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Somethings in life are silly. Some are dumb. Some make you shake your head at the ridiculous of it all. Filling out paper work in the gov can be that way. When joining I filled out a bunch of paper work. After some versions being lost several times, some of it got through and I was mailed an acknowledgment (ACK). In the acknowledgment they want me to send back an acknowledgment acknowledging that I had received their acknowledgment. I only can guess that their next step will be to send an acknowledgment to acknowledge that they had received my acknowledgment for their acknowledgment.
It's a real life example of the Two Generals' Problem - which seemed stupid to me when I learned about it. Maybe I just didn't understand it in school, but it seemed to me that their would be an end state. I'm just going to be sad if I have to keep on sending paperwork around.
Today was itil training day. At one point the teacher was talking about types of disasters in disaster recovery and he added a type that wasn't on the slide: stupid. I almost spit out my banana when he said this because it caught me by surprise.
Fires, floods, sabotage, terrorism, strikes, mass power outages: these are things that could happen to your business, but might never happen. I almost guarantee that stupid will happen, and it'll probably strike more than once. After the first case of stupid, you should evaluate the degree of stupid. Was it stupid that was just a slip up that can be fixed with more training or process to catch it, or was it unstoppable stupid - US for short.
Now US is a crafty foe. Process, reviews, or training will not prevent US. US is less of an event, and more of a permanent and final state. The best that can happen is that you remove the source of US (henceforth known is unstoppable stupid source or USS) from your organization and hope that they find work at your competitors. Actually, you should encourage them to find employment there. Now if your org is a government department, it's a little more problematic - you actually have to encourage the USS to leave the country, hopefully to a non-trade partner country.
It's funny that org's spend so much money on things that are really not likely to happen, but don't take a more active role against guarding against something with a high likelihood and high impact.
For a while now we've had an airport express playing music through the stereo. It's been far from "just works". At one point I was losing the drive mount on the router where the music was stored (different story), but lately the computer has been losing the connection to the stereo with a "Unknown error -15000 occured". (aside, I think that it was -15000, but some posts talk about -15006).
The only solution seemed to be to reboot the routers and wait for it to happen randomly again. These problems don't seem to just me either. I finally found a solution that seems to have worked for a couple of days, so fingers crossed. If you look at the log for the router, you can see all these errors like "AirTunes time sync receive error -6730". Now, I'm not sure why the device is trying to time sync, nor why it's not working since it's got the DNS router configured to be our airport extreme (which should work). Either way, turning off time sync for that device seems to have fixed the issue for now.
On a positive side, I've discovered internet radio and joined the rest of 1997. Now I can play CBC Radio 3 through the stereo and it's actually clear. Good times, good times.
Next I'm going to have to figure out how to stop the microwave from messing things up.
Update (2010-04-28): I don't get it. I ran into the dreaded -15000 error again after trying to start the music after it was paused. Then I cursed. Then I hit the play button again and it worked. Checking the log it has "AirTunes time sync receive error: -6730" in the log, but I have the "set time automatically" turned off. AHghhghhghh!! But it's working again, without a reboot. *deep breath*
Update (2010-05-02): Shortly after my last update I was having troubles with the express again. Same error messages, even with the time sync disabled. I re-enabled the time sync, but this time instead of time.apple.com I used the airport extreme as the time server for the network. No problems in the logs since the 28th. I hope that it keeps up.
In my family I'm somewhat of a anomaly. For example, my ideal vacation isn't a version of the Baja 1000. Yes, that would be really cool, but it's not my ideal vacation. That's where the strangeness comes in. I'm still my father's son and my brother's... well, brother. I can be excited about these things, but I'm not passionate about them. Short story: our interests differ.
However, there are things that I do that really make me feel like an adult. Like a man. Having grown up in the house that I did, this usually involves tools of some kind. Extra points if it's powered, or huge, or hydraulic. Super extra points if it's all 3. It's getting warmer now and it's (probably past) time to put on the summer tires so yesterday I went out and bought a 3 ton jack. You know, because I need that to change a tire on our car with a listed curb weight of 1376 kg - works out to just over 3 tons. In other words, I should be able to lift the whole car with that jack, not just one corner. I think that it'll be the last jack that I'll ever need.
There is something really satisfying about being able to do some basic servicing on your own stuff. Now I have an 80 lb jack that I'll use twice a year, so if you need your car jacked up to change the tires or something, come on over. ;-)
Admittedly I am not the best at doing maintenance on my stuff. Last bike I had I rode it until the rear wheel fell off. My current bike makes a "woan woan woan" sound when I accelerate hard and a horrible screeching sound when I break. Really helps let people know you're close to them, but that's a different story.
