Occam’s Cable

Today was to be warm, with a high in the 60s, but starting with some light frost on my car. I made it through my morning quicker than I expected, which got me to work about five minutes early, even after stopping at Casey’s for a free slice of breakfast pizza.

I kept busy all day, first on my own, then by going to the high school to help Brody with Jazz’s chips. After everything, it really did turn out to be the USB cables causing the trouble. I’d lost count of how many hours we worked on that, all for it to be the stupid cable.

I wasn’t at all hungry by the time lunch came around, nor did La Chiquita sound like a very good choice, so I just stayed in my office and tinkered for an hour. When everyone got back, Gary made his way back to my office and had me run through some other configuration changes for the new domain controller, or more specifically, the new Server 2019 VM template I created. That got us through to the end of the day.

Eaddie called me just as I was leaving work, and asked me to pick her up at Oakland. We went back to my house just long enough to change out of work clothes, and then we headed up to their house. I stopped for my daily taco along the way, and then we ate and chatted about her day.

Summer got home and had to do more work stuff. Autumn got home after doing some homework with her grandparents. Then everyone shuffled off to bed pretty quietly.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager Configuration Manager just has too many managers. Like us!

Down Loading

I made it in to work on time for the first time in several days. It felt like we were missing more people than we really were, but it was just Thomas and Greg. We got a really slow start to the day, and burned about an hour just hanging out. Once we got up from that, I got started working on my project for Jazz. That went even slower, on account of how large all of the installers were for the four required pieces of software to make the stupid chip work.

It was a quiet lunch, too. Gary, Zach, and I went to Taco Bell for significantly cheaper than the sit-down restaurants we usually visit. I was frustrated by the app again though, because my order was never made until I went to the counter to ask about it. Last time they had already made it at the other restaurant. I just want to know what the expected protocol is to get my food.

The afternoon went by pretty quickly as I found some success in getting the S7 chip to work. Then I went to Oakland to take care of a couple work orders, and then ended my day early to make up for coming in a couple weekends ago.

I hung out at my house a while, just kind of piddling around until Summer got home. Then I went up to her place for the evening. We chatted for a while, looked at cars and boats, and then went to bed.

If you’re not better, you’re worse.


Today was super cold, but dry enough that there wasn’t a speck of frost on my windshield. I rolled in a little bit late, but got right to work on the hardware I brought with me from yesterday. It wasn’t very long before I got sidetracked with other projects though, and I spent the rest of the day juggling at least three different things for different people. It felt good to be busy and useful, but I hated that it took me away from fixing the real issue I wanted to address.

Four of us went to Western Sizzlin for lunch, which of course filled me up for the day. At least I didn’t leave hurting and worthless for the rest of the day. Gary actually came back and spent most of the afternoon with me, showing me how to promote a new domain controller that we had built before lunch.

After work, I went to my parents’ house for a while to show them some visualizations from engaging-data.com. Mom had duck soup, but I still couldn’t eat at that point. We chatted for a little bit, and eventually I went home for the night. I perused some educational YouTube, peeked back into upcoming EV credits, and tinkered with my Hue controllers again, and ended up crawling into bed a bit late.

The tail end of the week sure didn’t stick around long.


I was cold and tired again this morning, so climbing out of bed wasn’t easy. The girls made it out of the house early, and it was warm enough outside that I didn’t have to waste any time defrosting to make it to Oakland on time. I made a couple quick stops there, then made my way to the shop.

It was mostly uneventful there. Zach was back, but out doing things most of the day. I saw Greg a couple times, but not for long. Kyle was in and out while Josh stuck around the shop and worked on the Mac stuff some more. I think we’re all a bit annoyed that the person with the most Apple computers hasn’t really done any of the work here.

We went to Sumo’s for lunch, and the tempura chicken lunch box turned out to be more food than I was expecting. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to get the fried vegetables and the chicken, but it was awesome that I did.

I went back to Oakland for a quick stop after lunch, and then went to the high school at the end of the day to help Brody with something in Jazz’s room. We couldn’t figure anything out there though, so I left for the day and picked Eaddie up from Oakland, then went home.

Summer was worried about a banging sound she heard on the drive home from Conway, so I met her at the shop to investigate. She thinks it’s a part of the rear wheel well, so we don’t think it’s catastrophic yet. It’s still approaching the time to really consider buying a new car though.

