the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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215/365: Know Your Chicken

215/365: Know Your Chicken

I hadn't even been thinking of all the Chik-fil-A hubbub when I shot this earlier today at Sittoo's, a friendly little Lebanese place not too far from work, but in retrospect, the timing is pretty good. I've been boycotting Chik-fil-A for quite some time now, ever since I learned about how they helped fund the passage of Prop 8 in California--and doubly so since the discovery of my daughter's peanut allergies (they cook in peanut oil)--so I'm really amused to see the whole thing blowing up so much this week. It's fascinating to see how the simmering discontent with their social policies has suddenly hit an inflection point and is now Officially A Thing.

I don't know what Sittoo's politics are, but at least their food tastes a lot better, and it seems unlikely that they'll use my money against my friends any time soon.

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The Morning After

The Morning After

I woke up to the news of the horriffic shooting at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. A showing that I had considered attending, since it was practically walking distance from the hotel where I spent the night after my arrival in Denver, but decided against due to the travel and time difference. I heard all the sirens shortly before going to bed and knew something wasn't good. Turns out I was more right than I thought.

On the plus side, jet lag may have saved my life. So there's that.

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All Your Personal Data Are Belong to AT&T;

Pursuant to this article about AT&T;'s new privacy policies, it may be in your best interests to watch whatever you say if over the phone, or in fact to not have phone service of any kind.

From the article:

The new policy says that AT&T; -- not customers -- owns customers' confidential info and can use it "to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."

The policy also indicates that AT&T; will track the viewing habits of customers of its new video service -- something that cable and satellite providers are prohibited from doing.

Moreover, AT&T; (formerly known as SBC) is requiring customers to agree to its updated privacy policy as a condition for service -- a new move that legal experts say will reduce customers' recourse for any future data sharing with government authorities or others.


AT&T;'s new and former privacy policies both state that "conducting business ethically and ensuring privacy is critical to maintaining the public's trust and achieving success in a dynamic and competitive business climate."

Both also state that "privacy responsibility" extends "to the privacy of conversations and to the flow of information in data form." As such, both say that "the trust of our customers necessitates vigilant, responsible privacy protections."

The 2004 policy, though, went one step further. It said AT&T; realizes "that privacy is an important issue for our customers and members."

The new policy makes no such acknowledgment.

I for one welcome our new Orwellian older sibling overlords! USA! USA!

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V-V Day (Victory Over Valentines)

Well! Another February 14 draws to a close, and (luckily, thankfully) it's been a very, very good one thus far.

On the work front: we weathered the storm with aplomb, our site never faltering under the onslaught of the greetings industry's biggest day, while our competitors dropped like flies. W00t! A side benefit of today's success is that David Stanek and I won't look like idiots at PyCon next week when we promote the idea that Python plays nicely in the enterprise; the metaphorical egg is nowhere even close to our faces, and that's a great feeling.

I wasn't assigned to any particular monitoring shift today, so I had a few hours to tinker... and ended up cobbling together some Twisted magic to create an HTTP-to-AIM/IRC bot that would allow us to plug our monitoring scripts directly into our internal chatrooms. I had to fix a bug in Twisted's Oscar library (for talking with AIM) in order to get it to work; hopefully the maintainer will accept my (very) simple patch. It's working out well so far, so I think that as I get the chance, I'll be cleaning it up and extending it to provide all kinds of other functionality for us. It should be pretty cool.

Meanwhile! Liz demonstrates her thorough and complete awesomeness yet again: first by dragging me to last night's Spanish wine dinner at Mallorca, second by hooking me up with tasty Christmas ale and insanely good chocolates, third by picking up takeout dinner from Moosehead (mmm, wild buffalo rolls...), fourth for making sure I stay up to date on Dick Cheney's Bogus Journey, and, above all else, for putting up with my deranged little self. This woman has the patience of a saint, not to mention smarts galore, and dare I say it--mad hotness!

Now the trick will be to get back into a normal rhythm after all the craziness...

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Pump You Up

Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.

The little dashboard light came on this morning to complain about fuel, so I was off to the pump for the most expensive tank of gas of my life thus far, more than twice as much as I was paying a year ago. A small price to pay, though, as I at least still have a home, a job, and a city.

Still, I wish I had filled up the other morning when it was still below $3 per gallon, though I'm sure I did better by filling up now than by waiting until after the weekend; it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Can't seem to tear myself away from the news, the blogs, the images of the week. Simply terrifying.

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Dear London

Dear London,

So very sorry to hear your sad news today. We were all quite happy for you yesterday with the Olympics and all, and it was so nice to see you turn out for Live8 over the weekend.

You seem to be handling everything okay, so I think you will be all right once you get things cleaned up and address your wounds. It's heartening to see you so courageous and graceful on such an awful day.

Our condolences go out to those injured and killed; they did not deserve what fate thrust upon them. Do not dwell too long in your grief, but remember those that were lost with fondness and joy.

Hang in there, okay?



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Pink Floyd @ Live8

Just got done watching the webcast of Pink Floyd's set for Live8... WOW. It's really amazing to see the originals all back together again; as one hand-made sign read "Pink Floyd Reunited: Pigs Have Flown!" It stuns me how a tiny little WMV stream can bring me right back to seeing them in Denver in 1993, and the raw, overwhelming joy of the experience.

The setlist:

  • "Breathe" (including the verse from the reprise at the end of "Time")
  • "Money"
  • "Wish You Were Here" (beautiful, heartwrenching, perfect performance)
  • "Comfortably Numb" (absolutely scorching, fantastic)

While I was delighted to hear anything performed at all, I was a bit disappointed by the absence of some would-be uncannily appropriate songs, such as "On the Turning Away", "High Hopes", or Roger Waters' "The Tide Is Turning (After Live Aid)". Of course, all of these songs were written after Waters had split from the band, so the setlist definitely reflects an attempt to minimize conflict between band members. And of course any of those would have been dead giveaways and possibly bordering on cheese. But still.

I would have preferred a longer set as well, but you can't have everything, now can you? I guess I'll just have to pray my heart out for a reunion tour.


I never watched any of the original Live Aid concerts when I was a child, and now I feel a strange mix of hope and cynicism. The blue state dreamer in me hopes that this mass of humanity coming together through music has some positive effect on the upcoming G8 summit, but the jaded cynic thinks that the most powerful leaders of the world don't really give a rat's ass about a bunch of people putting on a big concert.

Still, it's a good cause, and I hope something will come of it all.

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Well, I've managed to break, fix, break, and fix (and break and fix, and break and fix, and...) a whole lot of stuff today. It's basically been rather like tap-dancing in a minefield, all day long.

I guess I shouldn't complain too loudly... I'm not the only one who's having a bad day.

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