What a crappy day. I

What a crappy day. I get in the car to go to work, and notice that the idiot light for the battery is glowing at me angrily, so I figure it probably has a bad battery. I drive over to Blain's Farm & Fleet, where they confirm it is a bad battery with their tester, and replace it. Now, while I'm not a car genius, I can replace my own battery, I've done it a few times before, but it was only $6.99 to have them do it, and since it was about 10 degrees outside, I was happy to pay it. However, it took them well over an hour to accomplish this task of automotive magic, and that was after my car was brought into the shop, and the hood popped up. I'm staring at it from inside the customer aquarium that all shops have now, thinking "Hmm, if I run in there with my Leatherman, I can probably have that battery changed out before anyone notices." After a while, they came out to tell me that they'd accomplished the Herculean feat of battery replacement, but the battery light was still on, and now my alternator was failing their tests, but it looked really new, so it was probably under warranty. This used to be Holly's car, I just started driving it, so I called her and found out that she did have a new alternator installed, back in March by a repair shop on the other side of town. So, I drove the car over there, and gave it to them, and luckily, Holly was at lunch then, so I called her to come get me and take me to work.

So, I eased into work around 1:00 p.m., and shortly the mechanic called to tell me that while the alternator is under warranty, they can't get a new one until Monday, is that okay? And I said "Sure, I don't need my car, I'll just have Holly pick me up after work".

So, I continue with my day, doing the normal things that IT people do, when I notice I can't reach my own web site, actually, I'm reaching the server, but it just displays the default IIS under construction page.

"Well, that's strange, I say", then I start to think about having reconfigured my network a bit last night, but it was working then. Hmm... I decide to connect to my machine at home via Terminal Services, so I can see what's going on. Up pops a Windows 2000 server, which I think is a bit strange, as I thought I forwarded that port to my desktop, rather than my server when I configured the router, but I must be wrong. I go to log into my server, and I can't. Then I notice that the name of my server is something like "IPCAC". WTF? My server is called "TOSERVEMAN" which is a joke only Twilight Zone fans would get.

Great, just great. Have I been hacked? Hmm, I'm current on all patches, and even if I was hacked, why bother to change the name of my machine? And the machine was behind a router, with only ports 80 and 21 open to the outside, and the FTP is configured to refuse everyone but uni.edu and blogger.com addresses. Hmm, time to contact the ISP, after triple checking that I'm hitting the right IP address, and looking over my e-mails from them to make sure that I set my network up correctly.

It turns out some computer genius on my cable provider decided to configure his server with MY static IP address, and my router got booted off the network. He just happened to be running Windows 2000 Server and IIS on the box, which is why I thought it was mine. I e-mailed my ISP, and they cut of his access, but my cable modem was offline, in need of a reboot to restore the proper IP address.

So, there I sit at work, the ONE day when I need a car in the afternoon, so I can run home and reset my router, bringing the web site back to life, and I have no transportation. It's only a little over a mile and a half away, but it was pretty cold out, and I wasn't dressed for a frigid winter hike of that length.

But, I'm home now, service has been restored to my network, and I'm not leaving, all weekend. I'm just going to stay in here where it's warm, watch some DVDs, play some Age of Mythology, mess with my TiVos and my Xbox, and generally avoid stress.