Monthly Archives: March 2007

garage door and other home items

For the past few months, our garage door has been getting more and more annoying. It would open a few inches and stop and we’d have to get out of our car and help it up while someone else pushed the button. Finally yesterday I had someone come and take a look. They adjusted some things and lubricated the whole system and now it works much better. There are still some gaps I’m going to try to get them to fix, where sunlight makes it through. This also means its not water tight in a few places. The door is older and will need to be replaced at some point, but for now I’m going to have them try to re-adjust it to keep it usable as long as possible.

This morning, I took the girls outside and we pruned some bushes and picked up the yard waste. Then we went in the back yard and I weeded the yard a bit, we had a few spots where some tall weeds were growing up.

As a side note, I had my car looked at by the auto shop that installed my new top and they are going to adjust a few thing and take care of the problems I’ve had with the top. I will probably make an appointment next week to have them take care of it.

Advertisements

Pizza night

Tonight we are having Pizza Hut pizza for dinner. Its been a really long time since we’ve had Pizza hut, since other places are cheaper and closer. But Sarah and I really love Pizza Hut pizza so tonight we are getting a large pan pizza and a thin and crispy pizza. I think Pizza Hut is my personal favorite pizza, followed by dominos and then various independant places I’ve been. Dominos has the best cheesy bread hands down of anyone else! Papa Johns is also really good, but a bit more expensive so we don’t have it that often. I did NOT like their perfect pan pizza.

Dynamic IP Change

For the first time in about 2 years, my dynamic IP address at home changed! I got up yesterday morning and thought to myself, “hmm, my IP is going to change”. Before leaving for work I realized that it had, sometime after 3am. So I had to make some DNS changes and ended up switching DNS on my main domain to another company so I can use a dynamic DNS system that supports multiple domains and subdomains. I went with DNSExit, as they had the best dynamic update client, and perfect services for what I’m doing at home. Now I won’t have to worry about an IP change anymore. I didn’t lose any e-mail or anything, since my MX records are backup mail servers, they queued all my mail until my DNS updates took effect. Gotta love redundancy and backup systems!

Near perfect weekend

This past week and especially this weekend, we’ve had several really nice days. On Wednesday when I had off, we went to the park and played and spent time together as a family, it was just awesome. This Saturday, I took the girls to a new park we’d never been to before thats right on the Hillsborough river. It was very quiet and secluded and had a small boardwalk that stretched along the bank of the river. They had a nice playground for the kids who thoroughy enjoyed the the tall slide. I pulled them around in their wagon a bit and then all 4 of us (Sarah, Abby, Michael and me) walked up and down the boardwalk. Abby is terrified of squirrels and made me hold her when they came near. There were ducks and places to feed the animals. After about an hour of that, we headed back home for some lunch. Later on we got back in the van and headed to Bonnie Brae park again. We plopped the kids down in the sand at the volleyball net and Liz and I tried to hit the ball back and forth a few times. The kids quickly got tired of that and we then went over to the playground to let them play. Liz keps seeing other MOPS moms there and had a nice time chatting. I got a lot of pushing in on the swings, as two of my kids need to be pushed if they want to swing. My arms felt like they were going to fall off when I was done. Sunday we had lunch at Wendy’s with Amanda, Lizzie and Lina (and Catherine). After that we went home to let Michael take a nap and around 4 we headed back to Bonnie Brae park for more play time. This time more of our friends met up with us and we let our kids play together and relaxed in the shade at the park. I chased Michael around a bit and kept my eyes on a few other kids while we walked around. We didn’t leave the park until after 6, it was such a beautiful day, low 80s and a nice breeze with low humidity. It was as close to perfect as one could ask for. The whole entire weekend was absolutely beautiful and we had a great time together. It was so refreshing and relaxing, I loved every minute. Although the time did go quickly as always, it does in a way seem like we lived a lifetime this weekend. It is hard to get back into our normal routine now that Sarah’s spring break is over and we are back to the normal grind.

A Day off!

