Wednesday – 22 March 2017
Testing out connectivity between WordPress, JetPack, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move along.
Wednesday – 22 March 2017
Testing out connectivity between WordPress, JetPack, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move along.
Friday – 10 March 2017
Another work week comes to an end.
It was a pretty good week, in all. Things happened. Stuff, too.
I neglected to post – or, rather, elaborate on – something from last week: Sara! and I went to dinner at Table X, as a belated Valentine’s Day outing without Team DiVa.
Table X describes itself as:
We’re a restaurant run by three chefs. We’re going to prepare you thoughtful, honest food without the fussiness of fine dining. In fact, we’re going to give you a new casual dining experience, altogether. Again and again.
We had encountered these chefs’ cuisine last year, at a pop-up dinner done in conjunction with Utah Opera’s production of Tosca. That – along with the idea of there being a new casual dining restaurant both outside of downtown Salt Lake City and not too far from our home – informed Sara’s choice on places to try. The restaurant seats about 230 people, has an open design, and has an air that combines a modern look with a touch of industrial design.
For dinner, we selected the Chef’s Tasting Menu, comprised of five (5) courses:
Let me start by saying that I was leery of a couple items on the menu: the Beet Curry and the “Cabbage Toast.” I am not a fan of beets, nor have I been since I was very young. And the idea of a “cabbage toast” was… intriguing, but set me a little on edge. However, as the Prince song said:
…but it was Saturday night,
I guess that makes it alright.
I said, ‘What have I got to lose?’
The curry was served with cauliflower florets. It was flavorful and not at all what I expected. Sara! commented that it as most likely because they were not pickled beets (like from a can), which I abhor. I happily ate the entire course.
Next up: Cabbage Toast. This was a house-made sourdough, topped with a kelp cream/butter and a red cabbage jam. My first thought, upon hearing “jam” was of a pulped, processed spread. I was wrong. This was… simply… cabbage. And it was excellently prepared; I ate almost all of it.
The next course was scallops. I was all-in for this one, as I love scallops, yet never seem to order them when we’re out. (That, and the fact that I have some issues with getting seafood in a landlocked state.) The scallop – singular – was topped with a small portion of ham. Added bonus: Sara! isn’t a huge fan of scallops, so she gave me at least half of hers. (WIN!)
Course Four was the pork loin. Again, I was happy to try this. And I wasn’t disappointed. It was served with celeriac and red cabbage. It was tender and juicy and just seasoned enough to extract and enhance the flavor of the meat. NOTE: At the beginning of dinner, Sara! asked if she could make a couple of substitutions, because she doesn’t eat pork. For this course, they brought her the Winter Vegetable Stew. It was presented with the vegetables in a bowl and the broth in a separate ramekin, poured at the table.
For the final course: Dessert! This was a slice of pecan tart, presented with house-made pecan ice cream. It was the perfect finish to the meal. Sweet. Sticky, yet somehow slightly crumbly. Just right.
In all, I was quite happy with the meal, the atmosphere, and the service. Our waitresses, Rikki and Haleigh (“HAY-lee”), were attentive and responsive to our requests. While not on the “let’s do this every week” I would gladly recommend dining there.
Monday – 20 February 2017
Today is President’s Day in the U.S.
For my President’s Day #morningcoffee picture, I used Lex Luthor. Because I could.
#LexLuthor: A life, some would argue, is a series of problems. There’s no denying the truth in that – but why get lost in it? Why not rise above the truth… and lead a good life? Shouldn’t we look at all the problems is a chance for us to find… solutions? You see, I don’t want to do good things. I want to do great things. Nothing can stop me now! #coffee ?? #morningcoffee #PresidentsDay #PresidentLexLuthor #VoteForLex2000 #Smallville #Metropolis @dccomics
Today was a slightly busier-than-planned day, but still very good. Team DiVa, after sleeping in until after 9:30 on Sunday morning, were up at 7:30 this morning – Diana decided to play with the Kindle, while Vanessa decided that crawling into our bed was her best option. (To be honest, I still appreciate getting kid cuddles when I can, as I know that they won’t last forever.)
