Surprise Ginger

Mitch texted me this morning to see if I was available. He had driven up overnight on a whim to get out of town and wanted to see some friends, and had a free slot for me before he headed back home. He actually came out to the school to chat with me for a bit, which was pretty cool. He didn’t have a whole lot of time, and left just before lunch, when I ate some leftover “barbecue” that tasted more like slow-cooker pulled pork.

After work, I stopped by the old house and then headed home where Summer was making chicken tenderloins with some kind of coconut milk and lime sauce. It was pretty good, but between two things on the stove and a cake in the oven, the house got super hot. It would end up storming later, so the humidity was pretty smothering.

After we ate, we wasted the rest of the evening on the couch while Eaddie went to her room. I had hoped to feel a little more relaxed by the end of the night so I could be productive the rest of the weekend. I guess we’ll see how that goes.

Not a great start.

The Dust

The network never came back up last night, so I tried to get in to work a little early to troubleshoot it. The bird woke up while I was in the shower and was chirping all through the house, so I took it with me. I decided to stop at Sonic for breakfast for the first time, and it was some pretty good food for a price. Somehow, no matter how early I leave, I seem to always get to work at the same time.

Todd had already been running things down, and we went back to the core closet to find the VxRail and server switch had no power. Todd thought it was the switch, but it turned out to be the power strip and backup batteries. We moved some things around and got it going again, but then I had an adoption, controller, or DHCP issue as all the switches tried to come back up.

It took all morning, but I eventually got connected to the three core switches and just started turning off ports to distribution switches. As soon as I disabled the fieldhouse switch, everything else started coming right back up. There had to be something down there running a rogue DHCP server, but Todd couldn’t find anything.

I was able to feed the bird some egg and a couple flies I swatted on the loading dock, but as quitting time approached, it got super quiet. It was a fast decline after that. It rained super hard on the ride home, but I got the fish fed and then ran to PetSmart for some crickets. By the time I got home, the bird wouldn’t respond to any bird sounds and wouldn’t open its mouth. I ended up taking it to my parents’ house where Dad had a pipette to give it some water.

While I was there, one of the leak sensors went off at the old house, so Dad went to investigate. The bird was come-and-go by the time he got back, but it ended up having some spasms and died on the table after we gave up and ate dinner. I headed home to bury it, and then assembled the Tiki Retreat fire pit that was delivered in the rain.

The girls both got home super late. Eaddie crashed a graduation party with some other friends, and Summer had to close the wash. Hopefully I can decompress from the week quickly tomorrow night and be productive the rest of the weekend.

Death squawk. :(

A Sparrow: Gus

Traffic was awful in Dardanelle this morning, but I made it to work. Kim and I chatted for a while, and I never really did find a project. Kids came in sporadically to turn in Chromebooks, which was good. I also learned that about 30% of ninth graders have been suspended this semester, and I’m sure several of those were repeat offenders.

At one point, I had to go to the maintenance office to help Toby ask his vendor for a real attachment instead of an Office 365 share, because Kim couldn’t think of that herself. While I was there, I heard a bird in the building somewhere. Evidently some kid had brought it to Keith, and he didn’t have the heart to tell them they couldn’t do anything about it, so they were just going to keep it in a paper box until after school and then throw it back outside. Stephen was convinced it was a barn swallow, but the color didn’t look right to me, and Merlin identified it as a house sparrow.

I intervened.

A little while later, I headed home at quitting time. Dad had been mowing the lawns at the old house. I showed up to feed the fish, and then he helped me find a worm out back to try and feed the bird. It wouldn’t open its mouth, in spite of how chatty it was.

From there, I headed home and warmed up my leftover Mexican to eat. Summer came home and laid on the couch, but Eaddie was out all night with Eli. I managed to shoot a fly with the Bug-A-Salt, and after trying to hand it over to the bird a few times and it spitting it out, I finally just gave it and walked away. It immediately swallowed the fly. I don’t know why it swallowed the fly that time. Perhaps I can keep it from dying after all.

As the sun went down, I turned out the lights and the bird quieted down. I guess I’m committed to taking it to work tomorrow. It looked like the internet went down at the school earlier in the evening, so with any luck it will be back up by the time I get there. Otherwise, I guess I’m in for a treat.

I would have preferred a swallow.

Print Manager

Kim was out getting roto-rootered today, which left me to fix all of the printer and toner issues in the district. I felt a little bit helpless, because printers are one of the few things she does autonomously, and I never physically touch them. Other than that, I spent all day tinkering with Cognos reports to fix my Savvas rostering. I cut the errors in half, and I’m pretty sure it’s only fussing because I’m uploading classes that don’t belong there.

Denice was out for a bit of the afternoon, but then showed back up a few minutes before quitting time, when I had a scheduled interview with Bitec. I was a little bit concerned that I might have to explain myself to her, but she walked out about five minutes before my call.

