DNA Lounge: Wherein you should come to Hotline tomorrow, plus a bit on deliveries and Codeword.
So it's a big, bright deal when representatives of 10 of our biggest indie dance parties -- Popscene, Club Leisure, Fringe, The Queen is Dead, Harder Better Faster Stronger, Last Nite, Club Gossip, Boy Division, Turbo Drive, and Indie Cent DJ -- come together for a huge quarterly blowout called Hotline.
The first installment, back in March, more than fulfilled the dreams of anyone wishing to wig out to Grimes and Morrissey back-to-back. But the ongoing impetus of the party is a deep, community-minded mission to help save a classic part of SF nightlife.
"The idea for Hotline has been years in the making, but was really kicked into action when news that one of San Francisco's most beloved alternative dance clubs, DNA Lounge, might be in jeopardy of closing," DJ Blondie K, aka Kristin Graff, of the lovely Fringe party at Madrone Art Bar told me.
"There is a cult-like following for the small, neighborhood indie dance parties, and as fans of the music, DJs in this space are often supporting each other's events. I think we were all curious if we could join forces, combine our individual communities, and give them a large-scale night club experience celebrating the music we all love," Blondie K continued. "At the same time, we wanted to bring some attention and financial support to DNA Lounge.
Hopefully deliveries will be up and running again late next week. Initially we will be using Grubhub for deliveries (it turns out that they now do deliveries as well as ordering, which we didn't realize.) We are looking in to ways to supplement that with other delivery mechanisms as well, though, because they stop delivering at 11pm. As one of the tiny minority of 24 hour restaurants in San Francisco, we did a big chunk of our delivery business between midnight and 3am, and we'd sure like to continue doing that.
Here's a sad moment. We go through a huge number of paper tickets in this business, so we order them in large quantities, and well in advance. Well, last week it was finally time to crack open the new box of drink tickets...
And they are the new design, which includes the Codeword logo.
So we're going to be staring at that and being sad for the next year or so.
As for Codeword, we're still going through the depressing process of working out how to shut things down in an orderly manner, working out what equipment we want to bring over to DNA, what is sellable, etc. One of the things we definitely want to do is bring the (newer, better) pizza oven from CW to DNA. This is very involved, because pizza stones are notoriously fragile; the oven won't fit around the bar so it either has to go over it, or through the front window; and I don't yet have a straight answer on who's going to be responsible for disconnecting and reconnecting the gas without blowing up the building. So, it's a work in progress.
The most valuable thing over there is the liquor license, which we are allegedly in the process of selling, though there hasn't been any visible motion on that yet. The damned things are worth in the neighborhood of a quarter million dollars, and demand is high, but it takes months to complete the sale. And we've sure got some stuff we could spend that money on right now, let me tell you.
Some photos from recent shows... You may notice that this is not many galleries for the past month. That's because we're again having trouble getting reliable photographers. If that's you, drop us a note.
Arkansas' Ten Commandments Monument Lasted Less Than 24 Hours
Authorities say Michael T. Reed II drove a 2016 Dodge Dart into the 6,000-pound granite slab at about 4:47 a.m. local time on Wednesday.
A video that appears to have been taken from inside the car was posted on the Facebook account of a Michael Reed early Wednesday; It shows what looks like the Arkansas State Capitol building. A man's voice says: "Oh my goodness. Freedom!" as the car careens into the monument.
Reed, who police say is a 32-year-old white man from Van Buren, Ark., was arrested outside the Capitol and booked at the Pulaski County Jail. He faces preliminary charges of defacing an object of public respect, a Class C felony; criminal mischief in the first degree, a Class C felony; and trespassing on the state Capitol grounds, a misdemeanor.
Reed was arrested in 2014 for driving a car into the Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma's state Capitol, Oklahoma County Sheriff's spokesman Mark Opgrande told The Associated Press. He was admitted to a hospital the next day for mental treatment and was not formally charged, the AP reports. In the 2014 incident, The Oklahoman reported that the U.S. Secret Service interviewed Reed and that he told agents that he has bipolar disorder and that Satan had directed him to destroy the monument.
In 1962, the Mansfield, Ohio police department setup a hidden surveillance camera behind a two-way mirror, and secretly filmed dudes having sex with dudes in a public bathroom. The police used the film footage to imprison them for a year or more under Ohio's sodomy laws.
