to a pair of flamingly nelly gentlemen named Julian and Sandy, whose dialogue was heavily salted with Polari vocabulary. British writer Michael Quinion provides a sample
SANDY: Roll up yer trouser legs ... we want to vada yer calves.
JULIAN: Hmmm ... his scotches may be a bit naph but his plates are bona.
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It's the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. L'shana tova!Israpundit
has a nice piece:
5766 and counting! Amazing! Incredible! Unbelievable! Jews will soon begin our 5,766th year on this earth! Who would have believed this possible? If anyone had told Abraham that his people would be around this long he probably would have been astounded.
Imagine, we did this without beheading anyone, without a single suicide bomber, without kidnapping and murdering school children, without slaughtering Olympic athletes, without flying airplanes into skyscrapers, and mostly, without teaching our children how to kill themselves by becoming bombs.
We lasted this long despite 400 years as slaves in Egypt, 40 years of wandering in the desert, the mighty Roman army who nailed us to ten thousand crosses; despite the best efforts of the Christian crusaders, the Spanish Inquisition, Hitler's third Reich, Stalin's gulags, five Arab wars of annihilation, 100 years of British, Arab and Arafat terrorism in the Holy Land, and 800 hate-filled UN resolutions!
How did we Jews do it? We did it by concentrating our efforts on education, love of family, faith, hard work, helping one another and a passionate dedication to life no matter what evil befell us!
And here are some nice Rosh Hashanah recipes and stories
of family traditions.
And this link
that zulubaby fed the hippo is worth a read as well.
I FIRST met Simon Wiesenthal at my rabbinic ordination ceremony, where he gave the charge to our graduating class. He told us the following story:
Just after the war he was working in liaison with the Allied forces when a group of Jews decided to hold prayers. He was asked to join the minyan, but refused. When the chaplain asked why, Wiesenthal answered: "Once, in the camp where I was interred, a Jew managed to smuggle in a small siddur. When other Jews asked for a few minutes to pray with that siddur, he would charge them a quarter of their meager daily ration of potatoes. I was so sickened by his behavior that I swore I would never pick up a siddur and pray.
"'What happened to that man?' asked the chaplain.
"'He ate so many potatoes that his stomach literally exploded, and he died. But I still cannot forget or forgive what he did to his fellow Jews because of that siddur.'
"The chaplain looked me in the eyes. 'Why do you focus on that one selfish man who abused the trust of others? Why don't you instead focus on all the many Jews who were so devoted to God, so desirous of maintaining their heritage that they would trade their precious food and risk death in order to pray from that siddur? Why don't you look at the positive, and not the negative?'"
Wiesenthal then turned to us budding rabbis and said: "I went with the chaplain that day, and I prayed in that minyan, and I always remembered his message of optimism. And that is the message I, Simon Wiesenthal, Nazi hunter, give to all of you today: Focus on the positive."
That is the message Rosh Hashana sends to every Jew: The eternity of Israel will never be denied.
Read it all.
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The Idiocy of State Medicine: “Please don't coo at the babies!"
This is the stupidest thing I ever saw.
via Richard at Hyscience.
Nothing is more guaranteed to break the ice than the sight of a newborn baby. But visitors to one hospital have been warned against cooing over the new arrivals for fear of infringing their human right to privacy.
Managers at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax have asked visitors to the maternity wing not to stare into cots or question mothers about their labor.
Staff in one of the wards have put up a display of a doll in a cot with a message saying: "What makes you think I want to be looked at?"
But not all mothers are so keen to have the privacy of their child protected.
Lynsey Pearson, 26, who gave birth to her daughter Hannah four weeks ago, said: "This ludicrous idea is taking patient confidentiality to the extreme.
"If people did not ask me questions about my baby I would be offended.
"I am so proud of Hannah and I want to show her off and I would imagine all new mums feel that way.
"When I was in hospital even the cleaners asked me questions and touched her and cuddled her.
"Babies love attention and I think it is cruel to ask visitors and parents basically to ignore them."
