After the Virus

It’s really a love story…

No, not a romance, and with very few if any "love scenes", but at the core, I found it to be a great love story. Strong characterizations, and a supporting cast that you could believe in.

A bit of gore, and some more violence, but not excessive (at least to me). I’m not a gore/horror genre fan, but enjoyed this a bunch.

I enjoyed the way the author kept you on the edge of your seat, with some well done scene changes. The author is an independent filmmaker, I understand. Maybe that helps with scene and flow.

My only disappointment was when I read the author’s bio, I learned it was the author’s first book… that kept me from running out and buying her next one.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it (although by the time I got around to reading it, I honestly had forgotten where it came from).

Orphan Flu

As others have commented, I found the first chapter or two a little hard to get into, but I shortly found it to be a "can’t put it down" book. I’ve always been fond of post apocalyptic stories, but many of them wind up with the same battles and same issues. This one was different.

There were a few places that were a little unbelievable to me, but nothing that made me want to quit reading.

I won’t spoil the end, but there was a sharp, moving twist at the end that is worth waiting for.

I hope to see a sequel!

Note: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for a review


I always enjoy a good post-apocalyptic book (guess that says something about me), and when I saw this one, was excited to find a new author. Had to finish another in-progress book before I could start, but once I did, I couldn’t stop.

I stayed up way too late reading, and then when the alarm went off, reached over for it again. Then found myself sneaking it in the gaps at work.

This is a well crafted book, with detailed characters and a totally believable sequence of events. Way too often I was thinking “that could be me”, or “I need to stockpile some stuff”. Occasionally the introspection and editorial commentary was a smidgen too long, but honestly there is a good message for people to think about, and if you think you’re getting bored, just turn the page and the action strikes again.

There were several plot twists that I didn’t see coming which really added to the suspense.

And if you’re worried about this being a self-published author (at least I’m pretty sure he is), don’t. This is an entirely professional book, well edited and proofed.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.


I enjoy apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic type stories, especially with a good SciFi bent. This looked like it was going to fit the bill, and didn’t disappoint. The author took a slightly different tactic than many, with a lot of emphasis on the failing governments of the world and how those failings play into the efforts to save some of the human race.

There is less "technical details" and more "people" details, with good characterizations and dialog. At times I wished there was a bit more background and detail, but I like a rather "deep" book at times that might be boring to many.

The pacing was good, with enough suspense to make me keep turning the pages (I stayed up past my bedtime to finish it).

Note that I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it.

eBooks Live Forever

eBooks live forever

In the old world of physical books, printed on a printing press, you had a relatively short time to get that book out there and sold. Books went out of print, were returned or destroyed, and that was the end.

Guess what – eBooks live forever

You don’t have a deadline. Leave them available. It might not be hugely successful right away, but maybe later. That slow trickle of sales might grow. You might write a second, third or tenth book that hits the charts and suddenly people are clamoring after your early works.

Things on the web never go out of print.

The Internet is Forever

Related in some ways, remember also that “the Internet is forever”. If you have ever put it “out there”, it’s probably still available. Don’t publish, even on your private blog, something that you don’t want related to your reputation.

The web lives forever – put a date on it!

Dates are important!

Many things on the web live forever, or at least they can. I know some people have had an issue with this when various foibles from their past come back to haunt them when it’s time to get screened by a future employer or something, but I’m really speaking more on articles and references you place on the web. Many people in the tech world give freely of their time and knowledge, posting hints, answers, tutorials and all manner of resources on the ‘net so that others can learn.

Let me assure you, this is appreciated by many! I have over the years tried to pay this back in various ways, although I’m sure I haven’t been very successful.

There is also a growing trend toward minimalism on many web sites. That’s all well and good, and can make for some nice, easy to read displays. Regardless of the esthetic of the site, I implore you to do one thing:


Recently I have found more and more blog entries, tech postings or whatever with no obvious (or sometimes unobvious) way of finding when the posting was made. If it’s a comment about your like or dislike of hamburgers, it’s probably not that important when you posted it (although as your tastes change, you might find it of interest later), but for a technical article, it’s of great value to know if this is current best practice, or a fix that needed to be applied to the 2007 release of the software.

