Category Archives: Politics

Week 3000

Still adjusting to working with offshore developers. There definitely is a pattern of setting up a request, expecting it to be all done in the morning, and having to answer a few questions or concerns the next morning. If you don’t get to those questions immediately, you miss another day cycle.

Speaking of cycling – I took a day off of biking to work on Monday. Tuesday I went again and hit tons of personal bests! I’ve given in and started using Strava and it’s interesting to see how there is a an actual trend of improvement. For example, here’s my times on the Manhattan Bridge.

It is cheesy, but all these personal records and gold medals against myself are very rewarding.

Another takeaway: maybe rested legs are stronger!  Due to rain and hangovers, I’ve only done 24 miles this week . Hope for more next week!

Also at work, we’ve whipped up some backpacks for kids that can’t afford school supplies.

I did some virtual phone banking at lunch on Thursday and Friday for Danny O’Connor. Mostly leaving messages, but every bit helps. There’s a special election on Tuesday in Ohio and I want to make sure I do what I can for it. I invite you to join me – these things are easy, they don’t take time and they make a  difference.

On twitter, I really like the #InvisibleNetworks tag. @ctrlcreep is running 30 days of story prompts and people are replying with weird imaginative little stories.

Max is writing a book. He’s done 2 chapters about a bunch of robots in space. Cute Bun, AVX and their pals are all fighting and using lasers and it’s awesome.

Zelda is still working on her walking. 3 or 4 steps at a time now.

This week I got to dig in a bit on some performance profiling.

While doing some performance testing I found I needed to put in a bunch of temp log statements, but ugh… So I just created a decorator that will log the docstring of any python function and voila!

It’s hard to know exactly where your performance hits happen – so Robert Kern’s line_profiler is a great help.

I set up a terminator session with a few open terminals (different terminals allow you to take advantage of multiple processes and cpus). Then I used entr in each one to run profilers and timers and linters on the scripts.

ls *.py | entr -cs 'kernprof -l ProfileDriver.py ; python -m line_profiler ProfileDriver.py.lprof

This tells entr that whenever any python file changes

  1. clear the screen “-c”
  2. profile the code: “kernprof -l ProfileDriver.py;”
  3. then display the saved profile of the code: “python -m line_profiler ProfileDriver.py.lprof’

In other terminals I put in

ls *.py | entr -cs 'flake8 *.py'
ls *.py | entr -cs 'pylint *.py'

This way I keep my code clean – with a dash of autopep8 -a -a -i  to solve the easiest pep8 errors automatically. It’s also really something how much easier it is to reason about the code as I break it down into smaller chunks.

I’ve installed PyCharm in the linux workspace, and it is definitely a step up. Comes with vim emulation built in and it’s got some nice refactoring tools.

Week 2099

This is the 6th week at my new job.

I’m really enjoying the new toys to work with there – there are so many smart folks and they’ve been doing the right thing  for years. I’ll suggest a clever solution and they will point out they’ve got that in their plan or that they considered it and it doesn’t work for good reasons.  The tools, the documentation, the culture, it’s all really impressive.

I’m working in tighter boundaries – instead of nobody caring about performance I find myself in meetings with high level people where we are talking about differences of 200ms. We’re hiring! Get in touch if you’re interested and I can refer you in.

There’s no dress code and that’s been really nice. It makes it much easier to bike in – so I’ve been doing that way more than usual. I skipped a few days due to rain and I’ve still done 36 miles this week. Since I joined Strava I’ve ridden 100 miles.

I’m sweating less for a 6 mile ride and I’m noticing differences in how fast I can go up bridges and such. I also don’t have as much energy just waiting around in my legs – they get more tired and I’m not giving them much rest at all.

I’m doing weight watchers with Sam and it’s definitely affecting my choices. Now that there’s points I’m eating way healthier. And the sous vide machine has been helping – it’s easy to pop something in when I get home and then finish the cooking after putting kids to sleep.

The boy got sick this week and we had to take him to the urgent care center because his heart rate seemed very high.  He refused to take anything to bring down his fever, I think that’s what caused it. So we go to the urgent care and they say take this medicine to reduce your fever and he refuses to drink it. Ultimately they say, then we have to give a suppository.

That’s no fun. But when they came back in a few hours and said it’s time for more medicine he looks up and says “I’ll do it the easy way. Bring me the cup!”

I’ve had a chance to volunteer on the texting team for the Beto O’Rourke campaign and it was fun and easy. I HIGHLY encourage you to give it a shot because Ted Cruz can be beaten.  If you can’t donate money, these days it is super easy to donate time.

