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A suggestion for the city of Denver

A suggestion for the city of Denver:

You have several ongoing problems with the 16th Street Mall. The tile you are using requires constant replacement; on both the pedestrian and shuttle bus lanes. Keep the charm of the tiles, but pave with concrete or asphalt the bus lane. That solves two problems. The tiles need more maintenance, which paving will improve. With paving, the visual perception will change so pedestrians know they can walk on the tiles but not the pavement, which will lead to less accidents between buses and people walking.

permalinkDecember 8, 2019

Laptop

My personal laptop; performance statistics and graphs.

permalinkNovember 28, 2019

Benchmark

Let's generate traffic and see what happens:

This is ApacheBench, Version 2.3 <$Revision: 1807734 $>
Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd, http://www.zeustech.net/
Licensed to The Apache Software Foundation, http://www.apache.org/

Benchmarking www.vardaman.org (be patient)


Server Software:        Apache
Server Hostname:        www.vardaman.org
Server Port:            80

Document Path:          /
Document Length:        12250 bytes

Concurrency Level:      100
Time taken for tests:   665.978 seconds
Complete requests:      100000
Failed requests:        0
Total transferred:      1247100000 bytes
HTML transferred:       1225000000 bytes
Requests per second:    150.16 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request:       665.978 [ms] (mean)
Time per request:       6.660 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests)
Transfer rate:          1828.70 [Kbytes/sec] received

Connection Times (ms)
              min  mean[+/-sd] median   max
Connect:       58  214 345.9     76    4458
Processing:    61  452 438.4    244    4981
Waiting:       60  204 121.7    188    4170
Total:        123  666 539.5    398    7523

Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
  50%    398
  66%    753
  75%   1022
  80%   1074
  90%   1294
  95%   1889
  98%   2106
  99%   2436
 100%   7523 (longest request)

permalinkNovember 25, 2019

Yet Another Monitoring Tool

There was nothing I could do Sunday, so I installed one more Linux monitoring tool on my server:

Monitorix for vardaman.org

permalinkNovember 24, 2019

Bathrooms

I did finally put some touches on a stupid project. Look at it and give me as much feedback as possible.

Here in Denver we have a 1.5 mile long pedestrian mall. In central downtown, with a free bus shuttle. A problem is because it draws a lot of homeless, the bathrooms are usually restricted to buying customers. I thought it would be disruptive to have a small site where people can share bathroom codes. I know about 10 people who would contribute.

Here's the Starbucks I'm in right now:

http://16.vardaman.org/

The passcode to get into the restrooms is 98765. I added a 'hover' for both the business name and the stop name. Hover mouse over the biz_name, and you see the last date/time it was updated. There is another hover for the full USPS ZIP4 address on the shuttle stop number. ZIP+4 encoding for the 47 records takes 6.4 seconds, and the load time for the main page. takes 0.61 seconds on a 1.44 mbps T1.

My main goal was to make it worthwhile, usable, self-explanatory, and load in well under one second on a cell phone.

ZIP+4 encoding:

permalinkNovember 14, 2019

Subway

I sent this to Subway's Customer Feedback website:

-------------------

Great service, great sandwich.

Very pleasant experience. Give her some kind of bonus like an extra 15 minute break on a shift.

Subway Kudo

permalinkNovember 4, 2019

Elitch Gardens

Worked Elitch Gardens (a Denver amusement park; for my MS friends, it's a lot like a permanent State Fair) yesterday.

A few comments:

Do NOT eat their food, or food from any other similar carnival-type event. They are lax on cleanliness, do not adhere to the standard Wash/Rinse/Sanitize cycle for cleaning dishes as a matter of unofficial practice (they have no sink traps, for example). When we ran out of gloves at both food locations, food was prepared with bare hands. No policy for timing or dating or rotating food; a manager actually grabbed an open bag of already cooked fries from the day before, and threw them in with a batch of fresh fries.

I did my best, but I was required to wear a black shirt. The only one I had was unwashed from the day before where I wallowed around in dirt and horse manure for eight hours at the National Western Complex.

The food is extremely inconsistent. Depends on cook, but the guy doing fries and wings Saturday knew what he was doing. The guy I worked with on funnel cakes was a nice guy, but he generated a lot of returned food for being burnt. And the food is expensive - French fries with a sprinkle of garlic powder and Parmesan cheese for $10.95? Good grief, that's expensive.

