02 July, 2009


Department of gratuitous jokes: a shaggy rabbi story

I was going to add this as a postscript to my earlier comments on the practical consequences of ritual observances, but I got distracted by practical matters, to wit my attempt to install Service Pack 2 of Windows F***ing Vista Home F***ing Premium™.

You know the old adage about the cobbler being the worst shod person in the town, well despite spending 25 years as a — no laughing at the back there — IT professional, spending altogether too much of my time banging on about the need for regular backups and prioritizing data integrity over performance despite the objections of my customers, not only did I fail to make a precautionary rollback image before running the Service Pack, but when it came to picking up the pieces I found that my last C: drive image was the one made after initial post-purchase configuration of this machine in November 2007. Oh the shame of it.

And so fate took its revenge and Service Pack 2 froze, mid install, leaving the machine in an interestingly unpredictable state — interesting in the "Chinese" sense.

Actually, I suspect my "professional" experience may have been actively unhelpful. You get used to working with standard builds and a "burn and build" approach to restoring the operating system and core application set of a failed box before reloading the data. Perhaps there are reasons why the cobbler goes ill-shod.

So while no "actual" data was lost — that never lives on the C: drive and does get backed up obsessively — I've had a happy few days reinstalling and configuring applications (and doing checkpoint images!). The silver lining is that I now have a clean, more reliable machine without all that crap that seemed like a good idea at the time.

Anyway, there were two old men in deckchairs...

No, no, no. Not that one. Have you heard about the latest idea in sustainable, green energy: the Greenwood Patent Rabbinical Generator?

1. Visit a Jewish cemetery and locate the grave of a deceased rabbi. The rabbi should have been of the Orthodox persuasion, the more Orthodox the better.

2. Attach necessary generating paraphernalia — rotor, stator, cables, etc — as necessary.

3. Place a ham and cheese roll at each side of the grave.

4. Wait for the late rabbi to spin up to speed.

5. Connect to national grid.

6. Replenish ham and cheese rolls from time to time.

Ah the joys of kashruth and the rods people make for their own backs.

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