About admin (Royce)

The short version? I’m an IT expert that’s addicted to cigars, Whataburger, and tech stuff. Howdy!

Oxford study shows prolonged standing at work leads to greater risk of heart disease

So much for all that “stand at work” idea. A new study by the American Journal of Epidemiology finds that “workers who stand on the job most of the time are at greater risk of heart disease than workers who predominantly sit.”

The article on EHS Today shows the Oxford study was very thorough, taking into account age and existing health conditions.

“Even after adjusting for a wide range of factors – personal (e.g. age, gender, education levels, ethnicity, immigrant status, marital status); health conditions (e.g. diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, mood and anxiety disorders); health behavior (e.g. smoking, drinking, body mass index, exercise); and work (e.g. physical demands, shift schedule) – the risk of heart disease still was twice as high among people who primarily stood on the job compared to those who primarily sat. In fact, the unadjusted risk of heart disease among people who stood on the job even was slightly higher than among daily smokers (5.8 percent).”

That’s really scary. Prolonged standing at work is more dangerous than smoking.

The summary article is here on EHS Today, and the Oxford / American Journal of Epidemiology core study, methodology, and results are here.

The Texas valley got lucky – Harvey just glanced by

The Texas valley got lucky. Stupid lucky. Hurricane Harvey shifted North as it drew closer and just glanced the area with a few intense storms.

Right now the sun is out, you can see blue sky, and the ground is bone-dry.

Clouds over McAllen 082517 1830CST

Hurricane Harvey looks like a “Day After Tomorrow” kind of monster, and if it keeps its’ core in the Gulf, things are going to get real ugly in the next few days for upper Texas.

Stay safe everyone.

The Good, The Bad, and the tropical storm Harvey

To quote Kurt Russel’s character Gabriel Cash in the 1989 movie “Tango and Cash”…. this is FUBAR. Big time.

Tropical storm Harvey is bearing down on the Texas valley, and it’s gaining strength every minute it spends traveling the gulf.

Right now, the storm is expected to dump 24 – 48 inches of rain over 3 days inland and winds are expected to hit 75 mph. Parts of the Texas coast are anticipating four feet of rain as the storm makes landfall.

You know things are bad when Dailymail puts a story on the front page about it and meteorologists like @EricHolthaus are freaking out.

 

I’ll be out tomorrow hitting the local stores to get photos of the shopping carnage that’s going to ensue.

FUBAR. Big time.

The Texas Valley might get a hurricane in the next five days

According to NOAA, it looks like the Texas Valley might get a hurricane in the next five days.

Five Days 2017-08-21
Even though the storm is just a remnant of “Harvey” right now, NOAA expects it to gain strength once it passes the Peninsula. How long it stays in the gulf will make all the difference on how hard it hits.

If you are stuck live in the Texas valley, stock up at HEB or Costco or WalMart ASAP. Flashlights, batteries, tarps, groceries and water are going to vanish once the news outlets pick this up tomorrow night.

In semi-related news, I’m curious if this hurricane will get any press north of San Antonio once it manifests.

Federal contractors begin early shutdown preparations

This one kicked my spider-sense into overdrive. An article on Government Executive (and mirrored on Federal Soup) says “The president of the Professional Services Council (PSC), which represents 400 services and information technology organizations that provide services to federal agencies, said contractors should now begin planning for a government shutdown.”

Um… what?

There have been six government shutdowns in the past 36 years. 1981 (one day), 1984 (one afternoon), 1986 (one afternoon), 1990 (two days over the Columbus day weekend), 1995-1996 (twenty seven days) and in 2013 (fifteen days). The majority of them were based on “concerns” between a divided executive and legislative branch (Republicans and Democrats on alternate sides of the coin) that were eventually resolved.

So why the early red flag over a government that currently has a majority party in control of the House, Senate and Executive office?

David Berteau, “who served for 14 years at the Defense Department before becoming president of the Professional Services Council… speculated Congress would likely pass some sort of spending bill to avoid a shutdown in October, but did not guess as to whether President Trump would sign it.”

Ah hah. In other words, all bets are off.

The PSC is already putting plans in motion for an October 2nd shutdown and urging that contractors “should also begin to think through questions such as how they will notify their employees of a stop work order, their ability to pay employees while not receiving government reimbursements, whether they will be able to enter a federal facility even if their work is slated to continue and what tasks will not continue once federal employees are furloughed.”