Marco Arment, of Instapaper fame, made a recent post regarding posts of lasting value. He didn’t explicitly mention dates, but rather how few of his posts were timeless and how technology items have a lifespan. If there is no date visible, how do I know if its current information or not?

Software often has a "version history" page with an outline of changes over time. Many of these, again, have no dates. Without dates, you don’t know how often a project is updated, or even if it is totally dead with no new development.

It’s that new math…

OK, so your company hires a big-name consulting group to provide "turn-key" upgrades to some major applications.

You know where this is going… nowhere good, that’s for sure.

So, after 5 months or so, they have done enough "planning" to present their full costs. They came in with an initial bid back when of about what things would cost, +-10%.

We later re-assigned a LARGE part of their work to another vendor (who is actually getting something done, while these guys are still planning). So their work has gone down significantly.

The current price? Three times (3X) the initial estimate.


Involved with this same project was another sub-project that I had gotten 3 bids for. Came in low, medium and high. The low was probably too low, but either medium or high would have been a fair price and I would have expected them to be fairly well done. The vendor I was forced to use (the big-name consulting group) was 3x the amount of the next highest bid. Really. They are now multiple months late and over budget, and I think their "experts" have been learning on the job.

(added later, 2015-10-14 17:36:55, long after the project was done)

They never did finish the sub-project. We finally pulled the plug on it.

Realistic Irrationality

2015-10-14 17:22:46

Way back when, I had a small web site, Realistic Irrationality, that never really went very far. I retired it later, but decided to put the content here on, for old time sake. So anything you see with the Realistic Irrationality tag, that’s where it came from.

I work in a high-demand, high-stress IT position. Our users expect things to happen right then, no matter what. I know, you’re saying “yeah, just like all users”.

Well, I thought so too, until I came to work at this place, but anyhow a co-worker and I were exchanging emails about yet another user and his current set of demands. Amazingly, he was willing to wait until after the holiday weekend (which had just started) for us to work on the issue. Her closing comment was, and I quote “I’m just happy he’s not demanding an answer tonight. I can deal with realistic irrationality.” That phrase was too much for me… it just summed up so many things in life so well.

Not sure what we’ll do with it, but we had to own it 🙂

Thanks Tammy!

realistic adj

1. showing awareness and acceptance of reality
2. practical or pragmatic rather than ideal or moral
3. (of a book, film, etc.) depicting or emphasizing what is real and actual rather than abstract or ideal
4. (Philosophy) of or relating to philosophical realism
realistically adv

irrationality, irrationalism n

1. the state or quality of being irrational
2. irrational thought, action, or behaviour

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

So, from the viewpoint of this web site, the word realistic really refers to a combination of meanings encompassed by definitions 1 and 2 above.

Showing awareness and acceptance of reality in a practical and/or pragmatic way. This is something that apparently a lot of people just don’t grasp. We’ve all been there… users call and expect the world, who cares that it is patently impossible. Users that make statements that have us biting our tongues trying to to laugh. Other support technicians or “professionals” that miss the obvious (we’ve all been there… don’t be too quick to laugh).

Some users understand that we may have personal lives and even take days off… they still want it fixed, but realize that “you know, maybe it could wait until Monday… I’m not using it this weekend anyway”. For those people, we say Thanks!

Organized sports leads to the downfall of civilization

Just to get this out there at the beginning… I don’t like sports. Never have.

Individual athletic activities, fine. I’m not overly athletic (should be more so), but if you like that, go for it.

Intermural sports where all the participants play and just want to go have fun, ok, I guess I can see that.

Organized sports, especially college and "pro" teams? No, just get rid of them.

Why am I forced, by the government, to contribute part of my hard-earned money to go to taxes to build stadiums to support teams raking in millions of dollars?

Why was I, a non-scholoarship student on campus, relegated to worse housing, no free tutoring, etc., etc. when guys with great athletic skills (or so I’m told) get the best of everything and can coast through school?

This could go on and on… most of my friends and co-workers have learned to not even bring it up near me, but to get around to the title of my post, have you ever noticed that in history, civilizations that are soon to decline/collapse are the ones that have developed organized sports and begin to worship sports?

Look at ancient Rome.

Think about it.