Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bill O'Reilly Is Not Going Down

Brian Williams got suspended from reading the news for six months after he lied. He exaggerated the danger he faced when he was in a threatening situation. The reason he got suspended was not because he lied, he got suspended because he admitted it.

Bill O'Reilly will not get suspended. He was never in a combat zone, he was amid unrest. Yes it's dangerous, but it ain't war. He dressed up his hand a little bit in his books and in some interviews. Everyone likes to make jokes that it's Fox News and lies are their schtick, but that's not why O'Reilly won't get suspended. Bill won't get suspended because he will never admit he lied.

This is just how the world works. It sucks, but it's true.

Here's an example. One day at work I made a mistake. While trying to fix a problem, I changed a setting on the device that lets people who are outside the company network log in, and it prevented them from being able to do that. After the first phone call where someone couldn't log in I realized what happened and I changed the setting back, and users were able to log in again. I quickly sent out an email telling people what had happened and that the issue was resolved. People were unable to log in to some applications for about five minutes. Less than 10 people were affected.

The next day I got called into my boss' office and was required to sign a document that said I knew I had made a change that I was not supposed to make and that if I continued to make mistakes like that I would be terminated. A bit harsh, but it was true I had made a change I should not have made during production time.

Less than a week later a peer of mine, let's call him Bob (because that's his name) made a mistake. I was going to call it a similar mistake, but that's not true. Bob's mistake was much more catastrophic. Bob made a change to the network that knocked off all users, (we're talking thousands) and prevented them from working for 20-30 minutes. Even the phones went down. Bob and I have the same boss.

At first we didn't know that Bob was responsible for the downtime. We were just concerned with getting all the users back online and getting the company functioning again. The following day we did a post-mortem and Bob denied everything. He literally claimed he was not in the building when the problem occurred, he was outside smoking a cigarette. After checking logs and investigating the issue we were unable to find the cause of the downtime.

The next day one of my more suspicious coworkers had the brilliant idea of looking in the backup logs. Turns out not only had Bob made the changes that caused the downtime, the next day he had methodically erased his presence in the log files that recorded the changes. He waited too long however and the files had been backed up without his knowledge.

We presented our findings at the next datacenter meeting, and Bob still denied everything.  The consensus decision among leadership was that it happened several days ago, it was a "he-said, she-said" situation and another major downtime had happened between then and now, so nobody really cares.

The problem just went away. Enough time had passed that nobody really cared anymore. At the time the passion was high, heads will roll, etc. But less than a week later, all that fire was extinguished. Bob never even got a slap on the wrist. It's sad, yes.

But that's really how the world works. I'm fairly certain if my boss had waited a week to think about my mistake he would have blown it off completely. Especially considering all the things that happened in that week. It didn't even come up in my end of year review. It was completely forgotten by then.

So what's the lesson to be learned from this? If you want to get away with something your only chance is to stall and lie and cover up as much as possible? Well, yes. That's probably true. If a major news story happens in the near future, nobody will remember or care about any controversy that concerns Bill O'Reilly. Remember Gary Condit? On September 10th 2001 he and Chandra Levy were the biggest news story around.

But to me the lesson is, would you rather be like Brian Williams or Bill O'Reilly? I don't know you or how you feel about Fox News and Mr. O'Reilly, but that's an easy decision for me. I can find another job.

P.S. The problem I was trying to fix when I made my mistake? Yeah, it's still a problem. I ain't touching that shit.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scottish Independence

This is how the "Scottish Independence" story happened in America:

There's this HUGE story and nobody is paying any attention to it! Scottish people are voting on whether they want to gain their independence from the United Kingdom!

This is unprecedented in history! This could change the way lives of everyone in the UK, Scotland, Britain and all of Europe! There's oil involved, currency involved, economies involved, it's a really big deal!

Oh, they voted no?

Never mind.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

More on Bullies, Skinny White Ones

I just saw a "Public Service Announcement" called "Cigarettes are Bullies." What kind of bullshit is that?

First of all, I hate the way the world is devaluing the word "bully." Bullies are about terror, not annoyance. Having to pause the movie to go outside to smoke is not terrifying.

Second of all, the theory is bullshit. The only thing that makes smoking annoying is the bulllshit rules people have made. First you make rules that say "No Smoking Indoors," then you say its inconvenient that you have to go outside. First you raise taxes to make them cost a fortune, then you say you have to "fork it over." Then you use the taxes to make the deceptive commercial!

Look, I don't smoke and I don't think people should smoke, but I think people should be free to do what they want, ESPECIALLY when it's perfectly legal! If you have to do a PSA, just stick with the facts, not hyperbole.

Smoking is bad for you and may cause you to get some bad diseases. And it's addictive so it may be difficult for you to quit once you've started. That's about it. There are worse things for you, and if you enjoy smoking and think it's worth the risk, knock yourself out.

Please save the bullshit. You supposedly can't buy cigarettes unless you are an adult, why not treat smokers like adults?

Monday, March 10, 2014


I have been meaning to post more photos on this blog, but that means I have also been meaning to take more photos.

I once wished for the day when I would carry a camera with me everywhere I went. Now between cell phones, tablets and laptop computers, I carry several. Yet I don't use them like I should. I will try to do better. I can think of several things today I wish I had photographed.

Here's a picture I took with my tablet that I like a fair bit. I need to be less of a snob about what camera I use. I have seen shots a lot better than my best that were taken from a disposable camera.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Interesting New Development

I just found out two of my coworkers turned in their notice yesterday. It should be noted that only eight employees are working at the datacenter, and two of them are managers who don't work on actual systems. With three of us leaving, this cuts the staff of actual workers in half. One of the people who put in his notice was the person I was supposed to train to work on my system.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

In A New York Minute

It amazing how fast something can turn to shit.

