Monday, November 5, 2012

Followup: we did not in fact die in a storm

I guess I kind of left you with a cliffhanger, there.  Superstorm Sandy did not bother us much.  In fact our power didn't do out at all, though it did flicker.  And it occurs to me that I have something like 30 pounds of ice in the freezer that I need purpose for.

Work ended up being a little exciting.  I went in on last Monday and shut everything down, so that if the power went out things wouldn't cook and then crash.  Everybody said we'd lose power.  The power companies were autodialing all their customers to say as much.  It seemed like a done deal.

And the power didn't go out after all, so Tuesday morning I went in to power everything up, and we lost a little bit more hardware / filesystems this time than I was expecting.  But that wasn't the exciting part.  The exciting part was where somebody at NOAA decided that we were essential and raised a ruckus that we had shut our machines down in the face of a major storm.  Apparently it seemed less major to people in Colorado, who weren't having people die / roads and buildings swept away.

Now, I've been working there since 1994, and we've shut our machines down many times for many reasons.  Generally speaking, nobody cared.  We alerted folks that we would be down, if there was time.  And then we shut down the computers.  Or if they shut themselves down (i.e., crashed due to power failure such as during the derecho this summer) we turned everything off at the power switches so that we could bring them back up in an organized fashion.

All that has apparently changed.  And so now we are working on a continuity of operations plan for our mission.  Our mission which is well past its expiration date.  I find this mildly humorous.

So that was last week, although the COOP thing continues.

This week I'm planning for a backpacking trip this weekend.  I hope.  I started coughing and sneezing and having a sore throat at work today.  I told myself that it's just allergies and I'll be fine tomorrow.  I sincerely hope that's the truth.  Because if it's not, I'm going to have to cancel my trip.  I happen to know that going on a backpacking trip in cold weather when you have a cold is an excellent way to get bronchitis.  And even if it's an excellent way, it's not something I want to do.