Saturday, June 11, 2011

What you do is how you look

If you know me you'll know that I try and find the lighter side of things.  It's just who I am.  I'm that crazy person stuck in traffic laughing at everyone else getting frustrated.  I don't do it to be mean, I just find it rather amusing.  People really do amuse me to no end with the things they do and what they make important.  Their actions speaks volumes about them but something tells me that might not be their real selves they are showing.  Not to say that I'm perfect or that everyone I encounter is this way, but a surprising number or people are.

There are plenty of times that I get caught up in the moment and let it get the best of me.  Who knows maybe I'm just seeing those people in their moment?  If that's the cause then there are a lot of people having those moments all the time.

I just think that life is too short and precious to spend your time and energy getting frustrated by traffic, rude actions, parking spaces, line cutters, loud stereos and all that sort of stuff.  Seek out the positives.  It's not easy all the time, but it gets easier over time.  That's my advice for today.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So...

After all the dust settled a bit from the storm of rough news, things have started to work themselves out a bit.  My friend with the brain hemorrhage is awake.  Which is great news!  I hope to visit him tomorrow.

My dad has chosen a path and found a great doctor/surgeon that he is very pleased with, so all is going as according to plan as possible.

I'm just sort of in survival mode really.  Just taking it piece by piece and day by day.  Waiting to see what comes next.  Hoping that there are no surprised along the way.  I hope that all 8 of you are doing well and are sleeping better than I am tonight.  Heh.  Fear not I'm sure sleep will find me at some point and I'm off tomorrow...err...today so, no work to worry about.  Hopefully I'll get enough sleep to allow me to get some stuff done around the house tomorrow.  We'll see what happens.

Good night!  Well I'm just off to try and pass the time for now...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

With 100 Drobos

With 100 Drobos I would create my own small hosting company for file storage.  This would of course be after I built a gigabit ethernet LAN to support them, and worked with Verizon FiOS to up my speed to their new secret 100-150Mbps up/down speeds.  All this would be needed to allow the Drobos to properly breathe.  Would also build more than a hand full of powerful servers (always wanted to do that) to run things on the network.  I know the Drobos are smart but you have to have management with such a large team of experts.  Oh and let's not for get the cooling, perhaps a third AC unit would be in order!  Who knows I might even name them all and give them faces.  You never know with me.

A patch of clear sky

So even in the midst of all the gloominess that is surround me right now, some sun light has shown its way through in a couple of ways.

First, in an effort to keep myself occupied, I am getting an awesome amount of stuff done today (I took the day off).

Second, I just discovered that the furniture we purchase (on credit) back in January for the basement has been hiding a nice surprise.  The credit line was quickly sold off from Citifinancial to GE Money.  Well, it seems that in the transfer the balance owed failed to make it.  OOPS!  Oh well.  I did some digging around today to see about getting in corrected.  I KNOW!  Don't mess with it, but right now I need some good karma out there with my name on it.  So, I was trying to do the right thing.  It seems that proved to be a little difficult, if not impossible.  I called both Citi and GE Money.  Citi's automated phone system simply referred me to GE Money's phone number upon entering my social.  While GE Money can only see that there was no balance transferred in, and there is no balance now.

Muhahahahaha.....peeeerrrrrrfect!

GE Money said that I might want to try contacting the furniture store but I think I might just give up the fight at this point.  What do you all think?

Life Happens

So recently you've read about me dealing with my technological trials and troubles.  Well, right now we're going to talk about something..wait your reading and I'm writing!  That's not "talking"!  Anyway, right now I'm going to write about something that's not so amusing and much more real.

This week, which is only half over, has put before me some hefty shit to shift through.  Monday was a long day at work that started off with me learning about the customer I had taken down on Friday.  Fortunately, the customer was not upset and the issue didn't get escalated.  From there on the day was just a little 'off' but I could put my finger on it.  I'm point out that my day started around 9 or 10am when I got up.  My work day started at 2pm and ended at 4am.  Okay, so it's not the longest work day on record and I just sit at a computer, but still...

Okay I just jumped over to Facebook to see when I heard the first bad news of the week as I was thinking it was Tuesday.  Well I'm wrong, the first bit of bad news came to me on Monday.  So Monday evening at some point I hopped onto Facebook and was messaged by an old friend.  She was the unfortunate bearer of bad news.

My old-school best bud Mike was taken to Fairfax Hospital with a severe brain haemorrhage on Friday and was still heavily sedated.  He is sedated in an effort to keep his normally high blood pressure down to a reasonable level.

Now to give a little back story, Mike and I go way back to the early 90s and the days of Dharma coffee house in Fairfax City.  We were both recovering from tough break ups and rough patches in our lives.  So...we were instant best friends.  Inseparable for the better part of 2+ years.  We went every where together and steam rolled anyone and anything that got in our way.  We were a comedic dynamic duo.  But alas our paths slowly diverged and on went life.  We were in tough here and there but 100s and sometimes 1000s of miles often separated us.  Until recently when we both found ourselves back in Fairfax County, VA.  Granted we have yet to reconnect.  (this I will change!)

