Thursday, April 27, 2006


I received an attaboy from my supervisor at work today. It was from out of the blue and it made my day. This week has been a boatload better than last week. I'm looking forward to the job going forward.

I don't really have much to say other than that. Have a good one!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Pretty good!

Today flew by. Apparently, there were no major problems this weekend which required me to don my fire-retardant suit. As a result of today going smoothly, time seemed to fly by and before I knew I was working, it was nearly quitting time! That makes you feel really good when it becomes quitting time and you realize there were no major issues throughout the day.

Be sure to check out my wife's pictures of our trip to Lagoon last weekend!

Now we hope this trend continues. :)


Sunday, April 23, 2006


I don't even feel like posting tonight, but I will because it's been so long since I have. This last week was just blah! I want to have a good week. Hopefully this upcoming week will be worthy. Wish me luck!


Monday, April 17, 2006

Utah weather sucks!

Why does this state's weather do what it does? Yesterday, the temps were in the 70s, the sun was out, it was a bit windy, and it was beautiful. Today, 32 degrees, rain, snow, and sleet. Tomorrow's forecast is for upper 40s to 50s and partly sunny, and the day after that, it's supposed to be in the 70s again.

At least in Virginia, there were 4 distinct seasons, each lasting AT LEAST 2 months. Here, there's 8 months of winter, 1 month of spring, 2.5 months of summer, and .5 months of fall. (At least that's what I remember from all the trips out here and from the last 8 months that I've lived here.) I was told today, that this is the only state, where you can experience all 4 seasons in one day. You can wake up to snow, then it warms up to rain by mid-late morning, after that, it clears off and turns hot by the middle of the afternoon, and finally cools off for the evening.

This is a crazy place in terms of climate, yet it's where I live now.

Go figure.

Friday, April 14, 2006

"H" is for heart attack!

So I attempt to set up an extra system for the Accounting department today after talking with the Accounting Dept Manager and the IT Manager about it. After getting hearty approvals, I begin. I get the system completed and suddenly, the Accounting Manager and his Assistant can no longer get to the financial database where all the information is supposed to be stored. My supervisor (the IT Manager) tells me it looks like the financial database might be gone. This is the moment that I wish I were wearing brown pants. I quickly realize what it feels like to expect an imminent heart attack.

We take a look at the error messages and after about 10 minutes, we realize that it's possible that the data is still there, but we can't quite get to it. A little bit of tweaking and voila! The database is accessible and the data is intact. About 20 minutes after confirming that the data was fine, the adrenaline wears off and I NEED to take a walk outside the office. I finally get my mind back into the right mode and can continue to work.

This has been a really rough week. I'm going to bed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Time to sleep.

I'm worn out! I need to be getting into bed instead of writing in my blog tonight. I stayed up until after 1:30am last night putting together enough of my bedroom so I could sleep on my own bed. Then I had a really rough day at work on top of the residual exhaustion from digging out the roots Monday and Tuesday. Then I had to do Scouts!

I volunteered (what an idiot!) to help teach other prospective Cubmasters how to do their jobs without consulting my wife (stupid move, I know). Ooops! She had a Mary Kay party scheduled for tonight and wanted me to babysit. I'm sorry.

I just finished helping the Mary Kay lady out to her car with all her stuff. I'm not yet sure what the damage is, but I'm sure I'll find out soon.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I know I'm a geek. So What?

I'm playing Mutants and Masterminds. What, you're probably asking, is Mutants and Masterminds? It's a superhero style role playing game. Yeah, I'm a geek, So What? I like it and that's all that matters. We played tonight and my character (Hero name Jarhead) is a pretty depressing ex-marine who has a forcefield and can communicate with computers up to 60 feet away, saved an office full of people from domestic terrorists. What can you do, eh? I know I';m boring you, so I'll just say good night.

Good Night!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So, 5 bushes later...

Ok. The other three roots were killer! I am so pooped that I want to sleep right now! The total number of bushes I dug out were 5, when I was supposed to be digging out 1. The really big deal is that 2 of the roots were about 70-100 pounds each! It was a real chore to get them into the trash can. :)

The carpet was repaired today, which means the chore of trekking all our junk into the room will now begin. I'm not looking forward to that, but I AM looking forward to sleeping on my own bed - but not tonight. :)

Monday, April 10, 2006

So much for it only being one bush.

So, I dug up a couple of very large roots from an old lilac bush. These bushes have been around for at least 30 years and were very much settled in. Suffice it to say that I'm very tired and expect to be very sore tomorrow and the next day. I think I want to go to bed now.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

It's all fine...except...

Well, here it is on Sunday and I'm all set to watch a few hours of car wrecks ... only one problem. The power button on the house big screen TV is broken and it doesn't respond to its remote. Only one thing to do - take the back off the TV to see what, if anything, I can do to fix the power button. So, I dive in and quickly find that there's absolutely nothing I can do to fix the power button, so I put the thing back together, preparing to rig some contraption so I can turn it on manually (I still might do so).

I step back, take a breath, and decide to approach from a different angle. I decide to see if there's a reason it doesn't respond to the remote's power button, so I take apart the remote and find that it's full of a sticky, gooey mess. Apparently, someone had spilled a drink of some sort into the remote and didn't clean it out (how could they, you ask). So, I give the remote a good hot bath and get the goo out of it, and guess what, It only half works :) The power button works again at least, though you have to press it really hard, and that enables me to turn the thing on! So I get to watch my race. Yay!


Friday, April 07, 2006

How about we nuke it?

