Stupid Procrastination! Stupid Sexy Flanders!

Posted by Thomas Sat, 28 Apr 2007 02:48:09 +0000

Why the hell do I always seem to cut it so close? I managed to get some laundry done tonight, but I missed the important things this week like actually changing my flight. I did manage to get approval to stay, I just didn’t get around to actually finalizing all of my plans. So now I am between a rock and a hard place. Had I managed to call the travel agency during their normal business hours sometime this week, I probably could have just paid the base change flight fee of $50. But now I can either pay an extra $80 to Delta for the privilege or I can pay an “emergency” fee to connect to the travel agent after hours and maybe or maybe not pay the $80 difference in flight price. I’m confused, though, because it’s so far out, I can’t imagine why the flight would cost so much more. Now I’m still procrastinating, because I don’t know exactly what to do… So now, not only have I forgotten to rebook the flight, I’m trying to remember if I’ve missed anything else. I think I’ve paid all of my bills back home, but I’m not 100% sure. I probably should pay off my credit cards, too, and start my expense report. I also really need to get someone to check my apartment. I’ve got to figure out how to kill some time between when I have to check out tomorrow and when I can check in. I need to figure out how to check out. I have to be out of here by noon. I need to extend my car rental. I need to get someone to fix my network at my apartment. Man, I am super scatter-brained.

Update: Wait! There’s hope! Press 5!
Update: No! No hope! Wait forever then get charged out the arse! But Wait! There’s hope! Delta’s much cheaper! Only $130!
Update: No! It won’t go through online! Must call support!
Update: No! Some dude whose first language isn’t English! Who has a hard time understanding me, and me him! And yet! I changed my fight! Huzzah!

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Yay for horoscopes from The Onion

Posted by Thomas Tue, 24 Apr 2007 22:18:58 +0000

A much-needed change of scenery is in store for you this week when wildfires sweep through your area, charring everything visible from your cell’s tiny window.

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Posted by Thomas Thu, 19 Apr 2007 01:22:42 +0000

So I’ve been meaning to post an update since at least Sunday night, if not Saturday or Friday. For this, I apologize. As usual, I was apprehensive in the beginning about the trip, fitting in and all that. Plus some worry about missing the plane or only thinking I had plane reservations or a rental car waiting for me upon my arrival, when in fact I didn’t. Luckily none of my fears were realized. I booked a sane flight time at 11am, which meant be at the airport at 9. I dropped off the Yukon at the dealer beforehand, so several things could be looked into. I called in a favor from a guy from whom I’ve taken to the airport many a time to take me. I ate some healthy Burger King for breakfast, and all in all didn’t have to wait too terribly long. The flight left on-time. I wound up sitting in the middle of a row of three, which wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world. The guys on either side of me weren’t small, either. Somehow my camera bag that normally fits nicely under the seat in front of me didn’t, so I didn’t really feel like I had the best place to put my feet. I slept some in the beginning, but after a while, I couldn’t nap anymore. They had some nifty displays in the headrest in the seat in front of you, but both my airplane and my regular earphones were in my bag, in the overhead compartment. I didn’t really feel like making the guy on the end move, and I didn’t care too terribly much if I could hear CNBC, so I let it be. It was pretty nifty though, that there were so many channels to choose from. I have a hard time believing it was being broadcast in real-time, but I also have a hard time believing they would run yesterday’s news. The times were in sync, so I dunno what to think. All in all the plane trip wasn’t unbearable, but I like never once got up or moved from my seat, and the flight got pretty long after a couple of hours.

Upon arrival, the baggage claiming went quickly, and I returned the call from the dealership. I greenlighted all of the stuff (which wound up being less than I was expecting — yay for being surprisingly less) for the Yukon. I had a Fastbreak rental from Budget, so I pretty much just walked out to the car and left the airport. A pretty straight forward drive down to Mountain View and found the building pretty easily. The problem I ran into, though, was that I didn’t have a cube number, nor had I looked very much at the building layout to see where he sat. I eventually figured it out and got settled. The week has been good and I have been learning a lot of how things work and what to do. All of the people in the group have been really nice and all that, so it’s been good.

There were several guys out from Atlanta doing some other stuff for the first week I was there, so I met up with them some. We went to a steakhouse the first night, which was quite excellent. I’ve been eating mostly on-campus at the cafes, which as advertised is rather posh. I have, though, managed to eat at In-and-Out several times. I can see why I’ve heard such good things about it and why it seems like such a staple out here. I went out to San Fransisco with three other guys Saturday afternoon. We hit a coffee shop, book store, Ethiopian restaurant, and then headed to the Golden Gate. We were trying to hit it just at sunset, but were late. We wound up walking all the way across and back, which is quite a trek. It was nice, though to see the city lit up at night, as well as see the bridge night lit, too. It was rather cold, though, and made me wish I had a little more than the my normal fleece.

