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April 2006

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Well, I just purchased my prettiest bike yet - the Trek 2200.  I'm up to 4(!) bikes, which means I REALLY have to find a new home for my old mountain bike.

The difference between a true road bike and a touring bike is a lot more noticable than I realized it would be.  This thing is FAST - when you stand up and pedal it just takes off.  The weight difference is pretty large, but it still seems like it would be insignifigant compared to my total weight.

I think the largest true difference here is the wheels, which are completely different - much lighter, MUCH thinner.  That means the ride is nowhere near as smooth, and even little pebbles can mess up your day, but you FEEL incredibly fast and glued to the road.

I'm not ready to give up the touring bike yet - if anything I appreciate its sturdiness and comfort a bit more now, and it can go places that the racing bike couldn't dream of going.  But when I have the need for speed... I can now be satisfied.

It remains to be seen whether this will have any impact on how much I suck relative to Craig, Jeremy C, Mike, etc - but I at least feel like a big man now.  And hey, the bike is red, so at least I look fast...

I broke down and figured I'd give eHarmony a chance to augment my pool of potential dates.

Results are generally... interesting. I've met a couple of people in person already, and I'm at the "open communication" stage with a bunch of others.

eHarmony is no magic bullet. It's not going to magically find your soul mate and send out your wedding invitations. However, I've found that I can trust it this far at least - it's only paired me up with people who are at least intelligent, likable, and generally worth talking to, even if there's no immediate chemistry or romantic vibe going on. This alone is a pretty big step up over relying on random in-person encounters, which seem to have a much lower success rate.

My general strategy has been to meet people in person ASAP if they seem to have any interest at all in doing so. I don't trust the internet with this sort of thing - I know I'm MUCH more eloquent when I'm sending emails than when I'm sitting there in person, so I tend to expect the same in return.

I have a feeling that my personality profile is not strongly typed AT ALL, as it has usually been in most Myers-Briggs tests I've taken, and I'm getting matched up with DOZENS of women (where most of the women I've talked to have been provided MANY fewer matches, and men on message boards I frequent have sometimes been classified as "unmatchable"). My guess is that landing in the middle has opened up matches on all sides of the spectrum, and that can't be a bad thing. Being weakly typed has always meant I've been a sort of wishy-washy person with fickle interests - I almost always end up with INFP, but other than N all the letters are so weak as to be almost meaningless. To a large extent, who I am and how I act is always defined by the people I'm around, and while that generally means I'm well liked it also means I don't leave much of an impression or stand out particularly in anybody's mind. This has always been my weakness with women - they don't want a person like that, they want somebody who will take command of a situation and impose his will upon it. That's just not me...

I forgot how expensive dating was. I've already blown the $140 I won playing poker on Friday - hey guys, at least your cash is going to a worthy cause!

After some brutal pain and soreness following a long couple of days of single track last weekend, I broke down and finally bought a decent mountain bike, the Fuji Diamond Comp. My ass and various other parts of my body are already thanking me for it. Sadly, my wallet is not. fuji

And yes, that's the same place I went to show off my Touring bike.

Fuji Diamond Comp, '05

This really toads the wet sprocket.

My company has such a stupid, broken system for on call. We actually have a NOC, and they actually work at the office all night. They watch the monitoring system for alerts.

See, this is where the stupid comes in. We also have one of the sysadmins - in this case, your's truly - "on call" as well. That makes some sense, right? The problem is that alerts flag periodically that are USUALLY benign, but they require human judgement to actually be sure.

So, the way the system works right now, the on call guy carries a pager and gets ALL OF THE SYSTEM ALERTS sent right to him, whenever they occur.

Why, you might be thinking, doesn't the NOC actually intercept these and make their own judgement on the validity of them, and THEN route the alert to the oncall person? That's MY question. The NOC basically serves no function - they aren't capable of making the judgement as to whether something is trivial or not, so they effectively have NO REASON to exist.

This is how it would work without the NOC:

Alarm flagged in system -> oncall pager -> oncall sysadmin determines what (if any) action should be taken

Here's how it works WITH the NOC:

Alarm flagged in system -> oncall pager -> oncall sysadmin determines what (if any) action should be taken -> NOC calls oncall sysadmin, interrupting whatever action he might have been doing, or forcing him to explain why no action needs to be taken

Here's how it SHOULD work with the NOC:

Alarm flagged in system -> NOC pager -> NOC determines alert severity and ignores or performs T1 support if required -> NOC calls oncall sysadmin ONLY if the problem is real and ONLY if it's not a known and easily resolved issue

Dammit, this really doesn't have to wang so much chung.