The weekend

I had to get up early on Saturday, and be at work by 8 AM. There was a server upgrade, one of those things that can only be done outside of business hours. This is a part of my job, and it is not a totally negative experience. For one thing, I am only dealing with my co-workers. No managers are around.

This went OK. Not great, but it did work out. I was done, I thought, before 10 AM, and the others said I could go home. So I did, and went back to bed, but mia_mcdavid woke me when one of my co-workers called, reporting intermittent connectivity problems. Without leaving bed I gave my first answer to this kind of question: Suggesting that the ODBC data source explicitly specify the correct TCP/IP port. Our production SQL Servers use port 1435, rather than the Microsoft default of 1433. This apparently took care of this problem, or at least I heard no more about it.

However, I was quite awake by now, so I went out and did some shopping for my hobbies. I got home about 2:30 PM to find another message from downtown, asking me to change a database setting to fix a security problem. Of course, they asked me to change a non-existent column in an ambiguously referenced row. I got that straightened out and made the change from home. It did not do what the vendor rep wanted (It was his problem, not my employers). This was some kind of bit-mapped field. The change did not do what they wanted, so they asked me to change another value. I did. No joy. They asked me to look at the same parameter on another system and copy the value from there. I did. Still did not work. I heroically restrained myself from suggesting that testing the other 217-3 (at least) possibilities would make for a very long day. Eventually they decided they could live with the second value.

Between these various e-mails I managed to get some things done at home. With some grade ZZZ 1×2’s from Home Depot I was able to create some extra storage in the basement rafters, and put some larger leather pieces there so they wound be safe but out of the way. I also was able to (mostly) clean my work bench, dye a belt I worked on the previous weekend, and, later, to start rebuilding my big shaving horse–I have not been happy with the legs on it, and I want to replace the English bodger mechanism with a continental style dumbhead. More strength and versatility, at the cost of being less optimized for one particular kind of work.


Sunday morning we made it to church on time. LeAnne‘s sermon (podcast) was largely about global warming and climate change. Thoroughly scary, the more so because I knew it was absolutely correct. I could have added even more examples.

However, I have to wonder about her timing. There was a baptism after the sermon, and it is a good thing that the little guy was too young to understand what she was saying about the world he would be growing up in. E.g., telling his parents to take him to Glacier National Pack while there were still glaciers to see there.

Upon reflection, I realized this was actually the 21st century of the classic hell-and-damnation sermon: Because our great sins we are all going to hell. The difference is that we are making hell by ourselves, and we are watching the process as it is happening.

This is my own analysis: I don’t think LeAnne thought of it that way. LeAnne is a great preacher–she gives me a lot to think about God and the world, even beyond what she may intend. That is OK. In fact, it is much more than OK

Afterwards we went home. mia_mcdavid, still convalescent, needed a nap. Fired-up by that sermon, I decided to lube my bicycle and get it back into working order. This worked out so well that I decided to take it for a ride to the Living Green Expo at the State Fairgrounds. This is about a 5 mile ride each way. Perhaps a bit much for a 57 year old out-of-shape man on his first ride of the season, but I did OK.

The expo was quite interesting. A lot of ideas. Some good, some (e.g. corn-based ethanol) very questionable. But overall my impression was positive. There is no silver bullet for these problems, but enough small steps in the right direction might make a difference. I ran into basil80 and tmancer there and we had a nice chat.

After getting home I decided to do some woodwork. I picked a piece from the ash branches that had defeated me back in March. I was able to split it with my froe and work on it with my Bodger Bord–portable shaving horse on the front porch. Obviously I was not thinking ahead when I dismantled the big shaving horse on Saturday. I am not sure I will get anything usable out of the wood, but I was able to practice my skills, and I made a lot of kindling for our next camping trip.

As you may have guessed, the weather today was lovely. LeAnne’s blessing this morning began

Giver of life, we praise you for the smell of freshly tilled earth, for its fertility and promise, especially to us here in Minnesota who have survived a tenacious winter and long for the promise of spring.

A good weekend for me. Just wish mia_mcdavid were feeling better.

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