Back Home
Posted in General
First watch, 8 bells (12:02 am)

We got back home around 7pm tonight. It took a while to unload the car, we have a lot of stuff. I'm glad to be home, because I was really getting tired of being in the car. I'm looking forward to having some nice grape juice for breakfast tomorrow, too. Mr. Pookies was pretty mad, but he's getting lots of attention, and I'm sure he'll be right back to his old stand-offish self in no time. I also had to change the water in the fish tank, it was pretty bad. I just finished entering my new books into this blog (check out the library link on the right-hand sidebar).

Leave a Comment »
On the Coast
Posted in General
Morning watch, 8 bells (8:28 am)

I'm writing from Yachats, Oregon. That's pronounced YAH-hots. This is our second day here, and we're heading North up to Tillamook (and the cheese factory), then on back to Portland for another day or so (and a visit to the Oregon Zoo) before heading back home on Friday. Here's a breadown of what we've done so far:
We arrived in Portland last Friday evening. Mom was canning grape juice. I asked about taking a few with me, and she suggested that (in not so few words) we get our own. So we went out and bought some canning jars (a mean feat this time of year anywhere since the canning season is over). Then we drove out to Canby Saturday morning to pick grapes. This place has so many grapes they practically jump off the vine. We picked 95 pounds (at 50 cents per pound) and took them back to Mom's. Then we drove in to Portland proper to visit Powell's bookstore. More like Powell's Gigantic Super Book Store of Doom. I bought a bunch of books, and tried several from author's I've never read before. When the book is under $3, I figure it's worth taking a chance. I also picked up Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko on Ben Y's recommendation.

Sunday we helped can the grapes we picked, we got 44 quarts of really good grape juice. Jodie and Andrew came over and we had a family dinner of barbecued hamburgers. Sam and Robynn came over Saturday night, but didn't show up on Sunday.

Monday we left for the coast, stopping by Creswell to visit my grandparents. We took some back roads through a town called Noti, which provided us great amusement with the sign Noti Church of Christ. We were pronouncing it like naughty, and later found out it was No-Tie. We hit highway 126 and came out at Florence, on the coast. From there we drove North to Yachats, but stopped at the Sea Lion Caves for a look and some good pictures. We checked in to our B&B and backtracked a little to Neptune Beach, which has some lovely tidepools and nabbed us some great pictures.

Yesterday we went agate hunting, and drove up to Newport then back down to Ona Beach. We combed it for a while and actually found four agates, two small and two bigger. We had a great time on the beach, looking for agates and shells. After we were done there, we drove back down to Neptune, which has to be the nicest beach we've seen around here, very clean sand, wide open spaces and hardly anybody there. It also has some bright orange and purple starfish. I'll post some pictures as soon as I can get them reasonable sized down.

Right now I'm jacking some dude's net connections, he has an open wireless router but I'm a long way away from it, and don't get that great of a signal. I'll write more when I can, but it may not be until Friday.

Leave a Comment »
Garage Cleanout
Posted in General
Morning watch, 4 bells (6:19 am)

I'm up early to clean out my garage and make room for all the stuff that Lowe's is delivering this morning, woohoo!

Leave a Comment »
Barter System: Alive and Well
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 2 bells (1:24 pm)

As soon as I get back from my mini-vacation to Portland (starting tomorrow, yay!), I'm going to do some tile work with MS (from our Training Dept., not the MS that just left the company for a new IT job). This is in exchange for some help framing my downstairs.

Leave a Comment »
New Locks
Posted in General
Morning watch, 2 bells (5:20 am)

I installed new locks (handle and deadbolt) on our front door last night. The old lock was in pretty poor shape, and all the coating had worn off in only 4 years of light use. It was also starting to stick when you shut the door, the latch-thingy wasn't retracting in the door like it should.

A nice difference is now I don't have to unlock the door to go out, you can open the door from the inside if it's locked—our old lock wouldn't do that. The downside is it'll be easier to lock myself out of the house now.

Leave a Comment »
Lowe’s Loves Me
Forenoon watch, 3 bells (9:35 am)

Well the spree went pretty well. My in-laws showed up to "help" look at stuff, and pick out different fixtures. Or was it to help us spend money?

Anyway, we had a manager (Mike) help us with everything, he was very cool, and really took care of us. He followed us around with carts, loaded stuff on them, dropped them off and got new carts, and provided great information on a wide range of topics.

Let me see if I can estimate what we bought:
Bosch inline water heater (my favorite purchase, I must say)
Flow-through furnace mount whole-home humidifier (because I hate the dry winter static electricity)
70 various 2x4s (mostly 8 feet long, some 10 and 14)
60 sheets of drywall
250+ pounds of drywall mud
2 buckets of topping mud
750 feet of drywall tape
6 gallons of pvc paint primer
10 lbs drywall screws
Many tubes of construction adhesive and caulk
Cement nails and gun loads
Electrical stuff (single and double gang boxes, light boxes, switches plugs, GFCI plug, 250' 12/2 romex, etc)
5 light fixtures (1 bathroom light/fan combination)
2 ceiling fans
3 six-panel doors in casings
1 set glass panel French doors
Bifold doors for pantry and linen closet
Cedar closet lining for linen closet (mmmm, smells nice!)
90 feet of base moulding
90 square feet of wonderboard, thinset mortar, and grout
120 square feet of tile for the bathroom and shower
10 square feet of 4x4 slate tile for the pellet stove stand

I'm probably leaving some things out, but this is the gist of what we purchased. All in all, we spent just under $6k. And my builder wanted $12k to finish the downstairs for me...

