My daughter complained last week about the lack of updates on my website; she's checking it every so often but there's nothing new. So, do more, daddy! Ok, I'll try, but much of it will be rambling, unhappy blah.
Let's see; what has happened recently that deserves a writeup? The trip to Austria that I alluded to in the last post was good, if really crammed and full and bloody expensive: at au$3k, airfares were up about 50% from two years ago, but I got to fly Emirates which made the flights more bearable. 7hrs BNE to SINgapore, 1hr refuelling, 7hrs SIN to DXB (Dubai), 3 hours or so of wandering and sitting around, 5.5hrs DXB to VIEnna.
The first hop I had a stupid Indian boy next to me, who kept thrashing his arms around a lot. I don't recall exactly how often he woke my by poking his elbows into my ribs, but I was close to punching him out when we landed. The second flight was long, crammed but otherwise uneventful, and the third one fine as I snagged an empty seat row for myself (A330 2-4-2 seating, with me taking over one of those 2s). The alternatives would have been dire, as I was scheduled to sit with a dumb Viennese bitch who was prattling like mad (it's no good sign if somebody enters an airplane in Dubai carrying a copy of "Österreich" under the arm...). Fortunately I escaped the field of stupidity she projected far enough to make my mp3 player drown any leaking bogon rays, and fortunately the player battery held out! (I dislike meeting Austrians abroad: as Adi Pinter says "99% der österreicher sind deppen.")
The stay in Vienna and surrounds was good but I didn't have more than a few hours of leisurely relaxing in those two weeks; but at least the main purpose, suprising Cornelia by having both parents show up unexpectedly, worked out fine. It was good meeting friends again, and the same holds for both families; I hadn't seen Barbara's branch for at least 8 years and it felt very good. However, the lack of rest got to me slowly; After coming home I feel that I spent two weeks listening to others (and helping some of them out) without anybody listening to me.
Just before leaving I also managed to update my trusty colo'd server "woozle" to the current Debian release (Etch), which got to be a bit of a pain: the remote update in the evening worked out except that the box wouldn't boot anymore (same problem as I experienced here with the other box, both of which are UltraSPARCs: a corrupt silo second.b file). The trip to the colo facility (the SilverServer datacentre in the Ö3-Haus) was rotten from the beginning, as the underground stopped working with some fault or other halfway there, and I was really truly pressed for time.
Reviving the box was "fun": getting the Etch cd into the drive required some box-shuffling (cramped rack), booting from the Etch cd gave me a 2.6 kernel which (unsurprisingly) destroyed the RAID info on both disks. Woozle did come up afterwards, but without the RAID sets (or more precisely, using the underlying real partitions of the first half of each mirror...). Rebuilding the RAIDs wasn't too bad a chore, though, and after about two hours I was done. That was on Friday.
On Saturday my other server here in Oz stopped being reachable: I got a few alert SMSs but was without internet access anyway. The following Tuesday I left for BNE, arriving on Thursday morning. That trip was a bit better because I had a short stopover in Dubai (hotel paid by the carrier) and got to shower, watch some incomprehensible Arabian TV and sleep a few hours in a proper bed. (One TV program had veiled Teletubbies.)
Thursday started badly: we were arriving about 30min late, which means we got into the 0700 rush hour at Brisbane airport (most of the Transpac flights arrive around that time). Result: long queues before the passport control counters. Then I got my usual 2 bottles of dutyfree Finlandia, only to realize that I had better bought them in Singapore as the price was bad. Then my bag didn't show up on the conveyor and I kept waiting until realizing that some bags had been put besides the conveyor...including mine. Then Rob who picked me up ended up in a bit of traffic jam. Then my car which had been at Rob's place (a bit southeast of Brisbane) barely started, and the rear wiper wouldn't stop. Quick solution employed: rip the wiper fuse. Which disables both wipers and the windscreen washer.
After that I drove home, disliking the POS car more than usual. At home, most of my plants had survived (thanks to Richard or Jessica) but the Philodendron had decided that one of the two big leaves is to turn brown and die (no idea why; maybe it got too much water).
Then I revived the server, read some emails and fell asleep, losing most of the day. In the late arvo the server died, for good: dead power supply. I was without any Internet access until the next day, as that box was my firewall, too. Great!
Friday I went to work, only realizing there that it was a public holiday and that I could have stayed home. Some problems at work pissed me off even further, and on the way out I ripped the front bumper off the car: the carparks at ork have stupid wooden bars that are low enough to be invisible from the car. Duct-taped the bumper back up, went home, spent two hours reattaching the thing and removing lots of the tailgate parts to actually get to the rear wiper (to disconnect it, as I couldn't be bothered to search for the electronics module to kill it there).
The last weekend was wet, rainy and windy, and I didn't like it much. The following week was mostly wet and windy, and I didn't like it much. Work sucked. Life sucked. Life still sucks.
My newest entries on the shitlist: Telstra, for sending crappy "all your prepay credits are belong to us, soon. thanks for sponsoring us crooks!" letters about them shutting down the (mostly taxpayer-funded) CDMA network in february and wouldn't we please switch to their new, shinier, even more worthless service and pay big bucks for the privilege of getting reamed...(no, i won't switch to their crappy "3G" net).
Non-shitlist: horses, because filly goulash tastes very well. Pferdeleberkäs does so, too. I really hope more of the stupid critters die and take down the punting industry; we've got too many of the silly beasts around here and they limit our landing options badly.
Also shitlisted: the pope, for claiming that abortion can not be a human right, ever. Stupid bigot paedophiliac asshole. Unfortunately there were no floods in Mariazell...
Back to more pertinent-because-personal rambling: This weekend wasn't much better than the last; Saturday was rainy and windy, and Sunday seemed to be windy, too. Some folks nevertheless flew, and in the mid-arvo when I could have driven up to launch I was completely angry-mad-depressed and not wanting to do anything anymore. Went to bed about 1930, only to be woken by my mother with some incomprehensible computer "problem report" (something somewhere somehow doesn't work, and can i help? Only if you manage to tell me precisely what is going wrong!)
Being depressed means: sleeping long, getting nothing done, not being in the mood for any useful work or stuff that needs to be done, not wanting to see anybody etc. On the weekend, therefore, I didn't do the following things that I should have done: window cleaning, floor vaccuuming and washing, tax return, code more code, fix more bugs, repair the dishwasher, fix some floorboards, paint the under-eaves boards...
(The window cleaning I finally did this arvo.)