Saturday, June 2, 2007

Paying for friendship

By reading the title of this post, I'm sure someone's going to get the wrong idea about this post. The title is actually a joke cracked by a friend of mine in reference to something I'll explain a bit later in this post.

Wednesday night was a good night at work in many ways--I was able to get my work done quite early and fast, and I learned a few things about how NCR MP-RAS handles different terminal types, including AT386, its default term type for /dev/console. (If you haven't gathered by now from reading my posts, I'm a UNIX geek of sorts.)

Seeing as how I had to get up early to go to work Thursday morning, I went home and eventually went to bed. Thursday was an interesting day for me. I flew through an absolute ton of stuff and accomplished more in a single day than I normally do in three. Between Wednesday and Thursday alone it felt like I had worked well over a full work week.

Thursday night, I went home, ate and took a shower, and proceeded to go about my Thursday night routine of playing catchup on all my trac email from Pidgin, a usual inflammatory comment or two in the Guifications IRC channel, etc., when I saw a notification pop up to say that a friend of mine had signed on. I looked at the notification and discovered that it was Jennifer, a friend from New York City who I hadn't had the pleasure of talking to in 224 days (according to Stu Tomlinson's lastseen plugin for Libpurple).

I proceeded to talk to Jennifer and was astonished at how open she was being with me. In my previous conversations with her spanning over the last six years of our lives, Jennifer has never been one to discuss her personal life so openly and freely. It was an amazing thing to finally be let into her world completely and really find out what's been bothering her. We talked for over five hours straight with me attempting to help her through her problems, or at least give her food for thought. I think it's safe to say I gave her plenty of food for thought, but I haven't really helped her much other than being a sounding board. I wish I could have done more for her; it always breaks my heart to see her sad or hurt. She finally decided to head to bed around 1 AM US EDT; I too called it a night at this point.

Friday morning I woke up at 4:30 US EDT to my alarm because I had to go print statements. Dead tired, I drag my sorry rear into work at 5:48 AM US EDT and have a host of problems, including a leaking toner cartridge for an HP LaserJet 5SiMX printer, a bad drum in the same leaking cartridge, statements that needed reprinted because of the bad drum, and a host of internet banking and voice banking problems. Essentially, everything that could go wrong did.

To make matters worse, when I got home I found out that my wireless router (a Linksys WRT54G version 2--one that OpenWRT would run on quite happily) was no longer forwarding packets from the outside to my internal boxes. I started investigating and in the end unplugged the router and plugged it back in to power-cycle it. After that, the WAN interface worked, but the router refused to route packets between the inside and outside worlds. I unplugged the cable modem from the router and attached it to my Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop and everything magically worked. So I unplugged the router again and let it cool off for a while. Once I plugged it back in, the WAN interface stopped working entirely. The switch ports are getting flaky too. The only thing working reliably is the wireless interface. So, for the time being, I'm stuck with only one machine having internet access, since i'm not willing to turn this laptop into a router.

I discussed the router problems with my friend Brandon, who had similar issues a couple weeks ago except in reverse (wired worked but wireless didn't) and his were fixed by a reboot and switching to a wired connection. Then I told him about the problems at work and the conversation with Jennifer and how long it had been since I talked to her, and he comes off with "You're just paying up for that friendship now." We laughed and that became the basis of this post's title. :)

All in all, given that I've been able to talk to Jennifer again, all the trouble is worth it. I've missed Jennifer more than I realized I could, and her friendship is worth more to me than any I've had in quite a while. Definitely worth the trouble. :)