Debbie Lawson, a ward sister at the special care baby unit, said: "We know people have good intentions and most cannot resist cooing over new babies but we need to respect the child.
"Cooing should be a thing of the past because these are little people with the same rights as you or me.
"We often get visitors wandering over to peer into cots but people sometimes touch or talk about the baby like they would if they were examining tins in a supermarket and that should not happen.
"Hopefully our message comes across loud and clear. The Government has set a benchmark that every patient has a right to privacy and dignity and we say that includes tiny babies as well.
"I can't imagine why any mother would complain about this. Most would be against strangers poking and prodding and asking questions."
The hospital held an "advice day" last week to promote the initiative. Cards were handed out to visitors headlined "Respect my baby," with a message underneath as written by a baby. "I am small and precious so treat me with privacy and respect," it said. "My parents ask you to treat my personal space with consideration.
"I deserve to be left undisturbed and protected against unwanted public view."
Actually, as the article points out, the baby's parents requested no such thing, so the hospital is lying. Enough of this idiotic PC garbage!
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What, oh what shall we do?
Once again, despite being in her usual spot in Blog Command Central, zorkie was hard to spot. This time she was half hidden behind a wall of coffee cups. “Umm, can I take some of those away for you?" I asked. “Mmmhmm," said zorkie. I was gathering up the cups when suddenly zorkie screamed. “Not THAT one! Can’t you see I’m still drinking it!?!" “Oh, yeah, okay," I answered. The coffee cup in question was one-quarter full of cold coffee, same as all the other cups.
I was in the kitchen when zorkie screamed again. This doesn’t alarm me anymore, but out of curiosity I returned to Blog Command Central to see what the excitement was. Zorkie looked truly upset. “I saw movement, something was moving!" I looked around the room. Nothing was moving. “Where did you see it?" “Down there in the carpet,�? she yelled, pointing to a spot near my feet. I walked casually to a different spot. "What was it?" "I think it was a cricket."
We looked more closely at the carpet. It’s a special two-layer carpet: the first layer is commercially produced carpet, and the second layer is a homemade felt of dog and cat fur. “When was the last time we vacuumed, zorks?" “I don’t know…didn’t you vacuum last month?" “What made you think I vacuumed last month?" Zorkie thought for a minute. “I remember hearing funny noises last month, and I decided it was probably you vacuuming." “Well, it wasn’t. Say, I remember you vacuuming this summer." Zorkie looked surprised. “I didn’t!" “But I remember it clearly. You were vacuuming and then you stopped for a minute to tell me you were going to wash the windows next, using sea cucumbers from bloggie…Uh, maybe I dreamed that." “Well, d’oh," zorkie replied, “I hate sea cucumbers; I would never touch one of those nasty things! The last time I remember pulling out the vacuum was, let me see, I’d guess it was the autumn of ’02." Three years ago. I felt in my heart that not vacuuming for three years was a bad thing and I could see from the look on zorkie’s face that she felt the same way.
“Mama!" zorkie screamed. “What about her?" “Mama vacuumed when she was here." “Oh good," I said, “then it’s been less than a year." We both grinned in relief. But then we looked at the carpet again. “luLU, we’ve got to do something. Do you really want to live this way?" I hesitated, because the wrong answer would clearly lead to vacuuming.
“We could hire a cleaning lady," I offered. “But, but, what if she found out about bloggie," zorkie worried. “So what," I asked, “what’s the big deal?" “Well, she might try to, I don’t know, sabotage us or, or steal platforms or something." I rolled my eyes. Sometimes my roomie is not in close touch with reality. “zorkie, you know that soap opera stuff you write? It’s not real, okay? There aren’t really any platforms, when you sit here drinking your coffee, you’re really here, not in some secret garden, and the cognac comes from the kitchen, not from some root cellar." “Diner," she corrected. “It doesn’t matter," I yelled, “none of it’s real! Don’t you see what I mean? AARRGGHH!" zorkie just looked stubborn, which she is extremely good at. I could tell she was trying to think of some other reason we shouldn’t have a cleaning lady who might bother her while she was working on her precious blog. Actually, that was fine with me, it’s not like either of us could really afford a cleaning lady, I just didn’t want to vacuum.
