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It’s been a wild ride the last few years. Moving from Washington State to Alaska to Mississippi to California to Scotland and then back to California. All in the space of 10 years. We’ve seen and done some pretty amazing things.

But there is a downside. We’re not independently wealthy so these moves have come with some struggles at times. The companies I’ve worked for have helped defray a lot of the cost, but we’re talking about moving a family of five around.

This last move to Scotland and back was very interesting. It pretty much wiped us out, well, not pretty much, it did. We thought Scotland was going to be long term so we sold off almost everything when we moved. When things fell apart and we ended up bailing back the new company I am with gave us some move money. Enough for plane tickets and a good portion of the deposit needed to get into a house here in Monterey.

The down side to this move. We got here, we got into a house, and then the money ran out. ($6500 to get into a rental house between 1st, last and deposit) Now, I get paid a LOT to do what I do here. But, with a family of 5 to support that lot turns into just enough to cover the bills and have a little play money left over. Not enough to go out and stock a house, clothe the kids, buy a car, etc etc. Roberta working at Sea Harvest has given us the ability to slowly pick things up as we could.

In comes our friends. We’ve been living with borrowed pots and pans, air beds, hand me down furniture, and even a borrowed car to get us back on our feet. We also have a beautiful Dodge truck that we took over payments on which helped us out. But we’ve been living on the bare minimum for a while now. Trying to slowly build up a household. And finally our income tax check arrived last week and it gives us the money needed to get back into living almost normal again.

Every one in the family now has a bed. We put Megan’s together Saturday and purchased mattresses for Roberta and I also. (ours is on the floor still, but only because we haven’t found the frame we want yet, that and I think we’re just used to sleeping on the floor at this point.) Molly and Nora have had their beds for about a month now.

We now have Pier One Dishes, a really nice set of non stick pots and pans. Silverware, a nice couch and love seat, beds all around, one dresser per person and I’m keeping my eyes open for a cheap car to commute with. We even splurged and picked up Molly and Nora wet suits and they went boogie boarding down at lovers point for the first time since we’ve been back.

3 1/2 months of sleeping on air mattresses and using borrowed pots and pans, but we’re finally back on our feet. It feels good.

As some of you who know me know,  I don’t believe most of the hype and alarmism over Anthropogenic Global Warming. This means “Man Made” global warming. The more I research and learn the more I find doubt in the whole “Man Made/CO2” cause.  Looking at temperature graphs over the last few thousand years shows heating and cooling of the earth. This is a given.  How much variability and what is the cause? Now those are hotly contested items.

In my parsing through the internet on the subject, I ran across an interesting site by Joanne Nova who has written a small book called “The Skeptics Handbook” and it’s not what you think at first. It’s not a a lot of debate over niddly statistical methods, arguing over this or that, etc. It’s not bad really. Which was kind of surprising. Whether you believe the hype or not, knowing both sides of the debate is a good thing to do.

Here is the crux of the question..

There is only one question that matters:
‘will adding more CO2 to the atmosphere make the world much warmer now?’

I like the simplicity of the question. It really cuts to the core of the whole issue.

As an aside I believe

  • The world is warming
  • Pollution is bad. It’s silly to pollute where you live.
  • CO2 is a fertilizer and not a pollutant
  • Using the fiction of AGW to get power or money from people and Knowing it’s untrue should be a crime.  (I left an out for idiots)
  • Computer Models of the environment are examples of chaotic systems. They can show anything or nothing with little difference between them.
  • 99.9999% of the population once thought the earth was flat. Now only a few hundred years later 99.9999% think it round.  Just a comment on popular opinions.
  • Spending Billions or even Trillions of dollars to fix a problem that may not be what we think is WRONG. We need to understand first.
  • Spending Billions or even Trillions of dollars to fix problems we KNOW is much better money spent.  Cancer, hunger, Malaria, and Aids are just a few of the issues that need fixing and need it badly. Go Bill and Malinda!!! You too Warren Buffet. If you don’t know what I mean then you need to read about the Gates Foundation. They are doing things right when it comes to solving the worlds problems.
  • Instead of crying about CO2 polluting countries. Help them develop cleaner, better, more efficient technologies. Don’t try to throttle them. We went through our polluting phase. Just look at the dark gray, coal sooted buildings in Edinburgh.  Help the developing countries build their infrastructures with what we have learned without having to do it the hard way.

Okay. Enough about this. We all have our opinions. This is mine. Right, wrong, or indifferent.

