George V. Reilly

AIDS Walk 2016

AIDS decimated the gay community in the 1980s and early 1990s before effective treatments were developed, and AIDS and HIV continue to affect the LGBT community dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly. I personally have walked in the Seattle AIDS Walk every year since 1992.

Please sponsor me at­ly I am also the captain of the Freely Speaking Toast­mas­ters team and we’d love to have you join us.

Any money you donate or raise will support people in King County who are living with HIV or AIDS. It will help feed them, pay for medicine, and prevent further infections.

I’ve walked for 25 years to honor the living and the dead. I’ve known people who died of AIDS continue.

Review: Flash For Freedom!

Title: Flash For Freedom!
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1971
Pages: 304
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 11–20 July, 2016
Flashman Papers III: 1848–49

Flash For Freedom! is the third volume of the Flashman Papers, in which Flashy gets caught up in the slave trade. After a scandal involving cheating and assault, England becomes too hot for young Flashman and his father-in-law ships him off. Flashman quickly realizes that he’s on a slave ship captained by a lunatic that is bound for Africa to take on a cargo of slaves, and he’s horrified. Not so much about slavery but that running slaves is proscribed in 1848 and he’s continue.


I recently learned from a Stack­Over­flow question that the rounding behavior in Python 3.x is different from Python 2.x:

The round() function rounding strategy and return type have changed. Exact halfway cases are now rounded to the nearest even result instead of away from zero. (For example, round(2.5) now returns 2 rather than 3.)

The “away from zero” rounding strategy is the one that most of us learned at school. The “nearest even” strategy is also known as “banker’s rounding”.

There are actually five rounding strategies defined in IEEE 754:

Mode / Example Value +11.5 +12.5 −11.5 −12.5
to nearest, ties to even +12.0 +12.0 −12.0 −12.0
to nearest, ties away from zero +12.0 +13.0 −12.0 −13.0
toward 0 (truncation) +11.0 +12.0 −11.0 −12.0
toward +∞ (ceiling) +12.0 +13.0 −11.0 −12.0
toward −∞ (floor) +11.0 +12.0 −12.0 −13.0

Further reading on continue.

Useful Mental Models

Gabriel Weinberg has a great Medium post about Useful Mental Models. ‘There is a much smaller set of concepts, however, that come up repeatedly in day-to-day decision making, problem solving, and truth seeking. As [Charlie] Munger says, “80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a world­ly‑­wise person.”’ He notes ‘my definition of mental model differs from some others, with mine being more broadly defined as any concept that helps explain, analyze, or navigate the world.’

Review: Above Suspicion

Title: Above Suspicion
Author: Helen MacInnes
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Titan Books
Copyright: 1941
Pages: 341
Keywords: spy thriller
Reading period: 23 July, 2016

In the summer of 1939, Richard and Frances Myles are approached at their Oxford college to do a simple-sounding spy-related task during their upcoming European vacation. One thing leads to another until eventually these amateur spies are on the run in the Tyrol. MacInnes had traveled in Europe in the 1930s and brings a strong sense of place to the locations she describes, as well as a strong dislike of the to­tal­i­tar­i­an­ism that the Germans had fallen into.

git commit --verbose

I learned today about the -v (--verbose) flag to git commit (git-commit), which causes a unified diff of what would be committed to be appended to the end of the commit message. This diff is not part of the commit. Set the commit.verbose con­fig­u­ra­tion variable (new in Git 2.9) to adjust the default behavior.

I also learned about using git show (git-show) to display the diff for the most recent commit. I had been using git log -1 --patch (git-log). More on git log -p vs. git show vs. git diff.

Review: De Reünie (Murdered Memory)

Title: De Reünie (Murdered Memory)
Director: Menno Meyjes
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2015
Keywords: psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller
Watched: 24 July, 2016

De Reünie is a Dutch film starring Thekla Reuten as Sabine, a woman who is disturbed by her half memories of her final year of secondary school some twenty years ago, when her girlfriend Isabel dis­ap­peared without trace. The arrival of Olaf—once a classmate, still a jerk—at her workplace triggers more memories as they are drawn together. Slowly, very slowly, through extended flashbacks, we learn more about that fateful spring in a small coastal town as Sabine and Isabel fell out of love. In the present day, both Sabine and Olaf grow more continue.

Creating External SSL Certificates for CloudFront

I needed to create a wildcard SSL cer­tifi­cate and upload it to AWS CloudFront today.

First, generate a 2048-bit private key. This will prompt you for a passphrase:

$ openssl genrsa -des3 -out example.key 2048

Check which signature algorithm was used (SHA-256 is rec­om­mend­ed):

$ openssl req -in example.csr -noout -text

Transform the private key to PEM format:

$ openssl rsa -outform PEM -in example.key -out example.pem

Generate a Cer­tifi­cate Signing Request. Note the * in the server FQDN:

$ openssl req -new -key example.key -out example.csr

Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:US
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:Washington
Locality Name (eg, city) []:Seattle
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:Example GmbH
Organizational Unit Name (eg, 

Review: Cymbeline

Title: Cymbeline
Director: Vince Brady
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Released: 2016
Keywords: Shake­speare, comedy
Watched: 31 July, 2016

I’m familiar with most of Shake­speare’s plays, but not only had I never seen Cymbeline before today, I knew nothing about it. While the per­for­mance we saw was enjoyable, I began to see why it’s one of the lesser-known plays. It’s one of Shake­speare’s later, minor comedies, with such familiar elements as a cross­dress­ing heroine, confused and separated lovers, false ac­cu­sa­tions of infidelity, stolen princes, a knavish villain who gets his come­up­pance, and a loyal servant. It’s easy to see a tired Shake­speare trotting out yet another comedy to amuse the groundlings.

We saw the Greenstage production at the scenic Lake Wilderness Park continue.

Review: The Hurt Locker

Title: The Hurt Locker
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2009
Keywords: war
Watched: 30 July, 2016

Three bomb disposal techs in Iraq are the subject of The Hurt Locker: Sgt James (Jeremy Renner), Sgt Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), and Spec Eldridge (Brian Geraghty). James has grown addicted to war and he is reckless and cavalier about disarming bombs, while Sanborn is in­creas­ing­ly angry at James’ en­dan­ger­ment of them all and Eldridge grows ever more terrified and fatalistic. The Hurt Locker is a gritty and visceral war film. We have no idea what’s going to happen next and anyone could be blown up or shot at any time. The bomb makers continue.

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