is this week over yet?

monday was like any other monday

tuesday i decided i was going to update the system documentation.  I keep a set of documents detailing all the network operations of this place.  what goes where, what it does.  routine task, backup procedures, who to call, just a saftey list for whoever has to fill in for me if i was out or something.

While i’m check out one of our main severs, i notice it has about 12 windows updates wanting to be installed.  ok fine, waited for the load to lighten during lunch and let the system restart itself.  got the alert that it was offline, waited, waited, waitied.. never got the “back online message” went back to the rack room and looked at the server, this server is a 6 disk RAID5 system.  One disk has failed back in october of 08 so i was already expecting to see 1 disk with a failure light on it.  but i wasn’t expecting to see 2 additional disk with failiure lights on them.  Back when the first disk failed, i told them.. well it will continue to run BUT.. i probably can’t handle another failure.  that could be catrostrophic.  Money was tight and they decided not to replace.  Ok fine, i started routine backups of that machine to another storage server. well.. a drive on THAT server started failing..  ok.. so i had one good backup on their but coudln’t risk losing  two servers in the same week so i stoped there. 

So back to tuesday, sure enough, the logicial drive was gone. 

Wed. i was able to get everyone  back on the other serve with data from nov of 08 but that’s the best i could do.  spent the entire  day listening to everyone complain about how much they lost.  i was now given the authorization to buy the replacement drives.  by the end of the day i felt like i had been ran over by a steamroller.  just want to go home

Thursday, heading to work, at the intersection waiting for the  light to turn, see one of those black mcallen “stealth” police cars pass me and then turn around behind me and turn on it’s lights.  so i turn at the light and pull over.  the lady walks up and my first response was “i’m pretty sure i wasn’t  speeding”  hand  her my licence and insurance, they ask me out of the car and radio in my info.  i’m chatting with her partner and being pleasant about the whole thing.  hey.. maybe if i’m not rude or ugly i’ll get off easy.  they both listen on the radio as my info comes back.. then they both change demeanor and start asking a whole bunch of other questions.  where were you born, what’s your social, do you have any tatoos?  is that knife on your belt.. I’m starting to get kind of worried but trying to still be cheerful.  the guy ask if i’ve ever been in the chicago area.  darn, i think to myself… i did get pulled over once at cornerstone, a few hours from chicago but that was forever ago and i thought it’d be off my record by now.  so i said yes.. and the guy reaches for his handcuffs.  ok.. cheerfullness gone, maybe i should cry.. that works for girls right?  anyway.. the short of it was they were looking for some guy who had a warrant for something bad in chiacgo who’s name or something matched mine.  she gave me a thermal print  out of a “ticket” with the only violation of expired registration.  didn’t get me for the expired inspection right beneath the registration or broken sidemirror.  so i drive right on over to the municipal court and hand the lady my thermal printout.  again very pleasent.  she told me if i get the sticker she can drop the charge from 75 to 20.  cool!  so i head to the tax place and  get in line, only to realize that i didn’t have the tax stub-reciept thing they send in the  mail, so i head back home to find it and i get a call from the office that  the internet is  downout there.  wierd.. ok   i  call san antonio  and they confirmed  it.  we already had  our 2nd  fiber outage for the year so that can’t be it.  i called my test number just to be sure.  yup.. it was out.

so i head to work and tried to get  everyone on to the backup system.  after another VERY long day finally got that up around 5. 

i’m ready for a vacation.


Friday June 12 came, and past.

I remember growing up at the ranch, the only TV stations available were the ones off the air.  Ch 4, ch 5, and 23 were the favorites.  44 and 60 if you were really bored.  As of yesterday afternoon, those analog signals were no more.  Ch 60 (KMBH) went dark back on  the original february citing complaints about not budgeting for dual operation and electrical cost.  Ch 23, KVEO went dark Friday morning, and KRGV and KGBT swapped  their analog signals to a loop telling viewers that they missed out and how to convert. Flipping through the analog dial though, you  can still see many Mexican signals though.  They may straggle, or possibly never convert.  Depends on who the FCC has sold the old frequencies to.

Here is another interesting date for you.  October 1, 1982.  That’s the date the first cd player went on sale.  The Sony CDP101.  The CDP101 went on sale for $1000 and compact disk sold for $16 to $18 twice the price of LP’s.  The New York Times wrote in March of 83

Some question where the audio-disc will succeed.  Even if prices come down – and the industry experts say it will – some analyst doubt whether consumers will be willing to sacrifice substantial investments in turntables and stacks of traditional recordings… The compact disk and player… is being likened in the music industry to Still, the CD’s effect on record makers, manufacturers of audio equipment, and most importantly the music-loving consumer will probably be more gradual than the two previous revolutions, according to analyst.

Stress Relief

This is for all of you who occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone! Don’t take that bad day out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don’t know!

Now get this. I was sitting at my desk, when I remembered a phone call I had to make. I found the number and dialed it. A man answered nicely saying, “Hello?” I politely said, “This is Bobby Carpenter and could I please speak to Melissa Lewis?”

Suddenly the phone was slammed down on me! I couldn’t believe that anyone could be that rude. I tracked down Melissa’s correct number and called her.  She had transposed the last two digits incorrectly.  After I hung up with Melissa, I spotted the wrong number still lying there on my desk. I decided to call it again. When the same person once more answered, I yelled “You’re a jackass!” and hung up. Next to his phone number I wrote the word “jackass,”and put it in my desk drawer.

Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills, or had a really bad day, I’d call him up. He’d answer, and I’d yell, “You’re a jackass!” It would always cheer me up.

