The following is a breakdown and post analysis of the recent Oakley City Council meeting on the subject of banning the outdoor public use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs, which we refer to as vapor products and Tobacco Harm Reduction alternatives to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes). I am sad to provide this post analysis by highlighting the kind of blatant ignorance that not only us here, in Oakley, but millions of vapers (users of vapor products who are usually ex-smokers!) are confronted with on an almost daily basis. Let’s start you off with the video of the agenda item here. I will insert relevant parts of the recording along with time stamps.
Mr. Galstan, could you please list and describe the “known carcinogens” present in electronic cigarettes (or the e-Juice used in such)? The American Lung Association has repeatedly failed to do so, so why are you parroting them? Do you have any clue at all what is generally used in electronic cigarettes (or e-Juice)? I do. Many others do as well. And none of them are carcinogens. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that nicotine itself is not known nor has it ever been listed as a known carcinogen. If you are going to be a mouthpiece of an organization that has direct financial interests that are at total odds of people giving up smoking (after all, the association would no longer have a source of funding nor would they be able to pressure companies into handing them money for their “programs” which as a lot of us see it is not too different from mobster like extortion) then please be ready to back up your statements and claims with actual facts and substantiate them. Perhaps you may need to inquire at the American Lung Association so they can provide you with a canned statement that will, as per usual, not really answer the question.
On October 1st, 2013 I resigned, effective immediately, as a board member/director at the Oakley Chamber of Commerce.The date is actually irrelevant though. The question I will be repeatedly asked now, is “why”. So here’s why. I expect the board of directors at a Chamber of Commerce, most of which are business owners, to act and make decisions in a business-like and professional manner for the organization as a whole, its members, its board, and of course for themselves. When important decisions need to be made you need to rely on everyone doing the right thing and bundle all that business experience into something that forms a solid and cohesive decision. At this, however, the board has unfortunately failed and in a way that is incomprehensible to me.
Yes, it’s a milestone. Office 7.0 (beta 3, by now) is officially done, functional, installed, running, and ready for action. I’m not going to make any final “beauty” shots of the current state because there’s not much point in doing that until the other half of the office completes the current ensemble and that won’t be for quite a number of months yet. I’ll just have to make do with this setup in the meantime. And yes, you can imagine it’s painful and under-powered and under-monitored, and boy am I missing the extra pixels… not. 🙂 I’m quite happy with the 3 x 2560 x 1600, actually. But of course, the office won’t be complete until it’s complete. And besides, my camera gear is all in The Netherlands anyway, so there’s no point in trying to create perfect RAW shots and then editing them for a final “beauty” pass. I didn’t take shots of other parts of the office since nothing has changed there but if you want to see then anyway I refer you to the other Office 7.0 beta blog posts and images. There’s a server, a workstation, a second workstation, a Mac Pro, the MacBook Air, and the Clevo laptop. That should be enough for the intermediate stages of getting up and running. The three Lian-Li cases look nice together and all have watercooling for the CPU’s. ATI 6970 Eyefinity cards take care of the two workstations, each of them hooked to the 3 x 30 inch Dell U3011 monitors using StarTech DisplayPort switches to allow for an extra set of DisplayPort ports on each monitor. The server is hooked up via DVI connection (and also capable of doing 2560×1200) while the Mac Pro is using 3 x DVI where one of those is run from a mini DisplayPort port via an Apple converter that turns it into full dual-link DVI.
The new Home Office is starting to take a little more shape every day but there’s still much to do and a lot of things to complete before I can consider having properly settled in. This post, however, is not about the office itself but the people who have built the new systems that are in it. The company is called Computers USA and are the home where BTO Diablo computers and BTO AngelFire servers are built to spec. They are local to me with both stores (a short drive to Brentwood or a slightly longer drive to Clayton) and I think people should support local business more. Instead of telling people that I hope to lead by example here. Don’t be fooled by the website that needs some work. These guys know what they’re talking about and really have tons of clues about what they’re doing. That’s a rare thing to find these days when it comes to computer stores that claim they can build machines with amazing specs. In my experiene most don’t but these guys certainly do! If you’re around the area here and are in need of great quality and support, definitely check out Computers USA.
