Category: employement

Is Buffoonery the new American Norm?

Is Buffoonery the new American Norm?

 

“Doctor, when I do this it hurts.  My hair is thinning, and I am tired all the time.”

“Is that all?”

“Yes, other than this strange growth on my neck. What can you give me to make it better?”

“We must run some test first to see if these symptoms are related and then figure out what is causing them.”

“You doctors are all alike, you just want to run my bill up with unnecessary test, so you can make a car payment or even a house payment.  Just prescribe something, and I will be on my way.”

The patient in the above dialogue is a Buffoon.

Oddly enough, I get this same kind of rhetoric when I am called out to come up with a disaster recovery plan and discover that they have many other issues.

“Do you think you can fix these issues we are having?”

“What are some of the issues?”

“Computers drop off the network for no reason.  Printers often don’t get their print jobs, we think it is the printer, so we keep calling Cannon out, but they never fix it! The internet is slow and sometimes unresponsive.  Our phones don’t always work.  The phone vendor keeps telling us it is not his problem but you know those vendors, get your money and then forget they know you.  My lead guy tells me we need more internet bandwidth, would that fix it?”

“It sounds like you have some serious issues, when would you like me to start?”

“Start?  Just go push the right button and fix it!  How long will it take?”

“It depends on what I find.”

“What do you charge?”

“$125 an hour unless you would like to have me out here on a contract for a set amount of time.”

“What would you charge if I contract with you for two hours.”

“$250, (and it may be more if I have to deal with stupid nonsense like this, while I am working.)

“Truly I get this kind of stuff from CIO’s no less.”

The old joke about a thousand dollars regarding kicking a computer to make it work is just a joke.  While that might end up being the final diagnosis (which I doubt), this is a mindset from those who have no idea of what they are talking about.

Truly if it is from someone outside of IT, it is not their fault. Their job is to run the company, turn a profit or drive the business to produce more of what they do.  It is not to run IT.  Now if the CIO has this dialogue with you as a consultant then you have issues.

Some people are in high up positions because of who they knew and not what they knew.  Some are there because their parents own the company.  I personally try to stay out of situations like that because it hardly ever ends well.  I have done it many times in the past.  One of the most frustrating things is working for a guy “CIO” who did not even have a computer at home.  He knew little about computers or technology other than green screen 5250 stuff as a programmer, using RPG or Cobol.

When I walk in your door to resolve an issue or create a disaster recovery plan, there are things that I want to see.

  • Up to date network map.
  • A runbook
  • I will want to see the recent logs from the servers.
  • I will want to see your notes from the change control committee. (living document)
  • I will ask about your issues from the past to current. Are there pain points and what are they?
  • I will want to know what you would like to see as a deliverable. (an end goal)
  • I will want to know about your business model, so I can best position you for the future.
  • I will ask about the age of the hardware and what your hardware asset management looks like.
  • I will also want to know the same about your software. S.A.M.
  • I will want to see the licenses for the software that you have and I will want to see where the software is and when, if ever was it updated.

If you asked your CIO for these things, could he provide them?

As the CEO, ignorance is not an option.  There are seldom good surprises in business.

There are many other things I will want to have handy before I even begin to diagnose, troubleshoot or create a disaster recovery plan.  One of the most effusive displays of frustration from a client was when I discovered through digging that someone had spliced network cable improperly and it would need to be replaced.  Cat 5 to Cat 3 no less.

Yes, I will want to know about the cable plant. Was it installed all at one time or has it evolved over the years?   When you climb into the overhead ceiling to find a gob of electrical tape or even scotch tape holding network cable together, that will make your blood run cold.  If they are that stupid or cheap unless they are under new management or are willing to hand you the checkbook, you probably should just walk away.  Life is too short.

When I talk with potential customers, I can get a sense of their knowledge level quick enough.  How is that done?

I was in data processing long before Bill Gates was a household name.  Steve Jobs was still a criminal selling blue boxes made in his garage and CPM was the operating system.  What I do is not cheap but, it is worth it.  Most companies that have a disaster if not resolved within three days go out of business.

“We live in Dallas Texas, what kind of disaster could we have that would put us out of  business?”

The disaster that I see the most often was caused by employee error.  I do a risk assessment as part of the deliverable which many companies need for their insurance provider.

Now that we are in 2018 is this the year that you pay attention to your network and other infrastructure?  Is this the year that you look at security both digital and physical? “yes, I do that too.”

If you like my blog, please consider following me.

-Best

 

Ready, Fire …Aim

Ready, Fire …Aim

After the recent storms, one might have guessed that my phone has been busy.  Firstly let me say that Disaster Recovery by its very title is a bit of a misnomer.  While I have some abilities to recover lost data using some forensic skills developed over decades of twiddling bits, that is not really disaster recovery.

Disaster Recovery and business continuity are about planning for an event which may or may not happen.  The “plan” assumes that your business systems will be affected negatively and puts forth a tested strategy to recover from the said event.

With the recent devastation by hurricanes and earthquakes, one would think that those businesses not affected would be learning from those that were.  If you search my blogs on this site, you will see that I have laid out

Do not ask him or her, are we covered just in case, ask them specific questions laid out in this blog here.

Yes is not a satisfactory answer, demand the details and the proof.  I don’t care how much of a friend he or she is, demand the evidence.  The devil is in the details, and the last thing you want is a bunch of excuses.

I am learning from phone calls that too many have been assured that they are covered, and that is very possibly why today they are looking for ways to recover data from destroyed equipment.

Disaster recovery is not some dark magic spell cast under the voodoo magic of bits and bytes in the wiring closet or back part of the computer room.  The bottom line is to test it, whatever your people come up with, check it.  Keep checking it until you can recover your business with outside contractors and hardware with data and documents prepared by your staff.  There is to be no input from you or your staff during the test.  The hurricane, earthquake, fire, attack from zombies or employee error took you and them away from the scene. The plan provided must work!

This is why we who do this insist that companies use “best practice” standards in the industry when creating your individual networks and systems.

One such company has a senior IT staff littered with programmers.  These people think they know more than Microsoft.  Using kludges from Unix, Linux and other programming wizardry to subvert some of the basic tenants of networking, they have made their network so unique that it will depend on them to be there to recover.

If it is not broken, don’t fix it!

Writing programs that workaround things like DNS is just crazy stuff and now it is dependent on the network never changing, at all.

If your data is successfully mirrored offsite, an excellent team of engineers might get you going in weeks, not days if you have failed to follow best practices.  While your data might eventually be usable, you and your company will be on the sidelines as most businesses do not recover from such a catastrophe.

Folks I have been at this since 1982, I have learned a thing or two in those years.  Ask your team the questions or be prepared for unpleasant surprises should you ever face a business stopping event.

Got to go and explain once again what disaster recovery is and is not.

-Best

Customer Service and #Life #work #job

Customer Service and #Life #work #job

great.png

Recently I picked up my car from the dealer after having some unscheduled work performed.

Key word, “Unscheduled.”

Translated, I had an issue with my rather new vehicle and even though the warranty covered most of the repair, I was still inconvenienced in that I went for 5 solid days without my car.  I still had to travel to and from the dealership; twice, and … I had to pay a deductible.

The process of getting the car into the shop was relatively easy.

The service writer was not readily available but after waiting for some time, he finally appeared.

I am an easygoing person.  I understand that people are busy and cut them slack when necessary.

Today however, when I picked up my vehicle I was told to go to the cashier’s office.

An elderly woman behind her desk did not acknowledge me.

“Maybe she is hard of hearing…” I thought…. “Hello…”

“Last Name?”

Not hello, not kiss my foot not anything simply “last name.

Giving her that, she finds my invoice and tells me what my deductible is.

She then said “sign here.”

Trying to make some sort of small talk with her was to no avail.

I am a customer service animal.  I give great customer service so when I do not get it, it is bothersome.

She is the last person that one deals with at the dealership and her attitude and demeanor was curt if not downright truculent, to say the least.

She then points to the machine to use my card in.

“Chip or Swipe?” I ask.

She looks up at me as if I have just insulted her, and points back to the machine.

