Jan 302006

Friday started my week of being on-call for work. Tethered to the pager and a 15-minute response window for logging into our ticket system if it went off, weekend plans involved nothing more than a City of Heroes gaming marathon on Saturday for Rough Trade’s one-year anniversary, and maybe some laundry. Saturday morning I dragged myself to the gym at about 10am for some cardio, picked up a couple bagels on the way home, showered, and settled in for twelve hours of non-productive nerdness.

A full group of us started level 1 characters on Freedom server and worked our way through every mission and contact we could get. By about 8pm most of us had reached level 10 and formed our supergroup, Hell Bound. By then the coffee and Concerta had worn off and I was losing interest. We kept getting killed repeatedly in the mission we were in, Aaron was in a very-near accident on I-75 coming back from brokenbryan‘s play, and Forrest Gump was playing on the TV behind me, so I called it quits at 10pm. Luckily, the pager never went off at all either Friday night or all Saturday. Odd, but not unheard of.

I went to bed fairly early Saturday night, because I only got five hours of sleep Friday night. I had to get up at 6am to make some scheduled work changes then couldn’t get back to sleep. Sunday afternoon we went to Brio Vie(?), a French bistro in Somerset that had replaced Portobello’s. We’ve found our replacement for Bastone: the food’s just as good, it’s closer, the prices are comparable, and the service doesn’t suck. Who cares if they have the occasional kitchen explosion? It keeps things lively. Apparently a can of cooking spray, used for making crepes and containing flour and oil, fell over on the stove and no one noticed.

Until it exploded and sent up a 4 foot column of flames.

Luckily no one was hurt, not even the chef who dove through the service window (without knocking any plates off!). It was quickly extinguished and our food arrived a few minutes later, uncharred and extremely tasty. We wandered around Somerset for about an hour afterward, playing with the ForceFX lightsabers in Sharper Image and using the massage chairs. Afterwards it was more City of Heroes and a load of laundry. I created a Superman-style Tanker in German flag colors and named him Donnerficker (“Thunderfucker”). I wonder how long before the game moderators catch on to THAT one!

I STILL had not had a single page, even Sunday morning when I knew one of my coworkers was going to be upgrading and rebooting a couple of firewalls. I checked the ticket list but didn’t see anything, so figured he’d rebooted them in between the checks the monitoring system does every five minutes to make sure devices are still responding. At 5am this morning, I finally got a page. It woke me up out of some dream and, for a few seconds, I variously thought I was hearing my alarm, Aaron’s alarm, or the smoke alarm. It turned out to be just a phone number; no message and no ticket number. I called it back and it was our network control center, who informed me that they’d just discovered that the paging system had been down all weekend long. I thought I’d just gotten very lucky with a quiet weekend. I was lucky, but not for the reason I thought!

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