"You gonna get another job?"...

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I can finally die. Well that's fucking dark, but perversely comforting. Before I always had to make it home because I lived by myself with no nearby family and a dog and a cat, so if anything happened to me there would be a danger of them starving to death before someone found them. At any rate, they'd likely be shuffled off to a miserable life at some pound. The Dog died in March. Broke my heart. I've probably cried more in the past 3 months than in the entire rest of my life. And I took care of both parents while they were dying of cancer. So it was just me and The Cat. Until she started acting strange and stopped eating. She's a very furry cat so it was hard to tell if she'd been losing weight. I picked her up and got on the scale at one point but I think my arithmetic was off because it seemed like she was as heavy as ever. But it was obvious that she wasn't eating much. Eventually she even lost interest in canned cat food. Then she stopped laying on the back of the couch and took to laying on the floor behind the couch. Her entire personality changed too and she lost interest in things she'd loved. This week it was impossible to avoid how much muscle mass she'd lost and I called the vet. They were able to get her in yesterday. Blood work came back today. Pretty much every major organ was failing so I brought her in this morning and now she's buried next to The Dog, out by the neighbor's horses.

This morning was odd. She wanted to go outside. Now when she used to want to go outside, it was always for a few minutes, max, but this morning she walked all around the backyard, investigated a couple of the buildings, and spent an hour out there, before things got miserably hot. So when the vet called, I pretty much knew what he was going to say, even before he came to the point. Odd, how she seemed to know it was time. It reminded me of going out to walk around the farm with my Mom in the spring, when she was dying.

So now I've just got to get a will in place so I don't give all my money to my idiot brother, who will squander it piecemeal. I mean, my cousins will also probably squander it piecemeal, but at least they haven't blown big piles of money already so it'll be new and exciting to them. The alternative would be to set up a foundation or trust of some kind but that seems awfully arrogant. You can't take it with you and when it's time to go, you need to let this life go.

PS: I'm not suicidal or anything, I just have an odd view on things.
 

Oerdin

Member
And after lunch the HVAC people said they had a cancellation so they could look at the AC today. First it looked like it might just be a $250 capacitor. But some readings were funny when everything was up and running, so an internal condenser/heat sink needed cleaning. But that didn't fix it, so it was going to need coolant. Unfortunately, at that point it was still wonky and a call to someone more experienced (and I actually know and trust the guy they sent) pointed to a bad compressor. So the repair went from $250 to $2,500 in a relatively short time. At that point you're about 2/3 of the way to the cost of just ripping out the unit and putting a new one in that has a 1 year guarantee. After a few minutes of agonizing over it, I pulled the trigger. But they can't do an install for another week. So I won't find out if the warm temperatures are the reason The Cat has been behaving funny.

Anyway, that out of the way, I decided it was time for a nap. After the nap, a big expense I'd hoped to avoid affects other forward-looking plans. And a nice downpour affects doing anything outside. :/

I got my AC unit recharged, cleaned, and tuned up last month and even though I haven't had to use it yet I know the hot weather will come. So it is a bit of peace of mind knowing it is ready and in top shape for when I do need it.
 

Oerdin

Member
I can finally die. Well that's fucking dark, but perversely comforting. Before I always had to make it home because I lived by myself with no nearby family and a dog and a cat, so if anything happened to me there would be a danger of them starving to death before someone found them. At any rate, they'd likely be shuffled off to a miserable life at some pound. The Dog died in March. Broke my heart. I've probably cried more in the past 3 months than in the entire rest of my life. And I took care of both parents while they were dying of cancer. So it was just me and The Cat. Until she started acting strange and stopped eating. She's a very furry cat so it was hard to tell if she'd been losing weight. I picked her up and got on the scale at one point but I think my arithmetic was off because it seemed like she was as heavy as ever. But it was obvious that she wasn't eating much. Eventually she even lost interest in canned cat food. Then she stopped laying on the back of the couch and took to laying on the floor behind the couch. Her entire personality changed too and she lost interest in things she'd loved. This week it was impossible to avoid how much muscle mass she'd lost and I called the vet. They were able to get her in yesterday. Blood work came back today. Pretty much every major organ was failing so I brought her in this morning and now she's buried next to The Dog, out by the neighbor's horses.

