The two worst parts of parenting while on pager duty

albert - September 4, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

The worst part is ignoring Olivia while dealing with issues, whether she’s playing around me or sitting next to me at the table eating dinner or whatever, just trying to be a part of my life.

The second worst part is when I close the computer and it takes me way too long to get back to Olivia’s speed, to enjoy the world and life at her pace. After the pager goes off it takes me way too long to get back into a frame of mind where I’m ready to talk to anyone or to be any kind of parent. I’m just useless or worse.

Maybe those are backwards.

How can revolving doors be safe?

albert - @ 9:24 am

I’m working in a building with a revolving door out front and being a good boy, I try to use it as much as possible rather than the standard swinging doors on either side. So I’ve gotten a lot of hands-on experience with this thing that I missed out on all those years that I wasn’t a big-shot skyscraper office kind of guy. And all my passes through the door have made me wonder: how is it that you never hear about someone breaking an arm or a few fingers in one of these things? That door is heavy, moving fairly quickly and the timing for entering the door can be tricky.

I tried looking for either statistics or information on safety features that I haven’t thought of but google is giving me nothing. So what’s the story? Is there some mechanism that I’m not smart enough to have come up with? Or does the revolving door fall into some kind of mental sweet spot where it gives off just enough sense of danger to make everyone pay attention every time?

Gza is dead, long live Tical

albert - September 3, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

Those of you who actually come by now and then (a small but steady stream if google analytics doesn’t lie) may have noticed that the site was down for a few days last week. The event that took it down was the passing of a torch. My old file/web/email server Gza was finally laid to rest and his place was taken by a young upstart named Tical.


I’ve had this bad boy since sometime in 2007 but he was built on the bones of another Gza that came before and that Gza was built on the bones of a computer I built for my Dad sometime around 2001. This last iteration had 3 250 Gb IDE drives in a software raid 5 hosting 3 LVM volumes. It was complicated and I was also terrified of having to rebuild it. It was an Athlon 1800+ with 512M of ram. My guess is that there was something like $800-900 poured into the computer over the years and that’s just counting the parts that were still in the box and not the ones that had been removed and left by the wayside.

His downfall came when one of his drives went bad. I considered picking up a new 2TB drive and transferring all the data off the raid array (it’s a 500GB array for those who don’t know their RAID math). That plan would have cost me about $150. I gave up on it when I saw just how insanely cheap new hardware is. Here’s Tical:

That’s him behind the cable modem and next to his external backup drive. He’s a nettop with a Celeron 1300 processor, 4GB ram and a 1TB internal drive. He’s really designed for the HTPC market so he also comes with a remote and has an HDMI port and a decent graphics chip. Total cost? around $350. That’s amazing. We’re getting close to the point where even someone as cheap as myself will consider picking up a tiny PC to use as part of a random weekend project.

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