Looking down once again, I see a small-post it note, with scribbled writing on it “no chip…swipe.”

At this, I stop talking and swipe my card… Either this woman is having a bad day, or she is the wrong person to be in this position.

She waits for me to put my card back into my wallet before asking me for the last 4 digits on the card.

Truthfully, it felt as if she was screwing with me.

Twenty minutes later, I see my car making its way through the parking lot.

Here is the deal….

I do not care what vocation you have.

If you are taking a paycheck for what you do, you had best be smiling.

If you cannot smile at your job, go find something else.  Life is simply too short to settle for something that you cannot do with a smile on your face.

“I am not suggesting that every moment of every day will be laughs.”

The majority of your time at work you should be able to do cheerfully.

If you are dealing with their customers, that mandate is magnified; as you must be able to project that cheerfulness in your social intercourse.

I realize that many are in jobs that are of necessity and only that, rather than what they truly would like to do.

  • What is it that you would truly like to do?
  • What steps have you made towards that end?
  • Are you a settler, whatever comes along?

Money is unavoidable.  Money is a tool that allows you compensation for your efforts.  Money permits you to trade that tool for food, clothes, rent etc.

Everyone has some sort of skill or talent, what are yours?

Have you taken an inventory of them?

Much like a leaf traversing a stream of water, many choose to go where the wind blows them.  Folks that is a mistake!

Develop a Rudder

P1050478autumn-leaf-on-water.jpg

We have all seen leaves in that stream of water. Some are in the middle and some coalesce along the banks, snared in the weeds.

If you want to avoid having some crummy job that you cannot smile at doing, take some control of your life.

Many sit back and wait for the government to take care of them.  Others come out of school having spent tens of thousands of dollars while learning nothing, and expect a corner office.

Another percentage has taken inventory of their life.  They have developed their skills and have taken a course of action that places them in the category of “properly employed.”

The bottom line is that you can do what you want, just know what it is that you want to do.

Take your interests and skills and match them up to some sort of vocation.

Match that vocation with the style of life that you want to live.

If you want to live high on the hog, you had best choose some white collar vocation and be the best at it that you can be.

It is not going to happen by accident.  You have to know where you want to end up so you know how to steer your boat with your rudder to get there.

I94Card.jpg

A word about H1-B Visas

Businesses have been for a long time bringing in foreign nationals to work high skilled jobs for cheap.

These folks lobby congress telling them that our country does not have the talent they need to compete.  The amounts of visas granted each year is astounding.  These foreign nationals are indentured servants.

They are beholding to their sponsoring company.  Because a company sponsors them, they cannot leave that company without going back to their country of origin.

Tens of thousands of highly skilled Americans are sitting at home or underemployed because of H1-B Visas.  If we stopped that program, more than likely those companies would simply move offshore as many are doing every year.

My point to this is pick your vocation carefully.  You might also pick your politicians carefully as well. Too many are bought and paid for by special interests.  They do not really give two hoots in hell about their constituents.  Once elected you are no longer important until it is time for your vote again.

Recap:

  • Customer Service is more than lip service; it is in fact a mindset.
  • If you cannot smile at work, you have screwed up; re-visit your choice of work.
  • Take an inventory of your skills and talents.
  • Plan your life style you want and work towards it.
  • Choose your education carefully; some trades will pay better in the end than white-collar jobs.
  • Some trades cannot be outsourced.
  • Vote for those that will secure the border as too many people make for lower wages for everyone.

Whatever you are doing for a paycheck, give it your best. You are after all taking someone’s money and for that, you are selling him or her part of you.  They are expecting the person that they interviewed, that is what you owe.

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear #CEO #Recruiter #LinkedIn

Dear #CEO #Recruiter #LinkedIn

 

I find myself between contracts on occasion. If there were something, that is a good match for my skills and talents, I would love the opportunity to speak with them or you about it.

As a seasoned professional, I bring many things to the table.

cprompt.jpeg
If I had a nickel for every time someone would ask me, “I got this C:\> on my screen, what do I do now?”  Family is the worst, you cant charge them!

I started working with computers when DOS was in its infancy; nobody knew who Bill Gates was and  Wang, IBM and Xerox were the major players with Atari, Tandy and the Commodore PET was in vogue for the affluent home user.

DysanRemovableDiskPack.agr.jpg
Early hard drive which had to be in a really cool room.  The media was removable, the heads would stay inside the machine. 

Steve Jobs had just stopped being a criminal with his phone freaking hardware, but still was a nobody, while building the first apple in his garage.

GU.SteveJobs.9.3.15.jpg
Alex Gibney’s newest documentary, “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,” chronicles the famed Apple founder. Courtesy photo
blue-box.jpg
Blue Box

bbs2.png

BBS’s or Bulletin Boards hanging off a POTS line at 300baud were the standard.  1200 baud was certainly not common as some were still using acoustical modems.

Al Gore had not invented the internet yet…

algoreclaysinternetmeme.jpeg
Truthfully I think he had something to do with legislation allowing the public access to it. Somehow it got conflated with him as the inventor.

Main Frames were what most companies used complete with water-cooling.

nhp71A.jpg

Networks went from different coaxial types for the physical layer.  Arc net was the least expensive, Ethernet was still in the works, and Token ring, IBM’s idea was the standard; but few could afford it.

History_Arcnet_2.jpg

Starting on the ground floor of this industry, leaving a rather successful career in electronics was a valuable experience for me.

Witnessing the demise of the typewriter, dictation equipment, Gregg Shorthand and the secretarial pool replaced with high-powered laptops and smartphones has been quite the thing to see.

8677984_2.jpg
Yes, I actually worked on these…Mylar belts were the media.

The cost of one business letter in the 70’s was well over $100 in 1970’s dollars.  Today a quick e-mail re-defined the way we communicate. In today’s 2016 dollar, that is $627.38…

secretarialpool4.jpg
Before my time but not by much!

If you do not believe me about the price of a business letter, ask me about it.  I was there.

gregg002.gif
Gregg shorthand

 

The first virus I fought was before there was anti-virus software.  The cleverest virus I fought was the “pong” virus.  Modeled after the Pong game, one would be working in some program and a ball resembling the ball in pong would appear.  As it struck a character, the character would fall to the bottom of the screen.  This of course was destroying your document but at least you had some entertainment while it did it.

Virus-ping-pong.jpg
Pong or “ping pong virus”

Moving from the XT Based 8086 systems in the late 70’s up to the recent, has been a nice ride and I have enjoyed being part of that evolution.  As hardware hits the brick walls of physics and bigger better faster slows down, software must carry the advancements forward until such a time that chip manufacturers figure out how to get more speed and throughput maximizing everything from RAM to video and disc performance.  Embracing advancements while constantly positioning the company strategically ahead of the curve, but not on the bleeding edge is my long-standing history.

download (13).jpg
These were great!

Once included in your world, seamlessly; I will become part of that world knowing your business and how technology fits.

A-Swiss-Watch-movement.jpg
Every part works in concert to fulfill its intended purpose. Employees must necessarily “fit.” 

While focusing more on business applications vs wiz bang hardware, I specialize in providing an ROI to the people who have to pay for it.  Is this technology necessary? How will it help?  Will it prepare me to transition in the future?

ROI.jpg

Spending much of my life with technology, I have run a business now for the last 10 years providing ad-hoc IT services, while performing disaster recovery services.

My specialties include, but are not are limited to:

  • Over 30 years hands-on IT projects.
  • Over 15 years in Management.
  • Data Center design and installation
  • Power
  • Placement
  • Controls
  • HVAC
  • Fire retardant
  • ADA compliance
  • Security design and audits
  • Physical security design
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Best Practice
  • Business Acumen
  • Compliance issues with SOX or other regulations, as the need requires.
  • Visionary and forward “out of the box” thinker.
  • Troubleshooter

From the desktop to the cloud, I have it covered.

Some of the typical calls I receive while on site. 

  • The internet is slow.
  • The server crashes.
  • We think we might have a virus.
  • This computer cant “see” the printer.
  • I don’t know what we have?
  • I thought we paid for that software?
  • Somehow this computer got hacked.
  • Cant get on the Internet..

