Monthly Archives: August 2003

It’s Tuesday….

Yes, and that means my week+3 days of pain is almost over. Yah, tomorrow will be my 10th day straight of work, but after that it's vacation. Going up north. I haven't been up north in the summer for a long time. I'm hoping it's like, waaay hot so I can just sit in the lake all day and bake. The weather reports say it won't be that hot, but hell, what do they know. I'll be up there with my sister and some of the around-my-age cousins from my mom's side of the family, so it should be really cool. No customers calling, no help desk tickets, just peace, quiet, and beer. Woohoo!

The last couple days of work have been pretty slow. Nothing really big happening except residual DNS problems from the server move. Lots of slow nameservers out there… Still gotta hand it to Ben, he's the man. Once the server move is over, I'm going to buy him a beer. He's earned it.

This will probably be the last entry until monday night barring anything sucky/funny/cool/noteworthy happening at work tomorrow. Lets hope none of that happens! Well, the bad stuff anyways.

Working Saturdays really stinks

Yah, I'm here at work and I'm bored out of my skull. I've been here for 5 hours, and I've got another 7 to go. I'll also be here for another 12 hours tomorrow. Sucks, but it's part of the job. I'll give me some good OT though, so I guess I can't complain about that. Wish I had someone to talk to or something more to do… should have brought my guitar in or something.

Last night I hung out with Amanda and watched a couple movies… I've been talking to her for a few weeks now, and she's quite cool. I think she's one of the few gals I've ever met that can keep up with my offbeat sense of humor and throw it back at me at an equal level. Very Cool. We watched The Big Lebowski and Real Genius, both classics in my book, and think she enjoyed them as well. Heh, I also took a few minutes (yah, like 10) to fix a problem on her work laptop that three seperate trips to the IT people there couldn't fix. Good one lame IT people! YES I'M AWESOME!

Ok, back to more work related boredom……..

Anthrax, 8/16/03

Saturday Jon and I got to check out Anthrax for the second time in three months. It was pretty sweet. We did the 'skip out on the opening bands' thing, but our plan backfired since Harpos doesn't have the gay 11:00 cutoff that Pine Knob does. We got there in time to see two of the opening bands.

I don't even know what the first band's name was, since they never said it. They were all right. They had a nu-metal type sound, but with a little more pizazz… They used some off-beat rhythms and some cool leads, which tend to be absent in the musical doldrums of the nu-metal sound. The singer had some serious pipes, but was too 'GRRRR' for my liking. You could never really understand anything he was singing. Overall they were pretty solid. Too bad I can't give them a plug since I don't know their names. Grade: B-.

The second band we saw was Lacuna Coil. They're a six-piece band from italy wielding lots of low end. The sported two singers, one being a way-hot italian chick, and the other being a not-hot italian dude. Their mix seemed a bit too loud all the way around, which is kinda weird since they sound checked for like 20 minutes. Everything just seemed too loud, and it all droned together and made the vocals inaudible. They had a keyboard track playing behind them for most of the songs, and that may have been the main culprit for the sonic overload. From what I heard though, they were pretty sweet. I'm guessing they had kind of a Type-O Negative kind of feel… Slow tempos with the keyboard parts laying a lot of texture. The girl singer sounded like she had some good pipes, and the guy had more of the standard metal shout/bark/growl thing going on. Guitars were all right, but they seemed to have the Korn-esque “one guy play low powerchords while the other guy plays annoying dissonant chords that hurt your ears” kind of sound. Grade: B.

Anthrax came on at about 10:30, and they were ready to rumble as always. They opened up with “Contact/What Doesn't Die” from the new album like they did last time. I don't know how, but they somehow manage to play it faster in concert than on the CD. Crazy. Like last time, they played a real good mix of new and old songs… I'll try to remember all the songs they played, old to new… Oldest was Metal Thrashing Mad, Madhouse, Caught in a Mosh, N.F.L., Be All End All, Antisocial, Only, Black Lodge, Inside Out, the before mentioned Contact/What Doesn't Die, Black Dahlia, and Refuse to be Denied. [Edit: They played Got The Time too.] They had kind of a suprise in the encore – they covered Whole Lotta Rosie by AC/DC, and it sounded damn sweet. They finished the show off with Bring The Noise, with John Bush going crazy on the Public Enemy parts. That song is so fun in concert… Charlie goes nuts on the drums, and the whole crowd just jumping around. Lots of energy. The Anthrax portion of the show seemed kinda short to Jon and I, but after naming off all the songs they played, I'm thinking we might have been on something. I also got a cool little souvenir… A used guitar pick fell right at my feet as we were turning to walk out and I nabbed it. I'm guessing it's one of Scott Ian's, since it came from his side of the stage. Maybe if I touch it I'll gain some of his guitar powers. Then again, maybe I won't. Grade: A.

