All posts by Jonathan

Computer programmer, soccer player, mountain hiker, lover of liberty, fascinated with science, family man, follower of Jesus Christ.


As I have been developing and testing on Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting I have made much use of the Identity and Access Management (IAM) feature. In particular, I have found the IAM Roles to be extremely helpful. I can assign a role to a specific instance or even a launch group of instances. When those instances are launched they have all the permissions of the role that I have specified for them. This means that if an instance needs to access files that are on S3, I just add that permission to the role and the instance is able to access S3 files. This is extremely useful for system admin scripts as well as other programming tasks.
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To be a Friend to my Children

Over the past little while I have taken up the practice of looking at my children and thinking of them as I would think of one of my very best friends.

I can tell you that it has been an eye opening experience for me.

For some reason that I have yet to comprehend, I am very selfish and prideful when it comes to interacting with my children.

Viewing my children as I view my best friends has helped me see them from a different perspective.
Continue reading To be a Friend to my Children

AWS 101

An intro to AWS.

I guess I should explain the learning curve bit. When I started learning AWS, I did not really have a mentor and the documentation was either too vague and filled with propaganda for other services or too verbose and not at the level that I needed. An AWS admin can interface with their products through the web console, CLI, or through their API. There are tons of products out there that use their API to make different aspect of interfacing with their products easier. For the most part, most of my interactions with AWS is done through their web console. The learning curve and their new way of thinking is in how they have taken all the aspects of hosting and split them up into different categories and products. They all work together very well, but understanding what is available and how they go together takes some time. Also, using the products is sometimes a different kind of intuitive. In a way, it is like moving from Windows to a Mac. On windows most things are done in a counter-intuitive way. So when you use a Mac and things are done in an intuitive way you are not used to it so it throws you off. There are also tons of options. It can be overwhelming.
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The Second Amendment

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” (Amendment II

A collection of information supporting the Second Amendment.

Suzanna Gratia Hupp (wikipedia)

The Facts about Mass Shootings

Piers Morgan Calls Pro-Gun Advocate ‘Unbelievably Stupid’
Piers Morgan blatantly berate his guest while sticking his foot in his mouth at the same time. Notice that Piers uses only emotion and name calling, while Larry Pratt used calm and rational logic. Kudos to Larry for being the adult in that conversation.

“If I do not have to give up my car because other people drive drunk with theirs, then why would I have to give up my gun because someone else commits crimes with theirs?”

Developer Alone Time

There is an aspect of programming that is essential to productivity. It is the time it takes a developer to get into their “zone” where they are most productive (much, much more productive than at other times). There are several articles in particular that expound upon this principle.

If a developer or designer has their headphones on and seems to be “in the zone“, try to refrain from interrupting them unless deemed absolutely necessary. Try to email.

Acceptable Forms of “Interrupting”

These forms of communication are “asynchronous”. That means that these forms of communication fit into the flow of thought much more easily. The developer or designer can retain their focus on their computer the whole time.

When my child suffers, how do I keep my faith and still love my god?

“When my child suffers, how do I keep my faith and still love my god?” – A question from my friend, Stu Grater.

My initial general answer to this question is, perspective.

I personally have suffered pain. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual pain. I expect I will continue to suffer pain in the future. “Life is pain”, said the Dread Pirate Roberts. To some extent, I believe he is correct. I believe that one of the many facets of life is to learn how to suffer, or to learn from our suffering.

Experiencing personal suffering is different than witnessing the suffering of others, especially little children. When my children are sick and I have done all that I can for them and yet they still are suffering from pain and discomfort, it can be very frustrating to me.

“How could God let children suffer?”
Continue reading When my child suffers, how do I keep my faith and still love my god?

Voting seems like a placebo

Voting seems like a placebo.

Going to the polls once or twice a year is like going do the doctor, hoping for a panacea, and being given a sugar pill. Sure, it eases your mind, but the problem still exists.

The real panacea is action that is taken much more regularly. That action is for me to become very well acquainted with my elected officials. Whether I “voted” for them or not. I need to get to know them, get to know how to contact them, and keep in touch, more than once or twice a year. Preferably once a week, if not daily.

I would argue that my vote today did little if anything. The votes that really count are the ones that will be cast every day in the legislature halls of my city, state, and nation. The votes that really count will be by those citizens who were given power by the people to represent them in official matters of state.