Geek Administration.

The latter half of my work week was consumed by a big “server migration” project. We are tasked with moving our applications to a server farm in a data center in the central part of the country. The server farm has “geographical redundancy”, which means there’s a backup copy elsewhere in the country. If one data center goes down, the other can pick up the slack.

This week we’ve moved applications from a server in Greenville, S.C. to the big data center. The application in question was written by programmers that have long left the company. There is no documentation. There isn’t even a general consensus as to who uses the various modules in the application or what other groups, which could be located anywhere in the world, have their applications talking to our inherited application. The server in question was sitting on the floor underneath a cubicle desk. Changes in the org chart placed a person with absolutely no stake in the success of the server or the applications in the cubicle in question.

On the bright side, the server hadn’t been sealed inside a wall while still powered on.

I led the project of building the new servers in the data center and moving the application that we inherited without documentation. The whole affair is over six years old and has had many cooks in the kitchen over the years, so the code is not consistently written.

The relocation project was deemed a success on Friday afternoon. As part of a very capable team of programmers at the company, we worked together to make this happen. After the move we had one trouble ticket from a team that used a forgotten module through some ancient automation. I came up with an interim solution until we could get things working reliably on the new servers.

It’s a small wonder that I slept 12 hours last night.

I haven’t had time to think about all the changes along the country’s political spectrum that happened this week. I haven’t had time to think about the flight I hope to take tomorrow afternoon (though the weather doesn’t look especially promising).

But I feel good today.

Meow.

This is Truman at one of his quiet times in the past 48 hours. He’s been a little bit of a maniac for the past two days and has been quite vocal. He’s often directing his chatter at the ceiling.

I’m wondering if he hears another cat in the building or maybe a baby in one of the nearby condos. I’ve taken him for a few walks in the hallway and the stairwell and he looks around, purrs a lot, and then is ready to come inside.

My schedule has been all over the place this week with work obligations; perhaps he’s just not like the break in the routine.

Breathe.

We can breathe again. We made it. The four year nightmare has come to an end.

Welcome aboard, President Biden and Vice-President Harris. Let’s get to work, together.

Voices.

I grew up in a small town. I actually grew up outside of a small hamlet outside of a small town. To many in our school, we lived on the “other” side of the Interstate but on the right side of the tracks. Political maneuvering a small school district is interesting. Even though we live in a major city, I never forget where I came from an I am always interested in driving through small towns on our road trips.

Many of the towns and villages in Illinois are struggling. Those of a appreciable size have a Walmart and maybe a couple of chain convenience stores or supermarkets on the outskirts, but the “downtown” area or business districts are often seemingly forgotten. There might be a pizza place, a barbershop, and maybe a diner. Often there are a couple of bars and particularly in Illinois, gaming rooms where folks can try to win their millions at video lottery terminals.

All of these things have been closed during the pandemic.

Times were tough for these small towns before COVID-19 came to town; isolation and mandatory closing of businesses have just made it worse. These areas have been in a steady decline for decades and many of their citizens have been clamoring for something to change for a long while. I’m sure some feel forgotten. In that regard I get why rural communities leaned toward Trump; he talked about “draining the swamp” and “the American farmer” and the like and they bought into his shtick. They feel left behind by the D.C. establishment and they were promised something different. It’s unfortunate that Trump was just using them for votes to stroke his own ego.

Will Main Street in Anytown, U.S.A. return to its former glory? Gosh, that would be nice. There’s something to be said for a smaller, closer-knit community that takes care of one another. I’m probably a bit pollyanna in my thinking, but I hope that big box stores and the like will eventually dissipate in favor of local and smaller establishments again. I would love to see mom and pop shops augment the growing Internet experience, instead of being wiped out by some large conglomerate that couldn’t care less about the small town bypassed by the Interstate.

In 2021 we should all strive to listen better. The folks in the city should listen to the folks in the country and vice versa. I bet there’s a lot we can learn along the way.

Hype.

Photo from vice.com

I’m not a fan of hypey headlines. Social media is notorious for this tactic, with idiotic blasts such “You won’t believe who did this!!!” or “The Sad and Empty Life of Adolf Hitler!!!”. It’s not a social media appropriate headline unless someone’s mouth is agape and there’s an unreasonable number of exclamation points or question marks.

I’ve been on a crusade to clean up my various news reader and video watching subscription lists, and am deleting any YouTube content creator that uses this banal approach to getting attention to their featured videos. If a “tech expert” needs to resort to “Ugh!” in huge letters or has to assemble an image with hair flying around, expressions of disbelief, and floating laptops placed at jaunty angles, I’ve got better things to do than watch whatever they’re shilling to make YouTube cash.

They can stay off my lawn.

I’m all for content creators sharing their creations, or presenting information, or relaying their point of view on a subject. I’m also a proponent of money being made with these endeavors. What I don’t enjoy are these schoolyard tactics to grab my attention and bribe me to click. I’m not falling for it. I didn’t call the Psychic Friends Network when Dionne Warwick started flashing her toothy smile for the service in the late 1980s and I’m not falling for these goofy belches of exclamation points, garish fonts, loud colors, or UNBELIEVABLE images. It’s not my jam.

So stay off my lawn.

Avgry.

There is a term used among the General Aviation Twitter community that it used to describe a pilot who hasn’t been able to fly in a while. That term is “avgry”. It’s a combination of “aviation” and “angry”.

I am definitely feeling “avgry”.

I’ve been struggling with a glum mood for the past several weeks. There’s a lot happening in the country, what with domestic terrorist attacks egged on by Trump and the like, but aside from that, I’ve just been feeling blue. I came to the realization that while this is by no means the longest I have gone without flying an airplane, not being able to fly combined with other pandemic restrictions is making me stir crazy.

Today my husband and I drove to Waukegan National Airport just so we I could stand in the hangar and say hello to the airplanes.

We then took a moment to stand on the ramp and take a selfie. The weather has been awful for the past three weekends, so there wasn’t much going on.

I’m hoping to fly next weekend as the long range forecast looks promising. I’m going to go up with an instructor and try some new (to me) maneuvers that are typically done by commercial pilots. I have goals set for my aviation career; I can’t let weather keep me from reaching them.

I like having a term to describe being “angry about not being able to engage in aviation”, but I don’t like feeling “avgry”.

Friday Night Dance Party.

This was a big, but fairly niche, club track when I was DJing back in the day. I originally heard the song on “Open House Party” hosted by John Garabedian, and since I knew him from my radio connections, I called him up and he told me about the song. I was happy to start playing it right away.

From 1995, here’s “Movin’ Up” by Dreamworld.