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The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here | Rolling Stone.

“The planet is fine. It’s gone through far worse shit than us. The people on the other hand are fucked.”

 

So, election night came and went and was pretty disappointing for me from a liberal standpoint. I had already resigned myself to a GOP takeover as 6th year elections seem to go against the party in power, but it was just a bit ridiculous how much it swung red throughout the rest of the country. Sam Brownback re-elected? Seriously? Just, wow, speechless. For a while it seemed that Mark Warner was going to lose, but I stayed up past midnight when northern Virginia started reporting in and things started swinging back his way. Was still too close for me. Perhaps the only consolation during this year’s election is that we still have Obama in the White House, for all his flaws, and Virginia has a Democratic Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and two Senators.

There has been a trend for the past decade or so, Democrats turn out to vote during presidential elections, then stay home during mid-terms. Reports from this election attributed GOP wins to an older, whiter, conservative base, so it would appear that 18 percent or so of the country’s eligible voters actually turned out for the Republicans against Obama. So, while I hope that the cycle can continue in 2016 with another Democratic winner in the White House, be it Hillary or whoever, really, I’m not going to sit by the next two years and hope that things get better, when in reality the truth is government is broken and needs to change.

Many good points have been made about how Dems ran from Obama and got their asses handed to them, when instead they should have been touting his accomplishments over the past few years. It’s like people don’t remember 6 or 8 years ago; the economy is stronger than ever, jobs, investments, growth, expansion and inflation, are better than they were six, or even twenty years ago. Rather than tout these and other accomplishments in health care, financial reform, and the environment, Dems shied from Obama and allowed pre-election hysteria about Ebola and ISIS take over the discussion. Even if I don’t love Obama as much as I did in 2008, I’m still damn glad that he’s the President and not McCain or Romney. 8 years of Bush II was enough for me.

Another good point that was brought up by the Daily Beast’s Sally Kohn was that the GOP was able to win by running to the left. Even though voters overwhelmingly supported the candidate with the R next to their name, when it came time to voting on the issues themselves, they overwhelmingly approved liberal ideas such as minimum wage increases, striking down personhood amendments. Republican candidates themselves talked up income inequality and wage stagnation. So while certain idiot family members and Facebook friends still freak out over Obamacare or Faux News’s latest outrage of the day is, I still have hope that the country is moving in the right direction.

 

http://www.twitch.tv/dahifi/

HS_Win

Now you can watch me get drunk and curse at my computer!

We are a Microsoft partner and have been standing up a lot of clients on Office 365, the management of which requires a lot of PowerShell use to administer properly. My last boss told me that Microsoft’s move away from the GUI toward PS scripting is what is going to ‘separate the men from the boys’, and I’ve taken this to heart, trying to script out everything as much as possible. Server 2012 has really made improvements over 2008 as far as this goes, and Exchange Online and Office 365 (AKA Microsoft Online Services) are strongly there as well. Sure, there are web interfaces for them, but Microsoft seems to have a habit of changing the navigation and language every few weeks and the GUI has been inconsistent between the business and enterprise plans as well, so the Powershell commands seem be the way to go.

For this most recent job, we had a client who wanted to change domain names, so we stood up the new domain on O365 and configured client workstations for the new accounts. Once that was done we verified the old domain with Microsoft in anticipation of routing the old domain to the new mailboxes. Rather than manually add each additional SMTP address for each user account, I used the following script. Make sure you connect to Exchange Online using remote PowerShell first.


$users = get-user * #Filter your OU appropriately, this was a blanket change for a flat hierarchy.
foreach ($user in $users)
{
$mailbox = get-mailbox $user.identity
$newmailbox = $user.id + "@yourNewDomain.com"
set-mailbox -identity $user.identity -EmailAddresses @{Add=$newmailbox}
}

You can then verify that the changes went correctly with the following:

foreach ($user in $users) {
$mailbox = get-mailbox $user.identity
$mailbox.emailaddresses
write-host  $addresses
}

So I’ve been playing a whole lotta HearthStone lately. A lot. I’ve been using Icy-Veins for basic decks and card descriptions to up my game, and although I haven’t gotten anywhere near legend ranking, I have been doing pretty well. I started tracking my game history in OneNote, tracking the cards my opponents have played against me to try and some good openers. I’ve been somewhat limited with my success as I refuse to pay for decks and have been spending all of my gold to buy Naxxramas wings, (I’ve just started the Construct quarter,) and I did find an interesting project that will automate that for me. It’s called Hearthstone Deck Tracker, and in addition to showing me which cards of my deck I’ve drawn and which ones remains, it will also record my opponent’s plays and will even allow me to export them into a deck of my own pretty handy. This tracker belongs to a series of programs which have sprung up that utilize Hearthstone’s debug log to pull this information. Another one is a tool created by Elie Bursztein and his wife used data collected from over 100,000 games to predict what card you opponent will play next. They gave a talk at Defcon where they demoed the tool as well as some of their research on valuing Hearthstone cards, but apparently someone from Blizzard was in the audience and convinced them not to release the tool for fear of ruining the game. One of the things that their tool did have was a tracker that shows card, hand and mana advantage between your opponent, and that does look like something that could be integrated into the Hearthstone Tracker, which is written in C. I’ve been delving into the source code to try and and figure out if I can make any contributions to it.

HearthStone was actually created with the Unity3D development platform, and I’ve been playing around with that lately, having finished several of the tutorial projects with it. I don’t really have too much interest in developing a full fledged 3D game, but it has real object-oriented scripting, unlike GameMaker, which doesn’t fully implement OO methods. Unity seems really powerful, and I’m looking forward to delving into it a bit more and seeing if any projects come from it.

