Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Annoying IT Guy #2 - Animal noises, Nose trumpets & Phlegm cloppers

Continuing from Annoying IT Guy #1, without a doubt my biggest annoyance with the guy is the large array of f&%king animal noises his biological operating system makes over the course of a work day.

He clears his throat loudly up to 3 or 4 times a minute, coughing up phlegm in his mouth before swallowing it. He does this when he is by himself in his cubicle, when he is on the phone and especially when he has someone in his office. He talks loud and clears his throat louder. Most folks excuse themselves, step aside, cover their mouth, muffle it, not this guy, he is staring you right in the face, coughs up a phlegm clopper, deals with it and carries on talking like that is the way life is supposed to be... GROSS! If you are talking to him, the chance that you are going to get some on you is two minutes to midnight high.

Then there's the constant ineffective nose blowing. First off buddy, "There's nothing up there in your nasal cavity to come out.You are on empty.. " It sounds like a f%&cking Bach trumpet, this dry high brass trumpeting sound. He could re-use the same kleenex all day if he didn't perforate it with the blast of slotless air. If blowing your nose were an olympic sport this guy would be Bangladesh.

And it's not over.. Then we get treated to 4 or 5 of what we call, the daily Epileptic fits. He stretches - or something - and there's a uber-loud World Series yawn at the same time. Picture the loudest yawn you can possibly imagine combined with a follow up groaning stretch that sounds like a 600 pound Congolese mountain gorilla having an orgasm. Four or five. Every day.. WTF...

And there's some other sounds he makes when he is in transit. When he walks down the hall past my office he sometimes sucks his tongue in and out of his mouth loudly as he walks. Like a piston, except it sounds exactly like the sound Hannibal Lecter's character makes in Silence of the Lambs when he is talking to Starling about eating livers with a fine Chianti. I had a client in my office once and he walked by doing that sound and I had to explain that he's like a five year old and he's exploring the sounds his body can make.

Then we have the OUTBURSTS. These are not as common thankfully but two three times a month is still a bit much. In an office you can sometimes here a cricket in he will do things like shout "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" at the top of his lungs and smash his keyboard. To put this in context, picture a fairly quiet mid-day office, not a lot of noise and then a lightning clap of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" like Kirk shouting "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!" followed by the crash of some equipment being abused. When he does this I get up out of my office and walk over and see him and ask sarcastically if he's ok or do we have to call an ambulance. One time he was so loud I told him to quit that because the last time someone made that sound they were having a medical emergency and they left unconscious in an ambulance. He doesn't even look at me when I say this. When I got back to my office I had a bunch of emails one of which said "Go for it! We're ok with you calling that ambulance!".

I'm really sorry you changed the IP on the remote server and it kicked you off but that's how that shit works ;-)

I'm not alone in being miffed by this. I hear everyone around me going "What the fuck?" quietly under their breath or "Gross" when he coughs something up interesting into a tissue and looks at it(he should definitely stick to hawking up in the tissue, it works way better than through his nose).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Annoying IT guy #1 What's my PAFFWORD?

  For the past 8 months we've had a person in the office on another team and he's annoying the shit out of everyone within earshot. I'm an easy going guy and can take all kinds of shit, especially the stuff beyond my power to control and it rolls off my back. This guy however, is getting to me.

I first became aware of him in the first month of his start because he would do 2 to 3 loud password resets a week over the phone to the help desk. We live in cubicleland and if you talk in a normal voice you don't bug anyone. If you talk at the top of your lungs however, everyone can hear you. The annoying part starts when you hear the same conversation two to three times a week that goes something like this:

"I can't get in"
"I never fill in security questions"
"I've never had to type my login ID like that"
"You're wrong"
"I didn't disable it YOU disabled it!"
"Why does it disable my account just because I type the wrong password in, that's stupid!"
"I don't think you understand how this works"
"I have to support XXXX, it's imperative"
"I support mission critical infrastructure and I need to get access ASAP"
"I demand to talk to your supervisor".
"Potato Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Seven..."

You start to wonder if the people on the other line are doing everyone a favour by locking this guy out (only they're not locking him out, he can't keep his access straight and disables his own accounts).

Not to say he's not entertaining sometimes, one of the best bits we got to hear was when he was giving a help-desk guy shit over the phone recently for supposedly repeating his password to him wrong and he ended up locking himself out again.He called the Help desk back again and started yelling at the guy:

"NO! You're wrong, I distinctly remember you saying "F" as in "FAM!"

