Things never go as easily as they should.
We started out by having one of our key Cisco routers tell us that what we were trying to do was impossible. So, in trying to appease it, I ended up locking out all Ethernet access to the box. Meaning we had to pick up a laptop, troop down to the datacenter, and screw around for 45 minutes or so until we finally decided it had won and rebooted the machine. Then we headed back upstairs... only to find out that in rebooting it we'd lost some critical configuration statements and now couldn't telnet into the router... meaning we had to go back down to the data center again to correct that mistake. Then we went back upstairs and discovered that the router and the firewall weren't talking! This time Laiza, my coworker, elected to go downstairs so I could stay upstairs and attempt to troubleshoot. Sure enough, we found out in about five minutes that the router was plugged into the right network, and the firewall was plugged into the proper network. They were all on the proper VLAN, so what gave? Well, turns out the router that this new one was replacing still had one Ethernet interface up, with the same IP as the new router -- and that's what the firewall was talking to. But the old router was LOCKED IN A ROOM that we didn't have the key to.
After brainstorming for a minute or to I figured out where the old router was plugged into the network. Connect to that switch, determine what port the old router is plugged into and turn it off. WHAMO! The firewall starts responding the way we had expected it to.
And that was just in the FIRST HOUR of this ordeal. I won't bore you with the rest of the details, but will instead simply say that Cisco's superior technical support helped ups figure out a myriad of problems throughout the night (morning?) and we finally got everything ironed out.
Oh, I forgot to mention that nothing happened when I arrived and the parking lot and tried to set the pickup's emergency brake. I mean that quite literally, when I pushed down on the brake lever with my foot it went to the floor easier than a hot knife goes through room-temperature margarin. Figuring that I'd simply managed to unhook the brake cable I wasn't worried -- until I got in the pickup at 5:30 in the morning, started driving and heard a noise that was part vibration and part unknown, sounding an awful lot like something electrical burning its guts out. I thought at first that it was electrical -- the noise stopped when I stopped the truck and turned off the engine. So I tore off the fuse panel and unplugged the alarm -- only to find that didn't keep the alarm from chirping when I hit the "ARM" button on the remote. Okay, try pulling another wire -- ah, that time I got it.
The sound didn't go away. In fact, when I got on the highway, it got ten times worse. Now I'm getting edgy and jumpy, because I'm 19 miles from home, my roommate is asleep (and sleeps like the dead) and I don't want to cough up another $1,200 in blood money to get something weird and electrical repaired. I mean, what is it with me and vehicles? Jesus.
When I got home I pulled the truck into the parking lot, killed the engine, put it in a forward gear to hold the damn thing in place and got out so I could get better access to the ebrake assembly. For five minutes I crouched there, poking at wiring harnesses, feeling for hot spots, working the e-brake pedal to try and determine how the cable came unhooked. For all practical purposes, it seems like this thing should be working great, except for the small detail that it isn't. It's only when I close the door and start walking away that I catch something out of the corner of my eye. Turning around what should I see? But a cable hanging on the ground, swooping gracefully out form beneath the cab and trailing towards the rear axel. I reach down, pick it up and give it a tug. Yup, you guessed it already -- it was the back end of the cable. It had come unhooked from the assembly Ford uses to actually pull both rear brakes into a locked position at the same time. Looking at the slug on the end that hooks and locks the cable into that assembly I realized that yes, I was indeed hearing a vibration: I was hearing that slug skittering along on the pavement, and that sent a vibration right up the cable to the e-brake pedal, where it resonated under the dash to make that horrible sound I'd heard. About a quarter of the slug has been abraded away on one side, so I don't know if it's going to be worth trying to hook it back up at this point -- it may not stay attached. I guess if I have spare time tomorrow I'll try to reconnect it, otherwise I'll just lash it up with a piece of twine or something (I miss having a roll of electric fence wire around. In case you didn't grow up on a farm, with enough duct tape and fence wire you can rig anything up to work and last for a long time).
I pray my manager doesn't try to make me come in today to work. I spent Thursday at home, nursing my migraine, and doing work stuff for six hours. I then spent an additional 7.5 hours at the office, resulting in me being awake for nearly 22 hours straight, which I am not in the least bit pleased about. If he calls and wants me to come in I just may quit then and there over the phone. We checked, then double-checked, then triple-checked our work to minimize the probability of wackiness ensuing when production hours start, but even I am not brash enough to say that means nothing untoward will happen. I just want somebody else to deal with it while I try to catch some sleep and get this headache back under control.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a mattress, a pillow and some sheets.
Am i in my cabin dreaming, or are you really scheming,
To take my ship away from me?