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Old 07-05-2020, 01:07 AM   #33766
DMcCunney
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SO....it's 110F and our power just went out. The neighborhood app indicates that others are out too. Dammit. Power co says it "should be" restored at 11:30PM tonight--in 5.5 hours from now. In our neck of the woods, this is the hottest time of the day, not noon. S**T!
And this is one reason why various folks I know invested in portable generators, precisely to provide power when there was an outage like that.

One old friend had a project underway to improve UPSes. The folks this was aimed at had lots of things that needed steadily reliable power. The whole point of a UPS is two fold: that the power is regulated and consistent, free of surges and fades that make electronics do double back flips, and that if power goes out, the UPS switches to battery backup. If you are lucky, the batteries are enough to keep things running till the power company fixes the outage. If you aren't lucky, the UPS can remotely gracefully shut stuff down, so that when power is restored you can restart things without potential loss of data caused caused by power going away at an inopportune moment.

But UPS systems were all over the map on how they worked and how easy they were to monitor and administer. He was looking at a three part solution. One part was easily replaceable batteries, as some UPS systems make replacing them very hard indeed. (Like, ship the unit back to the manufacturer.) Another part was an interface to mains power that would monitor it. A third was a smart controller based on something like a Raspberry Pi that would be what the user used to monitor and control things, which would connect to the UPS, get status from it, and let the user send commands to it like "Initiate shutdown on connected systems because the power isn't coming back soon enough for the batteries to substitute. My guess, which he more or less confirmed, was that the majority of folks might only need the smart controller.

It went on hiatus because he was a software guy, and the hardware guys familiar with power system engineering who had expressed interest were otherwise occupied.

But he also went out and got a portable generator. Power in his PA suburb was pretty reliable, but he needed always up systems and Internet connections to do what he did, so even an occasional outage was a major problem. I don't recall precisely what he did to make sure the generator would be fired up and substitute when there was an outage. (What happens if you aren't home at the time? Nothing good...)
______
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:43 AM   #33767
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The wonder, following up on your last post (the one after this) is that you had to TELL her to part company. Of course, I do understand that it's not simple to find an agent that will rep you and her reluctance to let go would be enormous.
Oh, she realized she needed to. She was just unsure about how one did it. (I thought a polite and professional but firm "This is not working out because we cannot agree on what I am trying to do. I formally sever my relationship with you as my agent, and will look elsewhere." was the way to go.)

It's more complicated when there is an existing personal relationship. Another old friend is a former Executive Editor at a trade house who is now a full time freelancer and book doctor. Her agent was also a personal friend, and represented authors whose books she bought as an editor. They parted company when her agent wasn't happy with a new book she was working on. It was too much of a departure from what she had done previously that the agent had been able to sell. The agent wanted more of the same. She bit the bullet and found a new agent who was not only willing to represent the work in progress, but represented it successfully enough that it went to auction. She said the money wasn't enough to change her life, but was better than previous advances, and having the freedom to stretch out and do things different from what she had been doing was wonderful.

I have no idea whether she and her former agent are speaking to each other these days. (It's not the sort of question one asks.) But it's a risk you take when you have a business relationship with a friend, and may be faced with a choice between whether the business of the friendship is more important. (I know an assortment of folks I like, respect, and consider friends who I wouldn't enter into a business relationship with because it would end badly.)

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Yeah. Book shepherds "take the money and run," fairly often. Not all the time, but enough where even hearing the phrase tempts me to be immature and eye roll.
Any sort of relationship like that has that potential. Musician George Clinton, founder and leader of the black bands Parliament and Funkadelic (and later music director for one of the late night TV shows) got interviewed and was asked why he had taken control of his business dealings as well as his music. He said "I didn't deal with the business end because I thought I had people to do that for me. Then I reached into my pocket and discovered I didn;t have any money, and decides I had to do that myself." Billy Joel in an interview years back talked about what he would have done differently when he was starting out if he had known what he does now. He said "The first thing I'd do is get a lawyer. Then I'd get another lawyer to watch the first one !"

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The guy I'm talking about, Mr. "Editorial Differences," never presented as a Shepherd; he said he was a "publisher" and had been, yadda. Our first book with him was a damned nightmare. He knew NOTHING. I mean...publisher? He was worse than half the new authors we get.
He believed his own fantasies.

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For example, he asked us to "make an index." I gave him the list of index-creation options and he seemed thunderstruck that it would cost money to have an indexer read the book and create the index. He said "I thought you just pushed a button in Word and it made it for you." What, through that 25th-Century artificial intelligence, you mean? (Speaking of bloody eye rolls...).
I have watched that sort of thing for years. AT&T Bell Laboratories' Unix OS included a utility to generate indexes. But it wasn't "Press a button" It required what it would index to be in a specific format it was programmed to work with, and you had to know how to use it.

