Friday, May 04, 2007

Millions of years ago, a slime-covered sea beast ascended a rocky shore and took its first breath of oxygen-laden, humid air. It used its solitary dominance of the land to establish a breeding territory and hunt its prey among the waves with little repercussion.
Later on, this creature's descendants founded the city-state of Rome upon another rocky outcropping . . . A city-state which grew into one of the most powerful and prolific empires in recorded history.
This empire was pushed back on the northern border by "barbarians" whose ancient codes of honor and duty eventually fragmented them into idealistic splinter-groups, of which one particularly stuffy bunch set sail across the vast sea of their primeval ancestors to find an even more "barbaric" and honor-bound group of people to exploit.
Still later, the descendants of this bunch engaged in a bloody and terrible war, costing many lives yet forever ending slavery in their new nation.
One day, scientists finally unlocked the power of the atom, ending another war in dramatic and ghastly fashion while paving the way for research into better energy technologies to power a vast network of the interconnected descendants of that original slimy surf-walker, allowing them to acquire vast amounts of stolen audio files and refer to each other as "n00bz" in online games, thereby finally replacing, or at least repressing, the human urge to kill each other into mostly manageable levels.
All those events, while impressive, pale in comparison to Spiderman 3.
I saw it last night from 11:55 until whenever it ended, then dragged myself here, to work, to share my exhaustion and the big secret from the last ten minutes of the movie with everyone who didn't see it -- Those (dare I say?) cowards who chose rest and productivity over caffeine and geekishness.
My sacrifice was profound, for I was called at 4am on Thursday with news that the building cooling had crapped out (again) and the temperature in the server room was hovering at 140 degrees. That is, until the uninterruptible power supply got too hot and turned itself off as well.
Hot, dark, and quietly smelling of a foundry, the server room waited impatiently for me to wake the security guard and have her call the building engineering people.
I also had to explain to her the chilled water system had nothing to do with the sink in the breakroom and that people were expecting to use those servers for the "end of the month" data crunching -- Whatever the hell data it is that they crunch.
With great power comes great responsibility. And also with great power comes great heat, and that really sucks in a glass-walled room full of electronics.
And I returned to that silent and smoking server room to wait, while lamenting my lack of coffee, for the temperatures to drop until the power buttons were touchable again without the aid of a ball point pen.
Then I stayed up and watched Spiderman 3. Oh, yeah.

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