Happy Fucking Birthday

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 4:09 am

Oh, the volumes I could write on how not to have a birthday….

It started out just fine: I took the day off from work, got up late-ish, took a soak in the hot tub and then enjoyed my traditional birthday breakfast of several bowls of Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal (I’m not even gonna link to the product site, because it’s nothing but a bunch of bandwidth-chomping cereal-promoting ersatz “games”. Fuck ’em). I can hear my Mom screaming even as I write this: “Oh, God, no, Andrew, your diabetes!” Oh, don’t have a chocolate cow, Mother; it’s only once a year. Anyway, that’s what the insulin is for. Shoot ’em up, shovel it in, rawhide! 😛

Things started downhill when I tried to leave the house to go run a few errands. The garage door refused to close. Upon further inspection, I discovered that one of the guide wheels for the left side of the door had popped out of its track. Upon even further inspection, I realized that the reason this had happened was because the spike-haired hominid who had installed the thing had put in the track, normally meant to operate at a 90 degree angle perpendicular to the plane of the garage ceiling to which it was mounted, at something closer to a 70 or 75 degree angle, and that the resulting shear had eventually done its damage and popped the wheel free from its track. I spent about an hour diagnosing and then repairing the schmuck’s quasi-installation, then went about my errands.

Upon my return, I decided to pop a new extra-quiet CPU cooler into my Web server. What a delightfully onomatopoeic turn of phrase that turned out to be! for no sooner had I put good old Uncle Andrew dot Net back together again and flipped the switch that I heard a *pop* and turned my head just in time to witness a curl of smoke rising lazily from somewhere inside the chassis. Rocketing forth on a contrail of excreted nectarine pits, I dove for the “Off” switch.

It was, of course, much too late for “Off”. In one fleeting moment, for reasons totally beyond me (it was not, in fact, due to the new CPU fan), my formerly hale and hearty Athlon64 workhorse had become a simple interruptive electrical device, capable of being turned on and off, but little else. No more would it ponder imponderables, wonder unwonderables, or serve out Web pages. It was now a 420-watt doorstop.

I would like to personally offer my most heartfelt kudos and thanks to the awesome folks at Computersonics in Tukwila, who did a gratis necropsy on my dear departed in order to figure out what was salvageable. (Turns out that everything but the motherboard and the processor survived the still-unresolvable electrical snafu.) I left there with a new mobo and processor and headed home to do my Easter trick on my server.

That was seven-thirty in the evening on the 19th. Check the time of this posting again. After troubleshooting and ultimately abandoning my RAID controller, repairing my XP installation to conform to the new motherboard, downloading and installing about three pfillion Windows updates and bug-hunting a truly hideous IIS permissions problem, it is now about four in the morning on the 20th. In twelve hours, people will be coming over for an informal multi-person birthday party. It goddamn well better be informal, because I’m likely to fall asleep in the middle of it.

If I pass out in my cake, would someone please turn my head to the side so I don’t asphyxiate on the frosting?

*Sigh* If there’s one silver lining to all this gray fog I’m swimming through right now, it’s that I’m too spun to even think about whining about turning 39.

“Haaappy Birrrthdaay Toooo Meeeeeee….”

8 Responses to “Happy Fucking Birthday”

  1. Scot Says:

    39? BFD. It’s no big deal. Your only as old as you act. I for one have never acted my age nor do I ever plan to.

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Funny you should mention that. I was just saying to my Mom on the phone the other day that, since I don’t feel like I’ve matured emotionally beyond about age 23, I don’t feel my impending middle age as that big of a deal.

    Her snarky reply? “Yes, and it could be a lot worse. You could have stopped maturing at age sixteen!” Thanks, Mom. 🙄

  3. Meg Says:

    Remember, dear brother, you are just a few days short of being exactly 10 years younger than I. consider the ramifications of MY next birthday and you’ll feel lots better.

  4. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Yeah, but your Web server didn’t fry on you. 😛

  5. Gavin Says:

    Happy B-Day, (happy bidet?) to you sir!

  6. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Thank you. 🙂

  7. George Says:

    Happy f’ing birthday!
    Once you let the magic smoke escape, there’s no putting it back in. Working with high voltage equipment, I’ve seen it too many times. Sounds like a PITA with the server.

    Keep up with the blogging. Dawn Marie and I quite enjoy it. 🙂

  8. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Hey George! Didn’t know you two were readers; have to watch for your IP address range in my server logs now. 😉

    The funny thing about the whole server kaflooie is that, now that I got it put back together with the new CPU cooler, my Web server is now the quietest machine in my office….which is just what I was shooting for in the first pace, minus the smoke.

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