I took a personal day on Wednesday and I’m so glad I did. It was the most perfect day in regards to the weather! I think it was about 81 degrees, sunny with big beautiful clouds floating by here and there. We had a nice breeze and it was just absolutely amazing. Overall the day was great, even though we had some unpleasantries to deal with. We are getting new life insurance and as a result had to have the routine physical exam stuff, so a nurse came out to our house around 5 and did her thing. Then we took the kids to Wendy’s and got some dinner and took it over to the park. We ate dinner at a picnic table and then played with the kids for about an hour or more. Liz ran into some people she knew and we had a great time together as a family. Earlier in the day Uncle Jason came over to play with the kids and brought his “girlfriend” Mandy along. We watched a movie and sat outside in the back yard and watched the kids play. It was just a great day! I wish more days could be like that.

Details on DST patches, Goodlink issues and resulting patch problems.

This post is going to be very technical in nature and hopefully someone will find it useful. This all started because of the patches for Exchange 2003 due to Daylight Saving time updates. Below you will find detailed information on the DST patches, resulting problems I had with Goodlink, permissions issues I encountered, and resulting side effects of a supported fix from Microsoft. I’ll break it down into sections, relating to each type of issue I encountered.

Daylight Saving Patches

After installing DST patches on Exchange 2003, I found myself unable to mount the stores on all of my Exchange 2003 servers. The information store service would start, but none of the stores would mount from ESM. After some researching I found this article from Microsoft that was supposed to fix the problems I encountered. After the 930241 patch was installed, my stores would mount and everything seemed to be working fine. After applying these updates, Exchange seemed to be working fine at the time, all my message tests were good and I didn’t see any obvious signs of a problem.

Goodlink and the Send-As permission

After applying the DST patches and the update from MS KB 930241, I found that my Goodlink devices were not working. At first it was affecting everyone, no one was sending or receiving goodlink messages from their handhelds. I did some checking and found this article on the good.com website. Now on a previous case with Good support, we went through and modified the correct permissions for the Goodadmin account in advance, so that we wouldn’t have this issue. It turned out that some of our Exchange objects were not inherriting permissions correctly, so when we applied the DST patches along with 930241, our goodlink system lost the send as permission required to operate properly. I got on the phone with Good support and we went through and manually reset the permissions again, ensuring that all Exchange objects were inherriting the proper permissions. I had to restart the Exchange services on all 4 servers to make the changes effective, and once done, Goodlink resumed working normally. This all happened between a Firday night and a Saturday morning. So not only do you need to ensure you grant the send-as right in AD to the GoodAdmin account, but I’d strongly recommend making sure you have all the inheritance setup properly for all Exchange objects as well. I think our permission issues were remnants of our setup of a mixed environment with Exchange 5.5 and 2003.

Read the rest of this entry

My year of Hell in 4 days

There is a Star Trek Voyager episode entitled “Year of Hell”. Its about a span of 365 days in the life of the crew where pretty much anything that could go wrong, goes go wrong and I think they barely survive (its been a while since I’ve seen it). Well, over the last 4 days, I’ve had my year of Hell starting from Friday night to yesterday around 6:30pm. I’ll summarize:

1. Friday night, I installed DST patches

a. DST patch caused a problem where my info stores would not
mount in Exchange 2003
b. The DST patches also broke the goodlink system for mobile e-mail
c. Turned out that MS had changed the way the permissions work in
Exchange and AD and we had to re-set the permissions on our
GoodAdmin account
c. Spent up until 11:30pm working on the DST patches and fixing the
goodlink account while on the phone with Good support

2. Saturday – all day

a. Checked the server from previous night to ensure everything is
still working
b. Found everything to still not be working.
c. Found some objects in Exchange 2003 were not
inherriting permissions correctly. Had to continue
resetting permissions for those items and testing.
d. Continued working with Good support and testing and finally got the
Goodlink mobile e-mail working
e. Had to follow a workaround by allowing inherritance on the
AdminSDHolder AD object and allowing time for replication
f. Spent the rest of the day testing the mobile e-mail system paranoid
that it would fail again.
g. Abby got sick Friday night, so I got maybe 2 hours of sleep Friday
night and Sat Morning

3. Sunday – all morning

a. Continued testing the mobile e-mail system, all tests were working
ok, external and internal.
b. I stayed home with Abby all day to take care of her, she was really
sick and had a very high fever.
c. Got my first almost full night of sleep, since Liz was kind enough to
stay in the living room with Abby

