The Alex Update and Other Real-Life Jazz
So ... is there anything new going on with you that I should know about? Good news, exciting news, random shtuff that you just have to share? Let me know! I feel very productive ... but very out-of-touch too. I miss you all and our enlightening/absurd/hilarious/passionate conversations! :)
Primarily, I have been working on the SWG website. It's almost finished--that is, the website is almost finished, not the archive. That's a whole new animal. But this website has been dragging on for almost a year now, mostly because I work on it in spurts, accomplish a great deal (without ever finishing), and then get pleased with my progress and allow myself to become distracted by something else. Months pass ... nothing new gets finished. So I set for myself an ultimatum: The website must be ready for release to the group by 1 April. The bones are there; it's just tinkering, filling in holes and fixing mistakes that I've allowed myself to neglect, removing those sections that have nothing but "IN PROGRESS" or "CONTENT GOES HERE" in the main content area. Once the main site is up, I can check out the archive software and start confabulating with Lenine (my all-knowing-PHP savior!) about getting the archive up. And then I hope to concentrate on the fun stuff, like getting new features and resources in place, not with deciding whether third- or fourth-level headers look best for this or that subtitle.
I wanted to write about Alex, but here I am rambling about web design ... *sigh*
Alex got neutered on Monday. One would never know that the dog had surgery two days ago. At the moment, he is intently humping his pillow. He has been full of piss and vinegar all day.
Leaving him at the vet's on Monday was hard. Alex loves going to the vet--the only dog I've ever had who does--so he bounced up the steps full of joy. Then a vet tech came out, slipped on a leash and took off his collar, and led him back. That was the point where he realized that Mommy wasn't with him anymore. He laid down. And wouldn't move. When I left, they were trying to coax him up, and he looked none too happy that I was walking out the door without him.
He came through it just fine. He was groggy and sore all day on Monday and slept most of the day. Bobby had to carry him up the steps after going potty; it was sad. But by the next day, it was impossible to tell that anything had happened.
He was given an Elizabethan collar to keep him from licking the incision. You know, those things that look like lampshades that go over dogs' heads. Only it's not a normal e-collar but a "soft e-collar"; it looks like one of those donut-cushions that people with hemorrhoids sit on. And it has a really fruity pattern on it. I tried to put the stupid thing on him this morning so that he wouldn't worry the incision between the time I left for work and his grandmom's arrival at eleven, and the first thing he did? Lay down and demonstrate how he was still able to lick the incision. So that does a whole helluva lot of good!
He's barely bothered it, though, so I called his grandmom to let her know not to put it on him, and she said she'd come in early as well.
The other day, we discovered that Alex is afraid of guitars. Bobby touched the acoustic, it made a noise, and Alex went wild. We sat it down without playing it and let him approach it, sniff it, and lick it. It didn't help that he'd bark at it and the G- and D-strings would hum in reply, so I guess he thought the guitar was barking back. I played a few chords on it, and he went crazy. Silly dog! He's gotten used to it, though; I was strumming the acoustic and Bobby was playing the electric, so he got desensitized pretty quickly.
The computers at work are fucked up again. To prove, perhaps, that bad things come in threes, we 1) practically lost the network; it was so slow that it took Johnny the Boss fifteen minutes to open an Excel spreadsheet, 2) our Access database where we keep the warrant logs corrupted, and 3) I cannot print criminal records off of CJIS, which is 95% of my job. Issues #1 and #2 have been resolved; #3 is supposedly being solved. In the meantime, I have thirty warrants waiting to be run; I can run them, but I can't print the records, which doesn't do the officers a whole lot of good.
I do have a lot of sympathy for the help desk. They probably deal with some real idiots in the course of the day. But dayum. They can act like idiots too! I call and say, "We've had this problem before (referring to the corrupted Access database); all I need is a backup copy restored from last Thursday, which was the last day that I am certain that the database worked properly." The tech I'm talking to then attempts to convince me that my network drive is improperly mapped and that we have one too many network drives on our server ... dude, we've been using this system for three years! Finally, I say, "Look, we've had this problem before. All I'm asking is for a copy of the database from last Thursday. And I guarantee that the problem will be fixed."
So he sends me a copy of the database. It still doesn't work. I ask, "What date is it from?"
*gnash teeth/pull hair/put head through computer monitor and hope for electrocution*
"The last day that the database worked properly was Thursday, not Friday. It worked fine on Friday before 3:15 p.m. but I know that it didn't back up before then." Thinking, "As I told you ten minutes ago."
So he restored Thursday's copy ... and voila! It worked! OMG! *teh gasp*
Then today, I'm talking the head honcho of the IT people about the CJIS issue. He remotely accesses my computer. He attempts to print. It doesn't work. He asks why I need to print from CJIS in the first place.
Stunned silence ensues. "Ummm ... because I work for the warrant unit and I put together warrant reports from CJIS?!?" Thinking, "And the warrant officers can't read my mind and probably don't want to carry my desktop out in the field with them?"
He then scribbles the mouse around the screen and attempts to print again. And would you believe that the simple act of scribbling the mouse around on the screen did not fix the problem that's been going on for a week now??
I watched this man do this a dozen times while the urge to attempt electrocution-via-monitor-screen slowly came over me again. He never did solve the problem, so I am currently in limbo, awaiting a call from that nebulous entity "the server team."
As I said, I know that their job is not easy and that they deal with stupid/ignorant/rude people pretty much every moment of every day. But sometimes, they make more work for themselves. Over at the good ol' WAU, we're well versed in computer problems caused by corrupted data, lawnmowers, and everything in between. It seems to me that if a user calls and says, "I've had this problem before and this is how we fixed it," then that might be a sensible place to start? Rather than questioning completely functional systems that have been in place for years??
Anyway, tomorrow it will hopefully be fixed.
At night, Bobby and I have been watching the Discovery HD series Planet Earth. Oh my goodness. I think this might be the most beautiful program I've ever seen. It is beyond amazing ... not only are the images gorgeous but the landscapes and animals that they show: I asked Bobby, "How can we have lived on this planet for twenty-five years and never known that such amazing creatures exist?" And there's definitely cute-baby-animal overload too.