It’s time for another installment of pictures and updates in the ongoing Office 7.0 Beta Buildup. There is good news and bad news. The good news is that I have completed the cabling of the new office (and that I got married while the cables were still shipping out to me). The bad news is that I am waiting for the new workstation and server systems to be completed by my new (local) dealer. I will not be making any major pages with photos until the full office is complete (and that, yes, will take some more months actually) and when I have my full camera gear with me, which I do not at this time. But just to give everyone who’s been asking an update of how things are looking, here you go, a whole page with pictures. Made with Sallie’s Nikon P100. I swear, large heavy cameras just seem to work better for me than the ones with a ton of cool features and are light enough to swing from your pinkie. Some of the images might look a bit familiar to all of you who follow me on Twitter.
Let’s start by the good news. The quotes for some new systems are starting to reach me and the new cables have arrived. Another poor iPhone camera shot, but that’ll have to do because I’m not about to waste too much time trying to get really nice shots of the office. I’m saving that for when everything gets together and I can do a proper job at a new “making of” with all the details. I’ve been asked a few times now whether the pictures I showed in my previous post are part of me trying to do different configurations with the desks. No, they’re not. It’s just a larger office than the previous one so there’s more desk space and, likewise, more desks, involved. Just to clear up any confusion, though, here is the original layout I planned for the space and it has come out pretty much exactly like this. The yellow block is a 27″ monitor (the iMac), the green ones are the 24″ monitors, and the blue ones are the three new Dell U3011 30″ ones. The old Aeron and the new Embody (once it arrives sometime in the next days) will complete the seating arrangement. Since it’s impossible to use that much screen realestate and that many pixels as a single overview and the 3 x 30″ provide a very nice area by itself, I have decided to split the monitors into islands of their own where, along with the computers that’ll hook onto them, are more task-based and defined as to their use and purpose. The 3 x 30″ area will be the new “main” area.
It’s true, I haven’t been posting much. Then again, I have been rather busy with that thing called “life” and in particular the move to the new place. But things are starting to slowly shape up. The emphasis here is on the word SLOWLY. Things are not going as fast as I had hoped for. So, no, no new office pictures, won’t be any for a while, it’s going to take some more time. But, in the meantime, I can show you some of the current progress. Pictures taken with the shaky camera of the iPhone. Those are pictures of the same office. If you see something that looks like it had been modified, it wasn’t, it’s just that the office is really big and has more than one work area. So, definitely, lots and lots of desk space for… lots and lots of workstations, servers, monitors, and a few Mac’s thrown in for good measure. Oh, yeah, about them Mac’s. Going to the Apple Store in Emeryville was a major disappointment. They didn’t have anything I wanted, didn’t have anything I needed, and the result was “best to just order it online from us”. Yeah, that could’ve saved me an hour’s drive from Oakley (not Oakland!) to Emeryville. Why those stores even exist, I have no idea. It was very busy, but people there were clueless. And with people I mean the staff, not the potential customers in the store. I bet those had more of a clue. The big battery backup stuff still has to arrive and I am still waiting for a quote on some systems from my potentially new hardware builder out here in this area. Until that time I will allow the wires and the office to be a mess. I might allow it to be a mess until the new office and the old office get reunited in the same place. Depends on how things go. We’ll see.
It’s official. The new location of the Home Office 7.0 will be in Oakley California. That’s OAKLEY, not OAKLAND. Not even nearly the same. Oakland is a dump IMHO and Oakley is a nice low-crime no-grime area towards the east of the San Francisco Bay Area. Don’t mind the odd copyright notice on the image. That’s the image of the real-estate company that had it advertised. I’ll be posting better and nicer images once I get around to it and once I get to actually have some decent content to show. Now the real fun starts; getting the electricians over to see what we will do about getting tremendous power routed to the new office space, furnishing, getting hardware and systems installed, all that good stuff. Or if you will, all that frustrating stuff.