On Tuesdays there is a Farmers Market down on Alvarado Street in Downtown Monterey.  Our friends Lynn and Chuck run the Calamari booth. So a typical Tuesday evening consists of Calamari and fries for dinner.


Then we will wander the market picking up some fresh Oranges, Tomatos, Honey sticks, Kettle Popcorn, and maybe a Rootbeer float for the girls if they’ve been good.  Some days  we’ll also get misc fresh veggies, flowers, or like tonight fresh Avocado.  Another benefit to living here is the access to really good fresh foods.

Here are a few picks from the market tonight.


Here are two pictures from Asilomar at sunset. It’s the same picture with one being 1920×1200 and the other 1024×768. I liked this one so though I would share it out. Roberta and I wandered down the other night to catch the sun setting. It’s nice living here so close to the ocean.


Asilomar sunset 1024 by 768

1920 by 1200

Asilomar Sunset 1920 by 1200

In today’s world of computers almost everyone has a set of passwords they need to remember. Bank account, email, utilities, etc. It can be a real pain. And they really do need to be different passwords because losing a password for one could open up all the rest. Bad bad bad. Writing them down can be almost as bad. Someone gets their hands on the paper, bad news.

Now, welcome to my world. I work at a government facility as a systems analyst. Thou shall NOT write down passwords. All passwords must be changed every 60 days and need to meet minimum complexity requirements. The following is unacceptable due to it being to simple. Seriously. F!ddl3Pl@y3r. I’ll let you wonder why it’s considered too simple.

Now for the fun. Change every 60 days. All major systems have different passwords, Each network appliance, each cluster, each storage device, blah blah blah. Oh, and thou shall NOT write them down! Oh, and let’s not forget the 3 tries and you’re locked out rules.

There has got to be an easier way to do this.

Well, I’m tired of being fat and lazy. Well, maybe not the lazy part. I’ve started working out at the end of the day before heading home from work. We have a small gym here at Fleet with treadmills, exercise equipment, stationary bikes, etc.

So, I’ve been hitting the gym about 3 times a week, trying to do better, but things keep coming up. I’ve been doing it now for only 3 weeks, but it’s better than what I was doing, which was nothing.I even feel better after exercising, which means I’m starting to get into a bit better shape.

Today I did 2 circuits of the exercise equipment and then played gerbil for a little over a mile on the treadmill. took me 12 minutes to run a mile and then I ended up walking for another quarter mile to cool down. I’m seriously out of shape. Then again I’m lugging around 210 plus pounds.

My goal is to drop my weight to around 190 and be able to consistently run 2 miles in under 20 minutes. That’s my goal. See how things progress.

Forgot to mention one of the challenges to exercising for me. Keeping my blood sugars in a controlled state..

Blood sugar at 3:30pm was 246, so I pumped 3.9 units of insulin and didn’t bother to poke my finger when I went to work out at just before 5pm.. I exercised and my blood sugars dropped to 58 by 5:30. Needed to eat some sugar tablets to bring it back up.  woops. But then again that’s why I have the sugar tablets with me. Yesterday I was at 117 before exercising so I took 2 sugar tablets and an hour after working out my blood sugars were 137. So, I got it right yesterday. Not so much today. Oh well.

A co-worker of mine over in Scotland has set up a website dedicated to really bad Science Fiction book covers. With the added comment about each thrown in for fun. (-:

Good Show Sir

If you have time go check it out. See what kind of awful artwork is being done.

FYI. For those of you who didn’t know. Steve was the Irish part of the joke

An Irishman, Englishman, American, Brazilian, and Scotsman all decide to work at a supercomputing center together…..

Oh wait, that wasn’t a joke, it really happened!

A taste of the bad

Accidental Goddess Book Cover

Accidental Goddess Book Cover

Sitting here at 5 am with a low blood sugar and waiting for it to come up so I can get some more sleep.  Just one of those things. Thought I would do a quick post since I’ve been fairly quiet lately.

We picked up a couch and love seat this evening from a nice Turkish couple that are in the process of moving back to Turkey. He was attending the Naval Postgraduate School and is graduating and they are heading back home. When we went over to their house in Toro park, the military housing area, I noticed their shoes on the porch. So I mentioned it to Roberta and we both took our shoes off before going into their home. Before we left the wife mentioned to Roberta that in the three years that they’ve lived here, we are one of a very few set of people that actually took their shoes off. I was a bit surprised really. I thought it was just common courtesy  to follow another persons customs when in their home. Sounds like our military needs manners training. The way they spoke I’m not sure they were all that impressed with the American culture.