If these sound familiar the underlying causes may surprise you.

Through best practice, a complete inventory of your hardware and software it usually does not take long to figure out why?

Lack of documentation is generally the common denominator.

From a startup that just needs things set up right the first time, to a company that let some family member set it up, and now needs help, I am your person. No sugar coating…

What-is-a-Network-Operations-Center-NOC1.jpg

This letter is meant for those of you who see my profile on Linked in and wonder if I am available. Drop me a note, I might be!

Unlike others who will blow smoke, I will not.  If you are seeking a trip to the moon with funding for the carnival, I will tell you. If I cannot help you, I will not waste your time.  I know many people in the industry, I might simply refer you.

As someone who has written many job descriptions, hired and let go more than I care to think about, I am a tried and tested realist.   I find options for you, and then you decide.

-Best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Insure Prompt Service T.I.P.S.

To Insure Prompt Service T.I.P.S.

 

A recent article about tipping brings to the forefront of our “things to talk about;” tipping.

Europe has simply raised the cost of goods and services 20% to 30% in their restaurants and stopped tipping. The money “supposedly” used to increase the wages of the employees as well as pay for things like health care. I do not see any issues here, do you?

In theory, it sounds great but what accountability is there on the shop owners that they will use that money for those reasons?  The answer is none.

I would prefer to TIP my server, as his or her service can be quantifiably assessed by his or her clients. They get immediate feedback.

Speaking of jobs if I could choose, I would like to be a restaurant critic.  I already am a foodie and know something about food.  I used to travel a lot, when on an expense account one of my companies allowed generous benefits in that area.   Taking clients out to dinner often times I went to 5 star places and came to know the difference between good, mediocre and bad.

If I could have dinner with one celebrity, it would be Gordon Ramsey.  In the world of IT, I am just like him, other than I can choose my vernacular better than he…I still have that style and appreciate an honest person.

Life is not fair.

Not everyone will have the same skills and talents.  When you as a younger person piss off your opportunities afforded to you in school, you relegate yourself to jobs that are currently being taken by others from other countries that think those jobs are sweet; you limit your possibilities!

In the food services industry, servers that are good, earn more money than those that work in the back room. 

I would point out that the kitchen helper position is not exactly a career choice that anyone should aspire to.  Much like working in the mailroom in a large corporation, those are entry points into the job market.  They are minimum wage jobs because they require little talent to perform.

Retail sales is not a career choice, it is an entry point.  The problem is that managers that work there will tell their people anything to encourage them to keep their nose to the grindstone and work hard as they see management potential in them.   Most of the time they are lying in an effort to placate you into giving them more of your time in return for part time minimum wage dollars.

“Time is expensive.”

When you boil it all down, what you are selling is bits and pieces of yourself through the time you invest.  We are all whores if you think about it; we will do almost anything for money.

“Money truly is the root of all evil!” 

People that find a way to live comfortably, without killing themselves to earn more money, are probably the true winners of the game of life.

Higher paying jobs are inherently more stressful, and stress kills.  Stress produces a hormone known as cortisol.  This hormone is the “fight or flight” hormone, released when danger is present.  When we stay in a stressed out situation, that hormone is released in copious amounts, and often…that takes a toll on your body and your health suffers.

If corporations had a brain in their collective heads, they would look into ways to reduce the stress on their employees; as stress leads to job burnout, sick time and turnover.  Those are costly!

If you can live on minimum wage, work your 8 hours and whistle while you work, your life might be sweet.

Those who chase the dollar their whole life, typically die young and leave their life’s work to their spouse or their greedy progeny to fight over, allowing attorneys to swoop in like vultures, and acquire the bulk of it.

Tips for success.

  • Get a good education.
  • Find a trade or skill that cannot be outsourced, and master it.
  • Discover all of your talents and skills.  What are they? Take an inventory of them.
  • Are any of them marketable?
  • Figure out what you like to do…what makes you happy?
  • Can you find a job doing that?

 

Keep toxicity out of your life.

If you have toxic friends, develop boundaries and keep them outside of them.  If your job is toxic, find something else as soon as possible.  We all have worked around toxic people who bitch and moan incessantly.  That is their own toxic cesspool, which they most likely have created.  Stay out of their sphere of influence.  Do not add to it and certainly do not marry into it.  You cannot fix stupid and you cannot help someone that does not know either that they need help or that they do not want it.  Some people actually enjoy being miserable.  They like to be the victim.  You cannot help them.

As a manager, identify those employees and try to work with them through HR, or get rid of them,  that BS is contagious.

Tomorrow is never coming back.  The time you spent reading this is gone, forever.  The time I spent elucidating my thoughts on these subjects is gone as well.  I hope that I spent that time wisely. I am optimistic in thinking that you got something out of it.

Time is your stock in trade. Time can be measure in heartbeats as you only have so many.  There is a finite number of times that your heart will pump that life force around your body. Do not waste it.

Now go take on the day!

 

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Medved, Really?!

Michael Medved, Really?!

I listen to the radio when I work.

(I don’t have time to call in and pontificate, sorry.) 

If I am doing the kind of work that takes little concentration, I have talk radio on as I find some of the subjects thought provoking.

story.medved

Today I listened to Michael Medved for about as long as I could tolerate his blather, without tossing the radio into the trash.

The subject was “millennials living at home.”   First off, a millennial is someone between the ages of 18 and 34, if I remember him correctly.

Michael went onto to extol the virtues of his kids living here and there, but would love them to be living with him.  They brighten up the room when they walk in.  Trust me, if they lived with you day in and day out that brilliance would tarnish quickly when they left their mess for you or your wife to clean up.  When kids become adults they need to have their own place, not sponging off of their parents.  They need to learn that the dishes don’t wash themselves, and the trash does not take itself out.

When they have a car, they need to learn that the maintenance of that car is their responsibility.  The gas does not magically appear, and the oil does not magically get changed.

Millennials are moving home, or never leaving, because this economy will not support them living out of the house.  They then become parasites on their parents, and the relationship can become synergistic in that the parents are getting older and need “want” help with certain things.  Those parents if they are able to do for themselves, they need to do for themselves.  It is not good to allow them to sit on their ass all day and watch TV.  They need to be moving, doing things and not having it all done for them, unless of course they are unable.

Obama care has companies using different hiring strategies to get out of paying these exorbitant prices for health care, so they hire twice as many part-time people instead of full time, thus screwing the millennials. Yes, a few find full time jobs but a lot of them don’t, or are under employed.  These “hires” also screw up the unemployment stats as all of these part time people would be half that number if they were full time.

We have millions of aliens in this country, flooding the job market, further weakening the job market.

We have corporations buying politicians through campaign contributions, which turn into thousands of H1-B workers taking technical jobs from Americans.  And still we have companies like HP outsourcing tens of thousands of jobs overseas where they can hire much more cheaply and OSHA and the EPA are not around to make their lives miserable.

For anyone to get a full time job, they must go after a job that is a profession; and simply not something that an unskilled worker can do. I consider trades as professions by the way.

grocery

I was at the local Kroger not long ago during the day, and a cashier saw me waiting in line and tried in earnest to get me to use the “self-checkout!”  This idiot is either so lazy, or so stupid, that he does not realize that those bloody things are taking their jobs and hours!

Every time you use a self-service device, and that includes an ATM, any kiosk, or shopping online; you are in fact doing something that someone would normally be paid to do. Technology is taking jobs away.

Michael did not go after these kids living in the basement but, rather celebrated the virtues of having your kids stay with you.

140631_REA_7WaysBasement_1

Michael, when the kid turns 26 they are no longer a deduction.  Never mind the fact that the deduction was minimal; it was something.  Now we have kids using resources that cost money, and allowing mommy to still wipe their snotty nose.

You have people who should be saving for retirement using those funds to help their children, as their children have been handicapped by their parents.  Yes, their kid’s issues are the fault of the parents.

detail.34627e6f

Why don’t you simply pull a Kathy Bates on them and take out a baseball bat and break their legs while you are at it.  By not encouraging your kids to go out and make a life for themselves, you are crippling them.

