Tuesday Jun 16, 2009

Living With Wildlife

Who knew that my fair city (Colorado Springs) and my county (Colorado's El Paso Country) each have departments dedicated to removing dead animal carcasses?   Turns out, they remove such carcasses only from public streets and rights-of-way, not from private property.  And who knew that there are four (four??) companies in my city that remove dead animal carcasses from private property?

I do know I live in the 'wilderness' (that from the man who came to remove the carcass :-).  We are in the hills at the base of Pikes Peak, where developers built houses into animal habitat.  Our 'yard' is about an acre of hillside that is mostly wild - grasses, yucca, prickly pear cactus, scrub oak, etc.  Not a place to go barefoot in the summertime.  And on a regular basis we have deer, fox, bears and even mountain lions in our yard.

But yesterday morning around 6:30am, I opened the garage door to leave for work and noticed about half a dozen magpies on the rocks in a bed by our front door.  Magpies, for those unaware, are scavengers, one of nature's garbage collectors.  I noticed two red strips on which they were feeding and walked closer to see if it was a snake.

Apparently there's a reason hunting takes skill because animals really do blend in with their surroundings.  Lying on the rocks was a very young buck, with nubs showing on his head as the beginnings of antlers.  Eyes wide open, ribs exposed, stomach hanging out, food for the magpies, quite dead.  And then I noticed the blood - spread across the driveway - and a bloody paw print on the step to the front door.

The theory is coyotes.  One animal I actually haven't seen in my yard.  I've heard them.  And heard about them.  But not seen them.  But the print was too small and not the right shape to be a mountain lion.

I mess with my teenage kids at dinner, asking them the stereotypical question, "what did you learn today?".  On Sunday night, the older one started to chuckle after telling me that was a stupid question.  I asked what was so funny, and he said very sheepishly, "I actually did learn something today".  :-)

Yesterday I learned a lot.  Some of which I could have lived without.  I get the whole living-with-nature thing, I get the food chain, and I have come to believe that a scientist I heard last year might be right, that deer in general are simply "rats with antlers".  But the dead young buck about five feet from my front door, and still-fresh, bright red blood all over the driveway indicating that the fight was quite recent, was all a bit eery.

And I understand in more than an intellectual way now why the Native Americans thanked the animals they had to kill for food.

Tuesday Oct 28, 2008

OpenSolaris Halloween

My team has been growing lately, and we were fortunate enough to hire a senior system administrator named Elaine Ashton.  Elaine joined the team in September, works out of Sun's Burlington campus and clearly has hidden talents.

For anyone wishing to have a similar pumpkin for Halloween, "instructions of a sort are in pictures" (according to Elaine) at her Flickr site.

Happy Halloween.

Wednesday Sep 17, 2008

Cool Stats

I recently pulled together data about OpenSolaris contributions that have come through the Sponsor Program.  And I was excited by what I learned.

OpenSolaris is 3.25 years old.  
The Sponsor Program was set up to enable community members to contribute code to consolidation gates before they are all outside on opensolaris.org.


Contributions

As of September 12, 2008, 657 contributions have been offered via the Sponsor Program to multiple consolidations: ON primarily, but also to G11N, Open HA Cluster, Install, SFW, Documentation and X.

Of the 657 contributions offered:

  • 288 (44%) have been integrated into a consolidation code base.
  • 118 (18%) are currently in progress.
  • 89 (14%) have been 'closed', meaning that the bug was closed for some reason (will not fix, not a bug, bug is a duplicate of another bug, etc.) or that the bug was fixed by work already in progress at Sun.
  • 161 (24%) have been 'suspended', usually meaning that the original contributor no longer wants or has time to work on the problem.  These bugs are available for other community members to pick up and work on.

Contributors

While the contribution numbers are interesting, information about the actual contributors is very cool.

168 unique contributors have submitted code contributions through the Sponsor Program:

  • 42 in Year 1
  • 39 new in Year 2
  • 82 new in Year 3
  •  5 new so far in Year 4

The contributors span 22 countries across five continents:

  • Asia: India, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Thailand
  • Australia
  • Europe: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Wales
  • North America: Canada, Mexico, USA
  • South America: Colombia

The pool of Sun Contributor Agreements on file for OpenSolaris is larger than 168 - almost double that at 325.  This pool is larger because people file SCAs to work on technologies like translations and documentation and to work directly on projects hosted on opensolaris.org, in addition to making contributions to consolidations through the Sponsor Program.  This pool spans 36 countries across six continents:

  • Africa                    1%
  • Asia                     42%
  • Australia                2%
  • Europe                28%
  • North America      25%
  • South America       2%
I am excited by the numbers and by the diversity represented around the world.  If you are interested in finding a project to join or want to start one of your own, start on the Projects page.  Information about participating via the Sponsor Program can be found on the Participation page.

About

Bonnie manages the OpenSolaris Developer Collaboration team that owns and supports the opensolaris.org website. She lives in Colorado, hence the picture of Pikes Peak taken by her husband, Eric Corwin.

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