Tag Archives: random

The light remains the same

Today could have been a lot worse, I suppose.

On the way to work, the light at Reynolds and Clays Mill stayed red
through 4 cycles, while traffic in all other lanes got green. I finally
just went through on red when there was a break in traffic, as I had no
desire to be there all day. And while this was a pretty poor omen for
the day as well, the rest of the day turned out pretty good. I did an
install at a customer site, so got to spend some time in the car
listening to Umberto Eco. And the install went well, which is always
good. So, for the most part, I seem to have escaped from the terrible
karma of yesterday.

Ill omen

I just managed to drop the lid of the sugar bowl into my cup of coffee, and spent about 2 minutes fishing for it with a fork before I managed to locate it and get it out. With this little omen, I feel that perhaps today is going to be just as wonderful as yesterday.

What else could go wrong?

Some days, it just doesn’t pay to chew through the leather straps.

Today, I made the mistake of going to work, and things just went downhill from there.

I should start by mentioning that the one good part about today was that my little girl was with me all day. Of course, this was because she was sick and stayed home from school, but, still, it was the one redeeming quality of the day.

Yesterday, our coloc called and told us that our UPS was beeping, and we needed to come out and take care of it. Well, I promptly forgot about it. When I went in to work this morning, I was reminded of it, and went in to the coloc. We have three machines in a rack there. And it was beeping very loudly, but it did not sound like a UPS beep to me. But, anyways, I shut down the machines, swapped out the UPS, and started them all up again. And it started beeping again. Oy.

So I finally figured out that one of the drives in the RAID array had gone south, and that was what was beeping. So, I figured I would pop down to the computer store, get a new SCSI drive, and pop it in there. Right? Well, there’s a catch. I live in Kentucky – not exactly the technology center of the world. I could not find a store that had SCSI drives as part of their standard stocked items.

By this time, Sarah needed to get her nap, and some lunch, so we went back home, and made some calls while Sarah rested, and tracked down some small custom computer shops that actually had SCSI drives. I expected I could have gotten it cheaper if I had had more time to shop around, but meanwhile, my RAID array was running on 2 drives, and beeping at the sound level of a 747 taking off.

Sarah didn’t take much of a nap, and about 4:30, we headed back out, picked up the drive – an 18G rather than the 9 that I needed, so half of the drive was lost right off the bat – and took it back to the coloc.

The machine in question was a Dell poweredge, which is one of those nice machines that opens up and disassembles easily. But I could not get the darned thing apart, and nobody in the whole building had a screwdriver I could use. So I had to reassemble things, start it back up yet again, and come home to get tools.

We got back there at about 5:30, put the drive in (only had to redo it once, due to having the drive jumpered wrong) and waited an hour while the drive rebuilt.

So it is up and working now, but I don’t recall having a day this frustrating for a very long time.

There were a number of other very frustrating events today, but none of them warrant discussing in a forum this public. Suffice it to say that it was annoying enough to last me a good long time.

Final results in

Presidential Results – Latest

The ECK (Election Commission of Kenya) has officially announced the results, and Mwai Kibaki is the 3rd president if Kenya. The inauguration will be tomorrow.

There’s a lot of celebration going on. The losing candidates conceeded very gracefully, and violence has been almost completely avoided. This is a very promising start to things.

President-elect Kibaki has stated that he has no interest in forming a coalition government with Kanu, because he wants a strong opposition to keep him on his toes. I think I am starting to really like this guy.

Kenya election

I managed to spend the entire day so far watching the Kenya elections. Which was made harder by the fact that information is extremely hard to come by, so I spent most of that time watching my own web site.

The results are unsurprising. Kibaki has somewhere around 65% of the vote, and seems sure to win, unless something surpassingly surprising happens in Rift Valley and the various other, smaller, districts that have not yet reported in. Counting could take as long as late tomorrow to be completed.

