09/22/19

BRC — The Website Troubles

About a month ago, the BRC website was hacked. I first noticed it because my Amazon Web Services “instance” (the hosting arrangement) kept cutting out for excess CPU usage. At the time, I knew nothing about it and hadn’t put any analytics on the site.

To fix this, I had to dig into AWS, close down the instance, and restart the instance. When the hack was in play, load times on my site were measured in weeks. Still, I had great traffic for most of the day.

The AWS solution was to buy more CPU capacity, but something didn’t look right. I wiggled into the analytics and found out it was happening between 1-4 AM and that the CPU usage was rocketing right up. Still, AWS said, “Uhh, buy more CPU and it will handle the problem.”

I hired a guru through UpWork to look at it and he said, “Every night between 1-4 AM, bad actors are snatching your website and using it to host nefarious things.”

We made some changes and it got better by pieces. Still, AWS said, “Buy some more CPU, you rusty bucket of bolts.”

It took about three weeks and the consultant re-worked a bunch of things — server side things. Then, he noted that my site was SLOW.

I used GTMetrix to monitor my site and agreed. If you know GTMetrix, you will gag when I tell you that my PageSpeed Score was F- and my YSlow Score was also F-. My site was taking about 16 seconds to load.

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09/20/19

Living Large

Imagine if you were this beautiful sleeping baby. [Hey, I said imagine. Try it.] Full disclosure this is My Perfect Granddaughter Tempe — faith, hope, charity, temperance, it’s a Southern thing.

Her Mimi is a Tempe and there are a lot of Tempes on the various branches of that family tree. This particular Tempe is what is called a “spirited” child with a lovely bubbly personality. She is perfect.

You are allergic to eggs (Momma carries the EpiPen with her) and thus you have never tasted pancakes, French toast, a hot dog bun (though you are strong on hot dogs), a blueberry muffin, pizza, spaghetti, or a croissant. You may let the list go where it feels like it needs to go.

Now, imagine that you just found out you are still allergic to scrambled eggs, but you can now eat cooked eggs — see the list above.

In the next few days, this baby will come face to face with her first pizza. She will eat pancakes and French toast. Spaghetti with croissants.

Isn’t life grand? Just imagine the moment at which you discovered the grandeur of pizza! The nobility, the deliciousness, its intelligence expanding quality. Wow!

Is this a great country or what?

 

 

09/20/19

The American Presidency

No man, with the possible exception of General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower, has ever been ready to become President of the United States on day one.

The job is bigger than any man, more complex than any man’s experience, throws him into a malestrom of competing voices and opinions while uniquely challenging its holder to make life-and-death decisions beginning day one. Looking at that sentence, I believe that Ike was ready to go right after the Inauguration.

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09/19/19

Nancy Pelosi v Jerry Nadler — Just Trying To Help

Pssst, dear reader. I find myself in an awkward place today. I have been asked to mediate between Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jerry Nadler. They had a dustup at the Dem Caucus yesterday.

They just arrived in my office and they are really pissed off. Oh boy!

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09/19/19

Amazon Hiring

Big Red Car here on a rainy day along the Houston coast. They are saying Houston might get TWO FEET of rain. Wow!

So, Amazon has been holding a hiring extravaganza. They held a multi-city job fair on 17 September 2019 in Arlington, Boston, Nashville, Dallas, Chicago, and Seattle. This is where the job fair is being held, but the jobs are all over the country.

Young lady pointed out to me that the “a” and the “z” on the logo are connected by the arrow ’cause Amazon will sell you whatever the heck you want from A >>>> Z. OK?

You will note that they did not hold a job fair in Long Island City because the local Dem politicians ran Amazon and its proposed HQ2 off. That ended up with places like Austin By God Texas and the places noted above getting more of the hiring tasking.

You may credit the savant Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for that move. Well played, AOC. Who needs those stinking jobs, eh?

Yeah, I did that. Ran off those 25,000 Long Island City Amazon jobs. Me. Green New Deal rules! (Notice I have my “smart girl” glasses on.)

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09/17/19

Iran, Curious, Provocative Iran

The Middle East is on the verge of an explosion precipitated by a spiral of Iranian provocative behavior. Your Big Red Car would like to calmly discuss what has transpired to bring the world to this point. We need to know the history of the region and Iran.

In 1979, the Shah of Iran — an American ally of some long standing — fled and the resulting leadership void was filled by the Ayatollah Khomeini, a religious exile of some fifteen years. The son of a religious scholar, the Shiite cleric was said to have memorized the Qur’an as a youth.

The Shah — Mohammed Reza of the family of Pahlavi — had been put into power in 1941 by the Russians and the British (when they attacked and seized Iran in World War II to safeguard supply lines to Russia) and was considered to have been only the second “modern” Shah. As Shah, Reza was pro-Western. He spoke English, French, German, and Persian (Farsi), but was at his core a playboy.

Reza, as Shah, launched the White Revolution in the mid-1960s. His advancement of the Iranian culture was extraordinary as was the growth of the standard of living amongst the Iranian people and womens’ rights. It is important to note that the Shah “reigned” and, ultimately, “ruled.” The big driver was oil wealth of gargantuan proportions. In many ways, he was ahead of his time in the westernization of Iran.

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09/16/19

Ooops, I Forgot! Sorry, That Will Cost $92.5MM

The story of how Vintage Capital Management, a private equity firm, “forgot” to send a letter that cost them $92.5MM makes YOUR story about what happened when you forgot the 2% organic milk sound petty and minuscule by comparison. Allow me to expound on this.

You’re at your weekly writer’s critique group reading, critiquing, making pithy comments, and you receive a text from your beloved.

“Can you please pick up some milk on the way home? We’re out. Thank you, sweetie.”

You read the text and dismiss it, well, because you were getting a critique on your latest literary masterpiece and that understandably consumes your entire bandwidth.

When you get home, your beloved asks, “Did you get the milk?”

[Seeing you empty handed, she does not use the nominative of address of “dumbass” because she is a Southern woman of considerable breeding and refinement. But, let’s admit it — she is tempted.]

“What milk?” you reply, as you slap your forehead, thereby dislodging and rebooting your brain.

Though it is ten in the PM and you desperately want to watch the latest Jack Ryan episode, you hop into your SUV, drive to the half-mile away, all-night grocery (listening to the Bruce Springsteen E Street Band Sirius channel), and pick up a gallon of two percent, organic milk. You do not buy any other kind of milk because in your household “milk” means two percent, organic.

That is what happens when you inadvertently “forget” to do something.

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