This morning was odd. She wanted to go outside. Now when she used to want to go outside, it was always for a few minutes, max, but this morning she walked all around the backyard, investigated a couple of the buildings, and spent an hour out there, before things got miserably hot. So when the vet called, I pretty much knew what he was going to say, even before he came to the point. Odd, how she seemed to know it was time. It reminded me of going out to walk around the farm with my Mom in the spring, when she was dying.

So now I've just got to get a will in place so I don't give all my money to my idiot brother, who will squander it piecemeal. I mean, my cousins will also probably squander it piecemeal, but at least they haven't blown big piles of money already so it'll be new and exciting to them. The alternative would be to set up a foundation or trust of some kind but that seems awfully arrogant. You can't take it with you and when it's time to go, you need to let this life go.

PS: I'm not suicidal or anything, I just have an odd view on things.

Get a girlfriend, dude. That way you don't have to be alone.
 

Oerdin

Member
I got my AC unit recharged, cleaned, and tuned up last month and even though I haven't had to use it yet I know the hot weather will come. So it is a bit of peace of mind knowing it is ready and in top shape for when I do need it.

It figures. I turn on the local news and it announces a "dangerously hot heat wave is coming". Fucking electric bill is going to be a bitch.
 

Oerdin

Member
Biden's inflation is going to be a monster. 1/3rd of all US dollars were printed in the last year and that is before his option $4 trillion in additional spending. Non-hard assets are going to inflate so I am very glad most of my money is in hard assets. At least their prices will inflates along with Biden's inflation. Realestate remains real-estate, my friends, land still has steady value even if the dollar falls. Biden can keep printing until kingdom come but a house is still a house

In the mean time I am planying a garden and hoping to wait Biden out.
 

Oerdin

Member
Average inflation over the late 30 years has been less that 1% but right now it is 5% and will probably get worse as more and more dollars chase less and less goods. Keep paying lazy fucks to not work.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I read in the local REIA newsletter that it costs $36,000 more to build a house now. I forget if it was over a year ago or what time frame, but unless that sentence ends with "...than it did in 1993," it is dire news.

Anyway, my bitch of the day is that I said I'd work for my friend and since we got sidelined last week by the company's inept IT department, he's going to be chomping at the bit to get to work. Plus I have my regular job Monday nights.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Yeah. IT. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it, but I'm getting brought in to do some business intelligence/database manipulation stuff. Work from home. They shipped my computer to Kentucky from Wisconsin. Luckily my friend stopped to ask them if they'd actually loaded the software on that I needed for my job. (They hadn't.) But he did NOT think to ask them if they'd set my account up with permission to log on via VPN. (They did not.) So yeah, we're bringing in a contractor to generate information from databases and he's going to work from his home. But let's not give him permission to log into our network.

Laptop showed up Wednesday afternoon. Couldn't get on the VPN, found out why, and my friend put in a ticked Wednesday evening. As of Friday afternoon...it was waiting for one of about 8 people with Indian names to "approve" access. Called in to try to move things along. Apparently they can't actually escalate a ticket, the best the guy could do was add a note, which would get forwarded to the 8 guys with Indian names. Friday night, when I got home from work, I found that access had been approved. Tried to log on...and found out they hadn't actually got around to setting it up yet though. If it could go to the IT department, I'd bill them for the 8 hours or so that I was available last week that I wasn't able to do anything. But I'll probably just bill for the 15-30 minutes I was on the phone, texting, and attempting to get on the network.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I dunno if my...whoops! Hold that thought.

Today I should've been able to get on the VPN. I was not able to get on the VPN. So a call to the Indians at the 1-800 number followed--because the ticket said it was closed. In the end I got on. And it was as likely user error as administrator ineptitude. (They have a username that is like tHx1138 and an e-mail that is like Luke.Skywalker@contractor.NewsCorp.com and the login wants the e-mail but I may have entered the username. And since you can click "keep me logged on" I had to reboot to get another shot at logging on. In the interim, "Roger" had come up with a different VPN node to log onto.) In the end, I was on the VPN.

