Dear Santa, thank you for the dolls and pencils and the fish. It's Easter now, so I hope I didn't wake you but... honest, it is an emergency. There's a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it's just an ordinary crack, but I know its not cause at night there's voices so... please please can you send someone to fix it? Or a policeman, or...
Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.
Tuesday, October 31
Took Friday off sick.
Got a call on Saturday that one of the systems was down. Said I'd look at it on Monday.
Monday arrives, and I look at it. Seems that both sides of a mirror had spontaneously converted themselves to unrecognised volumes. The system had become somewhat disconcerted, and crashed.
Yes, I had a backup. A complete, up-to-date backup.
Because I'm paranoid.
Fortunately, very soon all of this will become Not My Problem.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at
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Usually in this kind of situation the tape has bad blocks.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tuesday, October 31 2006 02:29 AM (9imyF)
The system was playing up a bit last week, so I took the hint and made a second backup.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, October 31 2006 09:09 AM (sWLEp)
Actually ... in this kind of situation, usually the tape controller adapter has gone stupid.
Everything looks fine ... until you actually need to restore data ...
Posted by: Kristopher at Tuesday, October 31 2006 11:49 AM (O5Ju8)
Which is why I made the second backup to another server, using rsync.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, October 31 2006 11:35 PM (FRalS)
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Saturday, October 28
So I'm back from my holiday, which was fun, but I brought some uninvited guests with me.
The worst cold I've ever had.
For four days my throat felt like I'd been gargling RFNA. The only thing that made any difference was tea. A nice mug of English Breakfast with honey would make the pain go away for half an hour, and keep it bearable for an hour more. After that, it became so uncomfortable that I was unable to sleep.
So a full night's sleep required five or six large mugs of tea... which comes with its own problems. Needless to say, I have not been sleeping well. (This morning I got four hours uninterrupted - starting at 6AM. That's the best I've done in the past week.)
But at least in the agonizing pain stage I wasn't much trouble to others. After four days of that, I returned home from my trip, and by the next day the pain had largely faded.
But I wasn't better.
I had moved on to stage two, which combined heavy (and pretty yucky) congestion with an incessant cough. The part where I bark like a seal is particularly amusing. So I need to take a decongestant and a cough suppressant, and use the manual override when I really do need to cough.
And an antihistamine, because just because I'm in bed with a horrible cold doesn't mean I don't get hay fever as well.
As of this afternoon, the cough seems to be under control. Either the codeine worked or it's just run its course; the last bad session was at 4AM. Now I just have to see if that's it, or if there's a stage three, where I presumably implode or break out in hives or something.
I'm not complaining - okay, I am complaining - just letting you know that I am back but not exactly running at full efficiency just yet.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at
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Yep, thinking you can relax and have a holiday completely throws off your system, and it responds by turning on you. Every time.
Feel better soon!
Posted by: Ted at Saturday, October 28 2006 01:58 PM (blNMI)
We have colds like that here in our hemisphere, too. I just got over a bad one earlier this month, as a matter of fact. I've just gotten over stage three -- in which you cough up all sorts of nasty stuff at odd times, unexpectedly. It's much better than the first two stages, though!
Hope you get over all of this as soon as possible -- if not sooner!
I've found that straight scotch helps the sore throat when you are out of tea and honey . . . ;->
Posted by: Dave at Saturday, October 28 2006 02:55 PM (yLzIQ)
It's been said that of all the things that won't help a cold, Bourbon Whiskey is the best. But I doubt they sell much Bourbon in Strilia, and I doubt you like it. So perhaps some local equivalent will do in a pinch.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sunday, October 29 2006 12:07 AM (+rSRq)
I'll share a family seekrit with you for cold / sore throat relief. We'll mix
the tea and honey, which works pretty good as you know, but also add in a bit
lemon juice and a bit of bourbon (for it's medicinal purposes of course). I'm
not sure why the combination works so well, but for some reason it's better
than the off the shelf stuff.
Feel better soon.
Surely they sell Wild Turkey, Jim Beam or Jack Daniels
bourbon in Australia.
I mean life would cease to exist without Kentucky Bourbon Cake or Chocolate Bourbon
Cake. Really it would.
Posted by: phin at Sunday, October 29 2006 12:39 PM (C+FWT)
I can independently confirm through comprehensive surveys of bars and clubs in most of Australia that bourbon is available to us.
Scuse me while I go lie down.
Posted by: Andrew at Monday, October 30 2006 06:49 PM (t8tOu)
RFNA you say? That's terrible, but I feel as though I gulped down a spot of N2O4 with a N2H3CH3 chaser.
Get well soon!
Posted by: diondrum at Tuesday, October 31 2006 08:14 PM (ghZ6X)
OK this is probably too late to do any good, but a gram of Vitamin C every couple hours has been scientifically shown to reduce symptoms.
At least 29 controlled clinical trials (many double-blind and placebo-controlled) involving a total of over 11,000 participants have been conducted. These trials were reviewed in the 1990s and again recently. The trials show that vitamin C reduces the duration and severity of colds but not the frequency. The data indicate that there is a normal dose-response relationship. Vitamin C is more effective the higher the dose. The vast majority of the trials were limited to doses below 1 g/day. As doses rise, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the trials double blind because of the obvious gastro-intestinal side effects. So, the most effective trials at doses between 2 and 10 g/day are met with skepticism. Reports from physicians have provided ample clinical confirmation.
The controlled trials and clinical experience prove that vitamin C in doses ranging from 0.1 to 2.0 g/day have a relatively small effect. The duration of colds was reduced by 7% for adults and 15% for children. The studies provide ample justification for businesses to encourage their employees to take 1 to 2 g/day during the cold season to improve workplace productivity and reduce sick days. The clinical reports provide the strongest possible evidence that vitamin C at higher doses is significantly more effective. However, the effectiveness typically comes at the price of gastro-intestinal side effects. It is easy for physicians to minimize these side effects since they cause no lasting harm. Adult patients, however, have proven reluctant to subject themselves to gas and cramping to deliver an unknown benefit (the duration and severity of colds is highly variable so the patient never knows what he/she is warding off). It is well worth the effort of identifying the small subset of individuals who can benefit from high daily doses (>10 g/day) of vitamin C without side effects and training them to regularly take 5 g/day during cold season and to increase the dose at the onset of a cold.
The trials proved that vitamin C is more effective for children. Reports from the field confirm the observations in the trials and suggest that children are less prone to vitamin C side effects. Colds and flu are a serious problem for children. Every time a cold infects a child, its growing mind and body must divert energy from its usual business of growth and development. If the cold is followed by an opportunistic infection, such as bronchitis or ear infection, more energy must be diverted. Colds are the number one trigger for asthma. Pre-school children in daycare are nearly constantly fighting infections (5-10 per year). Chronic disease in childhood is believed to sometimes have permanent developmental consequences which can contribute to decreased life expectancy.
Also, the sicker you feel, the more C your body can probably utilize.
Posted by: TallDave at Wednesday, November 01 2006 10:28 PM (wBY8q)
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