Listening to: Clumsy – Our Lady Peace

So, I woke up this morning and realize something is missing in my life. I look around and see all of my friends and family happy at what they have, and I’m a little envious. I’ve had a ragged tear in the fabric of my self for a looooong time, and I’m finally starting to see the origin. I’m not happy because I want someone else to make me happy. This doesn’t mean I want a girlfriend, this means I’ve been a slack bastard and expected all good things to come to me. I’ve deluded myself into thinking fate owes me for all the shit I’ve put up with thus far in life. I didn’t used to be this way.

Fate owes me nothing.

If I want satisfaction out of life, I can’t rely on other people or events to get me there, I have to get back on the horse and grab the reins. I used to seize the moment, take charge, and command my destiny. Somewhere along the way, something killed that piece of me that led. I’m struggling with determining whether it died, or if it was just badly wounded. I’m frustrated with where I am now. Two years ago I was riding an express elevator; I loved my job, I had great friends around me, I knew where I wanted to go and how I wanted to get there, and things were happening. Now, I’m in a job that doesn’t challenge me, most of my friends have grown up and left me behind, and I’m sitting looking at my navel. I have no equity, I have nothing to show for my accomplishments but a set of toys which, really, are no fun to play with by myself. What happened?

So today, I’ll try to take charge again. Alcohol’s been a crutch for the last two years, so it’s gone. No booze at all until my birthday. Fast/junk food is gone. When I’m on the self-pity express I eat crap, and a lot of it. No more, I start with a balanced intake (notice I didn’t say diet, they suck) today. My NYC exercise program is back in full effect – two hours a day, two days out of three, and I’ll walk to work both ways every day. I’ll quit bitching about my job and how shitty it is. I’ve been doing this for two years now, so maybe it’s not the job, maybe it’s me and I should quit whining. I’ll make the most of my job, and try to make a difference.

I’m going take guitar lessons. I need a hobby other than this new-aged idiot box. Sitting in front of one for 9 hours, then coming home and sitting in front of it for another 3-4 is stupid. I’ve been threatening to take lessons and get serious for a while, now I can do something about it. When the spring semester starts up, I’m going to take a photography course.

I hope I can hold myself to these commitments. I think I can, none of them are seriously taxing, and taking them on can only make life a better place. I’ll keep track of my successes and failures here.

Listening to: Bring Me to Life – Evanescence

God DAMN the Cradle 2 Grave trailer is awesome. I will be seeing this movie in the theatre. The dropping down the side of the building floor-to-floor is insane. I’m thinking the safety lines were CG’d away, but it still looks great.

The ducks are history. Fuckbeans, when will I get some style, and what is it about the colour blue I like so much? As Axe says, making them disappear will not end the taunting, but at least the reminder will be gone.

Went to Ikea to get some picture frames and some towels to match the hand towels I had. Puttered around at a bunch of other places looking for a duck-replacement, and ended up finding it at Zellers. It’s not quite what I wanted, but it’s close, and I can live with it. Picked up Angel: Season One as well, so I’ll be watching a bit of TV today, split between it, M*A*S*H Season 3, and Buffy Season 3.

Unrealistic Breast Physics” are entertaining.

Interesting Links du Jour:

Played “Asshole” for the first time last night at Colin’s with Colin, Pete, Steve, and Correy. Kelty made an appearance, and holy shit is she big. She’s bigger than Zoe already, and she’s only 22 weeks. I was asshole to start the game because I was the n00b, but ended up being vice-president for every game past that. I’m told I played unconventionally, but to me it seems that being aggressive is a better strategy than holding out for chance. It’s a decent beer drinking game, but that was kind of the point. It was a nice way to spend the evening.

I got home and met the only neighbour I hadn’t to date, because their cat got loose in the stairway. Nice person, and a very nice tan from being down south for the past 10 days. Watched a few episodes of M*A*S*H Season 3 to finish the day, and skipped to “Abyssinia, Henry”. This is probably one of the best TV episodes of any show out there. The ending is devastating, and drives the point home of how senseless wars really are. Highly recommended.

p>Listening to: Been Caught Stealing – Jane’s Addiction

Was very productive this morning. I got a bunch of smaller items cleared off my plate, and started to put a plan for dealing with re-adjusting our packages, support site, and escalation procedures worked out. I spoke with my boss, and I think we’ll be flushing our business case and starting over from scratch. All this after nine months of effort by my predecessors and colleagues. Ugh. Oh well, this way I can sleep at night.

Got a call from a contractor who wants to come to my house today at lunch. Nothing like adequate notice. Ah well, I want my doors replaced because they both irritate and scare the bejesus out of me, so off I go. Working from home for the aft is nice, anyway.

Da Ali G Show is coming to HBO. This was one of my favourite shows I saw when travelling in Europe, and I hope they bring it into Canada on Comedy or some such. Don’t expect any brain-stretching, as it is intelligent humour about as much as the Man Show is. My favourite episode was with Mohamed al-Fayed, who did a rap and dance number with Ali G. Was hilarious (really).

Spent a bit of time explaining what virtual hosting really is, and explaining why we couldn’t charge $500-800 for it. Funnily enough, our technology people think that providing a product using VMWare and IBM servers at $400.00/mth cost is ok. They should really check out what companies are charging for dedicated boxes, and what the competition is doing with “real#8221; virtual hosting services. We’ll be educating sales drones on Monday, apparently. I’m also supposed to be speaking to Microsloth to hear how they want to gouge me for licensing costs of their r33t new hosting technologies.

