Blog Archives

Book – Same kind of different as me

Liz got me to read the book “Same kind of different as me” by Ron Hall. I had heard about this book a few times and once Liz was done with it, I decided to go ahead and read it. Over a day or two I read the first 30 chapters. But then yesterday afternoon I started reading past chapter 30 which is where the story gets sad and tragic and got caught up in it. I ended up reading the entire remaining nearly 40 chapters in the next 2-3 hours. It was a good book and a touching story. Helps bring lots of things in life into proper perspective.

10 reasons why it doesn't pay to be "the computer guy".

Someone sent me this link today from lifeboot, this is great and worth the read. If only non-technical people would read and understand this…

Sketch on the web

I just think this is cool, can’t for the life of me think of what I’d use it for, but its still pretty neat! Check it out at http://www.williamfawcett.com/websketch/

Movie review – The five people you meet in heaven

Another movie I got from Netflix, this time something I liked better. The movie entitled “The five people you meet in heaven” based on a novel by Mitch Albom got mixed reviews, but I kinda liked it. Its a story for people who don’t feel like their life matters, and maybe think they don’t really matter or make any difference. Its a story that starts at the end of his life, where he dies trying to save a little girl from an accident at the pier where he works. He goes on to meet five people who are there to teach him something about life and show him that his live wasn’t a waste. Through various means, they go back through his life and show various scenes from his youth, later during the military, and more recent as he aged. This movie has drama, action, romance and an interesting story. Some people complained that its scenes are too long, boring, etc. But its actually a very interesting story, and if your patient enough to watch can be very enjoyable. It also seemed to have some really sad parts, but overall I thought was a very good movie. Its hard to find much info about this film online, some mixed reviews and netflix does have about the best trailer I could find for this film.

Movie Review – The Final Cut

I got this movie from Netflix called “The Final Cut” starring Robin Williams. Its kind of a sci-fi movie, but actually more drama than anything. Williams plays a “cutter” who is basically a high tech audio/video guy who works to put together “rememberings” for deceased people who had this computer chip in their brains that recorded everything they saw and heard. He took the “bad” out and put together memories for family members and let them remember what they wanted to remember of the person who had died. Well he is the guy everyone goes to when no one else wants to the job because of how bad a person was. Williams character is tortured by guilt from a childhood memory shown in the beginning of the movie where apparently another kid dies basically because of his (Williams character’s) actions. He finds out that he actually has a chip in his brain (which is against the code of the cutters). So he quits doing that, and has a friend try to replay his memories while he is sitll alive. He finds that his childhood memory was tainted by age and inaccuracy and that the boy he thought had died actually lived. One of his high profile cases was for a lawyer in the company that makes these chips, and there is a group wanting to bring down this company. They end up trying to get the chip from Williams character and it ends up getting destroyed. However, Williams character (Allan) has watched the footage of this persons life and all this information is now stored in his chip. So the bad guy chases him down and tells him he wants to get the data from his brain. The bad guy can’t quite bring himself to shoot Allan, so his accomplice shoots him suddenly and to your surprise right at the end. The movie pretty much ends there, with a final scene of the bad guy looking through Allan’s memories and tell him (actually his reflection in the mirror) that his life will have purpose and that it won’t all be for nothing.

The movie was ok, but the ending sucks. Its almost like they were trying to prepare for a sequel, but I don’t think thats the point. I just don’t like movies with no closure. The bad guy pretty much got away with his acts of badness, and the movie just ends there. I probably would not have watched it if I had known this, but it was ok. Not something I’ll watch a second time. Cool idea with the brain chip thing, but it was kind of slow, no real action and low on the drama side. And the ending stinks.

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.

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.

Surprise Weekend

This is going to be a rather long story. Its a tale of surprise and fun.

It all started on Thursday evening while I was at work. I was working on a server migration project involving Goodlink, when things took a turn for the worse. I was on the phone with Goodlink support almost all day. I was having a terrible time getting things to work properly, and ended up having to stay super late on Thursday, I didn’t leave the office until 11pm. I get in to work around 7:45am or so every weekday, so I was at work from 7:45am until 11m, which makes for a very long day! I finally got things stabalized with the help of Goodlink support and started on my way home. Once I got home, around 11:30pm, I walked in the door, hungry (since I hadn’t eaten anything) and tired (obviously), and so I sat down next to Liz who was sitting on the couch. I leaned over to give her a hello kiss, when I saw something out of the corner of my eye that startled me. It was my borhter Jeremy who’s hand was reaching up towards me in an attempt to surprise me! I jumped up off the couch in surprise and realized it was him. They were totally playing me and had even more surprised in store for me.

We talked for a bit and got a snack and a drink and finally went to bed around 12:30am. The next morning we got up around 8 or so, and I was still in bed when there was a ring at the doorbell. I had a suspicion as to who it might be, but Liz asked me to get the door, so I did and found my mom standing out on the porch. Turned out they had both flown in that Thursday morning and spent the day with Liz and the kids. I had to work late so it totally screwed up their surprise plans and they had to completely change around what they were going to do. So we got to spend the whole weekend (I took Friday off too) with my mom and Jeremy. Click more or the post title to read more about the weekend…
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Daddy night

Last night, I picked up the kids for Liz and took them home so she could go out with one of her friends after a meeting. On my way to pick them up, I went to Duncan Doughnuts and got a dozen as a treat. Of course they were all out of the kind I like, so I got several other kinds. We finally got back to the house after 15 minutes of me trying to track down my kids. Michael had a half a doughnut and then I put him to bed. Abby went to bed at 7:30 and Sarah and I stayed up a little longer and I let her watch a few minutes of Smallville with me. Which ended earlier than I hoped because of a slightly more racy start to this last episode than normal. After the kids were all in bed, I downloaded two episodes of “The Office”. I hadn’t seen it before and its in its more than 3rd season now, but thought I’d check it out. It was funny, not halarious, but an interesting spoof of real office life.