Google to Google routing could be better

fiber_houseLike many Triangle residents, I’ve been eagerly awaiting Google Fiber service, ready to ditch my indentured servitude to Time Warner Cable. I’m a fairly advanced geek, too, hosting this site and others on Amazon Web Services. I want my website to be as speedy as possible to me and my web visitors, so low network latency is very important. For those who aren’t advanced geeks, network latency is how long it takes for a packet to travel between two points on a network, usually measured in milliseconds. Networking often hits upon the limitation of the speed of light (or radio propagation, depending on the medium), meaning a server located far away (like Singapore) will have a noticeable delay for visitors in America.

My Amazon virtual server is physically located in Ashburn, Virginia but due to some favorable network routing it responds very quickly in the Triangle area, almost as if it were right across town. I have found it very hard to find a server that’s any closer, network-wise.
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Boost of civic energy

No sooner had I written my previous post that I got a boost of civic energy, this one from attending Monday night’s East CAC meeting. It had been a long while since I had been to a meeting, with my involvement in the Ligon PTA taking up much of my free time as well as other things like Friends of Dorothea Dix Park.

Monday’s meeting featured information on the purchase of Gateway Plaza, right outside of my neighborhood, so it provided a compelling reason to be there. There wasn’t much information provided but seeing many of my friends and neighbors there after such a long time was really fun. The same boost of energy I always got when conducting East CAC meetings was still there. My neighborhood inspires me! It’s good to know I can always come back.
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Looking California, feeling Minnesota?

In a departmental meeting last week a look around the room brought on a revelation: I was the only one present who was propping his head up with his hand. I realized that I do this all the time and yet I rarely see anyone else doing it. Why is this? Isn’t anyone as tired all the time as I am?

When I was younger I always knew that age would bring with it its own aches and pains. I just didn’t realize they would hit me all at once! The past two years have seen my energy drain more rapidly than I expected or, frankly, consider normal. It’s astonishing and frightening at the same time.

I am in need of naps far more frequently than I used to be. I have challenges putting faces to names out of context. I often wake up tired from the get-go. I’ve found myself more reluctant to join in conversation. I frequently pay an unexpected price for physical efforts. Everything seems so much goddamn harder now.

I am concerned that the things that my declining health is jeopardizing my life goals.
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VA Pregnenolone study

For 12 weeks beginning in February, I participated in a VA-funded research study on using pregnenolone to address the effects of Gulf War Illness. Every week I would check in with a research associate, either in person or by phone, and answer a series of questions regarding my health and mental faculties. It involved driving to the Durham VA Medical Center about every other week for bloodwork and cognitive testing. I would also often return with a dose of pregnenolone for that week.

The cognitive tests were challenging and the worst part of the study. Bloodwork by comparison was a breeze, but when asked to study images of shapes and mentally rearrange them or to recall a varying, long list of fruits and vegetables I would begin to sweat. I hated those tests especially.
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Corroded wire led to Rachel Rosoff’s death

rachel_rosoff-facebook-profile

Wake County Inspectors released their report on what caused the pool at Heritage Point to become electrically charged, killing lifeguard and Enloe High senior Rachel Rosoff on Saturday, 3 September. I’ve perused the report [PDF] and it appears that the pool pump shorted out for some reason (age? damage? No one knows). This wouldn’t ordinarily be a problem but the grounded conductor which normally protects from such faults had become so corroded over time that it no longer completed the circuit.

There’s no telling how long ago the corroded ground wire had stopped protecting the pool equipment. Once the motor failed there was no other place for the electricity to flow but into the pool.

Was there negligence? It appears not. The pool’s electrical system was up to the 1978 NEC Electrical code it was built under. So what else might be done? Perhaps pool owners (or county inspectors) could test the grounds on other pools on a regular basis to ensure everything is working properly. I’m sure many are already considering this.

N&O publisher: Sara Glines of Gannett succeeds Orage Quarles | News & Observer

Sara Glines takes over as publisher of the N&O today. This is the same Sara Glines who in the past prohibited swearing in her newsrooms:

From: Sara Glines
Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 4:11 PM
Subject: Appropriate office speak
To: PA-YorkDailyRecord, PA-YorkNewspaperCompany, PA-LebanonDailyNews, PA-PublicOpinionNews, PA-EveningSun, Teresa Hoover, Allison Roth-Cooper

I’ve heard some troubling conversations recently, so I want to remind all employees that cursing is not appropriate in the work environment.

It’s not appropriate in the office and it’s not appropriate when you are representing us elsewhere.

Ms. Glines does realize she’s in the news business, right? Perhaps she should know that the happiest employees are the ones with the greatest autonomy.

RALEIGH – A veteran publishing executive who also has worked extensively on the news side of the business has been named the new president and publisher of The News & Observer.

Sara Glines is joining The News & Observer from the Gannett newspaper chain, where she was president of the Atlantic Group, overseeing eight daily newspapers plus non-dailies in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Source: N&O publisher: Sara Glines of Gannett succeeds Orage Quarles | News & Observer

Twenty years after Hurricane Fran

Last Monday was the twentieth anniversary of Hurricane Fran. I’ve written a lot about Fran here on MT.Net so I won’t geeze and do it again now. I will say, though, how much Raleigh has changed since Fran, and that I’m struck by how many people now living here have no memory of Fran because they weren’t here.

For those of us who were here, though, it will be something we never forget.