PS I also special-ordered this really cool shower head, the Westbrass spider shower head!

Leave a Comment »
Shopping Spree!
Posted in General
First dog watch, 2 bells (5:18 pm)

I'm off to Lowe's to buy a ton of supplies to finish the downstairs. I got a coupon in the mail earlier this month for 10% off your next purchase, up to $500 off! Today we're cashing in on it! This will keep me busy for a while.

Leave a Comment »
Blood Day
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 4 bells (2:02 pm)

We bled like true pirates today at the blood center. JM (my usual blood donation cohort) and I were accompanied by CA this time. CA is one of my newest new cow-orkers.

Leave a Comment »
Yarrr!
Posted in Pirates
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:36 am)

Today be Talk Like a Pirate Day! Celebrate or be keel-hauled! Where's me rum?

3 Comments »
BSA Training
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:28 am)

Well last weekend I completed my BSA Leadership training course, and I'm glad it's over. It's a good course and I learned a lot of good things, but it was as long and as tiring as it was informative. Camp Easton is a nice place, although it's a bit too close to the highway for my taste. They had tons of canoes and boats, and their own private inlet where you can swim.

We camped on the ground (I was hoping for a chance to sleep in the cabins) and it was cold enough in the morning that you could see your breath until almost 10:30am. We did a lot of review on scouting skills, knots, fires (a cotton ball covered in vaseline is a great firestarter!), lashings, etc.

2 Comments »
New CRM
Posted in Tech
Afternoon watch, 3 bells (1:39 pm)

Well, the new CRM system seems to run pretty good. There are several things that are different, but it's pretty much all for the better. I'm really starting to get the hang of SQL Server 2005, and I'm starting to love SQL Reporting Services. I was really dreading we'd have to go back to our old v1.2 server and I'd have to work with Crystal Reports—I can't stand their stuff!

SRS is very nice, although I don't much care for having to use Visual Basic for the more programmatic components. I'll take C++ and the STL over VB and anything any day of the week.

Leave a Comment »
Camping
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 3 bells (1:36 pm)

Tonight I head off to Camp Easton, on Lake Coeur d'Alene for my final training session with the BSA. This basically means I get to put an additional patch on my arm that says "BSA Trained". Apparently our troop is near the bottom of the ratio of trained leaders to non-trained leaders.

1 Comment »
Late Night, Early Morning
Posted in Tech
Morning watch, 4 bells (6:17 am)

Last night's migration finished up a little later than we anticipated, I didn't leave until 10:30pm. We hit a few snags.

Like a 115Gb (yes,Gb) SQL Transaction log (wasn't my fault) taking up the entire drive. I distinctly remember suggesting to MS (who's last day was yesterday, which isn't related to this issue) that he back up a clean, empty copy of the database to work with, then next time he tests the migration, restore the clean copy. He decided to just do a DELETE FROM table instead. On all the tables. Then rerun his INSERT queries. Which worked, but left the mega-giga-sized transaction log file behind. It finally chewed up all the free drive space on the disk last night.

Later, we also found that the CRM v3 server (which runs in IIS, unfortunately) wasn't sending out email. MS and JM found out that it was the Virtual SMTP server on the IIS server, and the mail was being queued up, just not being sent out, but they couldn't get it to work. Me, I'm an Apache fan myself (you loyal readers know this), but while they were out on a smoke break, I dug in to IIS, opened the properties of the VSMTP server and set the smart host setting to our outgoing mail server. I ran an iisreset and everything was shiny.

Now I'm back in the office to smack down any problems that pop up. I'm sure that most people didn't take advantage of the last two days of open testing and will be scrambling to figure out the new interface now that they are required to use it. I think the Law of Procrastination was Newton's Law of Motion #4: A body at rest will stay that way until the software's upgraded and they have to learn the new interface.

PS: The JM I mentioned is JM#2, from Tech, not the JM in development that I've known and worked with for 10 years.

Leave a Comment »
Pirate Filter!
Posted in Pirates
Last dog watch, 2 bells (7:05 pm)

Avast! In honor of the upcoming International Talk Like A Pirate Day (Sept 19th), I've added a pirate filter from Dougal Campbell to this blog. All comments to this post will automagically be converted to pirate-speak. Enjoy!

PS: Arrrrr!

1 Comment »
Migration Status
Posted in Tech
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:55 pm)

The migration is going well so far, we're right on track. Hopefully things will continue this way and I won't have a terrible day tomorrow.

Leave a Comment »