I was waiting in line for a restroom at the labor place; one of my co-workers took a long time in the bathroom. He walked out, and quickly walked back in before I could, saying "they can't find this." Now I know what smoked Crystal Meth smells like.

If you saw the employee area, you would barf at the amount of filth they allow to lie on the floor, and the bathrooms there are horrendous.

Having worked at Sam's Club, Walmart, King Soopers/Kroger, Good Times Burgers, Broncos Stadium (Mile High), Western National Complex; I'd eat at all of them, but the winner is:

Good Times Burgers

They do pay close attention to food safety.

permalinkNovember 3, 2019

Bellco ATM

Bellco Credit Union:

Your ATM ate my debit card.

You have no idea how much damage that did to me. My rent was up today at 10:00am, and to pay it I used your ATM to get cash. But all your ATMs on the 16th Street Mall (outside; which I used, and inside as well) were malfunctioning. I asked inside; they checked the machine as best as they could, but they told me when a card doesn't get ejected, the machine destroys it. I logged into my bank's website, and there was a $357 balance and all listed transactions were only my own. I called the bank, and they said my account was fine. Your ATM swallowed my card for no legitimate reason. Because I don't know the card number, there's no way for me to access my money like Western Union or a bank transfer to my Wells Fargo account. They told me a replacement card could be sent in 7-10 business days. To expedite, I had to pay a $35 fee (effing nearly 10% of my balance) to have a replacement card shipped via FedEx, and because a person has to sign for it, I can't work tomorrow because I have to sit outside and wait for delivery.

With no ability to access my money and pay my rent, for tonight I either need to beg a friend for a roof, or sleep on a park bench in 10 degree weather and a half-foot of snow on the ground. My card is now reported lost, my access to my account via web is gone as of the 20 minute phone call I had with my bank, I'm out $35 to Fedex (who knows when they will show up tomorrow), an expected $65-$75 in lost wages (waiting for Fedex), a $6 bus pass that I otherwise didn't have to buy, and about four miles of walking I didn't have to do.

Forgive me if I spend the rest of this cold, cold evening speaking badly about your ATM on social media and places like Yelp.

Stewart Vardaman

(If you need my email address or phone number, pull that damned card out of your damned machine, call my damned bank at the 800 number on the back, give them the last four digits of the card number [3077], and spend a few damned minutes on hold).

permalinkOctober 30, 2019

Western Stock Show

Western Stock Show - just a horse trick exhibit. Nice gig - concession stand; not hard work, only half-full crowd, got free food, they paid us for 9.5 hours. All I did was prep nachos, wash dishes, swept floor. I ate a bacon cheeseburger, two slices of pizza, a half-order of nachos and cheese, and a few spoonfuls of beef brisket.

I will tell you one thing about gigs like this: they are not playing around with cleanliness. I must have washed my hands and changed gloves 40 times that night. The boss insisted that even if I rubbed my brow; wash and new gloves. I adhered to that. The sanitary levels at these events is to higher standards than what I've seen in Fast Food.

A few things I would change:

* Weigh pizza ingredients (a woman got yelled at for using too much cheese during the shift I worked).

* They use NCR cash registers, and use a dedicated person to transmit orders from the NCR to the kitchen. How hard is it to use terminals and a touch button to do that? I could set up hardware and write software for that in ONE DAY, for under $1,000.

* You have to use analytics. Get the gate ticket sales and figure out why you don't have to dump 8 pizzas and ten trays of chips each night.

* Inventory - Running low on Jalapeno peppers for nachos? There's a world of under-employed people who can tell you how many peppers to order each week.

permalinkOctober 30, 2019

Weather Widget

Added a Weather Widget to my info panel. Updates every three hours; takes under one second to update:

Weather Widget

permalinkOctober 28, 2019

Denver spending 2019 above $10 million

Denver spending so far in 2019, by program/department/category where the category total payments exceeded $10 million. It didn't make the $10m cutoff, but Denver spent $5,125,713.53 so far this year on Snow Removal at the airport; $2,229,896.87 on golf and golf course-related expenses. The City Council has spent nearly $4,800 at Turin Cycles (on the NE corner of 7th Ave and Lincoln St). The Denver Central Library paid a total of $24.35 this year out of their Petty Cash Account for Office Supplies and Fixtures.