After breakfast (cinnamon rolls!), it was a kind of lazy morning… until 10:30, when I got an email from work.
So, I did what any diligent IT guy would do: I made like Kool Moe Dee and I went to work. I got there and looked at the system in question, only to find that there was nothing wrong. At. All.
Back home in time to surprise Team DiVa with a trip to the theatre to see The LEGO Batman Movie. It was a big hit. (Sara and I enjoyed it, too.) Back home again before heading up to Park City for…
…dinner with Liz, a high school classmate:
We met at the Wasatch Brew Pub in Park City, where Liz and her family are staying this week. It’s the first time we’ve seen each other since high school graduation. We had a nice dinner and caught up a little bit on the last three decades. (Man, it really seems like a long time when you put it that way…)
After dinner, said our goodbyes and headed back to Salt Lake City. We got little ladies ready for bed, took care of a couple of chores, I caught up on a couple episodes of The Flash, including one that I somehow missed about three weeks ago.
And that brings us to now.
Tomorrow comes soon, I should probably start considering hitting the rack.
Thursday – 09 February 2017
I work in IT.
Granted it might not as grand an opening statement as ReBoot‘s “I come from the Net…,” but it gets the point across.
I’ve been working on a server chassis and its resident blade servers for a while, getting it ready to move into production. I’ve been using wired keyboards and mice as the user interface. A week ago, I decided to bring one of my wireless keyboards from home – the keyboard has a built-in mouse and the space where I’m working on the chassis doesn’t have a lot of real estate that’s conducive to rolling a mouse around.
I brought the keyboard in last week and showed it to a coworker. It was at that point that I noticed the wireless dongle wasn’t in its storage slot in the battery compartment.
I’ve spent the past week looking for it – at the office, at our manufacturing facility, at home. No dice. This morning, I emptied out my work laptop case to make sure that it hadn’t somehow fallen into one of the pockets. I didn’t find the dongle, but I did find my library card, my membership card to Red Butte Garden, and a few other things. (Not really sure why I put them in my work bag…)
On a lark, I looked in the battery compartment again. You know, in case it had magically reappeared. Because that happens so often…
Still no dongle.
When I looked at the cover to the battery compartment
Dongle. Clipped safely into the slot that holds it in place.
That’s right, it’s been right there…for the past week. This includes the, at least, five times that I’ve had the keyboard in my hands and the at least three times that I’ve opened the battery compartment. Yet, I never thought to look at the cover. Despite the fact that at some level I knew that’s where it was supposed to be.
Friday – 14 October 2016
This morning, I came into work a couple hours early, so I could leave early and check out a ballet rehearsal. There were… issues… so, the ballet became a non-factor in my day.
::: fast forward a few hours :::
While on call with my manager and my east coast counterpart, a question about a maintenance repair on a server came up: We contacted our support company a couple of days ago to schedule service a server and drive array (Aw yeah,
Titans! warranty repair!). The parts arrived today, but there was no word about the tech who was supposed to facilitate the repair.
For the rest of the story,
please deposit 25¢ , I will copy the email I just sent to my coworker and boss:
1. Called [provider] to follow-up on tech dispatch – he was assigned the Incident, but waiting for the parts to be delivered. I asked to have the appointment sceheduled for Monday morning and hung up the phone.
2. Got a call from the receptionist’s desk… telling me that [tech] was here now.
3. [Tech] went in to start working on the server and arrays… only to find that they sent the wrong drives.
a. He changed the battery in the server
b. He’s shipping back the SSDs and requesting the proper SAS drives.
And that’s how my day has gone, so far. Good thing it’s (almost) over.
#LifeInIT #ajobaintnuthinbutwork #TGIF
Wednesday – 12 October 2016
Stuff and things and whatnot.