Which was great. Until I tried to get to the SharePoint site. And then Google.com. And then open a command prompt to "ping" Google.com. Time to call the 1-800 number again. After looking at things and getting me to log off the VPN, "Eric" concluded that my VPN was set up so I could not use a Web browser while on the VPN.

Well thank you so fucking much. It's bad enough that they sent me a laptop to use on the VPN but didn't give me permissions to log onto the VPN. A big feature of being on a VPN is being able to follow links in the corporate intranet. So they metaphorically stuffed me airtight without any lube.

Luckily, I'm a clever boy and I clicked a Sharepoint link my friend/boss sent me. After walking through the VPN logon process, I was able to get in. Without going too deep, I suspect that, if I logged into the VPN, the software would look at its permissions and say "OH, NO, YOU CANNOT BROWSE THE WEB." But by logging off the VPN, I could browse the Web. Only to get to the Intranet, I needed to be on the VPN. So the browser opened a logon to the VPN and the VPN said "SURE, YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE VPN" so I was able to come in, as it were, the back door.

And I argued valiantly against being hired for this, but the work is actually well within my wheelhouse. And now that I've lost the Dog and Cat, I suddenly have a LOT more free time. So this may actually work. Also, I got paid more for 4 hours work than I'll get for this entire (admittedly part time) week at my other job.

Which reminds me, chatting with co-workers (it was a slow day. I'm around in case they don't have enough people to run the assembly line and they had plenty of people, so I cast around for busywork to kill the time), I realized how truly fortunate I am. She's had harder things dumped on her than I could dream of. And she hasn't had 1/10th of the opportunities I have. So the next time I feel sorry for myself, I really should STFU.

Anyway, now back to your regularly scheduled program. Nominal Boss was either relenting or painted himself into a corner (actually I think he was slipping, which is somewhere in between), because today I found myself spending lots of time chatting with the stunning Negress we both pine for.

I do not think I have sufficiently conveyed her smoking hotness here. Probably because I managed to block it from my brain for sanity reasons. Picture, say, a Disney Princess. I know they had that one black princess, but Jasmine from Aladdin is a better paradigm. Shit her about 3 shades darker. Then add an assortment of large but tasteful tattoos (including a big coiled cobra that takes up most of her back (more on why you can see most of her back in a bit) and dress the whole thing in early 1980s Studio 54 clubwear and you have an idea what this girl looks like. (Oh, wait, that *was* the back thing. Tonight she was wearing a black spandex singlet with no bra and probably no panties underneath. Kind of like what a wrestler would wear if a wrestler was a hot black chick.) Add in that she's interesting, interested in ME ("She thinks I'm CUUUUUTE!!!!") and good at conversation/flirting so I flirted with her to the best of my ability. Eventually, Nominal Boss came up with something for her to do that kept her away from me.

But it's probably for the better. I wouldn't know what to do with a 21 year old hot black tattooed tight tiny Disney Princess fro Ohio who lived in Texas if I got one. I mean, I *would* know what to do with her. I just wouldn't know how to make it happen.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Ugh. I do not like adding crap to my personal cell phone. I also do not like multifactor Identification. Setting all your passwords to "password" and then keeping it on a Post-It Note stuck under the keyboard has been good enough since the dawn of man, why do I now have to type in a code from my cell phone? ...

BUT...since I've agreed to take their money and I've been told a second time to download this stinking Microsoft app, I grudgingly got to work on it. Once installed, it asks me for my identifier (or whatever). The FAQ on the company site seems to indicate that this will be my e-mail address. Now my cell phone is tiny. It's, like, slightly larger than a Tic-Tac box. So typing anything on it is tedious and annoying. But I dutifully keyed it in--only to be told it wasn't recognized. So I clicked the "create account." "Great. What's your e-mail address?" :/ And it ISN'T a short or easy to type address. But whatever. Keyed it in again. "You can't use a work or school e-mail. You need an e-mail address like G-mail or Yahoo." :/ :/

OK. Fine. Whatever. Type in my slightly shorter G-mail address. "That address already exists. Blahblahblah..." At this point I'm madder than Donald Duck. But I go back to the log-in screen and again type in my G-mail address. It tells me that there's no account with that address. And now I'm as frustrated as Curly from the 3 Stooges, trying to unroll wallpaper, and had to stop here to type this.