“I suppose your mom will vacuum again while she’s here." “Yeah," said zorkie in gloomy tones, “but you should hear how she yells when she first sees the dirt. We've got to clean before she gets here. And what about the future, you know, after she leaves? We’ve got to do something." I sensed a vacuum cleaner looming over my future, like a dark spirit of despair and suffering. I had to do something, all right, I had to escape! Or, or just maybe…maybe there was another way…
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'9/11 has not yet been dealt with by a Muslim filmmaker'
And here I thought Michael Moore was an honorary Muslim: 9/11 Conspiracy Discussed on Iranian TV
Host: "9/11 left many unclear issues, such as: How come the thousands of Jews in the towers decided not to come [to work that day]? Was the Pentagon hit by a plane or a missile? A lot has been said about these issues. At that moment, on that day, and even in that year, public opinion was incapable of accepting these unclear issues.
"Now we are being taken back to the past. French TV is not letting it go. After Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie, it seems that as things become clearer, the obscurities only increase. You, as a documentary filmmaker... Documentary filmmakers are now dealing with 9/11. The filmmaker enters the fray, and watches the footage of that day frame by frame. What do you, as a documentary filmmaker, think about it?"
Nader Talebzadeh, filmmaker: "In the name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merciful, 9/11 is a good starting point for clarifying any matter in today's world. But from whose perspective? From the perspective of a Muslim or non-Muslim filmmaker? This is very important. 9/11 has not yet been dealt with by a Muslim filmmaker. They have not yet been allowed to enter this field. Al-Jazeera will probably not make a film about it, because the Qatari government is somehow coordinated with CNN. It somehow constitutes a base of America."
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The curse of Esperanto!
This is a quiz
stolen from a long-out-of-print puzzle book
that I've had since my junior-high days. Below are twenty vocabulary words from the artificial language Esperanto, along with their English translations. Your task is to match them up!
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Polygyny going on right under papijoe's nose!
First Trio "Married" in The Netherlands
Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal “married" both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.
“I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both," Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam’s divorce the threesome decided to marry.
Victor: “A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage."
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Tragic News Of The Day
Paris and Paris are no more
Paris (the other Paris, not the Greek Paris) says she wasn't "ready for marriage" and Paris (the Greek Paris, not the other Paris) "wasn't ready for marriage" either, according to his dad.
I suspect things are a little different. Nothing personal about Paris (the other Paris, not the Greek Paris) but there's no way a nice Greek family like the Latsis would take in a slut. Most brides that come into Greek families haven't shown the world their oral skills on night-vision camera.
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Al Qaida: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
One of the popular beliefs these days is that the terrorist attacks in Iraq wouldn't be happening if the U.S. hadn't invaded. How does that explain the Al-Qaida strikes in Indonesia
then? This is a religious war and it's not directed only against the West, this is a war against Muslims, Christians and Jews
. Thank you, Saudi Arabia.
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The IRA Retirement Plan
Having "given up" its arms and allegedly renounced violence, the IRA has a much bigger and better plan for its future. It wants to take over Ireland. All of it. And it will use its criminal empire to bankroll its political ambitions. Imagine a government in Western Europe, with its most vibrant and fastest-growing economy, taken over from the inside by terrorists-turned-mobsters; I shudder. I wonder how helpful an IRA-owned Ireland would be when we're trying to track down Islamic terrorists, when they have such good reciprocal training and trade relationships with so many of their gangs. Here's what's next for the IRA.
I hope Irish, British, and American strategists are thinking hard about how to prevent an IRA takeover of the entirety of Ireland. They must be stopped, by any means, and a good start would be crushing their organized crime syndicate.
Even the most ardent advocates of power-sharing say the IRA's criminal power has become the new deal-breaker. But IRA experts warn that the group is not about to cede control to common criminals.