I feel there is something else you should know at this point in this very lengthy blog entry.  About a week and a half ago my dad went under the knife to have a mass removed from his bladder that could be cancer.  It was an hour long, out-patient procedure with no lasting affects.

Back to Monday evening...  I've just found out about Mike and it hits me.  There I sit in a wide open room (a NOC), at work, fighting back tears.  Have you ever tried not to cry in a situation because you don't think it's the right time?  I believe it's akin to trying not to laugh in a quiet setting.  Well, I didn't do so good.  So, now I have tears rolling down my face, I'm at work and trying to figure out why I'm reacting so strongly to this news.  My thinking now is that it was a culmination of many things that amassed over the past week.  I pull myself together and move on with my night.  I work out a plan with the messenger of the news (another old-school friend) to head to the hospital together on Wednesday, as that is my next free day.

Tuesday comes and goes.....(sort of).  At some point I am reminded of the fact that my parents get the results of the pathology report (remember me mentioning the mass that was removed?) the following day.  So, now my day off, Wednesday, is going to consist of an early morning phone call from my parents with the results and visiting an old friend in the hospital as he fights for his life.  Surprisingly I sleep fairly well.

Wednesday morning, well mid-morning.  The phone rings.  It's a telemarketer.  Damn THEM!  Shortly there after the phone rings again.  It's my parents home number.  It's now about 2 hours after their appointment time.  My mother starts out (after the "Hello.  How are you?" stuff) by stating that they didn't get the results they were hoping for.  In fact they are rather serious results.  Now, I would really have to get into a detailed explanation of bladder cancer, but you have the Internet.  The basics are this: Bladder cancer is rated differently than other cancers, for some reason. 

Here's a good link for more information: American Cancer Society

There are 4 main levels (T1 - T4) with several sub levels before T1 and a few sub levels inter-mixed along the way up to T4.  These levels indicate how invasive the cancer is.  Initially this is a rough determination based off of the biopsy information from the pathology report.  The level can change, I'll explain how in a bit.  My dad is currently at T2, which means that the cancer is in the muscle of the bladder, not good.

There are also 3 "N" stages that indicate how aggressive the cancer is, again determined by the biopsy.  1 being the least aggressive and 3 being the most.  My dad is at a 3.

Now there are a couple of options available to us, well, to him and I won't really go into them or what he might do.  For some reason I feel that a bit too much info.  Which is actually something I don't normally encounter as I'm a pretty open book.  Regardless, I'm sharing this all with you because I want to put it all down.

It hasn't really hit me yet.  I believe I'm in shock at this point.

In life, while I don't personally fear death in the slightest...  The death of the my folks terrifies me greatly.  I'm sure it's something that no one is really comfortable with but having grown up with a very small, tight knit family, losing the either of the remaining two........is more than I can even think about.  So, I don't.  Ignorance is my shield for now, but it would seem that life is going to happen and I'm going to have to learn to deal/accept/cope with the consequences.

So, I ask for your warm thoughts and well wishes for my dad and good friend Mike.  Thanks...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The media server sage - Part Dux

Alright folks.  After a day of rest and doing my best to not even think about the devil box in the basement that I lovingly call my media server, I feel refreshed and ready for the next step.  This next step will be my last attempt to get the box to where I want it, which at this point is simply to work.  Ha!

I'm going back to Windows 7 as the OS and I'm simplifying a bit.  I just want it to play movies/TV shows/music and go get stuff for me.  I be accessing the box through the super secret bat cave entrance (giggidy).  Can't, rather, don't want to talk about that in a public forum.

I can't believe that I have wasted months of my spare time and though on this stupid thing.  God, what am I going to do with all of the spare time if I get this thing up and running?  <queue anxiety> Haha!  Hey anxiety is no laughing matter children!

If you're interesting in knowing more about the software that I'm using to run this devil of a set up go to any, all or none of the following websites:

XBMC - This is the Xbox Media Center software site.
SABnzb+ - This is an auto downloader for newsgroups.
SickBeard - This is a TV Show NZB tracking/getting program.
Couch Potato - This is a Movie NZB tracking/getting program.
Subsonic - This is the AWESOMELY AWESOME program I use for streaming my music out to the Intertron.

If you are unsure of what an NZB is, check this out: Wiki Page

The media server saga - Part 1

I should have been writing about this from the start.  Here's goes regardless.

About 2 maybe 3 months ago (god has it really been that long already?) I decided that I needed a dedicated server for the media library that I was amassing on the external terabyte drive attached to my Macbook Pro.  So begins the saga.

Over the last 3 or so months I have ordered a server, RMA'd a case, changed OS's (twice!), spent about 2-3 weeks fighting with linux, and getting challenged and frustrated to no end.

