Torn Achilles
Forenoon watch, 6 bells (11:03 am)

Well, it's official—I tore my left achilles tendon last night. I'm going in for surgery tomorrow at noon.

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Wrong Line of Work
First dog watch, 2 bells (5:05 pm)

Every now and then I see how I chose the wrong line of work. Today at the office I had a refrigerator repairman come to fix an issue with the ice maker. The flap that the ice drops through the door was broken, and warm air was frosting up the chute and ice was melting and blocking things up.

Anyway, the job took him an hour or so, and the part was $115 (but that's a separate gripe). Labor was charged at around $120 per hour, plus the $65 "I showed up" fee. Almost $400 for an hour of work and a bag of cheap plastic parts…

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Text Message Spam
Forenoon watch, 8 bells (12:15 pm)

I received a text message spam today from 7793482905 that contained the following message:

RE: Congratulations: You have been preselected to receive a $100 Target Gift Voucher! Please call 888-511-9334 to claim. To end msgs reply Stop.

My reply was in two parts:

AT&T won't do anything about text spammers. You can't block them, but (supposedly) they have to respect you when you reply Stop.

I prefer to take it a bit further and file a compliant with the FCC.

I doubt that any person will actually see my message, but just in case, I like to give them fair warning.

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Sleep Deprived
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:58 pm)

For the last three nights I've had trouble sleeping. Every night I lie awake for hours in a semi-conscious state something like I imagine meditation to be. Last night at 3am I finally got up and took some Tylenol PM hoping that I would sleep some. I woke up at 7. I can only hope that tonight I'll be so tired that I'll fall asleep quickly and sleep all night, though somehow I doubt it'll be that good.

Not Writing Much
Forenoon watch, 3 bells (9:57 am)

I've not been writing much lately, the mild winter has combined with the warm spring to produce unholy amounts of pollen. Even a walk from my car into my office makes me suffer.

Every time I run my dishwasher I've seen water leaking out from beneath it, so I took it out yesterday after work to examine it. Except for the connection to the hot water (under the sink) everything looks fine. I ran it through a cycle while empty to see if I could find where the leak comes from and it didn't leak at all! Now I'm really confused. The time previous it leaked a gallon (I'm not exaggerating) on to the floor. I suspect there is an issue with the hot water hookup, but didn't see near so much water leak out this time. I'm going to run it again tonight if I have time. My in-laws' computer is acting up again.

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RIP Imbris the ISP
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:13 am)

My local ISP, Imbris (don't bother clicking, their site is down, too!) is offline. For the second time in just over two weeks.

Their office is locked up and dark. If you call their sales department, you get sent to a voicemail box that is full and will accept no more messages.

After the previous outage (which spanned around 36 hours), there wasn't a peep from the company about what went down. No apologies, no notes on their website, nothing. At that point, I started researching alternatives. I'm all for supporting local businesses and the "little guys," but this is ridiculous. I've used Imbris for as long as I've had an Internet connection. In the old (Nidlink) days, they provided dialup and a UNIX shell for each of their users (those were some fun times).

But I'm through with the outages. I'm through with them not paying their bills when they bill me regularly for mine. One time I could forgive, although I was quite upset there was no follow-up. If their first outage didn't cause them to lose most of their business, this one will. I've already ordered alternate service, and recommend anyone else to do the same.

Goodbye, Imbris, may you Route In Peace. Or not. I don't care anymore.

Twitter Fail. Again.
Morning watch, 8 bells (8:06 am)

Once again my Twitter feed failed to migrate over here. I have a suspicion it's Twitter, though, and not the WordPress Twitter plugin. Things are always getting borked up over there.

If Captain Ahab had been hunting the fail whale instead, that book would have been 15 pages long!

At least I got it to work manually…

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One Problem to the Next
Afternoon watch, 4 bells (2:10 pm)

Now that it's got a brand new battery, my wife's car has another problem. The radiator fan is kicking off and on every second or so. It's probably been doing it all night. Nothing is on (obviously) but it won't stop running until it's drained the battery.

