MonthApril 2009

Swine Flu. Patient Zero

Little Bastard!

How may words for snow can you sms?

So, the other day Annette and I were at the house we want to buy, waiting for the real estate agent to show up. We’re sort of purposelessly standing on the corner of the street, in this quiet suburb, at night. Just waiting for this dude to arrive and show us the place.

We noticed that cars that drove past us sort of slowed down a little bit, and the drivers and passengers would stare at us. They were obviously wondering who we were, and what we were doing loitering in their ‘hood without ANY kind of obvious agenda.

Naturally, we decide to play into this role. I assumed a sort of S-shaped slouch, and start txting Annette.

Only problem is, the traditional slouch of the modern youth hurts my back, and I can’t manage it for long. And when I tried to txt Annette with “Wanna do some happy slaps and stabbings, innit?” my iPhone auto corrected the latter word to “Inuit” which frankly, does not give me any street cred at all.

We’re shit at being chavs, is my point.

Yo Way Yo

I had a dream the other night in which I was told my dear friend, Mr Chris Rigby, had died in a motorcycle crash.

My immediate reaction was to sing the Battle Hymn of the Brunnen-G.

Upon waking, and reflection, I believe it’s what he would have wanted.

Credit crunch? What credit crunch? … Oh, THAT credit crunch. Right. OK.

So, we’re waiting on word from the bank confirming our new mortgage. And it’s taking freaking ages, and driving us crazy.

Now, this particular mortgage is not that large, specifically because we’re putting down a fairly plump deposit. In fact, the largest deposit I’ve ever put down on any property, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the total price.

Also, when obtaining previous mortgages, I’ve been paid less than I’m currently getting, I’ve had a truckload of credit card debt instead of my current almost-zero level of credit card debt. And these days I’ve got no student loans, no hire purchases, no car loan, etc.

And yet, previous mortgages have been like “Yep, looks fine.” [Rubber Stamp: Approved!] and this one has to go through credit analysis, etc, and is taking ages.

Westpac appear now to be MUCH more uptight about this than they used to be.

There’s no way this could go wrong.

Our apartment sold today, at auction. Not quite for our reserve price, but very very close. We’re quite happy with the sale price. So that’s a done deal.

And we haven’t actually bought a new place yet. So ..yeah. I’m sure there’s no possible way this could end badly, right?

Paper wraps Rock! Hah! Now I’m in command of this squad!

I just watched an episode of CSI where the investigators are sneaking up on a suspect who is using a terminal at one end of a large data center. The data center in question contains dozens of racks, all chock full of active servers. The CSI dudes are trying not to alert the suspect, and they’re sneaking ever so quietly, and they’re using those military-style hand signals[1] rather than saying anything out loud, because the suspect might hear them. During this sneaking scene, one of the agents accidentally slightly bumps into a box or something, and the suspect hears this and does a runner.

And, if you’ve ever spent any time in a data center with dozens of racks full of active servers, this is all very amusing.

You know that whirring noise the fans in your home desktop PC make? Well, a rack-mount server designed for data center use doesn’t have to worry about its fans being used in a home environment, so it’s much louder. Imagine that. Now multiply it by a thousand, then add the sound of some big-ass heat exchangers and maybe chilled water pump noise, and that’s pretty much what a data center sounds like. It’s loud as hell. You could put on full plate armour and only use the Monty Python Silly Walks to sneak up on a suspect, and you’d still have a pretty good chance of not being heard over the ambient sound.

For shame, CSI! FOR SHAME!

[1] You know the hand signals I mean. The ones where you play rock paper scissors, except you always choose rock. Or where you hold up three fingers and then point in a direction and then the other guy nods to acknowledge that you have pointed and he’s seen you. Those hand signals. Yeah. That’s them. Those ones.

You did NOT just shoot that green shit at me!

I just cleaned bits of our kitchen.

Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but you see because it’s on the interior of the building, the kitchen in our apartment has no windows. And the range-hood doesn’t actually have a vent, it just runs air through the rather ineffectual filters, and then pushes it straight back into the room out of the top of the hood.

So you can imagine how much vaporised grease and other cooking fumes circulate in our kitchen and then settle down onto surfaces and have to be cleaned.

Keeping that in mind, I just cleaned the top of the pantry cupboard, and the top of the fridge. Two quite large surfaces that we don’t use for anything, and can’t see from ground level, and have certainly never cleaned before.

Ever.

I really … can’t describe what I had to clean up. The poet Wilfred Owen wrote …

“Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.”

I have to have a sit down and some quiet time.