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from inside the Tube
October 17th, 2010 
Serge 2012
Yesterday was the day when my employer’s mainframe had to go thru its 2nd (and last!) business-continuation exercise of the year. That involves shifting all resources to a backup mainframe, then having each group prove that their jobs would run there if the original mainframe went kaput. The shift usually isn’t completed until about noon, but, at 9:30am, before I’d go out and run some errands and get a haircut, I called, just in case. I was told that everything would be ready by 10am so I held off on going out. My own testing wouldn’t take long and I wanted to ensure this would not get in the way of our afternoon plans, which dealt with the throwing of pumpkins into the sky.

So much for the plans of mice and men.

From 9:30am until 12:30pm, I wound up staying by my computer because, every time I called to confirm that the backup mainframe was up and running, they'd tell me “Not yet, but it should be ready in 20 minutes.” Every single time, which made me wonder if I really was speaking to Max Headroom, whose story was set 20 minutes in the Future.

After 3 hours of this, one operator went off script and said it’d be 45 minutes before they knew. That’s when I thought “Screw this” and decided I’d participate in their bleeping exercise in the evening. They said the exercise would last until Sunday, but that’s what they’d said 10 years ago and I got my butt kicked by management after I got in that Saturday evening and found the whole exercise had ended prematurely. At this point yesterday, I was willing to take the risk. I had been unable to run my errands, or to have my sparse mane brought under control by the barber, and the pumpkin festival in that town 40 miles away was already under way.

By the time we got to Estancia, the festival was still going on, but I had missed the good stuff. Sure, the air cannons were still firing pumpkins at a truck half a mile away, but all I saw was a blur as they came out of the barrel. I might be lucky and see one bouncing across the landscape, or going splat when it finally hit the truck. It all went so fast though. Had work not interfered, I’d have seen the trebuchets and ballistas in action. Oh well. I know what to do next year.

Anyway, we got back home, and I logged in for the mainframe exercise. Fifteen minutes later I was done with that. We then watched our DVD of ”Laura”, a murder mystery. My favorite line was by Vincent Price.

”I’m a natural-born suspect.”
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