Monthly Archives: September 2007

A busy weekend

Friday evening I spent a lot of time configuring two Linux systems here at home. It may be a reaction from having to work with MS Windows at my day job. I am actually very pleased with what I can do with a Linux 2.6 kernel and the XFCE desktop environment, even on a P-III system.

Saturday our big event was seeing Tom. He is doing well. He has lost some weight, or at least it has been redirected from horizontal to vertical. We took him for a walk around Lake Calhoun (SW Minneapolis) and had to work a lot to keep his pants from falling down. He is doing well. We did this in the morning. A good call, because the rain came in after lunch.

Today we went down to Albert Lea. The setup for colgaffneyis big event there next weekend was scheduled for today, but because of stormy weather it was severely cut back. The last 40 miles driving into Albert Lea were quite scary. We got our tent almost completely set up before twolodge arrived with the corporate trailer. After that the big project was to set up the tavern tent, reinforce it with storm stakes and ropes, and then park the trailer in it for further setup later this week. A lot got done, but it was quite tiring.

Note to self

I actually knew this, but thought I could get away with a few small changes….

Do not ever, under any circumstances, use Microsoft Word as an HTML editor! It will take a clean and simple page, bloat it by an order of magnitude, and make it less portable to the viewer, and far less understandable to the maintainer at the same time.

If you have to use a Microsoft product, use Notepad. It does not have a lot of features, but at least it is honest about what it is doing to your work.

Busy day at work

It always is, the first business day after one of these server replacements. Several minor glitches surfaced, but we could cope with all of them, and none of them made me feel stupid because I had forgotten something obvious. One was an actual Microsoft problem, but a quick look at Google found the answer. Another was mysterious at first, but turned out to be an issue with the PATH environment variable–which of two executable programs with the same name should be used? The classics never go out of style :-)>

There were a couple of totally unrelated problems that landed on my desk, simply because the people who would normally have dealt with them were out. One got a lot of management attention–manually fixing some data because the application did not have the appropriate code in place. That should not happen. However I coped with it and everything else, and when I walked out of the building at the end of the day I realized I was smiling.

Home Alone

mia_mcdavid is still in Dublin (she flies to Chicago tomorrow) and James is away on a two-night field trip. I think he packed way too much–a metric shitload of stuff, but he went cheerfully and it is not my problem anyway. He and Mia both get back here late Wednesday afternoon.

Of course, I don’t have much time at home, at least while conscious. Work during the day, Irish class tonight, and colgaffneyis dance group tomorrow night.

Out of my hands

One of the parts of my job is handling database server replacements. Specifically, when a computer gets old we move the databases to new hardware. The trick is to do this without a lot of interference with the users’ work. So these events are scheduled for the weekends. Sunday is preferred because full backups are made of every database on Saturday night, so we have protection in case of failure. A lot planning and prep work has to be done in advance, much of which involves people in other areas in the organization.

One of these events is scheduled for this Sunday. However, there are two remaining tasks that have to be accomplished today, neither of which I can do myself. The people responsible for them are not in my area, and do not report to my supervisor or his manager (that manager). Apparently they do not share the sense of urgency I feel.

If we cannot do it this weekend, we will have to do it some other weekend soon–management does not want this to drag on. It has already been postponed once. That means

I have been exchanging e-mails about one of these issues, and am now in the middle of an IM session on the other. No idea if this will work, and nothing I can do.