Part of the reason I've been so out of touch is that I've been playing when I should have been writing. I "rediscovered" Internet Relay Chat. Which has to be the biggest time waster in cyberspace. Fun, though, which is why it's so addictive.

Before you ask - no, not those kind of channels. Although I have, umm, visited, in the past. And I won't tell you where to find me, or what my nick is. It's too easy to reveal too much online. There is a reason I don't visit those other channels...

Anyway, it has given me an idea for a story. But I'm having trouble wondering how to present it. I would like the relevant part to be like an IRC session. I don't know how to do that on a static page. And still I need to be able to tell much of it outside of the session context. I'd like the experience to feel authentic, but not confusing for someone who isn't familiar with IRC. (I imagine that applies to most of you.)

In the meantime, while I'm thinking about that' I'm going to put my two new stories online. I warned Jill that she'd be losing her premier position on the stories page. It makes a lot of difference; the second story gets only about half the hits of the top-listed one. So I told Jill that she needed to upload a new story to get back on top :-)


My new plants are drowning. We had storms on Sunday, and again this morning. Maybe a couple of inches of rain. I think they will be okay, but I'm glad we prepared the beds when we did.

One of my Cannas has started flowering. It's very early for them, and this one is only a couple of feet high, but it's a beautiful bright red-orange.

We're down to one nest of house finches. I think this is the sixth family. Each of the three nests has now had two sets of eggs; all but this one have now grown and flown.


God, what a day.

I arrived at my workstation to a veritable avalanche of love. Except it wasn't.

I leave my mailer open, and the new message window was full of messages from Terry, with the subject line "ILOVEYOU". Well, of course, I sat down more quickly than I usually do :-), then looked again to figure out what was going on.

There were six messages from Terry, then above those there were messages from others in the company. Obviously it was a virus of some kind. I didn't open the attachment, of course. I never open attachments unless they're not executable and I know where they're from.

Now we know it as the "Lovebug" worm, and we spent the whole day offline because of it. First, trying to get an update to our virus scanner. Then when the IT group took all of the servers offline to clean up. Finally when they restored a server from backups because it had hundreds of destroyed files...

All in all, we've lost a day's production. I hope we're back now.


There were harsh words and loud arguments in the IT department today. I've no idea what was going on, but I'm sure it was lovebug-related. We do seem to be back to normal, though.


If they ever track down the author of the lovebug worm, I think I'll email him (or her :-) a kiss. Even though he has cost us a minimum of tens of thousands of dollars now.

Restoring from backups on Thursday lost several days' worth of work on the documentation file server. Fortunately most of the files also had local copies. That particular machine is only backed up weekly, on the weekend.

One of the documentation group noticed his files were old, and asked Terry what had gone on. Well, apparently, IT had restored the machine without telling anyone, which perhaps wasn't unreasonable with copies of the worm around, but a) the machine wasn't backed up first, so that we could recover key files, and b) none of the important files would have been affected, because the worm overwrote media files, .jpg etc.

Personally, I find the idea that only that one server was wiped very suspicious. I'm thinking that perhaps someone ran the worm on that machine, deliberately or accidentally, possibly as part of trying to install the new virus scanner. Then, realizing what they'd done, killed the machine and started a restore to cover their tracks, without thinking through exactly what needed to be restored...

Anyway, we'll probably never know exactly what happened, because we did discover who. Terry did, at least...

If I understand correctly where this went, Terry asked Darrell on Friday what had happened. Darrell claimed he'd assigned the server checking to Susie.

But he hadn't.

And, unusually, it wasn't a matter of her word against his. Susie was provably absent at the time. At a job interview. She'd called in sick, she must have called someone other than Darrell, because he didn't know, and in all the confusion he didn't know she wasn't there. He wanted a scapegoat, and he picked the wrong one.

Terry didn't fire him on the spot. He spent the weekend talking to the HR folks, I guess, to be sure it wouldn't cause problems, what with all the other reasons he has to want to dismiss him... but they must have said okay, because Darrell was escorted from the building this morning. And Susie's getting his job. I'm sure it wasn't hard to persuade her to stay, given the promotion and (more importantly) the total absence of Darrell.

So, after all our troubles and all the worries about how the Darrell situation was going to resolve itself, he seems to have solved the problem for us. He and the lovebug author.

So, whoever you are: <hugs> :-)