What the F*%k is F as in FAM you say? I dunno. Is FAM short for family? The kicker in that exchange was that he thought the guy on the phone told him his password was PAFFWORD. He wrote it down that way...

Now I'm just hearing one side of the conversation but let's see. The Help Desk guy is resetting your PASSWORD. He needs an easy temporary PASSWORD he can tell you over the phone so you can immediately log in and choose a new one. What word could he use for this? Hmm, I dunno maybe PASSWORD? You think?

No.. It was obviously PAFFWORD, stupid help desk guy, he doesn't know what he said, he's obviously wrong.

My god, why did they hire this guy.

(Big thanks to notadroid and TheHappyHippie for those memes ;-)

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Hanging out on my roof in the dark circa 1983

  In 1983 I was 14 living in Blackburn Hamlet and all of my best friends lived within a stone's throw of my house, that is to say, if I couldn't hit your house with a rock, you probably weren't my friend.
  One hot summer evening found me on the roof of my parent's house with two of my friends. I used to go up on the roof to read comic books in the summer when I was younger to get away from my little brother, who was an unrelenting annoyance of locust proportions. I'm not sure why we were up there that night, but we were enjoying the unusual vantage point in the hot night summer air. Across the street lived one of my best friends, who oddly enough wasn't with us on the roof that night. Also across the street lived my friend's beautiful older sister, who was worshipped by my group of friends as a minor deity, much to the horror and chagrin of my friend who would tolerate no talk on the subject.
  On this night, as we were sitting up there in the dark, a curious thing happened. A switched on light illuminated a second floor window in the house across the street and a female person walked into the room with a towel on their head and a towel on their body. The towel on the head came off followed by a long haired head shake and then as we sat there in shock and disbelief , the lower towel came off and we saw some bits of bits we should not have seen over the top of the window sill.
  No one said anything. Silence. It got weird. Someone said  "Oh My GAWD!". I agreed. We had just seen half of a bare naked lady after all. It probably lasted 7 seconds. As long as a top notch bull rider can stay on a bucking bull. Then the person put on PJ's and left the room.

It was surreal. We must tell no one we said. No one speak of this to anyone. It's creepy. It's wrong. We all agreed. Not good. Let's not do this again..

The next night there were seven kids on my roof. Everybody had told at least one other person and one of them had told two people. All of the noble second sobre thought from the previous evening  had gone right out the window (in deference to the much more interesting window across the street). I was actually questioning the load-bearing safety ramifications of having this many people up there when my friend from across the street walked over to my place, probably to ring my doorbell which would lead to questions of where I was etc.. so I hissed at him from the roof: "Up here".
"What?" He asked, looking around. .
"Up here" I hissed.

He looked up at me (uh, well, all of us), then across the street and then we were told to get down off the roof or he would come up and toss us all down one by one.

We complied. Besides, it wasn't safe that that many people up there and he was bigger than us.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Suspect in the mysterious gun-wielding Ottawa biker case.

Suspect must have forgotten his fake gun, had to use the finger instead...

So this past week in Ottawa, there was this guy on a motorbike who would speed up behind you on the Queensway, tailgate you and if you did not immediately change lanes and get out of his way, he'd swing around and pass you on the driver's side and point a gun at you. He was driving a red Honda CBR and wearing a black helmet. He did this several times a day during his commute and numerous complaints were received. I saw it on Facebook, his picture was plastered everywhere and I caught it on the news.

Yesterday on Ottawa Kijiji, some guy is selling his Red Honda CBR (actually it was "For Sail") and it happens to have all the same kewl sticky stickers in the same placity places. There's even a shoe in the pic and look it's black and has orange laces? Different brand of shoe but hey, maybe the suspect likes black shoes and orange laces...

Can you say dumb-ass? He turned himself in today after Police tracked down the bike.
When you google his name you get a few tidbits.
in 2014 a man by the same name and age at the time of incident was charged with DUI, impaired operation of a motor vehicle by drug. Not sure what he was handed there, but months later he was stopped by police (they did not say what prompted the stop) and charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, impersonating a peace officer and carrying a concealed weapon. Police seized an imitation hand gun, "blank" ammunition and a bullet proof vest.

A bullet proof vest? WTF? Why do you need a bullet proof vest? Unless you're going to rob a bank reporter in the middle east you don't need a bullet proof vest.