Wait. That’s not a proper post. I really should do one of those someday…
I guess that since I’m logged in, I should make like Nike and “just do it.” Now.
::: deep breath :::
The past few weeks have been good. Work’s been interesting. The company I work for has been (officially) purchased by a larger entity. So far, things are remaining status quo. I also got to spend about 36 hours on the east coast, thanks to a business trip. I was pleasantly surprised at how “green” things still were – I expected to see far more fall colors. Oh, well. That was only a slight disappointment, to be honest.
Team DiVa continues to astound and entertain me.
There was even a seven-year-anniversary in there, too.
Thursday – 28 July 2016
No Bad News Thursday. ‘Nuff said.
Last night, for the first time in [REDACTED], I went to the gym. I didn’t go so much to do a lot of work other than some cardio. Which is my least favorite thing. Which I, also, need to do more often and in longer spans. I did a little bit of lifting, as well. Not a lot. But, I did lift. It’s a start. Baby steps, undoubtedly, but steps nevertheless.
Friday – 17 June 2016
We’ve made it to the end of another week. Selah.
My friend, Dave, posted a link to the following article in a chat a little while ago:
The women of Google have come up with a clever, tongue-in-cheek way to raise awareness about gender equality after an investor made a sexist remark at the company’s annual shareholders meeting last week.
Now other Googlers are standing up in solidarity by designating this Thursday and Friday as “Lady Day.”
The idea sprouted in an email group for alums of a Google leadership-development program for women. One employee suggested that they should all change their titles to “Lady ___” in acknowledgment and lighthearted protest of the incident. As in “Lady Systems Engineer,” or “Lady People Analytics Manager.”
As of now, more than 800 Googlers — women and men — have changed their job titles in the company-wide directory or in their email signatures.
I recommend reading the entire article.
Google also came up with a new graphic to help illustrate the point:
So, for the day, you can refer to me as “Lady Systems Support Engineer.”
Solidarity – along with equality – is a pretty awesome thing.
Wednesday – 25 May 2016
Today is Towel Day.
“…it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very, very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”
Tuesday – 22 March 2016
I’ve worked in IT, in some capacity or other, for almost 15 years. I enjoy it; I’m even nominally good at it. Today, however, I had to call my ability in this field into question.
A little over a month ago, I was tasked with spinning up a new server for an application that we’re going to vet and possibly put into service. And I did. And promptly went on my merry way with other tasks and projects. This morning, I had to come back to that server and do some additional configuration. I attempted to remotely access the machine. No go.
Undaunted, I considered that I’d possibly built the machine in a different site. So, I tried to connect using that sites code. Still no go, Flight.
At this point, I started getting “a little” concerned. I was sure that I’d built the machine, but not being able to connect to it or even ping it caused some alarm.
I logged into the local virtual machine cluster to look for the machine. There it was, big as day and twice as bright. It was on, so that negated the “Did I remember to turn the bloody thing on” question. I opened its vm console, logged onto the server, and validated that it was working properly. It was. I tried pinging the server from other machines. Pings out, no ping replies returned. I pinged the other machines from the server. Pings out, ping replies returned.
The last time this happened – last week, actually – I had neglected to turn off a server’s firewall, preventing it from responding to any external contact.
I looked at the firewall settings; it was turned off. Good. I checked its IP address. I was able to ping it from other machines. Okay, that narrowed down the range of possible problems, but it raised another question. The server properties showed that it was joined to the domain, so it should (operative word) have been registered properly in DNS. I prepared to remove the system from the domain and re-add it when I saw what the problem was.
I had mistyped the computer’s name when setting it. I hadn’t caught the error because I kept looking at the correctly-typed name in its VM console window.
I renamed the computer, removed it from and re-added it to the domain, and in probably the least-surprising thing I’ve encountered today: It appeared to pings and remote calls.