The interview was one of the most relaxed I had ever experienced, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and less up-tight, or if it really is just a laid back environment for them. They definitely seemed tired for being at the end of the day. Evidently the position is a wholly new position, to take over IT duties full-time from those that just sort of help out day to day. It sounded a lot like what I’m doing now, except the size of the operation is a small fraction of what we do for a school. Possibly more coding, and surprisingly less management of people.

Otherwise the interview didn’t last super long. It seemed to go super well. I headed back to town to feed the fish after work, and got my old thermostat re-installed at the old house. Then I headed home briefly before Onewheeling to my parents’ house for some phở. Dad had come by the new house to babysit while TCW came and installed my fiber internet. They ended up running it all the way to the sun room, so if I ever get my rack going, I’ll be in business.

What is a VLAN, and what does it do?!?

Querious Planet

Kim was out today, so it was just Denice and me all day in the office. She spent all morning testing one kid, which seemed absolutely asinine for someone making more than $15,000 more than the newly overpaid minimum wage for teachers. It took me a little bit to get the motivation to dive into anything serious, but I eventually got word back on my Savvas roster import project, and I ended up working on that all day with a lot of help from Gary. I felt bad for being so needy, but it just wasn’t documented in any meaningful way for me, and they had already reinvented the wheel once before.

Time got away from me at the end of the day, and I got back to town a little bit late. I fed the fish and brought a bucket of trinkets home from the old house. Summer was home and already into the fresh leftovers from yesterday’s grilling. I went outside and cleaned out the gutters on the front of the house before coming back in to uncover and ultimately throw away a large container of spaghetti meat sauce and half of a pot of rice. When I went outside to put that in the dumpster, I found a fresh, unpeeled orange that had been thrown away for seemingly no reason as well. It would have been less infuriating if I hadn’t had to argue with both of the girls on separate occasions about eating my leftovers from the day we accidentally stumbled into Toad Suck. I’ve been feeling like an alien from another planet of people that give a shit about waste.

Rather than scream or yell, I just warmed up a little bit of leftover lasagna and corn from weeks ago, and ate that outside by myself. It started to rain a little bit, so I ducked under the porch. Dad said they had shrimp soup, so I left to eat with them and just get some space for a while. It’s no longer about feeling frustrated or angry all of the time. Now I’m just unhappy.

Runner’s Day

I was up way too late, and ended up sleeping in a little later than I really wanted. Summer and I went to the old house to pick up some things, and then Walmart to get groceries for our big steak dinner for everyone. We made a quick detour to Lowe’s for a couple free Mother’s Day plants, and then it was back home to start prepping.

I had a little trouble with the fire again because I’m always stubborn and don’t go straight to a nice, clean, oil-soaked paper towel. I even spilled a bit of oil on the deck, so that spot may just be water resistant forever. Summer helped prep everything for the twice-baked potatoes, which I decided to cook in the smoker this time. This ended up being a learning experience as well.

We picked up a rosemary plant at Walmart so I could try and make a garlic herb butter for the steak. It was a neat addition, but I don’t think anyone felt particularly strongly one way or the other. The smoker was a super dry heat on the potatoes. I had a water pan with them, but I ended up cooking them way too long for such a high temperature, and the outsides got overly charred. The one plus to this was the fact that the flesh was super easy to scoop out of the hard shells. Once I got the potatoes re-stuffed, I stuck them back on the grill and took a quick shower.

My parents, Julie, and Kevin all showed up pretty close to the same time, just as I was putting steaks on the grill. I got them seared and they cooked quickly, so we all went inside to eat. I really wanted to try the sous vide cooker again, but that would have been too many new variables for one meal. Ultimately dinner was pretty good, and everyone was reasonably chill apart from just forgetting how to sit down and eat.

Summer had to go in to work for a while, which I thought was for a meeting, but she actually did work stuff for a while and got home late. I cleaned up as much as I could, and got to bed late. Hopefully I’ll sleep well, but now I need to get someone out to troubleshoot our air conditioner.

Why is the air so thick in here?


Summer had to work this morning. I tried not to sleep too late, but Eaddie beat me to the shower. Then she disappeared to go to a friend’s party while I was in the shower. Summer came home excited about getting full self driving in her car, and wanted to go out to eat. The driving really had improved and seemed more assertive when taking off, and less afraid of cars crossing the street or turning in front of you.

We went to Mulan’s for lunch and then walked through the Lowe’s garden center, completely forgetting that I had reserved a free flower for Mother’s Day. We wanted to go grocery shopping to get steaks and potatoes for the family, but Summer started to feel a little sick and we ended up going straight home.

She had been talking about watching the X-Men movies after Mom watched the Wolverine origin movie the other day, so we watched the very first movie. Then I made her go out and mow as it started to get dark, and I cleaned up the kitchen in preparation for company.

Eaddie got home really late, so she’ll be spending all Sunday cleaning her room. That means I’ll have to sneak into the laundry room if I want to wash any of my own clothes. Today was a relative bust as far as I was concerned, and afternoon coffee had me up into the wee hours just doing nothing.