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Sure, I get that people who don't work in publishing of any kind, business or media, mightn't know that it takes a PERSON to make an index, but someone who claimed to be a publisher? What the holy frack? You push a button and magic happens?
"If you know better, you are lying to me. If you don't know better, you are lying to yourself. In either case, go away!"
______
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:42 AM   #33768
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
And this is one reason why various folks I know invested in portable generators, precisely to provide power when there was an outage like that.
We have one if push comes to shove. And of course, I have double-stacked UPSes for the "big computer," the main 'puter for the biz. Natch--we might roast to death, bygod, but the data is safe! :-)


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But he also went out and got a portable generator. Power in his PA suburb was pretty reliable, but he needed always up systems and Internet connections to do what he did, so even an occasional outage was a major problem. I don't recall precisely what he did to make sure the generator would be fired up and substitute when there was an outage. (What happens if you aren't home at the time? Nothing good...)
______
Dennis
We still have above-ground power lines out here. Take that, high winds and high pull (power-usage) on days when it's 106-108 (or more) and everybody's home? Oy.

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Oh, she realized she needed to. She was just unsure about how one did it. (I thought a polite and professional but firm "This is not working out because we cannot agree on what I am trying to do. I formally sever my relationship with you as my agent, and will look elsewhere." was the way to go.)
It's like bandaids, in my humble opinion. The faster you pull it off...

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It's more complicated when there is an existing personal relationship. Another old friend is a former Executive Editor at a trade house who is now a full time freelancer and book doctor. Her agent was also a personal friend, and represented authors whose books she bought as an editor. They parted company when her agent wasn't happy with a new book she was working on. It was too much of a departure from what she had done previously that the agent had been able to sell. The agent wanted more of the same. She bit the bullet and found a new agent who was not only willing to represent the work in progress, but represented it successfully enough that it went to auction. She said the money wasn't enough to change her life, but was better than previous advances, and having the freedom to stretch out and do things different from what she had been doing was wonderful.
It's hard to blame the agent, either. I mean, after all, the agent's job (and payment) is to SELL the book. If you've ever read Maas's "Writing the Breakout Novel...", he tells many stories about his clients who've gone off into other areas, written books that didn't sing..self-destructed their (selling) careers. Agents often consider it their jobs, their remit, to ensure that doesn't happen. {shrug}.

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I have no idea whether she and her former agent are speaking to each other these days. (It's not the sort of question one asks.) But it's a risk you take when you have a business relationship with a friend, and may be faced with a choice between whether the business of the friendship is more important. (I know an assortment of folks I like, respect, and consider friends who I wouldn't enter into a business relationship with because it would end badly.)
Ditto. Nor for family. ALWAYS a disaster.


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Any sort of relationship like that has that potential. Musician George Clinton, founder and leader of the black bands Parliament and Funkadelic (and later music director for one of the late night TV shows) got interviewed and was asked why he had taken control of his business dealings as well as his music. He said "I didn't deal with the business end because I thought I had people to do that for me. Then I reached into my pocket and discovered I didn;t have any money, and decides I had to do that myself." Billy Joel in an interview years back talked about what he would have done differently when he was starting out if he had known what he does now. He said "The first thing I'd do is get a lawyer. Then I'd get another lawyer to watch the first one !"
Indeed.


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He believed his own fantasies.
I honestly don't know what it was. He said, more than once, that he couldn't remember anything any longer and I did wonder if it was aging. I don't know, but OMG, it was frustrating to have to actually go over the same ground with him more than once, when he'd received a rather steep publisher's discount. Salt, meet open wound.


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I have watched that sort of thing for years. AT&T Bell Laboratories' Unix OS included a utility to generate indexes. But it wasn't "Press a button" It required what it would index to be in a specific format it was programmed to work with, and you had to know how to use it.
You can, of course, create a humongous concordance. And then whittle it down, but...jeeze. I do not understand how ANYONE could think that a piece of software could adequately read and analyze content enough to "decide" which references to, say, "Irish Setters" out of 50 should be included in a subject-matter index without human intervention and guidance.

This, btw, is commonplace. We're asked to "make indices" all the time, as if it's exactly that. Push a button, out pops an index like the morning's ablutions. When I explain that the cheapest way to an index is for the author to actually do the work HIM/HERself, (gasp!) by working through the book and tagging the references, (from which we could then import that to InDesign, creating the index, retaining the tags, in case the layout changes, yadda), you'd think I'd suggested sacrificing small children to Mayan Gods. URGH.