Saturday – 05 March 2016
I like sleeping in as much as the next guy. Being the father of twin four-year-olds, however, opportunities to do so is rare. (Granted, I can often extend some weekend sleeping by letting Team DiVa play Starfall or color on the iPad for 30 or so minutes…) This morning, I slept in until 10:30. It was glorious. It was also very necessary.
Yesterday, I was up at 7:30, worked all day, went to rehearsal, and came home… only to get a call from our monitoring company, saying that a system wasn’t allowing users to access shares and files. I wound up having to go back to the office at 11:45 PM. I didn’t get home until almost 3 AM. By the time I got home, I was completely drained.
The drawback to sleeping in was that I lost a couple hours of my day. At this point, I’m considering that a necessary evil. On the plus side, I was awakened by little girls who wanted me to take them outside to play. If you need a reason to get up and start the day, that’s a pretty damned good one, I’d say.
I got up, had a quick bite to eat, grabbed a shower, and took the ladies outside. They “chopped down trees” with axes (curved branches that had fallen off the corkscrew willow). They played on their balance beams. They put up an obstacle course with cones. And, they “climbed” trees… with a little help.
This picture was taken a week or so ago, but you get the gist. The sheer joy they had from “climbing” in the trees made getting out of bed worthwhile.
Thursday – 11 February 2016
Today was supposed to be #NoBadNewsThursday. It started that way. About a hour-and-a-half into it, however… not so much. One of the servers at work decided to try a new trick:
And, to make things even more interesting: This was tied to a production (as in “manufacturing”) system. So, it was “kind of” important.
To quote Dr. Sam Beckett: “Oh, boy…”
I – and a couple of network engineers – troubleshot it for about an hour before we came to the inescapable conclusion that it was not a network problem. Digging into things a little further, I saw that it was pending a reboot. That didn’t solve things. Next up: Check its updates queue. There were a few sitting there that needed to be run. So I let ’em fly. Reboot 2: Electric Boogaloo. Nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. It started rolling back the updates. (That’s usually not a good sign.) I checked update error messages when it came back up and saw that they failed because the hard disk was full. As in “Zero. Bytes. Free.” There was a good bit of cursing on my part, to be honest. Then it was a dive into the storage array and VM systems to make space appear. Then present it to the server. That all worked. Then I tried the updates again. Lo and behold, they all went through with no problems. (There may or may not have been a few “Amens” and “Thank yous” that went up at this point.) And, almost automagically, networking traffic all worked again. I verified with one of the network guys and an end user that all was right with the world again… and it was. Selah.
Part of getting through the day included being taken to lunch by networking vendors. It was not only a good change of pace, but it brought my day back from the Precipice of Doom.
After work, I picked up Team DiVa from daycare. Home. Dinner and dessert. They even got in almost 20 minutes of Disney Infinity playtime before it was time to start bedtime prep. Selah.
Carve Away the Stone
I’ve made halting steps at getting back to the gym. Last night, I considered going… then I opted out, because it was damned cold outside. I did, however, still manage to get in a bit of a workout, courtesy of my dumbbells, Swiss ball, and a couple of suggestions from YouTube. Was it quite the same workout I would have gotten at the gym, no. But, I wasn’t just sitting on my duff doing nothing, either. I’ll call that a win.
Alright, that’s it for now. I think I’m going to catch up on a show or two before calling it a night.
Wednesday – 03 February 2016
Drove to Millcreek in the snow
Nine-thirty on a Tuesday night,
Just to hang with the guys at the
Call it impulsive
Call it compulsive,
Call it insane;
But when there’s trivia
We just can’t
It’s a matter of instinct
It’s a matter of conditioning
It’s a matter of fact.
Call us geeks, nerds, or
Ask us dates, names, or publishers,
We’ll answer like that
Lost track of time and I
Wound up losing two hours. Again.
Last night, I
Went to the gym
Got a midnight workout in
Went to the gym
Got a midnight workout in.
