When I set up the appointment for Comcast to come out and install a new internet connection at IDTWHQ, I explained to them that (a) I have a satellite dish and (b) my building has common cable. In fact, they needed the building's account number to set up the service.
So when the installer got here at 11:45 (still between 8 and noon, at least) and noticed that (a) I have a satellite dish and (b) my building has common cable, he explained that he couldn't actually install my new Internet service because, it turns out, (a) I have a satellite dish and (b) my building has common cable, so they have to run a new coaxial cable through my wall.
They can send the drilling team out as early as June 26th, which is unfortunately during my first week at my new job.
In other words, I might have to suffer with this crap:
...for another three weeks.
And people wonder why American internet service is the worst in the OECD.
Parker and I walked up to Ribfest yesterday (11 km round-trip). I had four 3-bone samplers:
- Mrs. Murphy's Irish Bistro, of course. Fall-off-the-bone, tasty meat with a tangy, spicy whiskey-Guinness sauce. Yum. 3½ stars.
- Wrigley BBQ, my favorite from last year, was a little less impressive this time. Tug-off-the-bone, well-smoked meat, not a lot of sauce. Still yum, but only 3 stars this year.
- Smokin' Woody's: tug-off-the-bone, lean, smoked meat, with a good sweet/smoky sauce. 3 stars.
- BBQ King Smokehouse from Woodstock, Ill.: the meatiest ribs I've had at Ribfest, with really good smoke and a good amount of sweet/smoky sauce. 3½ stars.
I still have a few tickets left, so I may go back for dinner.
Parker and I haven't yet left for Ribfest because I've just spent two and a half hours debugging an application.
After upgrading the application to the current version of the Inner Drive Extensible Architecture™ the thing wouldn't start. I simply got an error message in plain text, "The page cannot be displayed because an internal server error has occurred." The Windows Application Log supplied this clue:
The worker process for application pool 'a177c227-f36e-4874-aefe-9b41ca0d14ec' encountered an error 'Cannot read configuration file
' trying to read global module configuration data from file '\\?\C:\Users\dab\AppData\Local\dftmp\Resources\02e946dc-c92e-4774-a19a-5b013a38da65\temp\temp\RoleTemp\applicationHost.config', line number '0'. Worker process startup aborted.
Searching through Stack Overflow gave me a few clues, but nothing concrete. So I had to go through the web.config file line by line until I found this:
Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Diagnostics, Version=188.8.131.52, Culture=neutral,
<filter type="" />
Deleting the configuration section altogether worked. So did changing the 1.8 to a 2.2. And now the application runs. And now Parker and I are going to get ribs.
The error message is just stupid programmers being lazy. It isn't really that hard to write error messages that tell users what has gone wrong. In this case, line number 0 wasn't the problem; it was farther down in the configuration file, and in fact it had very little to do with the configuration file at all.
I would like to have seen a message in the application log that "the system could not load Microsoft.WindowsAzure.Diagnostics version 1.8." Why was that too hard for the Azure Emulator team?
Thursday at lunchtime I caught some bridge maintenance in downtown Chicago:
Today is the annual Ribfest in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago. Parker and I will be heading out there for the 6th time, and enjoying the amazing weather (sunny and 22°C).
Here's our history so far:
2010: We didn't go to Ribfest because of
my sister's wedding. A fair trade, I think.
Reviews and photos later today or tomorrow.
The Daily Currant's business model, explained:
[I]n The New Republic, Luke O'Neil argued that such stories "could do actual damage to political discourse and the media in general... Juicing an already true-enough premise with more unbelievability simply adds to the informational noise pollution—without even the expected payoff of a laugh."
All legitimate gripes, but perhaps that's overthinking it for a site that's the product of under-thinking. The Daily Currant is trying to maximize clicks and shares, and has found a niche between The Onion and real news: all the believability of the latter, but all the libel protections of the former. There's a Catch-22 to this approach, though. As more people have become aware of The Daily Currant—in December, Mediaite whined, "Just Stop It, Everyone: Internet Falls for Daily Currant Fake Story Once Again"—suckers have become increasingly rare. The site is a victim of its own success.
No matter. The formula is easily replicable, as other web entrepreneurs and hucksters have discovered. This poor imitation of The Onion has itself spawned a legion of poor imitations, websites so devoid of infotainment value and so cynical in their click-baiting that they make the likes of Viral Nova and Upworthy look staid.
The author goes on to compare the Currant to "a potentially lucrative con predicated on exploiting the worst habits of social media driven news content."
Microsoft Azure is having some difficulties today in its East data center. It's causing hiccups. Nothing more. Just hiccups. But these hiccups are peculiarly fatal to the Weather Now worker process, so it keeps dying. Before dying, it texts me. So in the last 18 hours I've gotten about 30 texts from my dying worker process.
Maybe it's just telling me to go see Edge of Tomorrow?
Update, 15:15 CDT: Microsoft has finally updated the service dashboard to reflect the horkage.
Long-time readers know I rarely post directly about my personal life, but this one is kind of big.
After nearly three years, I'm moving from 10th Magnitude to take a new position as a .NET Architect with West Monroe Partners. I've learned a lot working with 10th, and I wish everyone there the best in the future.
I'll have more to say about this in the coming weeks. I'm excited about the change, and looking forward to some totally new challenges with WMP.
What's the ugliest thing you can do to a downtown city? Cut down all the buildings and put up a parking lot:
This seems kind of obvious, doesn't it? But then again, about 800 years ago someone cut down the last tree on Easter Island, so it's hard to underestimate the ability of people to make good decisions about land use.
Yesterday I mentioned three things that weren't connected except they all ended recently. This morning Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal has an op-ed about one of them:
HomeMade Pizza Co. was in the right business and exactly the wrong place.
We consumers indeed are buying more fresh prepared meals to eat at home or elsewhere, like the take-and-bake pizzas HomeMade hawked from 1997 until its abrupt closing Friday. These kinds of meals have become a $26 billion business in this country and are growing at a healthy clip.
But we're not buying most of those grab-and-go meals at stand-alone storefront operations, where costs for an operator like HomeMade, which had more than 20 outlets when it shut down, include the lease and utilities, and whatever it takes to let potential customers know that it's there and why it's worth a visit.
The fresh pre-prepared food business is proving a boon to food/drug stores, where almost three-quarters of these meals are being sold, according to NPD Group. Savvy supermarket operators are offering an expanding array of menu items, increasingly going beyond heat-and-serve home-style meals. Some have added restaurant-quality entrees, various cuisines and occasionally palate-challenging fare.
While you're chewing on that, here's another passing: the Cubs are ending their 90-year relationship with radio station WGN:
The team tomorrow will reportedly announce a new seven-year agreement with WBBM-AM/780 to air the team's games beginning in 2015, ending a run with WGN-AM/720 that dates back to 1924.
"The economic terms just don't make sense for us,” WGN Radio President Jimmy de Castro told media columnist Robert Feder. “So it's really not us saying we don't want them anymore. It's the Cubs saying that the economics they need are much greater than what we think they're worth or what we'll pay. They chose to go another way economically and made a decision to move on.”
Sic transit gloria etuli.