Zakk Wylde killed Player with a headshot from deagle…

[08/20/2003-21:57:16] Damg!nc: zack whylde (Excuse spelling, lol) has some pretty sweet guitar riffs
[08/20/2003-21:57:33] Damg!nc: just the agressive beer drinkin riffs
[08/20/2003-21:58:02] Damg!nc: its like i want to bind a key to one of his riffs to play when i blast like 4 people in the face in CS
[08/20/2003-21:58:11] Mike: yah
[08/20/2003-21:58:14] Damg!nc: it would be THE finisher

We’ve reached our cruising speed of 10mbit…

Sweet stuff… Everything finally lined up for me to take my webserver into work and park it there. Yah, it's fast. The switch the employees are on only does 10mbit per port (so they say), but that's still hella fast when the downlink is an OC3. Boom.

Ethernet where?

Steve made a shocking discovery when moving into his residence in New York…

[08/18/2003-22:21:38] Steve: man, this house rules
[08/18/2003-22:21:44] Me: hahah
[08/18/2003-22:21:45] Me: how so
[08/18/2003-22:21:46] Steve: theres an ethernet jack in the bathroom
[08/18/2003-22:21:49] Me: !!!
[08/18/2003-22:21:52] Me: omfg! yes!!!
[08/18/2003-22:22:00] Me: I'm stealing it!
[08/18/2003-22:22:00] Steve: and I didn't put this one in
[08/18/2003-22:22:15] Steve: I had to pepper the toilet, turned around and man
[08/18/2003-22:22:22] Steve: laughed my ass off
[08/18/2003-22:22:27] Me: hahahah
[08/18/2003-22:22:34] Steve: I can't believe they stuck one next to the tp
[08/18/2003-22:22:35] Steve: hehe
[08/18/2003-22:22:36] Me: but you know that thing will be utilized
[08/18/2003-22:22:49] Me: well, you have wireless, so maybe not
[08/18/2003-22:22:51] Steve: I have the wireless setup going though
[08/18/2003-22:23:00] Me: that'd still be money for a laptop
[08/18/2003-22:23:04] Steve: but yea, I need to put something in there just because

Darkness, imprisoning me…

Yah, like 49,999,999 other people yesterday, I lost power due to the massive outage, but unlike approximately 49,000,000 of those people, I wasn't complaining. While I was listening to the radio last night in the darkness with my family, I must have heard at least 20 different reporters say (not in these terms, but with this meaning) “OMG HOW CAN SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPEN THIS IS A TRAVESTY WHO IS TO BLAME?!?!?” I've got a few things to say to these people.

1. STFU. You were asking questions about a MAJOR outage not more than a couple hours after it happened. Rooting out the cause with certainty will probably take weeks. Calm down.

2. Be patient. Instead of bitching and asking stupid questions that nobody can answer at this time, let the people in charge of the power grid do their jobs and get stuff back up and running. Then let them figure out what went wrong, so they can correct the problem and keep this from happening again. Then read their reports, so you don't have to ask stupid questions.

3. Consider yourself lucky that this doesn't happen more often. Consider the logistics of keeping power flowing for over 250 million people. It's quite astounding. Not only are there hundreds of thousands of miles of cables and wires, the electricity on those lines has to be in perfect phase (yes, those lovely sine waves) or something like what we had yesterday happens. That's a lot of precision over a huge area. Mistakes are bound to happen.

4. Chances are good that its your fault. A vast majority of the people in our society are huge power consumers – I'm stepping off the pedestal for this one, I'm as much to blame as anyone, but alas I'm not complaining about the outage. Everyone nowadays needs a TV in every room, constant Air Conditioning, Computers, audio/video equipment, and 1.5 kilowatt hairdryers, but nobody wants to see more power plants. People hate coal plants because they pollute the air. Nobody wants nuclear plants because they make toxic waste. Hydroelectric power is nice and non-polluting, but it screws up ecosystems. Geothermal power works well in places like Iceland, but since tectonic/volcanic activity here is rather tame compared to there, it's not an option. So unless you don't want power, suck it up. Something has to give, and currently, those are the only viable alternatives. Some will say wind and solar power, but they cost too much right now and don't yield enough juice. Sorry. People want things cheap, and they want it on, and they want it to be shiny and happy with no damage to anything. Unfortunately these three principles don't mesh together perfectly. Something has to give.