[Long posting alert, you might want to get yourself a nice drink or go to the bathroom before starting]

So here I am, wandering in to work a bit late (for the reason, see the entry below) and what do I find, but a user, her name is Summer, who can't do any work because, they can't get into an important piece of software on our computer system. So, being the good Sys Admin that I am, I try to help her... and I try... and I try...

This piece of software is written in-house and is a pretty nice piece of software. It seems to work on everyone else's computer and they can all do their work. Eventually, I narrow it down to a localized phenomenon (<== long, but cool word, just say it out loud) and my supervisor, (who was telecommuting, but decided he needed to come in to work on this problem as well) decided that it had to be something with the Summer's machine. I informed him that the app worked correctly for anyone else who logged onto the machine so that wasn't the case, further, the application had been uninstalled and re-installed 8 ways to Thursday since my arrival at a little past 8am (I didn't tell him about the little past 8 part. :). Did I mention that Summer worked in Accounting? You know, the department that pays our wages by taking it from the sucker- er, customers who pay for our service. :) Anyway, this became our first priority of the day, to solve Summer's problem.

We eventually decided that it was more insideous than just her account. It was her account on that one machine as she was able to work on any other machine in the building, neither she, nor he (my supervisor) wanted to kill her AD account, so I dropped a baby nuke on her local account and allowed windows to rebuild it on the fly on that machine. This didn't work. (FYI: the other stuff I'm supposed to do on a daily basis is beginning to pile up :) My supervisor is really stubborn and would not admit defeat. Instead, he codes like a mad man while I research the problem on the Interweb (thanks go to my friend, Marc, for the term :). I begin to connect the dots and realize that the only other person to have a problem similar to this used to be in the same departmnt as Summer and had the same software installed on her computer. We also just created a new account for her because we suspected there was something wrong with her account since it was acting screwey 2 days earlier.

Things began to click into place at this point and we realized that the big change to the software that precipitated the problems with both accounts happened on Wednesday afternoon, just after Summer left early. The other user, Melanie, began having this problem at that time, and we thought we had corrected it (we were wrong), then we suspected that there was something wrong with her AD account as it was behaving funny anyway, so I created her a new one, and all was right in Melanie's world again.

Yesterday, Summer, the user who left early on Wednesday, took the day off and didn't user her computer for us to discover her problem. We had a day where there weren't any problems with the software, so we figured it was fixed. We were wrong! Finally late in the day, we realized that both these users had a particular piece of software on their machines when their accounts were created on them the first time and they were also gived admin user rights to the machines BEFORE their accounts were created. This combination corrupted the accounts (yes I know this post is boring, keep slogging through it and you'll see where this leads :) and made it so the software wouldn't work.

Finally, at 4:15pm, my boss admits defeat and tells me to nuke her account, then create a new one for her. I do so, and it all works great. Did I mention that as a possoble solution, I suggested we rebuild Summer's entire account about 10 minutes after I arrived this morning?

Well, I fixed the problem, but it took all day and sucked the brain out of both my boss and me. He wanted to fix the code, and I wanted to fix the configuration without nuking the account. We were both shown up by my gut instinct that said to nuke the account within 10 minutes of my arrival. FYI: It took me about 45 minutes to save all her data, nuke her account, create a new one, transfer all configuration and data to it, and restore her access. Who knew?

I could have saved myself, my boss, and the user a large headache by nuking the account at the beginning (which I considered, by the way), but they wouldn't have appreciated the effort it would have saved. So, I burned an entire day so that the next time something bad happens and I suggest
we take drastic measures, they'll all listen.

Hee Hee, I am evil!!! :)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Walking on water

I walked on water today.


There was some carpet and carpet pad under the water, but I was indeed on the water!

Short version of the story: We live in the basement of Karen's parent's house. Karen and I (and our computers, financial info, and clothes) have one room and our daughters, Sara and Rebecca (and their toys and clothes) have the other. Our room, the one with the computers, flooded. Karen called me at work in a bit of a panic inquiring about shutdown order of the computers. We talked a little later and it was decided that I would leave work a little early to try to clear our room and attempt to begin the process of drying the flooring. With the help of Karen's brother, David, and his wife, Holly, we got the room cleared and the carpet pulled up. We then plugged in the fans to dry them out.

I'm sure if you check Karen's blog, you'll be able to find the long version. (I'm sure I'll get some flack from her about this comment, but what are spouses for, eh? :)

I am currently dead tired and can barely hold my eyes open as a result of the hoops we had to jump through to get to this point, but the good news is that the computers are just fine. :)


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My Apologies

It's been far too long since I posted and I should be shot for that silliness. :) Last week was pretty busy at work and by the time I got home, I didn't really want to sit down and do anything with a computer. That happens to the best of us. Anyway, welcome back! The in-laws are out of town for about 10 days and Karen, Sara 'Becca, and I all have the house to ourselves. It will be refreshing, and somewhat odd, but that's how things go. I still have a problem with the backups at work, but I've come up with a way around the most critical parts of it. I'll call tech support tomorrow to see what they can do for me.

The time change was this past weekend, and it's brought havoc to my sleep schedule, unless Karen has begun assaulting me again in her sleep :), so I'm tired and sandy-eyed all the time. I'll turn in early tonight to see if I can remedy that for tomorrow.

I have a business meeting (IT Dept. team building thing) on Friday to play 3 holes of golf. I don't golf. I hate it (except for miniature golf) and would rather be at work than to go and play, but it is a team-building effort, so I suppose I'll go make a few divots. :)

Time to hit the sack. I did want to go to bed early tonight...

Wish me luck!