Payday was yesterday so I sat down and paid bills. Talk about getting knickeled and dimed. Sheesh.  Water was $200+, power will be $500+, Garbage was just shy of $150 for 3 months, cable is $130 a month for 100+ channels of total crap with a few couple of interesting programs mixed in. I pay more in utilities than most people pay in rent in other places of the county. We’re running over $1000 a month in just basic utilites.  Welcome to California. Raising a family here is pretty expensive. In fact most folks here don’t have kids. Either retired, DINKS (Dual Income No Kids),  or rich and it’s a second home here. We’re the odd ones out living here with kids. There are no kids around us at all. Old retired lady across the street. San Fancisco families weekend homes on the corner and on the south side of us. Gay couple next door that never say hi on our north side. Real estate salesman and wife across the street, the only couple that even say hi on occassion besides Tom and Monica who live behind us. A Retired guy from Iowa kitty corner across from us. No, kids anywhere on our block. Quiet road. Well, until we moved in. (-;

I’ve been looking at old VW Beetles online. Thinking I might pick one up if our income tax ever gets here. Fairly cheap cars that aren’t too hard to work on. Need something I can pick up the girls from school with. Saw a good one today on Craigslist. Unfortunately we don’t have our income tax yet. So will miss that one. I’d really like to find another classic mini cooper like Mr. Ed was. Sadly they wan’t WAY to much money for one here in the states. My $2500 car in Scotland would run about $10k here. Just not worth it.

Well, it’s now 5:30 AM and my blood sugars feel more normal. Back to bed for me.

Cheers all.

Nora’s science teacher called today to annoy us about making sure to sign ALL of her homework or she wouldn’t get credit for her assignments. Even if she’s done them. Annoying to say the least.

This same teacher is a fervent believer in Global Warming and “Saving the Environment”. So far I’ve successfully kept my mouth shut and haven’t contradicted any of her teachings, at least not until the girls are at home and we can discuss things.

Well, Miss annoying annoyed me to day. One of the things she called us about on a Saturday was to make sure Nora was working on her “Alternative Energy” project. She’s in the 4th grade. Do you really need to call and check whether she was working on her project on a Saturday? She wasn’t, but that’s besides the matter. Now however, I have decided to help Nora with her project. Ya, I know. This is going to end badly. (-;

We’ve decided that the alternative energy isn’t going to be something as inefficient as wind, or solar. No, we’re going to do the project on something with some real possibility. Nuclear power! Yep, we’re going to do her project on different nuclear reactors and how carbon neutral they are. (-;  How, unlike wind, they don’t kill migrating bird populations. I cannot wait to see this woman’s face when Nora turns in her project.

Hahahahahahaha…. Evil laugh! I love messing with the tree hugger crowd.

Just a quick follow on to the last post. If you try to use native IB support with GPFS instead of the IP over IB you need to set the verbsRdma to enabled. You also need to set the rdma device to use with the verbsPort setting. If you get the following error in /var/mfms/gen/mmfslog then you didn’t properly set the verbsPort

VERBS RDMA starting.
VERBS RDMA library (version >= 1.1) loaded and initialized.
VERBS RDMA library unloaded.
VERBS RDMA failed to start, no verbsPorts defined.

Here is what I used for our single port HBA Infiniband setup.

mmchconfig verbsPorts=”ib0/1″
mmchconfig verbsRdma=enable

Then looking at my configuration I now show things correctly

[root@topaz-m1 ~]# mmlsconfig
Configuration data for cluster
clusterId 72452797724XXXXXXXX
clusterType lc
autoload no
dmapiFileHandleSize 32
dataStructureDump /scratch/root/GPFS_Dump
maxblocksize 512K
maxFilesToCache 7000
maxMBpS 2048
maxStatCache 28000
pagepool 512M
verbsPorts ib0/1
verbsRdma enable

File systems in cluster

Success. I am now running gpfs natively across Infiniband with Linux. Much better performance this way.
Our basic configuration in case you are wondering.

40 Dell 1950 and 2950 nodes.

  • 1 head node 2950
  • 4 I/O 2950 nodes with HBA’s and HCA’s
  • 32 Compute nodes HBA’s
  • several misc nodes with HBA’s

Qlogic single port HBA’s
Redhat Enterprise Server 5.1
DDN 9900

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March 2009
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