Today I oiled my chain, but that didn't seem to fix the woan sound. Going to need to look into that a bit more. I also discovered why my breaking sounds so wrong. On bike breaks it looks like there is a metal strip under the rubber to let you know that you should have changed your breaks by now. Helpful.
I think that I need to take a class or something on bike repair / maintenance. My only problem with it is that I don't really like to do that type of work. I guess I'm just going to have to suck it up.
A year or 2 ago I became so annoyed with the quality of our music collection that I started over, re-ripping all music that I cd's on hand for. But this meant that I didn't have all our music: lost cd's, cd's from my folks, etc. So lately I've been migrating some of this music back in.
The steps went along the following lines:
1) sync the files on to my local drive.
2) wrote a small app that made a hash of the files, and removed files that had an identical hash so that I wouldn't have to deal with duplicates
4) Then the trouble of having something that would read the tags from the files. Ideally I wanted iTunes to do this to make comparisons easy. After a while I figured out that if you launch iTunes using option click (on mac, shift click in windows), it will allow you to start it with a different library. That created the xml library file.
5) the format of the xml library file is kind of stupid as xml goes so that makes parsing harder than normal. Luckily I was able to find an example where they parse the file in java.
6) wrote more code that plays "which files are missing" and using blacklists (don't import this) and whitelists, I started to get files that I want to move.
7) I looked into calling iTunes programmatically to import the files, but that started to look like a no-go. So with a little help from commons-io to copy the files I wanted to a specific directory and then I got iTunes to import that directory.
There is still a bit more work, but that was the basic steps.
Lately I've been experimenting with a longer beard. I decided to do it half out of laziness, half out of curiosity and half out of desire to have more beard to play with. Yes, because of all three of those half's, I've been keeping my beard at maximum trim level.
I'm not sure what look I've been able to achieve. It's somewhere between "raised by wolves" and "mad scientist". It's been fun, but I've Been Told that it's pretty shaggy looking. So sometime soon it's going to be reduced back to "normal, less shaggy, level".
Sometimes I think about trying to come up with the best menu to mess with people's heads. Have them come over and make a meal where the after effects really freak them out.
Something along the lines of broccoli, beets, asparagus served with a main course that's spicy and high in iron.
Beets: red poop
Asparagus: stinky pee
Spicy: "Oh god, oh god, it burns! (on the way out)"
High in iron: black poop
Now, I don't think that I'd actually do this with the motivation of freaking someone out, but thinking about doing it amuses me. ;-)
I often joke with Laura that she's my Freedom 30 plan - but I usually make sure that I'm out of arm reach first. She jokes that I'm an old man in training because of my love of jello and rice pudding, but in some ways it would be awesome to be retired. I'd putter around the house, go for bike rides when the weather is nice, write software when the mood or need suited me, and be able to focus on making the next meal.
Aside: tonight's a prime rib roast (because Oma said it's not worth it making a roast for 2 people, and I disagree) with homemade horseradish. Homemade horseradish is something that I've wanted to make for about 3 years now, and I only found the root at the store the other day. Now I just have to figure out how to make it...
Back on topic: My biggest concern about being at home would be actually running out of things to do. Having not enough to do will suck the life and soul out of you, whether you're at home or at work. That amount of nothing leads people to be concerned about the dandelion count in their lawn or, even worse, the dandelion count in their neighbours lawn.
Luckily I've still got like 30 something years before that becomes a concern. Until then, I've just got to keep myself busy on long weekends - of which there seems to be too few.
One of the most magical things with a couple is the ability to share those little moments of intimacy. Sometimes it's with a smile or look, sometimes it's with a gentle touch, sometimes it's ripping a fart. Those are moments that you usually only share with those you are very close to, someone that you feel utmost relaxed with - those that you truly love.
You might go the whole day and never let a squeaker out, but when you get home and embrace a loved one, there is nothing that says "I'm so comfortable with you. You make me so relaxed." quite like cutting some cheese. I think that the the best way to build up long term memories are with olfaction. So if you want your loved one to smile and think of you every time they smell some sulfur, you need to cut those nasty farts.
Easter is a time for family and strengthening bonds. Make sure you serve beans and broccoli and start those magical memories now. And when you hear me make a "pphhppphh!!" sound, just know that's my way of saying "I love you".