The weather has been pretty nice thus far, with a few scattered showers. Just like last time I was here, it can get a little cold, but not too bad during the day, and has been generally nice and sunny.

I thought that I might be able to drop down and see Karen and Chad one of these weekends. Alas, though, California is a rather long state. I pretty much had to rule out the 8hr one-way trip, the 4hr meet-you-half-way trip, and flying down. It is rather unfortunate. I am pondering perhaps a day trip out to some redwood forests that are supposed to be around here. I have taken some pictures, but I doubt that I’ll get them posted any time soon. I did have access to my home network for some time while I was here, but it has since gone away. I’m not really sure what happened and may have to send someone over to investigate. I guess the power went out or something, and things didn’t come up nicely. :(

Oh, and I should mention an oddity with my housing situation. I am in some corporate housing, which means that you stay in one bedroom of a two bedroom apt, sharing with some other person. My person a guy from a European office, who basically brought along his fiancé. This is a little awkward. They’ve been super nice, but still, it is quite odd. For the first several days of my trip, I either didn’t have a roommate, or they would come in after I had gone to bed and leave before me, which worked out great for me. Now, I definitely hesitate some and put off coming back to the apartment.

I did one load of laundry last night, but I should have done two. I also didn’t bring any movies with me, except my Netflix, all of which I managed to watch beforehand. I guess I should change my address and get the next batch to watch. I actually watched a bunch of second rate movies for most of the day on Sunday (including such greats as Under Siege 2), which I haven’t done in forever. I don’t remember the last time I sat around and channel surfed. Probably Christmas at my parents.

I guess that’s enough catch-up for now. I’ve been trying to get to work by 9, which means getting up by 8:15, and leaving by 8:45, since I’m fairly close. Getting up so early though, means I’ve been trying to be in bed by 11pm. Both times are rather abnormal for me, but I think I’m slowly getting acclimated to the subtle shift in sleep/wake schedule.

If you’ve made it reading thus far, you are a trooper! :)

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Snow what?

Posted by Thomas Sat, 07 Apr 2007 02:23:02 +0000

Yeah, so I think this is going to be an odd conglomeration of random thoughts.

1. It snowed tonight in Atlanta. I saw it. Big flakes, too. I said that I didn’t believe it, even though I saw it, because we all know it doesn’t really snow in Georgia.

2. I’m heading to Mountain View for 3 weeks starting Monday. I’ve done like zero planning, so I’m really feeling the pressure of getting all my ducks in a row and being ready to leave for an extended period of time. I’ve got real laundry and a laundry list of things I need to get done, errands I need to run, most of which probably should get done Saturday, since things like the post office and the bank may or may not be open for business for some portion of the day.

3. It is a sad day, because one of the three bamboo shoots from the lucky bamboo Cole and Rachel gave me when I left College Station has more or less died. Much of it is partially black and feeling on it now, it has no strength or substance to it. Hopefully the other two shoots will survive, except I put it outside to maybe perk up its spirits, but then there was a cold spell (see #1) and might have affected the remaining two. I pulled it in, so hopefully no harm done.

4. I didn’t really think that leaving for three weeks would be that big of a deal. In the big scheme of things, it’s not really that long, and it’ll be done before you know it. In true Thomas fashion, I didn’t really spread it around work that I was going, so most people didn’t know, as I just told the people I mostly work with, so they were aware of it. So there was a small group of guys who were all nice enough to say that they were going to miss me. I really wasn’t expecting it. I guess I mean more to them than I thought. And, having them express to me the fact that I would be missed make me start to consider maybe that I would miss them, too. I don’t really like goodbyes. I’m more of an “au revoir/’til we meet again” sort of person. So, now I’m in a mood of not wanting to leave and have this lingering feeling of trying to postpone the inevitable as long as possible. But, I think it has made me realize that I have made better friendships than I thought, which is both a blessing and a curse. I thought that it wouldn’t be a struggle to leave Atlanta to go back to Texas or wherever comes next, but now I’m not so sure. Perhaps I’ve made more roots here than I thought, and I don’t look forward to any time when I would have to say goodbye to these guys for real. As most people reading this should know, loving the people at Wesley for so many years makes it extra especially hard to leave, and I have no desire to repeat that heart breaking experience.

5. Wedding dresses. Ok, now I have no earthly idea why I’m revisiting this. I blame this picture (and to a lesser extent Roman Holiday). I still hold that I don’t like strapless dresses that much. I think it has to do with the combination of a whole lot of skin, up-hairdoos, and little around the neck. I’ve half come to the conclusion that I simply don’t like that combination. I have no idea why. Nor do I understand why I even have what I would consider to be such a well formed opinion on the subject… I do however, seem to like the off the shoulder dresses with large and tight necklaces and up-hairdoos. Again, I don’t quite understand me on this, so it probably doesn’t reason much to ask me why.

6. Since I started announcing to people that I would be gone, I have found out that there will be other people filtering out during my stay, so it will feel a little more like home than I was expecting, which is definitely a good thing.

