Tuesday, May 24, 2011

And the Oscar goes to...

HR made a job offer to the candidate we interviewed last Friday.  He seems to be a good kid, well motivated and with a reasonable skill set for what we want him to do. If he accepts and all goes well (drug testing, that sort of thing) he'll start on the 31st. That'll give us 4 days to work with him before I go to the forum, and he's tossed to the lions.

I'm not overly concerned about that...we have most of our systems and procedures well documented in a wiki, so he'll have a good resource to fall back on. He'll just have to remember to search the entire wiki, and not expect things to be under logical headings.

I really look forward to him starting, as it'll take a lot of the load off me when it comes to end user support, and give me the time I need to complete my current projects, which include migrating to Exchange 2010 and finishing up my project to upgrade our AD infrastructure to 2008R2.  I've only one DC left to go on that, and if things are quiet this week, I may be able to get it done before he starts.

When next we meet, I'll be starting the narrative describing our migration from VMware ESX 4.0 to ESXi 4.1. Spoiler alert for those expecting trials, travails and horrors...it's actually pretty easy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Time flies when you're too busy to blink

It's probably a character flaw, but I enjoy being on the cusp of being overwhelmed at work. Since we're shorthanded, that's a daily occurrence. We've been interviewing candidates, and I must admit I like the way we're doing it.  We're asking the normal questions, getting their background, then we give them a synopsis of our infrastructure.  After they look it over, we give them a series of troubleshooting scenarios.  So far, 2 candidates totally freaked, and couldn't solve any of the situations.  One got them all (he want's waaay too much money), and the one yesterday did pretty good. Hopefully we can get through this and make an offer before too long. So many of the tasks that our dearly departed co-worker (no, not dead, just gone) had on his plate are coming home to roost, and I think that we can cover them well, if we can get help on the phones.

Two weeks from tomorrow I fly to Orlando for the Dell/Equallogic storage forum, where I'm going to be one of the speakers. I just realized that I'm going to have to get a sitter for the boys...I don't think I could safely leave them by themselves from Sunday to Friday evening.  Fortunately, I've a service I've used before, and they've always done a good job. Given that they spend so much of their time sleeping, I don't really expect them to miss me...as long as they don't get their nose out of joint and do rude things to my belongings. These haven't so far, but I've had cats in the past that were vengeful creatures, and would crap in your shoes or pee all over the closet in retribution for real or imagined slights.  Probably why I like cats...they don't hold back.

As to the forum, I've been going over my spiel in my head for days now.  I've always enjoyed public speaking, and this is a topic I'm a believer in. Chortle, chortle...I really love talking about subjects that I'm invested in. Probably the egotist in me, but I dare anyone out there to say that they don't enjoy being the center of attention...at least if you know what you're talking about, and you're speaking to a sympathetic crowd. I've thought more than once that being a trainer or a speaker at tech forums would be a wonderful way to spend retirement, once I finally get to that point.

The casinos in Tunica were re-opening this weekend.  I almost feel like I should go down and lose some money, just to tell them "welcome back, glad you're not in New Orleans!".

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring makes a second appearance, and ain't it great!

It's been getting up into the upper 80's around here, with the lows in the 70's.  So, when the high today is only in the mid-60's and it's going to get down into the 40's at night, I'm just loving it. Now, if I were still on the east side of the state, we'd be calling this Blackberry Winter, referring to a cold snap that happens when the blackberrys are in bloom.  Here, the only thing I know is that the apartment benefits from being aired out, and my checking account benefits from having the HVAC shut down.

I've managed to poke fun at Memphis's nickname "the bluff city" quite a few times since moving here, but the flood has made a believer out of me.  The Mississippi is normally about a 1/2 mile wide at Memphis, and when it crested here it was over 3 miles wide.  However, the overflow was almost all on the Arkansas side, with massive flooding there. Here, only some very low-lying trailer parks and a few houses got flooded,  I guess that means that bluffs are in the eye of the beholder, and if the elevation of the city is enough to keep the river at bay, who am I to argue.  Go, Bluff City!

