Sometimes I don’t understand people. I’m on call this week and last night our payroll server went down. It’s a Citrix machine that is used by our state offices so I thought I’d do my best to get it up and running. To do that, I had to scavenge an internal fan from another machine. Now, I admit that I didn’t call the ‘owner’ of the machine to tell them what I was doing, but I felt that getting the production payroll server up and running was more important. Well, guess what? I was wrong.

What makes me mad is that I did what I had to do to get the server up and running. Granted, I didn’t tell the guy why his box was down and I simply forgot. I’m pissed at myself for not telling him because deep down I know I should have. On the other hand, a server that up until yesterday hosted a SINGLE training video does not qualify as production. I know that the guy is mad because he thinks his stuff isn’t important, and I hate to tell him, but it isn’t. If his server were down for a week, it would not cost this company a nickel in lost productivity. If the production payroll server were down (on the 15th of the month), then I’d have over 1500 people waiting to get paid.

To top if off, he puts in a Priority One help desk which essentially says he doesn’t know why he can’t get to the server…when we’ve already talked about it for most of the meeting. First thing I did was drop it to a Priority Two and put a note in it that explained the situation and also said something like, “since it isn’t a true production server, I felt that it was ok to take the fan”. He, of course, has to counter with “it is a true production server blah blah blah” and I didn’t feel like fighting him over it. I think the real reason he’s pissed that we took it down is that he has stuff on there from his side business and he can’t get to it. Too fuckin’ bad.

What pisses me off the most if that, in my opinion, they’re making a mountain out of a molehill. However, I can also see myself getting pissed if the same thing happened to me. But then again, I would have had something in place to notify me that my server had a problem. He didn’t…and now it’s my fault.



The comment heard the most this weekend was, “What happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans”. The funny thing is, not all that much went on…or at least these people are better at keeping secrets than I am.

Apparently, someone forgot to tell one of our counterparts that New Orleans was a bit risqué. Seems she couldn’t come to grips with body shots, which I personally find pretty cool. I was a little irritated because 1) these people were on their own time, 2) they were not doing anything illegal, and 3) it’s freakin’ New Orleans. What do you think happens on Bourbon Street? Church Socials? Not hardly.

One of the cooler parts of the trip was the ride down. We took The City of New Orleans train from Jackson to New Orleans and it was a blast. I wish train travel was utilized more often because I love to ride the train. We had plenty of room, the employees were courteous and friendly, and we got to see some cool stuff. I actually saw two alligators in the bayou around Lake Ponchetrain. It was just cool. Eating in the dining car was a lot of fun, too. A word of caution though. When pouring your soda into a glass, be sure to lift both off the table. If not, you’ll end up spilling it all over the table, which will cause the server to chastise you, the head waitress to laugh at you, and all the old people around you to snicker. Doing it twice will make you even more embarrassed and people will be sure to notice all the other crap you spill throughout the weekend.

I didn’t go out Sunday night because I had a headache that almost made me barf. It was incredible. Imagine someone sticking a railroad spike through your eyebrow and out the back of your head. Then imagine them heating it, and tapping on it every once in a while to remind you that it’s still there. That’s about what it felt like. I was in bed about 8:30. In case you think I’m exaggerating, I’ll have you know that I left a piece of chocolate cake 90% intact. Turns out I missed some cool stuff like girl-on-girl body shots, cage dancing, and other assorted “what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans” kinds of things. Stupid railroad spike.

We spent all day Monday in presentations, some of which were good, and some of which made me want to pluck out my eyelids. And can someone please tell me why there’s always that one guy who has to argue a trivial point like he’s in front of the Supreme Court? These guys should be put in a national registry and banned from all company meetings. Gee whiz, if there had been a hammer in that room, someone would have beaten this dork senseless. As it turns out, he was wrong and finally shut up.

Monday afternoon, several of us headed down Decatur and hung out at an open-air bar. The little jazz combo was really good and even took requests. Thankfully, they didn’t know “Muskrat Love”, which is one of the guy’s favorite songs. We had a few drinks and some awesome crawfish. They had a great flavor and weren’t too hot. Then, it was off to NOLA, one of Emeril’s restaurants.

This was the most fun I’d had in a while. The atmosphere was very good, the Apple martinis were excellent (I refuse to call them Apple-tini’s), and my friends and I had a blast. The crotchety, hard-of-hearing, gotta-complain-to-the-manager, old farts next to us might have had a different experience. They were trying to conduct some ‘business’ in a loud restaurant with brick walls that caused the sound to bounce around like a rubber ball. Needless to say, our ‘antics’ didn’t sit very well with them. Our waiter earned an extra-generous tip when he said, “You’re paying money the same as they are. You have your fun and let them have theirs”. In spite of the old coots, we still had a lot of fun.

Let me be honest here, Dear Reader. This was, by far, some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. I got the NOLA Shellfish Stew, and although I was expecting something more like a cioppino, it was still very good. We all shared what we ordered and not one of the entrees was anything less than excellent. I highly recommend NOLA to anyone heading to New Orleans. Just don’t tell them I sent you. I’m not sure I can go back.

I wish I had some stories of drunken debauchery and illicit fornication, but alas, it was a fairly tame trip. Maybe next time.

Work Tip #3

When making a presentation on the recently implemented web-filtering software to a group of Senior IT Executives, it is recommended that you create handouts of various reports so they may follow along during the presentation. Said handouts can include Top 5 users, most frequently visited sites, and a list of ‘adult sites’ that are being accessed during business hours.

It is essential, however, to have someone else review said handouts in case sites like “” and “” happen to slip through the URL editing you did late the night before.

The Big Easy

If anyone needs me, I’ll be in New Orleans at a company-sponsored meeting. Y’all have fun and I’ll talk to you again on Wednesday…unless I get arrested for doing something stupid…which has been known to happen. Apparently, flashing is limited to boobs…if you show more, some people get upset. Prudes.

Peace. Out.


When the weather gets bad, most people run to turn on their local news, the Weather Channel, or their weather radios. I don’t own a weather radio and since I switched to satellite, it tends to go out right about the time I need an update. Since we get some hella-wicked storms around here, I had to find an alternate means of weather forecasting.

I needed something reliable, durable, and accurate. It couldn’t run on electricity, rely on signals from a satellite, or alert me via radio waves. It had to give me ample notice of impending bad weather, it had to have the ability to wake me from a sound sleep, it had to work in any room of the house, and it had to be affordable. I am proud to announce, I have found such a device.

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A Compliment…I think.

From: Supervisor
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 12:45 PM
To: Howard
Subject: Training class


Please submit a project to attend the MS-2208 training class.


—–Original Message—–
From: Howard
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 1:10 PM
To: Supervisor
Subject: RE: Training class

Do I have to do a justification-type thing?

—–Original Message—–
From: Supervisor
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 1:17 PM
To: Howard
Subject: RE: Training class

Yeah, just say how it’ll help you and Mark do your job better… you are the master of BS, I expect eloquence!