With apologies to Barenaked Ladies, that about sums up last night, after Team DiVa went to bed. What was supposed to be a quick trip to the comic shop and the gym turned into a three-plus-hour excursion. But, I can at least take a modicum of comfort in the fact that I did make it to the gym.
On the other hand, I completely bollocksed my sleep schedule. Oh, well… sacrifices.
04 November 2015
It’s a god-awful small affair…
I’ve worked in IT for over ten (10) years. It’s a diverse field, which is something that not everyone outside of IT gets. (More on this in a minute.) Sure, there are times when I have wanted to beat my head against the wall, but that’s also true for just about any job/career. At the end of the day, I do enjoy my job.
What most people don’t consider is that a lot of what happens in IT is behind the scenes. Most people never think about IT until something is broken. Then it’s four-alarm fire time… ALL THE TIME… until the situation is resolved and everyone is happy again. (YAY!) Contrary to what might be popular belief, there’s more that goes on than “just” designing, configuring, and/or building systems. There’s also maintenance. And updating/upgrading. Streamlining processes. Creating policies and repeatable procedures.
Wait… That sounds like… almost every other job out there!
Another thing that I wasn’t quite prepared for when starting to work in IT was just how much parts of the job resemble a customer service job. While most people are actually fantastic and easy to work with, some users can be snippy, ill-mannered/ill-tempered pains in the ass. (Really, there’s no way to sugar-coat that one. #sorrynotsorry) And, just like customer service, you have to deal with them calmly and rationally.
I’ll let you in on a secret: Working in IT really is a customer service job. Users are your customers. They have varying needs. It’s your IT person’s job to identify that need and find a reasonable accommodation to satisfy that need. If that gets done, everyone walks away happy. Typically, the only difference is that if a user needs something from IT, the whole “May I help you find something?” step is skipped and the conversation starts with “Is it possible to get [problem/situation] taken care of?”
As noted above, some people don’t seem to be clued in to the fact that just because someone “works in IT” that doesn’t mean that they know everything – or even anything – about that one system you’re asking about. I am a system administrator; I deal with servers and storage. I have worked in desktop support/help desk, so I’m familiar with problems with laptops and desktops. Networking? I have enough knowledge to be dangerous there – not necessarily in a “good” way, mind you – but it’s not really in my wheelhouse, so I tend to leave it to the people who actually have more than a rudimentary clue about getting data packets from Point A to Point B and beyond. Programming? Haven’t really done any since college. ‘Nuff said.
Disclaimer: I am a team player. If I’m not elbow-deep in something and if I have some insight into how to ameliorate that user’s situation, I’ll do what I can to help. That said, there have been more than “a few” times when a user has needed something, has gone looking for Person X to fix it, didn’t find them and then stopped to ask me about their issue. Or, a user will ask for something, I’ll explain the steps that will need to be taken and then they are ready to back down from the initial request. Those are times when all I want to say or do is… well… this:
Okay, maybe without quite so much breaking of things. But, you get the idea.
Another thing I love – and by “love” I mean “drives me full-blown, bat-shit crazy” – is when a user comes up with an “emergency” issue – one that needs to be resolved two hours ago, naturally – and I’m in the middle of another issue or project of equal or more importance. For these people, my inner monologue can be best summed up as the next twelve seconds of this:
To be honest, that has been what goes through my head in those situations for a couple years now. It also allows me to take a mental step back and address the issue at large in a somewhat reasonable manner. Without jabbing needles in someone’s neck. Usually.
Today, I discovered a new inner monologue! Someone was making a request, but was interminably rambling… without getting to the point. What went through my head looked something like this:
Fortunately, filters kicked in before words came out. And, they managed to get to their point. Win-Win.
So, the next time you go looking for your friendly, neighborhood IT person, please consider:
This will make for a happy IT person, a happy you, and a happy work environment.
Monday – 15 June 2015
The new work week is under way. Where did the weekend go?! Oh, yeah… it was devoured by doing things. But, there was a fair measure of productivity involved.