Apathy… A major problem in this country is apathy but, nobody cares.

The millennials got this way because of apathy.  We saw it happening, we listened to news stories and read stories and watched it happen with our own kids, and we just allowed it.  We turned our backs on the problem until it became a crisis and then we screamed “how did this happen?! Look in the mirror pardner…That is how it happened. 

When I was a teenager, 18 was my move out day.  “When you get 18 you are out of here!”  My parents loved me, they loved me enough to force me to become a man, and make something out of myself.

Did I move into a house like I left? Oh no, far from it.

In fact, with my pitiful salary, I moved into a rental that cost me my first weeks’ paycheck every month.

I drove a car that I had to work on just about every weekend, and I did not go into restaurants.  I ate cheap soup, and a lot of cheap canned foods that are probably so processed, that cat food would have been better for me. I still managed a savings account while living like that.

When you have to live on what you make, suddenly you get a reality check.  When you work for someone; you do as you are told whether you like it or not because, you need that paycheck! 

8b3cb53ab3f686a28bd079b2370642bd

Kids today wander around with a $1000 dollar phone sticking out of their ass pocket, wearing $200 jeans with holes in them, driving $25K~$50K cars that mommy gave them, and we wonder why they are so screwed up!

Bernie Sanders is gaining traction today because he is the government version of mommy! 

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a rally demanding presidential action to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Sanders will run to Hillary Clinton's left, trying to elevate economic issues.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a rally demanding presidential action to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Sanders will run to Hillary Clinton’s left, trying to elevate economic issues.

Socialism is great until you run out of the other guy’s money , then what?

I know, you riot, and you protest the fat cat bankers and anyone else that has anything, as you can no longer get it, because they ran out of money!  That day is coming folks, the day of the Obama Handout is going to end as we are over $18 trillion in debt, and a lot of that is Obama phones and other handouts.

By the way, how much of what somebody else earned is your fair share?

No Mr. Medved, you kick their asses out when they either reach 18, or finish with college, and you love them.  You love them much more if you allow them to have some tough times or even fail, rather than if you constantly bail them out. Failure builds character because it teaches us humility, which we see so little of today.  There is this entitled mentality because of logic like yours.  That is the same logic that everyone gets a trophy!  Really?!

Rottenecards_88838122_dk6263khsw

If you teach them morality, and let them develop their character when they are young, bring them up to be self-sufficient; you will be raising them correctly.  Allowing them, or encouraging them to live at home is a mistake of biblical proportions and you Mr. Medved, who has a microphone, hence audience; really should be espousing responsible ethics and morality, instead of a freeloading relationship that so many fall into today.

119_rep

It is not good to live in your mother’s basement, play on the computer and do nothing with your life, or make excuses.  Remember this, if you are coasting, you are going downhill.  If you want this nation to stay the “greatest nation on gods green earth” reconsider some of the stuff you preach.

-Best

© All Rights reserved 2015

The Future

The Future

There are many salient words of wisdom that I could pass on to people that some might actually remember. 

In many of my writings, I do just that.

I think that one of the most germane “tips” that I could offer today is for folks to learn history.

History is cyclical.

  • The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire… Why?  What happened?
  • The rise of the Third Reich.  How did it happen?  What were the mechanism that took place during it, what happened during it and who took the fall? What changed as a result of it?
  • The Weimar republic, what happened and how did it happen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation_in_the_Weimar_Republic

I was in an office today talking with some folks and one person mentioned that she had just lost her job and found one where I was.  She was now part time but “thank god she got Obama Care!”

She went on to say that it was an HMO through Blue Cross.  She could not keep her doctor and had to use their doctors but her prescriptions were free, and her out of pocket was only $30.

My thoughts wondered to Greece as she was lamenting about not being able to keep her doctor, and how she felt that this doctor was not as good as hers.  But since it was basically free to her, she guessed that it was ok.

So what will the future look like?

When this monstrosity of a bill was passed that nobody in congress even read, business reacted by changing their employment practices.  Whatever the delimiter is between full time and part time, that is the max hours that they hire someone for.  If that means hiring twice as many folks keeping them all part time vs full time; thus dumping them all onto the health care exchange (taxpayer funded) so be it.

This is why many companies have agreed to raise minimum wage.  They don’t have to pay for health care or other benefits so they can afford to pay a little higher salary and they look like the good guys!

The employment numbers now “artificially” look good but, these are part time positions.  Some companies hire through agencies allowing them to bear the burden of insurance and regulations. They become contract positions much like “Kelly Girl.”

Other companies hire folks for just enough hours that the part time minimum wage employee, can stay on government assistance, get a stipend from the company while still qualifying for government assistance.  (TAX Dollars)

Now we have a huge percentage of the population at or under the poverty level, and each political party simply has to blame the other to create a voting base for themselves.  The narrative is that it is the other sides fault.  (It is both sides fault BTW.)

Those millions of dollars that each candidate raises is for the express purpose of manipulating you.  Each and every one of them is lilly white and all of the others are bad.  You know, throw grandma off the cliff bad!  Its all Bullshit smoke and mirrors.  

With the massive amounts of data collected, on you, they know where to scientifically play smear campaigns, and on which air time slots, during which programs to place them. for maximum effectiveness.

Swing states will be the target and Ohio will be one of the largest along with Florida!

The more that the government intervenes with its “social justice,” the more the people who bust their ass to work to get ahead, get screwed.   

Families are simply too busy being the middle class to “learn history.”  I don’t know what college teaches today, but obviously not history! 

Just what is your fair share of what someone else worked for?

There should be one price for goods and services and that is simply not the case.  If you are working, making good money, you pay much more than the person who is on welfare.  As the matter of fact, the person who stays home all day may not pay anything for the same goods and services that you pay through the nose for.

That is socialism. 

The progressive agenda that Greece is now the poster child for and why it does not work. Progressives buy votes with the middle class’s money.

The Greeks are so selfish or so misinformed that they want to continue to get free stuff, and allow, nay demand that the EU keep funding them.  They don’t know how to fish.  They have been on the government tit so long, that they are lost and somehow feel entitled to be provided for, much like your errant teenager who still lives at home after college because playing video games and sleeping half the day is much easier than getting out of bed and securing employment. Some parents enable them which is crippling them even worse!

This president is not the first to bring this country towards socialism, but he has pushed it much farther along than anyone before him by printing money and pushing social justice.

Greece is in trouble and China is now suffering from their economic policies.  What we are seeing in the news today could be the beginning of the “crash” that I have been talking about since 2012.

I hope that I am wrong.  This house of cards could topple and I am not sure what will happen if and when it does.

I suspect that some sort of financial reset may occur.  What will your retirement portfolio look like?

I would keep my eyes on what the richest people in the world are doing with their resources.

With Millions of folks crossing our southern border; most if not all adding to the already “entitled” section of our population, disaster is not too far away.

Will it be a repeat of the 20’s. 

http://www.history.com/topics/1929-stock-market-crash

The path that we are currently on is fraught with dangers.  Those who manipulate the masses, are playing Jinga with the economies of most of the world’s super-powers, knowing full well that printing money is not the answer, but yet they are all doing it.

Where do the current billionaire’s invest their money, what is in their safe?

Know history…

Most of history is not worth repeating.

By the way, entitled is a misnomer in the way it is used today. To get entitlements, that means to get something that you are entitled to!  That means that you did something to earn it!   So, I ask again….Just what is your fair share of what someone else worked for?

-Best

© All rights reserved 2015

Single point of #failure, #programming and why a #CIO is important.

Single point of #failure, #programming and why a #CIO is important.

A few weeks ago we talked about, single points of failure.  We talked about power lines and data lines having more than one place of ingress to the building.  We spoke of multiple power sources, as well as multiple data paths; much like the internet has multiple data paths. See that post for more information about hardware single points of failure.

vdi10

Today the subject closely relates to this but it is “software.”

Some companies use off-the-shelf solutions and some decide to “roll their own.”

Today we are going to look at the pros and cons of this practice.

Off the shelf:

PRO—

Ready to go with a company to back you up.

