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… A little bit of everything

And so it begins …

The first person-to-person transmission of the Ebola virus has just been confirmed at the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, essentially negating all reassurances from the President and CDC officials that just such a situation would virtually never happen.

The healthcare worker who was exposed to the virus was wearing full protective gear, which proves one of two possibilities. The first being, the healthcare worker made a mistake which lead to their being infected. Or two, the virus spreads in ways experts don’t yet understand.

No matter what the case, it confirms that virus cannot be kept contained, and neither can the panic, the one thing experts and politicians are clearly more concerned with than the actual containment of the virus. Had they really taken the necessary precautions against an incurable human virus with close to a 75% fatality rate, they would have shut the borders down and not let any flights from the Ebola ravaged African countries into the US. They would not have treated any Ebola patients in public hospitals. The president would not have dispatched the military to the combat the disease, by presumably setting up a quarantine centers at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak in remote African cities.

Instead, officials are telling us they are taking “all the necessary precautions needed” with ensuring our safety by asking a few questions of inbound travelers like “Have you been to Africa? Have you been in contact with someone who’s had Ebola? Do you have a temperature?” We’ve seen how this pre-screening process works because the first person who carried Ebola into the United States, and who later died, simply lied to having been in contact with an Ebola victim.

Panic is the genie in the bottle. If you lie about what you are capable of, then are proven wrong, more panic ensues because people believe you are incompetent. If you placate people by giving them superficial answers to a serious issue, they believe you are not taking things seriously and will take matters into their own hands (pull kids from school, not travel, sell out of the stock market, etc).

It’s rare we find ourselves in situation like this. Mankind hasn’t had to deal with a virus problem since HIV, but even it doesn’t spread as easily as Ebola. So what is one supposed to do? Clearly you can’t lock your doors and suspend all activities.

I can think of two things. The first is, apply common sense. If the virus is spreading despite all the expert’s necessary precautions (full bio-containment HAZMAT suits), then the experts clearly don’t know what they are dealing with. They cannot be entirely trusted. If you start hearing reports of people catching Ebola outside of hospitals, we’re in big trouble. That means the virus is wildly out of control. As that point, yes. Stay indoors and stay away from highly populated events. Antibacterial hand cleaner does nothing against Ebola. Don’t let that give you any sense of safety. Stay informed through trusted sources, not politicians and not the “experts”. Again, digest the data yourself and apply common sense.

The second thing is, get vocal. Call your state’s representatives and put pressure on them. It’s election time. They are interested in only one thing, and that’s getting elected. Use this vice to your advantage. Insist they shut down the borders, all incoming flights from Ebola stricken countries, bring back our troops from Ebola infected areas (who clearly don’t have the same training as the “experts”), and stop bringing patients back to the United States for treatment. There have been Ebola outbreaks in the past, and they have all subsided once containment was achieved and the victims either died are survived.

This is no joke, folks. This is an incurable human virus with close to a 75% fatality rate. It’s far more contagious than HIV (AIDS) and the Bubonic Plague, which killed off 75% of Europe’s population. Take the situation seriously. This is a highly incurable virus that left unchecked, could kill 10’s of millions in the United States alone, in less than a year.

Every time I search the internet looking for an answer to the ubiquitous question of “How much money do I need to retire?“, the answers are always just about the same; “It depends“. Yes, it does depend on many things, but very few articles give the details needed to even give a person a starting point. So, I’ll attempt to do just that.

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coyote1

It was around 10 O’clock at night when we first heard what sounded like kids screaming in the wetlands behind our house. Intrigued, and knowing that couldn’t be the case, I managed to capture the sound on my phone and compared it to animal sounds on Youtube. As I suspected, the screams were not from kids, but rather a small pack of coyotes, probably four or five in size. Having lived in Falcon, Colorado since 2002, this was the first time we had ever heard coyotes. We did have a fox living in the area that would scream on occasion, but for the most part, the only animals in the area were rabbits, bullfrogs, and the seasonal ducks and geese.

While kind of cool, coyotes do present a problem, more so than balls of rabbit poop in the yard. Especially to household pets who mysteriously disappear in the night. And while somewhat rare, even adults and children have been attacked by coyotes, but I’m not too concerned about that. What I am concerned about is our beloved cattle dog. We have a rather large 1/2 acre backyard surrounded by a split-rail fence with chicken wire to keep her from getting out (and to a lesser extent, keep the kids in), but that can be easily circumvented by a determined and hungry pack of coyotes.

This begs the question: What can I do? The last thing I want to do is freak my kids out so they don’t want to play outside. It’s hard enough to drag them away from the Xbox (Mindcraft in particular, AKA: Mindcrack) so the last thing I need is for them to throw down the coyote excuse as a reason to stay inside. The dog needs to run outside otherwise every piece of furniture will turn into her chew toy.

My first idea was to wander into the backyard and make a ton of noise in the hopes of scaring them off. However, after doing so under a full moon, the slow walk back inside suddenly turned into a sprint as I conjured the mental imagery of a Stephen King book cover depicting a dark silhouette (me) being chased by a pack of blood thirty coyotes.

So, the next time I went heavily armed, but then I read I can be fined and even jailed for shooting a coyote unless provoked, and I’m certainly not looking to provoke a fight. It seems as though the coyote has diplomatic immunity of sorts in El Paso County, unless you happen to be a rancher who can shoot them on site, which I’m not.

Animal control isn’t an option, because there is no such thing outside city limits. There is the Department of Wildlife, but they won’t do anything until someone has been attacked. They won’t even respond for missing pets suspected of being killed by wild animals.

I think I’ll lay low for awhile and just keep an eye on things. It’s kind of cool hearing the coyote victory cry on a rabbit kill, and the neighborhood is much quieter in the evenings. Let’s just hope it’s because responsible pet owners are keeping their dogs inside at night, and not that they’ve gone missing.

UPDATE: I haven’t heard the Coyotes for about two weeks. I suspect they may have exhausted their food source and moved on to more bountiful lands.

m4s0n501

This example is by no means meant to substitute a well-thought out backup and recovery strategy for an Oracle Database, but it will show you how simple it is to backup an 11g Database using RMAN on Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Bit. At the very least, it will point you in the right direction and give you a working example from which to base your testing from. Also, I feel silly saying this, but please don’t try this on an operational database!

Let’s change a couple of the default settings within the RMAN console. We want to make sure the control file is always backed up, and we want to change how many backup sets will be retained.

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The goodies (I say that sarcastically) in the Affordable Healthcare Act should come as no surprise to those who can read and don’t follow lock-and-step with what their government tells them. Especially this one. Many had been warning the public about this disaster for years and still very few listened. Or, they just ignored the issue thinking it can’t be as bad as the naysayers are making it out to be. We’re only a month into this nightmare and Freddy Kruger is gaining strength. Sadly, it’s about to get a whole lot worse, and this titanic of a mistake is barreling full-steam ahead into a highly visible iceberg the size of Greenland in broad daylight.

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