The Grizzlies managed to tie up the second round of the NBA playoffs, 3 games each in their series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.  I didn't watch, as requested by some of my co-workers, as I am the biggest jinx on the planet when it comes to watching/listening to teams I like play.  So, since I didn't even check the score last night while the game was going on, I take full credit for the win.

We interviewed 3 people yesterday for the opening we have at the clinic.  The first 2 had less basic computer skills than my wife, and should go back to school if they actually plan on a career in IT.  The third had good skills, but want's way more than we're willing to pay.  If anyone out there knows of someone just graduating from technincal school, having studied IT, have 'em contact me.  We're really looking for a recent graduate, and someone with less than a year of experience.  In other words, the kind of entry level job people claim you can't find, as most companies insist on at least some actual experience.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

And then there were two

The co-worker finished out his last day, and so now there's only two of us to handle the on-call rotation. So, a dark lining to every silver cloud.

The geek in me is in hog heaven...SyFi is marathoning Eureka and Warehouse 13 today.  So, I'm a man of low tastes...I know that these series are both campy and tacky.  Of course, that's why I like them so much.

The original inspiration for this blog was my wife's blog...she started out being a multi topic blogger, but it's quickly become (with notable exceptions) a journal of her travails in taking care of her exceptionally geriatric parents. That's what you get for having a naturally long life expectancy ( her parents are 90 and 89 respectively, and her grandparents lasted into their 90's).  Now my family tends to check out no later than their mid 70's, barring massive coronaries, so my boy will only have to deal with his aged mother, not me.  Strange, I think that's the first time I've been able to put a positive spin on having slim chance of making it to 100!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How high's the water, papa?

Major flood stage for the Mississippi at Memphis is 46 feet. Last night we were at 44.57 feet, and not expecting to crest until next week, probably around 48 feet. Not having been raised around here, I'm both horrified and fascinated.

Work is still a thrill...the departing co-worker's last day is tomorrow, and he has to leave early today and come in late tomorrow due to doctor appointments. Ah, we didn't really need the info that he hadn't gotten around to documenting in our wiki...we can always wing it!

Actually, things seem to be going pretty well, professionally any way. Gayle's still stuck in Kentucky most of the time, which sucks for both of us. I still need to lose about 40 pounds, which really sucks for me. However, I know what I need to do to loose the weight. It's just a matter of getting off my ever increasing large butt and doing it!

Ps. It's supposed to be beautiful this weekend, so back to wasting film...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Water, Water, everywhere!

The Wolf river has crested, and returned to it's banks.  The same cannot be said of the Mississippi, which is busily trying to wash out downtown Memphis. From Paducah on the Ohio and all points south, this is being described as bigger than the flood of '37. As that one took out most towns on the Ohio and the Mississippi, we'll see.  We'll also see if the USACE has learned anything since then about minimizing the damage from such a volume of water.

I'm spending this rainy Sunday upgrading my last 3 ESX hosts to ESXi 4.1, Update 1. I managed to leave the disk that I used to upgrade my remote sites at the apartment, and so far haven't been able to get a good copy burned to use here.  I really don't want to have to go back home and get the one I know works, but somehow I wouldn't be surprised if that turns out to be the case. I consider myself a rational individual, not prone to superstitions, but damned if it doesn't seem like no upgrade can be complete without at least one thing going wrong.  As I've planned this upgrade out pretty well, and have all the documentation of how I need to configure the hosts, it would have to be something silly like a disk not working. Ah, well, so much from rationality.

The Beale Street Music Festival is in full swing, and is getting it's usual monsoon-like rains, just to keep things traditional. The Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA won a first round playoff series for the first time in their existence, beating the San Antonio Spurs.  The Spurs were the top seed, the Grizzlies made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth.  Go figure.