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[personal profile] johnpalmer
I don't know what it was, but this last week was completely and totally exhausting. At least I can say one thing with relative certainty: it is not physical exertion that drains me the most. (Which isn't to say it can't - but physically, the week wasn't strenuous.)

There's an expression I sometimes use, and it's some morbid dark humor though I know a lot of depressed people would understand it.

I say I live on "grenade watch". Why?

Well, if a fragmentation grenade lands near you, and there's no hard cover, and there are people around, there's no real cost to throwing yourself on the grenade. You're already in the kill zone. All you're doing is making sure it only gets *you*, not you and others.

If there's hard cover, you can debate what's best, what's heroic, etc., but, if there's hard cover, that changes things. Get behind it, and you have a good chance of living. So there can't be hard cover in this hypothetical.

A person who's finding life miserable, but is emphatically not suicidal, would find such a situation to be a blessing (at least hypothetically - lots of people, when facing death, realize that life isn't as bad as they'd thought).

Because, you see, it's not suicide. You don't lay that horrible burden on friends and family (family by blood and by choice) that you killed yourself. Even the Catholic Church, which has strict rules over this sort of thing would rule that it wasn't suicide, as long as some part of your motivation was "I will protect others". That you also wanted everything to be over - well, you couldn't choose death for that reason alone, but to choose to be the one who sacrifices themself, that's not a sin, especially since you could just do nothing and (unless someone else throws themself on it) die anyway.

Your friends and family would mourn, sure... but in a clean way, and with a tiny thrill of pride. And no more slogging, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, with nothing to look forward to except a long, hard slog though a pointless life.

Grenade watch - because you wouldn't want to miss such an opportunity. And on bad days, I'll tell you, there's a sense that it's not fair there are so few psychopathic grenade throwers who have excellent choice in where to throw them.

I feel I should throw the obligatory warning to our viewers at home: there are many grenades that won't hurt you long term unless you're dumb enough to throw yourself on them. Throwing yourself on a flashbang, for example, is a good way to have serious, excruciating, injuries. Know your grenades!

(If you didn't click through: I've been feeling pretty badly - not suicidal, but not exactly loving life - and please remember my gift for understatement!)

Last week, I was asking myself when was the last time I didn't feel this way, and I couldn't remember. Months - since the beginning of the year for sure. It feels like eternity.

The good news is, in the short term, I now know that plenty of rest will help, and I've certainly earned some downtime. I finished up my first documentation project at AWS, and I'll see what they think, and I have some ideas for more.

It was kind of neat. I wanted to write up how to control IO on SQL Server. In RDS (where I work) we supply provisioned databases, and they have one serious weakness: they have only one volume - one pipeline for data. This isn't insurmountable, and it's not intrinsically bad, but to reduce contention on anything, the best way to do it is make more of them. With database engines, multiple data paths are considered a very good thing.

There are ways to control most IO traffic, but to explain why they're important, a person needs to know a bit about indexes and file storage in SQL Server.

Well, we have a Wiki for knowledge sharing, and Wikis are good for linking things - so I now have three articles, one on databases and file storage, one on indexing and indexes, and one on IO control. And while I'm exhausted and know I haven't got a lot of energy to spare, it feels really good. I accomplished something, and something more permanent than just helping one customer get through one question/problem/situation. So, that's something. I'm feeling a lot more positive about life and it is, thank god, the weekend.

Here's hoping life is treating you all well.
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