So… money’s a bit tight, so naturally one of the hard disks of the array inside my workstation went toes up last week. Good thing it’s an array, huh? No data loss. So, Sunday there’s a new version of Debian GNU/Linux released, and I like to keep my stuff current, so I take the leap from version 8.8 to 9.0. Oh joy, my most important database server will not install and I’ve got work to do on Monday that requires it… so I worked around it by catching lucky when the package from the database server vendor worked.
More no joy: My favorite programming language is maintained now by people who do not share the original folks’ commitment to backward compatibility. A whole bunch of code I’ve written in the past seven years or so will suddenly stop working when clients upgrade their systems and get a newer version of the programming language. A whole bunch of code I have written over the years for the purpose of reusing it over and over again on different projects for different clients into the foreseeable future has been made worthless. A whole bunch of open source code that other people have written, and upon which countless rely, has been made worthless. Upgrade your system, break your software. Don’t upgrade your system, the bad guys crack into it.
I can keep my existing clients’ code running into the future by installing an older version of the language and using it instead of the system-installed version, but that’s an egregious fucking hack. It’s fine for a development workstation to have a handful of versions of something like that on hand, but for production use it’s not only ugly, it’s a security risk. That old version of the language isn’t going to get security updates. I don’t know that those existing projects are going to be seeing any upgrades any more… so there goes a big hunk of my business.
The greater problem is that all of that code that I’ve written and been reusing to develop new projects is now of no value for new projects. If someone calls me tomorrow and says “Hey, I need a new thing like that old thing but…”, I have to say, “Well, I can do that within a month if you don’t mind running a second, older copy of this programming language, or hopefully by early next year if you want it written in a language that has an actual standards committee behind it to ensure you don’t get fucked by it in the future”. If that person is a potential new client, I’ve lost the project right there. Nope, gonna find a guy who can do it this year without an egregious fucking hack.
By about five o’clock Monday morning, I was ready for Monday. Kind of. The thought of career dissipation wasn’t sitting well.
Not long after I went to bed, we experienced a power failure. At some point in the event, there was a big nasty spike fired down the wire. My network backup server went down hard. The data’s lost. The second disk in my workstation’s array, the only disk remaining, is now spitting out error messages about impending failure. Fucking wonderful.
So Tuesday came, and I found some time in between juggling to do some work, but I knocked off early because I was stressed out and in need of some zoned out time to make Wednesday better. Couldn’t relax. The birds sang me to sleep eventually.
Wednesday. Finally! I don’t have and can’t order replacement disk drives yet, but dammit I’m still here. After dealing with some (way too many) overhead kinds of things I settled in… and Amethyst came to tell me that the kitchen sink is completely stopped. Okay… well, not okay. Not okay at all. Not equipped for more frustration. At all.
I pumped the water out of the sink, opened up the stinky guts beneath, and jammed our old friend The Schlonkey in there. The thing’s real name is “drain bladder”…
Thus, The Schlonkey. And, being a two birds kinda guy, I run it on the end of a hose connected to the water heater drain valve so it’s straight hot water that blows the scrunge out of the drain pipe. Water heaters last longer when you flush them once in a while, especially these days when they’re shit brand new. Except the scrunge didn’t budge. Instead, the hot water flowed out of the vent line on the roof. A-fucking-gain. The drain was flowing fine and fast yesterday… tonight I got to wear it. Twice. Full hot. Soaked in it.
Tomorrow I have to go up on the roof to snake the drain through the vent line, A-fucking-gain. I just did that in… what? February? And dumped about a gallon of acid down the fucker, too, just to make sure that I’d not have to do it again. So there’s a chunk of Thursday gone. And money’s tight… we’ve taken way too many shocks in rapid succession for far too long. I cannot afford to throw weeks away like this.
So, the title.