2006-Jan-26, Thursday

Last April catch up

2006-Jan-26, Thursday 17:22
texxgadget: (Default)
I got behind in my updates and Ive got all these little notes for my journal.
Im gonna smash April into 1 entry, here goes.

Completed the end of the contract in March 05, final thing was an all nighter
at Hurricane Electric (a computer co location facility)

Interesting to note that Hurricane Electric got its start as a lawn mower repair shop that grew.

Alas they have outgrown their power feed.
Row 13 is dead. Row 12 has problems that tend to burn peoples stuff up.
Heaven help you if your power useage exceeds 12.5 amps per raxk average or peaks above 15,
Well not a reqal biggie, its just that your rack gets turned off.

I caught up on rest over the next week and got everything ready for the clearance for my new job.
Paper work was a total cow.

Meanwhile Hotmail wanted to pay me twice as much but only 1/3 as long gig.
I had to choose and i went with the longer gig but less hourly.
I wouyld later regret this.

I got strung along forever by the NJ guys, having to fill out clearance paperwork multiple times.
It sure looked like the same info just different forms.

I did a couple public service events with ham radio.

Last Sat of month was the annual gathering up at Marysville with cousins.
Food, mustic, paintball, skeet shooting, the list goes on...

With the Grizzly peak century the next day, I did as usual, and left at 1 am and went directly to
Moraga from there. Being out in the country (They are living off the grid, totally solar) I got
off on the edge of the dirt driveway and almost got stuck in soft dirt. I would later learn that
Id hit a rock and punctured a gas tank.
texxgadget: (Default)
It was the 1st Suday of May, and I had just arrived from Marysville.
I didnt pay attention to the gas smell too much when I got to Moraga.
The Grizzly Peak Century is a ride from Moraga to the Carquinez Strait & back, lunch,
with another loop down to Castro Valley and back. Its 60 mi before lunch and another 40 after.

I was radio operator in one of the SAG trucks. My driver works other events such as Race Accross America.
He plays music over PA as he comes up on packs of riders. He also pants into the PA on the Mac Ewen Grade.
Hes gonna get punched someday doing that.

We also rescued a rider who was not on our event. Kid was from the UC rowing team and went riding with his
buds on a conditioning ride. They let him fall behind and when he broke down, he was without tools, water, patch kit etc. I really felt for him. Really nice kid, cuter'n hell, member of the Canadian National Crew
team. We got him going, suggested he head home rather than ride alone, and expressed disdain for his
teamates that left him behind.

I limped home afterwards with my tank problem. Bob helped me drop the gas tank onb Monday.
Tuesday Steve & I soldered a patch on it. Wed I reinstalled the tank myself.
The clearance was still dragging on. I did a couple more trips to the radio sites with Steve.

(This entry belongs in April)
In south San Jose, there is a massive concrete microwave tower known as "Communications Hill" now with a housing development wrapped around 2 sides of it. JKL is buying the site (couple million) and Steve &
I went down the Monday after Easter to repair locks on it. Typical coldwar phone co. 3 levels
underground, decontamination shower entry, sheltered escape stairs, generator etc. Whats special
about this one is that it has running water & sewer. I also took the liberty of climbing the tower.
Had a blast.

(Back to May)
Towards the end of May I was just not seeing this clearance coming through.
Nobody was telling me anything other than that it was still going on.
My buds back at TEK Systems called and wanted me to do a gig out in Pleasanton for 3 months
an money was short. I could see doing the TEK gig and the clearance STILL running.
I took it. I spent a long time twiddling thumbs. AFter nearly a month i STILL didnt have an NIS account.
They were in the process of being dismanteled by Oracle.

Ive been hanging out with Steve off and on since 1973. He can be VERY abrasive at times. He was getting
pretty bad at the time.