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"If you know better, you are lying to me. If you don't know better, you are lying to yourself. In either case, go away!"
______
Dennis
I'm still not sure that either was true. I do suspect that it was indeed aging and that he'd simply forgotten it all. But Sweet Moses on a Pony, it made for a very, very long two (lengthy academic) books!

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Old 07-05-2020, 05:14 PM   #33769
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We have one if push comes to shove. And of course, I have double-stacked UPSes for the "big computer," the main 'puter for the biz. Natch--we might roast to death, bygod, but the data is safe! :-)
Worst case, you shut down gracefully.

I have unfond memories of the Great Northeast Blackout, where the power grid had a catastrophic failure. I had enough warning to gracefully shut down the servers in my computer room before the lights went out. And Verizon supplied its own power to telco lines, so my phone worked, and I could stay in touch with my employers while I monitored progress and knew when power was restored to the area my office was in and I could wander over and start bringing things back up.

In another instance, I got a call at home from my office late shift that they couldn't get to a couple of my servers. I could get in remote from home. Okay, put dinner on hold and go to the office (which was in walking distance) to check. I walk in an everybody is sitting on their hands. Both servers are down. I bring them back up and my irony meter pegged off scale as the Big Mutha UPS they were plugged into glitched and put both down again. Unplug stuff from that server, find other places to plug it in, bring the servers back up and do the needed file system cleanup so people could work again, and queue the failed UPS for shipment elsewhere.

Return home for a belated dinner and go to bed. At 2am, the office calls again. The night supervisor is trying to generate nightly reports and can't get to the NT server where the templates live. I blink sleep from my eyes, specify a couple of things she can try to reach the server, and say "If they don't work, leave a note on my desk. I'll send the reports for you in the morning." At 2:30am, I get another call from the supervisor, She just wants to tell me she sent the reports and I didn't need to worry. Er, leave a note on my desk?

Their next day I was at an integration meeting. My company was being merged and acquired, and we were discussing how to handle the tech end. Another participant was the SVP who had originally hired me. Larry said "How are you, Dennis?" and I said "Tired!" and explained why. When I got to the 2am and 2:30am calls, his eyes got very big, and he said "Why was she calling you at those times in the morning over something that trivial?" "It's because she doesn't know it's trivial. She's trying to do her job and cross Is and dot Ts. I respect that, which is why she's still alive. She needs to be told it's trivial by her boss, and I've already had that conversation with him."

Not long after, she was laid off, and my "reading between the lines" analysis of why was "Too stupid to do the job."

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We still have above-ground power lines out here. Take that, high winds and high pull (power-usage) on days when it's 106-108 (or more) and everybody's home? Oy.
They are all buried below ground here. Of course, nature can find ways to harm those too. Queue Hurricane Sandy, where peak hurricane coincided with high tide. ConEd's CEO said "When it gets into your power distribution system, salt water is not your friend." He was quite right. Everything in Manhattan below 34th Street (including the building I lived in) was Lights Out territory for a week or so. (We camped out with a fieiend in Brooklyn who still had power till the lights came back on.

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It's like bandaids, in my humble opinion. The faster you pull it off...
Yep. There isn't a nice way to fire people, only necessary ones.

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It's hard to blame the agent, either. I mean, after all, the agent's job (and payment) is to SELL the book. If you've ever read Maas's "Writing the Breakout Novel...", he tells many stories about his clients who've gone off into other areas, written books that didn't sing..self-destructed their (selling) careers. Agents often consider it their jobs, their remit, to ensure that doesn't happen. {shrug}.
I didn't blame the agent either, but the job of an agent is to represent their client, and their responsibilities do not extend to telling client what to write. All they can reasonably talk about is what they think they can sell.

I've met Donald Maas, incidentally, and the agent we are discussing works for his agency.

He gave an amusing presentation years back. He writes under pseudonyms when not agenting. One of his pseudonymous efforts was a YA romance. The love interest for his YA female protagonist was a TV star with his own loft. In YA romances here, there must not only be no sex - there must be no opportunity for sex. The setup in that book presented interesting challenges...

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Ditto. Nor for family. ALWAYS a disaster.
I think I've lost count of the enterprises that have come to grief because they were family owned, grew large enough to require professional management, and suffered from disagreements in the family over who got to do what. Media outfit Viacom had a widely reported falling out between CEO Sumner Redstone and has daughter and heir apparent. I've no idea what the dinner table dynamics in that family were, but it looked a lot from the outside like dad who was slowly failing and knew it unable to pass along the reins.

