Kids and networks – cut from the same cloth.

July 28, 2008 | Filed Under Computers, Parenting, The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

Today, as I am trying to make a network change to allow one of our corporate satellite sites access to a DMZ, (Demilitarized Zone, for the uninitiated), we suddenly lose all our Internet access. We spend almost 2 hours rebooting the firewall, the DNS servers (it seems related to DNS), only to discover that our primary network provider line went out.    The reason it took us so long to figure out was because some of our traffic was being routed over a secondary line. (It’s a long and sordid story, but it was also MONDAY, which plays a factor in any of these issues).  Of course, right at the time that I call the ISP corporate support line, connectivity returns. Of course.  And I am left there trying to explain to the support guy that the network was DEAD. Really. Just seconds ago.

That’s the way it usually happens.

You parents know that it’s the same with kids and doctors.

There they are. Fever of 104F. Barfing up everything – even water. You rush them to the clinic, or, god forbid, the emergency ward, and by the time a doctor gets to see them (HOURS later), they have a normal temperature, they are eating everything in sight, and running around raising hell.

But…. but… but… “He was REALLY sick when I brought him in.”

And of course they give you THAT look. The one that says, “Ah yes… yet another case of ‘over-protective parent syndrome'”. And they nod with that patronizing look, and assure you that your child will be JUST fine, and if the symptoms recur, you can bring them back in (and wait another 3 hours).

The kids grow up (eventually), but networks remain recalcitrant infants.

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Back in the Saddle

July 27, 2008 | Filed Under Computers, Uncategorized, Work | No Comments

If you were trying to get to HBI in the last few days, you may have seen some “site not available” messages. Correction, you may have seen A LOT of “site not available” messages.

At least twice on Friday, the server went down, and I had my ISP reboot it.  I couldn’t take much time to deal with it because my REAL job – the one that pays the bills – had me stuck in “networking hell” – and I don’t mean the kind where you talk to people.

[Geek alert] Friday morning I had scheduled to move a handful of servers from one subnet to another in preparation for a larger network move. I had scripted out what needed to be done the night before.  What SHOULD have been a 1 hour move turned into an all day ordeal complete with rebooting the firewall AND rebooting the DNS servers.  These things seldom go as planned, and this one took a wrong turn at Albuquerque right out of the starting gate.  In the midst of it all I had meetings to attend and other fires to put out.  So HBI languished.

Late Friday night the HBI server died again and no amount of incantations, three-fingered salutes or prayers would get it back. Thank god my ISP is small, with actual staff there to help you on a Saturday.

Saturday was a bit of a frantic day for me, what with 25+ people arriving that night for the annual Natalie VS Tony Rib Cook-off…  but I just had to get out to my ISP and see if there was anything that could be done for my decrepit and presently defunct server.

Corey was a sweetheart – he pulled it off the shelf, we tried swapping a video card, but that didn’t work, but I did notice that while the box had power, the fan on the power supply wasn’t spinning. He rummaged through a box of power supplies, uncertain if they were good or not – and after the second one we tried, we hit success – the box was up and running again.

Of course, this just highlights the fact that I simply HAVE to get my ass in gear and work on the migration of HBI to a newer/better/stronger server.  However, to get that done, I think I’ll actually have to take a week of vacation leave and focus on nothing else.  If things ever slow down at work, I may do just that.  Granted, I’d rather spend a week of vacation leave on a sunny beach somewhere, with a buff young pool-boy named Juan bringing me drinks, but this shit has just got to get DONE, and it’s too involved and complicated to do piecemeal.  The biggest pain in the ass is going to be going from a non-case sensitive system to a case-sensitive one.  I have THOUSANDS of documents to go through and sanitize by both changing file names and globally searching and replacing links in files.  Then there is the database upgrade, a dozen applications to test (and a few to upgrade – like the HBI discussion forums), and the mail server aliases to port over…. AUGH. It gives me a headache just thinking about it. 