The most important things now seems to be:

How Kenyatta responds. If he challenges the vote, or hints at impropriety, it could spark discontent and violence. If he concedes gracefully, and offers his help and support to the transition, it could signal an era of cooperation and peace. So much is up to the reaction of this one young man, who has so little experience in politics it is really very alarming to watch.

How the transition is handled. Moi has set some very good first precedents, and we should be very grateful to him for that. He is removing himself gracefully from the scene, offering no resistance, or even nasty barbs, and has very publically said that he will step down gracefully when Kibaki wins. The period of transition can be handled cooperatively, giving the new government pointers they will need to do a good job, or it could be handled beligerently, setting the stage for a future in which nothing can be accomplished.

The makeup of Parliament. I am actually glad to see 25% of the seats going to KANU. If they were utterly removed from the scene, I actually think that it would cause a rockier transition, as there would be no tie to the past. Now, clearly, we want to distance ourselves from an unpleasant past, but completely severing that link would be dangerous, in that the new government is so inexperienced that it might make all the same mistakes that we are trying to distance ourselves from.

Communication. Things will not change in a day, or a month, or even a year, however well intentioned Kibaki and his government will be. It will take time. And communicating this to the people, and keeping them updated on progress in a completely open manner, will be crucial to reducing the frustration, and subsequent discontent and violence, that comes from a populace that expects immediate change and does not get it. Next week, and next month, and so on, there will still be high unemployment, high crime, high illiteracy, lots of corruption, street people, tribal unrest, and other results of the last 10 years of misrule (giving Moi and Kanu some credit, the first years of their rule were not so terrible), and these things will take lots and lots of time to overcome. In the best of situations, we’ll see these things changing immediately, but even then, it will take years before they are at the state that they were before 1986, let along making real progress.

God bless Africa. God bless Kenya.

Kenya elections

Well, in just a few hours, the polls will open in the most important election in Kenya’s history so far. Daniel Moi, president since 1978, will step down and let someone else have a shot. The numbers seem pretty clear, with Kibaki expected to take 55-60% of the vote, and Kenyatta taking about 35%, but who knows how accurate those polls are, and how much of a roll vote-buying and other corruption will play.

Ironically, now that it is almost over, I think I might actually finally believe Kenyatta’s claims that he would break from the former administration, and that Moi would not have influence over him. However, all along, people have believed that the opposite would be true – that Moi would still rule through Kenyatta, and that we would just have another few years of the same thing.

It will be interesting to see what Moi does – whether he actually retires to his country home to take it easy for a while, or whether he remains actively involved.

I pray for peace and calm. I’m concerned that, whoever wins, there will be violence in Nairobi, and that many people will be killed. I pray that the people can recognize the solemn importance of this, and that whoever wins, that the transition will be a smooth one, paving the way for a peaceful future. If this transition goes well, it will bode better for the next one, and the next one, and perhaps in a few decades, Kenya might be able to drag itself up out of the pit that it has sunk into over the last few decades.

I’m also concerned that people will expect immediate results, and that, in 6 months, when things are still terrible, that they will lose patience with Kibaki (or, I suppose it is still possible, Kenyatta) and demand something different. If people can be patient for a few years, perhaps things really will change. If not, Kenya might fall into the cycle of coups and bloodshed that has plagued so many other places.


She certainly needs it.

The Siege

I saw “The Siege” today. It’s kinda frightening that we spent millions of dollars giving folks ideas like this. But I suppose it was nothing particularly new, except that it was happening in NYC. Worth seeing, but very disturbing, considering what has happened since the movie was made.

LPLUG Christmas party

Today was the LPLUG Christmas party, which was, I think, a big success. It was well attended, and the speechifying did not drag on too long.

We also had a GPG key signing. Only 4 people participated, but others looked on curiously, which was, actually, the main purpose – to get people interested, asking questions, etc., so that next time we do this, we’ll have wider participation. Perhaps this could even be a regular part of meetings. It’s less time consuming when people know what is going on, and what they gain by having their key signed, and by signing others’ keys.