When we finished at the shop, Summer went to the house and I went through Freddy’s drive-through for some frozen custard. The line just barely creeped along, but by the time I thought to time the wait for each car to get their stuff, they had sped up to just a couple minutes per car. I wasn’t very impressed with the volume of custard or toppings though, and the chili cheese fries left a lot to be desired.

It was a pretty short evening after we ate. Eaddie has been staying in her room, Summer watched TV in the living room, and I washed a bunch of dishes before getting ready for bed.

Were you ever in tune with the song life was humming?

Peak Waste

I just barely crawled out of bed this morning after waking up really stiff. I even considered calling in for at least a partial day, but instead I made it in about five minutes late. Several were still out, so it was quiet again downstairs. I went to Oakland for a couple hours before lunch and took care of some stuff there, but otherwise the day was a wash.

I’ve almost eaten enough tacos to make up for my subscription pass. After lunch, Josh came downstairs and built out the Kerberos settings to try and help Kyle, so all the reading I did yesterday was basically for nothing. Kyle was still a real no-getter, and I’m not sure that’ll ever get any better. Maybe he’s just feeling the burnout.

After work, I just went home and waited to hear from Summer about Eaddie. Evidently Autumn burned another COVID test to try and prove she could go back to school. Fortunately they still had one left for Eaddie to take before she came over for the night.

I was still concerned about false negatives and the possibility of a late exposure simply not showing up on the test yet, so I stayed in the bedroom the rest of the night. Summer brought Eaddie over, along with some burgers from Freddy’s. Eaddie was upset that she didn’t buy any custard, and I was inclined to agree. The burger was better than I expected, but it’s still not the reason you go.

With everyone winding down pretty early due to staying separated, I got out a projector to tinker with in the bedroom. It worked as a proof of concept, but really just made me dream about turning the whole bedroom into a theater again. Maybe someday.

Level up.

Ring That Bell

It was really frosty out this morning, but I made it in to work. A bunch of people were out, leaving me in charge for the day. We met up at the shop briefly, discovered that we couldn’t do the one thing Gary asked me to do, and then sent everyone off to do their own things.

Kyle stuck around the shop all day, and basically had me reading manuals on how to set up Kerberos for his Macs. I took a lunch break and ran through McDonald’s for some fries and Taco Bell for my taco subscription, then went back to the shop to eat it by myself. Right after lunchtime was over, the main office told us to shut down at one, unless we took a lunch, in which case we had to stay until two. I wrapped up what I could, and then we all left early.

As I got home, I decided to climb up the extension ladder and hang my big wind chime. I was a little concerned about the screws pulling out of the tree, but I put it up anyway. The bell is super heavy, but I liked the deep sound of it. I’ll still have to come up with a way to hang the smaller ones right outside the door, but I’m glad to have the big one up now.

Summer had called while I was at work to let me know that Autumn and her father tested positive for COVID. Eaddie tested negative, and Summer insisted that they come home. We talked it out, and decided to let them stay home for the night, and then have Eaddie go to school in the morning. We’re hoping that they stayed separated well enough that Eaddie isn’t carrying it, and as long as she tests negative for it again tomorrow, we’ll let her come over after school to let Autumn quarantine by herself the rest of the week. I’m not thrilled about any of it, but it seemed like the best way to minimize any new exposures since Eaddie basically has to go to school.

I put some time in on the treadmill, and eventually Summer came over after packing and going to the gym. I had her pick up some Little Caesar’s since she needed dinner. Then I had to run some stuff up to Eaddie, since she was stuck at home. We watched an episode of Modern Family when I got back home, and then it was off to bed.

Wow, a test she could pass.


I slept the worst I had slept all week last night, after waking up around 1:00 and lying awake in bed thinking my alarm was about to go off. When it actually was time to get up, I crawled out of bed super sore, but somehow I didn’t have to fight sleep all day.

We met in the shop and went over new COVID guidelines, which were basically nonexistent, or at the very least ineffective. I think they just accepted that everyone is going to get it super fast, so the primary goal is to keep kids in school no matter what.

After a little while, I went to Oakland to close out some work orders. Then I made it back to the shop just in time to pick everyone up to go to Old South for lunch. We had to wait for Zach and Greg to show up from their TV install, but then lunch was good.

Central Office went home at one, so we shut everything down as well. I hung out for a little while since Tammy didn’t have a ride, but then I had to head to my parents’ house to meet Pat, their retirement fund manager.

Julie didn’t show up because she was still sick, so we just had her on the phone. Pat seemed nice enough, but was mostly just vague in his gesturing that “there was enough money as long as he kept it there.” We did gain some insight, but I don’t think anything really changed. I’m tired of talking about it, but I still want to crunch the numbers ourselves so we can have a glanceable table of what to expect.

