Quantum Typos

Fact: if you have n readers check you work for typos, the n+1 reader will find a previously undiscovered typo with 42/n seconds of looking at the work.

Fact: If you open your book and successfully fix a typo, you will introduce (6.5x-y)/3 new typos, where x is the number of keystrokes used to fix the typo and y is the number of pages in the chapter.

Further research is needed to verify the constants across multiple writers. This may all just be me.

Installing a Touchstone Sideline 28″ Fireplace into a Winnebago Adventurer 30T

I’m putting all this here in case others find it useful. We recently purchased a 30T motorhome. It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows my wife to learn that she wanted a fireplace in the motorhome. We have added a fireplace to each of the two homes we have owned. Why not add one to a home on wheels? She even knew where it would go. Photos at the end of this post.

I knew it was just going to be a visual fireplace with maybe a little heat that we probably wouldn’t use very often. No gas, no wood.

There were several things I needed to figure out:

Continue reading “Installing a Touchstone Sideline 28″ Fireplace into a Winnebago Adventurer 30T”

My book is on sale!


I did a thing and it is now available for sale from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine bookstores.

The I.T. Leader’s Handbook is a book for current and aspiring IT leaders. From the back cover:

Is your IT department working harder than ever and still falling behind? Does the organization have unreasonable expectations and tightening budgets? Do you have a strong understanding of your company’s needs and priorities?

Drawing on over 25 years of IT experience, John has learned that leading the IT department is more than just understanding technology. You must also understand the Business and the People and how everything works together.

The IT Leaders’ Handbook will get you going in the right direction in four major areas: Foundations, Business, People, and Technology. Concepts like Focus & Finish, Square Root Of Change, and Proactivity Is Overrated, along with real-world advice, will help you raise your game and be a better IT Leader. In his personable style of writing, John uses triathlons, race cars, alligators, and sailing ships to present concepts that are straightforward to understand and powerful to implement.

If you want a book about the latest technology, this is not that book. If you want a book that will give you useful information on leading the IT department, regardless of your technology stack, then grab your favorite beverage, settle back in a comfortable chair, and let’s start the journey.

The Unsinkable Maddie Stone, Google’s Bug-Hunting Badass | WIRED

“There was such a clear, direct impact,” Stone says of her Android-focused work. “I find these potentially harmful apps, I flag the malware, and the defense we develop propagates to 2.8 billion devices. It was just such a massive, tangible impact that most people don’t get in their jobs.”

The Unsinkable Maddie Stone, Google’s Bug-Hunting Badass | WIRED

This is a really cool article. I’ve always thought that there were those on the good side of the fight, but they don’t seem to be as worthy of news reports.

Academic Silos

First, Sharks & Deep Sea Squid! How cool is that?

Second, why was the academic response to pull it off the internet? The attitude behind that seems like an unintended, and unfortunate, consequence of the publish or perish academic system currently in place.

Yannis Papastamatiou, a shark ecologist at Florida International University, in Miami, saw the photograph and immediately contacted Verbeck. “He told me, Pull that thing off the internet! Nobody’s ever seen that before,” Verbeck recalls.


Saving lives is in their blood: Three generations donate blood

Back in 2012, I was travelling with one of my daughters to Oregon to see my dad. As I have mentioned elsewhere, my dad has long been a blood donor. Kelsey was interested in starting, so this happened. Story from TV station KVAL in Eugene.

John Bredesen, his son John Jr. and granddaughter Kelsey, all stopped by Lane Community College for the blood drive.

Saving lives is in their blood: Three generations donate | KVAL

Cadbury Creme Eggs: A glimpse of how they are made

I visited the Cadbury factory in Birmingham, England a number of years ago. The tour didn’t take us onto the actual factory floor so we didn’t get to see how they made the creme eggs like the video. But they did have a very nice demonstration setup where they show all the different processes. And, of course, give samples.

Cadbury Creme Egg

There was a History Of Chocolate that took itself way too seriously. The sense was the true human civilization didn’t actually start until the first people discovered the chocolate bean. And that Europe wasn’t truly civilized until the chocolate bean was introduced there. I just enjoyed the samples along the way.

In the demo setup, we got to see how they “enrobe” a candy bar so that it is completely covered with chocolate with no marks. It involved floating the filling piece (chilled, of course) through a curtain of chocolate and onto a chilled conveyor belt. Mmmm, “curtain of chocolate”. And there were more samples.

They also had several women demonstrating how they made dipped chocolates before they had fancy conveyor belts, floating candy bars, and curtains of chocolate. They had these long, bent forks with tiny tines and would dip the filling pieces into a pot of melted chocolate, flip it around a bit, and then set it on a cooled plate. The chocolate would be just runny enough to flow over the tine marks. The samples were good at this station.

Truth to be told, they had so many samples that I was turning them down by the end of the tour.

I did learn, however, that Cadbury Flake is one of the most awesome candy bars available. Unfortunately, we didn’t see how they make that one either. Rumor has it, Flake bars do not melt. I consider it a rumor because, while I have yet to personally experience one melting, I haven’t tried nearly enough to call it a fact. More research needed.

Chocolate Creme Egg
Half the sugar in Coke can
Sweet Sweet Indulgence

Fake Meat: White Castle Review

I am very interested in all the work going on in the “fake meat” area. Impossible and Beyond are both running full speed with the newest generation of vegetarian meats. To be clear, I am not a vegetarian. I love meat and do not intend to give it up. But I really hope that they succeed.

I believe that having a few more meals without meat is not a bad thing. Many others have written long and thoughtfully about the evils of meat and the benefits of a meatless diet. I don’t buy all of it. But it probably is better for me to eat less meat. And probably better for the planet as well.

So the first of my Fake Meat reviews is here: the White Castle Impossible Slider. And, for the record, I am a White Castle fan.

First Try: Lunch time. A White Castle near the state capital. I ordered two Impossible Sliders and a regular slider for comparison.

The box was a bit wider, implying that the burger would be bigger than the regular slider. It was wider, but primarily because of the bun. The Impossible patty appeared to be the same thickness as the regular slider patty. The menu says it comes with Gouda cheese, but the yellow/orange slice looked and tasted like the normal White Castle cheese. But then I never get a cheeseburger, so I can’t say for sure.

The first thing I noticed was that the bun was hard and cold. One of the beautiful things about a White Castle slider is the warm soft bun that segues into the burger. I intend to go back and try again to see if the cold hard bun is by design or a mixup. I hope that the bun was to be heated on the grill like a regular slider, but somehow wasn’t. The order took extra long, so maybe there was a problem?

The Impossible burger was dry, mainly due to the bun and the very unfortunate fact that I didn’t ask for ketchup and mustard on it. In the excitement of trying the Impossible, I forgot to specify it. Sigh. Another reason to try again.

Even with the bun and lack of ketchup and mustard, the burgers had the same taste. I will definitely order it again.

Second Try: White Castle near work. Again, I ordered two Impossible and two regular sliders. Remembered the ketchup, mustard, and pickle on all four. I learned that they cook them on a separate griddle so it never touches the meat. That isn’t necessary for me, but I understand why, as a business, they would make that decision. The bun problem from the First Try wasn’t as apparent, mainly because the regular slider buns were not hot and moist either. I noticed a little more taste difference between the Impossible and regular. Not being a chef like my sister, I can’t put useful words to the difference. The texture seemed very similar.

So two tries at two separate White Castles. They were good enough that I will continue to order them. Side Note: The impossible burger is about twice as expensive. But we should pay more for healthier food that is better for the planet, right?