Today in 2017, police still target men who have sex with men -- and in video game land, I still have to deal with Twitch banning my gay games by secret trial as if they're the fucking game police. So to appease this oppressive conservative gamer-surveillance complex, I have swapped out any pesky penises in my game for the only thing that the game industry will never moderate nor ban -- guns. Now, there's nothing wrong with guys appreciating other guys' guns, right?
Beehive Chop Shop
Earlier this year, around $1 million worth of stolen bees were found in a field in Fresno County. Sgt. Arley Terrence with the Fresno County Sheriff's Department says it was a "beehive chop shop." [...]
"This is the biggest bee theft investigation that we've had," Terrence says. Most of the time, he says, beehive thieves turn out to be "someone within the bee community."
That was the case in the giant heist earlier this year. The alleged thief, Pavel Tveretinov, was a beekeeper from Sacramento who used the stolen bees for pollination and then stashed them on a plot of land in Fresno County. He was arrested and could face around 10 years of jail time. And authorities say he didn't act alone. His alleged accomplice, Vitaliy Yeroshenko, has been charged and a warrant is out for his arrest.
Steve Godlin with the California State Beekeepers Association says the problem of hive theft gets worse every year. "There used to be kind of a code of honor that you didn't mess with another man's bees," Godlin says.
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It seems that I have three options, in This Modern World:
- Virtual server.
Many options; the big ones are Amazon, Digital Ocean, Google. They are probably all about the same. Price is somewhere between $450 and $800/month, maybe?
- Everyone does it this way.
- When it is Upgrade Season, spinning up a new instance for rebuild/migration is easy.
- I will never have to think about disk, RAM or power supplies going bad.
- The way I would be using it would be to have a single instance. Nobody does it that way, so it probably doesn't work very well.
- I need 2TB of file system storage. Nobody does it that way, so it's expensive.
- Figuring out exactly which of their many options is the configuration that I need is really difficult.
- Whatever IP address they give me is probably already on every email spam blacklist in the world.
- Dedicated server.
I'm seeing numbers anywhere from $100/month to $500/month. It's all over the map, which does not inspire confidence.
- It's a real damned computer, with predicable behavior.
- When disk, RAM or power supplies go bad, someone else fixes it.
- I never need to physically visit it.
- It is hard to tell whether the companies that offer this service will still be in business two years from now.
- It's hard to tell whether they are real companies, or "one flaky guy".
- Spinning up a new instance in Upgrade Season is somewhat more involved, and maybe costs me a couple hundred bucks.
- Though it can be located anywhere, since all of my customers are in San Francisco, it probably should be on the West Coast. That narrows the already narrow field of options.
- People keep recommending companies that are not hosted in the country I live in. This strikes me as extremely foolish for several reasons.
- Bare rack slot, with my own home-built 1U computer in it.
Probably something like $100/month, plus the cost of the computer (say, $1000, will last 4 years).
- It's a real damned computer, with predicable behavior.
- Hardware failures are my problem.
- Spinning up a new instance in Upgrade Season is a huge pain in the ass.
- The data center has to be local, because I probably need to go physically visit it every year or two.
Figuring this out is such a pain in the butt. I really want to believe that option 1 is the way to go, but I'd need to get the price down (without first needing to completely re-design the way I do absolutely everything, thanks), and it just sounds like it's going to be flaky.
Options 2 and 3 sound flaky in their own ways. Pro: I already understand those ways. Con: one of those ways is why I'm looking to move in the first place.
San Francisco Is Burning
The numbers cited by Campos and others -- 45 fires in two years -- also weren't necessarily as suspicious as they seemed. It turns out that 25 fires a year is about average for the Mission. But there's a reason that arson is on everyone's mind: While the number of fires has stayed steady, the value of the real estate in question has not. The 27 fires that burned in the Mission in 2006 caused $2.6 million in damage; the 22 fires in 2015 caused almost $15.6 million in damage.
I later spoke with the former head of the San Francisco Fire Department's Arson Task Force, John Darmanin. He told me he didn't know of any cases of arson explicitly tied to landlords wanting to get rich from gentrification but that the arson department was so overloaded and under-resourced that cases "do not get the level of professionalism and investigation that they deserve." There were fires, he said, that "very well could have been arson, but we just didn't have the manpower to devote to those cases."