I started in on this HBI migration last summer. Truly I did.  Admittedly at the urging/prodding of the bf, who even went so far as to get the dev system all set up and ready for me in an effort to get me MOVING on it.   But once again it languished due to other more pressing priorities, and perhaps my own penchant for procrastination on these kinds of endeavors.  I’m great about doing this kind of stuff for work, but personally, I LOATHE having to reinstall and move all my stuff to a new computer.  Maybe it’s because it’s what I do all day, that it’s the last thing I want to do when I get home at night?  This would explain why I am still using Windows 2000 server on my home system.

But I realize that I simply MUST make some time to get HBI ported to a new, improved, more reliable server.  Hardware is cheap enough now, and the current server is likely on its last legs, so it’s TIME.  Now if I could just find some.

Oh, and if the site goes AWOL again this week, it’s because we have to change IP Addresses and it may take a while for your local servers to update their DNS.  Fear not, I am still here, stirring up shit.

 

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There ought to be a test

July 15, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting, Social idiocy | 6 Comments

The more time I spend around the “general public”, the more I become convinced:  the herd needs culling.

I’m not kidding.  The gene pool is seriously polluted.  But then, dear readership, you already knew that, or you wouldn’t be a fan of this site.

Since modern science has interfered with Darwinian natural selection, I think we need to interefere further and impose a parenting test on all prospective parents.  If for no other reason than to protect innocent kids from being born to utterly self-absorbed morons.

One thing that made my blood boil this past week was people taking babies and very young kids to Bluesfest, with NO hearing protection.  Kids have much more sensitive eardrums. Everything is still growing, AND they have no choice or knowledge about how to protect themselves – they rely on their parents to do that.  Any reasonably intelligent adult should know this. 

A typical rock concert has music in the range of 100-125 decibels. Bluesfest was no exception.  They were measuring noise in the range of 55-65 decibels over a kilometer away from the site.  I rarely go close to the stages because it’s just too loud. But anywhere on the grounds with a child is still going to be exposing them to unacceptably high noise levels unless they have adequate hearing protection.

The worst was the couple with a (probably 8-week old) baby, who were decked out hemp clothing, probably ate all organic food, would likely breast-feed the kid till he was in college, and yet had him by the main stages with nothing more than cotton stuffed in his ears.  The bf worked for a large manufacturer in the past. I asked him if they would allow the staff in the plant to use cotton balls for “hearing protection” in an area with 90+ decibels of noise.  He snorted in disgust. 

Honestly, these people are too STUPID to be allowed to breed!  I’m beginning to think that for the protection of the kids, they should refuse parents entry who do not have adequate hearing protection for their kids.  It’s illegal to take a child out on a boat without a life preserver or drive them around in a car without a seatbelt. It should be illegal to take them to a rock concert without hearing protection. 

In truth, for the babies under 2 years of age at least, it should be illegal to take them to an adult music festival or concert, period, because apparently people are too STUPID to know better. 

Pregnant women past 20 weeks expose there foetus to potential hearing loss (and themselves to premature labour) if they go into highly noisy environments as well.  If you plan on carrying that baby to term, don’t go to a rock concert or festival past the first trimester.

Here’s the deal people – you CHOSE to have a child.  DEAL with the responsibility that entails, AND the sacrifice.  Like a movie theatre, or a play, a concert is NOT a place for a baby. If you can’t afford the sitter, you can’t afford to go. It’s as simple as that, so suck it up. You have to learn to an important concept that you should be teaching your kids: DELAY OF GRATIFICATION.  It’s a concert. There will be another one.  You can see the movie on DVD.  Save up the few extra dollars for a sitter for that play, or trade baby-sitting with a neighbor.

You won’t be able to do all the same things you did when you were childless, so just accept that fact and be a fucking ADULT about it.  Be the PARENT your child needs you to be.  And if you aren’t ready to assume that responsibility and change your lifestyle it’s quite simple: DON’T FUCKING BREED.