BTW, shout to Turin Bikes: I love the Specialized Bike I got a couple of years ago from you. Sweet deal for $900.

Your website sucks.

The person who created it should be forced to write on a blackboard 500 times 'I do not know what I am doing -- all I am is a copy-and-paste HTML thief; a mimicker of actual talent, and causing serious harm to clients like the Bike Shop.'

+-----------------------+---------------------------------+--------------------------------+-----------------+
| program               | department                      | category                       | amount          |
+-----------------------+---------------------------------+--------------------------------+-----------------+
| Airport               | Airport                         | Construction Services          | $146,575,109.51 |
| Airport               | Airport                         | Professional Services          | $142,811,581.94 |
| General Government    | Career Service Authority        | Payroll Liabilities            | $58,459,938.64  |
| Public Works          | Wastewater Management Division  | Construction Services          | $57,242,847.68  |
| Public Works          | Public Works                    | Construction Services          | $54,372,045.56  |
| Public Works          | Public Works                    | Professional Services          | $47,260,527.56  |
| Cultural Activities   | Arts and Venues Division        | Professional Services          | $21,363,807.51  |
| Public Works          | Public Works                    | Repair and Maintenance of Road | $21,300,349.65  |
| General Government    | Department of Finance           | Professional Services          | $20,963,124.58  |
| Airport               | Airport                         | Repair and Maintenance of Equi | $20,585,882.90  |
| General Government    | Department of General Services  | Utilities                      | $18,447,126.61  |
| General Government    | Department of Finance           | Payroll Liabilities            | $17,999,999.82  |
| General Government    | Technology Services             | Maintenance Agreements and Lic | $17,989,403.21  |
| Airport               | Airport                         | Utilities                      | $17,969,368.89  |
| Public Works          | Public Works                    | Vehicles                       | $16,939,488.05  |
| General Government    | Department of General Services  | Professional Services          | $15,479,901.38  |
| Public Safety         | Safety Administration           | Professional Services          | $13,812,310.88  |
| Community Development | Housing & Neighborhood Division | Business Housing and Construct | $12,339,978.36  |
| Public Works          | Wastewater Management Division  | Professional Services          | $12,278,331.69  |
| General Government    | Technology Services             | Professional Services          | $11,968,246.18  |
| Public Safety         | Undersheriff                    | Professional Services          | $11,516,338.88  |
| Airport               | Airport                         | Maintenance Agreements and Lic | $10,935,803.63  |
| Airport               | Airport                         | Travel and Transportation - No | $10,097,887.77  |
+-----------------------+---------------------------------+--------------------------------+-----------------+
permalinkOctober 19, 2019

Denver Library Spending

Just rambling through Denver's 2019 checkbook for what the city paid for the Denver Public Library (DPL); amount totals only over $50,000. So far in 2019 they spent (some samples):

Century Link  = $76,854.42
Comcast Cable = $92,626.96
Dell Computer = $209,627.16
Staples (Office Supplies) = $68,846.97

DPL uses overdrive.com for some of their digital content; they spent $984,000.00 with overdrive.com so far. DPL operates library trucks that they apparently lease from Transwest Trucks and Trailers for $88,832.00 so far in 2019. They spent $51,062.76 on elevators and escalators this year, and $117,837.19 on security guards.

Here is what drives me nuts: get a library card, get their app on your phone, and play around with their site and app. I can write the website and app to a presentable level in two weeks for under $5,000.

permalinkOctober 18, 2019

Denver payments to Goodyear in 2019

Denver payments to Goodyear in 2019:

SELECT c_name AS company, c_program_area AS program, c_exp_categ AS expense_category, 
    CONCAT('$', FORMAT(SUM(c_amount), 2)) AS total
  FROM food.chex
  WHERE c_name LIKE 'Goodyear%' AND c_year = 2019
  GROUP BY 1, 2, 3
  ORDER BY SUM(c_amount) DESC