4. Monday – All DAY!!!

a. Started getting complaints that people couldn’t open some e-mail
messages in Outlook
b. Got some reports that people were missing e-mails, that the volume
of messages received over the weekend and morning were very low
c. To make it more frustrating, all the external tests and internal tests
I was doing were working fine
d. Checked the mail queues in Exchange 2003 and found hundreds of
queued messages, they were stuck in the MTA queue
e. Nothing I tried would release the messages
f. I called Microsoft and paid my $245 fee for support, and spent about
8 hours on the phone with 2 separate Microsoft engineers.
g. Once I got through to the escalation engineer, we got the issue fixed
within 3 hours or so.
h. Turned out that MS had made two code changes to alter the way
Exchange does recipient and sender address formatting or lookups.
i. The quick fix was to uninstall patch 930241. So I did, and that
restored functionality completely, for both symptoms.
j. I also worked with MS to run some store traces to try to
identify the issue.
k. After some minor permissions adjustments for two servers who were
still not inherriting permissions correctly, everything started to
work normally.
l. I did NOT have lunch this day, nor anything to drink. I was on the
phone all day!
m. At 6:35pm I finally left the office and went home and crashed!

So as you can see, thanks to Congress for screwing around with the Daylight saving configuration and thanks to Microsoft for making some code changes that had unexpected side effects, I ended up having a very bad few days indeed. I really didn’t get a weekend, no break, barely any sleep. Its going to take me a while to recover from that. I need a vacation! Sarah has off all next week for spring break, I’m thinking of asking for next Wednesday off to break up the work week and give myself a break.

Stressful few days

The last few days have been hectic to say the least. With all the DST preparations that were needed and other daily tasks it was just crazy. Then on Friday evening after installing the DST updates for Exchange 2003, it broke our Goodlink system for mobile e-mail. The cause was a known issue, and I even worked wtih Goodlink previously and made the necessary changes to our permissions to get around it, but for some reason, we still had problems. I had to contact Good support and work with a tech until almost midnight on Friday, and even past noon today (Saturday). I basically had to re-do all the goodlink account permissions and modify some settings in AD and Exchange. I’ll post all the MS KB articles later. It was a long process and I didn’t get the server back into normal working condition until around noon today. It was working ok when I stopped last night just before midnight, but for whatever reason, the problem re-appeared after a few hours sometime overnight.

To make matters worse, Abby started acting sick yesterday, and woke up last night around 1am with a cough high fever. I heard her crying so I went to get her. Liz and I crashed on the couch because of the time and we like sleeping on the couch sometimes. So when I heard Abby crying I went to get her, only to find her in my bed crying. She had gone in my room to find us and we weren’t there. So she got up in our bed and was crying. I brought her out to the couch with me and Liz and I swapper her around and barely got any sleep. So today, I spent a lot of time working on the goodlink issues, but Liz had to go out to a MOPS picnic event (which we were all going to go to) to spend some time with some orphans. I didn’t get to go, I ended up staying home to work and Abby wasn’t well so I also watched Abby and Michael while Liz took Sarah in the Miata.

We didn’t do much of anything today, and Sarah seems to be the only one with any Energy today. Tomorrow is the last day of the strawberry festival. I love their strawberry shortcake!!! And I would love to come home with a flat of strawberries, but I don’t know for sure yet if I’ll get to go. The plan is to grab some cash from the bank tomorrow and sometime after lunch, I’ll run over to Plant city and get some strawberries, and hopefully find a place that has some strawberry shortcake!

Now I’m off to rest with poor sick little Abby and maybe watch a movie or something while collapsing on the couch!

Busy with DST

For the last few days, thanks to Congress, I’ve been spending my time updating computers, servers and mobile phones with new DST patches in preparation for the new DST changes in 2007. So far we haven’t had any major problems, but its really a pain for the mobile phones and we won’t know to what extent our problems with Exchange will be until after the DST change on March 11th.

Superman

I have this cool natural “S” shape in my hair today (just like Superman). Sadly, no one will believe that I really am Superman…. Whats wrong with you people! 🙂