Things with Baycon had reached a point we were just no longer compatible,
I visited during load in then went off for the weekend with Styeve to Mt Oso to do sand blasting.
On loadout day after the con I went to the BayCon locker and demanded my moving dolly back that I had been
loaning BayCon since the early 1990s. BayCon was where I always used it so Id let it live there.
The previous year during loadout, a beefy redhead who i see alot, who didny know it was my dolly, expressed
a fantasy to break it. It was time tio get it back. Unfortunately someone called back to the hotel and
Tycho came up with this bullshit about how I would have to present a recipt to the BayCon board.
A small almost fight ensued in which i made it clear that unlwess I got it back right then and there, I would
be spilling blood of several volunteers. AFter one of them damaged my car, i got the dolly and was told to never come near BayCon again.

This suited me fine. For some reaon I do OK at other cons even thougth the same people are involved.
For dome reason the BayCon logo causes trouble for me. BayCon has already lost 10 pairs of ratchet
straps I loaned them int he past and not seen fit to replace. Im really done with BayCon.

June 2005 catch up

2006-Jan-26, Thursday 18:18
texxgadget: (Default)
I went up Oso the 1st weekend in June. Steve was in a particularly foul mood.
The road had been bladed and my little wimpy Buick Skyhawk could now make the whole trip up by itself.
Robert pulled up with a truck mounted jib crane and Steve told me to move my car.
Steve got mad at me when I moved it enough to get the crane in.
Apparently he wanted it way down the hill, why I dont know. I moved it again.
When I came back in the gate I commented to Spyjack about his mood.
Spyjack reminded me thast Steve had always been this bad back into the 60s when they met.
I commented that i was the only one he seemed to yell at these days.
Steve yelled down from the roof "Thats because hes not a fuckwad like you!"
I did not like this in front of 2 dozen people I hadnt even been introduced to yet.
I was embarassed & humiliated.
Silently I turned around, went back to the car and moved it again, all the way back to the Bay Area.
At the start of the week security tagged my car as abandoned when theyd seen it come and go before and
it had only been parked there a couple hours. I marched back in to the security desk and gave them hell.

I was in a bad mood about Steve. Hes a pain in the ass, but i still love him like a brother.
2 days later someone from my agency tracked me down in the server room flanked by guards.
Apparently i had been in an altercation with an employee.
Actually the security guards are a contracted agency, shaved heads, tshirts, drawstring pants,
Ive seen better dressed bar room bouncers!
I was walkked out. At least they let me pack my office.

Not having told anyone about this gig there was a gig in my mailbox at home which I pursued.
I got lost looking for them on the interview and had gone off without their phone number.
When i was 2 hrs late, i gave up and went to radio club meeting.
Once home I apologized for wasting their time, I felt I owed them that much.
I was shocked when the rescheduled. I joined Marfic Technologies as a full timer not contractor.
They are a "outsource your IT to India" outfit. They install a box on your network and do almost
everything remotely. They have a small crew that comes on site if need be.

It did not go well. 20 minute traffic delay got me docked 4 hrs pay.
There was a big deal about making sure client got me for the contracted time, but i was getting
calls from India to do stuff for other clients, so how was the 1st client supposed to get their time ?
The time tracking tool was not set up to allow one to do multiple tasks at once.
They assigned me a laptop that was infected. I infected 4 client sites, then got reinfected from them.
What a pain ! I knew this was not going to work but I stuck it out till I could find something better.

I got a terse email from Steve saying 4th July Cloverdale if I wanna come.
This meant he was doing the Cloverdale 4th July thing again and i was welcome to help.
This was as close to an apology as I was ever gonna get.

Pride was OK, I marched with Stop Aids project. Met some cool guys.
Bill Weaver got some embarassing pics of me.
ARRL field day went OK too.

At this point i realized I have a severe oil leak, about a quart every 100 mi.

July 2005 catch up

2006-Jan-26, Thursday 19:01
texxgadget: (Default)
We serviced the repeater up on Big Rock (Marin radio club).
With a Lucasfilm e,ployee on our crew, we got to take a shortcut accross Skywalker Ranch.

4th July went well, although we had 1 shell explode too low.

