Sunday, January 22, 2006

Bitter-Sweet Morning

Woke up this morning to the news that after all the fuss, the Chorus wasn’t going to be on Big Brother’s Little Brother after all; we couldn’t get the performing rights in time for whatever song was going to be sung so the whole thing was called off. Presumably they didn’t want a contingent just sitting at the back supporting Rula if we couldn’t sing for our airtime. Bah!

In addition there was a further email from Zefrog to me about the decision to use the Small Group in place of the volunteers from the Chorus at large. It didn’t even try to justify the decision particularly, just pointed out a misinterpretation I’d made and the fact that a number of the Small Group were part of the volunteers as well. I returned another reminder about purpose of the Small Group, underlined how it pisses off the rest of us when we get elbowed out of the way to push the Small Group forward, and fired a warning shot that I’ve crossed the Rubicon on this issue and am going to be hounding the Steering Committee in future to keep them true.

Then I logged into work.

Sometime while we were sipping our interval drinks last night, the backup services had failed. Both of the jobs that were running had crashed. This is a double-whammy as, for one job the catalogue (the list of files on the tape) is corrupt, so I’ll have to rerun the entire job from the start (thirty hours of tape, requiring a manual cassette change every three hours.) For the other job, where we at least have a valid catalogue and an autochanger to handle the tapes, the system is claiming the tape drive is busy and won’t start the job. I have restarted all of the backup systems, reinitialised the tape library and it still won’t start. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck fuck!

I once read a book (I think it was by Heinlein) about a man who was naturally lucky: In the same way that the laws of probability allow that if you make enough coin tosses eventually you will get a run of the coin landing on its edge rather than a face, this man was the embodiment of those coincidences; whenever there was a chance outcome which affected him, it always turned out in has favour. I feel like the antithesis of that man at the moment; I am the embodiment of Murphy’s Law and anything that can go wrong (at least as far as this problem is concerned) will go wrong.

Strangely enough actually, many years ago a friend tested me for ‘psychic abilities’ where they look at a picture on a card (circle, triangle, square, star, etc.) and I had to say what I thought it was. I scored abysmally – substantially below even random choice. Maybe there’s something in Heinlein’s theory…

And on that cheerful note, I turn towards the brighter part of today; I’m going flying. Around about 1:30pm today (weather permitting) I’m taking to the air in a light aircraft from Biggin Hill for a one-hour flying lesson. The weather looks good at the moment, but there is a possibility of low cloud coming in later, so I need to double check before we leave. Murphy had better steer clear of me on this one, or I am going to be mad!

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