Last week, I got a frantic call from a client; they needed me to fly out on short notice to Los Angeles to do a page-pairing software install and training at the LA times.
It was the worst. job. ever. Napolean had a better day at Waterloo than I did on the site. Anyone who doesn't care about the techie stuff should skip this bit and read the next section, which is a helluva lot more interesting and involves ame_chan.
Software is protected by a parallel port dongle. Server systems had no parallel ports. No prob; that's why God invented the PCI parallel port card? right?
Neh. Server has PCI-X slots. The parallel port card didn't start a fire, but only because the power supplies shut down fast enough.
On the phone til 4AM with the software vendor, in Great Britain. Posted a new build on their FTP server, no parallel port dongle needed. Downloaded. Installed. Bugs. It refuses to let clients connect. Neh neh neh.
More time on the phone. Frantic at this point. Finally got the system running and stable just mere minutes before the client needed to start page pairing.
Just for the record, I rock. Snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
And now the interesting bit
The trip wasn't a total wash. While I didn't get a chance to meet up with trinker, which was kdisappointing, I did get the opportunity to meet the lovely ame_chan and part of her family.
Indeed, she even invited me into her home and made dinner--and tea!--for me.
I was able to meet a couple of her partners, and some of her partner's partners, all absolutely warm and delightful people. It was by far the high point of the trip, and I'm fortunate to have met all of them.
Sucks that they live so damn far away, though. I'm building a substantial network of friends in far-flung corners of the country, and it's frustrating.
We choose the world we live in
It's easy to become cynical about the nature of humanity, especially if you watch Fox News. There is unquestionably great evil in man, and sometimes, it becomes fashioable--trendy, even--to see the world through a veil of world-weary cynicism and bitterness.
But we choose the world we live in. A person who sees the good in things and a person who sees the evil in things both see the truth, for things are rarely completely good or completely evil, but they live in very different worlds.
I like living in a world that recognizes opportunity and connection. Lately, I have been blessed by meeting and connecting with people--ame_chan, dawnd and her family, purplespark and others--who have, sight unseen, welcomed me into their homes, offered me their friendship, or both. I met altenra on a business trip to San Francisco several years ago, and she showed me a face of the city I've never seen; spending time with her has become a high point of my trips back.
In a world where cynicism and mistrust come easily, there are people who are warm and open nonetheless. In a world where people often mock the transient and ephemeral nature of online friendships, there are people whose friendship is enduring, no matter how you meet them.
And ame_chan, you can be my tea bitch any time you like. :)