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I honestly don't know what it was. He said, more than once, that he couldn't remember anything any longer and I did wonder if it was aging. I don't know, but OMG, it was frustrating to have to actually go over the same ground with him more than once, when he'd received a rather steep publisher's discount. Salt, meet open wound.
A friend I had a long conversation the other night with a friend is dealing with that. She works for a mail order outfit. The CEO who is her boss wants to retire and sell the business. But she is increasingly forgetful and befuddled. Queue lots of "I don't understand!" "I just explained it last week and you said you understood it then. Let me explain it one more time..." conversations.

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You can, of course, create a humongous concordance. And then whittle it down, but...jeeze. I do not understand how ANYONE could think that a piece of software could adequately read and analyze content enough to "decide" which references to, say, "Irish Setters" out of 50 should be included in a subject-matter index without human intervention and guidance.
I'm not sure that's possible. What I would want is for the soft to search and identify all such instances so I can decide which should be indexed.

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This, btw, is commonplace. We're asked to "make indices" all the time, as if it's exactly that. Push a button, out pops an index like the morning's ablutions. When I explain that the cheapest way to an index is for the author to actually do the work HIM/HERself, (gasp!) by working through the book and tagging the references, (from which we could then import that to InDesign, creating the index, retaining the tags, in case the layout changes, yadda), you'd think I'd suggested sacrificing small children to Mayan Gods. URGH.
It's worse. You are asking authors to do boring stuff and actually know how to use their tools. Oh, the horror! All they want to do is write wonderful prose and everything else will be taken care of by magic...

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I'm still not sure that either was true. I do suspect that it was indeed aging and that he'd simply forgotten it all. But Sweet Moses on a Pony, it made for a very, very long two (lengthy academic) books!
I respect and admire you, but I fear this is a "better you than me!" instance.

It's like a pratfall - hilarious if you aren't the one falling.
______
Dennis
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Old 07-10-2020, 01:48 PM   #33770
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I have a new kitty and she is wonderful. My vent is about whoever abandoned her. When the rescue found her, she had almost no hair and her skin was in terrible condition. She was 8.5 lbs, which might not sound too small but she is a big girl, who is still a bit thin at 11lbs. She is super-loving and must have been abandoned by someone. I took her for her second round of antibiotics and a cortisoid shot and her skin and coat are much better. I named her Andi.

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Old 07-10-2020, 02:05 PM   #33771
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I have a new kitty and she is wonderful. My vent is about whoever abandoned her. When the rescue found her, she had almost no hair and her skin was in terrible condition. She was 8.5 lbs, which might not sound too small but she is a big girl, who is still a bit thin at 11lbs. She is super-loving and must have been abandoned by someone. I took her for her second round of antibiotics and a cortisoid shot and her skin and coat are much better. I named her Andi.

She's darling and WONDERFUL on you for adopting her.

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Old 07-10-2020, 02:16 PM   #33772
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She's darling and WONDERFUL on you for adopting her.

Hitch
Thanks, Hitch!
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Old 07-10-2020, 03:09 PM   #33773
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She's darling and WONDERFUL on you for adopting her.

Hitch
She's one lucky cat to end up in your house!
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:50 PM   #33774
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:08 PM   #33775
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:41 PM   #33776
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Speaking of pets. My parakeet is bat shit crazy and a world of entertainment. I named him George after the Looney Tunes episode with the abominable snowman lol He tries to mate with his reflection in the mirror. Epic fail each time but fun to watch.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:42 PM   #33777
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It's national kitten day too!

I adopted my Sage from the local shelter late last summer. She is such a sweetheart and had actually been transferred to the local shelter from another one because she hadn't been adopted. I can't imagine why, she is sweet and cuddly and has no bad habits. Although a lot of the info the shelter gave us about her turned out not to be correct.
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:43 PM   #33778
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Originally Posted by covingtoncat73 View Post
I have a new kitty and she is wonderful. My vent is about whoever abandoned her. When the rescue found her, she had almost no hair and her skin was in terrible condition. She was 8.5 lbs, which might not sound too small but she is a big girl, who is still a bit thin at 11lbs. She is super-loving and must have been abandoned by someone. I took her for her second round of antibiotics and a cortisoid shot and her skin and coat are much better. I named her Andi.


Its so great when they can find a loving home. Both of ours came up to us in our yard and wanted to stay.

Last edited by Gardenman; 07-11-2020 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:07 PM   #33779
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Its so great when they can find a loving home. Both of ours came up to us in our yard and wanted to stay.
Every cat I've ever 'had' adopted me. Often deserting perfectly good homes and caring human cohabitants across the street, or even next door. As a consequence I am very wary about interacting with neighbour's cats.

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Old 07-16-2020, 07:17 PM   #33780
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Damn

Was reading one of the "why doesn't calibre do this posts" and this came into my head, so I flicked over to youtube and found it:



Made me cry.

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