I am done.

Server Moves and Stuff

Well, we've started our server moves at work this week. Monday morning at around 1am the first server started moving to our secret underground bunker, and the second started tuesday morning. Both moved up here without much issue. Hats off to Ben, keep up the good work buddy. Other than that, work's been pretty tame. All us employee-types are probably going to get to move our webservers on to the big pipe sometime next week, so I'm prepping all my stuff for the move. My firewall's pretty much good I think, and now I'm going to have to segregate some tasks I figure… Probably going to have to set up an Apache install on the file server to handle stuff like my music stats thingy. Running queries from that database across 100 miles of fiber would be a pain. It would be much nicer to do it across about 3 inches of copper. Shouldn't be too much of a problem getting everything set up… I've already got stuff split apart pretty well, so it should be a pretty easy process.

Fun times in Ann Arbor

Yesterday I went down to Ann Arbor to participate in Steve's going away gathering. We had a great time. We had a good sized crew… Most of them were people I knew through Jim and Steve, all cool people. We sat around for a while and showed everyone the wonders of MythTV. Most parties involved, especially Jim, thought it was really cool. He wants to make a Myth system now, heheh… After our nerding out was finished, we went on to the Red Hawk and had dinner and beer… well, by the time all was said and done, there were 11 people there, and I would think that we were quite a pain for the wait staff. We also ran up a $250 tab, so that probably made the people of Red Hawk happy. On our way over to the next place, we of the MSU contingent made it clear that we wanted to urinate on some UofM building just out of principle, even though we never did. We almost did get into a fight though, which was really strange. We were just walking down a sidewalk behind these two guys, and one of them turns to us and says “hey look at my back!” He proceeded to pull up his tshirt and show us some tattoos on his back, and we were all like WTF. Apparently he didn't think we reacted appropriately, because he turned around with an agressive stance like he was going to hit someone. Luckily for him, his buddy said something before he got his ass whooped. Yah, there were two of them, and 11 of us (8 being guys). It would have only taken one or two of us to beat the tar out of them, so having 8 pretty much sealed it. They shoved off, and nothing happened from it. The tattoo guy had to have been on something – his eyes were glazed over and dull… that would be the only explanation I could accept for a scrawny guy trying to antagonize a group of people like ours. Oh well.

Our drinking destination last night ended up being Good Time Charlies (I think that was the name). We drank there for probably 3 hours or so, and had a great time. They stuck us on the patio, which was probably a good idea, since we were definitely the assholes in the place that night. We were there to get hammered, no two ways about it. And we did! We all started out with our beer of choice and a shot… Jim recommended that I get a shot of Goldschlager. It was pretty good actually… but I could see someone getting mega trashed off that stuff. Kinda cinnamon-y with no bad aftertaste. I guess we felt like punishing ourselves, because we ordered some shooters from the dark side of the menu… Matt made a few of us get a “Hairy Gorilla Fart”. Yah, that thing sucked. Good for getting you hammered, that's about it. Tasted like ass – which it's probably called Hairy Gorilla Fart. We finished up our night there, much to Bob's dismay, as he was stealthily working on the hot blondes at the next table (so stealthily that I don't think they noticed). We headed over to Jimmy Johns for some much needed stomach buffer material. Once we consumed our fill, we headed back to Steve's place, and crashed out.

All of us who stayed over at Steve's place woke up way too early. The blinds on Steve's doorwall were broken, so when the sun came up, we were punished by it's morning fury. We got up reluctantly, and went over to Denny's for breakfast. Good stuff. After breakfast we parted company. Overall, it was a blast.

What, it’s saturday?

Guess it's been a few days since I posted. Things are starting to heat up at work… Our OC3 got turned on wednesday night, a couple days behind schedule. It works, but we were experiencing some random packet loss when doing some ping tests, so we're kinda worried. The TCP/IP tests don't seem to show any of the loss, so we're thinking that it my be some sort of problem with low priority packets (pings) getting dropped at some router. Chris was doing his best to see what was wrong and what could be done. Hopefully we'll get things taken care of before we start moving the first server tomorrow night.