A “normal” IT guy or gal can install it and most probably support it as most of these types of software companies have classes on their software.  They offer such classes because they want their product to be successful and they most probably offer some sort of certification for it as IT folk seems to be “gaga” over certifications!

If there is a problem there is a support path.

Depending upon the complexity of the software there may be add-on-modules for your particular needs.  That translates to a cost savings of only buying what you need.

IT personnel are much less expensive than in house programmers and unlike in house software, there is an end to the expense.

Canned software is also easier to find IT people who can work with it vs some home grown software that no one has ever seen before.

Hiring your own in house programmers is like hiring a carpenter to do some project for you that charges by the hour and the project that you want him to do is ill defined.

murphy-brown-for-web

There was a show not too many years ago called Murphy Brown who had Eldon the painter in her house.  Eldon was always doing something and was in her house for the entire show doing something.  While Eldon was a bit player and supposed to be there for this part, the analogy is that she left everything up to him and he had a job for life.

You don’t want an Eldon working for you, unless you really like his company.

With off the shelf or canned software you work within its limitations.

resized_captain-kirk-meme-generator-scope-creep-fae41e

Scope Creep:

Having managed programmers in the past and reporting their progress to the president and or board, it never ceased to amaze me that someone would ask the question, what would it take to make the software do X.

The way that this works is the decision makers come up with a defined set of expectations, which allow a budget to be created.  Once that process is done, so is the definition of the project.  It is then up to the manager to manage the project and make sure that certain milestones are met and in budget.

The danger of developing things in house is that inevitably someone modifies the definition after the budget has been blessed.  If you have no “extra” built in for unforeseen events, than you have to go back to the board and beg.

You can explain it is because they wanted something else but you still come off looking bad.  You should have foreseen that they were going to ask for that and put it into the budget.  (There is a little truth to that last statement.)

With canned software, the project is much more manageable as the cost is pretty much set in stone.  Support contracts are easily budgeted for as is training of your people.

Designing in house software has more risk than payback.

Most probably you keep your staff small so if one person does this part of the project and another that part of the project and then something happens to them, well, you have a single point of failure.

Documentation of the software developed in house must be meticulously managed and like a DR plan, it must be tested! If it is not done in this manner the software becomes worthless when that developer is no longer there.

Around 10% of development time is or should be documentation time.  Documentation should contain a version number much like the rev level of the software.  Outdated documentation is worthless.

Unlike the mindset among some IT people that do not document anything, the programmer must document their software in such a way that a future programmer can pick it up and run with it.  This documentation might include things like UML diagrams and key design features. Comments in the code are nice, but are not enough.

As with any DR, there is a “living document” as it also is with code.  The documentation is a live process and must be updated as the code is developed.

Programmers certainly know the best practice techniques of this process but the CEO may not.  Some people develop self documenting code.

The old adage “Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.” Is salient, germane and just damned important!

There are no good surprises in business and if you keep with that as your mantra, you will be served well.

The Cons to off the shelf are that it is fixed.  Whatever you purchased is only as flexible as it was designed to be, “a one size fits all” solution.  For most companies this may be enough.

Most companies are generic enough that they can work with that.

Some projects are just foolish to try and roll your own as the cost will not justify the ends.

I know of one company who has someone in the upper echelon of the company that is a developer.  Instead of using canned software for such things as DNS, they wrote some scripts with pointers to a LMhost file.  Of course there was no documentation so as an engineer figuring out why there were duplicate IP addresses or why IP addresses did not match the device and so forth was a nightmare!  Wireshark to the rescue.

There are standards in the industry for a reason.

Canned software allows the CEO to get the best talent for the job and allows him a wider field to choose from.  If their set up is so unique that only a select few can manage it, he is paying way more for a system that dies when the creator of it dies or just gets upset and quits.  The golden handcuffs are than on the business owner as he must necessary play nice with his programmers.

Remember, no employee should be sacrosanct.  Everyone must necessarily be treated as expendable because of the “hit by a bus scenario.”

hit-by-bus

In house code must be tested to make certain that it is supportable by outside people.  If it is not, it should be fixed, scrapped or replaced with something that is, or is off the shelf.

Canned software?
Canned software?

This is a very important reason to have a “good CIO!”  Any good CIO has the companies’ best interests at heart and knows better to save a penny here and waste thousands there.  The CIO must be incredibly technology savvy as well as possess business acumen.

I have worked for many over the years that were one or the other or neither, but they did go to school with the president so they were buds.

Failure to plan is planning to fail!

Hire a CIO that knows his or her stuff.

If you are uncertain, hire a DR consultant to come do an audit.

The consultant, if met with truculence on the part of the IT staff, would be a good indicator that your staff know that they have bones buried.

Plan to look carefully at your software needs and if you decide to develop in-house, make sure that your CIO knows what his or her programmers are doing.

Programmers make lousy CIO’s, just like a surgeon makes a lousy GP.

If you have a belly ache and go to a surgeon for advice, what do they do?  They cut flesh.  Their first thought is to open you up and see why you hurt!

You go to a GP who takes your history and discovers that you had sushi some time back, has you checked for the helicobacter virus; a few antibiotics later you are fine and you don’t have some scar on your belly, not to mention a long recovery time.

Bad decisions in business cost money and bad decisions with your health also cost money and could cost you your life.

Programmers not only make bad CIO’s, they make bad managers. Most programmers are very myopic. They have to be to code.  When you take someone with that skill set and throw them into management, they do not have the breadth of experience necessary to handle a wide variety of issues.  I have seen too many over my career that started out as programmers and made convoluted programmatic solutions for an easy fix situation.

There was an old cartoon many years ago where there were two computers in a room.  The Secretary and the exec, both on their computer.  The IT guy played as Goofy, or a Goofy look-a-like was asked to find a way to get the file on a diskette from this computer to that one.  Goofy takes the disk, scratches his head for a second and then like a Frisbee, tossed the disk to the secretary.  K.I.S.S.

The CIO must know enough about all things IT, to know when smoke is being blown up his or her southern most orifice.  The CIO must also have enough business savvy to be able to negotiate with the CFO who has a different skill set, as well as deal the CEO and those on the board of directors.

What you don’t want is some sycophant working for you and you don’t want a control freak either.  The CIO must be very well rounded with lots of experience.

Management must not become your single point of failure.

-Best

Copyright 2014 Timedok All Rights Reserved

State of the Union & What’s Next! #thefive

With unemployment numbers at 5.8 percent and the Dow Jones closing at record highs, one has to wonder why polls show that Americans are worried about the economy.

“There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies and statistics!”

The truth about unemployment is that once you fall off of the unemployment benefits you are no longer considered unemployed, thus you are no longer part of the statistic.  If you are under employed; you are still employed and thus no longer a statistic.  If the truth was told, unemployment would be around 20%, higher in the African American community.

The racial divide in this country is mostly a fictitious agenda foisted upon us by people who stand to benefit from there being one. Much like the fabled war on women, it suited the Democratic party for there to be one, so they invented it, sold it to the American people under the precepts that men hated women and just wanted them barefoot pregnant and in the kitchen or we wanted to take away their right to vote and or drive or whatever nonsense that they could dream up!  Most any man knows that if momma isn’t happy, aint nobody happy!  “Momma” by the way can be a metaphor for “the women of the house.”

The plan worked; it helped get Obama elected to a second term and got Sandra Fluke name recognition which will be someone to watch in the future for the political arena, or to take Rosie’s place on the View, when too many people get tired of her nonsense.

I bet her parents are proud.  Really, you get on national TV and tell the world that you want taxpayers to pay for your $6 birth control pills!  I can’t get into the liberal mindset however.  California is one of the most screwed up states in the union, yet they keep electing those that are responsible!

While the war on women and racial strife propagated by this administration was to divert your attention from the “real issues of the day.” Sadly it worked.

Benghazi and our people were not protected or vindicated. Fast and Furious turned into “they acted stupidly and if I had a son!”  America was played by the ideas of Saul Alinsky in rules for radicals and “never let a crisis go to waste.”  What if you don’t have a crisis when you need one, invent one or don’t send help when it was needed.  Look, there is a video on YouTube which some might find offensive, make that a talking point with the main stream media which is full of sycophants’, all wanting a one-on-one interview with the president, or first question at the press briefing and have no journalistic integrity left what so ever!  They have traded it for ratings.