I’ve also been inspired to add to my real life collection lately. Every time I’d go into Barnes and Nobles I’d drool over the Android:Netrunner and other strategy games, and a few weeks ago they had copies of Summoner Wars on sale for half off, and I had to go back and pick one up. It’s a cool game; I’ve only had a chance to play a few games with a few friends, including a 2v1 match that ran on way to late and ended in a draw. And I also caved in and bought A:NR off of Amazon and have played a few games with it. I’ve probably spent more time teaching it to other people than I have playing it, but I found that there’s a version of it on OCTGN, which is like VASSAL on steroids, and I’ve had a couple good matches on there. The best part is that OCTGN and the modules are open source, so I can look through the Python code to see how the game mechanics were implemented. Fascinating stuff.

Halfway between the polished gem of Hearthstone’s Unity engine and the arcane workings of OCTGN/VASSAL games is HEX, a Magic:The Gathering clone that is currently in beta. The mechanics of the game seem strong, but the graphics and the game flow itself seem rather clunky. I’ve only played two games against AI thus far, but the interface has a ways to go yet. I don’t really recall how M:TG online plays in comparision, but it seems like the amount of clicks passing back and forth between players each turn is way to much. One thing I’ve yet to figure out is whether all the cards in Hex will be available by grinding the game, such as in Hearthstone, or whether certain cards will only be available through real-money decks, as I hear was done with the latest Dual of the Planeswalker version.

 

 

I’ve been pretty stoic this past week with what happened in Connecticut last Friday, however while watching this video the damn broke and I couldn’t stop crying. Ode to Joy is beautiful, and for some reason I find these kind of public performances the antithesis of what happened last week.

So, a lot has changed for me in the past year or so. My wife and I decided to have a baby, and I was forced to make a lot of lifestyle changes as a result. One thing that my wife insisted on was getting life insurance, which I did back in March. As part of the application process I was required to get my cholesterol screened, and the results came back that I was slightly elevated. As a result, I stopped buying steaks every week from the grocery store and stopped eating roast beef on my sandwiches for lunch every day. I also tried to cut out the Farm Fresh spicy wing zings that I am absolutely addicted to. During that time I spoke to my father, as my grandfather died from a heart attack at a relatively early age, and red meat was always at our dinner table several times a week. My dad told me that his cholesterol was 280, and I thought I was doing OK as he does not eat very healthy at all and basically eats junk all the time.

As the end of the year is here I decided to take advantage of my health insurance eye plan and get my checkup and free pair of eyeglasses for the year, and as I had some downtime between job contracts I decided to go in and get a full physical and see how I was doing. My wife recently upgraded her YMCA membership to a family plan to take advantage of the 2 hours of babysitting so that she can go back to the gym and I’ve decided to go back as well. I had been working out pretty regularly when we started dating but I’ve been in rough shape the past few years and wanted to get a physical before I started doing anything too crazy. I was diagnosed with a heart murmur when I was 15 and haven’t had it checked out since, so I wanted to get it checked out and scheduled a full physical. They took 4 or 6 vials of blood at the doctors and told me that they were going to do a very thorough screening. Well I got the results last week and it turns out that my cholesterol was over 280, so it’s apparent that some more serious lifestyle changes are in order.

I was actually surprised at some of the junkier foods that are cholesterol free, most notably my favorite Oreos, as well as Doritos and snack foods. It’s the meat and dairy products that I love so much that are killing me. I’ve spent the past two days looking at labels on everything I’m eating, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to keep track of my daily consumption. I don’t want to go crazy and keep track of everything, but I do want to keep notes on my specific cholesterol intake so that I can establish a baseline that will be helpful at determining any additional changes after my next screening. The last thing I want to do is go on some kind of pill cure, so I’m determined to fix this myself. I’m just not sure what’s the best tool to keep track of things. I’ve been using my iPhone to track my auto maintenance and workout regimen, so that’s my first choice, however an initial scan of the apps out there didn’t show any sure fire one that will let me track my portions against a daily goal.

I do know one thing though, I’m going to have to be very careful about eating out from here on out. My usual faves are Buffalo wings and potato skins, and looking at the nutrition information for my last meal at Smokey Bones it looks like I ate way over my daily goal (300mg) with just one appetizer. I’m going to have to make a point to ask for the information or pull it up on my phone before ordering from now on.

There’s some additional analysis that I need to do on my detailed results, which were broken down by HDL, LDL and a dozen other factors. There’s one in particular that has a genetic component that I’ll have to take a closer look at, and it also turns out that I’ve actually got a bit of a vitamin D deficiency that needs correction with a supplement. My short term goal is to keep an accurate record of my cholesterol intake until my next screening, which I want to happen in the next 3-12 weeks. Hopefully I will see a reduction in my cholesterol count and fix my vitamin D issue, and then we’ll see where we are.

You may remember this scene from a recent episode of American Dad.

I’ve gone ahead and made a ringtone out of this that you can open with iTunes and add to your phone.

You’re welcome!

American Dad Shots! Ringtone

As much as I love the Flaming Lips, I find it hard to believe that Coyne could have been so stupid. Now the TSA on the other hand…

Police Confirm Wayne Coyne Shut Down OKC Airport With Grenade – Music News – Fuse.

Yea, I think I’ll skip this one.

[T]o release a movie today that celebrates the moral right — nay, responsibility — of well-scrubbed American children to kill invaders is like giving a giant middle finger to the people around the world who see us as the invading army, and whose children have died by the thousands already. “Red Dawn” is a ghoulish parody of reality, served up earnestly and obliviously, to an audience whose enjoyment will, perforce, be directly proportional to its ignorance.

via “Red Dawn”: Dumbest ’80s remake ever? – Salon.com.