Bad Battery
Afternoon watch, 1 bell (12:50 pm)

My wife's car battery is dead. It's also extremely corroded around the terminals and down the side of the battery. The negative lead came off with a socket, but the positive is completely stuck on and I'm having trouble removing it. Even with visegrips. Not really sure what I'm going to do here…

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Dodging Swine Flu
Last dog watch, 2 bells (7:07 pm)

Apparently several attendees of PAX 2009 caught the H1N1 swine flu, or hamthrax as I like to call it. Neither Lorien nor I have any sickness symptoms. Woohoo!

Office Issues
Morning watch, 3 bells (5:31 am)

My server alarm went off this morning at 4:40, but it didn't wake me up—I was already awake from the thunder of an hour previous, and still hadn't gotten back to sleep.

Anyway, I had to come in to make sure things are working fine. And they are. It seems to have been just a hiccup on the ethernet card, the server was only unreachable for a few minutes, but I had to check. Unfortunately, I didn't get the UP signal from my server monitor, just the DOWN signal. I was sure it was a power issue, but I was wrong.

So I'm at work early with about three hours of sleep last night. I can tell it's going to be a spiffy day.

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Doing Boring Chores
Afternoon watch, 4 bells (2:21 pm)

Wow. Go look at Not Your Mama's Pregnancy.

With all due respect for the liberation of women, someone has to clean the house and do all kinds of boring chores.


Look at her closely and see the excellent posture she maintains as she walks around the room, pushing the machine on the carpet.

Wow. At least it wasn't written by a man. We'd never live that one down…

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Refrigerator Delays
Forenoon watch, 2 bells (9:29 am)

I just called Whirlpool to check on the status of my new refrigerator—it's delayed again. Honestly, it's what I expected to happen. I have such bad luck with things like this. I placed the order on the 6th, and now it won't be available for pickup until at least the 29th. This is such a good deal though, I know it's worth the wait. It's just a tough wait when you have no refrigerator.

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Dead Refrigerator
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:30 am)

My refrigerator died at some point yesterday. I remember hearing the blower fan going all the time, I thought I just left the door open a bit too long. The frost should have clued me in. When I woke up this morning, many things had begun to melt. I moved what I could to the freezer in the garage, bought about 15 pounds of dry ice and hopefully that'll keep things cool until tomorrow.

I checked the compressor, it's not working and all the coils are room-temperature. Since replacing the compressor is expensive and the fridge was cheap to begin with, I think it's time to buy a nicer one.

Lorien gets back into town late tonight. I'm pretty sure buying a fridge without her would be a mistake.

I neglected to mention my email. I sent an email to two people in the office to let them know I'd be late this morning. Both their replies said something to the effect of "At least it'll be easy to catch."

I work with a bunch of comedians.

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Losing Steam
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:56 pm)

This has been an exhausting week. Computer troubles galore, there must be something in the air. The past two days I've woken up with a sore throat, possibly due to all the stress I've been under.

Last night a change I was ultimately responsible for broke our software for about three hours. The change wasn't my fault, but I still should have caught it. A #define directive was renamed in our main code branch and integrated to my "utilities" directory. When I recompiled the server-side code, there was a problem which should have clued me in to the bigger problem hiding behind it.

Anyway, there were a lot of failures in processes along the way. I think the biggest problem is that nobody knows the "whole picture" of this project.

But we learned a good lesson, and the impact (from a bigger perspective) wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.

On top of all this, we've had computers crash. One, on Monday, just stopped working. The motherboard, power supply, CPU, and hard drives were all dead. We basically had to replace the whole thing. Another video card (just this morning) literally blew up. Three of the capacitors just exploded in the case! A UPS had a melt-down and blew the power supply out of another machine at one of our remote locations.

I tell you, there is something in the air. Back up your data if you don't already. Really, go do it right now.

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