Closer to home I found that since I am partially domiciled in NY-19 I can register to vote there and there’s a good candidate in a toss-up race in House. I’m going up this weekend to learn how we can volunteer to get Antonio Delgado in and John Faso out.

Baby Z is taking her first walks and she points at her belly if you ask her where it is! She also is playing with Max. This morning they both had fruitsicles (to keep Max hydrated) and she kept leaning over to wack him with it! It’s so wonderful to see them loving each other.

It turns out what we do matters

Just a few things to note.

Across the street from me, the Macy’s is being renovated. The pace of change in the whole neighborhood is crazy, but the interior of the Macy’s is getting changed, they are tearing out and rebuilding the floors above the store, the parking garage catty-corner is getting torn down- it’s a lot.

And it’s loud. SO LOUD. The folks running the projects were doing demolition all through the night.

I’m on the board of our building so people asked me how to get this to stop. I had no clue. I just told them to call 311, report the noise repeatedly and lets see if our combined hectoring led to anything. Eventually, we posted a sample of text for folks to make it easier – they didn’t have to figure out what’s important to say, just read what we posted. Of course, I didn’t have much hope because who’s going to listen to some folks like us when there’s a big developer behind the renovation?

I was wrong. We got their night permit suspended. One of the reasons cited was the volume of calls from our building.

Our voices mattered.

Just like they did when we rejected the initial proposal for Ryan/TrumpCare. And they will keep mattering.  This is good, but it is also a responsibility. I grew up with a lot of cynicism about participation in the political system – lots of folks in my generation figured the game is rigged. So why play?

The game might be rigged, but you’re definitely fucked if you don’t play. If you fight you get some wins. That matters.

So now I’m more committed to doing my bit. I can’t do it all, but I can make some calls each day at lunch with 5calls.org. I can join in and support groups like Tech Solidarity. I can donate cash to campaigns that need it. I can phone bank. I can text Resist Bot and send short messages to my government representatives. It’s NEVER been easier to have some effect.

And your voice and actions matter too, friend. It’s time to make yourself a schedule or an appointment of small sustainable things you can do every day. Please take 10 minutes today to think about what matters to you and come up with a small, easy to keep up with plan. Call me if you need any support. Please tell me about what you decided! Sharing your experience helps keep you energized! I will talk through it with you!

Who watches the watchmen?

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

 

The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.

Source: FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades – The Washington Post

It happened before 2000. There was other evidence in those cases. But still – false testimony from these high levels over decades happened.

It should shake you.

What is preventing us from reading a similar headline in ten more years? How could we make sure this lab has an incentive to tell the truth rather than to ally with their colleagues?

Ten Things I Want My Children To Learn From 9/11

Ten Things I Want My Children To Learn From 9/11 via  Popehat.

The headings are good, but the explanations are better.  Good to read or re-read on this day.

  1. Ordinary People Are Capable Of Extraordinary Things.
  2. Evil Exists.
  3. Good Exists.
  4. It’s Best To Define Yourself By Your Reaction To Events, Not By The Events Themselves.
  5. A Thing Is Not the Same As Our Reaction To A Thing.
  6. Beware of How People Use Great And Terrible Things And Events.
  7. Fear, Anger, and Apathy Are Perilous.
  8. Understanding Is Not The Same As Justifying.
  9. People Are Not Abstractions.“Each person who died on 9/11 represented an entire world ending.”
  10. There is Nothing New Under the Sun.

Pot and Spoon – for kids to learn about Occupy

I read this story of a pot and a spoon that get impounded as evidence and a woman’s struggle with the state to get them back – and it was wonderful. I’m printing a copy for MAXIMUM LAZER.

Pot and Spoon, a true tale of Occupy Wall Street by Jerry Goralnick and illustrated by Ruthie Rosenfeld is available for free download on their site.

Pot and Spoon tells the tale of Madeline, a young woman who brought her pot and spoon to the OWS protests and had them confiscated by the Police. As Madeline tries to get them back we learn about flaws in the system, unhelpful public employees and police over reach. Pot and Spoon, locked up in an evidence holding warehouse, have a great conversation about social structure and the types of change the Occupy movement hopes to engender.

via Boing Boing .

Tracey Coleman’s Curly Girl Collective is in Ebony

I’m always proud of my SC to BK buddy Tracey, but she’s doing extra special work and it’s getting noticed.

“It’s hard to believe young girls like Tiana Parker and Vanessa Van Dyke are being sent home from school because their natural hair is deemed unkempt,” said Tracey Coleman who is a co-founder and the director of events for CGC.

via [BEAUTIFULLY BROWN OBSESSED] Curly Girl Collective Helps Black Girls Get “All Dolled Up” – EBONY.