journal for 2002-10-18

the last day of work in exile

My exile draws to a close!

Today, work was hectic. Our MS ISA server’s hardware died, and we learned very quickly about one of the Ten Billion Names of Microsoft’s Stupidity. MS ISA is a web proxy and packet filter. You can back its configuration up to a file, but you can only restore that file to the exact same hardware. This means that it is useless in case of disaster recovery. It took Godfrey hours of restoring and reinstalling to get the box back into a workable state because (here’s another Name) his backup was old and the computer’s account on the domain had had its password change. You can’t change a domain password for a computer, at least without writing code to do it. WTF!

When I’d gotten the US IT department up to speed on the problem and it was clear that I could do nothing to help, I went to lunch with Matt and Rahm. We went to Monkstone, a decent little pub. I had some of the awesome White’s Lemonade and a lunch consisting of ham steak, beefsteak, a sausage, and thick steak fries. It was good, but I’m sure it was bad for me. After this trip is over, I’m back to healthy food and hopefully I’ll start at the gym. Gloria says she will join and encourage me in this endeavor, which should be a major help.

Matt and I overslept, so we skipped breakfast. When “The Sandwich Man” came to work, we visited. The Sandwich Man is a mysterious figure to me. I never saw him on my previous visits, but every day there would be a general page; “The Sandwich Man is in the canteen. The Sandwich Man is in the canteen.” This time, I never even heard the announcement, because Godfrey had disabled general announcements to the IT office. I knew He was there, and this just added to the mystery. Even today, when I got a sandwich, it wasn’t the normal guy. “This is just a stand-in,” Matt said, “normally it’s an old, proper Sandwich Man.” What’s a “proper” Sandwich Man? Is he licensed by HRH Board of Sandwich Construction? I may never know.

Anyway, I had a BLT baton. It was good, but it was mostly just bacon. There were six shreds of lettuce and a slice of tomato. Also, there were two slices of cucumber. Weird! Anyway, it was good.

Godfrey received a promotional package of candy in the mail. “Ooh!” he said, “Smarties!” It wasn’t, though. It was Nestle imitation M&M’s, which are apparently called Smarties. “Smarties came first,” said Dave. I balked, until Dave said, “M&M’s have only been around for a few years, after all.” Apparently, they’re a new import. How quaint! I tried to explain real Smarties, but they just didn’t grok.

After work, Godfrey and I played some Battlecry. During one particularly long battle (in which I’d lost my hero), the game crahed. It was about 0100, so we decided to call it a night and hit Tesco Extra (something like Super K-Mart) for some midnight snacks. We both got excellent prepackaged sandwiches of salmon, hardboiled egg, watercress, and lemon mayonnase. Also, he talked me into trying this drink made from banana, toffee, apple juice, and yoghurt (that’s yogurt, to us yankees). It was interesting, but a few ounces would’ve been enough. The full liter bottle was Too Much.

The more I drive with Godfrey, the less I fear for my life. In fact, a steady diet of driving in his car might help me enjoy roller coasters more, but it’s hard to say. Learning to cope with making sixty mile per hour turns is probably not enough to cope with fifty degree plummets. Anyway, it’s unlikely I’ll get much more driving out of him before I go.

Written on October 18, 2002