+-----------------------------+--------------+--------------------------------+-------------+
| company                     | program      | expense_category               | total       |
+-----------------------------+--------------+--------------------------------+-------------+
| GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER CO | Public Works | Auto Supplies and Materials    | $689,916.32 |
| GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER CO | Airport      | Consumable Inventory           | $22,358.06  |
| GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER CO | Public Works | Repair and Maintenance of Equi | $665.00     |
| GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER CO | Airport      | Auto Supplies and Materials    | $330.20     |
| GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER CO | Airport      | Administrative Expense         | $59.79      |
| GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER CO | Public Works | Professional Services          | $2.20       |
+-----------------------------+--------------+--------------------------------+-------------+

Here is something worth mentioning: MySQL/MariaDB cannot use an INDEX when you use a LIKE clause. It's imperceptible by eyeballing on our sample query because the record set is so small (121,659 rows). The LIKE for 'Goodyear' is fine at (0.00477872) seconds, but explicitly spelling out 'GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER CO' and using EQUAL vs LIKE is (0.00417095) seconds because it can use the INDEX on company name. Six thousands of a second might seem trivial, but think about the scale if you're dealing with US Census data on about 330 million people against a JOIN on 300 million cell phone numbers and another JOIN against the USPS's massive address database (maybe 170 million?), and total pieces of mail north of 40 billion.

permalinkOctober 17, 2019

Airport checks

Let's look at Denver's checkbook to see how much they are spending at Denver International Airport. For just the airport, only 2019, only totals of over $2 million, and only non-Colorado companies:

SELECT c_name AS company, c_addy AS city, c_state AS st, c_fund_desc AS description,
    CONCAT('$', FORMAT(SUM(c_amount), 2)) AS totals 
  FROM food.chex
  WHERE c_program_area = 'Airport' 
    AND c_year = 2019 
    AND c_state <> 'CO'
  GROUP BY c_name
  HAVING SUM(c_amount) > 2000000
  ORDER by c_amount DESC

+-------------------------------------------+--------------------+----+------------------------------+----------------+
| company                                   | city               | st | description                  | totals         |
+-------------------------------------------+--------------------+----+------------------------------+----------------+
| HOLDER-FCI JV                             | ATLANTA            | GA | Airport Capital Improvement  | $20,208,536.30 |
| JACOBS ENGINEERING GROUP INC              | PASADENA           | CA | Airport Capital Improvement  | $14,556,132.89 |
| BOMBARDIER TRANSPORTATION HOLDING USA INC | PITTSBURGH         | PA | Airport Operations and Maint | $14,373,094.05 |
| HNTB CORPORATIONv                         | KANSAS CITY        | MO | Airport Capital Improvement  | $13,092,850.54 |
| DBA PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF COLORADO    | MINNEAPOLIS        | MN | Airport Operations and Maint | $12,265,528.59 |
| WSP USA INC                               | NEW YORK           | NY | Airport Capital Improvement  |  $7,604,563.92 |
| JSM AND ASSOCIATES LLC                    | MOUNT DORA         | FL | Airport Operations and Maint |  $5,369,487.46 |
| JA WATTS INC                              | CHICAGO            | IL | Airport Capital Improvement  |  $5,023,423.79 |
| AERO SNOW REMOVAL CORP                    | PORT WASHINGTON    | NY | Airport Operations and Maint |  $4,796,672.77 |
| THYSSENKRUPP ELEVATOR CORPORATION         | COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS | UT | Airport Operations and Maint |  $4,025,689.00 |
| RS AND H INC                              | JACKSONVILLE       | FL | Airport Capital Improvement  |  $2,870,219.34 |
| SANTANDER LEASING LLC                     | MELVILLE           | NY | Airport Capital Improvement  |  $2,696,803.80 |
| NACHURS ALPINE SOLUTIONS INDUSTRIAL       | MARION             | OH | Airport Operations and Maint |  $2,669,881.88 |
| WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY LLC                 | ST LOUIS           | MO | Airport Capital Improvement  |  $2,426,782.48 |  
| FAITHFUL GOULD INC                        | NEW YORK           | NY | Airport Operations and Maint |  $2,160,108.63 |
| MCKINSEY AND COMPANY INC                  | WASHINGTON         | DC | Airport Operations and Maint |  $2,100,000.00 |
+-------------------------------------------+--------------------+----+------------------------------+----------------+
permalinkOctober 16, 2019

IQ

Your IQ changes with age. I'd bet my IQ score has dropped ten or twenty points in the last decade.

permalinkOctober 15, 2019

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