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Parenthood through the eyes of the Heartless Bitch

July 9, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting | 1 Comment

I’ve been bluesfesting this week (as you may have seen from previous posts), and while there, I ran into a former co-worker and we spent a little time catching up.  She’s on her 11 boss in 7 years with the same company (they go through VP’s of Marketing like so much used kleenex), but she was taking the week off to enjoy the festival.  It’s something she and her husband do each year – they take the whole week off, play with the kids during the day (they have two pre-teen kids) and then go to the festival at night with full VIP passes.  She said that last year she realized that for the cost of the babysitters at night (and most of the day on the weekends), it would be cheaper to send the kids off to camp. Her daughter was all for it last summer, but she had to work on her son.  Through the course of the year she got him going to cubscout camps on weekends, and used to spending time away.  By this summer, they were both finally ready to spend a week away from home.  She and her husband loaded the kids on the bus that morning, and as it departed, her husband looked at her and said, “Well, that’s it. We are child-free for a week!”… and she burst into tears.

I said, “Aw honey, save the tears!  You have a week of grown-up time after nearly a decade of mommy-dom. Revel in it!  The time to REALLY cry is when they move back in at the age of 20, “to go to school”, eat you out of house and home, hog the TV, don’t get up until 2pm in the afternoon, and leave their smelly socks everywhere.”  THEN you cry.

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Coaching my staff…

July 9, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, The Heartless Bitch Way, Work | No Comments

(names have been changed to protect the innocent)

Jane:  Dave, can you do something for me?

Dave: What’s in it for me?

Me: Jane, in these situations the answer is always, “I won’t slit your throat in your sleep.” Remember that.

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Singin’ the Blues…

July 7, 2008 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

A conversation between me and the bf as we walked home from Bluesfest…

me: “I saw these guys today, pushing a table and chair set home in a shopping cart. They’d obviously just bought it from the Sally Ann.  I felt for them. I’ve been in that kind of financial state before.  I thought about offering them a ride, but I wouldn’t be able to fit both them and their table in my car.  Besides, it will give them a story to tell late one night at a party.  I have stories like that…. like living in a $155/month rooming house with condemned plumbing while saving for school.”

bf: “I never had to live like that.”

me: “Yeah, well, you were a child of privilege.”

bf: “Maybe so, but I don’t have a sense of entitlement as a result.”

me:”True enough, but you’ll never be able to sing the blues either.”

bf: (looks incredulously at me): “Come on…. I’m a LEAFS fan…. 40 years without winning The Cup?”

me: “I stand corrected.”

 

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Up on the wrong side of the bed

July 2, 2008 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

So I’m rushing into work this morning, because some *asshole* scheduled a 9am concall the day after Canada Day.  Oh, wait. That asshole was me.  Anyway, after walking across a field to the bus stop and riding the bus all the way downtown (standing room only), I am walking through the mall when I feel something around the back of my knee…. IN my capri pants.  WTF?

As  I stand on the escalator, I reach down as discretely as possible, and feel around the back of my knee.  I can feel something lumpy.  Really Lumpy. Shit.

I get off the escalator, and gingerly walk around the corner, to what I hope is a less visible location where there is a bench and nobody else around, and I start fishing UP the leg of my capris… It is VERY hard to do this in a discrete way.  To my horror, I pull out a pair of white undies – just as a woman walks past and looks at me with a mixture of shock and amusement.  I guess they got caught up in there during their run in the drier?  Small consolation that they were clean – I hurriedly stuffed them in my purse, wondering how many people saw this weird bulge on the back of my leg and thought I had some kind of horrible tumor or something?  Thank God they didn’t fall out completely while I was walking through the mall, or worse, on the bus!  How I didn’t notice them earlier is a testimonial to how BAGGED I was this morning.

As soon as I got to work I made a conscious effort to immediately stuff the offending undies in a drawer at my desk. I had to take my team out to lunch and after the morning’s utter embarrassment, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to open my purse to pay, and pull out underwear instead of my wallet.

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Random Canada Day Silliness…

July 2, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Random Silliness | No Comments

Canada Day here is our equivalent of the US “Fourth of July”.   Living in the nation’s capital, we do it up, Bigtime.  Parties everywhere, tens of thousands of people thronging the streets, and given that the weather was FINALLY decent for a day, it seems that everyone (AND their dogs) were out enjoying the weather.  Some people hate the crowds, but a number of our friends enjoy going out, seeing the sites, and enjoying the mayhem.

