Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rambling Rant

It's a long one this morning. Buckle up.

Firstly, dear Reader, my apologies for the lack of Blog posts yesterday. This laxity was caused by a confluence of circumstances, the nature of which leads me to today's rambling tirade.

So the first Blog-preventing problem was with a Windows server. Thankfully not one of ours, but unsurprisingly, once things started to go a little hinky, we were asked to take a look. One Windows server. Public-facing IP, with a secondary interface providing pretty near total access to the internal networks of $LARGEPUBLICSECTORENTITY. Win 2k, SP4 but otherwise unpatched, no AV software. Three variants of Conficker hiding on there, doing their virusy thang. Oh, and a keylogger, just for shits and giggles.

Why? What form of dementia leads a company just to leave such an important machine unprotected and unpatched? It's some form of IT-related lunacy, worthy of the computing equivalent of a Darwin award. The only upside is the ability to laugh at the client for the (undoubtedly huge) infection and security problems they will have suffered as a result. Costly. The Bastard in me rejoices at what will be an expensive and salutory lesson.

So the morning was spent doing what I could do remotely to get this steaming hulk of infected junk into some small semblance of order. The afternoon would have been spent the same - had I not suffered, from out of the blue, rampaging and violent toothache. Said toothache was so bad, so awful, that it left me no choice but to ring round and find a dentist to register with, and make an emergency appointment.

Tell you what - if you have a couple of terror suspects and you want to know where the bomb's planted, forget extraordinary rendition. Forget waterboarding, rubber hoses, stress positions, bulldog clips and a spot of voltage to the testicles. Why spend outrageous sums flying your detainees to far-flung countries with dubious human-rights records?

Abu Ghraib? Camp X-Ray? Pointlessly expensive. You'll gain more information from a slightly-built middle-aged man in a white coat and surgical mask. Stick 'em in a dentists' chair and let these modern-day descendants of Torquemada do their job. You'll have the information in no time. And what's with that chair? Why not go the whole fucking hog and have shackles at the wrist and ankle? I was half expecting the dentist to say, "Talk? No, Mr Geekin, I expect you to die"!

There's only one reason people become dentists. It's because they like inflicting pain with very small, very sharp implements. And leaning on people's jaws so that they 'open wide'. Of course I'm open as wide as I can be - you've got a metric buttload of mirrors, picks and other assorted gubbins shoved halfway down my throat. Why say, "open wide", you sadistic shit - it's not like I can answer anyway, and even if I could open wider you'd just shove more of your torture implements in.

Anyway, long story short, a temporary fix is in and, in a joyous and exciting development, I have to have surgery to remove an impacted wisdom tooth. Aren't I just the picture of luck. But at least the pain's gone, and so this morning it was back to the fray and back to the office. Which brings me neatly to the third mini-rant of this meandering missive.

Dear Vale of White Horse District Council. Thank you, you bunch of Council Cretins, for making a 9 mile journey take so long. It's 0.5 miles from my front door to the open road. Since you started your road changes, that part of the trip takes 20 FUCKING MINUTES. You have your wizened, elderly, half-blind traffic surveyors sitting on the same fucking corner week after week, and 50 yards away from that corner it's taking me 10 minutes just to turn right onto the main road, because your fucked-up filter system only allows 3 cars at a time from the main feed off the A34 into the town centre, yet the opposite direction allows 5 minutes of traffic per light change, a significant portion of which is unused.

So we've got free-flowing traffic coming OUT of town, a 2-mile queue on the only main road IN, no enforcement of the box junctions meaning they get blocked, and I end up trying to turn right into static traffic with everyone desperately staring forward, suffering tunnel vision, not daring to allow anyone out of side turnings in case they miss the microscopic window when the sodding lights in that direction are green.

Add to that the stupid frequency of pedestrian crossings in the middle of the loop, which are, of course, not phased with the main traffic lights, and the resultant chaos is something of which Greenpeace would be proud. Your incessant tinkering with the routes and flows of traffic has, on every single occasion, made things significantly worse, yet you continue to park that fucking Skoda on the corner of Ock Street and Stratton Way and watch the vehicular carnage you've created. Please, VWHDC, set yourselves on fire. I would set you on fire myself - but I'm stuck in traffic. Again.

And now, here I am, back in the office. And what's top of my queue? Oh yes, that virus-infected pile of putrid junk masquerading as a Windoze server.

It's already been a long and painful week. Looks like the forecast is for more of the same. Pass the hand grenades.


My mobile phone has decided to start playing up, the buyer for my Vectra has just dropped out, and my BT DSL connection has decided to start losing synch when it rains. This is DEFINITELY not a good week.

I'm considering making a human sacrifice to appease the Ghods. If anyone has any nominations, please let me know.

1 comment:

Hedgewytch said...

Ouch! ;o( You feeling better after getting it down on paper? How come no pain? are you all dosed up on methadone? when's the surgery? and what exactly is an impacted wisdom tooth and how can one avoid them?
Sorry for so many questions
*hopes that the luck that kept my wisdom teeth in my own gob doesn't turn sour*