Archive for July, 2005

Solaris Sysadmin Test T-minus 23 days

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

I suck. I studied for like 45 minutes today. I got caught up in a thread on the zappa.com forum about time signatures in FZ’s music. When it’s time to study, it’s so easy to find something else to get into….and esoteric musical subjects will do very nicely.

Spoke to my old friend Todd in LA for a long while about gear and life. He can actually play a lot of this stuff. Killer job on Sinister Footwear. That’s like an end game Zappa tune. What the fuck might you ask is an “end game” Zappa tune? Well, you’re right. It makes no friggin’ sense. But in this context I guess it means something you’d learn how to play/execute as something extremely advanced and way later than a lot of stuff you’d probably learn first. By “end game” I guess it means “what the hell else is there left to do after you’ve done that?”

Then I went out with the fianceĆ© for dinner. Upon returning home I listened to the intro to “Catholic Girls” in an endless loop until I could hear that it is 5 measures of 9/8 (2-3-2-2 sort of feel) and one measure of 5/8 (2-3) feel into 4/4. In the middle the intro motif is played again, but this time it’s 9/8 & 7/8 repeating a few times (didn’t count how many) and then possibly a measure of 11/8 (I have to loop this to hear it since I’m so rhythmically challenged).

There you go. That and surfing a few forums as I do and you have an adult male’s evening pretty well frittered away. I guess this’ll be one of my sort of “goof off” days.

BTW, the only reason I knew it was 23 days until the test is b/c I googled for the how many days until calendar. Thanks for not forcing me to reinvent the wheel or manually count (which I started to try but then figured I’d get it wrong).

P.S. My Tom Anderson Hollow Drop Top (06-13-02A) sold to someone who bid on my abortive ebay auction. We negotiated a price, and did a “second chance offer” and it worked out. Ebay and Paypal killed me on fees, as they do with these things (more than $80 between the two!). I lost my ass on the guitar, but I did it to buy something I’ll use more, so hopefully there’s some redemption in there.

Solaris Sysadmin Test

Monday, July 25th, 2005

I totally don’t want to study for these two tests that are going to expire on 8/19. If I blow them off it’s $300. down the drain. My boss doesn’t really seem to care, but I think it’s a terrible waste, so I’m gonna go for it. It’s just barely enough time to get it right though…and at the rate I’m avoiding it, it’s nowhere near enough. Luckily I’ve been working with this OS day in and day out for about 1.5 years now. Ugh.

Got the Calkins book, which seems good, and the Exam Cram one as well. I’ve done MCPs with less study, but I know these tests are harder than most MCPs. Will see what happens.

Update: Studied through about half of the chapter on booting/shutdown. It’s not so bad. I figure if I go for a solid chapter a day as a minimum, I’ll be able to cover everything, with about 12 days left for goofing off, reviewing, practice test, and more reviewing. I guess I’ll have to fit that exam cram book in there somewhere too.

Why I Stopped Using UPS

Saturday, July 9th, 2005

So I make a deal to trade my Grosh for a Suhr Classic. The deal’s going well. Then I decide I want to ship it via UPS ground and to insure it. I remember in the past that there were all these restrictions for insuring a package via UPS — like you had to have a driver sign something and some other equally inconvenient hoops. I also remember taking a package to a “The UPS Store” in my area and them not even being able to provide what I needed to properly insure a package.

Rather than deal with the headache I decide to take it over to the same UPS Store and just have them do the paperwork. I go in ready for a fight because the first time I walked in these cats didn’t seem like they were there to help. Rather they were there to get rid of you as quickly as possible by standing behind a bureucratic mountain of paper work that can only be surmounted by paying ridiculously inflated prices for something that should never cost so much. I walk in and this total geek is there — a guy I remember from my first trip in the store. I tell him I want this package shipped ground and insured for $1800. He curtly peppers me with questions, “What is it?”, “Is there a case?”, “Is it a hard case?”, etc. etc. (I think he’s looking for ways to deny my request and get me out of his face). I answer positively to everything and meet the requirements for being allowed to stay in his face. I fill out some paperwork, and then so does he. He hunts and pecks it all into a computer running Windows. Every couple keystrokes I hear Windows’ default error and warning sounds from the popups he’s getting. I figure it’ll be a while.

Then he breaks it to me that for $1800. insurance I’ll need to send it 3-day. “That’s fine”, I say and ask him how much. He says something like $79.90. I don’t recall the exact figure, it’s right in the $80. range, which is easily $40. more than I’m willing to pay. I ask him about the alternatives and he only offers me ground, insured for $1000. for around $27. or ground uninsured for $23. I try to figure out what the trick is to getting a ground package shipped with insurance over $1000. but I don’t know if one exists. It looks, according to that pencil neck, that I have to do the expensive 3-day option. (I’m sure he left some other options out —to get rid of me). His ploy to get rid of me works. I almost considered leaving it there with him and just shipping the guitar uninsured, but then it occurs to me that I just told him and the chick behind the counter that it’s an $1800. guitar and now I’m going to leave it in their hands without insurance. I think “fuggit” and tell him nevermind. I walked out, took it to Fedex and they shipped it 3-day insured for $1800. for $32.50. That’s how it was supposed to go with UPS, but they’re too fucked up to make things simple.

So from now on I’ve got a big pile of brown that “Brown” can eat. I’ll use Fedex. It’s not too much to ask to keep things simple and affordable.