Omnibus Grab Bag

Poking My Head Back In

It seems that I occasionally end up mentioning that I am still out there. This time it came about through leaving comments on a merge request. I haven't done such in a while due to the demands of my job. My account hasn't been hijacked on Launchpad and it really is me. After some time to reflect during the day I've come to recognize how jaded and cynical I can get in my day job.

Other Changes

It feels horrible not being a online content creator lately. I'm still a podcast listener and a working list of what I subscribe to is available via gpodder.net. I encourage everyone to subscribe to Cybersauce World News, the Podcast Of Power.

I will be creating some content and presenting it on August 21st. This will be done primarily with F/LOSS tools. On behalf of the domestic missions Field Activity for West Avenue Church of Christ I will be preaching and leading Sunday services at the Music Along the River festival in the Harpersfield Covered Bridge metropark. The event has a Facebook presence. I've submitted a holding title for the Sunday sermon but may still change my mind as to what I'm speaking about. Initial thoughts were to be working from James 5.

Repeating Something From Elsewhere

My job is not good for my health. My last medical appointment was one where the medical provider yelled at me asking why I was still there. Complaints about having to pay the bills, keeping a roof over not just my head but also the heads of my parents, and more were offered as reasons as why I'm still there.

We've been trying for games to help keep stress down. One has been to take a somewhat blanked out map of the USA and just put tick marks down each call to track which states are calling. That way you can see if the flavor of your day is Sunny Southwest, New England Chowder, Cajun/Gulf Coast, Cloudy Northwest, or EXTREMELY ANGRY New Yorker. Too many of the EXTREMELY ANGRY New Yorker especially with a helping of snotty Jersey boys leads to having A Bad Hair Day. My call queue keeps coming up Cajun/Gulf Coast.

It could be said that The Process Is The Punishment in dealing with my employer. That brings up Eighth Amendment concerns over cruel & unusual punishment. Then again, so do random thoughts about how unusual flogging might be if you took out the horse whip and substituted in the biggest fish possible and greased it in while lashing at a person in a flogging. That amendment to the constitution prohibits not just cruel punishments but also unusual ones that may shock the conscience but are not necessarily considered "cruel".

To bail me out of my nation's federal exchequer for something more stable yet sane such as the aerospace research project trying to consider the Outernet platform as it wants to move to cubesats even though it ignores cubesat history and suffers from a rejection by NASA to its aspirations while also evaluating what the startup is doing now, funds can be donated here: https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/fixing-potholes-of-the-information-superhighway/

The deadline for that is September 30th, the end of the federal government's fiscal year. I may be furloughed at any time before then as it stands now but September 30th is the hard upper limit due to the current lack of approved appropriations legislation. After furlough I am out without a job until an indefinite recall date. Raising the cash lets me quit my current post and conduct research for two years, publish papers, present at conferences, and build new directions.

Upgrade Paths

My laptop is now on Xubuntu 16.04 (64-bit). Assessing the household's machinery shows a surprising number of 32-bit machines. The one currently active is sitting on Lubuntu 14.04. Other machinery is in mothballs but is still usable. I've got some hard decisions to make.

Creative Commons License
Omnibus Grab Bag by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://identi.ca/alpacaherder/note/SvpAZ05qTcy4mRdMZcWBaQ.

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Nobody Can Help If You Don't Tell Them You Need Help

The Hatch Act, such as it is, makes it difficult for me to say much about politics under disability of being a federal civil servant in the United States. I can say that recent political wrangling at the federal level has resulted in many co-workers talking about running away from the current posts to seek duty stations abroad or private sector work abroad. Regardless of their political affiliation, many mandarins are not exactly looking forward to what is to come based upon the current political news.

For a while there has been development of an "Abandon Ship!" plan. Prior versions of this included myself and more than few co-workers seeking to leave the federal civil service. Time has passed and some people managed to carry out their parts of the plan on their own by moving onward and upward.

With some of the lunatic things being tossed about today concerning the death of former US President John F. Kennedy piled on top of other madness over the past eight months, I've come to the point of having to accelerate the single-person version of the "Abandon Ship!" plan. I've written and conducted research in information science and information policy. After putting together a two year program of work, I think it is time to return to that instead of helping move the federal bureaucracy forward.

A fundraising effort via Indiegogo's "Generosity" platform has been set up. Considering the cost for two years of operations, the need to lease office space and pay for the overhead of that since municipal laws say I cannot work from home, regulatory compliance costs such as taxes, and hardware acquisition it isn't really a lot of money. I would not be a rich man from this.

What's the Ubuntu angle? For fans of The Big Bang Theory, they might remember the episode in which Howard, Leonard, and Sheldon try to patent an invention. Howard gets shot down as he is a federal civil servant from NASA on a loan back arrangement to the school so the government owns his intellectual property developed or thought of while on-duty. Simply avoiding my massive commute to and from my "Post of Duty" would leave me more time to make contributions before even getting to who controls my IP output.

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