Went back to see where we were on being able to actually use my VPN. Said it needed to be upgraded from "Low" with a delivery time of 2 weeks to "Urgent." That got it upgraded to "Moderate," where it will be done by the end of this week. Well, back to fighting with technology and/or IT people. That's part of it. As fucked up as they managed to get something as relatively straight forward as setting up a user with a laptop and VPN access, I can only imagine what they managed to do with this MFA thing.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
And now my home Internet is down. Is it just the provider having problems? Maybe. Probably. But since the lights have flickered in a few places in the house, it could be unreliable electricity too. :/

That was the joy of being an IT guy. You'd chase these gremlins and then it would just start working. Did it just magically fix itself or did someone realize they had something set up wrong and quietly fix it? I tend toward the latter. The "he who smelt it dealt it" concept. If someone goes on alternate comms and says "try it now" and the signal comes up, they probably were the problem. And if you ask them and they say "it just started working" they were almost definitely the problem.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Went down just as I was going "I really gotta be getting to bed so I can get started at a reasonable hour tomorrow." 2 hours of preliminary troubleshooting and phone calls to IT later, it was determined that they'd have to send someone out today. 15 minutes after I got off the phone, winding down and wrapping up, the status icon changed. Everything came back up. So I got to bed around 3:30.

Not that it matters because IT still hasn't figured out how to let me be on a VPN while using the Internet. As soon as the VPN comes up everything stops working. No e-mail, no Web, no intranet, no Sharepoint, no chat. It kind of defeats the purpose of having a VPN if you can't actually do anything while you're on it. At this point I know more about the problem than the Indian Roulette tech support guy I wind up getting.

So I get to fuck off on this computer instead of doing any work.

And the beauty of outsourced tech support is, there's absolutely nothing anyone can do. In Olden Dayes my boss could've stomped down the hall to the Help Desk and stood over someone until the problem got fixed. Now there's literally nothing you can do except keep calling and watching the trouble tickets come to your e-mail.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Today has about beaten me. No updates on the ticket, but we were somehow able to access the Sharepoint without being on the VPN so we tried to run one of the programs I'll be using. They didn't install the product key. Luckily we had someone we could get that from so after lunch we attempted to do something. Unfortunately we needed to be on Oracle to do it, And to get to Oracle required the VPN. But as soon as the VPN connected it was impossible to pass data. With the VPN off the computer can't find the source of the data. With the VPN on it can get to the source but the data can't be transmitted.

In an interesting development, though, I was actually able to stay on an IP phone call through Teams and send e-mails in Outlook, which I hadn't been able to do before. But not use a browser and any pings would time out. So in the mean time, I started running a tutorial on one of the programs I'll be working with. Got 3 steps into it and it stopped working. It told me to select from a drop-down menu but the drop-down was blank. After fighting with that a bit, I decided to play with some simple local data I had. Got to the same step as the tutorial and the menu was blank again. I don't have the energy to fight another fight.

Earlier I was thinking "I have failed at everything I've attempted today" but then I realized that wasn't true. I had put on pants. 5 minutes after this thought, the zipper on said pants separated and couldn't be repaired. So I went and put some other pants on. I wore those pants for about 5 minutes before realizing they had a big stain on one knee that couldn't be washed out. So no, I haven't even successfully put on pants today. :(
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Apparently when they set up my account, they set it up like I'd be working with an external computer, hence the crippling security measures. But because of the crippling security measures, they shipped me a company computer to use. But apparently that fact fell through the cracks somewhere. And no one had enough pieces of the puzzle to put 2 and 2 together. I knew my account was set up different, but I assumed that was just because they'd changed things since the last time I worked. The remote helpdesk people knew I was a contractor. And my account was set up like a contractor. So they either didn't even know about this point or assumed I was logging on with an external computer. Gah.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I'm up and running. They gave me the right kind of account so I have proper permissions and access. Of course now my boss is too busy to give me any direction until, like, 4pm. But he didn't tell me to clock out when I asked. So I hooked up my computer next to the work computer so I can watch porn and fuck off here.