I left for vacation a happy employee, loving my job and happy to go in every day. Now? Not.

It started while I was on vacation. There had been some rumblings about problems users were having staying connected to my systems. What I do for a living is install and maintain a system where hospital staff connect remotely to medical software running here at our datacenter. More and more often, at certain times of the day, people were getting errors and even sometimes were unable to recover from those errors and reconnect. I'm pretty good at what I do and I'm pretty diligent about making sure my systems are implemented correctly. The problem did not lie within my systems.

While I was on vacation, the shit hit the fan. An outside consultant had been engaged, and I began getting frantic phone calls saying everything was down and I had to log in and work from my vacation. Sure enough, the contractors had done some of the stupidest things possible and really messed things up. I worked for several days, sometimes until 3am working out the issues. Every day there was another call, another problem.

When I returned from vacation things were still bad with my application. The contractors had made several changes, but nothing was solving the problem. A great many of the changes had caused additional problems however, and I remedied most of them as I worked essentially every moment I wasn't sleeping or driving.

I remember on the 2nd I arrived at the office to find the conference room full of people working on the issues. I joined in and worked though the day, without leaving for lunch. The rest of the folks left at 5, but I stayed until 8pm with one other contractor. I grabbed some food on the way home because I was very hungry, throwing the food down my throat as I rushed home. Sure enough when I walked through the door Mrs. Bogey was holding the phone telling me someone from work needed my help. I logged in and stayed on that call, hanging up only to join another call that went until 12:30am. Just for fun, the CIO called in to check on how things are going and said "I heard Duggle was MIA." WHAT. THE. FUCK. I was the least "MIA" person working there. I was extremely IA all fucking day.

The conference call on Saturday night wasn't productive at all because I couldn't get the contractor to listen to a thing I was telling him, so I suggested we go into the office on Sunday. That was a much more productive day but I was in the office for 12 hours working on bullshit. Good thing I'm not the church goin' type.

Later that week "the problem" had been solved (guess what, NOT MY SYSTEM), but I was still busily repairing problems caused by changes the contractors had made. Really, every single thing they touched was broken. Nobody could connect to the website because of a change they made to the XML broker that didn't work. Nobody could connect to the software because a drive they were using to store profiles had filled up. Every little thing they did had one small mistake that caused the entire system to fail. On Wednesday he accidentally shut down a new VM incorrectly so that it was installing four hours worth of Windows updates. We worked for a few minutes trying to get it to fail over to the backup VM while the updates were installing and he said "the updates will finish and then the users will be able to log on. So lets move on to something else." I blew my stack. "NO FUCKING WAY CAN THE USERS WAIT FOR FOUR HOURS."

By last Thursday morning all the major issues had been fixed (by me) when I heard from a coworker that the CIO had sent a personal email out thanking several members of the staff for working so hard to resolve the problem. I was omitted from the list. I thought maybe I was left out because I DARED to go on vacation, but one other person on the list had been on vacation. Not only that, but his system was actually the cause of "the problem" and I had inquired about it a week before xmas. He assured me at the time it could not be the cause. RIGHT.

So I wasn't in a very good mood Thursday night when I got a phone call asking if I would help with some emergency upgrades. I was told "I could say no" but I'm not that kind of guy. I helped with the emergency even though it interfered with some personal plans of mine. Missing them was very painful for me, and turned out to be very costly personally.

On Friday I had my annual review and while it wasn't particularly bad, it didn't go as well as I had hoped. It seems like the CIO has it out for me, and every single raise and promotion goes through his office. So when I left on Friday, I gave my notice.

It only took 10 days for me to go from loving my job to it being unreasonable for me to continue. It's amazing how fast things can change.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Sponsored Post

Down under What?

I have never been to Australia, but the first time I heard the phrase “Down Under” a million thoughts went through the mind. In the mid-west though going down under usually means holding your breath while going down under water or something was dropped under the table so one goes down under to retrieve it. Little did I know that “Down Under” is used when referring to Australia?

Are the people down under in hiding? It is kind of humorous that all the people are actually upright and hiding under nothing. The phrase actually is referring to the equator around the Earth. It seems Australia is located down under the equator so for that reason the phrase was born. Guess it would make more sense to ask how things are down under then upright. 

Taking things a step farther Australians live in the Outback according to http://www.yesaustralia.com/estilo-indexing.htm. When we are looking for a good meal everyone goes to the Outback for a juicy steak. Nothing like a good restaurant where the family can enjoy some thick meat!

According to http://www.pokiesplanet.com true blue Aussies love going to the local pub, grab a schooner of the local beer (vb or xxxx) and throw some money on the pokies.

In Australia though they are referring to a coastal area where people are residing. It is said the air is very arid since there are so many deserts and little water. Always thought there was a lack of water in the desert. I mean according to movies walking in the desert makes a person start seeing bodies of water just appearing on the sand.

Australia people love to shop, but doesn’t just about everyone love shopping? It is said they are compulsive buyers when it is raining outside. I have heard when women are raining tears over something in their life there is nothing better then therapy shopping. They say it makes them feel better.

I wonder if the Aussie’s feel better after shopping since they cannot play on the beach when raining buckets. They must since it is said they are in credit card heaven until the debt comes rolling in.

Buying home in Australia is very easy and only requires a person be on their job for a mere six months. Maybe everyone should move there! In the mid-west the banks do not care if you have been on your job for 10 years, if bad credit is lingering in the air then the banks will not look at you twice let alone give you a mortgage payment.