Saturday, November 20, 2010

When I grow up....

...I want to be like Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard. It all started....

It was a dark and stormy night, and there were dog tracks in the yard. After a good day of being lazy (well, just me, my lovely sweet heart's form of lazy wears me out). We decided to step out and get some "American" Chinese take out, but couldn't think of any good places as soon as we had left. Instead, we decided to head over to the Mountain City Restaurant, a great little place in Holladay. Sugarmuffin flags my attention to where three men and two women are dining, and promptly tells me that one of the men is Nate Wade (of the Subaru dealership). His wife is there. The other woman is Sister Ballard. The two men are Elder Ballard and Elder Oaks.

It was quite a nice surprise.

I think I'd better put out a little background. You see, at this restaurant, it's operated by an elderly oriental couple. And the hostess has given us a little flack (well, primarily me) because we don't have kids. She's tossed around a "You make baby yet?", and even had the audacity to tell me I might have to ask my brother about how to "make baby". She's a riot.

So, the table of "Elders" had finished, and were leaving. Thinking I got off free because she didn't mention any of the "make baby" (and thereby garnering the attention of these prominent individuals), we finished up (she did give us a little flack about it, and Elder Oaks was still in earshot, but wasn't paying attention.... phew!), we paid, and decided to head home to watch the Jazz game.

As we got to the front door, I realized that Elder Oaks was standing by the front door with Sister Ballard. It was both raining and snowing outside, and it took me a minute to realize that Elder Ballard went to get the car. He pulled up as I stepped outside. I was able to ask whether she wanted the front or the back, and she was trying to opt to the back so Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard could talk. But, being the true gentleman that he is, Elder Oaks stated that she belonged by her husband, and I grabbed the door for her as Elder Oaks walked her to the car.

Those "Elders" have more care and concern for their precious companions than we often realize. A good woman is priceless, and they take the time to ensure they have good food, and are taken care of well.

When I grow up, I want to be like Elder Ballard and Elder Oaks... but without the calling.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

pepper spray

Okay. My father LOVES peppers. He has three full plants full of habanero's. So, I grabbed a few and brought them in to work. The results are in :
  • One man thought he was tough, and decided to bite a little bit out of one. He stormed out of the office, crying, and trying to maintain his dignity, stating (shakily at that), "this is how we roll".
  • One man bit half off, and it hurt so bad he was hiccuping. And choking. Poor guy. That one at least knew what he was getting into.
  • One more thought that we should be sticking one into someone else's water bottle. Probably not a good idea.
  • And someone took some home, used some turbinado sugar, and candied the habaneros. He brought in some habanero lollipops. I was tearing up on that, because it keeps the pepper right in your mouth for even longer, and keeps the fire going. Nice thought! Candied Habanero Pepper Lollipops!
Do I really work with these crazy people? Yup. I don't like to think I'm one of them, but that topic is for another conversation. Just don't ask my wife.... or them.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Top Ten: things I've learned in 1 year of marriage

Last night, I'm sitting at dinner in a restaurant with my sweet Sugarmuffin, and she asked me a question. "What are the top ten things you've learned this year?" We laughed through a couple of items listed, and she also had to ash a couple of times for clarification. I've thought about this list many times since last night, and have modified a bit. Some have been left off, some have been modified, and some haven't even been touched (e.g. the first two things). So... without further adieu....

  1. Keep my mouth shut. Do I need to add anything to this one?
  2. Speak up about things. Some things shouldn't be left unsaid.

    I know these two rules may seam contradictory. Sugarmuffin was thinking that things were a little more volatile (meaning things change), which caused these two. However, I did clarify that. There are some things that are better to keep my mouth shut over. If she asks why so quiet, often a lesser "gripe" is better to toss out there. After all, gripes are really minor things to worry about anyway.