"The IRA's criminal activity will be hard to hide but easy to deny," said Ed Moloney, author of "A Secret History of the IRA," who forecast that IRA racketeering "may even intensify."
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, a veteran IRA commander who denies ever being a member, has repeatedly said IRA activity cannot be described as crime. At his most recent party conference in March, Adams said Sinn Fein would "refuse to criminalize those who break the law in pursuit of legitimate political objectives."
Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell, who is regularly briefed on IRA activity by the anti-terrorist and anti-racketeering branches of the Garda Siochana, Ireland's national police force, called Sinn Fein's line on IRA crime "a massive lie of Orwellian proportions."
Other politicians fear that Sinn Fein, growing rapidly in both parts of Ireland, derives an undemocratic advantage from deep IRA pockets. They note the party's ability to produce exceptional volumes of literature, posters and campaign workers at election time.
Sinn Fein says it negotiates better deals on printing, has an army of unpaid volunteers and publishes financial statements showing party coffers in the red.
Some analysts do not buy this.
"Using the proceeds of that IRA empire, Sinn Fein has a plan to buy its way into power in Ireland," said Kevin Toolis, author of "Rebel Hearts: A Journey Into the IRA's Soul."
Ireland's Criminal Assets Bureau, the United Kingdom Assets Recovery Agency and the Police Service of Northern Ireland estimate that IRA rackets generate more than $20 million annually.
Those assessments exclude four massive Belfast robberies last year that police chiefs, the British and Irish governments and the Independent Monitoring Commission blamed on the IRA.
In December, a hostage-taking gang stole the equivalent of $50 million from the Northern Bank -- a theft so colossal, at a moment of such relative peace, that IRA crime became a dominant political issue for the first time.
It's difficult to believe that their crime syndicate can be eradicated in time, however, when we read things like this:
Police in February arrested more than a dozen IRA suspects, lawyers, accountants and loan sharks during raids across the Irish Republic. They seized more than $6 million worth of British bank notes.
Two detectives in the investigation, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press, said they suspect the IRA tried to plow Northern Bank loot into property in Britain and Bulgaria with guidance from Phil Flynn, a former Sinn Fein vice president and labor-union boss who most recently was chairman of the Irish division of the Bank of Scotland.
Flynn openly admits pursuing investments in Bulgaria on behalf of the man caught with most of February's money. Although Flynn resigned from several prominent business and government advisory posts, he denies any wrongdoing.
The difficulty of bringing the IRA to justice is personified by IRA chief of staff Thomas "Slab" Murphy, who has never been convicted of any crime. Prosecutors offered police surveillance and forensic evidence in several trials they said showed that Murphy's South Armagh unit constructed and delivered most of the IRA's biggest vehicle bombs.
For two decades, Murphy has run a fuel-smuggling business from his farm straddling the Irish border. A 1999 best-seller, "Bandit Country" by Toby Harnden, described Murphy's smuggling techniques, which include fuel tanks on both sides of the border connected by pipelines.
When an Associated Press reporter drove past Murphy's farm last week, one oil tanker had just driven to the gate, while a second was parked beside his home.
Customs officials' probes have repeatedly fizzled out, partly because Murphy has repeatedly founded and folded companies -- and partly because nobody dares testify against him.
Murphy in 1998 lost a libel lawsuit against a British newspaper, The Sunday Times, that reported on his IRA and smuggling exploits. Eight months later, the pivotal witness against Murphy, former IRA member Eamon Collins, was clubbed and stabbed to death, his face butchered beyond recognition.
Murphy, who has never given an interview, could not be reached for comment.
They've got virtual impunity to operate, enforced with murders of any that dare stand in their way. The Mafia in Sicily and the United States was also this way, but in both places, courageous witnesses, witness protection programs, determined law enforcement and brave judges were able to put a serious dent in their activities. I hope it can happen for Ireland, too...