I'll be very interested in seeing what happens to this dude if he is convicted of what they suspect him for. People like him just don't get it, if there's ever a Zombie Apocalypse, this is the type of "don't give a f*ck" guy who is more dangerous than the zombies.

If found guilty, please reserve a space in one of our nice jails for him.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Why does everyone screw up the "Let's Go Crazy" Riff by Prince...

So tonight I want to learn "Lets Go Crazy" by Prince, because I like that song, it's got cool parts, Prince died and that sucks. Maybe I'll get lucky and a fellow Youtubeopian has a guitar lesson and can save me some time. NOPE. I forgot, 90% of youtube guitar lessons SUCK and are wrong unless it's Justin Guitar or Marty whatsisname or the artist themselves, It's gonna suck because Guitar players who give lessons on youtube are lazy and base their lessons on what they recall from memory of the last time it played on their car radio when they were at the McDonald's drive thru, or the last time they were hanging out with Jeff their friend who has it as a ring-tone on their cell. Maybe they check the original recording for the key but it's quite obvious they stop after 5 seconds and start to invent shit after that.

That bugs the shit out of me. If you went to a performance of a Shakespeare play and the guy holds up a skull and goes "Atlas poor Robert Urick, I knowed him well" would you do a double-take? That is what this is like for me, almost disrespectful to the artist, I get offended for them.

Case in point. This guy seems fun, and from Manchester or somewhere like it. 30 seconds in: F# to E? E chord hammer on to A4? What version are you listening to man?

This helpful young man in the pony tail specializes in the Super bowl version from 2007. He is quite enamored about it and yacks for 5 minutes before teaching anything (Sounds like ME eh?). His unique version of the riff starts at 6:20. Special attention paid to wacking.

His interpretation of a cool one-handed move at 8:54 is too hard to play at E12. No one would ever play it like that. He's off by one string and 7 frets. Prince does it at the 17th position. You can tell this by counting the visible frets on Prince's Hofner at 1:51. When there's video of a performance that's this good, it pays to look at it.

I actually like this guy below and he is a great player (I totally learned Purple rain right there although I'm suspicious of "Never take the place of your man"  change up). Three of the other songs seem right but at 8:07, he too slightly murders the riff(well ,maybe manslaughter).  

I shouldn't do this. It's not nice but it bugs me enough so that I stew about it and it comes out in bursts. People comment on these videos and thank the guys because they think they are right. Well, they successfully taught someone how to play it wrong. It's kind of like religion. 3 guys are teaching different interpretations of the same idea. Chances are two out of the three are wrong. In this case, it's three out of three. If they said it was their own take on it, or in the style of it, I'd be ok. This guy is good and he says that. He's still wrong though, it's not a semi-tone slide into the B. It's "inspired" though, so no foul. BONUS, He's stumbled upon the hammer on F# chord which I hear in the original. Good on ya! (pity about that semi-tone slide).

Sorry Prince.. I promise to shut up and do a "lets go Crazy" video lesson to make up for these ones because they bug the shit out of me. People should be able to learn to play your stuff the way you did, out of respect for the genius you were. 

Until the next rant...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

First prank call in 25 years - Feb 18th 2016

I'm sitting on my couch tonight playing guitar, badly I might add, the ending tapping section to Joe Satriani's "Satch Boogie" is a bitch rhythm-wise (6-6-4) when I get a call on my work cell from a name I don't recognize. I answer. I'm greeted with some screechy kid's voice on the other line screaming at me because my cat bit their toe and they are bleeding. I put them on speaker-phone.

KID "Your cat bit my toe!"
ME "That's neat, can I get a ride in your time machine because our cat Puffy died when I was 11"
ME "Do I owe you any money for that?"
KID "BIT MY TOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEE" (they sound like the kid from the Exorcist now)
ME "Have you ever seen the Exorcist?"

This goes back and forth a bit and I continue to noodle on the guitar as the kid rants about having to go to the hospital for their bleeding toe.
ME "I'm making music"
Me "I take requests. do you like Metallica?" (plays opening to "Enter Sandman")
Me "I don't know that song".
KID (unintelligible squawking), they hang up...

Wow. A bona fide prank call. I didn't think you could do that anymore what with call display (enters Phone number in Canada411, does reverse lookup). Hmm, Teal Crescent in Orleans. Hey I know where that is, I bought an old Xbox from someone on that street ages ago...