I picture Obama sitting at his desk with a bird cage in the corner, containing a bald eagle. The cage is just large enough for the eagle to barely fit. At the bottom of the cage is a journalism diploma covered in poop, and in his lap is some small dog with the head of some main stream journalist of whose diploma is in that bird cage.

No sitting president has ever weighed in on such issues and this president has been a lighting bolt for this type of activity!  His efforts to foment racial tension have actually been one of his most successful endeavors! Between him, Jessie Jackson Jr. and Good old Al, we have racial tensions at an all time high.  Mr. Sharpton is reported as owing over $4.5 million in back taxes, why is he not in jail?  Who is protecting him?

If blood is spilled over this Ferguson deal, they will all have it on their hands.  Of course if it starts looking bad for them, they will all slither off, and deny ever being there.  Kind of like Nancy Pelosi disavowing any knowledge of who Gruber is.

If you don’t know who Gruber is, you are watching or reading the wrong news.

The truth about Obama Care came out from the creator or architect of it, bragging about how stupid Americans are.  If you tell them there is a Santa Clause; they will believe you!  You can keep your doctor and health plan and it will be cheaper.  Enough people that know nothing of math believed it; and voted for the regime that created it and installed it against the will of the American people.  When they found out just how much they were lied to about that and other things well, there was a “wave” of unhappy voters.   Of course the disillusioned voters sent a message too, by simply staying home.

That has not slowed Prince Obama down though.  No, Thursday night he will announce some executive action that is well beyond his constitutional powers “and he knows it” allowing 5 million “undocumented aliens” in the country to register and work here. While the voters clearly want him to stop he is thinking that the vote was really telling him to plow ahead at full speed!

Who really wants this? Who benefits from it?

The American people don’t want it.  Even after all of the spin the liberal media has done, most Americans don’t think that this is a good idea. At least they are thinking… except of course for the 14% who had no opinion!  14 percent of you have no opinion?  What color is the sky in the world that you are living in?

How do you think that someone comes up with a billion dollars to use in a campaign?

We already have a high number of unemployed Americans in this country.  Because of Obamacare, companies are trying to skirt the law and hire more part time folks than full time.  If you bring in 5 million more people, who need jobs, into this economy; you now create more competition for the few jobs that are here already.

With that many more “workers” you have people who have had a tough life and lived in shanty towns, so to speak, and will do it again putting many families in single family dwellings where Americans are used to going to college, getting a decent job and moving out of mom and dad’s house, into an apartment or buying their own place.  These kids are returning home living in the room that they grew up in!  Mom and dad are supporting them again and don’t even get the puny tax break, which was something!

Not only do you have more competition for the jobs out there but, you know that these folks will get government assistance; their kids will need schooling which the taxpayers will pay for.  They will need housing which I can bet the taxpayers will subsidize and medical assistance which may be simply to overwhelm the emergency rooms of this country.

His plan will act like a magnet to other countries who know that the border is not only porous but, we pick you up and give you a ride to the processing center!

  • How many people can the country absorb?
  • How many cheap workers do companies need to be competitive?
  • How many of these do the Democrats hope to turn into voters?
  • Will the voter ID laws become a hot topic in 18 months or so?
  • What happens to the Americans who pay taxes who can’t find a job?
  • How much debt is too much before we default?
  • At what point Mr. Gruber, will this country fold as our money will become worthless?  How much money can you print before we use it to wipe our backsides with it, as we can’t afford toilette paper!? Well Mr MIT smart guy?

Americans are not stupid by the way…

We have all we can do to make the rent each month, pay for groceries and keep the kids in shoes.  We are currently experiencing a small reprieve from gasoline prices; although I have noticed that those prices are going back up as we get close to thanksgiving.

We send people to Washington to represent us so we can pay attention to the things that matter to us; family, friends and taking care of our own.  While we are generous to a fault, to steal from our kids and their kids, to serve some hidden agenda; is reprehensible.  Your Actions Mr Gruber and Mr prince Obama, have consequences.

There are companies out there who utilize unemployment benefits to keep their employees viable during down time in the economy.  They furlough them while orders are slow and then bring them back after there is a backlog of work.  These are not small companies by the way, these are giants in the industry, hidden under some sub company of the giant.

There are companies who hire folks on SSI or welfare, to work one or two days a week being careful not to give them enough hours or money that their employees loose their “taxpayer subsidized form of living.”   These companies have egregious hiring practices and get away with it!

There are more companies who take on contract workers who “work” for another company that is in the business of supplying cheap labor.  All of this to keep the number of FTE’s under the magic number of 50.

Then there is retail:

They hire many people part time, promise them that after they have been there a while that they see management potential in them and they will be full time!  This story is repeated time after time after time.  Yes, they get them to work like dogs and pay them minimum wage.  When they have their fill of being treated like crap, they move on and there are a dozen more waiting to take their place.  After we get 5 million more “legal to work aliens” in the country, do you really think it will help this?!  It will be great for the retail giants who need Spanish speaking sales clerks or people to work in the warehouse.

 So here is how it will work:

You have to be the “best of the best” to get a decent job in this country that has any benefits and pay to it. Or, you have to “know” someone.

You can get on the government tit and get your free Obama phone, and government subsidized food and health care until that runs out in two more years; or until the country goes bankrupt.  You have to be impoverished which I know of people who have purposefully impoverished themselves, to get into the system.

You can get two or three part time jobs, getting about 20 hours a week from each job and maybe make enough to get a cheap apartment, take public transportation or walk and live “survive” frugally!

You get on the government tit, and work at jobs where you are payed in cash so there is no paper trail anywhere.  As far as the “system is concerned” you don’t make any money and are living on the few hundred a month that they give you.  It never dawns on them to look and see that your style of living is much better than what it should be.

You can become an inventor and invent something that no one else has thought of, except… it cost tens of thousands of dollars to protect your idea, just in this country; never mind each and every other country in the world where major corporations have some business in that country and can do with your idea as they wish; and they have the means to tie up the case in courts for eons.

You can become an entrepreneur.  Start your own business and compete with the big boys.

You can hope and argue against the legalization of drugs and become a drug dealer.  There is a huge demand for successful dealers and the margins are great!  You can even sample the product and sell your client a little light, they will hopefully never know.

Of course, a slow pay client could cost you your life but, when you deal with an unregulated group of businessmen, what do you expect?

I understand that Chicago and Detroit have some good areas for training in how to do this; the competition however will kill for their clients.  If you get killed there, you truly become a statistic.  It will never be investigated.

As more and more people become desperate, more and more criminal activity will take place leading to jobs that might be around for a while.

You can become the MAN!  You can work for the people that arrest drug dealers, and put them behind bars!  That too has its risk as “the man” has little respect in this community.

You can become a jailer, working with the criminal element on a daily basis, being rest assured that there will always be an abundant supply of “product.”

What are the answers?

Jobs to shoot for in trades would be plumber, air conditioning heating, electrician and automobile mechanic or airline mechanic.  These folks make good money and will always have work, if they have any ethics and or honor.

A military career might look promising, if you don’t mind being told what to do, and when to do it, having little or no say so about it.   There is travel involved, and you do get to work in a team environment.  Currently there is no shortage of supply, so you need to be a college grad to qualify as cannon fodder.

IT jobs are being farmed out faster than they can be created.  India, the Philippines, and anywhere but here, are where programming and engineering jobs are going.

With tens of thousand of IT folks out of work, the government still allows thousands of H1-B workers in the country each year.  If you ever go to a career fair for IT folks you will see thousands of applicants for a half dozen jobs.  Somewhere in there a company that farms out IT jobs to such countries as India will come in and negotiate a deal with those companies and money talks!  A DBA could easily get a $100K a year.  That can be farmed out for a third that, and the “farmer” can still make money!

There are companies out there that you can request a bid on some piece of software that you need developed. They in turn act like the GC on a job, and get it done for you in some corner of the world at a competitive cost and yes; there is enough in it that they make money acting as the PM and go between.

