JULY 07, 2019



So anyway a whole lotta graduations happened last month and now the kids are turned loose to wreak such havoc as summer kids have been known to do down through the ages. The school busses are all parked for the summer and DPW crews are everywhere tearing up the roadbeds before the next rains interrupt whatever subterranean subterfuges they have in mind. Mindful of last year's disastrous fire season, PiGgiE crews are out trimming the once sancrosanct tree limbs while stern warnings about 100 foot cutbacks are propelling legions of contractors to slice, dice and trim the unruly vegetation at every domaine.

Mr. Lithgow once again stood at the ready for this year's graduation ceremonies at Island High's field of dreams, with buckets of sand, the water hose, several fire extinguishers, and a plunger at the ready. He scanned the crowd of graduates for any sign of nervousness.

As in years past, he and Sister Profundity from the Church and Pastor Hitone from the Baptist Community kept wary eyes on the incoming grads, soon to be outgoing citizens. Every year it had been the tradition ever since the Founder arrived from Minnesota in 1849, for the departing class to let loose one last Senior prank upon the school and this sort of shenanigans had cost dearly in terms of approbrium and dignity. .

So there they were, all the kids who had gone through the four years required by the State and so mandated so that at the very least this motley crew from all around the world and all walks of life would have this much in common and perhaps learn something of how to behave in society. It must have been 100 degrees in the shade and everyone was out there in suit coats and robes listening to speech after speech.

Which is a lot more than most idiots in this area do for their dogs, which remain unsocialized to death.

As Amanda Jones stepped up to deliver the Valedictorian address, thank god the last speech, she said "Principal Sucios, Trustees, Faculty members, family, friends and fellow graduates, today is a day to be thankful and to be inspired. We have much for which to be thankful. Here at Island High we have received a great education thanks to our fine administration and teachers. We are well prepared to move on and to take on whatever challenges come next in our lives.

Now I bid you vale dicere civitatus, goodbye fellow citizens, for we are now not etudiants, but citizens . . . ".

At that moment, the lawn sprinkler system kicked on along with several other fountain jets under the stage. Mr. Lithgow abandoned his anti-incendiary armaments and galloped for the facilities door behind which the hydro control systems were located only to find the lock keyhole had been filled with epoxy, while parents and teachers ran shrieking from the jets of water that otherwise on a hot day would have been welcome and the dignitaries on the stage scampered to dry safety.

Pahrump observed all this from a distance and commented to Martini, "May the Creator bless the class of 2019 and may they do well."

Mr. Lithgow and Sister Profundity were less than sanguine as Lithgow furiously hacked at the cemented doorknob with a crowbar past the point of any usefulness.

The weather took a turn for the cool side after a scortching heat wave and now seems to be drifting back to hot temps beyond the fog-shielded coastlines.

Some people enjoyed a four day weekend holiday for the Fourth. Samson did not. Neither did Martini who signed on as a Helper for the extra bucks. Samson works as a Network Engineer for a non-profit health organization in the East Bay, although he lives in Fairfax. The Administration decided that since the Fourth is a Holiday, generally, then would be a good time for a major push to transfer most file servers and switches and things with blinking lights that are important from Sixth Street in Berkeley to a Colocation Center in San Jose, some 50 miles south as most of the clinics would be closed.

They were moving all this stuff to a high security enclosure because on 9/11 a bunch of maniacs highjacking airplanes reminded everybody that it was a very good idea to have copies of all your stuff far, far, far away from any place that might suffer injury due to a plane crash or any sort of moron pushing a vacuum cleaner near the Company Assets.

Because they had to wait until the clinics closed on Saturday night, they spent the morning dealing with messages and the usual network snafus to noon when they all converged on the Admin building to start prepping the move. This involved locating the stray devices staying in the building and needing to be re-addressed as the entire server network would be fork-lifted that night to Santa Clara. Alvin Pirohamidoallahislamardik had planned everything out and all the plans were contained between his ears so everyone had to just go along for the ride for it was his habit to put nothing of his plans in writing. That way, if anything went wrong, he could never be blamed.

As it turned out, the ride involved a planned staying awake from Saturday 5:00 am to Sunday, 6:30pm when Alvin fell down in his hotel room and slept the sleep of a thousand Brahmins.

First, the team brought down the network equipment, then unracked the equipment amounting to some 1,000 pounds and a 50U rack. If you do not know what a 50U rack is, just understand it is really, really big. Then the equipment was loaded into a truck and then transported 50 miles south from Berzerkeley to Santa Clara where CORESITE maintains an immaculate, pristine, sterile, and garishly lit facility of the most severe security and utmost seriousness where nobody ever has thought to put up a Jimmy Hendriks or Patti Smith poster despite acres of whitewashed walls.

Martini had to be photographed, fingerprinted and issued a badge so that he could ride the elevator to the proper floor. Even the Breakroom with vending machines required a badge swipe.

He asked why this was all necessary as he did not want past infractions with the law to come into play and was told that if he wanted to use the lavatory, he needed a badge to get access and so that was that.

So this is America in the here and now. They get you by the bladder, not by the balls which they find unnecessary and will remove eventually anyway. Then and only then will they own your hearts and minds. The bladder, well that is something you absolutely have to have function so as to be a productive servant. How else are you going to pitch in to the kitty for the coffee and pastries? Think about it.

Martini worked with Smarmish Dickenson, the Network Engineer, in the old Admin building to frantically chase down errant routes and devices with the old network still binding them to the LAN, including a massive Konica Minolta buried somewhere in the building behind locked doors where they had no access. Then, around 2:00am Martini was driven back to the San Geronimo Valley where he fell into bed after having a ham sandwich.

Before Alvin fell down at 6:30 am, he called Martini at 6:00am to ask that he fix 41 routers at all the sites remotely. Then and only then did Alvin fall down.

Alvin had his first meal in 42 hours sometime around noon on Sunday when Martini returned from Berzerkeley, dog-tired, to the Valley to sleep a few hours and then get ready for Monday, when all hell would break loose as all of Richmond lost their phones. The errant Konica printer turned out to be owned by the HR department. Another printer turned out to be owned by a doctor. Everyone was upset and the entire week went like that for Smarmish.

The boys sat out on the deck on Friday after a miserable week was not enjoyed by all and skunk weed roaches were passed around along with the 99 cent bottle of gallon wine. It was ruled that tech was not worth the wreck and citronella candles drove off the West Nile Mosquitos as the sun set behind the ridge and the coyotes started their howling. So that was the July 4th weekend for the Household, which turned out to be not so celebratory.

The sound of the train horn keened from Oaktown across the estuary and wended its way through the redwoods of Marin's well-matriculated hills and slid over the sleeping bulk of Princess Tamalpais following the old, forgotten railbeds that once led along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the coast, stirring the coyotes who began to howl their evensong which carried forth on the winds over Fairfax and White's Hill, ululating through Silvan Acres and the mist-shrouded niches of the San Geronimo Valley, coursing with faint gray shapes along the ridgetops through the drifts of fog to an unknown destination.