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These Biblical Times
Coming up in just a couple of days is a very strange confluence of events - a solar eclipse will go over the countries mentioned in the bible, the first day of Ramadan, Rosh HaShanah - Feast of Trumpets, and it will mark the 14,000th day since June 7, 1967 - significant as the day Israel captured Jerusalem and possessed it for the first time in a very LONG time. The reason the number 14,000 might be significant is that it is the same number of days mentioned in both Old and New Testaments as a "generation", and big things happened on the last day of those previous 14,000 day generations. The solar eclipse is noted along with these other events because the sun is mentioned as having more than one function - that of a "sign":
Genesis 1: 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years...
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An Israeli zulubaby
I’ve been coming to Israel since I was 16-years old so I knew what to expect. Or so I thought.
I didn’t anticipate the culture shock.
The thing that stood out most was the cars. If you know Los Angeles you know that the cars are new, shiny and mostly expensive. In Israel, it’s just the opposite. Where LA was groomed, Israel was shabby. Where LA was organized, Israel was chaotic.
I love the messiness of life and human relationships and Israel has a lot of that. I have had so many incredible experiences; so many strangers show me such kindness. I love it here. I cry more here.
I love the people and the weather and the beach and the warm sea. I love the chaos, the hot men, the hot tempers and the spicy food. I love that these tough, macho men take their children to school in the morning.
I love that every face I look at is part of my history and the history of this country. I love that I can watch the sun set and the moon rise. Most of all I love the colour of the sky. LA is the colour of smog. In Tel Aviv, the sky is the most perfect blue. At night, the air is warm on my skin and I can see the stars.
I miss certain things about Los Angeles.
I miss people, of course, and the hair care products, of course, and the smell of Beverly Hills and all my favourite sushi joints, but I don’t miss the soullessness of the City of Angels.
What I really miss is the sense of order that is America, the fact that everything functions, that I know my way around the system and can get 100 things accomplished in a day. I miss that everyone around me speaks my language, that you can ask me to get you anywhere and I will, with ease. I miss knowing the city intimately and where to find what, when.
I miss that when I’m in line at the bank the person behind me leaves me my personal space (cba will appreciate that).
One of the biggest culture shocks happened when I sent someone my resume. She called me after receiving it and said, “There’s no information on here�?. Now I have a lot of experience and a lot of skills and my resume is two pages long which is one page too long for an Israeli resume. I didn’t understand.
Well, she wanted to know how old I was, if I was married, single, divorced and if I had children! Coming from America you can only imagine how outraged I was! The nerve! Never mind that I’m more than qualified for the position, my personal life was what was important. That’s Israel – people are interested in you and while it can be invasive, there’s something comforting about it too. Israelis will ask you the most personal questions, there are no barriers. They’ll ask you how much rent you pay, how much you earn … anything.
It takes getting used to, coming from America where boundaries are clearly defined.
The boundaries are a double-edged sword. The boundaries are comfortable; they give the society structure and allow you to understand what is expected, what is appropriate. The boundaries also don’t allow for intimacy and in retrospect, that is what was missing from my life - intimacy. People are friendly in Los Angeles but everyone keeps their distance. There is no street life; we are all in our cars, alone in our individual bubble. Human contact is too often by cellphone, voicemail, text message, e-mail. People live in huge houses and never have you over.
Israel is small, there is no space here. People do not have big houses and most don’t even have houses. But there’s always room for visitors and one more and one more. Life is simpler here but more interesting.
America is the best country in the world.
My friends from ulpan tease me about how often I say, “I’m an American".
I waited 10 years for that.
Think about how long 10 years is.
I am so grateful, proud, and honoured to be an American. I’m grateful, proud and honoured to be a Jew too, and there is something truly magical about living in Israel. Loving Israel is like loving a human being. Sometimes you get frustrated or annoyed or angry, but then you fall in love all over again. I love America fiercely – the world would be lost without her. America is dazzling, there’s no country like it. But Israel nurtures my soul. I try not to live in absolutes, I don’t know where I’ll be next year or the year after that but for right now, this feels right, this is what I need.
L'Shana Tova! Wishing all a happy, sweet, and significant New Year, and a meaningful fast.
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