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The Aftermath

Posted by Thomas Mon, 02 Apr 2007 23:56:38 +0000

Pwned! Yes, Marc, I came up with the idea quite some time ago that I should pull this April Fool’s joke, and I came very close to just posting an entry saying that I was going to do it, instead of actually doing it (Unfinished Post #355). But, I thought, what the hey, maybe I’ll fish around for some gullible people. Well, looks like it worked! Yay!

So, in other real news besides the haircut and my fake engagement (still single ladies), my parents were here for a week between the 21st and the 28th. About the only thing that we did was go to see the CNN Center and go on the tour. International TV studios are cool. :) We walked around Centennial Park. I’ll probably post the one pic I took eventually.

In the world of movies, I’ve seen 300, Wild Hogs, North By Northwest, 21 Grams, Reign Over Me, and last night, Blades of Glory. 300 was good, but not as good as all the hype said. Wild Hogs was much better than expected. North By Northwest was eh. 21 Grams was exactly like Crash and that other movie that I went to see after Children of Men that I liked so much better but can’t remember the name of right now. I guess since I’ve seen more than two of those type of films, that they aren’t really that enjoyable now. I could see why nobody else like that third movie if they’d already seen the other two. To quote Drewby, “I liked it better the first time when it was called Fight Club”. Reign Over Me was good. And Blades of Glory… um, I think it could have been better. Maybe it was because I watched it in a practically empty theater. Maybe more people laughing would have helped it.

On Wednesday (the 28th), I finally received the final packages for my new file server. I got it put together and up and running that night. I had a total of 5 400 GB drives, but one of them was currently in use and completely full, I needed to make a backup before I pulled it out of its current home and put it into its permanent home. I dusted off the ol’ fibre channel and used it. Now I realize how abysmally slow it is (read/writes in the 5 MB/s range while transferring 400GB takes a while). I managed to get my data off, physically transfer the drive, and get the new array up and running. I started to transfer everything back, which took an equally excrutiatingly long time. We were having a lan party at work, so I wanted it to be ready in time enough to show it off. I didn’t get everything transfered that I would have liked, but enough that I packed it up and took it to the lan. I don’t think anybody got any content off it, so that was pretty disappointing. When a couple of guys tried, it kept crashing explorer. I don’t know if it was just Solaris running Samba, or if it was just my Samba config. As I didn’t really tweak much in the Samba config, I would lean towards a misconfiguration issue and incompatibility playing nicely with XP. If I had a copy of XP, I would test for sure. I might try a VM copy, if I can get it to work… After all that was done, I’ve spent the rest of the weekend playing with it more. I’d make some poor choices of naming things, so there were those mistakes to correct. Then I transfered all of my home directory over to it. I had pretty much run out of space there as well. Once that was done, I transfered argento over to ldap/kerberos/autofs and cut argento over. It’s been pretty smooth sailing so far, I must say, working off of nfs. I’m starting to jones for a gig switch and a telco rack. I setup snapshotting as well on it all, which was one of the primary motivating factors of going with a Solaris/ZFS solution. And, I added some new entries to ldap to get some further automount entries besides home. Automounting stuff from LDAP is awesome. While playing with the array, I had been noticing a slightly ominous, yet faint clicking sound emanating from one of the drives. I installed SMART tools, and finally got the syntax right only to see this on one of the drives: HARDWARE IMPENDING FAILURE GENERAL HARD DRIVE FAILURE [asc=5d, ascq=10]. Doh! Looks like I’ll have to RMA one all too quickly. At least I still have the nice box and packaging Seagate sent the last drive in, so it shouldn’t be hard at all to package it up properly.

And finally, I’ve frozen my a/c again. :( With the fibre channel and all of my machines going over those several days, the apartment got pretty hot (cite my away message “i don’t think my apt can adequately cool the current level of heat i am generating… :(“). So, I figured it was just all of the drives spun up, working hard, and generating too much heat. But, Friday night, it was cool enough that I turned off the a/c and opened some windows for a while. That’s when I heard it, the ominous dripping coming from the HVAC closet. I took off the grate with my trusty cordless drill (thanks Clay and KB), and confirmed what was going on. I called the office Saturday morning and put in a work order. Later when I dropped off rent, the lady at the office said that she would have maintenance call me to confirm that it was a trivial condensation leak. They never called. Chalk up one more for “The Runaround”. Maintenance finally knocked on my door at 8:15 this morning. He confirmed that it was frozen, turned it off, and is letting it thaw right now. Hopefully all it needs is a little freon top-off. But it is worrisome that they topped it off not too long ago. Either I’m doing something that I’m not supposed to do, or there’s a leak…

Anyway, so I was up early and started writing to catch everyone up. I made sure to take a shower before the dude got back and tried to finish this post up before work. And now I’m done, and I still have gobs of time before work… bah!

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Posted by Thomas Sun, 01 Apr 2007 00:39:56 +0000

I’m engaged! Details to follow…

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