Stupid thermostat.

Blessed Graduates

I had a rough start this morning, but I knew I’d be working late and didn’t have a problem showing up late in the morning. Kim was away chaperoning a trip to Magic Springs, and Denice had people in the back office for meetings the entire day, so I was left to my own devices. It was nice, lonely, productive, and stressful all at the same time. I spent most of the morning tinkering with the sound system in the gym. I got it to sound pretty decent, but I still think it was hooked up incorrectly.

My daily schedule was a bit messed up, so lunch came and went, and the day was over before I knew it. The leftovers I brought for lunch had gone bad, so I went to the workroom with the hope that there would be some barbecue left. All that was there were lemon bars, so I took a couple of those and grabbed some “puppy chow” that I found in the front office.

As I got hungry, I remembered that I had a package of ramen and Kim had brought me some fresh eggs, so I boiled some water in the kettle and dressed that up the best I could. It was actually pretty good. Graduation went without a hitch as far as I could tell, and I was surprised to hear a student lead an unmistakable prayer, “amen” and all, at the start of it.

I ended up leaving with everyone else because I got into a project I had been working on. Traffic was stupidly slow on the way home, but it was just a couple people driving well under the speed limit. When I got into town, I got some gas and fed the fish. Then I stopped by Sonic for some cheese sticks. Their speaker box didn’t work though, and they didn’t have a sign up, so I sat there for a while looking like an idiot before I pulled up to the window.

When I got home, Eaddie and I went outside to try and see the northern lights, but we didn’t have any luck. Summer was fast asleep so she could go to work in the morning, so I stayed up a while on the computer before bed.

Ickier every day.

Logic Puzzles

They must be training someone new at McDonald’s, because I was late to work again because it took way too long to get through the line. My reward was not having to wait in line for a 7 Brew Sweet & Salty that the school had “catered” in big, pre-brewed dispensers. I forgot about the donuts in the office, and then I had to figure out the gym sound system on wheels so they could have graduation rehearsal. Barry nearly had a heart attack when I insinuated that I may not be available the next evening for graduation.

In the end, whoever rolled the thing out there didn’t plug it in all the way. It took a real IT genius to figure that one out. I got the sound running, but there were still adjustments to be made and speakers to be balanced. For the time being, they were happy with what they had. My price keeps going up when I see how much I’m overcompensating for the ignorance of others. The bar is just too low.

I had some leftover barbecue for lunch and then ducked out early so I could be there for at least part of graduation. TCW was supposed to come run fiber into the house anyway, so I made it home just in time to meet Tony.

It didn’t take long for me to realize he just wanted a super easy install. Evidently they already trenched the fiber to the side of the house, and it was his job to get it inside. He kept wanting to go around the outside of the house, or poke the fiber through a hole in the vents that go under the house. His drill bit ended up being too short to make it through a layer of brick, followed by cinder block. Dad had stopped by for some silicone to fix his rain gauge, and I ended up having him crawl under the house to try and drill outward so we could meet him halfway. Tony called another kid for backup, but he didn’t have a longer bit either. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after Dad started drilling that the kid even attempted to drill a new hole, and then immediately quit because he didn’t want to deface the brick trying to get into the mortar joint.

We ended up not getting new internet, and we’ll wait for them to come back with a proper sized bit. Leonard’s had 24-inch bits available all day long, but I guess they weren’t authorized to make that purchase. It’ll help them in the future, and I couldn’t believe they didn’t have one in the first place.

After the guys from TCW left, I got a call from Bitec to schedule an interview over a video call. I was a little surprised how quickly they called, and couldn’t even remember the details of the job listing. Looking back, it wasn’t very detailed at all, and seemed like a bunch of generic IT-related stuff, but at more than twice my current salary.

Dad pedaled home, and eventually Summer got home herself. Eaddie was out all night for band awards, but we didn’t go. I had been wound up enough all day, and then aggravated a blood vessel in my foot, so I sat down on the couch for a while. I eventually moved to the computer, and then bed.

Things are harder when you’re an idiot.

Humid and Lazy

I left early, but still made it to work a couple minutes late. Still, nobody cared, and I struggled to find interest in anything worthwhile. I paid for lunch, but as luck would have it, I didn’t really have to because of how much barbecue was left from yesterday. I packed some up and brought it home for dinner.

Kim brought me the oxtail, some soup bone, and tongue from the “fat calf” they had slaughtered. After work, I went to feed the fish and ended up taking the garage door knob apart because it kept getting stuck from the outside. Then I dropped the beef off with Dad before I made it home.

Summer was still stressed over work, so we really didn’t do anything all evening. Eaddie went shopping in Conway with a friend, so Summer and I ate leftovers and then laid in front of the TV until she got home. Then everyone was off to bed pretty early.

Bet there’s tigers in it.