Bonkers Google lunch hour

Quick daft one: a couple of days ago I learned about the Marble Arch Mound for the first time, from this enlightening Twitter thread:

Go ahead, have a quick read and check out the images for sure. Yep, this … thing … has been built right next to Marble Arch, a beautiful white marble 19th century arch where Park Lane meets Oxford Street.

I shook my head in despair. Who the heck thought this was a good idea? I had a brief chat with a friend who pointed out that at least it wasn’t as bad as the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, which has had a metal and glass “pyramid” inserted into the building. (Check out the photos here.)

Anyway, some 30 years ago I worked in an office just off the Edgware Road, about 1/4 mile north of Marble Arch. So naturally I had to go try and find the address – I’d completely forgotten which building it was. So, I did a Google search for “Softbridge Capital Markets”, the name of the company I was working for. (I was only there for 6 months, but it’s now long gone: it was bought out or assimilated into another company a couple of years after I’d left.) Complete failure, except…

I landed on this page which just made me burst out laughing. Yes, Manufacturers Hanover (the first bank I worked for) seems to be based at my old address in Colorado Springs and has one employee and revenues of $200K. Wut? And yay for website scraping software without anybody actually, you know, checking the results!

But wait: it has a link to the website for Manny Hanny (yes, that’s what we employees called it) that has the URL! Ha! A page on this domain. Which didn’t work because I’d completely forgotten I’d created it way back when for my résumé and never made sure it was still valid in one of my many changes to this site. So it seems the website scraping software had read my résumé a long time ago and assumed that it was a business page.

No sweat, let me just alter my web.config file for this domain on Azure to get that URL to point to my current résumé page. Didn’t work, got a “server not found” error.

Hmm. Oh, oops, I’d better nip over to GoDaddy and add a CNAME DNS entry that points that CV subdomain to the main site. Once the DNS record had deployed across the internet, I tried again. Didn’t work, because of a security issue this time: it had no SSL certificate, yet the main site does have one.

Oh, yikes, I’ve forgotten how to do that. Time to look up how to get an SSL certificate, configure it, and then deploy it to Azure. Good job I wrote about this the first time I had to do it.

Finally, BOOM! That old URL for my résumé now worked again. And my lunch hour was over.

(By the way, Manny Hanny is long gone: it was merged into Chemical Bank, then that was merged into Chase Bank, which then became JP Morgan Chase. Or something like that.)

Marble Arch Mound Plan

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