11-30-2004: OK, I think Wilma is OK now.
She is still dealing with some double vision, but she is definately stabilized and will hopefully be back home within a week or so. Get well, Wilma, we miss you.
Thanksgiving went swimmingly well. My sister and I cooked the dinner this year, and everything turned out just about perfect. Many many kudos go to my sis - she planned everything out down to the minute. Our mother didn't know what to do with herself, not having to cook and all. I think a good time was had by all.
We saw The Incredibles this weekend... AWESOME. Funny funny funny - I'm going to go again sometime this week. And yeah, I know I haven't posted a movie review in forever - I need to get my scanner working again, and I've just had other things take priority. I have a stack of ticket stubs here...
Less than a week until the Chicago trip to tear down the site for work. We finally got the PO nailed today for shipping all of the equipment back - what a relief. Now I can really pull the trigger on everything, and get vendors hustling. We leave Sunday - we return when it's done, and then I get to get rid of my pager. Oh happy day.
11-19-2004: OK, a couple of things...
Wilma, truck stop waitress extraordinaire, seems to be doing OK... I went there for lunch again on Wednesday, and it sounds like she was doing better. They were not going to do surgery on her, and the bleeding had stopped. Rumor has it, she decked one of the hospital staff - yeah, she's feeling better now.
Ding fucking dong, the wicked witch is dead. The site in Chicago (see this series of posts) has finally been shut down. I've been maintaining that site remotely for .. um .. almost four years now, and all users are now disabled. No one can log in. Most of the customer data that we were required to archive has been, and the rest will be done in the next week or two.
This site sucked an awful lot of my time... In a way, it was good, because it gave me more experience with high-availability internet services, but really - it sucked lemur nuts for the most part. IMHO, the site wasn't designed correctly from day zero, resulting in us losing god only knows how much sleep, hair, and vitality to it. It was unstable, temperamental, satanic, and generally vindictive.
To paraphrase Simon Cozens: "... was about as stable as a one-legged drunk with hypothermia in a four-hundred mile wind, balancing on a banana peel on a greased cookie sheet. Then someone throws him an elephant with bad breath and a worse temper."
OK, I'm exaggerating a little. But not much - case in point: Thursday morning, the morning after all user accounts were disabled, the site's VPN failed in a spectacular fashion, paging me eight times between 4AM and 5AM. You know, just one last poke in the eye. It was letting me know it was sentient. I fear we created SkyNET v1.0, four years ago...
But, I'm headed out to Chicago the first week of December to shut it down for real. A coworker and very good friend is going with me - as far as I know, it'll be his first trip to a real colocation-grade, "Tier I" datacenter. I've been there several times myself. I think we can probably have it ripped down in three or four days, but we scheduled eight just to make sure it's dead once we leave.
Anyone out there want a free HP XP256 RAID system with 1 terabyte raw capacity? For free? No, I'm NOT KIDDING. Not kidding at all. You are responsible for cartage from the datacenter. I am absolutely not kidding - if you're interested, call me at 515.296.0941.
11-15-2004: Bleaaaarrgh! I went to the truck stop as usual for lunch today, and got a nasty surprise.
Wilma, one of the waitresses, drove herself to the emergency room this past weekend with a severe headache. After a CAT scan and various tests, it seems that she's bleeding between her brain and her skull (not into her brain, thank goodness).
They're going to do an angiogram today, which should give more details.
That's just plain crappy news. She's been there for twenty-some-odd years, everybody knows her, and everybody loves her. If you're in the Ames area and you have been to the truck stop, I urge you to make a visit. There is a card to sign, and they're taking donations as well to help her offset the costs of medical care. You don't have to donate, and you don't have to know her to sign the card - just a show of support will help her along.
11-13-2004: OK, I just found this on a friend's blog:
Create your own personalized map of the USA. - These are the states in America that I've visited. Pretty cool, eh? Thanks, Sunny!
And just for shits and grins, the worldwide map:
Create your own visited country map. I'm not too international, but that will improve next year when I go back to europe. Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Czech Republic, here we come!
11-11-2004: A coworker died early this morning.
Actually, let me be correct - a former coworker passed away this morning. I only worked around him for a few months before their company split off from ours, but they remained in our building leasing space. So, I saw him regularily, but I didn't work with him.
It's still sad. He was a good guy, and it's strange realizing that I won't see him around the building any more. It's the same feeling I felt a month or two ago, when a friend died out on the west coast (one I'd never met in person, but had corresponded with online)... It's sad to see their accomplishments and knowledge be lost.
On an even more solemn note, it's Veteran's Day in the United States. I forgot to thank several veterans at work today. :( To all veterans out there - we civies may not show it, but we do appreciate your service and sacrifice. Without your guts, nuts, and blood, we wouldn't be living free like we do today. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
11-01-2004: Well, it appears that all of my friends survived the 13th annual VH Halloween party.
Yes, that's right - thirteen years. Think about it for a second - how many of your friends have you had for thirteen years? One? Maybe two? I have twenty plus. :)
It was a rousing success. El worked her usual magic, taking care of the housing (a cabin out in the woods) and much of the planning (we'd be lost without her). Sunny, Michael, and CP took care of the video and audio. Jeff M. (and many others) tackled the decorating. By the the evening, the cabin was certified for Party By VH(tm).
I went as a seven foot tall beer bottle. Hehehehe.
Pictures will be posted as soon as I get my film developed - I'm also going to get images from others that had cameras (and most of the lucky bastards had digital cameras). So, be patient.