Tuesday, May 20, 2008

34.2 MPG

So if I religiously drive 55 (on cruise control) my 2005 Honda Accord 4 cylinder automatic gets 34.2 MPG. I've been mollified, so no need to go out and buy another auto. As a reward for the car, I had the oil, air filter, and cabin air filter changed for $140 at Jiffy Lube. I despise that place and usually change the oil and filter myself but have been too lazy lately. The guy at the counter knew I was one of those annoyed, cynical customers so he went through his laundry list of to-dos very gingerly as if to say, I'm just throwing this out there, buddy, cause my boss makes me, don't shoot the messenger. I could clearly see the cabin filter was legitimately filthy but recalled how offended I was when I spied one of the service men smudging an air filter I had replaced about one month earlier with an oily thumb and bringing it to me for inspection: Hey man, you should get this filter replaced, it's dirty. That was years ago and on some other car. It's moments like this I wish I could activate the imaginary trap door which chutes the moron into a lime pit in some Hostelesque sub basement.
I also lost my ID card -- looked everywhere for it -- and was lectured at the badge office about all manner of inanities that, had they been relevant, I wouldn't have been there in the first place. Things like, You really shouldn't lose your ID badge. I was supposed to reply to this, cause the subroutine went to sleep until I said, Yeah, I have to make sure I won't lose my badge again. Or, Is the badge lost or did you misplace it? There were some posters admonishing reckless employees opening the workplace to terrorism. Where do you keep your badge? was one poster. It had a photograph of a car dashboard with the ID badge and lanyard in plain sight among a gaggle of car lighter adapters by the shifter. "Keep it hidden when not at work but in plain sight while working" was another message.
This was at the new visitor center -- or users center -- I forget. I decided to get a Starbucks coffee, a tall latte, and the lone woman at the counter seemed annoyed to have been aroused from her reverie. The idea crossed my mind that a latte is the wrong sort of drink to get, maybe too effeminate, but then I remembered a whole queue of other folks that have likely gotten lattes there that are far more on the Apple, Volkswagen, tortoise shell glasses candyland than myself, and cancelled the notion. The woman had no makeup, was weathered, tan and lean with a mulletish cut. She was clad all in navy blue with well-ironed denim khakis, the kind of uniform a Getty serviceman would wear. There was a jar filled with change that with a note taped to it reading "Tips are GREATLY appreciated!". The latte cost $3.75 and when I handed over $4, the woman said, Thank you, and began helping the next customer, whom she spoke to familiarly. She turned her back to me and I could see she had no intention of giving me change. While pouring sugar at the self service table I heard my quarter fall into the tip jar.
Back at work, I discover that (2) more Thumpers need to be online by tomorrow. So that's 2 more systems that are going to be connected to this cheap, single point of failure 3com switch. Whatever. I'll put the entire storage cluster behind it if need be. It's clear that no one wants to wait for the Force10 gear to be set up. While I was out, the precedent was set for using this interim switch, and when I brought up my qualms, was made to feel too conservative or worse, a bottleneck to progress -- getting the job done -- which is certainly not the case. Put it this way, there are 2 main camps in my environment -- those who set a high standard and deploy services in a predictable, methodical way building on precedent in the spirit of a good court justice. The LF is an example of this. And those who will deploy anything, in any random order, just to live on the edge, to prove that it can be done, and done fast and in isolation. I like to think of myself as somewhere in between, ideally one that sticks to the former but is capable of the latter in a jam. But the latter all the time? I have kids, a family. If my work ends up a ganglia of bubble gum and bandaids then the cost is late nights and weekends. Given that my environment is not like wall street where these hours are mandatory by design, it blows my mind that some people would opt to force this upon themselves.
Anyway, the girls are asleep -- time to wake up my wife and coax her into watching something on BluRay with me. I bought this gorgeous 42" 1080p LCD and BluRay player, I have a ton of eye-candy flicks borrowed from my dad, and I've watched a total of 4 hours on it in the last month.

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