03/26/2003 Entry: "BURNINATE!!!"
I have no idea why I think "Strongbad" is so funny. It's probably some dumb 12-year old part of me. This part, though, is hysterical. TROGDOR!!.
Work has been busy. I have been making Perl scripts while moving equipment from the old Lab to the new computer room and working a lot of 12'ers. I am particularly proud that I have written some programs that will save a lot of work in the move. One bitchy thing is that when we move switches, you have to reprogram them. You have to change the IP address, what ports everything is attached to, the switch finger info (where it is, who to contact, and so on), and other stuff. I wrote a program that can automatically calculate, based on IP address, where it is and how to set it up. Neat! Yay me! Something that used to take 5 minutes now takes 10 seconds. A coworker here, Charles, has this saying that is so true: "I am a programmer because I am lazy." This means many programmers don't want to do rote work, just write something that does the work for them.
My stomach seems to have calmed down a lot, partially because I found an over-the-counter medication that actually works, and now I am not losing so much sleep as before. Although last night, my cat Artoo barfed all over my side of the bed and I had to sleep in the guest room, and I couldn't get steady sleep because I missed sleeping next to Christine.
In other news, I have this fear a friend of mine is burning out. She runs this volunteer-based forum, see, and wanted to be on vacation for one month. She left the forum to some other moderators for some much needed "me-time," and then the Iraq war started. The forums became a flame fest of hot anger, and some people decided to bother my friend while she was on vacation, "telling" on the other forum members. She had to get back early to extinguish the flames, and she's understandably furious. I can't believe this. They bothered her, on her time off, because they got mad at someone?
This happened to at least three BBSs I was on in the 1990s. Three sysops totally burned out. One sold the BBS and the other two just shut theirs down with angry letters stating they were sick of everyone fighting among themselves. I wrote a short story a few years ago (unfinished and definitely unpublished) about a BBS based on one of these. In this story, a hugely popular BBS mysteriously goes down after a flame war, and the sysop says, "That's it, I'm not your Mom, I'm shutting this down." Ten years pass. Some of the members still hang out with one another, but most have moved on to different lives. Then they start getting murdered, one by one. Can they figure out who did it? What happened to the sysop? No one can find her. Did she do it? Was she a victim? Did she even exist in the first place? The story is about the changing of people's lives from high school/college into adulthood, a bit about the technical industry's change from the 80s to the 90s, the online masks we wear, and of course, gruesome murders.
I don't want this sysop to burninate... :(