I have tried to research and foresee as much as I could every step of the way, only to realise something completely different was needed or wanted.  *sigh*

Have you ever started out excited about something that became so much work (all self imposed) that by the time you think you're close to the end you no longer care about the thing?  Happens all the time to me.  Worst part: I usually only have myself to blame.  My never ending need to improve and tinker with stuff is killing me.

Right!  I know what you're thinking.  Really?  That's what you have to complain about?  Haha, your life must be easy.  Really it is and I think that's why I spend so much time mucking about with aspects of it.  I'm bored.

Oh look, time to go home.  Good night computerland and Internetworld.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Back on it!

It would seem that I am once again back in the saddle. I have moved passed my hesitations and on to getting it done. Yay for me, but who really cares. It's not that big of a deal. What needs to happen is me getting more involved in getting "real" stuff done around the house.

This will not be happening today as I'm coming off of an 18 hours shift with a 4-5 hours turn around into a 10 hour shift. So, it's all about the sleep for me. I hope to do more work around the house on Wednesday though. Maybe find a little of this focus for things that really matter. Getting the law mowed, some pictures hung, finishing the work in my office and you get the idea.

So. Yeah. That's it about that for now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Interesting situation...

Here I sit, on my day off having gotten up nice and early to attack the day.  As the morning wore on I started to become more and more anxious about something.  I was having trouble nailing it down until just recently.  Let me insert a little back story here:

I have a media server that deals out our movies, TV shows, music, etc.  It's running Windows 7 and is working just fine.  In my never ending quest to make things different or better, I have decided to change the Operating system and consolidate some functions from another computer, to the server.  Simple enough, right?  Well, there was the brainstorming of ideas, the researching those ideas, making decisions about those ideas and then planning out the decisions made.  All in all this took about a week.  Not too bad right?  You wouldn't think so, but now I'm in the position to do the work (the fun part some would call it) and I sit here dreading it.  Why?  I have no real clue...

So I find myself frozen, almost unable to complete other tasks because of this "elephant" in the room.  What am I to do?  The only thing I can think of is to press on through it.  The only question in my head is that if this thing that I once wanted to do has now become a chore, why do it?  You have to remember that nothing is 'broken' at this point.  Everything works just fine.  I'm just a tinkerer by nature.

I think I pysch'd myself out on this one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Knee deep

So what has the last two months brought me.  Several things.  A shiny new-to-me sport bike destined for the track as she is not road legal, meaning no lights, registration, license plate, etc.  I have continued my quest to always change my network and home computers.  Why be simply satisfied with something that merely works?  When you can completely change it to where it only barely works!  Oh I'm down 40+ lbs with only really having changed the medicines I was on.  Actually all I did was add one for A.D.D. and it counteracted the weight gain of the other two medicines.  Yeah for me.

I've been struggling lately with getting things done.  I seem to be more focused on the decision making and planning but when it comes to the execution, I lack.  Not sure why that is happening.

Not really sure what more to say right now.  (see what I mean...?)  I've been planning to write something on my blog for a while now, but once it comes time to execute....blah.  Even stuff I seem to be really excited about I struggle with....like reworking my network and media server.  I can already tell that I'm going to struggle tomorrow getting it done, but maybe I'm wrong.  I'll wake up and dive right in.  Could have worked on it some today be decided to do other things.

What other things?

Well, I would tell you but then you might think that all in all I really did nothing for several hours.  Or at least I accomplished nothing during that time.  Does anyone else have these problems?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why does technology hate me?

I'm not exactly sure why, what, when, or how but somewhere along the way I have severely upset the Gods of technology.  They hate me or at the very least they LOVE to mess with me, and mess with me they do.

I get up early this morning (can't sleep) only to find that my media server doesn't like it's video driver any more.  Nothing has changed that I can tell, excepting maybe a windows update.  So I follow the normal steps to update the driver, in fact I even went through the link provided by the 'Control Center' for the current driver.  Easy right?  For 99.99999% of the population but this is me we're talking about here.  This starts what has now been an hour long journey with no less than 5 reboots and now I'm left with a screen that simply says "Invalid Partition Table".

Only someone who knows nothing going mess a computer up so badly you must be thinking to yourself.  Well some how then I have managed to fool all of my employers for the last 10+ years because I'm in the IT industry.  Granted I might not be working on the finer points of the operating systems but I still know my way around a computer.

Or do I?  *sigh*  So here I sit.  Typing away on the 1 computer that seems to be immune to me, my wonderful Mac.  Say what you will about the price tag.  But for me the simple fact that it continues to work while all around it crumble under the Mat Wohlscheid golden touch, speaks volumes about it.

If you need me I'll be formatting and reinstalling the OS on my media server for the 4th time since I got the machine.  When was that?  Oh the first week in January...oh this year.