Repeat after me – spam controls only affect inbound mail. Our support group decided to tell and angry customer that their problems with mail was related to a minor change we made to the servers where DNS spoofer mail would get rejected. Now the customer is taking the “how dare you make changes without telling us first”. My real response is “buddy, you’re paying $35/month Canadian for web hosting and low-cost mail. You get what you pay for. Try telling that to the executive management who thinks Internet services should have the same reliability as the phone line. How difference can the complexities be, right? Fuckwads. Thankfully, we have decent management in the support groups, and I think we’ll be able to calm them down.

Coop, Kristina, and Axe came over for dinner. We had a great feast from Pe-nan Wok, my favourite Szechuan place outside of China. Spring Rolls, Crispy Ginger Beef, General Tao’s Chicken, Fried Noodles with Beef in a Black Bean Sauce, Diced Vegetables and Cashews in Hoisin Sauce, and some delicious Merlot Sorbet crafted by Kristina for dessert. Ahhh… gluttony. Everyone even brought beer, so I should have a lot in the house for when folks come over for the next little bit.

Following dinner we set Kristina up with her own TV and “Go”, and proceeded to play a little Halo. After a little fighting with DMZ settings on the home firewall and Xboxgw software, we linked up with Zulu and Storm in New York. We had zero lag, and had some great fragging fun. I took two of the four rounds, Coop took one, and Storm took one. Poor Zulu was having an off night and was everyone’s botch (although I was his in one round as we kept dying and re-spawning next to each other). Running over people with a Warthog is possibly one of the most satisfying ways of scoring a kill I’ve ever experienced. Oh, and playing split-screen on a 57″ HDTV makes the experience very enjoyable.

Coop and Kristina stayed a little longer than Axe, and we watched a bit of Oceans Eleven. Kris got a little sleepy to go with a little drunk, and the evening came to a nice fuzzy close. The only part of the evening that wasn’t great was when Kris confirmed I had a fruity bathroom. Message received, and it will be dealt with.

More number crunching, and I’m really not liking what I’m finding. *sigh* I also prepared a list of items for discussion with the “vendor” we
re negotiating with to provide some services. This vendor is majority owned by my company, so if this doesn’t work out I’ll have some ‘splaining to do.

Another decent day, but I hate beating my head against the wall on successive days. It’s bad for the melon.

Went out to Derek’s to take a look at the PC I installed earlier which now refuses to boot. I have no idea why it won’t boot. I ended up swapping his old one back in, and will take the uncooperative unit back home for testing this weekend. It may be a HD problem, but it also may be a motherboard problem. In wither case it’s icky, I’ve had enough of computers for a while.

Met up with Axe and Coop at Patty’s after I was finished at Derek’s. They had come from Daredevil and the two things that I came away with following their review was that Jennifer Garner was seriously hot, and the Cradle 2 Grave trailer was amazing. I guess the movie itself was a letdown. Too bad, DD is one of the comics I like best.

Listening To: Drop the Hate – Fatboy Slim

More forensics today. I had to use my brain and come up with math I hadn’t used in a very long time. Funny that. Thankfully, I only got stuck on some simple equations for a little while. I had to figure out percentages of revenue for multiple packages based on projected take rates. It was needed so I could figure out how many subscribers we’d need for a particular revenue number, which would help to determine how much capital I’d need for infrastructure. I’m not making this up, it is as convoluted as it sounds, but apparently it’s what we do.

I adjusted our numbers, they were way too high. I still think they’re high, but apparently adjusting them more in a downwards direction would be bad. Who am I to argue?

Other people here can’t count either. We have service packages and options for those packages. In order to purchase an option, you must have a package. It goes to figure that if you have a customer with a service package and three options, it’s still one customer, right? Not so here, for some reason the powers that be here would count that as four customers. I don’t understand, but that’s the way it is. As a result, I have about 25% less customers than I thought I did. It also totally fucked up my assumed take rates. Oh – and of the real customers, 5% ain’t paying a dime. Joy.

It’s positively balmy outside today, and I’m happy we’re finally seeing some warmer weather. It’ll play some havoc with the canal I’m sure, but it’s supposed to be cold later on in the week. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Sandy and I stopped in for a couple beverages at Patty’s on the way home, and tried to figure out how we got where we were. Then the Senator’s came on and scored two quick goals. Work was forgotten, the beer was cold and fresh. Life was good.

Tried walking Derek through fixing the PC. No such luck. It’s fucked. I think I know where I’m going tomorrow night.

In spite of all the nonsense, I had a productive day. It was even good. I marvel at the insanity, but it felt good to do something useful that required stretching my brain.

and a surge at the finish

I found a use for the Origin 200 that has been collecting dust and taking up cupboard space for the last three or four years. It seems that the OpenBSD project is looking for old SGI hardware for porting to the MIPS platform. So, instead of getting $500 on eBay, I’ll donate it to something useful. I did this way back when Shaver and Miguel (and others) were working on Linux for MIPS, so it’s nice to be able to help a little.

Well, I took the bus in today, so I’m kinda guessing there is no transit strike in Ottawa. It was pretty annoying how little coverage there has been in the papers or on the radio. I’d like to blame it on the mega-corporations that control everything now, but it’s probably more along the lines of so many people don’t use masstransit that people didn’t think to mention it.

I deflated Coop‘s balloon a little. Sorry Coop.

I’m in a really pissy mood. I am discovering just how completely fucked up the situation at work is, and how it’s going to be my problem to fix three years of less-than-ideal product and vendor management. I’m getting my points across, but no one here is stepping up – in fact, they’re slinking away. I am learning a lot about the monopoly mentality – now all I need is a sledgehammer.

How about that, Bell made $2.5B (~1.7BUSD) last year, 70% of which came in the fourth quarter alone. Kinda makes you wonder what they were doing the previous three quarters, don’t it?