Happy Solstice 2009

December 21, 2009

Shortest day of the year today. The long upward slope toward summer is beginning.

Create a calendar of the amount of daylight hours here:


Enjoy the day.

I bought a bike from someone I met online who is enthusiastic about the same
kind of bikes that I am. I negotiated it all online. Sent him a check. He
took the bike to a bike shop he trusts to have them box it up and ship it to

The bike is a kogswell 2005 P58. They don’t make them anymore and there
weren’t a lot of them when they were made. I wanted this one so I bought it.
The bikes when they were new looked like this:


The bike shop packed it up like any other bike they would ship and sent it off
to me using fedex. The box arrived here and there was a problem. There was
a fair bit of damage to the box.


And most of all the seat tube lug was bent fairly horribly. The box was dropped
(on the wrong side) and then slid or dragged for a good distance. That’s pretty
much the only thing that could make that kind of damage from what I can tell.


This is what it SHOULD look like:


I called fedex told them what happened and asked what I should do. They said
I should file a damaged merchandise claim and they emailed me the form I
should use to do that. I took detailed pictures and I filled out the form.
I sent all of this information in via email as suggested on the form. I did
all of this the night of december 7th/morning of december 8th. The form
suggested I would hear back with 24/48 hours. So, I waited.

And waited a bit more.

I decided to call them and find out the status of things. I called and was told
that I would hear from someone shortly. This was december 9th.

December 10th 8:30am. A fedex person comes to my door to pick up “2 packages”.
I have no idea what he’s talking about so I don’t give him anything and call
fedex for more information. The proceed to tell me that he was there to pickup
the package that was damaged to bring them to fedex for inspection and then
to return them to the shipper (the bike shop).

At this point no one has emailed, no one has called, no one has told me

Fedex wanting to take the bike and packaging and inspect it seems reasonable
enough but sending it back to the bike shop makes no sense. The bike shop can’t
do anything about it. They don’t have another one to send me, they don’t even
have my money. They are just the folks who took it apart and put it in a box.

Moreover, fedex wanting to ship it back two states away in a damaged box is just
going to FURTHER damage a product I can’t get ANOTHER ONE of. I asked what I
should do to not have it shipped back they then told me that the bike is
not mine and that I could do nothing about it. They said the bike belongs to
the bike shop. Now, I took issue with this. The bike belongs to me. My check has
been cashed, I have possession of it. I’m pretty confident it is mine. So, I
asked again what I should do to have this problem addressed without the bike
going back to the bike shop. I was told there was nothing I could do. I said
I really don’t believe that and asked to speak to a supervisor. I spoke to
someone else who told me that the bike shop could fax a waiver that gave fedex
the right to interact with me, the recipient. I said great. I called the bike
shop and asked them to call fedex about this package and fax in the waiver.

The bike shop did this, happily. I waited some more. I call later in that day to
find out the status of things. I was told that the fax has not come in and that
there is nothing they can do. I call the bike shop back to confirm. They say it
was received and confirm it. I call back to fedex. I ask to speak to someone
about the customer service problem. I’m told they will have to call me back.
I never receive a phone call back.

Later the same afternoon the fedex guy comes back by the house to pick up the
bike, again. No change there whatsoever. I tell him my tale of woe. He explains
that the drivers and the claims department are separate groups and don’t
overlap. He also told me to stay on the claims department. He said they have
to do all sorts of things to make claims do anything, too.

A working day goes by. I call back to fedex who now tells me they have received
the fax. However, the bike shop didn’t sign the fax so they can’t act on it.
I call the bike shop back and ask them to sign and refax the waiver. They do so.

Worthy of note. I’ve not been contacted a single time by anyone from fedex.
I’ve not been notified by email or by phone. I have to start all communications
with them. I’m sure they have added me to their ‘angry person’ file b/c I am
quite angry.

Also worthy of note. The guy who sold me the bike and the bike shop who sent it
to me have all been helpful and cool. They’ve responded promptly and with
consideration to these problems.

It’s now December 11th. I don’t expect to see any additional movement on this
until next week.

[Note: Originally these were going to be daily posts but the network was not good so I put them all in one]

relatively uneventful flights – one was early the other was on time. shocking.

trip to the hotel was longish but not bad. hotel is very pleasant and well organized.

dinner with max and mdomsch.

back to the hotel and hours sitting and talking before I turned into a pumpkin and crashed.

