In the aftermath...

I should mention I survived surgery. Recovery is taking a while and I’m not having fun. These things pass with time.

Election results have started to come in across the United Kingdom and initial reactions to them were not positive. I already read talk about expatriation from multiple quarters. That’s often not a good thing.

In that respect I’ll put forward two notions. The first is to not overlook the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program in the USA. For its ”Targeted Employment Area” definition that has lower capital levels that you have to put forward…one area targeted is a “rural area”. Where am I again? If you can live with some occasional heavy snows, want to try to make a startup (regardless of type) in an area with top hospitals, and want to still have fairly easy access to Canada across Lake Erie frankly I could hook you up a realtor in my local area to get started. The cost of living in this part of Ohio is low and will probably look like what you always thought the mythical Ambridge of Radio 4’s The Archers would look like.

As to the second option, go talk to the University of the South Pacific. They’re a multi-national institution in the Pacific that provides educational opportunities in several nation-states. They do good work. With the measles outbreak in the independent state of Samoa that has held back some education work while heroic efforts continue to contain the outbreak. The Pacific is a beautiful place to live and if I had fewer family obligations I would be heading back that way to live. If you can’t handle the new Brexit reality there are new frontiers in paradise to explore for living and working.

Again, these are just notions. On my part I managed to finish up a patchset to Xubuntu offline documentation while I’ve been recovering from surgery. I know I have political turmoil here stateside but it doesn’t hold me back from helping make Xubuntu fabulous during the Focal Fossa cycle. My pain is a little bit more direct at the moment…

Heading in to surgery tomorrow...

It is with trepidation that I state that I will be heading in for surgery on Friday at 1630 UTC. The work will be done at a hospital but that is only because their facilities are being borrowed so this should be an outpatient that will just take a while. Prayers are always helpful and useful.

Expected recovery from this frankly scares me as healing from the surgery will take time and then there will be follow-up work to be done. I understand that this is a need part of improving my health. This just happens to be one of the harder parts.

License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit
DNS over HTTP may be harmful?

Hacker News pointed out a blog post on the PowerDNS Blog discussing why DNS over HTTP may not be such a good idea. The Hacker News comments were on-brand. The comments overlook something pretty simple from the article.

The original author wrote in pertinent part:

We have to keep in mind that if a DNS lookup is slow, the entire internet feels sluggish. Slow DNS = Slow internet.

Right now my current domestic broadband provider is providing inconsistent service as it is. Having requests to a variety of known-good sites mysteriously timeout and crash is not unheard of. Having sites become mysteriously inaccessible is not unheard of either. I’m not living anywhere drastic either as this is just northeast Ohio about fifty miles outside Cleveland. It should not provide me with a performance boost when I disable this feature in Firefox.

Unfortunately I get such a performance boost. I don’t think it is something wrong with my machine or my in-house LAN. I’ve looked at the maps of the concept and frankly there are spots where this paradigm breaks down hard if viewed from a Red Team perspective.

I’ve looked at the lack of competition in my local area on the FCC broadband deployment map. I’ve even considered dumping the current provider for somebody else. Unfortunately I don’t really have a choice beyond my current provider’s random loss of packets, disappearances of known active sites, and generally horrible maintenance of inherited rural legacy infrastructure that they probably aren’t making much revenue from.

Looking at traceroute output like this is getting unreal…

Talking the Satellite of Love

Yeah. Jonah announced that the revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000 was canceled. The matter was also talked about in Variety, Den of Geek, AV Club.

Netflix killed the revival. I do not know what their motives are in what they’re doing. They do not pay a dividend to their shareholders. Their 2018 earnings per share were 2.78 basic and 2.68 diluted. Their net income for the year was only USD$1.21 billion. In contrast the same year net income for Apple for USD$59.53 billion with earnings per share 12.01 basic and 11.01 diluted. Apple does pay a dividend. Netflix still pedals forward for now but with the big price tags involved in making content a couple wrong turns could set it back rather hard rather quickly.

I’m not sure Mystery Science Theater 3000 would’ve been the thing to do that, though. The realignment of the service as various properties are being lost to other platforms does not bode well. What does it have in terms of drawing factors? It appears that Frasier will depart Netflix at the end of the year among other big departures.

Shout Factory participated in the re-launch Kickstarter. Shout Factory has its own streaming channel. There is a natural home for moving Mystery Science Theater 3000 for its thirteenth season and beyond. The channel is ad-supported and functional now. They have their own production capability as they participated in producing the 11th and 12th seasons. The big question is how this would be financed.

No, I don’t have any inside track. I can look at the players involved and try to think about it, though. Shout Factory proudly listed in their company history that they were part of the production. There can be some hope with them looking for a Digital Video Projects Coordinator that they’re bringing in the needed people for such a thing.

217 episodes isn’t a bad number. Felicia and Jonah need to be on-screen more. Heck, just have the host segments with the two of them doing back and forth…it would be better than some of the crap being shoveled on TV right now.

The state of our media right now is not good. Jonah and Felicia were making something decent in concert with Joel. We need more of that in our world.

Black Friday Alternative Planning

It has become an odd tradition in America to effectively “battle shop” on the Friday following the Thanksgiving holiday. It is already weird that we even have the Thanksgiving holiday here as it is something that pretty much only Canada and the USA have. Having previously worked in consumer electronics retail I have effectively sworn it off after a few too many rounds of handling people who actually like to “battle shop”.

If you’re safe at home and want to do something else to push Ubuntu forward, may I put forward some ideas? How about:

As for me, I am going to be avoiding the stores Friday if at all possible. Going out in the craziness is just not worth it at this time…

License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit
So Now What?

