Holy Molé!

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Seriously. The fun thing about the 5 freeway is traffic nastiness. Well, rather, the not-so-fun thing about the 5. Things are horribly backed up southbound (from Washington) into downtown. Similarly, things are backed up northbound (Lake Oswego, Wilsonville, etc) up into downtown. My happy little ass gets to hop on at downtown, the zip down to work, waving to the backed up traffic on the opposite side of the freeway.

I got orientation today (and will get more tomorrow.) This consisted of the sales guy giving the standard company line: history, products, capabilities, etc. Then the sales-engineer guy came in and showed all the details of the various products–how they work, how to configure them, how various customers (including NASA and the NSA) use them in their environments. Actually, I am absolutely amazed at how simple a physical-layer copper/optical switch really ends up being. None of the ethernet packets need to be inspected and no packet headers are ever read or acted upon. Garbage-in/garbage-out. The government seems to like this kind of stuff because they are assured that the switch is basically “dumb.” That is: you have various classified and unclassified networks and they are all nicely partitioned from one another and no amount of packet spoofing or other trickery will cause data to leak between segments. It is basically a big fat automated patch panel (think: old-school telephone operators that had to connect line A to line B by plugging each ends of a cable into the two circuits, but automated so that the network-monkey does not have to leave his desk.) It is actually a bit more complex than this (for instance “invisible” tap ports that allow monitoring and intrusion detection), but the basics are pretty simple.

I got the washer and dryer delivered yesterday. I almost had a heart attack at first because the doorway to the basement was a quarter-inch too narrow. We were able to pry out a piece of the door frame (which looked like it had been done multiple times before) to get them to fit down there. THESE CLOTHES ARE CLEAN! They washer and dryer are quite nice. They have little digital displays that estimate the number of minutes remaining. They have a great many configurations and options (I studied the instruction manual and now know what they all do.) Of really nifty note is that the dryer has a “no wrinkle” mode for dress shirts and pants. After it is done (when this option is enabled), it will continue to tumble the clothing for an hour or two, or until you notice it is done, with little-to-no heat so that your dress clothes will not get wrinkled. Plus–and I was saving the best feature until last–both the washer and dryer have a little coat of arms, rendered in a style reminiscent of classic automobiles. Well, that was not the best feature, but really does look nifty. They are Maytag. This means that if the advertising I have been force-fed since childhood about the bored Maytag repairman not doing any work because Maytag appliances never break turns out to be untrue, at least the company will be around and I will be able to order parts.

Kim found a really nifty sofa last week that I went to look at on Saturday. I hope to get it in a few days, when I have more monkey. That will be the last sofa I will ever need in my life. I will get the sofa, then for a couple of years will be satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least I've got that sofa issue handled.

Posted in: Dear Diary

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