IT support or customer service is demanding but, requires someone with good communication skills and customer service skills.  If you settle for cheap you get a reputation like HP had for years.  Companies are still working this issue as people in the Philippines are getting better than Peggy in Russia or Kim in India.

Factory jobs too are being farmed out to countries that have horrible human rights issues and no concern for the environment.  While we have a president who has stopped the coal industry and hurt many workers and caused our energy prices to sky rocket, that same coal that is so dangerous here is being sold to, you guessed it, China and other third world countries that have no tree huggers, no Sierra Club and no EPA.  Magically, all of this global warming talk has nothing to do with selling coal to countries that could care less about pollution.  Obama must think that the polluted air and green house gasses in China, stay in China!

The obvious choice for anyone with a brain is anything medical.  Keep in mind that they are lowering the standards for doctors and nurses so you truly can be tomorrow’s “worst doctor,” and still get called doctor!  With millions of new people being dumped into an already over utilized system, medical professionals will be in high demand!  If you have a penchant to play god, (most doctors that I have worked with felt as if they were gods,) this field might be for you.  Nurse or medical technician or dentistry is a field worth looking into as well.

I fear that this has been in the works for sometime as they have been working on reforming law suites regarding mal practice for years.  Tomorrow; when you go to the worst doctor in the world, and he screws you up, you won’t be able to sue him.

Here is a billion dollar idea!

I have always felt that owning a tattoo removal shop would be a burgeoning business.  You could actually have both, have one shop where they put the tattoos on, and another in an upscale part of town where they can be removed!  You could even sell insurance that if you got the tattoo and later decided that you did not like it, or changed your mind, you could go to the other shop and get it removed, for free; if you kept up your modest yearly insurance fee.  You could make a deal with other tattoo shops to sell your insurance for you, and they get a commission for selling it!  You get the yearly renewals.

The insurance would be “per tattoo” and underwritten by the size, colors used, type of skin and whatever other technicality that that industry could think of.

People are mutilating themselves in wholesale fashion so maybe even offer a clinic where this type of thing can be “undone.”  Plastic surgery could have a whole new line of business besides boobs, butts, and tummy tucks!

Salesman is a vocation that requires good people skills, and communication skills.  If you are good, you can make a nice living.  Being a sales person would require that people can afford to buy what you are selling.

There are always government jobs.   The IRS is going to need a lot of new folks to administer Obama care so this is a place to apply to today!

And lastly for this diatribe, you could be a politician!  It requires the ability to act and have little or no scruples. Most politicians were once lawyers.  Most doctors and lawyers deserve every joke that has ever been written about them.

I used to do field service.  During that time I dealt with lots of both!  I dealt with some of the most famous doctors you would ever want to know, as well as some of the most notorious lawyers that you might want representing you, if you had screwed up.

To me that was always a “tell” as to if the guy was innocent or guilty.  Take OJ Simpson for instance.  He had the dream team and he got off!  Why did he need the dream team if he were truly innocent?

I once had a lawyer confide in me that it was easier for him to get you off, if he knew that you were guilty than if you were innocent.  This was a very high profile attorney which If I mentioned his name you would know it.   Between the OJ Simpson trial and that statement, I lost a lot of respect for the “system.”  It was truly “justice” is for those that can afford it.  Justice of course not being truly about what justice is, actually quite the opposite.

I had another lawyer who met me at the door who was totally apoplectic!  He looked as though you might expect a rabid dog to look before it bit your head off!  He had never met me before but he wanted to scare me into believing that he was all kinds of bad and I had better do my best for him!  They sent me in to deal with customers who were pissed off by someone else, as I could “fix things.”  I could make nice with the customer and fix things!  I stood there and let him rant for over 5 minutes, I took out a notepad and acted as though I were making notes while he quite literally spit on me, while he was expounding his thoughts about my company, our product and where he thought that our company rated.  After he started winding down as he was not getting the desired response from me, I asked him point blank; “are you finished?”

His demeanor changed immediately, he had been acting as I suspected.  He actually reached up and wiped some of his spittle off my face and then, we went about taking care of his problems.  Another such lawyer, a woman, pretty much gave me the same treatment. She told me flat out that she was a bitch!  If I did not “fix” things, she would be my worst nightmare!  I extended my hand and she was taken aback at first, and then took mine.  As we shook hands, I told her how much I appreciated her sincere honesty!

A smile broke out on her face and from that moment on, I was the only guy that was permitted in her office from my company. For the rest of my years with that company I looked forward to working with her, as she me.

This is where politicians come from. Reagan was the consummate politician, as he was a good actor! Now if we could find another actor with some scruples; that might be a good candidate!  Morgan Freeman would make a good president.  He has many believing every week that he knows something about physics! Besides, I really like his voice?  Have you ever noticed that when you read something that they wrote you read it in their voice?  I Digress…

So, what’s next and why is Obama rushing this immigration stuff?

The last thing on his agenda, probably one of his last promises to those that put him in office or who control him now, is climate change!

Why, does he care about green house gas?  Does he really know anything about it?  If he can make something happen who would benefit from it?

In order for someone to benefit financially, someone has to spend money.  Al Gore has lost most credibility but they may drag him out again to see if he can convince you that there are no more polar bears and all the penguins are turning into BBQ.  Who knows what crazy crap they will come up with and what Pelosi or Reid will say?  One lies and the other one swears to it.

Here is the problem and the reason for the rush on immigration.  What he is doing is illegal.  The republicans are going to have to spend a lot of time and juice in chipping away at Obama Care and they are going to have to spend a lot of time dealing with his immigration antics which will leave him time to further is final agenda.  During this same time there is an election in which the Republicans are going to try and get a candidate into office.  The main stream media will spend their time excoriating the republicans at each and every chance and we know that they have a little less than half the country watching them.  Fox will continue to try and keep up however there are a lot of things in the air which is what this administration wants.  And let’s not forget about the Middle East and any disruptions and or killings there.  If there are too many targets, it all turns into noise; and the public tunes out.  Football or any other type of sport wins out and American Looses!

Never waste a Crisis…!

The bottom line to this last 6 years and future 2 years will be higher energy prices, and people like Warren Buffett getting at least 7 years of hauling tar sands and oil and what have you on his railroad.  They may even use his rail road to haul parts for the pipeline!

The Keystone will pass early next year and many of the workers will most probably be immigrants from you guessed it, tomorrow’s executive order.  So instead of Americans getting a decent salary, they will use Mexicans as slaves, and put them on jobs paying them less than what they would have to pay the 46,000 Americans.

Republicans will have their hands full creating legislation for Barack Obama to Veto as they will be fully engaged in making the Democrats look bad “like they would have to try,” so Hillary won’t have a chance.  They will try and stop Obama and like I said, chip away at the things that he has created but, basically nothing will get accomplished of any consequence as remember, politics is all about raising money and campaigning!

The damage from this administration will take years to undo.  There is going to be $20,000,000,000,000.00 of debt and this administration is responsible for half of it! When the president took office the national debt was $10.6 T.

Obama will have fundamentally transformed America. The next President will have one hell of a job on his or her hands.  There is no telling where this President and his wife will retire, but my bet would be Dubai. Once there he can try to be a king or at least prince, as he will have experience!

Don’t agree? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it. Just keep it clean if you want a response.

-Best

Single Point of Failure

One of my recent clients was desiging their data center and during the process of doing so, the CEO had read one of my blogs and called me in to look things over.

It is sometimes awkward for me to go into someone else’s shop and poke around as the relationship between their staff and I, sometimes is seems tenuous, if not adversarial.  Not on my part mind you; I am there to help.  “I fix things,” that is what I do.  I do ask a lot of “why questions.” which I think starts the ball rolling.

1d3c57278e64cbc3_FF_501_1432.previewgordon-ramsay-32093

The resident staff however is the expert that their boss trusts, so they “the CEO” go along blissfully ignorant of their exposures because he or she “the CEO” is not an IT person.  The resident IT people usually don’t encourage an outside person to come in “such as myself,” because of two reasons.  I think first and foremost, it is an ego thing.  They are the best at what they do and if you don’t believe them, just ask them.  Secondly, they don’t want their boss to find out just how bad things are. Or possibly their staff has no clue just how tenuous the situation really is.

wrong4wires_A_Server_Room_Nightmaretitanic_sinking

If you see any of this this in your data center or wiring closets , you need some help.

