The true life adventures of...

Max Throughput, CCIE

"When things are not on the UP and UP.."


There I was, minding my own sweet business, drinking a shot of rot gut whiskey and having a smoke when suddenly the phone rang.  With a sense of weary anticipation I picked up the phone, "Talk to me" I barked.  On the other end there was a moment of silence and then a woman spoke "Is this Max Throughput, the famous CCIE?".  "The one and only, Babycakes.  What can I do for ya" I growled.  "It's...it's my router, something's wrong...look, can we meet somewhere?" she replied nervously.  "Sure doll" I said, "I haven't had breakfast yet, how 'bout we meet at the House of Pancakes in an hour".  Her reply was short and sweet: "I'll be there" and she hung up.

Being a CCIE in a big city like Los Angeles is not all fun and games if ya know what I mean.  You never know what's going to happen next.  And trust me, there's lots of people who would like you to fail.  I have survived because I can think quick on my feet and I'm not afraid to pull out my roscoe and start shooting up a NOC when things get ugly.

But enough tough talk, I pounded down the last of my whiskey, stubbed out my Camel in the ashtray, put on my hat and coat and headed out the door for another adventure.  I walked down the street to the House of Pancakes.  As I neared I was greeted by the inviting smell of eggs and waffles.  But I also sniffed something else: trouble.  I opened the door and surveyed the joint.  Standing alone near the counter was a classy looking dame.  She was a brunette, wearing a low cut blouse, short skirt and had a pair a gams that went all the way to the floor.  I walked up behind her, pinched her ass and said "Hey sugar lips, you called?".  She swung around and with a look of horror exclaimed "I beg your pardon!".  "So you wanna play hard to get" I smirked, "I can play that way too" I said.  She rolled her eyes in mock disbelief and stormed out of the joint.

"Well, there goes another satisfied customer" I thought.  No use letting the morning go to waste though, so I sat down at the counter and ordered a Rootie-Tootie breakfast.  Soon my breakfast arrived and as I was trying to decide which of the 25 different syrups to pour on my pancakes a beautiful blonde sat down next to me.  She glance nervously at me and said "Are you Max?".  "All depends who's asking" I smugly intoned.  "I called you, thanks for meeting me" she said with a voice that was so husky it could pull a dogsled.  "I hope you can help, my router has quit working and if I don't get it fixed today, my boss will fire me" she said breathlessly.  "Sure cream puff, I can help you but there's the small matter of my fee" I said.  She leaned into me and in a conspiratorial tone said "What ever the cost, I will pay it.  Please Mr. Throughput, you're my only hope" she pleaded.

I looked her over with a studied eye.  I took note of the Cartier wristwatch, the Gucci handbag, the unmistakable swell of her breast implants.  No doubt about it, this broad was loaded.  "Five hundred dollars and you pay for breakfast" I said.  "Oh thank you, Max!" she gushed.  After I finished my third breakfast, she paid the check and I followed her out to her car.  As we got into her Mercedes 560 I silently admonished myself for not charging her more.  She drove us through the mean streets of Los Angeles and into the sexually ambiguous area of West L.A.  Soon we arrived at a nondescript building off Wilshire.  I followed her to the entrance, admiring the womanly sway of her hips, this dame was definitely a looker.

She opened the door and led me to the computer room.  It was the usual computer room: raised floor, racks and racks of servers and assorted networking gear.  Then my eyes settled on it, a Cisco 2620 with a console cable leading to a notebook PC.  "Is that the little bugger?" I asked, already knowing the answer.  "Yes, please see what you can do" she said.  "No problem dumpling, just relax while I work my magic" I responded coolly.

I sat down at the computer, flicked my cigarette butt into a nearby box full of DLT tapes and entered the command show run.  The Cisco router obediently coughed up it's config.  Perusing its contents I noticed that this router was configured for inter VLAN routing or "Router on a stick" as we say in my line of work.  That means that the FastEthernet port was divided into sub interfaces and was trunked to a switch somewhere.  I noticed that the encapsulation was ISL, Cisco's proprietary trunking encapsulation.  Using ISL encapsulation shows breeding and good taste, who ever configured this router was no slouch.  Well the config looked fine, no problems other than the type 7 encryption on the password.  Next I entered the command show ip route and what I saw even shocked a grizzled CCIE like myself: no routes!  Nada, zilch, zero, goose egg, you get the picture.

Let me explain something to you, directly connected interfaces that are active should always show up in the routing table.  No ifs, ands or buts.  I reached into my pocket and pulled out my whisky flask and swilled down a gulp of liquid confidence for I knew this was going to be a tough one.

 

Next command I entered was show ip interface brief.  It was there I noticed that the FastEthernet interface was UP and DOWN!  This command shows the interface status and the protocol state.  You want to see UP and UP for status and protocol respectively.  For the status to be up, the interface must be administratively up as in NO SHUT and there must be a cable plugged into it.  For the protocol to be UP there must be a keepalive signal that has been detected by the interface.  It's possible to see UP and UP, UP and DOWN, DOWN and DOWN but you would never see DOWN and UP because how would you be getting keepalives if the cable is unplugged?  Are you getting my drift?

Everything looked hunky dory on the router so I next went to go check out the switch to see what was wrong.  My gorgeous new client followed to the end of the row of racks where the Catalyst 5000 was.  I started checking the cables when one of them fell right out!  "This looks like yer problem right here" I said as I examined the RJ45 connector on the cable.  "That's funny" I muttered as I noticed that someone had placed transparent scotch tape over the pins of the connector...

It was then I felt her right behind me, I smelled her expensive perfume and sensed the heat radiating from her bosom.  I spun around quickly and confronted her: "Alright sister!  The jig is up, My mother didn't raise any mentally defective offspring and this is a frame up!" I shouted.  "But...But what do you mean?" she stammered.  "Oh you're a clever one, I'll grant you that, but save your little miss innocent act for someone else, I'm a Cisco CCIE and you're not gonna pull the wool over my eyes" I shot back.

"Ok! I confess!" she cried "I admit it, I taped the connector, it was just a ruse to get you up here".  "You better start talking girlie before I lose my patience"  I ordered.  "I've always wondered what it would be like to be with a CCIE" she said in a hushed tone.  "Surely you can't blame me?" she asked playfully.  She then grabbed me by my lapels, pulled me towards her forcefully and planted a big wet kiss on my lips.  "Well ok" I said. "But this will cost you double.....".

Stay tuned for more upcoming adventures of America's favorite CCIE, Max Throughput!

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