I learn what I think when I read what I write.
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U.N. HQ in Baghdad Car Bombed

The headline:

U.N. HQ in Baghdad Car Bombed - FLASH: Large car bomb attack at U.N.'s Baghdad HQ. [Winds Of Change]

What, they don't have JERSEY BARRIERS in Baghdad? I mean, the White House wasn't even a war zone 15 years ago when I remember them wheeling in the big concrete barricades to stop any potential vehicular bomb from getting anywhere near the building. I note with some twisted humor that the Salt Lake City Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building seems engineered to prevent drive-ups, with large decorative, but obviously stout and concrete, pylons. I was just thinking the other day, "Wow, someone driving a car bomb would have a heck of a time getting near that building. Maybe a motorcycle bomb or something could make it, but how much damage could something that small do?"

Important buildings should have a perimeter of Jersey Barriers preventing casual drivers-by from unloading a car bomb into them. Even if they're temporary. I wonder which U.N. genius dropped the ball deciding not to Jersey-Barrier this puppy?

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Honesty to self in an age of wonder and mystery

I'm in the midst of a discussion with a close friend, via email, of some of the fundamental questions regarding the Bible, Christian thought, and the evolution of religion. In my searches, I came across this simply amazing, honest article, written by Richard Packham and entitled "How I Became An Atheist".

And, of course, the title itself will put off some of my readers. Try another of Packham's essays, The Man Who Bought A House, to really understand where he's coming from. If you find yourself strongly disagreeing, perhaps you, too, have bought the house? His web site is an excellent collection of essays he's written and links he's collected over a lifetime of skepticism.

I kept saying to myself, "Oh, man, this is me. Did this guy read my mind?" Only obvious dissimilarities (like the fact he's at least 35 years older than me, and graduated from college with a law degree) kept me grounded in the reality that this wasn't my history I was reading. I could see myself writing an essay similar to this.

As a matter of fact, it was research into how I'd write a similar essay that led me to his site. Now I'm not so sure I want to write one of my own, since I've found one that so closely mirrors my own perceptions. Time will tell.

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Ran across an interesting post over at http://windsofchange.net/archives/003927.html regarding the establishment of permanent "paramilitary" operations. My useless commentary below.

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She's not a freak.

This is yet another excerpt from a conversation I've been having on one of my mailing lists. If you're not into religious recovery, you probably won't be into this one. If you are into discussion about theology, philosophy, and personal choice, you might be interested.

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Reliability, Availability, & Fault-Tolerance

I wrote up a blurb on Slashdot today about my perspective on creating highly reliable, available, or fault-tolerant systems, and how you really need to choose which of the three you are going for in designing your compute environment.

I've also adjusted my opinion since I posted this. There are a couple more factors, which include initial expense and maintenance cost, that need to be factored in. They are normally the domain of the bean counter, but it's important that the admin/systems architect be aware of what tradeoffs he is willing to make in order to bring those costs down, and where the sacrifice of reliability, availability, or fault-tolerance needs to be made. And he also needs to appraise the bean counter of the importance of those factors that are being lost, as well.

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Pink Fluffy Bunnies Unite!

I read a posting on one of my mailing lists today that just really got my goat. Unfortunately, my response was, I think, a bit too much advocacy of a certain point of view to be tolerated on that mailing list, so I've posted it here where I control what I think is OK and isn't :) The thread of conversation was this (paraphrased):

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Gallery back up, maintenance

Well, I caved, and decided to stick to the old PHP Gallery software rather than going to the new Drupal module. It just represents too many hours of work for me to want to change over. I'll be doing some maintenance to bring it up-to-date, and there's definitely quite a bit of a style change between the main barnson.org site and the Gallery at the moment, but I'll be hacking them both to bring them into line soon.

It's available via the "images & photos" link on the right. Now we just have to find our digital camera so that we can upload more...

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Downtime and Lessons Learned

Well, barnson.org, and its sister site, outlanders-outfit.org, were down over the weekend. It is a brief object lesson on interdependencies in the Internet world; click "read more" for details.

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Home "sick"?

You know, if I weren't a logical person, I would think it's time to stop chewing gum.

I've had three teeth now that have had various problems.

  1. I broke this one in half crunching down on a popcorn kernel. The half that broke off was irreperably shattered when I masticated the next bite.
  2. Another tooth simply fell apart while chewing gum.
  3. And the third tooth, several weeks ago, felt like the middle just dropped out of it while chewing gum. Suddenly, just like tooth two, I had some extra 'crunchies' in my gum out of nowhere, and gum kept sticking to that tooth due to the large hole that just opened up in it.
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Religion, Sunstone, and Good Friends

This has been an interesting week on the religion side. By and large, I've simply preferred to avoid discussing religion due to my somewhat... *ahem*... non-standard beliefs in this predominantly LDS town. However, this week I've had a couple chances to yak with people about it, and while it's been slightly tense and stressful from time to time, overall it's been very positive.

There have been four specific incidents; click "read more" below if you're interested.

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