Dear Lazyweb, tell me about colo
Currently I host all of my various web sites and services (business and personal) on a single physical Linux box leased from a small ISP. That's been working out fine for me for many years. However, of late my ISP has become so non-responsive to support requests that I can't interpret that any way other than, "We are no longer interested in being an ISP".
So, sadly, I think I need to find new hosting.
My initial instinct, because I am an unfrozen caveman, and your modern ways frighten and confuse me, is to find someone else to rent me a 1U server. But those appear to be nearly nonexistent these days, because in this modern world, That Is Simply Not Done.
(And though there are a few companies that do this, the fact that there are so few makes me suspect that they won't be in business at all a couple years from now.)
So I'm looking at virtualization options from Amazon and Digital Ocean and whatnot, and it's all very confusing. In particular, figuring out how much my performance, storage and bandwidth requirements are actually going to cost is absurdly complicated.
Here's what I have now, that I need to replace with equivalent-or-better:
- 8 core 2GHz (faster would be nice)
- 32 GB RAM
- 2 TB disk
- a backup of that disk
- Outbound bandwidth: 2 TBytes / month
Right now I'm paying $300 / month for that.
So it looks to me like Digital Ocean and Amazon are the closest replacements for that, but it's hard to tell. I think that the closest options are:
- Digital Ocean: Their $240 option (32 GB RAM, 4 core, 90 GB storage, 7TB transfer) looks close, but that's not nearly enough storage, and they charge $100/TB, so that brings it to $440/month. Also they don't specify how fast those cores are.
- Amazon: The m4.2large option (32 GB RAM, 8 core, no storage) looks close, at $258 (paid a year in advance); plus 2TB storage at $200/month. So that puts us at $458/month already. They also don't specify core speed, and that's for 1Gbps, and if I'm doing my math right, 2TB/month is 6.1Mbps, and I can't even tell what they charge for that.
It blows my mind how much they want to charge for disk. I can buy a physical 2TB drive that will last 5+ years for $80, but these jokers want me to pay $200/month for that. That is a markup of 150x! What the hell!
Options I am not interested in:
- Try to get 2TB of bandwidth into the DNA Lounge building and manage my own high availability data center, for a single server.
- Rewrite 20+ years of code that is in a variety of languages into whatever toy-du-jour Google insists things be written in to take advantage of their hosting option.
- "Virtual hosts are great because when you realize you need more, you can instantly upgrade them and start paying more!" I know this excites many of you, so much, but this feature is completely uninteresting to me because my requirements are static and because I prefer to know what I'm paying ahead of time.
- Also, just to head this off too: I realize that many people are of the opinion, "You should run each web site, and each service, on its own virtual server", and while that sounds sensible to me in principle, it sounds less good when each of those virtual servers is an additional $250/month. At that price, I'll run all of my sites out of the same Apache instance, thanks.
So what should I do?
Webshit Weekly on Uber
- An asshole quits his job. Hackernews absolutely explodes, because Uber's business model ("fuck you and your laws") aligns perfectly with Hackernews' most firmly-held convictions. Many thousands of words are deployed to explain carefully to each other that a jitney-cab with a smartphone app is the most monumental societal development in the history of humanity, and that it is absolutely criminal that a man should be forced out of his cushy job for trivial transgressions like "building an entire corporation on the idea that women are not people" and "abusing your own employees." Most Hackernews hold the opinion that this one person leaving the company will destroy the company, never pausing to wonder how great the place must be if one asshole going home is all it takes to burn everything down.
- An idiot gets robbed by a jitney driver. Hackernews, seeing that the idiot pursued legal remediation and succeeded, decides that everything the idiot did was totally wrong, and they have all the right answers. In addition, Hackernews concludes that Uber was unfairly treated by everyone involved and should have been allowed to lie to the police.
- A cybersecurity company peddles its services. Hackernews opines that everything is fine because most of this data was public to start with. Some Hackernews spend a while playing fantasy football with the constitution of the United States. The rest spend all day explaining to each other why personal data must be protected at all cost, except when it interferes with internet advertising.