Repairing Doombringer, Annoyance Extreme and Other Fiasco-ness
This week I flew to St. Louis¬†(Pic 1) to repair Doombringer, my main SR server.¬† Before I start into the boring techy stuff, let me just say that this trip was a blunderous catastrophe right from the start.¬† First of all, I booked my tickets on Travelocity and planned on spending 2.5 days in St. Louis, Tues to Thurs.¬† Long enough to fix things in the worst case scenario.¬† Unfortunately, at 3AM when I actually selected the dates (departure date on May 31), the little calendar selector thing jumped forward a month to come back without me noticing.¬† So I ended up booking a ticket from May31 to June30!!!!!!¬† OMG.¬† So stupid.¬† So I called Delta the next day and tried to get them to move the return trip back, and after lots of assurance that they would be able to do it because I’m all Silver Elite and all that, and an hour on the phone, they told me that they couldn’t do anything because I booked through Travelocity.¬† They wanted to charge a $200 rebook fee.¬† Well suck on them, because buying a 1-way trip back from St.Louis with TVC was cheaper than paying a rebook fee.¬† Plus I know they don’t do anything for that $200 besides press a freaking computer button to charge me, with their stupid programming and bureaucracy, so F Delta, they can suck it and carry an empty seat and spend the gas, or at least overbook.
Anyhow, when I got to the airport, I had decided not to check any bags both because my replacement solid state drives were in my bag, and I’d be damned to pay an extra $20 to Delta to carry weight that they were already going to carry.¬† So I had a few small tools and the drives in my backpack.¬† So of course, you guessed it, the F’n TSA threw a fit, not just 1 but TWO TIMES!¬† The first was because they were suspicious that my solid state drives were actually bombs.¬† Yes.¬† Well manufactured bombs with the word+logo “Crucial C300″ (Fig 2) on the side.¬† Come on, they have to had seen some of these coming through inside the freaking laptops.¬† What’s the big deal if it’s outside!?¬† Anyway, after I “convinced” (via, “are you serious?¬† those are the whole reason I’m traveling, you better refund my ticket if you have a problem with those”), they decided that my small computer-hd screwdriver set was in fact a set of deadly weapons.¬† Yep, after I fail to blow the plane sky high with solid state drives, i’ll resort to pricking the fingers of the crew and passengers with computer screwdrivers, in that order.¬† I asked to see a supervisor about it, and challenged his judgement, and his eventual response was:
I’m sorry, that’s the rule, that screwdriver is too long.¬† If I break the rule, I’ll lose my job.
Wow.¬† WTF do you say to that?¬† Yes, nothing.¬† nothing at all.¬† That’s everything that is wrong with the TSA; they aren’t a police force, they aren’t educated to make smart decisions or observations, not to protect people, think about best interests, or anything like that.¬† No they are there to apply rules that they don’t think about from one side of the tape to the other side of the tape.¬† My tax dollars at work.¬† They should all be fired and the TSA disbanded entirely.¬† It just increases the barrier to entry for travelers and lowers the airline profit, thus requiring even more federal subsidies and tax dollars to stay in business.¬† It’s ruining the industry on both sides of the tape and they are taking my money to do it.¬† Certainly it isn’t a public good.¬† Anyway, that’s a rant for another time.
To continue the story, once I landed, I saw the St. Louis international airport, which was a beautiful airport that had been super bitch smacked by the tornado that came through the prior week.¬† I mean, every window was boarded up except for like 1 or two errant ones here and there, and the inside was demolished and people were just herded through construction tape to and from gates.¬† Totally amazing.¬† Then I rode the metrolink to my hotel, which was close to the server facility (and supposedly city center with lots of excitement), and stayed at the supposedly well rated “Pear Tree Inn” by Union Station¬†(Pic 3) at a supposedly “non-smoking” room.¬† “Supposed” is about as close a description as it gets because clearly my room was once a “please smoke here as much as you humanly can, followed by the chain-smokers-of-america convention location”, covered over with a thousand layers of fabreze.¬† OMG, I was coughing every night.¬† Seriously.¬† Couldn’t sleep at all.¬† “Luckily” I spent almost every night at the server facility (Fig 4).
This is a long post, explaining how it took me 2.5 days to repair Doombringer is going to take just as long…¬† I’ll end here for now.