On an unrelated note, when I moved in in February, I had to downgrade to DSL because fiber wasn't available. Yesterday night I got a call from the ISP that they have to upgrade me to fiber on Monday morning because they are phasing out DSL.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Funny thing is, I just saw the cable the modem uses for fiber a day or two ago. And I stashed it somewhere, thinking "well, I don't need this." I guess I'd better track it down in case they don't send me new cables Monday.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Gah. Being on the clock with nothing to do isn't the worst, but it does get tedious. This is often the way it is at the factory too. I've got plenty of stuff I could be doing. If I had the choice, I'd clock out and work on my own stuff.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
My boss/friend finally had time to get on a call to show me what he wants done. About 5 minutes after we were supposed to start, he was able to connect up. Sent me the files we'd be working with and then realized one of the files was wrong. So he had to spend 10-15 minutes on the other line with his team to get the right files. We got it all open and started walking through it, right up to the point where he realized we needed to Run the process...at which point we found out IT hadn't actually set the software up with a product key so it wouldn't work. So then I had to sit around while he put in tickets with IT to get what he needed. Then he realized I'd need some other "helper" program and had to find it, since it wasn't in the "Programs" folder for IT, and chat with some other unseen person to confirm what version I needed. We did get that installed, but at that point we were dead in the water until IT can get me a product key.

But at least I didn't use the wrong cover sheet for the TPS reports.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Jeezus...Everything I attempt this week... Everything hits some kind of roadblock. I'm in total reactive mode. No forward motion on getting me what I need for the consulting gig. So I was getting ready to call up the IT desk. Procrastinating on that because I know it's going to be annoying and disappointing. I have no power or authority and I'll be talking to some guy in Chennai or Kuala Lumpur who also has no authority so the best he'll be able to do is add a note to the ticket, which will bump it up in the inboxes of the people who *have* authority.

Just about the time that happens, the AC installers show up, so I've got to stop to get that organized. Then I realize I'd better call in to my night job to bloc out some personal time just in case the AC install hits any unplanned roadbumps. But at this point I see I have a voicemail. I figure it is medicare insurance or extended car warranty or college loan forgiveness or whatever other scammer but no, it's the pest control company. I'd had some carpenter ants at my house and apparently they got worse after I moved out and the renter moved in. Since that was a preexisting thing, I was going to take care of it, but he had to coordinate access with the pest control people. Well apparently he hasn't. I really don't want to go down that rabbit hole, but I suppose I should. Gah.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
I wanna say there was a Greek philosopher who argued that you could never get somewhere because at any given point along the trip you were always halfway there: When you get halfway to where you're going, you aren't there yet. Then at some point you've covered half of the remaining difference. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Of course the flaw of that line of thinking is 1) your speed remains constant while the halves keep diminishing and 2) at some point you *are* there. You can keep dividing up the halves to whatever precision you're able to measure, but when you're, say, 3 microns away, that doesn't stop you from getting there just because before you get there you'll be 1.5 microns away.

I have, however, seen 2 instances that support the theory. The first was when I'd walk my dog. On the trip out she'd make great time. When she was younger it would be a literal sprint on the way out. But on the way back, she'd get slower and slower the closer we got to home. 1/4 mile would take as long as 1/2 mile. And 1/8 of a mile would take as long as 1/4. If left to her own devices, we'd be standing at the end of the block, smelling something for the rest of eternity while I could *see* my house.

The other is when doing weekend chores. I'm actually pretty close to being on schedule with about things to do. But one 1/2 thing is my bookkeeping. And once I've keyed in the receipt in front of me, I need to drag out my credit card folder and reconcile it against the statement under the receipt. It isn't hard. Or particularly time-consuming. But for some reason I find it distasteful, so I delay at doing it. And if I delay long enough it will be Monday and I won't have time to get it done. Bleah. I guess that's enough procrastination. Might as well get it over with. Then I need to go grocery shopping, wash some dishes (the other 1/2) and wipe down hard surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.