I was realizing that Marfic wasnt going well and had started looking again.
Their procedures were slowing me down and preventing me from making progress.
Finally got laptop disinfected, reinstalled, client nets cleaned up etc.
Took 2 weeks 2 get 6 servers bolted into racks & cabled up because I kept getting interupted.
I was very upset about this and mentioned it, ALOT !

Did another couple public service events with the radio guys.

Dore Alley Fair was sedate. All the new condos south of Market got the event censored.
Very sad.

By this point the sunday night fire dances were getting fun.
I now understood what had been going on with the flamethrower testing back in Feb.

We were well on the way with "Dance Dance Imolation"
Imagine "Dance Dance Revolution" with a huge projection screen, dancers up on raised platforms,
wearing silver "prox suits", tons of cheesy japanese hip hop music, and instead of getting "Booed"
when you make an error, you get FLAMED literally. There are also effects flamethrowers as well.
They burp 20 ft fireballs into the sky. There were many of us helping build this thing.

(June 2005 flashback)
Back in June, we held a fundraising party to build this thing.
At that party, there wasnt much we didnt set fire.
We held it at the "Crackory" in S SF, another burning man artists enclave.

The chocolate cake was on a 7 later stand that looked like something from Dr Seuss.
The jacobs lader going up the middle was there only to keep the propane ignited.
The flaming creme brule was great, as was the apple coconut concoction that also flamed.
The bread puding was served in a recirculating alchohol fountain also ignited.
In fact the only thing that WASNT ignited was the toasted chese sandwiches that were served at 4:30 AM.
I think I was the only one in the hot tub that wasnt on rolling on X.
I helped with the flaming larrys.
You bought a $5 drink mostly kahlua & vodka with a trace of 160 rum on top.
My job was to give the safety lecure, dress up in the prox suit, make sure the rance was clear, close
the visor and put the drink in your hand. After the scantily clad dominatrix fired the flamethrower,
I would open the visor so the person could blow out the fire and chug their drink.
Then the next person was up. It was a fun night.

Back to July:
We had some engineerting problems to overcome. Propane wasnt boiling from liquid to vapor fast enough.
We were using huge propane tanks that we finally put in stock troughs and a battery pump circulated water through a propane water heater. This helped.

August 2005 catchup

2006-Jan-26, Thursday 19:32
texxgadget: (Default)
Just before Linux Expo, thing became impossible at Marfic. I knew this was coming.
At least now I could go. It was good. It was obvous the IT world was recovering, a very corporate LE

At LE I ran into pat Powell who I hadnt seen since 2001, and i ran into Mats who i havent seen in over 10 years.

LINUX Picnic was good, I even won a book.

More public service events, Marin Century, Holstien Hundred etc.

Bob & I spent the day at Petaluma rest stop for Marin Century, headed back at dark. We stopped by Rita's stop and hung with her till last rider passed then we went back to finish and had midnite supper. Excellent lasagna!
During the day wed had a few exciting moments. Mostly hanging out and visiting.
A few people had emergencies that we dealt with. At 1 point we had tons of people to sag back and no way to
move them. At 1 point I was able to make progress on the backlog. "If you want a lift back, we can do it NOW!"
At 1 point i hopped in a sag van and went up the way looking for a reported down rider.
I wasnt belted in and up comes a cop on a motorcycle, as we zre zall scrambling to get our belts fastened before we got tickets. He was trying to flag us down about another downed rider 5 mi the other way from
the rest stop. He giggled about the seat belts.
A good samaritan stopped by to help a group of riders. He offered them a rid in the back of his truck.
They got pulled over and rather than let the driver get nailed for helping them, the riders took the tickets themselves. Real expensive and by the time they made our rest stop, there were SO DONE with the ride. Sad.

Job search was slow. Did a few trips with Steve for more wall scraping.

Final unveiling of DDI in Oakland just before burning man. I actually got to play.
We had fun. I didnt make the burn this year (as usual) Someone had to wave "bye" as everyone else left.
Im hoping I can go in 2006. 3 day weekend I spent on Oso.


texxgadget: (Default)

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