When I was working as a Manager, or Director of same, I always welcomed this kind of assistance and frequently brought it in as often times we get mired in the woods; and cannot see the forest for the trees.  I know that this is oversimplified but as a manager, I always tried to hire people as smart, if not smarter than myself.  As a manager, one gets tied up in the day to day business of the company, as well as the technology; and often times do not see what is in front of them, or, can even loos their objectivity.

If you decide to bring in someone like myself, your staff needs a heads up.  They need to be told to make themselves available.  They need to know that this person is there because you requested it, are paying for it, and expect them to work with this person as needed. This understanding up front, saves you money.

When planning a move to a new building; one can go in and design and install everything correctly the first time, much more cost effectively than going back in and re-do things later.

right 1

Notice the nice manner in how the cables are dressed and notice the Velcro cable ties on not “zip ties.”

Why not Zip Ties you asked?

fire-damage

Poor cable management and “zip ties” lead to this.  This could cost you your entire company.  

This is the charred remains of someone’s data center.

Having said that, during a data center design one of the things that is often overlooked are single points of failures (SPOF).  When designing a data center, one builds redundancy into their infrastructure as to avoid a downtime, or a total shut down.  Few people truly understand soft dollars; and how the loss of productivity effects the bottom line.

vdi10

Most everyone knows of raid, redundant switches, vmware, the cloud,  and this is about where it stops.

vmware-logoimage-cloud-computing

What about an alternate path to get data in and out of your building?  What about an alternate path or source for power?

One of my clients, (a law firm) lost power due to construction in the street below.  The UPS only held their servers up for 30 minutes or so and they had no UPS’s on workstations.  Guess what, the courts do not care if you can or can’t get to your files, your problem, not theirs! If you cannot feasibly get power to your data center from an alternate location, you have a generator or a warm site.

Backup_Generator

In their case the power took several days to get back online.  The elevators of course were not working so they had to physically remove and re-install their servers in another location trucking them down the emergency stairwell.

Failure to plan is planning to fail!

The same is true of your data lines.  Generally one installs two trunks diametrically opposite of the other on either corners or sides of the building.  If that is not feasible you look at RF links.  Yes they are slower than fiber but slower is better than nothing.

Your individual needs will dictate your level of redundancy needed.

During the design of your data center, each and every risk must be defined and be part of the risk assessment.  During a move, a site selection team must evaluate all sorts of factors regarding your data center before the lease is signed, or the building is purchased or even built, if you are going to go that way.

GreenGeeks-Data-Center10510370-the-fm200-fire-suppression-system

Data Centers large or small all should have the basic fundamentals covered.  It is your company after all.

One of my clients had me travel around with their folks to look over prospective sites.  They were a little edgy with their people that they had doing this so hiring me to go do this with them hedged their bet.  When I arrived at the first location they were ready to sign the lease.  They were not happy when I discovered that the ceiling was loaded with asbestos.  The extra cost to get someone that was certified to run cable in such an environment was over the top, not to mention that it was in an earthquake prone part of California.  There is a reason that the lease was “cheap.”  On another site the cable plant had been added to as the previous tenant grew.  They has spliced wires in the ceiling, which you just don’t do.  Some of these had been spliced to cat 3 wires.  I can well imagine what the data throughput looked like and the error rate that those persons suffered.

We start with the basics: power, voice/data, air handling.  We look at the hardware required for all of this. We calculate the power requirements and the amount of air-conditioning needed.  What about a redundant air conditioner?  How about fire suppression?  I like to install dust filtration systems, as this investment will extend the life of your equipment.  How about remote monitoring of your data center. What about security both physical and well as data?

SML-CHASSIS-4

We look at risk factors, where is it geographically?  What historic data can we find on that area regarding disasters?  I also look at permit cost, union involvement cost etc. I work with the architect and GC to make certain that all of the I’s are dotted and T’s crossed.

In 35 years of doing this I have never had a “good surprise” and my goal is to keep the customer from having a bad one.

One thing that I recommend is a sensor that “sniffs for smoke.”  This sensor triggers an emergency shut down of the UPS if smoke is detected.  Why on earth would I want to do this?

detection-smoke1

“Where there is smoke there is fire.”

Maybe, maybe not however; this equipment runs 24X7 and 2/3 of that time is unattended.  Generally, poor cable management which I see in more data centers than not, is the cause for smoke and fire.  This sensor shutting the power off to the data center stops the fire in its tracks as it generally will start smoking before actually catching fire.  This sensor hooks up to the big red button and serves as the emergency shut down if smoke is detected.  It can also be wired to the building security systems and  trigger a call to the fire department as well as sound alarms so people can get out of the building.

A lot of data centers use the cheapest fire suppression techniques out there “again designed by a neophyte.”  So, a cable rubs raw, starts smoking, catches on fire and the suppression system is activated. Water… Water and electronics do not mix.  You now have your entire data center ruined because your “people” were lazy and failed to properly dress the cables and you did not have a modern fire suppression system.  The smoke sniffer is the next best thing.  Stops the fire before the water starts.

fire-suppression-systems

The devil is in the details, and brother there are tons of details.  As part of a DR; we cover as many as we can find. Once we think we have it, we hire an outside technical staff to re-create your data center in an offsite location, with your run-book, documentation and backups.  We give them everything that we “think” they should need and then we sit back and take notes.  You’re CIO and I watch, and take notes.  We get them the answers that they need, note them, and then move on until it either works or fails.  If it fails, we do a root cause analysis, take corrective action and try it again.

Sungard

Yes, this is a shameless plug for Sungard. 

DR plans generally do not work the first time.  There are way too many details to catch them all but, as they do their thing and they hit a stopping point, we find the answer, make notes and then let them proceed until they get everything working as we expect it to be.  Then we have a Skeleton crew come in and try to work. We make notes of everything that they run into, fix what we can through the rent a geeks, and press on.

Part of the process is to determine what an acceptable down time is and that can even be broken down into individual systems.  “Payroll before sales?”

After that, we go back and alter the run book, provide more software or whatever was needed and then we get another team of rent geeks and do it again.  Same process until we get it to such a point that the rent a geek can draw on their own knowledge to fill in any holes.

An inventory of the skill set necessary for the geeks is yet another bit on information to document.

Having a disaster recovery plan, like a data backup strategy; is only as good as your last successful test.  Once you have a successful test, it is incumbent upon your people to devise a scheme to keep it updated. I do this through a process called change management.

Is this your disaster recovery plan?

dilbert

We use rent a geeks as we must assume that your staff has all been part of the disaster.  If we can make it work with technical people that you can hire from your VAR then, if there is a disaster and your staff was not involved in the disaster, your chances of a successful recovery are very high.

If you look at my other blogs regarding information technology, there is plenty of good advice out there.  If you are in need of a DR plan or someone to assist your technical team get through a migration, a move or what have you; I have over 35 years of experience, and a valid passport. I speak English with a smattering of Geek.. 🙂

Big Bang Theory cast w logo

Yes, if these were real people and not actors, I could converse with them easily, I actually know what a Higgs-Bosson is

!higgs-simulation-3

Artist idea of what it would look like.

If you are moving and need a data center designed in the new location that is probably one of the least expensive things that I do; assuming that your documentation is up to snuff.  The size of your company and time frame will determine the scope of work (SOW,) and if I will need more than myself to accomplish the task. I work with some fine people here in the DFW area, and they too can travel.  If you have a relation with a VAR already, I can work with them.  I must admit that I will evaluate them on your behalf, as I do not believe in wasting your money or my time.

My character closely matches this guy although, I am easier going and my vernacular is well suited for all people, most of the time.

Gordon_Ramsay

There is plenty of good advice here on my site, so feel free to peruse and glean what you may.  I do reserve all rights to the information contained herein, so please do not copy or disseminate without permission.  Thanks!

-Best

c All rights reserved 2014