The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Yes, I really did pay money for this

I'm in the Ancestral Homeland on a my last-ditch effort to maintain American Airlines Platinum status for 2016. If that sounds bizarre and pointless to you, then you have some empathy for the UK Border Force agent who interviewed me for fifteen minutes this morning.

Usually my UK entry interviews are about ninety seconds. I'm here four times a year, I always go home, and...well, that's basically all they've ever been concerned about. Until today, for the 23 years I've been visiting the UK, I have never had any trouble entering the country.

Today, however, we went several rounds on the theme "wait, you paid money to come here for one day?" Yes. I really did. I needed 6,149 elite-qualifying miles to keep my status, and the round-trip from Chicago to London is 7,906. Plus, it's London, a city I love dearly and would live in if circumstances and HM Customs and Immigration allowed.

So, I'm in, and I have a new note in my Border Force dossier now that includes things like, I have £99 in my pocket, and no official reason to be in the UK other than tourism. This may have an impact on my Registered Traveler application, which may now be rejected. The Border Force website says tourism is a totally valid reason for Registered Traveler status; but the agent in booth 34 this morning disagrees.

It's sad, really, because so far for the last 25 years all I've ever done in the UK is spend money and return home a few days later. Of course, I'll still visit, but who likes being rejected?

Reading list

Stuff to read (or watch):

Back to the mines.

Gift suggestion for The Daily Parker

This is cool. Explains CityLab:

Entomological unease aside, this poster of the planet’s 140 metros should make a fantastic holiday gift for the city-obsessed nerd. Made by Neil Freeman, an artist and urban planner who runs the site Fake Is the New Real, the roughly29 by 23-inch, black-and-white sheet stacks train systems with the largest ones at top…

...and the most basic at bottom.

Take a look at the artist's designs and find your metro.

Is Scalia a dangerous old man, or just a self-serving bigot?

That's not exactly the question Richard Posner and Eric Segall raise, but it's not that far off:

Justice Scalia ... predicted in his dissent [in Lawrence v. Texas] that the court would eventually rule that the Constitution protects the right to same-sex marriage. This June, Justice Scalia’s prediction came true in Obergefell v. Hodges. He has vented even more than his usual anger over this decision. It has become apparent that his colleagues’ gay rights decisions have driven him to an extreme position concerning the role of the Supreme Court.

In a recent speech to law students at Georgetown, he argued that there is no principled basis for distinguishing child molesters from homosexuals, since both are minorities and, further, that the protection of minorities should be the responsibility of legislatures, not courts. After all, he remarked sarcastically, child abusers are also a “deserving minority,” and added, “nobody loves them.”

The logic of his position is that the Supreme Court should get out of the business of enforcing the Constitution altogether, for enforcing it overrides legislation, which is the product of elected officials, and hence of democracy.

The entire op-ed is worth a read.

Troubleshooting an upgrade conflict

After upgrading to the Azure SDK 2.8.1 yesterday, I'm unable to debug this application locally without an uncomfortable contortion.

The application is a Microsoft ASP.NET MVC website set up to run using IIS Express. It uses some Azure components, in particular the evil msshrtmi.dll that has caused so many versioning headaches in the past.

The symptoms are these: when starting to debug the application in Visual Studio 2015, the application compiles but immediately causes a system toast message to appear that announces "One or more errors occurred running IIS Express." Clicking there for more information opens this unhelpful dialog box:

The log file contains this single line:

Failed to register URL "http://localhost:64079/" for site "BlogEngine.NET" application "/". Error description: Access is denied. (0x80070005)

The other links point to articles on the MSKB, one of which is out of date and the other of which is probably irrelevant (because I'm running VS2015 as administrator).

I'll get to those in a second, because in reviewing the Windows application and system logs, I found some suspicious events that seem related.

In the Application log, there are multiple error events with IDs 2269 and 2276 that start after I installed the Azure SDK update. Event 2269 is: "The worker process for app pool 'Clr4IntegratedAppPool', PID='11000', failed to initialize the http.sys communication when asked to start processing http requests and therefore will be considered ill by W3SVC and terminated. The data field contains the error number." The error number is 0x80070005 with another code 13780. Event 2271 is just a cascading error, "The worker process failed to initialize correctly and therefore could not be started."

Googling Event 2269 yields quite a few articles but they seem to diverge from my problem very quickly. I'll plow through those in a minute.

The other interesting event is in the System log. Whenever I attempt to debug the app, Event 15005 appears: "Unable to bind to the underlying transport for [::]:64079. The IP Listen-Only list may contain a reference to an interface which may not exist on this machine. The data field contains the error number."

Well, that's a lot more interesting. And it led directly to this article, which led to me looking at what is actually listening for what, which led me to changing the port in my debugger from 64079 to 49156. (I could see that 49156 was free by running netstat -aon.)

Sigh. I have no idea why upgrading to the latest Azure SDK would hose an IIS Express port, but even more than that, I am not entirely sure whether blaming the SDK is itself post hoc reasoning. But like so many things in systems this complex, I have now fixed the symptoms, and will go on with my life. Such a time suck, though.