  3. The extra leaf in the table can stay long enough to wash the dishes. Keep things in perspective, because some things don't matter. After all, an extra leaf in the table when there is just the two of us is really unimportant when compared with something that lasts forever.
  4. Large projects can wait. She felt bad for an instance thinking I was referencing a long-term project I've been working on for 13 years. I did need to clarify this one to include everything. Think about it - it's been in that state already for some time, it won't kill anyone to leave it in that state while doing something else for a moment.
  5. Even as a couple, we're still individuals (Remember the curtains?). She understood this, but I'll clarify the post a bit. On our back door, we haven't had curtains put up yet. This is a natural result of both of us not completely agreeing on something. I'm a guy - I'd just throw on any old curtains. She's not a guy in any way (imagine that), so consideration has to be given to fabrics, colors, styles, strengths, furniture, season, holidays, which family members are coming, and how often the sprinklers turn on. Seriously, I can't just go grab curtains and throw on there - she's too perfect, and I don't want to mess with that. I like her just the way she is.
  6. Keep my hands out of the fancy candy jar. It's only there for looks, not as a candy repository. This is one of those things I have to keep re-learning. Hey, look! A bowl full of candy! Again, and again. I suppose this really translates to learning what territory is her's, and what territory of mine I can encroach on.
  7. Veggies won't kill me. In fact, I'm learning that I should be eating those things. BTW, Steak is not a veggie. All this time I thought it was a post-processed veggie (the cow ate some veggies, processed them, and now I get them in a more refined state), but... noooooo.... they must be eaten before the animal eats them.
  8. Forgiveness is crucial. If I can't ask forgiveness for doing something stupid, I'd be way in the hole. Waaaaay. I think I'm always doing something stupid.
  9. If something is causing someone stress, obviously, it's not as minor as you think. Stop thinking about it and just fix it.
  10. "Here's my problem" doesn't equate to "Fix my problem." These are supposedly two distinctly separate concepts. I think this is also something Sugarmuffin has learned, because she is starting to preface the "Here's my problem" talks with "Here's my problem that I want you to listen about. Don't fix it." I know she's smart enough to solve her own problems, but it's just a guys nature to fix the problem so that it isn't a problem any more. Do we need examples of this? I'd better avoid throwing out an example.
Now, as funny as some of that might seem, it's still a very accurate list of things I've learned. Perhaps a "top-ten" list in another year, to see how this list has changed. Maybe I'll grab her list and toss it on here. As long as it's not in the candy jar.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

To rest...

Oh, but what a couple hours could do to rest. I followed my dearest sweetie down to her parents this week. She was probably a little frustrated with me being so close, but that is what she gets for letting me tag along.

I listened to her parents and their little conversations. They are great people. And, just taking a little time to stand around like a bump on a log while her brother-in-law zero'd out a .243 - it was quite nice. A bit of rest, and I can now push through anything.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I keep getting called to create new automated tasks for the company. Things just get layered on, and I'm falling behind little by little. Then I'll make a good leap and get some done once I figure something out. It's been interesting to become "the report 8i+(h" in the co.

So, what do I do? I dunno. I'm leaning to taking a little time off to let my mind vegetate. I need to get taxes done so I can buy a new french door, plus change windows upstairs (and down), and figure out a new storage technique (I'm thinking a mobile shelf that can be raised or lowered above cars in the garage). [sigh]. No rest for the wicked.

(this is a previous blog message, but due to blogger's inability to import anything, I'm using this as a new post).

I'm off work, and on a computer?

So, I am off of work. And, here I am, sitting at a computer putting in a blog entry. Surprising, isn't it? Yup. But I'm not working in IM and not doing any work. Finally, time to relax! A little cleaning, and a great weekend!

(this is a previous blog message, but due to blogger's inability to import anything, I'm using this as a new post).


At times, it may feel like your relationships are just sour. Something to remember, though, is that there are struggles that will end. Remember, as hard as a relationship is, it's a natural part of life. No matter how much I have screwed up, I feel like there is always an end to that. Additionally, there are times that, even if I didn't screw up, I feel like I did. I just need to remember to push through those.

Something that the world should be aware of in my current relaitonship is this : I have married the most marvelous woman in existence. She is an independent mind, individual, a beautiful woman. She keeps me humble, and working. She has a phenomenal understanding. There is nothing like her, and I am truly grateful to have her in my life.

(this is a previous blog message, but due to blogger's inability to import anything, I'm using this as a new post).


As frustrated as I get with working on the house, or trying to deal with a lawyer or a painter that doesn't understand the poor job, I have a woman in my life that more than makes up for that. Her name is Shan, and she is amazing. She has soothed my mind many times when work has gotten to me, or when I am about to face news. She has her heart in the right place, she has a mind that functions very well, and she has a personality to match! (The fact that she is beautiful is also a plus).

