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A broken weekend - The Lyorn's Den

Mon Jan. 22nd, 2007

12:38 am - A broken weekend

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And broken for, what is worst, no good reason. No reason at all.


It started on Friday evening, when we planned to set the computer to work with all its shiny new programming, and see what it made out of it. Only, it didn't make anything. It plainly refused to have anything to do with the new software or us puny humans. So we looked for the error. We looked for a long time. Then we came to that moment where you feel that the world might not at all be like you always imagined it to be, and unknown dark forces might be at work against you. Usually, that is a sign that you should go home, as you are likely to have been working for more than 12 hours which has yturned our brain mushy, and a brain quickly turning to congealed porridge in your head won't even help you with the dark powers of your overheated late-night imagination, much less with a stubborn computer that refuses to cooperate.

But as your brain is already part-mush, you won't know that, or if you know, you are unable to act on it. It's like being drunk and believing you're only acting drunk and could stop any moment if you only knew how, and, at the same time, can't think of a single reason not to continue drinking. So you try to convince yourself that there is no dark conspiracy and try to prove it by going back to square one, where you were four hours ago, start from scratch and prove to yourself that everything's quite fine as soon as you do it right.

Only, you do not find your way back to square one. Wherever square one might be, you cannot reach it. You might believe you got it, but the computer patiently informs you that whatever used to work four hours (or five, by now) ago, won't.

So you say, let's do something else. Something we haven't even touched this whole day. Just to prove that there are, you know, no dark forces. And you do it, and it doesn't work.

From there it usually takes a few hours until you body is able to convince your brain that this is no use at all and you should have been in bed an hour ago, and if you do not go there right now you can sleep on the office floor because you won't be physically able to make it down the stairs.

So I returned to the hotel after midnight on Friday and had promised to go in with my colleague to continue working on the problem on Sunday afternoon. Which threw all my plans for the weekend in disarray. I had planned a hike on Saturday, and going to Berkeley to see a theatre performance on Sunday. Maybe the other way round, depending on the weather... but having to be in office Sunday afternoon meant that I could neither see the show nor go hiking on Sunday, and as it was 2 am when I fell asleep, rising very early to go hiking on Saturday didn't look like such a great idea either. I'm not physically fit, so I need at least to be awake and have sufficient time when I go "adventuring".


As expected, I awoke Saturday at noon. I overcame my frustration with the help of bookstore coffee and buying sweets. (Brownie mini muffins!), and when the sun had set I drove to the BART station to go to Berkeley. A new moon was rising in the east with the bright evening star under it, reminding me of a very amusing blog discussion on the Royal Navy, the Kingdom of Caid, the Turkish Flag and Constantinople, a discussion which I have tried to dig up again and failed.

I was a little bit nervous to be out in a strange city after dark. I told myself that this was Berkeley, not one of the towns famous in the local newspaper for having teens shoot other teens on a daily basis. The shops were closing and the homeless were taking up residence in the entryways. I spent some time in a used book store where I had been before, then set out to the place where the theatre group would be performing, an Unitarian meeting hall in a dark residential street. As expected I didn't meet anything worse than some weirdo greeting me with "oh, it's you".

I was early, and that was good, because there were more people than the organizers had expected, and space to put additional chairs in was quickly running out. There wasn't an actual stage, only the room in front of the chairs. The show itself was a musical about a girl and her grandfather who get bampfed into the pirate era, sail the high seas and find treasure. From the costumes to the acting of the lead (the grandfather-turned-pirate-captain) the whole thing owed a lot to PotC. It was quite amateur, but fun. I didn't get much of the plot, which might be ascribed to my insufficient skills with the language, the not-professional voices of the actors or the lack of a plot in general, but the musical numbers were very nice once the band (guitars, bass, violins, penny whistles and bodhrans) had found its rhythm. The composer, playing lead guitar, reminded me of Peter Pathos, both in his looks and in his posture. Most of the women had very beautiful and strong voices, and the basso wasn't too bad, either. The tenors were a little weak. Many people in the audience had dressed up in either vaguely goth or vaguely period, and I wondered about the number of SCAdians present.

All in all, the music was mostly worth the price of admission, the acting, less so. But there was a lot of music.

Walking back to the BART station, I considered stopping somewhere for a bite to eat, but couldn't quite convince myself to do so. I returned to the Hotel around half past eleven and read into the small hours of morning.


Sunday, for lack of anything better to do, I slept in, then read and drank tea, then put some tags on old LJ entries (in the unlikely case that you do not only see this feature, but actually use it, can you recommend further groups in which you'd like entries to be categorized? Just asking.), checked my e-mail and finally went to the office.

Where no one was, and the computer told me that it had been kicked into action and at least pretended to perform some time on Saturday. I waited for an hour for my colleague to show up, and then drove back home, discontent with the general situation. I hope next weekend will be better. And tomorrow, Monday or not, I'll sleep in. But not until noon, this time.

Current Mood: discontentdiscontent


[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2007 09:58 am (UTC)

Friday's Computer Work

Sometimes technology becomes magickally active and mean spirited and your machine performs a slow but unavoidable version of a spell known to D&D-gamers as "Feeblemind" - some people describe it more colourful as "Brain to Soft Cheese".
This might also explain the feeling that there are dark forces working against you... Perhaps you could try drawing a pentagramm around the computer, put up some lead shielding or wear a tin-foil hat the next time ;-)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Friday's Computer Work

Tinfoil is generally better against government conspiracies or any group using mind control rays. Against Dark Forces, an Elder Sign might work better. But it will make you co-workers look strangely at you. (Tinfoil is a lot more socially acceptable in geek circles.)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2007 08:42 am (UTC)

Re: Friday's Computer Work

If you're trying to be safe and co-worker compatible, it's a bit more difficult. Why not trying some of the following:
* use a mouse pad with a pentagram on it (and keep the mouse inside of the pentagram all the time!)
* paint the Elder Sign on your mousepad and/or mouse
* wear a pentagram on a chain, but chose a one a disk (not an open one) so you can put an Elder Sign on the backof it without your co-workers noticing it.
* paint a runic circle / Elder Sign / pentagram on your desk (preferrably around your monitor) using some invisible ink which shows only under UV illumination
* put a glass cube made from lead glass over your monitor - to shield you from harmful radiation (perfectly geek compatible, I'd say). And if you have some facets on the corners it's also quite sparkely :-)
* make your co-worker do the actual work and keep in the background giving sage advise...
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