Optimism For American Politics

Scott “Dilbert” Adams recently posted And A Barista Will Lead Them about a possible change in how American politics can work.

Our dynamic political system offers alternatives when we get in this sort of a fix. At the moment, the two most credible challengers to replace President Obama believe that if we pray hard enough we can fix things with magic.

Although that depresses me with its honesty, Adams’ idea is actually a hopeful one. He is referring to Starbuck’s CEO Schultz’s public suggestion for businesses to stop donating to political parties as the first step in a bloodless coup.

I would go so far as to say that donating to a politician or political party in this environment is as close as an ordinary citizen can come to treason. Political contributions broke the government, and a government that stays broken will doom the country.

Very interesting!

I do think a big part of the problem is that corporations got themselves to be treated as people. That is one of the biggest things that must change for this country to get back on its feet and start exceling again. We’ll begin with baby steps and see how Schultz’s idea reverberates.

For now, I have tentative hope.

Now Rick Perry’s Run For POTUS Makes Terrifying Sense…

I had a sneaky feeling that there was more to Rick Perry’s illegal (sadly, uncharged) endorsement of The Response prayer rally. His announcement about running for President didn’t surprise me in the slightest. I had no idea that it could get much worse…

I just read Michelle Goldberg’s article A Christian Plot for Domination.

Terrifying stuff if even a quarter of it is true.

To be fair, I also read a dissenting piece by A. Larry Ross. I considered what he had to say but I think that it comes up short; this is especially true with respect to his points about the separation of church and state and the cherry-picking of scriptures.

The United States is facing a crisis with its political situation. I am relieved to not be a citizen here – but I am stuck living here for the time being.

Mark Morford Hits Another Homerun

Once again, San Francisco Chronicle columnist has written another supremely wonderful piece that is truly a joy to read.

That’s right, the Vatican is hiring! Don’t laugh. Business is solid (2000 years and counting! In Roman numerals! Spitefully!), the pay is barely reasonable and the benefits… well, there are no benefits. Except for the misery and oppression. Hey, it beats Facebook! Well, not really. It beats the GOP! Then again, so does a root canal in 1882.

Wonderful stuff!

Oh No!

I should have seen this coming…

The idiot governor of Texas is running for President. I agree with several of the comments on the CBC site:

  • Just what the USA needs, an evangelical Christian at the helm of the country. That will surely speed up the swift and painful demise of what was once the world’s only superpower.
  • Time to get America to cook the books again.
  • Well he loves Jesus and calls global warming "all one contrived phony mess" so the rednecks will love him. They’d much rather trust an evangelist than the world’s scientific community.

The possibility of another Pastor-In-Chief in Washington is truly terrifying.

Although I am tempted to say something about moving to another country if he wins; I’m not sure I’ll be in a position financially to pull up roots that quickly. I’ll just have to watch what happens carefully and plan for the worst.

Some Rain In Dallas At Last!

I certainly do not think that our governor’s prayers did this but I awoke this morning to the wonderful sound of rain falling on my roof. Yesterday there had been a 30% forecast for rain – experience has shown me to not take those forecasts seriously until they hit at least 50%. So I am pleasantly surprised.

The Dallas area was just two days shy of breaking the record for the most consecutive days of triple-digit Fahrenheit temperatures. The city of Irving had implemented drought-condition by-laws (not sure how long that link will remain valid) to reduce lawn watering and such.

It is supposed to rain until about 5:00pm. I sure hope that that is enough downpour to ease the pressure on the area’s water supplies.

Just Say No To Polygamy

I am quite happy to see that the religious nutcase (yes, yes, they all are…) Warren Jeffs is being sent to prison for life. Of course, I have absolutely no fear about the “whirlwind of judgement” that his imaginary Sky Daddy is going to release.

There seems to be a parallel between the newer religions requiring to be even stranger than older ones. Just about the only thing weirder than Mormonism is Scientology. Yet today, there are two Republican candidates for President who believe that g_d lives on another planet and one day they will too.

The stupidity of Mormonism invaded my own family decades ago.

It always astonishes me that intelligent fellow humans fall for the obvious ruse that all religions are. One day, we might be free of these shackles and rise to our full height.

The Texas Drought & Delusions In The Government

I keep annoying my colleagues by quoting temperatures in Celsius rather than the Fahrenheit scale that they refuse to let go of. Regardless, the temperatures around Texas have been brutal for the last few weeks.

Like many others here, I was looking forward to tropical storm Don and the rain that it would surely bring. Wow! I don’t think anybody expected this:

don-dissipation-600x405

POOF! Now you see it, now you don’t!

Of course, many Texans are trying to link this weather to the wrath of some fictional deity. Even the governor is in on that delusion; Perry is sponsoring a Christian prayer and fasting rally. Unfortunately, the FFRF lawsuit against him was dismissed. I wish I could be in Houston to help protest this foolishness.

Two Years As A Homeowner

Wow! Time really does escape you on occasion. I cannot believe that I have had my house for two years today.

I really should finish unpacking one day…

SharePoint and SQL Server’s Error 8628

This morning I posted my first blog post on the SharePoint Escalation Team MSDN blog.

This explains the reason behind SQL Server’s query compile timeout error and how SharePoint can cause it to happen. I include some DMV queries that you can use to see if you are at risk for hitting this error.

If you have further questions about this problem, please contact me at mgarstin@microsoft.com and I will advise you on the best course of action. You’ll likely need to open a support case if your question involves deep troubleshooting.

A Crappy Day

Today, a very dear friend’s cat passed away. She is distraught and I’m stuck two thousand kilometers away.

Cover that flavourless cake with the bitter icing of a frustrating day at work (both case and colleagues).

Sad smile

The Curse Of The Windows Installer Cache

In my opinion, one of the worst things ever to come out of Microsoft is the Windows Installer Cache. Actually, I shouldn’t be that harsh. There is a worse thing that is behind the problems with the Installer Cache.

The cache is a hidden folder located at %WINDIR%\Installer. If you have been running Windows for any respectable length of time and installed a few programs to use; you will see that this folder is filled with MSP and MSI files. It is quite possible that many gigabytes of space are taken up with these files.

The curse of this design is that many users will delete these files to gain back that space. The consequences of which are that many programs (notably, SQL Server) will break during future upgrades or installs. Sometimes this problem is so severe that the best answer for resolution is formatting and reinstalling everything.

That is where I find myself this morning. I bought a 32 GB solid-state drive to install Windows on. But I forgot about the piggish Installer Cache and the drive quickly filled up completely. I moved some of those offending files (rather than delete them) to larger spinning-rust drives. This is merely a Band-Aid temporary solution though.

Today, I will add a new 120 GB SSD drive to my box and rebuild.

I hate rebuilding. There is always something that I forget to backup.

The "worse thing" that I initially mentioned is that Windows Setup should come with advanced options that give one finer-grained control about file location. These options may not be for everyone; but they should exist!

Please Microsoft, I’m begging you! Let me choose the location for the Windows Installer Cache during setup!

Welcome To The Party South Sudan!

Today, South Sudan became the newest country to be recognized by the United Nations.

Congratulations! And good luck!

You are going to need that luck; what with being in one of the least developed places of the world and having been ravaged by 50 years of fighting. I hope that you can sort yourself out and show the rest of the nations in the area how it’s done.