The question I’ve ducked socially for almost two months has been rather simple: What now?

The correct answers to it have been absolutely nothing in terms of steady employment and lots and lots of time spent in therapy. When you leave a job due to a health scare you don’t immediately rebound from something like that. Considering that my now immediate past employer is rather odious in the minds of many thanks to its current CEO the job prospects are effectively rather dim to non-existent.

I’ve been keeping up with therapy. That’s meant having to go to the gym to spend time. That’s meant going to see the doctor as required. That’s also meant tuning out the apocalyptic craziness of the news and substituting instead The Archers as well as other programs. I’ve also been starting to look at what needs updating in Xubuntu documentation. I know there is at least one chapter I should be providing a rather significant amount of editing to.

Currently I had one short story rejected by an outlet as it didn’t fit their needs. Apparently it was too hard sci-fi in an age where that is becoming quite a niche. I’ve got a different one that I’m working on in a gitit wiki that I’ve gotten over the 1,500 word mark that I am still trying to get going towards at least the 7,500 word mark. I have not done much in terms of fiction writing in a while so that is a useful exercise right now after spending almost six years writing case report after case report. It appears that gitit is working better than I initially expected on the in-house on-premises server.

I am still preaching twice per month at a local nursing home. I think we’re heading into the fourth year of that now, actually. Thanks to the great tools in the package archive as well as LaTeX2e I am able to prepare worship handouts for use at every service. LaTeX wasn’t the best programming language to pick up while working for Uncle Sam but it has proved very useful over time. Coming from a Christian tradition where there are no bishops but rather editor/publishers the ability to readily handle publication layout while also readily producing textual exposition makes life exciting. Each handout gives credit to Xubuntu for being the Linux distro used in production so many, many elderly folks get an unusual bit of exposure to Linux at least twice per month. Currently the domestic mission work is performed gratis after support was provided on a limited basis by West Avenue Church of Christ to cover printing expenses.

Currently there is a Christmas wishlist that has been posted for the sake of amusing people. Coming back to the main question of What Now I can only say that I am working on projects under the aegis of Erie Looking Productions. There is, of course, Liberapay available to help support me getting back up writing fiction and non-fiction as well as PayPal for one-time contributions of support for the various types of works. An in-progress project is helping an auto shop get ready for a trade show and I’m putting together their booth audiovisual presentation systems to be able to exhibit.

I am ready for 2019 to end. For next year there are many hopeful possibilities.

UPDATE 2019-11-25 I will apparently be heading in for significant oral surgery next week Friday that will require sedation. The news of this only came to me earlier today. It ties back to the not immediately rebounding and I should be glad that this is moving forward. It also appears that restarting podcasting on my part may be delayed unless I stick to being just a staff writer while things play out from the surgery and the follow-up process that will take some time.

License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Streaming Television -- A New Hope?

There is a somewhat cheeky interactive posted by The New York Times to help people determine what services they should subscribe to in streaming. As you might imagine, it is a newspaper based in the United States of America so the results of the quiz are biased to here. Caveat lector.

There has been chatter in the Ubuntu Podcast Telegram group about the usability of such streaming services. There hasn’t been discussion on the podcast yet but you are encouraged to tune in via Spotify, via iTunes, or on Android.

As for me I have my consumer broadband complaining off and on that things like Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook simply didn’t exist today. I’m pretty sure I didn’t order any blocking so I’m questioning what broke where. Sticking to conventional over-the-air broadcasts as well as direct broadcast satellite television service remain the best options for me at the present time in my strange little corner of Ohio.

License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Mid-November Miscellany

In no particular order:

License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Coming Up This Week

There are a variety of items to come in the week ahead. Matters include:

  • Continue writing on the short story that is in progress. Currently I have it up to 1,053 words.
  • Get my sermon ready for preaching at the Landing on the 24th.
  • Show Dad how to use Telegram as he is now reachable that way.
  • Gain a better understanding of the markdown package in the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network for making auto-generated LaTeX documents such as with either newspaper or papertex.
  • Continue to review Writer’s Market and determine where I should start trying freelance submissions.
  • Review of the charter of the City of Ashtabula relative to how to draft an initial contact letter to start the legislative initiative process so as to get the city moving to perhaps get a station open locally of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (a.k.a. AMTRAK).
  • Ease up at AskUbuntu where I keep having to hold back on tagging edits where I end up leaving the reason of Xubuntu refers to a single flavor and isn't a wildcard for any flavor. It is bad enough that I went ahead and had the description for the Xubuntu tag changed to now state: “Xubuntu is a community developed, Ubuntu-based (Ubuntu with XFCE desktop environment) GNU/Linux operating system. This tag is not meant to be used as a wildcard as to the desktop environment variant of Ubuntu that you are asking about.” There aren’t wildcard variables in words in the English language so using Xubuntu as a wildcard expression for any flavor of Ubuntu is something that needs to be cut down.
License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Blocked Writing

Now that I have left the service I am spending time writing. Television can provide some inspiration for that. Unfortunately it appears we have wall to wall coverage of impeachment hearings coming up on the major networks this week in lieu of regular programming. Frankly that horrifies me. What has not been investigated ad nauseum since Mr. Trump was elected? With an election contest in progress in the United Kingdom the horror of this is spreading across the pond with BBC Parliament broadcasting it too.

Are we trying very hard to institute the “Big Lie” expounded upon in A Brave New World perhaps?

License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit

This blog is powered by ikiwiki and serves the purposes of Erie Looking Productions as well as its proprietor Stephen Michael Kellat.

BOFH excuse #275:

Bit rot