I'm not sure if I put it off because I realize once I'm done I'll have used up any time before Monday to do recreational weekend things or because once I'm done I'll realize I have no recreational weekend things to do.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
My brother's a chowderhead. But once in awhile he gives good advice. When I thought about joining the Marines I asked his permission. He'd done it and got out on medical so I didn't want him to feel like I was stealing his thing. He said to go for it "but only if you can be an officer, because you're smart, and if you go enlisted, you'll have some stupid LCpl ordering you around."

This is going to be tricky to write in a concise coherent manner. In the past I've hidden what we make for whatever reason, but to simplify the story, it is dishwashers. 2 nights a week I make dishwashers. Since I'm Mondays and Fridays, I'm a supporting character. It's hard sometimes, but I get that this is my role so I try to embrace it. I go wherever they need someone.

Today it was watching a buffer area. There's a line where they make the dishwashers and there's a supporting line where they make the doors. There's about a 40' "S" curve where the doors come from the door line to the main line. It is comprised of about a dozen 3' belts divided by electric eyes. The idea is that this area serves as a buffer to smooth out any production differences between doors and washers. It's a bit the opposite of a stoplight. You know how, at a stoplight, you don't get to go when the light is green, you get to go when the person in front of you finally gets off the brakes? This is the opposite. With all the sub-belts, the computer is not like a 17 year old on her smart phone. The Computer does a good job of making sure there are enough doors for the main line. So good, in fact, that if everything is going right, periodically you have a "rainy day" door that you put in a wheeled rack to be used if the door line goes down. But this buffer is also a bit like a pump. You ever pump an olde-timey water pump? At first it sucks and is a lot of work when you're pumping air. But one you've "primed the pump" by pulling water up the pipe, it keeps flowing pretty easily. Similar principle. If the buffer is full of doors, the door line can be down for quite a long time without it affecting the main line. But if there are no doors on the buffer....

Now I'm smart. I'm probably smarter than anyone else in the building. But I've chosen to walk away from that. That's a whole other post. But the bottom line is that I'm willing to let people who aren't as smart as me tell me what to do because it is less painful than trying to tell people who aren't as smart as me what to do.

Well there are hangups on the door line. So I start pulling doors from the rack to keep the buffer full. Nominal boss tells me to stop. Eventually the buffer bleeds down to empty so I pull from the rack to keep doors coming into the main line. Nominal boss tells me to stop. So I let the guy who hangs the doors on he frames pull the doors while I sit on my ass and wait for some doors to come off the door line. Eventually they do. So I spend literally *hours* waiting for a door to clear the first electric eye, picking it up, carrying it 30' or so, and putting it back on the belt before going back to wait for the next door to clear the first electric eye. It's virtually impossible to get ahead. Because the main line needs a door every, say, 17 seconds. And we'll say the door line makes a door every 16 seconds. You can't put a door on a dishwasher until it is finished and has left the door line--every 16 seconds. Let's say it takes 15 seconds to walk the 30' that you carry the door to get it to the end of the buffer and go back for the next door--and no matter how quickly you do this, the next door won't be ready for at least 16 seconds--more if there's a problem anywhere on the line.

So yeah. I'm losing interest in this post and I think I've covered everything. When you've got enough doors on the buffer, watching it is very easy. The door line can go down for a very long time and the buffer will handle it. But if you don't have any doors in the buffer, you will run back and forth for at least an hour and any tiny hiccup in the door line will undo that hour of work so you have to start over. But if the Nominal Boss isn't looking and you pull 3-4 doors off the "USE ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES" rack, it's enough to "prime the pump" and get the buffer working properly. When the buffer is working properly, watching it is very simple and easy and you literally wind up with more doors than you know what to do with.

That Nominal Boss wouldn't let me manage things this way and, when things were OK he told me "It's fine, as long as there are 2-3 doors ready for them to hang." No, it is NOT OK. Unless you want to be constantly playing catch-up. You want at least 10 doors in the buffer. Then it's OK. But I'm kind of on the out since his new girlfriend is interested in me. I'd be seriously in the doghouse if I actually pursued her. But that's another post.
 
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