Later in the year the phone company introduced caller ID. This was a real disappointment for me, I would have to stop calling the jackass. Then one day I had an idea. I dialed his number, then heard his voice, “Hello.”

I made up a name. “Hi. This is the sales office of the telephone company and I’m just calling to see if you’re familiar with our caller ID program?”

He went, “No!” and slammed the phone down.

I quickly called him back and said, “That’s because you’re a jackass!”

The reason I took the time to tell you this story, is to show you how if there’s ever anything really bothering you, you can do something about it. Just dial 402-8863.


An old lady at the mall really took her time pulling out of the parking space. I didn’t think she was ever going to leave. Finally, her car began to move and she started to very slowly back out of the slot. I backed up a little more to give her plenty of room to pull out. Great, I thought, she’s finally leaving.  All of a sudden this black Camaro comes flying up the parking aisle in the wrong direction and pulls into her space. I started honking my horn and yelling, “You can’t just do that, Buddy. I was here first!”

The guy got out of his Camaro completely ignoring me. He walked toward the mall as if he didn’t even hear me. I thought to myself, This guy’s a jackass.There are sure a lot of jackasses in the world. I noticed he had a “For Sale”sign in the back window of his car. I wrote down the number. Then I hunted for another place to park.

A couple of days later, I’m at home sitting at my desk. I had just gotten off the phone after calling 402-8863 and yelling, “You’re jackass!” (It’s really easy to call him now since I have his number on speed dial.) I noticed the phone number of the guy with the black Camaro lying on my desk and thought I better call this guy too. He answered the phone and said, “Hello.” I said, “Is this the man with the black Camaro for sale?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Can you tell me where I can see it?”

“Yes, I live at 1802 West 34th street. It’s a yellow house and the car’s parked right out front.”

I said, “What’s your name?”

“My name is Don Hansen.”

“When’s a good time to catch you, Don?”

“I’m home in the evenings.”

“Listen Don, can I tell you something?”


“Don, you’re a jackass!” And I slammed the phone down.

After I hung up, I added Don Hansen’s number to my speed dialer. For a while things seemed to be going better for me. Now when I had a problem I had two jackasses to call. Then, after several months of calling the jackasses and hanging up on them, it just wasn’t as enjoyable as it used to be.

I gave the problem some serious thought and came up with a solution:

First, I had my phone dial Jackass #1. The man answered nicely saying, “Hello.”

I yelled “You’re a jackass!”, but I didn’t hang up.

The jackass said, “Are you still there?”

I said, “Yeah.”

He said, “Stop calling me.”

I said, “No.”

He said, “What’s your name, pal?”

I said, “Don Hansen.”

He said “Where do you live?”

“1802 West 34th Street. It’s a yellow house and my black Camaro’s parked out front.”

“I’m coming over right now, Don. You’d better start saying your prayers.”

“Yeah, like I’m really scared, Jackass!” and I hung up.

Then I called Jackass #2. He answered, “Hello.”

I said, “Hello, Jackass!”

He said, “If I ever find out who you are…”

“You’ll what?”

“I’ll kick your butt.”

“Well, here’s your chance. I’m coming right over, Jackass!” And I hung up.

Then I picked up the phone and called the police. I told them I was at 1802 West 34th Street and that I was going to kill my gay lover as soon as he got home.

Another quick call to Channel 13 about the gang war going down on W. 34th Street. After that I climbed into my car and headed over to 34th Street to watch the whole thing.

Glorious! Watching two jackasses beating the crap out of each other in front of six squad cars and a police helicopter was one of the greatest experiences of my life!

To the class of '97

MIT’s 1997 Commencement Address

Here’s the commencement address given at MIT at 1997, but
unfortunately I don’t know by whom. In any case, we might
all be wise to pay heed, regardless of our age.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen
would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been
proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no
basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look
back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp
now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you
really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying
is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by
chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to
be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that
blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up
with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead,
sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end,
it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults.
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with
your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22
what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most
interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss
them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children,
maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance
the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever
you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself
either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of
it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest
instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone
for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link
to your past and the people most likely to stick with you
in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few
you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography
and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need
the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes
you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians
will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll
fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable,
politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust
fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when
either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40
it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a
way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting
over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Customer Service (or lack thereof)

Is customer service just going to the toilet now a day?  Back in April of this year, i opened two trouble tickets with Sprint and T-Mobile.  Both carriers were having problems dialing our studios.  I first tried reporting the problem as a regular cell phone user.  “Hi, i’m having trouble dialing some numbers from my cell phone.  They work with my other cell phone but not with yours”  These conversations could last hours.  Stuff like “take out the battery and put it back in” “Are you in a remote area, under a bridge or tunnel?” “is their any bad weather out there”  Quite frustrating.  Most of the time, after several hours they would say something like the problem isn’t with us, it’s with the other carrier.   One of my favorite responses from t-mobile was “we can’t guarantee that calls will go through when you dial, it’s in your contract sir”

Perhaps I’m just spoiled and used to having problems resolved when i report them.  We have an amazing phone company here at the studio that has been unlike any service I’ve ever gotten.  I can literally email or call the director directly and get issues resolved pretty much immediately. 

Another company that has an amazing customer service track record is Fog Creek.  I wish more companies on my speed dial were like them.

So i finally had to get a hold of our national sales rep for both sprint and tmobile, send them a dissertation with my woes, they forwarded it to their engineers and finally got my sprint issue resolved and a phone call from tmobile this morning that was the most promising yet.  We’ll see how this goes.