This Space for Rent

It must be bad luck, because it’s coming in threes

The first thing that went wrong this evening is that gehenna, the FreeBSD server that contains all the weblogs, wikis, and WWW directories for the half dozen virtual domains that I host, suddenly fell off the net like a stunned waterbuffalo. I didn't actually know this, because Silas and I were busy cleaning and drying legos (the division of labor was that *I* did the cleaning, while Silas hovered over the drying table picking out interesting legos and trying to sneak them away to his guy's special lego cache. Since this particular batch of legos is dedicated to building my lego spaceship Pipeline [a name that will become obvious when I get around to writing about physics in the lego universe I'm trying to create for the bears], trying to keep pieces from vanishing kept me away from the computer and the discovery that my other 9-year-old AMD server had gone the way of the buffalo.)

The second thing that went wrong is that, after the best and Russell returned from the roller-skating party they had been at all evening, the sink clogged up when some mysterious childs toy got wedged into the drainpipe past the trap. But I didn't actually know this for certain when the best reported that the sink was totally jammed and I went downstairs to grab the pipewrench so I could remove the trap and the clog. No, no, no, the fun part had only just begun, because....

The third thing that went wrong is that, sometime in the distant past, someone (I suspect it was me, but I'm not sure) went to the hardware store to get a replacment pipe for the neck of the drain and brought home a nicely chromed piece of what we thought was a neutral metal. Alas, it was not. When the best asked me to help her plunge and I tried the Big Plunger, she reported that there was water leaking out of the joints in the drainpipe. This was somewhat worrying, but we were paying more attention to the no-longer-draining sink (this is AFTER we plunged up a huge quantity of black slimy electrolyte) and didn't think about it as I fired up the pipe wrench and started to remove the trap. I removed the back connection to the trap first, and then was saved from having to remove the front connection when the trap and the throat pipe plunged into the five gallon bucket we'd placed under the sink before we started playing plumbing games.

After I retrieved ths trap from the ultra disgusting fluid in the bucket, I realized that the reason it had fallen out is that every single bit of the threaded part of the pipe was *gone* and there was no way I'd be fastening that pipe back into the sink unless I used a extra large die to cut new threads.

So, after determining that we wouldn't be using the sink again until tomorrow morning (after I'd had a chance to go over to the hardware store and get a replacement section of pipe, hopefully of a less galvanic nature), we attempted to fish out the offending toy-which-jammed-the-sink, only to discover that that toy was deep within the plumbing and that it was not willing to be fished out without heroic measures.

Okay, so no sink, and even if we had a sink we wouldn't have a drain. Ugh, so I'll just go into the library and look for plumbing advice and.... um, okay, so why isn't the weblog working?

Whoops. I can fix the broken weblog problem by simply copying 700mb worth of images from the backup server (and going down to the colo with a new processor board tomorrow morning, hopefully before all the stupid sendmails out there start bouncing mail), but the other two problems won't be solved without a trip to the hardware store and/or a professional plumber.

Sigh, not a good start to the week.

UPDATE: Well, the second two bugs were easy to fix, but the first, well, it turned out to not be a crash; it appears to have been a massive denial of service attack which overran the AMD Lance card that Gehenna was outfitted with. When I looked at the logs, I saw that the machine had kept running up to the point where I walked into the machine room and powered it off, and that occasional connections (and mail; the spam mail bots are _most_ persistant) kept being able to wedge themselves in between the storm of missed packets and mbuf failures.

Bother. I *liked* having a 480+ day uptime.