My wife arrives for supper, we sit down to eat, phone rings again, same prankster. I put them on speakerphone so the whole family can enjoy.

KIDS (now there are two of them) "YOUR CAT BIT MY TOE!!!!! ARGGGGHGHGG!"
ME "Hey, I was a kid once, and I used to...
Me ".. make prank calls but then they came out with this thing called Caller ID and Reverse phone number lookups.."
Me ".. and if I was a bad sort of man I could come to your house and speak to your parents..."
Me "Do you live at (number withheld) Teal crescent in Orleans?"
KIDS ".CLICK.."  dial tone..

Well that was funny...

Then it got funnier, Poopy toe cat biter calls back. This time my wife answers and it's not a kid, it's an apologetic parent. A parent whose two 6 and 7 year old kids are terrified that a bad man who knows where they live is coming to their house. She told my wife, "I'm going to punish them for bothering you on the phone but whatever your husband told them seems to have done the trick.."..

So I have this Jason mask, and an address and a sense of humor....


Friday, October 09, 2015

ASUS RT-AC66U Firmware 378.55 (Merlin) & setting up OpenVPN with Private Internet Access (PIA) and a ROKU Media player

I'm fairly late to the Netflix table but I knew early on that Canada was second to the US in terms of available shows(check out this Toronto Star Article). At the time of it's writing the US had just about double, 7202 titles compared to Canada's 3663.

I'm also a UFC fan and subscribe to UFC fight pass, their online streaming service. Last year UFC Fight Pass changed what I got content-wise from their service because the UFC had just signed a deal with TSN that prohibited Fight Pass from showing Prelims and other UFC TV offerings on the streaming service that were also being shown on television. If it happened to be shown on television, then UFC fight pass got "blacked out" in Canada (so you didn't "cut the cable" to encourage getting/keeping a cable subscription I guess). You needed Fight Pass AND a cable package featuring TSN in order to watch all the "free" TV UFC and Fight Pass events. The UFC was screwing over the paying subscribers of their streaming service by withholding UFC events that were also shown on TSN where "non-paying" UFC fans could watch them.

Thanks a lot. Even when we pay for stuff, we still manage to get screwed by cable companies we may or may not subscribe to.

In any event I had been using a VPN service for years, Private Internet Access(PIA) for my everyday surfing needs and wanted to extend it to my Netflix and UFC viewing to get around the annoying geoblocking. Everyone I know uses some sort of DNS-proxy based anti-geoblocking solution but I did not want to subscribe to a second service when I already had a perfectly good VPN service. The catch was that I do most of my media streaming on the main floor with a ROKU device which has zero OS customization (it has a great little remote, easy for the wife and kids to operate though). So how do you get a dumb closed device to use your VPN service? By telling your router to redirect it's IP to your VPN gateway.

Here's what you do.

You need to set up your router so that the OpenVPN client is known to it and then feed it an IP address of a device to have it go through the VPN and appear to come from somewhere else in the world like the good old U.S. of A. Here is a screen shot of my router's OPENVPN Clients tab.

In the "Server Address and Port" field you enter the location you are spoofing. I used
"us-east.privateinternetaccess.com" (no quotes)
along with port 1194. The port and the address need to match and you can find this info on PIA's site along with a full list of locations under the "Regional gateways" section in the bottom left.


Enter your PIA userid and password as shown and in the "Redirect Internet traffic" section choose "Policy Rules" in the dropdown and this opens up a section where you can enter the IP address of the device you wish to use with the VPN. In the destination IP just put (I'm using a ROKU media player).

I'm using the following in the "Custom Commands" section:

remote-cert-tls server
reneg-sec 0
verb 4

In the "Authorization Mode"  field I have it set to "TLS" and clicking on "Content modification of Keys & Certificates" brings up a page where you can enter the following cert in the "Certificate Authority" section. 


And that does it. If you are in Canada like I am fire up NETFLIX on the device you just made use the VPN and look for "Sons of Anarchy" or "30 rock" or any of the other 3000 some offerings not available in the great white north to see if it is working.

I don't feel too bad because it's a service we're paying for and it is the same as if you brought your IPAD with a netflix app across the border and fired it up in a Dunkin Donuts in Maccina or something. Plus the UFC Canada crap burns my ass almost enough to vote with my feet and cancel the service. At least this way I feel better about giving them my $10 a month.