After he left, the rest of us had some curry for dinner, and then I headed home to meet up with Summer. I cleaned up most of the mess I made hanging the new track light, and then we watched Cool Runnings until bedtime.

Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme!

Back on Track

I wasn’t as early to work this morning as I had been the past couple days, but I still squeaked in under the wire. We gathered in the shop for just a bit before deciding to get started on a regular workday in spite of an absence of students. Teachers were still there, and were even encouraged to bring their own kids to school with them, so it wasn’t a complete ghost town. I stayed in my office all day anyway, so it didn’t matter much.

I spent most of the day helping others. When I wasn’t doing that, I was turning those helping moments into FAQs in Web Help Desk. It was boring, but maybe it will help in the future.

Most of us went to Nonna Bella’s for lunch. I had the chicken alfredo lunch special, which was pretty good. The price was the best part though. The food took a bit to come out, so we had plenty of time to chit chat around the table.

The afternoon went by super slowly, and then I finally left a bit late after wrapping things up. I stopped by Casey’s for a free deal, then went home where Autumn and Eaddie had just arrived to pick up a hotspot so they could go to their father’s.

I changed, then went to Lowe’s to get the part I needed to mount the track light electrical box. I got really frustrated trying to mount the thing, and didn’t have a great time due to the orientation of the screws, but I eventually got it mounted well enough. I didn’t end up drilling any holes for the toggle bolts, and just went with screw-in anchors instead. They were white, so they actually blended in pretty well in case I ever wanted to remove the track in the future.

When I finally finished setting up the new lights and Hue bulbs, I headed up to Summer’s for the evening. She was already in bed as I expected, so I laid down with her for a bit until she went to sleep. Then I wrapped up and tried going to sleep myself.

Anchors aweigh, my boy.

Shut It Down!

They decided to close the schools down for the rest of the week, so today was for getting everyone ready to work remotely. I actually didn’t have much to tend to, so I went to Oakland in the morning and replaced a camera switch. Evidently I didn’t plug the fiber modules into the correct ports, so Gary actually took care of that after lunch for me, but at least I had the rack looking much nicer with shorter patch cables.

After I left Oakland, I ran by the high school and waited for Shirley to show back up. She sent Brody a work order, and evidently left right after. I just barely caught her in the parking lot on my way out to lunch, so we went back in and got the girl that needed some dictation software installed. As I left for real, Gary texted and said they were going to Brangus. Evidently they got a late start to lunch, which worked out perfectly as I arrived just as they were being seated.

After lunch was really quiet for me. I piddled a lot, but got called to deliver some Chromebook chargers to Sequoyah as they were dismissing students for the day. As I made the delivery to the office, I got my second compliment of the day – this time for my awesome emails.

We filtered out at the end of the day and I went home to change before going to my parents’ house to finish up some spring rolls. I didn’t stick around long though, because I wanted to get started on my track lighting.

I had to call Dad for some guidance, but got the old pendant light down and finally wired up the new parts. Unfortunately I’ll need another part to rotate the screw holes around, but then I can actually hang the track. The cover won’t quite cover the entire hole left by the old light, but that can be a problem for Future Me.

Oh, buds.

Guidelines Were Made to Be Broken

I didn’t give the Murano much time to defrost this morning, then made it worse by trying to use the wipers to clear the little bit of frost I had. I made it to Oakland without incident though, and took care of something quickly there before heading in to the office.

Greg was there, in his office, unmasked, and ready to work. It upset me a lot first thing, but I relaxed a bit after they said he had a negative test. I still felt like he should have been masked, but at least I was able to keep my distance for the most part. We did all go to lunch together, but I rode in a different car and sat on opposite corners in the restaurant.

The afternoon was a little slow without much going on. Ben came through right at the end of the day to visit, and finally got to see my glorious new office. I stayed a little late trying to help brainstorm an issue they had at London, but eventually made it home.

I changed out of my work clothes and went to Lowe’s for a connector to join my two track lights while I chatted on the phone with Summer, who was on her way home from Conway. They had some clearance racks up that I perused as well, and scored some iron plant hangers that I’m hoping will work with my windchimes.

As soon as I finished shopping, I went to my parents’ house for some spaghetti. Mom was watching YouTube videos about Vietnamese street food, which lead to us watching the Top Gear Vietnam special. I was pretty tired by the time I got home from that, so I finished up and went to bed early.

Whatever you do, don’t look up.