Our day started with a group “breakfast”, at 12:30, at a pizza place.  I know. The irony kills me too.

(Well, in reality, the day started out with the bf making me late, but I won’t go into THAT here…)

Then we *sauntered* down to parliament hill (the bf insisted we SAUNTER rather than walk at A’s usual break-neck pace).

We arrived in time to Steve-o, our less-than-illustrious PM arriving for the festivities. *MEGAYAWN*.

So we left the crowds, (and the smell of the port-a-cans) behind and went to another popular location, “Major’s Hill Park”.  Unfortunately, it was a complete and total zoo as well, and K just wanted to sit down somewhere and not fight crowds… The bf wanted to see if they had “lumberjack” shows on again this year, so we circled the outside of the park down to the show area, and found some guys doing hip-hop/breakdancing.  Nope. no lumberjack poles.  Ah well.

The requirement for a place to sit and drink beer was voiced, insistently, and since nobody objected, we made our way to a pub on Sussex, and proceeded to stay there till around 4:30pm.  Then a few of us headed off to M&J’s for their now infamous Canada Day back yard party which includes killer margaritas and yummilicious burritos.  Of course, after LAST year’s “incident” involving desecration of a Canadian Flag, the bf has sworn off tequila AND as such, the killer margaritas.  It wasn’t until this year that I learned the margaritas are 75% alcohol.  Well THAT would explain why last year I felt like someone had hit me over the head with a brick the moment I stood up!  This year I limited myself to just 3 margueritas over course of the whole evening. 

On the way there, we wandered along the Rideau Canal towards the “drunk bridge” which would we would have to cross to get to M&Js. The “Drunk Bridge” as the bf calls it, is a footbridge put in just last year, that connects the Univeristy/Residences with the other side of the Rideau Canal – ostensibly to Elgin Street, where many of the bars are.  In other words, most people crossing from Elgin to the University side at night, are probably *staggering* across.

There are a lot of interesting people about on Canada day, and this time was no exception.  As we were walking down the canal, we saw a guy hustling past us in a red dress.   I guess I missed the first one because the bf said, “That’s the second guy I’ve seen in a dress along here. I wonder what’s going on?”  We could see another guy coming towards us in a patterned but mostly red dress, with what we THINK was a woman in a red dress beside him… Yep, something was definitely going on.  As the guy passed, I realized that it was a former roommate of mine.  I told the bf this after they’d gone by.

“Really? He looks really OLD”.

“He’s 9 years younger than me.” (the Bf is one year younger than I am so I can still claim to be banging a younger guy).

“He still looks really old.”

“He was much cuter when he was younger.”

“He didn’t seem to recognize you.”

“If he did, I suspect he wouldn’t have the courage to say two words to me anyway.  After all, I did kick his ass out.”

The bf gave me that knowing nod.  The “I’d probably not want to cross you again if I’d pissed you off once before” look.

We made it across the drunk bridge without incident, and without running into any more men in dresses.  When we got to M&J’s there were jello shots waiting patiently for takers.  *sigh*  And here I am, facing the fact that I have a 9am meeting tomorrow morning.

Though we had cheap tickets to a parking lot party back in the market, and I would REALLY have liked to see The Cliks, in the end inertia took its toll and we stayed drinking and talking to people at the party.  The food was fabulous, but I paced myself on all fronts. 

Eventually we all departed (except our delightful but exhausted hosts) for the fireworks at 10:00pm. This year I could walk there by myself, unsupported by A.

On our way back to the car I spotted a woman walking in front of us with 4″ high heels that had red satin straps wrapped/tied around her ankles.  I noted that they were very festive – very “Canada Day” in their redness, and that I rather liked them, except that I couldn’t imagine walking 3 meters in those shoes, much less 3 blocks.  T said, “Yes, but *she’s* probably a trained professional.”

To which A (my son’s gf) said, without skipping a beat, “Yeah, and I’ll bet it involves a pole.” 

That girl is coming along just FINE under my tutelage. 

 

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