Up early for breakfast then the bus over to the university. I don’t think I’ve seen as many people in a room for fudcon before. Rather impressive. We seem to have overloaded the barcamp concept b/c there was simply too much going on but we got started at noon so only an hour off schedule.


deltacloud and ec2 discussion first – good talk – deltacloud makes a lot of sense, conceptually to me, to manage the cloud explosion of apis. Not sure yet how the implementation will work out. Sounds like the ec2 talk will result in a hackfest tomorrow or monday. I would not be surprised to see current fedora images on ec2 very soon. The set of steps to get fedora available on ec2 sounds straightforward and do-able. Probably the most memorable portion of this talk was watching the glass windows behind the speaker and see Mel Chua run past 3 times with increasingly more speed or larger loads of things. It was hilarious.

mirror-manager/Chasm – mirrormanager was mdomsch’s normal talk. Yay Matt.

Chasm, however,  was different and hopeful. Essentially it is a tool to sync mirrors with a mirror master or an upstream tier of a mirror system. But beyond that it also wants to have the mirrors sync to and from each other. It stores a manifest cache so you don’t take the filelist-creation hit like you do with rsync and it runs constantly so you don’t have to  schedule the starts/stops. It’s not finished yet but it looks hopeful. Matt and I made sure that the guys working on chasm had some time to sit and talk with John Hawley at kernel.org.

Lunch: Vegetarian existed, yay. But given our late start and the time lunch was I’m fairly certain I could have eaten the paper bag it came in. 🙂

sysadmins vs devels panel: I got to speak a bit and rant a little and I think I was understood. The gist of the problem is: development is fun – maintaining what you’ve written is not fun. So developers get all the fun parts and sysadmins get all the not fun parts – and you wonder why sysadmins always seem so grumpy.

Yum Talk: Not a lot of people showed up – despite it getting lots of tick marks in the barcamp voting. I suspect it is b/c of the autoqa and kill-cvs talks going on at the same time. My talk slides are here: http://skvidal.fedorapeople.org/misc/yum-f12-future.pdf . It all went fine, I got a number of good questions and generally not much complaining, which was nice.

mmcgrath’s infrastructure debugging talk: some nice info on tracing down pain and problems in an infrastructure. I’d read the slides before but not heard the talk so it was worth hearing. Mike is fairly humorous to listen to anyway.

Paul’s closing talk: “I can see him by his hair”. That’s all I really can say, or, at least that’s the note I wrote down in big letters. Pretty sure this was about looking for overholt.

Fudpub: At a Dave and Busters which was like a big bar and arcade mixed together. On the plus side it was warm and everyone left us alone, which is nice.

Wandered back to hotel, did a few misc things then crashed.

Day 2: Hackfests

– eventually migrating over to the hackfest building around 9:30ish or so. A good conversation with walters about things he wants to eventually see in PK that needs some pieces in the repodata and in yum. Simple simple simple patch sent to rpm-maint for one of the items(Provides: app($name-of-desktop-file)). Small addition to yum for another one (return_running_packages). Then a small patch to mash to put files into

Packages/y/yum-3.2.25-4.noarch.rpm subdirs,though Bill fixed it, though b/c I had missed the right spot for it by a few lines. 🙂

Fair bit of time talking to folks about less technical and more cultural/social problems we’re dealing with.

Lunch was good, Toshio discovered a food court thing that had good restaurants so I got a falafel and a smoothie.

I opted to not go ice skating mainly b/c I don’t like tempting fate that much.

Sat around and talked with a lot of folks in the hack-lounge room in the hotel. This was fun and amusing for a couple of hours.

Up the next morning, breakfast and caught up with Max and Matthew Daniels to share a cab to the airport. Talked to Max for a while at the airport about all sorts of fedora-y things and came up with an app to implement in tg2/fcomm to make things better at fudcon.

Thanks to all who organized and made things work. I appreciated it and I was impressed with how things were executed.

fedora poker chips

December 8, 2009

fedora poker chips

Originally uploaded by skvidal

more detailed blog entry soon, still composing the thoughts, but receiving these was a highlight of fudcon this year. Thanks to inode0 for making them. These will be in a special place on my desk for a loooooooong time to come.