Friday night we went to Noodles & Company, at Team DiVa’s behest. (Remember that point, it comes up later.) We haven’t been to N&C for a while, mostly because Diana decided a while back that she no longer likes macaroni and cheese. This was unfortunate, as we had long been able to get a regular-size bowl of mac and cheese and split it between them. They’d eat and life was good. So, we were a little surprised when they both said that they wanted to go. As much as I enjoy the food at Cafe Zupa’s, I was glad for the change of pace. So, we were off…
Vanessa boldly asserted that she wanted mac and cheese and Diana agreed to spaghetti with alfredo sauce and broccoli. Done and Done. There was a bit of… consternation on the girls’ part, when we got them water, rather than root beer.
We averted total drama meltdown by sacrificing my root beer to the girls. Shortly thereafter, the food arrived: Mac and cheese and spaghetti. Vanessa looked at hers and decided that she “…[didn’t] like that macaroni and cheese!” At the same time, Diana complained that she didn’t like her spaghetti, either. (It’s spaghetti. What’s not to like?!) Turned out that she didn’t like the alfredo sauce because it didn’t look the same as the sauce we used at home. Both girls resolved not to eat dinner.
::: braincramp :::
We got past macaroni disaster after Sara! stirred the shredded cheese in with the hot noodles. All of a sudden, it was the “right” macaroni and cheese! Hallelujah! One kid down, one to go. Diana still wouldn’t eat the noodles, but she was picking some of the broccoli out and eating it… as long as it didn’t have any of the alfredo on it. In an effort to both save our sanity and avoid sitting in the restaurant for hours, watching a child not-eat, I went and ordered a small bowl of spaghetti and broccoli. A couple minutes later it appeared, Diana was appeased and dinner was eaten. And I had a lovely serving of spaghetti and broccoli (with alfredo) to go.
The rest of the evening was relatively uneventful. Mercifully. A little after 8 PM, I received a message from my friend, Andrew:
Do you want to be in a movie, playing a well-dressed asshole at the bank?
With a line like that, how could I say “no?” So, I didn’t say “no.” And that’s how I wound up going to bed at 10:00 on a Friday night, so that I could get up at 3 AM to make a 4 AM call. About an hour later, I got another message, noting a change in venue. Still a 4 AM call, though.
Going to bed so early on a Friday seemed “wrong,” on many levels. But, I did it. Or, I tried to. I had the worst time getting to sleep. By the time the alarm went off, it felt more like a resignation to just get out of bed than having gotten a decent night’s sleep. Up. Shave. Dress. Go.
I got to the location with time to spare… and kill. The next five hours were spent learning lines, prepping, and shooting the movie – a short film for the 48 Hour Film Project. The cast and crew were great to work with and made it a very pleasant experience. “Pleasant” is an understatement, actually. It was a lot fun. I’ll post more about it when I can.
At 9 AM, I was done and headed home for Adventure #2: Going with Sara! to take Team DiVa to their first swimming lesson.
Things started off well enough. Then things went a little skewampus:
Not too surprisingly, by the time it was over, they said had a great time and wanted to do it again.
The rest of Saturday was a little blurry – mostly because I was horribly tired and undercaffeinated. But, nothing of great import happened. Sara! and I did cap off the evening with cocktails and a movie: The Sorcerer and the White Snake, a Korean film, starring Jet Li. It was a little disjointed – a good bad movie, possibly a bad good movie. The jury is still out. It wasn’t great, but I’m still not sure if it deserves LEGO bricks or lawn darts.
Sunday was “cleaning up” and “room rearranging” day, after breakfast and a trip to Wheeler Farm.
Back home for lunch, a movie for the girls/nap for me, and then cleaning! We also rearranged the girls’ room for the first time since their beds went in. They seem to like the new layout, which is good, since they can’t really move the furniture by themselves and I don’t plan on moving it again for a few months, at least.
I made it to the gym this morning for a slightly abbreviated workout (skipped elliptical):
And, we’ll call that good for now.