So, I ask, has a woman like this ever existed before? or is she the best ever?
    Having you hold my heart is a blessing to me.
    Having you near makes me the man most lucky.
    Having your eyes look deep, brings smile to my soul.
    Having your fingers' caress makes me so whole.
    Having your heart beat close is love unto mine.
    Having you close sends giggles down the spine.
    Having your hands' gentle touch quivers my knee.
    Having your lips whisper love makes me giddy.
    Having your breath warm my cheek brings desire to kiss.
    Having you hold me close puts me in bliss.
    Having your arms around me results in an embrace,
    Having you close makes me want to stay at your place.
    Having you snuggle fills my heart with glee,
    Having your love is something I want enternally.
(this is a previous blog message, but due to blogger's inability to import anything, I'm using this as a new post).

Along comes another weekend...

.. and I am going on call. Frustrations about the corvette, work schedule, season, and the house have all compounded into a couple of lessons for the ages. What I have learned is...
  • An expert is only an expert because they do that on a regular basis, meaning you, yourselves, should be able to do as well as any expert if you set your mind to it.
  • Just because someone claims that they are willing to work things out doesn't mean they actually are willing to.
  • Do things on your own. That way, you can expect a specific result. If you don't like the result, just do it over, until you are satisfied.
That's not to condone becoming a hermit, but just a simple principle. You are the best expert when it comes to things that are close to your heart.

(this is a previous blog message, but due to blogger's inability to import anything, I'm using this as a new post).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How awesome my beautiful woman is!

I must say, that my wife is the greatest woman ever to exist!

Last night, was doing a database change, and she was asking me about that. In case you didn't know by now, let me spell it out for you. I am a nerd, and when I start to talk about work, I often start to drop jargon into the conversation that is standard for work, so I didn't even pay attention. And... as I told her about the changes that needed to be made, I dropped "DBA" into the sentence, and she caught me in the middle and said, "database administrator, right?"

I had forgotten that I was talking to someone that wasn't a nerd, and had started our relationship a year ago with only a basic understanding of computers. She had reminded me that I'd never told her what the acronym meant! Here she was, giving the right phrase for the three letters.

It reminded me of another blog post I read once upon a time. I smiled, called her a nerd, and told her she has a job as a Linux Systems Administrator in her future (just to egg her on, mind you). However, with what she has learned in a year and a half just from listening to me, she could definitely have a future in Systems Admin if she decided she wanted to.

But the coolest thing? She listens, and remembers. I caught the BEST woman to ever exist!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Managing services as cheaply as possible

Okay. After paying $120/mo for a co-located server at a local datacenter, and after the server crashed, it was finally time to simplify and lower the costs. I started migrating services to cheap or free replacements while I checked the hardware to see if I could ressurect it, and ended up leaving services to reduce costs. And here is what I have come up with :

  1. I moved the registrar to a cheaper registrar ( thinks they are the end-all solution, but are more trouble than they are worth - I even had to fight to be able to transfer my domains from them, because a couple of times they refused to transfer them).

    This did a few things for me:

    Using the GoDaddy "park domain" option while the actual hardware was checked introduced me to their "Total DNS" tool in the domain manager, which allowed me to control the A, CNAME, MX, etc records and point the mail to another service.

    (B) This allowed me to resurrect services a little at a time without the original name servers in place.

  2. Next I set up a free mail service and pointed the MX records over there. It's called "Google". They actually have a Google Apps for Businesses that utilizes mail, calendars, sites, etc., and it's a handy tool to have. They have instructions there. Cool thing - you end up using a gmail interface, or an IMAP client (or POP), and it's free.

  3. After this, I had basic services running for keeping the site, and thought I should explore the option of NOT co-locating the server (the co-location agreement kept me sitting at 5Gb/week for bandwidth, too), and started checking out virtual server options. I ended up settling on a "Link 2" virtual host for the website (it's a small one, 128Mb RAM, 5Gb disk space, 0.5 CPU [Xen], with better bandwidth). It's perfect for a small website that isn't visited often. The cost for a "Link 2" option was $140 - for a year. I will upgrade at some point to the next level, but it will still be a cheaper option by far.
My costs have been reduced from $1,473.00 per year (registrar and co-location costs alone, not including management costs), to approximately $148.00 per year. What's not to like about that?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Whoops! The Server Died!

I can't believe it! The stability finally fell! After years and years of a stable platform, the powersupply failed on the server, and I am now trying to get some cables. Once they are here and installed, the site should be back up and running!