October second would be the day the doors close if the shutdown takes place this year. If you know someone that would be affected by another government shutdown, you might want to tell them the PSC is already sounding the alarm.

A 70 year old video is more important than ever

A tweet by @OmanReagan lead me to an amazing video from 1947. The movie is only 17 minutes long, but this 70 year old video needs to be re-broadcast right now.

Take a moment and watch. Jump ahead to the 2 minute 2 second mark to get the main story.

 

Sound familiar?

White supremacy is evil. Racism is evil. Nazis are evil. End of discussion.

 

“Moscow Mules” from a copper cup are probably poisoning you

In the grand tradition of Russia, the trendy "Moscow Mule" drink that's served in a copper cup has a pretty good chance of poisoning you.

In a recent article on both The Washington Post and The Hill, a "Moscow Mule" is actually a fairly acidic drink, with a pH "well below 6.0". The "better call 911" part is that "copper should not come into contact with acidic foods with a pH below 6" because copper will leech into the drink (or food) it comes in contact with.

That mule kick? Copper poisoning! Hee-haw!

"Symptoms of copper poisoning include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and jaundice. Severe poisoning can cause liver failure and death.”

The solution is pretty simple – drink "Moscow Mules" from "copper mugs lined on the inside with another metal, like nickel or stainless steel."

Better yet, have a Guinness.

Ask Mondelez how much a successful cyber attack costs

I’m that IT guy. No you can’t have Facebook at your work PC. No you can’t access the company Wi-Fi network with your personal device. No you can’t remote access the work servers from any PC you want to. No you can’t skip this month’s security training.

Know why I’m such a pain? Because one slip up on my part will bring the company crashing down.

Ask Mondelez, the snack maker that owns Oreos and Cadbury, what the cost of a successful cyber attack is. According to an article on Food Business News, it was an immediate $7.1 million loss, another $150 million in lost sales, and an ongoing “to be determined” repair cost.

Back in June, Mondelez got hit with the ransomware strain “Petya”. The effects were immediate and brutal. Production came to a complete stop, and the company scrambled for weeks trying to remove the ransomware infection from their company servers.

According to Food Business News, “The malware affected a significant portion of the company’s global Windows-based applications and its sales, distribution and financial networks across the company.”

“Although the company believes it has now largely contained the disruption and restored a majority of its affected systems, the company anticipates additional work during the second half of 2017 as the company continues to recover and further enhance the security of its systems. For the second quarter, the company estimates that the malware incident had a negative impact of 2.3% on its net revenue growth and 2.4% on its organic revenue growth. The company also incurred incremental expenses of $7.1 million as a result of the incident.”

The worst part? “In an Aug. 2 conference call with investment analysts, Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and chief executive officer, said Mondelez was not yet “back to normal.”

June. July. August. And an untold number of months to go.

Yes, IT guys like me are a royal pain. It’s not because we want to be. It’s because we know what will happen if a cyber attack is actually successful.

Dallas Cowboys 1979 roster poster from McDonald’s

In a previous post, I mentioned McDonald’s used to give away epic promotional items when you visited their stores.

This was another one of their promotions. The Dallas Cowboys full-size roster poster from 1979.

The front…

Dallas Cowboys 1979 Poster Front 300dpi FlickrFormat
..and the back.

Dallas Cowboys 1979 Poster Back 300dpi FlickrFormat
Tom Landry was still the coach, Roger Staubach #12 was THE quarterback, and Tony Dorsett #33 was still on the team. Wikipedia has a summary of the 1979 season, but I do not remember anything about seeing the games from back then. I do vaguely remember the uproar when it was announced this was Staubach’s last season with the Cowboys.

The back of the poster should have been a standalone poster in its’ own right. It had detailed stats of the whole team with photos of their previous accomplishments, an “all-time” best chart by position played, and a special “ring of honor” near the center.

I don’t remember anything on how I originally got this poster, but I do remember it kept falling off my wall every year. I kept having to re-mount it, and used everything from putty to glue to duct tape. I had no idea back then how to mount a poster and keep it intact over time, and my lack of experience shows in the condition. I couldn’t get some of the tape off the back when I got it out of storage, and had to help guide this one through the poster scanner to get it through.

Even through this poster was in worse condition than the 1981 version I had, it still did very well rolled up in a cardboard tube in one of my Seward Trunks all these years.

Flickr only allows 300mb uploads, so this is a highly down-scaled version of the original 905mb TIFF scan.